The Aesir

 

The Norse mythology is a collection of stories and beliefs shared by the Teutonic tribes. As opposed to Christianity it is not a revealed religion as there is no so called divinely inspired scripture. Originally the sagas were transmitted orally during the Viking Ages. What we know of what is written down was recorded by Christians.

Most of what we know comes from the two Eddas. The Younger Edda or Prose Edda was written by Snorri Sturluson, an icelandic poet, chieftain and diplomat. It was considered a handbook for aspiring skalds.

The Elder Edda (Poetic Edda) contains 29 long poems, 11 of which deal with the gods and the rest are about legendary heroes.

Aesir is the collective name for the twelve major gods that live in Asgard.

Odin

Considered to be the supreme god of Teutonic and Norse mythology, he is a god of wisdom, war and death. According to the Edda, Odin was a son of Bestla and Bor and brother of Vé and Vili. OdinTogether with his brothers he cast down the frost giant Ymir and created the world from Ymirs' body. Frigg is his wife and on her he sired Baldur, Hödur and Hermot. Jord, an Earth goddess birthed him his son Thor, the Thunderer. Additionally he had Vidar with the Giantess Gridr and Vali with Rind.

During his constant quest for wisdom, he hung himself on Yggdrasil (steed of Yggr - Odin) the worldtree for nine nights to gain the runes. For a sip of Mimirs well he sacrificed an eye. Mimirs head later was conserved by Odin and he keeps him for counsel.

He is also the master of the Valkyries, the maidens that select the warriors that fell in combat and bring them to Valhalla to become Einherjars, warriors to battle in against the Giants during Ragnarok.. Half of these Einherjars belong to Odin, the other half goes to Freia, the Vanir goddess.

Odin is also the leader of the Wild Hunt.

The many names of Odin can be found here.

Attributes

Odin rides an eight-legged steed called Sleipnir, carries the spear Gungnir which never misses and the magickal ring Draupnir which drops eight new rings every nine nights. He is accompanied by two wolves, Geri and Freki and his two ravens Huginn and Muninn (thought and memory). The ravens whisper all that goes on on Midgard into Odins ear when he sits on his throne Hlidskjalf from which he can see everything that occurs in the universe.

Jurisdiction

Song, poetry, war, wisdom, wandering, elements, knowledge

Thor

The red-haired and bearded god is the ruler of thunder and lightning as well as farming in the Norse mythology. He is god and hero of common man, defeating powerful enemies, usually Giants. Although he lost a fight against a Giantess called Elli, which turned out to be Age.

ThorThor is the son of Odin and Jord, husband of Sif and father of Thrud. On Jarnsaxa he sired Modi and Magni, who inherit his arms after Ragnarök where he dies defeating Jörmungandr.

Together with his family he lives in the hall of Bilskirnir in Thrudheim.

Thor is considered kind and generous and a protector of workers.

Attributes

Thor travels in a chariot drawn by two goats, Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjostr with his servant Thjalfi. These goats he roasted when he was hungry and when he continues his journey he only needs to touch the remains and the goats are instantly restored to former glory.

His most famous attribute is the short-handled hammer Mjölnir which when thrown always returns to his hand after striking down the unlucky target. To wield this weapon he needs his magickal gloves and belt of strength.

Jurisdiction

Farming, comradeship, physical strength, single combat, hallowing, storms, lightning, thunder, rain.

Tyr

TyrThe god of warfare and battle, usually portrayed as a one handed man as he lost a hand during the chaining of the wolf Fenris. Fenris was meant to be bound, but sensed the gods' deceit and refused to be bound unless one of the gods put his hand in the wolfs' mouth. Tyr, known for his great courage, agreed, and the other gods bound the wolf. The wolf bit off Tyrs' hand when he discovered that he couldn't break the ribbon (Gleipnir). Tyr is destined to kill and be killed by Garm, the hound that guards Helheim.

The name Tyr originally means god. Originally he was the chief among the gods, but soon was overtaken in popularity by Odin.

