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Frans_Jozef
Monday, January 17th, 2005, 01:12 PM
"The Norman Thiud aet Reik is at once a cultural, religious, and martial organization; dedicated to reviving the folkways of the Norman peoples of Northern Europe. Utilizing history, anthropology, and applied comparative studies disciplines, it is our hope to reconstruct the pre-Christian religion of the Germanic branch of the Indo-European peoples, within a cultural framework and community environment.

The Normannii Thiud takes an orthopraxic approach to the Heathen religious systems of Northern Europe. We are reconstructing social and cultural systems as well as religious and martial institutions, so that our religious weltisichten (worldview) is more Holistic, and therefore more meaningful. By extension, we believe that this imbues our Trowe (faith) with a higher degree of meaning and significance, as applicable to those that choose to follow in the pathways of their ancestors.

The Norman peoples were a warrior folk, who bore faith, honor, and loyalty as hallmarks of their obligations to self and society. They marshaled the early institutions of Germanic Law and developed the first significant legal systems in the codified era. They are the children of the Danish war-bands that descended on France and expanded across the continent of Europe, to her islands, and throughout Middle Earth. They were warriors, poets, builders, and scholars... they handed down a legacy of pride and accomplishment, a culture worthy of our strongest efforts to revere and revive.

Thus, to lay down thew for the future, as we attempt to reforge our elder Troth, we must utilize the tools of today. These pages are a starting point for the definition of the Norman rebirth of our Germanic Tribal folkways. It is not intended to be the final word on matters of our thew, nor is it stamped with imprimatur of our tribe. It is simply my presentation of our thew as culled from great Heathen such as Garman Lord Geringas, Eric Lord Wednesbury, and Gert Thygen McQueen, of the Winland Rice of Theodish Belief, and from their Anglo-Seax journey. It is the spirit that we are reforging as it stands today… a scant few years after we set out on our own, and just six years after the well spring of the idea of a Norman Folk was put into action, some 25 years after the refounding of modern Heathenry. Vor Normanitas… Our Normannness. When I left the Ring of Troth and embarked on my journey into Theodish Country, I did so with seven years of Asatru history under my belt. As an Elder and Redesman of the Troth, I traversed North America promoting vor Tru, our faith. In the end, it was all worth it, for it led me home and placed me on a path of Heathen Tribalism.

The Future is before us, set in motion by our deeds in the present, and shaped by the orlay of our past. Thew is alive; it surrounds those deeds and guides our lives. We will struggle and face the fires of Ordeal together as one Heathen Folk. We will stand with our shoulder companions who likewise ward the Sacral Kingship of their tribes, all in frith, for Faith, Folk, and Family.

Norman Aeţeling
Feng to Dukks Normannii Reiks

Ewemuloc 2003"

http://www.normannii.org/

Mac Seafraidh
Monday, February 14th, 2005, 03:19 AM
The number of Gods given by the Edda is twelve, as are the number of Goddesses; twelve is three perfected by four, shape given to matter and endowed with energy having a place in time.69 The Gods and Goddesses are the embodiment of the conscious principle and order in the universe. They may be divide in two camps; (two perfected by two perfected by three) the Aesir and the Vanir.

The Aesir are described as the Gods of Sky and Civilization, they represent the nature of transcendental divinity, forming and directing the course of existence. The were initially adversarial to the Vanir, but after a war between them (a macrocosm of the war within the Self) they amalgamated. This synthesis is that Divine Union sought by all mystics and spiritualists; it is the acceptance of the Whole.




Aesir

The Aesir reside in the realm of Asgard, mythically located at one of the three roots of the World Tree, where the Well of Wyrd springs forth. This well encompasses the actions of the other two, and expresses the totality of the Nine Worlds; it is "That Which Should Become". It is symbolically located atop the tree in the North-West, however not in the absolute sense of the terrestrial direction, it simply means "up" in the sense of "higher".

Asgard represents the harmonious balance of natural action and conscious action. It's weather is always perfect (from a Northern point of view...), with sunshine, warmth, and growth everywhere except on the Yew dales where soft snow falls and glistens; bringing its balance to the plane. The realm of the Gods is protected by the Great Wall, guarded by the God Heimdall and connected to Midgard by Bifrost (Shimmering Bridge). Bifrost is one of the two means to reaching Asgard, the other, is wading through the 14 swirling rivers that surround this World; a much tougher route, indeed. Thor frequently does this, as the pounding of his chariot shakes the bridge to its foundations.

Asgard my be seen as the realm of higher consciousness and inspiration, it also can be described as the seat of the driving force of life. It is also the home of divine judgment, for the 12 Judgment Seats of the Gods and 8 High Chairs of the Goddesses are beside the Well.

Odin

Chief of all the Gods is Odin [Woden, Wotan, Odhinn], the Allfather, creator of the Universe and rider (and therefore director of...) of the World Tree (Ygg -Drasil can also mean the "Steed of Ygg", a kenning for Odin). As the Chief of the Aesir, he rules over all the Nine Worlds, and fosters all humanity, through his gift of life-force. He is also the God of Death (in the martial/adversarial sense) in War, and Magick. He is cognate to Mercury in the Hellenic traditions, with the understanding that he has taken on the Jupiterian aspect of Chiefdom.

