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Novel Gnosi part 37: Valkyries and the Afterlife

Valkyries are psychopomps, beings who carry the dead to the afterlife. They are called choosers of the slain, because they select warriors who die in battle to bring to Freya in Folkvangr or to Odin in Valhalla. Freya is the leader of the Valkyries and gets first pick. When the Valkyries are not attending a battle, they are found with Odin and the Einherjar, Odin's chosen warriors, in Valhalla.

The Fireverse Valkyries mostly have war duties. Although any of them might serve someone a drink in Valhalla, it’s not really exclusively Valkyries who do that. Odin has many dead humans for servants, and some of them are dead women who are basically Valkyrie themed waitresses rather than actual Valkyries. The actual Valkyries are unearthly powers.

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Novel Gnosis part 36: Vali

There are two gods named Vali in heathen mythology, Vali Odinsson and Vali Lokisson. Or are they really the same god?

Vali Lokisson

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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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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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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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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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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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