Author Unknown to Me
Aegir Norse A God of the Sea, he is connected to
Ran, and may be her consort. Aegir controls the conditions and moods of the
sea's surface, and
he is said to have fathered nine daughters (Bara, Bylgia,
Blodughadda, Dufa, Hefring, Himinglaeva, Hronn, Kolga, and Unn), each a
different type of wave; and they, as a collective entity, are the parent of Heimdall.
The Alcis Germanic A pair of Divine twins, they
are obscure and their function is lost. They are known to be descendents of a
sky god, and their
surviving images portray them on linked together, each
riding a horse.
Auđumla Norse A Primal Being, in the form of a
cow who provided nourishment for the Primal giant Ymir and, licking the salty ice
present at the
beginning of creation, freed (or perhaps sculpted?)
another Primal being, Buri.
Balder Norse Second son of Odin and Frigga,
father of Forseti. He was made more-or-less invulnerable to harm by his mother, who
obtained warrants from all created things that they would not slay or injure
him; she neglected, however, to extract such an oath from the mistletoe. A
dart from which was made by Loki, who induced the Blind God Hoder to cast
it at Balder, and thus
encompassing His Fate. Balder seems to be a Solar
Deity, and is usually referred to as "the Good God", or "the
Bright One". FATE: To be slain unintentionally by Hoder, at the behest and plot of
Loki. After Ragnarok, He accompanies Hoder out of the ruins of Hel's domain, and
begins anew the rebuilding of the world.
Bestla Norse A Giantess, consort of Bor, and
mother of Odin.
Bor Norse Son of the Primal being Buri, Bor is
the father of Odin, Vili, and Ve, and is thus the ancestor of the Aesir.
Bragi Norse God of poetry and eloquence, the son
of Odin, and consort of Idunn. He is often associated with Aegir. Written
comments about him often refer to him as "Longbeard".
Buri Norse A Primal being, coalesced out of the
First Ice, and freed from within the block by the cow Auđumla. The father of
The Disir Norse A class of protective spirits,
concerned especially with female concerns, particularly childbirth.
Donar Germanic God of Storms and Thunder, whose
Attribute is the hammer, or maul. The continental equivalent of Thor.
Dwalin Norse Chief of the Dwarves, and Lord of Svartalfheim.
Eir Norse Goddess of medicine and the healing
Elen Anglo-Saxon A sea-Goddess, particularly
focused as a protectress and patroness of seafarers and sailors. She is clearly a
source for or derivation of Nehalennia, a Gaulish Goddess with very
Elli Norse Goddess of old age, appearing as a
haggard crone. She challenges Thor to a wrestling match, and wins handily in a
contest which makes the obvious statement about the fate of youthful vigor at
the hands of Time.
Eostre Anglo-Saxon The English equivalent of the
Fenrir Norse Child of Loki, an immense sky-wolf,
chained until Ragnarok, the End of Days. FATE: To devour the Sun at the end of
time, and then to be slain by Vidar.
Fjorgyn Norse An obscure and very ancient Deity
of somewhat ambiguous gender; usually seen as female. She is a fertility
Goddess, and may be the
mother (or perhaps father) of Frigga.
Forseti Norse Son of Balder, he was a Deity of
judgment and arbitration in disputes. He also occurs on the continent, especially
in Frisia, under the same name.
Frea Lombard Consort of Godan and the Lombard
equivalent of Frigga.
