Fresh Blood for Old Gods

On a recent trip to Germany, I drove to visit Opfermoor Vogtei, an Iron Age sacrificial bog in Thuringia. The site was used by various groups of heathens to make animal and human sacrifices to various Germanic male and female gods from the Hallstatt Period in 6th Century BCE (BC) through the Migration Age in the 5th Century CE (AD).

The indoor museum displays a selection of the bones and artifacts discovered at the Opfermoor during archaeological digs in the 1950s and 60s.

A 3rd Century Germanic village has been reconstructed for the “open-air” museum that borders the actual bog, and many of the sacred spaces and altars found there have also been recreated for visitors.

There were various god poles, wicker altars filled with earth, a cult ship, a well, and a sacred fire pit. The men I was traveling with were all struck by how familiar their primitive rituals areas were to our own, even though we had developed our sacred spaces independently, without having even seen photos of these spaces. “It’s almost like it’s in our blood or something…”

After touring the various sanctuaries, we approached what the German signs referred to as the “Kultsee” (Cult Lake). We offered blood to ancient gods through water and time, in the spot where our predecessors were making sacrifices over 2,000 years ago.

To plan a trip, visit Opfermoor Vogtei’s official site.

For more photos from other locations we visited in Germany, including Burg Frankenstein and Burg Hornberg, follow me on Instagram.. 

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