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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Thor

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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Burning the Bones: Bonfires at Midsummer

It’s Midsummer, a day of feasting, bonfires, and dance. It’s a celebration of solar powers at their greatest, of warmth and bursting fruits and the year’s longest light. Like other holidays, it has gone by different names throughout its long history, and various spirits and gods are honored and receive sacrifices at this time. In Southern Slavic countries like Bulgaria, Midsummer Rusalia is celebrated at this time to honor the rusalki, female spirits of water and fertility. According to the folklore, these spirits are the souls of dead young women of the community who never spent their fertile powers during their young lives and therefore have the power to confer that fertility to the earth and their living community in death. Feasting and dances entice them, invoke their powers, and channel those powers into the fields and the bodies of those who wish to have children (Barber 17).

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Greater Disrepair

In the latter days of the Greenland Norse colony, it so happened that the episcopal seat fell vacant.

It had been 20 years since Bishop Álf died, and in all that time there had been no word from Norway, and no bishop for the Greenlanders. The great cathedral at Garðar had fallen into disrepair: the wall-hangings were threadbare and rotting away, the eucharistic vessels dented and dull.

At the Althing one year there was much discussion of this.

“Maybe we need to start sacrificing to Þórr and Frey again, like we used to in the old days,” said one man.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Thunderstrike

A story about rain and perfume. And weather witching.

When I'm getting ready for the day, I put on one of the dedicated Cherry-Ka's Trunk perfumes that I keep in a little painted wooden Russian bowl on my desk. I have one of each of the Norse god dedicated scents. The four heathen scents Derin had already created before I started buying them are Silver Wordsmith for Loki, Hidden Goddess for Hel, Bilskirnir for Thor's house and family (I use that one to honor Sif), and Thunderstrike for Thor. The three I helped inspire are One-Eye for Odin, The Hornsman for Heimdall, and Vanr Volva for Freya. I also have three of Derin's non heathen perfumes, Siren, Library, and Wild Mojave. Sometimes I select the one I want to wear for the day. Sometimes I stir around in the bowl and pull a scent for the day.

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Is a 3000-Year Old Swedish Petroglyph the Oldest Known Depiction of Thor?

Is a 3000-year old Swedish petroglyph the oldest known depiction of Thor?

Here's what Swedish science journalist Karin Bojs (sounds like “Boyce”) suggests in her highly engaging genetic study of Europe, My European Family: The First 54,000 Years:

The Vitlycke rock engraving includes a man driving...a two-wheeled chariot, clearly drawn by a horse. The man holds the horse's reins in one hand and a hammer in the other. Before him, a flash of lightning can be seen. The most likely interpretation is that the man is a thunder god—the Bronze Age counterpart of the god later known to the Vikings as Thor. The thunder god's attribute was an axe or a hammer, with which he would strike to produce thunder and lightning (296-7).

Is she right?

Well, the time and the place are right. The Vitlycke charioteer is one of tens of thousands of petroglyphs located on rock faces near Tanum, Sweden. Petroglyphs are notoriously difficult to date, but experts are agreed that these petroglyphs date mostly from the Scandinavian Bronze Age. We know that Scandinavia was populated by Indo-European speakers during this period, and that these petroglyphs are therefore a product of an Indo-European culture. The pantheons of virtually all IE cultures feature a divine Thunderer, often conceived of as a warrior, armed and riding in a two-wheeled chariot.

Take a close look at the petroglyph shown above. A horned man with a noteworthy ithyphallus drives what would appear to be a highly schematic chariot drawn by (apparently) a horned animal. If so, with apologies to Bojs, this is no horse, but would only strengthen the image's likely identity as a sort of proto-Thor, since Thor's chariot was said to be drawn by goats, and historically the goat is associated with the Thunderer across the Indo-European diaspora. At very least, one can say that, if this chariot is indeed drawn by a horned animal (instead of a horse with unusually elongated ears, say), we are likely in the realm of myth here. No one, after all, hitches an ox to a chariot.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    It does look like a snake, I agree, which made me think of sperm cells with their little wiggly tails. I suppose we'll never know
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Cool, I was an Art History Major back in the 80's.
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    I agree that the animal looks more like a goat, and that the hands look like they are depicted with fingers, although the vajra al
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    The head reminds me of another storm god: Set. I think I've seen depictions of both Teshub the Hittite storm god and Baal Hadad t
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Oof, that really does look like the Seth animal. Well, I wouldn't want to try to make a historical case for a connection, but it d

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Apport by the Roadside

In February 2017, I was walking along a road with my friend and fellow author Jodie Forrest. What happened next, she described as an apport, a word I had to look up. It means an object produced during a spiritualist séance.

It was a sunny winter day in southern California. Ravens danced above an open field. There were always ravens around wherever Jodie was.

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Pagan News Beagle: Airy Monday, June 8

Welcome back to Airy Monday for the Pagan News Beagle! This week we're covering all the different ways in which pop culture is intersecting with magic, witchcraft, and Paganism, from the religions of Game of Thrones to the recent adventures of Marvel's Thor to the recent decision to remake the 1990s movie The Craft. Check it out!

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