Below are brief descriptions of the major deities of the Norse pantheon (in alphabetical order), along with the attributes they are best called upon in spell work.
Vana-God of the sea, who was the official ale brewer of the gods. He has been variously depicted as both good and evil. He is married to the evil goddess Ran, and they have nine daughters, which are undines named for the waves. Spell work: Matters of brewing, sunken treasure, sailing, and controlling the weather over the water.
The ancient cow goddess who bore the earliest deities out of the seeds of life. Spell work: Motherhood, matters of childbirth and child-rearing.
Asa-God of light. Balder was the Norse equivalent of the great archetypal Pagan Sun God who is the most kind and beloved of the deities, and who dies and is subsequently resurrected. When the Christians re-recorded the myths of the Norse Gods, they interpreted Balder as a Christ-like figure or martyr. Balder brought nothing but happiness to the deities, and was so beloved that his mother, Frigga, the Queen of the Gods, cast a powerful spell in which almost no object in existence could cause him any harm, particularly since she received a prophesy that the kindly god’s death would precipitate the coming of Ragnarok.
However, Balder’s death was orchestrated by a jealous Loki, who tricked the blind god Hodur into killing Balder with an arrow made of mistletoe wood, the one substance that the god was vulnerable to. According to some sources, Balder’s spirit, calling upon his great warrior skills, fought his way out of Hel and rejoined his body, thus returning to physical life; other sources have claimed that Balder and his wife Nanna will be resurrected in the new universe that results after the destruction of the current cosmos following Ragnarok. Spell work: Light, matters of harmony and happiness, reincarnation, wise advice.
Asa-God of poetry and eloquence. This god is a symbol of literature, music, and all the liberal and fine arts, and is married to Idunn. Spell work: Writing, music, poetic verse, creativity, education, liberal and fine arts.
Vana-Goddess (?) of spring. The modern holiday of Easter is named after her, and the Pagan holiday of Ostara is in her honor; “Ostara” is actually an alternate name for Eostre. Spell work: Spring spells, fertility, new beginnings.
Alternate name of the earth goddess Nerthus. See: Nerthus.
Asa-God of justice. He is the son of Balder and Nanna, and he symbolized matters of law for the deities. Spell work: Law, justice, matters of equity.
Great Vana-Goddess of magick, Witchcraft, love, beauty, and wisdom. She is the official Goddess-form of the Norse Wiccans. Twin sister of Frey and daughter of the sea god Njord. Despite her being a peaceful fertility goddess, she was also an extremely formidable warrior (in her aspect as Freya of the Black Swordhand), and perhaps the most powerful enchantress among the deities.
She is leader of the Valkyries, a sage, and a mistress of cats. Possesses the enchanted necklace Brisingamen that she earned by sleeping with the four Dwarfs who crafted it. Mistress of a type of feminine magick called the seidrh(which she taught to Odin), as well as having knowledge of the runes which, unlike Odin, she did not have to earn through a rigorous trial, but was self-taught. Her chariot was pulled by two large male cats called Brygun and Trejgun. She represents the Mother aspect of the Wiccan Triple Goddess (though this role was given to Frigga in other sources, who is sometimes confused with Freya by modern scholars; I personally believe that Frigga is the more appropriate holder of the role of the Mother aspect of the Wiccan Triple Goddess). Freya also rules over half of the honored dead in Valhalla, and she actually get’s first pick of these fallen warriors over that of Odin.
Spell work: Magick, spells, enchantments, cats, physical love/sex, wisdom, protection, combat skills, fertility, death, luck, wealth, the runes, psychic abilities, jewelry, poetry, creativity.
