Wight of the Nine Worlds


I welcome thee free spirit, which thou shalt come with an open heart, open mind and an open soul, for what you are about to read can only be understood by the wise who are eager to learn and to embrace the roots deep and forgotten in the hearts of the free people of Europe, by accepting who you are and where your roots lie, is half way into the great road of life. We will journey unto where our spirit takes us with the knowledge we gained. Learn and teach.

New Pagan temple in Poland

You can see my video, talking about this subject, at: [New Pagan Temple in Poland & Religious Freedom]

It's happening again; first it was Iceland who started to build the first major nordic pagan temple after a thousand years of christianization in the land. Then, it was Denmark with a very beautiful viking wooden themple to the norse gods. Now pagan history continues with a project to make the first pagan temple to the Slavic gods in Poland, after christianization spread through the land and wiped out all the old temples to replace for the ones of the new faith.

This year, Poland celebrates the 1050th anniversary of Christianization of the country and its people. But the pre-Christian believes were never truly forgotten or left aside, and the pagan faith still lives on. In the city of Wrocław, in Poland, the neo-pagans, or the rodnovers from the Slavic pagan association Watra, have a new project in had - to build a temple to their old slavic deities. For now, only a digital visualization of this temple is available, which is based on the architecture of the old Slavic temples, acording to historical sources.

The importance of this temple is not focused in the old faith, but rather in concentrating the Slavic culture and traditions in this place to rise awareness and to educate people about the history of their ancestors.

There seems to be an uprising (in a good sense) of pagan culture throughout Europe. After a thousand years of oppression from a foreign faith, the peoples of Europe are turning to the old ways of their ancestors. This is very important in a way that we musn't forget who we were, our traditions, our historical past and our cultures. For the future generations the history we are making today will help them to understand the essence of their ancestors. Most of the knowledge of the past was either lost or still remains a mystery, and now with the help of historians, archaeologists and antropologists, we are able to dig the past (literaly speaking when it comes to archaeology). I understand that for those who have other faiths which have the tendacy to dislike the pagan old ways, this uprising might frighten them, but we live in a world were religious freedom should be as natural and normal as waking up and breathe. No one has the right to bind people to a certain faith/spiritual path. A world where religious freedom is possible, is indeed a better world and half of humanity's troubles can be averted.

Here you have the 3D visualization of the pagan temple in Wrocław which is about to be built:

If you seek more information about this subject, please visit this link and support this project at: https://zrzutka.pl/en/rodzimowierczaziemia

Freydís Eiríksdóttir

Because history isn't always made by men and great women have also helped shaping the course of events so we might live their legacy.

In this post I will write about Freydís Eiríksdóttir. Yes, you are correct, the daughter of  the famous viking, Erik the Red. But let us put Mr. Red behind us; we have all listen about his tales. In fact, we are well aware of the Viking heroes, Chieftains, Jarls and Kings which have placed their markings on the world and forged their own fates. But seldom do we hear about women and how important their roles in society have been, are, and always will be.

In the Sagas of the Greenlanders (Grœnlendinga Saga), Freydís Eiríksdóttir is described as being Leif Eriksson's own sister. However, in the very Saga of their Father (Eiríks Rauða Saga) she is Leif's half sister. One thing is clear, she had strong family bonds with these historical characters. It isn't known when she was born, or where, but we can be certain it was arround the late X century.

She once lived at Gardar (Garðar - Greenland). This fearless woman joined two trips to Vinland (North America) during her early years, probably at the beginning of the XI century. During one of these voyages, and after a failed attempt to trade with the North American natives - which the Norse called Skraelings (Skrælingjar) - a dispute arose between the two groups.

Not every viking is bold, brave and fearless. This particular conflict had the vikings on the run. During the night the North American Natives ambushed the viking camp. Throwing arrows, spears and other such weapons, the Skraelings frightned the viking explorers. This upheaval drew Freydís' attention and she ran towards the conflict. While others were fleeing, she was going on the opposite direction to face the Skraelings. It is said she was weaponless, and so she took a sword from a fallen brother-in-arms; in some accounts it is written that she was eight mounths pregnant and even so she fought. When the Skrælingjar came upon her, or vs versa, she let down her sark so that one of her breasts was exposed and struck it with the flat of her sword, letting out a furious battle cry. Perhaps the attackers did not expect any resistance, since their plan had work so well and the invaders were on the run, but when they saw this woman, shouting and with sword in hand, the Skrælingjar were rightly frightened and stormed off back to their lands.

There was a second trip to Vinland. Freydís wanted the prestige and wealth that was associated with a Vinland journey, so she planned in returning and make profit with it. It wasn't easy to make these journeys, you have to understand it was a new sea route to an unknown land, and there was clearly resistance from the natives which turned things even more dangerous. So Freydís had to make it count this time. 

Helgi and Finnbogi, norse explorers going to Vinland, had arrived to Greenland. Freydís made a deal with the two men, porposing that they should go together to Vinland and share all the profits half-and-half. She then asked her brother Leif if they could use the homes he had built in Vinland so they might take shelter and have a base of operations. He agreed to that. Helgi and Finnbogi also agreed that they would bring a good number of men and supplies, but the two men went alone without her. She ended up leaving afterwards, with her own ship and her own crew. The two men arrived at Vinland first, and took refuge in Leif's houses. Freydís appeared and ordered the brothers to move out. The houses belonged to her brother and she had the right to use them as befitted her. The two men left and camped elsewhere.

In Vinland the tension between the two groups grew as Helgi and Finnbogi set up a settlement separate from Freydis and her crew. She went to where they were camped to make peace. They made peace eventually and to the two men all seemed right. Until Freydis went away and beat herself so that it would appear as if she had been mistreated and beaten. She returned to her husband in her brother's houses, and as a good husband he asked who had beaten her. Freydis claimed Helgi and Finnbogi had done the deed while calling her husband a coward, demanding that he had the right of revenge on her behalf, or else she would divorce him. He gathered his men and killed Helgi and Finnbogi as well as the men in their camp while they were sleeping (well, killing a sleeping enemy is indeed an act of cowardice). When he refused to kill the five women, Freydis picked up an ax and massacred the five women herself. She was bloodthirsty and clearly begrudged. The two men went without her to Vinland and she was upset about it. She took her time, patience and schemed about the best way to have her vengeance. Such a petty thing to want vengeance for. I dare not imagine how she would act if a deed against her had serious consequences.

