The Norse Gods and Goddesses

The story of Odin and the Norse Gods begins, as in many a creation story, with the abyss. In this …

The story of Odin and the Norse Gods begins, as in many a creation story, with the abyss. In this great chasm, named Ginnungagap, the primordial fire and ice came closer together until eventually meeting in the emptiness, the ice began to melt.

From the drops of melting ice all beings are derived, the greatest of whom is the Allfather himself, wise Odin, half-giant and half god. With his brothers Vili and Ve, Odin creates the Nine Realms of Norse mythology, including both Asgard, as a home for gods, and Midgard as a home for mortals.

Together these first of the Norse gods watch over creation, ready to intervene when needed to protect the worlds they have formed from the vast body of Ymir, the first being of creation. Their pathway to earth from Asgard is the Bifrost, or rainbow bridge, used when their presence among mortals is required. 

From creation to Ragnarok

During this great age of the gods Odin presides over the Nine Realms. Leading his kith and kin through myriad adventures until the time of Ragnarok. Then the gods shall fall, their world will sink into the sea, and the reign of Odin shall be no more.

But long before this terrible end to their times, countless feats of courage, strength, and bravery take place. The two great tribes of the gods, the Aesir and the Vanir, battle side by side. Sometimes against each other, serve loyally their kinsmen and women, sometimes murder them, carry out magnificent feats of self-sacrifice, and sometimes, acts of dark betrayal.

In order to understand ancient world of the Norse gods, we must become familiar with its leading powers. Here follows a brief overview of the central characters of this cosmic drama, their most important stories, their weapons and spirit animals, and the complex relationships formed between them during the golden age of Norse mythology.

1. Asha

Asha is the Aesir goddess of art, design, pottery, and festive celebration. 

Photo Credit: Per Krafft the Younger, via Wikimedia Commons

Her father is Bragi, her mother Idun. 

Weapon/Domain of Power

Her tools of art and design.

Responsibility

Bringing beauty to the worlds of gods and mortals.

Spirit Animal

The turtle.

2. Baldur/Baldr

Baldur or Baldr, also known as ‘The Shining One’, is the Aesir god of light, nobility, learning, and war. 

Known as Phol in the German pantheon of gods. An important figure in the annals, he is the youngest son of Frigga and Odin, and half-brother to the mighty Thor. This is the Norse Apollo, as bright as the summer sun, handsome, wise, merciful, and gracious in all things. 

Baldur is married to Nanna, goddess of joy and together they have a son, Forseti. 

His home in Asgard, Breidablik is the most beautiful of all the halls of the gods and only the purest of the heart are permitted to cross his threshold. His ship, the Hringhorni is the finest ever constructed in Asgard. 

The story of the kindest and wisest of the gods comes to a tragic end when Baldur is mistakenly killed by his blind twin brother Höd, or Hodur, under the trickery of Loki. Some sources say that he will be reborn after Ragnarok.  

Weapon/Domain of Power

Wisdom, grace, mercy, his ship Hringhorni.

Responsibility

Love, wisdom, advice, gentleness, beauty, loyalty, tragedy, death, and rebirth.

Spirit Animal

A golden eagle.

3. Bragi

Bragi, ‘The Bard’, is the Aesir god of verse and rhyme.

Son of Odin and Frigga, brother to wise Baldur. Bragi is one of the key Norse gods, supremely skilled in poetry he entertains the Einherjar, the fallen warriors brought to Valhalla. There in Odin’s magnificent banquet hall fallen heroes await the final battle call of Ragnarok.

His wife is Idunn, the goddess of youth and he is renowned for his wisdom, wit, and fluency of language. His name has come to embody those who possess eloquence of speech. 

Weapon/Domain of Power

Words, the power to entertain, the biting exchange of insults known as ‘flyting’.

Responsibility

The entertainment of the gods, poetry, song, music, the arts, amusement, and good cheer, eloquence, and wit.

Spirit Animal

Nine songbirds.

4. Eir

Eir, ‘help’, ‘mercy’, is the Aesir goddess of the healing arts. 

A handmaid of Frigga. She resides in Lyfjaberg, the ‘hill of healing’. Eir is a member of Odin’s host of Valkyrie. The role of these warrior goddesses and servants of the Allfather is to choose from among the injured, who will live and return to health.

Weapon/Domain of Power

The mortar and pestle, healing herbs and instruments, folk medicine.

Responsibility

Childbirth, medicine, and healing.

Spirit Animal

A gray jaybird.

5. Forseti

Forseti, ‘The Chairman’, ‘Bridge-builder, ‘The Presiding One’, is the Aesir god of justice and law. 

Son of Baldur and Nanna. His dwelling place is the gold and silver hall of Glitnir. Forseti presides over disputes among the gods in his magnificent hall. 

