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.

The simple mind of our ancestors

Each man and woman from ancient civilisations had the need to compensate the earth itself somehow for the things they had to do to survive, hunting, fishing, bringing down the trees for wood and all the things they had to do to have valuable resources, and so they gave lots of gifts to the earth, honoring it, loving it and fearing it. There was from both sides, mankind and the earth, a connection and an attitude of reciprocity. This was done so, because of the need people had to live harmoniously with their surroundings, and people illustrated these events by carving or painting these things into the walls of their caves or the places they marked as hunting grounds. This was sacred to them, and they saw in each elemento, each animal, each event in nature, the works of the divine, the demonstration of the powers of the gods in the natural world, and as such, this was the first primitive "dialogue" between men and the gods, the contact with the forces inhabiting an invisible plane, the places inaccessible to human consciousness of today.
In primitive times, human activity was based on the respect for the natural world, the planet earth was regarded as a very generous mother but at the same time very fearsome. To that which people called Mother-Earth, it was the source of their protection, the source of life and all the food they needed, but at the same time, its natural powers were something that they couldn't control and it was terrifying. 
As it is said, "a gift calls for a gift" in these times mankind gave their own gifts to the gods and goddesses of each place on earth, to the deities of the forests, the rivers, the mountains, and to the spirits of each tree, stone, land and so on, for they received a lot of gifts from these beings, and humans had a diferente perception of the world, they were much more sensitive to that, for now we all live closed in our own cities, surrounded by silent and invisible nuclear radioactive clouds and radio lines from many devices, which affects our brains, we live under the laws of man and not of those of nature, and we lost this sensibility as we turn our backs from the natural world a bit more each day, we can't possible know the kind of connections people used to have with nature in ancient times, and we often think they were the primitive ones in terms of thinking, but in truth, they were only primitive in the sence of the word, for being very ancient, for they lived in a simple way with respect towards all that surrounded them.
Giving back to nature something, a natural gift or something that you do, might seem awkward, primitive, with no benefits, but these demonstrations of gratitude and the emotions implied in it, its what makes us more humble.
As mother-nature gave protection, nutrition, food and life, it was seen as a real mother and as such there was the need to respect it, worship and honor it, giving to it sacrificial offerings. Mother-nature gives life to the living and takes away the dead back to it's humble "womb", regenerating and giving life again.

Váli god of vengeance

Odin had a son with the giantess Rind, his name is Váli, but he his also named Ali or Bous so people might not be confused with Vali the son of Loki with Sigyn to whom Odin drove him to madness after being turned into a wolf.
Váli the  son of Odin is the god of vengeance like his half-brother Vidarr, but Váli was the first one to gain this title and his story is closely related with Baldur. When Hoder/Hodr the blind god was tricked by Loki into shooting and arrow towards his own brother Baldur ( an arrow made by the only thing Baldur wasn't imune to, mistletoe ) Odin decided that he needed another son to avenge the death of Baldur. Odin forced himself on the frost giantess Rind and she bore him a son, Váli.
In the myth, Váli grows to adulthood in a single day and made an oath, never to wash his face, combing his hair or do any other kind of personal hygiene until he slains his brother's killer, Hodur, who was also an half-brother to Baldur. It seems that Váli had little knowledge about the true facts and in truth he didn't care much about it, his objective was one only and as soon as he set eyes upon Hodur, he slained him, a blind half-brother of his, defenceless and innocent.
Váli's story is one difficult to understand, all about Baldur's death is, but probably this was Odin's plan all along, for Baldur went to Helheim and from there he as a different power and he will be a great ruler after Ragnarök if that comes, from there he is more then a god of beauty. Also Hodur was limited in his power while in Asgard, a god of shadows and dreams, of powers hidden inside one's mind, magical powers out of mere sight, he could do little in Asgard, and so by dying, somehow he was also set free and extended his powers and his field of expertise, and also help those in need, and be called upon in easier ways. If this is true or not, only Odin and Loki might know the truth. About Váli, it is strange that Odin needed a son so desperately just to kill another son of his, probably he had more plans for this child and probably for Váli, killing his own half-brother wasn't an easy task, he might had pondered about that for some time, but how would he if he grew to adulthood in one single day? Well.. those who know the goddess Rind, know that she works with time itself, and can go to and fro without being noticed, she can stop time, she can freezes that in a single place were one might live his life in a normal period of time, and other do the same outsider that place but each don't have the perception of time, and has one might live an entire life in a normal time frame, other's outsider the place choosen by Rind, live slowly second by second, so Váli had in truth plenty of time to grow and learn, and probably he did what he had to do because Odin asked him to and behind these actions, a greater good could be achieved, for Váli is now among the Aesir tribe and lives as a champion of Asgard.
We might learn with this story, that one might have the need to sacrifice what is dear to him/her, in order to achieve a greater good, or to turn the life of many into a better way of living, and this takes great courage. So in my point of view, Váli can be called upon ( as Odin also in this case ) not just for a simple vengeance, but also to take heart and courage to do what must be done, to sacrífice whatever needs to be sacrificed in order to build a better future, a better life, for us and those around us that we love so dearly.
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