Freydís wanted to conceal her treachery on the brothers and threatened death to anyone who would tell of the killings. She went back to Greenland after a year’s stay and told her brother Leif Eiriksson that Helgi and Finnbogi had decided to stay in Vinland. However, word of the killings eventually reached the ears of Leif. He had three men from Freydís’s expedition tortured until they confessed the whole occurrence. Thinking ill of her deeds, Leif still did not want to imprison her, or convict her to death for manslaughter. After all, she was his sister.

Unfortunately, nothing else is known about Freydís. It is clear that she put the men around her on their heels. She cast fear upon friends and foes alike, and I believe she could easily make enemies rather than friends, and people would follow her out of fear and not loyalty. Both terrible and an incredible woman; full of mischief, bravery, leadership and a mixture of lunacy, which are the perfect ingredients to survive the world of ruthless cold-blooded men of her time. To thrive among such people, she had to be equal to them or even worse. Enough to cause both respect and fear.

Halloween - A Spiritual Approach

It's that time of the year again! I can't help it and must write about it, for it is the time of the year I love the most and it just feels so magical and wonderful (more due to childhood memories). Halloween is nigh! And since I write about it every year, 2016 is no exception.

This particular festivity is probably one of the most celebrated dates in our modern culture. It seems to be admired, immortalized and aproved each year, and its popularity is considerably growing across the Western world; I dare say all over the globe. In modern times it is the beginning of an holiday season and the opportunity to go out at night, dressed in a notably weird costime and, as if it was a ritual, going arround the neighborhood playing "Trick or Treat". Children do love this (and so their parents), for it is an opportunity to be part of the community and a cheerful way, and it's an escape from the average daily life. It's party for everyone. The decorations are also part of this celebration to enhance the atmosphere; nature of course does its part and brings the cold, rain, mists and very vibrant fiery colours.

It is interesting to see that this is a season of insobriety. Oh yes, the lack of moderation when eating treats (for children) and of course intemperance in drinking alcohol (for adults). But it's just one time of the year, right? We all need to celebrate once in a while and have a little freedom, as long as we do not disturb others.

Now, to the main subject, let us leave behind our whimsical behaviours and delve into the historical and spiritual path of this season. If you are here reading this, you most certainly know that Halloween is the glimpse of what remains of our ancient traditions during this time of the year. The roots into paganism are very deep and strong, although we can't possibly know the ancient name for this celebration. Some neo-pagans call it Samhain (which is the most common term when refering to this season), others call it Winternaucht or Ancestor's Blót and so on. Suffice to say, this season is closely connected with the end of Summer in our world (and the beginning of it in the world of the spirits), the last harvests, the preparation for the coming winter ("Winter is Coming!") and of course, a time to be connected with our ancestors. However, and I've said this a hundred times by now, the Catholic Church appropriated this occasion claiming the 1st of November to be the christian celebration of "All Saints’ Day" and the eve before to be Hallows’ Eve, which in time became shortened into Halloween. Still, the importance of honoring our ancestors was there, even if cloaked by a new faith.

For those of you who still practice the old pagan ways, Samhain (let's refer to it like this) this is yet another important celebration of the year and one of the major ones. For most, this is the season to honor our ancestors, to be in contact with them since the connection between this world and the next comes closer and in mythological references this is the time of the year when the gap between worlds is opened and the spirits might come easily into our world. For the northern pagans for instance, this is also the time to be in contact with the spirits in general; the landvaettir (the spirits of the land), Elves, ancestors and the gods. It's also the time for the Wild Hunt that many pagans have in common in their lore. The time when the spirits of the gods and ancestors travel the skies to hunt for souls. In some cases they take the dying, in other accounts they take those who are worthy, or those who want to take part in it, or sometimes they simply take who they wish. What is important to see here, beyond the myth and metaphors, is that once again this is the time when we are closely connected to the supernatural in a spiritual way.

But since every year I talk about this subject and show the historical background of this season, as well as the purpose of it, I would like to go a little astray from that (and you might read the other posts about this for a better information on the subject) and go into a more spiritual approach.

As I've said, this is the time when the veil between worlds is at its thinnest and spirits from other realms can easily engage with humanity. There is a good possibility that we can achieve connectivity with the spirits and undergo a spiritual experience that might change us completly (often for better). For this same reason and to assuage any malevolent behavior from the spirits, gifts of food and drink were left for them, and people would wear masks to fit in with the ghosts. Into our modern days somehow this managed to survive and gave us the new tradition of "Trick-or-Treat" and putting on costumes.

But, it's not only about our connection with the spirits and the knowledge we might gain during that process. This is indeed the time of the year that we also change our behaviours, our moods, and our personalities have to adapt to a new reality. This is the time when darkness conquers the natural world, and the light and warmth of the sun is gone, such as the flowers and the green meadows and everything that is beautiful in nature. There is a huge change in nature, a transfiguration, a metamorphosis. The cicle of life comes to an end, or at least this is the beginning of that end. It gets colder, the leaves fall, the trees are naked and nature dies out in general. Wild creatures either hibernate or seldom come out. This is just a part of nature that we must accept, the same way we must accept ourselves and our own changes. Our moods darken, there is a sence of melancoly and sadness. Death is in the air, that's what it is. But death is a part of nature and with death also comes life. Nature is giving the possibility of new life to be created, so you too must give yourself that opportunity. This is the perfect time to make your inner spiritual journey and find yourself and understand your place in this world. Darkness can be a friend, when you spend more time indoors, getting to know what really makes you happy. The trick is not knowing what defines us during happy times, but to understand who we truly are and what we truly want in the most desperate moments.

You shelter yourself from the cold and storm. You tend to find a cosier atmosphere at home, maybe beside the hearth. This will be the beginning of your spiritual journey, the beginning of inner reflection. In nature life ended and death began to give way to more life. Your natural cicle also ended and now you must create a new one. The problem is that darkness isn't a cheerful companion and it brings a sense of dread and loneliness. But maybe that's because we were thought to avoid it and walk towards the light and get distracted with beauty. Darkness means being aware, confronting our inner problems, get to know negativity so we might balance it with positivity, to appreciate and feel the other face of nature and the energies of the world. Don't try to avoid the coming darkness, because there is no escape; it's just natural. Darkness will come and you can either embrace it or live the rest of the year feeling miserable and lonely until spring comes again and you start to avoid your problems again, running away from yourself and be dumbfounded with light and the illusion that you can actually escape what is less pleasant. Do not avoit it, just accept it the way it is. If you accept it, you will see that there is happiness to be found even in the darkest moments of life. This is the perfect time to think about your own projects, remake your life, rethink the choices you made and start preparing for another journey in your life. Be ready for changes and walk towards them; walk towards the things and the people that make you happy.

