Heathen Gods and Goddesses- a quick reference

What follows is a list of known heathen Gods & Goddesses and other major beings- along with a quick overview of what is known and most commonly accepted about them.

The list is in no set order or rank other than I chose to start with the ones I work with and know best. This is not a complete reference- it is only a summary/quick reference list of the Gods and Goddesses. Further research is required for you to begin to know more.

Odin

Odin is widely acknowledged as being the chief of the Aesir. Son of Bor and Bestla, brother to Villi and Ve, married to Frigg with whom he fathered Balder and Hod. With Fjörgyn- fathered the mighty Thor and fathered Vidar with Grid and  Vali with Rind.

Odin is a god of victory, wisdom, poetry and magic and has the ability to shapeshift. Odin often turns the tide of a battle whilst rarelt being active in it himself- his wisdom and magic are employed at his will to give victory to the men of his choice.

Odin journeys throughout the 9 worlds upon the mighty Sleipnir- the magical 8 legged grey that is the offspring of Loki and Svadilfari.

Odin hears the events of the world through his two ravens- Huginn and Muninn (thought and memory) and also is flanked by the wolves Geri and Freki whom he feeds any food put before him.

Odin possesses a number of treasures including the mighty spear Gungnir that never misses and at one point held the ring Draupnir which produced 8 new rings each night. Draupnir was placed on the pyre for Balder.

Odin is widely known as the god of sacrifice, having sacrificed himself unto himself on the tree Yggdrasil for 9 days and nights until he reached down and brought back the runes. These runes not only gave us a form of written language, but also gave us the magical arts of runic divination, bindrunes and galdr.

On a personal note, I have dedicated my self to Odin. I aspire to learn all I can from him and follow in his footsteps in terms of wandering the land, knowledge of all things, magical prowess, leadership and a strong father figure. My tattoo and my Gungnir pendant mark my dedication to him.

Thor

Everyone loves Thor- there is so little about this god that would make you feel otherwise. Despite the inaccuracies of recent Marvel film and comic depictions, the need and drive to do the right thing (regardless of what others may think is the right thing or not) is one of Thor’s qualities we should all aspire to.

Thor is the wielder of the mighty Mjolnir, the charioteer drawn by the goats Tanngniost and Tanngrisnir, the son of Odin and Fjörgyn, husband to Sif and father to Trud and Modi and stepfather to Sif’s son Ull. Father of Magni with Jarnsaxa, master to his companions Thialfi and Röskva.

 

Frigg

Frigg is the daughter of Fjörgyn, wife of Odin, mother to Balder and Hod, stepmother to Thor, Heimdal, Höder, Hermod, Tyr, Bragi, Vidar and Vali.

Associated with love, marriage and fertility, she was important to married women. The strength of Frigg shown when protecting Balder from harm+ even though she is one of few who know the final Wyrd of all beings (although she never reveals this to anyone) she is the only person allowed by Odin to sit on Hliadskialf from where they look out of the 9 worlds.

I also link Frigg to Freyja as detailed below.

Loki

Son of Farbauti and Laufey, brother to Helbinde and Bylveistr and blood brother to Odin. Exactly how or why Loki is the blood brother of Odin is not known.

Through many adventures and mis-judged pranks, Loki has had to employ his shapeshifting ability to right his wrongs or save the gods. As a result of this, he is the mother (yes HE is the MOTHER) of Sleipnir, father of Hel, Fenrir and Jormungandr.

Loki does not lack in cunning or intelligence. Loki often brings chaos to the gods but then redeems himself and the result is often a situation that is better than it was before he acted- see the gifts of Sleipnir, Mjolnir, Gungnir, Freyr’s ship Skidbladnir, Draupnir and Gullinbursti.

Loki is Odin’s closest confidant. Their travels together through the 9 worlds and the requirement of Odin that a drink is always there for Loki suggests their allegiance is greater than many of the saga’s tell. I personally feel that Loki is closest to knowing what Odin said to Balder on the pyre- and that Loki’s role in his death is part of Odin’s plan to ensure Balder survives Ragnaraok (what better way to do so than out of harms reach in Hel’s domain?).

Freyja

The daughter of Njord and Nerthus, brother of Freyr, wife of Od and mother to Hnoss and Gersimi. A goddess of love, lust, beauty, war, death and sorcery- she is likely have been the one known as Gullveig whom the Aesir attempted to burn to death 3 times with these actions being the cause of the first war in the worlds. Freyja went to dwell with the Aesir as part of the truce. I have a personal gnosis that like Gullveig became known as Freyja, we may also have come to know Freyja as Frigg.  Idetail such within my work The Left-hand of Odin.

Freja is the goddess whose chariots are pulled by two cats, can morph into falcon form, rides the battle boar Hildisvini and is the master of Seidr magic which she also taught to Odin. Essentially, she is the prototypical witch and likely the basis for other witch-goddesses and stereotypes.

The legendary way in which Freyja obtained the necklace Brisingamen perhaps overshadows any information as to exactly why the item is so revered.

Freyja takes her choice of fallen heroes first, with Odin having the next pick. It could be that this is a further impact of the truce between the Aesir and Vanir?

Baldur

The son of Odin and Frigg, brother to Hod, husband to Nanna and father to Forsete. Baldur is the bright god, the shining one whose dreams foretold his death. Loki is responsible for his death having obtained information from Frigg as to the one thing in the worlds which she did not obtain an oath from that they would not harm Baldur. Loki gave the Misteltoe dart to Hod, Baldur´s brother, who in turn innocently made the fatal shot.

It is prophesied that Balder will return after Ragnarok to lead the gods who survive.

Bragi

The son of Odin and Gunnlod, god of poetry and music, known for his beard and wisdom as well as his speech. Bragi is married to Idunn.

