How to be a true modern viking (a quick reference)

It seems that lately the viking aesthetic is really becoming popular. However it troubles me to see that a lot of people are claiming it without really understanding it. I’m seeing too many people now thinking that a bad attitude and a beard makes you a son of Odin and that’s just not the case. While of course the vikings themselves had different personalities and personal beliefs and convictions as well they also had a very strong culture that a lot of these wannabe vikings tend to contradict. So I have put together a comprehensive list of do’s and donts to following the path of the northmen honestly.

1) Have good hygiene and grooming habits.

This is first on the list because it bugs the hell out of me seeing all these “viking” guys who have gotten it into their heads that being hairy, sloppy and smelly somehow makes them more masculine. The vikings themselves were the biggest divas in Europe. They carried with them, specialized combs, tweezers nail, tooth and earwax picks. True they only bathed once a week, but considering the average European only did so a couple times a year that was considered excessive at the time. Rather than continuing to bathe only once a week, don’t you think the true modern viking should continue to evolve and strive to be cleaner and better kept than everyone else? A burly, bearded man with impeccable grooming makes the maidens swoon now just as it did then. Now go shampoo your damn beard and stop avoiding baths like an unruly little boy. It isn’t metrosexual, its called hygiene. Repeat after me guys, “Bad hygiene does not make me manly!”

2) Consider going pagan.

While this is certainly optional, as even some vikings were Christian. It certainly shows that you truly are dedicated to the path of the ancestors instead of just playing the part for the aesthetic of it. The spiritual side of the Norse culture separates them from any other tribal culture at the time. If you aren’t spiritually immersed in it then at the end of the day you’re still just playing around. That and you will linger awkwardly between two cultures, as most viking and other pre-christian European cultural communities don’t really cater much towards, well… Christians. The modern viking world is a pagan one and while you might not be blatantly judged, you will find it hard to be the only bible thumper in the room. Your church may not take too kindly to your newfound lifestyle either. That and the pagan path offers a true chance to connect with a more accepting community and with nature
as the ancestors intended. Which, if we’re being frank here, Christianity just does not offer. Muslims, atheists and people of many other paths may feel out of place as well, but I find it is usually Christians who struggle the most with their cultural identity so it seemed more fitting to mention it.

3) live a greener life.

Speaking of living closer to nature, one of the best things about living the viking and or pagan lifestyle is the purity of it. The more you try to live in the old way, and remove yourself from modern society the more you find that living with greater simplicity starts to make you feel better. You don’t have to go off and move into the mountains and live in a powerless cabin in the woods and raise goats. Something as simple as switching to natural hand-made soap and easing back on the processed foods will do wonders for your health and mental well-being. getting a few candles and gas lamps instead of always having the electric lights blaring day and night helps a lot too. We have so many things now that we have actually lost something along the way. Life in viking times was far from perfect, but they certainly had some advantages we don’t. The only difference is that today we can still reclaim the better aspects of their lives while leaving the terrible things in the past where they belong.

4) Be more left leaning.

Gasp! shock! Vikings were liberals!?! Yes, they were… which is part of why I said just having a bad attitude and a beard does not make you a viking. The Norse were remarkably far forward in gender and racial equality. They were known as raiders but also got into trading relatively early on as well. They met peoples from Asia, Africa and the middle east and sources show that they respected and honored their people and traditions as much as their own. Women could and often did lead clans and fight alongside their husbands. It wasn’t until Christianity took hold in Scandinavia that racism and sexism became prevalent. but I’ll get into that in the next section.


1) Use Heathenry or Viking culture as a front for white supremacy.

It ties obviously into the previous section, but it deserves its own mentioning. As I have mentioned previously the Norse never forced their religion or ways onto others. They had relatively little interest in the idea of race. Many Arabs and people of non-Germanic descent actually happily integrated themselves into their culture, and the Sami of the extreme north were at peace with the Norse for centuries. In fact it is even suggested that the Norse viewed the Sami peoples as superior in some ways. So if you are one of those people who believes that your precious “white master race” has anything to do with the Norse culture or the will of the gods you are simply arrogant and DEAD-ASS-WRONG. All the children of Midgard are equal in the eyes of the ancestors and the gods and only your own insecurity and stupidity makes you think otherwise.

2) Think that being a “viking” grants you an asshole pass.

It doesn’t ok? In addition to the beards and bad hygiene, I see a lot of play vikings casually talking about rape and threatening violence. Now I get that joking playfully about going on a raid or something as a historical running gag is a thing, I do it too. However I also see too many people being incredibly asinine about it. Wearing shirts with flaming, screaming skulls telling people ”F**k off or I’ll kill your family” is not viking. It’s just cringeworthy and frankly it makes you look like an ass. Being a little gruff is one thing, but casually threatening people with death on a regular basis and being blatantly rude and abrasive is another. The vikings were certainly a rough and tumble bunch of people, to be sure. Where people got the idea that tough and robust automatically means “be a violent, belligerent jackass” though I don’t know. The vikings were big on honor, community and being kind to those who have done you no wrong. The raiding thing notwithstanding, the vikings were actually pretty chill with anyone they weren’t actively going to war with. So please quit acting like the vikings just casually threatened to stab everyone they met.

3) let people like in the first two paragraphs scare you away.

The vikings were a courageous people. If you love the viking age culture, and the history, aesthetic and magick (yes, actual real magick) behind it. We want you to join us and be a part of our community and growing movement. Do NOT hesitate because a few bad eggs are spreading the wrong message. We need more sincere and genuine people to join our extended family and show people what this life is really all about. It’s about reconnecting with nature, and with eachother. It’s about recovering that which was once lost. The magick, the spirituality, and the simplicity and honesty of life before governments and corporations corrupted us all. If we combine what we know now with the instinctive wisdom of our ancestors there is nothing we cant accomplish. That’s what being a true modern viking is all about. Don’t let a bunch of racist, bearded wannabes with cheap rune tattoos scare you away. In the real community of modern vikings, all with a strong and righteous heart are welcome!

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