We all have shadows in ourselves that we tend to hide. The wounds will never fully heal if you deny them. This time of the year is to be in contact with our ancestors and that also means being in contact with your past. Understand it; it helped shape who you are today and you must know how to let go of the past just as you must let go of those you loved, or, make a new approach with what really made you happy and with the things and people that you are certain that there is a chance to rekindle the light that now seems so dim and faint.

Halloween, Samhain, All Saints' Day, whatever you call it, is the time to embrace the other side of nature and your own other side. You can't live apart from one side and try to run your life with the other. You can't break your heart in half and throw it away and live with the other. That will keep you out of balance. It keeps you away from your own essence, and out of touch with the other aspects of your own desires and wishes. Self-awareness is what will actually help you to live life and not just survive in it. This is the period in your life to find a rebalance and restoration of your own being.

I wish you all happy Holidays and that you might find balance in life and within yourself.

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9,000-Year-Old Shaman Sanctuary in Europe

There was a recent discovery in Europe of a 9,000-year-old shamanic sanctuary which shows that there was once a culture very knowledgeable in spiritual working. There are thousands of evidences of shamanism in many places all arround the world, but in European ground ancient shamanism is still a very delicate subject. There are not many findings of shamanism in Europe, and that's why this recent discovery might bring a new light to the knowledge we have about shamanic practices by our European ancestors.

One of the major society figures of the ancient cultures was the shaman, or the person who held the power and the knowledge to communicate with the spiritual world. According to ancient accounts, the practitioners of shamanism helped shape the first human societies. They were both wise and feared by the communities of the ancient world. The role of the shaman was not only being able to commune with the spirits of the land, ancestors, deities and the spirits of the afterlife, but also able to heal both body and soul, curse enemies, cure the land, give good council and basically being the one person everyone went to for all sorts of things. The guide of the community.

This all thing seems something out of a fairy tale; complete fantasy to our modern mind. However, with the help of the human sciences such as Anthropology and Archaeology, we modern humans are getting closer and closer to understand this very delicate subject. So it seems that these people, these shamans of bygone days, were really capable of preforming these wonderful, amazing and also terrible things. The human mind is quite powerful and maybe we have forgotten how to properly use it in some fields of consciousness. This new discovery came to help us understand all these strange facts.

In the year of 2012, archaeologists uncovered an unusual site near Lake Świdwie, in north-western Poland. After analyzing the settlement the team of researchers concluded that it dated back more than 9,000 years ago. One of the most amazing finds in this area consisted in a circular design of approximately six meters in diameter where the foundation of the structures was still visible. A trapezoid-like building with poles, encircled by an arch of rocks aligned at equal distances from each other. Within this ancient design, yew sticks were piercing through the ground so that they formed the shape of the Big Dipper – a fragment of the constellation Ursa Major, also known as The Great Bear. A construction made by our ancestors some time during the end of the Mesolithic Era and the beginning of the Neolithic revolution (dates differ from place to place and it took a good thousand years to spread all over Europe. These were our ancestors who had just found farming, and had begun to settle down in specific places, constructing the first villages, the first communities, and now they also started to have a keen interest in astronomy.

This discovery is unique, because other shaman settlements were only found in Siberia and Mongolia and never so close to European ground. Apparently this structure served as a sanctuary from where the spirit practitioners engaged into rituals and out-of-body experiences which are obviously out of reach from written history, and very difficult for modern science to explain. Pieces of wood used in smoking rituals, bark, herbaceous plants and animal bones presumably used as offerings and for driving off evil spirits before a ritual were also discovered at the site.

A rich collection of different stones were also found inside the sanctuary. Among them were syenite, diorite, granite, quartzite, sandstone, gneiss, and even unusual rocks for the Pomerania area such as red marble and green syenite. These were not picked at random or to only decorate the sanctuary. Such stones had a purpose closely linked to spiritual working. It was also discovered black amber and pumice – an extrusive volcanic rock obtained when molten lava is spit out of a volcano. This is an extraordinary and rich collection of stones, unique among the previously known Mesolithic sites, located both within the vast European Plain, and in the zone of the foothills and highlands. These stones had to be brought to this place. and not only did they came from the surrounding area, but also from distant lands, the best example of which is hornfels, which occurs closest in the Giant Mountains and the Harz Mountains.

The archaeological site later proved to be very rich in items mostly made of wood such as pendants and wood masks used in mystic rituals. Thanks to the favorable conditions of the area, all the unearthed pieces were very well preserved.

This interesting discovery adds another dimension to our written history due to the fact that it proves that shamans once ruled the plains of Europe before pré-christian beliefs and Christianity itself, of course. It also demonstrates that ancient Europeans had knowledgeable advisors who could read the stars, use advanced remedies from nature, and probably a list of other good many things that have been lost to us.

A new pagan temple in Denmark

The old gods have never been forgotten. For more than a thousand years their cult was made in hiding. But now, with the turn of the century and the early years of the Twenty-first century, many pagan religions and spiritual paths have been brought to light and people openly practice the faith of their ancestors.

The first temple to the Norse Gods is still being created in Iceland. The very first since the Viking-Age and when the cult of the old gods was prohibited by christianization. But now Denmark follows the same example and has built a new temple to worship the northern gods of Europe.

The very first Odin’s temple since the Christianization of Scandinavia, which took place between the 8th and the 12th centuries. Historically speaking, the year of 1188 BCE marks the triumph of Christianity over Paganism in Denmark with the canonization of St. Canute (Sankt Knud), the patron saint of Denmark.  Since then, the old ways native to the Danish folk were censored for centuries, and those who were caught practicing it were either killed, tortured or at the very least ostracized. But since the old ways have never been truly forgotten and people kept the faith of their forebears, now they are free to worship their gods in the open. Denmark has built a new temple which not only is a symbol of the old faith in the country, but also a mark of their traditions and customs which defines the identity of a culture.

It's the first time in nearly a millennium that the Nordic Gods will have another home in Denmark to visit and to be worshiped. Valheim it was named; and now it marks the reemerge of the old ways. When the temple was ready, an official opening ceremony with attendance of several Danish ministers was held. With the ribbon cut by the leader of the Danish Parliament  it marked the beggining of a new era - an era where free religious practice is possible.

Viking children and the art of war

We know from historical records, the norse sagas and archaeological evidence, that children (especially boys) were often trained, almost since birth, to wield a sword, axe, strengthen their muscles to lift a shield and start to practice the bow and arrow at a very early age to widen their shoulds and backs during the process of growth to be able to push the bow-string as further back as they could. It was completly understandable that these people were so violent in nature because the world of violence was upon them as soon as they were able to speak the first words. 