Weapon/Domain of Power

A golden, double-headed ax, gold, and silver. 

Responsibility

Truth, justice, reconciliation, law-giving, law-making, divine judgment.

Spirit Animal

A gray wolf, a hawk.

6. Freyja/Freya

Freyja, or Freya, ‘The Lady’, is the Vanir goddess of destiny, fate, fertility and love, battle and hunting.

freya standing among flowers in a forest.

A consort of Odin and second in power only to Frigga. Daughter of Njord and Hertha. Twin sister to Freyr. Wife to Od and mother to Gersemi and Hnoos.

The magnificent Freya was traded with her brother Freyr and her father Njordr to the Aesir in exchange for Vanir hostages. She was accepted among the Aesir and with her family, brought peace to the gods after their great war.

A mistress of the ancient Norse magic of ‘seidr’ or ‘seidhr’, giving her the ability to influence the outcome of future events. A seer associated with beauty and love, wielding subtle power over the thoughts and desires of gods and mortals.

Freya is the ruler of the Folkvang realm of the underworld. It is her power to choose half of those who would die in battle, the other half chosen by the Valkyries to be taken to Valhalla, Odin’s hall of fallen heroes.

Weapon/Domain of Power

Her sacred necklace Brisingamen, runes, her falcon cloak, her chariot drawn by two cats. 

Responsibility

Magic, destiny, rune-reading, second-sight, eroticism, opulence, sensuality, physical well-being, cats, flowers, fertility, agriculture, love, trance, wealth.

Spirit Animal

The lynx.

7. Freyr

Freyr, ‘Lord’, is the Vanir god of love, fertility, hunting, and harvest. 

Twin brother to Freya, goddess of destiny and fate. Son of Njord, the sea-god and Skadi, the frost giantess. Husband to Gorda, father of Fjolnir. 

Freyr is the ruler of Alfheim, the realm of the Light Elves. 

One of the most renowned and venerated of all the gods. Freyr is originally of the Vanir but was traded, together with his father Njord and his sister Freya in exchange for Aesir hostages during the great war between the godly tribes. Freyr’s adoption among the Aesir helped bring about peace among the gods. 

Weapon/Domain of Power

His boar, Gullinborsti the ‘golden-bristled’, his boar-drawn chariot, his ship Skidbladnir which is propelled always by favorable winds and ever finds its way, unguided, to any destination. The magic sword that fights for him unaided. Freyr controls the rain and sunshine to bring forth full harvests. Frequently associated with elves and Alfheim, he is sometimes known as King of the Elves.

Responsibility

The harvest, virility, wealth, peace, prosperity, marriage, bravery, sensuality, success, and abundance. Hard work and the joy that follows it. 

Spirit Animal

His trusted wild boar, Gullinborsti.

8. Frigg/Frigga

Frigg or Frigga, ‘Love’, is the Aesir goddess of love, family, wisdom, and war.

Queen to the gods of Asgard. One of the most revered and famous of all Norse deities. Goddess of the sky. Wife of Odin. Mother to Baldur and Hoor. Skilled in seership.

Despite her power to bring familial happiness to others and her gift of second sight, her tragic story is marked by the loss of her beloved son Baldur through the cunning trickery of Loki.

Frigga is a gifted seer, but though she knows the future, she will not name it.

Weapon/Domain of Power

Visionary foresight, wisdom.

Responsibility

Fertility, second sight, motherhood, hearth and home, marriage, blissful domesticity, children, childhood, childbirth, strategy, war.

Spirit Animal

A great-horned owl

9. Gefion

Gefion, ‘the Giver’, is the Vanir goddess of fertility, virginity, agriculture, virtue, and the unwed. 

She is gifted with shape-shifting magic. This mighty goddess created the island of Zealand with her great plow.

Weapon/Domain of Power

Shape-shifting, magic. Her divine plow with which she creates swathes of land and ensures a good harvest.

Responsibility

Luck, land, magic, virginity, faithfulness, prosperity and wealth, the harvest.

10. Gullveig

Gullveig, ‘The Gleaming One’, is the Vanir goddess of magic. 

Handmaiden to Freya and a teacher of ‘seidhr’, the old magic of influencing events. 

Gullveig’s presence in Asgard sparked the great war between Aesir and Vanir. An attempt was made upon her life by the Aesir gods for her practice of witchcraft. Three times was she burned but each time did she survive.   

Weapon/Domain of Power

Magic, witchcraft, sorcery, second-sight, healing, invulnerability to fire.

Responsibility

Witchcraft, ‘seidr’, magic.

11. Heimdall

Heimdall is the Aesir god of guardianship, vigilance, protection, and light. 

The child of nine sisters and the giant Fornjot, grandson of Aegir the giant, son of Vili and nine ocean goddesses. Associated with the sea. 

