Did the ancient pagan Germanic peoples have priests?

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  • #22982
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    I’m well aware of the druids among the Celts, but some sources indicate the ancient Germanics when they were still pagan did not have priests or religious leaders. Is this true?

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    • #327761
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      answer: there were some priests/priestesses – you can see them referred to from descriptions of traveling priests/priestesses of Freya by Tacitus. Commonly though, no. Each head of the house was seen as a priest and priestess of the religion because it was part of daily life.

    • #327750
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      I believe they did, most religious people had leaders.

    • #327741
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      The Germanic tribes were known as “Vikings”
      Vikings were mostly “Norse”
      Priests In Norse Paganism:
      “Some kind of shamanistic priesthood seems to have existed, focusing especially on magical women known as völur. There seem also to have been chieftain-priests called goðar who arranged religious festivals at their own estates for their followers[4].
      It is often said that the Germanic kingship evolved out of a priestly office. This priestly role of the king was in line with the general role of goði, who was the head of a kindred group of families (for this social structure, see Norse clans), and who administered the sacrifices.”
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norse_paganism

    • #327730
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      yes, but I don’t believe they were called priests or priestesses. Have to look up my sources to find the actual titles they carried.

    • #327712
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      I’m not an expert on that particular tradition
      but I would assume there must have been
      at least a few members of the group that
      functioned as spiritual leaders… it’s an
      interesting question… I happen to have it
      on my list of things to research later this
      year.
      Blessings,
      Jean

    • #327710
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      There is the idea of a gothi but it seems that it was a position in a clan or family. There were cults as well. In…crap Egils I think…or maybe its Hrafnkel’s Saga… I am so not awake enough to remember, they run into a second son and it’s assumed that he’s trained a priest. It also seems that being a priest isn’t a vocation, at least not in Iceland. It’s an Elder, a leader type thing.
      Even in the evidence of religious leaders in cults they were not leading society. Clan leaders, head of family, kings lead. Over all from what I have read, preists didn’t hold a place unless they were a landowner.

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