Norse Days of the Week

Did you know that the days of the week are actually named after the Norse Gods? Sunday is Sunna’s day, she who drives the Sun across the sky daily. Monday is Mani’s day, the legendary “Man in the Moon.” Tuesday belongs to the War God Tyr, Tues, Teiwaz whose action chained the “Wolf of Greed.” Wednesday belongs to Woden. Woden’s day belongs to the All Father Himself. And Thursday, you may have by now guessed, belongs to Thor, the great protector of Middle Earth. Friday is Frig’s day, she who is wife to Woden. And Saturday, I have learned, belongs to the Great Norns, the three women from Niflheim who oversee the Destiny -and Fate- of Gods and humanity.

What has happened for me this week is a gentle discovery, that each day of the week has taken on a contemplative aspect of the Deity whose day it is. On Wednesday, I was inspired and creative. Odin is the God of Inspiration. Yesterday, Thursday, the mood was very different, and Thor nudged me toward activities that ground me, center me, and purify me in my relationship with the Gods. Today is Frigga’s day, and I am finding myself centered in the women’s arts of caring for family and domestic actions around my home. With this new understanding, I now have a new technique for reminding me to be in devotion to my Gods.

Before Christianity turned the mindset of many people toward the story of the great Healing Rabbi who gave his life to overcome sin, the Gods stood for us in the Mystery and the Mythology of the Northlands in how to treat one another, how to value family and kin, how to practice right-mindedness and right-order in the Cosmos. Galina Krasskova posted an informative blog on frith here, and Horn and Hearth posted a great one on hreinsa and verja here.

But the point I wanted to make today, is that the Mystery and the Mythology were never intended to be understood literally. Rather the stories exist for us to understand that the stories about the Gods exist for us to connect deeply with our hearts, remembering that the Gods understand humanity: that like Frigga with Baldur, They understand loss; like Loki with Thiassi and Idun, people can get ourselves into difficult scrapes and out again; that like the Aesir with the wall builder, we can get ourselves into promises that are impossible to keep. When I think on the Gods and the clues They left for us to rebuild a tradition after the imposition of Christianity, I am mindful of how much They love us and want us to build good lives of honor and integrity with close and loyal family ties.

So I will go about my day -Friday- honoring Frigga and the domestic arts of women. Tomorrow, Saturday, is a day to revere and honor the Great Norns. I close on this note of devotion, and Rune Blessings to all!

Published by susanofthenorth

Susan Hintz Epstein is an author, Rune diviner, healer, non-academic scholar, and former Methodist Lay Speaker who was called by the Runes in 2013. The time since then has been a serpentine shedding of one skin for another, as Susan's spiritual practice with the Runes and the World Tree, Yggdrasil, deepened. Susan keeps company with the Norns and other like-minded women.

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