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Saxo Grammaticus - Gesta Danorum



Type of Spiritual Experience


Evidence that Odin was human and a shaman comes from an unlikely source.  The following is quite wonderful, written by someone who was desperate to convert people from shamanism to Christianity.  In doing so, however, he reveals that indeed many of the  ‘gods’ were people with extremely well developed shamanic powers………

Incidentally, neither Odin or Thor were sorcerors – black magicians.

A description of the experience

Saxo Grammaticus - Gesta Danorum [13th century]

"There were of old certain men versed in sorcery, Thor, namely, and Odin, and many others, who were cunning in contriving marvellous sleights; and they, winning the minds of the simple, began to claim the rank of gods.

For, in particular, they ensnared Norway, Sweden and Denmark in the vainest credulity, and by prompting these lands to worship them, infected them with their imposture.

The effects of their deceit spread so far, that all other men adored a sort of divine power in them, and, thinking them either gods or in league with gods, offered up solemn prayers to these inventors of sorceries, and gave to blasphemous error the honour due to religion.

Some say that the gods, whom our countrymen worshipped, shared only the title with those honoured by Greece or Latium, but that, being in a manner nearly equal to them in dignity, they borrowed from them the worship as well as the name. This must be sufficient discourse upon the deities of Danish antiquity.

I have expounded this briefly for the general profit, that my readers may know clearly to what worship in its heathen superstition our country has bowed the knee."

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items




Science Items

Activities and commonsteps