Vana-God of fertility, love, and sex, who is the official God-form of the Norse Wiccans. Freya’s twin brother and the son of the Vanir sea god Njord. Also known as the Lover, as he is a fertility deity who is the Norse equivalent of the Pagan Horned God (and is therefore very similar to the Celtic god Cernnunos and the Greco-Roman god Pan in his mystical attributes). He was the leader of the Light Elves in his youth, and ruler of the enchanted realm of Alfhiem (known to the Celtics as the land of Fairie, or ‘Otherworld’). He also has a magick sword that fights by itself, which he sacrificed to win the hand of the beautiful giantess called Gerda. His chariot is pulled by two mystical boars. One of them is Gullinbursti (Golden Bristles), a golden synthetic boar which he can ride on its back through the heavens at great speed, and was created by the dwarves. Spell work: Love, sex, fertility, wealth, luck, joy, happiness, protection, weather, abundance.
Asa-Goddess and wife of Odin, as well as Queen of the Gods of Asgard. She was a mistress of magick who ruled over marriages, as well as being a powerful prophet who kept silent about her visions of the future. Sometimes she is considered the Mother aspect of the Wiccan Triple Goddess, though this role is more often given to Freya (who she is sometimes mistaken with by modern scholars) by Norse Wiccans, though I personally believe that Frigga is more suited to this role by far. Frigga is exceedingly wise, and was well known for her wily ability to get her way over Odin whenever a disagreement ensued between the two, and she had much influence over her husband’s decisions. Spell work: Independence, destiny, marriage, childbirth, magick, motherhood.
Vana-Goddess and powerful sorceress who was the first contact between the Aesir and the Vanir. Some sources consider her to be Freya in a different guise, but I question this considering her somewhat different mystical attributes. She was burned three times by the Aesir, and returned to life each time, after which Odin renamed her Heid. This incident precipitated the war between the Aesir and the Vanir. Spell work: Magick, prophecy, healing.
Alternate aspect of Gullveig following her resurrection. See: Gullveig.
Asa-God who guards the rainbow bridge Bifrost, which connects Earth to Asgard, and one of the mightiest warriors among the deities. He has a great mystical horn called Gjall, which he will use at the coming of Ragnarok to summon his fellow gods to their final battle. His senses are so acute that he can hear grass growing or detect a fly hundreds of miles away, and he requires very little sleep, thus making him extremely well-suited to his role as a guardian. Spell work: Guardianship, protection from evil, beginnings and endings.
Goddess of death. Her Germanic aspect was Holda, where she took on the added attributes of a goddess of wyrd (fate). Rules over the spirits of the dishonored dead in Niflheim and the spirits of the common dead in Hel (the spirits of the honored dead go to Valhalla, a special section of Asgard, half of which is ruled by Odin, and the other half by Freya, and are hence outside of Hela’s jurisdiction). She has a great palace known as Sleet-Den, which is located in the frozen wastes of Niflheim. The daughter of Loki and the giantess Angrboda (and thus a full sibling to the Midgard Serpent and the Fenris Wolf), this goddess is said to have been born with half of her body physically dead and decayed, while the other half of her is alive and healthy, a condition she attempts to hide, and which has contributed to her bitterness.
Her disposition is said to be made all the worse by the loneliness she suffers as ruler of the underworld, as she has little regular contact with the other deities. She is among the most powerful of the Norse goddesses, as her role as empress of the dead requires her to be, and she has complete control over the will of every spirit within her two domains, and uses the spirits of the dead to create a huge army for herself. Ill-spirited and avaricious, but also very wise. Her Germanic aspect of Holda was seen a bit differently, as her control over destiny and fate was played up, as were her psychic powers. Either of her incarnations represents the Crone aspect of the Wiccan Triple Goddess by Norse Wiccans. Spell work: Death, dark magick, revenge; (additionally, in her aspect of Holda) karma, fate.
Asa-God who is the herald of the gods, and is similar to the Greek god Hermes in both function and special powers: he can run at super-speed. Curiously, their names are also etymologically similar. He is a very brave god whose most celebrated task was his trip to Hel to see how Balder might be revived. Spell work: Matters of bravery and honor.
Blind Asa-God of winter, who was tricked into killing Balder by Loki. He was a highly skilled archer before losing his sight. Spell work: Winter spells, passiveness.
Asa-God who is a very skilled warrior. He was described in the myths as speaking very little, and he was not renowned for his intelligence. Spell work: Bravery, fighting skills, aggressiveness.
Germanic aspect of Hela. See: Hela.
Asa-Goddess of youth, youth-lovers, and immortality. The wife of Bragi, she is a keeper of a tree where enchanted golden apples grew that could only be harvested or given to others by her. These apples give the deities their extraordinarily long lifespans (unlike the Greco-Roman deities of Olympus, the Gods of Asgard were not truly immortal in that they do age, albeit very slowly, and would age far faster without regularly consuming the apples). According to myth, no human being has ever been allowed to partake of these apples. She represents the Maiden aspect of the Wiccan Triple Goddess by Norse Wiccans, and she is the sacred protectress of both youths and those who love them. Spell work: Matters of youth and long life.
The Norse equivalent of the Native American Trickster (the Coyote), Loki was neither an Asa-God nor a Vana-God, but was born of the race of Jotuns, i.e., the giants, and was the master of trickery and lies whose cunning ways of deception both aided and caused immense trouble for the deities. When the Christians re-recorded the Norse myths, they interpreted this popular god as a Satanic figure of evil, which was not entirely accurate (there is at least one modern day cult, not related to Asatru or Norse Wicca, which worships Loki in his original Norse guise of a devious and deceptive, though not entirely evil, god).
He was alternately described as Odin’s “blood brother” or stepson (the latter being more accurate in my opinion, though he is much more often described as the former), as he was adopted by the King of the Gods after his giant parents, Laufey and Farbauti, were slain by the gods in battle. Loki is an extremely powerful enchanter and sorcerer, as well as a masterful shape-shifter who was also considered a god of fire (an attribute that was allegedly added much later in modern re-tellings of the myths). Spell work: Fire, mischief, cunning, deception, death, seduction/sexual conquests, lies, revenge, retrieval of stolen items, matters of treachery and thievery. It is advised that Loki be called upon with caution, as his responses to invocation in spell work are very unpredictable.
Asa-God of wisdom who was one of the hostages exchanged between the Aesir and the Vanir in order to preserve the peace between the two after their war had ended. He was killed and beheaded by the Vanir when his fellow hostage, Hoenir, proved disappointing to the Vana-Gods due to his lack of intellectual prowess. Mimir’s head was preserved through herbal magick by Odin to maintain the god’s great wisdom. His head now speaks at the Well of Mimir, where all of the god’s enormous store of knowledge, wisdom, and advice can be acquired by those who visit it. Spell work: Wisdom, advice, peace, the acquisition of knowledge, liberal and fine arts.
Vana-Goddess (?) of plenty. Spellwork: Abundance and plenty, luck, fortunate turn of events.
Gentle and beautiful Asa-Goddess who is married to Balder. She was considered the Great Mother to her worshipers in the past. Spell work: Love, gentleness.
Also known as Erce. Vana-Goddess of the earth and fertility. Spell work: Fertility, Witchcraft.
Extremely wise Vana-God of the sea. Wife of Skadi and father of the Lady and Lord, Freya and Frey. He lives in a great undersea kingdom called Noatun (Boat-Town). He rules the waves, and is similar to Aegir, only Njord is completely benevolent. Spell work: Wind and waves, fishing, prosperity, matters of success, wisdom.
These three goddesses, known as Urd (the past, destiny), Verdnadi (the present) and Skuld(the future) are more than mere goddesses; they are apparently personifications of the vastly powerful universal force variously described as Fate, Wyrd, Kismet, and Karma. They may very well be the same beings known as the Fates in Greco-Roman mythology. They have each been depicted as very old women who hide their appearances underneath a hooded cloak, and are able to see the past, the present, and all possible futures with ease. They live around the Well of Urd in Asgard, and see to it that the fates of mortals and gods alike are weaved according to plan. Thus, the Norns are said to wield tremendous power that is respected even by Odin. Spell work: Karma, fate; past, present, future (see respective goddesses for each).
