Working With The Gods Introduction

The Gods and wights of the Northern Tradition have their own distinct natures. While they can be terrible if they are offended, they stand less on dignity and ceremony and more on what you are willing to do for them. Unless they have decided to take an interest in you, or claim you as a god-slave, they see no reason to bother with you for no return on their part.

Some spirit-workers who work with the deities of many other pantheons as well have compared them and mentioned that northern-tradition Gods are the most likely to make strong contact before the ritual itself in order to give information on what they want, which is helpful.

There are, of course, differences between them. Given that we have three separate pantheons – Aesir, Vanir, and Rokkr – with all their larger and smaller powers, we have to understand their different flavors.

The Rokkr are the oldest, and the most Neolithic in their nature.

The Gods of hunter-gatherer Eurasia tend to be more elemental, more animal, more bloody, more shamanic, and more numerous. They are given much more space in this series for that reason: most of these techniques go back further than the Indo-European conquest, and the coming of the other pantheons. When you are a northern-tradition spirit-worker and you move into the ancient shamanism practices, sooner or later you will run into the Rokkr, even if you are only sent to them for training by your patrons.

The Vanir came with agriculture and the first coming of the ox-cart peoples. Their rites are about fertility, which is sex and death. They feed the soil with blood, and this is part of their wisdom. While they may seem tamer compared to the Rokkr, don’t be fooled. They demand just as much in the way of sacrifice; they may be “lighter”, but they also interface with the dark.

The Aesir came in with the conquering horse-peoples, and settled down to become the forces of civilization. While they are the most popular pantheon with the modern Nordic religions, they rarely come into the practice of northern-tradition shamanism…except for Odin, who is the very archetype of the shaman-king. Still, he learned his stuff from the older powers, while giving it his own flavor – and in the case of some things, like the Runes, bringing new magic into the cosmos.

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