Norse 101, Part 3

Norse 101, Part 3

Happy Friday again!  Time for another Norse 101 post.  Ready?  This week, I’ll talk a little bit about the different realms in the Norse universe, as well as some of these realms’ more famous residents.  The words in bold are listed below for pronunciation.  Let’s begin.

There are Nine Realms in Norse mythology.  Each of these worlds has a place on the world tree, Yggdrasil.  At the top, among the branches, is Asgard.  This is the home of the Aesir Gods and Goddesses, like Thor, Odin, and Frigg. The Aesir are associated with the concepts of culture and civilization.  Also located in Asgard is Valhalla, where Odin’s pick of the warriors who died gloriously in battle will spend their afterlife.  These folks are called Einherjar, and spend their days sparring, training, and feasting.  

Next is Vanaheim, where the Vanic Gods and Goddesses live.  Freyr, Freyja, and Njord are Vanic deities.  They’re mostly associated with magic and agriculture, and the domesticated side of nature.  Vanaheim is said to be naturally beautiful, with forests and nature spirits abound.

Alfheim is the realm of the Light-Elves.  There’s a story that Alfheim was given to Freyr to rule when He was a little baby.  He was gifted a realm to rule because He was teething!  Alfheim is home to the elves and fae, and they are seen as lesser-known or minor gods of nature that help us with magick, arts, or musical inspiration.

Svartalfheim is home to the Dark Elves.  It’s said that the Light Elves and Dark Elves were once the same, but the Dark Elves split away.  Some folks say that they’re the troublemakers, the goblins, and not exactly friendly.

Welcome to Midgard, home to humans, and located right smack dab in the middle of the Tree.  Midgard literally means ‘middle-earth,’ and is connected to Asgard by the rainbow bridge called Bifrost.  Completely encircling Midgard is the Midgard Serpent named Jormungandr, who is so big that He completely circles the Earth and holds His tail in His mouth.  Jorm is a child of Loki and Angrboda, so some people aren’t too keen on Him.  But His presence around Earth protects us here.  That’s one reason why Odin placed Jorm there.  The other reason is just that He’s so darn big!  Where else would He fit?

Jotunheim is the realm of the Giants, or Jotnar.  Typically, the Jotnar are viewed as the bad guys.  The enemies of the Aesir in the lore.  The Jotnar are the untamed forces of nature that can sometimes be destructive to civilization.  Fire can warm your home, but it can also burn down a forest, right?  Right.  Some of the Jotnar are accepted by the Aesir, like Loki, Skadi, and Sunna and Mani (the sun and moon deities).  Some of the Gods even take lovers who are giantesses.  Thor had two sons with Jarnsaxa, and Odin had a fling with a lovely giantess named Gunnlod.  And this is where He procured the Mead of Poetry to share with mankind.  There is also a special place in Jotunheim called the Iron Wood, or Jarnvidr.  This is where Loki, Angrboda, Fenrir, Hel, and Jormungandr are from.  The residents of Iron Wood are powerful in magick and shape-shifting.  

Nidavellir is home to the Dwarves.  They’re the master craftsmen of the Nine Worlds.  They made many of the tools used by the Gods.  Thor’s hammer, his wife Sif’s golden hair, Odin’s spear, and Freyr’s ship were all made by the dwarves.

Helheim, ruled by Loki’s daughter Hel, is the realm of the dead, human and deity alike, who didn’t die in battle.  These are people who died of old age or natural causes.  Helheim isn’t a bad place, like the Biblical Hell is.  It’s just a realm for the non-heroes of the world.  One resident of Helheim is the God, Baldr.  He’s one of Odin’s sons, beloved by all, but murdered.  There are a few different versions of the story, one involving Loki, another not mentioning Him at all.  But, Baldr is in Helheim, according to the lore.

Niflheim, if you recall from last week’s post, is the land of fog, mist, and ice.  It’s one of the realms where creation started.  It’s also a home to the dishonored dead.  The truly bad people, like murderers, thieves, and the like will spend a little “time-out” here in Niflheim to reflect on their deeds.

