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A FEW FACTS ABOUT FRIGG
from Snorri's Edda #KeepFriggInFriday
[Odin's] wife was called Frigg Fjörgynn's daughter, and from them is descended the family line that we call the Æsir, who have resided in Old Asgard and the realms that belong to it, and that whole line of descent is of divine origin.

Frigg is [Odin's] wife, and she knows men's fates though she does not prophesy, as it says here that Odin himself spoke to the Ás called Loki:

"Mad you are Loki, and out of your wits. Why will you not be silent, Loki? All fates I believe Frigg knows, though she herself does not pronounce."

The highest [of the goddesses] is Frigg. She has a dwelling called Fensalir and it is very splendid.

Art by Helen Stratton
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Now those are some keys!
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WOTAN'S THRONE OVER GRAND CANYON
or, Odin's High-Seat over Ginnungagap
"Setting sunlight on Wotan's Throne, a prominent feature viewed from Cape Royal on the North Rim. Wotan's Throne was named after an ancient Germanic God by the geologist Clarence Dutton who accompanied Major John Wesley Powell on his 1881 expedition through Grand Canyon.

"The expedition was Powell's third through Grand Canyon. Dutton named many features in Grand Canyon. He believed that Grand Canyon was such an important feature in the world that it's names should reflect all of the world's cultures. He chose names that honored mythologies and legends from around the world."

From Grand Canyon National Park FB Page
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Thanks for posting. Adding this to my #MapOfMidgard  location list for possible inclusion.
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DO YOU FORSAKE THE OLD GODS?

Last night, I was hired to play string bass for large event in Chicago that brought together members of five Catholic churches to celebrate the rite of confirmation for their young adherents. The Archbishop of Chicago began the ritual by asking for ritual responses from those being confirmed.

Archbishop: Do you renounce Satan, and all his works and empty promises?
Young Folk: I do.

I was surprised that the ceremony began with this language, which immediately reminded me of the Old Saxon baptismal vow of the 8th century that was used when the Heathen Saxons were forcibly converted to Christianity. It ritually affirmed abandonment of Heathen religious practices and gods.

Clergy: Do you forsake the Devil?
Saxons: I forsake the Devil.
Clergy: And all devilish sacrifices?
Saxons: And I forsake all devilish sacrifices.
Clergy: And all devilish works?
Saxons: And I forsake all devil's work and words, and Thunaer and Woden and Saxnôt and all the monsters who are their companions.

The Saxons were forced to abandon their religious rites, now called "devilish sacrifices." They were forced to abandon their gods: Thor, Odin, and Saxnôt (possibly an analog of Freyr) and all the other gods, goddesses and wights, now called "all the monsters who are their companions."

Given the echoes of the Conversion Age that continue to ring in America today, I would like to take this opportunity to state something simply and clearly.

I do not forsake Thor, Odin, Freyja nor any of the gods, goddesses and wights who are their companions.

Do you?
_______

Image: the goddess Iðunn by James Doyle Penrose

For more on the violent conversion of the Heathen Saxons during the holy war of conversion and extermination waged on them by Christian military leaders and clergy, read my article "Charlemagne's Saxon War: Religio-Cultural Elements" at norsemyth.org/2015/11/charlemagnes-saxon-war-religio-cultural.html
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I performed a ritual in a forest and renounced my baptism and vowed my devotion to the Norse gods.
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ODIN THE WANDERER
from "Sayings of the Mighty Weaver"
Odin spake:
"Counsel me, Frigg, for I long to fare,
And Vafþrúðnir fain would find;
Fit wisdom old with the giant wise
Myself would I seek to match."

Frigg spake:
"Herjaföðr here at home would I keep,
Where the gods together dwell;
Amid all the giants an equal in might
To Vafþrúðnir know I none."

Odin spake:
"Much have I fared, much have I found.
Much have I got from the gods;
And fain would I know how Vafþrúðnir now
Lives in his lofty hall."

Frigg spake:
"Safe mayst thou go, safe come again,
And safe be the way thou wendest!
Father of men, let thy mind be keen
When speech with the giant thou seekest."

The wisdom then of the giant wise
Forth did he fare to try;
He found the hall of the father of Ím,
And in forthwith went Ygg.

Odin spake:
"Vafþrúðnir, hail! to thy hall am I come,
For thyself I fain would see;
And first would I ask if wise thou art,
Or, giant, all wisdom hast won."

Vafþrúðnir spake:
"Who is the man | that speaks to me,
Here in my lofty hall?
Forth from our dwelling thou never shalt fare,
Unless wiser than I thou art."