This God is often described as sneaky and fickle, for He seemingly turns on His own heroes; but to place human attributes on His divine purposes limits Him. In His role of Allfather, He travels the Nine Worlds relentlessly, seeking all the Wisdom there is to be had. He does this so as to ensure life will continue after the Ragnarok [ON-Destruction of the World]. His motives and decisions may seem arbitrary, unfair, or even immoral, but as the driver of life-force, He does what must be done. As a God of Battle, His symbols include Spear and Sword. His own spear, Gungnir, is symbolically hurled over enemies, dedicating their deaths to the God. He frequently gives a sword to His heroes, like Sigurd.

Odin is frequently accompanied by His two wolves, Geri and Freki. They represent the martial aspects of Him. They are terrible and cunning hunters, and relentless "dogs of war". Also in His keep are two ravens, Hugin and Munin. They are "Thoughtful" and "Mindful" respectively, and are the traveling eyes and ears of the Allfather, scouring the Nine Worlds for wisdom and information daily.

He sends forth a legion of female warriors, called Valkyries, to collect the noble dead on the battlefields of Midgard. There they take the bravest and boldest to His hall, Valhalla, where every day they will practice the art of war in actual to the death combat, being reborn each evening for the feast. At this feast the Valkyrie attend the soldiers, and keep the Mead-horns full.

As Chief of the Gods he is patron of the Royalty, specifically the War Band Leader, the Drighten. He is depicted as an old man, wearing a grey or black-blue cloak, having one eye, and white hair. The Valknot is His Holy symbol, as well as the Rune Ansuz. Also the patron of writing, poetry and song; his form of magick, Galdur, involves chanting and the use of Runes. It is reputed that Odin revealed the Runes to man in the year 250 BE. The Old Norse Havamal, part of the Poetic Edda , is a poem describing how Odin won his wisdom.


I know that hung on that windswept Tree,
hung there Nine Nights Long.
Pierced by Mine own spear, Myself a gift to Myself.
I Hung on that tree, the roots of which,
no one knows whither they run.
None gave me food, non gave me drink.
But I looked down, and saw the Runes.
I grasped at them, snatching them up, as I screamed.
And I fell down deep, into their depths.

Odin, as Alfather has had to make some sort of sacrifice, (to transcend the need for death and rebirth) to win deeper spiritual knowledge. This he does, but he also shares this knowledge with his children, by giving it to them in the Runes. As Chief God, he sits on the "High Seat", Hlidskialf, symbol of his authority, however it also allows him to look out over all the Nine Worlds, knowing all that transpires therein. Here the High Seat is a means to gaining Wisdom in the Second Function, that of "Wyrd Which Is Becoming"; the present tense. He also possesses the ring Draupnir, and each ninth night it replicated itself eight times. This was Odin's gift to Baldur's funeral pyre.

His holy day is Wednesday, which means, Woden's day. He is married, in the traditional domestic sense, to Frigga. However, he also has concubines and other "relationships", the most prominent of these is his close tie to Freya. As the Chieftains of their respective clans (Aesir and Vanir) They are symbolically united in the merging of these clans into one God-Tribe. But there is a sexual relationship and exchange as Odin learns Seith from Freya, and in turn teaches Her Galdr magick. Freya is but one of His partners, several giants and humans have also been "Handmaidens" of Odin.

Odin is descendant of the first God, Bor, who emerged from the Primeval Ice, thanks to Audhumbla, the proto-zoomorphic cow. She is in essence primal creation, appearing from nowhere and disappearing into nowhere. As a God, born of Buri's son Bor and the Giantess Bestula, Odin in the triune hypostase of Woden, Wille, and We enters into creation and shapes it from within (immanent). The implication is that Odin has always been shaping the universe from without (transcendent). His steed Slepnir is an eight legged animal, representative of a carried coffin, and able to journey anywhere in creation (all of Yggdrasil... Odin's Steed...). He is the son of Loki and the Giant's horse Svadlfari. Faster, stronger, and braver than any steed, it carries Odin or his chosen servants around the Nine Worlds. In the final Battle, The Alfather will fight Fenrir, first falling to him, and then being avenged/retrieved by his son Vidar, child of a giantess.

An oral tradition handed down in Norway maintains that the reason Viddar pries open Fenrir's jaws is to free the gravely wounded Odin. In this oral tale, Odin must recuperate 9 seasons, afterwards. He then returns to his Hall, alive and well, and takes charge back from Baldur and his sons Vali and Viddar. It makes sense when one realizes that Vidarr, "...tears open the wolf...", slaying Fenrir would harm the trapped Odin.



Frigga

The Queen of Asgard and lawful wife of Odin is Frigga, matron of marriage and the household. Like her husband, she sits in the High Seat, and has wisdom beyond limit... though she keeps silent and does not speak of dire things. Daughter of Fjorgynn and sister of Jord, her matronage of loyal couples extended into the afterworld, in Fensalir the faithful would be united forever.

As a matron of domestic arts, the Spindle and Distaff were her symbols. She presided over matters of health and hearth, and all the skills needed to maintain them. When in the role of protector of the aett, she can be a fearsome opponent. She also held such sway over Odin, that the fate of Battle could be changed by her intervention. The Vandal and Lombard war in the Migration Era is the greatest example of this. Frigga tricked Odin by turning his bed to face the Lombards, thus granting them the victory.

