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Aegir

His name is connected with the word for water. He is also calledHler. Aegir was the god of the seashore or ocean, and called the ruler of the sea bySnorri. He was a personification of the ocean, be it good or evil. He caused storms withhis anger and the skalds said a ship went into "Aegir's wide jaws" when itwrecked. Guerber states that Aegir was crowned with seaweed and always surrounded bynixies and mermaids while in his hall. He was one of the Vanir and a giant. His father wasMistarblindi [Mist-Blind], and his brother, Logi [Fire]. Aegir's wife (and sister) was Ranand they lived under the sea by the island Hlesey. Ran and Aegir had nine daughters whowere the waves -- all of their names are poetic names for waves. Aegir brewed ale for thegods after Thor brought him a big enough kettle. Every winter the gods would drink beer atAegir's home. He was, therefore, famed for his hospitality. Gold was put onto the floor ofthe hall to provide light, instead of having a fire. Gold is therefore called Aegir'sfire. The cups in Aegir's hall were always full, magically refilling themselves. Aegir hadtwo servants in his hall, Fimafeng [Handy] and Eldir [Fire-Kindler]. According to LeeHollander, Aegir's function as the gods' ale brewer was suggested by the ocean's foam.After the death of Balder, the gods gathered for a feast in Aegir's hall. Loki showed upand insulted everyone (this is told in Lokasenna in the Poetic Edda). The gods couldn't doLoki harm in the hall since it was a sanctuary where no violence could be committed. Aegirwas also referred to by the name of Gymir [the Blinder] (the name of Gerd's father -- itis not known if they are one and the same). Sailors feared Aegir, and thought he wouldsometimes surface to destroy ships. Early Saxons made human sacrifices to a god of thesea, possibly connected with Aegir. One of the Aesir, his name means "The Glorious". He was also called the"god of tears" and the "white as".

Balder

Balder, the son of Odin and Frigg,was described as a very handsome and wise god. Some consider him to be a god of lightsince he was so bright, light shined from him. Balder's wife was Nanna and they had a sonnamed Forseti. Balder and Nanna lived in Breidablik [The Broad-Gleaming], where nothingunclean could be and there were "fewest baneful runes". Breidablik had a silverroof on golden pillars. At one point Balder had a foreboding dream. Odin rode to Hel'srealm to wake a volva from the dead to find out the meaning of Balder's dream. Sheforetold Balder's death by Hod (Hodur), his fraternal twin. Frigg asked all things toswear not to hurt Balder but didn't ask the mistletoe because it was so young. Loki,diguised as an old woman, visited Frigg and found out Balder was invunerable to everythingbut mistletoe. Loki made a dart out of mistletoe and tricked the blind god Hod intothrowing it at Balder -- all the other gods were playing games by throwing various itemsat Balder --, thus killing him. Hermod rode to Hel's realm and got her to agree to letBalder return to the living if all things would weep for him. One giantess named Thokk,Loki in disguise, refused to weep for Balder, so he remained dead and was cremated on hisfuneral boat, hringhorni. He is supposed to come back to life after the Ragnarok. Snorriand Saxo Grammaticus give very different views of Balder and his death. In Saxo's versionof this story, Hod is alone responsible for Balder's death. Snorri's account is availableonline. Saxo gave a very different picture of Balder: he was a vicious god who fought withHod to marry Nanna. Balder's name rarely occurs in place names, therefore, it is thoughtthat not many people worshipped him. The poets used his name to mean warrior.

Bor

Son of Buri. His wife was Bestla, daughter of the frost giantBolthorn. Bor was the father of Odin, Vili, and Ve.

Bragi

God of poetry, (adopted?) son of Odin and the giantess Gunlod. Hewas the chief poet of Odin. He was married to Idun and he had runes cut on his tounge.There was a 9th century skald named Bragi Boddason and some believe he may have beenraised to a god by later writers. Others believe Bragi was a pseudonym of Odin.

Buri

The first god. The cow Audumla formed him bylicking ice. He was the father of Bor.

Eir

A goddess of healing, considered the best doctor. She taught her artto women who were the only physicians in ancient Scandinavia.

Forsetti

God of justice. He is the son of Balder and Nanna. His name means "presidingone" and in The Poetic Edda, it says he is "the god that stills allstrife." His home is Glitnir [shining].