Heimdall is the Guardian of Asgard and watchman of the heavenly Bifrost that connects the human world to the divine. He dwells in his stronghold of Himinbjorg or the ‘Sky Cliffs’, ever watchful over gods and mortals.

As a boy, Heimdall was sent to teach humankind the secrets of fire, the wisdom of runes, civil administration, and crafts to make them prosperous. To accomplish his task he incarnated and lived long among mortals in Midgard, fathering the first ancestors of Norse aristocracy, the farmer class, and the peasantry. 

When the day of Ragnarok comes it is Heimdall who will signal the Aesir to defend Asgard. It is foreseen that Loki and Heimdall shall die by each other’s hands in the end times.

Weapon/Domain of Power

The Gjallarhorn, Heimdall’s great ‘resounding horn’ with which he calls Asgard to its defense. His vastly powerful sight as a watchman who surveys with accuracy hundreds of miles about him, his hearing so sensitive that even the growth of wool on a sheep does not escape his notice. Second sight. Vast reserves of energy allow him to forgo sleep, less than a small bird it is said, and thus maintains his post over great periods of time.

Responsibility

Eternal watchfulness over the Bifrost bridge that connects humankind to the divine. Defense of strongholds and fortresses. Endings and beginnings, the first light of morning.

Spirit Animal

His loyal horse Gulltoppr, the German Shepherd.

12. Hel

Hel, ‘Hidden’, giantess, is the goddess of death, the damned, and of the netherworld. 

Daughter of Loki and the giantess Angrboda. She passes judgment on those who enter her domain.

Hel dwells with her siblings, the great wolf Fenrir and the serpent Jormungandr in Helheim, an underworld of eternal shade. Her body remains always in a state of partial decomposition, half living and half dead. Her power is boundless and within her realm surpasses even that of Odin himself. 

It is Hel who ultimately decides the fate of fair and wise Baldur, condemning him to dwell in shadows by her side. 

Weapon/Domain of Power

Power over life and death, power to decide the fate of all those in her abode, the support of her sibling companions Fenrir and Jormungandr. Helheim.

Responsibility

Magic, death, the afterlife, revenge, judgment, the damned.

Spirit Animal

Her black hound, Garm.

13. Hermod

Hermod, ‘War-spirit’, son of Odin, ‘Odin’s Sveinn’ or ‘Odin’s boy’ is the messenger of the gods. 

It is brave Hermod who travels to Hel’s terrifying abode to plead with her for the release of Baldur. He rides Odin’s eight-legged steed Sleipnir, for nine nights to arrive at Gjoll, the bridge which joins the crossing to the netherworld of Helheim. 

Among all the beings of Norse mythology, Odin not excepted, only Hermod succeeds in leaving Helheim after having once crossed over the bridge of Gjoll. 

Weapon/Domain of Power

Unmatched bravery, the courage of one who would bargain with Hel and travel willingly into her abode. The skill of negotiation under the direst of circumstances.

Responsibility

Honor, bravery, messages sent and received, negotiation, diplomacy, wayfaring, and voyages into the unknown.

Spirit Animal

A great gyrfalcon.

14. Hertha/Nerthus

Hertha, also known as Nerthus, is the Vanir Mother Nature, the goddess of seas and rivers, of plants, flowers, vegetation, and the growth of all-natural things. 

Her daughter is Freya, her son Freyr. Her sisters are Ran and Fjorgyn. She was married for a time, to Njord.

Hertha takes interest in the affairs of mortals, often leaving her sacred island grove to come among us in her chariot drawn by two cows. During her time away from home she can be felt in spirit by the priestly class and her company brings times of peace and plenty to the world. 

The dark side of her peaceful presence is the drowning in her sacred lake, of the servants who have cleansed her, her clothing and her chariot, of all contact with the world of mortals. 

Weapon/Domain of Power

The forces of nature, her chariot drawn by two cows.

Responsibility

Nature, planting, flowers and plants of all kinds, the ebb and flow of the natural world, abundance during times of growth, rotting and decay during periods of natural decline.

Spirit Animal

The red fox, the wood frog, a white-tailed deer.

15. Hlin

Hlin is the Aesir goddess of consolation and compassion. 

Handmaiden to Frigga. Hlin comes to those in the midst of grief to ease their pain. She hears the prayers of humankind from the mortal plain and advises Frigga on how best to respond. An agent of Frigga sent to those in need of her protection. 

Weapon/Domain of Power

Compassion, mercy, the easing of pain, close association with Frigga, the Queen of the gods. 

Responsibility

Consolation, grief, the easing of pain. 

Spirit Animal

The red-tailed hawk.