As mother of Thor, she also assists mankind by directing Her son to mortals in need. She is waited on by Eir, Hlin, Gna, and Fulla. Fulla, her sister can be equated with Hulda, and is the shadowy side of the Allmother. Hlin and Gna are Her messengers to Midgard, and Eir was a goddess of healing and rest, who acted in the best interests of family. The nature of Norse hospitality left it in the more capable (through their subtle and skillful influence) hands of the Head of the Home (the Wife), the Key bearer, to take care of guests. The symbolic bringing of mead to the guests was designed to show a guest the highest degree of respect, and also to allow the hostesses feminine charms to work for the good of the household. She also helps women in child birth and brings offspring good-fortune.

Frigga may be equated with Saga, the Seereress in the Voluspa. This makes sense as she shares Odin's complete understanding of Wyrd, and is the female pole of the transcendent force of Creator. As Allmother She has shared in the process of creation, and is the personification of the Feminine Depths. She thus also equates to a very Vanic trait, that of the Ocean. Perhaps this is because of her Giant heritage, as many of the Vanir are married to the Giants, and share a deep understanding of the force of Wyrd ... a logical outcome of being a part of the process. In Her connection to the Ocean, Aegir and Ran may be seen as an internal polarity within Frigga, imposed by Transcendent Creation on an external couple. Ager is a Brewer and "homebody", contrary to the male stereotype, and His huge cauldron is similar to that of the Gaelic Cerridwen's, or even the Cornucopia. Ran with her Net takes the hunter-gather role, decidedly un-feminine, and is a hypostase of Death from below. Can we not posit Ran as Crone, Frigga as Mother, and although somewhat transexualized, Aegir as Maid? Thus a Norse "triplicity", also akin to the Norns, emerges in the common Indo-European tradition. And if this is true, do not the frequent attempts to transsexualize Mani make some degree of sense? If the Sun is named Sunna (a feminine noun) and Mani (a masculine noun) the Moon, could not the polar aspects evident throughout manifest in these divine symbols too? [More on this in the Sunna/Manni entry].

As a presiding aspect of the Moon and Stars, the stars in Orion's Belt are called Frigga's Spindle, a part of her weaving loom and an aspect of her artistic matronage. She watches over the heavens in a steadfast and motherly fashion, seeking to maintain the health and well being of all the stars in the Sky. She shares Friday with Freya, as their Holy day.



Tyr

More than once, Tyr was the Chief Aes, however at the time of the Eddas He has devolved into a God of War, and Martial Justice. In this he shares a place with Odin, but unlike the Alfather, Tyr is less interested in the cause of war, and more interested in the Just Resolution of War. He is a wise Aes, and the Guardian of Order.

He is also the patron of self-sacrifice for the greater good. He alone of the Gods, willingly gave up His hand and His Cosmic Order so that the Wolf Fenrir could be bound, and Ragnarok delayed. Knowing that Fenrir was the catalyst of change, Tyr willingly fed him, but to the other Gods, Fenrir posed a threat to order, so Tyr placed the Clan's welfare above His own and allowed the wolf to be bound. The One-Handed God is a servant of His fellows, and thus of all His fellows, greatest. He is the Patron of all those who serve the community in dire circumstance (Military, Police, Fire, Rescue...) and upholder the highest tenant of the spirit of "clan". He is the "Wolf's Leavings", "Wolf Chain", and the "Binder of Fenrir" and "Glepnir's Guardian".

As the God of the Thing, His decisions are absolutely just, but not necessarily fair; mercy is not something to be shown on the battlefields nor in matters of obligations. He is concerned with rapid resolution, honest action, and the thew [OE-Custom]. He is a God of Oaths, and upholds the higher elements of "Natural Law". Political Correctness has no place before this God, the truth must be told no matter what the consequences. Herein lies the first major dichotomy between Odin and Tyr, Odin will seek the amicable resolution, or use deception and guile to reach His ends, Tyr will stand for nothing less than what is absolutely right, achieved in the most straightforward manner. Politicians and diplomats must be Odin's followers, for they do what is desired by the majority in a manner that is least distasteful to the minority, ruffling as few feathers as possible. Tyr would simply do what must be done, and let all others cry in their own pots, and have done with it. This absolutism means one must be careful when approaching this God, as the truth often hurts; cutting both ways (The old adage, the Truth is a double edged sword...). But be aware, Tyr is the Truth, and anything He does is in this vein; He will never deceive nor hide behind ambiguity, what you see is what you get. Das ist das, und das ist Alles. (That is that, and That is All)

His day is Tuesday, and in the final Battle, Tyr is pitted against Garm, the trothful Hel Hound. The Dog, as man's loyal companion symbolizes this God, as do swords and spears. Here He is "Garm's Bane", the keeper of Right Order.

It should always be remembered that symbolically, the Irminsul, His symbol, transcends creation, existing before and after the Nine Worlds. In true transcendent manner, Tyr fed the young wolf-pup Fenrir. Order sustaining Chaos, knowing its end result. Tyr's sacrifice, not to Himself, but to everyone, was part of the cycle of universal being. He is the first Alfather.

