The Study of Pagan Gods & Goddesses: Vidar

Vidar

Vidar (Old Norse Víðarr), his name might mean “Wide Ruler” he is the son of the all-father Odin and the giantess Gríðr. Yes, you read that correctly, some of the Æsir have previously been together with the Jotuns, also known as giants. Some of the giants were so beautiful that even the Gods could not resist their beauty.

Vidar is the second strongest of the Æsir only Thor is stronger than him, Vidar might have inherited some of his strength from the giant side of the family. Vidar lives in Asgard in a great hall called Vidi, it’s a peaceful home and the inside looks like a garden.

Vidar is known for being very silent he loves being at peace with nature. Vidar sometimes sits for hours in his garden working on a special shoe.
This special shoe is the strongest of all the shoes and is being made from all bits and pieces of leather that shoemakers throw in the trash when making new shoes in Midgard. Vidar will use this special shoe to revenge his father’s death Odin at Ragnarok (Ragnarök).

This is when Vidar will fight the fearsome Fenris wolf, by placing one foot on Fenris’s lower jaw and pressing his hands on the upper jaw until Fenris’s mouth will be pulled apart. Ragnarok is the doom of the Gods and the end of the world. But from death, there also comes life, and Vidar is one of the few Gods who will survive Ragnarok and rebuilt the new world

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Hymn to Vidarr

Vidar1Hail to the Silent God
Who sees much and speaks little,
Who waits patiently for the moment
Of injustice that needs to be equalized.
Hail to the God called upon
When cruelty has gone so far
That there is no making things right,
Hail to the God of cold vengeance
Who does what is necessary
To even up the debt,
To bring Fate’s balance true
Quicker than entropy would allow.
Hail to the God of the Thick-Soled Shoe
Whose steps are silent
So that he might approach from behind.
Hail to you, son of Grid the Wise
And Odin the Powerful,
May I know to call upon you
Only as a last resort.

— Seawalker, Author

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Vidar

It is said that Odin had an affair with the warrior goddess Grid, and that she bore him a son named Vidarr, who took after his father and became one of the honored Aesir Gods. He is one of the two Gods of Vengeance – the other being his half-brother Váli, as it seems that in ancient Norse culture one deity of vengeance was not enough.

Vidarr’s name may originally have meant “widely ruling”. He is known as “the Silent God”, meaning that he does not flaunt his vengeance; Vidarr is said to speak little, but be a fierce warrior when the moment is needed. It is also said that he is almost as strong as Thor, and that the Gods depend upon him in times of trouble. Some scholars theorize that his “silent God” appellation may have something to do with ancient rituals of vengeance; it may be that individuals who were preparing for a vengeance battle refrained from speaking as part of a ritual purification.

He is also known as the God of the Thick Shoe, as he is constantly in the process of building up the soles of his shoes. This is done so that if Ragnarok comes and he faces Fenrir, he will be able to put his foot on Fenrir’s enormous jaws and strike his heart through his throat. Traditionally, shoemakers (and before that, people who made their own shoes) were encouraged to dedicate the little scraps of leather they trimmed off of their new shoe soles to Vidarr, who would collect them and add them slowly to his own soles.

In the saga Grímnismál, Odin describes the halls of many Gods, including that of his son Vidarr:

Brushwood grows and high grass
widely in Vidar’s land
and there the son proclaims on his horse’s back
that he’s keen to avenge his father.

This latter point is a harbinger of the prophecy that if Ragnarok comes, Fenrir will be loosed and will slay Odin, but he will be slain in turn by Vidarr. Both brothers are said to survive Ragnarok and help to rebuild a new world after Surt’s fires have burnt down. To make an offering to Vidarr, give him a weapon – throw it into icy water, or a bog, or bury it in ice.

 

Reference

Norse Mythology

Odin’s Family Tribe of Asgard

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