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Title: Norse Mythology
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Hegemon - April 26, 2006 02:08 AM (GMT)
A member of any of the ancient Scandinavian people's known as Vikings. The Scandinavian nations include Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland. Norse is another name for Norwegian or ancient Scandinavian. Their mythology was fashioned after the Roman Empire fell. Norse (Viking) mythology is very similar to Greek mythology. Norse myths were codified during the Viking era (780-1070 A. D.)

Viking - The Viking era was from 780 A.D. to 1070 A.D. Vikings were medieval Scandinavian sea warriors that traded and explored from the 8th to the 11th Centuries. In England and Ireland, they were known as Danes.

There are two collections of Old Norse writings known as the two Icelandic Eddas that constitue our chief sources of Old Norse Mythology. The Eddas are the most authoritative source of ancient Nordic mythology.

Three Theoris on the Meaning of Edda

1. "Great-grandmother"
2. "Poetics"
3. "The Book of Oddi"

Icelandic - Iceland was the last Northern country to be Christianized.

The Elder/Poetic/Saemund's Edda
The Elder Edda is dated at about 300 years after the Christians arrived (it is the older of the two Eddas). Its poems are purely pagan and very old. It is divided into two sections.

1. Mythical
2. Heroic

The Elder Edda contains 15 Mythical Poems

1. Voluspa (Prophecy of the Vala)
2. Havamal (Sayings of Har)
3. Vafpruonismal (Sayings of Vafpruonir)
4. Grimnismal (Sayings of Grimnir)
5. Skirnismal (Sayings of Skirnir)
6. Harbarzljoo (Lay of Harbarth)
7. Hymiskvioa (Lay of Hymir)
8. Lokasenna (Loki's Mocking)
9. Prymskvioa (Lay of Thrym)
10. Alvissmal (Sayings of Alvis)
11. Baldrs Draumar (Balder's Dream)
12. Rigspula (Rig's Song)
13. Hyndluljoo (Lay of Hyndla)
14. Vouspahin Skamma (The Short Prophecy of the Vala)
15. Svipdagsmal: Grogaldr, Fjolsvinnsmal (Sayings of Svipdag: Spell of Groa, Sayings of Fjolsvith)

The Younger/Prose/Snorri's Edda
The Younger Edda was written by Snorri Sturluson in the latter part of the 12th century (around 1220 CE). It is a collection of Old Norse poems from the Icelandic manuscript Codex Regius (written in the 13th Century). It has three sections.

1. Gylfaginning (The Deluding of Gylfi)
2. Skaldskaparmal (Poetic Diction)
3. Hattatal

Snorri Sturluson (1178-1241) - The Icelandic historian, poet, and politician. A statue of him was erected by Gustav Vigeland at Reykholt in 1947.
There are nine worlds in Norse Mythology Niflheim Mist and Dead
Muspell/Muspelhein Fire
Midgard Humans
Jotunheim Frost Giants
Alfheim Light Elves
Nidavellir Dwarves
Svatalheim Dark Elves
Vanaheim Vanir Gods
Asgard Aesir


One of the horses of the dawn/sun. He has been identified with the Greek Pegasus.

The god of the sea, often called ruler of the sea, that caused storms. Aegir is the consort and brother of Ran who had nine daughters (the Waves/Undines). He is famous for his hostility and brewed ale for the gods. Aegir is said to have been crowned with seaweed and always surrounded by nixies and mermaids while in his hall. He is the personification of the ocean. Aegir is also known as Hler.

Frigg's servant along with Vor, Hlin, Snotra, Vara, Saga, Gna, Eir, Fulla, Sjofn, and Lofn.

Aesir ("Pillars, Support")
The great gods who lived in Asgard/Asgarth. The Aesir correspond to the functions of magic, law, and war.

* Balder
* Fjorgyn
* Forseti
* Frigg
* Hermod
* Hod
* Loki
* Magni
* Meili
* Mudi
* Nanna
* Odin
* Sif
* Sigyn
* Thor
* Thrudh
* Tyr
* Vidar
* Voli

Asgard/Asgarth - The heavenly residence of the Aesir and Vanir as well as slain war heroes that was ruled by Odin. It is located in the heavens and connected to Earth by Bifrost (a rainbow bridge).