Women also knew how to fight. It isn't strange to us to hear that from viking women; it's perfectly normal to accept warrior-women in viking society during the medieval ages, and strange when we hear of other warrior-women from other societies of the time. They would accompany men in their raids, but before that, womem were left behind to take care of their properties and to take care of the children. They had an important role in continue to educate the children in the art of war because someone had to protect their properties when mom and dad were away.

It was instilled in the mind of boys that they would only become real men through warfare. Blood and honor, bravery and strength, that would get you in Valhalla among the best of the best, the bravest warriors. There are historical reports and even archaeological evidences of this - children killing children - sometimes a youngling no more than twelve winters of age capable of killing a fifteen-year-old. According to the Eddic poem for instance, children learned a variety of combat skills and techniques, including fighting with your bare hands.

Even three year-old boys played the war game with wooden swords and throwing spears covered by a piece of leather so that they should not hurt themselves or others. As children grew older, they could be lucky and get real weapons of iron, forged in a child’s size. Archaeologists have found several such weapons, including a small sword and an ax in a child’s grave. Besides playing with weapons, wrestling was one of the most popular games and something boys were doing throughout the year. It was a type of martial arts of the viking society. Through wrestling matches, they practiced speed and agility, and the training was a good preparation for future close combat situations.

Through this fighting technique children also learned game rules and discipline. The Children had to promise that they would not hurt each other intentionally during play, and their word meant more than a thousand contracts, it was their honor that was at stake and honor meant everything in the eyes of men and gods. These rules were taken very seriously and strictly enforced. Those who broke the rules, committed “níð” and were often called “níðingr” – one of the worst epithets in the Viking Age. being a “níð” implied the loss of honour and it was the status of a villain. It meant a person had no honor, was a coward, was nothing at all in the sight of every living thing. Much like a "Vargr" which was the term given to an outlaw, a criminal, but in that case that person would become a "wolf" and lived in the wilderness, unable to return to society or else could be killed on sight by anyone since he was a threat - a wolf. While a “níð” could still live amongst men but would forever be stigmatized and people would always treat that person with indiference.

But not everything during children's training was violent and terrible. When it was snowing, children built ramparts and fortresses that they used as battle arenas. Snowball fighting was not only entertaining but also effective training in siege techniques and different throwing skills.

Most important of all this was that the young ones learned about the warrior society’s code of honor. The Norsemen were convinced that a number of Norns (goddesses of fate) spun the threads of life, and that every human life was predestined. No man could change his destiny and only the brave warrior would come to Valhalla. A Viking warrior therefore had to fight like a man and die like a man if the gods had decided it. Even if some did not believe that their fate was sealed, there was always Valhalla, the great hall of the slain where only the most honorable and bravest warriors would go after death to be with the All-father Odin. That was their ultimate goal, and to achieve that one had to die with sword in hand so to speak.

It was easy for a warrior soeciety to understand the implications of battle. Either one will fall, or survives,  therefore the only thing to do was facing every trial with bravery because everything is predetermined by the Norns and nothing could change that. Nothing could kill them if their time had not yet come, and no one can save the one who is destined to die. Dying in battle was the most honorable thing a Viking could achieve, and also the ability to plunder was highly respected. Ordinary thefts were considered cowardly actions, but plunder took skill and bravery; taking riches highly defended by other skillful warriors was indeed something to praise.

Viking boys had to prove that they had the courage and skills before they were considered as grownups. If they belonged to a powerful family, they could prove themselves worthy by participating in a battle or go on Viking. The sagas mention that Olaf Tryggvason (963 to 1000 BCE) killed his first man when he was nine years old. Olaf Haraldsson (995 to 29 July of 1030 BCE), (who later became Olaf the Holy), went on Viking when he was twelve years old.

Another Viking Ship Discovered

While working to clean up the shores of the Mississippi river near the city of Tennessee, a groupd of volunteers have stumbled upon the remains of an ancient boat sheathed in mud. The archeologists from the University of Memphis were hastily called to the site. During the early archaeological interventions it was confirmed that the ship was a Viking knarr, suggesting the Norse would have pushed their exploration of America a lot further than historians previously thought.

I should say that a Knarr is a type of Viking ship used for merchant purposes. It was built in the same way all the other ships were made (clinker-built - which means the overlapping of planks riveted together) only the configuration was different: the hull was wider, deeper and shorter than a longship and it was handled by a smaller crew.

The ship was heavily damaged. After meticulous work it was possible to know the original size of this ship. It has a length of about 16 meters, a beam of 4.5 meters, and a hull that is estimated capable of carrying up to 24 to 28 tons, a typical size for this type of ship which was capable of carring more cargo than any other Viking ship. It was capable of sailing more or less 121 km (75 miles) in one day and held a crew of about 20 to 30 men.

This is a wonderful new discovery and could well be one of the oldest evidence of pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact. It brings to mind the famous colony of “Vinland” mentioned in the Icelandic Sagas, which is another evidence that the first Europeans to find America (by sailing) were the Norsemen. This colony could possibly have been established by Leif Ericson around the same period as the settlement at l’Anse aux Meadows (which I've written about a few posts ago), in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the most famous site of a Norse or Viking settlement in North America outside Greenland.

The estimated dates for this ship are between 990  and 1050 AD, approximately the period associated with Vinland and the various Canadian Norse-archaeological sites. This could mean that Vikings had actually developed a far wider trade network in the Americas than what was traditionnally believed. Unfortunately, very few other artefacts have been found on the site, suggesting the crew must have most likely abandoned the ship and continued on foot, and scattered arround this area and possibly further, there might be some artefacts yet to be found.

Celebrating Yule in Finland

Well, I know it's still early to post something like this. We are at the last days of August and September is upon us. I can almost feel the cold in the air (not truly, unfortunately). Perhaps I'm just longing for winter to come, since the moment it ends. Anyway, to appease my yearning for cold and harsh weather I will leave you here with this post.

As you well know,Yule (or also knonw as Yule-tide) is one of the winter festivals that was initially celebrated the Germanic pagan peoples as a religious celebration. The Germanic peoples also include the Scandinavian ones, of course; historically speaking to the romans and in the first records about the Germanic groups, everyone in Germania up to the cold north of Scandinavia were considered Germanic. 

