The Enchanted Norse World

Norse mythology is part of the amazing and rich culture of the Germanic people during the middle ages. Deep into spiritual practices, these people believed in an enchanted world, accepting it the way it was, living as if it was the last day of their life, and awaiting for their fate to finally come. Even gods and goddesses were attached to fate: Ragnarok was the end of the cosmos and the gods with it. It was illustrated in actual movies such as Thor and Loki, part of the Marvel universe that will enchant you.

Before everything else existed, Ginnungagap, the dark abyss that separated Muspelheim (the world of fire), and Niflheim (the world of ice), did. The first creature originated was a giant which emerged when the ice of Niflheim and the fire of Muspelheim met. It was called Ymir and it was the personification of chaos before creation. He is also well-known because it was believed that the human world was created with parts of his body. Another thing mentioned in ancient poems is that the whole cosmos was held together by a gigantic tree called Yggdrasil. The other seven worlds were created after Niflheim and Muspelheim

and with them, the gods and goddesses that characterize Norse mythology.

The pillars of this religion are the two types of gods: Aesir and Vanir; and the giants.

The Aesir gods live in Asgard, a world connected to the human one by a rainbow bridge called Bifrost. They are the personification of order or innangard, governed by Odin, who watches over all of the kingdoms in his throne called Hliðskjálf. Odin is associated with wisdom, poetry, and rules; although he is sometimes called the god of war, being him the one who welcomes courageous warriors to Valhalla, the afterlife of warriors. He was born from the union of Bestla and Borr and married Frigg, goddess of marriage and motherhood. Some sources compare Frigg to the vanir goddess Freya, as if they were the same. One of the multiple sons of Odin is Thor. Thor in Norse mythology is the god of war, fertility, and the creator of thunder.

Perhaps the most loved Aesir god was Baldur, also part of Odin’s offspring, who was personificated as the god of beauty, light, purity… On the other hand, the playful and hated Loki is the god of lies, chaos, and pranks. He is often called a shapeshifter, someone who has the ability to change his appearance as he likes.

The Vanir tribe of deities lived in Vanaheim, one of the nine worlds in Norse mythology, associated with nature, wilderness and fertility. The same way, Freyr was the Vanir god of fertility, health and peace. The strange thing about him is that he does not live with the other Vanir gods, but in Alfheim, the kingdom of the elves. Freyr’s father is Njord, who was also the god of fertility, as well as of the sea and wealth. This created the former well known saying: “as rich as Njord.”

Finally, the giants in Norse mythology are considered the forces of chaos and most of them lived in the wilderness in their homeland Jotunheim. One of the most famous gigants is Hel, the goddess who rules over the kingdom named after her. Hel is the name of the world where most dead people duel. Contrary to what you might think because of its name, Hel is portrayed as neutral to all, without any rewards or punishments, where all the dead people do quotidian things. Along with Hel, Jormungand is another giant, a serpent that encircles Midgard or the realm of humans. It is his fate to kill Thor, his worst rival, in Ragnarok. Ragnarok is the prophecy conceived as the destruction of the cosmos and everything on it. The word “Ragnarok” means “fate of the gods” or “twilight of the gods”, meaning that the gods are not omnipotent and are attached to fate as any human. In the Norse end of the worlds, the monstrous beast with the shape of a wolf, Fenrir, will free himself and destroy anything on his way.


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