Friday, March 6, 2015

Fire In Nordic Traditions (北欧火神赞)

Fire plays an important part in Nordic traditions. Not only there are fire festivals to celebrate about, a fireplace is certainly one of the most important places in cold Scandinavian countries.

Fire ritual such as the Indian Agnihotra would invoke Agin, the god of fire in the evening with the below mantra:

Agnaye Svaha
Agnaye idam na mama

Oh Agin, please come!

Below fire prayer is translated by Mr. Bjerstedt to share with us:

When a fire is started (for some reasons), below fire prayer is recited for protection.

Title: Fire prayer
Notetaker: Arvid Edblad
Year: 1963
Parish/Town: Alnö

Elden som har makt
Elden håller trogen vakt
om detta hus och bygd
av alla de som där bor.

The fire that has power.
The fire keeps loyal vigil,
over this house and countryside,
and everyone that lives there.

After the fire is burnt out perhaps over the night, then in the morning the below prayer would be recited:

När elden skall sluta att brinna
jag offra en bön till eldgudens ära,
Eld du tröstande smeker.

When the fire stops burning,
I offer a prayer in the God of Fire's honour,
Fire, you consolingly caress.

[Judging from the meaning of both prayers and coupled with some research, I would think that it is safe to say the above prayers are meant to seek protection and gratitude towards the services fire provides to mankind.]

Other resources related to fire in Nordic traditions:

Scandinavian fireplaces

Nordic funeral (cremation):


  1. Very good. I should however tell you that the first line of the second prayer means something more close to "When the fire will stop burning", something I seem to have missed while translating it, which makes it unlikely that it was used like you described. I'm not against using it like that however, provided that the first line is changed if the Swedish version is used.

    You should probably remove the second link. For starters, it seems to be a blog that promotes National Socialism, and the festivals described are more Celtic than Nordic.

    1. I supposed the meaning of the translation doesn't change too much and the opening is for protection, the ending is to give gratitude... There are many possibilities this prayers can be used.

      The links are for additional info, removed as it is.

  2. The line "When a fire is started in one’s Scandinavian fireplace, below fire prayer is recited for protection." kinda implies that this is universal to Scandinavian Folk Magic, this is however, not true. I just wanted to get that cleared up.

    1. The doubt is expressed in the italic column, until a clearer definition of the actual usage of this prayer is ascertained; all are just a conjecture at this moment. But as soon as more info is obtained, the posting would be corrected when deemed necessary.