Thor, the Thunderer
Thor is possibly one of the most beloved of the gods by humanity.
Possibly since he is the great protector of Midgard and our kind.
He is also one of the oldest. Tales and myths of Thor go back thousands,
and thousands of years all across Europe. Every culture has a deity that is
similar to Thor. Thunor, Donor, Perun, some say Zeus just because of the
lightning bolts, but personally I see Zeus as more of a Odin type figure.
Regardless, the list goes on and on.
"In Norse mythology, Thor (from Old Norse Þórr) is a hammer-wielding god associated with thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength, the protection of mankind, and also hallowing, healing and fertility. The cognate deity in wider Germanic mythology and paganism was known in Old English as Þunor and in Old High German as Donar, stemming from a Common Germanic *Þunraz (meaning "thunder")." (1)
Thor is the red haired, red bearded son of Odin, and the earth, or the goddess Jord. Those that claim Jord and Nerthus are one in the same, say that Nerthus is Thor's mother. Either way, Thor is the son of Odin, and the earth. Thor is said to be tall, and very muscular. Well, I guess that you have to be in order to be the god of strength.
Thor is married to the beautiful goddess Sif, whose hair is said to shine brighter than pure gold. Sadly though, it was all cut off by Loki. Thor has three known children, but not from his wife Sif, rather from a giantess named Jarnsaxa; Two sons, Magni and Modi (who are twins and apparently not the brightest) and a daughter (who's mother was Sif) named Þrúðr who may be a Valkyrie.
Thor is the depiction of a strong, loyal, masculine warrior. While not the brightest per say, Thor will stick up for what he believes in, and fight to the death to protect those whom he loves and cares for. In Norse society, Thor was the depiction of what a man should be, and the men of the age reflected that.
So what do you do to honor Thor? Well simply put
there are countless ways to honor the thunder god.
It is all completely up to you. There are however
some way that are considered "general and normal"
that most people will do at least once, if not quiet
often. So what are these ways? Prayer, libations,
blots, living your life honorably and bravely.
The standard stuff! Going outside and planting
an oak tree. Really any way that you want to
would be a good way! Just so long as it is honorable.
There are many holidays in which Thor, as well as many other holy powers are honored, but for this article, and its focus on Thor, we shall only be going over the holidays that honor him exclusively as well as how to celebrate them.
Around January 13th, is Thorrablot. There is a argument that Thorrablot does not actually honor Thor, but the Vaettir Thorri, a majority of modern heathens however choose to honor Thor at this time. Whether you are honoring Thor, Thorri, or both, it is a time of blot, sacrifice and feasting!
Yule, around December 20th, is an important holiday all around, it is very sacred to Thor, and is an important time to honor him with prayer, blot and feasting!
There are many other holidays in which Thor should be honored, most of the ones I can think of at the moment actually. The to listed above however are the most sacred to Thor, in my opinion at least. Of course it is always appropriate to honor Thor at any given time, to ask for his blessings, his aid, or to thank him for all that he does for us. He is after all our great protector.
There are a few items that are sacred to Thor, in the sense that they are sacred to him himself, and to us I honoring him. As to items being sacred to Thor himself, there are quiet a few, and they are all important.
The most obvious of these is his war hammer Mjölnir, it is important to Thor for it is his famous weapon, important to the gods and us humans for it defends us, and important to honoring Thor, and heathenry in general by wearing his symbol.
The next important item to Thor, is not really an item but an animal. Most gods have animals that they identify with, for Thor it is goats. Why? I am not sure...What I do know is that his chariot in which he rides about the worlds in causing thunder and lightning is pulled by two goats.
The next two items go together; Thor's belt, Járngreipr, which when worn doubles his already inhuman, godly strength, and a pair of gloves called Megingjörð, that allow him to wield the mighty Mjölnir.
Out of all the Norse Myths, Thor probably has the "lime light" more than anyone other deity. There are just so many in which Thor plays a major role that I could not begin to go over all of them. So instead, here is a site that has already done a lot of it! Go check it out! I have not read the whole thing, so let me know if it is a good source!
While we are on the topic of other sites are articles, this one is very very good and if you would like to learn more about Thor, you should definitely check it out!:
So what happens to Thor at Ragnarok? As many of you
most likely know, many of the gods meet their doom at
Ragnarok. Sadly, Thor is no different. He will come to the
great field Vigrid and battle to the death with Jormungand,
the world serpent. They will fight until Thor finally slays the
mighty serpent, his mortal enemy for whom he has battled
with on multiple occasions. But when Thor slays Jormangand,
in his death thralls he shall spew his venoms over all the
earth, and they shall consume Thor. He shall walk 9 steps,
and will fall dead. Thus ends the thunderer. It is said that
after Ragnarok, when the world is created anew, his sons
shall inherit Mjolnir, as well as his gloves and the belt,
and his responsibilities.
Hail Thor! Hail the mighty thunderer! May he guard and guild us! Hail Thor!!