This celebration was later absorbed into the Christian festival of Christmas, and much of its essence still remains. However, Yuletide was originally celebrated from late December to early January on a date determined by the lunar Germanic calendar. This festivity was placed on December 25 when the Christian calendar (Julian calendar) was adopted. Some historians claim that the celebration is connected to the Wild Hunt or was influenced by Saturnalia, the Roman winter festival. However, Yule in its true meaning dates back to the prehistoric times which had a great connection not only to the season but also to deities and spirits in general.

The word "Yule” are still used in the Nordic Countries for the Christmas time, but also for other religious holidays of the season. In modern times this has gradually led to a more secular tradition under the same name as Christmas. Yule is also used to a lesser extent in English-speaking countries to refer to Christmas. Customs such as the Yule log, the Yule goat (Julbock), the Yule boar (Sonargöltr), Yule singing, so on are greatly connected to thiscelebration. In modern times, Yule is observed as a cultural festival and also with religious rites by some Christians and by some Neopagans. 

To the Finns, many ancient customs (and pagan in essence) are still held, which is quite interesting because traditions are maintained and to historians, archaeologists and anthropologists this cultural traditions help us understanding the past of civilizations that left us little, or close to nothing, of written records about such festivities.

For example, on the eve of the Finnish Joulu (Christmas), children are visited by Joulupukki, which is a character similar to Santa Claus. The word Joulupukki means “Yule Goat” and probably derives from an old Finnish tradition where people called the nuuttipukkis, dressed themselves in goat hides and circulated arround others' homes after Joulu, eating leftover food, dancing, singing and a lot of other things connected to a more shamanic past and tribal behaviour. ANyway, Joulupukki visits people’s homes and rides a sleigh pulled by a number of reindeer. He knocks on the front door during Jouluaatto (Christmas Eve), rather than sneaking in through the chimney at night. When he comes in, his first words are usually “Onkos taalla kiltteja lapsia?“, which means: “Are there (any) good (well-behaved) children here?”. Presents are given and opened immediately. This character usually wears red, warm clothes and often carries a wooden walking stick. The colour red is probably something very new and modern due to the commercialisation of the Santa Claus figure. His workshop is in Korvatunturi, Lapland, Finland, rather than at the North Pole like Santa Claus, or in Greenland. He is married to Joulumuori (Mother Yule). 

The very typical Finnish yule dishes include ham, various root vegetable in casseroles, beetroot salad, gingerbread and star-shaped plum-filled pastries. Other traditions with a non-Christian yule background include joulukuusi (“Yule spruce”) and joulusauna (“yule sauna”).

Worshiping in ancient Scandinavia - Freyfaxi

Every religion is always changing, and no matter how hard we try to follow the footsteps of our ancestors, we will never fully understand the essence of their spiritual beliefs. All religions have their branches also, and that happens on the spirituality of the Germanic and Scandinavian peoples of old as well. Some prefer to worship only the Aesir or the Vanir, others worship the underworld deities and the deities connected with a more primal scenary, and others just choose one deity and prefer to focus on that one archetype. Suffice to say that most neo pagans prefer to worship just Odin, or Thor, or even both; these two deities are very famous amongst neo pagans and everything else in this spiritual tradition seems of no importance. However, to our ancestors it was obviously different. In fact, as I've mentioned before,  Odin was not that famous back then, and people prefered to worship fertility deities rather than Warrior deities. The majority of the populace were farmers, herders and fishers. Only a few would worship warrior deities and death deities. Odin was a deity more related to death and war than magic and wisdom (as we commonly think nowadays). Odin's cult was very restricted and only for a certain elite of the society.

With that being said, I'll move on to the real subject of this post. One of the most worshiped deities of that time was the god Frey, mostly worshipped at Upsala (Sweden). Fricco or Freyr, a name which appears to be identical with the Teutonic word represented in Old English by frea - meaning - lord or king. It is stated by some historians and archaeologists that an image of Frey, which was worshipped at Thrandheim in Norway, had been sent there from Sweden. There are certain stories that mention this very image of Frey in Sweden which was carried about the country, and to which sacrifices were offered. This was common with certain deities and Tacitus mentions a cult with these similarities in his Germania; an image of a female deity carried to a forest and sacred grove, and sacrifices were made to her (including human sacrifices).

There were many sacrifices to the god Freyr, but mostly were animals. There are accounts of the sacrifice of black oxen offered to Frey by the mythical hero Hading. This sacrifice was often called Frodblod or perhaps Frodblót by theSwedes - Frey's sacrifice. There are frequent occurances of Frey - in Swedish (and Danish) - place-names which indicates the prevalence of the cult in both of these countries. 

The worship of Frey might also have been very popular in Norway, and from there it  passed to Iceland. The cult being passed on by the early settlers. As late as tenth century the people of Thrandheim are represented as refusing to break their image of Frey at the command of King Olaf, because people had long served  thisdeity and the god himself had done good to his people. There are accounts from the folk of Thrandheim that state the deity often talked with them  and told them things to come and also gave them peace and plenty. At the great festivals it was customary to drink to Frey, in order to secure peace and prosperity. A talisman on which the image of Frey was marked in silver is mentioned as having been owned by one of the petty kings of Norway about the late nineth century; this was given by King Harald to Ingimund.

In Iceland itself the traces of a popular cult of Frey are very clear, and more than one prominent person mentioned this cult in the sagas. One of these accounts, from Thorgrim, brother-in-law of Gisli Sursson, the saga says that he intended to hold a festival at the beginning of winter, and greet the winter, and sacrifice to Frey and in honor to the deity. When Thorgrim was murdered, and had been laid in a grave-mound, it was noticed that the snow never lay on the south or west sides of the mound, and the ground never froze there; it was supposed that he was so highly esteemed by Frey himself for the offerings he made to him, that the god did not wish Thorgrim's mound to freeze. Great attachment to this deity also appears in the story of Hrafnkel, who loved no other god more than Frey, and gave to him his possessions ; all his most valuable things. Among the offerings was a horse (Hrafnkel's own horse), which on that account bore the name of Freyfaxi. Another Freyfaxi belonged to Brand in Vatnsdal, and most people believed that he had a religious reverence for the horse. Horses owned by Frey are also mentioned as existing in Thrandheim in the days of Olaf Tryggvason by the end of the tenth century. Freyfaxi became the well known name for the cult of Frey and the celebration to him in August, during Lammas day (1st of August).

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The Vikings in America

We now know that the Vikings have been in North America 500 years before Columbus. The first archaeological evidences led scientists to go further on the investigations; each year more clues and informations are put together to confirm this historical event. Now, a new discovery has revealed that the Vikings may have travelled hundreds of miles further into North America and not just arround the coastline. It is clear that explorers (wherever they were from) always have that little thing inside of them called "curiosity", so it is perfectly natural that the Vikings went further inland. However, the full extent of their exploration isn't clear and may forever be a mystery, but in time we are finding more evidences.

