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.

Staffordshire Hoard

Near the village of Hammerwich, near Lichfield, in Staffordshire, Terry Herbert found a lot of golden artefacts in a field, he called  the archaeologists so they could do a proper work in the field and find what all of those golden objects were. In the excavation they found more than 3,500 items, dated more or less between the 7th and 8th centuries, in a time when the Anglo-Saxons were in the land. Why were these items buried in this place? Why this many?

We know that from time to time, hoards like these are found, the purpose of placing them in there is unclear, or at least we are never sure why the specific hoard is placed there, it could be for safe keeping, hidding the treasure so maybe later some one could retrieve it, or it can be a great gift for a dead king or any other person of great importance to the people who may have made the burial, or a gift to the gods or landspirits, for some hoards are found in rivers also.

From this finding other 91 pieces have been discovered subsequent to the initial excavation.  It was found that 81 of these items were part of the original treasure, they were close to the original spot , 8 of these were modern farm wastes, and 2 were from different deposits altogether, a bir far away from the original spot, more or less 50 meters away.  Of these 2 items, which were little more than 2-3 centimetres in length,were two scraps of copper alloy being Anglo-Saxon harness fittings, decorated with patterns of interweaving lines. They are unlikely to be chance losses, we can't expect that harness pieces just fall off a horse and two separate losses would be very unlikely. These two items are similar to  the items in the original hoard and it is clear that people returned to the place, possibly more than once, and buried similar material in this field.

As i have told, some findings similer to this one might have been gifts to deceased people, but the original excavation of the Staffordshire hoard snown no sign of a burial mound. Local folk tell of a small hillock in the field, right where the hoard was discovered. During the initial excavation, a later field boundary curved at this point, as if it were avoiding or perhaps respecting something pre-existing, perhaps the hillock. Soil surveys suggest the hillock was formed from sand and clay, which would have affected vegetation growth at this spot, making it even more noticeable.

Most items found here, are war-like, swords, axes, helmets and all kinds of things that support those weapons, like swords hilts and so on, and even a gold cross that may have been a standard to lead troops into battle. This is most likely to be war-loot, items taken from many foes in a battlefield and placed it in here for some purpose. The Norse people were used to loot many things from their foes, and place those items on a long boat such as the Hjortspring boat from Sweden, and deliberately sink them, giving all the loot as gifts to their war god Odin if he granted them victory ( Tyr was their war god, but it was Odin that would determine which army was to be victorious ). So it is clear that to the Anglo-Saxons this might have been a common thing to do, since they didn't abandoned their pagan past and costums.

The Hillock in this field might have been to these people a natural barrow for a god or a mythical character from their stories, or even a powerful ancestor, so it is possible that the mound had such stories like these that people started to visit it often and place in it the spoils of war, to pay homage to a deity, or it might have been possible that before the Anglo-Saxons, this place had already a story like this, from some ancient powerful/magical figure to the people native to this place, some sort of a Celtic deity or being, or even a hero, so great that it became a respectful figure to the Anglo-Saxons. It might have been the place to cal upon this figure, for aid, be that in battle, or having courage, being skillful in the arts of war and things like that. People would pray to a god, a spirit, an ancestor for victory in battle or any other thing, if they granted them what they wished, they would give them great gifts, and if they won, always true to their words, they would return to the place to give those gifts and all that they could loot, thankful for being alive and achieve victory. This might explain the other objects slightly different but war-like also, placed not in the same spot but near the excavation sight, probably small offerings.

This is just speculation, a possible reason for the burial of this hoard, although very much plausible.

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Vili Brother of Odin

Odin is one of the most famous gods in the Norse pantheon, i dare say he is one of the most famous gods of all the European deities, for even those who do not follow the Norse traditional paganism and faith know him one way or another. However, people seldom talk about his brothers, and today this post will be about one of his brothers called Vili.

Vili is the god of motivation, like his brother, Vé, little is known about them, for among the three brothers, it was Odin that mortals, gods and other beings gave more importance, and his brothers were put aside. The three brothers together slew Ymir the mountain frost giant which many realms were built using his body parts. Before Odin became the king of Asgard, the three brothers were very close, and worked together in many ways. It is said that the brothers of Odin went to Asgard with his wife Frigga, when Odin was wandering for nine years in search for wisdom, but there are other versions of this story, for instance, one says that when Odin finally came back to Asgard, he threw is brothers out, it isn't clear what happened in truth, but in what we can be certain is that the three brothers got separated in some way and never again had the same connection they had before.

