Gods and Spellcasting
For potent spellcasting invoke the sky god Zeus, his energies will enhance your magick, and be an inspiration for all sorcerers. He is the ruler of the sky and supreme deity on Mount Olympus. When strength and power is needed in your life invoke the energy of Thor, the god of thunder and lightning. When summoned, he will give you the strength and fortitude you need to overcome anything. Call upon the all powerful Hades, to care for those who have crossed the river Styx, make offerings to a statue of Hades and send messages to your loved ones.
Zeus in Greek mythology, was an all powerful god, the supreme deity on Mount Olympus and son of the Titans Cronos and Rhea. Cronos, Zeus’s tyrannical father, consumed all Zeus’s older brothers and sisters, as soon as they were born. Zeus escaped this fate thanks to the clever actions of his mother Rhea, she wrapped a stone in swaddling clothes and gave this to Cronos to swallow. Zeus was raised on the island of Crete, growing up with the knowledge of what his father had done, and determined to topple him. The clever and wise Metis, gave Zeus an idea to make a potion that would make his father vomit up the children Cronos had swallowed. Once his father was overthrown, the world was divided between Zeus’s and his two brothers, Poseidon and Hades. Zeus chose to rule the sky, Poseidon the sea, and Hades became the king of the underworld. The Earth, and Mount Olympus the home of the gods, was common ground. Preferring to live among the dead, Hades rarely visited Earth or Mount Olympus. The influence of Zeus was felt everywhere, he did not control destiny, he did however make sure that destiny took its course and he maintain a vigilant overview of all that was going on. Zeus was able to incorporate the attributes of rival deities and take credit for all important events.
Zeus was married to Hera (Lady), the powerful mother goddess, Zeus also had countless alliances with other women. He took many forms during his exploits, on occasion he appeared as a mortal man, other times a swan, a satyr, a bull, he also appeared as a golden shower. Zeus incurred Hera’s wrath on numerous occasions and she showed no mercy in her onslaught, pursuing his lover’s relentlessly in order to exact her revenge. The conflicts between Zeus and Hera are legendary, Hera spent much of her time punishing and torturing Zeus’s lovers, the children of his lovers were not spared her fury, also suffering persecution. Hera was particularly cruel towards Heracles, his son by the mortal woman Alcmene. Zeus was pushed too far by Hera in this instance, and he retaliated by suspending her from a pinnacle by her wrists and hung weights on her ankles.
Callisto, also a companion of Artemis, had a passionate affair with Zeus and bore him a child, a son, Arcas, Callisto was turned into a bear, no one knows whether this was done by Zeus, to protect her from Hera, or by Zeus, to protect her from Hera. Either way, she was killed when Artemis shot her in the forest. After her death she was placed in the sky among the stars and then known as the She-Bear.
To win the heart of Europa, Zeus took the shape of a magnificent bull emerging from the ocean, he then carried her across the sea to Crete where she bore him three sons. In order to woo Antiope, Zeus presented himself as a satyr, a goat-like creature. Antiope bore Zeus twin sons, Zethus and Amphion.
Zeus’s lover Danae was imprisoned in a tower by her father, because an oracle had told him he would be killed by a grandson, by keeping his daughter chaste he thought to protect himself. Zeus, in the form of a golden shower, visited Danae in her tower, she later bore him a son, Perseus. When the baby was discovered by Danae’s father, he caste them both into the sea in a wooden chest. They were rescued by Dictys, when they floated ashore on the Isle of Seriphos.
Encouraged by Hera, Semele urged Zeus to show himself in all his radiance as the god of thunder and lightning, when the god presented himself to Semele in this way she was burned to death in the flames. As Semele lay dying, she bore Zeus, Dionysus, a son born prematurely and saved from the fire.
Thor was the red headed, Germanic god of thunder, the son of Odin the chief god, and Fjorgyn the goddess of Earth. The Anglo-Saxons name the fifth day of the week Thursday, after Thor, Thursday is the day belonging to Jupiter, the Roman sky god and friend of Thor. Thor’s name means thunder, his magick hammer was named Mjollnir (lightning).
The frost giants were the enemies of Thor and his closest companion was Loki, the mischievous, shape shifter, fire god, he usually attached himself to Thor’s belt. Thor had an enormous appetite, and was known to eat an entire ox at one sitting. He also loved battle, and was ever ready to fight a worthy opponent and test his strength.
