Swedish Churches -
Viking sacrificial groves, relics and spirit guardians 

Churches plays a large role in the Trolldom tradition. Their importance are linked directly to older customs predating the churches as well as to traditions connected to Christianity. Items of power are collected from them and their surrounding cemetaries (Every Swedish church is surrounded by a cemetery), initiations are conducted there as well as various spells. To give international readers an idea of what Swedish churches are like the 13th century church is Frösön, Sweden is a good example.


On top of a Viking sacrificial grove and the old norse god Frey (Frö)

The place itself is named after Frey ("The Church on the Island of Frey" to be precise). Frey being an old norse god connected to "peace and pleasure". Archeologists have found plenty of evidence showing that he church stands on top of what was once a sacrificial grove 
around the 11th century. The grove had a large sacrificial birch tree in the center on which many different animals - and especially bears - seems to have been hung up as a sacrifice.
This tapestry to the left from Överhogdal not far from the church made around 940 shows the local contemporary depiction of the norse world tree of Yggdrasil. 
There are a few Viking burial heaps just outside the church. 
So this makes the church and its vincinity a suitable place to address the Norse God Frey (Frö) with petitions regarding love, sex and peace or charge talismans and other objects in his name.


The Church Grim - Guardian spirits of the church

When the church was built bats were sacrificed to become the Kyrkogrim or Kyrk-rå - guardian spirits of the church. This custom is far from unusual and cats, rams, calfs, lambs, roosters - all preferably in the color black -have been sacrificed in this manner. And - at least according to legends - humans have been killed when the foundation of new churches were built. The first person to die in the parish is also said t becomme the helper of the grim. Their function is to protect the church and the surrounding cemetary by scaring or harming those who come with malicious intent. 
The custom of killing something in order for their spirit to become a guardian of something has a very long history in Sweden. In old grave mounds the spirits are often referred to as dragons. In many cases they are said to take shape of various animals - such as dragons, roosters, horses and so on. There are many methods preserved in Trolldom in regards to how one protects oneself from these dragons when going for the buried treasures. Of course this is known as grave robbery in modern days but the methods are still used. For example they were recently used in Ghana by a client of mine who is a professional gold finder. When the English colonialists left Ghana lots of gold were buried and a lot of them are - according to my client - protected by evil spirits. 


The church at Frösön also holds a relic of St. Lucy - another saint petitioned in several other magical traditions (In Afroamerican Hoodoo conjure St Lucy is petitioned for diseases of the eyes, in Brazilian tradition to gain second sight etc.). In Sweden St Lucy is also closely connected to several midwinter rites and some may have seen the beautiful Swedish celebrations of Lucia on December 13. A day when many rites of divination concerning seeing the future spouse traditionally takes place. So the church and its relic makes it a suitable place to petition her for issues concerning the eyes or to gain second sight or insight into some matter. As many of you might know Sweden became Lutheran in the mid 1500´s. So many of the churches around Sweden hold relics collected up until them. However those who might have fixed ideas about Lutheran churches in Sweden might be surprised to hear that this relic of St Lucy arrived in 2009 as a gift from the Vatican.

So there you go. Swedish churches are quite interesting. 

Sources and read more (in Swedish);
Archeological artical concerning the sacrificial grove under the Frösö church:
An article in Swedish about the relic of St Lucy: 
About the kyrkogrim and churches who have them: