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The Norns

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Forums -> Norse Paganism -> The Norns

The Norns
By:
Post # 1

The Norns

The Norns have always been a very interesting aspect of Norse mythology to me. The Norns were three sisters that reside by the well , Udarbrunnur, at the base of the tree Yggdrasil. They kept the tree nourished by watering it everyday with water from the Well of Fate. They are known to determine the length of all men and god's lives. They are the goddesses of Time, Fate, and Destiny. Their decisions are final and cannot be swayed.

The three are depicted differently. Urd is thought to be very old and withered, Verdandi is depicted as the most beautiful of the three, and Skuld is often depicted as hidden or veiled.

They are sometime compared to the Greek Fates.

Some Common Other Names : Dises, Idises, Hagedises, Disir

SOURCES:

http://www.gods-heros-myth.com/godpages/norns.html

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Re: The Norns
By:
Post # 2
I've read about them in my Norse mythology book. Urd is described as a giantess, Verdandi is an elf and Skuld is a dwarf.
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Re: The Norns
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 3

I've never heard them described that way, Violet. Which book are you reading? That may clear some things up.

Interestingly enough, "Norns" is a general term for spirits in Norse tradition that deal with fate, luck and so on. If you want to get technical with it, the Disir and similar spirits of that nature, are actually lower-ranked Norns. The three norns we commonly refer to are just known mainly as the "Norns" or the "Weird/Wyrd Sisters', and are the only type of "universal Norn". Disir are spirits attached to individuals and families, thus their range of fate and destiny and luck only pertain to individuals- while the Norns cover a broader range.

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Re: The Norns
By:
Post # 4
The Norse Myths by Kevin Crossley-Holland
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Re: The Norns
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 5

Oh I see! I'd be somewhat careful with Kevin Crossley-Hollands book. I love his retelling of the stories, but he tends to have some fundamental errors in what he says. I dislike his version because I disliked how black and white Snorri painted things to be, and Kevin follows along Snorri's guidelines. Otherwise I think it is an alright introduction to Norse myths. If you want, here are the Prose and Poetic eddas which you can read for yourself. But again, I've never heard the Wyrd sisters described in that manner. Ever.

Prose Edda
http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/pre/

Poetic Edda
http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/poe/

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Re: The Norns
By: / Knowledgeable
Post # 6
I've been doing some research into the best version of the eddas.

For translation accuracy in the Poetic Eddas, Carolyne Larrington (Oxford Press) and Bellows (found in the link Personified gave). For the Prose collaborated by Snorri *shutters*. Unfortunately, the prose in general aren't to be considered 100% authentic. because Snorri altered it the way he wished, which includes Christian undertones. BUT Faulkes translation of the prose seems to be overall preferred.

Hollander should be avoided because he is all about preserving the poetry and forfeits accuracy for beauty of the poems.

As for the original poster. I have always had a facination and admiration for the sisters of fate (found in many cultures by many names). Your topic was short, sweet, simple, and cited! Good post. =)
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Re: The Norns
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 7

Thanks for that info, White! I definitely try to avoid Snorri at all costs.

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Re: The Norns
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 8
This thread has been moved to Heathenism from Misc Topics.
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