One of the most famous tales involving the three brothers, is that of when they created the first humans, when after the great flood resulting from Ymir's murder, and his blood flowed over the nine realms, the three brothers found a pair of logs on the beach and decided to bring them to life. Odin gave them breath and so life flowed in them, Vili gave them the ability to think and gave them senses, and Vé gave them other gifts. The human couple were left alone, they were called Ask and Embla. A passing boat of fleeing Giants led by Bergelmir, found the two humans, and before they drowned because the tides were spreading, they set the pair in a tree so they could survive.

Vili is the god people can cal upon when they have new ideias, inspirations, things they actually want to put in action and perform, but they lack of motivation, and Vili is the god that helps in the first step to realize and put into practice any ideas. He can also be called to help in thinking,  free will or feeling, when it comes to physical illness that prevents us from feeling when talking about the sense of touch.

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Prehistoric Senses

Have you ever imagine how our ancestors lived when much of Europe was covered with woodlands? No mass buildings made of concrete, nor artificial lights, not even the sounds of mechanized vehicles or the mass population making lots of noises, going to and fro in stress, tension, tedious and grumpy.

Our ancestors experienced a world far different than we do nowadays, when all the land was very much covered by trees and people could only move from one place to another in tracks known to them, clearly marked on the ground by the feet of their own ancestors, or they would travel in open plains, well visible for any predator. Imagine the connections they had with the trees, it wasn't just to get wood for the fires, or to build houses and tools, but also to measure the life progress, seeing how time passed by carving something in the tree trunk, or watching the seasons go by and actually know in which season of the year they were, when the leafs change colour or fall, or when a tree bears fruit. For our ancestors distance wasn't measured by how much time they spent from one place to another and back, hours, minutes, seconds didn't exist, not even kilometers nor miles, they would measure distance by the light of the day, the position of the sun, or when travelling by night to avoid enemies into the deep darkness of the forests, it would be measured by the moon or the stars, distance to them could be a matter of a few steps and the sun going from the horizon up into the sky above them, or a matter of a couple of suns and moons passing in the sky over and over again.

Our ancestors would be far more aware of the passing of seasons by watching the trees changing, the weather, the colours of the clouds and the sky, even the in the fur of foxes, bears and wolves or in the migration of some birds. Most of the life they had and the things they experienced is beyond our understanding nowadays, the sounds they heard when they travelled in the forests, working every sense we possess, and people would relie on their ears and eyes better than we do today.
Going from one place to another, to live or to hunt, depended on the weather, season and time of the day, when the sky was moonless, it would be hard to travel, so they would count on the light of the moon which would enabled them to see, or perhaps their night vision was better than ours, since we are too used to the artificial lights of post lamps. Agriculture was an activity which accompanied the cycle of nature in a well balanced way. All other activities would have their own seasonal time, or would depend very much on the weather, such as the coastal activities, the shifting tides would tell people if the fishing activity would be good or bad depending on the waves, the coastal sounds, the birds and the weather. The rising and the setting of the sun was probably quite relevant for most activities in the Prehistoric times.

We have forgotten much of these times, how to be in a deep contact with nature, almost spiritual like ( probably in those times, spirituality would have been easier to understand, being in constant contact with the divine through nature ), it seems we have also forgotten how to use our own senses, we don't work them the way we should, we relie on what people may tell us through the tv screan rather than trusting our own instincts and senses.

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The Nine Worlds: Helheim

In the Norse cosmology there are nine different worlds, connected to each other, worlds with their own fauna, natural landscapes and beings. Some see these worlds as separate planets, but in truth, the world is the same, but each continent is so vast, that it seems that each ream is a different world, with landscapes differing from each other.
We know of these places as the world of the gods, spirits and the dead, in other words, the afterlife. Through ages before history was recorded, certain humans had the ability to travel into these places, spiritual leaders of each tribe, shamans, who could travel in trance to these places, even today these kind of people exist and they can do the same work others did, so we might have a vast lore about the landscapes, the creatures and other beings that inhabit each realm. The Norse/Germanic people called the other world as the Nine worlds, and each world has its name and also lands within, but in truth it's just one huge world, the first to travel there by trance had the perception that it each landscape were different worlds because they didn't had the chance to stay there too long in order to travel from one continent to another, from land to land, and each time they visited, they were in just one, also in ancient times it was thought that the earth was flat and it would eventually end in a endless waterfall into the black abys of the surrounding universe, so this was also thought to happen in the other world, because traveling in certain continents eventually one would end up near the ocean, and this was why people thought that one world ended there and beyond started another one. Fortunately our knowledge of things grew, and as some of us can still travel to the other world by trance, we have a better perception of the landscapes, and we know that these worlds are all connected in one, oceans might divide one continent from another, but we know that rivers, forests and mountains also do, and by crossing those, we can reach the other realms.
As i have been talking here in my blog about all the other realms, i left Helheim as the last one on purpose, because it lies in the far south of the other world, but also because Helheim isn't what most people think it is, as you know, it is from Helheim or the goddess ruler of this realm, Hela/Hel, that the Christian Hell comes from, the scary, horrific place to scare people, but in truth, Helheim from the Norse mythology ins't such a place and i am about to describe it for you.

