Vanaheim – Vanir God Land

The Norse Vanaheim was the homeland of the Vanir god tribe which was one of two main god tribes.

Overview of Vanaheim

Vanaheim had the Old Norse name as Vanaheimr. It meant the home of the Vanir gods. Vanaheim was one of the Nine Worlds in Norse mythology. It lay somewhere in the trunk of Yggdrasil the Great Tree of Life. The surviving materials are not enough for us to conclude where exactly Vanaheim lay. In the poem Lokasenna (The Taunting of Loki), it was mentioned that god Njord went eastward to Asgard to live as a hostage. Assumingly, Vanaheim located somewhere to the west of Asgard.

Image of Norse Vanaheim
Depiction of Vanaheim

Gods and Goddesses in Norse Vanaheim

The god of seafaring Njord was the ruler of Vanaheim. He had a twin whose names were Freyr and Freya. Freyr was the god of sunshine and fair weather while Freya was the god of love, sex, and beauty. After the Vanir-Aesir war, Njord and his children became the Vanir hostages to come and dwell in the land of Asgard. This was a part of the peace treaty. And the Aesir sent two gods to Vanaheim to live.

The name of Vanaheim

As mentioned above, Norse Vanaheim was the home of the Vanir gods. Unlike the Aesir god tribe, the Vanir was much associated with magic and “nature”. This somehow was illustrated through the name Vanaheim. Take a look at the name of Nine Worlds, only Asgard and Midgard were different for having the -gard element. The concept of innangard (inside the fence) and utangard (beyond the fence) was what we focus. While the place of innangard was orderly and law-abiding, that of utangard was chaotic and wild.

Among Nine Worlds, only Asgard and Midgard had the -gard element, presenting they were the worlds that inside the fence. Some invisible fence surrounded the land of Asgard and Midgard. The other worlds ended with the -heim elements because they had no enclosure or fence. This indicated the rest worlds were the places of utangard. Thereby, we can conclude that Norse Vanaheim and the Vanir god tribe were more natural and wilder than the Asgard and the Aesir god tribe or even the humanity.

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