Archive for the ‘Online Shrines’ Category

Knowledge out of Darkness
Name means “aware”

“The tenth is Vör: she is wise and of searching spirit, so that none can conceal anything from her; it is a saying, that a woman becomes ‘aware’ of that of which she is informed.” Her name is roughly pronounced “Ver” in Icelandic, ö sounds like the French “eu.” (1)

Vor’s Story

In the beginning, there were few giants after the flood that drowned Ymir’s kin. Vor a was daughter of Bolthorn, sister to Mimir and Bestla and aunt of Odin’s. Far from the refreshing ice of Niflheim, there was need of fresh water on the rocky shores of newly formed Jotunheim. It was Vor’s task as a girl to find it. Bolthorn made it a game, saying “I’ve hidden the water underground. Close your eyes and find it.” She put her small hands over her eyes and looked underneath the rocky surface to find the water, directing her father’s great footsteps as she rode on his shoulder. It was her brother Mimir’s talent to bring the water up through rock and soil, but it was hers to find where it lay hidden. (more…)

Preparing to Prevail

Name means “Protectress”

The twelfth is Hlín: she is established as keeper over those whom Frigg desires to preserve from any danger; thence comes the saying, that he who escapes ‘leans.’ Her name is pronounced “Hleen” in Icelandic. (1)

 

Musings on The Hero’s Path

“Help me! Save me!” When you cry out for help to the Asynjur, when you need a hero, it is Hlin who hears and answers. You could see her as a Norse Kwan Yin, the one who “hears the lamentations of the world,” were it not for her also being a formidable warrior and weaponsmaster rather than a pacifist. She embodies the path of the hero and guides those who walk it, all of it, not just the parts people applaud. (more…)

Norse Goddess
Name means “Towering”

Woman on winged horse

‘The fourteenth is Gná; Frigg sends her on her errands. She has a horse that runs through the air and over the sea called Hoof-Tosser (Hofvarpnir). Once when she was riding, some Vanir saw her riding in the air and one said: “What is flying there, faring there and gliding through the air?”

She answers, “I fly not though I fare, gliding through the air, on Hófvarpnir whom Hamskerpir, gat with Garðrófva.”(1)

From Gná’s name it is said that anything that fares high in the air gnas.’ (from gnæfa, “towering above” ) (2)

 Who is Gna?

Messenger, errand girl for Frigga, what sort of lowly job is that for a Goddess? Certainly, pray to her if you need a letter to arrive quickly and safely, an email to be read and given consideration, or a package to reach you unscathed. If you’re running late, needing to get somewhere on time quickly and safely, she can help you find the best path through traffic. All good things, but do you not also want your prayers heard? Do you need an understandable answers from your Gods and Goddesses, with good “signal clarity” and minimal interference from your ego? She rules communication, both mundane and divine, and that is no small matter! Certainly, the other Handmaidens command great powers in granting love and healing, success and safety, clarity and learning. Yet when you need someone to hear you, understand and respond meaningfully, she is best. If you want her to carry a message, hand write it, pray to her, make an offering and then burn it.  (more…)

Norse Goddess
Name means “Permission”

 “The eighth is Lofn; she is so gentle and good to invoke that she has permission from All-father and Frigg to bring together men and women for whom marriage was forbidden or banned. From her name comes the word “permission”, also what is much praised by men.” UPDATED: Her name is pronounced “Loven” in Icelandic (‘fn’ is sounded ‘vn’). (1)

Take a chance. Break the rules. Find your Freedom.
Be bold. Bend your boundaries. Find your fun.

She is Goddess of forbidden loves, and little is known from lore beyond the Prose Edda quote above. She appears in many kennings for ‘woman’ in skaldic poetry (a kenning is a literary reference used to avoid repeating the same word, such as using “hammer wielder” for Thor). In modern times she is mostly prayed to for forbidden unions such as same-sex marriage and alternative relationships. She shares patronage of marriage between different ethnic groups with Frey and Gerda.

Who is Lofn?

Lofn is the most fun-loving, low-protocol, easygoing Goddess you’ll ever find in Asgard. No matter how silly the offering rite you think up, she’s cool with it. Didn’t have time to send her a formal invitation and prior offering? No problem, just let her know she’s wanted, and to show up whenever she can. No food available except delivery pizza and soft drinks? She likes those just fine. Got a silly, sexy, or irreverent card game? She loves games, invite her as a ghost player and draw cards for her. Her name means permission, and that’s what she’s all about. (more…)

Norse Goddess
The teacher and student
Name means “Wise”

 ‘Snotra is thirteenth: she is prudent and of gentle bearing; from her name a woman or a man who is moderate is called snotr (wise, prudent).’ (1)

Nuns and Ancient Nerds

In the old days, being a scholar meant going to sit and listen to what elders had to teach. If you wanted to preserve that knowledge, you would have to compose alliterative verses to remember it. An elder might know much about her craft, but a scholar was one who knew many poems about different topics. Genealogy was preserved in this way, as were the stories and wisdom of a people. The baker would have a poem for proportions, the smith for his secrets of smelting, and some would be sung as they were spoken. Those who could write write in runes might carve the titles of poems, but never their entirety. Then came the missionaries with their books and quills. Monasteries were places of learning and study with nuns and monks as teachers. Oral traditions and the values they carried were destroyed and replaced with the writings and values of another people. Great libraries were born with the ceaseless work of monastics painstakingly copying books. At first nuns studied much as monks did, teaching young women as well as young men, and Snotra saw value in their bookish devotions despite of the old ways being lost. (more…)

Norse Goddess
Goddess of love, friendship and dolls.
Name means “Affection”

‘The seventh goddess is Sjöfn; she is much concerned with turning the minds of people, both men and women, to love. From her name love is called sjafni.’ UPDATED: Her name is pronounced “Sio-ven” in Icelandic (‘fn’ is sounded ‘vn’) and anglicized to Siovn or Sjofn. (1)

Sjöfn is among Love Goddesses the one most interested in children, not as a mother figure but as a companion. From them she receives love and offerings to this day, and to them she offers comfort in times of emotional need. When girls do tea parties with their dolls, it is she who receives the offered cookies and milk. At a children’s pic nics, she is Mr. Snuggle Bear, growling and demanding more cake and cuddles. When no one else is there to catch tears of loneliness, she is the ragged worn down plushy whose matted fur gets soaked. When a child clutches desperately to their toy, wondering why mommy hurts them, why daddy drinks, it is she who hugs them back and listens. (more…)

Norse Goddess
Managing people, resources and talents
Name means “Abundance”

“The fifth is Fulla: she also is a maid, and goes with loose tresses and a golden band about her head; she bears the ashe coffer of Frigg, and has charge over her foot-gear, and knows her secret counsel.” (1)

What is Fulla’s Role in Asgard?

Fulla is Lady-in-Waiting to Frigga, Queen of Asgard. A Lady-in-Waiting is not a maid or servant, rather a companion and confidante, chosen by the princess or queen from the upper nobility (such as a duchess) or from close childhood friends (usually a sister or cousin). They go where the Queen goes, having freedom of visit to the Queen’s bedchamber, help in choosing clothing for events, receive and answer messages on behalf of their mistress, keep her informed of events and gossip, supervise servants, and discreetly relay messages. They are typically proficient in etiquette, languages, dance, music making, horse riding, painting, embroidery and other queenly pastimes. In Britain, the highest titles they bear are Lady of the Bedchamber and Mistress of the Robes. (more…)