The Afterlife has always been a subject of many studies and doubts, mankind seeks to know and understand what’s behind the veiled curtain between this world and the next, we have been seeking it since we exist. The ultimate fight against the greatest fear we have, the fear of death.
In this post i will talk about the Afterlife as it is seen in the Northern European Paganism, the vast realms, different from one to another and the purpose of each place.
All living creatures have a soul, it is real and it is as free as any of our dreams, the only thing which is indestructible. Free as we are, the Afterlife as a variety of possibilities and most of the time it’s a matter of individual preference.
The most famous place in the Norse/Germanic Afterlife is Valhalla, in Gladsheimr in Asgard, the halls of Odin, were the bravest of all warriors go after death carried by the Valyries, where they spend eternity fighting and feasting, preparing for Ragnarök the last of all battles. Well, fighting everyday and feasting all night for eternity, would soon become a painful and cruel life rather than a pleasant one, because in truth, Valhalla is not only about the handling of weapons and warfare studies, it is a place of personal growth, the continuous evolution of our soul, of ourselves. Most of the time, the Afterlife is seen as a beautiful place where we can be in constant peace, walking in green gardens, doing nothing, well in the first years that would seem great, but we would soon be extremely bored, becoming ignorant for the lack of things to do and too lazy. So Valhalla is the place to continue our studies, evolving the mind, learn new things, the place to study and gain knowledge of all the things we did not have the time to learn while we were attached to our mortal bodies, a place to expand our wisdom, to become better and most people don’t realize that, especially the younger ones who are just now discovering thispagan strand through music, for those people, it is all about feasting, drinking and fighting, that would turn us into hollow beings, ignorant and all that we learned or should have learned in this life to become better persons, would be in vain, and we would be worse then ever. See Valhalla as a great beautiful city where we can learn all that we wish if we are willing to work hard to gain knowledge and wisdom. But not all go to Valhalla, there is also a similar place, Fólkvangr the halls of the goddess Freyja and there are many other places and halls to where we can go after death, a person might be connected to a god or a goddess for some reason, they might be a priest or a priestess of a specific god, and they can go to the halls or realms of those gods, for exemple a Thorsman can go to Thruthheim, or if a person is more connected to the Vanir gods, they can go to Vanaheim, there is also the possibility that a family might be connected to some god, and all his family goes to the same place where that god or goddess lives, linking us to our ancestors, being part of a great family group that works with a specific god.
There is also that old story of Helheim, the ream of Hela/Hel the goddess of death, the place from where christians made their Hell, the place for punishment and torture for all those who have sinned, but in truth, Helheim isn’t such a place like the Christian Hell, in fact it is a very a pleasant and cheerful realm, where the dead go too, a realm divided for the needs of each group of people or how they behaved while alive, for exemple, where Hela lives, that is the place for all of those who have suffered greatly, with diseases, whether physical or psychological, which changed their minds giving them paranoia, emotional breakups, depressions, nervous breakdowns well.. all the psychological problems which exhausts the brain and people live in constant fear and sadness, Helheim is the place to be healed, mentally healed. There is also the place of where murderers and oath breakers go, Nastrond, no matter how evil you might have been, there are places to learn how to become better, of course for these people, rehabilitation is not a pleasant job, evil people get what they deserve, but they will not be tortured for eternity, that would just made them even worse, they can become better. In the Norse/Germanic Afterlife, there is also lots of villages and towns and even cities where people live, i could say all over the nine realms, but some places aren’t safe unless you have friends there or if you are used to go or somehow you might be protected by the connections you make in your journeys. There is also the possibility, that a person might choose to stay near or with their families, in the vicinity of their graves and burial mounds and also in the house, watching over their decendents, helping and taking care of them, also if they had farms and the family keeps working the land, people can choose to stay there and help in every way they can, and the decendents after their death, can stay there also, near by doing the same kind of help their ancestors were doing. The soul or spirit is free, and most of the time is a matter of personal choise to where we can go after we die, death is seen as a natural part of life, a continuation of our being, constantly evolving and learning new things.
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