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Author Topic: Differences between Norse and Anglo-Saxon gods  (Read 1961 times)

Septima

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Differences between Norse and Anglo-Saxon gods
« on: January 20, 2014, 01:55:44 am »
For quite some time now I have been researching Norse paganism as a possible path for me and I have developed a relationship with a few Norse deities, most notably Thor. However, most of my ancestors were English and after doing some research about England, I am feeling a stronger connection with the Anglo-Saxon side of things.
The thing is, the Norse and the Saxon names for the deities do differ. eg. Norse Thor, Saxon Thunor.

My question is, based on the names, are the Anglo-Saxon gods simply the same Norse gods but different personalities or are they different gods altogether?

Sage

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Re: Differences between Norse and Anglo-Saxon gods
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2014, 05:10:45 pm »
Quote from: Septima;137013
For quite some time now I have been researching Norse paganism as a possible path for me and I have developed a relationship with a few Norse deities, most notably Thor. However, most of my ancestors were English and after doing some research about England, I am feeling a stronger connection with the Anglo-Saxon side of things.
The thing is, the Norse and the Saxon names for the deities do differ. eg. Norse Thor, Saxon Thunor.

My question is, based on the names, are the Anglo-Saxon gods simply the same Norse gods but different personalities or are they different gods altogether?

 
Depends on who you ask. ;) For what it's worth, this is a question that pops up in other cultures as well. (Is the Manx Manannan the same as the Welsh Manawydan, are Bacchus and Dionysus the same person or not, etc.) Some say the Norse gods and the Anglo-Saxon are the same, just shifted a bit, while others do see them as completely separate families. Individual Anglo-Saxon groups may feel strongly one way or the other, but if you're worshiping on your own it sounds like you get to make the call.

Ask the gods if they have a preference and follow that response.
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Hyacinth Belle

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Re: Differences between Norse and Anglo-Saxon gods
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2014, 05:17:04 pm »
Quote from: Septima;137013
My question is, based on the names, are the Anglo-Saxon gods simply the same Norse gods but different personalities or are they different gods altogether?

 I agree with Sage that you won't necessarily find a single, neat answer for this question. For what it's worth, I think they are closely related but separate. The Anglo-Saxon gods feel more... agrarian to me.
"Silent and thoughtful a prince\'s son should be / and bold in fighting; / cheerful and merry every man should be / until he waits for death." ~ Havamal, stanza 15

DavidMcCann

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Re: Differences between Norse and Anglo-Saxon gods
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2014, 07:20:00 pm »
Quote from: Septima;137013
My question is, based on the names, are the Anglo-Saxon gods simply the same Norse gods but different personalities or are they different gods altogether?

Old English and Old Norse are descended from a prehistoric language that we call proto-Germanic. From Odin and Woden we can reconstruct an original Wodanaz. So, if Odin and Woden were different gods, which one was being worshiped by those who said Wodanaz?

Different nations have different world views and cultures, and so even if the English and Norse worshiped the same gods, they did so selectively: they emphasised those aspects of each which fit in with their approach to life.

If modern heathenism tends to biased to the Norse, the fact that we have a great deal more documentation for them has a great deal to do with it.
Minorities are almost always in the right.
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