Wight of the Nine Worlds


I welcome thee free spirit, which thou shalt come with an open heart, open mind and an open soul, for what you are about to read can only be understood by the wise who are eager to learn and to embrace the roots deep and forgotten in the hearts of the free people of Europe, by accepting who you are and where your roots lie, is half way into the great road of life. We will journey unto where our spirit takes us with the knowledge we gained. Learn and teach.

Walpurgisnacht - 30th of April

Walpurgisnacht or Walpurgis night, is a celebrations that takes place at the 30th of April to the 1st of May. It is often celebrated with dancing and huge bonfires. This is similar to the halloween festival, in that it has to do with the supernatural spirits, both ancestors and gods, also spirits of specific places and Elfs. The bonfires at this festival, is a warm welcome to the spring time, to receive the heat and say farewell to the harsh cold winter times.

In Norse traditions - and many others - this night is the time when the boundary between our world and that of the spirits is a bit shaky. Much like Samhain, six months later, Walpurgisnacht is a time to communicate with the spirit world. Bonfires are traditionally lit to keep away malevolent spirits or those who might do us mischief.

This celebrations takes place one night before the celtic celebrations of Baltaine.

My apologies

Some of the things i've written in my blog, are the "product" of the knowledge i've earned with my friend and also a great teacher RavenKaldera , and i thought i had mark those writings with a link to him, and as a matter of fact i did, but only in some, and i have forgotten in other posts of his own writings. So i must apologise to him for any inconvenience i may have caused. I hope he takes those, and i belive now, all those posts are now marked with a Link to his page.

sincere apologies.

Best Regards

Arith Härger

Sauna: House of the Ancestors

It is the opinion of those of us who consider the sauna to be a spiritual tool of the Northern Tradition that if you are going to do it at all, you should do it right. Some modern "saunas" have electric heat, or infrared heat, or no steam at all, or not enough ventilation. Except for that last item, which can make people ill from oxygen deprivation, the rest aren't exactly a crime. If you want to use such a "sauna", fine. Go ahead. You can even use it as a purification ordeal, which is part of what the sauna is ... but don't think that you'll get deep religious ritual out of it. Tapping into the original spirit of the sauna/stofa ritual is honoring the powers of fire and water and stone, and the steam that is the Breath of the Ancestors. Without those, the wights will not come.
A proper sauna/stofa ritual should have the following in attendance:
1) A source of wood heat, with real flame. Usually this is a woodstove, although a stone hearth or oven will do just as well.
2) Ventilation. Many modern airtight saunas make people sick because the oxygen level falls too low. Even an open window to the cold is better than nothing - just crank the fire up. The ideal is an adjustable vent near the floor, to vent the cooling, sinking air, and another higher up to vent the excess heat later on.
2*) Stones to throw water on. They can be collected ceremonially and charged with intent, if you like. Do not use river stones, which have a tendency to blow apart during temperature changes.

3) Water to throw on the stones, preferably rainwater.
4) A birch whisk. To make this, collect birch "twigs" - meaning branches less than two feet long - and tie them together. It is best made and used fresh, but of course you may not be able to get fresh leafy birch twigs for a good portion of the year. Think ahead and make a bunch of them, and let them dry. They should be spring or summer branches; fall branches tend to defoliate easier. Hang them to dry and then store them flat in paper bags. You will use each one up every time you do a sauna ritual, so be prepared. (If you have a chest freezer, you can freeze them flat in bags and then thaw them later.)
To use a fresh whisk, simply rinse it off before going into the sauna. During the second round - the Community round - dip it in warm water and turn it gently over the steam. For a dry whisk, rinse off the dry branches and then put them into a basin of warm - not hot - water. This is usually done on top of the sauna stove. As soon as it is rehydrated, it is ready for use. The birch whisks bring a beautiful scent to the hot air. It has a long history as well; among the ancient Slavic people, a certain number of birch whisks were actually paid as tributes by weaker, conquered tribes.
5) Knowledge of the proper sauna etiquette. A sauna is not for partying, rowdiness, or fondling each other. It is a solemn occasion, and a quiet, meditative ambience should be promoted. Being naked is mandatory; one should go in as one came out of the womb. The sauna is a rebirth experience in its own way. In our modern society, some people may feel shy about being naked, but this is fairly critical. Anyone who would be so rude as to comment on someone's body, or give someone an unwanted touch, shouldn't be allowed to be present during such a ritual anyway.
Community saunas are traditionally mixed-gender and mixed-age, although there were occasional saunas specially for men or women (for example, part of a puberty rite might be held in the sauna). One saying held that of the three sauna rounds, one was for men, one for women, and one for the faeries. (One would assume that this refers to firing up the empty sauna for the Saunatonttu; see below.) However, the ancestors of men and women are the same, and we strongly encourage mixed-gender saunas, with everyone well versed in the proper behavior. If nothing else, it obviates the problem of where to put the people who are neither male nor female, some of whom may be the community shamans.
The first step is to build and consecrate your sauna. While the original ones were made of stone, by the 5th century they were being built of timber. However you make yours, be sure that it has good ventilation. Situate the hearth carefully - remember that it is the altar of the room. You will likely be using some wood, if only for the benches. Traditionally, all lumber scraps were saved and burned in the ceremonial first firing. The door to a traditional sauna should be shorter than a "normal" door; one should have to stoop to get into it, which shows reverence for the ancestors. In Russia, it was traditional to leave the banya backwards, bowing to the spirits. Another of their traditions was burying a sacrificed black cock under the doorstep, a custom which the modern builder may use or not, as they prefer.
The first saunas were smoke saunas, referred to by the Finns as savusauna. The fire was lit under stones, and the smoke went out through a hole in the wall or ceiling. When the smoke had heated the entire room, the hole was shut and the window opened to let in fresh air. There are varying claims on the health risks of savusauna; some say that the smoke is bad for your lungs, others that the smoke creates a bacteria-free and oxygen-rich environment, assuming that you leave the place alone long enough for all the deadly carbon monoxide to leave it.
However you feel about it, the first ceremonial firing of your sauna should be as close to a traditional savusauna as possible. Afterwards, you can do it the "normal" way. To do this, remove the stovepipe from your stove (or stop up your chimney, if there's no pipe). Place containers of water out for heating. (It's also good to have it around in case of fire.) Start your fire using an older method, the sort that is appropriate for sacred fires - flint and steel at the least, or a fire-bow or fire-drill if you have mastered that art. Add pieces of birch, then harder woods as the fire gets going. It is traditional at this point to burn the scrap lumber from the building project.
Make sure that you have your vents open. It will take three to six hours to properly smoke up the sauna, so start it early in the day. Appropriate activities during this time might be to sit outside and drum and sing. What you're trying to do is to call a guardian spirit into the sauna. For some folk, the guardian spirit was an ancestor - in which case they didn't call one in when building the sauna, but merely waited until a family member died in there. Since we are unlikely to want to wait that long, start calling for a guardian spirit during the smoke-out.
Another sort of guardian spirit, popular in Finland, is the Saunatonttu, a little gnome or wizened faery. It was customary to warm up the sauna just for the gnome every now and then, or to leave some food outside for him. It is said that he warned the people if a fire was threatening the sauna, or punished people who behaved improperly while inside it. The Saunatonttu doesn't seem to be an Alfar-type so much as one of the "little people", the earthly nature sprites who live astrally in this world. If you work with them, calling a Saunatonttu might be a good idea. If not, try calling an ancestor to watch over the place, or just ask the land-wight to send the right spirit over. The song that you sing doesn't have to be brilliant, just sincere.
In Russia, the guardian spirit of the banya was the Bannik, a spindly, hairy creature described here by Aleksa: "In ancient Russian culture, the (usually male) spirits of the banyaprovided safety in bad times or against evil spirits, so if you were being chased through a field or a forest by evil beings or bad men, you may take refuge in a bathhouse and pray to the banyanka or the Bannik to protect you. The Bannik controlled your experience of the banya - the heat and steam levels - and it was heated and cleaned once a week to placate him. In Christian times the offering became the sign of the cross (although, ironically, icons were not allowed to be hung in abanya due to their residual pagan associations), but vestiges remained of the pagan practice of feeding the Bannik in offerings of vodka. In order to see the bannik, you had to go alone at night, and you had to sit with part of yourself in the banya and part out - in other words, you had to be in-between. (This was why people didn't bathe alone at night, unless they wanted to meet the Bannik.) If the banya made a purring sound, the Bannik was at home." He was sometimes known to appear to late-night wanderers as a village elder or dead ancestor, and it was important to leave the fourth steam round for him, to propitiate him with food and vodka, and to refrain from bringing anything from the house into the banya and vice versa, as everything in the banyabelonged to him (whereas the rest belonged to the domovoi). If properly treated, he would protect his guests; if maltreated he would become hostile and cause failures of fertility (crop, animal, and human), again showing the connections to the banya as a temple to Mokosh the Earth Mother.

