Tag Archive: norse mythology


I thought I’d share these projects with you…altars happen to spring up all over the place!

First, an altar to Frigga.  I decided to set this one up in the dining room on the buffet.

Altar to Frigga

Altar to Frigga

There is a covered offering bowl for liquids; a plate to burn incense; blue tea-light candle holders; a piece of blue lace agate, a piece of unakitemoonstone pendant and a small quartz crystal ball – these just felt right.  Also, a Glade glass candle holder as an offering bowl – I just really liked the spirals etched in the metal – reminds me of spinning and wyrd.  I plan to add other items later to include flowers, keys, maybe some representation of ducks or geese (my pair of pink quartz Mandarin ducks now that I think about it…) and a small distaff and/or a small replica of a spinning wheel.  I’m also waiting on a hand-crafted Frigga soy blót candle I had ordered several weeks ago adorned with a Perthro rune hung on handspun Blue Moon baby camel and merino yarn.  I’d also like to incorporate 12 small white tea-light candles around Her to symbolize Her 12 handmaidens.

Next up is an altar to Odin.

Altar to Odin

Altar to Odin

I had originally thought to set this up above my computer desk upstairs as that is where I spend a lot time seeking knowledge.  When I set Odin’s statue up on the window sill, I had a rock knickknack/paper weight there that said: “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – totally reminded me of Odin.  So, I went back downstairs and set Odin’s altar up above my Ancestor altar.  There is also a wood carved raven; a smokey quartz; a piece of black obsidian, and a blue optic crystal ball – totally reminded me of the eye he sacrificed at Mimir’s Well for a single drink of enchanted water that granted him wisdom and fore-sight.  Also, an offering plate and a cup in back with depictions of  pinecones and evergreens on it.  I am also waiting on a hand-crafted dark blue soy candle charged with Baltic Amber and 9 sacred herbs of Northern Tradition shamanism including Mugwort, Plantain, Nettle, Fennel, Chamomile, Sweet Cicely, Watercress, Crabapple Wood and Viper’s Bugloss adorned with a raven charm.  

Altar to Odin

Knife unsheathed

So yeah, some neat things in the works 🙂

Welcome Freyja!

Wow, it has been too long since I’ve written last.  As I’ve stated in my other blog, The Journeys of a Nomadic Pagan, “Reflections During the Dark Moon“, life has gotten extremely busy for me and I’ve found it difficult to sit down and write about all the cool things going on.  If you recall from an earlier post, “The Dark Mother Does NOT Hold Back and Other Things“, I was having a very intense time with Odin making his presence overwhelmingly known in my life.  It seemed as though Odin was there, all the time, pushing me so hard in the pursuit of  knowledge that I was putting everyday activities to the side, constantly trying to play catch up late at night with everyday mundane activities.  I had to tell Odin that my family and my children come first in my life right now.  Then, in stepped Freyja and everything changed…

“Freyja” by Kris Waldherr

“Freyja” by Kris Waldherr

I don’t recall the exact date now – looking back though, I’d say that at around February 23rd (I know it was after a conversation that I was having with a good friend of mine on February 20, telling her how I felt like there was more work that I felt needed to be done or to prove myself before I could connect with Freyja; but before the Full Moon on February 25th because I dedicated that Full Moon rite to Her) Freyja made a surprising visit as I was falling asleep one night.  I was right on the verge or falling asleep, when you’re in that in-between state, but still somewhat conscious of what’s going on around you.  All of a sudden, I “saw” these bright prisms or rays of white/blue/purple/pink light beam down and light everything up.  Then, I saw Her – She was very similar in appearance to Kris Waldherr’s depiction of Freyja, chariot and cats and all, but different – Her hair was brighter or a lighter blonde and the clothing She was dressed in lighter colored clothing, white and grey.

Her energy was amazing and completely surrounded me – every breath I was taking in felt as though I was breathing Her energy into my lungs and engulfed my body.  The only way I can describe it is warm kitten fur – seriously – it felt like warm soft kitten fur!

That night, She made it very clear that She was here to stick around and has even given me certain requirements or tasks that She strongly suggests me to do if I am to represent Her and become one of Her priestesses; and since then Odin has stepped back, way back.   It was almost as though She had to “step in” and acting in a protective manner and tell Odin to step back for a while.  Later, I found (and I can’t remember the source – still looking for it) that Freyja was the only Goddess that could, for whatever reason, really stand up to Odin and have him step back from a person that he had a hold on as it were.  I think it might have to do with the fact that She had taught Odin magic and that gave Her the authority to do so, or the fact that Freyja has the first pick of souls of the slain or fallen warriors as Lady Imbrium had mentioned.

