Three Awesome Magical Powers in Norse Mythology

Posted by Ms Elly on

Three Awesome Magical Powers in Norse Mythology 

Norse mythology had gods and gods had magical powers that can dazzle us to the core. Three awesome magical powers that we are to discuss here are the seidr power, shapeshifting power, and not-to-be-hurt power.

Seidr power

The concept of seidr power referred to the ability to see the fate of creatures in the cosmos. This sounds awesome until they finally saw their demise. The most famous figures who practised seidr power in Norse mythology included the Norns, Freya, and Frigg.

The Norns were the most famous in the list. Simply, they were the creators of fate for all creatures in the cosmos. No one could manipulate the way of thinking of the Norns. Once the Norns had written the fate of any being, even Odin the Allfather couldn't change it. For example, Ragnarok the Doom of Gods was prophesied. Although Odin and his fellows tried to change the course of fate, Ragnarok came destroying the Norse Pantheon. 

Freya Goddess of War was a practicer of Seidr in Norse mythology

Freya shapeshifted herself to travel around the cosmos and practice seidr for those who commissioned her. 

Freya was also a powerful volva (the one who practised seidr). Freya came from the Vanir god tribe and her tribe's power was much more associated with the magical power rather than physical and weapon power. To practice this magic, Freya took up the life of a wanderer travelling around the world and let herself be commissioned to practise seidr. 

Frigg was the wife of Odin and the Queen of Asgard. Some sources told that Frigg could practise seidr as well. Even though she saw what would happen in the future, she shared it to none. 

Not-to-be-hurt power

This kind of power is yet to be officially listed as a power in Norse mythology. But there was one god who had this power in Norse mythology. It was Baldur the son of Odin who had the power. 

Baldur was the son of Odin and Frigg (Aesir chief god and goddess). For being the son of king and queen, Baldur became the prince of Asgard. Baldur was not only beautiful but also kind and nice that everyone in the cosmos loved him. Even the most beautiful creatures in the cosmos couldn't help bowing before him. 

Everything went very well with Baldur's life until he dreamt of his own death. His mother, Frigg, whom we mentioned above as a goddess who could see the future, also saw something not good approaching her son. This broke the heart of Frigg and also worried Norse Pantheon. Because it was written in the fate that the death of Baldur would be the first sign of Ragnarok Doom of Gods. 

Loki guiding Hodr to throw the mistletoe arrow into the chest of Baldur

But the death of Baldur was something written in the fate meaning no one could change it. The Death of Baldur was inevitable. 

Frigg the Queen calmed herself and set out a journey around the Nine Worlds to ask all creatures never to hurt her son. Because everyone in the cosmos loved Baldur the Shining God, Frigg could easily ask for their vow. However, somehow she missed out the little mistletoe.

Back to Asgard, Frigg informed everyone about her successful journey and everyone was so happy that they tried to throw things at Baldur to test his not-to-be-hurt power. And all the things thrown at Baldur bounced off. None of them could hurt the god.  

Loki the Trickster somehow learnt of the secret of the mistletoe and came up with a troll for the gods. But this troll came too far. 

Loki made an arrow out of the mistletoe and gave it to the blind twin brother of Baldur - Hodr. Yes, Hodr was a blind god. After giving the arrow, Loki guided Hodr to point the arrow right into the chest of Baldur. Hodr the Innocent thinking he could finally share the joy with his clan immediately threw the mistletoe arrow into the chest of Baldur. 

Hitting right in the chest of Baldur, the mistletoe deprived Baldur of his life as he fell on the spot. 

Shapeshifting power

Shapeshifting power could be practised by three figures in Norse mythology only. There were Odin the Allfather, Loki the Trickster, and Freya the Goddess of War. 

In the list, Loki was the one who shapeshifted into the most interesting things. For example, he once changed himself into a mare to lure a stallion. Then they entertained each other for one night, resulting in the birth of Sleipnir. For this shapeshifting time, Loki mothered a horse named Sleipnir who later became the favourite steed of Odin. 

In Norse mythology, Loki was a master not only in causing trouble but also shapeshifting.

Loki once shapeshifted himself into a mare to lure a stallion into the wood. There, they entertained each other for one night. This resulted in the birth of Sleipnir the Eight-legged horse whom Loki literally mothered. 

On one occasion, Loki changed himself into a fly that stung the dwarf preventing the dwarf from finishing his making of Mjolnir Hammer. For this, the Mjolnir hammer had a shortcoming: it had a short handle. 

Another occasion was when Loki shapeshifted himself into a salmon. That was after his killing Baldur that the gods chased after him. He came into a mountain where he built a house with four doors to observe who coming in all directions. In the daylight, he shapeshifted into a salmon and turned into his normal appearance in the night. Finally, the gods found out his place and came to seize the murderer. Loki quickly changed himself into a salmon and hid in the river. After attempts to capture the slippery salmon, it was Thor who managed to grab the salmon by the tail. This is why the salmon has a very slender tail. 

Thor angrily caught the salmon by the tail and that is why the salmon had a slender tail

Loki shapeshifted himself into a salmon and Thor managed to catch the slippery fish by the tail seizing Loki for the punishment. 

Odin and Freya also practised shapeshifting power. They usually shapeshifted in order to travel around the world. For Odin, he changed himself into an old man with a hooded cloak travelling around to observe and learn everything in the cosmos. For Freya, she shapeshifted in order to travel around and practice her seidr power. 

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