But back to your ceremonial first smoke sauna. When the room is very hot and there is only a small blue flame left in the fire, shut the vents for a while - perhaps 20 minutes. Then open them all up and let the air in for at least an hour, to clear out all carbon monoxide. Pour water on your rocks, which will have been heating on the stove; it helps clear the air. When it's safe to be in there for more than a minute, go in with buckets of water and old rags and wipe everything down - the smoke will have blackened things. Sweep the floor, putting your intent into purifying the space. Then reconnect the stovepipe (or unstop the chimney), relight the fire, and have a regular sauna in the mellow heat from the savusauna. You have now honored the ancestors by doing your first firing in the way that they would have done.

Supported by RavenKaldera

Yggdrasil day - 22nd of April

Yggdrasil Day is not an old Northern tradition nor an ancient pagan celebration, it is a new day in the Nordic neo-pagan calendar, however, Yggdrasil has always played an important role in the lifes of the Northern people of Europe. We have all came from nature and we will all return to it one day, so at this day we honor the forces of nature and we will always remember how important is to protect the world we live in, the trees are the lungs of our world just has it is Yggdrasil in the Nordic comology, it is the shelter that gives us peace and protection, it is the spiritual path of the Gods and of our ancestors, the way which leads to the other worlds, and so as nature gives us these gifts, in turn we must honor it, and because a gift calls for a gift, in turn we must give to nature our protection, our care and our respect. In this day you should plant a tree, you should become the protector of those who have given you shelter, fight against the evils that are corrupting our natural world.

Yggdrasil is the cosmic World tree, and Ash tree, that binds this world to the others, to the world of the gods , of the spirits and ancestors, it is the symbol of our union with nature.

Ash Tree - Fraxinus Excelsior also known as guardian tree in all of Europe, with the exception of the Mediterranean region, this tree can live till three hundred years, its leaves appear after its flowers and this strange detail led this tree to be know as the "Venus of the woods". Its roots penetrate deeply into the ground causing difficulty to other kinds of vegetation to grow in there. Due to the hardness of its wood, it has been widely used for the manufacture of lances and tool handles. Thus it is possible that the name of this tree in English, derives from the Anglo-Saxon word Asec, which means "Ritual Spear."

The Druids from the celtic, cultue once used the wood of these trees, to make their rods and staffs.

Traditionally the yule log (At the winter solstice) is of ash tree, this is because it is one of the few woods that can burn immediately, even though it is still green, and offers an excellent and long-lasting illumination.

The Icelandic word Aske, which has similarities with Ash, means "fire with large flame." This tree is also sacred to the gods Thor and Odin.^
In Nordic mythology, it was an ash tree known as Yggdrasil, the cosmic tree that symbolizes the center of the world, that Odin hung for nine days and nine nights in trance, received the sacred knowledge of runes, the Elder Futhark.

The Sauna - Fire and Water

"Saunassa ollaan kuin kirkossa."
-Finnish saying: You should be in the sauna as in a church.

For the northern European peoples, a hot room full of steam was the best way to get clean. When half their year is bitterly cold, enough that it would be impractical to be wet and naked for very long, being in a tub of water in a drafty longhouse isn't a good idea. Unless living next to hot springs - which were sacred places and much revered - the best choice is to build a separate small building (or a small space within a large one) where you can heat things up and encourage your body to sweat out impurities. If you lay a supply of rocks into it, heat them,and throw water on them, you get the cleansing steam that the Finns refer to as
While the sauna is mostly associated with the Finnish people these days, we know from archaeological digs that ancient cultures all over the arctic and subarctic regions of Eurasia used them to one extent or another. In northern Europe, the oldest ones were small domed stone buildings with a hole in the top, rather like a permanent stone version of the Native American sweat lodge. Somewhat later ones were round or squarish stone buildings; occasionally a Norse longhouse would have a separate small room that seems to have been a bathhouse. In the Eyrbyggja Saga, a Norse bathhouse is described that is a room dug into the ground, or perhaps the side of a hill. A window over a stone oven, just at ground level, provided both ventilation and a place to pour water over the stones.

The word sauna is Saami, the language of the original inhabitants of Finland. We don't necessarily know what the various Scandinavian and Slavic cultures called a bathhouse, because the modern words are more recent in their etymology, such as the German Aufguss and the Russian banya (which was originally derived from an Italian word for bath). However, some linguists have pointed out that the Old Germanic word stofa, which is where we get our modern word "stove", originally meant a heated bathhouse and may have been the equivalent word for the Finnish sauna. It later evolved into the German Stube, which became Badstube or bathhouse.

During the Middle Ages, public bathhouses went from being family and tribal retreats to being busy centers of commerce and prostitution. The Catholic Church finally cracked down and banned them, and so the sauna and its various forms were lost to most places west of Finland for a long time, until those countries rediscovered the health benefits of the sauna in later centuries. This interruption via first civilization and second Christianity means that we have very little in the way of remaining lore about the religious rituals of the stofa. We can conjecture from the scraps left behind, especially those remaining in Finnish and Russian culture, or we can ask the wights and work them out ourselves, which is what some people have done.

As far as we can tell, one of the primary religious functions of the sauna in Finland - and likely in the rest of northern Europe as well - was as a holy place of transition. Women were brought into the sauna to give birth, and the dying often lived out their last days there. Once dead, their bodies were washed and wrapped in the sauna before removing them to a grave. It was also used for secluding one's self for such things as casting charms and spells, and healing rituals of all sorts were performed there on various sufferers. Indeed, the ill were often brought into the sauna for the duration of their illness. In Russian folklore, sorcerers both good and bad were said to practice there, doing things unacceptable to normal society in that in-between space. Similarly, stillborn children were buried under the threshold to protect them and guard their spirits - like baptizing them without a baptism.

Ancestor worship was also a function of the sauna; it was thought that the Dead would return to places that they had enjoyed, including the bathhouse, and that the löyly, or sacred steam, held their souls. It is the Breath of the Ancestors, a word which originally meant "spirit" or "life". (One cognate is the Ostyak word lil, which means "soul".) The sauna is, in many ways, an ancestor altar that is also useful. Its usefulness stretched to the mundane as well; it was sometimes used for such practical purposes as curing meat or drying out malt, hemp and flax. It was a doorway between worlds; the fact that fire and water held an equal balance in sauna sanctity drives home the image of liminal space.

The banya seems to have endured in Russia as well, although it is not as famous in the West as the Finnish sauna. Herodotus wrote about the people of the Black Sea region making a felt-covered hut and throwing water onto red-hot stones inside, creating a vapor hotter than any Hellenic bath. (He also relates that hempseed was thrown onto the stones for purposes of visions and prophecy.) According to his accounts, this Slavic sweat lodge was used for ritual cleansing before marriage and after burying the dead. 2nd-century excavations of Slavic settlements in Poland show earth-sheltered houses with fireplaces in the middle, but no separate bathhouses. The concept of building an actual permanent structure seems to have been unknown in the southern Slavic areas until the people of Novgorod moved south, as mentioned in the Lay of Igor's Campaign. Novgorod, a northern Slavic city, had been heavily settled by the Rus tribes, and was the mercantile capital of trade between them and the Norse. (There is a good deal of evidence to suggest that the Rus people, or at least their leaders/upper classes, were Varangian/Norse-descended. There is also some evidence to support opposing conclusions; the debate still rages. However, regardless of how Norse-descended they were, they were certainly Norse-influenced.) With archaeological evidence showing that the early Russian banya was basically identical to the Finnish sauna and the Norse equivalent, it is likely that it is an ancient import from the Rus settlers.

