Sunday, September 25, 2016


There are a lot of powerful Goddesses to be found in Norse mythology, but Elli was nicknamed 'the Giant Crone'.  She is a very tall, matronly old woman with long, loose white hair and wrinkled features.  Elli used a long walking staff.  She challenged the God Thor to a wrestling match - and won.  To be fair to Thor though, the whole thing turned out to be a bit of a trick.  Elli, although the weakest of the giantesses of Utgard, was the personification of old age. 

Simply attempting to face off against the personification of old age is daunting.  Limbs turn weak, and the heart grows cold as the thoughts of inevitable mortality creep into the mind, even to a God.  Elli strikes an opponent, rapidly draining their strength for a period.  The longer they remain near her, the stronger the effect becomes until they succumb.

This can serve as a valuable lesson not to underestimate senior citizens.  We often think of the elderly as unfit, forgetful and out of touch with modern times, but they have a wealth of knowledge and can often give good advice.  They are also not necessarily as helpless as we imagine.  There is a good story online of this point.  It was about a shoplifter who had been apprehended.  The manager shouted "Stop! Thief!", as the criminal ran to the door with something he had stolen.  The shoplifter tried to barge past an old lady without thinking.  But it turned out the pensioner had a belt in Judo.  She grabbed the thief's arm, twisted it and in an instant he was on the floor.
And this is just a snippet of what can be found in, 'Who Are Your Divine Friends?'.
Color: black, grey, white
Rulership: old age, wisdom, strength
Runes: Uruz, Stan, Perthro
Symbol: clock, elder
Healing Prayer to the Gods
Thor, support me to get my strength back,
Give me good stamina and staying power.
Frigga, grant me comfort under your cloak,
Give me trust in the doctors and my self-healing powers.
Sif, lend me the life force to rejoice in small steps of recovery.
Eir, grant me relief, let healing fully unfold.
Community of the Gods, give everyone around me courage and confidence;
In your company, everything is lightened and eased.
~ German original "Göttergebet um Heilung": Michael Schütz
On the hillside drear
The fir tree dies
All bootless its needles and bark
So falls she who birthed the one
Who likewise brought forth me.
Cattle die
Kinsmen die
And so dies oneself
But what seeds have sprung from what is lost
May feel the sun return
Prepare the grave
Lay down the bones
Let the ice winds take your tears
Let daughters take up mother’s tasks
As mothers to daughters return
Crone to Disir pass with death
Maiden to Mother with birth
Mother to Crone with wisdom learned
As the wheel of time still turns.
On the hillside drear
A fir grove stands
Its needles richly green
Sheltering heart in its center marks
Where the mother of all has been.
~ John T Mainer

Ancestors are family
From days long past
Maidens and Men
Mothers and Fathers
Grandmothers and Grandfathers
Warriors, Farmers, Poets, and Priests
Weavers, Tailors, Brewers, and Bricklayers
They lived in lands far, far away
Feasts and Festivals on Midsummer’s Day
They lived and died, as we all must do
With each generation born to follow threw
And down through time we are connected still
Blood to blood and the Gods will
Close as a shadow and yet forever apart
Listen closely and you can hear their heart
You may not know their names
But rest assured, they know yours
Watching over the family
At the edge of Midgard’s shores
~ Wolf Helser
The Old Ones
Old ones laying in the lichyard
Under mound and tree and stone
I hear Your sacred Voices
I hear the call in Home
The bones sunk deep in earth
The ashes scattered wide
I seek Your sacred places
Where Your spirits still abide
Disir and Vaettir, ancient Trees
Whose roots reach so far down
I am here and listening
Where You all are found
~ Sarenth Odinsson
Being underestimated can be a good thing.  You may have people in your life who think you are a lot less than you are, but you are going to surprise them.  When people underestimate you, don't let it get to you; stand up and let them know that they're wrong.  Stay positive and concentrate on yourself.
Elli is appealed to for old age, wisdom, elders, and strength.  Honor her friendship by volunteering at an elder home or by serving meals at a shelter.  Elli is not mentioned in any other extant source but the notion that not even the Gods are immune to the effects of aging is supported by the fact that they must consume the apples of Idunn on a regular basis in order to remain young.


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