The Germanic Gods and Goddesses are real and true. They are much like us; they have different manifestations in many dimensions. They transcend our physical world and are wise beyond our ability to comprehend. They may be a force or power, and have certain qualities of personality. They may take on humanlike forms that are an expression of aspects of their nature. And like us, the totality of their being is very difficult to describe, or to understand. Our myth cycle, and lore is the starting point for our knowing of the Gods, the rest after that is up to us and to them. They are related to us through the ages, through blood and through the folk-soul. As our elder Kin, the Gods know their people, just as we are learning to know our own Gods. We view them more as wise and strong Elder relatives – benevolent protectors and guides, rather than a group of beings who are out of reach in some high, mystical place. The Gods and Goddesses are as close as our need for their wisdom, guidance and strength.
We don’t actually “worship” our Deities as in the same sense as those from the Judao Based religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Rather, we honour with great respect, love and awe. In this we also honour and respect and pay homage to our Ancestors going all the way back to the Gods and Goddesses of our Folk themselves.
We stand before the Gods and Goddesses as our extended family; we never kneel nor prostrate ourselves like slaves or servants but hold ourselves up proud and strong before our divine ancestors.
The Gods are the Divine force of a transcendent nature and higher consciousness of our Folk, and our Folk is the material expression or reflection of that Transcendence and Divinity. The Gods give us gift for gift, honour for honour, truth for truth, respect if we are worthy, council if we ask for it, and insight if we are ready. None worthy in their hall have a bare plate nor empty horn, or are turned away from the gate as night falls.
Æsir, Aesir:Singular – Ás, Plural – Ases. Old High Germanic – Os Modern English – Ase,
The Aesir are one of the two principal pantheons of Gods and Goddesses in the native Germanic religion. They include many of the major deities, such as Odin, Frigga, Thor, Balder and Tyr. The Goddesses of the Aesir are known as the Asynjur, and although the term Aesir is used as the general name for all of the gods and goddesses, a second clan of Gods, known as the Vanir are also greatly honoured; Freyr and Freyja are the foremost of the Vanir and they reside amongst the Aesir in Asgard. The Aesir are generally the deities of consciousness and are more associated with fire, air, war, power and the passionate mechanical aspects of being; whereas the Vanir are associated with earth, water, the natural and organic and are mainly connected with fertility, joy and peace, although these are by no means firmly set boundaries.
The Aesir stayed forever young by eating the golden apples kept by Idunna ,the Goddess governing the regenerative powers of eternal youth and spring fertility. Unlike the gods of some other religions, the Aesir and Vanir are not immortal; many will die at Ragnarok with some very few exceptions who will survive and rebuild the glory of the Asgard.
Our religious teachings tell us that the Æsir and the Vanir once held a war, which, since their battle-might was equal, their great battles ended in a draw. The truce was settled by the creation of the being Kvasir and the trading of hostages: Odin’s brother Hoenir and the giant Mimir went to the Vanir, and Njord and Frey were sent among the Æsir (Freyja seems to have come along of her own choice), where, according to Ynglinga saga, they held the role of “priests”.
It is interesting to speculate if the interactions described as occurring between Aesir and Vanir reflect the types of interaction common to various Germanic clans at the time. According to another theory, the cult of the Vanir (who are mainly connected with fertility and relatively peaceful) may be of an older date, and that of the more warlike Aesir of later origin, so the mythical war may perhaps mirror a historic religious conflict.
Proto-Germanic: Wanizaz. Anglo-Saxon: Wans or Wanes
The Vanir are one of the two mighty pantheons of Gods and Goddesses in the native Germanic religion: together with Aesir they are collectively known as the Asa. They include Njord, Freyr and Freyja, who live among the Aesir since the end of the conflict between the two clans of gods (traded for Mímir and Honir)
The Vanir live in Vanaheim, also called Vanaland, Vanakvísl,and Tanakvísl. They are Gods and Goddesses of fertility and prosperity, and they are seen as belonging to the earth, while the Aesir ruled the sky. The Vanir have a deep knowledge of magical arts, so that they also know the future. It was Freyja who taught the Shamanic magical arts known as Seidr to the Aesir.
After a war which ended in a truce between equally matched forces, the two tribes were reconciled, and the Vanic Njord and Frey came to live with the Æsir. Since Frey and Njord are often called on for peace and good harvest, the Vanir are often seen as peaceful fertility deities and contrasted to the warlike Æsir in this respect, but since Frey is one of the most stalwart warriors and called “leader of the hosts of the gods,” and his twin Freyja is well known as a patron goddess of warriors and stirrer of strife, this can hardly be the wholeness of their being. The Vanir are especially known for their wisdom and ability to see into the future through the shamanic magical technique called seidhr.
The rock carvings of the Bronze Age seem to show a great deal of Vanic symbolism, though Aesic images (the god with the spear, the god with the double-headed axe or Hammer) are also often present.
Freyja, a Vanir hostage
Freyr, a Vanir hostage
Njord, a Vanir hostage
| The Vanir:
Hoenir, an Æsir hostage
Mimir, an Æsir hostage
|Gods & Goddesses:
||Other Beings, Spirits & Wights: