Who is Var?

Var by Thorskegga

Var, or Vara, is the Keeper of Oaths. She can be invoked to help people keep their promises, and she will do so to the best of her ability, strengthening one's will and integrity. However, we do have a certain amount of free will on these things, and if we choose to violate our oaths in spite of Var's best efforts, she will have the right to punish us for our foolishness. Her name comes from the word varar, meaning a private contract. It is cognate to the word "vow", and possibly to the Old Norse word varda, meaning to warrant, guarantee, or answer for.

Any contracts can be placed on her altar to hallow and keep. Her power lies in how we speak our words, and how those words shape our maegen, so be careful in the wording of what you promise. Var's symbol is the oath-ring, which were forged to symbolize contracts in ancient times.

Linda Demissy's story about Var, drawn from personal gnosis from talking to the Handmaiden Goddesses, is as follows:

Vár is Goddess of oaths and contracts, of paths freely chosen and their consequences. She was born of two powerful deities in Asgard and great things were expected of her, yet she could not choose her path. Everything came so easily to her that it was boring, and she could not commit to any one skill enough to master it. Thus she drifted aimlessly, told by the All-father that if nothing else she could marry and produce powerful children for Asgard. Depressed, she was tricked into discovering her true talent — for binding people to their oaths — and given a drop spindle to record these in yarn for the Norns (the Fates). She is witness to promises, agreements and marriages, having no path of her own, often being little more than a silent ghost watching other people’s major life events.

She may be honored by making a promise and holding to it, by making detailed plans for your goals, and by studying history and laws regarding contracts.  You may call on her to punish oath-breakers —  at your own risk! All your own broken vows will likely be inspected if you do. It is better to make reparation when you break a promise than to wait for the consequences. She doesn’t much care for food, unless it is somehow symbolic of something important to you, but she does like incense and fragrant oils. The torc arm ring is her symbol. Such may be made by twisting two or three thick copper wires together and bending them into a C shape, but any bracelet that fits the wrist will do (preferably braided), and even a wrist watch is acceptable. Her name in Old Norse is Vár, which is pronounced “VOW-er” and means exactly that, the one who makes vows.

Artwork by Thorskegga Thorn.