Thor’s chariot was pulled across the sky by two goats, Tooth-grinder and Tooth gnasher. Thor’s magick weapons were his hammer, which was a thunderbolt, iron gauntlets used to handle the red-hot hammer shaft and a belt that increased his strength. His hammer, Mjollnir, was crafted by two dwarfs who were the sons of Ivaldi. Mjollnir always hit its target, it had a huge head and short handle.
Of all the Germanic gods, Thor was the most powerful, and a great protector against the frost giants. At the doom of the gods, Ragnarok, Thor was destined to be killed by the poisonous venom of Jormungand the sea serpent, and son of Loki, but not before he had killed the monster.
Thor and Loki had many adventures, and thanks to the troublesome Loki, most were dangerous. One such escapade was the visit to the hall of the frost giant Gerrod, this was engineered by Loki, who in the shape of a Hawk was captured by Gerrod. Loki was only released after he agreed to bring an unarmed Thor to the frost giant’s hall. Thor, enjoying the companionship of Loki, and trusting him as a friend, went along eagerly with the god, minus his hammer, gloves and belt. Luckily for Thor, during their journey they spent the night in the home of the frost giantess Grid, who live on the edge of Jotuhheim, the land of the giants. Thor was warned of Gerrods hatred of the gods by Grid, she told him that Gerrod wanted to kill Thor, to avenge the death of the strongest of the frost giants Hrungnir, who Thor had killed in a duel to the death. A piece of the frost giants throwing stone was still stuck in Thor’s head. Grid lent Thor her own weapons, a belt of strength, and unbreakable staff and iron gloves.
Loki and Thor had great difficulty crossing a torrent of water and blood, Thor placed a stone to block the flow which was coming from the menstrual blood of Gerrod’s daughter Gjalp, in order to swell the river. The two gods were swept away, and Loki clung to Thor’s belt, they managed to climb ashore on the opposite bank.
When the gods arrived at Gerrod’s hall they were ushered inside by his servants, Thor sat in a chair to wait for the frost giant, he then fell asleep and dreamed he was floating in the air. Thor opened his eyes just before his head was rammed into the ceiling, he quickly used Grid’s staff to push against the ceiling, as he did this the chair crashed to the floor, crushing the two daughters of Gerrod to death, Gjalp and Greip. They had lifted the chair of the sleeping Thor, attempting to kill him by crushing his head against the ceiling. The frost giant returned and using a pair of tongs, hurled a red-hot iron bar at Thor, the quick witted god caught it using the iron gloves given to him by Grid. He then threw it back at Gerrod, it passed through an iron pillar before tearing a hole in Gerrods stomach. Thor then smashed the skulls of the servants.
Hrungnir the powerful frost giant had challenged Odin to a horse race, but Odin who was a guest at the gods stronghold Asgard, drank too much and insulted the gods. When Thor appeared the giant challenged him instead of Odin, to a duel. To assist Hrungnir in the fight , the frost giants built a clay giant, making it so enormous it would strike fear into the heart of Thor as soon as he saw it. The giants named it, Mist Calf, they animated it with the heart of a mare, the clay giant’s head reached the clouds. The day of the duel, upon seeing Mist Calf, Thor wet himself, but he had the good sense and the fortitude to attack the clay giant’s legs with his axe, causing the giant to crash to the ground. Thor was the winner of the duel with Hrungnir, but Thor was pinned to the ground by Mist Calf’s legs and had a piece of whetstone lodged in his head. The gods were unable to release Thor, it was his three year old son Magni who released him, Magni was the son of Thor and his mistress the frost giantess Jarnsaxa. Magni made Thor very proud when he told his father that he could have dealt with Hrungnir with his bare fists. Thor rewarded his son with a gift of the dead frost giant’s horse, Golden Mane. Odin was very annoyed by Thor’s generosity to his son, telling Thor he should have given the horse to his own father, Odin.
Thor and Loki went to Jotunheim and visited the stronghold of Utgard, they passed through Mitgard the land of people. On the way Thor gained a brother and sister as servants, Thialfi and Roskva. Thor had dinner at the home of Thialfi, Roskva, and their parents, but Thialfi did not adhere to the strict instructions of Thor pertaining to the evening meal. Thor told everyone to be careful with the bones of the goats they were eating. Thialfi disregarded this request and split a thigh bone to get to the marrow before throwing the bone on the goat skins in a corner of the room. The following morning Thor used his magick hammer to restore the goats they had eaten to life and noticed one of the goats was lame. Thialfi and Roskva then offered themselves to Thor as compensation, they did this to stop him from slaying the entire household, they pledged themselves to him.