This new deep connection with the gods of the Norse pantheon almost made me feel conflicted in a way.  You see, for my ADF hearth culture, I was sure on my choice of the Celtic or Gaulish pantheons to work with.  However, things have taken a real turn and it seems as though the gods of the Norse hearth culture have chosen me.  Funny how that works…but I still continue to honor the Goddesses I feel especially close to and have their altars I set up (The Morrígan, Brighid and Epona/Rhiannon) and things seem and feel OK.  I’m also in the process of setting up my ADF altar to Frigga (who has a real quiet but firm presence in my life – but She doesn’t say too much, She just kind of sits back and observes) and Odin.  In fact, a few weeks back, I actually had a dream of Brighid and Freyja.  Their images were on a single card from the Goddess Guidance Oracle deck by Doreen Virtue.  It kept spinning, Freyja on one side and Brighid on the other.  To me, it signified balance and a feeling that it was OK to work with both pantheons, but that they should not be mixed.  Balance was the key.

I’ve also noticed I’ve been dreaming of runes and seeing them more often.  I had a dream one night of runes that appeared from the usual swirling grey mists in my “spiritual dreams”.  Out of the mists Fehu and Gebo appeared.  These runes apparently have some type of significance to Her (as does Ehwaz I’ve been finding out).  A few others appeared too, but I don’t remember them – Berkano, Jera, and Mannaz seem to be standing out; but those first two are the two that really stand out in my memory.  Also, there are times when I close my eyes and runes just seem to swirl around and around….

My personal altar to Freyja - a work in progress.

My personal altar to Freyja – a work in progress.

I have since set up a personal altar to Her in my bedroom by my bed side, making daily offerings to Her of different sweet-smelling incense that She seems to enjoy (strawberry, latin lover, and amber romance).  She also made it known that She likes pearls.  This was a little strange to me as She is a fertility Vanir Goddess, more closely associated with the earth I thought – how was She connected with the sea?  But looking at Her father, Njörðr, god of the sea and weather, it makes a little more sense.  Then I found this wonderful blog entry, “M is for Mardöll“, it made much more sense.  Plus, She just thinks they’re really pretty – She likes pretty things 😉

I continue to speak with Her and give Her praises daily, and She in turn comforts me, helps to remind me to go within and find my center when I’m angry or upset, and tells me what work needs to be done in the healing process I’ve started back in February.  The relationship I’ve been working on building with Her is amazing.  She is so strong and confident, an amazing healer and full of wisdom and knowledge that will come to me in time with hard work (there are things that She has advised me I NEED to learn and WILL learn) as She sees fit and feels I am ready.  The new found healing, love, confidence, blessings and opportunities that have presented themselves within the past month or so have been so amazing and transformative – unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before.  Welcome Freyja!  Hail and praises to you Sweet Lady!

“In the middle of winter, it’s hard to remember sometimes that light is coming back to earth. However, despite the gray, cloudy days, we know that soon, the sun will return. Keep this in mind during those dreary days when it seems winter will never end, by invoking the four classical elements.

"Solstice Eve" by Willow Arlenea

“Solstice Eve” by Willow Arlenea

As the earth grows colder,
the winds blow faster,
the fire dwindles smaller,
and the rains fall harder,
let the light of the sun
find its way home.” ~ Patti Wigington

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yuleprayers/qt/ElementPrayer.htm

The Celtic people knew the importance of the solstice. Although the Yule season marks the middle of winter, colder times were still to come. It was important to put aside staple foods for the coming months, because it would be many months before anything fresh grew again. Consider, as you think on this devotional, what your family has put aside — both material goods and things on the spiritual plane.

A flock of sheep grazing in the snow on the hills outside Doagh, County Antrim.

A flock of sheep grazing in the snow on the hills outside Doagh, County Antrim.

The food is put away for the winter,
the crops are set aside to feed us,
the cattle are come down from their fields,
and the sheep are in from the pasture.
The land is cold, the sea is stormy, the sky is gray.
The nights are dark, but we have our family,
kin and clan around the hearth,
staying warm in the midst of darkness,
our spirit and love a flame
a beacon burning brightly
in the night.

Beautiful-night wallpapers 8049 1680x1050

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yuleprayers/qt/CeltYulePrayer.htm

“Depending on where you live, you may be seeing snowfall long before Yule arrives. Take a moment to appreciate its beauty, both as it falls and once it covers the ground.

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From the reaches of the north,
a place of cold blue beauty,
comes to us the first winter storm.
Wind whipping, flakes flying,
the snow has fallen upon the earth,
keeping us close,
keeping us together,
wrapped up as everything sleeps
beneath a blanket of white.” ~ Patti Wigington

 

 

 

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yuleprayers/qt/SnowPrayer.htm

"Gathering Mistletoe" by Briar

“Gathering Mistletoe” by Briar

“Yule is a time to set aside animosity between yourself and people who would normally antagonize you. The Norsemen had a tradition that enemies who met under a bough of mistletoe were obligated to lay down their arms. Set aside your differences, and think about that as you ponder this devotional.

