The Norse gods: Frigg

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The wife of Odin, mother of Baldr, goddess of motherhood, marriage, fertility, love, home and household crafts. She has the power of divination but she will never tell what she knows. She has 12 handmaidens who assist her with her household and everyday life, they all have an important role.

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Her first handmaiden is Saga, the storyteller, she knows all the names of the ancestors and is said to drink beer all day and tell tales to those who will listen. She helps us remember the past and write stories or history.

Second is Eir, the healer, she knows all the herbs and their effect. She travels to where she is needed most and will serve as a “dokter” to whoever needs her.

Third is Gefion, the earth, she gives us the earth and all that grows upon it. She is the goddess of harvest and abundance, you will never run short when she is around since she gives like a mother gives.

Next is Fulla, the keeper of secrets, she keeps all the mysteries of women in her box.

Sjofn, the heart, she is the one who tells our hearts to love, not just attraction or lust but unity and true love.

Lofn, permission. She’s a blank page in my book :s

Var, the oath keeper, she is the one who makes sure we keep our oaths, such as marriage or a contract.

Vor, the aware, she knows all and if she doesn’t know she’ll find out.

Syn, the guard, she helps us say no and cut the ties with the ones that hurt us. She helps us set boundaries.

Hlin, the protector, she is the wing under which we shelter when we are afraid. She stands for personal protection and the need to protect those we care for.

Snotra, the lady, she stands for everything ladylike and gentle in a woman, she also stands for etiquette and social behavior.

Last but not least Gna, the messenger, she is freedom of speech and the right to be heard.

All together these handmaiden empower the goddess Frigg and give her all of her virtues.

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When her son Baldr started having dreams indicating that his life was in danger, he told his mother and she went around the 9 realms to ask all things (disease, elements, animals,…,…) to never harm the god.

They all took the oath and when Frigg went back to Valhalla, the gods wanted to test the oath so they started trowing things at Baldr. Everything just bounced of him, proving that the oath worked. Frigg had asked everything to take the oath, except for mistletoe and when the god Loki found out about that, he crafted a small dart out of mistletoe. He tricks the blind god Hodr to trow the dart and to the horror of all the present gods, the mistletoe goes straight trough Baldr killing him on the spot.

Frigg offers all her love and favour to the god willing to ride to Muspleheim and to ask Hell to release Baldr and let him return to Valhalla. The brother of Baldr, Hermodr, accepts and sets out to demand his brother back from the goddess of death.

In the meanwhile, Baldr is given a great funeral attended by nearly all the beings of the 9 realms. The wife of Baldr, Nanna, dies of grief and is placed on the pyre with her husband.

Once in Muspleheim Hermodr finds his brother and Nanna and demands Hell to let them go, she tells him that the only way she will let the gods go is if all things will weep for Baldr. This agreement fails since all but 1 would weep for the god, it is said that Loki would not weep for Baldr and when the other gods find out Loki crafted the mistletoe dart his is bound until the ragnarok.

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The Norse gods: Loki

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The god of mischief and laughter, well known all over the world thanks to Marvel. Loki is a jotunn, a bloodbrother to Odin, the father of Hell, Fenrir, Jormungandr, Sleipnir, Narfi and Nari. His first 3 children were with the giantess Angrboda, Narfi and Nari he has with the goddess Sigyn. As for Sleipnir, Loki is the mother, he turned into a mare to distract the giant horse Svadifari so that his master could not finish the wall around Asgard.

Loki is also the reason why Mjolnir’s handle is so short, as he bothered the dwarves while forging in the shape of a wasp.

He once cut of Sifs beautifull golden hair and was forced by Thor to find a way to solve it or he would kill him. Loki then went to the dwarves and they forged strands of gold so finely that it looked just like hair, making it into a wig. The new wig was so pretty that all the gods instantly forgave Loki for his mischief.

Loki often brings trouble to the gods but he’s also more often then not their salvation when they are in trouble. He brought back the reingold treasure when Odin and Hœnir were prisoners to a sorcerer. He went with Thor to retrieve Mjolnir from the jotonn Þrymr.

He is however also the murderer of Baldr, thought not directly, and was punished as such. His son Narfi was turned into a rabid wolf, who tore out Nari’s guts and killed him. Loki himself was bound onto 3 sharp stones with Nari’s entrails by the goddess Skadi , she bound a snake above his head that would drip poison onto Loki’s brow. Sigyn, Loki’s wife, sat with him holding a bowl beneath the dripping poison, yet when the bowl became full, she carried the poison away; and during this time the poison dripped on to Loki, causing him to writhe with such violence that all of the earth shook from the force, resulting in what are now known as earthquakes.

