The Name Valkyrie is an ancient and venerable one, steeped in the glorious Pagan legends and myths of the past. When the name Valkyrie is mentioned, visions of proud and fierce female warrior Angels come to appear in the mind’s eye.
And the leader of these Angels of Death?
According to D.J.Conway, “ Freya of the Vanir, also known as the Vanadis, was considered the leader of the dsir, the Divine Matriarchs. These feminine Deities had ruled the clans before the patriarchal pantheon of the Aesir took over….
In Her position as leader of the Valkyries, She claimed half of the slain as Her own…
The Eddaic poem Grimnismal says that She was connected with war and the world of the dead, dividing those killed in battle with Odin.”
P68 Conway,D.J Maiden, Mother, Crone ~ The three faces of the Goddess ISBN 10: 0-87542-171-1
Freya is the Goddess of Witchcraft, Magick and love affairs ~ Friday is the day of Love named in honour of the Goddess, and a slang form of Her Name means to make love or get amorous :). Freya is the Goddess of the Indigenous Vanir Pantheon which later became fused with the Aesir, or Deities of Asian origin.
The Magickal tradition practiced by the Vanir is called Seidr which is Women’s Magick, having much in common with other Witchcraft Traditions and practices. Men were also able to participate in Seidr, although these men had to cross dress, as it is an ancient tradition that a man has to spiritually become a woman to serve the Goddess.
Freya became known as Frigg, the Goddess of Love and Women’s Mysteries later on in history and was the wife of Odin.
Odin Himself is known as a master Shapeshifter and Shaman, associated with Reindeers. Sometimes, Odin will disguise Himself as a woman, and has been known to directly interfere in the affairs of humans, in this guise as an old woman, seemingly unnoticeable; although every now and again ~ once in the year, to be precise, Odin will visit the Reindeer and prepare to bear gifts to those who deserve them, just for fun…
As Freya is an aspect of the Universal Mother, Odin is Her Consort and an aspect of the Divine Masculine Principle. This is reflected in the title, All-Father.
Hel was the Daughter of Odin; and Her realm was the Underworld, the dwelling-place of the dead and the place where souls are prepared for rebirth.
Hel was also referred to as the Leader of the Valkyries and was later known as Hulda, a Witch Goddess with Whom Witches would ride out especially during the Wild Hunt.
These are the Divinities with Whom the Valkyries are associated. Although in later myths it appears as if the Valkyries are the attendants of Odin serving beverages in Valhalla; in actuality the Battle Angels serve both Freya and Odin equally.
In various myths, these strong, fearless and devoted Angelic Warrior Maidens will appear as beautiful Swans, haunting quiet Natural lakes and ponds. The Swan is a messenger of the Goddess in all Goddess cultural traditions around the world ~ and the pure white or black plumage of their wings do seem the same as those on the wings of Death Angels.
When the Valkyries appear with black plumage, they are known as the Kraken.
The Name Valkyrie has several origins. In Old English, they were known as Waelcyrge or Waelceasig and in Iceland as Valkyrja. It means;”Chooser of the slain”
Several writers identify the Norns, the Triple Fate Goddesses as identical with or very similar to the Valkyries.
This clear identification hints at the common factor between all of these herstorical figures. Fate, and the determining factors behind it.
All things are spun from the wheel of Diana; and Lucifer turns the wheel.
This simply means that in Nature, the Goddess, the Divine Feminine Principle , churns out all life - all things – from the infinite depths of potential (Yin); and that this endless process of creation and dissolution is made possible through the active principle, personified by Lucifer, the Pagan God of the Sun. Only by combining the Yin and Yang can any creation take place.
The concept of the Spinning-wheel is central to Goddess spirituality and Nature-based Pagan spirituality and this is why spinning as a concept that can be applied to spirituality as well as in everyday , just plain spinning on a wheel was also demonized by the medieval religions.
“Flax, hemp and nettles, the plants that can be spun into fabric,were once sacred to Goddesses (Freya, Frigg, Hulda, assorted fairies) but were later demonized as “witch plants.”Some believe the negative passions aroused by the Hemp plant are derived from it’s associations with witchcraft, shamanism and women’s magickal traditions.”
P839, Illes, Judika The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcreft ~ The complete a-z for the entire magical world (2005) London, Harper Element Publishers. ISBN-13 978-0-00-719293-9
All life is created and destroyed on the Wheel of Existence ~ so how is the fate of every individual determined? How long and full is the spun thread of someone's life?
The Norns are destiny or fate Goddesses who spin the life thread of every person. This infers that everyone is assigned a fate, and that this predetermined fate can only be altered ~ the life threads or sacred Gunas lengthened or cut short, by these Fate Goddesses ~ through the conscious and enlightened efforts of the individual.
All the pleasures and pains we experience in a lifetime are not caused by the Divine, they are results of our own thoughts, words and deeds.
