Merseyside’s Viking Heritage!

Everybody knows of York’s Viking heritage, but how many folk are aware of our influence in the Liverpool environs?

Britain has long been a nation of immigrants and we are all  descendants of these, whatever culture or colour. Eventually we have mixed, despite the obstacle of politics, religion and their divisive nature.

Liverpool, a hub of Viking settlement.

Liverpool, a hub of Viking settlement.

This little sign from the wonderful Museum of Liverpool explains better than I, the nature of that settlement. Maybe there is a little more to add regarding British place names of Norse origin. As you can see, any town, village or hamlet with ‘by’ on the end is usually related to Viking settlement; but there are others too…

  • THURSTASTON: “Thorsteinn’s farmstead”, from the Old Norse man’s name Thorsteinn and Old Norse tún.
  • MEOLS: “Sandbank”, from Old Norse melr.
  • THINGWALL: “Assembly field”, from thing and vollr.
  • WEST KIRBY: “The west village of the church”, from  vestrikirkja and býr.
  • AIGBURTH: “Oaks hill”, from Eikiberg.
  • TOXTETH: “Toki’s landing place”, from Toki-stöð.
  • STORETON: “The great farmstead”, from storand tún.
  • RABY:”Settlement at a boundary”, from Rá-býr.
  • APPLETHWAITE: Any name with ‘THWAITE” meaning ‘clearing in a forest’, attached.

Throughout the east of Britain, Ireland and North West England and Scotland, Viking tribes settled to farm the land after making the Saxon Kings of the time offers they couldn’t refuse!!! I won’t elaborate, as Auntie Google is far more adept than I!

The spirit of the Vikings never ends, it is passed on through us, flowing in our veins and moving our hearts, whether Vanatru, Ásatrú, (modern Heathen paths) Christian or none. Our Gods are personal and as the old Vikings reputedly said:”You have your Gods, we have ours.” There was never a Spanish Inquisition in Scandinavia to punish the new Christian Religion, just mild tolerance. I wish that could be said about Christians, then and now. It seems that all the Desert Religions demand our compliance in one form or another.

Memories of Liverpool's Scandinavian connection.

Memories of Liverpool’s Scandinavian connection.

Liverpool’s connection with Scandinavia is everywhere. The famous haunted pub ‘Baltic Fleet’, remains despite the obliteration of the old docklands and there is a Scandinavian Church that almost fell victim to the modern developers. The Local community fought to keep it open and this website explains a little more about it:

http://www.liverpoolunderlined.com/baltictriangle/scandinavian-seamans-church-nordic/

Liverpool's Scandinavian Seaman's Church.

Liverpool’s Scandinavian Seaman’s Church.

The world is forever in flux and the old ways are supposedly gone now, buried beneath layers of culture, literature, and endless opinions almost as many as there are folk; however it surely cannot be a bad thing to keep that which is vibrant, honest and pure, by stripping away the hypocrisy and fear?

Personally, I feel the call of Odin, Thor, Freya and Njörðr (pronounced Nyer-the). They are real to me; maybe because I live in the elemental realms when I am sailing. They seem to pass through me causing a curious sense of fusion, when in difficulties or moments of extreme solitude. I believe they granted me my past life experiences when I first arrived in the Baltic, giving me the courage to continue when on the verge of surrender after the awful Helgoland disaster:

https://vikingway.wordpress.com/2013/05/12/helgoland-and-a-german-bite/

The Old Gods are fearsome though and will not suffer fools. One has to earn their respect… they are very old and not ‘gooey’ and ‘touchy-feely’! However, the strength they impart is very real, provided you are prepared to ‘sacrifice’ something in return. Back yonder, that would have been people and animals; but now, it is attitudes of mind, negative traits and cowardice.

Of course there are many (most?) who would find this absurd; but maybe some self enquiry into their own beliefs might be seen as similar, after all what is more absurd than living one’s life in fear and imagining that there is some kind of security to be worked for? To spend this beautiful, vibrant and exciting life as a slave?

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About Viking Queen

I am a sailor and I live on my boat 'Free'. I have no home but originate from Tyneside. I have no allegiance, just a desire to do no harm and live with courage and an open heart.
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14 Responses to Merseyside’s Viking Heritage!

  1. christian says:

    glad enjoying pool and finding new things to visit. will be able to show me next
    take care
    Cx

  2. Well said Poppy, the ‘Desert Religions’ are for slaves. Exactly! Give me the old Telestai (gnostic) mystery schools any day. Good to hear from you lovey, happy new year and all that stuff xx

  3. Your commentary about sacrifice is interesting, Poppy, especially when you are suggest sacrficing things like negative traits and cowardice! These Gods are an abstract concept to the modern secular parts of the world who demand solid evidence. Yet, it is what is in your heart that counts! I am going to work on sacrifice of negativity. It should be theoretically easy, shouldn’t it?

