History for the Rest of Us

Sif – Thor’s Golden-Haired Wife

Sif – Thor’s Golden-Haired Wife

Apr 22, 2014

Sif, Thor’s wife, was very vain of a magnificent head of long golden hair which covered her from head to foot like a brilliant veil; and as she too was a symbol of the earth, her hair was said to represent the long grass, or the golden grain covering the Northern harvest fields. Thor was very proud of his wife’s beautiful hair; imagine his dismay, therefore,...

Aegir – God of the Ocean

Aegir – God of the Ocean

Mar 15, 2013

Aegir was god of the ocean and king of sea creatures in Norse mythology. Married to Ran the sea goddess, he was father to nine daughters, the waves, whose names are poetic terms for different characteristics of ocean waves, and are listed below: Himinglæva – That through which one can see the heavens (the transparency of water). Dúfa – The Pitching...

Geirrod and Agnar

Geirrod and Agnar

Dec 12, 2012

Odin took great interest in the affairs of mortals, and, we are told, was specially fond of watching King Hrauding’s handsome little sons, Geirrod and Agnar, when they were about eight and ten years of age respectively. One day these little lads went fishing, and a storm suddenly arose which blew their boat far out to sea, where it finally stranded upon an...

Hel – Daughter of Loki

Hel – Daughter of Loki

Dec 11, 2012

Hel, goddess of death, was the daughter of Loki, god of evil, and of the giantess Angurboda, the portender of ill. She came into the world in a dark cave in Jötun-heim together with the serpent Iörmungandr and the terrible Fenris wolf, the trio being considered as the emblems of pain, sin, and death. “Now Loki comes, cause of all ill! Men and Æsir curse him...

Miölnir – Thor’s Hammer

Miölnir – Thor’s Hammer

Nov 29, 2012

Thor was the proud possessor of a magic hammer called Miölnir (the crusher) which he hurled at his enemies, the frost-giants, with destructive power, and which possessed the wonderful property of always returning to his hand, however far away he might hurl it. “I am the Thunderer! Here in my Northland, My fastness and fortress, Reign I forever! “Here amid...

Valhalla

Valhalla

Nov 26, 2012

This palace, called Valhalla (the hall of the chosen slain), had five hundred and forty doors, wide enough to allow the passage of eight hundred warriors abreast, and above the principal gate were a boar’s head and an eagle whose piercing glance penetrated to the far corners of the world. The walls of this marvelous building were fashioned of glittering spears,...