Many of the tribes venerated her higher than
the Aesir, calling her "the Frowe" or "The Lady." Frey, her twin brother and
consort, was the horned God of fertility. His titles included "King of the Alfs
(elves)." Both the Swedish and the English are said to be descendents of his.
The Celts and Picts, loosely related to the Germanic barbarians, held their
own pantheon of deities; not as hierarchially structured as the Aesir and Vanir.
Their "Lord and Lady" were known as Cernnunos (Herne) and Cerridwen, God and
Goddess of nature, the land, and fertility.
Eventually their legends produced earthly counterparts such as Arthur and Guinevere.
Their warrior goddess was a triple goddess known as the Morrigan.
The great mother of all was Danu, from which came the Tuatha de Danaan
(Children of the Goddess Danu).
Their sun God was known as Lugh (Light), while his son was the Celtic hero Cu
Chullain (Hound of Cullan). There are similarities between their stories and the
Norse Volsung Saga.
Interestingly enough, many of the Celtic and Pictish deities were considered
to be human heros at one time.
The Dagda (the High King), Cu Chuliann, Fionn MacCumhaill, the bard Taliesin;
among others venerated by the Celts and Picts, all had earthly counterparts.
The Celts and Picts also venerated the Faery Folk, known as
the Sidhe (pronounced SHEE).
As far as the nomadic Goths went, they originally worshipped the same
pantheon as did the Germanic/Norse barbarians, but because of their wanderings
and their propensity for adopting the standards, beliefs, and practices of
whatever culture within which they located, were the first barbarians to adopt
Christianity as a faith - actually long before the Romans did.
Individual tribes also tended to venerate individual gods within these
pantheons. The Alamanni, for example, venerated Ziw (Tyr) above all other Gods;
the Anglo-Saxons of England hailed Thor as the chief God instead of Wodan, and
the ancient Swedish venerated Freyr as their champion.
Others venerated Nerthus as goddess of Earth and Njord, her consort, as God
of the Sea. Still others worshipped Njord and Skadhi as husband and wife; the
kindly sea-god of summer and the harsh, cold Winter goddess of hunting and snow.
In Hans Christian Andersen's classic "The Snow Queen," much of the Skadhi legend
is embodied in his personification of the Snow Queen, representative of Winter
The Universe consisted of 9 separate and distinct worlds, bound together by
Yggdrasil, the World Tree.
Except for Asgard and Hel, which were considered to be separate from the
Earth, all of the other worlds had their realms within the Physical Plane of
awareness. These worlds are:
Asgard: - Home of the Aesir; the Sky Gods, seat of the Soul
Vanaheim: Home of the Vanir; the Nature Gods
Alfheim: Home of the Elves; Elemental Plane of Air, realm of the Mind
Mulspelheim: Elemental Plane of Fire; realm of Fortune and Magic
Midgard: Home of Mankind; the Earth, where all things are manifested
Nifelheim: Elemental Plane of Ice; home of the Etheric being
Svartalfheim: Home of the Dwarves, the Elemental Plane of Earth; that of the
Jotunheim: Home of the Giants, realm of the Subconscious
Hel: Realm of the Dead, home of the ephemeral.
The ability to consciously travel among these worlds was much the practice of
Seith (Sedhr) magic, known to us now as Shamanism. Sedhr was considered to
be a feminine form of magic, and was practiced mainly by women and by a few men
who had mastered the craft as well.
To the Barbarians, the Being was comprised of several parts; each
interrelated, but which could be separated and sent forth away from the physical
These parts of the entire being are:
Hamingja: fortune, luck,
or what is known as "mana"; magical power
Fylgia: the Fetch; the etheric double, later known as the "Ghost"
Orlog: one's destiny or Fate, as determined by the Norns
Minni:Memory, or the Subconscious, Instinctive Mind,
Modig: The Mood, or the Astral (feeling) body
Manig: The Will; a combination of Earthly Strength and Soul-Force
Hugr: The Higher Mind; capable of thought, idea, and reason; the Mental body
Hamr: The Soul; that which endures lifetime to lifetime.