Hi fellow quilters,
It’s Susan here, ready to tell you all about our new “Viking Gods and Goddess” quilt pattern! I have had lots of fun coming up with the design for this quilt. I wanted a Viking theme and, as usual, searched in Google to see if I could find anything of interest relating to the Vikings. I stumbled across articles about ancient Norse Gods and Goddesses, which my inner history nerd found very interesting! The Norse people were mostly of Scandinavian and Germanic descent; however, as the Vikings invaded other countries, they introduced these Nordic Gods and Goddesses to the people who lived there too.
I found the Norse Gods’ stories interesting, and thought that I would share highlights of each of the Gods represented by the characters on our newest quilt!
Now let’s talk about the Gods and Goddess depicted in our quilt!
Odin (Father of the Gods) was a widely revered god among the Norsemen because he is the God of Battle, Wisdom, Magic and Poetry. The meaning of his name is either “fury” or “frenzy”, which inspires warriors and poets alike. He possesses a never-ending quest for knowledge.
Odin is married to Frigg, the Goddess of love and fertility, patron of marriage and motherhood.
On his shoulders sit Huginn (thought) and Muninn (memory), the twin ravens of Norse Mythology. Each morning, Odin sends them out to see what is going on in the world, and each evening they return to him and report all that they have seen.
Odin also owns his own cool horse named Sleipnir! Sleipnir is very special because he has eight legs and can travel at great speeds through the air and across water!
Odin also has two wolves named Geri and Freki (both names mean “ravenous” or “greedy one”) who travel with him constantly. Odin has a ravenous thirst for all of the knowledge that he can gain, by whatever means necessary! This is one of the reasons he has a patch over his eye, but that is a different story that I won’t tell today.
His spear is special too (at least it has its own name), it is called Gungnir! Norse mythology says that the spear always flies straight and never misses its target. Any oath sworn with your hand upon Gungnir’s point is unbreakable.
Did you know that Odin was called “Woden” in the medieval English culture and they observed Woden’s Day, which later was called Wednesday?
Thor is generally known to be the God of Thunder, but did you know that he is also the God of Lightning, Storms, Oak Trees, Strength and the Protector of Mankind?
Like Odin, Thor has his own transportation. Two goats pull him around in a chariot or cart! Their names are Tanngrisnir (meaning “teeth-barer” or “snarler”) and Tanngnjostr (meaning “teeth grinder”). I don’t know about you, but with those names I’m positive that Thor’s goats and I would not be buddies!
Thor’s impressive hammer is called Mjolnir and it can crush mountains; however, in order to use the hammer, he has to wear special gloves called Jarngreipr (meaning “iron grippers”). His belt is named Megingjoro (meaning “Power-belt”) which gives him strength like Hercules!
Oh, and happy Thor’s Day! Yup, you guessed it! Thursday bears his name!
FREYA (OR FREYJA) AND SOMETIMES CALLED FRIGA
Most people think of Vikings only as men; however, the ancient Norse also highly revered women. Freya is the Goddess of Love, Beauty and Fertility, but she also holds the title of Goddess of Battle and Pleasure.
Odin and Thor may have cool tools, but Freya has her own tricks! She has a hawk hood that she can put on and turn into a huge bird to fly wherever she wishes! That is a super hero power that I would love to have!
And talk about bling! Freya also owns a very powerful necklace named Brisingamen. No one seems to know exactly why it is powerful, but it is! I know when I wear my beautiful amethyst necklace, I feel powerful and special! I guess it’s a girl thing!
Not to be outdone by Odin with his birds, wolves and eight-legged horse, Freya has her own animal companions! Freya has two cats who pull her chariot, a mare named “Night-mare” and a golden boar named Hildisvini (which literally means “Battle Pig”).
Happy Freya’s Day! Here in the good ole USA we call it Friday!
Loki is the God of Mischief and Deception as well as the God of Fire. The word “Loki” means a “knot” or “tangle”. I don’t know about you, but I really hate it when I get a loki in my embroidery thread!
Little is known about Loki and why he was even counted among the Norse Gods and Goddesses. Loki’s parents were a giant and a minor goddess, so he twisted relationships between the Gods and Giants at his own whim and only had a cooperative spirit when he could see a benefit for himself.
Loki is both cunning and clever! He comes up with ideas that sound good at the time but ultimately lead to annoyance or uttermost embarrassment for everyone who assists him in his latest adventures. As long as Loki thinks it is funny, who cares what others think? The good news is that if he gets you into trouble with his pranks, he will step forward to save the day, but only if he can be a hero!
Perhaps Loki was intended to point out that even the Norse Gods and Goddesses needed Loki around to keep them humble! His face reminds me of the faces of my children when they knew they did something wrong and shamelessly blamed it on their sibling!
I hope that you have enjoyed getting to know the Norse Gods and Goddess! What do you think about our Vikings? We’d love to read your comments! Next week I’ll talk about longboats, the runes included as the shields on my longboat, and more! Please come back & read all about it.
If you’d like to purchase the Viking Gods pattern or any of the individual block patterns, they are available right here in our pattern shop!!
Thanks for reading our blog and happy quilting!