Lejre the pagan village

Lejre is the name given to a small village more or less near southwest of Roskilde on the Island of Sealand in Denmark. This small settlement was the stage of a very important part in the cycle of legends around the ancient Danish history. Norse sagas placed the residence of the oldest Danish royal house, the Scyldings, in this place. However, most of these traditions and tales have been rejected by recent critical research as mere legends, that is what happens when people start to forget their past and things start to seem a little bit impossible to be real, almost fairytale-like, and those times go from history to myth unfortunately. It has been proved that most of the tales told about this place, especially the ones from medieval times, and such accounts have been built upon common migratory legends, among which the Old English poem Beowulf plays a central part.

Scientific archaeological investigations were started around the area after the Second World War and the results, especially those of recent years, have once more stirred up the discussion concerning the importance of Lejre during the late Iron Age and Viking Age of course.
This place is located in the north coast of Sealand where the two inlets Isefjord and Roskilde Fjord cut their way approximately forty kilometres more or less towards the south into the central part of the island. Lejre is situated five kilometres south of the bottom of Roskilde Fjord at a place where a system of larger and smaller streams meet, and later divide into two streams, which both of them flowing into Roskilde Fjord to the north. The locality lies topographically on the boundary between the fertile plain "Heden" in the eastern part of Sealand, situated between Copenhagen, Køge, and Roskilde and the rather inaccessible woodland to the west.

The excavations of the 1940's started at one of the few visible monuments of the Viking Age, which is a large stone ship, or as i have spoken here before, a kind of stone circle in the shape of a long boat. During the times of this excavation a burial-place from the late Viking Age - l0th Century A.D.- was excavated here, as it was to be expected, and among these burial places there were several well equipped women's graves, also the grave of a blacksmith and a man's grave including a decapitated slave, probably killed in a ritual to Odin and to serve his master on the after life by the looks of it. This was a rich and great example of a burial-place.  On the same occasion a large burial mound, Grydehøj, only a little north of the stone ship, was investigated. It proved to contain one of the rare chieftain's graves of the Germanic Iron Age of 550 A.D. . During the 1970's  the excavations were started in the village of Lejre itself and here it was possible to reveal a settlement from the late Iron Age and Viking Age approximately around 700 - 1000 A.D. Closer investigations showed that the settlement area was not limited to the present village, but spread out to the hills west of Lejre. Only a minor part of this great area, has been excavated during the campaigns of recent years, but even these limited investigations give a basis for a description of the structure and function of the settlement.