Before it was called Helheim, its name was Jormungrund, this was the underworld, the realm of the dead which had a lot of souls of dead Jotnar the great giants, and also some live ones lived there. This name can be translated to "huge-surface" or "huge world" because in this time, Asgard didn't exist and much of the entire world was in the domain of the Jotnar, so Jormungrund might be refering to a huge portion of lands. Jormungrund was ruled by Hel, but apparently it wasn't the same Hel we know today, because someone has to take care of the dead but not forever, or at least it used to be like this, the name Hel and this rulership over the dead is passed on to another when the former ruler retires, and so that was what as been happaning till Hela the daughter of Loki took this title. There is the need to watchover the dead because as legend says, when one of these "Hel" died, the dead roamed all the nine realms for seven years. Mimir, the consort of the last Hel did whatever he could do to keep things in order until one from another race was chosen to the task of keeper of the dead. Each race of the nine realms wanted to have a member of their own to this task, it would give them great power, even between tribes of the Jotnar this was so, and Angrboda, the leader of the Wolf clan of the Jotnar, and would become the leader and queen of all the clans hereafter, had a daughter with Loki, her name was Hela and she had the mark that she would be the next to be tasked for the "job" of keeper of the dead, and so it was, she claimed rulership over the dead lands and became the death goddess.
Hela took over Jormundgrund and changed it completely, renaming it Helheim. The place used to be filled with dark caves, but she turned the land into a better and beautiful place, planting orchards, and different types of trees and grass grew, the land became peaceful and colorful fields and forests, and it seems it is always in the autumn season and in this place she built the castle Elvidnir. Hela was different than all the other before her who had this task to watch over the dead, her great power was spread all over the land, giving to it a better place for the dead, to rest, to be at peace and joy. Helheim is the biggest of all the nine realms, but it is hard to say how big it is because the places where the dead are, very few can enter, even that live in the other realms, so most visit Helheim in certain parts of it, but aren't able to see it in its fullness. This is because Hela loves her realm and the people in it, either the living or the dead ones, protecting them, the place is well guarded, only those who live there, are able to go to and fro, others not from that area can only enter if they are invited by Hela herself. Since Helheim is far to the south, it is a rarity to have daylight, most of the time is night and dark, however the sky is of a light blue as if the moon was there, and it is filled with stars, but in some places it's dusk, or a late afternoon atmospher, probably to the northwest. A chain of mountains are the border between Niflheim and Helheim, huge and covered with snow most of them, for the cold of Niflheim is felt near them. The famous river Gjöll begins in these mountains and run all the way into Helheim, also making a boundary separating the area that can be visited by anyone, from the area where the dead live.
Being a huge realm, Helheim has many entrances, gates well protected by guardians who are seldom seen, unless one of those guardians is Mordgud, she is a famous deity. However, the main gate called Helgrind, is the most important entrance into Helheim, or the easier to get to for all the others are hidden, or are very hard to find. Passing the bridge over the great river Gjöll is the only way into the Main gate. At the other end of the bridge lies Mordgud's tower, made of black solid stone, and none enters in Helheim without stating their business to this etin woman.
Helheim is a beautiful realm, nothing to do with the Christian Hell, even if this place is most of the time in the darkness of the night, it isn't that dark at all, however it might be scary in some areas, the dense autumn forests are beautiful but many creatures live there, and the air is filled with all sorts of wild noises, also by the shore, especially to the south, lies the ocean, cold and of a very thick dark blue almost black, speaking for myself, i don't like dark waters at all. But the most horrifying place in Helheim is Nastrond, the great hall of serpents, as you might imagine by the name, it is filled with serpents coiling in the roof of the hall, and the place is filled with tormented souls down below, in agony while the venom of the serpents falls in them and burns the skin, this place might have been what made the christians think of their Hell as the place for sinners, who need to be punished and tortured for their deeds, however Hela isn't a malicious goddess that amuses herself by torturing people for no reason ( this might had led christians to create the profile of the Devil ), Nastrond has a purpose, it isn't just the home of snakes and the great wingless dragon Nidhog, in this place, those who are there choose to be there, no one is tossed by force, the people who think they have done something wrong in life, murder, robery, or anyother thing you can imagine as wrongness, go into this place, because they feel the need to be punished somehow in order to learn something, the first step to their eventual change into becoming better people. Everyone is free to enter and leave, the doors are not locked, but those who choose this place in a ordeal matter, have great courage and the sense that they did awful things.
Here it ends the nine worlds, who can read more about the other realms in the respective lable here in my blog.
Note: The artwork to illustrate this post is a painting made by me called Helheim, where you can see the mountains as a natural border between Niflheim and Helheim, in it's shadows over the misty land below. If you have any questions for me or if you want to see my artistic works, check out my Facebook page and make a Like if you can by following this link --> http://www.facebook.com/ArithHarger