Freyja (lady) Norse A Vanir Goddess dwelling in
Asgard, twin sister to Freyr and child of Njord, She is a fertility Deity, and has
authority over boars, falcons, goats, and cats. She is linked to divinatory
crafts, and thus may be considered an oracular Goddess. Tales of her
numerous liaisons and affairs with Gods and mortals are very extensive, and She is
spoken of as being the
most approachable of the Gods in regard to petitioners
Freyr (lord) Norse A Vanir God dwelling in
Asgard, twin brother to Freyja and child of Njord, he is a fertility Deity, and has
authority over boars and horses. He had links to seasonality, and His
blessing of each season in its turn was required in order for things to proceed
Additionally, he governs weather, especially as it
applies to farming, i.e. rain and sunshine. FATE: To be slain in personal combat
Frigga Norse Consort of Odin and Queen of
Heaven, She is Goddess of the matronly virtues and of childbirth, especially
midwivery. She has links to fertility concerns, and is a Protector of the
household. Her attributes seem to have been conflated with Freyja to a limited degree,
for they both are said to weep, and both are said to be able to transform
into a falcon.
Frija Germanic Consort of Wotan, the continental
equivalent of the Norse Frigga.
Fulla Norse An obscure Goddess, an attendant or
perhaps sister of Frigga.
Garm Norse The Hound of Hel, the watchdog
chained to the gates of Under-Earth. The coming of Ragnarok will be signaled by
His breaking the
binding, allowing Him to run feral over the earth.
Gefjun Norse Goddess of agriculture and the
plough, with authority over oxenkind. She is said to have created Zeeland, off
Denmark, by yoking her four sons to a plough and digging the channel
separating it from the mainland. A virginal Deity, She is said to be attended
by all women who die
Gerd Norse A giantess, consort to Freyr. Their
union symbolizes the marriage of earth with sky.
Gna Norse A messenger and assistant to Frigga,
one who travels the various worlds on Her Mistress' business.
Godan Lombard The Lombardic equivalent of Ođinn.
Heimdall Norse The child, corporately, of the
nine wave-daughters of Aegir, He is the Guardian of Asgarđ, He stands by Bifrost
(the rainbow, the bridge between Midgarđ and Asgarđ) and watches for the
approach of enemies. Able to see in the darkest of nights, and able to hear as faint
a thing as grass growing, He has links with Freyja, and the sea. FATE:
To slay and be slain by Loki.
Hel Norse Daughter of Loki, ruler of
Under-Earth, the Realm of Hel, and Queen of the dead (except for the heroes and valiant
ones who have a place
with Ođinn at Valhalla).
Hermod Norse A messenger of Asgarđ, He is
mentioned most often in connection with the unsuccessful attempt to retrieve Balder from
the realm of the dead.
Hlin Norse A messenger and assistant to Frigga,
one who protects those whom Her Mistress wishes to defend.
Hoder Norse An obscure Deity, called the Blind
God, who unwittingly wasinduced to slay Balder by Loki. FATE: To be slain in
turn by Vali. After
Ragnarok, He accompanies Balder out of the ruins of
Hel's domain, and begins anew the rebuilding of the world.
Hoenir Norse God of divination and priestly
function among the Aesir; thus, He may be considered an oracular Divinity. He is also
known to continental Teutons, by the same name. With Ođinn and Lođur, He
formed mankind; His Gift
was sentience. He is often referred to as "the
Huginn (thought) Norse One of the two ravens who
attend Ođinn, and are often seen sitting on his shoulders.
Idunn Norse Consort of Bragi, and Guardian of
the golden apples of immortality. When She is abducted by Giants, the Gods
begin to age, and She is the subject of a heroic rescue mission.
Irmin Germanic A Warrior God, associated with
tree-sanctuaries in the forests of ancient Saxony.
Jormungand Norse Offspring of Loki, the Midgard
Serpent, a world-girdling serpent who lies dormant (usually) until the end of
time. He continually
gnaws at the roots of Yggdrasil, the World-Tree,
causing a creeping rot that will topple the Tree at Ragnarok, and meanwhile being
the source of
earthquakes. FATE: To rise out of the sea, unwrapping
itself from the world, and to slay and be slain by Thor.
Kvasir Norse A God of wisdom, created
corporately by the Aesir and Vanir, to include all their combined knowledge. FATE: To be slain
by Dwarves who use His blood as an ingredient in a mead of Knowledge.