The Polestar, Tyr's Nail, is the airy height of this God, whereas the chasm of the Mound, and the Dragon of Darkness are his depths. The Fymbultyr as harbringer of doom is an apt application of the Dagaz cyclicity found within this God. Though few understand his trancendant nature, the bright image maintained by this God of the Skies has a mirror of shadow that fires the will and drives Him to endless cyclicity.

A recently expounded theory holds that Teiwaz (Saxnote-OE) is in fact the Proto-God, Bor, who was licked from the Brine Ice by the Great Cow. In this Heiti, He can be placed outside the creation of "tangibles", but still parents Odin the "creator" of the Nine Worlds. The pairing of Tyr and Zisa is likely a mistranslation or femminization of the Zio/Ziu Heiti that this God bore early on in Germany. It cognates here with the other Indo-European Sky father titles (Zupater, Zeus). A far more likely theory holds he is mated with Vara, the Oath Hearer of the Temple.



Thor and Sif

Torr, Donar, Thunor, Thorr; the Thunderer had many names, and as many followers. He is the Hallowing friend of humanity. As God of the Freeman (Carl) He was the patron of the majority of the folk. Farmers looked to Him, as did those conscripted to war. He is also God of Storms (thunder and Lightening) and of Warriors. This son of Frigga and foster son of Odin is the Warder of Midgard and Asgard, and is constantly at war with the Giants.

Like Tyr, Thor hates deception and deceit. The Thunderer expects that a pact made is a pact kept. However, unlike Tyr, the spirit of the agreement is far more important to Thor than the letter of that contract. He is concerned with the overall beneficial nature of interrelationships, and sees oaths as the means to this end.

As Protector of Midgard, He wages war on the Giants (as archetypes of entropy and chaos) and Jormundganger, the Midgard Serpent; symbols of the forces at work to undermine the stability of nature. He is pulled about on a Chariot, his goats are Tooth Nasher and Gap Tooth. He wages this war with the Hammer, Mjolnir, the skull crusher. This weapon is so difficult to use that even Thor requires the Gloves, Jarngreipr (Iron Hand), and a Belt, Meginjord, gives him tremendous strength. The handle is too short, because Loki interfered with its forging, and has a ring at the end. This ring was later identified as the Oath Ring, a specially holy means of heit making.

He is the vital electrical force; thunderbolts issue from His Hammer. Always a protector, a Hammersign hallows any area, repelling evil. The Hakenkreutz, or Crooked cross, the Swastika, is symbol of His hammer, and glaring-staring eyes are His symbols. His red beard is remembered in a kenning, Red Thor.

Thor is fond of food and drink, and His appetite is legendary. At symbel He can fondly remembered for the many adventures He has had, and the jovial nature that surrounds Him. He truly acts as a friend to mankind. He fathers two sons on Jarnsaxa (a Giantess), Modi, and Magni, and a daughter Thrund, with Sif. In Uppsala it was Thor, Odin, and Frey who were given high honors...in that order. Oak is his favorite tree, and a hammer handle made from the oak of a lightening struck tree is considered to be a powerful tool. His Holy day is Thursday, and the wearing of His pendant Hammers denote a belief in any of the Northern European Heathen-Folk practices, not just those dedicated to this Aes.

His wife, Sif, is a Goddess of Excellence and the Golden Haired Goddess of the Harvest. Her beautiful blond hair was cut off by Loki, and Her Golden Locks were crafted by the Dwarves. Her symbolic attachment includes that of the flax and yarn spinning, as well as chief knotmaker. It is Sif who checks the bindings of the Wolf Fenrir, so she presides over bindings and knot magicks.



Baldur and Nanna

The bright and beautiful son of Odin is the embodiment of a Solar Deity. He is loved by everything in creation, and mourned by all but Loki, in Death. Integral to the Ragnarok Myth, He is reborn with the new world, released from Hel's grasp by the cosmic cataclysm. Called the "White God" in some myths (a title He shared with Heimdall) for His fair complexion and hallowed brilliance, Baldur embodies the energy of the nurturing process. Here He relates to Sunna (a feminine form...) and to the sky aspect of the Aesir.

Baldur's own brother is the instrument of His death, however Loki is the agent provocateur. Hod is a Blind War God, an apt metaphor for war, Who's dart of mistletoe kills Baldur during a "mock" battle. Frigga had secured protection from everything in Nature (except mistletoe), thus Baldur was thought to be invulnerable. But since mistletoe was overlooked, it became the source material for Loki's trap. But in keeping with the almost Odinically hypostasic nature of the Trickster, Baldur's death serves as a means for the Gods to maintain some Heavenly order in the wake of Ragnarok.

He is wed to Nanna, who dies from her grief at His death. She is another of the female Fertility Goddesses. She pines for Baldur, as the Nine Worlds do, reflective of Nature's understanding of the loss. While in Hel, the God Hermod receives gifts from Baldur and Nanna. He takes back Odin's ring, Draupnir, brings Frigga a linen headdress, and has a golden ring for Fulla. The initiatory process in the life of a shaman continues...