    • Viking Queen says:

      Yes Amanda, the nature of ‘sacrifice’ changes according to the times and culture we live in. The Old Gods are greatly misunderstood by modernity; it is often necessary to meet them in their ‘natural’ environment i.e. the Mountains, Forests and Seas. I can only ever go by my own experiences but part of my path is to act as a conduit between these very old forces and the harsh, pragmatic, non- physical modern world. The Old Path is very much alive, but now esoteric, due to the latter ‘Desert Religions’ and more recent Atheistic, which has its own metaphorical conceptual Gods (even though its followers would disagree bitterly) which are nihilistic in spirit.
      I agree, it is the heart’s realm where we meet the Gods, so theoretically easy? For me, no, it has been, and still is, incredibly challenging; but oh so glorious. The crisp, awe-inspiring present moment bliss and savage clarity of this work gives birth to a life well lived with no compromise. Amanda, I sense that you are someone who ‘sails’ the same oceans of the heart… evident in your writing and art, and rather than easy, I would say, satisfying. As always it is wonderful to receive a message, especially as one can often think they are writing to themselves!

      • Never think that you are alone, in cyberspace, Poppy. I am always here!!! And many others. Most don’t comment, for a variety of reasons. Your breadth of knowledge is amazing, and I think you must have studied this in some depth? I don’t see myself as a religious person, but if the meaning of that word is to encompass the many things you spoke about, then yes I would be religious, and I do feel a spirit! The forces of nature are that spirit, at least that is what I have previously attributed them to, but perhaps it is the old Norse Gods instead. They led me to your blog!!! Are you planning a return to Free and open waters later this year?

      • Viking Queen says:

        Thank you for your support, Amanda. I’m not really a ‘cyberspace’ person usually, but since discovering the Blog concept, have slowly been drawn into it! Religious? I’m not completely sure, as i tend to associate that term with oppressive Male-dominated religions sponsored by governments and homophobic, narrow-minded folk, hell bent on conversion. However, i cannot deny my experiences since the bitter disappointment of Santiago Cathedral on the Camino and the subsequent renewal of my bonds with the old Norse Deities. As a child I was scared out of my early communing with the Faery realm and stopped seeing after learning that my soul would be stolen by the Christian ‘Devil’. Unfortunately that what was it was like back then. That experience pretty much ended my connection with the ‘Old Ways’ and the Faery folk, who are all related to the Nature (Vanir) and Sky Gods (Æsir) of ancient Scandinavia and Northern Europe. They only differ in the environment, because our tribal genes are co-existant with the old deities and thus relevant. Humanity has immense power and the Old Deities help us to harness it. How we use it depends very much on our experience and genetic blueprint; a little like money really, neutral until handled by one with an agenda, be it positive or negative. I can only say that my sailing has helped to wipe away the dull mind-numbing atheism and its bleak, negative earthbound cousins, repressive politics, news media, poor quality eduction, entertainment, and classical ‘five-senses’ empirical science. Artists are genuinely free to transcend this, as are most right-brained folk! I believe a healthy, open-minded, enthusiastic, balanced acceptance of all, both sensory and other-wordy is the most sensible way to lead one’s life.

  4. Dear Poppy, It’s been a long while since we’ve connected, but as always your words give me pause and reason for reflection and feeling gratitude. The world is, indeed, forever in flux.. I’m reminded of that almost every day… By the way, since you’re in Liverpool, my cousin is studying music there now and plays at pubs and other places. I hear that he’s an active and up ‘n coming talent on the music scene there! Look him up and say hi if you should cross paths.. his name is Ian Janco 😉 Sending hugs from way down in the southern hemisphere xo

    • Viking Queen says:

      Hello my dear Amrit. Always lovely to reconnect! I’ll keep my eyes and ears open for your cousin, but alas I leave tomorrow back to the South where I shall soon be looking after my dear friends Tara and James’s Narrowboat on the River Thames while they are on holiday.
      However, I do intend to return to Liverpool in March before i return to ‘Free’ in Sweden.
      Take care and continue your beautiful blog! xx

  5. Hello again Poppy, How are things? I saw this position for a Viking captain and you came to mind!!!http://thornews.com/2015/01/08/unique-opportunity-summer-job-as-viking-ship-hovedsmann-captain/

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