Wight of the Nine Worlds


I welcome thee free spirit, which thou shalt come with an open heart, open mind and an open soul, for what you are about to read can only be understood by the wise who are eager to learn and to embrace the roots deep and forgotten in the hearts of the free people of Europe, by accepting who you are and where your roots lie, is half way into the great road of life. We will journey unto where our spirit takes us with the knowledge we gained. Learn and teach.

Asgard - Home of the Aesir ( 3rd Part )

Asgard 3rd part
2nd part of "Places in Asgard"


Valhalla is the most famous hall in Northern history. It is the home of the Einherjar, Odin's chosen who fall in battle. Its timbers are giant spear-shafts, and it is roofed with a dazzling array of many-colored battle shields. The carved figure of a wolf guards the western door, and the figure of an eagle the eastern one. Inside, it has five hundred and forty doors, and behind each door are rooms for eight hundred warriors. While Valhalla is by no means full, it does have enough people for a small city, populated entirely with the Dead.

The Einherjar spend their time feasting, fighting with each other for practice (being dead, if they fall, they are immediately revived to do it again), drinking, and being generally entertained. They are rowdy, boisterous, and often drunk. If you like the idea of hanging out with hundreds of drunken jocks whose idea of a good time is spitting each other on spears for fun, go ahead; they will welcome any visitor, especially if he has a story to tell. However, be careful to stay sober and not insult any of them, and don't enter fighting contests. Not only are they likely better than you, having little to do but practice fighting, you are a mortal and can be killed while they are already dead.

On the roof of Valhalla, you will see an enormous goat and an even bigger stag, wandering around grazing on the thatched roof as if it is a field. The she-goat's name is Heidrun, and she is milked twice daily. Her udders are enchanted to produce wine from one teat and beer from the other, as a way to get more liquor into the endless gullets of the Einherjar. The stag on the roof is named Eikthrynir (Oak Thorn), and with its goatish companion, it continually nibbles on the exposed bark of the enormous tree that grows up beside the roof. The tree is named Laerad, and it is a sucker-sapling of the World Tree.

The main route into the hall is through the great double doors, but they are of course heavily guarded. A back way into Valhalla is through the kitchen, where the cook Andhrimmer works. If you ask to help, he may give you a task in the scullery, and after a hard day's work you may be allowed to serve in the hall upstairs. Andhrimmer has a giant magical kettle, Eldhrimmer, in which he cooks the stew for the million starving warriors upstairs. One enormous resurrecting boar, Saehrimmer, is slaughtered every night for the feast and revived again the next morning with no memory of what happened.

The employees of Valhalla are Odin's Valkyries. All are tall, strong, fierce women who are sometimes referred to as "shield-maidens" or "corpse-goddesses". They can change into various birds such as ravens and swans, and are usually dressed in armor when on duty. Their first duty is to pick up anyone fallen in battle that Odin feels is appropriate, meaning that they are worthy of being in his troops, and they are his rightful territory. They are also tough enough to keep all those dead sword-jocks in line, and make sure that the fighting does not stray over outside of Valhalla's borders.

Be extremely respectful to any Valkyries you may encounter. Despite the fact that they may not be armed for war while in Odin’s hall - though they may, enjoying battle practice as much as the men- they are warriors and living extensions of Odin’s will. Insult them, particularly by denigrating their battle skills on the basis of gender, and it may well be the last insult you ever offer anyone. They are valued far more by Odin than most of his mortal warriors, and it is unlikely that the average mortal will be met warmly by them at first.

The Valkyries who are in charge of making sure that the Einherjar get fed are named Herfjotur, Goll, Geirahod, Geirdriful, Geirolu, Geirromul, Geirrondul, Geirskigull, Geiravor, and Skeggjold. Two more, Hrist and Mist, are Odin's personal dinner-servants and serve only him. The three most important Valkyries are Gondul, Hildr, and Skogul, who are in charge of deciding which warriors get taken on the battlefield. The three of them tend not to ride straight onto the field; they are generals who watch from the sky. They are mistresses of war magic, and can be invoked for aid and to teach battle-galdr. They will only teach those who are sworn to Odin, however (unless he instructs them to teach someone else), so don't bother them unless you are willing to make that commitment. One may also encounter human women who are claimed by Odin as his Valkyries and who occasionally visit Valhalla as well.