"Lady of the Lights" by Briar

“Lady of the Lights” by Briar

Beneath the tree of light and life,
a blessing at this season of Jul!
To all that sit at my hearth,
today we are brothers, we are family,
and I drink to your health!
Today is a day to offer hospitality
to all that cross my threshold
in the name of the season.” ~ Patti Wigington

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yuleprayers/qt/NordicYule.htm

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Colorado winter landscape at night by SILBECL

“The longest night has come once more,
the sun has set, and darkness fallen.
The trees are bare, the earth asleep,
and the skies are cold and black.
Yet tonight we rejoice, in this longest night,
embracing the darkness that enfolds us.
We welcome the night and all that it holds,
as the light of the stars shines down.” ~ Patti Wigington

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yulethelongestnight/qt/SunsetYulePraye.htm

“In early winter, we can see the skies becoming overcast, and smell fresh snow in the air. Take a few minutes to think about the fact that even if the skies are cold and dark, it’s only temporary.

"Dark Winter Morning"by `scotto

“Dark Winter Morning”by `scotto

See the gray skies overhead, preparing the way
for the darkness soon to come.
See the gray skies overhead, preparing the way,
for the world to go cold and lifeless.
See the gray skies overhead, preparing the way
for the longest night of the year.
See the gray skies overhead, preparing the way
for the sun to one day return,
bringing with it light.” ~ Patti Wigington

 

 

 

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yuleprayers/qt/BeginWinter.htm

"Incense Fire" by *Zingaia

“Incense Fire” by *Zingaia, based on Jean Delville’s drawing, “Parsifal”.

“Hertha’s themes are rebirth, kinship, health, longevity and tradition. Her symbols are dormant trees and snow. In ancient times, on this day people venerated Hertha, the Teutonic Goddess of fertility, domesticated animals, magic and nature. In Germanic tradition, Hertha descended through the smoke of any fire today and brought gifts, much like an early Santa Claus figure (giving Her solar associations too). Her connection to nature has survived in the name for our planet: Earth.

Yule takes its designation from a Old English word meaning ‘wheel’, representing the turning of time’s wheel back toward the sun. In early times, this festival included parties for various sun Gods and Goddesses; it eventually was translated into the celebration of Christ’s birth. Any light source or burning incense can symbolize Hertha’s presence today.

Besides this, look to the world’s traditions for magical ways of making your celebration special. For example, Swedes eat a rice pudding with one lucky almond; whoever gets the nut receives good fortune. Russians toss grain into people’s homes for providence as they carol. Armenians make a wish on the Yule log when ignited and sometimes make divinations by the cider patterns made afterward. Bohemians cut apples in half. If there’s a perfect star in the center and it has plump seeds, it portends joy and good health. Finally, kiss someone under the mistletoe for a long, happy relationship.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Nerthus” by Lisa Hunt

“Nerthus” by Lisa Hunt

According to Wikipedia, Hertha is another name for the ancient Germanic earth Goddess, Nerthus (click on Her name to be taken to that entry).  In addition to that information presented in Nerthus’ entry, Patricia Monaghan wrote that “no legends survive of the Germanic Goddess from whom we get our word for earth.  It is known, however, that She was worshiped into historic times, when plows were carried in Christian Shrovetide processions in honor of the earth’s fertility.   Hertha was also frequently invoked by medieval witches as their special patron” (p. 152).

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Hertha”.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Asatru Religion, “Goddess Nerthus Or Eartha Or Jordh“.

Encyclopedia Mythica, “Nerthus“.

GardenStone. Goddess Holle: In Search of a Germanic Goddess.

Krasskova, Galina . Northern Tradition Paganism, “Who is Nerthus?

Monaghan, Patricia. Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines, “Nerthus” at p. 488.

Mystic Wicks, “Nerthus {Goddess of the Week}“.

PaganNews.com, “Nerthus“.

Reaves, William P. Boudicca’s Bard, “Nerthus: Toward an Identification“.

Twilightmists.tripod.com. “Hertha, Ertha, Nerthus“.

Wikipedia, “Nerthus“.

Williamson, George S. The Longing for Myth in Germany: Religion and Aesthetic Culture from Romanticism to Nietzsche.

“Yule should be a time of joy and happiness, but for many people it can be stressful. This is a season to take a moment and be thankful for the blessings you have, and to take a moment to remember those less fortunate.

Art by Julia Jeffrey

Art by Julia Jeffrey

I am grateful for that which I have.
I am not sorrowful for that which I do not.
I have more than others, less than some,
but regardless, I am blessed with
what is mine.

Celtic Mists Lapis + Onyx Pagan Prayer Beads (available from Sacred Mists Shoppe)

Celtic Mists Lapis + Onyx Pagan Prayer Beads (available from Sacred Mists Shoppe)

If you have a set of Pagan Prayer Beads, or a Witch’s Ladder, you can use these to enumerate your blessings, much as a Catholic would say a rosary. Count off each bead or knot, and consider the things you are thankful for, like so:

First, I am thankful for my health.
Second, I am thankful for my family.
Third, I am thankful for my warm home.
Fourth, I am thankful for the abundance in my life.” ~ Patti Wigington

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yuleprayers/qt/CountBlessings.htm

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