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    Ull, nicknamed 'the Glorious' and 'the Magnificent,'  is a member of the Vanir tribe of deities, and is known as the god of sports, archery, and hunting, with an alacrity for winter sports in particular. In fact, Ull is closely associated with the winter, a season where he is greatly in his element, along with two other Norse deities, Skadi and Holdur. His parentage in some sources is said to be Orvandel-Eigel and Sith, whereas others claim he is actually the offspring of the goddess Sif (a variant of Sith?), which would make him the stepson of Thor if such was the case.  He can be looked upon as the Norse equivalent of the goddess Artemis of the Greek pantheon, as his prowess at archery and utilizing the bow and arrow for both combat and the art of hunting is comparable to hers.  His bow and arrows are said to be made of sacred yew wood. He is also said to wear an enchanted ring that his followers in ancient times use to swear upon while taking an oath, an attribute later associated with the followers of Thor. He also carries other weaponry besides his famed bow and arrows at times, including a sword and a shield, which he can likewise wield with impressive skill. Each of these items had surprising magickal properties that gave them great uses outside the realm of combat, as some older sources have said that Ull could use his shield to enlarge into a ship capable of carrying himself and others across the seas if necessary, a property shared with the god Frey's ship Skipladnir, which could be shrunk to the size of a man's fist and carried along with him on his belt.  Because of the above, Ull's variant names in the past later became kennings used to refer to various types of warrior skills associated with the use of the sword, shield, and bow and arrows. Ull's mastery of winter sports enabled him to use skis and the sled to travel about snowy landscapes with great skill, thus making him quite formidable in such an environment when you add his mastery of the bow and arrows to the equation.     


    Most of Ull's exploits have been lost to the mists of time, and worship of him in his earliest incarnations may go back to prehistoric times where he was said to hold a very high status in the pantheon of the Vanir (long before they merged with the Aesir tribe to become the Asgardians), a status that has been long forgotten and devalued with the passage of time. Some sources have alleged that he was considered so magnificent amongst the Asgardians that Odin actually kicked him out of Asgard due to jealousy, and that at one point Ull even took over as king of the pantheon for a week when Odin was indisposed during that time.  Other sources say he eventually became an enchanter of great ability, and this may have been the reason why he was deemed fit to temporarily rule Asgard in Odin's place for a short period of time when circumstances necessitated the All-Father's brief absence.  Despite the fact that all detailed myths describing Ull's exploits have been lost, the continued uncovery of artifacts pertaining to him (some as recently as 2007), along with the preponderance of variants of his name turning up in ancient texts, have made it clear that he remains a force to be reckoned with in the Asgardian pantheon, and more than worthy of respect and reverence from those who follow the Nordic path.



    At this writing, I have yet to embark upon strong attempts to obtain a spiritual bond with this great winter deity, though due to a particularly vivid dream I had the evening before writing this entry, which indicated that I should make it a point to give Ull inclusion on this shrine, that is likely to change, as I plan on calling upon him in the future to establish a bond.