Thor is most certainly one of the most popular of the ancient deities of the old polytheistic Pagan faiths to still be revered today. Contrary to what many people today may believe, he is not a super-hero character created by Marvel Comics in 1963, but has a strong spiritual reality going back countless centuries to the tribes of people who inhabited what is today known as Scandinavia and Germany, by the people known as the Vikings and the Teutonic Knights, respectively (as is the case with all the Norse deities; the Teutons referred to Thor as Donar). Despite his status as one of the supreme warriors amongst the various pantheons of deities, and the strongest and most fearsome of all the Norse gods, Thor has many laudable traits beyond mere combat skill. Notwithstanding his fiery temper and occasional hastiness in going into combat mode, Thor has been frequently described in the legends as being a thoroughly dependable and loyal friend and ally to all who have ever traveled at his side, either on the proverbial field of battle and travel, or in a spiritual sense. He was fathered by Odin, king of the Norse deities, and birthed by the Earth goddess Jord, then disguised as a giantess, for the purpose of spawning a powerful deity who would possess a strong connection to the Earth realm (i.e., Midgard) as well as Asgard so he could be a firm defender of both. Hence, Thor's most important task besides defending Asgard from its many enemies amongst the ranks of the giants and the trolls is to protect the human race of Midgard from all possible threats to its safety. Because of this, Thor is a truly formidable ally for all who revere him to call upon in times of need, either when they are under threat to their person, or when they need a quick but potent surge of courage, confidence, and inner strength.
Another of Thor's admirable traits is to the field of agriculture, as his enchanted hammer Mjolnir (pronounced "my-ol-near") grants him the ability to control the weather, which includes the rain necessary to nurture the crops. Many farmers who revered Thor both in past eras and in the modern age have called upon the Thunderer to help them yield a healthy crop growth by ensuring enough rain for every spring and summer season.
In regards to Thor's famous hammer Mjolnir (often translated into English as "Destroyer"), it is one of the most powerful weapons wielded by any deity. Not only does it enable Thor to call upon the forces of the weather, including the power of the lightning, to aid him in combat, it also has other enchantments making it a truly devastating weapon of destruction in his hands. Forged by the master metalworkers Brokk and Eitri of the race of dwarves indigenous to the realm of Nidavellir, Mjolnir is composed of a virtually indestructible metal that will always return to Thor's hand after being thrown at a target and striking its intended mark. The reddish blaze of energy said to trail the hammer when it's thrown is said to be a manifestation of the forces of lightning that it controls. There is scarcely a denizen of any of the Nine Worlds who can withstand being hit by this hammer, and many powerful foes of the deities have fallen before its might. Because of this, Mjolnir has become a symbol of power, perseverance, and strength of will to many in the mortal realm, and also the personal symbol often used for invoking Thor. The symbol of Mjolnir, popular for use as a necklace by reverents of Thor and the Aesir in general, is often represented by an object resembling the upper case letter "T" in an inverted state. The hammer of Thor is also sometimes used by socialists as their official symbol for reasons that will be explained in the next paragraph.
Thor was the most widely worshipped and beloved deity amongst the ancient Pagan tribes of the Northern world because he was viewed as the protector of the common man. This was a natural extension of his role as protector of Midgard, as the majority of its inhabitants have generally been the equivalent of what we today would call the working class, and this has resulted in Thor and the image of his famed weapon being interpreted as advocating the interests and the eventual ascendance of the common labor class. Some have argued this to be a strictly modern interpretation of wishful thinkers amongst the Far Left because many scholars of today believe the thinking of the ancient Norsemen cannot be reconciled with the conceptualizations of people who hail from the modern era due to the differing environmental conditions in evidence today. The jury may still be out on that, but it should be noted that despite the obvious differences between life as it was lived by people in earlier civilizations compared to today in our post-industrial society, the basic reality of strict class divisions are as extant in the world now as they were in the days of yore. Hence, one can indeed argue whether the famous arm in hammer symbol connected to the labor force is supposed to belong to Hephesteus, the Greek god of the forge (as history tells us), or can actually be attributed to the hammer of Thor.
Thor has most often been described in the myths as resembling a man of considerable size and musculature with a long mane of fiery red hair that includes a beard and mustache. However, as the display of famous artwork sampled on this page will make it clear, the god of thunder has sometimes been envisioned with blonde hair sans the beard and mustache (an image popularized from the late 20th century to today by his long and popular depiction in Marvel Comics). Further, Thor didn't actually use Mjolnir to propel him through the air as his comic book counterpart often does, but rather utilized a chariot pulled through the heavens by two large male goats named Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder (anglicized from Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr) as his main means of long-distance transportation. These two goats were likewise enchanted, and could be killed and eaten when other sustenance was unavailable, and subsequently resurrected the following morning via a simple bit of spellwork, provided all of their bones were left intact. Thor was also said to carry a belt of strength that, when worn, would double his already prodigious level of strength, though he tended to only use it in emergency situations since it has been surmised it would cause him to become severely drained for variable periods of time after using it, which can explain why he used this belt so rarely in the myths. He was also said to sometimes carry a pair of metallic gloves that he required to handle the volatile energies of Mjolnir at times, though since he wasn't depicted as wearing them in every sample of artwork where he was wielding Mjolnir in battle it can be guessed that he didn't need these gloves for that purpose on all occasions.
According to the myths, Thor was said to marry the beautiful, golden- haired goddess of agriculture, Sif, and together they had a daughter, Thrud - who may or may not have become a Valkyrie. Thor also had a mistress, the giantess Jarnsaxa, and with her the thunder god fathered the warrior deities Magni and Modi, who were destined to take Thor's place as joint wielders of Mjolnir and defender of the new human race to emerge following the cataclysmic event of Ragnarok. On one of his travels - recorded in the myth where he and Loki ran afoul of the powerful giant Skrymir while traveling about the forests of Jotunheim - he gained two loyal servants, a brother and sister respectively named Thialfi and Roskva. Thialfi was particularly useful to Thor on his further travels, as this servant could move at a great level of speed that possibly rivaled the impressive velocity attainable by Hermod, the messenger of the deities.
Thor is an avowed enemy of the giants and the trolls, two races of powerful humanoid beings who have repeatedly threatened Asgard, but his greatest nemesis of all is Loki's incredibly huge dragonic offspring Jormungand the Midgard Serpent. Thor encountered this surprisingly mighty dragon twice in the myths prior to Ragnarok, where Loki's dragon son was destined to engage in a battle to the death with the thunder god that was supposed to end with both of them perishing - Jormungand from Thor's hammer, and Thor from the Midgard Serpent's incredibly lethal venom (which not even the deities can withstand).
Of all the Norse deities, Thor is particularly special to me on a spiritual level (though all of them are special to me, of course), and I consider the Thunderer to be my Patron Deity. He has long symbolized all that I can potentially be if only I remain determined and resolute in striving to accomplish my life goals, and I am always confident he will come to my aid when needed and called upon. He is a tremendous source of strength to me much as he has been to many others throughout history, and he represents a potent version of the Great Defender archetype extant in the collective human consciousness as described by Jungian theory. He has appeared to me in several notable dreams I had in various roles: as a protector, a traveling companion on my journeys in life, and even in an entirely social manner as a dinner guest with my family. Since it has been commonly believed that the deities can communicate with mortals via the dream state and while in altered forms of consciousness, I take these encounters in the realm of sleep to indicate that Thor has acknowledged my reverence of him and accepted my hand in friendship, which is partly the reason for this cyberspace dedication to him and many of his fellow deities who have likewise touched my spirit.