On the hills west of the village the greater part of the settlement consisting of long houses of different sizes have been constructed there in the Viking period. It is only to the north that a proper limit to the settlement, in the form of a strong fence, has been found, while the settlement to the west and south is bounded by the presence of structures in the search trenches as well as by the natural landscape. A  great hall was there once, in principle, constructed in the same ways as the houses or fortresses of the Danish Viking Age. With internal ridge posts, probably a construction necessary for obtaining considerable width. It is this dimension in particular that makes the building a unique monument in Danish ancient history.
During the excavation of the wall trench of this house a distinctive feature was noticed. At intervals of about 38-40 centimetres pointed posts were driven down to approximately 50 centimetres below the surface of the trench. These posts may represent the remains of the wall planks firmly anchored in the subsoil during the erection of the building. This great building was divided into several sections, each with their own entrance. A cellar at the east end seems to have been a storeroom probably. The great room in the central and western part of the building may have been the central hall for in this part of the building the remains of a fireplace were found.
Part of the settlement is situated below and south of the present village. It is characterized by an approximately one metre thick black cultural layer containing artefacts from the late Iron Age from the7th to the 8th Century A.D. Viking Age and early Middle Ages. The small excavations made in this area have revealed a number of pit houses, a type of house and of settlement that seems to be characteristic of this area. The remains of a smithy were also found in this part of the settlement. They were recognizable by a solid layer of iron slag covered by a layer of turf which must have been part of the construction. A large heap of stones, approximately 1,5 metres high, 20 metres wide and at least 40 metres long, consisting of small fired stones mixed with soot and ashes is an unique phenomenon which is difficult to explain. The structure may be interpreted as a deposit of "used fireplaces".

This was a very busy town of the Viking Age and probably the most famous places of that time that held a very importante figure, a chieftain along with his family, lots of people might have also worked here, serving this chieftain.

A lot of artefacts were found and selected, those are both rich and varied in excellent conditions of preservation. The settlement displays a row of interesting features apart from the categories of artefacts which are always present such as pottery, plain metal pieces etc. There is also the presence of waste from different sorts of productions: Apart from those from the smithy, there was antler from the comb maker and cores, a matrix, and semi-manufactured articles from the bronze founder. In addition a large quantity of jewellery and ornamental pieces came to light, some of which were exquisite work. Another part of the general picture of the site was shaped by a series of weights, a few pieces of scrap silver as well as an early Viking Age coin. Fragments of soapstone vessels imported from Norway and Sweden and fragments of green glasses from the Rhine are examples of the imported goods which form a minor part of the material.
The dating of the settlement is set by the artefacts found. They are related to the period approximately 600 - 1000 A.D. with the great majority within the 8th to l0th centuries. So it seems that the settlement was in use from sometime in the 7th-8th Century till about 1000 A.D.

The structure of the settlement at Lejre might be compared to the contemporary Danish manors situated in Jutland. This settlement is similare to the house from below the Viking Age fortress Aggersborg at the Limfjord as well as a house at the settlement Runegärd on the Island of Bornholm.

In Denmark we have no knowledge of royal manors of the Viking Age, although they must have existed. However, royal manors are well known from Denmark's neighbouring countries.

From an archaeological point of view there is nothing to prevent the Impression that Lejre was the seat of a local princely house that may have ruled Sealand. Lejre belongs to the absolute "top" of Danish settlements in this period. It is still, however, impossible to prove that the Scyldings lived here. In spite of the fine archaeological material they still belong to the world of legends for now.

Vidarr son of Odin

There is a tale about how Odin had an affair with Grid, the warrior goddess, and they had a son named Vidarr, who later joined the Aesir tribe of gods in Asgard. Little is known about Vidarr, but the first thing it comes in mind is that he is the god of vengeance, or the second god of vengeance, for his half brother Váli is also a god of vengeance. It seems that to the ancient Norse people, one god of vengeance wasn't enough and they needed at least these two gods, i'm sure in those times there was a lot of vengeance to be had, an unstoppable chain of events, one taking vengeance upon other and others took revange for the killing of the one whose deeds brought him death.