16. Hnoss/Hnossa

Hnoss, or Hnossa, ‘jewel’, ‘gem’, is the Vanir goddess of beauty, love, lust and desire, of sisterhood, and of treasure. 

Twin sister to Gersemi. Daughter to Od and Freya. 

Hnoss, like her sister Gersemi, is of indescribable beauty and her name is synonymous with the idea of stunning visual appeal. 

Responsibility

Love, desire, lust, sisterhood, friendship, beauty.

Spirit Animal

The otter.

17. Hod/Hodur

Hod, also known as Hodur, ‘The Blind God’, ‘Slayer of Baldur’, ‘Companion of Hel’, is the Aesir god of darkness and winter.

Hod’s brother is Baldur, the god of light. He is the son of Odin and Frigga and one of the twelve leading gods of the Norse pantheon. 

Hodur is the great, blind warrior god who is tricked into killing his beloved brother Baldur by the cunning of Loki. During a game in which all weapons are tested against an oath taken by them to never harm the god of light, Loki guides the blind Hodur’s hand with a dart fashioned from mistletoe, the one tree that has not undertaken the vow of peace. 

He is slain for his role in the death of the most beloved of all gods but is exonerated and forgiven in the underworld where he becomes his brother’s companion. 

It is said that he is one of the gods who will survive Ragnarok and rule by his brother’s side in the time after the great destruction. 

Weapon/Domain of Power

Tragedy and its overcoming. A piercing dart of mistletoe.

Responsibility

Darkness, winter, cold, shadows, blindness, the winter solstice.

Spirit Animal

A wizened bat.

18. Hoenir

Hoenir, ‘The Mud King’, ‘The Swift God’, ‘The Silent One’, is the Aesir god of honor, holiness, and sanctity.  

Younger brother to Odin, this enigmatic god, though a great warrior and handsome of appearance, was known for his muddled thought. Traded with his uncle Mimir to the Vanir in order to end the great tribal war of the gods, he caused his uncle to lose his head. Based on his good looks the Vanir declared him a chieftain but were soon angered when Hoenir proved himself unable to make any decision in the absence of his uncle. 

In their rage at having bargained away the great Freya, Feyr, and Njord for such as Hoenir, feeling cheated, they found it reasonable to sever Mimir’s head from his neck and send it back to Asgard.

Despite his tragic story of ineptitude among the Vanir, Hoenir is said to have endowed mankind with the ability to reason. 

He is one of the few gods who is said to survive Ragnarok.

Responsibility

Honor, holiness, the sacred.

Spirit Animal

The walrus.

19. Idunn/Idunna

Idunn, or Idunna, ‘The Rejuvenating One’, ‘ever young’, is the Aesir goddess of youth, immortality, and rejuvenation.

Idun and her golden apples kept the Norse gods immortal

Married to Bragi, god of poetry and bard to the court of Asgard. Sister to Nanna, goddess of joy and love. A member of the Asynjur, the major goddesses of the Norse pantheon. 

Known for her long, spellbinding, golden hair, she is possessed of magical fruits that convey immortality to those that consume them. Having exclusive access to these mysterious fruits, it is she upon whom the longevity of the gods depends, providing a key anchor to all their power. 

Idunna is tricked into leaving Asgard by Loki, where she is kidnapped and taken to Jotunheim. Her absence among the Aesir causes the gods to begin to wither and grow old until the trickster god is compelled to rescue and return her to Asgard once more.

Weapon/Domain of Power

Her basket of life-giving apples, her long golden hair.

Responsibility

Immortality, long life, rejuvenation, youth, springs, fountains, apples, apple-cider, spring, and dawn.

Spirit Animal

The owl.

20. Lofn

Lofn, ‘The Loving One’, is the Aesir goddess of forbidden love. 

A gentle goddess to be invoked by those whose love is frowned upon by others or proscribed in custom and law.

Weapon/Domain of Power

The powerful attraction of the forbidden.

Responsibility

Illicit affairs, adultery, young love, secret liaisons, forbidden marriage, and other unions.

Spirit Animal

A pair of wood ducks.

21. Loki

Loki, ‘The Trickster God’, skilled shape-shifter, is the god of chaos, fire, destruction, lies, deceit, and misfortune.

Son of Farbautia the giant and Laufey the giantess. Brother to Helblindi and Byleist. Husband to Sigyn and father to Narfi and Vali. Stepbrother to great Odin.

Through union with the giantess Angerboda, Loki is sire to Hel, goddess of death, and her companions Fenrir the giant wolf and Jormungand the evil Midgard Wyrm. Through his transformation into a mare, he is mother to Sleipnir, the eight-legged steed of Odin, sired by the stallion Svadilfari.

