A Blog on Mythology and occasionally on Reality.

This is a Blog on Mythology, both Indian and World and especially the analysis of the myths.

In effect, the interpretation of the inherent Symbolism.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Norse Mythology – Chief Deities

Odin – was the chief god of the Nordic pantheon and was considered to be the father of all gods. He was the god of war and death, and also of wisdom. He was supposed to have hung on the Tree of Life for nine days pierced by his own spear. He was supposed to have even given one of his eyes for a drink from the well of knowledge and thus he is depicted as the one-eyed god. He is also depicted as wearing a cloak, being old, having a long grey beard, and wearing a wide brimmed hat down low over his face to conceal his one-eyed visage. Odin could make the dead speak to question the wisest amongst them.

Odin had a spear which never missed its mark and a bow which unleashed ten arrows with every pull. He also owned a magic ring which created nine of itself every night. Another one of Odin's prized possessions was his wonderful horse which had eight legs. It could travel to the underworld and through the air. Odin also had two wolves, and two ravens who were known as, Hugin (thought) and Munin (memory). He sent his ravens out every day to gather knowledge for him.

Thor – was the god of thunder and son of Odin and was one of the most powerful of all the gods. He was usually depicted as a powerful man with red beard and eyes, which represented lightning. He was a popular god as he was considered to be the protector of both gods and mankind against all evil. His popularity could also be because of his worship did not require human sacrifices, as in the case of Odin.

During a thunderstorm Thor is believed to be riding through the heavens on his chariot which is pulled by two goats. Lightning flashes each time he throws his mighty hammer Mjollnir. He wears a belt which doubles his already amazing strength and wears a pair of iron gloves which are needed to hold his hammer. The fourth day of the week, Thursday is derived from his name.

Freyja – was the goddess of love and fertility. She was a paragon of beauty and sensuality and stood for all things associated with love. She loved music and poetry. It is said that when she mourned for her dead husband, her tears turned into gold! She is always shown wearing a precious necklace, which is also one of her key attributes. She could take the form of a falcon, which helped her to travel long distances. Her name is the origin of the fifth day of the week, Friday.

Loki – was a trickster, who though a god, was responsible for creating lot of trouble. He was both cunning and wicked and had the ability to change his appearance into anything that he wanted to.

Balder – was the god of purity, light and above all, reconciliation. He was loved by both the gods and mankind; He did not have too many powers, but his death plays an important role in the Nordic mythology.

Balder was troubled by dreams of his impending death which bothered his mother. She extracted an oath from all the living creatures that they would not harm him ever, thus making him sort of invincible. This left Balder in some peace. Loki was jealous of Balder’s popularity and through trickery learnt that his mother had not bothered to extract such an oath from mistletoe, a herb, thinking it was too small to be bothered. Once when everyone was playing dart, with Balder as the target (!), Loki tricked Balder’s twin brother, to try a dart made of mistletoe. As intended it pierced Balder’s heart and killed him instantly.

Later it was decided that Balder would be resurrected, only if everything in the world, living or dead would cry for him. All did, except Loki who wanted to see the end of Balder, and thus Balder remained in the underworld. This episode is considered to be an important act in the entire mythology of the Norse.

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