Norse and Germanic Goddesses

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Norse Goddesses

mythology of Northern Europe includes both Germanic and Slav cultures. Most surviving Norse myths are from Icelandic and Scandinavian origins owing to suppression by the Christian church in the other areas. Similar to the Celts, the Slavs did not write down their mythology and the influence of both Christian and Islamic rule brought an end to Slav mythology.

Germanic mythology is rich in heroic gods and goddesses. Odin, the one-eyed was the chief deity and father of the slain warriors and he shared those who fell on the battlefield with Freyja, the Goddess of Fertility. Later, towards the close of the Viking era, his son Thor became the chief god. The Norse Gods and Goddesses were in constant battle with the Frost Giants, with the final battle to be held at Ragnarok. On Odin's side was the "glorious dead" from Valhalla, and against them were the Fire God Loki with the Frost Giants, the "unworthy dead" from Hel (the Germanic netherworld), the fearsome wolf Fenrir, and the sea monster Jormungand.

Most of the Gods were killed in the battle including Odin and Thor, but two humans who had taken shelter in Yggdrasil, the sacred tree, emerged after the carnage and repopulated the earth.

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The Valkyries are probably Odin's most famous warriors. They were Odin's virgin shield maidens who, in later Romanticized myths, "with golden hair and snowy arms" served the chosen heroes everlasting mead and meat in the great hall of Valhalla. Earlier tales have them as sinister spirits of slaughter, soaring over battlefields like birds of prey meting out fate in the name of Odin.

Norse mythology is stark and bleak, yet filled with passion. There are sorcery and spells, treasures and talismans, giants and monsters, wise dwarfs, and tragic lovers. Sorcery was practiced by Odin, dwarfs and privileged female mortals.
Again, as in most pre-Christian Pagan mythologies, male and female gods are of equal standing, and females are considered more than just mothers and lovers.