Roads to Vanaheim: Exploring the Vanir & Vanatru

A blog about the Vanir gods and other Vanic entities, gnosis and doxa, and thoughts on building a Vanic pagan practice.

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Sebastian Lokason

Sebastian Lokason

Sebastian Lokason (formerly known as Nornoriel) is an artisan, author, and diviner; he is one of the forefathers of the Vanatru movement, and has been a pagan and occultist for over twenty years. In addition to his work with the Vanir, Sebastian is a dedicant of Asmodai. He has a very successful Etsy store showcasing his designer jewelry, incense and oils for various deities as well as offering services such as readings and deity channelings. He has written several books. He enjoys communing with nature, thrifting, listening to industrial and metal, and reading. He is in his mid-thirties and lives with his spirit-husband and their cat in New Haven, Connecticut. His official website can be found at http://www.nornoriellokason.com with a list of forthcoming projects, events he’ll be attending, and so forth.

b2ap3_thumbnail_garden.jpgexcerpt from my book "Peace and Good Seasons"

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b2ap3_thumbnail_goldgubber.jpgIn Vanaheim, the Summer Solstice is the peak of "tourist season", and it is also an extremely popular day for people to get married in Vanaheim, both citizens of the realm and tourists from elsewhere.  From a Vanic perspective, the longest day of the year is an ideal time to make a lasting ceremonial bond of love - a fire ever-burning, "carrying the fire" and keeping it lit even as the year wanes; a love that stays gold and full of life.

The following is a wedding rite for a couple in a Vanic context, performed by a priest of any gender, for a couple of any gender combination.  (If you have a poly union such as a triad where more than two people are getting married, feel free to modify this ritual for three or more people.) This rite calls upon the blessings of Frey and Gerda on the union.  Adam of Bremen reports that Frey was called at weddings, and the main myth we have of Frey in the Eddas is of His lovesickness for Gerda, culminating in marriage.  As Frey is Vanir and Gerda is Jotun, they are very sympathetic to couples and other unions between consenting adults where it falls outside societal norms and is opposed or challenged by mainstream society in some way.  The marriage of Frey and Gerda is also an auspicious one to call upon for blessings because their marriage survived the challenges of culture clash, societal disapproval, war, and many other problems - their love has endured through the ages.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_firebird.jpg(from my book Visions of Vanaheim)

Gullveig is a powerful witch, so much so that the Aesir burned her in fear, which caused the Vanir to rise up and avenge one of their own.  She is often thought by modern heathens to be an "evil" goddess not worthy of worship, and often conflated with Freya or Angrboda.   

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I've been reading "The New Revelations" by Neale Donald Walsch and copied the seventh revelation in my notebook of things I should

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b2ap3_thumbnail_freyja.jpgFreya is the daughter of Njord (and likely Nerthus), the twin sister of Frey, and one of three Vanir who were sent to Asgard as hostages following the Aesir-Vanir war.  Like her brother, she is connected with fertility, and portrayed in lore as being extremely sexual.  However she is also a warrior and a mistress of magic, and a very complex figure.  

How should one periphrase Freya? Thus: by calling her Daughter of Njordr, Sister of Frey, Wife of Odr, Mother of Hnoss, Possessor of the Slain, of Sessrumnir, of the Gib-Cats, and of Brisingamen; Goddess of the Vanir, Lady of the Vanir, Goddess Beautiful in Tears, Goddess of Love. -Skaldskaparsmal 20  

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b2ap3_thumbnail_three-hares.jpg

The Vanic New Year is the spring equinox in March, which in the language of the Vanir they call Eshnaia Agreta (esh-NIGH-ya ah-GREYtah), or Green Awakening.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_viking-sunstone.jpgFor Week 1 of March for The Pagan Experience.

Vanatru is a wholly modern religion.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    When I first read about the Lore vs. Personal Gnosis thing in Witches & Pagans 24 I thought what a great opportunity. After someo
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    Very well said. I'm facing the same kinds of issues with Minoan Paganism, filling in the historical blanks (and there are a lot of

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b2ap3_thumbnail_rain.jpgIn the eight years that I've been actively involved with the Vanatru movement, I've met a number of Vanatruar, and in talking with other Vanatruar, I've found we have a lot of diversity of experience and practice - what Vanatru is, will differ from practitioner to practitioner. With that said, one of the things that does seem fairly common amongst the Vanatruar I've met (though this certainly does NOT apply to all of us) is a lack of formality.  The Powers of Nature, Gods of the World tend to attract... well, practical, pragmatic followers.  We tend to be very down-to-earth people, even those of us who are creative and eccentric in some way (as many of us are, myself included).

Over the last few years devotional polytheism has become more common, and I myself identify as a devotional polytheist.  However, there has been an expectation over the last while that the "proper" way to honor the gods is to be on your knees praying several times a day, with flowery adorations.  I don't do this. I know very few Vanatruar who do this.  I do know a few Vanatruar who do not do formal devotion and have expressed guilt and the feeling that they're "doing it wrong" because this has been presented as the standard for polytheistic practice by a number of people, including some from the Northern Tradition.

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  • Molly Khan
    Molly Khan says #
    I find the wide variety of expressions of piety in devotional polytheism as a whole, and Vanatru specifically, to be fascinating.
  • Sebastian Lokason
    Sebastian Lokason says #
    yeah

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