In the neutral area where the two worlds met, a giant named Ymir was created from drops of melted ice. To feed himself, he created Adhumla, the primordial sheep. Licking the salty blocks of frozen ice, Adhumla freed Bori a giant from the ice. His son, Borr, married Bestla, the daughter of a giant, and they had three sons - Odin, Vili, and Ve. These boys believed they were destined to rule the world, so they killed Ymir. The three sons made the world, the sky, and the clouds from Ymir's body.
They created man and woman from two trees, and Odin became the father of all the gods. Baldr was a son of Odin and the most handsome of all of the gods. One day, his mother, Frigg, had a dream that he was going to die. She commanded all things in the world not to harm her son, but she forgot mistletoe. The numbers three and nine are significant numbers in Norse mythology and paganism.
Both numbers and multiplications thereof appear throughout surviving attestations of Norse paganism, in both mythology and cultic practice. While the number three appears significant in many cultures, Norse mythology appears to put special emphasis on the number nine. Along with the number 27, both numbers also figure into the lunar Germanic calendar. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.
From his bones mountains were erected. His teeth and bone fragments became stones. From his hair grew trees and maggots from his flesh became the race of dwarfs. The gods set Ymir's skull above Ginnungagap and made the sky, supported by four dwarfs. These dwarfs were given the names East, West, North and South. Odin then created winds by placing one of Bergelmir's sons, in the form of an eagle, at the ends of the earth. He cast Ymir's brains into the wind to become the clouds. Next, the sons of Borr took sparks from Muspelheim and dispersed them throughout Ginnungagap, thus creating stars and light for Heaven and Earth.
From pieces of driftwood trees the sons of Borr made men. They made a man named Ask-ash tree and a woman named Embla-elm tree. On the brow of Ymir the sons of Bor built a stronghold to protect the race of men from the giants. E itr is a mythical substance in Norse mythology. This liquid substance is the origin of all living things, the first giant Ymir was conceived from eitr. The word eitr exists in most North Germanic languages all derived from the Old Norse language in Icelandic eitur , in Danish edder , in Swedish etter. Cognates also exist in Dutch ether , in German Eiter lit.
The meaning of the word is very broad: poisonous , evil , bad , angry , sinister etc. The word is used in common Scandinavian folklore as a synonym for snake poison. Thrudgelmir was his father,. Additionally, the identification of one with the other cannot be established with certainty since, according to stanza 33, Aurgelmir had more than one direct male offspring:. He was the father of Borr and grandfather of Odin.
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In skaldic and eddaic poetry Odin is occasionally referred to as Borr's son but no further information on Borr is given. Other sources are silent. The role of Borr in the mythology is unclear and there is no indication that he was worshipped in Norse paganism. Odin - The Great God. The name Odin is generally accepted as the modern translation; although, in some cases, older translations of his name may be used or preferred.
His role, like many of the Norse gods, is complex. He is associated with wisdom , war , battle, and death, and also magic , poetry , prophecy , victory, and the hunt. Odin was referred to by more than names which hint at his various roles. He was Known as Yggr terror Sigfodr father of Victory and Alfodr All Father  in the skaldic and Eddic traditions of heiti and kennings , a poetic method of indirect reference, as in a riddle. Worship of Odin may date to Proto-Germanic paganism. The Roman historian Tacitus may refer to Odin when he talks of Mercury.
The reason is that, like Mercury, Odin was regarded as Psychopompos ,"the leader of souls. Some support for Odin as a latecomer to the Scandinavian Norse pantheon can be found in the Sagas where, for example, at one time he is thrown out of Asgard by the other gods — a seemingly unlikely tale for a well-established "all father". Scholars who have linked Odin with the "Death God" template include E. Ebbinghaus , Jan de Vries and Thor Templin. The later two also link Loki and Odin as being one-and-the-same until the early Norse Period.
