In all nature, I feel more at home, happier and healthier. I love being in nature, one thing that makes nature just so spectacular, mind you one thing, is the vaettir of the land, sky, and water. The spirits of this place, be they landvaettir (land wights or spirits) vaettir (a general all encompassing term for spirits) or the alfur, they are just so ancient, untouched, and powerful. When you come into this land, or any wild space, even those who are not open to the idea of vaettir, feel something. They do not understand, or know what it is, but they know that it is something. You do not feel this in cities, or in places that have been so overpopulated, and drained of “naturalness” by humanity. Places filled with metal, and iron. But in those places where humanity have not ruined, the feeling is simply immense, and unforgettable.
So what do the vaettir do? Well a few things! The vaettir, and their functions may differ depending on where they are, but what they do is generally the same. The vaettir are not necessarily there to do “something” they are beings, like you and I, living in their homes! The elves in the rocks, or trees or wherever, are not there to do “something”, they are just living like you and I! That is why it is a terrible thing to do to destroy their homes. To romp through the woodland, destroying plants, standing stones etc. This will surely enrage the local vaettir. They are just trying to live like us! But besides just trying to live and coexist with the other creatures of the land, they are also there to protect the land. A rock slide? Probably caused by the disgruntled vaettir for some reason or another. Fire? Once again a good chance that the Vaettir had something to do with it (if it was natural). The forest cannot continue to grow after all unless the old is cleared away. All of these natural things, the vaettir are responsible for in order to keep the land healthy and safe. The vaettir are extremely powerful. This is very important to keep in mind! The vaettir are the oldest inhabitants of the lands, and they are their caretakers. Respect, and honor between oneself and the vaettir is of the utmost importance.
Here is an expert from an old post I wrote:
“As I write this I am currently sitting in the forests surrounding Lake Tahoe, on the California, Nevada border. It is unbelievably quite, save the Hagalaz Runedance music I am playing, and it is windy. Sunna is currently in the midst of her decent behind the mountains, and the lake is shimmering with the last of her light. It is so peaceful here. The presence of the divine, the holy powers is so strong you can almost taste it, none more so than the presence of the land wights. For those of you who do not know who these beings are, they are the spirits of the land, who have been here since creation and shall be here until Ragnarok, and then again as the new time cycle starts over. The welfare of the land, and those in it (including all of you!) depends on them. I do not know if every tree, and every rock, and river and lake has its own spirit, but at the very least certain areas are definitely, watched over by land spirits. Id like to think that everything in nature has its own spirit, Lake Tahoe has a very powerful, strong spirit, while the small shrub next to me has a weaker, but no less ancient spirit, but a spirit none the less. Then after that I think that those spirits are watched over by an older, more powerful spirit. For example, every plant, rock etc in Lake Tahoe has a land wight, but then the great spirit of the lake itself, watches over them. Just as the gods and our ancestors watch over us. I of course may be wrong but this is how I at least explain it to myself. Please feel welcome to share your beliefs on here, twitter, or my Facebook page. Save all comments on Alfur and other beings for future posts please if you would be so kind as to help me keep things in order! Now some might ask, why do you feel their presence more in nature, in less modernized areas, are you just feeling things because you feel them? Well first off I would like to state how you need to be open to such things, if the spirits feel threatened then the will flee and you shall not feel them, or you will and they shall be very angry, which of course can be fatal, a falling rock, branch etc. The spirits can be felt more in the wild because there are MORE of them. Think about it, where there are countless, hundreds of year old trees and never touched meadows, vs the city of Los Angeles where everything is man made, where are there going to be more, friendlier spirits? That is how I explain that. If you go on top of a mountain where the human impact is less, and the spirits live in their more natural state of course you are going to feel their presence stronger there than elsewhere! And another point is that if you are in the city and what not you are busy and do not take time to notice the wind in the trees, the swaying of the grasses. The spirits themselves! So I think that should answer that question."
Now as I said before, the welfare of the land, and those in is depends on the spirits, the vaettir. There are many factors that determine the fertility of the land, the gods, the spirits, all of them work together, and yes, even the help of humans. But it is the vaettir, and specifically the Landvaettir, whom have the most invested in the welfare of the local land. If the land is to thrive we must coexist with these ancients, powerful beings, or perish ourselves!
How do we coexist with these beings? We give them offerings, either simple, or extravagant, it does not matter, just as long as it comes from the heart. Blot to them even! Leave out offerings outside of your porch. Anything! This is how we maintain our relationship with them. As you should know by now, everything in Asatru is the giving of gifts, the exchange of good will between parties. It is no different with the vaettir, or other various members of The Holy Powers. We must maintain this balance, this relationship for the good of all.
How do we destroy such a covenant? Not from ignoring them, no, they would prefer that over what a great many of our kind does, but wanton destruction of plants, trees etc. IF we need to build a house fine, they understand, just ask for the wood, leave an offering and everything is good. Go and cut down a tree for the fun of it and not even the gods can protect you. You may trip and hurt yourself, become ill, die even. Get lost while hiking. None can know! We must maintain this relationship for the good of all parties involved. Can we kill the spirits? I hope not, but I do not know if we cut down a tree did we kill it? Or just force the local resident to find a new home? Maybe you know, all I know is I do not. So if we, as humans are going to do such things we must ask them and make our offerings.
So in a nutshell, the land spirits are ancient powers that guard and guild that land and those in it that we cannot even begin to understand! They need us, and we need them! Whenever I go camping, each new spot that I go to, the first thing I try to do is make an offering to the spirits and the elves, to the vaettir, ask for their protection, and safe passage and make a promise to them that I shall not intentionally, do any damage to their land! Of course I may accidentally step on flower! But once again they shall understand if you treat them with the proper respect, they shall do the same.
I think this shall do it for this post! Soon i shall make a post on the Alfur, but maybe not due to the fact that they, in their duties are similar in many ways, although very different! So we shall see what the norns allow!
Until next time! May your local land spirits watch over you! And may you watch over them! Hail!” (1)
It is very important to stay on good terms with the Vaettir, both abroad and at home. Each week, I make a libation, and leave out an offering to the vaettir of my land, and my home. I know that the happier, and more comfortable they are, the happier, and safer myself and my family are. I think that this is something very easy, and very important to do. Make offerings, libations, on a regular basis to the vaettir of your home, and if you are aboard, traveling, camping etc. do not forget to honor the local vaettir of where you are as well. Honoring the vaettir, is one of the most important things a heathen can do. In today’s society, many of us are focused on the Gods, or the Ancestors, and the vaettir are heavily neglected. But this is not how are ancestors practiced! No one can tell you how to practice, but I would suggest making room for the vaettir in your practice, have you not already .
Hail and thank you! Hail the vaettir!