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 Norse Gods and Goddesses [Bragi,Baldur,Frigga,Freyr,Freya,Thor,Odin,Loki,Hel]

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Asagami



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PostSubject: Norse Gods and Goddesses [Bragi,Baldur,Frigga,Freyr,Freya,Thor,Odin,Loki,Hel]   March 31st 2011, 4:02 am

-Marti

Bragi

Son of Odin and Frigga, Bragi was the most eloquent and well-spoken of the Gods. He was the patron of poetry, music, literature, wit and humour. He supposedly had runes carved into his tongue, which brought him his inspiration. His beloved wife was Idunn, the Goddess of youth and beauty. Bragi is often called up at Valhalla to entertain with song and story. Poetic inspiration in men came from drinking Bragi's 'mead of poetry'
In Nordic culture, oaths were sworn with a drink from the Bragarfull (Bragi's Cup), but Bragi himself had no such goblet according to any of the myths.
Because of a lack of mention in Norse myth, some have concluded that Bragi was actually a part of Odin's own personality, rather than a separate being of his own. Another theory is that Bragi was a mortal poet from the 9th century, whose reputation was so great that he was written into later stories and raised to God status.
Baldur

Baldur was the shining son of Odin and Frigga. He stood for goodness, honesty, joy, peace and forgiveness. Though he was a wise and cheerful God, he really had little power compared to the other Deities. In Asgard, Baldur's hall was called Breidablik (meaning "broad splendor"). Baldur's son, Brono, was a minor God of daylight.
Unfortunately, due to a plot by Loki, Baldur was killed by an arrow made from mistletoe and shot by another God (Hod). He could have been returned to the world of the living, if every living thing mourned his death. But the giantess, Thokk, would not cry for Baldur's soul. So, Baldur will remain in the land of the dead (Hel) until the end of the world (Ragnarok). His funeral pyre was lit on his great ship, Hringhorn and was pushed out to sea by the giant, Hyrrockin.
After the world is reborn after Ragnarok, Baldur will rise and become a great ruler.
This story is really the only documentation about Baldur, and so he is not as well-developed as some of the other Gods and Goddesses of this pantheon.



Frigga

Frigga ruled over house and home, and was involved in many women's mysteries. She was wife to Odin, and mother to Baldur. As patron Goddess to married women, she was often called on during childbirth and for the protection of children. Frigg was the Goddess of women's crafts, such as spinning, sewing, and cooking. Though her husband spent much time and energy to learn about the future, Frigga had the natural ability to see the destinies of all people. She was Odin's equal and ruled by his side.
She had her own hall in Asgard, called Fensalir (the water or marsh hall). Frigga wove and spun the clouds in her hall, and spent much time with Odin there. The souls of married couples who wished not to be separated after death would come to Fensalir.
To protect her son, Baldur, who was destined to die, Frigga made every earthly thing swear an oath to her that they would do Baldur no harm. Except she neglected to ask the mistletoe. When Loki discovered Baldur's weakness, he tricked another God into firing an arrow made of mistletoe at Baldur, and killed him. Frigga is seen as a mourning mother because of her son's death. Her tears are the dewdrops on the grass in early morning.
Freyr

The twin brother to Freya, Freyr was the Vanir Sun God who also ruled over all the weather. Freyr was a God of fertility, and was sometimes depicted with horns, much like the Celtic fertility God, Cernunnos. He was handsome and popular, like his sister. Besides fertility, Freyr ruled over sexuality, abundance, ships and sailors, oaths and bravery in battle.
His wife was the frost giantess Gerda, and who came to wed Freyr through the assistance of Freyr's servant Skirnir who helped the two to meet. In exchange for his help, Freyr gave Skirnir his magickal sword. Of course, Freyr only first saw Gerda because he snuck onto Odin's throne one day and was able to see all of the nine worlds, and fell in love with the beautiful giantess.
He rode a golden boar called Gullenbursti, which was a symbol for the rising sun. Freyr also had a magick ship named Skidbladnir that never took the wrong heading. Though the boat was large enough to hold all the Gods, Freyr could disassemble it so that he could carry it in his pocket.
Unlike many of the other Norse Deities, Freyr did not reside in Asgard but lived in Alfheim instead. Alfheim was one of the nine worlds in Norse myth (the world of mankind was Midgard). This was the place where the light elves lived, and was the realm of Freyr.
The bloodline of early Scandinavian royalty, particularly the Yngling family, traces its roots directly back to Frey.
Freya

Due to similar names, Freya is sometimes confused today with Frigga (Odin's wife). Possibly on account of the many similarities in their myths. Some scholars say that they were indeed a single Goddess at one point in history.
Freya was sister to Freyr, and daughter of an older ocean God, Njord. Freya was a Goddess of love, fertility, sexuality, magick, wealth, the moon and luck. In our modern calendar, Friday is named for her. She was a popular and well-loved Goddess among the Nordic people. Though a love Goddess, she was still courageous on the battlefield. Freya was associated with fertility, but that role was taken up more strongly by Frigga.
She ruled over all cats, and she rode in a chariot pulled by two huge cats, named Bygul and Trygul. In this and several of her other traits, she is closely related to the Egyptian Goddess, Bast.
In the afterlife, half of the warriors whose souls came to Asgard came to her hall, Sessrumnir. Her other role in Asgard is to control the Valkyries, who were the female spirits of war, that collected the souls of the dead from the battle field and conveyed them to the halls of Asgard.
As with most Norse Deities, she had a special magickal item that was named and unique in power to her. Her amber necklace was called Brisingamen, and was given to her by four Dwarves (who represent the 4 elements). The necklace made Freya invincible on the battlefield.



