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Scandinavian Gods



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Treść: THOR
"Thunder," son of Odin and Earth. The most beloved god of the Viking Age, perhaps seen as the chief god at that time, and often known now as "god of the common man," Thor is best known for his ceaseless battle against the giants. He is not a bloody minded reaver, however, but a warder who protects the folk of Midgard and Asgard against the menacing beings who would destroy the world; unlike Odin, he never involves himself in the battles of men, but the gods often seem to rely wholly on his protection. He is the only god that Loki seems to respect.

Thor's weapon is the Hammer Mjöllnir, images of which are worn by true folk today as a sign of troth, as was also done towards the end of the Viking Age when Red Thor was called on to battle the White Christ. As well as fighting giants, Thor also uses his Hammer for hallowing both brides and funeral pyres, and several runic inscriptions from late Viking Age Denmark call on him to hallow the runes.
Thor appears as a big, muscular man with red hair and beard and huge fiery eyes. He drives a wagon which is drawn by two goats, Tanngrísnir (Teeth-Barer or Teeth-Gnasher) and Tanngnjóstr (Tooth-Gritter). When he travels to Jotunheim, Loki often goes with him; Thor is the only god that Loki really seems to respect. He is married to Sif, and had a daughter named Thrud (Strength) by her; he also has a giantess-concubine, who bore him his sons, Modi (Courage) and Magni (Main-strength). It is said that "Thor will help you if your prayer is sincere".
FREYA
Freya is probably the best-known and best-loved of the goddesses today. Her title simply means "Lady," her original name is not known. Freya is the "wild woman" among the deities of the North: free with her sexual favors (though furious when an attempt is made to marry her off against her will); mistress of Odin and several other gods and men; skilled at the form of ecstatic, consciousness-altering, and sometimes malicious magic called seidhr; and chooser of half the slain on the battlefield (Odin gets the other half). This goddess drives a wagon drawn by two cats, perhaps large forest-cats such as lynxes, and is seen today as the patron goddesses of cats and those who keep them. As a battle-goddess, she also rides on a boar called Hildisvini (Battle-Swine). Freya is sometimes seen as a fertility goddess, but there are no sources suggesting that she was called on to bring fruitfulness to fields or wombs. Rather, she is a goddess of riches, whose tears are gold and whose "daughters," in the riddle-poetry of the skalds, are precious objects. However, the giants are always trying to take her away from the gods, and it is clear that this would be a great disaster: she was obviously known to be the embodiment of the holy life-force on some level. Perhaps because of this, Wagner gave her some of Idunna's attributes, making her the keeper of the golden apples without which the folk of Asgard would wither and die.
ODIN
Originally a god of death, whose range later came to encompass magic (especially runic magic), battle (giving victory by choosing who should die), poetry, the fury of the berserk-warrior, and, at least in part, the authority of the ruler descended from the gods (he is the most frequent father of royal lines - including, according to Anglo-Saxon genealogies, the current royal house of England). In the Prose Edda (written two hundred years after the conversion of Iceland), he is shown as the chief of the gods, but historical accounts of Germanic religion do not necessarily support this; it is likelier that Snorri was modeling the Norse pantheon somewhat on the Classical. Odin won the runes by hanging on a tree for nine days and nights, wounded with his own spear. He gave up one of his eyes for a drink from the Well of Mímir ("Memory"). He won the mead of poetry by seducing the giant-maid Gunnlod who had been set to keep it, then asking for a drink and draining all three cauldrons. To his chosen ones, he gives victory, inspiration, magic, madness, and death when he sees fit. He is seen as especially a god of wisdom, a patron of poets, thinkers, and singers. Of all the gods, Odin is the one who seems to take the most active part in the affairs of humans, and the one who appears most often in the writings of the Germanic peoples.
Odin usually appears as a graybearded man, tall and thin, with a blue-black cloak and an eyepatch or wide-brimmed hat tilted to hide his missing eye. His weapon is the casting spear Gungnir, with which he dooms his chosen ones to die in battle. He is the husband of Frigga and the father of many gods and human heroes. As the leader of the Wild Hunt, he also brings fruitfulness to the fields.Odin is a god of foresight, careful weaving of plots, and long-term agendas.
FRIGGA
Wife of Odin, Frigga is the patron goddess of the home and of the mysteries of the married woman. She is seen as Odin's match (and sometimes his better) in wisdom; she shares his high-seat, from which they look out over the worlds together.
Frigga is especially concerned with keeping social order. She is called on for blessings when women are giving birth and for help in matters of traditional women's crafts (spinning, weaving, cooking, sewing) and the magics worked thereby. Frigga can also be called on by mothers who want to protect their children. In olden days, this was especially the case with sons going out to battle, for whom their mothers would weave or sew special protective items. She is also called Hlin (protectress). Frigga is the mother of Balder, and is often thought of as still mourning for him. She is a seeress, who knows all fates, though she seldom speaks of them. Her hall is called Fensalir - "marsh-halls". She has a handmaiden called Fulla and a messenger named Gna.