Lođur Norse An early Deity who, with Odin and
Hoenir formed mankind. Lođur's Gift was hair and fairness of face.
Lofn (permitter) Norse A Patroness of marriage,
especially involved with couples whose unions may be forbidden by their
families; She is said to be good to pray to for support and eventual reconciliation
in such matters.
Loki Norse A complex and controversial figure,
Loki seems to represent the force of chaos. His actions can be seen as on the one
hand as mischievous, with an intent to provide the Gods with challenges and
difficulties; or He can be seen as wholly Evil, bent on
nothing less than hastening the day of Ragnarok and the destruction of
the Gods. Of somewhat ambiguous gender, He is the progenitor of a number of
entities, including Fenrir, Hel, and Jormungand. After he was implicated in
the slaying of Balder, the Gods lost all tolerance for him, and bound
him in hideous circumstances, there to lie until Ragnarok. FATE: To be
bound by the viscera of one of his own sons to a rock under dripping venom,
shielded at intervals by his consort Sigyn. Breaking free at the end of Time,
he will slay and be slain by Heimdall.
Magni Norse A son of Thor and Sif, possessed of
more physical strength than all the Gods save perhaps His father. FATE: He shall
survive Ragnarok and, with his brother Modi's help, drag Thor's Hammer
Mjollnir to the meadows where the survivors will gather to rebuild the world.
Meili Norse Very obscure; spoken of as being
Thor's brother, in one reference that I've seen.
Mimir Norse A Giant, said to be the wisest of
all created beings, He guards a sacred well of knowledge that Odin sought, and
sacrificed an eye to obtain a drink from. Mimir seems to have been hostaged
to and later slain by the Vanir. Nevertheless, his head was said to have
remained by the well and, conscious and aware, be capable of continued
guardianship and oracular pronouncement. Note several parallels with Bran the
Modi Norse A son of Thor and Sif, He is very
little spoken of otherwise. He is sometimes spoken of as the Patron of Berserkers and
the battle-mad. FATE: He shall survive Ragnarok and, with his brother Magni's
help, drag Thor's Hammer Mjollnir to the meadows where the survivors will
gather to rebuild the world.
Muninn (memory) Norse One of the two ravens who
attend Odin, and are often seen sitting on his shoulders.
Nanna Norse A vegetation or fertility Goddess,
and consort of Balder. FATE: She dies of grief at Balder's untimely ending.
Nerthus Danish An Earth-Mother Goddess
associated with fertility and also works of pacification and diplomacy. The name Nerthus
is a Latin attempt at pronouncing Her real name. She may very well have been
a sister or female
counterpart to Njord.
Njord Norse A Vanir Deity dwelling among the
Aesir as a hostage, He is God of the sea and winds, and a patron of shipmastery,
fishing, travel by sea. Consort of Skadi, father of Freyr and Freyja, he is
quite likely to be associated in some manner with Nerthus.
Odin Norse Chief of the Aesir, Master of Asgarđ,
Lord of the Universe, and consort of Frigga. He is one of the earliest Gods, and
with Hoenir and Lođur formed mankind out of the primal trees, Ask and Embla;
His Gift was the Breath of Life. With the assistance of the other
Aesir, He drove out the
Giants, and established the structure of the world as
we know it. He commanded the Aesir in their primal war against the
competing race of Gods, the Vanir; and it was under His auspices that accord
was reached with them. He is primarily a warrior's God, and he welcomes
valiant fighters and heroes to Valhalla, where they train for Ragnarok. Aside from
His martial qualities, though, He is also a divinity of inner
knowledge, a shaman's divinity. He ceaselessly searches the world for new
sources of information, and has literally crucified himself, a "sacrifice
of Myself, to Myself" as He relates it, to gain the runes, and later sacrificed
an eye to Mimir for a draught from the Well of Knowledge. According to Norse
mores, He can be criticized in this, as it was considered very unwise to
know too much of ones own Destiny; Odin knows, all too well, what is to
be. His image in Western culture has heavily influenced the archetypal
picture of a wizard; a tall, white-bearded male dressed in gray cloak and wide
brimmed hat, a bandaged eye, with a raven familiar (see Huginn and
Muninn) on His shoulder. FATE: He is to be slain and devoured in single combat
Ostara Germanic Fertility Goddess, one
especially connected with the rebirth of spring and the new year.
