Norse paganism, also known as Germanic paganism, is the pre-Christian religious belief system practiced by the ancient Germanic and Scandinavian peoples, including the Norse. It involves the worship of a pantheon of gods and goddesses, with Odin, Thor, Freyja, and Loki being some of the most prominent figures. Norse paganism also includes a complex cosmology and belief in various supernatural beings, such as giants, dwarves, and elves. Rituals and offerings played an essential role in maintaining the balance between the natural and supernatural realms. Norse paganism had a significant influence on the daily lives and cultural practices of the early Germanic peoples, including those from Scandinavia and the Vikings. Today, modern followers of Norse paganism, known as Heathens or followers of Ásatrú, seek to reconstruct and revive the ancient beliefs, customs, and practices through research, reenactments, and personal spiritual connections to their ancestral heritage. Norse paganism has also influenced various aspects of contemporary culture, from literature and art to popular media and modern Viking-inspired movements.
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