Norse 101, Part 2

Norse 101, Part 2

Happy Friday!  Ready for the Norse creation story?  Sure you are!  I’ll warn you, it’s a bit weird.  So, pop some popcorn, grab a drink, and get comfy.  

Before the world was created, there was a void called Ginnungagap.  To the north of this void was a land of ice called Niflheim, and to the south was a land of fire called Muspelheim.  The two lands expanded and grew closer and closer until the flames from Muspelheim began to melt the ice from Niflheim.  The drops of melting ice ran together and formed the first giant, called Ymir.  When Ymir would sweat, he would reproduce more giants.  Yes, from his sweaty armpits came the giants.  But wait, it gets weirder.

As the ice continued to melt, it eventually freed a cow named Audhumla.  She fed Ymir with her milk, and fed herself by licking the salt from the ice.  As she licked, she freed another being named Buri.  He was the first of the Aesir, which is the race of the Gods who live in Asgard.  Buri had a son named Bor, who married a giantess named Bestla.  They had three sons: Odin, Vili, and Ve.  The three brothers killed Ymir, and from his body, they created the world.  Ymir’s blood became rivers and oceans.  His skin and tissue became the soil.  His hair became the plants, his teeth became the rocks, and the clouds were once his brains.  The dome of the sky is the inside of his skull.  Gruesome, isn’t it?  The next time you’re at the beach, swimming in the ocean, think about what you’re doing according to the Norse myths.  You’re bathing in the blood of the first giant!  Yikes!

There are a few different versions of the story about the creation of the first humans.  One translation says that it was Odin, Ve, and Vili, three brothers, who made them.  Another version names Odin, Lodhur, and Hoenir as the brothers and creators of humanity.  At any rate, the story goes that the three brothers were walking on a beach and came upon two logs of driftwood.  They shaped the logs into the first man and woman, and named them Ask and Embla.  But Ask and Embla had no spirit, no breath.  The version of the story that I like best says that Odin gave them breath and spirit, Hoenir gave them senses, and Lodhur gave them blood and healthy color.  Some scholars believe that Lodhur is an earlier name for Loki, and I’m inclined to agree.  If you’re particularly interested in that speculation, I’ll be happy to direct you to some sources.  

Ancient creation stories like this one do sound incredibly strange to our modern ears.  Nowadays, we have myriad theories about our universe, how it works, and how it all came about.  Our ancestors did not.  They had absolutely nothing to relate it to.  Can you imagine the first time that the Norse were told this story?  I often wonder how it went down.  Did the Gods try to relay this information through a volva (a seeress or shamaness)?  Did someone back then “horse” or allow a God to skinride them to tell the tale of creation?  Did They zap Themselves down to Midgard and tell us?  I had this scenario playing out in the back of my mind while I was preparing to write this article, and I felt inspired to draw it out as a short comic strip.  I am by no means artistically inclined, and you’ll see the obvious influence of the “Cyanide and Happiness” comics.  But this is how I imagine it might have gone when the Gods tried to explain the universe to the Norse.  Yes, it’s tongue-in-cheek, yes it’s a bit tacky.  What can I say?  I’m a Lokean, and Loki lends a lot of inspiration to me.  Enjoy my artistic rendition, and I’ll see you here again next Freyja’s Day for the third installment of Norse 101.

Norse Creation Story

Norse Pronunciations

Hi everybody!  Lady Beltane asked me to post a quick guide to pronouncing some of the Norse names.  They can be quite a mouthful, I’ll admit.  Here’s a short list of the names you’ll see in the Norse 101 Part 2 post tomorrow:

  • Aesir: eye-seer
  • Asgard: az-guard
  • Ask: ask
  • Audhumla: ow-DOOM-la
  • Bestla: BEST-la
  • Bor: bore
  • Buri: BOO-ree
  • Embla: EM-blar
  • Freyja: FREY-ya
  • Ginnungagap: Gin-oon-guh-gap (the G’s are hard, like in the word ‘go.’)
  • Hoenir: HUR-near
  • Lodhur: LO-thur
  • Midgard: MEED-guard
  • Muspelheim: MOO-spell-hime
  • Niflheim: NIFFLE-hime
  • Odin: OH-din
  • Ve: vay
  • Vili: VEE-lee
  • Ymir: ee-MEER
  • Volva: VOOL-vuh

I’ll post a pronunciation guide for each week’s lesson.  See you tomorrow!

