What is Paganism?

 Paganism is the religion practiced by many European people from the Iron Age until Christianisation during the middle ages. Paganism took various forms during those years and practices differed from one place to another, the most documented form is Norse paganism which existed during the 10th and the 11th century. Some other sources are the Anglo- Saxon and continental Germanic sources, along with these some archaeological remains also help in tracing their beliefs. Some evidences suggest that there were pagan cults, where one succeeded another.

These religions extended, at different times, from Black sea to Greenland and were even seen in some parts of North America. Paganism was polytheistic in nature, that is, they worshipped multiple deities. The oldest traces of Germanic paganism are found during the Celtic Iron Age. The Germanic people probably perceived bogs and marshes as sacred places and worshipped them. Sacrifices were a fundamental part of the religion this is seen throughout all kinds of documentation. These sacrifices usually included of either burying the object or throwing it into a lake. Humans and weapons were also sacrificed as offerings. One of the Gods mentioned in Norse mythology is Ull, he was the god of bow and snowshoe. Loki, Fulla, Nanna, Zisa, Thor were some of the other gods mentioned.

The majority European tribes of central Europe gradually adopted Christianity by 6th and 8th centuries, what remained of paganism in these areas was in the form of legends, folklore and mythology. Germanic religion played a very significant role is shaping the civilization of Europe. These practices began to decline and disappear as Christianity became more popular. The pagan religion survived longest in places like Iceland, Norway and Sweden.