nordisk sed

Norse Gods (And Other Deities) List

Having seen various incorrect, incomplete and inaccurate lists of Norse gods circulating Tumblr, I have decided to write my own and also include common terminology alongside. I will also include other beings who exist within the old lore and modern traditions.

I have opted to include the names in Norwegian, with translations in parenthesise after, along with a brief summary of some of the associations given to some of those gods. Be aware that, as an overview, brevity is necessary here and the individuals should not be oversimplified to basic aspects in your practice!

Æser (Æsir, Male Gods)

  • Balder (Baldr, Baldur) - Light, purity, rebirth
  • Brage (Bragi) - Poetry, eloquence, wisdom and music
  • Delling (Dellingr) - The new day, dawn
  • Forsete (Forseti) - Justice and reconciliation
  • Frøy (Freyr) - Vaner, virility, fertility, the sacred religious position of royalty, prosperity, good weather and sunshine
  • Heimdall (Heimdallr) - The senses, premonition or foreknowledge
  • Hermod (Hermóðr) - Bravery, spirit, possibly a former mortal hero/king elevated to the Æsir
  • Hjuke (Hjúki) - Man, lunar activity, lunar phases, moon craters, brother of Bil (the Scandinavian children in the moon)
  • Hod (Höðr, Hodr) - The blind god, darkness, rebirth, second chances
  • Høne (Hænir, Hœnir) - Survival, sense/spirit, beauty,
  • Lodur (Lóðurr) - Blood, warmth, life, 
  • Loke (Loki) - Change, creativity, ambiguity, impulsiveness
  • Lyter (Lýtir) - Premonition, foresight, prediction, prophecy
  • Magne (Magni) - Strength, development, son of Tor
  • Meile - Son of Odin, brother of Tor
  • Mime (Mímir) - Wisdom, knowledge, memory, advice
  • Måne (Máni) - The moon, the night sky
  • Njord (Njörðr) - Vaner, the sea, harbours, ports, seafaring, wind, fishing, wealth/prosperity, and crop fertility
  • Od (Óðr) - Madness, fury, eagerness, excitement
  • Odin (Óðinn) - Father, war, battle, victory, death, wisdom, runes, magic, poetry, charms
  • Tor (Þórr, Thor) - Thunder, lightning, storms, rain, strength, protection, hallowing, healing, fertility
  • Ty (Týr, Tyr) - Law, sacrifice, heroism, glory, war
  • Ull (Ullr) - Skiing, archery, hunting, weapons, shields, personal combat, oaths
  • Vidar (Víðarr) - Vengeance, atonement, preparation, survival, silence
  • Vilje (Vili) - Will, willpower, moderation, the middle, wit, intelligence, touch, sense, motion
  • Ve (Vé) - Countenance, appearance, facial expression, speech, hearing, sight
  • Våle (Váli) - Revenge, bravery, daring, marksmanship, survival, rebirth

Åsynjer (Ásynjur, Female Gods)

  • Bil - Woman, lunar activity, phases of the moon, sister of Hjuke (the Scandinavian children in the moon)
  • Eir - Help, healing, protection, mercy, grace, calm
  • Fjorgyn/Jord (Fjörgyn/Jörð) - Earth, the world, nature, greenery
  • Frigg - Mother, love, fate, prophecy, marriage, birth, midwifery
  • Frøya (Freyja) - Vaner, fertility, love, passion, sex, sexuality, beauty, fertility, gold, magic, war, death
  • Fulla - domesticity, cleaning, housekeeping, listening, confidant, secrecy
  • Gersemi - Precious, beauty, blonde hair
  • Gjevjon (Gefjun) - Virginity, plowing, female independence 
  • Gnå (Gná) - Messenger, errands, crossing planes of existence, travel through land, air and water
  • Hnoss - Treasure, beauty, brunette hair
  • Idunn (Iðunn) - Youth, vigour, apples, love
  • Ilm - Fragrance, aroma, smells
  • Irpa - Guardian goddess, Hålogaland
  • Lin (Hlín) - Weddings, domestic sphere, flax, onion, fabrics
  • Lovn (Lofn) - Benevolence, kindness, gentleness, consolation
  • Nanna - Loyalty, empathy
  • Njorun - Soil, the land
  • Rind (Rindr) - Princess/goddess/giantess, mother of Våle from the East
  • Rån (Rán) - Sea, protection from drowning, fishing
  • Sigyn - Loyalty, burden, sadness
  • Siv (Sif) - Fields, wheat, fertility, family, wedlock
  • Sjavn (Sjöfn) - Love, sex, desire
  • Snotra - Wisdom, intelligence, cleverness, appropriate conduct
  • Sol (Sól) - The sun, warmth, daylight
  • Syn - Refusal, denial, speaking out, legal defence
  • Såga (Sága) - Seeress, all-seeing, companionship, drinking partner
  • Torgerd Hølgebrud (Þorgerðr Holgabrúðr) - Guardian goddess, Hålogaland, heathen shrines
  • Var (Vör) - Honesty, awareness, caution, carefulness
  • Vår (Vár) - Oaths (and punishing oath breakers), pledges, agreements, betrothal