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During the binding of Loki, Odin goes to see a völva to gather knowledge over the future. When he asks her about it she simply replies:

It sates itself on the life-blood
of fated men,
paints red the powers’ homes
with crimson gore.
Black become the sun’s beams
in the summers that follow,
weathers all treacherous.
Do you still seek to know? And what?

Odin still demands more so she tells him

Brothers will fight
and kill each other,
sisters’ children will defile kinship.
It is harsh in the world,whoredom rife
an axe age, a sword age
shields are riven
a wind age, a wolf age
before the world goes headlong.
No man will havemercy on another

With this the völva foretells the ragnarok.

Loki was able to escape his bonds and formed a bond with the jotunn to kill the gods and so came the ragnarok. Both Hati and Skoll finally achieved their goal and swallowed Mani and Sol, thus creating eternal darkness over the 9 realms. In the battle that follows between the gods and the jotunn, the first to fall is Odin, he is swallowed whole by Fenrir. Vidarr take revenge upon Fenrir for his father’s death by pulling the jaws of the wolf apart and stabbing him in the heart with a spear. The second to fall is Thor, after kill the midgard snake Jormungandr, he succumbs to the venom of the snake. Loki fights Heimdall and the two end by killing each other, Garm the hellhound is in turn the death of Tyr, however the hellhound succumbs to his wounds. Freyr falls to the hand of the jotunn Surtr, this is how Asgard falls and how Loki is the death of the gods.

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In my belief, Loki is badly portrayed and I feel there is more to him then the inducer of the ragnarok. He also tried to amend his mistakes and he made the goddess Skadi laugh so she would be satified with Njord as her husband. He brought sorrow to his wife Sigyn but what man hasn’t brought sorrow upon his wife yet, because of her wedding to him she is now known as the goddess of fidelity and perseverance. That must mean something, there must have been good in the god..

 

The Norse gods: Njord

Since there isn’t much to report on our viking adventures (and this for at least another month) I decided to do a weekly post about the Norse gods and what they mean to me. Starting with the god who is the second most important one to me, Njord.

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Njord is the father of Freyr and Freya, ex-husband of Skadi and lord of the sea, fertility, wealth and sailing. The story of how he got married to Skadi is one of the most popular tales of the edda and one of my favorites, along with the one about Thor and how he dressed up as Freya but that’s for a different post.

The tale goes like this: The gods had slain Skadi’s father and she came to seek restitution, Odin was so impressed that the giantess came all by herself to “wage war” on the gods that he allowed he to pick a husband based on their feet. Skadi chose to nicest looking feet, think she had picked the god Baldr, however she was dissapointed to find out that the feet belonged to the old god Njord.  They married and made a deal to live half the year in Njords halls by the sea (wich Skadi hated) and half the year in Skadi’s halls in the mountains (wich Njord hated). Their marriage was short lived as neither could enjoy what the other loved and they soon parted ways.When Njord left the mountains he said “Hateful for me are the mountains,I was not long there,only nine nights.The howling of the wolves sounded ugly to me after the song of the swans.” to which Skadi responded “Sleep I could not on the sea beds for the screeching of the bird.That gull wakes me when from the wide sea he comes each morning.”

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The main reason why Njord is important to me is that we live by the sea and even thought I might not like it, it has always played an important role in my life. Walking on the beach can calm me in a way nothing else can, it often feels as if my sorrow blows away and even thought I hate sand, the sea will always be my home.

The other reason is that for every job interview I had at my current job, I begged Njord for his assistance and blessing. Must have worked since I got the job, to which I am grateful since its filling the treasury.

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Next week: Loki

Meditation trials

The past few weeks I noticed that my anxiety was getting the better off me, I was nervous to meet up with friends, I was scared to go to a store and worst of all my marriage is starting to feel it as well.

I usually game it off but this time no game really helps, so I was on the lookout for something new. First in mind is Yoga, but I honestly don’t feel like going to a class, more anxiety in sight there. I might give youtube yoga lessons a go see how that works out, but for now I am going to give meditation a shot.

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I tried meditation before, but I would end up getting upset about the fact that random thoughts just popped up, like now. I was trying to meditate when the thought “I should blog something, oh I know lets tell them how my meditating fails XD”

And then there’s the itchy nose and my cat wanting attention at the exact moment it starts to work 😦 I don’t seem to able to clear my mind and funny enough its stressing me out. I’m not giving up just yet thought, meditation isn’t going to get rid of me that easily :p