Sif the bride of Thor

Sif is the goddess of fidelity, she is Thor's wife, and it is interesting to see their symbolic connection, as he is a god which helps in the fertility of the fields with his hammer, and Sif's hair is as golden as the wheat fields in which her husband helps in the growth and fertilization, the cycle of the land and the soils for agriculture dance with the moods of the weather.

Little is known about Sif apart from behing Thor's wife, a so famous god in the stories, sagas and in the history of religions and spiritual beliefs of the Norse/Germanic peoples.
Sif has a son called Ullr, the skiing hunting god, and with Thor they have a daughter called Thrud.
 There is a story in which Loki cuts off the fair and long hair of Sif, the very thing she is famous for. But it is clear that Sif's hair is the symbol of the cycle of harvesting of wheat, so she is probably a goddess associated with the fertility of the earth and with the abundance, but this fertility assossiation is connected with mankind and the need to cultivate the land to survive, again this is also closely associated with Thor for he is also a god of fertility but turned to the weather, these two gods together make the perfect magical work which helps us having food, for Thor is also the god who is more connected with humankind than anyother deity. Sif is also a deity associated with frith , or in other words, her attitudes and actions are to ensure peace and harmony, not only between the gods as shown in the Poetic Edda called Lokasenna in which Sif and Loki exchange a lot of insults but she attempts to make peace, but also peace and harmony extended to families and communities.

Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson

Today i'm going to talk about an important figure to the Norse/Germanic Paganism, but this one is not a king, nor a hero from the old sagas, but he became an historical figure in a more recent time, today i'm going to talk about Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson.

Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson was born at the 4th of April of 1924 in Iceland and died at the 24th of December in 1993. In 1972 he founded the group called Ásatrúarfélag, the Icelandic heathen organization were he was the chief góði to te day of his death. His beliefs were officially recognized by the Icelandic government as a religion in May 1993, seven months before he died.
He belonged to a family of farmers, he himself was a farmer and since childhood he had a close connection with the old gods of the Norse pantheon, at the age of sixteen he started writing his own poems and songs about the Norse gods, inspired by the sagas, he also gave a great contribution to the Icelandic history. He was also a man with the knowledge of healing herbs and such natural remedies, for he lived alone in the wilderness, and whenever he got sick, it was too far away from any hospital or anyother kind of medical help, so he would gather the herbs he needed to heal himself.
As you may know, Icelandic people were very tied to the Norse beliefs before Christianity came, and when the christian faith started to spread all over this icy continent, the old religion was forbidden, illegal, but not lost, for the next 970 years people still worshiped the old gods, hiding that from the eyes of the church because they feared it, it was the strongest political and religious power in the country. Only after 1874 people had the right of religious freedom of choice, and so they whoever wanted, could leave the church. In the 70's of the XX century, Iceland lost many devotees of the Christian faith and started to spread again its faith, it was in these times that Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson founded the heathen group called Ásatrúarfélag, a group that still believed and whorship the old Gods and also the Landspirits, the hidden folk. The group was small but it grew faster than the expected, many people were still hiding their beliefs from the church and found the group to be their leap towards a free religious right, free from constraints and fears. Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson and the people of his group were Asatrú, they believed in the Aesir gods, it was the most important Norse pantheon to them, as you may know, the Norse gods are devided into groups, but Beinteinsson's group was focused only in the Aesir, an important step to the future generations who wanted to learn more about their history, the old religion and beliefs, and also to be connected with the land, which was in fact one of the main purposes of Beinteinsson's group, to be in contact with the landspirits and the spirits of their ancestors. It appears that it wasn't hard for Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson to have this religion aproved by the Icelandic government, it is in their laws that no one can do missionary work and spread their religious beliefs by imposing it to people, the beliefs just come on their own when people want to accept them with freewill. Iceland being a country where the majority of people still went to church because they felt forced to but still worshiped the old gods behind closed doors, with this new opportunity to be free in their beliefs, it spread quickly, however, Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson had to talk with the Minister of Justice to have the permission to officialize a religion and appling a license to practice the religion, since then, they have the same rights as the church, or course the church and the Bishop was against this, but still they managed to gain ground because many important people from the government and the media liked the idea of bringing the old religion back.

Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson was a great figure who helped a lot bringing the old Norse beliefs again, they have always been there, but hidden because people feared the power of the church and the christian faith, but Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson stimulated the awakening of the old beliefs and people now feel lighter and free to be what they are, to choose whatever spiritual path suits them, what brings them happiness and confort.

Note: If you have any questions for me or if you want to see my artistic works, check out my Facebook page and make a Like if you can by following this link --> http://www.facebook.com/ArithHarger

Happy Mother's Day - Working with Frigga

Today was Mother's Day and i wish a very happy day to all mothers! I was with my own mother and with my father, what a great day it was, our family is always of great importance nad we must give to them the proper value, this is why in this post i will be also talking about Frigga, one goddess i haven't give an entire post dedicated to her and a great figure perfect for this day, a deity with the true mother's spirit.

Frigga is the Norse goddess queen of Asgard, the All-mother of the sky gods in the Norse pantheon, wife of Odin, she is also the leader of many goddesses and handmaidens. She is the goddess of marriage, family, home, keeping the peace, and all the home affairs. In her wisdom, she sees many things, but see keeps in silence, however, when it is needed, she will always give a valuable piece of advice, she is always watchful and protective. She is a very famous goddess among so many, and she deserves to be praised and honored. She lives in Asgard, and she carries the mead cup in the hall. Her own halls are called Fensalir.

As you know, or will soon know if you are new at this and seek knowledge, there are multiple pantheons in the Norse/Germanic cosmology, one of those are called the Aesir, the sky gods, more warlike and their realm is called Asgard. Frigga is their queen and the wife of the most famous god, Odin, the King of the Aesir. She is the mother of Baldur and probably of Hodur and Hermod also, and she is the stepmother of many of Odin's children with other goddesses such as Thor. She is also the daughter of Jord the mother of Thor, so this makes Frigga his older half sister.
Frigga is the goddess of marriage and also the protector of home and families, keeping the peace between the members of the family, in friendship and love, for those are the first bonds people have when they are young, the first connections with other human beings, the family members are the first people we meet, and thus it is from them that we learn all sort of things, with a good, strong, united family, with love, care, discipline and friendship, we add to our own personalities good values, good traditions. Frigga is also the goddess who gives aid in childbirth, as you might know, the links with birth to the home was a very strong and important one, people use to born at home, only today the births outside the home of the family is something recent, more or less with 200 years old, but only really adopted by society in the 50's and 60's of the XX century, but this doesn't mean that Frigga isn't still a goddess that gives aid to childbirth. She was also called upon to help in all the domestic arts especially the spinning of wool, which took much of the time of women in ancient times, but today there are so many other afairs at home, shared by both men and women, but Frigga will always help in any kind of homely work. To the Northern peoples of Europe, this goddess was also known as the goddess of frith, the Old-Norse word for peace/freedom/order, not only at home and between families as i have said, but also for diplomacy matters, even among leaders of different tribes.

The tale most often connected with her, is the tale when she does everything to protect her child Baldr, she went to every creature and begged them to swear an oath, that they wouldn't harm her child. However, the only thing she didn't ask, was the mistletoe, and the trickster god Loki, made a dart out of it. The Aesir used to make a game, throwing all kind of weapons and other things to Baldr, because nothing could harm him, and so they could practice a bit and have fun at the same time, so Loki put the dart in the hands of Hodur, the blind brother of Baldr, and so Loki offered to aim it for him so that he could join in the game. The dart killed Baldr, and Frigga was disheartened, and fell into a deep grief. After this tragic event, Hermond, another brother of Baldr, offered to ride to Helheim to ask Hela the Queen of the dead, to release Baldur. Hela agreed but only under the condition that all creatures had to mounr for his death. Again Frigga traveled to all the realms asking everyone to weep for her son, but one giantess called Thokk refused to weep, and so Baldr stood in Helheim. Actually Thokk was Loki in disguise.

There is another story about Frigga and Odin, the two of them favored two different tribes, who were about to have battle, so Frigga begs to Odin to grant victory to those she favored, but instead he tells her that the only ones that shall be granted victory will be those he sees from his window upon awakening in the next morning. Frigga knew well that Odin's favorites were camped within sight, while her favorites were too far away and they would never arrive before it was dawn. While odin slept, Frigga brought the women of her favorite tribe, and told them they should gathered near Odin's window, and they should dress up with men's clothing and their long hair should be drawn around their faces like long beards. When Odin awoke, he was very much surprised to see the long-bearded men. So these were the ones to win the battle and this tribe became known as the Langobards (long-beards). In here we see that Odin knew fully well who those were, but he treats Frigga with great respect and sees her as a valuable and wise companion.

