Fuzzy Stuffed Bat plushies by Fuzzigigles on Etsy.
Almost done with introducing Jotuns
Neutrality – Helheim
Hela is the daughter of Loki and Angrboda. She is a corpse shifter, and being the Ruler of Helheim was in Her wyrd before birth. She was taken from Her family by the Aesir as a child and forced into claiming rulership early. For many years, She would not enter Asgard or let Odin enter Helheim in order to discuss political matters and arranged for meetings in Jotunheim.
It took a concerted effort on Odin’s end to make amends for how the Aesir had treated the Jotuns before Hela accepted any invitations to Asgard. As a matter of principle and because Odin has disturbed the dead for information over the years, She still arranges to discuss politics in Jotunheim rather than Her hall in Helheim.
While She has made it clear that She is a Jotun and will not side with politics that will negatively affect Her kin and homeland, Hela has become a neutrally affiliated Jotun. Most Jotuns will affiliate with Their parental Tribes, but a few claim no affiliation due to family conflict or by extended ambassador work. Hela made this decision upon taking the High Seat in Helheim and becoming the current Caretaker of the dead.
Anyone may enter Helheim, unless arrangements have been made for the individual to enter the hall of one of the Deities (or for Midgardians, to go to the appropriate afterlife of a different faith). This means that the land of the dead is less of a group of people that need ruled and more of a collection of people that need taken care of. Hela, as Ruler and Caretaker, holds the highest position in the court She has appointed to help the needs of the people to be met.
The People elected to be organized somewhat by Realm of life, so there are eight sections of burial mounds. A member of the court is appointed to each section to take care of meeting organizational and cultural matters (many desire structures and events that They experienced while alive). A lower court of priests tend to religious and spiritual events for the People, as well as assisting the organization of diviners with sending information to the living. Another lower court is composed of guild-heads, Who are in charge of the workers Who help to meet the needs of the Realm (farming, tending to the renowned Orchards, fishing, distributing food, etc.).
A welcoming committee of sorts helps with those Who have just arrived to Helheim and have questions, and there are staff to help. A select group of diviners assist Hela with the reading of wyrd to determine when, where, and in what life circumstances People are to be reborn. Ambassadors to the other Realms also assist diviners with broaching political matters and arranging meetings. While there are People deemed royalty and afforded respect within Their group of dead, Hela prefers to not use a royalty model of ruling (not taking a King and requiring observances paid to a Queen from Her People), though there are those who refer to Her as Queen out of respect and deference to Her rulership.
There are several members of Her court Who are particularly well known (especially with us in Midgard). Nanna, the wife of Baldur, is a guild-head for the clothing producers, weavers, textile makers, etc. and is the representative for the female dead from Asgard. Hoder, the brother of Baldur, is the representative for the dead Who have been blind from birth and frequently assists the Light-Bearers with helping those with mental illnesses. Baldur, the son of Odin and Frigga, is a consort of Hela Who brings light and health to the Realm as a Sacrificial One. Mordgud holds the position of Gatekeeper and oversees the boundary guardians for Helheim.
Several ambassadors are Sacrifices Who spend a temporary time in Helheim or are not allowed to enter before being turned away. Frey held this position for the Vanir for many years before the role was officially passed on, and Idunna spends a short amount of time in Helheim in exchange for cultivating a strain of apples from Helheim among the living (ensuring health and longevity among the Deities). As a consort of Hela Who spends most of Her time in a long distance relationship, Idunna can sometimes also assist mortal partners of Deities with handling the distance of their relationships.
While there are other ambassadors and guides, one Guide is Sleipnir. He is officially known as Odin’s stead and acts as a go-between for the horses and horse shifters in Asgard. Not as well known in some Realms is the position Sleipnir holds as a Guide to Helheim and back. He is paramount to the success of the yearly Hunt by being able to lead the dead and the living to Helheim and returning safely with the living. While He is busy, particularly during the season of the Hunt, Sleipnir may be able to assist with certain portions of shadow work that entail traveling to Helheim and returning.
Happy Birthday Lee Pace! Thranduil by 小洗
Date: Oct 31st
According to Nornoriel, a large ritual is held where the names of Anyone Who has died is read, candles are lit, and then the list is burned. This fire from the list burning is used to spin / dance, which helps to guide the souls to the afterlife. This ritual is led by the Raven tribe, particularly a certain group within (White Ravens).
From what People have been able to convey to me, this basic information is correct for me to use. In addition to the non-English name for this holy day and the actions of the priests (not referred to as Queen / King in my practice), I do have additional personal deviations.
This ritual is tailored for Realm wide catharsis and healing, so attendance of the ritual is limited to citizens of Vanaheim, dignitaries / ambassadors, and those who have been explicitly invited by a citizen of Vanaheim. Making sure that there’s room for all attendees is the main reason for this ritual to not be completely open to the public.
This ritual is the main event, but each Tribe also has a remembrance ceremony as well. These traditions and associated rituals may be public knowledge, or may be private to those within the Tribe. Families usually share a meal, but it depends on Their Tribal traditions. Depending on Who you interact with, this may also affect what you can do to observe this day. Some set out food and drink that’s solely for the dead, Some consume favorite dishes of the dead, and Some fast (with certain traditional foods to break this fast).
If you’ve received indication that it’s a good time to honor your own dead, this day could be appropriate for that. You can put out food or consume offerings (or however you deal with edible offerings). Listening to music, watching an enjoyed movie or tv show, and all kinds of activities that your dead enjoyed can be done. It may depend on how well you know Anyone considered / allied with the Vanir, as to whether these activities would mesh with observing Their activities.