Jotner (Jötnar, Elemental Giants)

  • Aurvandil - Star, planet, Orion & Big Dipper constellations
  • Bauge (Baugi) - Farmer, money, wages
  • Dag (Dagr) - Day, light, rides Skinfakse
  • Fornjot (Fornjótr) - Ancient giant, ancestor, original, owner
  • Frosti (Jökull) - Cold, winter, frost, ice, icicles, glaciers
  • Fårbaute (Fárbauti) - Hitting, striking, cruelty, danger, violence
  • Geirrød (Geirröd) - Entrapment, cruelty, aggression, violence
  • Gyme - Hills, Mounds
  • Helblinde (Helblindi) - “Hel Blinder”, “All Blind”
  • Hyme (Hymir) - Brewing, cauldron, thick skull
  • Kåre (Kári) - Wind, scathe, howl, sails
  • Loke (Loki) - Change, creativity, ambiguity, impulsiveness
  • Loge (Logi) - Fire, wildfire, 
  • Mime (Mímir) - Knowledge, wisdom, memory, counsel, Mimes Brønn (Mímisbrunnr)
  • Mokkurkalve - Clay, life, innocence, childishness
  • Norve (Narfi) - Narrow, oppressive, closed in, difficult birth
  • Rungne (Hrungnir) - Strength, brawling, fighting, whetstone
  • Snø (Snær) - Snow
  • Surt (Surtr) - Fire, heat, burning, blackness
  • Suttung (Suttungr) - Mead of poetry, orphaned, eagle
  • Tjaste (Þjazi, Thiazi) - Abduction of Idunn
  • Torre (Þorri, Thorri) - Black ice, frost, cold, winter
  • Trym (Þrymr, Thrymr) - Uproar, King of Jotner, 
  • Vale (Vali) - Unlucky, wolf, murdered his brother Norve
  • Vavtrudne (Vafþrúðnir) - Riddles, weaver of tales
  • Utgards-Loke (Útgarða-Loki) - The outer places, magic, illusion, beyond society, an alternate plane
  • Yme (Ymir) - The big bang, primordial, birth, the ancestor of all, elemental
  • Æge (Ægir) - Sea, ocean, sea creatures, protector of sailors

Gygrer (Gýgr, Elemental Giantess)

  • Angerboda (Angrboða) - Grief bringer, sorrow, Iron Wood
  • Aurboda ( Aurboða) - Gravel, mountains
  • Bestla - Mother to Odin, Vilje and Ve.
  • Driva (Drífa) - Snowfall
  • Fonn - Snowdrift
  • Gerd (Gerðr) - Beauty, light, fertility, earth
  • Grid (Gríðr) - Greed, vehemence, violence, impetuosity
  • Hel - Death, Helheim (the underworld), Náströnd (“Corpse Shore”)
  • Hyrrokkin - Fire smoked, smoke, strength, wolves, serpents
  • Jernsaksa (Járnsaxa) - Iron knife, mother to Magne
  • Lauvøy (Laufey) - Needle, slender, weak
  • Menglød (Menglöð) - Lives in a castle guarded by Fjölsviðr
  • Mjoll (Mjöll) - Powdered snow
  • Natt (Nótt) - Night, darkness, nightfall, counting time, rides Rimfakse
  • Skade (Skaði) - Damage, archery, hunting, skiing, winter, mountains