A war goddess. Alaisiagae was a Valkyrie.

The king of the dwarfs.

Elves are divided into three races.

1. Ljosalfar - Light elves that live in Alfheim.
2. Svatalfar - Dark elves that live in Svatalheim.
3. Dokkalfar - Black elves/dwarfs that live in Nidavellir. Dokkalfar dwell in mounds, rocks, and are not fond of daylight. They are depicted as beautiful, pale, and human-like wights in noble clothes.

All elves are wise magicians. They have arrows that cause strokes and paralysis and they are thought to be the cause of sickness. Elves are tiny and sinister and take pleasure in acts of devilry (steal cattle and children). In the Middle East, it is believed that they weighed heavily upon the breast of sleepers giving them bad dreams.

A maiden goddess who dressed up as a warrior to avoid being taken in marriage by King Alf. She is the grandmother of Berserk.

Amma ("Grandmother")
Amma gave birth to the Churls (conducted business and learned trades).

A dwarf that lived in a pool in Svartalfheim. Advari was a gold collector.

Angurboda/Angerboda ("One Who Warns of Danger")
The mother of Jormungander/Midgard Serpent, Fenris, Wolf and Hel. Angerboda was the consort of Loki and Goddess of mortality. She dwells in Ironwood.

The first man that was formed from an Ash tree found on the beach by Odin and his brother.

Ash Tree - From the species Fraxinus. The ash tree secretes a sugary substance (called meli meaning "honey" by the ancient Greeks) from their bark and leaves.

A cow whose mild offered nourishment and food to Ymir.

Austri ("From the East")
One of the four dwarves (Nordi, Sundri, Vestri) who held up the sky.

The god of light, beauty, goodness, wisdom, peace, and tears who lived in Breidablik ("The Broad-Gleaming"). Balder is the most beautiful of the gods and described as very handsome and wise. He is the favourite son of Odin and Frigg, twin brother of Hod, consort of Nanna, and father of Forseti. Balder was a vicious god who fought with Hod to marry Nanna. Hod later killed him by shooting an arrow made of mistletoe. Balder is also known as "The Glorious". He is one of the Aesir.

The grandson of the eight-handed Starkadder and Alfhild.

The goddess of spinning.

The frost giant. Bestla was the daughter of Ymir; consort of Borr; and mother of Odin, Vili, and Ve.

Companion god of Frey.

Elf of the West.

Bolthorn ("Evil Thorn")
A giant and grandfather of Odin.

A giant disguise that was used by Odin to get the Mead of Poetry.

The son of Buri; consort of Bestla; and father of Odin, Vili, and Ve.

The god of poetry and eloquence. Bragi is the son of Odin and Frigg and brother of Balder, Hod, Thor, and Hermod. He is the consort of Ithunn/Idhuna. Bragi greets new arrivals to Valhalla with songs of their deeds.

A dwarf, smith, and jeweler. He madethe gold bear, Gillinburst, Odin's arm-ring and Thor's hammer with the help of Eitri. Brokk is the brother of Sindri and depicted as small and blackened.

The god of daylight and son of Balder.

A Valkyrie and servant to Odin that fell in love with Sigurd. Brunhild is often depicted as a swan. She fell in love with Sigurd.

Grandfather of the gods.

Companion god of Frey.

The daughter of Aegir and Ran. She is one of the waves.

Ruler of the elves.

Delling ("Day-Spring")
A red elf of the West and lover of Not/Nott.

Ruler of the dwarves.

Einmyria ("Ashes")
The daughter of Loki and Glut and sister of Eisa.

The goddess of healing and medicine. Eir was one of Frigga's handmaidens. She is the goddess of mercy and depicted as sitting on her hill (Lyfjabers "healing"). She grants health to any woman who could climb up to her.

Eisa ("Embers")
The sister of Einmyria and daughter of Loki and Glut.