Second in command of decision-making are Gunnr and Rota, Valkyries who ride out on the battlefield and do the work of their commanders. They are sometimes accompanied by Skuld, the third Norn. Skuld's task seems to be one of both witnessing and veto power; the implication is that she represents and protects the interests of Fate, and will step in if she disagrees with the decisions of the Valkyries. (Other random valkyries that we know of are called Halmthrimull, Herja, Hervor, Hildeberg, Hjorthrimul, Holukk, Hrund, Kara, Kreimhildr, Olrun, Ragridr, Rangnid, Reginleif, Sanngridr, Sigrdrifa, Sigrun, Skamold, Svava, Svanhvit, Sveid, Svipull, Tanngnidr, Thogn, and Thrima. Eir occasionally rides with the valkyries as well, though her function seems to be that of a battlefield healer; she may bring a merciful death to some of the fallen.

Odin himself often visits Valhalla, dressed in full battle panoply and with his terrifying Grimnir aspect very close to the surface. It goes without saying that the Einherjar are all fanatically loyal to him and cheer his entry, and compete to serve him. Odin's magical spear is called Gungnir, and when he throws it over the heads of an army, it means that they are going to lose the battle. When he enters Valhalla, Gungnir is hung over the outside doorway, as a sign that he is within.

If you manage to be in Asgard for Yule, you might get a chance to see, or even participate in, the Asgardsreia. This is a Wild Hunt with Odin at the helm, followed by various mounted gods, wights, and some of the dead of Valhalla, hooting and screaming across the sky. The Asgardsreia flies over various worlds, but generally ends up tearing across Midgard and spooking the hapless inhabitants there. The Hunt may stop at various villages and demand food and drink, which will be provided by the terrified villagers. However, there is a purpose to this wild ride beyond just a mere frat-house-style prank. Many of the folk of Midgard have honored dead in Valhalla, and they consider it a blessing to see their dead husbands, sons, and ancestors riding with the Asgardsreia. Most will turn out in spite of their fright in order to catch a possible glimpse of their dead, and give them food and drink as offerings.

The hunt may also ride to claim unwary mortals whom they encounter in their wild ride, and to wreak vengeance on those who have wrought great offense to the All-Father. Occasionally they will ride to gather the soul of a great warrior who did not die in battle, or one whom Woden wishes to bring to Valhalla to join His troops. This however, is rare.

Gladsheim and Valaskjalf

Located on the plain of Idavoll (''Field of Tides") in the center of Asgard stands Gladsheim ("Hall of Joy"), the inner sanctuary of Asgard. Its roof is thatched with gold, and at the end of the hall is a great tower covered in silver called Valaskjalf. Idavoll is a rolling plain usually covered in silvery grasses; the winds blowing across it do make it resemble the ocean, and thus its fanciful name. Valhalla is close by, visible easily from Gladsheim's doorway.

The enormous golden roof is actually made of some sort of grass-thatch that glitters magically like metallic gold. There is a herd of goats on its roof, of which the most famous is Heidrun, the white alpha-nanny. They are milked daily to feed the Gods. Among them is a reindeer named Eikthrynir, who also gives forth milk. They browse from a giant tree, Laerad, that grows next to Gladsheim and hangs over its roof. Inside, feast tables are often spread, or else chairs are set up for meetings. This is divine territory, the ceremonial feast-hall of all the Aesir. At any given supper, several of them will be present, though almost never all of them; they are busy people. Odin often sees visitors here; in fact, if you have an appointment with him, this is the place to report, unless directed otherwise. His enormous and elaborately-carved throne rises at one end of the room, although unless it is during a feast or a formal occasion, he is more likely to be hanging out by the fire, chatting with friends.

There are other thrones up and down the room, between more normal chairs; each belongs to one of the Gods who has a voice on the Council of Asgard - Frigga, Thor, Sif, Tyr, Njord, Frey, Freya, Skadi, Bragi, Iduna, Heimdall, and Ullr. Other Gods may have influence, but their words generally have to go through one of these deities in order to be heard in council. It is not difficult to figure out whose throne is whose when they are empty - Freya's is wreathed in flowers even in the winter; Skadi's bears a white wolfskin, and so on.