As the Catholic Church never held much sway in Russia (and the Orthodox Church never fixed on sweat-bathing as a moral problem), the tradition of the banya continued unabated, complete with its folk beliefs. The Russian Primary Chronicle describes, in 1113, the monk Andreas' observations of the banya practice in Novgorod wherein he described the pagans "drenching themselves": 

As today, this does show the sauna as an ordeal of heat. In many ways, sauna-work is poised on the edge between the Ascetic's Path and the Ordeal Path, depending on how hot it is, and for what purpose it is used - purification, community bonding, creation of sacred space, or strength ordeal? When performed as a group rite, it partakes of the Path of Ritual as well. A multipurpose tool, the House of the Ancestors can be all of these. A community sweat is very different from using the sauna as a safe and sacred place to give birth, and even more different from using it as a solo purification and sacred-space creator for a spirit-worker.

If well tended and kept holy, it could also be a source of power to call upon. The Russian Primary Chronicle also tells of Princess Olga, the pagan widow of Prince Igor of Kiev, who punished the Derevlians for the murder of her husband in 945 A.D. Their leader had designs on her, considering her to be booty earned by the murder, and sent messengers to discuss their future marriage. Olga invited the Derevlian messengers to use her banya, and while they were inside, her men barred the doors and burned the banya to the ground with the Derevlians in it.

Another way in which the Russian banya was a peripheral space was the tradition that sorcerers had to be brought there to die. (Keep in mind that many of the medieval descriptions of a "sorcerer" sound more like a shaman - they had spirit allies, they had to complete their sorcerous transition or die, and so forth.) It was said that a wizard's spirit would be unquiet if they could not pass on their knowledge, so the banya offered a protected space for them to teach their heirs without the "magic" leaking and accidentally conveying their gifts to the unsuspecting, and also a place where their spirit would be sent firmly on its way by the power of the banya in case there were no heirs. This association with wizards (and with pagan beliefs; the banya is said to be the vtoroi mat, or second mother, referring to its symbolism as a small temple to Mokosh the Earth Mother) caused later Russian Christians to say that the bathhouse was full of devils and unquiet ghosts. In general, Russian sorcerers (referred to as koldun) were said to go off to thebanya when all the good Christians were going off to church. Besides the idea of the bathhouse being a private place to work magic, this comment reinforces the idea of the banya as a holdover from the pagan temple. Because of this, anyone who snuck off to the banya alone at odd times might be accused of sorcery, especially if they visited after midnight, which was when the spirits (evil or otherwise) took over the building.
The banya was also a place for prophecy and divination, as well as healing and rites of passage. According to folk belief, babies were born there because birthing women and newborns were terribly vulnerable to evil forces, and the guardian spirit of the banya was so strong that it kept all other spirits at bay. Bringing a child into the bathhouse would, for some reason, earn the favor of the domovoi and domikha, the male and female spirits of the house itself. One custom supposedly had the midwife stripping naked and carrying the newborn child around the banya, chanting an invocation to the Morning Star to keep the child from crying. As a house of both the living and the Dead, this was the place for seeing the Dead off on their way. Forty days after a funeral - during which time water, vodka and towels were left in the banya for the dead soul - the fire was lit and a feast prepared for them. Afterwards, the family walked out of the bathhouse and crossed the road, ceremonially sending the dead soul away.
Specific ritual dates associated with the banya were Mokosh's holiday - said to be in the late fall after the harvest when winter was beginning; one could possibly assume around the western-European festival of Samhain - and Yule, when pre-marriage prophecies were sought and made. (At any time of the year, brides were sent to the bathhouse to have a pre-wedding purification steam bath the night before the nuptials, and at least one source suggests that the village sorcerer or shaman was in charge of such ceremonies.) From all its associations, it is clear that the bathhouse in these cultures took the place of the sacred temple or grove once Christianity took over. Having a small building on one's property that could also be used for quite practical tasks provided the average peasant with a place to store all the reverence, memories, and suspiciously magical practices left over from a pagan past.

Supported by RavenKaldera

Sommarsblót - Victory Festival - 14th of April


The sun, stands out among the various concepts in the art carved into the rock in Scandinavia, during the  
Bronze Age, playing a central role in the cold and shady countries of northern Europe.
Not being exactly a deity, the sun causes serious consideration whenever it appears so impressive and victorious at the eve
of spring, being worshiped in smaller solar cults. This is a time when the celebrations of the healing of the earth starts, the healing from the cold harsh winter and the snow that burns the soil, when everything becomes green and fresh, the earth is good to cultivate, and the vegetation and livestock  are secure.
It's the end of the chaos, the rebirth of life, light, happiness and prosperity
. The sommarsblót is a salutation of the rising of the sun over the darkness, in a ceremony that marks the beginning of the second half of the year. The Scandinavians used to sent messengers to the mountains to observe the position of the sun to predict his rising on the horizon. As soon as the sun lit up the valleys, it began the preparations of the great festival of beer and mead. In Iceland today it is praised the Sumardagurinn fyrstiin other words, the first month of summer (from April 14 to March 13), on the third Thursday of April.
The Ynglinga Saga declares that it is one of the biggest festivals of the year, designating him as Sigrblót (ritual of victory - Sig.)
. The Sigrblót is dedicated to Odin, the giver of victory (Sigtyr) and ensures the happiness and bounty of a king - so it is not related to fertility rites. The motivations of Sigrblót involve the appreciation of the warrior spirit and the  preservation of sovereignty.
At this time, people beg to Odin, for luck and good fortune and esteem in return for his aid in defense of attacks and the conquest of enemy territory. As i have told before, this kind of thought we can bring for our daily lifes, we all have enemys and problems that we must face everyday, and in order to succeed and obtain victory we must have courage and that is why it is also important to have the Sigtyr as our ally, and it is good to succeed, to win, to face the problems and obtain victory, it is a good feeling that makes us happy and stronger.

The Norns

The three sisters who are called the Norns, or goddesses of fate, are not part of either of the divine families ( although they do seem to have some affinity with the Vanir ).

They formed a separate group and are considered to be subject to nothing save the dictates of necessity ( occasionally personified as their mother, Wyrd ). These goddesses represent time itself and are therefore thought of as women of differing ages. Urd, the Norn of the past, is thought of being very old and decrepit, always looking backwords to the way things were. The young and vibrant Verdandi, Norn of the present, looked fearlessly ahead, while Skuld, the mysterious Norn of the Future, is depicted as veiled, holding a scroll that had not yet been opened. Two of the Norns, Urd and Verdandi, are said to be more kindly than their sister Skuld, who often undid their work, angrily scattering the almost finished patterns before they had come to fruition.
The Norns dwell at the roots of the great world tree, Yggdrasil, and it is part of their job to sprinkle it with water drawn from the well of fate to ensure that it developed as destiny demanded. Principally, though, the Norns wove the web of Wyrd that set out the fates of gods and humans. Legend has it taht they wose designs so awesome in scope that if one of them stood on a mountaintop in the farthest east and another waded far into the ocean in the farthest west, the full extent of their pattern could still never be fully seen.
The concept of three prophetic "witches" survived the pagan period in Europe and entered folklore both as the three good fairies who bestowed gifts on Sleeping Beauty and, in a more sinister guise, as the three "weird sisters" of Shakespeare's play Macbeth.

"Thence come three maidens who much do know;
Three from the hall beneath the tree;
One they names was, the second is,
These two faishioned a third, named Shall be.
They established law,
They selected lives
For the children of time,
And the fates of men."

