How thousands of Icelanders suddenly started worshiping the Norse gods again

My Journey Through Miðgarðr

iceland-viking-temple

High priest Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson with a procession of fellow members of the Asatru Association, a contemporary Icelandic pagan society, at the Pingvellir National Park near Reykjavik in 2012.(Silke Schurack/Reuters)

…the old Norse gods have once again emerged from the clouds to claim a people once theirs. For the first time in more than 10 centuries, thousands of Icelanders soon will be able to worship Thor, Odin, Frigg and others at a temple on which construction begins this month. Not since the collapse of the Viking age has anyone overtly worshiped at the altar of a Norse god in Iceland, which banned such displays of reverence at the rise of Christianity.

The degree of religiosity among the church’s denizens, however, is a matter of debate. “I don’t believe anyone believes in a one-eyed man who is riding about on a horse with eight feet,” Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson, a high priest of the Norse god religious church…

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