Frey

God of weather and fertility. He ruled over the land of the lightelves, Alfheim. He was the son of Njord and Njord's sister, and the brother of Freya. Hisstep-mother was Skadi. To make peace, the Aesir and Vanir exchanged hostages. He, alongwith Njord and Freya, were sent by the Vanir to dwell with the Aesir. He owned the shipSkidbladnir which was made for him by dwarves. It could sail on the land, sea, or throughthe air. It was large enough to hold all the gods, yet could be folded up and fit into apocket. He also owned a chariot drawn by two boars, Gullinbursti and Slidrugtanni. Hecould ride Gullinbursti [golden-bristled] through the sky. It was made by dwarfs for Lokito give to Frey. His name means "Lord" and it is thought that he was at one timethe consort of his sister Freya [Lady]. His wife was Gerd, a beautiful giantess who hefell in love with when he espied her from Odin's throne. He sent his servant, Skirnir, towin her for him. For this task, Frey lent Skirnir his sword which "swings itself ifwise he who wields it" and his horse. After Skirnir's threatening of her, Gerd agreedto give herself to Frey in nine nights at the forest Barri. At the Ragnarok, Frey will bekilled by the fire giant Surt. Also known as Yng, Frey is named as the progenitor of theswedish royal family. There was a statue of Frey in the temple at Uppsala in Sweden, thecenter of his cult.

Freya

Goddess of love, fertility, war, and wealth. Originally one of theVanir. She was the daughter of Njord, and the sister of Frey. Her daughter, by Od, isnamed Hnoss who is so beautiful that whatever is valuable and lovely is named"treasure", after her. She lived in Folkvang [battlefield] and each day chosehalf of the slain warriors to split with Odin. She had a husband named Od, whom shesomehow lost and cried golden tears for. Many believe Od is Odin. Her chariot was drawn bycats and she owned the precious Brisings' necklace, which she slept with four dwarves toacquire. She also owned a feather coat which she could use to fly between the worlds.After she went to live with the Aesir as a hostage, she taught them -- including Odin --seidr. Some sources say Friday is named after her.

Frigg

Goddess of marriage. She is the wife of Odin, and Friday is namedfor her (according to some). Her abode was called Fensalir [The Ocean Halls]. She weavedthe clouds.

Fulla

Listed by Snorri as one of the twelve divine goddesses, she appearsmainly to function as Frigg's maid, taking care of the goddess's shoes. She also,sometimes, functions as Frigg's messenger. Some believe she is Frigg's sister. Snorristated she was a virgin with long golden hair who wore a gold band around her head. It hasbeen suggested that this band represents the binding around a sheaf of grain.

Gefjon

A prophetic virgin goddess and a member of the Aesir and Vanir. Allwomen who die virgins go to her hall. She was also a fertility goddess. In one myth,Gylfi, king of Sweden, tells Gefjon, who was disguised as a beggar, that she could have asmuch of Sweden as she could plough with four oxen in one day. She traveled to Jotunheimand found her four oxen sons whom she had by a giant (she isn't a virgin in this myth!).She returned to Sweden in Midgard with her sons and ploughed all of the land now known asZealand so it became part of Denmark, thereby tricking Gylfi. Her name means"Giver". Gna Listed by Snorri as one of the divine goddesses but appears only tobe a handmaiden of Frigg who sends her on errands. She has a swift horse namedHoof-flourisher which can run in the air and over water.

Gullveig

A Vanir goddess. The Aesir's attempt to kill her brought about the first war in the world(the Vanir against the Aesir) which the Vanir won. The two tribes exchanged gods and thenruled together. Gullveig [Power of Gold] has been identified by some as the TripleGoddess, which was prevalent throughout the old world. Also called Heid [witch]. Accordingto some she is Freya.

Heimdall

Watches the rainbow bridge, Bifrost , for the coming of the frost giants at theRagnarok, at which time he will sound his horn Gjallar. In the Ragnarok, he and Loki willkill each other. He never sleeps, can see in the dark, and can hear sheep wool growing.His dwelling place is Himinbjorg [heavenly mountains]. Nine sisters, signifying the waves,gave birth to him. As Rig, he begets Thrall, Carl, and Earl, representing the threeclasses of man; slave, freeman, and noble.

Hel

Daughter of Loki and the giant Angurboda. She is the sister of Fenrir (Fenris-wolf) andJormungand (Midgard serpent). She is the goddess of the underworld. Her realm was Niflheimand her hall, Elvidnir [misery]. She was described as half white and half black.

Hermod

Messenger of the gods. He rode to Hel's realm after the death of Balder to try andconvince her to let Balder come back from the dead.

Hlin

Snorri lists Hlin as a goddess charged with protecting those men who Frigg wants keptsafe. Called by others a goddess of consolation who was supposed to "kiss away thetears of mourners". In most sources, Hlin is just another name for Frigg.

Hod

Son of Odin. He is the blind god of winter, who is tricked by Loki into killing Balder.His name means "war". Vali, a son of Odin, avenged Balder's death by killingHod.

Hoenir

After the war between the Aesir and the Vanir, he was sent as a hostage to the Vanir. Hegave sense to the first humans. He possibly was Vili, a brother of Odin who helped createthe world.

Huldra

A goddess who was attended by wood nymphs. They had cow tails which could be seen hangingout from beneath their white robes. They were the protectors of cattle, and sangbeautifully. She is an aspect of Frigg.