About Vidarr is also known that he is a fierce and valiant warrior, some say he is almost as strong as Thor and the gods count on him in times of great trouble. He is also known as a silent god, when planing vengeance, he is meticulous, plans every step and takes his vengeance without much notice or raising any suspicion.

There is a curiosity abou him, he is also known as the God of the Thick Shoe, because he is always building and fixing his own shoes, so that one day when Ragnarök comes, it will be time for him to face Fenrir and he will be able to put his foot on Fenrir's jaws and strike at that moment the heart of the great wolf, reaching it through the throat. This association with shoes to him, is a tradition long lost, for in ancient times shoemakers would offer to Vidarr what was left of the scraps of leather from shoemaking so he might add them to his own shoe, helping the god in his works and in turn the god would also help them in their profession.

Vidarr as a god of vengeance is closely associated with Ragnarök and the prophecy that when Fenrir will be loosed and slay Odin, it will be Vidarr the one god to avenge his father, or so it is written in the Grimnismál saga. Vidarr andVáli will survive in the end and will help rebuilding a new world.

Helgö and the Scandinavian Traders

The human being has always been a great traveler, going from one country to another, exchanging goods, beliefs, ideas, friendship, other economical connections and so on. Today in the modern world, this is too easy and it seems to us that these kind of interactions wouldn't be possible in ancient times, or at least, it might have been so difficult to travel from one country to another and it took too long, that people simply stayed in their own land, but amazingly this wasn't the case in ancient times, and i will give you some exemples, starting with a small Island called Helgö, situated in Lake Mälaren near Stockholm in Sweden, a place that has seen much movement in ancient times as we seen in any other modern capital city.

Around the year 200 AD the first town was build in Helgö . Today it seems a very remote place but the lake was once a fjord, boats could easily sail, go to and fro, from Helgö out into the Baltic Sea. From there, routes led to the east of Russia, west of Britain and Ireland, and, by following the rivers through the hinterland, far south to Constantinople and even into the Mediterranean Sea, making trading posts from Portugal and Spain, all the way to the southeast to Italy and Greece. Helgö was at the centre of a vast trading network, not just to the scandinavians, but also boats from other countries came to this place.

Those familiar with the norse history and the lovers of Vikings know well that Scandinavian traders travelled widely, not just in terms of war and to pillage. Some of the places they have travelled to are remarkable for that period. They have travelled to places such as Dublin in Ireland where they founded a Scandinavian trading port. Recently i have read a book called the Eaters of the Dead which is the account of the Arab diplomat Ahmad ibn Fadlān and he recorded the Scandinavian Rus trading on the Volga River, the book might be a fictional book, but it was based on the real accounts of this Arab diplomat, there are lots of text excerpts and i went to investigate the real story of this account, and the book is only fictional when talking about the Norse group that went with Fadlān into the North of Europe, because in truth he was really there, and this is one exelent proof how far the Norse people went, and speaking about the Rus Norse tribe, they were so importante and made so much trading routes often to the could east parts of Europe, that the country was named after them ( Russia ). Farther south, the Scandinavians formed the elite Varangian guard, protecting the Byzantine emperor himself, one of these guards, called Halfdan, even carved his name in runes in the main church, the Hagia Sofia.

Wherever country Scandinavians went, they traded with the inhabitants of the regions and also those inhabitants came to the Scandinavian lands, this is actually accounted by the unusual collection of objects discovered at Helgö. Digging at a farm, archaeologists found the top of a bishop’s crozier originating from Ireland, a christening cup originating from Egypt, and, most curious of all, a bronze statue of the Buddha originating from the area around Afghanistan. The items date to the 6th century AD, it is remarkable to see such objects there, from diferente religions, diferente beliefs of those of the inhabitants of Helgö.

