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These days, the Norse Gods are remnants of a barely-there time when Vikings roamed the Earth. The legends of Odin, Thor, and friends have remained a constant spectacle throughout Marvel’s first two phases (so far), including the Thor and Avengers movies. Now Iceland seeks to reclaim its rightful claim to worship the Norse Gods.
Is this happening as a result of the Marvel effect? Don’t be silly. This pagan shrine has been a long time coming. Reuters reports that citizens will soon be able to worship Thor, Odin, and Frigg in public at a new shrine. This shall be Iceland’s first temple to the Norse gods in 1000 years. What happened to cause this void?
Christianity took over in place of the Scandinavian gods, but these deities never really died out amongst Icelanders. Norse paganism has been on the rise for many years once again.
The pagan temple will be available for weddings and funerals in addition to general worship services. If all goes well, this year’s autumn Blot festival will take place at the new hilltop venue. The modern-day incarnation of the festival shall skip out on the traditional animal-sacrifice aspect of the holiday. Norway, Denmark, and Sweden all celebrated Blot in the past and have (to some degree) kept the dream alive. This new temple in Iceland will finally allow worshippers to celebrate Blot in the open without fear of retribution. The Iceland movement’s current 2,400 membership will appreciate the new opportunity.
Traditionally, Blot meant “to worship with sacrifice” for victory at war. Meat — usually pigs and horses — was boiled in great quantities for massive feast. All who attend Blot must also drink and be merry. But first, the blood was sprinkled on statues and participants, as it was said to contain special powers from the gods. Should be a bloody good time.