Thor, The God of Thunder
Thor was the son of Odin, and commanded storms and lightning. He rode in a chariot drawn by two goats, Toothgrinder and Toothgnasher, and when the chariot moved, its wheels groaned and rumbled like thunder, while sparks struck from the wheels echoed the lightning. Thor's personal tower in Asgard was Himinbiorg, and his wife was Sif. His abode was Thruthheim (Land of Strength) and his hall, Bilskinir.
He was foremost of the gods to the common man, who would call on him to ensure fertility, and widely worshipped. Hammer shaped amulets, a symbol of Thor because it was his weapon, were worn about the neck. His statue was central in the great temple at Uppsala. Thursday is named for him.
Thor possessed the magical hammer Mjollnir, which had been forged for him by the dwarf Brok, and which would destroy anything it was thrown at, always returning to the hand of the caster. Only Thor could wield this sacred weapon, and to do so he needed to put on his iron gloves. Any oath made in the name of Thor, must be carried out. For this reason, the Hammer is used at wedding ceremonies, by being laid in the bride's lap, as a sign of total commitment by those getting married. The Hammer is also used to accept new born babies, into the community.
When the gods of Asgard traveled to their daily meetings at the foot of the root of Yggdrassil, the World Tree, Thor could not cross the Rainbow Bridge Bifrost as did his fellows: his thunderous chariot would destroy the bright bridge. So he walked through the waters of the world to reach the council spot. Thor also possessed a belt of strength, which, when pulled, gave him supernatural strength. He was a huge, muscular figure, with a red beard and flashing eyes. He traveled widely throughout Asgard, occasionally visiting Midgard, though not as often as his father.
Thor's links with the dead and funeral rites are a little obscure. This is due to the fact, that anyone who lives in the spirit of Thor, lives very much in real time, and as such, is little worried by death. Dying for what one considers important, is considered the most noble of ends.
Thor's role in the dreaded Ragnarok was as crucial as his role in life: the thunder god was to destroy the serpent Jormungand, but at the end fall dead from its poisonous breath.
Some Adventures of Thor
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Last Modified on Wednesday, November 23, 2005