GOD ONLINE: Exploring media spirituality

Web sites, TV, films, books and the search for meaning.

Gimme that old Norse religion

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Regin forges Sigurd's sword; wood detail from the Hylestad church in Norway

Regin forges Sigurd's sword; wood detail from the Hylestad church in Norway

Strap on your broadsword and charge into Ginnungagap, a site that just may bring out your inner Viking.

The Sweden-based site, examines Nordic gods and goddesses, plus fun stuff like the monster wolf Fenrir, the fire giant Surt, the Fates and Valkyries, the apocalyptic Gjallarhorn, and how Thor lost his hammer Mjollnir — and got it back.

You can tap into four rune alphabets, and what each rune symbolizes. For instance, the first, ansuz, is said to stand for “wisdom, knowledge and communication through the spoken and written word.”

The site abounds in cross-referenced glossaries. You’ll learn the difference between Muspelheim and Nifilheim, and how the god Day is married to the goddess Night — although she’s also had two other husbands. A search window would have been a good idea, though.

A rather ambivalent article tells how Sweden held out until A.D. 1000 before becoming Christian. It suggests there was a long period during which Swedes worshiped both sets of deities. Fair enough. Many Haitians and Afro-Cubans still do the same, with the hybrid religions known as Vodou and Santeria.

Ginnungagap has a lot of stuff for sale, like books and jewelry, but also a few free downloads. Those include Nordic-style fonts and runes, and Celtic borders.

Generally, though, the site needs maintenance. The shopping page and the Links page have a lot of broken links. Among the remaining links, The Swedish Asatru Society looks the best.

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Written by Jim Davis

June 9, 2009 at 4:02 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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