While I give due honor and attention to different Tribes throughout the year, I interact the most with the Boar Tribe (Deities known to be Vanir) and the Bee Tribe (a spirit-friend). Boar traditions are kept within the Tribe, and only the main ritual (and lighting a candle in Midgard) may be done by someone who is not a Boar. In the Bee Tribe, a small fast is maintained through a private ceremony then broken by somehow consuming black honey (specifically tailored to honoring the dead, which may be eaten at other times of the year as well). I would have to consult said spirit-friend before approaching Bee traditions.
I have this hard to describe impression that the priests do something in relation to Star Mother and Horn Father for this holy day, but I don’t think I can fully know what They do. It’s not a matter of this information being private so much as it’s not easily conveyable to me. Something along the lines of stars being our ancestors and you (whoever has passed on) will join them until you can return to us, and Star Mother will remember and cherish you. There’s some sort of decomposition angle with Horn Father and your body being reused with respect, but it feels like these are large concepts that I can’t fully wrap my brain around right now.
A non-exclusive introduction to some Jotuns (Cont’d)
Snow / Ice (Family of Snow and Ice)
There isn’t a King or Queen of the Family of Snow and Ice. The individual families within the Family elect a Head, either through vote, being an elder, or some other consideration depending on the family. The Heads gather together and make decisions for the Family, as the Snow Court. Lower ranked courts also depend on representatives of the families making decisions and getting the approval of the Snow Court, such as courts that handle law-making and trials of law-breakers.
This system was created for the governing of Niflheim and works quite well for this Family. However, interacting with other Realms has required putting forth Someone to act on the Realm’s behalf. Anyone from Midgard interacting with this Family may run into any member of the Snow Court, and they often will also wind up interacting with the family members of that Snow Court member as well.
The Snow Court has specifically elected two of its members to interact with the other Worlds of Yggdrasil as ambassadors and representatives of the Family. Many members can juggle running Their Realm, interacting with those of us on Midgard, and keeping up with Their family, but They often are not interested in juggling politics and commitments with the other Eight Realms on top of this. The Heads Who represent the Family of Snow and Ice are Kari and Holda.
Interesting choice of an old Love Note to be led to considering the ALD (first time and flailing) questions today. Interesting.
A non-exclusive introduction to some Jotuns (Cont’d)
Fire (Family of Fire)
Logi is the former King of Muspelheim, Who has since passed on the crown. He became the consort of Glut in the course of doing ceremonial rites and ritual sex for the health of Their land and Realm, and since He’s still alive, He still fulfills this duty. In the case of His death, this role would pass on to the current King. Logi is part of an order of Ancients Who tend to ancestral work and duties, so He may be able to assist with your own ancestral practice (if you have one, which isn’t required). He tends to be more sociable of His immediate family.
Glut is a member of and the current Leader of an initiate bound group (The Ring) that deals with spirit work, ceremonial rites, and what we consider priesthood. As a priest-leader, She became the consort of the King of Muspelheim for ceremonial purposes when Logi held that position. They still fulfill the ceremonial obligations of being consorts, but after Logi passed on the crown, They settled into a not-just-business partnership. She is often very busy with The Ring and navigating taboos based on certain rituals, skills, lessons, etc., so Logi often assists with interfacing with Others.
Eisa is the oldest daughter of Logi and Glut. She was conceived due to ceremonial reasons and born into The Ring, becoming a priest and spirit worker like Her mother. She also must navigate taboos and secrecy clauses, so She typically doesn’t interact with those outside Her Realm very often.
Einmyria is the younger daughter of Logi and Glut. She was conceived in a period of time after Logi had passed on the crown and Glut’s taboos and rules on ritual sex were relaxed for awhile. Without the priest demands of wyrd, She was closer to Logi while growing up and often assists the Ancients (They are not initiate bound and are much less formal and taboo-bound than The Ring). She is sociable, good in leadership, and has been in charge of the royal servants and staff of the current King for many years.
Surt is the current King of Muspelheim. Crowned in His youth, He admittedly was not as diplomatic, able to control His emotions, and made mistakes in trying to interact with the leaders and kings of other Realms. Partnering with Jotunheim and giving Him time to gain experience and skills with the assistance of Their ambassadors was very beneficial to His reign, and He now is quite skilled at diplomatic meetings and political maneuvering.
As a young, single King, Surt took many consorts and has amassed a considerable amount of sons, grandsons, and the like. His sons often work as ambassadors to other Realms, and His family often assists with message delivery to Midgard (answering His phone and passing on messages on His behalf).
In the face of a family within the Family of Fire desiring to split away, part of the agreement and peace treaty entailed one of the children of the family leader being married to Surt. A system of differently colored sparks and flames give information about how two Flames interact when They touch, but many only know of the color that indicates marriage is wyrd-compatible, blue. This color system is advantageous to political arrangements by indicating if marriage is in the couple’s wyrd, how successful it will be, if any children are possible, and other factors.
Ash, Who by our Midgard frame of reference is an intersex man, married Surt and by marrying the King became the Queen of Muspelheim. A capable diplomat and partner in running a Realm, Ash often isn’t well known in other Realms based on cultural differences. He or Zhe has run into inter-World differences in opinion of Who is qualified to be a Queen, and often prefers to deal more directly with Muspelheim than interfacing with those Who react disrespectfully. He often brings out a loving, newlywed side in Surt, and the Flames of Muspelheim are quite fond of Their Queen.