"The Voluspa"

The Sacrifice of Odin

"Wounded i hung on a wind-swept gallows
For nine long nights, pierced by a spear,
Pledged to Odin, offered myself to myself.
The wisest know not from whence spring
The roots of that ancient tree.

They gave me no bread,
They gave me no mead,
I looked down;
With a loud cry i took up runes;

From taht tree i feel."
"The Havamal" or "Song of Odin"

The Sacrifice of Odin

The two familes of gods once fought a war in which the Vanir were the victors due to their ability to predict the future. This was a gift that Odin was determined to gain for himself.

After peace was declared, hostages were exchanged as a guarantee against future hostilities. Odin's brother, Hoenir, went to live in Vanaheim, home of the Vanir, while Njord and his children, Frey and Freya, made their abode in Odin's realm of Asgard. Once this exchange was accomplished, Odin decided to put himself through a terrible ordeal, and for nine days and nights hung from the world tree, Yggdrasil, wounded by his own spear:
By this self-sacrifice, Odin gained the knowledge of the runes. However, he still did not think that he had sufficient wisdom to use them, so in order that he might drink from the well of memory, Odin paid a terrible price by plucking out one of his own eyes.
Now Odin had knowledge of the future, yet he still did not believe that he knew enough, so he turned to the Vanir goddess Freya and persuaded her to teach him magic. Only then did Odin finaly feel that his position as a king of the gods was secure... at least, until Ragnarok, the day of doom that he had been fated by the web of Wyrd. For although Odin had the knowledge of the runes, it was the implacable Norns who first wrote them.

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Wyrd: The blank rune

Many modern rune readers have introduced an extra, blank rune to the accepted symbols of the Elder Futhark. However, since the runes are essentially an alphabet, and each rune represents a letter, there is very little justification for this.

After all, each letter signifies a sound, or combination of sounds, and even in the modern alphabet there is no symbol that represents silence. In addition, there is no historical evidence whatsoever that the rune masters of the past ever included a blank stone or stick either in their divinations or in the runic calendar.

Some modern practitioners of runic divination have given the blank rune the name Wyrd, a word that literally means "fate". The norns were said to weave the web of Wyrd, in other words, creating the destiny to which we are all individually bound. In turn, according to some myths, the Norns were the daughters of a mysterious goddess called Wyrd, who seems to be little more than a personification of their collective function. One interpretation of the blank rune is that it signals that fate has taken a hand in your affairs and that you should look no further into the reading. However, this is a function that is already present in the Elder Futhark, found under Pertho. The function of fate as a necessity can likewise be found within the meaning of the rune Nauthiz. In summary, the Wyrd rune does not belong to any of the three aetts of the Elder Futhark.

For those who wish to use the blank rune in their readings, however, here are a few suggestions as to its possible interpretation. The Anglo-Saxons and other races of northern Europe believed in a universal force that they called Orlog. Orlog, which literally means "doom" or "destiny", governed the fate of nations and entire populations ( in fact, there is a Dutch word, oorlog, which means "war" ). In terms of this rune, Orlog should be taken to mean the individual fate that is our birthright. In expresses the karmic debt, which many believe has been carried over from a previous life. According to this view, most of the important elements if life are already predestined and nothing can be done to change them. When the blank rune turns up, it means that you are reaching such a point and that there is absolutely nothing you can do to change it. Although free will exists, at this moment events will go as they have been ordained.
If the blank rune turns up as the answer to a specific question, the answer is that this is not the right time to ask it.
The blank rune also indicates major changes in your life. Some even suggest that a bereavement is likely. However, since the rune has no symbolic associations, it would be difficult to work out if this is the case.
In my opinion, the use of Wyrd, the blank rune, is not necessary to runic divination, and is simply a modern addition to the ancient practice of rune-casting.

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Swastika - The Shamanic Symbol

Many people have asked me why i use some times the Swastika symbol in my artistic works, so i have decided to explain that in here, at my blog and in fact it is a good subject for the theme of my blog.

Most of people are afraid of this symbol because of its dark background in the history of humankind in the time of Nazism, and yes, it was a terrible time indeed, but this symbol was not created with the purpose of spreading terror,
oppression, fascism or racism.

This symbol has in fact,
accompanied all kinds of people through the history of humankind, and to be more precise, this symbol has been found in caves since the neolithic period.

Some of you may be familiar with this symbol has a symbol of the induism religion in India, but as i have told back there, this symbol remotes to older times, it was used by the romans and by the greeks and before that, was used by the neolithic people and it differs its meaning from culture to culture. But its main symbolism is the sun and its power.

Long before religions had been created, the Swastika was one of the many Shamanic symbols used by the shamans, a symbol to "describe"
the sun and the power it has over the entire natural world. It is also a symbol of the four cardinal points and it is also a symbol for the four forces of nature, the Sun, the Wind, the Water and the Earth.

When we talk about shamans, we often think about the Shamans of Siberia, but this profession, is not only practiced in Siberia, it had been and still is practiced throughout the world. This symbol was used by the Sami people in the North of Europe in Scandinavia, by the Germanic peoples such as the Celts, Swabians, Vikings, Saxons and Anglo-Saxons, also by the mediterranian people all the way from Portugal to Greece, the Lusitanians, the Romans, the Greeks, and all the way to the slavic people in Russia, Poland, Romania, Ukrain etc. to the South and North Americas and to Asia.

This symbol was passed down by all, even from Siberia to the Native people of Alaska and then to the Native Indians of America, the Navajo people etc. etc.

So this symbol has always been important to the human race, for at least 30.000 B.C. , of course the symbol and its meaning is diferent from place to place even to the Sami people, which represents the God of Thunder, Old Thor, this is an exemple, but its main meaning was the Sun and the powers of the Natural World.
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Jotunheim Part V


Jotunheim is the richest world of the Nine for the sheer number and diversity of the animals present. Here, the Ice Age megafauna still live, although they have died out in our world. Cave bears, cave lions, sabertooth tigers, hyenadons, dire wolves, mammoths and mastodons, and enormous crocodilians are just some of the predators hunted by the etins, even as they hunt other prey themselves. (You will also find the megafauna as totems used by the Jotunheim tribes.) The one thing you won't find is any kind of primate; there are no monkeys swinging through the foliage. There are, however, many other sorts of small scurrying prey animal.
Insects can be fierce in the wetter, swampier areas, and many of them are poisonous. The Jotnar shift shape to keep them off, and it may not occur to a Jotun guide that you may be vulnerable to them. Make sure that you ask about it before setting out on a trip. There are also poisonous snakes to worry about. In the colder evergreen forests, your biggest problem will be tripping over tangled tree roots and crashing through thorny thickets while being chased by large predators. Either come ready to shapeshift into something fast, or bring Jotun guides and helpers. Make sure that you pay them well.