Norse Volva

Samhain Altar in a Cup

Samhain Altar in a Cup photo

Samhain Altar in a Cup

Rosemary (for remembrance of our ancestors), Mullein (abundance), mugwort (to aid in divination), calendula (to encourage emotional warmth and tolerance, compassion and the ability to truly listen to what others are saying) and a dash of Florida Water to banish negativity. I was going to include some acorns but couldn’t find my stash of them!

At Samhain, witches once gave one another acorns as gifts. During the Burning Times, giving someone an acorn was a secret means of telling that person you were a witch. Acorns are fruits of the oak, one of the most sacred trees to the ancient Celts. They are symbols of protection, fertility, growth, values, and friendship.

© 2015 Wolf Woman Ways

Samhain Call

Posted by Arthur Hinds:

“For the sacred ones, I stand and call with raised arms
I honor the names of the dead who shine in my heart.
I honor the names of the dead who shine in the hearts of those I love.
I honor the names of the dead who shine in my mind.
I honor all the dead whose names are unknown to me.
I am here and who I am because of you and the steps you walked.
I honor you and raise my hands to you.”

Norse 101, Part 1

I’m sure most of you have at least heard of the Norse pantheon.  If anything, you might know some of Their names by way of the Marvel films or comics.  Perhaps you’ve met a Heathen or an Asatru at a local pagan gathering.  Browse blog posts on WordPress long enough, and you’re sure to come across something written by a devotee.  I’m writing a series of posts to introduce you to some of the Norse traditions, ideals and beliefs, and our Gods and Goddesses.  I’ll be sure to recommend some websites and books for you to read if you want to delve further into things for yourself, which I highly encourage.  Always read, always learn, always ask questions, and always dig deeper!

Let’s begin with a general overview of the Norse ways.  There are many different manners in which people honor the Norse Gods and Goddesses.  Some people choose to recreate rituals with as much historical accuracy as possible, relying heavily on the remaining recorded lore.  Others take a more modernized approach and lean less on the lore.  There are some that have read the lore, but prefer to base their practice mostly on unverified personal gnosis (UPG).  Personally, I don’t see just one “right” way to honor the Gods, so long as what you do comes from your heart.  Nor do you have to be a devotee to request Their assistance in a ritual, spell, or situation, so long as you are respectful to Them and make an appropriate offering.   

Here’s a quick introduction of some of the more well-known deities of the pantheon.  This will be helpful when I explain the Norse cosmology.  We’ll start with Odin, the All-Father and king of Asgard.  His wife is Frigg (or Frigga) the All-Mother and queen.  Thor, the God of Thunder, is one of Odin’s sons as is Baldur.  Loki is Odin’s blood-brother, and Thor’s close friend and traveling companion.  Freyr (or Frey) and Freyja (or Freya) are brother and sister.  Freyr is a God of fertility and agriculture while Freyja is a Goddess of beauty, love, and battle.  The Norse sky has a sun Goddess, Sunna, and a moon God, Mani.  Hel, Loki’s daughter, is the Goddess of the Norse underworld, and Her hall is where all those who did not die gloriously in battle end up.

It is important to note that Norse mythology was mainly an oral tradition until a monk named Snorri Sturluson compiled and recorded the stories well after the region converted to Christianity.  Some scholars suspect that Sturluson’s Christian views altered the original stories in an effort to reflect his own religious ideals.  But that is a question that will never have a definitive answer.  If you’d like to read them, the book The Norse Myths by Heilan Yvette Grimes is a plain-English translation that is very easy to understand.  

Next week, we’ll look into the Norse creation story.  That post will be a bit longer than this first introduction.  It’s a lot of information to condense into one post, but I’ll do my best to keep it short and sweet.  And if you have any questions, or if there’s something in particular you’d like to see, please don’t hesitate to ask!  See you next Friday!


Beltane Altar in a Cup

Beltane Altar in a cup 2015

Beltane Altar in a cup with Forget Me Not, Fern, Rose, Sweet Woodruff and Salt. Forget Me Not gives comfort through dreams by opening up contact with beings in another dimension and comforts because we realize the spiritual nature of these contacts. Fern is for mental clarity, cleansing, purification, and dispelling negativity and is a powerful auric protection. Rose includes attracting love, beauty, clairvoyance, domestic peace, happiness, and promoting the joy of giving. Sweet Woodruff is associated with healing, victory, protection, and money. The main metaphysical properties of salt are: Abundance, manifestation, and anchoring spiritual energies. Connecting to the ocean, the Moon and its cycles, and grounding spiritual energies into the material plane. Devotion, spiritual development, and an alchemical return to wholeness. Hospitality, house warming, and domestic harmony. Purification, spiritual protection, and releasing unwanted influences. Insights on life, death, and spiritual rebirth. Intuition, balancing the emotions and altered states like dreaming. Traditionally used for physical well-being, vitality, and longevity.