The Keres are Daughters of the Goddess of Death in Greek Herstory, Goddess Nyx.
They are deadly female Spirits who hover over battlefields and are identical to the Valkyries apart from the manner in which death takes place.
The Keres are usually depicted as violent, merciless and bloodthirsty; while the Valkyries were regarded as largely benevolent Angels of Death.
The Name Keres is directly linked in an etymological sense to Valkyrie and the very similar descriptions of the Angels leave little room to doubt that there is as usual, a common origin to the so-called “myths” in a universal sense.. The earliest accounts of the Valkyries indicate that originally, Matriarchy ruled and that the Valkyries were the Nordic Priestesses of a universal Goddess worship.
As all of the original tales were adapted to the needs of the new religions of patriarchy, one can see quite easily that although certain elements of the original and true Goddess legends remain to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the region and where the patriarchal Church establishment had a correspondingly greater or lesser degree of influence and power; that these legends incorporate the Goddess and the Priestesses as either in a subservient (the Valkyries serve drinks) or inferior position to the male Deities. There are many examples of this throughout the mythology of the new patriarchal religions..
Odin’s sacred bird, the Raven, always appears around the Valkyries; and horses ~ especially the Mare of Death. The shapeshifting abilities of these Priestesses, or Death Angels, enabled them to transform into various shape forms such as wolves and hawks in addition to these.
In Swedish Valkyrie lore, the Priestess was called a Volva, and would change into a mare to be able to take the spirit of the deceased away from this earthly realm and facilitating the link between the worlds.
Failing incorporating the aspects of Goddess into the male-dominated pantheons; the Dark Goddesses were demonized together with the priestesses of old, the Witches. Whereas the witch was the Wise One and formerly respected as the Priestess or Priest of the Goddess, now Witches were not allowed to live and cast out as servants of the new patriarchal devil or his equivalents..
The Valkyries, Norns and Keres are strangely similar to the Judeo-Christian Angel of Death. The Angel of Death does not take sides ~ if the decree of the Divinity is to sever the life-thread of the individual, that decision is final. The Angel of Death is accompanied by a host of death-dealing Spirits, whose task it is to collect the soul of the deceased. Whether or not this removal of the soul or Life Force is benevolently done or violently, is said to be dependent on the deeds of the person while they were alive. This is identical to the belief which existed far before Judeo-Christianity, that souls were collected violently by the Keres; while gently by the Valkyries. This shows a distinction between the Angels. It can be seen that this tradition continued in Christianity, whereas Michael is the benevolent Angel of Death; the “evil” Angel of Death is known as Samael, the consort of Lilith, the Great Goddess of Death and Love in Pagan Hebrew tradition and later on to become the Queen of Demons according to Judaism.
Without going into too much detail, let’s say that the basic concept of Death and how we approach Death, is at the crux of the differences between Nature-based Pagan spirituality and the Dualistic Patriarchal religions. In the latter traditions, Death is evil, and something to be overcome ~ an enemy to be combatted at the End of Days.
In the former view, Death is known as impartial and an integral part of the endless Cycles of Life. Literally, then, Death was something to be welcomed , embraced and celebrated by the Pagan Ancestors of the human race who viewed the whole experience of dying as completely natural and being the gateway to a future existence; literally the event of a lifetime. Accordingly, the whole lifetime of a person who wished to be reunited with the Goddess and God after death was framed by this knowledge and certainty of life after death..
Death is seen by these Pagans as represented by the Death Goddesses, Kali, Lilith, Nyx, Persephone in Her Crone aspect, Ereshkigal and The Morrigan ~ Fata Morgana ~ to mention a . The Death Goddess consumes all, yet all life is born anew in it’s turn. Death is thus either feared or welcomed, depending on your perspective, naturally.
The Goddess has two principal aspects ~ Death and Love ~ as She is the Beginning and Ending and everything in-between. Death leads invariably to Life and Love in Nature.
As Death is feared by the fear-based religions, the Death Goddess is now portrayed as fearsome and evil by these religions instead of being venerated.
The Crone was always depicted with a Scythe, this being symbolic of harvesting crops when they were ready. The grim reaper was modelled on the Crone, to give the appearance of a frightening, fear-inducing character to personify Death instead of the Silvery-haired Wise Crone, the gentle and understanding Dark Mother.
The Valkyries appeared in numbers of 13; however most often, as 9 or multiples of 9.
9 is the number of the Great Mother ~ of immortality and life renewed and re-created in the infinite Cycles of Life and re-birth.
This hints at the mystery of what happens to the deceased after Death has claimed the physical body, which is an inevitability. How one meets Death is naturally up to the individual to decide
“Never fear Death, and please never fear me” ~ Candia
Further studies :
my my this was interesting. i began to do a bit of research on seidr magik.