Loki is a central character in the saga of the Norse gods. Although a child of giants he dwells in Asgard and is considered as one of them. Always scheming, his actions lead to misfortune after misfortune, including the kidnapping of Idunn, goddess of immortality, and the death of Baldur, god of light. His children Hel, Fenrir, and Jormungand are key players in the destruction of Asgard at the time of Ragnarok. 

His nature is not entirely evil or he would not be permitted to live among the Aesir. There are many occasions when his talents are put to good use in the service of Asgard, and yet on balance, his presence brings far greater woe than good to their world. Ultimately, Loki and his kin are responsible for sending many of the gods to their deaths, including Thor, Odin, and Heimdall. 

Weapon/Domain of Power

Shape-shifting, magic, cunning, lies, deception.

Responsibility

Trickery, cunning, quickness of wit, magic, deception, fire, lechery, lies, mischief, destruction, stealth, theft.

Spirit Animal

The fire ‘wyrm’ or serpent.

22. Magnur/Magni

Magnur, also known as Magni, is the Aesir god of brotherhood and strength.

Twin brother to Modi and youngest child, with his twin, of Sif and Thor. 

Magnur, when only three years old, was called upon to say farewell to his dying father Thor, who was trapped beneath the enormous leg of the giant Hrugnir, who the thunder god had slain. All of the other gods together could not shift the massive limb, but in one feat of incredible strength, Magnur freed his father from the weight of the defeated giant’s broken leg.

Weapon/Domain of Power

Incredible strength, even by the standards of the gods. Family loyalty.

Responsibility

Brotherhood, family, physical health, and strength.

Spirit Animal

A pine marten.

23. Mim/Mimir 

Mim, or Mimir, ‘The Wise One’, is the Aesir god of wisdom, friendship, and good council.  

Brother of Bestla and uncle to Odin. Mimir was traded to the Vanir with Hoenir, the indecisive god of holiness, to secure peace between the godly tribes.

During their time with the Vanir Hoenir is appointed to the role of chieftain based upon his superior good looks. When his admirers discover the god’s inability to decide in the absence of Mimir, they find it just to sever the god of wisdom’s head from the neck and send it back to Odin in Asgard.  

Having received the head of his beloved Mimir, Odin keeps it near to him for many years, consulting it for wisdom. Finally, he sets it above Mimisbrunnr, the Well of Wisdom, or ‘Mim’s Well’, where Mimir continues to drink, infinitely expanding his legendary knowledge until the end of time. 

Weapon/Domain of Power

The Well of Knowledge, speech, learning, lakes, pools, springs. 

Responsibility

The pursuit of knowledge, students, wells, fountains, secret lore, advice and wise counseling, friendship.

Spirit Animal

The mockingbird.

24. Modin/Modi 

Modin, also known as Modi, is the Aesir god of brotherhood and strength. 

Twin brother to Magni and youngest child, with his twin, of Sif and Thor. 

Weapon/Domain of Power

Family loyalty, physical strength.

Responsibility

Brotherhood, family, physical health, and strength.

Spirit Animal

A pine marten.

25. Nehallennia

Nehallennia is the goddess of abundance, of bountiful harvests, of full fishing nets, and of plenty.

Always carrying her basket of apples and loaves of bread and worshipped where seafarers make their ocean crossings. Nehallennia is a benevolent goddess of plenty, of fertility, and of safe crossings. 

Weapon/Domain of Power

The fishing net. Tools of harvest.

Responsibility

Lakes and streams. Farmland, forests, fruitfulness, and the harvest.

Spirit Animal

A large dog that lies always at her feet.

26. Njord

Njord is the Vanir god of the sea, of wealth, of fair weather and the summertime, and of fertility.

Sometimes husband to both Hertha and Skadi. Freya and Freyr are his children. He is the richest of all the gods of Asgard. 

Njord was accepted among the Aesir as part of the exchange of hostages, together with his children Freya and Freyr, that brought peace among the gods after their great war.

The giantess Skadi married by Njord by mistake, seeing only his handsome feet, she mistook him for the beautiful Baldur, god of light. The marriage was a disaster as Njord could not bear her cold mountain home, while she could not stand his coastal home of Noatun, ‘The Place of Ships’.  

Failing to find a place they could live together the couple finally went their separate ways. It is clear that they did for some time share a bed, as the marriage, short-lived as it was, gave rise to the birth of the divine twins, Freyr and Freya. 

Weapon/Domain of Power

The sea. Ships and ports. Material wealth and gain.

Responsibility

Summertime, fair weather, safe journeys, seafarers and other travelers.

Spirit Animal

The Iceland gull.

27. Odin/Wotan First of the Norse gods

Odin, known to the Germanic tribes as Wotan, ‘Allfather’, grandson of the first being, King of the Aesir, father of all the gods and of humankind.

