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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Norse Gods

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

The next deity (#6) from the “god graveyard” is Loki.  Loki interests me unlike a very large part of the Norse Pantheon, even more so than Odin and Thor.  Maybe it is his association with fire (fire sign here [grin]) or the devotion of Sigyn.  More likely it is the fact that he doesn’t fit in anywhere (as I often feel that way).  Yet it could e my tendency to cheer on the underdog or maybe his similarities to Hermes.  Any way he incites a cautious curiosity in me. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Norse-Goddess-Sigyn_Eternal-Haunted-Summer-Magazine_Shirl-Sazynski.jpg

Motion and color. Orange-flecked wings— flickering, flowing, flying, flexing. So many of them that you cannot see what they rest upon, simply that there is life, a whirr of scaled wings.

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  • Cara Freyasdaughter
    Cara Freyasdaughter says #
    Hi Shirl! This is a lovely picture of Sigyn. It's so nice to see her get some attention. This is a great teaser; I'm really lookin
  • Shirl Sazynski
    Shirl Sazynski says #
    And if more of us talked about these sorts of experiences, the process would be easier on everyone. While all of these encounters
  • Shirl Sazynski
    Shirl Sazynski says #
    Hi Kara! Thanks for your response and the compliments. It's why I'm writing things like this; I want to bring humans and the Gods

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Odin: A Vision of the Yule King

A past December:

It's the season of mistletoe and holly, when bells are ring-jing-jing-a-ling and the year-round Northern outdoor signs that say, "Beware of Falling Ice" finally have meaning. The night is hushed in a way it only gets when there is a blanket of snow, on the eve before a holiday, when everything is closed. Snuggled in a hotel room in upstate New York, red and blue-foil snowflakes covering presents gleam out of the corner of my eye, while real ones slowly fall, dancing over the parking lot.

               It's almost midnight. Drowsy with hot cider, lying on my husband's chest and listening to his heartbeat, there's nowhere else I'd rather be…

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Love & vulnerability in Norse myth: Freyr and the wooing of Gerda in Skirnismal

We stereotype the peoples of Northern Europe as aggressive, looting, sea-faring warriors, hauling back pillaged booty or trade goods from abroad. We stereotype Odin (blame Wagner and his Victorian romanticism for this) as the stern, grim king: father of war. Thor as big-hearted, lustily drinking smiter of evil. While attitudes have recently begun changing, portraying the Vikings' "softer side", that aggressive image sticks-- both inside and outside of Heathenry.

It ignores that there is a third strong image of masculinity, from a triad of Gods honored at the ancient temple of Upsala, Sweden: Odin, Thor and Freyr.

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  • David Carron
    David Carron says #
    But it's not peace it's Frith. Folks assure that it's the same, but it's more like détente.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Unlike Greek mythology and even Egyptian mythology, the Gods and heroes and lore of northern Europe appear rarely in books aimed at children. This is unfortunate, as Norse mythology is rich with wondrous tales, grand adventure, amazing Gods, and tragic but noble heroes. There are several picture books that I recommend though, as well as chapter books and teen books and a few activity books; there are also some general mythology books which feature good sections on Norse lore. These would all make great additions to the private libraries of Heathen families, or even lending libraries maintained by particular Kindreds.

There are several picture books which the youngest children will enjoy; some retell a single myth while others focus on a specific Deity or hero. First is Gods and Goddesses of the Ancient Norse by Leonard Everett Fisher* which features short, encyclopedic entries on the Deities along with beautiful full-page chalky illustrations, a map, and a pronunciation guide. Iduna and the Magic Apples by Mariana Mayer and Laszlo Gal, which I profiled in a previous column, retells the story of that Goddess's kidnapping and rescue. The Adventures of Thor the Thunder God by Lise Lunge-Larsen (author of the wonderful Gifts From the Gods) and Jim Madsen, is a humorous and exciting collection of that God's most well-known stories, while Shirley Climo and Alexander Koshkin's Stolen Thunder: A Norse Myth focuses on Thor's quest to reclaim his lost hammer from the Frost Giants. Leif the Lucky by Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire is a biography of the famous explorer, while Sister Bear: A Norse Tale by Jane Yolen and Linda Graves is a folktale featuring a spunky heroine, an adorable dancing bear, and some terrible tattooed trolls.

