Aesir

In Old Norse the Aesir are the principle gods of the Norse Pantheon. These Norse gods are understood to dwell in Asgard. There are 22 Aesir:

  • Baldr - god of innocence and beauty
  • Bragi - the bard
  • Forseti - god of justice
  • Frigg - chief goddess
  • Heimdallr - the watchman and guardian
  • Hermóor - a messenger for Odin
  • Hoor - blind god of darkness and winter
  • Idun - goddess of youth, fertility and death
  • Loki - the trickster, foster-brother of Odin
  • Meili - the mile-stepper
  • Mímir - the god of knowledge
  • Nanna - wife of Baldr
  • Odin - chief god, of wisdom and war
  • Sif - gold-haired wife of Thor
  • Thor - god of thunder and battle
  • Tyr - one-handed, self-sacrificing god of law and justice
  • Ullr - the hunter, tracker, and archer
  • Váli - the avenger
  • - brother of Odin, who gave men speech
  • Vidar - god of silence, stealth, and revenge
  • Vili - brother of Odin, who gave men feeling and thought

As Norse deities the Aesir belonged the a complex religious, mythological and cosmological belief system shared belief shared by the Scandinavian and Germanic peoples.

Within this framework, Norse cosmology postulates three separate “clans” of deities: the Aesir, the Vanir, and the Jotun. The distinction between the Aesir and Vanir is relative, for the two are said to have made peace, exchanged hostages, intermarried and reigned together after a prolonged war. In fact, the most significant divergence between the two groups is in their respective areas of influence, with the Aesir representing war and conquest, and the Vanir representing exploration, fertility and wealth. The Jotun, on the other hand, are seen as a generally malefic (though wise) race of giants who represented the primary adversaries of the Aesir and Vanir. the Aesir, though immortal, were somewhat more “perishable” that their Indo-European brethren. Not only was their eternal youth maintained artificially (through the consumption of Idun’s golden apples), they could also be slaim (for instance, many were preordained to perish at the cataclysmic battle of Ragnorok).

The multifarious forms of interaction between the Aesir and the Vanir present an oft-addressed conundrum for scholars of myth and religion. Unlike other polytheistic cultures, where families of gods were typically understood as “elder” or “younger” (as with the Titans and the Olympians of ancient Greece), the Aesir and Vanir were portrayed as contemporary. As described above, the two clans fought battles, concluded treaties, and exchanged hostages. given the difference between their roles/emphases, some scholars speculated that the interactions between the Aesir and the Vanir reflect the types of interaction that were occurring between social classes (or clans) within Norse society at the time. According to another theory, the Vanir (and the fertility cult associated with them) may be more archaic than that of the more warlike Aesir, such that the mythical war may mirror a half-remembered religious conflict.

Please fire me. I work at a greeting card store and found myself in the receiving end of lots of yelling and an official complaint from a customer that could not deal with the fact that we didn’t have any “Happy Birthday Nana” cards.

We only had “Happy Birthday Grandma/Gran/Nan/Grandmother/Granny” and that was unacceptable.

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The newest baby! A rather big baby indeed. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe she’s an Echeveria Agavoides ‘Romeo’. I’ve opted to name her ‘Nanna’ after the Norse Goddess of Joy and Peace.

Ages ago The Bubble™ ( @peeznutbubber) bought me a plantpot reminiscent of a Barrel Cactus. I thought Nanna complimented it quite well, almost like a cactus flower.