Explain how each of the following elements of ADF ritual does or does not resonate with elements of two different Indo-European cultures (you need not use the same two cultures as a basis of comparison for each element): (minimum 100 words each)
The Germanic peoples, according to Tacitus, worshiped Nerthus as the Mother Earth. There is not source on whether this means she was a lover of Tiwaz, the Sky God or not. The Greeks viewed Gaia as the Earth Mother who was simply created and bore the fruitful “earth” as we know it. Jord/Jorth, mother of Thor, was another deity thought to be an Earth Mother, because her name simply means Earth. The fact of the matter remains, however, that many cultures view the Earth Mother as a nourishing motherly goddess that we return to in death as the ultimate cycle of birth, life, and death to rebirth (Gods and Myth).
(Word Count: 110)
Deities of the Land:
The Norse categorize their main deities into the Aesir and the Vanir, and the Vanir were seen as deities of the land. Freyja, for example, is a fertility Goddess (Gods and Myth, 115). Her brother Freyr is also seen as a God of fertility and wisdom. Greek myths depict Artemis as a great fertility goddess, but in a virginal sense. Even Gaia, the Earth Mother, (and all earth mothers in these myths) are seen as deities of the land or fertility. The Greeks also worshiped a minor diety named Priapus, which is a more agricultural fertility God of the land. In ADF it would be very proper to incorporate these deities when acknowledging the land or a prayer to the land.
(Word Count: 121)
Deities of the Sea:
A common Norse sea god was Njord, father of Freyr and Freyja. He is a God of ships (Gods and Myths, 132) and favored those in seafaring. Aegir was also the Ruler of the Sea in the Norse loer as a personification of the waters itself (Gods and Myth, 128). He coupled with Ran, who used a net to entrap seafarers. By comparison Aegir is strongly related to Poseidon in Greek Mythology, another God of the Sea who often creates earthquakes and influences storms. Atlantis was considered the domain of Poseiden after losing battle with Athena over the city of Athens. Within ADF we can incorporate deities of the sea in relation to the well or when dealing with sea related prayers.
(Word Count: 122)
Deities of the Sky:
One of the most revered Gods in Norse Mythology is Thor, the thunder God of the sky and wielder of Mjolnir. He is the protector of mankind that could call down storms, which also sometimes portrayed him as a fertility God because of the rains that fall to nourish the earth (Gods and Myth, 84). Zeus is a similar deity in Greek lore in that he is a God of Lightning and the Sky. The difference is that he is also the ruler of the Olympians, where as Thor was not. However both are attributed to being father of men or mankind. Both of these deities are great for rituals of protection (the folk) in ADF ritual.
(Word Count: 117)
In CedarLight Grove, we have often brought Thor in during our Norse rites to protect the folk and the working from the Outsiders. He is, as has been previously mentioned, the protector of mankind, so it fits perfectly that he is associated with this part in ritual. Since Zeus is also considered the father of mankind, I can see his influence to protect from the outsiders being used in an ADF rite as well. Both cultures have beings that would be considered “Outsiders” as well, such as the Jotuns in the Norse or the Sirens in Greek Lore. But they were of many names and intentions. In Norse lore, there is also the realm of Outgarth, where a lot of the trolls and outlaws are, a perfect example of outsiders.
(Word Count: 130)
In my kindred, we honor the Land Wights of Germanic lore as the spirits of this plane, seen and unseen, that we share Midgard with. According to the Troth (Our Troth, 469), they are also known as the Landvaettir, which we have honored in CedarLight as our Nature Spirits during Norse rites. They are seen as those beings found in natural places around the earth such as streams, forests, and stones. In Greek mythology, the nymphs are seen as similar spirits of the feminine persuasion found in rivers, meadows and other natural places. Depending on the respective pantheon, we have honored both during our honoring of the three kindred in ritual at CedarLight.
(Word Count: 113)
Ancestors are seen in slightly separate lights among the Norse. The Alfar and the Desir (Our Troth, 438 & 452), also known as the grandmothers and grandfathers who have passed on. The Disir are the ghostly human women & family spirits worshipped in the home. The Aesir are the male ancestors and mighty dead. In Greece they didn’t have a particular name that I’ve found for their ancestors. They had significant hero worship that sort of overlapped with their ancestral worship, but also worshipped spirits of the home or, which could be passing family members or political figures that were revered. Both of these are common enough in their respective cultures to warrant appropriate use in an ADF rite.
(Word Count: 119)