What does Sanskrit, Greek, Germanic languages, Latin, Russian and many other more have in common?
They are all languages tied to the pre historic people of the Proto Indo-European (PIE). Who where these people? And why are they so important, if one wants to study the true origins of European Paganism, including the norse type of paganism?
The answer is pretty clear. If you’re a European, then the Indo-Europeans are our common Ancestor and tribe. Debates, archaeological evidence and linguistic studies show that research on where the Indo-Europeans came from will most likely continue. The steppe-hypothesis says that PIE was spoken by the first Indo-Europeans around 6 000 years ago originating from what is now Ukraine. DNA shows that all Europeans can trace their heritage back to these pre historic people. They were steppe land herders. The farming hypothesis states that they might have come from Anatolia around 9 000 years ago. Europe has ancient roots. That’s a fact. There were hunters and gatherers before the “metal ages” compared to the rather recent cultures of the Huns, Romans or the Vikings. Genome sequencing shows that the first farmers of Europe appeared around 8 000 years ago to the Bronze Age around 3 500 years ago.
The Indo-Europeans have spread from their original habitat into Europe much later on, spreading, splitting up and that gave birth to the cultural diversity of Europe, from Scandinavia to the UK all the way down to Spain. An important question is on whether the hunter and gatherers had learned on how to farm from their neighbors, or they came from the near East, where farming was first established.
The PIE language connects to our heritage and common ancestor in Europe. They spread further into the west into Europe and established agriculture. Some migrations turned also west and mixed with Eurasian groups, who later on became the very first Native Americans who came from the southeastern part of Russia. This is very important for every researcher into Paganism to understand. The Vikings didn’t invent or create the Gods, whether it was Wodan or Odin. European Paganism didn’t start in northern Europe, either. Not even in Central Europe. It all started with the pre historic hunter and gatherers, who later became, due to widespread migration, farmers. Their beliefs were animistic. That’s why Paganism is or should be focused on living with nature. It’s the Eurasian shamanism that is way older, way more ancient, and later on gave birth to many mythologies and beliefs that were practiced in ancient Europe.