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Archive 3611

Norse Gods

 

The gods listed here are provided in an attempt to identify the original gods before they splintered into different ones. There should be identifiable traces of these original gods, but attempts to project knowledge about northern-European mythology further into the past to identify its origins has not permitted an easy link-up with pictographic depictions that are our only representation of Neolithic ideas. However, there is perhaps no reason to suppose that there should be artistic depictions of gods; in their world the gods were clearly physically present as the Sun, Moon, fire and so on. It is difficult too to trace the rise of idols and iconographic representations of gods, although their sole representatives in the Venus figures gathers wide-ranging explanations and meanings, cannot even be linked specifically with any goddess. These gods are theorized and accompanying information relates to deities that are presumed to be descended from that original one. The disclosure of evidence for this is made within the paper “The Lineage of Norse Mythology” on the Mythology page.

 

Lode

L

<Lode> is the presumed seminal god of Fire and the Underworld who was born through the generative process of fire sticks, but also existed beneath the surface of the Earth.

 

Loki is a fire giant of the Norse and was the Vulcan of the Germans as given by Caesar. Most of his associations with fire do not come from myths but descriptions and folk sayings. Sometimes associated, as fire often is, with lightning and the Sun.

 

In the Scandinavian tradition only he is a god who is trapped in the Underworld and the source of earthquakes. The most defining event within the mythology is Loki’s (Utgardaloki’s) contest with Thor (Thorkillus).

 

As fire giant, Loki is associated with almost every god of Norse myth, and also appears as Lugh in Irish mythology, Louhi in Finnish mythology, and even Lucifer in Roman mythology, and of course Agni in Hindu myth. As a result of this association with fire and the widespread nature of his appearance indicates that he is an ancient god.

 

Loki is associated with both Thor and Skadi, also with Odin and Haenir as the triad gods, and his greatest nemesis of all is Heimdall.

 

Breid

B

<Breid> is the presumed seminal goddess of the Sun and of the Earth and Underworld, the necklace, spinning, and womanhood.

 

Freyia is a perceived goddess of love due to her wanderings for her husband Od, the explanation for the morning dew, Frigg likewise secures the weeping of the world for the release of her sun Balder from the Underworld. Freyia and Frigg are equivalent goddesses of the Vanir and the Aesir gods.       The rainbow was viewed to be her necklace returned to her after the battle of the thunderstorm between Water and Fire. There was also the dual nature of the goddess arising from the contrasts between summer and winter, birth and death, youth and age, that characterized the goddess in her earliest forms, transmitted into the goddess of death Hel.

 

Her most important myth is the Theft of Freyia’s Necklace, the thunderstorm myth, which is shared with Gefion and in a weaker account in Saxo, with Frigg. In this latter case the dishonor causes Odin’s exile, the falling of the sun, which is related to Freyia’s search for her husband. The German mythical events concerning Bertha and Hilda have been reduced to brief mention within fairly tales. The other that involves her is the story of the Sun and her son the Morning Star, which is a tentative reconstruction out of the Grendel story in Beowulf.

 

The origins of Freyia perhaps go back to the very source concept of a European or world goddess, which is attributed to her widespread presence and apparent far-extending age into prehistory. Attested among the Germans as Sol or Isis, among the Gauls as Minerva, among the Greeks as Hecate, exists in several forms within Norse myth and appears as Prithvi within Hindu myth. Each time she appears she is linked to a different male god, which suggests the later addition of each, the oldest being Tyr and Thor, in Hindu the god Dyaus.

 

Freyia is strongly associated with Frey and Niord, sometimes with Odin.       Frigg is closely related to Odin and sometimes Thor.

 

Homa

H

<Homa> is the presumed seminal god of the Moon and (perhaps sacred) Water who was born out of the waters as was the Sun.

 

Heimdall is a watchman god of the Norse and was the Luna of the Germans as given by Caesar. Most of his associations with the Moon do not come from myths but a few enigmatic descriptions within the Eddas.

 

As a background character among the Norse, Heimdall is thus obscure, but verified interpretations reveal a god who held a much more exalted place than held under the shadow of Odin. There is no myth that he factors in more than the Theft Of Freyia’s Necklace which anthropomorphizes the thunderstorm as a contest between Water and Fire.

 

With a past that extends back along the line of the Germans of Caesar, of herding and hunting bands, and as represented in India as Soma, is himself Indo-European as well, however the German expresses a more primitive form. Heimdall as a god of water is likewise akin to Haenir within Norse myth, and as Hama within the Anglo-Saxon Beowulf is not far etymologically from the Indian equivalent Soma, god of the water of immortality and drink of the gods.

 

Heimdall is closely associated with Loki as an adversary and with Freyia as her champion, arising out of the dynamics of the thunderstorm, where Freyia was once the Sun and the rainbow her necklace.