Vetter (Vættir, Beings) & Other

  • Alver (Elves) - Light/Dark/Black, personification of nature
  • Andvare (Andvari) - Dwarf, “careful one”, waterfall, fish, wealth, magic ring called Andvaranaut
  • Ask og Embla - The first humans, ancestors of humanity
  • Diser (Dísir) - Female protective deities/spirits, fate
  • Dverger (Dvergar) - Dwarfs, metallurgy, wisdom, smithing, mining, crafting
  • Einherjer (Einherjar) - Honoured dead, fallen in battle, sent to Folkvang or Valhalla
  • Fenrisulven (Fenrisúlfr) - Death, destruction, rage, the end of times, fen-dweller
  • Fjolne (Fjölnir) - Swedish king, Vaner, son of Frøy and Gerd
  • Gullveig/Heid (Heiðr) - Volva, seid, enigmatic, “Lust For Gold” or “Golden Drink”
  • Kvase (Kvasir) - Wisdom, knowledge, skaldship, poetry, mead, blood, juice
  • Midgardsormen (Jörmungandr, Midgard Serpent) - Sea serpent, poison, self-reflexivity, cyclicality
  • Norner (Norns) - Weavers of fate, Wyrd, destiny, birth, death
  • Sigurd Fåvnesbane - Stag, hero, wisdom, prophecy, speak to birds
  • Starkad (Starkaðr) - Jotun, hero, great warrior, many arms cut off by Tor
  • Troll - Isolated natural landmarks, strength, slow, dim witted, 
  • Valkyrjer (Valkyries) - Choosers of the slain, Odin’s maids, spirits, ferocity, death, ravens, wolves
  • Vanlande (Vanlandi) - Hero, Swedish king, Vaner, “Man from the land of the Vaner”, 
  • Vedfinn (Viðfinnr) - Father of Hjuke and Bil
  • Vetter (Vættir) - landvette, skogsvette, husvette, vannvette, sjøvette, havvette, hulder, nøkken, draugen, nisse, troll, huldrefolk, deildegasten, dradokke, trollkatt, basilisk, krake, utburd, lyktemenn, varulv, marmæl, lindorm
  • Volund (Völundr) - Blacksmith, magical powers, sword maker, hero, alvedrotten (Chieftan of elves)

Icelandic Magical Staves

Hulinhjalmur

Hulinhjalmur (“Helm Of Disguise”) is a visual magic sigil that allows the user to appear invisible.

The complex task of creating the ink to make this sigil is done by collecting three drops of blood from the index finger of one’s left hand, three from the ring-finger of one’s right hand, two from the right nipple and one from the left nipple. Then the blood must be mixed with six drops of blood from the heart of a living raven and melted with raven’s brains and pieces of human stomach.

Once that is done the sigil must be drawn out in this ink on brown coal (lignite) and then pressed into the brow, activating this visual magic to prevent your enemies from being able to see you.

- hedendom

Icelandic Magical Staves

Veldismagn

Where many would think to use Ægishjálmur (particularly in tattoo’s as I have seen), it would often be more appropriate to use Veldismagn.

Where Ægishjálmur must be carved in metal and placed between the brows (acting as a visual magic), Veldismagn is drawn out in blood and placed on the chest. Since tattooing draws blood this might actually activate this overlooked sigil and in doing so create a charm so that nothing evil can harm you and you will return healthy and without sickness from any journey.

- hedendom

Gloson

In Swedish folktradition, Gloson is a terrible ghost pig that was a part of the challenges a year walker faced on a year walk (Sw. årsgång). She, the pig is usually a sow, could run between the legs of a person and cleave him or her in half. Sometimes she carried a scroll or a book in her mouth, and the one who snatched it could learn magic.

Artwork by fromfarbeyond and description by suttungsbrew

Havsrå

Known as the “Sea Wife”, the Havsrå is the oceanic equivalent of the Huldra and is the keeper or warden of the seas. Passing sailors can get her good graces by offering a coin, food or gloves (in cold weather) as a gift. In return, she may reciprocate the gesture with a warning of any any approaching high winds, storms or icy conditions. She may also help fishermen who show her such favour with information about how and where they can land a big haul.

Havsrå can take many different forms but usually appears as an incredibly beautiful woman with long, flowing hair that she is often seen combing atop rocks. Sometimes her back is hollow (as with the Huldra) and she has many aquatic features such as a fishes tail where her legs would be. She may also transform into the guise of seals, sea birds or other marine animals.

There are also Havsmän (“Sea Men”) but it is not know if they are connected to the Havsrå. Some believe that the two are sexual partners and this is how their existence continues but others say they are solitary creatures (much more like the Nøkk). The Havsmän can often be seen walking or waterskiing on the ocean waves just before a storm.

The Havsrå lives at the depths of the ocean in an underwater castle on the seabed with enormous halls, each one finer than the one before, where she lives with her children and other aquatic vættir. Under favourable weather conditions a sailor may catch a glimpse of her palace which has given rise to tales of sunken castles out at sea.

