Thor – Drum Beater
Thor, Lord of Thunder, may be the best-loved of all Norse deities. He is the defender of the Aesir pantheon and the vigilant protector of his devotees. Thor is something of a big lug, but he is consistent, predictable and dependable—as opposed to brilliant but volatile Odin, who can make even his dearest devotees a little nervous.
Odin was the spirit patron of the elite and esoteric (heroes, rulers, shamans, magicians), but Thor was the lord of the masses. He protects everyone because that’s what he does: he is a protector. He is the protector of homes, communities, land, laws, and civilization. Thor guards against disaster and chaos. (Does he come into conflict with Loki, spirit of chaos? You bet.) In Germany, Thor in his guise as Donar was considered guardian of love, marriage, and families. Thor assists travelers and protects the dead.
Thor has power over Earth’s fertility and abundance. He controls the quantity of rain, making sure there’s just the right amount. He isthe spirit of the oak forests, which once spread across Europe. He hallows sacred places, events, and crucial magical workings by striking with his hammer. Making the sign of Thor’s hammer (in the same manner that Christians make the sign of the cross) allegedly banishes many spirits, especially Jotuns.
He manifests to people in dreams.
• Thor is invoked to protect against fire and lightning.
• Thor is a giant killer: invoke his aid if someone bigger than you is picking on you, be it spirit, human, corporate, commercial, or bureaucracy.
Saint Boniface cut down Thor’s sacred oak near what is now Fritzler, Germany, and challenged the deity to strike him down with lightning. Boniface used the wood from the tree to build a cross and chapel. Frisians killed him in 755.
ALSO KNOWN AS:
Thor is a huge, good-hearted, rough-hewn, red-haired and -bearded man with fiery eyes.
As Thor is guardian of the dead, the image of his hammer is carved onto memorial stones.
His iron hammer named Mjollnir, iron-clad gloves
Thursday (literally “Thor’s Day”)
Oak, mountain ash, hazel
Thor’s Beard, also known as the house-leek (Sempervirum tectorum) protects against malicious spirits; mistletoe called Donnerbesen (“thunder broom” or “Donar’s broom”) in Old German but later Christianized to Teufelbesen or “Devil’s broom.”
Miniature Thor’s hammers are worn as a pendant similar to wearing a Christian cross or a Wiccan pentacle.
Thurisaz, the rune of force and will
goat (but bulls were once sacrificed to him)
Thor drives a wagon pulled by goats.
Thor was venerated in sacred groves, including one near Dublin.
Thor presides over his hall, Bilskirnir, which he shares with Sif and their children. It is a huge hall with over five hundred rooms. Thralls, a class of slaves, entered Thor’s hall after death and were feted and entertained.
Thor has a massive appetite. He loves to drink and wins all drinking competitions. Offer him Thor’s Hammer brand vodka, but Thor will probably accept most offerings if given with respect and a sincere heart.
Thor is a prominent member of the Viking Court in the Venezuelan spiritual tradition of Maria Lionza, where he goes under the nickname Mr. Barbaro.
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.