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  • aomiarmster 6:35 PM on 23/11/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , mythos,   

    It’s mythology. It’s going to have different sources say different things about the same thing. 

  • aomiarmster 6:26 PM on 23/11/2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Loki’s Children by Angrboða 



    Angrboda was a Jotunn witch who sowed seeds of discord wherever she went.  She was responsible for provoking the lust for gold, and cheating and murders in Midgard.  Acting on behalf of the Jotunns who desired to destroy the Aesir and Vanir, she had used her trickery to create a vast divide between the two.  She was eventually discovered and burned for her actions, but she was not so easily destroyed.  Her body burned away, but her heart did not.  From these remains, Angrboda was able to resurrect herself in entirety.  As long as her heart was intact, she could continue to revivify.

    The executors promptly attempted to burn the witch a second and third time, but each time, she resurrected, burned, and the heart remained.  Loki saw that this game would go on forever if they did not dispose of the heart, so before Angrboda could resurrect again, Loki rushed forward, pulled the heart from the flames, and swallowed it.

    Loki consuming Angrboda's heart

    But even with that, Angrboda’s evil was not completely destroyed.  From the heart he had swallowed, Loki gave birth to three beings: Fenriswulf, Midgardsormr (or Jormungandr, as it was called by the Jotunn), and Hela.  Fenriswulf, a large grey wolf, would go on to bite off the hand of the battle god Tyr, herald the beginning of Ragnarok by escaping his bonds, and destroy Odin in the final battle.  Midgardrsormr was a serpent who would grow so large he encircled the world, and in the final battle he would destroy the mighty Thor.  Hela, a normal woman on one half of her body and a corpse on the other, was the only one of the three who was not destined for evil.  She would go on to become caretaker for the dead who were not killed gloriously in battle, in the realm of Niflheim.

    Fenriswulf, Midgardsormr, Hela

    Angrboda’s evil also persisted in the tension she had introduced between the Aesir and Vanir.  Despite her death, her actions still resulted in a war between the two.  In this way, Angrboda had succeeded.



    And if people keep wondering, IT IS NOT GULVEIG’S HEART that Loki ate. Gulveig isn’t Angrboda either. Gulveig burned and became Heidr ( her burning was a sacrificial rite)  Gulveig is not Freya either, Reading the Eddas, you discover that plenty of witches and jotunn were burned. Whether for the hell of it or because they had to.

    42. The wolf did Loki | with Angrbotha win,
    And Sleipnir bore he | to Svathilfari;
    The worst of marvels | seemed the one
    That sprang from the brother | of Byleist then.

  • aomiarmster 10:31 PM on 05/11/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: mythos,   

    Thence come maidens who know much, Three from that hall beneath the tree: One was named Origin, the second Becoming. These two fashioned the third, named Debt. They established law, They selected lives For the children of ages, And the fates of men. Völuspà
  • aomiarmster 3:43 AM on 02/11/2012 Permalink | Reply
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    well, in the mythos these two did argue about this type of subject matter.

    although i’m pretty peeved at how anything remotely female is always dubbed ‘bad’.

  • aomiarmster 4:22 PM on 31/10/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Hrothvitnir, , , mythos,   


    Tyr: My hand do I lack, | but Hrothvitnir thou, And the loss brings longing to both; Ill fares the wolf | who shall ever await. In fetters the fall of the gods.
    Loki: Be silent, Tyr! | for a son with me Thy wife once chanced to win; Not a penny, methinks, | wast thou paid for the wrong, Nor wast righted an inch, poor wretch.”

  • aomiarmster 4:58 AM on 31/10/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: mythos, ,   

      We are not certain what it is about seiðr that made it “unmanly” for a man to practice the art: it could be anything from the idea of cowardice as a result of being able to harm your enemies through magic rather than in open battle, to overt sexual rituals involving the seiðr-practitioner as the passive sexual partner, or even as the passive homosexual partner.

  • aomiarmster 9:29 PM on 30/10/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , mythos, pets, Skogkatt   

    Cats and other Viking Age pets. 

