Hulda, Northern European Goddess

Hulda has several names such as Holda or Frau Holle, Mother Holle is a Northern European goddess. She rides beside Odin as his co-leader of the Wild Hunt riding through the Milky Way.

She is a winter goddess or Snow queen. Hulda, leads dead souls, all flying on brooms alongside her trusty hounds during the Wild hunt. She is served by the Hulden German hill faeries that may accompany her in the Wild Hunt of Yule. Hulda’s feast day is held during the Winter Solstice, she reveres her totems rabbits and wolves. She is a natural environmentalist that protects the forests and creatures where she dwells.

 

626px-Das_festliche_Jahr_img021_Frau_Holle_(Perchta)The German term “Hulda-riding,” means witches’ flight or night train. Hulda is loved by her followers these witches and the dead souls fly at night during the twelve nights of Christmas.

Folklore dictates, this wintry, goddess totes prosperity and good luck to compassionate folks and bestows calamity upon cruel, mean spirited people.
This Snow Queen is a busy nature goddess, she controls fog and snow. When Hulda shakes out her feather mattress, snow falls out over the earth.

 

Hulda may transform from a lovely blonde maiden to a extremely old crone and vice versa depending on her situation.

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An illustration below of Hulda Norse goddess of winter, wild hunt and weather by Nifty Buckles.

 

 

 

 

 

Source & Reference:

  • Claude Lecouteux, Encyclopedia of Norse and Germanic Folklore, Mythology and Magic.  Published by Inner Traditions International ©2016  ISBN 978620554807
  • Featured image: Frau Holle, illustration by Hermann Vogel in Public domain
  • Frau Holle with the Wild Hunt in Wikimedia commons Public Domain
  • see wikimedia
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Odin in Younger Edda

It’s Woden/Odin Wednesday! Snorri Sturluson was a Historian and a law speaker wrote the Prose Edda, also called in Icelandic, Snorra Edda 1220 C.E.

Image below in Public Domain. Odin as Warrior King sporting his two faithful ravens Huginn means Thought & Muninn means Memory on his shoulders, they are Odin’s eyes to scour the 9 worlds of Yggdrasil the giant Ash tree and report their findings to him. Odin has two loyal wolves named Geri and Freki that are fed at Odin’s table.


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Here is an excerpt from The Younger Eddas by Snorri Sturluson pg 276. 
On Odin.

21. “I must now ask thee,” said Gangler, “who are the gods that men are bound to believe in?”
“There are twelve gods,” replied Har, “to whom divine honours ought to be rendered.”
“Nor are the goddesses,” added Jafnhar, “less divine and mighty.”
“The first and eldest of the Æsir,” continued Thridi, “is Odin. He governs all things, and, although the other deities are powerful, they all serve and obey him as children do their father. Frigga is his wife. She foresees the destinies of men, but never reveals what is to come. For thus it is said that Odin himself told Loki, ‘Senseless Loki, why wilt thou pry into futurity, Frigga alone knoweth the destinies of all, though she telleth them never?’
“Odin is named Alfadir (All-father), because he is the father of all the gods, and also Valfadir (Choosing Father), because he chooses for his sons all of those who fall in combat. For their abode he has prepared Valhalla and Vingolf, where they are called Einherjar (Heroes or Champions). Odin is also called Hangagud, Haptagud, and Farmagud, and, besides these, was named in many ways when he went to King Geirraudr,” forty-nine names in all.
“A great many names, indeed!” exclaimed Gangler; “surely that man must be very wise who knows them all distinctly, and can tell on what occasions they were given.”[Pg 277]

“It requires, no doubt,” replied Har, “a good memory to recollect readily all these names, but I will tell thee in a few words what principally contributed to confer them upon him. It was the great variety of languages; for the various nations were obliged to translate his name into their respective tongues, in order that they might supplicate and worship him. Some of his names, however, have been owing to adventures that happened to him on his journeys, and which are related in old stories. Nor canst thou ever pass for a wise man if thou are not able to give an account of these wonderful adventures.”

 

Source & Reference:

  • Snorri Sturluson, The Younger Eddas or The Prose Edda pg 276. 14th Century.
  • The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson
  • Featured illustration: Odin, in his disguise as a wanderer, by Georg von Rosen (1886).

 

 

Odin Discovers The Runestones.

Did you know Odin of Norse Mythology discovered the runestones?
To some gods wisdom is more precious than gold!
Woten or Odin has several names. He is known as the Allfather, Grimnir, the god of gallows, god of prisoners and cargoes.

In Hlidskjalf, Odin is perched on his majestic throne, viewing all things. He has two ravens Huginn (thought) and Muninn (memory) that fly throughout the worlds relaying important information to him.

Woden/Odin’s thirst for so much wisdom and magick that he hung himself upside down on Yggdrasil, the Norse world tree,for nine nights. The number 9 means an ending leading to a new beginning.
This is not Odin’s first time he sacrificed himself. Odin sacrificed his right eye in the spring of Mimir in exchange for High Wisdom. Odin pierced his own side with a spear. He suffered great pain like a clam creating a beautiful pearl, the runes and their magic unveiled ancient magickal, wisdom to him. After much pain and suffering and on the discovery of the runes, his rope breaks and Odin falls to the ground free of his trial by fire.
Odin is now a wise and powerful wizard.

~ Nifty Buckles

 

I know I hung on that windswept tree,

Swung there for nine long nights,

Wounded by my own blade,

Bloodied for Odin,

Myself an offering to myself:

Bound to the tree

That no man knows

Whither the roots of it run.
None gave me bread,

None gave me drink.

