Thor, the Thunderer
Thor is one of the most beloved of the gods by humanity. This could be because he is the great protector of Midgard, our kind, and 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, and some say Zeus (because of the
"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: two sons named Magni and Modi (who are twins and apparently not the brightest) with the giantess named Jarnsaxa, and a daughter (who's mother is 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?
There are countless ways to honor the thunder god.
Prayer, libations, blots, living your life honorably and bravely, going outside and planting an oak tree.
The standard stuff! Really any way that you want to
would be a good way.. just so long as it is honorable.
“Thor’s Battle with the Giants” by Mårten Eskil Winge (1872)
There are many holidays in which Thor is honored:
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, and it is very sacred to Thor. This is an important time to honor him with prayer, blot and feasting!
There are many other holidays in which Thor should be honored. 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 in honoring him:
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 any 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!
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!!