Parallels between Odin and Celtic Lugus have often been pointed out: both are intellectual gods, commanding magic and poetry. Both have ravens and a spear as their attributes, and both are one-eyed. Julius Caesar de bello Gallico , 6. A likely context of the diffusion of elements of Celtic ritual into Germanic culture is that of the Chatti , who lived at the Celtic-Germanic boundary in Hesse during the final centuries before the Common Era.
Written around , one of the oldest written sources on pre-Christian Scandinavian religious practices is Adam of Bremen 's Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum. Adam claimed to have access to first-hand accounts on pagan practices in Sweden. His description of the Temple at Uppsala gives some details on the god. In the poem Lokasenna , the conversation of Odin and Loki started with Odin trying to defend Gefjun and ended with his wife, Frigg, defending him. In Lokasenna , Loki derides Odin for practicing seid witchcraft , implying it was women's work.
Another example of this may be found in the Ynglinga saga where Snorri opines that men who used seid were ergi or unmanly. He was hung from the world tree , Yggdrasil , while pierced by his own spear for nine days and nights , in order to learn the wisdom that would give him power in the nine worlds. Nine is a significant number in Norse magical practice there were, for example, nine realms of existence , thereby learning nine later eighteen magical songs and eighteen magical runes.
Sacrifices, human or otherwise, in prehistoric times were commonly hung in or from trees, often transfixed by spears [ citation needed ]. Odin had three residences in Asgard. First was Gladsheim , a vast hall where he presided over the twelve Diar or Judges, whom he had appointed to regulate the affairs of Asgard.
Third was Valhalla the hall of the fallen , where Odin received the souls of the warriors killed in battle, called the Einherjar. They took the souls of the warriors to Valhalla. Valhalla has five hundred and forty gates, and a vast hall of gold , hung around with golden shields, and spears and coats of mail.
Odin has a number of magical artifacts associated with him: the spear Gungnir , which never misses its target; a magical gold ring Draupnir , from which every ninth night eight new rings appear; and two ravens Huginn and Muninn Thought and Memory , who fly around Earth daily and report the happenings of the world to Odin in Valhalla at night. He also commands a pair of wolves named Geri and Freki , to whom he gives his food in Valhalla since he consumes nothing but mead or wine.
From his throne, Hlidskjalf located in Valaskjalf , Odin could see everything that occurred in the universe. The Valknut slain warrior's knot is a symbol associated with Odin. It consists of three interlaced triangles. Odin is an ambivalent deity. Old Norse Viking Age connotations of Odin lie with "poetry, inspiration" as well as with "fury, madness and the wanderer. Odin is associated with the concept of the Wild Hunt , a noisy, bellowing movement across the sky, leading a host of slain warriors. Consistent with this, Snorri Sturluson 's Prose Edda depicts Odin as welcoming the great, dead warriors who have died in battle into his hall, Valhalla , which, when literally interpreted, signifies the hall of the slain.
Snorri also wrote that Freyja receives half of the fallen in her hall Folkvang. He is also a god of war, appearing throughout Norse myth as the bringer of victory. Odin would also appear on the battle-field, sitting upon his eight-legged horse Sleipnir , with his two ravens, one on each shoulder, Hugin Thought and Munin Memory , and two wolves Geri and Freki on each side of him. Odin is also associated with trickery, cunning , and deception.
Most sagas have tales of Odin using his cunning to overcome adversaries and achieve his goals, such as swindling the blood of Kvasir from the dwarves. In any case, Snorri's writing particularly in Heimskringla tries to maintain an essentially scholastic neutrality. Odin was the first of the Aesir gods in Norse Mythology. With these brothers, he cast down the frost giant Ymir and made Earth from Ymir's body. The three brothers are often mentioned together. Odin has fathered numerous children. Also, many royal families claimed descent from Odin through other sons. For traditions about Odin's offspring, see Sons of Odin.
From Ymir's flesh, the brothers made the earth, and from his shattered bones and teeth they made the rocks and stones. From Ymir's blood , they made the rivers and lakes. Ymir's skull was made into the sky, secured at four points by four dwarfs named East , West , North , and South.
