norse-mythology-vikings

Norse Mythology

Religious Objects

Religious Objects in Norse Mythology

Apples:

The apple tree is quite common throughout the northern parts of Europa. The tree and its fruit symbolize fertility, love, and youth. The gods in Asgard, eats apples of youth that the goddess Idun, is in charge of.

Ash:

The ash tree is sacred to the norse, Yggdrasil is made of ash and it's throughout all the nine worlds.

Balder’s Day:

In the Scandinavian countries, the longest day of the year, is June twenty one. It's Balder’s Day, and celebrated with bonfires.

Barley:

Barley is one of the oldest cultivated cereal grasses, it's used throughout the world. Barley is used in the northern lands to make malt brew. It's the symbol of spring growth, Freyr and Gerd was married in the barley patch named Barri.

Bride Price:

The norse always gave money or goods, to the family of the bride.

Cats:

Cats is often feared as a witch in disguise, or as a witch’s creature. The goddess Freya, who has magic powers, has a chariot pulled by two gray or black cats.

Cow:

The cow is a symbol of the great mother of creation.

Disir: Ladies

Disir is female guardian spirits who is associated with death. The spirits watched over individuals, families and sometimes entire neighborhoods. Some belive that they are harmful spirits, who sought bad things for the people they watched over. Others think that they brings good to the people and their family.

Divination:

The norse belived that though some people, animals, or objects it was possible to predict the future. They had rituals where they sang led by a seeress, where they found out how a battle would turn out.

Dragons:

In Norse mythology there is a dragon named Nidhug, it feeds on the root of Yggdrasil, and the corpses of the dishonorable dead. There is also a dwarf called Fafnir, that turned into a dragon to protect his gold.

Eagle:

The Eagle is a symbol of strength and death. It's also used as an image for the battlefield, because it eats the dead corpses.

Earth Mother:

It's a general name for the female spirit, she is identified with Fjorgyn, Frigg, and Freya. People prayed to the Earth mother for good weather and a good harvest, also for food and shelter. It's also believed that the Earth mother helped getting better fertility, to get children.

Falcon:

The falcon is extraordinary eyesight and flight, it hunts during the day. The goddess Freya has a cloak of falcon feathers, which she willingly loans out to the other gods, when they need quickly fly to one of the worlds.

Fylgje: Follower

The Norse believed that every human had a guardian spirit, called a follower “Fylgje”. The spirit is usually in the form of an animal, and sometimes looked like a twin. It will accompany a person throughout his or her entire life. It's always invisible except in dreams or at the moment of death. When the Fylgje appears to a person who was awake, it's a sign of that person’s death. When the person dies, the Fylgje passed on to another member of the family.

Horse:

The horse was widely used by the Norse, workhorse, warhorse, and for transportation.

Landvaettnir: Land Wight's

The Landvaerrnir is a creature, which we now call supernatural but for the Norse they were real enough. They guarded homes, farms, villages or even entire countries. You have to be careful not to frighten or offend them, you had to treat them properly in particular by giving them food and water. There was also mountainvaetter "Mountain Wight's". The spirits had no particular appearance, some was large, others small, but all were relevant. If it were necessary, they cooperated with larger creatures like giants. The spirits are akin to the elves, and differ in general from the trolls first of all because they live in close proximity to the humans. It was said that they were invisible to people unless someone looked very closely in the right direction, in the right light, at the right time.

Mead:

Mead is an alcoholic drink made with honey and water by letting it ferment. To give the Mead flavors, they added different herbs. It's the favorite drink by the gods, and the people of Midgard. Odin only drinks wine.

Norns: Fates

There are tree Norns who lives at the well Urd. Their names are Urd “past”, Verdani “present” and Skuld “future” The three Norns are the goddesses of fate. They spends most of their time spinning the threads of like, deciding the fate of every human and every god. Whenever a child is born, the Norns spinds the fate of the child in their threads.

Oak:

The largest tree of the forests that covers Scandinavia, the Oak tree is sacred to Thor.

Ravens:

The Ravens is the symbol of the god Odin, he has two ravens Hugin “Thought” and Munin “Mind”

The Boar, the Swine, and the Pig:

The Norse hunted and kills them for its flesh, tough bristles, sturdy hide, and sharp tusks. Any and all parts of them is used in some way. There is a golden boar named Gullinbursti which Freyr uses to travel on, some of the Norse warriors used the image of Gullinbursti on their shields for good luck. In the winter months it's tradition to sacrifice a boar to the god Freyr. The date is Dec 24 Christmas also called “Jul” in Old Norse. On this day they would feast on pork.

The Valkyries: Chooser of the Slain

The Valkyries are female warlike virgins, who mounted upon horses and arms themselves with helmets and spears. They decide who will die in battle. They will hover over the battlefield, like birds over their prey. There will be six, nine, or thirteen Valkyries at a time. They will select among half of those who died in battle. And then bring them to Valhalla. The other half would go to the goddess Freya’s afterlife field Folkvangr. Freya always has the first pick, of the fallen Vikings. Odin allows some of the maidens to take the Form of beautiful white swans, but if a Valkyrie is seen by a human without her swanlike disguise, she will become an ordinary mortal and can never again return to Valhalla.

Völva: Wise Woman

Völva is a seeress, usually a female that is able in various rituals to see into the future, and give good advice and dire warnings. If she becomes sufficiently well known among the people, she can live from being a seeress and the Völva then will often travel around the villages and farms. People are in generally afraid of them.



Author of page content Martin Højbjerg