    The Vikings kept cats for their valuable skills as mousers as well as keeping cats for pets. Kittens were sometimes given to new brides as an essential part of setting up a new household. It is especially appropriate that brides should receive cats, since cats were associated with Freyja, the goddess of love. The Vikings believed that Freyja rode a cart drawn by a team of cats. It might seem absurd to imagine a cart drawn by cats, until one realizes that Viking cats were not your standard Felis domesticus — they were the Skogkatt (Norwegian, meaning literally “Forest Cat”), a wild breed native to the North. In Denmark, these cats are called Huldrekat (huldre are female forest spirits, literally, “the hidden folk”). The Skogkatt is a large breed, known for their strong bones and muscular forms.

  • aomiarmster 7:38 AM on 30/10/2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Question: The Birth-Mother of Loki’s Brood, The Cause of Loki’s Ultimate Punishment 


    The birth-mother of Fenrir, Hel, and Jormungandr is, for the most part, said to be Angrboda, with Loki as the father.  I disagree with this claim, and believe Loki to be the birth-mother.  There is support for both the former and latter, but that point is not made clear enough in our surviving sources to make a proper conclusion.

    The idea of Angrboda as mother of the brood has merit in its simplicity.  Most people assume the female to be the mother, and the male to be the father.  Angrboda is female, Loki is male.  The mother/father is not explicitly stated, so perhaps the simplest explanation should be assumed.

    This claim also tends to go hand-in-hand with the assertion that Angrboda is Loki’s mistress or other wife in Jotunheimr, but this seems completely unfounded to me.  There is really no evidence of a relationship having ever existed between the two, or that they even knew one another.  I suppose Loki’s self-professed promiscuity could explain him fathering children with a completely arbitrary woman, but casting Angrboda as Loki’s wife seems to be too lazy an assumption.

    The incident on which Loki eats a woman’s heart comes from Hyndluljod, a source more dated than Snorri, in the Poetic Edda; as such, I feel the references therein are more accurate to authentic Norse mythology.  The account is incredibly vague, and all that is revealed is that Loki eats the half-cooked heart of an “evil woman” that he takes from the embers.  He becomes pregnant from this, and gives birth to “the monsters” (flagð).  It is not made clear to which “evil woman” the heart belongs, or to what beings “the monsters” refers.

     “The monsters” may refer to Fenrir, Jormungandr, and Hel – they are indeed the most suited for the title, among Loki’s other offspring.

    These three “monsters” are usually attributed to the union of Angrboda and Loki, so if it is assumed these three are “the monsters”, then it must also be assumed that the heart belonged to Angrboda.  One section of Hyndluljod states that Loki gained the wolf (Fenrir) by Angrboda, which may imply that it was Loki impregnated by Angrboda.

    The heart that Loki ate is a mystery all on its own, and its origins should be considered before attributing it to Angrboda.  It came from an “evil woman”, Loki took it from the embers, and it was half-cooked.  The Voluspa, another entry in the Poetic Edda, mentions the Aesir-Vanir war, which came about when an “evil woman” named Gullveig was thrust with spears and burned by the Aesir in Odin’s hall.  We are told she was burnt and reborn three times over, and even that was not enough to destroy her.  Perhaps a half-cooked heart remained, and this was the one Loki ate?  Angrboda’s heart was said to be frozen like the sea spray, so this may be why the heart did not burn when the rest of the body did.  Loki’s reason for eating the heart may have been to prevent further resurrection, which is very similar to Loki’s countless outlandish solutions to unsolvable problems facing the Aesir.

    There is a great deal of evidence, although still not fully accepted, that Gullveig and Angrboda are one and the same.  I’ll go into Angrboda/Gullveig/Heid in detail in a later post – I need to answer your question first and foremost, and if I start talking about Angrboda, I’ll never get around to it.  Angrboda is written as Aurboda in Svipdagsmal, which gives the name the exact same meaning as Gullveig.  “Aur” and “Gull” both mean gold, and “boda” and “veig” both refer to a strong alcoholic drink.  From the above, although there is no concrete proof, there is a clear possibility that Loki was impregnated by eating Angrboda’s heart, and thus gave birth to his famous monstrous brood.

