Alfheim

Alfheim (“elf home”), in Norse mythology, is one of the nine worlds.

It is located on the highest level of the Norse universe. Also found on this level are the worlds of Asgard and Vanaheim.

Alfheim is the palace of the god Freyr and the homeland of the elves of light.

Neither the elves of light nor the elves of darkness, who live in Svartalfheim, participate in any of the events described in the Norse myths. Elves do, however, have active roles in the literature of quite a few of the other branches of Indo-European mythology.

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3 Comments

  1. Julia

    I remember reading a story of a celtic desent that seemed to hint at this type of relam. A daughter of Freyr had fallen in love with a warrior of the old celtic times. Her father (which I have presumed is Freyr) tells her she will only be happy for a while for no human can live happily in their land. His daughter is in love however and ignores him. She goes to the warrior and he falls in love with her instantly. She then takes him on a long journey back to her home and they get married (or something along the lines.) Some time passes and the warrior is pleased to find that he does not age. And although he falls in love with the land and the people, he wants to visit home. He wants to see his family and friends once more. But his wife begs him to change his mind. Unable to sway him she can only warn him that nothing is what it used to be, his family and friends have become myth’s and he himself a folktale. Even though she knows what will happen she helps him go, she gathers a horse and tells him the way back. She also gives him one rule, “Do not set foot on the ground, stay on the horse.” As he is departing, he silently despairs to see his wife on her knees weeping as if he were dead. When the warrior found his way back he was horrified at what he found. Just as his wife had said nothing was what it used to be. Everyone he knew and loved had been dead for hundreds of years. Overwhelmed with shock and anger he lept from the horse, thinking it was a trick. As soon as he touched the soil his body began to age rapidly, he soon became a decrepit old man. There is more to the story but my point is that I believe that where the warrior was, the place that he never aged, was Alfheim.

    • Hannah MA

      Hi! I believe the story that you speak of is Oisín of Tír na nÓg. While the land in the story is referred to as Tír na nÓg, meaning Land of the Youth, I agree with you that it does indeed share many traits with Alfheim. It is a land of many names, located on an island to the far west of Ireland. Accessible by magic steed across the sea, or through the Sídhe mounds in the Irish countryside, it is the home of elves, the Sídhe, the Tuatha Dé Dannan, the Majestic Folk- known by many, many names. The woman you refer to is Niamh Chinn Óir (Niamh of the Golden Hair). Her father was Manannán Mac Lir, the Lord of the Fairies/Elves. She fell in love with Oisín, a mortal son of Fionn Mac Cumhaill, celebrated leader of na Fianna, a band of Celtic warriors.

  2. Huginnmuninn

    julia and Hannah great remarks and good info and ofcourse an great great story i also frequently see nordic and celtic mythology telling the same story’s but usualy the context is somewhat diferent the moral stays the same i can see relations between the two what do u think? am i right or just totaly missing the .
    many greets and all the best to u both

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