Thor

Thor is a well-known figure in Norse mythology, as the red-haired God of Thunder. He was son to Odin, but was not as unstable as his father. Though Thor could be impulsive, he was fearless, reliable and honest in battle. He was sometimes described as being a little slow-witted as well. Thor was married to the corn Goddess, Sif. In our modern calendar, Thursday is named for Thor. His Germanic name was Donner or Donnar.
His war-hammer was Mjolnir (Destroyer) and belt was Megingjardar (Strength Increasing). In typical Norse style, he traveled in a bronze chariot pulled by two large goats. He rides through the sky, creating thunder with Mjolnir. In battle, Thor's hammer would always return to him after it was thrown. No enemy could stand against it. The hammer was so great, that it was the central symbol for the Norse beliefs (today known as Asatru).
As with all the Gods, Thor has his own hall in Asgard called Bilskirnir. This was where the souls of slaves went after death. Thor was the patron God of the common peasants and servants because he would welcome them after death.
At Ragnarok (the end of the world), Thor will be the one to fight the Midgard serpent and slay it. He will also die in that battle, but his sons Magni (Strength) and Modi (Courage) will inherit his role and Mjolnir.
Odin

Odin (also known as Woden) was the greatest of the Norse Gods, and called the All-Father. He had an unpredictable personality, and could be untrustworthy. Odin ruled over the runes, poetry, magick, knowledge, weather, civilization, justice and the arts. Though he was clearly associated with civilized things, he could become crazed during battle. Part of his gifts to mankind were 3 different kind of 'frenzies': battle rage, prophetic trance, and poetic creativity.
Though all-powerful, most average people feared Odin more than they worshipped him. Only high royalty and veteran warriors worshipped Odin.
In the afterlife, it was Odin's great hall that all warriors hoped to go after death. All of the Gods and Goddesses had halls in Asgard (the land where the Gods resided), but Odin's Valhalla was the grandest of them all. Only great and honoured warriors came here after death, for never-ending feasting and battle.
In his pursuit of knowledge, Odin hung like the dead from the branches of the World Tree (Yggdrasil). After 9 days, he discovered the secret of the Runes, which are still used today for divination.
He was often in the company of his 2 ravens and 2 wolves. The ravens names were Huginn and Muninn, which mean Thought and Memory. These birds flew throughout Asgard and the human world to bring news to Odin. The wolves were called Geri and Freki. His animal companions also included an 8-legged horse named Sleipnir.
Loki

Loki is a familiar name in mythology, and most know him as a trickster God. He had more qualities that just that though. He was associated with all forms of mischief, stealth, thievery, revenge, lies and dark magick, and natural disasters like earthquakes, and fires. Loki was a shape-changing Giant, married to Angerboda. They had three children. Two were considered monsters (Jormungand, the sea-serpent, and the Fenris wolf), and the third was Hel, the Goddess of the Dead.
After he tricked Hod (or Hoden) into firing the mistletoe arrow that killed Baldur, Loki was punished by being chained to a rock until Ragnarok. Not only was he chained to a rock, but a serpent hangs above him, dripping venom on Loki's face. As he writhes in pain, earthquakes are born.
During another one of his tricks, Loki had turned himself into a mare in order to lure a magick stallion away from its work on Asgard. From that encounter, Loki became pregnant and gave birth to the eight-legged horse, Sleipnir. Loki gave the horse to Odin.
One wonders why the other Gods tolerated such a trouble-maker in their midst. It's been suggested that Loki was originally a more benign character, but myths were re-written and altered with the coming of Christianity to make him fall more in line with the evil figure of Satan.




Hel was the daughter of the trickster God Loki. Her siblings were the Fenris wolf and Jormungand the serpent. Hel is described as being half alive, and half corpse (or sometimes simply as half white and half black). In many ways, she is similar to the Greek goddess, Hecate. Hel is called upon for magick, divination and she was the guardian of the crossroads.
Though the Christian version of the underworld gets its name from this Norse Goddess, the realm that she actually ruled was quite different from the fire & brimstone Hell. The underworld of Norse myth was actually called Niflheim and there went the souls of those who died, but not in battle (usually of old age, accident or disease). Hel ruled here from her own hall, Helheim. Sometimes the names Niflheim and Helheim are used interchangeably, and then her hall is called Sleet-Den.
Though her role might seem unpleasant, she was happy when given the Underworld as her kingdom. In thanks, it was Hel who gave Odin his pair of ravens, Huginn and Muninn.
Due to her remote and lonely home, she was not part of many Norse myths and therefore has little detail surrounding her.


Hel

Hel was the daughter of the trickster God Loki. Her siblings were the Fenris wolf and Jormungand the serpent. Hel is described as being half alive, and half corpse (or sometimes simply as half white and half black). In many ways, she is similar to the Greek goddess, Hecate. Hel is called upon for magick, divination and she was the guardian of the crossroads.
Though the Christian version of the underworld gets its name from this Norse Goddess, the realm that she actually ruled was quite different from the fire & brimstone Hell. The underworld of Norse myth was actually called Niflheim and there went the souls of those who died, but not in battle (usually of old age, accident or disease). Hel ruled here from her own hall, Helheim. Sometimes the names Niflheim and Helheim are used interchangeably, and then her hall is called Sleet-Den.
Though her role might seem unpleasant, she was happy when given the Underworld as her kingdom. In thanks, it was Hel who gave Odin his pair of ravens, Huginn and Muninn.
Due to her remote and lonely home, she was not part of many Norse myths and therefore has little detail surrounding her.


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