Idun

Goddess who is married to Bragi and is the keeper of the apples which keep the godseternally young. The storm giant Tjasse abducts her and the gods start to age until Lokikills the giant and retrieves Idun. Goddess of youth, her name means "TheRejuvenating One".

Jord

Earth goddess. Mother of Thor and Frigg.

Kvasir

His function depends on which source you read, like many of the Norse god/goddesses. Inone myth, he is the wisest of the Vanir and sent to the Aesir as a hostage in a peacemaking process. In another tradition, he is created when the Aesir and Vanir mix togethertheir spit in a peace making ritual. He is the wisest being. Later on, he is killed bydwarves who make his blood into mead, the mead of poetry.

Lodur

He gave appearance and speech to the first humans. He is identified with Ve by some andLoki by others.

Lofin

Goddess concerned with sparking passionate love. She had permission from Odin and Frigg todo so even for those who were forbidden to marry.

Loki

A giant. He became a member of the Aesir when Odin made Loki his blood brother. He is thegod of mischief, a trickster, and very cunning. After causing the death of Balder, he wasbound by the gods until the Ragnarok, at which time, he will be freed. There are quite afew sites dealing with Loki including a wonderful on-line essay by Johannes Persson, anarticle by Eric A. Anderson regarding Loki's offspring, and the Loki Cult Web Page.

Magni

A son of Thor, he will survive the Ragnarok. His name means "strong".

Mimir

A wise being. Possibly the son of Bolthorn. In some myths a god and in others a giant. Hewas sent as a hostage by the aesir to the vanir. The vanir became mad and cut his headoff. Odin preserved his head so he could seek wisdom from it and placed it next to Mimir'swell.

Modi

A son of Thor, he will survive the Ragnarok. His name means "courage".

Nanna

Moon goddess according to Bulfinch. Wife of Balder and mother of Forseti.She dies of heartache after Balder's death and is burned with him on his funeral boat --along with his chopped up horse and an unfortunate dwarf who Thor kicked in at the lastminute.

Nerthus

Possibly an older version of Njord (as the opposite sex) or his sister with whom he hasFrey and Freya. She was a fertility goddess whose worship was centered in Denmark.

Njord

God of the wind and sea, father of Frey and Freya.He is a member of the vanir and his homeis Noatun. His wife was the giantess Skadi. As compensation for the death of her fatherThjatsi, the gods decided to let her pick a husband from among them -- one catch, she hadto pick her new husband based only on the appearance of his feet. She picked Njord bymistake, assuming his feet belonged to Balder. Njord and Skadi could not agree on where tolive. She didn't like his home, and he didn't like her's, so they split up. She wasassociated with skiing and hunting.

Odin

Leader of the Aesir. Odin had a myriad of names including Allfather, Ygg, Bolverk[evil doer], and Grimnir. He also had many functions including being a god of war, poetry,wisdom, and death. His halls were called Gladsheim Valaskjalf and Valhalla. Odin's highseat, Hlidskialf, was in Valaskjalf. It was from this throne that he could see over allthe world. Valhalla is where he gathered his portion of the slain warriors, Einheriar,whom the valkyries had chosen. The valkyries would serve mead which forever flowed fromthe udder of Odin's goat, Heidrun. They also served the warriors meat that came from theboar Saehrimnir, which the cook Andhrimnir would prepare for eating by boiling it in thecauldron Eldhrimnir. The boar magically came back to life before the next meal. Aftereating, the warriors would go outside the hall and fight each other to the death. Theywere, of course, brought back to life before the next feast. All of this fighting waspractice for when Odin would lead the Einheriar in the final battle, Ragnarok. Odin had aspear named Grungir which never missed its mark and a bow which unleashed ten arrows withevery pull. He also owned a magic ring called Draupnir which created nine of itself everynight. It was this ring that Odin laid on his son Balder's funeral pyre and which Balderreturned to Odin from the underworld. Another one of Odin's prized possesions was hiswonderful steed named Sleipnir which had eight legs. The horse was the offspring of Loki,who in mare form seduced a giant's horse named Svadilfari. Sleipnir could travel to theunderworld and through the air. Odin also had two wolves, Geri and Freki, and two ravens,Hugin [thought] and Munin [memory]. He sent his ravens out every day to gather knowledgefor him. Odin sacrificed himself for knowledge by hanging on the world tree, Yggdrasil,which means Ygg's horse. Ygg is a name for Odin and horse is a metaphor for the gallows.He thereby learns the runes. Another sacrifice he made for wisdom was his eye. He gave itup in order to drink from the Well of Mimir which bestowed great knowledge. Because ofthis, he is typically depicted as having one eye. He is also depicted as wearing a cloak,being old, having a long grey beard, and wearing a wide brimmed hat down low over his faceto conceal his one-eyed visage. Odin was destined to die at Ragnarok; Fenris-Wolfswallowed him. Knowing his fate, he still chose to embrace it and do battle. Showing thetrue warrior ethic. He was the god of warriors and kings, not the common man. Many heroesgenealogies start with Odin, including Sigurd. His name is not found in many place namesand therefore it is believed that not many people worshipped him. He was thought to be atraitorous god, as shown in the sagas, who would strike down a warrior at his whim.

