Who is Kari?

frostybranchesKari is the old Norse God of the North Wind. In Norse mythology, he is the oldest son of Mistblindi, an ancient frost-giant also named Fornjotr. He is a powerful spirit of wind and snow and frost, of blizzards and storms. His two brothers were Logi, an ancient fire-god, and Aegir the Lord of the Sea. When we made our online shrine for Aegir and his family, Kari asked that we make one for him as well.

One of the interesting things about Kari, if one works with him, is that he regresses in age and then ages again. In the spring he returns to the form of a slender, androgynous youth, and he ages throughout the year until he is a hoary, bearded old man in winter. On a natural cycle, this mirrors the change of the North Wind from cooling breeze to bringer of bitter blizzards. In his young phase, he is often amorous, taking on wind form to stroke a lover; it is said that he loves to blow up women=s skirts. In his older form, he is more reclusive - when not doing his job as North Wind - and stays home in his cave is Niflheim (the World of Frost and Mist) with his great-granddaughters. Most often, though, he appears to people in his aged form, as a white-bearded and white-coated grandfather.

Kari has two sons, one named Frosti (Frost) and one named Jokul (Icicle), who is in turn the father of Snaer (Snow) the Old, who is another of the chieftains of Niflheim. Snaer in turn has a son named Thorri (Frozen-Snow), and three daughters named Fon (Snowfall), Drifa (Snowdrift), and Mjol (Powder). This last daughter is a powerful sorceress and seer of Niflheim who can fly through the air. Frosti, in turn, seems to have married into an Alfar family; his son was the half-Alfar Raum the Old, whose son was Finnalf (or just Alf), one of the kings of Alfheim. Finnalf's niece married a mortal descendant of Kari's brother Logi, who was named after the fire-giant.

The North Wind loves the reindeer, and it is his symbolic animal. A reindeer ornament can be a small hanging shrine to him; I have a small collection of white-coated St. Nicholas ornaments that I use for that.

frostKari is a singer, and his power is very specific. He teaches people how to use song to move energy, pushing chi with the voice the way that a martial artist might push it with their hands and feet. I put this small shrine up for those who would be taught this art by the Spirit of the North Wind. He can also protect a singer’s voice and give them more tunefulness and volume, and he can help heal lungs that have been damaged by smoking and other degradation of the tissue. The North Wind God can also keep a house from blizzards and winter storms; if you fear the oncoming harsh weather coming down from the North, offer aid to Kari and he may stave it off.