The major Norse gods and goddesses and what they represent. There is Aesir and Vanir:
Odin was the ruler of all men and gods and the god of wisdom, thought, and knowledge. He can go to any of the nine worlds any time. He has two ravens that rest on his shoulders, Huginn and Munin. (Thought and Memory) Odin cut out his eye at The Well of Mimir to gain inner wisdom, and hung himself from The World Tree, or Yggdrasil, to gain the knowledge and power of runes. Wednesday, (Wodensdaeg), is named after him. Odin is Aesir.
Thor was one of Odin's sons. He was the god of strengh and thunder. Thor's mighty hammer, Mjollnir, returns when thrown. It is said that lightning is when Thor's hammer strikes it's foe. Thunder sounds when Thor rides his chariot accross the sky. Thor is considered the guardian of Midgard. So, Thursday is named after him. (Thorsdaeg). Thor is Aesir.
Freya is the Vanir goddess of love and beauty, but also a fierce warrior goddess. She is the daughter of Njord, and the twin sister of her brother, Frey. Freya was known as the queen of the Valkries. The Valkries choose those who have died in battle to go to Odin's golden hall, Valhalla. (The Norse Heaven) The cat was her symbol and Friday is named after her. (Freyasdae)
Frey is Freya's twin brother, and the god of fertility. His sacred symbol is the boar. He has a golder boar named Gullenbursti, who represents daybreak. His wife is Gerda, who he had to give up his sword for. Frey, like Freya, is Vanir.
Tyr was the god of war. He helped bind the evil wolf Fenrir, and in the process got had his hand bitten off. Tyr is also associated with fairness and justice. Tyr is an Aesir god.
Loki was the god of mischief and fire. Loki is neither aesir nor Vanir, he is of an elemental race. So he is part demon, part god. He also always loved to be the center of attention, and got jealus easily. Nobody knew when to trust him; sometimes he was a friend, and other times his daemonic qualities took over and he was purely evil. All his children were monsters, and included Fenrir, the Midgard Serpent, and Odin's 8 legged horse. Loki also was the downfall of Baldir; he guided his Hod's hand to shoot a dart at Baldir.
Heimdal is the guardian of the rainbow bridge that leads into Asgard, home of the gods. His trumpet sounds when the last battle, Rangarok, begins. Heimdal is an Aesir god.
Skadi is the Aesir goddess of winter, the hunt, and anger. Her husband is a Vanir god named Njord. She married Njord by his bare feet. She wanted to mary Baldir, the fairest of all gods, but she came to like Njord. Skadi was the one who sentenced Loki into punishment with a serpent dripping venom on his head. Skadi is usually described as "The Ice Queen" and "The Snow Princess".
Balder was Odin's favorite son and was the fairest of all the gods. He was the god of light and sunshine. When Frigg, Odin's wife, foresaw great danger would come to Balder, the gods made every being promise not to hurt him, exept one: Missletoe. So Loki, being jeleous of all the attention to Balder, made a dart out of missletoe and gave it to Bladir's blind brother, Hod. Hod wanted to join in at throwing things at Balder and watch them bounce off. So Loki carefully guided the dart and it shot, killing Balder. Loki was sentenced to punishment with a serpent dripping venom on his head.