In Portmahomack , northern Scotland, recent excavations have shown a wealthy monastery in the area. There were found scriptures, copied on prepared animal skin parchment by monks. Trade was the source of the riches in this monastery; the sea brought wealth to these people, but the tides would turn and wealth would sink in the crushing waves, only to bring to the monks destruction and the end of days. That's right, you guessed it - the Vikings were coming.

Archaeologists have revealed that Portmahomack was suddenly and utterly destroyed. They found smashed fragments of sculptures mingled with the ashes of torched buildings. It is quite possible (and thethe most likely explanation) that it was attacked and looted by Northmen. The attack on Portmahomack is the only Viking raid in Britain for which there are archaeological evidences. Others, such as the famous attack on Lindisfarne, is only the fruit of reports recorded in chronicles. Together, these two violent raids mark the start of an era of attacks from across the Northern Sea. The Norse came out of Sweden, Denmark and Norway, using sophisticated navigational skills and shipbuilding technology never seen before, making them the fastest and deadliest threats of that time.

Vikings were literaly everywhere in Europe. They invaded France and Normandy was given to them as in means to stop them from advancing further and causing more damage. They have been in parts of Italy and the Levant. They also founded Dublin, made deep inroads into England and island-hopped across the North Atlantic. Orkney, Shetland, Fair Isle and Iceland. They raided Spain and Portugal in the early nineth century (Northern Spain has a statue to celebrate the victory of the Spanish Kingdoms against the Vikings). They have created one of the very few Viking colonies in Portuguese territory - Povoa de Varzim - and they even crossed blades with the Muslims of the far south. They even crossed to Greenland, so why would they stop there?

The Vikings and their decendants wrote the famous sagas - the unique works of literature of the northmen, with a mixture of history and fiction and the beautiful touch of poetry. In some of these sagas, it is clearly stated that the explorer Leif Erikson led an expedition to the east coast of North America. It is described as having good harbours and an abundance of natural resources. But can we believe in such things? When history fails, it's up to the detectives of history and science to investigate and bring the truth - Archaeologists.

In the year of 1960, a site on the very northernmost parts of Newfoundland in Canada - L'Anse aux Meadows - was investigated and archaeologists were convinced that it was a Viking settlement. It was an outstanding discovery. The fact that the Vikings had reached North America before any other Europeans was indeed a change in history. Until now, no other sites had been found.

The site was choosen to dig, after several studies of the area. A headland, almost at the very western tip of Newfoundland, 400 miles further south and west than the only known Viking site in North America - Point Rosee. The place overlooks two bays, offering protection for ships from any wind direction. A blackened rock was found, with marks that showed it went through intense temperatures. Possibly a place of man-made structure which used fire for some activity -possibly metalwork. Beneath there were piles of charcoal mixed with cooked bog iron - an iron deposit that needs to be baked to drive off impurities and allow the iron to be extracted for smelting. Surrounding the hearth appeared to be a turf wall of the kind built by Viking settlers across the North Atlantic.

No other groups of settlers roasted bog iron in Newfoundland. Nothing has been proven yet, but it looks like that archaeologists might have found evidence of Viking exploration in North America that goes much further than just that one site  i've mentioned before, discovered in the 60s.

Though, the site may look like a small activity area, maybe connected to a large farm, but this is the beginning of a change in the history books about the Vikings. Only time will tell what things are hidden further down on the earth.

Thor's Hammer Unearthed

I don't think an explanation about what Thor's Hammer is, is needed. For those of you  who are interested in such matters, you probably already know what this deity's hammer is all about. Anyway, summarizing (a lot) it is a symbol of both protection and fertility.

Now, this post is about the archaeological findings on the matter, so lets get to it. There have been thousands of amulets found throughout the places where the Norsemen have been. Amulets such as Thor's Hammer - Mjölnir - which have intrigued archaeologists in why were those objects there and if these were in fact a representation of Thor's Hammer from mythology or something else?

Not long ago archaeologists have unearthed a 10th century Thor's Hammer (torshammere) in Købelev, on the Danish island of Lolland, that could gives us a hint on how Thor’s legendary weapon influenced the Viking Age jewellery.

The latest find was a little unusual, due to the fact that it has runes inscribed on it that one might read 'Hmar x is'  meaning 'This is a Hammer'. It seems it was the amulet’s protective power that counted, and often we see Thor's Hammer and Christian crosses appearing together, possibly providing double protection and during the process of christianization, because the old symbols of power and faith were not that easily discarted and kept by the recent converted populations.

The object is cast in bronze and has traces of silver or tin and gold plating. The fact that the person who made the hammer was literate is a source of fascination for archaeologists. There is a possible claim that the amulet could indicate that literacy was widespread among craftspeople. On the other hand, craftspeople could have simply copied the sketch of the person who ordered the work, obviously, but it's quite possible that the knowledge of the runes and their meanings was something much more important and people knew exactly what they meant. The runes were not just alphabetical symbols, but also a part of the sipirtual practices, culture and tradition, so it's very possible that the craftsman and other's from the Viking society knew how to write and read the runes.

Now, back to the subject and to this specific finding, the runes in it range in height from 3 to 7mm, so it required precision to inscribe them onto the amulet. Viking craftsmen and blacksmiths are known to have been brilliant and skillful people on whatever they did. As well as the Thor's Hammer that has been found, archaeologists also recovered fragments of silver needles and a mould for making brooches. These suggest that there may have been a workshop producing jewellery nearby.

This new discovery brings a new light into the knowledge we have about Viking Age society. It would seem that literacy could have been widespread throughout the Viking world, and craftsmen may have had an important role in it.

Archaeology: Magic in burial context

In late medieval burials (between the 11th and the 15th centuries), in Britain, archaeologist found a couple of objects and materials which might give us a hint of magical rituals for the dead still held during these periods.

Healing charms, protective amulets, objects linked to the occult and practices that may have been associated with the demonic magic of divination or sorcery. All the sort of exciting things an archaeologist might come about on an archaeological intervention, which might help us to understand the mind of our ancestors and how it changed through the course of history.

It is known that the placement of amulets and charms with the dead was something common in christian belief, with the intention to protect the dead body and the soul. These kind of magical objects have a clear connection with folk magic, mostly performed by women and drawing on knowledge of earlier traditions.