Ran Norse Probable consort of Aegir, She is a
storm and weather Goddess who requires regular offerings of souls in the deeps of the
sea-dead reside in Her undersea hall, as something of
an exception to the general Fate of Valhalla or Hel for mortals.
Rind Germanic An Earth-Goddess, or perhaps a
Giantess. Said to be the mother, by Odin of Vali.
Saga (things spoken of) Norse Goddess of
storytellers and, more particularly, the heritage and record of families and
clans. Seaxneat Anglo-Saxon A tutelary Deity about which not
much is known. His name perhaps means "Sword (or
Axe)-Companion", and he may be a local variant
Sif Norse A Grain Goddess, mother of Uller.
Unsurprisingly, She has long, golden hair.
Sigyn Norse Consort of Loki, She is best known
in her office of bearing a bowl above her bound husband to preserve him from being
spattered with acid venom (His Fate after being seized by vengeful
Asgarders following the murder of Balder) between times that she must leave His
side to empty the bowl.
Siofn (affectionate) Norse Goddess of love
affairs and liasons.
Skadi Norse Consort of Njord, although they live
apart from one another (He cannot abide the mountains, She cannot abide the sea).
A huntress and archer, rather similar in many was to the Hellenic
Artemis. It was she who came up with the idea of suspending a venomous snake
over the bound Loki, following his capture after the murder of Balder.
Skuld (what is owed) Norse A Norn, one of the
trio charged with controlling Destiny. It is Skuld who cuts the thread of a life. See
Urd and Verdandi.
Snotra Norse A Goddess of wisdom and courtesy.
Surt Norse Lord of the Fire Giants and ruler of
Muspellheim. He dwells in the far south, where he awaits the time of Ragnarok.
Syn (denial) Norse A gate-warden, one who bars
entry to those not permitted to do so. She also is invoked by those wishing to
refute charges laid
against them at assemblies.
Thor Norse One of the most popular and enduring
of the Gods, Thor is a Warrior, Storm-God, and Champion of Justice. Of immense
personal strength, He wields the hammer Mjollnir, which thunders when
striking, and is a lightning bolt when hurled. Thor's personal image is
that of a towering red haired and bearded fellow, hard drinking and with a
prodigious appetite. His
ongoing feud with all of Giant-kind is legendary,
eternal, and unremitting. Roaring with laughter or seething with uncontrollable
rage, He is a Deity of
vast dimensions and spirit. Note several strong
parallels with the Slavic Perun. FATE: He will combat Jormungand and slay it,
although He will be mortally wounded. He is fated to walk away from the
corpse, and then collapse.
Thrym Norse A king in Jotunheim, and perhaps
Lord of all the Frost Giants. FATE: He steals and conceals Thor's Hammer, Mjollnir.
Thor recovers it by means of a ruse, and slays Thrym.
Thunor Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxon equivalent of
Tiwaz Germanic The continental equivalent of Tyr.
Tyr Norse A War God, similar in some respects to
Odin, although He has a reputation of being having more rectitude as a judge
and ruler. He is said
to be one-handed, having lost a hand to Fenrir when the
Wolf was chained up. FATE: He will be slain in combat with Garm.
Uller Norse A Sky God, perhaps a Vanir residing
among the Aesir. His mother was Sif, and he was fostered to Thor as step-son. He is
a fertility God,
with links to the air, to the sea, and especially to
Justice: the Gods were said to swear oaths over a ring He possessed. He is
also noted often as
being a superlative archer.
