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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Novel Gnosis part 35: Ullr

Ullr in Norse mythology is a god who hunts with a bow in the winter on skis, and so, his distinguishing characteristics are the same as Skadhi's. Many heathens consider Ullr and Skadhi to be a couple or at least counterparts.

In modern times, Ullr is still a popular god. Ullr medallions are still worn by skiers for protection, even skiers who are not heathen or pagan. There is a brand of schnapps named Ullr which is marketed to skiers.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Novel Gnosis part 34: Tyr and Zisa

Tyr is the original skyfather in heathen mythology. His major sphere of influence is justice. Zisa is his wife. Her symbol is the war boat, and she was identified by Tacitus as being the same goddess as Isis.

The Fireverse uses the names of gods as recorded in the Icelandic / Norse sources, unless the name is not recorded there. In the Icelandic, the name of Tyr's wife is not written down. However, Tyr is the same god as Ziu, and Ziu's wife's name is Zisa, so in both my novel Some Say Fire and in my personal practice I call them Tyr and Zisa.

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  • Victoria
    Victoria says #
    Zisa is not mentioned by Tacitus, in Germania Tacitus mentioned that 'some of the Suevi also sacrifice to Isis' , Tacitus does not

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Novel Gnosis part 32: Thor

Thor was the most popular of the heathen gods in historical times. His most notable possession, his hammer, is not only a weapon but also a useful tool. He is depicted riding a chariot pulled by goats; goats are a useful domesticated animal. He is married to Sif, whose major myth is a metaphor for wheat harvest. All these details point to a god of the common man, of farmers and workers. His role as protector of mankind from frost giants and other inimical forces made him one of the powers people relied on for basic survival.

In the Fireverse, Thor is enthusiastically manly, liking to eat and drink manly things, liking to adventure in Jotunheim and Midgard and to fight giants. At one point a character asks him what he likes on his salad and he says bacon, a very manly answer. He enjoys contests of strength. His manliness and physical strength does not really mean that he is in any way less intelligent than other gods, though, despite how he is sometimes depicted.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Novel Gnosis part 31: Sleipnir

Sleipnir is Odin's eight legged horse. The depiction of Sleipnir in art as having eight legs is also obviously a depiction of a regular four legged horse running very fast. He runs so fast his legs blur and you see them in all positions at once.

Sleipnir does not have a human-like form and does not speak in human-like words, but he is still a demigod with his own will. He doesn’t let just anyone ride him. In the Fireverse he lives in a stable as befits his form as a horse, but all the buildings in the Fireverse are metaphorical, made to appear the way they do so a human being can understand the story. The reality of the gods' world might have no relation to how it appears to my human mind.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Novel Gnosis part 30: Skadi

Skadi, also spelled Skadhi, is a winter goddess. Her name means injury or harm. She was a frost giantess and joined Asgard society and became a goddess after going to Asgard to wreak vengeance and being offered weregild. Weregild is a payment to compensate for a crime. Among the things she received as weregild was a husband.

My gnosis is that Skadi’s spear point is made of clear rock crystal. Skadi’s color is white or clear and her beverage flavor is peppermint.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Novel Gnosis part 29: Sigyn

Sigyn's name means Victory Woman. She is the butterfly goddess, the lady of compassion, goddess of caregivers, wife of Loki, grieving mother. What follows is my gnosis about her. For a more scholarly article please see my paper Sigyn: Butterfly Goddess published in Witches & Pagans Magazine.

In the Fireverse, Sigyn is the only being with any agency left by the end of time. Everyone else is caught in the Prophecy (Voluspa) either trying to achieve it or trying to resist it. By the time Ragnarok comes, the other gods have done everything they can to set up the conditions that will result in a properly functioning next universe. Those who have a role to play in making Ragnarok happen try to do their assigned parts, but things don’t go exactly as the Prophecy foretold, and without Sigyn’s actions, the death of one universe and the birth of another would not be achieved. Hers is the final victory, the end and beginning. She presides over the ends and beginnings of life both for humans and for universes.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Novel Gnosis part 28: Rindr

Continuing the novel gnosis series of posts, wherein I discuss religious insights gained via writing my unpublished behemoth Some Say Fire, today I'm talking about Rindr. Rindr is kind of an obscure goddess so I'll start with an introduction to her story in the Lore, which is what Asatruars and other heathens call our religious canon. Rindr is the daughter of Billing, king of the Ruthenians. That sounds like she must be a human but she is considered a jotun, also called ettin or giantess. Odin needed to father his son Vali to be an agent of vengeance and decided Rindr was to be the mother. He set out to woo her in disguise as a warrior named Roster, but she did not accept him. He tried twice but was rejected both times, so instead Odin turned himself into a witch named Wecha and used magic. The two main interpretations of this story by scholars are the agricultural metaphor interpretation that Rindr is a personification of the frozen winter earth that needs to be thawed and fertilized, or the feminist interpretation that Odin is a problematic figure. I don't subscribe to either of those interpretations in my novel gnosis.

Rindr was born with the potential to become a goddess, like some other jotnar who joined the Aesir, but didn't finish becoming one until bearing the god-child. Her story then is a story of the trial of initiation that makes one reach one's potential, similar in general movement if not in detail to Odin's trial on the tree. The ways in which Rindr doesn’t quite pass the goddess ascension tests and how Odin figures out how to make it work anyway highlight exactly what those tests are and what they are for.

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