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loki

Deep Thoughts...

When looking up the etymology and usage of the word wight, I discovered it was used not just to describe land wights, but also for ancestral spirits, and the Gods and Goddesses. So it was an umbrella term used to describe anything that was numinous, or not of this world and wholy human. When we look at our cosmology, and the history we know of ancient practitioners... specifically by examing the Matrons as found throughout ancient Germania... these 'matrons' were sometimes goddesses, ancestral spirits, nature spirits, etc.

I think in the early foundations of the religious practices, there wasn't a great deal of distinction made between the types, anything that was supernatural fit, and there were regional variances and regional preferences for each geo-socio-politico community. Overtime more of a tiered, hierarchical structure emerged in human civilization, and thus we begin to see more of a separation of 'ranks and tiers' between Gods, the ancestors, the land wights, etc.

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Actually, in my copy of the Elder Edda, the author has a small list of vocabulary words in the back, and it says that wight is simply used for "being." Though more specifically, the beings you mentioned.

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