Winternights

Winternights (Vetrnætr) is one of the three major festivals celebrated in pre-Christian Scandinavia, the others being midwinter (Yule, Jól/Jólablót, Hökunótt) and the beginning of the summer raiding season (Sigrblót “Victory Blot” or Sumarmál). Snorri Sturluson wrote of these festivals in the Ynglinga saga of the Heimskringla: “There should be a sacrifice at the beginning ofContinue reading “Winternights”

Skadi, the Snow Queen

Skadi, Skade, Skathi (Norse), Sceadu (Anglo-Saxon) Skadi (Skaði) is a female jötunn (giant) and goddess of winter, snow, mountains and the hunt. She is also associated with independence, wilderness and wisdom. Skadi lived in the highest reaches of the snow-covered mountains. She was described as being tall and beautiful with long black hair, silver armour,Continue reading “Skadi, the Snow Queen”

The Underworld

The Underworld, also known as the Otherworld or Netherworld, is featured in most mythologies around the world.  It is a realm of the dead, where the souls of the recently departed go in their afterlife.  Many versions of the Underworld are seen as places of abundance and joy, and reward for good work during theirContinue reading “The Underworld”

Frigg vs Freyja

Frigg (Frigga) was the Norse goddess of marriage, chastity, fertility and motherhood. She was married to the chief Aesir god Odin, and together they ruled Asgard. She was seen mostly as wife and mother, and also an earth goddess. Freyja, ‘The Lady’, was the Norse goddess of love, war, and beauty. She had a twinContinue reading “Frigg vs Freyja”

Heathenry

Heathenry, or Germanic Neopaganism, centres on Scandinavian, Germanic and Anglo-Saxon deities and mythology. Heathens are largely polytheistic and follow a reconstructionist viewpoint, which aims to recreate the religion of ancient people through study of archaeological and historical records. These records include Old Norse texts (such as the Prose and Poetic Eddas, and the Icelandic Sagas), Germanic folklore,Continue reading “Heathenry”

Freyja, Goddess of Love and War

Freya, Frejya, Freyia, Frøya, Frøjya, Freia Freyja is a Norse goddess of love, beauty, fertility, crops, war, wealth, divination and magic.  Famed for her great beauty, with blue eyes and golden hair, she has been referred to as ‘The Fair One’.  She was the symbol of sensuality and was called upon in matters of love. Continue reading “Freyja, Goddess of Love and War”

Odin, All Father

Woden / Wodan / Wotan (Anglo-Saxon) Odin was the chief god of Norse mythology, head of the Æsir gods.  He was also called Alfodr (All Father), Yggr (Terror), Sigfodr (Father of Victory) or Valfodr (Father of the Slain).  Odin is thought to be the same as Woden, Wodan or Wotan in Anglo-Saxon and Germanic mythology.Continue reading “Odin, All Father”

Thor, God of Thunder

Thor is the Norse god of thunder, also associated with oak trees, strength, protection and fertility. ‘Thor’ comes from the Germanic word for ‘thunder’, thus he is associated with thunder, lightning and storms. He is often viewed as a fierce warrior with red hair, a red beard, and eyes like lightning. He is likened toContinue reading “Thor, God of Thunder”

Hel, Queen of the Underworld

Hel (Hella) is the Norse Goddess of the dead and underworld, ruler of the Land of Mist.  Her name is thought to mean ‘hidden’, ‘to conceal’, or ‘to cover up’.  To say to “go to Hel” is to die, as described in the ancient Norse manuscripts, Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, and Heimskringla.