The mascot of Gladsheim is an enormous horse named Falhofnir (Shaggy Forelock) who is ridden by Odin in ceremonial parades. Gullinkambi, one of the giant cockerels of the Nine Worlds whose job is to be a warning-siren for Ragnarok, likes to hang out on its roof.

Odin's two pet wolves, Geri and Freki, lay at the foot of his throne and are thrown meat at dinner. There is some question as to whether they are actual wolves, magical wolf-spirits, or werewolf Jotnar who never taken human form, at least not where they can be seen. Odin's two pet ravens, Huginn and Muninn, whose names mean Thought and Memory, can also sometimes be seen perching on his throne, when they are not off flying about to spy on the Nine Worlds for him. It is believed by some Woden’s-folk that Huginn and Muninn are a mated pair, male and female respectively.

If you are invited to dinner at Gladsheim, be on your best behavior. Don't get drunk. Offer to serve food and drink - the social customs here consider it an honor to serve your betters, so it's not about reducing you to an insignificant waiter. Being allowed to pour a God a cup of drink and bring it to them is an honor; don't forget that. If you can bring some kind of food offering as a gift, even better. The Gods sometimes debate things over dinner; if they ask you to testify, do so as honestly and objectively as possible. If they seem to want you to take sides, either side with your patron deity, if you have one - which they will all find appropriate - or if you don't have one or they are not present (or don't live in Asgard) try to stay neutral. Don't argue, don't get angry no matter what is said, don't get involved in political scheming, and generally remain gracious and unflappable.

Valaskjalf, although it is attached to Gladsheim like the turret on a castle, is technically considered a separate hall. This is because although Gladsheim is used by all the Aesir, Valaskjalf is Odin's alone. Geri and Freki's main job is to guard the tower door; they seem to have an instinct for when someone is approaching who wishes to enter it, and they will be up in a flash and growling at its gates. Do not try to pass them; they are authorized by Odin to use deadly force on anyone attempting to enter without permission. If you want to be using the Lord of Asgard's personal watchtower, you had best take that up with him directly. (And the answer will generally be no.)

Valaskjalf is dizzyingly tall, made of silvery-white stone, and thatched with silver. In the top of the tower is Hlidskjalf, Odin's great throne of watching. From this vantage point, he can look out a magically enchanted window/mirror and see much (but certainly not all) of the Nine Worlds. Some places, such as parts of Jotunheim, Muspellheim, and Niflheim, the underground areas of Nidavellir, and the entirety of Helheim behind the wall (Hela likes her privacy and can enforce it) are hidden from him. Still, if he cares to look, he can see much of what is happening in other places. His ravens, Huginn and Muninn, fly out from the tower frequently in order to bear messages and gather information.


Frigga's hall Fensalir is whitewashed with a golden roof, echoing the birch trees that surround it. Birch is Frigga's special tree, and the white trunks and yellow leaves in the fall match the graceful hall and its fine statuary. The lawns are dotted with golden chamomile, the plant called "Baldur's Brow" in honor of her dead son. Behind Fensalir stretch the great fens that give the place its name, filled with the haunting calls of herons and the croaking of frogs.

The hall itself is large, with many smaller houses satelliting around it, which you pass on the way down the road to the great white door itself. Inside, however, it seems homely and bright, smelling of good food and drying herbs, every hearth a busy center of cooking, brewing, and making medicines. While most of the importance in Asgard seems to be centered around Valhalla and Gladsheim - at least for mortals who record such things - Fensalir is incredibly important to the functioning of this realm. It is the center of all small industry in Asgard.

We tend to associate industry with ugliness and pollution, but Asgard runs on what could be termed "home industry", only on a divinely magical scale. Fensalir and its dozens of satellite halls include barns for caring for livestock, especially sheep, goats and poultry; great kitchens that preserve immense amounts of food; workshops full of folk skilled at many homely crafts; and halls for fiber arts including the vast looms that weave the fabric for the clothing of the Gods, which may be from wool, flax, or in the case of Frigga's own spinning, the stuff of the clouds themselves.

