In this write-up, we will be exploring the world of Vanaheim. To be more specific, we will be looking at the gods who lived in Vanaheim, mention its exact location.
Norse mythology describes Vanaheim as the home of the Vanir gods. The Vanir were the tribe of Norse gods and goddesses responsible for fertility, wealth, and natural abundance. They were masters of sorcery and the worst kind of magic –Seidr, and could predict the future and shape it to match their desires. Some of the gods who lived in Vanaheim were: Njord (god of fertility, wind, and the sea), Freya (goddess of lust, love, and fertility), and Freyr (god of peace, fertility, and victory).
Unfortunately, there isn’t much information about what Vanaheim looked like or its location. However, some Icelandic literary sources describe Vanaheim as a fertile area filled with magic and light.
Where is the Vanaheim?
Generally, Vanaheim is known as the land of the Vanir gods – the tribe of gods that was associated with magic, fertility, and nature. However, the exact location of Vanaheim has remained a mystery and has sparked debate and opinions among different Scandinavian scholars. In the Poetic Edda and other medieval sagas, the Aesir gods and goddesses were considered more supreme and were mentioned more than the Vanir gods and goddesses. From these literary sources, we know that the home of the Aesir – Asgard – was located on the top branch of the world tree.
An English scholar named Hilda Ellis Davidson, who greatly focuses on Germanic and Celtic paganism was convinced that Vanaheim was either located somewhere near or within the underworld. According to Norse mythology, the underworld was in Helheim or Nilfheim, which were ruled by Hel, Loki’s daughter. However, this assumption clashes with the activities that happened during the Aesir-Vanir war.
During the war, the two tribes of gods fought aggressively against each other and both tribes gained the upper hand in the war. If the two worlds were too distant from each other, then it would be impossible to fight to that extent. In addition to that, there is the notion that the two tribes needed to live peacefully with each other despite anything that came up in the future. This could potentially mean that they may have been neighbors. Moreover, the exchange of hostages was done within a short time period meaning that they were closer to each other. Based on this train of thought, we can carefully assume that Vanaheim is located slightly below Asgard – the world of the Aesir gods and goddeses.
Aside from that, there is the notion that Vanaheim was below Asgard but above Midgard. This comes from the fact that the Vanir gods and goddesses acted as the middle-men between the Aesir gods and the inhabitants of Midgard.