The Viking Serpent: Serpent Worship, Sacred Geometry, and Secrets of the Celtic Church in Norway
The Apocalypse of Peter: Gnostic Nag Hammadi text, circa 100 and circa 200 AD ( Public Domain )
These texts describe Jesus as the one “called the Beast” (From the Nag Hammadi Library: The interpretation of “the beast” is “the instructor.” For it was found to be the “wisest of all beings.”) Thus, the Celts introduced their Christianity to Norway, leaving behind a trail of serpent imagery. The Celtic clergy’s use of the ‘Number of the Beast’ reﬂects their occult use of ‘magic’ and their reverence of the serpent.
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The saga writer Snorre Sturluson noted that king Olav (the third ally of the Celtic Church), on his return to Norway from the British Isles in 1015 CE, used the serpent as a symbol on his helmet and banner. In an old saga of which only fragments remain, the burial of St. Olav also reﬂects the number 666. The stave churches, unique to Norway, were built during these times.
Borgund Stave Church, Laerdal, Sogn og Fjordane County, Western Norway ( CC BY-SA 3.0 )
These churches were decorated with serpent imagery in abundance: woodcarvings of writhing coiling snakes climbing the portals, and from all gables one can witness – even today – serpents raising their heads with playing tongues.
Borgund Stave Church with wooden serpent architecture ( CC BY-SA 4.0 )
Additionally, the roofs and walls of these churches are covered with wooden ‘scales’ that seem to mimic serpent-skin.
Borgund Stave Church clad with what looks like scales ( CC BY-SA 4.0 )
Another of the many interesting facts regarding Celtic inﬂuences is that the coastline of Norway boasts numerous large Celtic stone crosses. Norway is the only other country besides the ‘Celtic fringe’ on the British Isles that has such crosses.
Serpent carvings adorning the church portal (Kind permission from Norwegian Directorate of Cultural Heritage)
Folklore Reveals Ancient Connections
Interesting too is the story of a Celtic princess, Sunniva, escaping barbaric ‘suitors’ by setting to sea in a frail Celtic wicker-and-hide craft. According to lore, she landed with her entourage on a small island on the ﬁercest part of the Norwegian coast and became Norway’s very ﬁrst saint.
Medieval statue (dated c. 1200) Found in Urnes stave church, Luster, Western Norway, which may be St Sunniva. ( CC BY-SA 2.0 )
On this same tiny inhospitable island on the ﬁercest stretch of the Norwegian coast, Norway’s ﬁrst bishopric was erected in 1068 CE. In 997CE, the Celtic clergy and their second ally the Viking King Olav Tryggvason, founded the city of Nidaros, which was the capital of Norway for hundreds of years. It is interesting to note that Nidaros can be translated into the Gaelic language as meaning “old serpent wisdom”, ‘Neidr’ being serpent, and ‘ros’ being old knowledge.
The sacred geometry of Norway does not limit itself to the enormous pentagram: According to old legends, a certain Norwegian island called Sandøy, or ‘Sandy Island’ is connected to Scotland under the sea. It just so happens that the northwestern upper point of the enormous pentagram falls upon a small island called Sandsøy, or ‘Sandy Island’. On this island, facing the sea, we ﬁnd the Dollstein cave, which has an intriguing history. Myths tell of treasures hidden in the cave, sought by the Orkney earl Ragnvald in 1127. Even myths about King Arthur are weaved into the island’s lore!
The sacred geometry in the landscape of Norway is so ingeniously contrived, it is difﬁcult for us to understand how it was done. Certainly, the builders’ skills of surveying far surpassed anything historians have been willing to give them credit for. The Norwegian Pentagram and the Viking Serpent will undoubtedly prove to be important additions to our understanding of our forefathers’ skills and beliefs, as well as lifting the veil that the Christian church, historians and archaeologists have lowered over our eyes.
Harald S. Boehlke was born into a Norwegian diplomat family in Oslo, Norway in 1946, and has lived in five different countries. His main interests lie in archaeology, history and art—and shining a bright light on hidden mysteries. Harald is author of The Viking Serpent . | Visit TheVikingSerpent.com
Top Image: Borgund Stave Church (Eduardo/ CC BY-SA 2.0 ), pentagram, Vitruvian man, and serpent (Public Domain); Deriv.