Attributes

Sword

Jurisdiction

Justice, war, peace, weapons, light, the Thing (gathering for counsel), clear thinking

Baldur

BaldurThe slain god is the son of Odin and Frigga was considered to be the most beautiful of all the gods. He is the god of innocence, beauty, purity and peace. He resides in his hall Breidablik.

His wife is called Nanna and their children are Nep and Forseti.

Beloved by all the gods, with the exception of Loki who conspired to kill Baldur. Baldur however dreamed of his death and as the gods loved him dearly, his mother asked every being in existence not to hurt Baldur. She just discounted the mistletoe as she thought it would be too small a thing to be able to kill the god. Loki however fashioned a magickal spear or arrow from the plant and tricked Hödur, the blind god, into hurling the weapon at Baldur thus killing him. For this act, Odin sired Vali on Rind, who was then born solely to punish Hödur.

Baldur then was ceremonially burned on his ship, Hringham. Grieving Nanna joined her husband on the pyre.

Attributes

Sunstaff

Jurisdiction

Innocence, purity of the mind, joy, beauty, mercy, justice, hope, new beginning, wisdom.

HeimdallHeimdall

Heimdall is the guardian of the gods who will blow the Gjaller Horn should danger approach Asgard. He can hear grass grow and see to the end of the worlds, also he requires only little sleep. His post is at rainbow bridge, Bifrost.

He was born of nine mothers and is called the White God. Heimdalls' home is called Himinbjorg - Heaven protection.

The animal sacred to him is the ram.

Attributes

Horn, sword

Jurisdiction

Watchers, police, long life, light and brightness

BragiBragi

The lord of poetry and skalds was Odins first skald and one of his sons. He is married to Idun.

He can be called to promote eloquence and to gain inspiration for writing lyrics, music and poetry.

Attributes

Tongue

Jurisdiction

Eloquence, rhetoric, skaldic, poetry

HodurHodur

Hodur is the god of darkness and winter, the blind brother of Baldur, son of Odin and Frigg. He was tricked by Loki into throwing the mistletoe at Baldur and thereby killing him. Hodur was then killed by Vali, the son of Odin and the giantess Rind. Together with Baldur he enters then Helheim to await his return after Ragnarök.

Attribute

Arrow, spear

Jurisdiction

Markmanship, seeing disorder, darkness

Vidar

VidarVidar is the son of Odin, he is destined to revenge his father and kill Fenris with his bare hands according to one version of the sagas. According to another version Vidar kills the wolf with his sword Stahl by driving it into its heart. He is one of the new rulers after Ragnarök.

Vidar is also referred to as the silent Aesir in the Younger Edda.

Attribute

Iron shoe

Jurisdiction

Calmness, discretion, revenge, wind and storms

Vili

Vili is the son of Bestla and Bor and brother to Vé and Odin. He is the god of emotion and intelligence which were also his gifts to the first pair of men.

According to the sagas he had an affair with Frigg. Together with Vé he created Yggdrasil.

Attribute

Mistletoe

Jurisdiction

Spirituality, soal, divination, diplomacy, feelings, emotion, intelligence

The third son of Bestla and Bor. Brother to Odin and Vili. He gave the first humans the power of speech and their external senses. He too had according to Loki an affair with Frigg.

Attribute

Eye

Jurisdiction

Speech, the five senses

Ullr

UllrThe son of Sif with an unknown father. Ullr is the god of snowshoes, bows, hunting, and shields. Shields are usually referred to as Ullrs' ships. He lives in a hall called Ydalir - Yew dales.

His name means glory or radiance.

Attribute

Snow shoes, ring of oaths

Jurisdiction

Wintersports, one on one battles, shooting sports, navigation, oaths

Forseti

ForsetiForseti is the god of justice, peace and truth. He is the son of Baldur and Nanna. He resides in Glitnir - shining.

Forseti is considered as one of the wisest and most eloquent gods of Asgard. While Tyr presides over more carnal laws Forseti presides over mediation, it is said he always found solutions that all parties considered fair.

Attribute

Scales

Jurisdiction

Justice, mediation, arbiter

 

 

 

 

Reyn til Runa

ValknutAepalizage Valknut