Odin spake:
"Gagnráðr they call me, and thirsty I come
From a journey hard to thy hall;
Welcome I look for, for long have I fared,
And gentle greeting, giant."

Vafþrúðnir spake:
"Why standest thou there on the floor whilst thou speakest?
A seat shalt thou have in my hall;
Then soon shall we know whose knowledge is more,
The guest's or the sage's gray."

Odin spake:
"If a poor man reaches the home of the rich,
Let him wisely speak or be still;
For to him who speaks with the hard of heart
Will chattering ever work ill."

Art by Dmitry Ilyutkin
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"In some things, the old-fashioned ways are best, after all."
What didst thou thinketh, that ye modern gadgets of wizardry and dark magic would rule the skies over all of mankind with impunity? Goats and monkeys! For whilst ye have proven much in the ways of the gods, thou art but men, and even the false idols of steel and bronze forged by men may be strucketh down from a warrior skilled in the ways of ye olden times. TRANSLATION: A man at a Russian Middle Ages festival took down a drone with a freaking spe...
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Long live the spear that shot was priceless 👍👍👍
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MEET THE GOD NJÖRÐR
Snorri says: The third god is named Njörðr. He lives in heaven at the place called Nóatún [Enclosure for Ships]. He rules over the movement of the winds, and he can calm sea and fire. One invokes him in seafaring and fishing. He is so rich and prosperous that he can grant wealth in lands or valuables to those who ask for his aid.

Odin says: Nóatún is the eleventh [god-home],
and Njörðr has there
made halls for himself.
As lord of men,
and lacking all fault,
he takes charge of the high-timbered altar.

Image: Iceland, 17th century
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Have them in circles
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THE STORM GODDESS APPEARS
from Saga of the Jómsvíkings
[Earl Hákon seeks supernatural support in a great battle]
Thereupon the earl went up on the island of Primsigned, and away into a forest, and fell on his knees and prayed, looking northward. And in his prayer he called upon his patron goddess, Þorgerðr Hölgabrúðr. But she would not hear his prayer and was wroth.

[Probably because the earl had earlier temporarily accepted Christianity and abandoned Heathenry]

He offered to make her many a sacrifice, but she refused each one, and he thought his case desperate. In the end he offered her a human sacrifice, but she would not have it. At last he offered her his own seven-year-old son; and that she accepted. Then the earl put the boy in the hands of his slave Skopti, and Skopti slew him.

Afterwards the earl returned to his ships and urged his men on to make renewed attack; "for I know now surely the victory will be ours. Press the attack all the more vigorously, because I have invoked for victory both the sisters, Þorgerðr and Irpa."

Then the earl boarded his ship and prepared for the fight, and the fleet rowed to the attack, and again there was the most furious battle. And right soon the weather began to thicken in the north and clouds covered the sky and the daylight waned. Next came flashes of lightning and thunder, and with them a violent shower.

The Jómsvíkings had to fight facing into the storm, and the squall was so heavy that they could hardly stand up against it. Men had cast off their clothes, earlier, because of the heat, and now it was cold. Nevertheless, no one needed to be urged on to do battle. But although the Jómsvíkings hurled stones and other missiles and through their spears, the wind turned all their weapons back upon them, to join the shower of missiles from their enemies.

Hávard the Hewing was the first to see Þorgerðr Hölgabrúðr in the fleet of Earl Hákon, and then many a second-sighted man saw her. And when the squall abated a little they saw that an arrow flew from every finger of the ogress, and each arrow felled a man. They told Sigvaldi, and he said: "It seems we are not fighting men alone, but still it behooves us to do our best."

And when the storm lessened a bit Earl Hákon again invoked Þorgerðr and said that he had done his utmost. And then it grew dark again with a squall, this time even stronger and worse than before. And right at the beginning of the squall Hávard the Hewing saw that two women were standing on the earl's ship, and both were doing the same thing that Þorgerðr had done before.

Then Sigvaldi said: "Now I am going to flee, and let all men do so. I did not vow to fight against trolls, and it is now worse than before, as there are two ogresses."

[After the battle]

Then they weighed the hailstones on scales to see what power Þorgerðr and Irpa had, and one hailstone weighted an ounce.

[Illustration by Jenny Nyström]
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ODIN'S WEDNESDAY WISDOM
from Hávamál (Sayings of the High One)
Each man who is wise and would wise be called
Must ask and answer aright.
Let one know thy secret, but never a second;
If three a thousand shall know.

Art by bubaben.deviantart.com
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Yep. definitely a wise saying there.
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THOR REACTS TO SLANDER ON FREYJA
or, JESUS REFUSES TO FIGHT THOR
from Njál's Saga (written in 13th century Iceland)
[Note: In 997, King Olaf Tryggvason of Norway sent the German priest Thangbrand to preach Christianity in Heathen Iceland. During the meeting known as the Althing, a Christian stood up and blasphemed the goddess Freyja. Thor did not take kindly to this.]