For more information on Jotunkind in general, see the chapter on the Jotnar as a species and their general habits. Jotunheim has the widest variety of Jotnar - actually, the widest variety of intelligent creatures - of any world of the Nine. The malleable, shapeshifting nature of the etins has created a wide array of characteristics, and representatives of each of them live in various places. Intermarriage is rife; there are no taboos against one sort of etin marrying another sort of etin, and in fact bringing new bloodlines to a tribe is considered a good thing, so etins often "go wandering" when the urge to settle down with a mate seizes them. Throwbacks are common, and wide variations can occur even among siblings. An example is the marriage of Farbauti and Laufey; he is mostly of fire-giant blood with the Iron Wood taint, and she is a mix of fire-giant, earth-giant, sea-giant, and frost-giant (and yes, a mix like this is not uncommon in Jotunheim). Their three children consist of Loki, who is clearly fiery and carries the Iron Wood blood; Helblindi who takes after his sea-giant relatives, and Byleistr who is a frost-giant throwback. As a race, the etins of Jotunheim are vigorous, hardy, and wonderfully diverse.
Most of Jotunheim still works on a gatherer rather than an agricultural economy, as the terrain is unsuited to plowing and planting. On the other hand, Jotnar are experts at arboriculture, and have bred and selected trees that will bear substitutes for almost anything that can be field- grown. Orcharding and tree-culture is one of the few food-producing areas where they shine, and even the Vanir admit to having learned this art from them. Over seventy varieties of nut trees produce nuts up to the size of a giant's hand, in many different flavors, which are ground for flour. Tree fruits and berries provide a large portion of the diet, and certain trees are grown simply for the young leaves and shoots from root-suckers, blanched and tender from growing in the understories. The inner barks of some trees provide spices, and there are even a number of specially-bred parasitic herbs that will attach themselves to tree-limbs, creating an aerial herb garden. The "white herbs" of the forest floor, blanched from lack of sunlight, are especially valued for medicinal purposes.
The ideal forest etin-bride's home is carved out of an enormous tree, hundreds of feet up in the canopy so that sunlight can come in through the eave windows, with fruit and nut trees trained up beside it so that their bounty is within reach, and aerial herb and flower gardens implanted on the huge branches. A spiral staircase may twine around the trunk to the forest floor, or a particularly paranoid etin-woman may forgo the staircase and simply have a rope ladder that can be let down or pulled up as she chooses.
Jotunfolk of the few open areas live in stone-hut villages with thatched twig roofs, usually centered around a central hill where the bones of the seasonal sacrifices are hung from poles. Mammoth-tusks and the huge bones of the megafauna are commonly seen pressed into use as beams, rafters, and furniture.
If you see a house built entirely of bones, it is likely to be the local hedge-witch or wise- woman. There are many such in Jotunheim, some more or less locally famous, but they do not exist to teach you whatever they know. This is something that many travellers need to understand before they get themselves in trouble. If a wise etin wishes to tutor you in something, they will approach you, or let you know that you have an appointment with them. While the idea of going on a quest to seek them out seems romantic, that's not the way they work. Some folk have managed to get themselves astrally killed and eaten by such naive and demanding behavior. This is not a peaceful and easy world, and its inhabitants are neither. Be careful and courteous, and be ready to take no for an answer.

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Jotunheim Part IV

Jarnvidur (The Iron Wood)

The strangest place in all Jotunheim is the Iron Wood. While it looks physically like any thick forest, it is a swirling sinkhole of magical energy, almost radioactive in its behavior. Anyone born in the Iron Wood is likely to have both strong magical/spiritual power or great deformities, or both. Most of the major Jotun deities were born there - Hela, Fenris, Jormundgand.
Their mother is Angrboda, the Hag of the Iron Wood. The term Hag should be read as similar to Hagia - wise woman. She is the chieftess of the Wolf Clan, the seer of the Nine Clans of the Iron Wood, the Chief of Chiefs, and the single most respected person who lives there. While each of the Nine Clans has its own chieftain, all defer to her in matters of outside policy. A tall, tough, skin-clad, red-haired giantess with a temper, she must be approached with respect. She has great although erratic powers of foresight, and is not easy to fool. She will prophesy for people, but she demands a high and often uncomfortable price.
Angrboda's hall has a stang a little ways in front of it, although it's not a place to come through unless you are sure you have an appointment. Her hall is hung with bones and skulls, and the door is guarded by two great wolves. Other members of Angrboda's household include her younger sister Glut ("Glow") and Glut's two daughters, Eisa ("Ember") and Einmyria ("Ashes"). Angrboda sent Loki to her sister's bed as a birthday gift, and both daughters are his, and thus her nieces, goddaughters, and stepdaughters at once.
One of the chiefs of the Iron Wood clans is Farbauti the Cruel-Striker, a very tall giant whose skill is with wielding the lightning. He is Loki's father, although for personal reasons Loki chose not to take his name and is referred to only as Laufey's Son. (See the tale of Laufey's Son in the section on Jotun Legends.) Farbauti leads the Lightning Clan, who are mostly fire-giant descendants. The other seven clans are discussed in the separate chapter on the Nine Clans.
Jotnar of the Iron Wood are a strange-looking lot. Although all Jotunkind are skilled shapeshifters, the Iron Wood clans often spend so much time in animal or half-animal form that it is sometimes known as the Wood of Werewolves. Iron Wood Jotnar are shorter than other varieties, not much more than large-human size and sometimes shorter (with exceptions, like the nine-foot Farbauti). Many are deformed, or hairy and pelted, or hermaphroditic in some way, or horned and hooved, or just strange-looking in some odd way. Keep in mind that in the Iron Wood, to be strange-looking physically is not a bad thing. The effects of the magical radioactivity is such that the Jarnvidur folk have had to develop a culture where there is no concept of the "right" or "wrong" way for bodies to be, so long as one's malformities are not life- threatening or prevent one from functioning or enjoying life. Iron Wood Jotnar are raised to compensate for each others' physical differences and difficulties - a dwarfed troll will be put on the shoulders of a tall giant to see properly at a moot; someone with long legs will automatically look to carry someone with short legs if running is necessary; the weak of body are defended (especially since those who are weaker of body are very often stronger of magical powers) and the standard of beauty tends to be more about personal charisma than physical shape.
The Iron Wood folk are also well aware that those outside their wood do not share this cultural blindness to a physical ideal. Part of their tribal pride manifests itself in a form of hazing, wherein bizarrely-shaped trolls and weres may get close to you, and see how you react. If you are clearly made visibly uncomfortable by their shape, they will lose respect for you. To accept them without comment, flinch, or other negative reaction will gain points, and they may accept you as a friend. Once you've made positive contact, the Iron Wood can be a good space for people who don't carry socially acceptable shapes themselves to hang out. Once they accept you, they do so without any judgment as to your body; you are simply shaped the way that you are shaped, and that's just you. There are many healers in the Iron Wood who specialize in helping the kind of deformities associated with Iron Wood bloodlines, including those in humans.
Meat is an acceptable offering for anyone you meet in the Iron Wood. They are also very fond of sweets, as they don't get much of that. If you bring them drink, don't bother with mead or beer; like the folk of Utgard, when they want to drink, they want the hard stuff. Strongly flavored liqueurs are your best bet. Small toys, strangely enough, are highly valued, especially if they are figures of bizarrely-shaped creatures.
Cannibalism is strong in the Iron Wood - not that it is missing anywhere else among Jotunkind - and that goes especially for funerary cannibalism. It is not unusual for a troll who has fallen in battle to expect that he will be cooked and eaten by his kin, who by doing so return his body to his clan, where it belongs. Older etins are stewed up in giant cauldrons to soften the meat, and cooked with savory herbs. If an Iron Wood etin is burned or buried, it means that they died of illness. To be invited to a funeral feast is an honor. If you can't stomach it, find an extremely polite and very solid excuse.
In the mountains above the Iron Wood, you will find a turreted stone cottage that belongs to Laufey, the mother of Loki and the sometime wife of Farbauti, Chief of the Lightning Clan. She lives by herself due to various disagreements with her husband, although he visits her often. Her three sons are all wanderers - Helblindi the sea-giant who prefers the ocean islands, including the one from whence his mother came; Byleistr the storm-giant who attends intermittently on Thrym, and of course the infamous Loki. Any of them might be dropping in at any time, as they are all fond of their mother, and her cottage is really the only place that they might call home.
Laufey is slight, lovely, and very motherly. She is a tree-goddess, with a great affinity for the smaller understory trees. Visiting her home, if she is welcoming, will likely get you fed some soup and gently told some edifying tales. She is generally all right with visitors if they bring a gift and check first before coming. Planting trees in our world is always an appropriate offering for her.


High on a mountain in the western range is Gymir's fortress. He is Gerda's father, and the husband of Aurboda, handmaid of Mengloth. He does not see visitors unless he has invited them there himself, so don't bother.