It has been known for a handsome sailor to stumble upon a Havsrå castle and that he be taken in to live with her forever and lose all memory of their home and life back on land.

Sometimes, if a fisherman happens to pull in a remarkable catch, he may find in his nets a Havsbarn (“Sea Child”), a child of the Havsrå. If he takes such a child home and raises it as his own, the Havsbarn will grow up to be the greatest of fishermen and possess a mystical connection to the sea that others lack, despite living out their life as a normal person. One day, when they have reached adulthood, the Havsbarn will hear a call from their mother, the Havsrå. They will then reveal their true nature to their adopted parents and thank them before sailing out to sea and jumping in, never to be seen again. Many Scandinavians who come from remote islands and seafaring families claim that their ancestor was such a Havsbarn.

It has been known for a Havsrå to stop a passing ship and offer to buy it’s cargo. It is wise to be polite and take the deal, as the Havsrå pays very well and rewards the kindness with good wind in the sails and fine conditions. On the other hand, refusal or rudeness will invoke her wrath and the ship may soon feel her power, sinking down to the murky depths.

Linnorm

The Linnorm (or Lindworm) is a giant serpent from Norse mythology and Scandinavian folk belief, the most famous of which include Jörmangandr (the Midgard Serpent) and Fáfnir (which is slain by Sigurd in the Völsunga saga).

These snake-like dragons were known for their great size, venomous bite and destructive nature. A fearsome opponent to deal with and the antagonist of many folk tales.

In one such tale, we learn of an Earl’s daughter who had been taken hostage by a Linnorm until she is rescued by a warrior in fur trousers named Ragnar. This earns him his soon famed nickname of Ragnar Loðbrók (Hairy britches)!

It is also held in folk belief that if you can acquire the shed skin of a Linnorm you will greatly increase your knowledge and skill of nature and medicine.

- hedendom

Artwork from vaesen.se

The myth of the Huldra predates even the oldest Norse Mythology, originating in the time when mankind lived off nature, scavenging the forests, rather than agriculture and farming.

The Huldra protected the forest and all the flora and fauna within. Her home was a single large tree surrounded by smaller trees in a grove. She appeared as a beautiful young woman but this was not her true appearance. Few had seen her true image and fewer still had lived to talk of it. She would lure men into the woods with her song and depending on their character would either kill them or marry them.

She was neither good nor bad, instead she would respond to the intentions and actions of the person who encountered her. If a hunter was kind to her she would assist the hunt. To gain her favour she could be offered blood but one must be careful that she did drink them dry.

Artwork from Simon Flesser of simogo.com
6

Trolls

The troll is a very important part of modern Scandinavian folklore which harks back (or maybe even claims direct lineage) from the Jötnar of the high mythology. The terms Troll, Jötunn and Þurs are all mentioned throughout Old Norse Mythology to describe a variety of beings and there is confusion and overlapping in the use of those terms. It has been suggested that they are separate types of related creatures:
Jötunn are the lords of nature
Trolls are nature beings
Þurs are hostile monsters

Said to inhabit remote areas, like mountains, under rural bridges and caves deep in the forest. There are many different ‘races’ of troll depending on where they live and they display great diversity in their size and appearance. They are said to be very old, very powerful yet plodding and unintelligent enabling them to be defeated.

Scandinavians believe Trolls are frightened away by lightning (a holdover from the mythology of Thor killing Jötunn), church bells and iron (particularly an iron trollkurs or ‘troll cross’). It is said they also turn to stone if they are hit by direct sunlight. But if you cannot beat them you would best beware as they are known to kidnap and eat humans as well as destroy a persons property and home.

Today it is said that the lack of Trolls is down to the result of lightning strikes and there are many stone landmarks in Nordic lands that are said to be the result of Trolls that were caught in sunlight!

The day which Heathens traditionally considered New Year was sundown on the night of the first full moon after the midwinter solstice. On this night, it was believed that the barriers between the realms were at their thinnest. It was a night when many would attempt to commune with the powers and attempt rituals that required crossing between planes of existence. Such rituals would include Årsgång (Year Walking), Spådom (Premonition), Trolldom (Nordic Folk Magic) and doing positive things that would help set a precedent for the coming year!

The artwork comes from an 1875 book and depicts someone partaking in Årsgång.

Where To Find Our Faith

Regardless of the name you use, be it Ásatrú, Forn Sed, The Northern Tradition, Norse Heathenry or any other title, the question of how and where to learn more about the old ways always comes up.

