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Heimdall, calling the heroes of Valhalla to battle, 19th century chromolithographic trade card advertising Liebig Beef Extract, artist unknown

Heimdall, also known as Heimdallr, Hallinskiði, Gullintanni ('the one with the golden teeth'), Rigr, and Vindlér or Vindhlér ("protector against the wind"), is the watchman who guards the entrance to Asgard, home of the Aesir or Nordic deities. He is stationed at his dwelling at Himinbjörg, right at the heavenly end of Bifröst, the burning rainbow bridge that connects earth to the abode of the Norse Gods.

The references to Heimdall in Norse literature are obscure, using rare words and puzzling turns of phrase. From these, scholars have hazarded that he is generally a watcher of borders; was born at "the end of the world"; was born of "nine mothers," who may have been nine sea-wave goddesses who were sisters, and so was possibly born of the ocean, perhaps on the coast, where sea meets land. Under the name Rígr, he went on a journey along the seacoast, walking in the very middle of roads on the way to homesteads, where he received their hospitality, gave his hosts good advice, and slept for three nights between the master and mistress. The wives of these couples became pregnant, and this is the origin of social classes among humans. He also retrieved the Brísingamen necklace from Loki, who had apparently stolen it from Freya and then transformed into a seal. Becoming a seal himself, Heimdall fought him and won. At the end of time, the rooster Gullinkambi ("golden comb") will crow and Heimdall will use his horn Gjallarhorn ("megaphone") to herald the beginning of Ragnarök, the epic battle of the gods which brings the universe to a close. During this battle, Heimdall and Loki, the god of confusion and variable allegiances, are fated to kill each other.

Heimdall has exceptionally keen senses; he can see as well at night as in broad daylight; he can hear grass growing on the ground and wool growing on sheep. He has some connection to rams, and in ancient times may have been known to appear as a ram. He is most often portrayed with Gullimkambi by his side, holding or blowing the Gjallarhorn. Hoodoo psychic readers, spirit workers, and root doctors who petition the Norse deities within the Pagan and Neo-Pagan traditions on behalf of clients may work with Heimdall when there are pending spiritual and magical issues regarding protection from invasion, and establishing and maintaining boundaries.

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