Last is Muspelheim, the land of fire.  Remember from last week that this is also a realm from the creation.  It’s where the sun sparked to life.  Muspelheim is the land of fire-giants and ruled by Surt.  In lore, He’s the uber-enemy of the Gods who is to bring all creation to a fiery end.  Not to fret, though.  After everything is destroyed, there are survivors, and creation begins anew.

This week’s pronunciations:

Yggdrasil: IG-druh-sill

Einherjar: INE-her-yar

Bifrost: BEE-frost

Freyr: Fray

Freyja: FRAY-yah

Njord: Nee-yord

Jormungandr: YOR-mun-gand

Jotunheim: YOHT-un-hime

Jotnar: YOHT-nar

Skadi: SKA-dee

Sunna: SOO-nah

Mani: MAH-nee

Jarnsaxa: YARN-sax-ah

Gunnlod: GOON-lod

Jarnvidr: YARN-vithur

Nidavellir: NEED-ah-VELL-ear

Helheim: HEL-hime

Baldr: BALL-dur

There are other areas in Yggdrasil, like springs and wells, as well as other beings that reside in its branches.  I’ll discuss them in my next post where I give a brief introduction to the more well-known beings in the Norse cosmology.  So, I’ll see you again next Freyja’s Day, my lovelies!


The Quite After Samhain

I so look forward to Samhain every year and visiting with people to content, shy, weak (Usually people who have died violently are weaker and/or very scared for a short time after they cross into the spirit world. Some do take a lot longer to recover and trust others again.), lazy, etc that I might not otherwise have chance to meet. Now that the veil is thick again I have to wait again to visit with some old “friends” and meet new ones. Even being a full medium, meaning I can talk with just about anyone who has crossed into the spirit world, but it is not as easy as it sounds or that TV, the movies, or books make it out to be. For me personally without the wards I have up I would hear a party (for lack of a better word) in my head day and night and in my sleep. So I pick when I open myself up to the spirit world and have specific rules on how spirits can contact me and for how long when I do. I do leave an opening for ancestors and close personal friends year round. It is nice in a way to have the quite back but in another it is lonely at times.

For those of you who have a harder time contacting those who have crossed, especially with the veil thick again, but still want to talk to loved ones and ancestors here are a couple of suggestions. Try asking a specific person a specific question, keep in mind they do not usually answer questions like “Did you hide anything valuable oe where is it?” Instead, keep your questions about personal things, like “Did I do you any wrongs while we were here together?” After asking the question either meditate for the answer or just wait for it to come to you. Put the question completely out of your mind do not dwell on it or you may fabricate an answer from your sub-conscious. Another way to hear from someone on the other side is to tell them how you felt about them when they were in this world or ask them to come to you. When a spirit comes it is not usually cold again like the media would have us believe but it can be a feeling of being surrounded by warmth, maybe a little flip or tug on your hair, a electric light or candle burning brighter all of a sudden or just a feeling of that person being close to name a few ways spirits make their presence know to us. Remember just because the veil has thickened again does not mean your love one has gone far from you even if you are separated by the veil between this world and the spirit world.

NOTE: I will not take requests to contact a spirit for others, so please do not ask me to. Thank you.


I have been working on putting together a Chant Book.  I got the idea from a friend at a Samhain Ritual I attended a week ago.  I have been writing down the chants that I have learned including where I learned it.  For example, I learned the chant: We All Come from the Goddess/Hoof and Horn.  In my research, I found an additional verse to it!  I found a version of it on Youtube.  You can click on this link to hear it.  One of the things I have been looking for is the sheet music to some of the chants so I remember the melody.  I found this site that has the sheet music to a lot of different chants.  I have been including those in my Chant book as well.  I know how to read music so that helps!  You can click on this link to check out the site with the sheet music for various chants.

© 2015 Wolf Woman Ways