Academic study is great if you wish to learn how others practice (and I do read and take an interest in what remains from the era) but ultimately the only perfect way to find this faith for yourself is to experience it.

You will not find experiences in books.

You will find it in woods and forests, mountains and anywhere else that makes you re-enter the ecosystem as a participant instead of a viewer.
You will find it in the customs, traditions and folklore around YOU (possibly including but not limited to those incomplete fragments from Iceland many hundreds of years ago).
You will find it in your own heart.

Our ancestors didn’t read books about how to practice. They looked at their world, experienced it, and created our tradition to fit themselves. They did not follow written word like a holy book and try to make themselves fit those words.

I know a heathen brother who has a profound understanding of the old ways and he cannot even read. Yet he is a man of the earth and spends all of his time in nature, where he truly found his faith.

To me it isn’t study. It’s living, experiencing and growing!
It’s a living religion, a way to make sense of our world. Go out and enjoy it!

- hedendom

Norwegian Pirog aka “Troll Snacks”

These savoury pies, made with fillings such as Jarlsberg cheese, ham and other Norwegian regional favourites, are known as “Troll snacks” in and around Gudbrandsdalen, Norway.

The region is recorded in folklore as the setting for the famous folk tale of Per Gynt, who takes on many great adventures, rescues dairy maids from trolls and defeats the giant worm-troll, Bøyg!

It is said that by offering a few of each batch that you bake you will stop unwanted attention from trolls and stop them interfering with your home and family.

The Church Grim was the most feared creature in Scandinavian folklore and it was even considered bad luck to speak of it. There is a theory that it dates back to a nameless Bronze Age deity.

When a church was built in medieval times it was tradition that an animal such as a goat was buried alive under the foundations. Sometimes criminals were buried there too and other stories talk of criminals having their heart cut out and buried inside an animal carcass in a similar fashion.

The image most commonly encountered of The Church Grim mirrors these tales, appearing as a goat walking as if human and carrying it’s heart. If you were to touch this heart it is believed you can see all things in creation.

While some say The Church Grim guards the church against thieves and grave robbers there are others that say it feeds on the energy of the church, sapping peoples hopes and dreams.

- hedendom

Artwork by Simon Flesser of simogo.com

The Brook Horse

The Brook Horse is one of the many folkloric creatures of that is said to live in the lakes, rivers and fjords of Scandinavia.

This pale coloured horse appears in creeks or lakes and tries to lure children onto it’s back. For every child it can get upon its back the horses spine will grow and when it is satisfied that enough children are riding it will dive into the depths, dragging the children under and drowning them.

Let children beware playing too close to open water.

- hedendom

youtube

The Lagarfljótsormur is a legendary water serpent that is said to inhabit Lake Lagarfljót, Iceland. The earliest recorded sightings of the Lagarfljótsormur date back to the Icelandic Annals of 1345 and have continued to this day.

In their book “Icelandic Folk and Fairy Tales,” folklorists May and Hallberg Hallmundsson describe the origin tale of the beast:

At one time, long, long ago, there was a woman living on a farm in the Lagarfljót district, close by the stream where it broadens into a lake. She had a grown daughter. Once, she gave her daughter a gold ring. The woman instructed her daughter to catch a snake and keep the gold ring underneath it in her linen chest (as, apparently, one did long ago in rural Iceland). She did so, but when the girl went to look at her ring again, the snake had grown so large that the chest was beginning to come apart. Then the girl was frightened and she picked up the chest with everything in it and threw it into the lake. A long time passed, and gradually people became aware that there was a serpent in the lake, for it was beginning to kill both people and animals crossing the waters. 

In 1963, the head of the Icelandic National Forest Service, Sigurður Blöndal, reported seeing the giant worm and in 1998 a teacher and students at Hallormsstaðir School also claimed to have witnessed the legendary creature.

In 2012, an amateur cameraman, Hjörtur E. Kjerúlf, accidentally caught what is thought to be the Lagarfljótsormur on camera. The Icelandic government set up a commission to determine whether or not the footage (shown above) was authentic and in September 2014 their report concluded that the footage was, in fact, genuine and recommended further investigation and research into the Lagarfljótsormur.

Jötnar, Vanir, Æsir

The following was written as a reply to a specific ask (who didn’t want me to publish) regarding my thoughts about Jötnar, Vanir and Æsir and what I thought they represented relative to one another. I thought I might post it up in case anyone else was interested.

