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Old gods, new temple


Neopagans in Iceland are erecting a temple dedicated to the Norse gods Thor, Odin, and Frigg for the first time in over 1,000 years.  The temple will be built by the Asatru movement, which was founded in the 1970s to revive the ancient religion and now has more than 2,000 followers ina  coutnry with just 320,000 people.  Hilmar Orn Flilmarsson, Asatru’s high priest, says modern pagans interpret the old tales as metaphor, not as literal accounts of actual supernatural beings. “I don’t believe anyone believes in a one-eyed man who is riding about on a horse with eight feet,” he said, referring to Odin.  The domed temple will hold weddings, funerals, and other services, but the modern worshippers say they will dispense with the traditional animal sacrifices because they are “too much trouble.”

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