joltij said: Hi, I read an ask you answered a while ago, about the most important Norse gods and goddesses. And you mentioned Freyja was also the goddess of death and I was wondering how her job was different from Hel who was also the goddess of death? (I know Freyja was somehow associated with war?) I'm just really interested because my name is derived from her name and that was the first I heard about her also being a Goddess of death.
yeah man the thing with norse mythology is that most gods share traits with each other and that makes it confusing as fuck.
BUT freyja was the god, forget odin rn, that got first choice of the slain in battle and she kept her half of the slain in her own hall, sessrumnir, in folkvangr so that makes her a god of death, in a sense much like odi, but his souls go to valhalla. no one really knows what freyja does with her half of the slain, or why she chooses them but we do know she gets first pick.
hel, on the other hand, is the goddess of the dead and the underworld. some people say she’s the personification of hel itself. she presides over the souls that were NOT KILLED IN BATTLE and it was her job to determine the fate of the souls that entered her realm.
so the main difference between the two goddesses was that freyja only had power over the souls that were slain in battle, this goes for odin as well, and hel dealt with all the other souls.
Guys. Historical Heathens did, in fact, kneel and full on prostrate themselves before their Gods. There’s surviving textual evidence. And at least one roman statue showing one of the Suebi kneeling with his hands raised to petition.
I get that some people are hung up on “I’m bitter about Christians and WEAK CHRISTIANS KNEEL so we TOTALLY do the opposite” and “It’s UNMANLY to kneel grrrrr I am manly and don’t bend to nobody and nothing”
But seriously. They did kneel and prostrate before the Gods. (We’ve even got a story where someone takes advantage of this, waits until his enemy is face down in front of his statue of Thor, and then sneaks into the hof and murders him.) It’s really obnoxious to constantly see those memes chest-thumping about WE DON’T KNEEL OUR GODS WANT US TO STAND YOUR GOD GOT NAILED MINE HAS A HAMMER blah blah etc.
Also, despite Tacitus’ assertion that Heathens didn’t use idols/statuary (and Tacitus has some problems, which mean he cannot be taken at face value and as 100% authoritative)… we have textual and archaeological evidence that they did have idols/statuary. Sometimes pocket versions that could be carried with someone. Yes, there were also sacred groves and outdoor worship places, but there were also indoor worship places, and these became more and more common as time progressed. I’d also like the “real Heathens don’t need or use statues or images of their Deities, real Heathens just go outdoors and don’t worship indoors!” meme to stop propagating, thanks. It’s not a problem if you don’t use images or statues, and if you want to only do worship outside in nature, but nobody should be representing this as The Only and Historically Accurate Authentic Way to go about things.
Thor & Audrey Sheil, Advanced Old Norse Runecraft
[I’ve substituted the more familiar names of the Elder Futhark for the somewhat idiosyncratic rune-names used by the Sheils in their writings to avoid any potential confusion.]
Access, control, and direction of magical forces is performed in various ways. In rune magic, the appropriate runes are used to evoke their energies. Other runes or techniques are used to control them, “forming” the active energies as needed for the desired result. The energy is then sent to the area of need and set into motion.
Picking runes from a chart or rote memory is not very effective. The runes have to be internalized and experienced! They must be selected based on genuine understanding. Obviously, the type of magic outlined here is not for the “quick fix” or “getting things the easy way”. The “easy way” is the lazy way, and it does not work. Magic is a science and art which demands thought, effort, and skill. Things are not conveniently arranged for you to whip up a spell at your leisure. Magic requires more than consulting a catalog of recipes.
An ailment may stem from any of several causes or combinations thereof. The magician tries to counter problems by going directly to the cause. The magician must determine which runic forces are attributable to the disease, and thence which runes would best remedy the situation. You must work to determine the actual cause on a case-by-case basis, and then select the appropriate response. For example; A depression caused by Nauthiz will require the Jera or Berkana runes, and one attributable to Eiwaz would benefit from Ansuz or Sowilo.
The magician must also decide the exact type of response which will control a situation. Will he use a spoken charm, talisman, candle spell, etc.? Is the situation better handled by non-magical means? Should a combination of magical and mundane actions be used? I usually counsel that a person avail himself of everything possible.Never discount the value of mundane agencies and remedies. Spellcraft should be supported and used in support of material methods when feasible.
The following list shows some of the problems attributable to particular Runes.