Who is Andvari?

What we know from myth, history, and inspiration

By Galina Krasskova and Fuensanta Plaza.

In the name of Andvari, Forger of consciences, may I never mistake what is mine by accident for what is mine by right.

Andvari1Little is known of Andvari in ancient Norse texts. He is one of the Duergar, and His name, according to Rudolf Simek, means “the careful one.”[1] The Reginsmal tells how He, in the guise of a fish, was caught by Loki and had His hoard taken from Him. Andvari made no great resistance to this theft until Loki also took a gold ring, which Andvari warned was cursed; and cursed it was, bringing about the downfall of those who laid claim to it.

In Pathwalker’s Guide to the Nine Worlds, Raven Kaldera mentions that “…Andvari seems fonder of humans than many others of the Duergar. Indeed, He is an odd Duergr, much given to wandering about in His earlier days.” And from The Jotunbok comes the delightful story Andvari’s Bride, as told by Loki to Elizabeth Vongvisith, which is included in this devotional as well. That is all. Aside from a few references to the creation of the world, the winning of Freya’s necklace and several of Loki’s exploits, Duergar as a whole are seldom mentioned and Andvari not at all, save for the tale of the Ring.

For those of us who honor Him, though, Andvari has many, many valuable lessons to teach: lessons about proper utilization of resources, about exchange, value, frugality, integrity, mindful consumption, and most of all about healing one’s relationship with money. In a culture rife with overconsumption, wastefulness and complete ignorance about the sacredness of money, Andvari’s lessons are of utmost importance. He waits like the salmon in the pool for those wise enough to seek Him out. To those He will teach hard lessons … hard but invaluable ones. He will forge understanding and in doing so, teach His devotees to forge luck as gleaming, rich and long-lasting as the gold that He and His brethren craft. We also feel it necessary to point out that another facet of Andvari, hardly touched upon here, is that of the Craftsman. When that facet of His nature and the facet of ownership collide, one gets a fleeting impression of a power and danger that feel oddly related to that of Wayland the Smith—and because Andvari is the connection of Earth and Fire, to Surt also.

We do not know of many Heathens or Norse Pagans who honor Andvari. He is one of those sacred Beings whose wisdom has been lost in the pages of surviving lore, whose power has been long neglected. This, therefore, is our attempt to Honor Him, and to give Him thanks for all He has taught us, for all He has given us, and for His endless patience with us. May it please Him.

Artwork by Victor Lam-Art

[1] Simek, Rudolf, (1993). Dictionary of Northern Mythology. UK: D. S. Brewer, p. 16.