Keywords: Aesir

We Need To Talk About Gefjun: Toward a new etymology of an Old Icelandic theonym

 
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The name of a deity often reveals something of their character, and can shed light on obscure elements in the mythology. Unfortunately the prehistory of a word is itself often obscure, and care must be taken not to project a meaning onto a word that was never truly there. The goddess name Gefjun has long […]

Vafþrúðnismál and Grímnismál: Cosmic History, Cosmic Geography

 
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Óðinn is the protagonist of both these poems, which follow Hávamál in the Codex Regius. In Vafþrúðnismál he visits teh giant Vafþrúðnir in disguise to compete with him in a wisdom-contest in which the stake is the loser´s head.  Once he has established (by posing some questions about mythological facts) that Óðinn is a worthy […]

Goddesses Unknown I: Njǫrun and the Sister-Wife of Njǫrðr

 
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The present article attempts to fill a gap in modern Old Norse scholarship by presenting overviews of two highly mysterious figures, the apparent goddess Njǫrun and the unnamed wife  and  sister  of  the  major  god  Njǫrðr.  In doing so, this article thematically connects with previous discussion of the Vanir found in earlier issues of RMN Newsletter. Originally Published: […]

The Religion of the Vikings

 
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What will be outlined here are the religious beliefs and rituals of the Scandinavians in the eighth to the eleventh centuries including those who went for trade, plunder or settlement abroad, that is, the ‘vikings’ properly speaking. Some among them were already Christians but the vast majority of the population still clung to their traditional religion. From a modern […]

Myth and Ritual in Pre-Christian Scandinavian Landscape

 
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I grew up in the forest region of northern Sweden. As a young boy, an old female relative of mine, an aunt to my father, told me now and then of her encounters with the ‘small people’ when she was herding cattle as a herdess at the seter in the forests, especially of the beautiful […]

How Uniform Was the Old Norse religion?

 
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One often gets the impression from handbooks on Old Norse culture and religion that the pagan religion that was supposed to have been in existence all over pre-Christian Scandinavia and Iceland was rather homogeneous. Due to the lack of written sources, it becomes difficult to say whether the ‘religion’ — or rather mythology, eschatology, and […]