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

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
The 5 Kinds of Gods in Asgard

The heathen gods set an example of an inclusive society. Asgard has former enemies from the First War living together in friendship. The Aesir and Vanir made peace ages ago and now the Vanir in Asgard are treated as full citizens of Asgard; for example, Freyr is expected to fight on the side of Asgard at Ragnarok.

There are 5 kinds of beings counted among the Aesir in Asgard, including those born Aesir and 4 other kinds. These kinds of beings are interchangeably called races, tribes, nations, and species. The 5 kinds are the Aesir, Vanir, Jotnar, Thursar, and even an ascended human.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    I will never understand why some Heathens embrace racism, when the stories of their gods are full of intermarriages between beings
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Thanks, Kayly!
  • Kayly
    Kayly says #
    Hi, I recently joined the site but have been reading your articles here for a long time. I just came to say I really enjoy your w

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Viking Grief

One of the most moving poems by the Viking poet/magician/farmer Egil Skallagrimsson was one he wrote lamenting the death of his favourite son Böðvarr who drowned at sea, and his son Gunnar who died of fever. In skaldic form the twenty-five verses give voice to his sorrow with passion and beauty. Normally Vikings assuaged loss with revenge but there is no one to attack for these deaths.

Egil composes the poem after vowing to kill himself by starvation, unwilling to live in a world without his son. His daughter Þorgerður tells him she will die with him, but tricks him into drinking some milk and spoiling his hunger strike. She then suggests that the best way to memorialise her brother is to compose a suitable poem in his honour so that he will live forever.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

When your doubts overwhelm
When you act out your fears
When failure drags you down
Call on Magni, son of Thor

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Oses and Osern and Aesir (Oh My)

The English language is an amazing inheritance: every word a story.

In Norse thought we find the fascinating idea that, as with humanity, there are different tribes of gods. One of these tribes is known collectively as the Aesir. This is a plural form; the singular, unfortunately, is áss. In Icelandic, this rhymes with house, but there's no denying that it's jarring to the eye of the English-reader.*

The English-speaking ancestors knew these gods as well, but unlike the good old pagan word god, ôs came to refer specifically to a pagan god, and so fell out of common usage. Eventually the word became extinct.

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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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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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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Rebecca Buchanan
    Rebecca Buchanan says #
    @Shirl: if I missed any good ones, let me know. … Like I have any room on my book shelves ….
  • nolongerhere
    nolongerhere 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

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