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Observations placeholder

Norse - Helgo



Type of Spiritual Experience



Gautama Buddha was a sage and mystic on whose teachings Buddhism was founded.

He is believed to have lived and taught mostly in eastern India sometime between the sixth and fourth centuries BC.

Oliver makes the rather rash assumption that the second object is a ‘bishop’s crozier’, which given the state of relations between the Vikings and Christians would seem somewhat unlikely. 

I have substituted the words shepherd’s crook – where this can take on all sorts of symbolic meanings, depending who owned it – the hermit’s rod or staff, the magician’s wand etc etc

A description of the experience

Vikings – Neil Oliver

A settlement on the small island of Helgo, offshore from Ekero on Lake Malaren, was once a thriving trading centre………… Excavation has revealed the population living in Helgo was unusually busy making jewellery and decorative items of all sorts, as well as swords, tools and other domestic objects ……

Archaeologists have also discovered hundreds of crucibles and a little trio of objects that are collectively known as the Helgo treasure.

Perhaps the most surprising is a three inch tall bronze Buddha, seated on a lotus throne……. The rich green patina of age gives it the look not of metal but of jade and close inspection reveals it was once richly detailed – blue crystal for the eyes, flashes of colour on the lips and eyebrows, a … mark on the forehead containing silver.

Like all statues of Buddha, the face is softened by that familiar inscrutable smile.

Next is the beautifully crafted and richly inlaid bronze head piece of a [shepherd’s crook]……… taking the form of a monstrous beast swallowing a cowering man…………

There is also evidence at Helgo of the production of little figurines associated with pagan worship, so that the significance of the settlement was enhanced by its role as a spiritual centre.

The name Helgo means Holy Island.



The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items




Shepherds crook

Activities and commonsteps