Eitri ("Tree")
A dwarf and metal worker. He worked with Brokk to make the gold bear, Gullinburst, Odin's arm-ring, and Thor's hammer.

Elle represents age and is depicted as a frail old woman.

The first woman that was made from an Elm Tree.

The dragon who guarded the treasure of the Nibelungs. Fafnir was slain by Sigurd.

A magical female giant. Along with Menji, she worked at a mill called Grotti.

The son (wolf) of Loki and Angurboda that swallowed Odin. Fenris is the brother of Midgard and Hel. He was stabbed to death by Vidar (Odin's son) during the Ragnarok.

The dwarf brother of Galar. Along with his brother, he killed Kvasir and made the Mead of Poetry from his blood.

A minor god of learning and wisdom.

The mother of Thor.

The weather-god and father of Frigg.

The son of Balder and Nanna. He is the axe-god of justice, savior of the devout, and winner of just lawsuits. Forsetti represents arbitration, good laws, fairness, good judgment, and peace.

Frey/Freyr/Fro ("Lord")
The god of fertility and birth and ruler of the rain and sun. Frey is the consort of Gerd, uncle of Hnoss, son of Njord, and brother of Freya/Frejya. He dispenses peace, good weather, prosperity, and beautiful crops. Frey is one of the Vanir.

Freyja/Freya ("Mistress, Lady")
Freya is the consort of Od, mother of Hnossa, daugter of Njord, and sister of Frey. She is depicted as wearing a feathered cloak over a magical amber necklace riding through the sky in a chariot drawn by cats. Freya lives on Folkvangr in a palace (Sessrumnir) and is absent from Earth in Autumn and Winter. She owns the precious Brisinga/Brisingamen (men's necklace) which she acquired by sleeping with four dwarves. She has the magic of reading runes and casting spells, as well as being the leader of the Valkyries.

Freya has a cariot drawn by cats and a feather/falcon cloak used to fly between the worlds, She is known for weaving the clouds and revered by women. Friday named after her.
Essence of Sexuality
Goddess of Magic
Mistress of all Gods
Most Beautiful of all Goddesses
Ruler of Death
Spirit of the Earth's Fertility
The Heavenly Matron

Frigg/Frigga/Frija ("Bearer")
The goddess of love, marriage, fertility, settled civilizations, wealth, magic, divination, and the heavens. She is the consort of Odin, daughter of Nott and Fjorgynn, sister of Njord, and mother of Balder and Hod. She is one of the Aesir, and an aspect of fate.

Frigg is a quiet goddess that is the ruler of Asgard and lives in Fensalir ("Sea Hall"). She is depicted as a flaxon-haired matron dressed in the plumage of hawks and falcons. Frigg is also known as the White Lady of Midsummer.

The sister of Frigg that represents the embodiment of the fullness of the Earth, sexuality, and fate. Fulla is depicted as a young woman with long, full hair that's bound at the temple with a golden band. She carries the coffer of life and death.

A dwarf. Galar is the brother of Fjalar. Along with his brother, he killed Kvasir and made the Mead of Poetry from his blood.

A huge, gigantic dog that guarded the gates of Hel's realm. Garm was the head of a pack of dogs and wolves with guard functions. He is also known as the Hound of the Underworld.

The goddess of gift-giving, virgins, and unmarried women and one of Frigg's maidens. Gefn is associated with the sowing of fields, crops, and human fertility. She is an aspect of fate and called on when taking an oath. Gefn is the bringer of good luck and prosperity. She is the consort of a giant and mother of four hounds. All the women that die unmarried go to her.

A giant that owned the Cauldron of Inspiration (taken by Odin). Genlod is the mother of Bragi and goddess of poetry.

The consort of Frey that is known for her beauty. She is the goddess of light and shoots flames from her hands. Gerd is the daughter of a female giant and a mortal man.

The goddess of beauty. Gersemi was the daughter of Freya.

Glut ("Glow")
Glut was one of Loki's wives.

A wind deity that rode a horse named Hofvarpnir ("Hoof-Thrower"). Gna was the messenger of heaven and Frigg.

