Archive for the 'Norse' Category

Zytniamatka

April 5th, 2010 by sabrina

zytniamatkaZytniamatka is the Germanic Goddess of agriculture. Also known as Die Kornmutter (the Corn-Mother) she is the ripe corn, represented by a corn dolly made from the last ears of corn to be harvested. The corn dolly was kept over the winter months and buried in the ground in the spring when the corn was planted, bringing the Goddess’s blessings to the crop and ensuring its success. Zytniamatka’s name, which means “corn mother,” is also seen as Zytnia Matka, Ziza, and Zizi.

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Kipu-tyttö

March 25th, 2010 by sabrina

star-of-heavenKipu-tyttö is the Finnish Goddess of illness. She is the daughter of Tuonetar and Tuoni, Goddess and God of the underworld, and sister of Loviatar, Goddess of plagues. Kipu-tyttö sits on a rock at the spot where three rivers meet in the underworld, and all of mankind’s diseases live below. She slowly turns the rock, releasing them one at a time. She is depicted as a young woman with a pockmarked face, and she sings as she sits on her rock, luring the ill with her song. Kipu-tyttö’s name means “pain girl.”

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Loviatar

October 19th, 2009 by sabrina

star-of-heavenLoviatar (pronounced lo-VEE-at-ar) is the Finnish Goddess of plagues. She is the blind daughter of Tuonetar and Tuoni, Goddess and God of the Underworld. The Kalevala calls Loviatar “black in heart and soul and visage,” and tells of her impregnation by the east wind. When she went into labor, Loviatar went to Louhi, Goddess of sorcery, who helped her to give birth to nine sons. The first eight of these sons she named Pistos (consumption), Ähky (colic), Luuvalo (gout), Riisi (rickets), Paise (ulcer), Rupi (scab), Syöjä (cancer), and Rutto (plague). The ninth, who personified envy, was not named. Loviatar’s name is also seen as Louhiatar, Louhetar, Loveatar, Lovetar, and Lovehetar.

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Tuonetar

October 3rd, 2009 by sabrina

tuonetarTuonetar (pronounced TWOAN-et-ar) is the Finnish Goddess of the underworld. She is the wife of Tuoni, God of the underworld, which is called Tuonela. Her appearance is that of a hag, and her touch could pull a mortal’s soul from their body and send it to the underworld. Tuonetar is the mother by Tuoni of a number of other dark Gods and Goddesses, including Loviatar (Goddess of plagues), Kipu-Tytto (Goddess of illness), Kivutar (Goddess of disease), and Vammater (Goddess of pain). In one myth in the Kalevala, the hero Väinämöinen journeyed to the underworld, and Tuonetar greeted him with a stein of beer in which frogs and worms were swimming. She told him that he would not be allowed to leave the underworld and had him caught in an iron net. Väinämöinen, however, was able to change shape, and he changed himself into a snake and escaped. Tuonetar’s name means “queen of the dead.”

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Nehalennia

September 7th, 2009 by sabrina

nehalenniaNehalennia is the Germanic Goddess of commerce. She was worshipped in the area that is now the Netherlands, and was prevalent when the Romans arrived in the area. Shrines to Nehalennia depicted her holding a basket of fruit and accompanied by a large dog, and sometimes standing on or next to the prow of a ship or holding an oar. Votive inscriptions often thanked her for safe passage across the North Sea, confirming her identification with trade and commerce. Nehalennia’s name, which is thought to mean “seafarer” or “steerswoman,” is also seen as Nenhellenia.

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Vár

April 16th, 2009 by sabrina

eirVár is the Norse Goddess of marriage vows. She is one of Frigg‘s handmaidens, and is responsible for making sure that those who pledge their hearts in marriage are true to their vows. She also punishes those who break their oaths. Vár’s name means “pledge.”

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Syn

March 27th, 2009 by sabrina

eirSyn is the Norse Goddess of vigilance. She is one of Frigg‘s handmaidens, and she stands guard at the door of Frigg’s palace, refusing entrance to any who are not invited. Syn also defends the weak, and she is called upon by those who have been wrongly accused of crimes to aid them in their battles. Her name means “denial.”

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Snotra

February 10th, 2009 by sabrina

eirSnotra (pronounced SNOW-tra) is the Norse Goddess of prudence. She is one of Frigg‘s handmaidens, and she is said to have been a master of all knowledge. She was called on by those who wished to be as virtuous and self-disciplined as she. Snotra’s name means “wise.”

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Sjöfn

January 18th, 2009 by sabrina

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Sjöfn (pronounced SYO-fn) is the Norse Goddess of harmony in marriage. She is one of Frigg’s handmaidens, and it is her job to turn the minds of humans to thoughts of love and passion. She also ensures happy marriages by stopping fights. Sjöfn’s name, which means “affection,” is also seen as Vjöfn or Sjofna.

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Sól

December 23rd, 2008 by sabrina

Sól is the Norse Goddess of the sun. She is the sister of Máni, God of the moon. Sól drives a chariot across the sky each day, pulled by the two horses Alsviðr (“all swift”) and Arvakr (“early riser”). She is chased by a wolf named Sköll, and her brother Máni is chased by another wolf, Hati. It is said that at Ragnarök (the battle at the end of the world) Sköll and Hati will catch their prey, and Sól will be replaced by her daughter. Sól’s name, which means “sun,” has a number of kennings and heiti (alternate names), including:
Daughter of Mundilfari
Sister of the Moon
Wife of Glenr
Fire of Heaven and of the Air
Álfröðull (elf beam)
Alskír (all bright)
Dvalins leika (Dvalin’s playmate)
Eyglóa (ever glow)
Fagrahvél (fair wheel)
Ifröðull (doubtful beam)
Líknskin (healing ray)
Mylin (luminary)
Röðull (glory)
Sunna (sun)
Sýni (sight)

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