Nithing Poles & Curious Traditions

Germanic pagans had some curious traditions. To curse an enemy, they’d put up what’s called a nithing pole. In Old Norse the word is níðstang, which is Anglicized as nithstang or nidstang, because the letters í or ð don’t exist in the modern English alphabet.

A nithing pole consisted of a long, wooden pole with a recently cut horse head at the end, and at times with the skin of the horse laid over the pole.The nithing pole was directed towards the enemy and target of the curse. The curse could be carved in runes on the pole.

It reminds one blogger of the horse head scene, one of my favorites, in The Godfather.



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