external image pentacle.jpg


Anglo-Saxon Paganism
The Anglo-Saxons were pagans when they came to britain. Religion was not for spiritual revelation, but rather for ensuring success in material things such as a harvest or hunt. Our days of the week were partially named after pagan gods such as Tiw, Wodin (Odin), Thor, and Friya. Their names are remembered in Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
Anglo-Saxon Paganism started around the 7th century and is a form of Germanic Paganism. Paganism is the polytheistic tradition of worshipping deities such as ése, which is kind of like the Norse æsir. (The æsir is a group of Norse gods such as Thor, Odin, and Baldr.) This religion revolves largely around sacrifices to the deities. external image 220px-Georg_von_Rosen_-_Oden_som_vandringsman%2C_1886_%28Odin%2C_the_Wanderer%29.jpg(Woden, the head god)

Religious observance consisted of invocations and charms to ensure the gods' help in securing a desired outcome in the material world, though the presence of grave goods indicates a belief in an afterlife. There is a possibility that female slaves may have been sacrificed on the death of a male owner and included in the grave to accompany him in the next world.

Here is a video for your amusement. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDNvPeO9nnk

Places of Worship

Anglo-Saxon Pagans worshiped at a variety of different places across the landscape, including specifically built temples and natural featrues such as sacred trees and wells. The temples were wooden-framed and often included likenesses built of one or many of their gods.


Pagans were firm believers in the occult. They held belief in magic and witchcraft and wights, supernatural beings such as elves and fairies. The Pagans performed animal sacrifices in the honor of their gods. They believed in seven different worlds or realms including Neorxnwang, equivalent, and Middangeard, where humans live. Feudal lords would organize banquets called symbels to partake in ritually dreaking ale or mead, speech making, and gift-giving. The swastika was a popular symbol often used to decorate jewellery, weaponry, and crematory urns. This symbol most likely represented the thunder god Thunor.

Pagan Society

Kings were elected from eligible members of the royal family. These sovereigns claimed to be sem-divine descendants of their god Woden. This idea was later adopted by the Christian monarchs of England, who claimed to rule by divine right. Pagan laws called for fines for offences such as manslaughter and adultery, rather than capital punishment. Some laws did call for capital punishment, such as the removal of one's tongue, however they could often be averted by paying a fine.


A plate on the side of the Sutton Hoo helmet shows what appear to be two figures, each dancing with two spears and a sword, across two crossed spears on the ground. They have elaborate helmets on that appear to be crested with large bird-headed horns.

Various recurring symbols appear on certain pagan Anglo-Saxon artefacts, in particular on grave goods. Most notable amongst these was the swastika, which was widely inscribed on crematory urns and also on various brooches and other forms of (often female) jewellery as well as on certain pieces of ceremonial weaponry. The archaeologist David Wilson remarked that this "undoubtedly had special importance for the Anglo-Saxons, either magical or religious, or both. It seems very likely that it was the symbol of the thunder god Thunor, and when found on weapons or military gear its purpose would be to provide protection and success in battle." He also noted however that its widespread usage might have led to it becoming "a purely decorative device with no real symbolic importance." Another symbol that has appeared on several pagan artefacts from this period was the rune, which represented the letter T and which has been associated with the god Tiw.

The last pagan Anglo-Saxon king, Caedwalla of Wessex, died in 689, but paganism among the rural population, as in other Germanic lands, didn't so much die out as gradually blend into folklore.

Since the Anglo-Saxon religion was cut short around the 8th century and there is a lack of written material, it is difficult and unjustifiable to ascribe to the Anglo-Saxon gods, about whom little is known other than their names, the same attributes and activities that are recorded for the gods in the Norse mythology.The Anglo-Saxons, traditionally (according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle) composed of tribes of the Angles, Saxons and Jutes , arrived in Britain from southern Scandinavia , the Netherlands and northern Germany. The Anglo-Saxon Gods have the same origins as the those in Germanic Mythology and those that became the gods of the Scandinavian Mythology. Due to the close contacts that must have remained before the Anglo-Saxons were Christianized, an impression, but only that, of the Anglo-Saxon mythology can be obtained from reading about Scandinavian Mythology.

The Anglo-Saxons were a largely illiterate society and tales were orally transmitted between groups and tribes by the Anglo-Saxon travelling Minstrels, the Scops, in the form of verse.The Anglo-Saxons may have believed in Wyrd, usually translated as "fate." They believed in supernatural creatures such as Elves, Dwarves and Giants ("Etins") who often brought harm to men. However, Anglo-Saxon words containing the element "elf" were often translations of Greek or Latin terms (for example, a "wæterelf" for " Nymph").

Anglo-Saxon paganism is the form of Germanic paganism practiced by the Anglo- Saxons in England. The Anglo- Saxons tribes were not united before the 7th century. The religion mainly revolved around sacrifice to show their devotion. The Pagans performed animal sacrifices in honor of their gods. They also believed that there were seven different worlds where humans lived.