Talk:Numbers in Germanic paganism

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Although five is a comparatively weak magical number in Norse mythology, I am open to persuasion on this subject by interested parties (I am aware that there is a certain degree of difference of opinion on this). user:sjc

Removed statement[edit]

I have removed the following statements:

The number eight is highly potent and arguably the most magically potent of the numbers.

*In the Reginsmal, the curse of Andvari's ring is laid upon eight heroes who shall wear it.

*Loki garnered eight gifts from the dwarves as recompense to the Aesir for the theft of Sif's hair (in two blocks of three and finally two).

I cannot see that eight is especially potent. The second two don't match with the number eight as far as I can see.

Jallan 04:48, 15 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Removed following as not in Snorri:

*The jaws of the wolf Fenrir are bound three times round to hold him by Tyr.

There are no details about the number of times round and Fenrir was not bound by Tyr.

I also corrected details about Loki's binding.

Jallan 00:51, 22 Aug 2004 (UTC)


I read that there were 12 æsir in total, according to Gylfaginning. (Although the math doesn't seem to add up.) Significant? 惑乱 分からん * \)/ (\ (< \) (2 /) /)/ * 07:10, 17 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well, it is a multiple of three. :bloodofox: (talk) 06:32, 7 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Subcategories by source for each number[edit]

This article really needs to be sorted by source. For example, there needs to be subsections for both "three" and "nine" citing where the reference is coming from; the Prose Edda, Poetic Edda, Adam of Bremen's account and so forth. If anyone has some time on their hands it would be a big improvement. However, I currently have a lot on my plate on Wikipedia. :bloodofox: (talk) 06:35, 7 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I understand that this isn't the best place to discuss this, but the actual Paganism page seems like a bad one, too. Why do we continue to use the word on this site, when it's one of the most inaccurate, vague terms in the English language? All Pagan means is somebody who doesn't worship the Christian deity, and has been used to describe Judaism, Islam, and various sub-cults of the Judaeo-Christian faiths. Specifically, its use in this article seems... incongruous, I suppose, in the bit "... appear throughout surviving attestations of Norse paganism, in both mythology and cultic practice". Also, in that sentence, thank you for teaching me an alternate form of "cult", though the normal form of the word would work fine here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:46, 3 October 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Removed statements that lacked valid sourcing[edit]