Freya will release Baldur from Helheim; thus we may conjecture that Odin whispered the reason Baldur couldn't go to Valhalla: He had to remain safe in Hel throughout Ragnarok, so as to be able to rule in Odin's place while the Old Aes recuperated from His wounds.



Bragi and Idunna

Bragi, God of Poetry and Inspiration is the foster son of Odin, and music maker of the Aesir. Idunna is a Golden Goddess, Giver of Renewal to the Earth and Gods alike. Her apples keep the Gods young, and Her festival marks the return of the Green Earth from it's slumber of Winter.

It is said that eloquent boasting at symbel is bragging, and it is the skaldic beauty of this wordsmith that inspires the epic Sagas, and lyrical Eddas. Bragi can make song of any topic, and His gift to mankind, the Bard/Skald, is one kept dear by high prince and low servant. The God of Poetry and Prose gleans his gift from the wisdom of divine inspiration, and thus is intimately connected with Odin. The Northern priesthoods (both Celtic and Germanic) had many such poets, and they were the lore-keepers and historians, via these timeless songs.

Idunna, giver of immortality and restorer of vitality, was worshipped as the embodiment of Earthly renewal. Her festival was held on the first full moon after the Spring Equinox. This Solar aspect is decidedly feminine, however it relates nicely with Baldur's masculine Sun image. Both offer renewal, and both overcome the "death" of winter.



Uller and Horn

Though originally a pair of presiding deities, in the later myths they are reduced in stature. Uller remains God of the Moving Hunt, and of Snow Skills, and Horn retains the Earthly mother attributes. Uller has become a step son of Thor, and natural son of Sif and a Rime Giant. He is at home on ski and skate, as well as sled and snowshoe. Archery is the attribute for which He is most revered.

His name inspired a kenning for a shield, Uller's Boat. As anyone familiar with the snowy slopes knows, a shield inverted and sat upon sails effortlessly down a mountainside covered with snow. Thus, early hunters closing in on prey could rapidly gain ground and with their bow, kill the prey. If escape needs be the case, a faster getaway down a mountain couldn't be found than tobogganing down on one's shield. Uller's boat is a splendid kenning indeed!

Uller is one with His environment, using it to the utmost advantage. The God is resilient and always in motion. The Bogi, His bow, symbolized by the Yew, never misses, he always hits the mark. Consider him the archetypal William Tell and Robin Hood!

Horn is a mysterious Goddess, and the remnants of information that survive liken her to Freya and Jord, Frigga and Hulda. A clear image is impossible, but it may be suggested that she also resembled the Goddess/Giant Skadi, due to her acclimation to the snowy mountains and winter.



Heimdall

The Warder of the Rainbow Bridge, and progenitor of the races of mankind. In His horn, Gjallahorn, sits besides him outside Valgrind, the Gate to Asgard. He will blow this horn to warn the Gods of the approach of Ragnarok. As Watchman of the Nine Worlds, he sees that all things transpire according to divine plan.

Tradition says He is born of Nine Sea Giantesses, though this may be an illusion to the Germanic understanding of the source of life: the Ocean. (The primeval, life-generating, amino acid soup...) They believed that the ripples in the tide held a significance, and that every ninth crest represented Heimdall, and the act of procreation. In his guise as Rig [OC-King] he sleeps with three couples and fathers the three classes of society (another multiple nine): Slaves, Freemen, and Nobility. First, he sleeps with the couple called Ai and Edda (Great Grandparents), and the Thrall is born nine months later. Next he sleeps with Afi and Amma (Grandparents) and fathers the race of Carls. Lastly, he sleeps with Fathir and Mothir (Parents), and begets the Jarls. This is a post creation refinement of mankind, and designed to give heightened order to the universe. Heimdall does his part to keep the universe running smoothly.

Also called the "White" God, the allusion serves to contrast Him with Loki, whom he will face at Ragnarok. The purity of purpose of this God (the maintenance of Order) is contrasted with the polar opposite in Loki's randomness (the attainment of Chaos). These two polar deities literally snuff each other out in the final battle. Thus the absolutes of Order and Chaos give way to balance and harmony.



Forseti

Another of the bright Gods, Forseti is the Divine Arbiter. He is fair and just, settling disputes amicably and reasonably. Forseti is the son of Baldur an Nanna and His name means Presiding One. The double sided axe is his symbol, and consequently of Justice (balanced and cutting both ways). There is a relation to Syn, as defender of the accused, and protector of rights.

Also a God of Oaths, he is called the Reconciler of Men. He helps in the shaping of just laws, legal process, and tempers these with mercy. He can be invoked to settle disputes and bring peace.



The Entourage

A number of other deities inhabit Asgard, lesser in outward roles, but no less important. Each region of Northern Europe localized names, and therefore some divine functions seem duplicated. In some cases however, this was a practical and necessary duplicity, or a refinement.

Among the male children of the Gods, Modi and Magni are reputed to take up Thor's Hammer after Ragnarok, and silent Viddar His father, Odin's, High Seat.

Of the female Aesir (Asynjur), Vor, is a Goddess of Wisdom and Perception, and Hnoss the innocent child Goddess of Odin and Freya. Lofn is the Goddess who brings couples together and Var is the witness of the vows these married couples then make. Jord, the embodiment of Earth, and sister of Frigga, can be cognate to Hulda or Nerthus, as well as compared to Fjorgyn.