The two Jotun sisters Fenja and Menja created a mill named "Grotte" that puts out gold dust when turned. The problem with this mill is that it requires living, screaming bodies to go in one end and be turned into gold. They live in a thatched hut on the western beaches covered in gold dust. Many a traveler has attempted to steal the mill, or the piles of gold dust that they export (the roof of Gladsheim is covered in their dust), and come to a bad end. Really, it's just a trap for greed. Don't go there.

Hyndla's Cave

Deep in the northern mountains of Jotunheim lies the cave of the giantess Hyndla. At one time she lived in Svartalfheim and guarded the mead of poetry for Ivaldi, king of the Duergar, but Odin seduced her and stole the mead, and Hyndla retired to a cave in the northern mountains. She spends most of her time sleeping, or what looks like sleeping to some folk; actually, she is "faring forth", sending her mind out where her body cannot go. Her cave is guarded by a band of loyal etins, who will not see her disturbed when she is unconscious, so seeing her is only possible during the short periods when she wakes up to eat and walk about a little.
Hyndla is small for a giantess - not more than human size - and wizened and old, with long silver-grey hair that drapes on the ground around her. She is pale from almost never leaving her cave, and walks with a stick. Her apparent frailty makes her guards all the more protective of her. She is a mistress of bloodlines; ancestry is her specialty, and it is rumored that she spends her astral-travel time walking up and down the bloodlines of many races. The Gods consult her when they want to know something about how someone is related to someone else, or for advice on their various human breeding experiments. Non-gods consult her about discovering unknown ancestors, tracing genetic disorders, or asking about future children. She is generally friendly, but can be cantankerous if she has just awoken. Flirting with her will usually soften her, but be prepared to go through with it if she decides to take you up on it; for all that she is old and wrinkled, she is also lusty.

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Jotunheim Part III


Another often-sought place in Jotunheim is Gastropnir. This is the castle of Mengloth, the famed Healer of Jotunheim. It lies in the westernmost part of Jotunheim, near the shore of the Vanaheim Ocean, and is perched on the peak of Lyfjaberg Mountain. Lyfjaberg is easily visible from both the shore and from the mountain chain surrounding Utgard; it is the tallest mountain in the western chain. There is a twisting road that circles the mountain, but it filled with hazards. The castle itself is said to have been carved from the bones of the giant Leirbrimir; the local story, however, is the Leirbrimir was a mountain Jotun who turned himself into part of the mountainside and stayed that way, and the jutting cliff that had been his body formed the foundation for the castle.
The front gate is enormous, of wrought iron shaped like twining vines, nicknamed Clanging Thrymgjol. It was supposedly forged by the three sons of the dwarf Solblindi. Two hounds, Gif and Geri, are constantly on watch outside and will not let anyone through. Attempting to bribe them with food will not work, as they are trained to deal with that: one will eat the food while the other watches. (It is quite likely that they are not ordinary hounds at all, but shapeshifted Jotnar.)
The gatekeeper, and general majordomo, of the place is Fjolsvid. He is a fairly large and intimidating-looking giant, but in actuality he is rather loquacious and enjoys chatting with passersby. His willingness to gossip, however, does not mean that he will be willing to let just anyone through. It is best to send a message to Mengloth first, asking to visit. She is the best-known healer among all Jotunkind, especially for women's complaints. Folk of all races come to her to study, including Eir the healer of Asgard who is her colleague. While she is most sought after for healing, she values her privacy and does not consider herself a public utility. If you seek her out for healing or for study, be prepared to pay for it, and you had better be serious on either count. Her fortress is not called "Guest-crusher" for nothing.
Mengloth is married to a mortal man named Svipdag (not to be confused with the Svipdag who is a long-dead husband of Freya) who may be from Midgard, or even long ago from this world. He is often out hunting among the Jotun, who consider him one of them. Mengloth's six handmaidens are named Hlifthrasa (Help-breather); Thjodvara (Folk-Guardian); Bjort (Shining); Bleik (White); the twin sisters Blid (Mild) and Frid (Pretty) who are actually Vanir and younger sisters or cousins of Freya; Aurboda (Gold-Giver) who is the mother of Gerda, Frey's wife. A handmaiden named Eir is also listed; there is some argument as to whether this is the same Eir, goddess of healing, who serves Frigga. While I have not met Mengloth's Eir, being as the name is loosely translated as "healing", it could simply be another Eir. It could also be that Frigga's Eir herself comes to visit and trade learning; from my dealings with both of them, it is clear to me that they are colleagues at the least, and likely friends.
If you should get inside Gastropnir, you will see many halls around a courtyard that is open to the sky. One of them seems to be made of flame, or moving lava; the walls flicker as you look at it. This is Lyr, the Hall of Heat, a hall built specially for Sinmora the Lady of Muspellheim, who enjoys visiting Mengloth, by her godson Loki and a team of hired duergar-craftsmen. Avoid going inside, as it is extremely hot in there; the floor is of burnished gold that is almost molten in places. Lyr is sometimes used for heating patients with chills, or water is poured on the floor and it becomes a purifying sauna. It is also the keeping-place for Surt and Sinmora's flaming sword/wand Laevatein, which is the source of all the heat. Laevatein was forged by Loki as a gift for his godparents, and it is kept in a bowl-shaped iron box sealed with nine locks. Don't get any ideas about stealing it, as no one without serious amounts of fire-giant blood could even touch it, and anyway the warders of Gastropnir keep an eagle's eye on it while outsiders are about.
Many folk who don't journey, and whose only view into the Nine Worlds is through the clouded lens of lore, have claimed that Mengloth isn't really a person unto herself but is actually a "heiti" or ritual name of either Frigga or Freya. Since I have had some dealings with all three of those ladies, I can assure you that Mengloth is indeed her own person, a tall Jotun-woman who loves jewelry and is usually draped in strings of beads, many of which seem to be healing amulets. She is noted to be exceptionally good with women's physical complaints, although she will take on any sort of healing problem if she decides that you are worth it.
For offerings, remember that Mengloth loves jewelry, especially jewelry that she can't get herself from her own area. She has access to the mines of Jotunheim, so she naturally gets a good deal of crystals and polished stone, but items like shell beads, unusual stones, or cut gems would be much more difficult for her to come by. Linen for bandages is also prized by her; all linen in the Nine Worlds is farmed in Vanaheim and must be imported.


On top of a mountain in the northeastern chain is Thrymheim, the royal court of Jotunheim. Thrym is a frost-thurse, born in Niflheim, who was elected High King and Chieftain of all Giantkind. His duties are largely ceremonial, although he is called upon to mediate disputes between tribal leaders, and make decisions on problems that they might find too large or impactful to handle themselves. (What decisions Utgard-Loki or Surt wouldn't choose to handle themselves, I can't imagine, although I suppose there might be some.) Getting to Thrymheim takes some doing, as the passes are often frozen with many feet of snow. Native guides are good here; it's not too hard to find a giant who is willing to visit Thrym's table and drink his beer.
Thrym the Old is a jovial, white-bearded giant with a generous table who throws fine parties. The best offering to give at his table is that of entertainment - songs, stories, juggling, etc. In fact, if you announce at the door that you have entertainment to share, you will likely be let in immediately. Remember that the best songs and stories are ones that they likely wouldn't have heard, but that would be understandable to them and their culture, and choose your repertoire carefully. Laugh at Thrym's jokes, smile and nod when he tells war stories, don't talk politics, and don't get drunk and say things you'll regret. If Thrym or any other Jotun there challenges you to a drinking contest, turn them down with good humor, perhaps saying modestly that you are a lightweight and could never win against their obvious prowess. Which, frankly, is likely to be completely true.
Keep in mind, however, that under his jovial manner Thrym is much colder and more hard-hearted than you might think. He hates the Aesir with a passion, and if you are sworn to them, you'd better not talk about it. Avoid the subject, and don't challenge him on it. Even if he knows that you wear a Thor's hammer about your neck, he'll let you in if you are entertaining, but leave your politics at the door and talk about neutral subjects. This is another reason not to get drunk while visiting.
The beer brewed at Thrymheim, by the way, is some of the best around, and is extremely strong for beer. Its recipe was started by Olvalde, a giant whose name means "Ale-Emperor", and was continued by his sons Thjatsi (the infamous giant who kidnapped Iduna, was killed by Thor, and whose daughter is Skadi), Gang, and Ide. The latter two brothers are still alive and brewing. Be careful when you drink it; it tends to give mortals a terrible hangover.
Another giant-figure who often lives at Thrym's court (although she has a modest hall slightly to the north of it) is Thorgerdr. While she passes as a frost-giantess in Jotunheim - she can throw wind and rain and hail with the best of them, and often does - she is actually Finnish in origin and spends part of the year in Lapland with the Saami. Somewhere along the line she started spending time in Scandinavia, and got inducted into this pantheon as a patron deity of Halogaland in north Norway. Unlike a giantess, her age waxes and wanes from sturdy maiden to iron-grey-haired matron throughout the year.

