Let’s face it, having religious iconography, statuary, jewelry and artwork is something most of us crave. But sometimes finding those items can be nigh impossible. For those seeking the Gods found in the Northern Tradition, it can be very hit and miss. Certain deities (Odin, Thor, Freya & Freyr) do have depictions that have been found in the archaeological record, but other major deities like Frigga we don’t have a single image of at all (well at least that I know of).
Of course, even when a depiction of the deity exists from antiquity, we still have each of us our own uniquely individual aesthetic styles and artistic tastes. So sometimes the ancient, simplistically stylized depictions just don’t mesh with the decor we have going on in our homes, or in our personal fashion sense. So what’s a person to do?
For the creatively talented this is when many turn to making their own art, for the rest of us this is when we go looking for pre-existing modern artistic renderings by today’s artists, we commission them from those artisans, or we find something that we personally resonate well with that we will use to become a symbolic representation of that deity.
A great place to find artistic renderings of our Gods is online social and art community DeviantArt. Artists from around the world, from children to grandparents, post on the site. Some of the artists are fellow worshipers of the old Gods, and other artists are merely illustrating an interesting story they were inspired by. While it can be just a treat to see what people have come up with, in some cases the artists have also enabled those images to be purchased as prints through DeviantArt’s online shop. So for those seeking artwork to place on an altar… you may just find what you’ve been looking for. In other cases, the artists merely post images or photos of their artistic creations to images to show off to a receptive audience.
Here’s a few select pieces of artwork I found on DeviantArt. I’ll showcase a few in the article directly, and for the rest you’ll have to follow the link to see them. I’m trying to be kind, loading all those graphics would be harsh otherwise! Please keep in mind a few may not be safe for work as they depict some nudity. I’ve denoted them appropriately. Enjoy!
Thought and Memory by Pallanoph – depicting Odin’s birds Hugin and Munin
Norse Bang by Lerms – depicting the Norse creation story
Forn Sidr Julemaerke 2008 by Sigrulfr – stamps used by a Danish religious group
Odin’s Birds by Somk – depicting Odin’s birds Hugin and Munin
Ran by Nell Mckellar – may not be safe for work
Freyja by Nellis Eketrop – may not be safe for work
On Sundays by Devilry – depicting Heimdall and Odin
Sisters by Thorleifr – wood carving recreating viking ship burial finds
Troth the Sea Serpent by wanderingmage – silver worked oathring
And of course, if you like what you see, you may just enjoy searching to see the many other gems this site has to offer!