Written by Dyami Millarson
Germanic religion has been the subject of much discussion and fascination in my inner circle due to its unique blend of animism and polytheism. At its core, Germanic animism-polytheism revolves around the belief in Spirits and Gods, and the interconnectedness between them. Getmanic religion is like a coin with two sides: one side is the spiritual world, the other side is the divine world, and together these two sides of the coin form one whole and cannot be seen in isolation. We can, of course, differentiate between the two sides, but it is still the same coin.
Germanic animism-polytheism refers to the traditional belief system of the Germanic peoples, which included a complex pantheon of Gods and Spirits. In this belief system, there is a strong overlap between the spiritual realm and the physical world, with the natural world being inhabited by various Spirits and Gods.
Germanic animism-polytheism includes a wide variety of supernatural beings. These include Álfar, Dvergar, and Jötnar, among others. These beings are often associated with specific natural features and are believed to have their own unique abilities and powers.
Owing to the animistic side of Germanic animism-polytheism is the belief that everything in nature possesses a spirit, which is known as animism. This includes not only living creatures, but also inanimate objects such as stones and trees. These spirits are believed to have their own unique personalities and powers, and are often associated with certain natural features such as rivers or mountains.
The Germanic people traditionally believe that everything in nature, from the trees to the animals, is imbued with a spirit or essence. These spirits are traditionally believed to be powerful and could be both benevolent and malevolent. The spirits are not necessarily anthropomorphic in nature, but they were seen as beings with their own agency and will. To illustrate this point, I may bring up the fact that the Æsir and Vanir can also assume non-anthropomorphic forms, such as zoomorphic forms.
The Germanic people also have a traditional beleif in a multitude of Gods, who are considered to be responsible for different aspects of life and nature. Polytheism is, therefore, also a key aspect of Germanic animism-polytheism, with a complex pantheon of Gods and Goddesses being worshipped. These Deities are believed to have control over different aspects of the natural world, such as fertility, war, and death. Some of the most well-known Germanic Gods include Othin, Thor, and Freyja.
One important aspect of Germanic animism-polytheism is the close relationship between the Gods and the natural world. In this belief system, the Gods are not seen as separate from nature, but rather as integral parts of it. For example, Sól is associated with the sun, while Thor is associated with thunder and lightning.
In Germanic animism-polytheism, there is ultimately no distinction between Spirits and Gods. The Gods are Spirits, and the Spirits are gods. This interconnectedness between the two is exemplified in the Germanic belief in wights, or ancestral Spirits, who were believed to protect and guide their descendants. These Vættir were seen as a bridge between the spirit world and the human world, and were often given offerings and sacrifices to maintain their favor.
The concept of wyrd, or fate, is also an integral part of Germanic animism-polytheism. Wyrd is traditionally believed to be woven by the Nornir, who may be regarded as both Spirits and Goddesses; Their act of weaving of the Web of Wyrd determines the course of fate. This means that the Gods and Spirits are not just abstract concepts, but are intimately involved in the lives of the Germanic people, working their magic in the natural world and influencing the flow of things in the natural world.
Germanic animism-polytheism is a complex and multifaceted belief system that is deeply intertwined with the natural world. While it may be difficult for modern readers to fully comprehend, it remains an important part of the cultural heritage of the Germanic peoples and continues to be studied and celebrated by modern enthusiasts and researchers alike.
Let me briefly summarise the points of this article in a logical format:
- Animism-polytheism is the belief in Spirits and Gods.
- In Germanic animism-polytheism, there is no distinction between Spirits and Gods.
- The Germanic people believed that everything in nature, from the trees to the animals, is imbued with a Spirit or Essence (called a Vættr in Old Norse).
- The spirits were believed to be powerful and could be both benevolent and malevolent, and they were seen as beings with their own agency and will.
- The Germanic people also believed in a pantheon of Gods who were responsible for different aspects of life and nature.
- Therefore, Germanic animism-polytheism is a unique blend of beliefs in which Spirits and gods are interconnected and imbued with power and agency, with everything in nature being seen as possessing a Spirit or Essence, and with a host of Gods responsible for various aspects of life and nature