Ran

The wife of Aegir, she was the sea goddess of storms. She collects drowned people in hernet.

Saga

Goddess who drinks with Odin in her hall Sokkvabekk. Her name means "seeress"and is connected with the norse word for history -- thus, some call her the goddess ofhistory. Some consider her just an aspect of Frigg.

Sif

Goddess of crops and fertility, married to Thor. At one point, Loki stole her hairand had to replace it. He went to the dwarves and had them make her a new set of hair outof gold. An interesting thing to note is that short hair was a sign of a whore or a slave.

Sjofn

Goddess concerned with causing men and women to think of love. It was her duty to stopfights between married couples.

Snotra

Wise and gentle goddess. Guerber calls her the goddess of virtue and master of allknowledge. She knew the value of self-discipline.

Syn

Goddess who was invoked by defendents at a trial. She was another attendant of Frigg andguarded the door of Frigg's palace.

Thor

The son of Odin and a member of the Aesir, he was the god of thunder and the mainenemy of the giants. He would smash their heads with his mighty hammer Mjollnir. To wieldthis awesome weapon he needed iron gloves and a belt of strength. Mjollnir would return toThor's hand after being thrown and was symbolic of lightning. Thor would ride aroundmiddle-earth in his wagon drawn by two goats, His abode was Thruthheim [Land of Strength]and his hall, Bilskinir. His wife was Sif. He was foremost of the gods to the common man,who would call on him to ensure fertility, and widely worshiped. Hammer shaped amulets, asymbol of Thor because it was his weapon, were worn about the neck well into thechristianization of Scandinavia. There are molds from that time which contain both crossand hammer shapes, side by side. His name occurs in numerous place names, and it was hisstatue which was central in the great temple at Uppsala. Thursday is named for him and hewas associated by the Romans with Jupiter. Donar was an early version of Thor among theearly Germans. The anglo-saxons worshiped a thunder god named Thunor.

Thrud

Daughter of Thor. The dwarf Alvis wanted to marry her but Thor tricked him intobeing above ground when the sun came up, turning him into stone.

Tyr

God of war. He was the only god brave enough to put his hand in the Fenris- wolf's mouthso the gods could bind it. The wolf bit off his right hand. There is much debate about hislefthandedness. In the norse culture the right hand was given for a pledge, which could bewhy the right hand was placed in the wolf's mouth. It has also been noted, however, thatthe offering of the right hand is to show that it is free of weapons. A left handed personwas sometimes considered evil because he could use a weapon with his left hand even thoughhe shook with his right hand. Tuesday is named for Tyr who was known as Tiw, or Tiu, bythe Anglo-Saxons.

Ull

God of archery and the hunt, according to some he was a god of skiers and the snowshoe.His weapon was a longbow made out of Yew and he lived in Ydal [Yew Dales]. He was calledupon for help in duels. He was the son (or step-son) of Thor and Sif (orOvandrill, depending on the source). His name, which means glorious, is a part of manyplace names, therefore, he is considered to be an ancient god who was widely worshipped.It is believed that at one time he was one of the highest gods.

Vali

In some sources, the twin brother of Vidar. In other sources, he is the youngest of Odin'ssons. His mother is the giantess Rind and he was born for the express purpose of avengingBalder's death since the gods could not kill one of their own. When he was only one nightold, he killed Hod. He will be one of the seven Aesir to survive the ragnarok.

Var

Goddess who punishes those who do not keep their marriage vows. Probably the same as Vor,and just a part of Frigg.

Ve

Son of Bor and Bestla, brother of Vili and Odin. He is identified with Lodur by some. Killed the giant Ymir and created the world out of its carcass along with his brothers. He gave the first humans feeling, appearance, and speech. His name means "Holiness".

Vidar

He was a son of Odin and Grid (a giantess), and had a twin brother named Vali. He dwelledin Vidi. He was one of the strongest of the gods and can be considered a god of vengance.In the ragnarok he will avenge his father by killing Fenris. He is one of the Aesir whowill survive the final battle.

Vili

Son of Bor and Bestla, brother of Odin and Ve. Along with Odin and Ve, he killed the giantYmir and created the cosmos out of Ymir's carcass. He made the first man and woman, alongwith Odin and Ve. He gave the humans thought and motion. He is identified with Hoenir bysome and only as a part of Odin by others. His name means "Will".

Vor

A godess whose name means "vow". Nothing can be hidden from her because she isso wise. She is considered by some to be a goddess of marriage and contracts. She isprobably an aspect of Frigg.