© 2015 Wolf Woman Ways

Samhain treats and beverage ideas

Samhain is a time to remember our ancestors, but it is also a time to celebrate. So this week I wanted to pass on a few nontraditional ideas. Have fun with family and friends but Most Importantly; Be Smart!


Read more: How to Create a Fog Effect for Your Halloween Punch – Drink of the Week Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Follow us: @dotw on Twitter | drinkoftheweek on Facebook

How to Create a Fog Effect for Your Halloween Punch. Jonas Halpren Dry ice turns an ordinary party punch into a spooky Halloween brew!


Start with 2 punch bowls of different sizes. The smaller bowl will hold the actual punch while the larger bowl will hold the smaller bowl and the dry ice. With tongs or gloved hands (dry ice can freeze your skin), place chunks of dry ice in the bigger container. Place the smaller bowl on top of the dry ice. There is no need to add extra ice to the punch as the dry ice will cool the punch nicely.

Just before serving, pour some hot water over the dry ice. Continue to add hot water and dry ice as needed.

Be very careful when using dry ice! Handle only with tongs or heavy gloves! Do NOT put the dry ice directly in the punch or touch it with bare skin. It will burn! Dry ice should also NOT be ingested. Update: Where can you find dry ice? Dry ice can be found at liquor, grocery and some specialty party stores. Check out to find dry ice near you. Check out our collection of Halloween punch recipes! Read more at:

Ghostly PEEPS® Brownies

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Ghostly PEEPS® Brownies

<img src=”/-/media/Images/Shared/NativeAds/BrandingHeaders/PCH_mobile.jpg” alt=”Party Crusher Halloween” /> Party Crusher Halloween

  • Prep Time10 min
  • Total Time2 hr 40 min
  • Servings 16


 1box (18.3 oz) Betty Crocker™ fudge brownie mix

Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box

2/3 cup white vanilla baking chips, if desired

3/4 cup Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting
16 PEEPS® marshmallow ghosts


  • 1 Heat oven to 325°F. Spray bottom of 8-inch square pan with cooking spray.
  • 2 In medium bowl, stir brownie mix, water, oil and eggs until well blended. Spread in pan. Sprinkle baking chips evenly over batter.
  • 3 Bake as directed on box for 8-inch square pan. Cool about 1 hour 30 minutes before frosting.
  • 4 Spread with frosting. Cut into 4 rows by 4 rows. Place marshmallow on each brownie.


We fashioned Spooky Eyeballs out of radishes, olives and grapes and added them to a traditional martini for a creepy cocktail for your next grown-up Halloween party.


Radish Eyeballs

2 round radishes

1 large pimiento-stuffed green olive, cut in half crosswise

Grape Eyeballs

2 large seedless black grapes
2 small cranberries or blueberries

Olive Eyeballs

2 jumbo pitted ripe olives

2 small ready-to-eat baby-cut carrot


2 1/2 oz  (5 tablespoons) gin or vodka

1/2 oz (1 tablespoon) dry vermouth


  • 1 To make each radish eyeball, peel radish, leaving streaks of red skin for “blood vessel” effect. Cut off one tip of radish about 1/4-inch deep. Using small melon baller or paring knife, scoop out small hole from sliced tip side; place olive half in center. Place in martini glass.
  • 2 To make each grape eyeball, carefully peel back skin of grape from one edge. Using small melon baller or paring knife, cut small hole in center of exposed flesh. Place small cranberry or blueberry in hole. Skewer grapes onto toothpick; place in martini glass.
  • 3 To make each olive eyeball, place baby carrot in pitted hole of olive. Cut off carrot flush with end of olive. Skewer olives onto toothpick; place in martini glass.
  • 4 To make cocktail, place several ice cubes in cocktail shaker or mixing glass. Add gin and vermouth. Cover; shake (or stir) 30 seconds. Strain into martini glass and serve.


Serves 20-25


1- 46 oz can Red Punch, 1- 46 oz can Apple Juice, 1- 46 oz bottle Cranberry Juice, 1- 2 liter bottle Ginger Ale, Ice Cubes

Berry Vodka optional),

Orange Liqueur (optional)


Combine all ingredients in large punch bowl or cauldron. Add ice and stir.

For grownups version: Add 4 cups Berry Vodka and 1/2 cup of Orange Liqueur.

Please remember Brothers and Sisters to be smart and have a designator driver or at least stay where you’re at for the night, if you are going to drink alcohol. You all mean too much to me, to have something awful happen to you or to someone else.

Best Blessings To You All,

SunRay Sorceress