Freyr

Son of Njord, twin brother of Freyja and husband to Gerd. A fertility god known for his beauty, Freyr is a member of the Vanir gods who went to live with the Aesir in Asgard as part of the peace tract between the warring gods. Freyr is the lord of the elves, ruler of Alfheim and rides the boar Gullinbursti which can outrun any horse. Freyr also owns the magical ship Skidbladnir which is huge yet able to fold into his pocket so that it may always be with him.

Forseti

Son of Nanna and Balder, Forseti is a god of justice. Rather than being a dealer of justice, as per how I view Tyr, Forseti is a god of law, a judge, a lawyer who can preside over legal and contractual disputes.

Hermod

The brave god who volunteered to ride to Hel and negotiate for Balder´s return.

Heimdall

The guardian god, the Gold Toothed god, the father of society and the son of nine mothers are all descriptions of Heimdall. With little requirement for sleep, incredible hearing and sight- it is clear to see why Heimdall makes the best choice as a watchman. He will blow his horn known as Gjallarhorn to signal the approach of the enemies of the gods at Ragnarok.

Heimdall wonders Midgarth in the guise of Rig. Whilst in this guise, he formed the structures of society- workers, skilled crafts men or warriors and sovereign leaders.

Höðr

The blind god whom Loki tricked into firing the arrow that killed Balder.

Honir

May also have been known as Villi, brother of Odin, a big and beautiful god who gave ‘reason’ to Ask and Embla and was sent as the Aesir’s exchange to the Vanir as part of their truce. Also known as the quiet god, he only muttered incomprehensible answers without Mimir when with the Vanir.

Kvasir

Kvasir the wise- made of the spit from all the gods and formed by Odin. Kvasir journeys the worlds and shared his wisdom and poetry. .

Magni the Mighty

Magni is very strong, with his name meaning mighty, he is the son of Thor and Jarnsaxa. Together with his brother, Modi, he will inherit Mjölnir after Ragnarok.

Modi

Modi, meaning courage, is the son of Thor and Sif and will survive Ragnarok with his brother Magni.

Mimir

Mimir is the wisest of all beings, beheaded by the Vanir and sent back to Odin whom charmed and rubbed herbs into the head to preserve it. Odin carries Mimir’s head so that he may seek Mimir’s counsel. Mimir’s well is the source of wisdom.

Narfi

Son of Loki and Sigyn, brother to Vali whom ultimately kills Narfi.

Njord

Father to Freyja and Freyr, husband to Skadi, brother to Nerthus whom also is the mother of the twins Freyja and Freyr. Njord is the god of the wind, sailors, coasts, waterways. Njord was sent to the Vanir as part of the peace treaty.

Skadi chose Njord as her husband when made to choose her husband by the beauty of his feet.

Od

Husband to Freyja, father of Hnossa, little is known of Od other than he vanished leaving Freyja to weap for him.

Tyr

Tyr is primarily a god of justice, a dealer of justice akin to Judge Dredd. He is also known as a god of war and the sky (due to a proto indo european link to Teus-Deus-Zeus etc.) but is also the bravest of all the gods. Tyr was the only one willing to place his hand into the mouth of Fenrir and lost it when the gods double crossed the great wolf. It is told that Tyr and Garm (the guardian of Hel’s gates) will kill each other at Ragnarok.

Ull

The god of winter, skiing, hunting and archery. Son of Sif, stepson of Thor, he is also suspected to be a magician.

Vali

Son of Loki and Sigyn.

Vali

Son of Odin and Rind, the light of spring days whose arrows have been likened to sunshine-Vali is a god of archery. Vali was born to avenge the death of Balder by killing Hoðr.

Ve

Ve or Lodhur, brother to Odin and Villi, son of Bestla and Borr.

Vidar

Son of Odin and Grid, known as a silent god, he will tear the wolf Fenrir apart to avenge the death of Odin at Ragnarok as he is known as the second strongest of all the gods.

Eir

A goddess of healing and a constant companion of Frigg.

Fulla

Fulla is the maid of Frigg and knows all of her secrets.

Gerd

Wife of Freyr.

Gefion

Goddess of the plough, creator of the island of Zealand which is a part of Denmark when she ploughed it out of Sweden.

Gna

Messenger for Frigg.

Hel

Daughter of Loki and Angrboda- she is the queen of the dead in Niflheim. Half beauty- half decaying corpse, she wards the resting dead and see’s to the uncomfort of the murderers that enter her realm.

Hlin

Handmaiden for Frigg who protects those that Frigg wishes.

Ilmr

Unknown…

Idun

Daughter of Ivald, wife of Bragi, keeper of the apples that give the gods youth.

Irpa

Unknown…

Lofn

Daughter of Hreidmar, sister to Lyngheid, Fafnir, Regin and Otr- she is the child of dwarves. A gentle goddess of marriages and their arrangement.

Nanna

Wife of Baldur, mother of Forseti, she died of a broken heart when Baldur died.

Njörun

Little is known about her.

Saga

A seeress.

Sif

Wife of Thor, mother of Ull. She had golden hair crafted by dwarves to replace that which Loki cut in jest.

Sigyn

Wife of Loki, mother of Narfi and Vali, she holds the bowl over Loki to catch the venom as it drips from the serpent.

Sjofn

A goddess who encourages lust.

Snotra

A goddess of wisdom.

Syn

Guardian of Frigg’s hall Sessrumnir.

Rind

Mother to Vali with Odin.

Thrud

Daughter of Thor and Sif, sister to Magni and Modi- she may be a Valkyrie.

Var

Goddess of oaths between men and women- the legal goddess of marriage.

Vor

The careful one is wise and seeks to know all.

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