It is possible that traders reached places as remote as Afghanistan, why not? Centuries earlier the Celts did the same and went as far as Mongolia and the Gobi Desert north of China. Imagine the amount of knowledge these people had, interacting with so many diferente cultures and religions, how would early Scandinavians face this fact, when their gods were so much diferente than others' gods? Probably they all lived well with that fact, for the trading with other countries would continue for many centuries, people in those times weren't as fanatical about religion as most countries are today.

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

Bestla - Mother of Odin

Many Goddesses in the Norse Pantheon have the importante role of motherhood, and all gods came from somewhere, from both a male and a female being. We often hear about Odin, after Thor his own son, he is the mosr famous of all the gods, but seldom we hear about his own mother, so today i will speak of her, or at least the few knowledge i have of her, acording with the lore.

Bestla is the mother of Odin, she is a very powerful frost-giantess, the daughter of Bolthorn. She is the mother of Odin, Vili and Vé. Her brother is Mimir, the famour god whose head is deep in the well called Mimirsbrunnr.

Bestla is often called by mothers who have very difficult children in any ways, be that behavior, fears that might be difficult to understand and may ruin the child's daily life, night terrors, illness, well any kind of difficulty people have with children, but she probably helps fathers as well. Its hard for parents to have any kind of peace when they have troublesome children or very sick children, so Bestla is the goddess to be called upon to helps the little ones and to help the parents having a bit of peace but also strength to endure the years of childhood of their sons and daughters, to ease the worries.

Portugal and the Neolithic past

Portugal is the European country which has more megalithic and prehistoric monuments and sites than anyother country, it is a drean land for archaeologists.
There are a lot of monuments from other eras and from many other European cultures such as Celtic monuments in a very high quantity and concentrated to the north of Portugal all the way to the its center, Roman monuments from the south to the very capital of the country ( Lisbon ) and to the east near the border with Spain, Germanic archeological sites in the north and their architectural style is still very much visible in early christian churches when the Germanic tribe of the Vandals settled in Portugal with their origins in Sweden, migrating to the east of Europe and then into Portugal running away from the Huns. The Visigoths have also left a lot of culture, architecture and decendents and even from the Viking period we can find a lot of things in Portugal, and most curious of all, pottery with runes drawn and painted, dated from a period way before Europe has ever heard about the Norse peoples. Well the list goes on and on, but this is just the introduction of this post so you might see the rich culture that Portugal has, a country where most Europeans setteled since the Dawn of times, and even a few Asian, Arabic and African. But to where do i want to go with all ths talk? Well.. to explain that Portugal has always been the country faved by many since the Neolithic times, for quite plausible reasons, the weather, near the ocean for fishing, rich with flora and fauna, filled with wild Boars and Deer, very much hunted by the European peoples, Wolves, Foxes and Bears for fur ( these last ones unfortunately extinct ), great soils for agriculture, rich in diferente types of ore, which was one of the main reasons for Portugal having the best Celtic Blacksmiths of all Europe during the Bronze age and  Iron Age, also the main reason that led the Romans to plan their invasion against the Celts and the Lusitanian people. and for some spiritual reason that is yet to be discovered. The spiritual reason is what i want to talk about today, but more in a Archaeologist point of view, and than again, more in a normal observer of the landscape and its places of this fine country.
We all know that in Neolithic times, people used to raise great megalithic structures, Dolmens to place their dead and for spiritual/ritual purposes, Menhirs to mark the land or the borders of a tribe's land, to mark places where underground water flows, to extract it, places of cult and we know now that each of these Menhirs aren't placed randomly, their are all perfecly placed where the ley lines pass, the very energy of the earth, so Menhirs are like making acupuncture to earth itself, concentrating the energy of the earth into those places, which makes the soils fertil and attracts a lot of rain to the place because the electricity accumulated in the zone, works just like a magnetic force affecting the water particles in the clouds, pulling them, which makes them fall. There are also a lot of stone circles, Cromlechs and all the other Neolithic monuments  we know of. At this point you might ask, why is this so relevant? There are thousands of this all over Europe, why is Portugal so special about this? Well, there sure are thousands of Neolithic monuments all over Europe, but not as concentrated in one place as in Portugal, in other countries there might exist places with many of these monuments, but all over those countries these are too scattered, while in Portugal it's all over the place, there are even tiny villages filled with these structures in the surroundings with more than 90, you may find these monuments almost in every village and town, along the road, in the middle of forests, mountains or disguised as chapels. If you are a lover of the Neolithic period than you will love the town of Évora, one of the places of Portugal where Neolothic monuments are too much concentrated, in its surroundings there are more than 300 of these, including the famous Almendres Cromlech, a megalithic complex, the largest existing group of structured Menhirs of all Iberian Peninsula, and one of the largests in Europe, a primitive astronomical observatory, oriented to different directions associated with the Equinoxes.
Clearly Portugal was the country most faved by many people to settle not only for it's natural resources and riches but also for some spiritual purpose, the country is filled with Neolithic funeral monuments and burial mounds, not only from the inhabitants but also from other foreign people, and Évora might have been a very special place for these people, it is clearly the place for spiritual gathering, for religious purposes, to trade, to live, a place of knowledge and understanding and people wanted to be placed in the land after their death, there are thousands of Dolmens there. Watching the landscape and all these monuments when you are alone, you actually have the feeling that you are surrounded but thousands of people, and in a fraction of a second time freezes and all birds seize to sing, the wind stops and the leafs go quiet, and you can hear the whispers of those who once walked those lands.