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Jotunheim Part II


The city of Utgard (which means, literally, the outland fortress) is the single biggest Jotun settlement in the Nine Worlds. If the halls of Asgard function as the Paris or Rome of the Nine Worlds, Utgard is the New York or Los Angeles - huge, sprawling, not always clean, a constant babble of interracial trade in the streets and fighting in the back alleys. It is the most "civilized" place in all the Jotun-controlled worlds, but that doesn't make it particularly safe.
The main area of Utgard is surrounded by a great stone wall, although there is a good deal of sprawling suburb outside of the wall. Once through the gates, the narrow, crowded, noisy roads slope upwards to the highest central point, where Utgard-Loki keeps his hall. To get in the gates, you will need coin or some kind of worthy trade good, of which you will be tithed a certain percent in order to enter. The gate fees are fickle and variable and almost certainly higher for strangers. If you come with nothing in your pockets, it will be assumed that you are a beggar and you will be turned away. Make sure that you have some kind of coin or other goods that you might sell. This is a change from the usual hospitality of the Nine Worlds, but if the warders of Utgard did not set limits, all the flotsam of the other worlds, not to mention the greedy of Jotunheim, would be preying on the streets of the city.
Inside, Utgard is crowded with markets where you can buy almost anything produced in the Nine Worlds. Vendors come in all sizes, shapes, and species. Taverns, inns, and brothels abound. There are yards where people can play competitive games with each other while the onlookers bet on them. (Don't get involved; there is usually a catch, such as the loser forfeiting everything they own.) Haggling is the rule, unlike our modern marketplaces, and the first named price of any item is likely to be ridiculously high, with the assumption that it will be argued down. There is no one coin of Utgard; any barter or coin is accepted at the discretion of the seller. You may want to do an anti-glamour spell on any item that looks too good to be true; it just might be.
The lord of Utgard is Utgard-Loki, a name he took to distinguish himself from Laufey's son. He is both warrior and sorcerer, and is a brilliant, canny leader who invokes deep respect from his people. He is known to be generous to visitors if he wants to impress them, or if they have something he wants from them; he is a faultless and courteous host, although he has been known to bait guests who seem too full of themselves. It is said that among all the great ones of Jotunkind, Utgard-Loki has never been seen to lose his temper. The kind of iron control behind that mask of flawless, regal politeness is awe-inspiring. He has mastered the ability to quell the most violent of drunken giants with his piercing gaze, and on the off chance that it doesn't work, he has a supremely competent, loyal, and well-organized cadre of city guards who can handle it for him.
The Guard of Utgard is an elite corps with a reputation similar to the Landsknechts of Renaissance Germany. Unlike most other Jotun warriors, they are actually drilled and trained with a great deal of precision. They patrol the roads outside of the city, rounding up troublemakers (which includes strange outlanders who might be up to no good) and keeping the trade routes safe for merchants. They also patrol the city itself, breaking up brawls and keeping the peace. Like all Jotun warrior bands, the Guard has both male and female soldiers, including some warrior-couples who are shieldmates. Care should be taken not to underestimate female Guardswomen as weaker, less skilled, less ruthless, or more likely to accept a sad story than their male compatriots.
While Utgard-Loki is nominally liegesworn to Thrym, the King of Jotunheim, he technically commands more power and respect than the King himself. Their relationship is reminiscent of that between the medieval Japanese emperor and the Shogun; one was the ceremonial wearer of the crown, and the other was the actual war leader who made most of the decisions. Thrym The Old, as he is called (or sometimes Thrym The Loud) is the tribal head of the Jotunheim frost-thurses, and has been the elected monarch of the realm since Jotunheim was first boundaried. He is a blustering, white-bearded frost-thurse who mostly amuses himself in his royal hall in the northernmost mountains, coming south only for ceremonial occasions. He dislikes noisy, crowded Utgard and is content to let Utgard-Loki handle most of the state decisions, as well as the defense of Jotunheim.


Probably one of the most-visited tourist attractions in Jotunheim is Mimir's well, which is found next to the second extruded root of the World Tree. The Tree's root extrudes from the ground like a vast earthwork, curling around to the southeast, and in the small valley made by its knotted bulk is the mouth of a cave. The well is just inside, and floating in it are a number of skulls and severed heads. Some are offerings that folk give to Mimir; some are trophies that he takes when folk fail to answer a bargain-question properly. The heads are a ward-off; many folk become frightened at the sight and leave, which is fine with Mimir.
Sometimes one of the heads will turn and speak, which means that Mimir has decided to make the first move. His head is old and wrinkled, with long white hair floating in the water like a cloak all around. More often, though, he will be underwater and you will have to call him up. Pouring good booze in the water is one way to start. Good offerings for him, before and afterwards, are alcohol and food with strong, sweet flavors that dissolves easily in water. While he gets no nourishment from it, he enjoys tasting it.
Mimir is one of the proto-etins, from the oldest generation of etins, and he is Odin's maternal uncle. At one time, he was the consort of the former Hel, the old Death Goddess who held the title before Loki's daughter claimed it. He is the god of underground waters, and like them his wisdom runs deep and hidden. He has a fairly direct line into the Library of the Akashic Records as well as a good relationship with the Norns, which is why people bother him with questions. He is also old, tired, capricious, embittered, and spiteful. Cranky doesn't even begin to cover it. Being a floating oracular head down a well is a lousy job, and several journeyers have noted with compassion that the kindest thing that could happen to Mimir is to be released into death. He might like you, in which case he might actually be cooperative, although possibly sarcastic and insulting. If he doesn't like you - and whether he takes to you or not seems to be less about you and your offerings and more about whether he's just in a bad mood that day - you might think about coming back another time.
If Mimir says that the only exchange for your question is for you to answer one of his, do not take him up on the challenge. First of all, there is no way that you can beat him at this game. He will always come up with something you don't know. He's especially good at finding things that you ought to know but don't, so that you are groaning and slapping your forehead and feeling stupid in the moments before you die. That's right...the price for losing is beheading. Don't think that because he is a severed head down a well that he can't kill you. Floating blades will fall from the ceiling or fly from the walls before you can even turn around. Take those rotting, bloated skulls seriously. If he is in a bloodthirsty mood, apologize for disturbing him, leave your offering to perhaps sweeten his disposition towards you at a later time, and come back another time. (Remember that even Odin had to extract one of his own eyes to get some of Mimir's wisdom. This is not a god to be taken lightly.)
Even if he does answer your question, keep in mind that he may make it deliberately cryptic, or leave out important information that may trip you up if you act on it. He will not, however, lie. Mimir never lies. The truth is his weapon, to manipulate and strike with. If he offers to tell you the most likely date of your own death, I strongly suggest that you decline. While it may be tempting to know, the next temptation will be to attempt to stave it off, and that gets into messing with the strands of Wyrd and into the work of the Norns, and can often just dig you deeper into the hole. Besides, it wastes your question, and he may not be inclined to answer any others.