Mysterious presumed Vana-God who was married to Freya, and whom she subsequently lost when he vanished for inexplicable reasons. Freya mourned the loss of her husband very deeply by shedding tears of gold (the tears that fell into the water are said to have become amber, but the symbolic significance of this was never explained in the surviving myths). Some consider him an aspect of Odin, but he is often described as a completely separate entity, which I believe he was. His specific mystical attributes are unknown.
Asa-God who is King of the entire pantheon of Norse deities. Known as the All-Father and the Great Father, Odin is an extraordinary enchanter who is one of the most powerful beings in all of creation. He sacrificed one of his eyes to the Well of Mimir in exchange for acquiring all the knowledge in the universe, and he went through a famous debilitating and extremely grueling ritual of both physical and metaphysical self-sacrifice, during which he was hung from one of the branches of the world tree Yggrasil for nine days and nights without partaking of food or water, in order to gain complete knowledge of all aspects of the magickal runic alphabet (both for divination and their magickal power), and all of this was ultimately for the purpose of finding a way of averting Ragnarok, the “twilight of the gods.”
He rules over half the honored dead in Valhalla (the Viking equivalent of Heaven; the goddess Freya rules over the other half), he has two ravens, Huginn and Muninn (‘thought’ and ‘memory’, respectively) who fly throughout the Nine Worlds gathering information for him, which they then whisper in his ear, and he is often invoked by anyone, Pagan or not, who are utilizing the runes for divinitory purposes.
He is the knower of all things, and is also attended by the Valkyries and two wolves, Geri and Frecki. He considers himself above human concepts of good and evil, for his main purpose is to avert the coming of Ragnarok, the destruction of both humanity and the deities (but which will reportedly lead to a new beginning, perhaps symbolic of the Wheel of the Year and the cycle of death and rebirth familiar to Wiccan theology). He has traditionally been considered the patron god of the ruling class of any given era (and as a result, he was and is far less popular as a figure of worship and/or reverence among Pagans than his son Thor, who is the god of the working class and protector of the common man, who have always been far more numerous in society than any ruling class). His motives are little understood by humans, and he often appears to betray his worshipers and allies if the situation, or the greater good as he sees it, calls for this. He also has the task in choosing the victors in any battle. Hence, he is unpredictable and untrusted by the average mortal, but was widely worshiped by rulers, poets, seers, mystics, and the berserkers (that ancient clan of brutal warriors, as he is a giver of “warrior madness” in combat). It is believed that at least some of his treacherous qualities were added by the Christians when they re-recorded the Norse epics, as well as after he became associated with the economic and political ruling classes of humanity. He is the giver of three types of “madness” to humans who call upon him for that purpose: the warrior in combat, the poet in writing and creativity, and the seer in trance.
He would frequently travel among the human race in his mortal guise of the Wanderer (another archetypal symbol) where he was described wearing tattered clothing, a cloak, and a wide-brimmed hat to cover his missing eye (in more recent years he has been depicted as wearing an eye patch). He is said to resemble a very large and robust man in his fifties, and has gray hair and a beard. He is also a master of medicine, and his magick has great ability to heal the sick and wounded. Spell work: Runic magick, acquisition of knowledge, divination, poetry, the runes, healing, victory in war, acquisition of power, death, karma, wisdom, fate, psychic abilities.
Note: Witches who call upon him for assistance should do so with caution, as he is rather unpredictable in how he responds to invocations in spell work, and many have told of regretting calling upon him for magickal assistance, or following him as a worshiper, as his nature and reasoning are often quite inexplicable to the human race.
Alternate name for the goddess Eostre, and is also the name of a Pagan holiday in her honor that is still celebrated by Pagans today, and by the Christians as Easter. See: Eostre.