In Frigga and all her stories, we see the true spirit of women, or at least how they should be, strong, independed, wise, with much care, love and concern for those they love and very protective when it comes to children, multi-tasked human beings with great heart. I dedicate this post to my mother because she is such a woman, with all these talents, very skillful, so wise, and after all the work she gives to the society and at home, she has always love to give, she has always been a great mother to me and even a great advisor to friends and other family members.
I am well aware that not all women are that protective with their children, some women even kill their own children.. but those aren't blessed with a mother's touch, nor have ever been prepared to have children, or never wanted to, but the circumstances are many.... the thing is, there are still women who are so much closer to perfection, so i dedicate this post also to my girlfriend, one day she will also be a mother and what a mother she will make, she has all the qualities of a great woman.

I also add to this post the fact that today women are seen as mere sexual objects, we are so used to see them naked, in movies, art, all over the internet etc. that it has become a cliche, and we don't see them as woman anymore. I feel pity for women like that, who can't be heard, no one gives them credit for anything, no one stops to look upon them and feel the need to hear their wisdom, their thoughts, their concerns, and the only thing that makes anyone notice them, is when they are undressed, only speaking with the body and not with their wisdom. I feel pity for women who lack of self-confidence, personality, strength, wisdom, and vigor. The world may have change and women took a better place in society as the one they used to have before the the two great world wars, they may have gained equality of rights, but society nowadays made them an object, under certain standards of beauty, and the world needs more women with a different kind of thought, to stop this madness, so people may see what they truly are, great beings with great qualities who have much more to give than just a pretty face and a pair of breasts.

Note: If you have any questions for me or if you want to see my artistic works, check out my Facebook page and make a Like if you can by following this link --> http://www.facebook.com/ArithHarger

Thor the god of Thunder

Thor is the Germanic/Norse god of thunders, storms and rain! Well he doesn't need much introductions, he is the most famous god of all the Norse pantheon, he is the god that people gave much importance to, for his bravery, his many adventures and for being one of the gods most close to the human kind and also a great friend of the peoples of Midgard. Recently the Marvel movies about Thor widened the interests of the populations in knowing who this god is, suffice to say that the real on from the Norse myths is very different from the Marvel one and it is important to state this this fact, for the real Thor is of great importance to all and there is more in him than all the stories we are all used to listen. I feel the need to make a post about him, because to the Neo-pagans he has become a cliche figure, people don't know his true nature, nor they give him the proper value, for many.. he is just the symbol Mjölnir neckless around the neck.. we mustn't forget his true powers and how important he is.

Thor was one of the most popular gods among the Germanic/Norse tribes, famous as he was, we nowadays see the great importance he had once, for his hammer is the symbol most used as a genetic symbol of modern Heathens, Asatru and other followers of the Norse/Germanic paganism. In England he was known as Thunor and to the Germans he was Donar, also the Saami people whorshiped a figure carved in a trunk of Oak with a hammer in hand, called the Old thunderer father, this might have been the first source of Thor when the Scandinavians got in contact with the Saami, or maybe the first source could have been the celtic god Sucellos, very much famour in Gaul ( Modern France ), Britain and Lusitânia ( Modern Portugal ), a god whose name means "the good striker", often said to be a deity of agriculture and forests, yet no one knows his true powers and purposes, but what is known it that he was a long haired bearded figure carrying a hammer in his left hand, this was actually his main attribute, this hammer.
Important as Thor was, we got the weekend name "Thursday" from his own name, meaning "Thor's Day". He is also a Deity of fertility, bringing us closer to the Celtic source of the god Sucellos from agriculture, but also a deity of strength. Just as the Greek thunder-god Zeus, Thor is also associated with the oak tree, once again this brings us to the Celtic god Sucellos, for being on of the important gods of Lusitânia ( Modern Portugal ) a land filled with Oaks from which people made all kinds of objects from it's bark and it was also a very sacred tree for the Lusitanian people, for when a child was born, the placenta was thought to be the double of the baby, a part from him and his spirit, the protective natural cloak, and so the placenta was placed underneath an Oak Tree so that the person would always have a part of him/her connected to nature and the magical/healing/protective powers of the Spirits of the Oak tree. The Oak tree is also associated with Thor because its bark is a poor conductor of lightning, unlike other trees, oaks explode when they are struck by lightning, creating a field of flamming wooden bits that usually were collected and used to start fires, this might have been the first controlled fire that humankind has experienced in primordial times, so this gives us the hint that the gods of thunder are older than they seem, way back before history was recorded. This may be why Thor is associated with giving to humans their first warmth and safety.
Thor is the patron of common man, in other meanings, the ancient times farmers. He is the champion of Asgard, with the power of his hammer and his utmost bravery, he is sent to deal with all kind of troubles that threaten Asgard. He is a very tall god with immense strength, taking after his mother, the giantess Jord goddess of the Earth, he is also red haired and red bearded, not like the Marvel Thor people recently are so used to. We see in him the true spirit of a common Norse Warrior, impulsive and honest, quick to party and also quick to anger, he likes to drink a lot, bue everyone can count on him when it is needed, he is completely reliable. His primary concerns are with honesty and honor, keeping promises and making sure that others keep theirs, it is important for him that when someone does something, anything, whatever one might do, must be with whole their hearts. meaning that we must be ready to defend what is most important for us, keeping our promises and commitments, being loyal to those we love and to our friends.
As i have mention it, he is the son of Jord, the first lover of Odin, his wife is Sif and with her he has a daughter called Thrud. He also has two sons with the giantess Jarnsaxa, which are Magni and Modi. Thor also has a younger brother by a different father, Meile. He is also the stepfather of Ullr, born from Sif's first marriage. The image we are used to think of when talking about Thor, is him riding a chariot pulled by two goats, Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjostr, with his hammer Mjölnir.
It is seldom mentioned, but one of Odin's lover, the giantess Grid, gave to Thor a magical belt of strength called Mengingjord, a pair of magical iron gloves named Jarngreipr, and also a magical staff called Gridavolr.
The famous Asgard Hall named Bilskimir is Thor's Hall, the largest building in all the Nine realms with six hundred and forty four rooms, there are many servents in his Halls and the chief servants are Thjalfi/Thjalfr and Roskva, tow of the three children of Aurvandil, Thor's hunting companion and Sif's former husband with this giantess wife Groa. In other stories, Thjalfr and Roskva are the children of a pair of farmers or peasants who give Thor shelter for a night and accidentally hurt one of his goats, and so Thor took the children as servents in payment.
There is an interesting fact that most people don't know, but Thor can shift from ordinary human size to being as huge as any giant, this is how he manages the fight giants so often. However, one of the side effects of this talent is that even when is in the ordinary size of a human ( about six feet tall ) he weighs as much as he would weight if he was in the giant size ( about twenty feet tall ). It is because of this fact that he is the only god who cannot cross the rainbow bridge Bifrost, and must get in and out of Asgard through the river Thund Thvitr that surronds it.