Odin leader of the Norse gods sitting on his throne with his two wolves beside him
Photo Credit: Ludwig Pietsch, via Wikimedia Commons

Odin is primary among all of the gods of Asgard and of both the Vanir and the Aesir tribes and occupies the highest place of worship of all the Norse deities.  

The Allfather is gifted with wisdom almost equal to that of Mimir, making him a great leader in both peace and war. 

Odin’s powers are diverse and include wisdom, magic, healing, and unmatched strategy in war.

Odin is married to Frigga and he is father to Baldur, Thor, and Vili. He is son to Bor the god and Bestla the giantess. His grandfather is Buri, the original Aesir god discovered in a salt-lick by the primeval cow Audhumla. 

Odin the wise

Odin seeks knowledge relentlessly and in his search is willing to sacrifice an eye to Mimir, god of wisdom. Deeming the inner sight to be of greater value than the outer, the loss of an eye does not trouble him. 

He can travel anywhere within the nine realms in an instant. 

His spirit animals are many, among them Munin (memory) and Hugin (thought), a pair of ravens who fly through the world daily, bringing news of events back to the Allfather. 

As a general and leader of armies, Odin is a frenzied warrior, showing no mercy to his enemies. Preparing for Ragnarok Odin has his Valkyries choosing the greatest among fallen viking warriors to become Einherjar. They will join Odin in Valhalla and later when the call to battle comes at the time of Ragnarok.

Odin’s magic goes beyond mere tricks and illusion and allows him a hand in shaping the Wyrd, past events that govern the future, as well as the Orlog, future events that influence the past.  

When mortals are possessed of the killing frenzy in battle, or of poetic inspiration, or when they see visions in trance, it is Odin’s spirit who moves them. 

Weapon/Domain of Power

His vast wisdom. Single-minded determination to achieve his goals. Brilliant strategy. His ability to pass effortlessly between all the worlds of the nine realms.

Responsibility

Royalty and dominion. Civilization. Seership and divination. Fate and destiny. Medicine and healing. Wisdom and knowledge. Poetry, music and prophecy. War-craft, frenzy and battle.

Spirit Animal

His two gray wolves, Geri and Freki. His pair of ravens, Munin and Hugin. His eight-legged gray steed Sleipnir who carried brave Hermod into the abode of Hel.

28. Odr/Od

Od or Od, ‘ecstasy’, ‘frenzy’, ‘inspiration’,  is the god of desire, sensuality, and love. 

Odr is husband to Freya and father to the incomparably beautiful sisters, Hnoss and Gersemi.

Freya was known to weep tears of red gold whenever Odr would leave Asgard to travel the world. She too would travel through the worlds, in search of her husband until his return.  

Responsibility

Desire, the granting of wishes.

Spirit Animal

A blue jaybird.

29. Ostara/Eostre

Ostara, ‘East’, ‘dawn’, ‘morning light’, also known as Eostre, is the goddess of spring, the new year, birth and rebirth. 

Ostara is said to have arrived at a festival so late one year that a small bird, awaiting her, almost froze to death. Using her powers she warmed up the bird and transformed it into a sprightly hare. 

The painted egg is her symbol.

Weapon/Domain of Power

The springtime. The Spring Equinox. Easter.

Responsibility

Birth and rebirth. Daybreak. The return of growth and life after the death of winter.

Spirit Animal

A pair of snowshoe hares.

30. Rickon/Ricki

Rickon, also known as Ricki or Rocki, is a lesser-known god of travel and trade, farming, harvest, and fertility. 

Responsibility

Safe travel. Journeys. Profitable trade. Farming and fertility.

Spirit Animal

The orca killer whale.

31. Ran

Ran, is the goddess of lakes, springs and rivers, the Norse ‘Mother Nature’ of freshwater. 

Husband to Aegir the giant, sister to Fjorgyn and Hertha. 

Ran looks after those lost at sea or drowned in rivers and lakes. Sailors were said to carry gold in their pockets as a gift to Ran should they not return to shore.

Weapon/Domain of Power

Water. The net with she ensnares sailors into her realm while at sea.

Responsibility

Lakes, rivers, springs, the sea. Ships and sailors. Those lost at sea or drowned in water.

Spirit Animal

The great blue heron, the arctic grayling, the common loon.

32. Saga

Saga, is the goddess of history, poetry, records, and of stories well told. 

History tells us Saga was a great friend to both Odin and Frigga. She lives in Sokkvabekkr where each day she shares a drink with the Allfather, taken from a pair of golden cups.  

Weapon/Domain of Power

Books, knowledge, words of wit and wisdom.

Responsibility

Recordkeeping. Poetic inspiration.

Spirit Animal

A chipmunk.

33. Semi/Gersemi

Semi, also known as Gersemi, with her sister Hnoss, is the Aesir goddess of sisterhood, familial love, and treasure. 

