Borgund Stave Church (Eduardo/CC BY-SA 2.0), pentagram, Vitruvian man, and serpent

The Viking Serpent: Serpent Worship, Sacred Geometry, and Secrets of the Celtic Church in Norway

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The Apocalypse of Peter: Gnostic Nag Hammadi text, circa 100 and circa 200 AD

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.

Serpents Abound

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

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

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

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)

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.

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


Top Image: Borgund Stave Church (Eduardo/ CC BY-SA 2.0 ), pentagram, Vitruvian man, and serpent (Public Domain); Deriv.

By Harald Boehlke


Thank you so for this scholarly article and my learning of the snake connection to Jesus. The Egyptians equated snake as teacher. In my view The Caduceus is the male and female serpents as teachers - the mirror of the other to attain equality - wholeness. I am of Icelandic origin. I too have hung on the tree of life as did Odin and sacrificed an eye (now healed -have vision) to learn the secrets of the Tree, Runes,pentagram,sacred geometry - Phi and Pi & more. We are meant to be walking trees. The pentagram is another symbol of the cross -the five elements. Do you think every Nation has the pentagram also inscribed? .

Can you tell me its meaning?

A scrambled and confusing article. Little snippets of information, not well connected. The article does not offer that which the heading suggests.

The Pentagram originates from the apparent movement of Venus against the background sky.
The article should describe the points of the Pentagram depicting the Golden mean as not many know of the Golden Mean embedded within.

The snake is a an ancient symbol of wisdom and predates Christianity, by possibly, thousands of years.
The 'Celtic Cross" is a hand held mechanical instrument to find longitude (prior to the invention of the chronometer). It was subsequently cast in stone and placed over the grave to enable the interred a facility to find their way on the journey after death. Want more information? guillaume at

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