    It is simplest to assume the female Angrboda as the mother, and the male Loki as the father, but we also have evidence to the contrary.  There is a bit of confusion on this point, and it seems to be intentional.  Angrboda is sometimes called the father, and Loki the mother, and then vice versa.  Perhaps this is intended to call attention to the fact that the parentage is different from what is expected.  Loki’s androgyny is definitely a theme in many of his myths, and Angrboda’s androgyny is also mentioned at one point (An observer cannot decide if Angrboda is a woman, or a man disguised as a woman).  This may be further evidence of their mismatched parental roles.

    Furthermore, in Helgakvida Hundingsbane I of the Poetic Edda, two characters are teasing one another by comparing one to Loki, and the other to Angrboda.  The character comparing himself to Loki says to his Angrboda-like companion that they produced the wolf together, and that he was the father.  The Angrboda companion corrects him, saying that Loki is not the true father, and that he was emasculated by giving birth to the wolf.  If Loki became pregnant by eating Angrboda’s heart, then it was Angrboda’s seed that fertilised Loki, making Angrboda the true father.

    So there you go.  We don’t know for sure whether the father is Loki or Angrboda, but I believe it was Angrboda, and there is indeed a good deal of support for this idea.  There is some more evidence, but it requires a lot more explanation, so I might go into it again once I’ve properly explained Angrboda on this blog.

    As for Loki’s banishment/getting bound, it was caused by the events of Lokasenna.  For the most part, it seems that the gods bound Loki because they were really angry that he had slandered all of them.  Granted, some of the slander was pretty bad, but a lot of it, if not all, was true.  Loki knew everybody’s dirty little secrets, and when he revealed them all at the Lokasenna, he got into some trouble.  I will write a post on Baldr’s death, and another on Lokasenna as soon as I can – sorry it’s taking so long!  I’m pretty busy with university right now, and my major is Chemistry, which is about as far from Norse mythology as you can get…

  • aomiarmster 12:28 AM on 30/10/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , mythos,   

    It may be noted that even the Loki of Snorri’s tales is a mischievous rather than a wicked being. Sometimes his actions cause inconvenience and suffering to the gods, as when he helps a giant to steal the apples of immortality, or, in his desire to steal a salmon, kills an otter who has powerful relations to avenge him. Yet on other occasions it is Loki who rescues the gods from serious predicaments, as when he helps to regain Thor’s hammer by dressing him up as a bride. Sometimes Loki acts under compulsion, either because the giants get him into their power or the angry gods insist on his righting some wrong he has done them. There is no doubt however that many of his acts, like the cutting off of Sif’s hair, are the doings of a naughty boy rather than the crimes against the righteous gods. While he is both cunning and ingenious, it may be noted that his plans do not by any means always succeed. GODS AND MYTHS OF NORTHERN EUROPE, H. R. ELLIS DAVIDSON (via aomiarmster)
  • aomiarmster 2:10 AM on 29/10/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 18, charm, HOVAMOL, mythos, , poetic edda, , Runes of the Hávamál, the poetic edda   


    First Charm

        I know spells – no king’s wife can say – and no man has mastered; – one is called “Help” – because it can comfort – the sick and careworn, – relieve all sorrows.

    Intent: Help in sorrow or distress
    Primary rune: Fehu
    Supporting runes: Inguz, Laguz
    Second Charm

        I know another – which all men need – who hope to be healers.

    Intent: Healing
    Primary rune: Uruz
    Supporting runes: Jera, Sowulo
    Third Charm

        I know a third – if I should need – to fetter any foe; – it blunts the edge – of my enemy’s sword, – neither wiles nor weapons work.

    Intent: Fettering foes
    Primary rune: Thurisaz
    Supporting runes: Isa, Naudhiz
    Fourth Charm

        I know a fourth: – if I should find myself – fettered hand and foot, – I shout the spell – that sets me free, – bonds break from my feet, – nothing holds my hands.