Note: The artwork to illustrate this post is a drawing of a Menhir made by me. 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

Vé - Brother of Odin

Vé is one of Odin's brothers, just like is other brother, Vili, little is known about him, but we know his name has a direct connection with holy places, sacred grounds to place a temple or a shrine.
So it is clear that this deity is the one to be called upon when people need to search for a place to pray, to be heard by the gods, and also a deity to help cleansing an area from anykind of difficulties and negativity in the place that might hinder prayer.
Most people that work with Vé and i had the chance to talk to, say that when working with Vé, they do it as a part of the Three Deities, so they don't work with just one of these gods, they work with the three, their combined powers are stronger than if you just try to work with them separated. However, as we all know, it is possible to work just with one, for all gods have specific skills and their own field of expertise, and each one as always somethign different to teach and good advice to give.
Vé is the one who gives the sacred power to things and places, the spiritual powers that reside not inside temples, but outsider, in the natural world, where people would place their standing stones, rune stones, dolmens, sacred mounds, etc. etc. Vé is the first step one must take to speak with the gods, he helps giving that spiritual sensibility, to be aware of the spiritual world, to sense it all around us, he helps the doors between this world and the spiritual world to be open before us. He is also a deity that can be called to work with the senses, not speaking just in a spiritual way, but also to learn how to use them in a proper way, especially when it comes to the gift of sight and hearing when these in some maner might be dysfunctional.
 If you want to know more about the three brothers and their stories when they worked together, i sugest you check what i have written in the month of May of 2013 about Vili.

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We are already in the middle of this year, it all went so fast. Unfortunately i didn't had much time to write at the blog but i will try to keep up with some new material.
When i first started this blog, i knew it would be about European History and about paganism and shamanism practiced in Europe, but i was going to focus the writings in a specific kind of paganismo, the Norse one, i was afraid that i wouldn't have enough material to write here, and i was also afraid that i wouldn't receive much feedback for this theme isn't as famous or interesting as any other subject we are used to talk, watch, write or hear about in nowadays world.. or so did i thought.. it seems to me that i was wrong and i'm glad for that, for in the past 2 years i had a lot of feedback, 4 times more than what i was expecting, and i will not run out of things to write, there is always so much things to write about paganism and European history of course, but i only chose to focus the blog into the Norse paganism themes, and all that i have written about it, i realised that i haven't reach half of it yet, so all of you that follow me and read my blog and expect a lot of lore about the Norse paganism, you shall get it!

Thank you all!