Gollveig/Gullveig/Heid ("Gold-Might")
A mighty witch that was killed three times. She possessed the power of the Vanir.

One of the most famous Valkyrie. Gondul was sent to Earth to bring back the spirits of famous kings who fell in battle.

A giant who warned Thor against Loki. Grid gave Thor his magic strength belt and iron gloves.

The mother of Gunner and Gudran/Gudrun.

A wise woman. Groa's attributes include sorcery, healing, housekeeping, and spell casting.

The daughter of the king of Nibelung and Griemhild, sister of Gunner, and consort of Sigurd. Gudran lured Sigurd away from the Valkyrie Brunhild by a magic drink and married him.

Gullfaxi ("Golden Mane")
The horse that could gallop through the air that originally belonged to Hrungnir but was given to Magni by Thor.

Heimdall's horse.

A giant and daughter of Suttung. Gunlod guards the Mead of Poetry.

The son of Griemhild, consort of Brunhild/Brynhild, brother of Gudran/Gudrun, and brother-in-law of Sigurd. Gunner has been identified with the Germanic Gunther.

A giant and father of Gerd.

A magical nanny goat that lives in Valhalla.

Heimdall ("The White God")
The god of light, rainbow, and the dawn and watchman of Bifrost. Heimdall is one of the Vanir and has a horse named Golden Forelock. He is also known as "the Son of the Wave" for he was born from nine waves by Odin's enchantment.

The goddess of the underworld who is depicted as an ugly pinto woman (half white and half black). Hel is the daughter of Loki and Angurboda and sister of Fenris Midgard. Her realm was named Hel/Niflheim and was the Underworld for the dead not killed in battle. In Hel, she distributed the dead among the nine worlds.

Palace Sheet-Cold
Hall Elvidnir ("Misery")
Plate Hunger
Slave Senility
Maidservant Dotage
Bed Disease
Cot Bedridden
Curtains Woefully Pale

The messenger of the gods. Hermod rode to Hel after the death of Balder to convince Hel to let him come back from the dead. He is the son of Odin and represents honor and bravery.

A warrior-maiden. The Hervarar Saga is devoted to her.

The goddess of consolation and compassion. She was Frigga's second attendant. Hlin kisses away the tears of mourners, pours balm into hearts wrung by grief, and listens to mortals' prayers.

Hnossa/Hnossi ("Jewel")
Another name for Gersemi.

The twin and blind brother of Balder and son of Odin and Frigg. Hod fought with Balder to marry Nanna and later killed him.

The father of Fafnir.

A giant that lived in the extreme north. The motion of his wings causes wind and tempest.

A giant. Hymer is Tyr's mother.

The goddess of youth, eternal life, and spring that kept golden apples in a basket. Those apples were fed to the gods/goddesses whenever they started aging. She is the consort of Bragi and goddess of eternal life. Idun has been identified with the Greek Goddess Hebe.

A magical maiden whose consort was human.

Jord/Jorth ("Earth")
A giant and mother of Thor by Odin. She is the daughter of Nott and goddess of primeval earth. Jord is worshipped on hight mountains.

A Valkyrie and lover of Helgi.

The daughter of Aegir and Ran. She is one of the waves.

A wise human that was created by the gods. The Mead of Poetry was made from his blood.

Lofn ("Mild")
The goddess of forbidden love and secret love affairs. She removes obstacles from the path of lovers. Lofn is one of Frigg's attendants.

The god of fire and mischief who created discord among his fellow gods, caused the death of Balder (was bound by the gods until the Ragnarok), and brought harm to the gods. Loki had three consorts.

Glut Eisa
Angerboda Fenris
Sigyn &nbsp:

Loki is the son of Farbauti and one of the Aesir (became a member when Odin made them blood brothers). He was an enemy of the gods because he was a giant. Loki was a trickster and very cunning. He is also known as "Father of Lies".

Magni ("Might")
The son of Thor and Jarnsaxa/Sif and brother of Modi. Magni was extremely strong at birth.

Mani ("Wolf")
The son of Mundilfoer and sister of Sol who was followed by a wolf.

