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Gullveig

by Micha F. Lindemans
Gullveig ("goldbranch") is the sorceress and seeress who had a great love and lust for gold. She talked of nothing else when she visited the Aesir. They listened with loathing and eventually thought the world would be better off without her so they hurled her into the fire. She was burned to death, but stepped from the flames unscathed. Three times she was burned, and three times she was reborn.

When the Vanir learned about how the Aesir had treated Gullveig they became incensed with anger. They swore vengeance and began to prepare for war. The Aesir heard about this and moved against the Vanir. This was the first war in the world. For a long time the battle raged to and fro, with neither sides gaining much ground. Eventually the gods became weary of war and began to talk of peace. Both sides swore to live side by side in peace.

Gullveig is also known under the name of Heid ("gleaming one"). She is probably the goddess Freya, who also has a great love of gold in the various myths.


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