Aegir

His name is connected with the word for water. He is also calledHler. Aegir was the god of the seashore or ocean, and called the ruler of the sea bySnorri. He was a personification of the ocean, be it good or evil. He caused storms withhis anger and the skalds said a ship went into "Aegir's wide jaws" when itwrecked. Guerber states that Aegir was crowned with seaweed and always surrounded bynixies and mermaids while in his hall. He was one of the Vanir and a giant. His father wasMistarblindi [Mist-Blind], and his brother, Logi [Fire]. Aegir's wife (and sister) was Ranand they lived under the sea by the island Hlesey. Ran and Aegir had nine daughters whowere the waves -- all of their names are poetic names for waves. Aegir brewed ale for thegods after Thor brought him a big enough kettle. Every winter the gods would drink beer atAegir's home. He was, therefore, famed for his hospitality. Gold was put onto the floor ofthe hall to provide light, instead of having a fire. Gold is therefore called Aegir'sfire. The cups in Aegir's hall were always full, magically refilling themselves. Aegir hadtwo servants in his hall, Fimafeng [Handy] and Eldir [Fire-Kindler]. According to LeeHollander, Aegir's function as the gods' ale brewer was suggested by the ocean's foam.After the death of Balder, the gods gathered for a feast in Aegir's hall. Loki showed upand insulted everyone (this is told in Lokasenna in the Poetic Edda). The gods couldn't doLoki harm in the hall since it was a sanctuary where no violence could be committed. Aegirwas also referred to by the name of Gymir [the Blinder] (the name of Gerd's father -- itis not known if they are one and the same). Sailors feared Aegir, and thought he wouldsometimes surface to destroy ships. Early Saxons made human sacrifices to a god of thesea, possibly connected with Aegir. One of the Aesir, his name means "The Glorious". He was also called the"god of tears" and the "white as".

Balder

Balder, the son of Odin and Frigg,was described as a very handsome and wise god. Some consider him to be a god of lightsince he was so bright, light shined from him. Balder's wife was Nanna and they had a sonnamed Forseti. Balder and Nanna lived in Breidablik [The Broad-Gleaming], where nothingunclean could be and there were "fewest baneful runes". Breidablik had a silverroof on golden pillars. At one point Balder had a foreboding dream. Odin rode to Hel'srealm to wake a volva from the dead to find out the meaning of Balder's dream. Sheforetold Balder's death by Hod (Hodur), his fraternal twin. Frigg asked all things toswear not to hurt Balder but didn't ask the mistletoe because it was so young. Loki,diguised as an old woman, visited Frigg and found out Balder was invunerable to everythingbut mistletoe. Loki made a dart out of mistletoe and tricked the blind god Hod intothrowing it at Balder -- all the other gods were playing games by throwing various itemsat Balder --, thus killing him. Hermod rode to Hel's realm and got her to agree to letBalder return to the living if all things would weep for him. One giantess named Thokk,Loki in disguise, refused to weep for Balder, so he remained dead and was cremated on hisfuneral boat, hringhorni. He is supposed to come back to life after the Ragnarok. Snorriand Saxo Grammaticus give very different views of Balder and his death. In Saxo's versionof this story, Hod is alone responsible for Balder's death. Snorri's account is availableonline. Saxo gave a very different picture of Balder: he was a vicious god who fought withHod to marry Nanna. Balder's name rarely occurs in place names, therefore, it is thoughtthat not many people worshipped him. The poets used his name to mean warrior.

Bor

Son of Buri. His wife was Bestla, daughter of the frost giantBolthorn. Bor was the father of Odin, Vili, and Ve.

Bragi

God of poetry, (adopted?) son of Odin and the giantess Gunlod. Hewas the chief poet of Odin. He was married to Idun and he had runes cut on his tounge.There was a 9th century skald named Bragi Boddason and some believe he may have beenraised to a god by later writers. Others believe Bragi was a pseudonym of Odin.

Buri

The first god. The cow Audumla formed him bylicking ice. He was the father of Bor.

Eir

A goddess of healing, considered the best doctor. She taught her artto women who were the only physicians in ancient Scandinavia.

Forsetti

God of justice. He is the son of Balder and Nanna. His name means "presidingone" and in The Poetic Edda, it says he is "the god that stills allstrife." His home is Glitnir [shining].

