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Ragnarok (Norse Paganism)

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Forums -> Norse Paganism -> Ragnarok (Norse Paganism)

Ragnarok (Norse Paganism)
By:
Post # 1
There are many different interpretations of Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods, some think that it is a warning that if we lose faith then we will lose our gods, for example some people think that Fenrir, Loki's son, symbolizes the Roman empire or just general Christianity, and when the story tells that Odin falls to Fenrir, that it means that the religion will be devoured by Christianity. Some also say that the remaining gods symbolize how the religion will come back, and I have always agreed with this.
I believe that the story of Ragnarok is not an actual event that will happen or has already happened, but more of a reminder that we had a religion before christianity, and it will always have a place in the religious community. So, Asatru believers and other religions based off Norse paganism need not worry about losing our gods, in the eyes of many believers including myself, our gods will always be there, and again, do not take the story of Ragnarok too literally, our gods are here and they can handle themselves.
This is an extremely shortened version of our beliefs on a religious story that I had to do for school, atheists had an alternative assaignment, people with a religion had to write from their religion. I'm wondering what you all think, this is partly to see if it sounds like gibber, and partly to see how many other SoM'ers think like this. I found that most (around 6-7/10) Norse pagans/Asatruers think like this.
I posted this because alot of new Asatru believers have been flipping out because they do not want to lose their gods, so I just want to tell them that there is nothing to worry about, just follow the religion, gods will be there.


What did y'all think?
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Re: Ragnarok (Norse Paganism)
By:
Post # 2
Yeah.I had already thought of that,cos' it's the only plausible explanation.
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Re: Ragnarok (Norse Paganism)
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 3

I personally have seen a lot of conflicting views on the Ragnarok debate. It's definitely a hot topic in the Heathen community. I wouldn't say that the majority of beliefs on this are similar to yours- if only for the fact that there usually isn't a majority group in most heathen debates (as someone once told me "put ten Heathens together in a room and you'll get 13 different ways of practicing the path").

The views on this event are pretty varied. And I think that's justified considering what it actually is. As a priestess of a kindred, I've seen and heard some really interesting debates on this, and to be honest I'm not quite sure where I sit.

Some do see it as a literal event. There are Heathens who read the Eddas and Sagas and take them word for word. Who are we to tell them that is wrong? If that's their interpretation of the literature, I respect that. However, for them then, Ragnarok does seem a very real and upsetting type of thing. In the story of the Volsupa, she goes into detail describing which Gods die, and etc, but only mentions a few that survive. And after that- who knows? So I could imagine for someone who takes the Eddas word for word, this could be a big deal to them.

Others are more symbolic in the meaning. What that symbolism is varies amongst individuals too. Some see it, as you said, as the religion being devoured by Christianity (as the story of Fenrir and Odin does seem to be a little dualistic in nature which is not natural for Heathens). Others see it as symbolic of a great change occuring in the world, and the world being "reborn" or "remade". Some see it as an awakening of faith, after the destruction of an old one. Others see it as symbolic of the Gods changing or evolving over time. It varies.

Then there are those I've met who look at Ragnarok as an event that has happened/will happen/ is happening. I know a lot of Heathens who view time as being subjective to the Gods, and that the past/present/future are all happening at one time. I've never prodded too much to see what they think of Ragnarok in general, but I know some who work with different aspects of the deities they work with based off their interpretations of it.

I'm really on the fence about it. I personally don't see much reason to put too much thought into it, to be honest. Most Heathens, and Asatru in particular, try not to dwell on the creation/end of the world stories. Our faith and practice teaches us to focus on the current, and our present selves. "To be a person worthy of the Gods" as the Asatru Alliance says. So this other stuff really matters little in comparison with that. I think as Heathens we will all come to our own understanding of these things.

Here's some interesting interpretations if you are interested:

http://www.spiritpathways.com/ragna.html
http://www.oocities.org/ingwibergo/ragnarok.html
http://www.scribd.com/doc/32827785/The-Ragnarok-Within-Grundtvig-Jung-And-the-Subjective-Interpretation-of-Myth

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Re: Ragnarok (Norse Paganism)
By: Moderator / Adept
Post # 4

The gods still exist even if their physical bodies died in Ragnarok. Those who feel it already happened don't think that the Norse gods that died during the battle are completely gone. Their spirits live on just as all things live on after physical death.

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Re: Ragnarok (Norse Paganism)
By:
Post # 5
Thank you for all the comments, and thank you for the input, Personified.
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Re: Ragnarok (Norse Paganism)
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 6
This thread has been moved to Heathenism from Misc Topics.
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Re: Ragnarok (Norse Paganism)
By:
Post # 7
That has passed my mind thank you for posting this. Stay strong Brother.
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Re: Ragnarok (Norse Paganism)
By:
Post # 8
This is an interesting topic. I believe that Ragnarok is the "end of days" for gods, and I agree with Kts. Though I believe they once existed with physical bodies, I don't believe they lived on this plane of existence, since there are nine home worlds in Norse Mythology. The earth is one of these realms. They might have visited and held influence over humanity, they may still be alive, since there isn't any way for us to travel to other realms or dimensions. I believe that they are still alive as beings of energy, aiding those that worship and work with them in their practices.
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