Frigga, the Lady of the Aesir, is far more than merely some brood-consort of Odin. She is the most powerful woman in Asgard, and equal in counsel, as far as Odin is concerned, with Tyr, Thor, and Njord. Indeed, the position she holds is very much like that of prime minister to her king-husband. One of her attributes is that of frith-keeper; in this usage, "frith" refers to the kind of peace created when everything runs smoothly, everyone plays their part, and no one feels slighted or wronged by the part of another. This kind of peacemaking is just as relevant to running a country as it is to running a household. Frigga is no decorative First Lady; she is a seer of great worth whose advice Odin takes seriously, the patron of marriage - and thus socially structured relationships - and the patron of all the works (crafts, cooking, etc.) that go into running a proper home, or stead, or village, or town, or country. Although she will not try for peace when it is clear that violence is coming, Frigga is an exceptional strategist and will seldom use force where strategy can prevail. That being said, Frigga is not to be trifled with in any way. She is quite formidable and the times when she has set her will against her husbands, she has come out the victor every time

Unless something important is happening at Gladsheim or Vingolf, Frigga is usually found at home in Fensalir, busy overseeing her various helpers. She is tall, lovely, and incredibly gracious, with the generosity of the most perfect hostess ever, but if you abuse her hospitality she is capable of turning icy-cold and showing you to the door with frigid politeness. She is very much a Queen, and rules Fensalir with a velvet-gloved iron hand.

Most of the smaller halls around Fensalir belong to Frigga's handmaidens. How many of them exist, and what their names and attributes are, is a somewhat shifting list. The best UPG information on them, and for that matter on Fensalir, Frigga, and its denizens, can be found in Alice Karlsdottir's book Magic of the Norse Goddesses (RunaRaven Press, 2003), and we highly recommend this book as the best guide if you intend to have dealings in Fensalir. To cover all of the information Alice Karlsdottir has provided would not only take up too much space for this small guidebook, it would be reinventing the wheel. Instead, we will only touch on each of the known (and some of the little-known) of Frigga's handmaidens, in case you run into them. Some have their own halls, while some prefer to hole up in Fensalir itself. One of them, Saga, has her own hall in an entirely different area of Asgard, and is described there, although she can sometimes be found at Fensalir. They are Frigga's "captains"; besides them, there are dozens of other working folk, mostly women, under her command.

First of Frigga's handmaidens is her sister Fulla, goddess of abundance, usually described as a buxom maiden with long golden hair. As the keeper of Frigga's jewelry box, she has a special relationship with gems and precious stones. That she is the keeper of Frigga’s jewelry box is significant. The Lady of the House controls the wealth of the house, and the jewel box is symbolic of this. Human servants of Frigga who have gotten a glimpse inside the box maintain that it contains much more than temporal wealth alone, being a reservoir of power. Fulla is also the keeper of Frigga's shoes, of which it is said that there are many pairs and they are all magical. She was also called Abundantia, and she wears a golden snood. Fulla lives in Fensalir itself and is very much the second-in-command when Frigga is busy. If you intend to visit Fensalir often, it might be good to get to know Fulla, as she may have good advice on how to handle the others in residence.

Probably the most important, and most highly sought-out, of Frigga's women is Eir the Healer of the Aesir. She is usually described as dignified, practical, plain-looking, with an air of trustworthy competence; she might walk up to you and ask to see a wound in a private place and you would do it, feeling secure that she will respond with useful, professional courtesy. She has a small but spacious house of her own among the satellite buildings of Fensalir, with herbs hanging from the ceilings and medicine in various stages of manufacture. Light and airy rooms hold beds for the sick and wounded that need tending; you will almost never see anyone there as you pass the rooms, though. That doesn't mean that they aren't there, but Eir believes in privacy for her patients, so the rooms will seem empty as you pass. If you go there for healing, you will be shown to one that is actually empty. If you go to learn healing, she might take you on her rounds, but most patients will still be invisible to you. There is also a fountain in the ante-chamber of this house of healing, and its waters are immensely cleansing to wounds of all kinds within and without. Visitors are encouraged to avail themselves of these healing waters.

Gna, Frigga's messenger, does not have her own hall but keeps a small room in Fensalir, which she only visits to sleep. She is always on the go, running from place to place on her horseback errands, and quite content and happy to be continually moving. Gna rides a horse named Hofvarpnir (Hoof-Flourisher). She loves horses and with no provocation may start talking about their gifts, bloodlines, etc., and how her horse is the foal of two others named Gardrofa and Harmskerpir (Thick-Skinned). She will also gladly chat about the other horses in Asgard and their bloodlines - Glad, Gyllir, Glœr, Skeidbrimir, Silfrtopp, Sinir, Gils, Falhofnir, and Lettfeti, among others.