Things don't change from one day to another. It takes time to bury the traditions of the past and welcome the new ones. So it's perfectly normal that popular magic remained for a long while even in the christian world and during the process of the adaptation of the masses to the new religious reality. Christianity in some places tolerated local magical traditions, in a way to appease the populations so that the drastic changes wouldn't make the people riot against the clergy and it would be fairly easy to convert pagans to christians slowly and safe. However, if we think about the christian beliefs, it is very important to protect the body and leave it intact, to ensure the corpse reanimation on judgment day just the way a person was before death. Cremation came to an end with the coming of christianity, because the body was supposed to remain intact till the journey through purgatory and to appear before god with our body unspoiled by decay. But people knew that the body on earth, even wrapped in a sudarium, would eventually decay and rot away, and that was a major problem in the mind of the christians and it actually caused panic and fear. So, tolerating the old pagan beliefs in placing charms and protective amulets on the dead, was a sort of way to ensure that the body was protected from all evil and to ensure it reached the judgment day intact.

Archaeologists are always reluctant in explaining what they have found by comparing it with folklore, spiritual and magical beliefs. Unlike what people might think (and trust me, I'm an archaeologist in the making) the occult most of the time is left behind because society is more concerned with the scientific material rather than a folkloric explanation. But truth be told, the spiritual beliefs of our ancestors are just as important as a scientific explanation. We cannot dissociate one thing from the other, because if we understand the way of thinking of our ancestors, we will better understand what we find on an archaeological context, especially when it comes to deal with death (and trust me - again - in archaeology there is a lot of death). There are a lot of questions  when dealing with different kinds of burials from different periods of history. Why the body was disposed in such a way for instance, or why are there certain objects on a grave or why the post-mortem factors, and so on. To understand the spiritual beliefs of our ancestors, is to understand what we have found and it will just enhance our explanation of the findings.

The Goddess Perchta

It's clear that there are thousands of deities we never heard of, and honestly, its quite impossible to know them all since many don't even have names or descritpions because it was lost in time. However, there are certain deities we can talk about even if the knowledge about such gods is a bit tiny but it might lead us to a better understanding, and who knows we might even find out more about them.

Today I will talk about the goddess Perchta, or at least everything I know about such a deity, which is little unfortunatelly, but it's just to expand the horizons and to let you know that there are loads of deities which are very interesting and people seldom talk about them.

Perchta is a birch goddess, well, a deity linked to this specific tree which shows at first a connection to the Celtic folklore. Perchta, Berchta or even Percht,  is a goddess belonging to the Alpine paganism (which is another sort of paganism we seldom hear of). The Alpine region is very rich in folklore and traditions dating back to the celts, gauls and germanic tribes, because it's a place right between these cultures and the peoples of this region soaked up different European spiritual beliefs and cultures, transforming it into something unique and quite interesting to study.

This goddess is the patron of spinning, and it is said she once led the Wild Hunt during the winter (her connection to the germanic spiritual beliefs). She is very similar to the germanic goddess Holda and the Norse one Friga/Frigg. However, it is said that she appears in two forms: as beautiful young woman with skin as white as snow, and another, elderly and haggard. There might also be a connection here with the Norse deity of the underworld - Hela/Hel - which also changes her appearance likewise, although more skeleton-like. This might mean that this goddess is in fact a deity that combines different spiritual beliefs and works as a sort of spiritual ambassador to unite different cultures in understanding one another through spiritual practice.

Some of her worshippers comprised a Mystery cult, which is hard to know what exactly was about and how the rituals were held. Her worshippers became possessed by the dead, or by the Goddess herself, in a ritual apparently related to her procession as leader of the Wild Hunt. 

Her name is definatly connected to the goddess Bertha, which is just another deity (or the same) connected with spinning and weaving. I would say this goddess through time became more of a household worship kind of deity rather than a goddess worshiped in the forests, but it's certain that she started to be a goddess from the wild probably connected with death and winter.

So Perchta might have been a goddess connected with the underworld, death, winter and the wild hunt. A very powerful goddess, both feared and loved, but probably due to the coming of christianity her cult might have been kept under secret within the family environment, thus slowly becoming a household deity.

Pride Vs Love

    Pride Vs Love

  An affliction, that's what I probably have. I had a dream this morning, which I will not described here, but it made me woke up crying. Not that it was a sad dream, no, on the contrary; it was a very pleasant dream and I cried because I was extremely happy. The dream triggered in me a very strong emotion, and the crying of happiness made me woke up instantly.
  Now I realise (again) that love is the most powerful feeling of all. We do all sorts of crazy things for love; we could burn the world for it. But for us, men, we find it hard to express it - gods know why - and it seems we waste away opportunities to really show how much we care for someone. We men do all those childish, preposterous, inappropriate and irresponsible things to show how much we love someone, without having to say a world. For goodness sake, why is it so hard? It seems to me women can express their feelings easier than men.
  Alas! I don't want to make the same mistake thousands of men did before me, and will continue doing. I've watched first hand a couple of men from my family having an hard time expressing their feelings, which they ended up never doing it, and it was already too late. One of my uncles loved his ex-wife literally for decades, but pride was stronger and so he never told her how much he loved her, how much he needed her. Till the end his pride and his love for her consumed him, and he died miserably. He could never admit his feelings. But what's pride compared to a kiss? How can it be stronger than the feeling to embrace those we love? Healthier than the sound of laughter and a smile of happiness? I'm sure I have no idea, and to women probably goes beyond comprehension.
  Truly, I do love someone, very dearly, strongly, fervently. And here I am writing about it, in hopes that she might read; going around the subject, avoiding the truth and not being able to say it in person. It seems I'm just as dim-witted as all the other men - gods save us, in terms of expressing our feelings we men are true prehistoric beasts. It is pride yes I confess, mostly, but it is also fear.
  Exactly, we do all sort of insane things to show how much we love someone, but it would have been easier to say "I love you" or "I need you with me", but those words are frightening and they turn to hot coals in our mouths and we babble something impossible to understand. We men fight for love, but I don't think it's solely to show how much we love another, but to make that feeling endure. We fight to maintain love because we are too afraid to lose it. My uncle was very ill, for years, and he refused to die because he was fighting for that love, to maintain it inside of him, but he could never have told her that, because it would make him seem weak. Ultimately that was his doom, and his body and his heart couldn't take it any longer.
  Rather than speaking the words, I've successfully avoided what I feel for the one I love, but indirectly said it all.
  Eagerly I would tell her everything, every word she wishes me to say, every word I wish to say, but I'm too afraid of rejection.
  Solemnly I write these words, and every beating of my heart carves yet another scar deep inside my chest. I'm angry with myself for being brave enough to do and endure the hardships of life, but not brave enough to speak the words of love.
  Amorousness, what a silly word. And yet, love indeed seems silly and so beautiful, and also so dangerous and suffocating. A vertical fall of words and feelings with an hidden meaning. Woe me! Love is the death of the warrior - but what a beautiful death it is.
Arith Härger
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The Bronze Age Priestess

Archaeologists have found buried in Denmark a Bronze Age woman, dating back to 3400 years ago. She seems to have come from a foreign land, far from Denmark, suggested by the analysis made on her teeth and hair. Unfortunately, all the bones from this woman were missing when the archaeologists found the burial, but her clothing, hair, nails and some teeth were still in excellent condition, which provided scientists with the knowledge of the origins of this woman. (The subject may have spent her early life in southern Germany).