Down to the deepest depths I peered

Until I spied the Runes.

With a roaring cry I seized them up,

Then dizzy and fainting,

I fell.
Well-being I won

And wisdom too.

I grew and took joy in my growth:

From a word to a word

I was led to a word,

From a deed to another deed.
~ The Poetic Edda

Circa 1200 CE.

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Source & Reference:

Bellows, Henry Adams (1923). The Poetic Edda. American-Scandinavian Foundation

Jónsmessa 

Icelandic #Folklore

Jónsmessa, also known as Midsummer Night, is an Icelandic holiday celebrated on June 24.
It is the longest day of the year and is entrenched with magic and mystery.
In Icelandic folklore, cows may begin to speak throughout the night caused by supernatural powers.

Seals magickly shape-shift into people.

Icelandic folklore dictates if one sits at a crossroads where all four roads lead to different churches, all night, elves will attempt to seduce you with gifts and food.
Some people stay healthy it is called “earthing” by rolling naked in the grass.

Fairy Rings in Folklore

Have you ever seen a Fairy lounging on a Fly agaric toadstool? The Amanita muscaria is a type of toadstool that the fae love to sit upon.

Fairy rings are also called elf, pixie or witches rings that can be quite large. Most fairy rings are outlined with mushrooms Folklore tells of fairy feet that create these rings in order to gather outdoors and frolic amongst the circle.This type of fairy is called an Elemental that cares for the eco-system it dwells in.

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If a person enters a pixie ring the fae will punish them making them dance till they die! According to German lore folks believed a witches ring was evidence a coven danced during Walpurgis night. Some tales speak of fairy portals, a person that wanders into the middle of the ring will vanish to the fairy world never to be found again. Spirits tend to bury their treasure in them. In the fairy world what seems like an hour is years in earth time. The dew that forms on the fairy ring is said to have healing powers.

If you see a fairy ring

in a field of grass,

Very lightly step around,

Tiptoe as you pass;

Last night fairies frolicked there,

And they’re sleeping somewhere near.

If you see a tiny fay

Lying fast asleep,

Shut your eyes and run away,

Do not stay or peep;

And be sure you never tell,

Or you’ll break a fairy spell.

                                                                                              ~ William Shakespeare

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Source & Reference:

  • Keightley, Thomas (1905).The Fairy Mythology: Illustrative of the Romance and Superstition of Various Countries. London, United Kingdom: George Bell & Sons.
  • Ramsbottom, John (1953). Mushrooms & Toadstools. Collins. ISBN 1-870630-09-2
  • Arthur Rackham’s illustrations to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
  •  illustration: An elf and a fairy kissing, from In Fairy Land (1870) by Richard Doyle illustrator 1824-1883. Author of picture William Allingham 1884-1889 Public Domain Wikimedia Commons.
  • William Shakespeare,  If You See a Fairy Ring (1564-1616) Public Domain.
  • Fairy Ring Photo in Public Domain

 

The Huldufólk of Iceland

Iceland, the land of fire and ice has it’s own enchanting folklore.

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The Huldufólk or hidden folk, reside in the hills, under rocks and trees.
They are tiny elves that are magical and dance an elvish jig encircling toad stools and with the fairy folk or (Faroese) creating fairy rings.

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Icelandic people say there are two types of Faroese,
dark and light ones. The dark type of Huldufólk are known to wear grey clothes, sport a stocky build and black hair.
The other type of Faroese has light hair with green or blue eyes and are slim and attractive.

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In Norse mythology, Faroese are paired, light and dark elves. Norse god Odin the allfather highly favored Light elves. Folklore says that elves change their looks with the changing of the seasons in nature similar to how hares change their fur color with the seasons. Elves are mainly immortal,unless their most hallowed Oak tree is chopped down. Ljosalfar or light elves, inhabit the enchanting world of Alfheim.
Dark elves or Dokkalfar are known as ugly they dwell in the mystical land of Niflheim.

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According to folklore both types, abhor electricity, churches, crosses and construction if it interferes with their environment.

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Huldufólk are known to curse and foil construction vehicles and cause all kinds of delays to heavy duty machinery when it effects their dwelling places amongst the hills and rocks.

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Iceland’s pagan folklore has been unfortunately, Christianized by 1000 CE. This enforced, Christian worldview makes up most Icelandic, modern folklore.
Here is one of the Christianized version of the huldufólk.
The folk tale, goes like this, Adam and Eve hid their gritty, unwashed children from the Biblical god’s sight. They also fibbed about their unwashed children’s existence. The Christian god becomes angry and decrees that their hidden children must stay concealed forever. All because Eve and Adam tried to hide them from him.
The huldufólk in another mystical, Talmudic version originates from the sorceress, Lilith who existed before Eve. This origin definitely explains the Dokkalfar. Lillith marries the fallen Arch- angel Lucifer and their offspring are a Nephilim-demonic hybrid burdoned to live between heaven and hell forever.

Icelandic city of Hafnarfjörður, is known as the Elfish capitol city.

Reykjavika has a population of approximately 320,000 Icelanders and it is proud  to have an Elf school where tourists and/or the curious can take a crash course on elves if they so choose.

Former president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson mentioned the existence of huldufólk tales by saying: “Icelanders are few in number, so in the old times we doubled our population with tales of elves and fairies.”

So now you know of the little people who hide in hills and under the rocks.
Hear the Light elves, singing amongst rustling leaves?
While, daring dark elves steal one good sock from the dryer with ease.

sources: *Wikipedia
*Ancient Origins