Vana-Goddess who is the cruel and malicious wife of Aegir. She is often called the Ravager, for she is known to drown sailors with her power over the waves. She is very unpredictable, and she should be called upon in spell work with great caution, if at all. Spell work: Drowning, storms over water, terror.
Goddess of history, who is said to be of the race of giants. Sometimes described as an alternate aspect of Frigga, which I personally doubt since her attributes are so different. She is responsible for collecting facts about her fellow deities and writing them down for posterity. Spell work: Historical research, writing, poetry.
Asa-Goddess of the harvest, warrior, and wife of Thor. She was famous for her beautiful golden hair. Spell work: Matters of the harvest, plenty, generosity.
Goddess of fidelity who is the devoted wife of Loki. She is a gentle and faithful goddess who attempts to temper Loki’s mischievous ways. Spell work: Love, loyalty.
Asa-Goddess of love. Little info about her is to be found in the surviving myths, but she appears to be exclusively a love goddess. Spell work: Love, beauty.
Dangerous warrior-goddess and daughter of the giant Thiassi, the latter of whom was killed by the gods. During her attempt to acquire a were gild from the gods in reparation for the death of her father, she ended up marrying the sea god Njord, who she accidentally selected for marriage due to his beautiful feet. The two separated, however, when Skadi preferred her home in the mountains over that of Njord’s under the sea, and vice versa. Spell work: The hunt, mountains, revenge, winter spells.
Asa-God of thunder and son of Odin and Gaea, the goddess of the earth, in her Nordic guise of Jord. Thor is the champion of the common man and the working class (in fact, his hammer is the modern political symbol of socialists for this reason), and the most powerful warrior in Asgard. He wields the hammer Mjolnir (Destroyer) that controls the tempest of the storm and always returns to his hand when thrown, and it’s among the most powerful weapons ever wielded by any god of any pantheon.
He is a great hero who protects the weak, he is the staunch defender of the human race of Midgard (Earth), and is a sworn enemy of the giants and the trolls. He also has iron gloves, used for handling his hammer at times, and a magick belt that doubles his already prodigious strength when he wears it (though he only does so in emergencies, since the usage of the belt allegedly leaves him physically drained for a time after using it). His chariot is pulled by two enchanted male goats, Tooth-Gnasher and Tooth-Grinder, who can be killed for food and then magically revived. He has two brave and powerful sons, Magni and Modi, who he sired with the giantess Jarnsaxa. Spell work: Protection, war, combat, courage, physical and inner strength, success, destruction of opposition, defense, thunder and lightening, weather, luck, crop fertility.
Asa-God of war and justice. The bravest of the gods, he willingly sacrificed his right hand in order to fetter the dangerous Fenris Wolf. He is the overseer of the Thing, the legislative body of the Gods of Asgard, and also one of the most formidable warriors among the deities. It is believed by many historians of the Norse religion that Tyr was once worshiped as a sky god and held in a much higher place in the pantheon, even over Odin, only to later be devalued in status. Spell work: War, victory over great odds, law, justice, bravery and honor, oaths.
Vana-God of archery and sports, who was so magnificent that Odin himself was jealous, and threw the athletic god out of Asgard as a result. Spell work: Sporting events, contests, single combat, archery, matters of nobility.
Warrior-goddesses (some stories say there are thirteen of them in all) who ride winged horses and are known as the “Choosers of the Slain,” as they fly over battlefields where they pick which fallen warriors will go to Valhalla. They carry enchanted spears with flaming points for weapons, and their horses’ manes are said to drop dew or hail. The most well known was Brynnhilda, who allied herself with the Norse hero Siegfried and taught him runic magick. They are led by Freya and are attendants to Odin. Spell work: Courage, war, combat, death.
Not truly a deity, but the primal frost giant whose evil and brutality were ended by Odin and his brothers Vili and Vey in the early days of the multiverse. He is said to have spawned the entire race that became known as the Jotuns, or giants, without a female mate. It is not advised to call upon him in matters of spell work.