Supported by RavenKaldera

Jotunheim Part I


The Land of the Giants was parceled out to Jotunkind when the first Aesir divided up the worlds. It is a land that is both forbidding and exhilarating, beautiful and dangerous. As is appropriate for Giant-Home, everything grows larger there. Trees are enormous, forests thick and towering, animals immense and fierce. Journeyers travel there for a variety of reasons, some useful and some foolish. Jotunheim was created to be a new homeland for the Jotnar, a place where fire-giants and frost-giants could come together. Both the Aesir and the Jotnar take credit for creating it, but it is clear that the early Jotnar designed and colonized it themselves. After some time, the Jotnar colonists seem to have evolved and acclimated themselves to the terrain, and the varying genetic strands of Jotunheim giants are different from either frost-thurse or fire-etin. As the Jotnar are shapechangers, it is not surprising that they could adapt so easily and produce adapted offspring.
Time and Seasons:
The day in Jotunheim is a little shorter than the day in Midgard, and sunset and sunrise happen more quickly. First the sky is light, and then the sun sinks abruptly beyond the horizon. The time of year when Jotunheim spins closest to our world is the fall equinox. Storms rage over Jotunheim on a regular basis; there is a great deal of rainfall, especially in the spring. While they are not usually as severe as the terrible storms of Niflheim, the place is infamous for its dramatic lightning, which nearly always sets some part of the forests afire. Between storms, the sky lightens and is fairly bright, but the thick forests block out a good deal of the light. The high mountains also block the horizon, so unless you are flying, Jotunheim can seem like one of the darkest worlds of all. This is one reason why mountaintop fortresses are prized; they get more light than anywhere else.


Imagine mountains the size of the Himalayas covered up to the treeline with trees the size of sequoias, and you get a good idea of what much of Jotunheim is like. There are warmer sections that could almost be called rain forest or jungle, and colder sections where snow falls for half the year. There are cities carved out of the greenery, and roads that run in a complicated network under the giant branches, and the occasional upland meadow, but most of Jotunheim is under thick primeval forest.
There are three major mountain chains in Jotunheim; one lies along the western coast, one (the famous Nidfjoll Mountains where Sindri, the dwarf-built Ragnarok-shelter, lies deep beneath) grows on the eastern side and turns northward through snow and ice nearly as cold as Niflheim, and one splits the world down the middle and stabs south like an arrow. The famous Iron Wood lies in the southernmost area of Jotunheim; there the trees are shorter and more twisted, with larger gaps between them. The clearings in the Iron Wood are the only parts of Jotunheim that could be termed lowland meadows, but no farming is done there due to the Iron Wood's overwhelming emanations of strange energy. The southeastern area of Jotunheim is hot and steamy, with rain forests and multiple small rivers.
The largest river in Jotunheim is the Elivagar, which is really a narrow stretch of salt-water ocean. It is the water/world barrier between the southernmost border of Jotunheim and the northern border of Midgard. The Big Snake lies offshore here, just out of sight. The north border of Jotunheim is the great Thund Thvitr, the second-largest river and the line between Jotunheim and Asgard. It is riddled with small fortresses and guard settlements, watching the Cold War line between the two worlds. Another famous river is the Slith, which has iron-grey waters that float with razor-sharp knives. It is the southern border of the Iron Wood, and the knives are a protection enchantment by the local inhabitants.
In the northwest corner, near to the Thund Thvitr, is the forest of Galgvid. The inhabitants in this area generally consist of Eggther the harper and his permanent guard encampment, set to watch the Asgard border for signs of invasion and/or weakness. Eggther is a cheery sort for an etin, and will gladly take in folk to his table, so long as they are not directly allied with the Aesir and they can sing new songs for him to learn. Eggther is the keeper of Volund's sword of revenge, but like the keepers of the other magic swords in the Nine Worlds, asking to see it is not only rude but fatally ill-advised. His assistant is Fjalar (not to be confused with the famous duergar of the same name), a giant whose favorite form is that of an enormous rooster. If there is an invasion, Fjalar's crow will be the battle cry.
Off the coast of the western sea, the coastline dissolves into a myriad of small islands, each of which is owned by a particular etin. These giants tend to have close relations with Aegir, and do a good deal of fishing (which is a harder act in Jotunheim than in other places, as the fishes tend to be huge and toothed). Furthest out lies the island of Allgron, a midway-trading-point between Vanaheim and Jotunheim. It is owned by the rich giant Fjolvar, who is famous for his enormous brothel of females from all parts of the Nine Worlds - etin-women, duergar-women, Vanir-women, mortal women from Midgard, and the occasional hapless Alfar-maiden. So far he has no Aesir employees, but he is always looking for talent.

Suported by RavenKaldera

Lokiblót - 1st April

As the name indicates, at the 1st of April, its not just the April Fools' Day, but also the day that in the Northern Tradition Paganism, it is celebrated the Lokiblót to honour the God Loki.

This was not a celebration held in the ancient times, it is a new one that came with the NeoPaganism. In My opinion, i do celebrate the ancient traditions and celebrations, and i dont give too much heed to the new ones, but this is a good day to show you the importance that all Gods have.

There is no such thing as Evil Gods and Good Gods, and most of the time, people tend to see Loki as the Evil one, like the Devil or Satan in the Christian myths, but this is not true, all Gods are important, all of them have their powers and

Loki is the god of mischief, of fire, and a very cunning god, and we all need to be cunning in this world, in order to survive the mischief of others, we have to workout our minds or we will be "eaten" by the society. Loki is also a shapeshifter and also we have to be like that many times in our lifetime, not like Loki of course, we do not have those powers, but shapeshifting in a diferent way, to shape our
personality and tastes sometimes, in order to fit into some work, that we realy need, or to be happy in places we hate to be but we must, for exemple, working in an other country, we must do that, but the native people in it are of our dislike, or the weather isn't that great, but we have to change in order to survive that and be happy with it.

I have talked about Loki in my blog for many times, you can see it in the labels such as "About Shamanism" , " Gods and Mythology" and even "Northern Pagan Traditions". A curious thing is that the post that was read the most in my blog, was the post that talks about
Rökkatru, as you may well know, it is for those who work with the deities such as Hella and Loki etc. So people are realy interested in that.

As i have talked about Loki so many times, i leave you here a brief text so that you may know how to work with him:
Loki the Trickster is  hard to handle and to work with for a spirit-worker. First of all, he may do things to the person who is working with him that the spirit-worker doesn't expect or like. (This is where it is important to have a spirit-worker with a patron deity to set limits and look out for their best interests.) Second, he may not stick to the agreed-upon rules regarding the event. Third, he tends to want to stir things up - for example, none of the other Gods would hit sexually on anyone who wasn't already open to the idea, but Loki might go hit on a straight guy while in a male body just to stir things up. People present at a Loki spiritual-work should all be well aware of the situation and ready to roll with the punches, or things can go very wrong.
Loki will work with men, women, and third gender people happily, although he prefers to have sex in a body with a working natural phallus. He will eat fast food, junk food, candy, booze (especially spicy food and booze with cinnamon or red pepper in it) and likes to have a table full of weird toys that he can play with, the weirder the better. He has been known to bless whisky and tell people to add it to their bath water or pour it over themselves in the tub, which is at least kinder than the Afro-Caribbean trickster spirits who will spit rum on people.
Any page assigned to Loki has to have a wacky sense of humor, not be easily upset or offended, and willing to give him their full attention and be a sort of "chew toy", as one spirit-worker referred to the job. Make sure that they know that it's not their job to prevent him from doing ill-advised things, except as a matter of self-protection. Getting in Loki's way is the dangerous job of the priest/ess, who should be another spirit-worker with a good enough relationship with Loki to be able to make noise, or perhaps one of Hela's who can call in his daughter to ride herd on him (something that actually works sometimes).
In general, though, it's not about confrontation as much as redirection and distraction. Loki has a short attention span and this can be exploited, although don't think he doesn't know what you're doing. Nobody ever gets one over on Flame-Hair. If he goes along with it, it's because he feels generous or thinks that it's worth it to him, perhaps for the new toy, or the entertainment value of watching people jump to distract him with new toys.