Wednesday, 12 March 2014
Among all of the Valkyrie's, Eir is the most gentle. She's associated with medicines, healing herbs and crystals. She dwells on Lyfjaberg, a hill of healing. It might also have been a mountain with a fresh water spring. That is where there is said to be a legendary castle, heavily guarded and locked by magic. Within contained a princess named Mingloth who couldn't be seen by anyone except for someone named Svipdagr. This came in the form of a man who could enter and meet the princess.
Now the princess was cared for by a host of Valkyries, and one of them was Eir. These valkyries of Lyfjaberg seemed more like priestesses as they worked in a shrine and in the castle, and assisted mortals during solstice rituals. Sometimes Eir treated the wounded and sick. She wore a lilac and silver dress, jewels and she had a tiara of gold encrusted with pearls round her head. Helping the ones from dying, assisting women in childbirth and tending to children is what the hill Valkyries, mainly Eir did there.
She was capable of performing darker forms of magic such as necromancy and summoning spirits, but either on behalf of men or to defend the hill from attack. Overall Eir was a valkyrie of healing and not anything sinister. She was possibly able to advise and help anyone who wanted to practice sorcery.
Some conflicting records of Eir have her as a goddess as well as a valkyrie. The major poems and writings of the myths strongly indicate Eir was one of the Choosers of the Slain as she belonged to the divine order of Valkyries. The Valkyries themselves are the northern nymphs who were known among the Germanic people. It's hinted in far distant times that people interacted with Valkyries. My view is that there was also an ancient order of powerful priestesses who were followers of Odin/Wotan/Wodan who were regarded as holy by ordinary people. These valkyries were like priestesses, shield maidens, sorceresses, white witches and beautiful beings. They might've been high born, and daughters of warrior kings (who themselves claim descent from gods).
Unfortunately much of the legends of the Norse, and other Germanic tribes has been lost. Not everything was written down on paper or inscribed in rock. Fragments of these tales and mythical individuals survive in fairytale, folklore, modern literature and revived in pop culture. Eir appears in the Marvel based film "Thor: The Dark World" and the games "Runescape" and "Valkyrie Crusade".
Links about this post:
Eir Lore: Poetic Edda
The Poetic Edda
Thor: The Dark World