Frey

God of weather and fertility. He ruled over the land of the lightelves, Alfheim. He was the son of Njord and Njord's sister, and the brother of Freya. Hisstep-mother was Skadi. To make peace, the Aesir and Vanir exchanged hostages. He, alongwith Njord and Freya, were sent by the Vanir to dwell with the Aesir. He owned the shipSkidbladnir which was made for him by dwarves. It could sail on the land, sea, or throughthe air. It was large enough to hold all the gods, yet could be folded up and fit into apocket. He also owned a chariot drawn by two boars, Gullinbursti and Slidrugtanni. Hecould ride Gullinbursti [golden-bristled] through the sky. It was made by dwarfs for Lokito give to Frey. His name means "Lord" and it is thought that he was at one timethe consort of his sister Freya [Lady]. His wife was Gerd, a beautiful giantess who hefell in love with when he espied her from Odin's throne. He sent his servant, Skirnir, towin her for him. For this task, Frey lent Skirnir his sword which "swings itself ifwise he who wields it" and his horse. After Skirnir's threatening of her, Gerd agreedto give herself to Frey in nine nights at the forest Barri. At the Ragnarok, Frey will bekilled by the fire giant Surt. Also known as Yng, Frey is named as the progenitor of theswedish royal family. There was a statue of Frey in the temple at Uppsala in Sweden, thecenter of his cult.

Freya

Goddess of love, fertility, war, and wealth. Originally one of theVanir. She was the daughter of Njord, and the sister of Frey. Her daughter, by Od, isnamed Hnoss who is so beautiful that whatever is valuable and lovely is named"treasure", after her. She lived in Folkvang [battlefield] and each day chosehalf of the slain warriors to split with Odin. She had a husband named Od, whom shesomehow lost and cried golden tears for. Many believe Od is Odin. Her chariot was drawn bycats and she owned the precious Brisings' necklace, which she slept with four dwarves toacquire. She also owned a feather coat which she could use to fly between the worlds.After she went to live with the Aesir as a hostage, she taught them -- including Odin --seidr. Some sources say Friday is named after her.

Frigg

Goddess of marriage. She is the wife of Odin, and Friday is namedfor her (according to some). Her abode was called Fensalir [The Ocean Halls]. She weavedthe clouds.

Fulla

Listed by Snorri as one of the twelve divine goddesses, she appearsmainly to function as Frigg's maid, taking care of the goddess's shoes. She also,sometimes, functions as Frigg's messenger. Some believe she is Frigg's sister. Snorristated she was a virgin with long golden hair who wore a gold band around her head. It hasbeen suggested that this band represents the binding around a sheaf of grain.

Gefjon

A prophetic virgin goddess and a member of the Aesir and Vanir. Allwomen who die virgins go to her hall. She was also a fertility goddess. In one myth,Gylfi, king of Sweden, tells Gefjon, who was disguised as a beggar, that she could have asmuch of Sweden as she could plough with four oxen in one day. She traveled to Jotunheimand found her four oxen sons whom she had by a giant (she isn't a virgin in this myth!).She returned to Sweden in Midgard with her sons and ploughed all of the land now known asZealand so it became part of Denmark, thereby tricking Gylfi. Her name means"Giver". Gna Listed by Snorri as one of the divine goddesses but appears only tobe a handmaiden of Frigg who sends her on errands. She has a swift horse namedHoof-flourisher which can run in the air and over water.

Gullveig

A Vanir goddess. The Aesir's attempt to kill her brought about the first war in the world(the Vanir against the Aesir) which the Vanir won. The two tribes exchanged gods and thenruled together. Gullveig [Power of Gold] has been identified by some as the TripleGoddess, which was prevalent throughout the old world. Also called Heid [witch]. Accordingto some she is Freya.

Heimdall

Watches the rainbow bridge, Bifrost , for the coming of the frost giants at theRagnarok, at which time he will sound his horn Gjallar. In the Ragnarok, he and Loki willkill each other. He never sleeps, can see in the dark, and can hear sheep wool growing.His dwelling place is Himinbjorg [heavenly mountains]. Nine sisters, signifying the waves,gave birth to him. As Rig, he begets Thrall, Carl, and Earl, representing the threeclasses of man; slave, freeman, and noble.

Hel

Daughter of Loki and the giant Angurboda. She is the sister of Fenrir (Fenris-wolf) andJormungand (Midgard serpent). She is the goddess of the underworld. Her realm was Niflheimand her hall, Elvidnir [misery]. She was described as half white and half black.

Hermod

Messenger of the gods. He rode to Hel's realm after the death of Balder to try andconvince her to let Balder come back from the dead.

Hlin

Snorri lists Hlin as a goddess charged with protecting those men who Frigg wants keptsafe. Called by others a goddess of consolation who was supposed to "kiss away thetears of mourners". In most sources, Hlin is just another name for Frigg.

Hod

Son of Odin. He is the blind god of winter, who is tricked by Loki into killing Balder.His name means "war". Vali, a son of Odin, avenged Balder's death by killingHod.

Hoenir

After the war between the Aesir and the Vanir, he was sent as a hostage to the Vanir. Hegave sense to the first humans. He possibly was Vili, a brother of Odin who helped createthe world.

Huldra

A goddess who was attended by wood nymphs. They had cow tails which could be seen hangingout from beneath their white robes. They were the protectors of cattle, and sangbeautifully. She is an aspect of Frigg.

