Women's Empowerment: When the Norse Women United

Posted by Ms Elly on

Women's Empowerment: When the Norse Women United

One of many Viking things that fascinate me is the Viking respect towards their women. Unlike other medieval regions, the Vikings gave women basic rights, to own land, to protect themselves, or even to divorce. The reason behind their respect is associated with the female appearance in Norse mythology. In the myth, not only did each female figure have overwhelming dominance but they also united to make the most powerful team that even Odin the Allfather could not persuade them. 

The Norns 

The most powerful female figures in Norse mythology must be the Norns, the trio of female women who lived under the Yggdrasil. Every day, the Norns watered the roots of the Yggdrasil which helped the tree to flourish to hold the cosmos.

Runic letters that were believed to hold the mysteries of the cosmos were initially known by the Norns. These women created the threads of fate for all beings in the cosmos. Accordingly, they must be the ones who kept the secrets and mysteries of the universe. Later, they carved runes on the Yggdrasil but no one could ever see and decipher runes without making a sacrifice. Odin the Allfather was the only one who dared to make the sacrifice. He hung himself on the Yggdrasil with his Gungnir spear stabbed in the chest. For nine days and nine nights, he finally got the hang of the runes. 

The Norns in Norse mythology

The Norns weaved the thread of fate for all beings in cosmos

The Norns were on the neutral side in Norse mythology. They neither helped gods nor giants. They only knew their mission which was to create the fate of everyone. For example, holding the fate of all beings, the Norns must have known of the death of Baldur the son of Odin the Allfather. But they never gave a warning towards the gods. They just let everything happen as the way fate wanted it to. No one could change their way of thinking and no one could ever disturb them away from their weaving threads of fate. 

The Valkyries 

The Valkyries were Odin's female helping spirits. According to many sources, Odin was not the one who directly chose whom to join him in Valhalla. It was the Valkyries who did this mission. In every battle, the Valkyries would come and observe who had the dignity and courage to come to Valhalla. 

Only those who died a warrior death could come to Valhalla. That's why the Vikings were always willing to sacrifice themselves in battle. 

The Viking valkyries

The Valkyries were the ones who helped Odin pick the brave warriors to Valhalla

The most wanted afterlife that every Viking desired was Valhalla. And they had to do their best in battle in order to gain the Valkyries' recognition. Valkyries were the ones who would pick them to Valhalla. Therefore, they had to prove themselves in front of these female spirits. That's why the Vikings always held the Valkyries in high esteem. 

The Nine Maidens 

The Nine Sea Maidens were among the lovers of Odin the Allfather. Although these women only appeared once or twice in Norse mythology, they played an important in the flow of the myth. 

One day, when Odin was walking along the seashore, he accidentally saw nine beautiful women. Odin immediately fell in love with these women and decided to marry all of them on the spot. Somehow, they had a son together. But Odin could not live with the maidens and he had to return to Asgard. Meanwhile, these maidens could not come to Asgard because they were the giantesses and they had to help their parents. It turned out to be that these nine maidens were the daughters of Aegir and Ran the couple that ruled over the ocean. 

Heimdall and the Nine Maidens in Norse mythology

Heimdall and Nine Maidens

The power of these nine maidens was to love Odin regardless of their tribal conflicts and to bring up their only son. They used the moisture of the ocean, the warmth of the sun, and the strength of the land to raise their son. 

The nine maidens' son was Heimdall the Guardsman of Asgard. When Heimdall became a man, he joined the army of his father in Asgard. Farewell to his mothers, Heimdall became the guardsman in Asgard keeping all of his brothers safe. 

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