From Ymir's brains , the three Gods shaped the clouds , whereas Ymir's eye-brows became a barrier between Jotunheim giant's home and Midgard, the place where men now dwell. Odin and his brothers are also attributed with making humans. After having made earth from Ymir's flesh, the three brothers came across two logs or an ash and an elm tree. Odin gave them breath and life; Vili gave them brains and feelings; and Ve gave them hearing and sight.
The first man was Ask and the first woman was Embla.
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According to the Ynglinga saga :. Odin had two brothers, the one called Ve, the other Vili, and they governed the kingdom when he was absent. It happened once when Odin had gone to a great distance, and had been so long away that the people Of Asia doubted if he would ever return home, that his two brothers took it upon themselves to divide his estate; but both of them took his wife Frigg to themselves.
Odin soon after returned home, and took his wife back.
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To drink from the Well of Wisdom, Odin had to sacrifice his eye which eye he sacrified is unclear , symbolizing his willingness to gain the knowledge of the past, present and future. As he drank, he saw all the sorrows and troubles that would fall upon men and the gods. He also saw why the sorrow and troubles had to come to men. Hjalti was found guilty of blasphemy for his infamous verse and he ran to Norway with his father-in-law, Gizur the White. Later, with Olaf Tryggvason's support, Gizur and Hjalti came back to Iceland to invite those assembled at the Althing to convert to Christianity which happened in The Saga of King Olaf Tryggvason , composed around , describes that following King Olaf Tryggvason's orders, to prove their piety, people must insult and ridicule major heathen deities when they are newly converted into Christianity.
Below is an example:. When this woman wanted to buy a golden necklace no name given forged by four dwarves named Dvalinn, Alfrik, Berling, and Grer , she offered them gold and silver but they replied that they would only sell it to her if she would lie a night by each of them. She came home afterward with the necklace and kept silent as if nothing happened. But a man called Loki somehow knew it, and came to tell Odin. King Odin commanded Loki to steal the necklace, so Loki turned into a fly to sneak into Freyja's bower and stole it.
When Freyja found her necklace missing, she came to ask king Odin. In exchange for it, Odin ordered her to make two kings, each served by twenty kings, fight forever unless some christened men so brave would dare to enter the battle and slay them. She said yes, and got that necklace back. But in the end, the great Christian lord Olaf Tryggvason arrived with his brave christened men, and whoever slain by a Christian would stay dead. Thus the pagan curse was finally dissolved by the arrival of Christianity. After that, the noble man, king Olaf, went back to his realm.
Old Norse Vili means " will ". The term appears in skaldic poetry and in place names in Scandinavia with the exception of Iceland , often in connection with a Norse deity or a geographic feature. Orchard points out that Tacitus , in his 1st century CE work Germania , says that the Germanic peoples , unlike the Romans , "did not seek to contain their deities within temple walls. Sacrifices, human or otherwise, in prehistoric times were commonly hung in or from trees, often transfixed by spears.
Some have pointed out that the constellation is on the celestial equator and have suggested that the stars rotating in the night sky may have been associated with Frigg's spinning wheel . It has been suggested that " Frau Holle " of German folklore is a survival of Frigg. Frigg's hall in Asgard is Fensalir , which means "Marsh Halls.
The goddess Saga , who was described as drinking with Odin from golden cups in her hall "Sunken Benches," may be Frigg by a different name. Frigg was a goddess associated with married women. She was called up by women to assist in giving birth to children, and Scandinavians used the plant Lady's Bedstraw Galium verum as a sedative, they called it Frigg's grass . Frigg's grass. Frigg sometimes anglicized as Frigga is a major goddess in Norse paganism , a subset of Germanic paganism.
She is said to be the wife of Odin , and is the "foremost among the goddesses" and the queen of Asgard. She is also described as having the power of prophecy yet she does not reveal what she knows. Frigg's companion is Eir , a goddess associated with medical skills. Eir is attested in the Poetic Edda , compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources; the Prose Edda , written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson ; and in skaldic poetry, including a runic inscription from Bergen , Norway from around In addition, Eir has been theorized as a form of the goddess Frigg and has been compared to the Greek goddess Hygiea.