Twin sister to Hnoss. Daughter to Od and Freya. 

Semi, like her sister Hnoss, is of indescribable beauty and her name, like that of her sister, is synonymous with the idea of stunning visual appeal. 

Responsibility

Love, desire, lust, sisterhood, friendship, beauty.

Spirit Animal

The otter.

34. Sif

Sif, ‘related by marriage’, is the Aesir goddess of earth, beauty, strength, family and marriage, of autumn and the harvest, of peace-keeping and civil discourse. 

Her husband is Thor, her daughter, Trude of the Valkyries. 

Sif is a member of the Asyjnur host of high goddesses of Asgard and is known for her entrancingly beautiful, long golden hair. Her tresses are considered to be as valuable to gods in their own way as Thor’s mighty war hammer Mjolnir.  

Jealous of her golden locks, Loki conspires to induce sleep in Thor and Sif. While the godly couple slumber, he steals into their bed chamber and shears away the magical strands of hair.

The gods are so enraged at his audacity that he is compelled to redress the injury with a series of compensatory gifts that subsequently become the six treasures of the gods, including Sif’s weaved hair, a magical replacement for her hair that makes her more beautiful than ever, Thor’s hammer Mjolnir, and several other magical items.   

Weapon/Domain of Power

Strength. Family. Beauty. Her long waves of golden hair, woven by the race of dwarfs from strands of pure gold.

Responsibility

The bonds of family. Guardianship of the earth, Midgard. Peace-keeping and civil discourse.

Spirit Animal

A pair of swans.

35. Sigyn

Sigyn is the merciful Aesir goddess of compassion, kindness, and loyalty.

Married to Loki, the trickster god, Sigyn is indeed required to have divine patience and compassion with her trouble-making husband.

Upon the death of Baldur due to Loki’s treachery, the trickster god is bound in his son’s entrails below the gaping maw of a serpent that drops stinging venom eternally upon his face. It is Sigyn alone who tends to Loki in this pitiful condition, unable to shield him completely from his fate, but tragically determined to stay by his side, drawing away the worst of the venom from her husband with a bowl as best she can, filling it time and time again. As the bowl fills she must leave the cave in which Loki is bound to empty it, suffering the anger of Loki each time as the poison falls upon his face. 

Weapon/Domain of Power

Eternal loyalty. Compassion.

Responsibility

Virtue, loyalty, protection.

Spirit Animal

The red fox.

36. Sjofn/Gefjon

Sjofn, ‘love-longing’, also known as Gefjon, is the goddess of romance and love, of missives, communication, and law. 

Sjofn is one of the Asynjur, the host of high goddesses of Asgard. She is a good friend to Odin and Frigga. She inspires the minds of gods and mortals to romantic love.  

Weapon/Domain of Power

The power to inspire infatuation, lust, and love.

Responsibility

Matchmaking, courtship, and love.

Spirit Animal

A pair of wood ducks.

37. Syn/Snotra

Syn, also known as Snotra, ‘refusal’, is the Aesir goddess of lawful war, guardianship, thresholds, protection, and law

Syn is a handmaiden to mighty Frigga and a friend to Odin.  Her role among the gods is to stand guard at the doorway of the great halls or at court, blocking the way to unworthy souls. Where she stands guard, no falsehoods will be permitted. 

Syn guards the entrance to Fenislar, Frigga’s royal abode, barring entrance to the uninvited. She is a defender of the slandered, the weak, the falsely accused. 

Weapon/Domain of Power

Thresholds and doorways. The truth. The law.

Responsibility

Guardianship of Frigga’s palace. Upholding of the truth.

Spirit Animal

A red-tailed hawk.

38. Thea/Thrud

Thea, also known as Thrud, is the Aesir goddess of storms, also of beauty, and of strength. 

Thea is a daughter of Thor and Sif. Loved and feared in Asgard for her beauty, her strength, and for her stormy, passionate nature.

Weapon/Domain of Power

Her great strength.

Responsibility

Storms, hurricanes. Protection from the elements.

Spirit Animal

The black bear.

39. Thor/Perun/Donar

The mighty Thor, ‘The Thunderer’, ‘The Thunder God, also known as Perun and as Donar, is the Aesir god of storms, thunder, lightning, unmatched strength, and war.

The Norse God Thor holding the hammer in his right arm
Photo Credit: mythology_of_vikings

Thor is the eldest son of great Odin, his mother is Fjorgyn. His wife is the mighty and beautiful Sif. His daughter with Sif is Thea. With his half-giant father Odin and his giantess mother Fjorgyn, Thor is fully three-quarters giant although equally an Aesir god. He is dedicated to the protection of the Nine Realms from chaos and disorder.

