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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in norse mythology

Since there is a discussion going on outside the heathen community about fairy tale dwarves, due to Disney planning yet another remake, let's discuss fairy tale and mythology dwarves. To us, members of the heathen and pagan communities, myth does not mean fictional, it means religious literature. Most of the Norse myths, and depending on the specific sect, many of the Germanic fairy tales as well, are known as the Lore, meaning religious canon.

The Dwarves of heathen mythology that both some modern heathens and heathens of historical times worship are not humans, they are the residents of Svartalfheim. Svartalfheim means Dark Elf Home. It is generally thought that 'dark' here refers to their underground world rather than to their appearance. The Dwarves appearing small seems to be fairly arbitrary in the Old Norse, just like the size of Giants, who can appear either much larger than the gods or the same size as the gods. Fairy tale era dwarves in German are all seen as small, but fairy tale era elves and fairies are also usually seen as small, and they were not always small in their original depiction in older Lore and literature. In English, the Modern English word Dwarf and the older word Dweorg both referred to small beings who were connected to the earth element, and to small people and living things in general. Like Dwarf, Fairy is another English word that refers to a non human entity but is sometimes used to describe human beings. Let us not confuse them. The English word Giant is yet a third word that refer to a mythological or fairy tale being or could refer to a human being, and even objects can be referred to as giant.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Glad you found the book recommendation useful! Disney and other movie houses seem to be doing a lot of remakes. TV and streaming
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    The Duergarbok looks interesting. I think I'll add it to my wish list. As for the Disney remakes I enjoyed The Jungle Book and

 Zombie-Viking-in-Thor - NIGERIAPENNG

 

Think: Norse zombie. That's a draug.

Erik the Red would have rhymed it with Smaug. Modern Icelanders say DROIG. Take your pick.

However you say it, a draug is a nasty critter, called in Translation-ese a revenant: the walking undead. Draugs are creepy, immensely strong, and—already being dead—immensely difficult to kill.

(So far as we know, the Old English weren't familiar with the concept; if they were, it didn't manage to get into the literature. But, if they had been, through the miracle of modern linguistics, we can say that Anglophones would today know the creature as a drow [rhymes with plow].)

Etymologically speaking, the word is connected to drag. Whether this is because the draug is basically a corpse dragging itself around, or because it drags its victims off, is unclear.

But it does open the door to some delicious possibilities.

 

What do you call a cross-dressing revenant?

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Lunar Eclipse Rite: That Which is Hidden Will Be Revealed

Astrologers and wise elders will tell you that major events happen in the world during the eclipse time; secrets are revealed, scandals occur, stock markets drop and all manners surprise. During these rare celestial occurrences, that which has been hidden shall be revealed. Vikings and their brethren believed the sun and moon were created by benevolent gods to bring light to a dark world. The Norse gods placed the sun and the moon in chariots that flew across the sky, shedding light on the entire world. However, the hungry giant wolf chased the sun and, every once in a while, caught up with it and devoured it, which darkened the sky. When the sun began to burn the insides of the wolf, he would cough it back into the sky. This, according to Nordic folklore, is how eclipses happen.

Eclipses are celestial events that still fascinate us, and you can easily gather a group together for a ritual. Invite enough people to form two circles. Twenty is ideal, so you have ten in each circle. Ask half of the people to wear all gold and the other half to wear all black. Those in black are the Sky Wolves who will eat the sun, represented by those in gold. For safety, everyone needs to wear their best UV protection sunglasses (in gray, brown, or green) to safeguard their eyes.

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Woden’s Moon – Wednesday Wonder Invocation

Woden is also known as Odin, whom superhero fans now know from the wildly popular Thor movies, is at the top of the Nordic pantheon of the gods. He wields mighty power and is also associated with Mercury, with rulership of communication and keen intelligence. Woden even appears in olden Persian mythology, wherein he is credited with creating the moon on a Wednesday. Remember to offer thanks to the generous deity for gifting us our lovely lunar disk. Place dill and rosemary, two herbs for all-around mental strength and clarity, in your burning bowl. Light a yellow candle and use this to light the herbs. Patchouli incense adds power to this ritual; light this to power up your mental faculties and walk around your personal space to imbue this scent of smartness all around your work area. This will open your mind and abet your ability to create, whether your intention is to write a letter, a speech, prepare for a job interview or any project where you need to give your best. Once you feel focused, speak this spell:

I call upon you, great Woden
On this, your day
By my hand,
And with your blessing,
The fire of my mind
Burns bright,
Burns long,
Burns eternal.
Deep gratitude
On this day
Under this moon
Which you have given,
Blessings to all.
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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

The Voluspa or Prophecy of the Seeress is one of the stories in the Poetic Edda. It predicts Ragnarok, the end of the world, and the universe, and the gods. Scholars of heathenry note that it bears a strong resemblance to the Book of Revelations in the Christian Bible. Some Asatruars believe in the Prophecy and some don't. Among those who believe in it, some place it in the future as written, and some place it in the past.

The Voluspa is a major plot point in the Fireverse. Early on, Odin receives this Prophecy and writes it down and it’s in a book in his library. He spends a lot of time and effort trying to make the next universe come out right, and he tries to follow the Prophecy, embracing prophecy rather than trying to change it. A lot of his actions result from his desire to make the next universe better than this one and set up things in this universe that will result in a better starting place for the next one. Loki reads this book while he’s still a young god and is horrified, but eventually he accepts his role and the necessity of what will happen. He has a chance to derail the prophecy by leaving Asgard before the binding takes place, but he chooses not to, because by that point in the story he has accepted Odin’s viewpoint that the events described in the Prophecy are necessary to make the next universe come out right.He remains in Asgard knowing he will eventually be bound.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

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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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Continuing the novel gnosis series of posts, wherein I discuss religious insights gained via writing my unpublished behemoth Some Say Fire, today I'm talking about Rindr. Rindr is kind of an obscure goddess so I'll start with an introduction to her story in the Lore, which is what Asatruars and other heathens call our religious canon. Rindr is the daughter of Billing, king of the Ruthenians. That sounds like she must be a human but she is considered a jotun, also called ettin or giantess. Odin needed to father his son Vali to be an agent of vengeance and decided Rindr was to be the mother. He set out to woo her in disguise as a warrior named Roster, but she did not accept him. He tried twice but was rejected both times, so instead Odin turned himself into a witch named Wecha and used magic. The two main interpretations of this story by scholars are the agricultural metaphor interpretation that Rindr is a personification of the frozen winter earth that needs to be thawed and fertilized, or the feminist interpretation that Odin is a problematic figure. I don't subscribe to either of those interpretations in my novel gnosis.

Rindr was born with the potential to become a goddess, like some other jotnar who joined the Aesir, but didn't finish becoming one until bearing the god-child. Her story then is a story of the trial of initiation that makes one reach one's potential, similar in general movement if not in detail to Odin's trial on the tree. The ways in which Rindr doesn’t quite pass the goddess ascension tests and how Odin figures out how to make it work anyway highlight exactly what those tests are and what they are for.

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