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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Nornoriel Lokason

Nornoriel Lokason

Nornoriel Lokason is one of the forefathers of the Vanatru movement, writing and doing PR from 2007-2010 under the name Svartesol. He is the author of Visions of Vanaheim, a guide to the Vanir deities, the tribes and culture of Vanaheim, and Vanic traditions and practise. He is currently working on the followup, Voices of Vanaheim, a book of Vanic myths old and new, with a tentative release date of November 2014, as well as a book for baby spirit-workers due for release in December 2014 or January 2015. He is also an artist with an Etsy shop, Nornoriel's House of Elf Swag. He lives in Portland, Oregon with a tuxedo cat and a demon companion; when not writing or making art, he enjoys reading, thrifting, listening to industrial and metal, and communing with nature.

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(other than Frey, Freya, Njord and Nerthus)

Byggvir and Beyla. Byggvir possibly means “barley”, and Beyla means “bee”. Whether these two names translate exactly or not, They are a couple who travel with Frey, and are in charge of taking care of his household and are servants of his. Gnosis says that Byggvir is Bull tribe Vanir, and Beyla of the Bee tribe.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_frey_freya--.png(an excerpt from my book, Visions of Vanaheim)

The Vanir are one of three groups of gods in the Germanic pantheon (the others being Aesir and Jotnar/Rokkr), originating from the world of Vanaheim, and commonly holding domain over nature, fertility, and magic.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_478px-Freya_by_Johannes_Gehrts.jpgFreya was the first deity I ever connected with in a meaningful way, back in 1996. Coming into Germanic paganism via Freya, I took things at face value and without a deeper look at the history and the context of archaeology until many years later when I did so out of necessity to shed some light on things I was experiencing. Most forms of Germanic paganism treat the Aesir and Vanir as a package deal with heavy emphasis on the Aesir.

So for many years, I attempted to reach out to the Aesir because I thought I "should". From the get-go, the Aesir were... not really a good fit. The gods that interested me all had ties to the nature and the land, and the Aesir... mostly didn't. Sure, Odin is connected with wind and its fury, and Thor is thunder, but... no. The macho-war energy surrounding the Aesir (while this is not all they are, obviously) did not feel like "my gods". Yet, I spent years trying to connect to the Aesir, with crickets, mostly, and occasional blips on the radar, until finally, some things happened where I was told to stop.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Beth Lynch
    Beth Lynch says #
    Yes, exactly! Deep-minded is an often forgotten epithet of Thor's; He even has a connection with seidhr, for some (and experience
  • Nornoriel Lokason
    Nornoriel Lokason says #
    Yeah I definitely see the difference between the Aesir and Vanir as more cultural than racial, for the same reason. As an aside,
  • Beth Lynch
    Beth Lynch says #
    The idea of the Vanir as the anti-Aesir annoys me, too. Equally, the Aesir are not the anti-Vanir, and are not merely gods of mac
  • Nornoriel Lokason
    Nornoriel Lokason says #
    I cannot click "like" hard enough on this comment. While I have always perceived the Aesir as being more inherently martial tha

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Coast_Range_Trees_Lane_County_Oregon_scenic_images_lanDA0069.jpgSo the words "Vanir" and "Vanaheim", as appearing in historical documents, are more or less exclusive to Snorri's account of Norse mythology in the Eddas, and this has led some (most notably Rudolf Simek in his essay "The Vanir: An Obituary") to believe that the Vanir are thus an invention of Snorri, or a misunderstanding in the tales he learned and recorded.

I disagree with this, and both extensive research as well as intensive work with the Vanir over the last ten years - and talking with many, many others who know and love them - has informed my opinion.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    In school, we were taught that the Vanir were the gods of the original inhabitants, and the Aesir were brought in with the Indo-Eu
  • Nornoriel Lokason
    Nornoriel Lokason says #
    Yes! This is what my research and gnosis informs me of as well. You have no idea how ridiculously happy it makes me to know this

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b2ap3_thumbnail_800px-Cannon_Beach_02.jpgWhile the Vanir are always present in the world around us, I personally tend to feel Them the most strongly in that liminal space when the seasons change: Nerthus when fall becomes winter, Freya when winter becomes spring, Frey when spring becomes summer... and Njord when summer becomes fall.

This is the time of year when depending on where you live, it's still warm enough to be comfortable, but the oppressive heat of summer starts to fade, and the rains come or will be coming soon.  As the land mellows, I feel Njord's gift of serenity, water after fire, which will later wash color into the world.

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Why Vanatru?

From 2007-2010 I was one of the leaders of the Vanatru movement under the name Svartesol; in 2009 I put out a book called Visions of Vanaheim which was considered the essential Vanatru text (which has in 2014 re-released in a revised and expanded version, available in paperback and PDF). A rising star, I burned out pretty quickly, not having the interpersonal skills and boundaries that I have now… and when I burned out, I tried to walk away from the Vanir for awhile. One of the reasons why I call this blog Roads to Vanaheim isn't just because it's a catchy title within the limit of 18 characters, but because my own path with the Vanir has been a long and winding road – I've found myself lost a few times, I've been tired… but your heart knows where home is, and so it is that I keep crossing the ways into Vanaheim to know them, and invite them here into this world as well.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jay Logan
    Jay Logan says #
    I look forward to reading further posts by you. Among the Northern gods, the ones that I have been most attracted to have always b
  • Nornoriel Lokason
    Nornoriel Lokason says #
    Thank you! I hope you'll enjoy this blog and that it will be informative and helpful.
  • Lycaeus
    Lycaeus says #
    Have you read the article by Simek "The Vanir: An Obituary"? It basically indicates that the vanir gods never existed as a seperat
  • Nornoriel Lokason
    Nornoriel Lokason says #
    I have, I don't agree with it, and not all scholars agree with Simek either.

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