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  • Rebecca Buchanan
    Rebecca Buchanan says #
    @Shirl: if I missed any good ones, let me know. … Like I have any room on my book shelves ….
  • Shirl Sazynski
    Shirl Sazynski says #
    Thank you for this treasure trove of words and pictures, and the recommendation for Willy Pogany's work for those who don't know i
  • Rebecca Buchanan
    Rebecca Buchanan says #
    @Tim: glad I could add to your father-son reading list. If you have any favorites that I missed, please let me know.
  • Tim Schneider
    Tim Schneider says #
    I have been reading d'Aulaire's Book of Norse Myths with my son. He looks forward to it each and every time. There are tons of
Heathen Gods and Sacrifice (and Transformation)

Norse Gods bear famous wounds: an eye traded for wisdom, an ear given to hear the approach of danger, a hand to bind and slow the dire wolf of ultimate destruction. Each sacrifice is an emblem of their power: mighty Odin, who sees all in his high seat, is half-blinded; Heimdall the guardian of Asgard, the Gods' realm, left half-deaf; Tyr the God of justice unable, forevermore, to swear by his severed right hand in court.

While humans certainly benefit, the scars that Heathen Gods and Goddesses bear are not necessarily made for humans, but for the Gods to become more themselves. They excel or prove themselves worthy of their Godhood in the act of sacrifice, inexorably transforming in the act of giving of themselves. They are what they are because they've toiled and suffered and earned it, becoming more holy in the process.

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  • Alfar
    Alfar says #
    Thank you.... I know the ladies will enjoy this... the fellas as well... but the ladies especially. They love when another female
  • Alfar
    Alfar says #
    Great work. I am an Asatru Gothi and work with prison ministry / education. There are a great number of fine heathen men and women
  • Shirl Sazynski
    Shirl Sazynski says #
    Thank you, Alfar. I am happy that my writings can make a difference in other peoples' lives, including those who are trying to mak
  • Shirl Sazynski
    Shirl Sazynski says #
    Thank you both, Jessica and Rebecca. Pogany is amazing. I am also fond of Ivan Bilibin and there are hordes of unknown Slavic arti
  • Rebecca Buchanan
    Rebecca Buchanan says #
    Terrific essay. It is very timely, at least in my case. Also, thanks for the image credits. It can be hard to find good images o

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
NOT WAGNER

When I started to wander out into the brick-and-mortar Pagan community, I noticed that there were a lot of people who believed in Norse mythology and Pantheon. Some Asatru, some called themselves Heathen, some Northern Tradition, etc.    And when I'd talk about how I wanted to find out more about how Pagans relate to music, especially if any relate to Classical music, I found that some Norsefolk liked metal and Beethoven, and others liked Richard Wagner.  Richard Wagner, for those who don't know, is hailed as having "revolutionized" music during the middle of the 19th century, and he did this via writing operas about Scandinavian 'sagas' and the 'Nibelungenlied.' I wouldn't be surprised if Wagner was the origination for a connection between Norse/Scandinavian spirituality and anti-Semitism.

I am against the man and his works.  Alright, maybe not.  Maybe I am confused and heartbroken that someone who could write such beautiful and moving music, on such a thoroughly Pagan basis, was a megalomaniac, an abuser, and a bloodthirsty anti-Semite.

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  • Joseph Bloch
    Joseph Bloch says #
    I happened to come across the following article today, and thought of your post: http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20130807-how-i-
  • Robert Brown
    Robert Brown says #
    This is an individual question, and an important one. Have you seensome of Hitler's art? He was an awful, terrible guy. Some of

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