Vanir

The Vanir were a tribe of Gods immanent in Nature, part of the very fabric of the universe, but in some way constrained to it. Frequently They bred with Giants, and more often they married them. They are Gods connected to the Sea, as it is the wellspring of life. The war between the Aesir and Vanir forged the Frith that later united Them.

Despite being Gods of the Earth and Nature, they lacked the order and social structure of the Aesir. Interestingly, They permitted brother and sister to marry (or engage in sex) and frequently practiced magick that, during the Viking Age, could be considered homosexual at worst, highly erotic quasi-bisexualism at best. These traits were toned down and almost submerged when they joined the Aesir, as the practices were thought to be "unnatural" by the Aesir. However their practices continued as Seith magick, practiced by Freya and her followers in Midgard.

They are Gods of Plenty and Fertility, givers of food, drink, and sex (three of the most sought after things in Norse society). They are sensual and pleasure seeking Gods, but no strangers to struggle and War. While seemingly Fertility Gods, their magick shattered the Walls of Asgard, and their battle-victories were numerous. There is more than meets the eye to the Vanes.



Freya

Queen of the Vanir, and Goddess of Passion and Fertility, Freya embodies the Natural World. Her name means "Lady" in the royal sense, and she fits this title well. However she is also a powerful magician, the archetypal Witch.

Her magick, Seith, was so powerful that even Odin wished to learn it. She is the "sister" with whom He shares His last Rune Secret. This magick involves an altered state of consciousness, attained through a variety of stimuli. One can deduce that this included everything from sexual stimulation to hallucinogenic herbs.

In the Voluspa, Freya first enters Asgard as the witch, Gullveig. She undergoes a ritual initiation, being speared and burned three times by Odin. The Vanir taking offense start the Divine War. However, Freya survives the initiation, and willing lives among the Aesir afterwards.

Half of the Battle dead are sent to Her hall, Folkvangr, and she is a Goddess of Death in this regard. The Disir attend the Vanir, and the Valkyrie seem to be select Disir, given as gifts to Odin in His mission to stave off Ragnarok.

She can shape change, and has a Falcon Coat, that allows Her to roam the Nine Worlds. Her animal is the cat, further likening Her to the Archetypal Witch. Two cats pull Her chariot across the Heavens.

As a Sex Goddess, She also encompasses Love and Commitment, however their seems to be a discernible difference between Her role in "responsible fun" and Frigga's "marital commitment". Nothing is wrong with either, as long as they are approached in an intelligent manner by two consenting partners.

Her symbol is the Heart and Necklace. The connection to love in the Heart is as the center of life (though reputable anthropologists submit it is not a "heart", but rather a representation of the female genetalia), but the Necklace refers to Her own gem, Brisingamen. This necklace was crafted by the dwarves, and is both a magickal tool and regal sign of Her station in life. Her day is Friday, which she freely shares with Odin's first wife, Frigga. Her father is Njord and a Giantess, and with her brother Frey, she rules over the Vanir with might and wisdom.



Frey

Known as Ing, Ingvar, Freyr, and Frey, the God who's name means "Lord", was first among the male Vanir. His sister dominated Their tribe, and shared the throne with Him. He is a God of Fertility and Harvest, a Solar Figure. He watches over livestock and blesses agriculture, constantly maintaining the natural rhythm of the cycle of the year.

Frey is concerned with Hearth and Home in the male sense, and is thus a homebody akin to Frigga, a dealer in the practical aspects of life. Their respective "mates" Odin and Freya, are wanderers, and mystics. He is a bringer of good and the giver of Frith.

In his Frithful aspect it is said that no man may enter a Hof dedicated to Him bearing weapons. Bloodletting in His groves will bring down an uncharacteristically terrible wrath from this God. He is a skilled warrior, and His blade is to be feared and respected.

Associated with animal cults, Frey presides over the horse and boar. The horse is a particularly phallic animal, expressing the male potency, and the boar represents the strength and courage of a battle-hunt. These animals further symbolized royalty, or royal lineage throughout the North. The horse drawn wagon (Godcart) was taken from town to town by His Priests. His ship, Skidbladnir can be folded up and carried in His pocket.

In addition to his phallic role, Frey was also Chief of the Alfs, the male equivalent to the Disir. These were usually the spirits of the deceased males of a family. Here he can be seen as a God of the Dead.

He takes a giantess as a wife after unwisely sitting atop Odin's High Seat. He falls in love with the beautiful Giantess, named Gerd and all nature suffers as He pines for her. Threats and gifts are offered by His servant Skirnir, but the Giantess refuses. As a wedding gift the servant is forced to surrender Frey's magick sword, that fights on it's own. In the final Battle, Frey will fight Surt, the Fire Giant, and lose because he has given up this sword. He is usually depicted with a large erect penis.

Njord and Skadi

Father of the Twins Frey and Freya, Njord is a God of the Sea and Fjords. He presides over Fishermen and Sailors. His weapons is the trident. Njord resides in Noatun, and married the Giantess Skadi. Although His wife, Skadi rarely resides with Her husband. As a Rime Giantess, she prefers her home atop the mountains, far from the Sea. In fact, legend says they spend but nine days a year together. Skadi married Him because of his feet; which She thought belonged to Baldur, because they were so beautiful.