LOKI
He often travels with Thor, sometimes leading him into trouble and sometimes getting him out of it. Loki also brings a surprising amount of humor into the Norse tales (and into the practice of the Northern religion today). The need for this function of his appears explicitly in the tale of how the giantess Skadi was reconciled to accepting weregild from the gods instead of insisting on revenge: one of her conditions is that they must make her laugh, and it is only Loki who can accomplish this. Loki may have appeared in cultic dramas as a ritual Lord of Misrule: inversion and reversal of all sorts are typical for him. As well as being the father of the Wolf Fenrir, the Midgard Serpent, and, allegedly, Hel, he is also the mother of Odin's eight-legged horse Sleipnir, and cross-dresses in the typically feminine falcon-hides of Frigga and Freyja when he needs to fly between the worlds. After the death of Balder, the gods bound Loki in an underground cave, and Skadi hung a venom-dripping snake over his face. The venom is caught in a cup by his Aesir-wife Sigyn; supposedly, when she turns away to empty it, his writhings cause earthquakes. There is much debate among true folk as to whether Loki is really bound, or just how bound he is, however.
Not surprisingly, views on Loki range from those who think of him as a merry friend to those who see him almost as a Nordic Satan. Although he plays a key role in many of our holy tales, it is fairly safe to guess that he was not worshipped in the sense that the other gods and goddesses were - but whenever a drink is given to Odin, according to the terms of their oath, Loki also gets one.
HEL
Ruler of the kingdom of death, the Prose Edda describes her as half-black, half-white (she is sometimes seen as half-rotting, half alive) and of grim and unmistakable appearance. Her name may originally derive from the buried slab-rock grave-chambers of the Stone Age. have much in. The specialization of the Germanic afterlife into the glorious Valhall where the chosen battle-dead go and the hideous Hel where everyone else ends up is probably a product of Christian influence on the retelling of Norse god-lore.
HOD
Blind brother of Balder, who unknowingly (at Loki's direction) cast the mistletoe to slay him. Slain in turn by Vali. According to the rather different version of the story told by Saxo, Hod was not blind, nor related to Baldr; he was a doughty warrior, who fought with Baldr over the woman Nanna. Old Norse Höđr.
TYR
His name simply means "god"; at one time, he may have been the Germanic equivalent of Zeus or Jupiter, the "Sky-Father" of the Indo-Europeans. In Old Norse, Tyr appears only in the myth in which he gives up his hand so that the gods can bind the Wolf Fenrir. However, there are hints associating him with the Thing (the judgement-assembly of the Germanic peoples) and suggesting strongly that he may originally have been a god of justice. Tyr's justice, however, is not that of calm Solomonic legislation, but that of the often lively wrangling of the Germanic legal process, which was effectively a battle sublimated into a form where the process of working out the problem could help, rather than harm, the community. Tyr will fight Garm, the hound of Hel, at Ragnarok.
YMIR
The first giant, born from the meeting of primal ice and primal fire or from the mists rising from the rivers that flow from Niflheim. Slain by Odin and his brothers Vili and Ve. They made the sky from his skull, the earth from his body; his blood became the sea and the waters of the earth, his bones the rocks, and his hair trees and bushes.
YGGDRASIL
The World-Tree. The name Yggdrasill means "Ygg's steed"; Ygg is one of Odin's many names. The title probably refers to the nine nights Odin spent hanging from it to win the runes, as a gallows is often called "the steed of the hanged". All the Nine Worlds lie within the span of the World-Tree. It is usually called an ash since it is also said to be evergreen. At its roots gnaw the dragon Niddhogg and many snakes; an eagle nests at its crown with a falcon between his eyes, and the squirrel Ratatosk runs up and down between them. Four stags also gnaw on the World-Tree's bark; but the Norns' sprinkling of the waters from the Well of Wyrd heal it each day. The Ash is connected with four lands: Asgarg (base of gods), Utgard(base of giants), Midgard(base of people), Nilfheim (Kingdom of death).
THE VALKIRIES
The Valkyries, were warrior maidens who attended Odin, ruler of the gods. The Valkyries rode through the air in brilliant armor, directed battles, distributed death lots among the warriors, and conducted the souls of slain heroes to Valhalla, the great hall of Odin. Their leader was Brunhild.
RANGAROK
The last battle, at which the Muspilli will break through the walls of the world, and the wolves that follow the Sun and Moon will swallow them at last. Most of the gods will die fighting against the etin-kin: Fenrir will swallow Odin (and be ripped open in his turn by Vidar), Thor and the Midgard Serpent will slay each other, as will Heimdall and Loki, Tyr and Garm. Frey will fall before Surt. However, a new world will rise from the sea afterwards. Balder and Hod will come back from Hel's realm; Vidar and Vali will sit in their father's stead as well, and Modi and Magni will inherit Thor's Hammer. It is to bring the new world safely about that Odin gathers his hosts in Valhall, and works his many other subtle plots.
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⇒Dodano: 2008-12-17 20:51:27
⇒Czytano: 10135
Autor: majka100100


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