Thor is the most famous of all gods because there are more stories and myths about him than any other god in the Norse mythology, maybe perhaps Loki, but even so, the two of them were traveling companions for quite some time in many adventures.

Note: The artwork to illustrate this post is a painting of an Oak three made by me with the title Þórs Eik Tré which means "Thor's Oak Three" in old Nose. If you have any questions for me or if you want to see my artistic works, check out my Facebook page and make a Like if you can by following this link --> http://www.facebook.com/ArithHarger

The Icelandic Necromancer

In old Iceland there was a method used by the sorcerers to get money, a bit.. disturbing and gruesome..
The Icelandic sorcerers used the Necropants, which are pants made of human skin.. well, the sorcerer would make an agreement with a person ( always a man ), then when this person died he could use his body for his own purposes, he would flayed the skin of the body in one piece from the waist down, after tanning the skin he would used it like a pair of pants. After all this trouble he stole a coin and placed it in the natural "purse" the cavity formed by the scrotum. S upposedly this attracted more coins, therefore the sorcerer became a wealthy man.
Before the time of his death came, the sorcerer had to pass the necropants to another person ( possibly another sorcerer ). He did this by having the new owner place his right leg in one side of the pants while the sorcerer still had his left leg in the other. In this way, the power of the pants would pass from one individual to another.

This whole story might seem somethign taken out from a horror movie or book, but the Museum of Witchcraft and Sorcery in Iceland has a pair of necropants on exhibit. They resemble the preserved skin of the bog bodies found in Denmark and Irland and it is believed that probably this kind of unusual thing might have its roots in very ancient times.

Fenrir the god of destruction

We are use to judge things just by what we hear or what is told to us, this happens with all things in life because it is a rarity in the human nature to delve deep into any subject, trying to understand the meaning of things, to see all the sides of something, seldom anyone goes through the "trouble" of studying the true nature, essence and meaning of a variety of subjects, this is why i will be writing about Fenrir today. Those familiar with the Norse myths and stories know well who Fenrir is, it is one of the names often heard especially when the subject is Ragnarök, but do they know full well who this Fenrir really is and his purpose?

