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Definition: Norn from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

In Norse mythology, any of three goddesses of fate: Urd, goddess of the past; Verdandi, goddess of the present; and Skuld, goddess of the future. They fixed the destiny of every child at birth.

The Nords dwelt at Urd's Well, the Fountain of Youth, at one of the roots of Yggdrasil, the giant ash tree which held together the Nine Worlds. The tree drew its strength from the well, and was constantly watered by its guardians.


Summary Article: Nornir
from Encyclopedia of Fairies in World Folklore and Mythology

Variations: Norns

The nornir are a type of Djinn or Fate of Scandinavian lore that unequally direct and shape the destiny of mankind. Described as three old women named Skulld (Skuldr), Udr, and Verdandi, they spin the threads of destiny shaping human lives; they live under the shade of the tree, Yggdrasil. Skulld is the youngest of the three and personifies the future. Verdandi, the middle nornir, personifies the future; Urdr the eldest personifies the past. The nornir reside in a sanctuary called Gimle or Vingolf; their hall was by Urdarbrunnr Well under the branches of Yggdrasyll.

There also lesser nornir and racially descend from the Alfs, Æser (the gods), and the Dwarfs; these fairies were said to assist in the birth of future eminent individuals, bestow gifts upon them, and foretell their future. The nornir are the one who apply a good life and future to a person; those individuals who seem to fall into one misfortune after another are the victims of a malignant alignment of nornir.

Sources:
  • Du Chaillu, Viking Age, 385, 387, 389.
  • Keightly, World Guide to Gnomes, Fairies, Elves, and Other Little People, 64-5.
  • Norroena Society, Satr Edda, 4, 34.
  • Copyright 2013 Theresa Bane

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