 

Orendil

<Orendil> is the presumed seminal god of the Morning Star who was a beast or a bear and son of the Sun goddess.

 

Aurvandil appears briefly within Norse myth as a figure carried by Thor, whose toe was broken off to form the star called “Aurvandil’s Toe” (the planet Venus). Otherwise in sagas appearing as the character of Grendel, who contested with a bear hero and whose mother was the Sun residing under the fens (Frigg’s fen hall).

 

The only reference to Aurvandil within Norse mythology is his appearance at the conclusion of the episode about Hrungnir, specifically when Thor relates the story to his wife Groa. There are recognized parallels between this confrontation and that of monsters faced in the sagas, relating to the simulated killing of the dead beast by the apprentice and sometimes of drinking its blood go gain a hero’s strength. The elements of the narrative are perhaps most clear within Beowulf, although the meaning behind them is more clouded, as primeval mythic elements were replaced by medieval heroic elements.

 

The origins of Aurvandil appear to be traceable back with the original Germanic Sun and Earth goddess <Breid> who traversed the sky during the day and resided underneath the fens at night. The Morning Star viewed as oblong as Venus viewed from Earth was thought to resemble either a toe or a claw, and thus appears within the myths and sagas as a creature of some sort, in Saxo as a bear. He confronts a bear-hero (thunderstorm), is defeated and his claw is then thrown up to commemorate the defeat in some way, forming the star.       As the seemingly invulnerable beast the struggle is the same as Hercules’ against the Nemean lion.       Aurvandil was perhaps known to the Germans whom Caesar wrote of, but along with the bear-hero would not have been perceived strictly as a god.

 

Aurvandil is only associated with Thor, while Groa is his wife.

 

Thu

T

<Thu> is the presumed seminal god of the Thunderstorm, more broadly the Sky, perceived to be the most powerful of gods, and first god of war.

 

Thor is a god of the thunderstorm and the strongest of the Norse and German gods. Associations are made with the sound of his chariot, the cracking of butting goats’ horns, the clang and sparks of the hammer. Thus Thor rode in a chariot pulled by goats and carried with him his hammer Miollnir, symbolic of lightning. Tyr was a god of the sky and the sun who was one-handed due to his confrontation with the wolf Fenrir or Garm who is seen on the Moon.

 

Whereas Tyr only factors into the myth of the binding of Fenrir, Thor appears in numerous contests with beasts and giants, most notably Iormundgand and Hymir. He was also matched two contests with giants who were once from the underworld or outerworld, Gerriod and Utgardaloki. Another contest of note is with Hrungnir, which is a transformed version of the same myth that enters into Beowulf, derived from the myth of the Morning Star.

 

As to the origin of Thor and Tyr, appear to at one time to have been identical, are equivalent to the thundergods and king of gods Zeus and Jupiter from the Mediterranean and appears as the Hindu Dyaus. The god had its time among the Indo-European people and was widespread throughout Europe. Derived from a god that was essentially a god who encompassed aspects of the heavens with a female goddess (Iord, Prithvi, Hera) who represented the earth.

 

Thor is most associated with the giants mentioned but also Loki, Thialfi, Aurvandil, along with his wives Sif and Grid (Iarnsaxa).

 

Od-Indr

O

<Od-Indr> is the presumed seminal god of the Sun, Wind and the Underworld who brought the “Drink of the Gods” from the Moon and brought it upon an eagle to the Gods and the Earth.

 

Odin is a solar god and thus chief god of the Norse, Germans, and Gauls according to the Edda, Tacitus and Caesar, respectively. As a Sun god he is represented as having one eye, with the Moon as his other eye within a well. Odin’s movement across the sky was made upon his steed Sleipnir with his wolves who were the sun dogs. Odin being widespread within northern Europe there are variations, such as the sun elsewhere being viewed as being Odin’s white shield.

 

Most notably associated with the Mead of Poetry, equlivalent to the theft of the Soma in Hindu myth. The Mead of Poetry story in Snorri, the only complete narrative given in the Eddas, is related to the reconstructed Mimir myth, both relating to the god acquiring the mead which is brought from the Moon, the well or cavern in Norse mythology and the bowl in Hindu mythology, the source of the mead. In Hindu myth the Morning Star is explained to be an eagle feather in the sky. These variances speak to either later additions or absences in the evolution of the tale.

 

The specific origin of Odin, having as his closest equivalent Indra in India, was a god among the Indo-Europeans whose origins extend beyond the Iron Age perhaps even into the Neolithic. He is first mentioned among the Romans as Mercury, as itinerant god of the underworld, which Odin also was.

 

Odin is most associated with the gods Frigg who is his wife, Haenir the god of water, and Loki.

 

See how the various Norse gods and giants are related, according to the Eddas, at Encyclopedia Mythica .