Fenrir is the god of destruction in the Norse pantheon, he is the son of Loki and Angrboda and he is father to Hati and Skoll, the two wolf brothers who chase the Sun and the Moon. Fenrir takes the form of a great black wolf and he is imprisoned in a cave, bound by a magical chain, locked away because he desires to devour all things, including the world of mortals and everything in it.
His mother, Angrboda, is the wolf mother, and as a leader of the wolf clan in Iron Wood, most of her children are giant werewolves. Her eldest son with Loki was fiercer, larger, wilder than all the other children she had, when he grew to adulthood, he began to kill and devour everything in his path, no one nor anything could restrained him or stop him, he was too strong and too large. The Aesir gods tried to hold him in a magical chain called Laeding and then with another one called Dromi, but both were broken. The Aesir called upon the Duergar ( Dwarves ) for forge a chain out of gold melted along with six impossible things ( the roots of a mountain, the footfall of a cat, the beard of a woman, te nerves of a bear, the breath of a fish and the spittle of a bird ), in this way they would chain Fenrir. The rest of the story of how he was chained we know, or at least we have heard of many times and it can be found anywhere, suffice to say that he now lies in a cave under a mountain on Lyngvi's Island located in the Lake Amsvartnir in Niflheim. There he waits for the day he can fee himself again and have his revenge.

It is easy to fear such a thing, however, Fenrir isn't a monster nor a demon as the Christians wanted people to believe, Fenrir is a deity of tremendous power, and because all things are sacred in their manner, also the nature of Fenrir is sacred. We are too used to divide the world into bad things and good things as each gives us certain feelings and emotions, we separate what gives us pain and sorrow into the group of bad and evil, and what gives us pleasure and happiness into the group of the good side and we tend to creat a perfect world with all the good things but we forget that without the bad things there couldn't be any good at all, for we must taste sadness and pain in order to give the proper importance to all that is good, like all things in nature are balanced, good and evil cannot life without each other, so this is why people don't understand the true nature of Fenrir, because his nature alone is already a mystery, not easy to comprehend, and if one goes in mind that he is all evil and must be put aside and forgotten, it will be even harder to understand. To understand his purpose, we have to look at nature and how it works. Nature isn't all about beautiful things and happy stuff, nature has its cruel side and a terrible destructive power, in order to create life, the eternal balance between chaos and order. We must took at Fenrir as the personification of that natural destruction, the symbolism of chaos, as a volcano spitting fire and lava, killing, burning creating wastes of dust and black earth, but a great fertilizer for the soil, and life will sprout out of that ground, in this way the world was created, think of Fenrir as the great sea waves that devour the land and take lifes but it is a natural happaning to create new lands, clean and wash away dirt, think of Fenrir as the great stars that burst releasing an enormous power, or even galaxies, like our own that will desintegrate some day in order to create new stars, worlds and life. This is a good way to start understanding the naure of Fenrir, the terrifying side of nature, beautiful sometimes, majestic, magnificent, imposing respect, but also with a benevolent side. Fenrir exists so we may never forget that we are part of nature and we are bound to its laws, and we aren't above nature, nor can we escape from its terrible powers. Often the powers of the devine are reflected on nature, in its beauty and also in its cruelty, not that the divine are cruel, but these actions in nature must exist once again in order to balance all life, to take it away and replace it with new life. Fenrir is the destruction that must be chained, but some day will come out and devour the world, the symbolism that this world will come to an end when nature is ready for it, and there isn't nothing you can do to stop it, nor it will have any compassion for you, nor it will make a special exception for you, nature is as it is, like Fenrir is what he is, nothing will change it, that is his own nature, you have to accept the way things are, but new life will be created again, as our own world was created, by fire and ice, with dust and bits of worlds that exploded. This is Ragnarök also, or at least a part of its true meaning, but about that i will write a post just for Ragnarök and its full meaning.
The world isn't easy, it isn't black and white, even if we try to hid that fact or forget the not so much pleasant side of nature, we need to understand things, we have the power to make our own choices and make our own fates, but when it comes to the nature's laws, we aren't above it and we must accept how it works.
Fenrir in nature is very much like us mortals, with both good and bad, capable of living naturally but containing the beast within, because some times we want to burst in anger, but we need self control, but we also need to release that in some way, and Fenrir teaches us to do so, not only if one might speak with him and learn his wisdom, but just by reading his story and understanding the full meaning of it.

It is with Fenrir and his story that we can find a meaning for Baldr's death. Fenrir and Baldr are both sacrificed gods, in one way or another. The Aesir sacrificed the god of destruction, the darkest deity of them all, in order to save all living beings from his wrath and terrible destructive powers and on the other hand, Loki and Hella arranged a well planned scheme in which Odin might had known and played his part, to sacrificed Baldr the brightest of all the gods, the exact opposite of Fenrir, again in order for all living creatures survive after Ragnarök, where it is said that he will rule. Each one of them was sacrificed in his own manner to safeguard the future, one will bring the end of things and the other will bring the new beginning, the renewal of life after a chaotic destruction, just as it happens in nature.

Note: If you have any questions for me or if you want to see my artistic works, check out my Facebook page and make a Like if you can by following this link --> http://www.facebook.com/ArithHarger