The Lords and Ladies of Waincraft are the major Beings in this world and the next who have been historically worshiped as gods and goddesses1. While their original names are lost to time and the coming of the Indo-European languages, their later culture-specific names are presented for those wishing to adapt the Waincraft model to a cultural paradigm.
There are three major themes that these Powers embody – Life (particularly manifested in the concept of Sex), Death and Rebirth, and Magic and Transformation. Each of these themes has to do with aspects of the natural world, speaking to them as Powers of the Land (and Sea, and Sky). There are lesser themes that fall under these three – e.g., both warriorship and sacrifice fall under Death and Rebirth, healing and prophecy under Magic and Transformation.
Each Lord and Lady represents an Idea of Being, an conception of how the world operates. Some of these Ideas are mirror images of each other2; others hold this dualism in their own being3. Often, these Ideas form a triplicity – see, for example, the three siblings of Holy Earth, Storm-Lord and King of Waters, each ruling over one of the Worlds; or the two sets of three sisters known as the Weird Sisters and High Ladies4, respectively.
The Idea-Beings that form the pantheon of Waincraft are not meant to be considered mutually interchangeable with each of their specific names. As time and culture progresses, people, and gods, change, and thus even gods who might share an original form may become radically different in their particular cultural setting than even a neighboring version5. Thus, the pantheon of Waincraft provides a framework which can be enriched by focus on a particular cultural format, and specific cultural versions of the mythic tales; conversely, Waincraft can also provide a framework in which new tales and new experiences may be created, and a blending of the wondrous stories and mythic elements that form the basis of each Lord and Lady.
1Those familiar with the traditional views of these Powers, or who have been introduced to Vanic Paganism through Svartesól’s Visions of Vanaheim or the pamphlet we co-authored will likely recognise many of these gods as they appear in the Germanic pantheon. Others are somewhat controversial, though there is factual and theoretical basis for their inclusion here. Two have no extant Germanic equivalents, though there is a small case for Perchta falling under Maiden of the Woods; she is thus included there for the sake of completion.
2E.g., Wildness and Order are very much the same essential Idea, with different expressions – one light, one dark
3(e.g., the Lord of the Green is also Lord of the Black – life matched with death. Thus, while Gwynn ap Nudd and Ing-Frey are both versions of the Lord of the Green, they are conceptually different Beings)
4Taken from the Irish Brighid, which means “Exalted, High One,” and who was often seen as three sisters sharing the same name – this works well with the Germanic and Slavic cognates also.
5For instance, the Welsh gods have a distinct current of magic and divine madness that causes their specific Waincraft forms to look and act rather differently than, say, their Irish or Germanic forms; likewise, there is a particular emphasis on taboo and holiness in many of the Germanic gods that is not as present in other cultural forms, or is presented differently.