Njord is also a God of Wealth and Bringer of Good Luck; his breeze the Wind of Good Fortune, and his ship, allegorically "Your ship [that] has come in ! ". He is a simple God to understand, given to the simple life of the coast. Survival based on pragmatics.

Skadi is a Giantess of slope and tundra, at home in the rocky summit of the Northern mountains. She is a Goddess by marriage, and plays the role of the ideal "independent wife". While more often apart from Her husband than with Him, She loves Him dearly, and is faithful to Him. She can get along without, but prefers to be with Him, though natural habitats make that difficult.

Aegir and Ran

Two other Sea Vanes play a major role in Vanaheim, Aegir, the Brewer of the Gods, and His wife, Ran. Aegir is a homebody, cooking and brewing constantly. He prepares the feasts and serves them as well. He is elementally transsexualized, as is His wife. Ran is the Hunter-Gather of the Seas, She acts as the male provider. While She is feared by sailor and fisherman alike, a suitable offering to Her will ensure a good catch or fair winds. Her huge net can swallow up the largest fleet and carry it to the bottom. Here She echoes Hel as a Goddess of Death.



Sunna and Manni

Gender confusion (or intentional ambiguity) seems part and parcel of Vanic traits, the Goddess Sunna, and Her male counterpart, Manni, illustrate this point nicely. While grammatically feminine, the sun is often described in masculine terms, and personified throughout Indo-European culture as the Male, Sky-God, Solar Hero. The moon is likewise polarized, as feminine mysteries, like the Menstrual Cycle, and the Fates (as they relate to the months and the passage of time), despite it's masculine grammar-form.

While often a sore spot of debate, the understanding of polarities quickly throws "light" on the darkness. Each is bipolar (has two poles) and manifest them separately, and distinctly, depending on the situation. Like all the Vanir, the situation at hand and it's needs are far more important than a simple thing like natural tendency, so Manni and Sunna show themselves in different lights. They are children of Mundliferi.

It should be noted, that in the Voluspa, the translation of 5:3 and 5:5 transsexualizes this pair, "The Sun knew not what stead He held... The Moon knew not what stead She held...". The Snorri translation may have been due to Roman influences, however, since he frequently pointed out these contrasts, it seems unlikely he would have reversed them unless there was a preexisting ambiguity.



The Entourage

Assorted other Vanir, including the Disir and some of the Alfs, frequent Vanheim. Sjofn and Snorta are consorts of Freya, matchmaking people and giving the gifts of etiquette and grace to women in Midgard. Gefjn the strong willed Goddess who stole land from the King of Sweden is frequently counted among the Vanes, as is dark, Lunar Hulda...at home nowhere.



Not Quite

Several deities fall outside the realm of definition, and need to be explored. First and foremost of these is Loki. He is married to the Goddess Sigyn, presumably an Aesir, but one should never presume with Loki. It appears that Loki, also called Lodurr, is an Etin, made blood brother to Odin at the beginning of time. He apparently helps Woden shape the Worlds, and gave the gift of form to mankind. Thusly he may represent the darkest side of the Alfather. At any rate, the child of Farbauti and the Giantess Laufey, is the only chaotic and random factor in Asgard.

Despite the problems He causes the Gods, He is allowed to remain. Among the great gifts He provides the Gods with are: Slepnir, Odin's eight legged steed, Gungnir, His spear, Thor's Hammer, Frey's ship, Skidbladnir, and the Wall of Asgard. He brings Form and Fire to mankind and thus is called the "Fire Wight" and "Wise Etin". In contrast to the Good, he also creates much evil.

Loki fathers Hel, the World Serpent and the Wolf Fenrir. The Giantess Angrboda, is His mistress and the mother of these Evils. As a fire giant, he is brother of Surt, who will kill Frey and scorch the whole Earth. These creatures play an integral role in the doom of the world.

Yet, Loki even in tricking Hod into killing Baldur, acts in the cycle of life and death. He kills Baldur, so that Baldur may survive Ragnarok; and Ragnarok is the culmination of the macrocosmic cycle of death and rebirth, each building upon and improving the other. Fire is a purifying element. Loki is the refiner, the agent of purification, without which things would grow old and stale. He is bound by his own son, Nari's entrails, tied by Sif's knots to the Great Rock, and Gefjn hangs a serpent dripping venom - until Ragnarok when he will lead the armies of death.

Equally hard to place are Kvasir and Mimir, both Gods of incredible Wisdom and foresight. Kvasir is created from the spittle of the oath made by the Aesir and Vanir, He is said to be All Wise. Mimir, while given as a hostage by the Aesir to the Vanir, is called the Wise Etin, underlying an ancestry outside of Asgard. He is mentioned as a Giant, and brother of Odin's mother (the maternal uncle giving the gift of wisdom to his nephew). Both are symbolized by Mead, the drink of Wisdom, and both guard Wells at the roots of Yggdrasil.

Vali, cannot be an Aesir, for He slays Hod, as Odin's child He is not of the Vanir. Within the Aes, there are prohibitions against murdering kinsmen, even ones who do wrong (which is why they do not slay Loki, but bind Him upon the great rock), so His actions indicate other affiliations. Yet He is said to share Odin's High Seat with Viddar after Ragnarok.

