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 their mortalContinue reading “The Underworld”

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”

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”

Nine Worlds of Norse Mythology

Norse Cosmology contains ‘nine homeworlds’ (Níu Heimar in Old Norse) in which all beings inhabit.  These worlds are centered on the World Tree, Yggdrasil, which lies at the centre of the cosmos.  Each of these Nine Worlds is the homeland of various classes of beings that are part of Norse and Germanic mythology.  Travel betweenContinue reading “Nine Worlds of Norse Mythology”

Pantheon Genealogies

I recently attempted to construct a family tree of the Celtic deities.  This proved to be much harder than I initially thought!  Not only do you have to deal with a multitude of sources, but you have to filter out which sources are more accurate, and what information has been lost in the sands ofContinue reading “Pantheon Genealogies”

Hel, Queen of the Underworld

Hella, Hela, Halja Hel 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. HelContinue reading “Hel, Queen of the Underworld”

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”

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”

Wyrd

Wyrd is an Anglo-Saxon term for fate or personal destiny. Wyrd is an Old English noun from the verb weorþan, meaning “to come to pass, to become”.  Wyrd has cognates in Old Saxon wurd, Old High German wurt, Old Norse urðr, Dutch worden (to become) and German werden. The term wyrd developed into the modernContinue reading “Wyrd”