The woman's final resting place was in a large burial mound made of peat bog. In addition to the remains of this woman, which had approximately 16 to 18 year of age when she died, was also found a oak coffin which bore the cremated remains of a child, who was about 5 or 6 when he/she died.

This Bronze Age woman was wearing a wool skirt belted with a large bronze disk with spirals on it, and she was buried in such garments. This is very relevant because figurines from the Bronze Age show women in similar dresses, with spiral symbols associated with a Scandinavian cult of the sun, archaeologists have concluded that this woman must have been a priestess of that same cult, or had some connections to it.

The study of these findings showed that Bronze Age people were not just trading, but were also traveling long distances. Nordic amber has been found along rivers and beaches in Europe and in the Mediterranean. Meanwhile, blue glass beads from Egypt and Mesopotamia have also been found in Scandinavian graves. For instance, the bronze used to make the girl's sun-cult belt decoration wasn't from Denmark, but instead came from the Alps.

My YouTube Channel!

Hello friends! I leave you here the link to my Youtube channel! That's right, I'm officially a youtuber now (I guess). Now instead of reading extensive articles written by me, you can listen and see me! (Oh the horror! D:)

I hope you enjoy my Youtube and I'm hoping to have your feedback! :D

My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYac9irNGo3pSrvc_L8HERw

The month of Þorri

The way we count time has changed throughout history, so did the calendars which helped us counting the days, months, seasons and the phases of the moon. So, according to the ancient scandinavian calendar we are now entering the month of Þorri, which Icelanders to this day still feast on traditional dishes. This is the high month of winter and this celebration marks the time when the provisions from the last harvest (before the coming of winter) were already scarce or ultimately consumed. During this feast the remaining preserved consumables are gathered and a great feast is held.

Þorrablót is the name given to this celebration, or to the festivities held around Scandinavia (and nowadays Iceland) during the month of Þorri. Every village and town has a Þorrablót administration group preparing the festivities; poetry, music and comical acting are part of the festivities in every community.

The 22nd of January is named Bóndadagur - or in other words the day of the husband - which marks the precise beginning of the month of Þorri or Þorrablót, and the festivities lasts until the 21st of February. The last day of this celebration is in turn called Konudagur - the day of the wife. Konudagur marks the beginning of the fifth winter month - Góa - during which the return of the daylight and longer days become discernible and spring will soon begin.

A skeleton bursts out of the ground

Sometimes archaeologists are in contact with really strange things, until a plausible explanation is found, of course. Very recently, archaeologists were astonished when a thousand-year-old skeleton was found entwined in the roots of a tree ripped from the ground after a great storm.

The Skeleton of a young man was unearthed after a great storm blew over an old tree near Collooney - Sligo - Ireland, thus revealing this peculiar finding. This was the burial place of a young man, between his 17's and 20's, who is believed to have had a violent and brutal death during the Early Medieval Ages. (The death of this young man took place around 1030-1200 AD) The skeleton shows Several injuries which are visible in the ribs and hands, probably inflicted by a knife.

What more secrets can this fellow tell us? It remains to be study.

Another Neolithic site near Stonehenge

The buried remains of a mysterious prehistoric monument, close to the famous Stonehenge, has been found. This new site with 90 standing stones, of enormous size (close to 15 feet - 4 meters and half). However, this monument could originally have comprised up to 200 stones. Dating back to more or less 4,500 years ago, may have been used in neolithic times for rituals or as some kind of arena. 

The newly discovered stones are thought to have been toppled over, with the bank of the later Durrington Walls henge built over them (being the Durrington Walls an immense monument, so-called "superhenge", located less than three kilometres (1.8 miles) from Stonehenge. The earthwork enclosure at Durrington Walls was built about a century after Stonehenge - a ring of standing stones believed to have been erected between 3,000 and 2,000 BC. It is believed that the new stone row recently discovered could date back to the same period, or even earlier.

Triora - The Witches' City

The "city" of Triora, known as the "city" of Witches, is located in Italy and it's a small village in the hills of the Valle Argentina (not in Argentina of course, we are talking about Italy - Europe) near the border with France.

Much of the architecture of the village dates back to the 12th century, but the most famous period of this village was during the 16th century when a certain number of women (not clear how many, but the number was great enough to be remembered to this day) were sentenced to death by being burned alive by the Inquisition.

In this village, supposedly, a curse overshadowed it during the Middle Ages. Two years of bad weather followed it, as well as drought and famine because of shortages in agriculture, which in the year of 1587 the church and all most of the villages denizens were certain that witches were conspiring against the village. A group of women from Triora and nearby villages were accused of sacrificing infants and offering them to the devil. They were tried, tortured and burned alive during a long period between the years of  1587 and 1589. The ruins of La Cabotina where hypothetically they did their blasphemous rituals still exists to this day.

These women actually had a vast knowledge of medicinal herbs and worked with such herbs, turning them into medicines and oils to heal the sick. A tradition that was passed down from mother to daughter to granddaughter; from generation to generation this traditions was passed down. Apparently this fact was enough evidence to accuse these women of witchcraft.

This dark event in the history of Triora, which led so many to a gruesome and horrible death, is still remembered today. Triora's residents seem to have a morbid pride about the dark history of their village. A museum, shops with witchcraft items, signage, sculptures, witch houses and various relics were placed and preserved, and can be seen throughout the entire village. There are a number of events and folk festivals, and witches are the main theme (of course). There are three annual festivals: Witchcraft and summer Divinations Festival during August, and two autumn celebrations: the Mushroom Festival in September and Halloween in late October.

Triora has an ethnological museum, old documents and objects that belonged to people who claimed to be witches and a sort of wax museum - reproducing scenes of the arrest and interrogation of women suspected of witchcraft. In the village there is also an association of witches, whose members are descendants of people accused of witchcraft and burned alive.