Frigg's Attendants. The source for these stanzas is not provided and they are otherwise unattested.
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High ends his description of Gna by saying that "from Gna's name comes the custom of saying that something gnaefir [looms] when it rises up high. In Norse mythology , Fulla is described as wearing a golden snood and as tending to the ashen box and the footwear owned by the goddess Frigg , and, in addition, Frigg confides in Fulla her secrets. Fulla is attested in the Poetic Edda , compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources; the Prose Edda , written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson ; and in skaldic poetry.
Volla is attested in the "Horse Cure" Merseburg Incantation , recorded anonymously in the 10th century in Old High German , in which she assists in healing the wounded foal of Phol and is referred to as Frigg's sister. Scholars have proposed theories about the implications of the goddess. High lists Fulla fifth, stating that, like the goddess Gefjun , Fulla is a virgin , wears her hair flowing freely with a gold band around her head.
High describes that Fulla carries Frigg's eski , looks after Frigg's footwear, and that in Fulla Frigg confides secrets. Hel does, however, allow Baldr and Nanna to send gifts to the living; Baldr sends Odin the ring Draupnir , and Nanna sends Frigg a robe of linen, and "other gifts. Balder is a god in Norse Mythology associated with light and beauty.
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In the 12th century, Danish accounts by Saxo Grammaticus and other Danish Latin chroniclers recorded a euhemerized account of his story. In Gylfaginning , Snorri relates that Baldr had the greatest ship ever built, named Hringhorni , and that there is no place more beautiful than his hall, Breidablik. In the Poetic Edda the tale of Baldr's death is referred to rather than recounted at length.
The Eddic poem Baldr's Dreams mentions that Baldr has bad dreams which the gods then discuss. Apart from this description Baldr is known primarily for the story of his death. His death is seen as the first in the chain of events which will ultimately lead to the destruction of the gods at Ragnarok. He had a dream of his own death and his mother had the same dreams. Since dreams were usually prophetic, this depressed him, so his mother Frigg made every object on earth vow never to hurt Baldr. All objects made this vow except mistletoe. When Loki , the mischief-maker, heard of this, he made a magical spear from this plant in some later versions, an arrow.
He hurried to the place where the gods were indulging in their new pastime of hurling objects at Baldr, which would bounce off without harming him. Baldr was ceremonially burnt upon his ship, Hringhorni, the largest of all ships. As he was carried to the ship, Odin whispered in his ear.
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This was to be a key riddle asked by Odin in disguise of the giant Vafthrudnir and which was, of course, unanswerable in the poem Vafthrudnismal. The riddle also appears in the riddles of Gestumblindi in Hervarar saga. The dwarf Litr was kicked by Thor into the funeral fire and burnt alive. Nanna, Baldr's wife, also threw herself on the funeral fire to await Ragnarok when she would be reunited with her husband alternatively, she died of grief.
Baldr's horse with all its trappings was also burned on the pyre. The ship was set to sea by Hyrrokin , a giantess , who came riding on a wolf and gave the ship such a push that fire flashed from the rollers and all the earth shook. Upon Frigg's entreaties, delivered through the messenger Hermod , Hel promised to release Baldr from the underworld if all objects alive and dead would weep for him.
Then they tied a serpent above him, the venom of which dripped onto his face. His wife Sigyn gathered the venom in a bowl, but from time to time she had to turn away to empty it, at which point the poison would drip onto Loki, who writhed in pain, thus causing earthquakes. He would free himself, however, in time to attack the gods at Ragnarok.
Guided by Loki he shot the mistletoe missile which was to slay the otherwise invulnerable Baldr. According to the Prose Edda and the Poetic Edda the goddess Frigg made everything in existence swear never to harm Baldr, except for the mistletoe which she found too young to demand an oath from. The gods amused themselves by trying weapons on Baldr and seeing them fail to do any harm. The Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus recorded an alternative version of this myth in his Gesta Danorum.