Invoked as "Mother Death", she is depicted with four hands holding a trident, skull, rope, and drum.

The part of the world inhabited by men and built by the gods around the middle region of the universe. Midgard is depicted as a fortress encircled by a huge serpent (Midgard serpent - Loki's son).

A giant that guarded the well of wisdom and dwelt by the roots of Yggdrasil. Mimir is the god of waters beneath the earth and the unconcious. He is Odin's uncle.

Yggdrasil - The great ash tree that holds together earth, heaven, and hell by its roots and branches.

Hel's servant. A maiden that stands guard on a gold-paved bridge on a path leading to the underworld.

Modi ("Wrath")
The son of Thor and Jarnsaxa/Sif and brother of Magni. He is described as being very brave.

Mothir ("Mother")
Produced the Jarls (leaders, hunters, fighters, attend school).

Nanna/Anna/Inanna ("The Moon")
The Great Mother and Earth Goddess. She is the consort of Balder and goddess of love and gentleness. At Balder's funeral, she threw herself on his funeral pile and died.

The son of Loki and Sigyn and brother of Vali.

Nehallennia ("The Fruitful One")
The goddess of plenty, fishing, fruitfulness. The cornucopia is her symbol.

The god of seafaring and the beach. He is the ruler/controller of the winds and stills the sea and fire. Njord is the brother of Frigg, consort of Skadi, and father of Frey and Freya. He lives in Noatun.

The Norns were maidens (three sisters), sometimes considered giants, depicted as three goddesses that rule the fate of the world.

* Urd/Urdh/Urth - Fate/Past
* Verdandi/Nerthandi - Necessity/Present
* Skuld - Being/Future

Norns are said to visit gods and humans immediately after birth to determine his/her future. They are the most powerful of the deities, teach life's rules, and dwell at the foot of the World Tree. They have been identified with the Greek Fates and associated with the Well of Fate.

Nott ("Night")
The primeval goddess and mother of the Earth and Day. Her horse is named Frostymane.

A very famous prophetess.

The supreme deity, leader of the gods/goddesses, and creator of the cosmos and man. He was the god of wisdom, war, art, culture, poetry, the sky, and the dead. He was the god of warriors and kings, not common men. Odin is the father of Balder, Thor, Hod, Bragi, and Hermod; consort of Frigg; son of Borr and Bestla; grandson of Ymir; and brother of Vili and Ve. He had a magical spear (Grungir), a magical ring (Draupnir) that never missed a mark and could create nine of itself every night, two wolves (Geri and Freki), and two ravens (Hugin-thought and Munin-memory) that sat on his shoulders and were sent to gather knowledge every night. His court was in Valhalla and surrounded by warriors that had fallen in battle.

Odin could transform himself into whatever shape he wanted. He regulates the seasons and periods of day and night. He died at Ragnarok where he was swallowed by Fenris. Odin has been identified with the Teutonic god Woden.
Bolverk ("Evil Doer")

The goddess of the sea and Queen of the drowned. Ran is the consort and sister of Aegir. She is unpredictable and malicious. Ran sank ships and drew mariners to the depths of the sea. She collects the drowned in her net and takes them to her hall (bottom of the ocean).

Originally a Russian Princess, she is a sun goddess and symbol of wintry earth. Rinda was the only one who could bear a child to avenge the death of Balder (mother of Vali by Odin).

The daughter of Odin and attendant of Friggs' that resides over the stream of time. Sagas/Songs of history are named for her. Saga lives in Sokvabek at Sinking Beach. She is the all-knowing goddess.

The swan maiden that had the gift of prophecy. Sif is the consort of Thor (earlier consort of Orvandil) and mother of Uller (by Orvandil), Magni and Modi (by Thor). She is a beautiful grain goddess and signifies summer, fertility, and corn.

The hero that slew Fafnir. He is the lover of Brunhild/Brynhild could understand the speech of birds. Sigurd has been identified with the Teutonic Siegfried.

The wisest of the Valkyries.

The consort of Loki and mother of Narfi and Vali. Sigyn is called the "faithful".

