The war between the Aesir and the Vanir – what if that had nothing to do with which tribe of Gods thought they were entitled to the worship of men, which is the common assertion of many different Heathen groups?
What if, instead, allegorically, that battle is supposed to be the battle between the masculine and feminine forces of the universe? The Aesir are all pretty masculine in their energies. The Vanir are fairly feminine in theirs. The only God that ties them together is Loki.
Anyway, food for thought. Not sure I’m convinced of this theory yet, but it is something that popped into my head as I was researching, of all things to be researching, the history behind the names of the months.
3 thoughts on “A Thought Occurred to Me”
It’s a curious thought, though I don’t think I agree! Mainly perhaps because I don’t think it’s a correct assessment of one side as female and one as male. Call Freyr feminine to his face I dare ya! 😉
I’m not sure I agree with the thought myself, but it is interesting that the Vanir were all originally water-based deities, and water is the element associated principally with femininity.
Also, in my experience with Freyr, he’d have absolutely no problem being referred to as feminine. I mean, think about Freyja, his sister. She’s a woman and may be even deadlier than Odin. To be fair, I don’t think Freyr would take kindly to being called a woman, but I don’t think he’d mind being told he expresses his feminine side well. I mean, think of the lengths he went to for love, even giving up his sword in order to win the woman he loved. He is the embodiment of the hopeless romantic, but he is also the embodiment of nobility. Of course, this is just the way I have come to understand him – your experience of him may be very different from mine.
In any case, the idea that feminine = weak is pretty ridiculous. Women have a different type of strength than men, but it isn’t a weakness because that implies that women are inherently weak, and that is not a concept that I will ever be willing to accept.
Granted, whether the war between the Vanir and Aesir had anything to do with the masculine vs. feminine principle is pure speculation, and, like I said, I’m not sure I entirely agree with it. And the idea of the feminine vs. masculine principle doesn’t say anything about one side being male and one side being female – every person, whether male or female-bodied, has both feminine and masculine qualities inside them.
And the idea of the feminine vs. masculine principle doesn’t say anything about one side being male and one side being female – every person, whether male or female-bodied, has both feminine and masculine qualities inside them. The idea that the Vanir vs. Aesir war was one where the two qualities (polarities, really) warred against one another isn’t an indication that the Vanir didn’t have masculine qualities to begin with or that the Aesir lacked feminine ones. It’s that perhaps one side embraced the masculine principle while denying the feminine and the other embraced the feminine principle while denying the masculine, and those two schools of thought went to war with one another and learned, in the process, that the two principles work better when they are balanced beside the other.
It’s something I’m still considering, but it is an intriguing thought. Granted, I’ve also looked at the war from the perspective of fertility gods vs. war goods – creation vs destruction. I am honestly learning more towards the concept that the war was the forces of creation vs. destruction, but there’s a relationship between creation and the feminine principle and destruction and the masculine principle that I can’t ignore.
I always had the impression that the Aesir, Vanir and even the Jotuns are about the forces of nature vs the civilization of man.
The Jotuns are the chaotic destructive forces of nature that man has no control over, terrible storms, tornados, hurricanes, volcanos, earthquakes, etc. The Vanir are the aspect of the natural world that man works hand in hand with, agriculture, going to sea for exploration or food gathering. The Aesir seem to be more in connection to man’s slipping away from the natural side of life, more about laws and civilization.
I may be wrong, but that’s how it’s seemed to me.