Gefjon, said to be a strong farmworker who could lift oxen by herself, may likely be either a giantess or an Aesir with strong giant-blood. Certainly the lore tells of her four sons, all giants, whom she turned temporarily into oxen in order to plow the island of Zealand away from the continent. She is a patron of manual laborers, working men and women; and also of unmarried girls. She has no daughters, but will advise any young woman about strength and holding their own in a difficult world. As such, she can be called on to help any teenage girl who is in trouble or confused about her life. She has her own cottage, behind the cow-barns. 

Snotra, the handmaiden of virtue and hard work, is a quiet goddess who lives in Fensalir proper. Average folk seek her out for advice on right living, moderation, keeping their temper, etc. She does not give advice unless asked, and even then is calm and not preachy. She is an excellent Goddess to approach for advice in diplomacy.

Lofn is the protector of lovers, called upon for arranging for their romance. Lofn intercedes for them when others disapprove, which means that most of her traffic these days is with relationships that society tends to disapprove of; however, she feels that love is love and ought to be encouraged. She spends as much time in Sessrumnir, working with Freya, as she does in Fensalir with Frigga. She has her own small cottage, with a thatched roof full of birds who carry messages to and from lovers.

Sjofn is also seen frequently at Sessrumnir; she is the handmaiden of peacemaking between warring mates. Couples often come to her for relationship counseling when they are having problems. She has her own cottage, peaceful and calm, where she conducts her counseling; all weapons must be laid outside the door and well out of reach before anyone can enter it. She is also sometimes called upon by Forseti to do mediation of a larger sort between enemies, especially when they were once close.

Var, the goddess who witnesses oaths, is a mostly silent witness, rarely seen even at Fensalir unless someone is doing something that she needs to witness. She stands quietly beside the altar at every wedding in Asgard, and can be called upon for all weddings or commitments. She is unyielding, and considers all oathbreakers to be in the wrong, regardless of their reasons. Don't go looking for her; if you need her as a witness, she will show up. Her weapon is the staff, which she will occasionally utilize on oathbreakers.

Hlin, the handmaiden of mourning, gives comfort and consolation to those who are grieving. She generally appears as a comforting, maternal middle-aged woman dressed in dark grey, and she has her own cottage, starkly furnished, for those who wish to bare their souls to her, weep, and be gathered to her breast. You likely won't see Hlin unless you need her for some reason, and then, if you are visiting Asgard, your feet may take you to her cottage. According to some who work with her, she is also a battle Goddess. Hlin is a weaponsmaster, and for those few whom Frigga finds worthy, will teach both Her skill and wisdom in warcraft. She has what can only be described as a "weapons-salle" in one of the back rooms of Fensalir, a stark room with gleaming wood floor and high windows where she practices her craft and takes those sent to her to practice. She is best approached respectfully.

Syn is the doorkeeper of Fensalir, and another goddess of oathtaking. She lives in Fensalir proper, and if you come in after hours, it will be Syn who lets you in....or decides not to. Frigga trusts Syn's instincts, and generally lets her have her head when she is in charge of the door. You will have to explain your reasons for entering, and convince her that it is so important that folks must be disturbed in their beds.

Vor is another rarely-seen handmaiden. She is a seer and wisewoman, small and dark and often veiled. She is not called upon for divination, for like Frigga, she sees much but is close with her information. She is called upon more often by diviners to bless their work and show them how to do it more smoothly, a task which she will teach, if she feels that you are doing it for good reasons. She lives in a small room in the back of Fensalir proper, which is off limits to all mortals.

Huldra, the hardworking handmaiden of flocks and herds, is often conflated with Holda. To date, some folks say that they are the same, and some that they are different. Either way, Huldra is said to have a cow's tail, and to be the patron of the Huldre-folk, small earth-wights of Midgard. She is not often seen at Fensalir during the day, as her job is shepherd/goatherd/cowherd, taking the flocks out to the fields and seeing them safe home again.

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