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Animals of Ásgarðr and Vanaheimr. 
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Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:43 pm
Posts: 550
We always talk about the gods and goddesses but never their pets/familiars/companions. How do you feel about the particular animals of the gods and goddesses? Do you feel an admiration for any particular animal that you think may have led you to a certain god or goddess?

Freyja has had special meaning to me as of late ever since I took into account her likeness to the catholic Virgin Mary. Before you say I'm still hooked by their snares, no, that isn't it. In fact, my connection with "Mary" went beyond what we were permitted even in the catholic church that worships her. I believe quite strongly now that she is Freyja and was Freyja when I called upon her as a young girl for the more feminine needs in my life.

I learned of her and her cats when I began researching Norse mythology to write my saga when I was 19. I read about Thor's goats, as well, and included them in my book, but they didn't spark my interest like Freyja's cats.

Cats have always been a part of my life, particularly black cats and white cats. My mom could never turn away a stray, so when I was very little, I grew up with 27 cats - 5 of which were personal pets allowed inside. Over the course of my life, I have taken into my care over 50 cats to heal, rescue ,and find homes for.

The nearest and dearest cat to me as a child was a black tom cat. He was rough and strong and defended me quite a few times when I foolishly approached animals I shouldn't have. He came to me when I was sick and followed me around wherever I went. He was taken from me when I was 11 just after my mom died. My dad found homes for our last remaining 4 cats because they reminded him of my mom, but I was heartbroken beyond imagination.

I never fully recovered his loss until my husband (then boyfriend) brought home a tiny 3 week old black kitten he rescued from an abusive home. I bottle fed her and weighed her every day in the cup of a food scale of my dad's. She was with me until she turned 19 1/2 and died of kidney disease. I held her in my arms as the doctor administered the drug to end her suffering. Even though the vet had a stethoscope to her heart, I knew before she did when my cat died. I felt it like a spear through my heart because we were that connected. That was over a year ago and I still feel her from time to time laying on my chest or brushing up against me.

My daughter has her own cat, another black one, that is as close to her as my old tom cat was to me as a child.

It isn't just black cats, though. Cats of all colors have found me when they needed to be cared for, even if they don't stick around. They know me before I know them. They find me when they need to be warmed from the cold, dried from the rain, fed when they are starving, and healed when they are sick. Once I do what they need, they are off again.

I feel as though my connection with cats has something to do with my long-time connection with Freyja.

Do any animals do this for you? And are they any of the animals known as companions to any of the gods?

Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:19 am
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Joined: Thu May 29, 2014 6:15 am
Posts: 42
Hey Skuld,

That story about your black cat was really touching and really resonates with me. Like you, I've grown up with cats as family pets my whole life. The dearest connection I currently have in the world is with my own cat, unlike your black cat, my cat is snow white with sunset orange ears, patches, and stripes on his tail, with azure eyes. He is my best friend and has grown up with me from the time he was just a kitten. For a solid decade I almost never went to sleep at night without him curled up right by my side purring. Though he may be old now he is quite energetic and I hope I will not have to say goodbye to him for a few more years.

I have always found that I have an unnatural affinity with animals. When I was just a small child, I once was able to walk right into the midst of a herd of deer and get within a mere foot of the only calf I saw in the herd. I can still remember the big stags staring at me, and the look in the deer calf's eyes as we stood face-to-face. I didn't reflect on it much at the time, but now when I look back on it I still can't believe a herd of deer allowed a human like me into their midst without being at all startled.

Another incident several years later involved a terrified and emaciated dog that some ******* had just abandoned in the wilderness. I wasn't yet a teenager at the time, and my family and I were picking up my older brother from a boy scout camping trip. When we arrived, we found the entire boy scout troop trying to get an abandoned dog to come to them so they could take it to the vet. The poor thing was starving, every rib was showing, and it was trembling from cold, fear, and weakness. Even though the scouts had freshly cooked meat and every one of them had tried to lure the dog with it, the dog hadn't so much as moved an inch from where it sat watching them at the edge of the forest. Eventually after all the scouts had given up, I went over with a little food, sat down and called to the dog. Within a minute, the dog trotted up to me, stopped trembling, and calmly sat and allowed me to tie a lead around its neck. The dog later made a full recovery, got adopted by one of the scouts, and apparently became very fat as I heard it.

While I love all animals, I definitely feel the strongest connection and affinity to cats and ravens.

I've been around cats my whole life, I even volunteered at a humane society for a summer and became known as a "cat whisperer" since even the cats with behavior issues liked me. I love the stealth, agility, hunting prowess, and grace that cats are capable of and exemplify, I've used techniques that I came up with by studying cat's movements in my freerunning and hand-to-hand combat. The prideful and independent nature of cats makes their affection all the more valuable to those who receive it. I also admire and feel a deep connection to ravens for their wisdom, intelligence, adaptability, and cunning. Ravens are relatively common in the area in which I live and I suppose I've probably spent as much time in the company of ravens in the forest as I have with cats in houses. I have always felt that my own cravings for knowledge and wisdom, as well as my love of combat and battle were mirrored in the nature of the wise and battlefield-seeking raven.

As it just so happens, ravens and cats are the respective primary animals of Odin and Freyja, and Odin and Freyja are the two gods that I honor highest and have always felt the greatest connection to.

Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:30 am
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Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:12 am
Posts: 51
i rescued one kitty obviously abused by some "looking for fun" kids, best cat i ever had, it used to sleep with me in bed, it was either sleeping on my legs or on my neck. then it grew up and it was always in the nearby fields and woods hunting for birds and mice, despite the fact i was feeding it. cats always are more independent and act more instinctively but this one i had was very smart and truly cared for me as i cared for it.
but there's nothing like the bound between a man and a dog. the dog is indeed your most loyal friend, i didn't have human friends as good as dogs. i never thought of a dog as if i own it. dogs have a special place in my heart.

as for the spiritual aspect, as a child, i was unaware about odinism/asatru but i had my own sort of religon/ideoligy wich was quite close, that's why i became odinist, and i felt a really deep connection between me and nature, so of course, the bound between me and my dog was not only friendly, but sacred, as it's not very often when two animals from different species brake the natural barriers that lay between them to create a mutual partenership.

i was thinking about ravens and wolves as sacred animals despite all the christian influence that tried to brake through me. i really admire the wolf more than anything else. my own name (not my "real" name as some would say) Wulfric means wolf ruler, or power of the wolf. it's like an obsession to me. it surely was important to our forefathers too, just look at how many wolf related names are there, colin, connor, adolph, ralph, boris, alfred, and many more but i can't remember.
even Mozart's name, Wolfgang, ment son of the wolf.

Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:06 pm
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