Leaders will often managed the faith on behalf of society; on a local level, the leader would have been the head of the family, and nationwide, the leader was the king. Events of all types, births, coming of ages, marriages, deaths, festivals and raiding war bands and parties, often call for offerings to make their undertakings go well or without misfortune.
Thor is the god of thunder and storm - a strong and warlike god, who battles with giants and other monsters. His hammer, Mjöllnir, is the most potent weapon in the world. Known for his fierce temper, Thor is also a loyal protector of mankind.
Thor bears at least fourteen names, is the husband of the golden-haired goddess Sif, is the lover of the jötunn Járnsaxa, and is generally described as fierce-eyed, red-haired and red-bearded.
With Sif, Thor fathered the goddess (and possible valkyrie) Þrúðr; with Járnsaxa, he fathered Magni; with a mother whose name is not recorded, he fathered Móði, and he is the stepfather of the god Ullr. Thor as the son of the god Odin and the personified earth, Fjörgyn, and by way of Odin, Thor has numerous brothers. Thor has two servants, Þjálfi and Röskva, rides in a cart or chariot pulled by two goats, Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr (that he eats and resurrects), and is ascribed three dwellings (Bilskirnir, Þrúðheimr, and Þrúðvangr). Thor wields the mountain-crushing hammer, Mjöllnir, wears the belt Megingjörð and the iron gloves Járngreipr, and owns the staff Gríðarvölr.
Odin has three residences in Asgard, Gladsheim, a vast hall where he presides over the twelve Diar or Judges, Valaskjálf, built of solid silver, in which there is an elevated place, Hlidskjalf, from his throne on which he can perceive all that passes throughout the whole earth,Valhalla (the hall of the fallen), where Odin receives the souls of the warriors killed in battle, called the Einherjar. The souls of women warriors, became Valkyries, who gather the souls of warriors fallen in battle.
Odin has a number of magical artifacts associated with him: the spear Gungnir, which never misses its target; a magical gold ring (Draupnir), from which every ninth night eight new rings appear; and two ravens Huginn and Muninn (Thought and Memory), who fly around Earth daily and report the happenings of the world to Odin in Valhalla at night. He also owns Sleipnir, an octopedal horse, who was given to Odin by Loki, and the severed head of Mímir, which foretells the future. He also commands a pair of wolves named Geri and Freki, to whom he gives his food in Valhalla since he consumes nothing but mead or wine.
The Valknut (slain warrior's knot) is a symbol associated with Odin. It consists of three interlaced triangles.
Odin is an ambivalent deity, whose attributes lie with "poetry, inspiration" as well as with "fury, madness and the wanderer." Odin sacrificed his eye (which eye he sacrificed is unclear) at Mímir's spring in order to gain the Wisdom of Ages. Odin gives to worthy poets the mead of inspiration, made by the dwarfs, from the vessel Óð-rœrir.
Odin is associated with the concept of the Wild Hunt, a noisy, bellowing movement across the sky, leading a host of slain warriors. He is also a god of war, the bringer of victory. Odin sometimes acts as the instigator of wars, and is said to have been able to start wars by simply throwing down his spear Gungnir, and/or sending his valkyries, to influence the battle toward the end that he desires.
Odin is also associated with trickery, cunning, and deception. Most sagas have tales of Odin using his cunning to overcome adversaries and achieve his goals, such as swindling the blood of Kvasir from the dwarves.
Loki is the trickster, the liar and the cheat among the gods. Sometimes his capers serve as amusement for the Aesir, but sometimes his deeds are darker and have far-reaching consequences. Loki is also the lord of fire and the consuming flame. His preference for trickery also makes him a master of spells and riddles.
The goddess of home, hearth and wisdom, Frigg is also closely associated with Fate and the Norns, as well as with the gift of foresight. She is the wife of Odin, and the foremost of the Aesir goddesses.
Tyr is the god of war and bravery. He lost his left hand to the jaws of the great Wolf Fenrir. A proud and self-sacrificing deity, he is known for his courage and self-control.
Baldur is the god of beauty, friendship and wisdom. He is the son of Odin and is best liked of all the gods. He is also fated to die and unleash the battle of Ragnarok and the end of the world according to dire prophecies.
Bragi, the younger brother of Odin, is the god of poetry and of Skalds, of inspiration and music. He is a master of metaphors, riddles and kennings.
Heimdall keeps an ever-vigilant watch over the domains of the gods and the bridge of Bifrost – known to men as the rainbow. If giants or other foes advance on Asgard, he is the first to raise the alarm by sounding his great horn, the Gjallarhorn. He is a noble and warlike god.
The god of hunting, sports and outdoorsmanship, Ullr is a great skier and protects those who travel through the wild.
The god of nature, fertility and virility, Freyr is the provider of plenty and riches. He makes the crops grow, and animals multiply. Freyr is seen as a noble and lordly god who distributes his riches to those who are loyal to him, just like a lord distributes wealth among his followers.
Njord, father of Freyr and Freya, is the lord of the seas and protector of fishermen and sailors. He can summon great storms or calm the winds to let ships pass. Seagulls and other sea birds are his spies.
- Aegir - beer, gold, hospitality, sea & water.
- Baldur - light, wisdom & wisdom.
- Bil - destiny & weaving.
- Eir - healing, medicine & women.
- Forseti - justice &. peace.
- Fulla/Volla - grain, messenger & virgins.
- Gefjon - generosity, prophecy, sea & virgins.
- Gna - horses, messenger & travel.
- Gullveig - gold & triple goddess.
- Hermod - communication, courage & messenger.
- Hlin - consolation & protection of men.
- Hod - war.
- Hoenir - intelligence, light & silence.
- Huldra - song, trees, forests & woodlands.
- Idun - youth, spring, rejuvenation.
- Jord/Fjorgyn - earth.
- Kvasir - peace, poetry & wisdom.
- Lodur - speech.
- Lofn - love, marriage & passion.
- Magni - strength.
- Mimir - wisdom.
- Modi - courage.
- Nanna -cleanliness, the moon & purification.
- Nerthus - earth, peace, poetry, trees, forests & woodlands
- Norns - destiny & fate.
- Ran - sea.
- Saga - prophecy.
- Sif - crops.
- Sjofn - Love/Passion
- Skadi - hunting & skiing.
- Snotra - gentleness, knowledge, self-discipline & wisdom.
- Syn - guardian & justice.
- Vali - war.
- Var - marriage, promises & vows
- Ve - speech.
- Vidar - freedom, independence & strength.
- Vili - will.
- Vor - contracts, faith, insight, marriage, promises & vows, self-discipline & wisdom.