Then Hjallti Skeggason sang this rhyme at the Hill of Laws:

Ever will I Gods blaspheme
Freyja methinks a dog does seem,
Freyja a dog? Aye! let them be
Both dogs together Odin and she.

Hjallti fared abroad that summer and Gizur the White with him, but Thangbrand's ship was wrecked away east at Bulandsness, and the ship's name was "Bison."

Thangbrand and his messmate fared right through the west country, and Steinvora, the mother of Ref the Skald, came against him; she preached the Heathen faith to Thangbrand and made him a long speech.

Thangbrand held his peace while she spoke, but made a long speech after her, and turned all that she had said the wrong way against her.

"Hast thou heard," she said, "how Thor challenged Christ to single combat, and how he did not dare to fight with Thor?"

"I have heard tell," says Thangbrand, "that Thor was naught but dust and ashes, if God had not willed that he should live."

"Knowest thou," she says, "who it was that shattered thy ship?"

"What hast thou to say about that?" he asks.

"That I will tell thee," she says.

He that giant's offspring slayeth
Broke the new-field's bison stout,
Thus the gods, bell's warder grieving.
Crushed the falcon of the strand;
To the courser of the causeway
Little good was Christ I ween,
When Thor shattered ships to pieces
Gylfi's hartöno God could help.

And again she sang another song -

Thangbrand's vessel from her moorings,
Sea-king's steed, Thor wrathful tore,
Shook and shattered all her timbers,
Hurled her broadside on the beach;
Ne'er again shall Viking's snow-shoe,
On the briny billows glide,
For a storm by Thor awakened,
Dashed the bark to splinters small.

After that Thangbrand and Steinvora parted, and they fared west to Bardastrand.
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HBO ppv material!
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HEATHEN AT THE HELM
I'm the new President of Interfaith Dialogue at the University of Chicago. I'm not sure how many interfaith organizations at major institutions are headed by a practitioner of Ásatrú, but I'm guessing not many. We'll be featuring a variety of activities, many of which will be open to the general public: discussions on religion and spirituality, guest speakers from a variety of religious traditions, visits to local places of worship, and production of an interfaith journal. More information at blueprint.uchicago.edu/organization/interfaithdialogue
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That's great. I used to work with a variety of religious organizations, and when they said interfaith, they really meant interdenominational. It's great to see people expanding.
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It's finally springtime in Chicago, so Papa Hildebrand is back in the garden. The season's first offerings to the wights (land spirits): strawberries & Black Cavendish tobacco. May the wights be kind to you & yours this year!
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Closer to the Lake,we had frost
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A COLLEGE STUDENT ASKS ABOUT NORSE MYTHOLOGY AND NORSE RELIGION, Part Two
norsemyth.org/2016/05/a-college-student-asks-about-norse_12.html
In the second part of my answers to questions from a Minnesota college student studying Ásatrú (Æsir Faith) for her World Religions project, I discuss Odin's influence on my music, media misinformation about modern Heathen temples, what I think of the Nine Noble Virtues, and more.
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The Norse Mythology Google+ Page
Introduction
Dr. Karl E. H. Seigfried is a writer on mythology and religion. A Norse mythologist and musician in Chicago, he teaches courses on mythology, religion, J.R.R. Tolkien and Richard Wagner for Newberry Library's Seminar Program. He taught Norse mythology at Loyola University Chicago and Norse religion at Carthage College, where he was founder and faculty advisor of the Tolkien Society.

Karl is President of Interfaith Dialogue at the University of Chicago, where he also serves as Contact Person for the Ásatrú Student Network.

Karl's website, The Norse Mythology Blog, was named the world's Best Religion Weblog in 2012, 2013 and 2014. It is the first religion blog to enter the Weblog Awards Hall of Fame. In addition to original articles and interviews on myth and religion, the site features projects such as the Worldwide Heathen Census 2013, a first attempt to estimate current numbers of adherents of the modern iteration of Norse religion.

Karl is a featured columnist for The Wild Hunt, the primary international source for news and commentary relating to minority religions. Mollie Hemingway, Senior Editor at The Federalist, has called The Wild Hunt "a must-read for those interested in news and events dealing with the modern Pagan and Heathen communities – and religion coverage in general."

Karl's writing on mythology and religion has been broadcast on the BBC as part of a series featuring "leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond." His work has been published in Herdfeuer (Germany), Iceland Magazine, Interfaith Ramadan (Italy), MythNow (Joseph Campbell Foundation), On Religion (UK), Religion and Ethics (Australia), and Reykjavík Grapevine (Iceland).

