Dwarves are famous as Snow White’s cuddly forest companions, but there’s nothing dopey or silly about Dwarves. The fierce, warrior Dwarves of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Hobbit and Lord of the Rings series of novels are truer to form. Dwarves are ancient, primeval Earth spirits, more likely to live within mountains, mines, or otherwise underground than in messy little forest cottages. Some Dwarves live near trees under great rocks or even within rocks.

Dwarves are guardians of Earth’s treasures and master craftsmen. They know occult secrets in general, as well as the mysteries of metals, gems, and minerals. Crystal healers may call on them in visualizations for advice and knowledge. Dwarves are masters and teachers of smithcraft. They craft magical swords and magical jewelry. Dwarves are frequently described as greedy, but they may simply be protecting troves of treasure they have been entrusted to guard.

Dwarves are spirits of fertility and abundance. They heal and enhance personal fertility for humans as well as animals. Once upon a time, Dwarves were the subject of genuine veneration, although post-Christianity they were recast as Demons, blamed for bringing disease and trouble. They are stubborn, proud spirits and not likely to accept surreptitious veneration.

Dwarves are touchy and volatile. Always address them respectfully: they are elders of the Earth. They are suspicious, cynical spirits who assume, possibly correctly, that others are always out to steal their treasure. If they can be persuaded otherwise, if you do not Demonstrate acquisitive behaviour, they can be exceptionally generous. They bestow knowledge and skill. Although they may not part with their own treasure, they have been known to craft special gifts for devotees. They know the secrets of healing; they can recognize illnesses modern medicine is unable to diagnose and can remedy infertility.

Norse cosmology classifies Dwarves as Dark or Black Elves. Dark or Black refers to their dwelling place, not their appearance, although Dwarves of the mines are likely as covered with soot and grime as any other miner. Light Elves live above ground in the sunlight; Dark Elves or Dwarves spend their time in subterranean realms. They may be affiliated with the Vanir spirits. They crafted Freya’s priceless necklace, named Brisingamen. Dwarves forged the treasures of the Aesir spirits including Odin’s magic spear and Thor’s invincible hammer.


Germanic; Norse


Smiths, masons, miners, shamans, herbalists, warriors, healers


They resemble small but sturdy and exceptionally strong humans.


They are masterful bargainers and know the worth of what they produce and possess; Dwarves are not shy: they’re likely to inform you what they wish to receive; don’t be afraid to bargain-respectfully, of course! In the meantime, Dwarves like to drink hard liquor and have hearty appetites.



Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.