I removed the following from the section on the number three: “The goddess Frigg has three handmaidens, including Fulla, Gná and Hlín.” I had previously requested a source for this and never received one. While these goddesses are mentioned as performing tasks for Frigg in Gylfaginning 36, it seems like a stretch to call them handmaidens. This is especially the case given that this section of the Gylfaginning specifically lists goddesses. Denathar (talk) 05:48, 7 July 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Similarly, I removed the statement that there are three distinct races of giant after a source was not added. I know of no references to this in the Old Norse texts. There are many words for giant, but none of them denote specific racial differences between mountain, fire, and ice giants. The only source I can think of that makes this distinction is Marvel Comics. Denathar (talk) 05:57, 7 July 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Requested move 15 April 2023[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The result of the move request was: not moved. There's just simply no consensus for a move at this time. (closed by non-admin page mover) SkyWarrior 15:54, 10 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Numbers in Norse mythologyNumbers in Germanic paganism – The term "mythology", unlike "paganism", doesn't cover examples such as the Stentoften Stone which is not a tale but a record of a ritual practice. "Norse", unlike "Germanic", doesn't cover the "Nine herbs charm" which is of great relevance here. This chance would more accurately represent the content on the page and be a fuller foundation for a fleshing out and tidying up of this page. A potential alternative would be Numbers in Germanic paganism and mythology, similar to Sacred trees and groves in Germanic paganism and mythology. Ingwina (talk) 06:35, 15 April 2023 (UTC) — Relisting. ModernDayTrilobite (talkcontribs) 14:41, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Support Numbers in Germanic paganism and mythology to match the other article. Srnec (talk) 21:06, 17 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose. This is getting carried away with anachronistic views over reliable sources. This article is really about the mysticism of the number three and its powers, 9, 27, etc. This is rooted neither as Norse nor Germanic, but in the old Celtic mythology, at least. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:32, 22 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I am not fully sure I understand your point here. So you don't think any of this is actually Norse or Germanic more widely, but is Celtic? This sounds more like you want this page deleted or renamed to something else rather than to stay as it is. Which parts do you see as anachronistic? Ingwina (talk) 06:57, 22 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    It’s anachronistic to argue Norse vs Germanic. It’s both, and predates both. I think we need more sources. SmokeyJoe (talk) 10:48, 22 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Reading, eg The Number Three, Mysterious, Mystic, Magic (1919), I think there should be an article on the ancient and enduring mysticism of the number 3. Norse and Germanic are not special on this topic. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 11:20, 22 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Anything Norse is by definition Germanic as Norse is a subset of Germanic. Are you trying to argue that the fact that holding some numbers special predates the emergence of Germanic cultures as distinct from others invalidates their inclusion on a page specifically about how they are viewed in those cultures? Would you then oppose pages like Sacred trees and groves in Germanic paganism and mythology or Rebirth in Buddhism? Trees being held sacred and the concept of rebirth predate both these specific contexts. I agree a page on the more general topic is useful but I see absolutely no reason why that would mean this page should be entirely repurposed or deleted. Ingwina (talk) 14:17, 22 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Just to reinforce this, we see exactly this equivalent page about Chinese cultures - Chinese numerology and a main page - Numerology Ingwina (talk) 14:32, 22 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Note: WikiProject Mythology has been notified of this discussion. ModernDayTrilobite (talkcontribs) 14:42, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Possible source for new info[edit]

Hi guys so I found this link that seems to have more info about more numbers but idk how to access it so if someone can and is willing to improve this article go for it Chacabangaso (talk) 10:47, 1 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That's great - thanks :) Ingwina (talk) 06:39, 2 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Article rewrite[edit]

The scope of this article has always been Germanic paganism. And that's because this is very basic stuff in Germanic philology: The matter of the significance of three, nine, and other multiples of three among the ancient Germanic peoples comes up frequently in scholarship.

There was never a reason this article should have been moved to be specifically about Norse myth. I've restored it.

That said, this article needs a rewrite. Every occurance needs a quality citation. Not only is this a basic Wikipedia requirement (WP:PROVEIT),but there are a variety of manuscript variations for some of these numbers, where for example nines and threes are swapped, for example. All of this needs to be well-referenced to comply with WP:RS and WP:GA standards. :bloodofox: (talk) 19:26, 10 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for this @Bloodofox. It seemed strange to have the result as not moved and this is far more fitting. Now it's on a suitable page name I can start my next round of tidying by getting proper references in like you said :) It's an interesting topic but the page right now is a mess so I'll see what I can do. Ingwina (talk) 08:19, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I disagree, that the first concern is for fine detail citations. I think the bigger problem is that lack of sources that cover the topic as a whole, as “numbers in <whatever> mythology”.
I read this article as a list of trivia of 3, 9, 27, in Norse mythology and/or Germanic mythology, and unfortunately, these two articles don’t cover these numbers. One thought was that this article should be split and merged into those two. However, 3#Religion is quite a thing, across a lot more than Norse/Germanic. I think there’s a need for the article Mythology of the number threeSmokeyJoe (talk) 09:26, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've now rewritten the article and included several sources discussing the topic in a specifically Germanic context. :bloodofox: (talk) 16:06, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Discussion of the number three in Tacitus's Germania[edit]

I've encountered discussion of the presence of the fixation on the number three among the early Germanic peoples as likely reflected in the groupings found in Tacitus's Germania. Unfortunately, I can't remember where. Anyone? :bloodofox: (talk) 19:59, 10 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'll keep my eyes peeled for this :) Ingwina (talk) 08:21, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]