Karl wrote all definitions relating to Ásatrú (Norse religion) in the Religion Newswriters Association's Religion Stylebook, and he was a co-author of the Heathen Resource Guide for Chaplains written by the Open Halls Project Workgroup for the U.S. Department of Defense. He edited The Illustrated Hávamál, which will be published in September.

"One Crime over the Line: Śiśupāla in the Mahābhārata," Karl's article examining events at the royal consecration of Yudhiṣṭhira in light of other happenings in the Mahābhārata, later Indian texts, historical practice and religious concepts, will be published in volume 65 of the Journal of the Oriental Institute, the peer-reviewed academic publication of MSU of Baroda (India), the institution that issued critical editions of Vālmīki's Rāmāyaṇa and the Viṣṇu Purāṇa.

Karl has been interviewed on myth and religion by the BBC, Daily BeastHistory Channel, OnFaithPublic Radio International's The World, Strings Magazine, Chicago Public Radio's Morning Edition, Raven Radio, Viking Magazine and Wired Magazine. He has been a featured lecturer on literary and musical interpretations of Norse mythology at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Wagner Society of America and Wheaton College.

A member of the American Academy of Religion, Religion Newswriters Association, Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study, and Viking Society for Northern Research (UK), Karl is also the Official Norse Mythologist of the Stephanie Miller Show.

Karl holds degrees in literature and music from University of California at San Diego, University of Wisconsin at Madison and University of Texas at Austin. He studied literature and art history at Loyola University Chicago Rome Center in Italy and has taken Icelandic language courses through University of Iceland's distance learning program. He recently received an academic scholarship from University of Chicago Divinity School and is now working on an MA in Religion.

REVIEWS OF THE NORSE MYTHOLOGY BLOG

Chicago Public Radio: "[Karl's] one of the country’s most respected researchers and lecturers on Norse mythology."
Chicago Humanities Festival: "Seigfried is a prolific chronicler of the world of Norse mythology."
Johan Hegg (Amon Amarth): "[Karl's] probably a better Guardian of Asgard than I am."
Jóhanna G. Harðardóttir (Ásatrúarfélagið): "Hér er rétti maðurinn á ferð til að kenna Norræna goðafræði í US."
Weaving Wyrd: "His questions are thought-provoking, and his scholarly bona fides are pretty impressive."
Syracuse University iSchool: "This is an entertaining and enlightening blog to follow for anyone interested in Norse mythology."
Bob Freeman: "For anyone with an interest in Norse culture, myth, and magic, there is no better place to visit on the web."
Carthage News: "His would be considered a David-and-Goliath story, except Carthage professor Karl Seigfried topped the writers who discuss those kinds of biblical figures."
The Wild Hunt: "If you aren’t already reading Dr. Karl E. H. Seigfried's amazing The Norse Mythology Blog, then you've been remiss. The blog is one of the most content-rich affairs for lovers of Norse mythology I’ve ever seen."
Tales of a GM: "This is an amazing resource for anyone interested in the history and culture of Northern Europe. The Norse Mythology Blog is such a brilliant combination of modern issues and ancient sources. If you have any interest in Norse culture or mythology, then you must visit Dr Seigfried’s site."
Vancouver Sun: "The best blog on faith and spirituality may be one about a so-called ‘dead’ religion, Norse mythology. The Norse Mythology Blog reflects deep knowledge of this ancient religion, along with an affable spirit. [Karl] knows everything one would ever want to know about Thor, Odin, Frey, Loki, Frigg, Freya and countless more Norse gods, goddesses and mythological hangers-on."
City Magazine (Serbia): "Ako vas je ikada makar malo zainteresovala istorija i kultura severne Evrope, a naročito njena istorija, ovde ćete naći mnogo više interesantnog štiva nego što biste se ikada nadali. Posebno je interesantno da uspeva da poveže savremene momente sa prastarim izvorima."

HONORS & AWARDS

2015

On Religion (UK)
: Most Popular Article of 2015
"Northern Zombies & Heathen Worldviews"

2014


Weblog Awards (International): Best Religion Weblog
First religion blog to enter Weblog Awards Hall of Fame

2013

Weblog Awards (International)
: Best Religion Weblog

Bob Freeman: Best Esoteric Website

The Wild Hunt: Top Ten Pagan Stories of 2013
"Ásatrú Added to Religion Stylebook"

2012

Weblog Awards (International): Best Religion Weblog

NORSE MYTHOLOGY ONLINE

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QUESTIONS? Contact Karl through the Contact page at The Norse Mythology Blog.