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Two Groups of Anglo Saxon Gods


In ancient norse legends there were once two groups of gods. These were the   Aesir and Vanir. The Saxons called the two  groups the Ese and the Wena. In ancient times the groups fought and in time the Ese won and their chief Woden (Odin) became the king of the gods and the Wena became subservient to him. The Wena are the fertility gods.


Here is a list of the Saxon gods:

The Ese


Woden is the chief God. He is the god of battle and war  but also an observer of humans who might visit them in disguise. Woden’s name is remembered in the day Wednesday which means Wodensdæg (Woden€™s Day.) It also crops up in a great number of place names such as Wednesbury and Wednesfield.


Woden’s wife , Frige was the goddess of households and of childbirth. Her name lingers on in our day, Friday from the old English world, Frigesdaeg .


Thunor (or Thor) is the god of thunder but was also seen as the protector of humanity against threats. His symbol, the hammer, was worn by many common people as a protection.  Yet another of our days -Thursday is named after Thunor.


Tiw was another god of war and was associated with courage and sacrifice in battle. He is remembered in the day Tuesday.


Seaxneat was the god of the sword. The Saxon name for a long knife – the Seax became the basis for the name of the race – the Saxons.


Loki is the god of cunning and tricks. Often seen as manipulating and up to plots. (A theme I use a lot in my books).

The Wena 


Male god of fertility and of the harvest .

Freo  or Freyja

The sister of Ingui-Frea, Freo  is the Goddess of love. She is also the goddess  of female magic. In later  Christian  times her followers  were considered witches and this goddess became a demon.


Esotre was a Goddess worshiped during Eostremonath (April in today’s calendar). It was seen as the end of winter and the beginning of the warm summer months.  So the celebration was all about rebirth. The giving of  eggs seemed to have been associated with Eostre.  So popular was the celebration that the Christian church was forced to adopt the whole festival – linking it to Christ’s passion in the season we call today Easter. Even the egg lingered on in today’s Easter eggs.