Idun

Goddess who is married to Bragi and is the keeper of the apples which keep the godseternally young. The storm giant Tjasse abducts her and the gods start to age until Lokikills the giant and retrieves Idun. Goddess of youth, her name means "TheRejuvenating One".

Jord

Earth goddess. Mother of Thor and Frigg.

Kvasir

His function depends on which source you read, like many of the Norse god/goddesses. Inone myth, he is the wisest of the Vanir and sent to the Aesir as a hostage in a peacemaking process. In another tradition, he is created when the Aesir and Vanir mix togethertheir spit in a peace making ritual. He is the wisest being. Later on, he is killed bydwarves who make his blood into mead, the mead of poetry.

Lodur

He gave appearance and speech to the first humans. He is identified with Ve by some andLoki by others.

Lofin

Goddess concerned with sparking passionate love. She had permission from Odin and Frigg todo so even for those who were forbidden to marry.

Loki

A giant. He became a member of the Aesir when Odin made Loki his blood brother. He is thegod of mischief, a trickster, and very cunning. After causing the death of Balder, he wasbound by the gods until the Ragnarok, at which time, he will be freed. There are quite afew sites dealing with Loki including a wonderful on-line essay by Johannes Persson, anarticle by Eric A. Anderson regarding Loki's offspring, and the Loki Cult Web Page.

Magni

A son of Thor, he will survive the Ragnarok. His name means "strong".

Mimir

A wise being. Possibly the son of Bolthorn. In some myths a god and in others a giant. Hewas sent as a hostage by the aesir to the vanir. The vanir became mad and cut his headoff. Odin preserved his head so he could seek wisdom from it and placed it next to Mimir'swell.

Modi

A son of Thor, he will survive the Ragnarok. His name means "courage".

Nanna

Moon goddess according to Bulfinch. Wife of Balder and mother of Forseti.She dies of heartache after Balder's death and is burned with him on his funeral boat --along with his chopped up horse and an unfortunate dwarf who Thor kicked in at the lastminute.

Nerthus

Possibly an older version of Njord (as the opposite sex) or his sister with whom he hasFrey and Freya. She was a fertility goddess whose worship was centered in Denmark.

Njord

God of the wind and sea, father of Frey and Freya.He is a member of the vanir and his homeis Noatun. His wife was the giantess Skadi. As compensation for the death of her fatherThjatsi, the gods decided to let her pick a husband from among them -- one catch, she hadto pick her new husband based only on the appearance of his feet. She picked Njord bymistake, assuming his feet belonged to Balder. Njord and Skadi could not agree on where tolive. She didn't like his home, and he didn't like her's, so they split up. She wasassociated with skiing and hunting.

Odin

Leader of the Aesir. Odin had a myriad of names including Allfather, Ygg, Bolverk[evil doer], and Grimnir. He also had many functions including being a god of war, poetry,wisdom, and death. His halls were called Gladsheim Valaskjalf and Valhalla. Odin's highseat, Hlidskialf, was in Valaskjalf. It was from this throne that he could see over allthe world. Valhalla is where he gathered his portion of the slain warriors, Einheriar,whom the valkyries had chosen. The valkyries would serve mead which forever flowed fromthe udder of Odin's goat, Heidrun. They also served the warriors meat that came from theboar Saehrimnir, which the cook Andhrimnir would prepare for eating by boiling it in thecauldron Eldhrimnir. The boar magically came back to life before the next meal. Aftereating, the warriors would go outside the hall and fight each other to the death. Theywere, of course, brought back to life before the next feast. All of this fighting waspractice for when Odin would lead the Einheriar in the final battle, Ragnarok. Odin had aspear named Grungir which never missed its mark and a bow which unleashed ten arrows withevery pull. He also owned a magic ring called Draupnir which created nine of itself everynight. It was this ring that Odin laid on his son Balder's funeral pyre and which Balderreturned to Odin from the underworld. Another one of Odin's prized possesions was hiswonderful steed named Sleipnir which had eight legs. The horse was the offspring of Loki,who in mare form seduced a giant's horse named Svadilfari. Sleipnir could travel to theunderworld and through the air. Odin also had two wolves, Geri and Freki, and two ravens,Hugin [thought] and Munin [memory]. He sent his ravens out every day to gather knowledgefor him. Odin sacrificed himself for knowledge by hanging on the world tree, Yggdrasil,which means Ygg's horse. Ygg is a name for Odin and horse is a metaphor for the gallows.He thereby learns the runes. Another sacrifice he made for wisdom was his eye. He gave itup in order to drink from the Well of Mimir which bestowed great knowledge. Because ofthis, he is typically depicted as having one eye. He is also depicted as wearing a cloak,being old, having a long grey beard, and wearing a wide brimmed hat down low over his faceto conceal his one-eyed visage. Odin was destined to die at Ragnarok; Fenris-Wolfswallowed him. Knowing his fate, he still chose to embrace it and do battle. Showing thetrue warrior ethic. He was the god of warriors and kings, not the common man. Many heroesgenealogies start with Odin, including Sigurd. His name is not found in many place namesand therefore it is believed that not many people worshipped him. He was thought to be atraitorous god, as shown in the sagas, who would strike down a warrior at his whim.

