The 11th century writer and historian, Adam of Bremen described Gamla Uppsala (meaning ‘Old Uppsala’) in Sweden as a pagan site where a temple dedicated to Thor, Odin and Freyr stood. Adam wrote descriptively, if not always accurately, of the rituals performed there and of the temple itself.
Gamla Uppsala’s Pagan Past
The temple, adorned with a golden chain, was said to be a place where “heathens” would perform animal and human sacrifices , specifically in the sacred grove next to the temple. The trees were “considered to be divine”, and sacrifices —animal and man alike— were said to have been hanged from trees and left to rot, and elaborate ritual songs were sung.
With the coming of Christianity, any temple that might have existed was destroyed, and a church was built over it. Gamla Uppsala eventually became an archbishopric in the 12th century. Still, remnants of its pagan past continued to exist in the landscape of Gamla Uppsala. The ‘Royal Mounds’ endure to this day as a national symbol of Sweden.
To read the rest of this article just copy and paste this link into your browser: https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-ancient-places-europe/royal-mounds-gamla-uppsala-ancient-pagan-site-sweden-002866
Today is Friday and I wanted to share the Norse myth about how do the Norse Gods look young although they are immortal and supposed to look like old ones.
Friday is named after Freya, the Goddess of Vanir Gods, who became Odins wife. Freya is the Goddess of Love and Magick, close connected with Elven realms and Plants, herbs, she is also a Master of transformation , she can put on her feather mantle and fly like a bird. But the Goddess who keeps everyone look Yong is called Idun who carries with her a wooden chest full of Golden apples. When she notices that a God looks old, a single apple from Iduns box is enough to make this God look young again. But Idun had an incident once and was taken from Asgard…
Anyone lucky enough to go to Asgard, where the Norse gods live, would see at once that all of them, with the exception of Odin, are young, beautiful and handsome. Odin is the exception as he does have such a long beard, and he would look much younger if he shaved it off. But no-one shaves in Asgard, and now I am thinking about it, this may be because the other male gods look too young to grow a beard… How do they manage this? You might well ask, given that they’ve been up in Asgard for quite a while. The answer lies in Idun, and her Golden Apples.
I know there are definitely others out there with more knowledge of the Norse Pantheon family tree then myself. So if corrections need to be made to these that I found on Bing.com images, please let me know so I can make them. Thank you.
Happy Freyja’s Day again, everybody! Time for this week’s Norse 101 post! Many of my previous posts have been somewhat God-heavy, so this week, I decided to give some of the Goddesses a little air time. Today, I’ll introduce you to three: Frigga, Sif, and Sigyn.
Frigga (sometimes spelled Frigg) is the wife of Odin. She is the All-Mother, and an Aesir Goddess of maternal and marital love, divination, managing the household, and spinning or weaving. Her name translates to “Beloved” and She is known to be tender and nurturing. She is a powerful seer, able to know the future. She once had a vision about her son Baldr’s death, and took every precaution to ensure that no harm would come to Him. She asked every being, every plant, every rock, every weapon to do Him no harm. The only plant She didn’t ask was the mistletoe. Ultimately it was a dart made of mistletoe that killed Him, but I’ll talk about that more when I introduce Baldr. Some scholars conclude that Frigga and Freyja are different aspects or versions of the same Goddess. I can see how that might make some sense, since Freyja is a Goddess of love and beauty, and Frigg is a Goddess of marriage, motherhood, and the home. I see Them as two separate and distinct Goddesses, though.
Sif is an Aesir Goddess that’s barely mentioned in mythology. She’s a wife of Thor and a Goddess of grain, the harvest, and the fertility of the Earth. Last week I wrote about how Thor has a role in crop abundance. Well, His marriage to Sif reflects that as well. The sky married the Earth and together They bring fertility to the land. Sif is known to have the most beautiful golden hair, and one story in the mythology tells us about how She lost it, but gained something even better. Her hair was famously gorgeous, but one day, Loki cut it all off while She was sleeping. Thor was enraged and demanded that Loki fix it. So, Loki set out to find something to “fix it.” His solution was to have Dwarves create new hair for Her out of spun gold. The new hair was just as beautiful as Her original hair, and as a consolation, Loki also presented Thor with His hammer, Mjolnir.
Sigyn is a wife of Loki. Not much is written about Her, although She is considered to be one of the Aesir. Together, She and Loki have two sons, but Their story takes a tragic turn. As punishment for His role in Baldr’s death, Loki is bound in a cave with a snake hanging over His head. (The chain used to restrain Him is made from the entrails of one of His and Sigyn’s sons. The other son was transformed into a wolf, who then killed his brother to create that entrail-chain.) The snake drips poison onto Loki’s face, which is incredibly painful. Sigyn stayed by His side, holding a bowl above His head to catch the dripping venom. She isn’t officially assigned as a Goddess of compassion and loyalty, but She certainly is seen as one. She stayed by Her husband’s side and kept Him as comfortable as She could, despite Her own grief. If that doesn’t show love and loyalty for family, I don’t what would.
That’s it for today, lovelies. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to ask. And if you’d like for me to write about a God or Goddess in particular, and I haven’t yet, let me know. Yes, I take requests! See you next week!
Friday is named after the Norse goddesses of love, Freya and Frigga. There seems to be some debate as to whom the day is actually named after, so I thought I would share a little information so you can decide for yourself.
In Latin, this day is known as Dies Veneris, “Venus’s day.” In Greek, it’s Hermera Aphrodites, which translates to the “day of Aphrodite.” In Old English, this day is called Frige- daeg, or “Freya’s day.” This day has the Germanic title of Frije-dagaz, which, once again, could be Freya’s day or Frigga’s day.
Both Freya and Frigga were Norse goddesses of love and were the Teutonic equivalent of the Greco-Roman Venus/Aphrodite. However, Freya was one of the Vanir—the gods of fertility who supervised the land and sea—and she was the leader of the Valkyries. Frigga, Odin’s wife, was the goddess of the heavens and of married love. She was one of the Aesir—the gods associated with battle, magick and the sky. Freya and Frigga could be looked upon as different aspects of the same goddess. They both were called on to assist in childbirth and then in naming of the new baby. Frigga represented the faithful wife and loving mother, while Freya, who really captured the hearts and imagination of the Norse people, was the passionate mistress and lover.
Fridays classically are days for love, fertility, romance, and beauty magick, as well as working for happiness, harmony in the home, and friendship. So let’s take a look at some of the mythology involved with this loving, voluptuous, passionate, and luxurious day of the week, and see where it leads us.
Book of Witchery – Spells, Charms & Correspondences For Every Day of the Week