Skadi ("Harm")
The godess of winter time destruction, rightful retribution, mountains, the hunt, justice, vengeance, and righteous anger. She is the daughter of Thjatsi and consort of Njord (later Uller). Wolves and poisonous snakes are sacred to her.

Wood wives that herded wild animals. They are depicted as sweet-voiced and fur-garbed.

The Norn of future and powerful sorceress. She is the Queen of elves and depicted as veiled and carrying scrolls of fortune.

The goddess of women's gentle wisdom and good manners.

The daughter of Mundifiore that rides a chariot of day. Snotra has two Divine Horses.

1. Arvak ("Earthly-Waker")
2. Alsvid ("All-Strong")

Her shield was named Svalin ("Cool").

A giant who lives in the extreme south. Surtr's flaming sword guarded Muspelheim.

Syn ("Denial")
The goddess of doorways and love and gatekeeper of heaven. Syn is Friggs' attendant and guarded the door to her palace. She is involved in lawsuits.

A giant and shapeshifter. He is the father of Skadi.

The god of thunder, war, strength, and fertility whose main enemies were the giants. Thor is the son of Odin, consort of Sif, step-father of Uller, the strongest of the gods, and one of the Aesir. He dwelt in Thruthheim ("Land of Strength") and rode around middle-earth in a wagon drawn by two goats. His hall was named Bilskinir and he had an axe-hammer (Mjolnir - symbol of lightning). He has three possessions.

1. Hammer
2. Belt of Strength
3. Iron Gloves

He is also known as the "god of common man". Thor was worshipped and called on to ensure fertility. His statue was located in the great temple at Uppsala. Thursday is named after him and he has been identified with the Greek God Zeus.

Thrud ("Strength")
The daughter of Thor and Sif.

The god of war, defense, and victory that is known for being the bravest of the gods for he often accompanied Thor (his brother) on journeys. He is the son of Hymir/Hymer. Tyr is depicted as having one hand (he put his right hand into Fenris mouth when the gods were binding him with chains and Fenri bit the hand off). Tuesday is named after him and he has been identified with the Anglo-Saxon God Tiu/Tiw.

Ull/Uller ("Glorious")
An ancient god that was highly worshipped and believed, at one time, to have been one of the highest gods. He is the god of archery and the hunt and the patron god of skiers and the snowshoe. Ull is the step-son of Thor that lived in Ydal (New Dales). He was called upon for help in duels and the long bow (made out of yew) was his weapon.

Yew - A tree of the genus Taxus that yields an elastic wood good for bows.

The most beautiful mansion in Asgard where slain (Val means "Slain") heroes feasted each night with Odin. It was the great hall of immortality in which the souls of warriors, slain heroically, were received by Odin and enshrined.

The son of Loki and Sigyn and brother of Narfi.

Valkyries ("Chooser of the Slain")
Any of Odin's war-maidens, that wove the web of war, who hover over battlefields choosing warriors to be victorious and conducting the souls of slain heroes to Valhalla. They disguise themselves as ravens and ride horses and wolves. They have been identified with the Greek Erinyes.

An early race of lesser gods, who were freqently at war with the Aesir, but later reconciled and dwelt with them in Asgard. The Vanir correspond to fertility, prosperity, and eroticism. They are more gentle and concerned with matters of nature and fertility.

* Aegir
* Bragi
* Frey
* Freya
* Heimdall
* Hnossa
* Holde
* Idunna
* Nanna
* Nerthus
* Njord
* Ostara
* Ran
* Skadi
* Svol
* Ull/Uller

The goddess of awareness and love vows that personifies truth and honesty. Var is one of Frigg's handmaids. She is invoked to witness oaths and punish oath breakers.

The son of Odin and Grid. Vidar avenged Odin's death by slaying Fenris.

The gods/goddesses of earth, waters, and hidden wisdom.

Ymir ("Roarer")
Ymir was the first frost giant. The heavens were made from his skull, the earth from his body, and the seas from his blood. He was killed by Odin, Vili, and Ve (his grandsons). His slain body created the world. Ymir is the father of Bestla.

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