Thor strongest of all gods

Thor is the strongest of all the gods of Asgard. The fearless god visited Jotunheim to test his strength among the giants. When challenged to drain a drinking vessel he lowered the cup with hardly a sip gone. When challenged to lift a giant cat he could scarcely raise a paw. Engaged in wrestling with an old crone he could barely move her and was unable to bring her down. 

Despondent with his performance, the giant king explained to him that at the end of the cup was the ocean and that the giants had quaked in fear to see how low the waves had sunk at his draught. The cat was the snake wrapped around the world and to see so much of it raised had equally struck fear and admiration into their hearts. The crone was no ordinary giantess but old age itself whom none can defeat, and yet Thor had pushed her back. 

Thor is central to a great many of the tales of the nine realms and is a favoured god among those who worship in the manner of the old ways.

Weapon/Domain of Power

Mjolnir, the great war hammer gifted to him by Loki as recompense for the theft of Sif’s beautiful hair. The lightning generated by Mjolnir. His war chariot drawn by two powerful goats.

Responsibility

War. Power. The thunder and the lightning. The protection of Midgard and all who reside there.

Spirit Animal

Two powerful, fleet-footed goats.

40. Tyr/Tiw

Tyr, also known as Tiw, is the Aesir god of lawful conflict, righteous battle, order, justice, and the rule of law. 

Tyr is married to Sunna, the sun goddess. 

During the binding of the great wolf Fenrir, brave Tyr offered his hand to the wolf’s mouth as a gesture of good faith while the other gods fettered the enormous beast. In his struggles against his bonds the wolf closed his jaws and severed away Tyr’s hand. Without his great sacrifice, the terrible beast may never have been subdued. 

Tyr was once the leader of the Norse gods until supplanted by wise Odin with his great strategy and powerful magic.

Weapon/Domain of Power

His unmatched courage and self-sacrifice.

Responsibility

Victory in war. Justice in legal matters. Order during times of peace.

Spirit Animal

The goshawk.

41. Ull/Ullr

Ull or Ullr, ‘glory’, is the god of combat, of friendly competition, of games and athletic ability, of good sport, of oaths, promises, and contracts. 

Ull is the son of Sif and the stepson of Thor. His dwelling place is the hall of Ýdalir. 

Always up for sport Ull once sailed across a lake on his shield, giving the name ‘Ull’s ship’ to Viking battle shields thereafter. 

Ull once ruled Asgard for ten years in the absence of Odin but was finally chased from the throne by the unhappy citizens of Asgard. He has also at times, ruled the Vanir when the other tribe of gods has been in need of a leader.

Weapon/Domain of Power

His oath ring which shrinks to sever the finger it is worn upon should a promise not be upheld.

Responsibility

Sport. Games. Boisterous and friendly competition. Victory in games. Hunting and archery. The keeping of oaths.

Spirit Animal

The polar bear.

42. Vali

Vali is the god of vengeance, war, and regret. 

He is the son of Odin and Rind, a giantess. 

Vali came into the world as a vehicle to avenge the death of Balder, slain unintentionally by Hod through the cunning deception of Loki. 

He shall not rest until Loki is burned at the stake. 

Weapon/Domain of Power

Vengeance.

Responsibility

Avenging wrongdoing.

Spirit Animal

The northern shrike.

43. Ve

Ve is an Aesir creator god.

The brother of Odin and Vili, son of the primordial god Bor and the giantess Bestla. Together with his brothers Odin and Vili, Ve fashioned the Nine Realms from the prodigious corpse of the primeval first being, Ymir.

With his brothers, Ve created the first mortals of our world, the human pair Ask and Embla.

Weapon/Domain of Power

Creation. World-building.

Responsibility

The construction of the Nine Realms and the birth of humankind.

44. Vidar

Vidar, ‘wide ruler’, is the god of silence, retribution, anger, war, and revenge.

Vidar of the Aesir Norse Gods Fighting Fenrir
Photo Credit: nordic.brotherhood

Vidar is the son of Odin and the giantess Grid. It is said that he will avenge the death of his father by slaying the evil wolf Fenrir at the battle of Ragnarök.

Weapon/Domain of Power

Vengeance. Just retribution.

Responsibility

The slaying of the wolf Fenrir at Ragnarök. Avenging the death of Odin.

Spirit Animal

A wolverine.

45. Vili/Lothur

Vili, also known as Lothur, is the Aesir god of sworn agreements, loyalty to friends and kin, oaths and promises. 

Vili is younger brother to Odin and one of the ancient gods of Asgard. Together with their brother Ve, they fashioned the nine worlds and created the first mortal humans to provide a people to Midgard.   

Weapon/Domain of Power

World-making. Primordial creation. 

Responsibility

The keeping of oaths. Loyalty among friends, family, and comrades.

Spirit Animal

The caribou.