First of all there were Jötnar (this means something close to ‘devourer’ in English but many incorrectly call them giants). These are the raw, basic forces of nature (bad weather/clear skies, freezing temperatures/warm sun, raging seas/calm oceans, etc..). These are basically the elements that the old Norse people would have to survive through. Not always nice but necessary and part of our world. They could at times be your worst enemy or at others a blessing.

Second came the Vanir. These were the gods who represented fertility, birth, nature, etc…. The indigenous gods, in the mold of Shamanistic ideas of deities representing nature, reproduction and magic. They represent the functions of human instinct.

Third came the Æsir. The Æsir came from the East. This is where the ancestors of the Norse people had originally travelled from. The Æsir represented the higher functions of human nature (honesty, bravery, anger, greed, strength, jealousy, kindness, empathy, intelligence, intuition and every other facet of what it means to “be human”).

So you have the basic forces of nature (Jötnar), animal instinct (Vanir) and the conscious aspects of human nature (Æsir). As in life, all three of these are in constant flux and balance.

The Æsir/Vanir war is representative of the battle we have as humans to balance our instinctual needs (sex, survival, etc..) with our human needs (understanding, friendship, love, etc…). In the end, the Æsir and Vanir become one and this is showing us that you can never have just one or the other. You must have a careful balance of both. Learn to balance instinct with thought, despite how sometimes it might cause internal conflict.

Loddfafnismal

Listen carefully.

Never get up at night except to guard your house or relieve yourself.

Never succumb to a witches sweet words and soft snaring embrace. She’ll cast a spell on you and you’ll lose all delight in meetings and friendships with other men. You’ll hate the sight of meat. Every sweetness will be sour and you’ll take to your bed bowed down with sorrow.

Never try to seduce another man’s wife or hope to come to secret understandings with her.

If you take on a great journey always make sure you have more provisions than you anticipate you’ll need.

Never trust an evil man when you are out of luck. The evil man receives good and pays out with evil. And beware an evil woman’s words. Her flickering tongue can be the cause of your death even if not one true word is spoken.

If you want a friend you can wholly trust then foster your friendship. Brambles and long grass grow quickly on little-trodden tracks.

Find a wise man for your friend and learn his charms for healing.

Never be the first to strain and break the bonds of friendship. If you cannot tell another man your true thoughts, anxiety will eat at your heart.

Never waste time on a witless ape. An evil man never gives as much as he gets but a good man will win you great respect by singing your praises. When a man can open his heart to another, that is true friendship. Nothing is worse than a liar and no true friend tells you only what you want to hear.

Three angry words are three too many if spoken to a man with ill intent. The better man often comes off worse when a bad man draws his weapon.

Only make shoes or spear shafts that you would use yourself. If a shoe fits badly or a shaft breaks in battle then men will curse you.

If you know of some evil ensure everyone knows of it. Do not make any peace with your enemies.

To do evil brings no lasting pleasure and to do good will make you glad.

Don’t raise your eyes when battle is raging and men are filled with frenzy. Enemies may use spells to ensnare you.

To win a woman’s love and enjoy her favours, make her a fair promise and stick to it. Nobody loathes what reward they get.

Be cautious, but not fearful, above all. Beware ale, another man’s wife and a thief’s sharp wits.

Never mock a guest or deride a stranger. Often we can know very little of another and their worth. No one is so perfect that they are without shortcomings. No one is so wicked that they count for nothing.

Don’t ignore the elderly, for the old are often wise. Though they hang with the animal hides, shrivelled skin can offer good advice.

Don’t abuse a guest or show him the door. Be generous to a needy man. But don’t have your kindness taken for weakness lest you come to a bad end.

When drinking ale offset it with the power of earth. As earth cures ale, fire cures sickness and oak cures constipation. Use ear of corn against witchcraft, rye against rupture, the moon against hatred, grass against a scab and runes against a sword wound. Earth absorbs floods of water.

Heed these words. They are good for the sons of men and accursed for the sons of giants. May whoever learns then prosper through their insight.

8

The Gosforth Cross

There are two engraved sandstone crosses dating from the first half of the 10th Century in the village of Gosforth, Cumbria that contain scenes from the Peotic Edda. They are collectively known as the Gosforth Cross. While one still stands the second has fallen and only the base and a small part of the actual cross remains, yet both contain relevant engravings.

They include:
- The binding of Loki, with Sigyn present.
- Heimdallr holding his horn while fending off Fenrir (this engraving is signed by “Magnus P.”
- Víðarr’s battle with Fenrir at Ragnarok
- Thor’s failed attempt to catch Jormangandr (found on a fragment of the second cross)

hedendom