As they neared Utgard, Thor, Loki, Thialfi and Roskva, spent the night in an empty hall, so big that several of the halls in Asgard could have fitted inside it at the same time. They later realized the hall was the thumb of a frost giant’s glove, it belonged to Skrymir (vast), Thor reigned blows upon Skrymir’s head while he slept, these were dismissed by the giant as if a twig had brushed his head. When the travelers arrived at Utgard, they were astounded by the size of the giant’s stronghold. Inside Utgard the travelers received curious stares from the frost giants, at first their leader ignored the guests, he then acknowledged “little Thor.” The leader decided to devise a series of games in which Loki, Thialfi and Thor, did not do well. Loki lost a fire eating contest and Thialfi was outpaced in a foot race. Thor lost a drinking contest, was able to life only one paw of a cat and much to his embarrassment, was wrestled to the ground by an old woman.
As Thor, Loki, Thialfi and Roskva were leaving Utgard, Thor acknowledged that he was second best in the games. The leader of the frost giants then revealed that he had used magick spells to gain the upper hand. Loki had been pitted against wildfire, and Thialfi against his own thought. Thor had attempted to swallow the ocean, lift the enormous sea serpent Jormungand and wrestle with old age. As soon as Thor heard this Utgard disappeared, only in this moment did Thor realized that Skrymir and Utgard were illusions, creations manifested by fearful frost giants. Loki liked the idea that the power of the mind had triumphed in the end.
Loki’s cleverness was appreciated by Thor, and was often necessary to keep the frost giants at bay. There was an instance where Thor’s hammer Mjollnir, was stolen by the dwarfs and ended up in the hands of Thrym the frost giant. In return for the hammer, Thrym demanded the hand of Freyja, the fertility goddess. Loki devised an ingenious plan, he told Thor to dress in Freyja’s clothes and go to Thrym’s hall pretending to be Freyja. Thor, along with his bridesmaid Loki, was accepted by Thrym as a bride, and Thrym happily handed over Mjollnir. The massacre that occurred at Thor’s hands, reinforced his fierce reputation which was momentarily diminished by his needing to dress like a woman in order to save Freyja.
The sole protector of the gods was Thor’s magick hammer, Mjollnir. It was the thunderbolt which left them quaking with fear, just before the catastrophe of Ragnarok. The hammer had a destructive side, and it had magick powers over fertility and death, it could restore animal life. Mjollnir hallowed marriage. Thor’s destiny was to defeat the enemies of the gods, “smash their legs, break their skulls, and crush their back.” In the final confrontation at Ragnarok, Loki turned his back on his friend Thor, and sided with the frost giants to battle against the gods.
Hades was the Greek god of the underworld, the realm of the dead, he was the son of Cronos and Rhea, brother of Zeus, Poseidon, Hera, Demeter and Hestia. He kidnapped Persephone, daughter of Zeus and Demeter, when she held a special narcissus planted by the earth mother Gaia to please the god of death. Hades forced Persephone to marry him and live in the underworld. Zeus intervened in the ensuing conflict between Demeter, Persephone’s mother, and Hades, ruling that husband and mother would have equal time with Persephone. She would spend six months with her mother, and six months with her husband, she was a dying and rising goddess, who sank, and rose from the underground. After the overthrow of their father Cronos, and the division of the universe, Zeus took the sky, Poseidon the sea, and Hades the underworld, the earth was shared among them. Another name for Hades was Polydegmon (receiver of many guests), referring to the many who had died and come to the kingdom. The messenger god Hermes escorted the dead to the boatman Charon, who ferried the ghosts across the river Styx. The entrance to the underworld was guarded by Cerberus the three headed dog, who prevented anyone from returning to the world of the living. Although Hades was the king of the underworld, he was never thought of as an evil being, although considered a dour and formidable deity. Worshippers coming to him offering a sacrifice always averted their eyes, not wanting to acknowledge any reference to the underworld. His worshippers called him Pluto (the giver of wealth).
For the most part Hades was a committed and faithful husband, Hades for a time was besotted by the nymph Minthe. When Persephone discovered the affair, she was so jealous she turned the nymph into the herb mint, known for its unique fragrance.