Urd (destiny) Norse A Norn, one of the trio
charged with controllingDestiny. It is Urd who spins the stuff of life into
thread. See Skuld and
Vali Norse A son of Odin by Rind, a warrior who
avenges Balder by slaying Hoder. FATE: He survives Ragnarok, and comes to the
meadows of Idavoll with the other survivors, to build the world anew.
The Valkyries Norse These are a set of female
spirits whose function it is to ride the winds and attend battles, there to choose
the heroic and brave from among the slain and guide them to Valhalla. They
sometimes appear as swan-maidens, an example of which is the story of
Volund. When not in battle, the act as servants in Valhalla. They are named
in at least one
source: Geirahod, Goll, Gunn, Herfiotur, Hild, Hlokk,
Hrist, Mist, Radgrid, Randgrid, Reginleif, Rota, Skeggiold, Skogul, Skuld,
and Thrud. The Germanic Shield-Maiden Brynhilde is also said to be a Valkyrie;
and the three maidens who loved Volund and his two brothers, Hladgud
Svan-Hvit, Hervor the Wise, and Olrun were also Valkyries. Note a close parallel
here with the Celtic Morrigan.
Var Norse A Goddess of contracts and agreements,
especially private ones between men and women. She is said to punish those who
break their word in such things.
Ve Norse One of the Primal Gods, a younger
brother of Odin. He assisted his brothers in the building of the world out of the
remains of Ymir.
Verdandi (happening) Norse A Norn, one of the
trio charged with controlling Destiny. It is Verdandi who measures out the length of
a life. See Skuld and Urd.
Vidar Norse A son of Odin, a warrior God about
whom not much is known. He, Like Hoenir, is described as a "Silent One",
and seems to noted for His loyalty and perseverance. One odd detail that emerges
is that in fulfilling His Fate, he must use shoes built from all the scrap
leather discarded over the ages. FATE: He avenges Odin by slaying Fenrir
(doing so by literally stepping into Its jaws - hence the need for strong
shoes (see above) - and running It through), and becomes one of those surviving
dwelling at Idavoll.
Vili Norse One of the Primal Gods, a younger
brother of Odin. He assisted his brothers in the building of the world out of the
remains of Ymir.
Vor (aware) Norse Goddess of curiosity and
finding things out. As with many Norse Goddesses, this is especially relevant in regards
Volund Norse A craftsman who loved the Valkyrie
Hervor the Wise, who lived with him for seven years, but disappeared at length. He
pines for her, but awaits her return, making wondrous jewelry and
artifacts in the meantime. Set upon by an outlaw king and his sons, he is
hamstrung and marooned on a small island with a smithy at his disposal. He
encompasses the death of the
sons, the violation of their sister (who wears the ring
he gave to his own love, stolen from him), and escapes the isle on a pair
of contrived wings.
He was a byword for the art of the smith, and the
forging of miraculous objects; and he seems to have had a burden placed upon
him with respect to his craft, to the effect that he could not refuse any
commission, no matter how impossible the task, once he had been offered a
payment. Note the very typical thread of the maimed smith.
Volva Norse Apparently a Norn, or several Norns;
Giantess crone or crones, in any case. She (or they) are summoned by Odin and
instruct him in the lore of Destiny and Ragnarok, albeit unwillingly. The
confusion about number arises from the use of both 1st and 2nd person pronouns
in the poetic account of of the interview, the Voluspa.
Wade Anglo-Saxon A giant, said to be the father
Weyland Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxon equivalent
Woden Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxon equivalent to
Wotan Germanic The continental equivalent of
Ymir Norse The Primal Giant, the Being who first
emerged from the ice of the yawning Void. He battled unsuccessfully against later
arrivals, who used his corpse to form the world (His blood became the sea, his
skull the vault of the sky, his bones the mountains, his brains the
clouds, etc.). For an interesting parallel in another culture, cf. Tiamat.