How do herbal products fit in with Viking themed adventures? Well, let’s think back to the Allfather himself, co-creator of the Scandinavian and Celtic peoples. This warrior god was very much into what was considered “female magic” – the magic of plants and energies. In fact, he was temporarily banned for a time because he refused to give it up. Fortunately, writers produce their best work when thrown into unfamiliar territory, because it gives them a story. Think of “The Hanged Man” story – really an excerpt from The Havamal Saga – and how Odin turned his ordeal of being hung on “that windy tree” into an infamous tale that has inspired fortune tellers and cardmakers for thousands of years.
Odin, aka the One, aka the Allfather, aka the Warrior or Wotan, aka the Wise One, was son, father, grandfather, brother, husband, leader and a poet and writer of epic adventures….he was not all powerful, or all seeing, or all good, like some the gods of some religions. In fact, he and his brothers Vili and Ve, created mankind (northern peoples) not for some higher purpose but just because they felt like it. They used trees, not clay, and abandoned their creations, only to find them in bad shape later on and realized they needed someone to tend on them.
The gods and goddesses of Odin’s family were not immortal. They owed their youthfulness and longevity of life to Iddun’s Golden Apples. Without this precious fruit they aged. In fact, Valkyrie Freya lost her love Dur (an immortal Sun God) when her adopted family lost their ability to obtain more of Iddun’s Golden Apples for a time. Dur didn’t like that his love was transforming into an older woman, so he left her!
Plants are very much a part of Scandinavian and Celtic culture. The Tree of Life, often pictured encircled by The World Snake is a symbol of knowledge and pride in ancestry. The runes – which are the basis of modern day English – have tree counterparts for every letter. Many of the remedies used by the Celts who immigrated to North America were confirmed by the native indigenous populations there. Consequently many Atlantic Canadians are of mixed Irish/Native ancestry, because of their mutual respect for nature and the spirit world.
Newfoundland has many wild growing natural herbs with marvelous properties for all sorts of situations. There are food and vitamin sources abundant but unnoticed because it isn’t what you’d see in a supermarket. All purchases of herbal products will also give you HEALTH and WISDOM points, should you play in our LARP adventures.