Ran

The wife of Aegir, she was the sea goddess of storms. She collects drowned people in hernet.

Saga

Goddess who drinks with Odin in her hall Sokkvabekk. Her name means "seeress"and is connected with the norse word for history -- thus, some call her the goddess ofhistory. Some consider her just an aspect of Frigg.

Sif

Goddess of crops and fertility, married to Thor. At one point, Loki stole her hairand had to replace it. He went to the dwarves and had them make her a new set of hair outof gold. An interesting thing to note is that short hair was a sign of a whore or a slave.

Sjofn

Goddess concerned with causing men and women to think of love. It was her duty to stopfights between married couples.

Snotra

Wise and gentle goddess. Guerber calls her the goddess of virtue and master of allknowledge. She knew the value of self-discipline.

Syn

Goddess who was invoked by defendents at a trial. She was another attendant of Frigg andguarded the door of Frigg's palace.

Thor

The son of Odin and a member of the Aesir, he was the god of thunder and the mainenemy of the giants. He would smash their heads with his mighty hammer Mjollnir. To wieldthis awesome weapon he needed iron gloves and a belt of strength. Mjollnir would return toThor's hand after being thrown and was symbolic of lightning. Thor would ride aroundmiddle-earth in his wagon drawn by two goats, His abode was Thruthheim [Land of Strength]and his hall, Bilskinir. His wife was Sif. He was foremost of the gods to the common man,who would call on him to ensure fertility, and widely worshiped. Hammer shaped amulets, asymbol of Thor because it was his weapon, were worn about the neck well into thechristianization of Scandinavia. There are molds from that time which contain both crossand hammer shapes, side by side. His name occurs in numerous place names, and it was hisstatue which was central in the great temple at Uppsala. Thursday is named for him and hewas associated by the Romans with Jupiter. Donar was an early version of Thor among theearly Germans. The anglo-saxons worshiped a thunder god named Thunor.

Thrud

Daughter of Thor. The dwarf Alvis wanted to marry her but Thor tricked him intobeing above ground when the sun came up, turning him into stone.

Tyr

God of war. He was the only god brave enough to put his hand in the Fenris- wolf's mouthso the gods could bind it. The wolf bit off his right hand. There is much debate about hislefthandedness. In the norse culture the right hand was given for a pledge, which could bewhy the right hand was placed in the wolf's mouth. It has also been noted, however, thatthe offering of the right hand is to show that it is free of weapons. A left handed personwas sometimes considered evil because he could use a weapon with his left hand even thoughhe shook with his right hand. Tuesday is named for Tyr who was known as Tiw, or Tiu, bythe Anglo-Saxons.

Ull

God of archery and the hunt, according to some he was a god of skiers and the snowshoe.His weapon was a longbow made out of Yew and he lived in Ydal [Yew Dales]. He was calledupon for help in duels. He was the son (or step-son) of Thor and Sif (orOvandrill, depending on the source). His name, which means glorious, is a part of manyplace names, therefore, he is considered to be an ancient god who was widely worshipped.It is believed that at one time he was one of the highest gods.

Vali

In some sources, the twin brother of Vidar. In other sources, he is the youngest of Odin'ssons. His mother is the giantess Rind and he was born for the express purpose of avengingBalder's death since the gods could not kill one of their own. When he was only one nightold, he killed Hod. He will be one of the seven Aesir to survive the ragnarok.

Var

Goddess who punishes those who do not keep their marriage vows. Probably the same as Vor,and just a part of Frigg.

Ve

Son of Bor and Bestla, brother of Vili and Odin. He is identified with Lodur by some. Killed the giant Ymir and created the world out of its carcass along with his brothers. He gave the first humans feeling, appearance, and speech. His name means "Holiness".

Vidar

He was a son of Odin and Grid (a giantess), and had a twin brother named Vali. He dwelledin Vidi. He was one of the strongest of the gods and can be considered a god of vengance.In the ragnarok he will avenge his father by killing Fenris. He is one of the Aesir whowill survive the final battle.

Vili

Son of Bor and Bestla, brother of Odin and Ve. Along with Odin and Ve, he killed the giantYmir and created the cosmos out of Ymir's carcass. He made the first man and woman, alongwith Odin and Ve. He gave the humans thought and motion. He is identified with Hoenir bysome and only as a part of Odin by others. His name means "Will".

Vor

A godess whose name means "vow". Nothing can be hidden from her because she isso wise. She is considered by some to be a goddess of marriage and contracts. She isprobably an aspect of Frigg.

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