Part 1: Woden the ancestor
The ancestor of the South Saxon kings, Woden was born at the
beginning of time, his parents being the giant, Bor, and the
giantess, Bestia, who came from chaos.
Woden was the Father God, the god of battle and death, the god
of inspiration and wit, and, far from least, he was the god of
learning. Woden was also the psychopomp of slain warriors, taking
them back to Valhalla, his hall of the brave. Valhalla was situated
in a joyous land called Gladheim, where Woden also had another hall
with twelve thrones upon which were seated his councillors.
Woden was the great chief of the Aesir, a race of war gods who
lived in Asgarth, the world of divinities. The god-chief had two
ravens, Hugin (Thought) and Munin (Memory), who told him all that
had happened in Milgard, the world of mortals.
Woden was in wedlock with Frigg, the goddess of fertility,
conjugal love and motherhood.
Their eldest son, Balder, was the
favourite of all the other gods and known for his matchless beauty
and sweetness of character. He was the god of plants and good
forces. He lived in a hall called Breithablik with his wife, the
daughter of the god Nepr, and her name was Nanna. Forseti, their
son, was the god of justice, peace and truth. He had a throne in his
hall. This residence was called Glitnir, a palace which was
embellished with silver and gold.
Balder was killed unintentionally by his blind brother, the god
Hoder, with a bough of mistletoe, having been misled by the
malicious Loki, the god of mischief, destruction and fire.
Woden and Frigg had another son who was killed in combat at the
battle of Ragnasok. His name was Hermod. Since he had no children
and nor did Hoder, presumably Aelle and Mealla (if they were royal)
would have claimed descent from Woden through his grandson, Forseti.
Woden also had a natural son called Vithar, by his concubine Grithir,
who was a giantess.