Lastly, Volund, or Weyland, a smith and possibly a Dwarf or Alf, is worshipped as the patron of metalworkers. He is celebrated as the builder and craftsman, as well as a warrior.



Giants

Ambiguity allows those called etins, giants, thurses, trolls, rises, and jountuns to be lumped together. These beings embody raw, uncontrolled force, in particular manners. They are essentially neutral, but due to their Chaotic nature work far more woe than weal. Etins and Jountins are primeval beings, who often marry the Gods, despite their animosity. They may be of extraordinary beauty or wisdom. The Rises are mountain giants, similar to the lowland trolls. The Thurses are elemental giants and embody the forces of Fire and Ice directly. The trolls are almost neutral land wights, that may even bear you weal if gifted. Many witches who worked woe were said to be "half-troll", [More on Trolls in the section on Wights] and the magick of the giants can be incredibly strong. As a rule, their unstable nature and chaotic bend makes contact with them dangerous, that is why Thor is forever out hunting them. He seeks to bring all force in the universe under the direction of the Aesir, and thereby eliminate the danger inherent in randomness.

The Chief of the Rime (Frost) Giants is Hyrm, and He will ride forth at Ragnarok, across Nifelheim and into Midgard. Surt, the Fire Giant Chieftain, will slay Frey, with His brand. They lead the Giant Armies into the final battle.

Other Evil

The Spawn of Loki and Angraboda, who were born in the Iron Woods are terrible monsters, and the woe workers of the Nine Worlds. First and Foremost is Fenrir, the Wolf.

Although bound by the Gods, he will loose his fetters and swallow up Odin in the end. His brother is Garm, who sits outside Hel's gate. He too will loose his fetters and attack His brother's binder, Tyr. Jormundganger, the World Serpent will loose his tail from His mouth, and constrict

Thorr, but will die in the battle with the Warder of Midgard. Skoll and Hati, another pair of wolves circle the Earth, seeking to devour the Sun and Moon.

At the Ragnarok [ON-Doom of the Gods] Skoll and Hati swallow the Sun and Moon, three winters pass without a summer, the Fimbulwinter. Odin is felled by the Wolf Fenrir, but is retrieved / avenged by Vidarr who slays the wolf. Loki sails with legions from Hel in Nafalgar. He and Heimdall slay each other, in a brilliant flash of light. Tyr and Garm slay each other and Troth dies. Thor fells the Serpent but staggers only nine paces and dies from its venom. Frey falls to Surt's fire, for he has lost his sword. Freya (or Frigga) slays Hel, freeing Baldur and Hod. The Einherjar fight Loki's legions of the dead and all fall. The Tree itself shakes to its foundation, as Midgard is set ablaze by Surt, who is consumed in his own fire. Two humans take refuge in the tree and survive, they are Lif, and Lifthrasir. Thus the worlds can begin anew, ritually cleansed by fire. The Norse universe oscillates, waxes and wanes; it is inherently entropic, and the actions of the Gods can only delay, but never prevent, the end. But that entropy is natural and integral part of the progression that the Universe must have, in order to be.

http://normannii.org/guilds_lore/lore/gods_and_goddesses.htm

Dagna
Saturday, January 12th, 2008, 06:24 PM
New Normandy, sometimes referred to in Heathen circles as "Normannii Ţjóđ ok Rík", is an ongoing cultural and religious project, attempting to revive the ancestral faith of the Germanic people known to history as the "Normans". The Normans were an amalgamation of Danish and Norwegian warriors, pagan Viking, who fought under the banner of Prince Hrolf Gangelieri. Hrolf, or Rollo as he is later known, lead heathen armies that captured Western France and he settled his folk in the midst of the expanding Christian West. Establishing the Duchy of Normandy, Rollo's heirs would later go on to conquer England and Ireland, and parts of Italy and the Near East.
New Normandy is an attempt by us, their spiritual descendents, to revive their Elder ways of thinking, doing, and being. It is our hope that by reconnecting to this, our tribal heritage, we may foster a renewed sense of identity and vitality in the modern world.
The Reik is, in essence, the Web of Oaths that binds the Folk together in vor tru (our faith); as much as it is a "church", it is also a systematic tether, which binds those of our Thiud together as a tribe of inter-dependant clans and rooftrees. Normandy clings to the values and principles of retro-tribalism and takes the cultural context and tribal dynamics of our ancestors and works them into a modern expression. It is not for the timid, it is not an easy path, but it is Vor Normannitas, Our Own Normanness, and therefore worth our tireless efforts.
With an annual cycle of fainings (celebrations) held throughout the year in various places around the northeast United States, our Tribe gathers together as often as possible to honor our Gods, especially our Patron Tiw.

http://www.normannii.org/ (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.norm annii.org%2F)

http://www.normannii.org/images/hightable.jpg

DanseMacabre
Monday, January 14th, 2008, 04:12 AM
Interesting, I've never seen this group before. Thanks for posting.

Psychonaut
Monday, January 14th, 2008, 07:14 AM
If only I could be stationed on the East Coast...:(