    Intent: Release fetters
    Primary rune: Ansuz
    Supporting runes: Fehu, Inguz
    Fifth Charm

        I know a fifth: – in battle’s fury – if someone flings a spear, – it speeds not so fast – but that I can stop it – I only have to see it.

    Intent: Ability to stop a dart (spear)
    Primary rune: Raidho
    Supporting runes: Isa, Kenaz
    Sixth Charm

        I know a sixth: – if someone would harm me – by writing runes on a tree root, – the man who wished – I would not come to woe – will meet misfortune, not I.

    Intent: Return curse to sender
    Primary rune: Hagalaz
    Supporting runes: Jera, Raidho
    Seventh Charm

        I know a seventh: – if I see flames – high around a hall, – no matter how far – the fire has spread – my spell can stop it.

    Intent: To put out a fire
    Primary rune: Isa
    Supporting runes: Laguz, Naudhiz
    Eighth Charm

        I know an eighth – which no one on earth – could fail to find useful: – when hatred waxes – among warriors – the spell will soothe them.

    Intent: Ability to bring about reconciliation
    Primary rune: Gebo
    Supporting runes: Mannaz, Wunjo
    Ninth Charm

        I know a ninth: – if I ever need – to save my ship in a storm, – it will quiet the wind – and calm the waves, – soothing the sea.

    Intent: Control sea winds
    Primary rune: Gebo
    Supporting runes: Ansuz, Raidho
    Tenth Charm

        I know a tenth: – any time I see – witches sailing the sky – the spell I sing – sends them off their course; – when they lose their skins – they fail to find their homes.

    Intent: To confuse a spell sender
    Primary rune: Dagaz
    Supporting runes: Ehwaz, Laguz
    Eleventh Charm

        I know an eleventh: – if I lead to war – good and faithful friends, – under a shield I shout – the spell that speeds them – well they fare in the fight, – well they fare from the fight, – wherever they go they fare well.

    Intent: Protecting friends in battle
    Primary rune: Sowulo
    Supporting runes: Elhaz, Ansuz
    Twelfth Charm

        I know a twelfth: – if up in a tree – I see a corpse hanging high, – the mighty runes – I write and color – make the man come down – to talk with me.

    Intent: Necromancy
    Primary rune: Hagalaz
    Supporting runes: Teiwaz, Kenaz
    Thirteenth Charm

        I know a thirteenth: – if I pour water – over a youth, – he will not fall – in any fight, – swords will not slay him.

    Intent: Protecting a young warrior with water
    Primary rune: Gebo
    Supporting runes: Inguz, Laguz, Elhaz
    Fourteenth Charm

        I know a fourteenth, – as men will find – when I tell them the tales of the gods: – I know all about – the elves and the Æsir – few fools can say as much.

    Intent: Knowledge of all Gods and elves
    Primary rune: Eihwaz
    Supporting runes: Ansuz, Mannaz
    Fifteenth Charm

        I know a fifteenth – that the dwarf Thjodrorir – chanted at Delling’s door: – power to the Æsir, – triumph to the elves, – understanding to Odin.

    Intent: Gives power to the Æsir, prowess to the elves and foresight to Odin
    Primary rune: Sowulo
    Supporting runes: Raidho, Kenaz
    Sixteenth Charm

        I know a sixteenth: – if I say that spell – any girl soon grants my desires; – I win the heart – of the white-armed maiden, – turn her thoughts where I will.

    Intent: To attract a lover
    Primary rune: Kenaz
    Supporting runes: Jera, Inguz
    Seventeenth Charm

        I know a seventeenth, – and with that spell – no maiden will forsake me.

    Intent: To keep romance in a marriage
    Primary rune: Gebo
    Supporting runes: Inguz, Ehwaz
    Eighteenth Charm

        I know and eighteenth – which I never tell – a maiden or any man’s wife – the best of charms – if you can chant it; – this is the last of my lay – unless to a lady – who lies in my arms, – or I’ll sing it to my sister.

    Intent: Union of male and female
    Primary rune: To be discovered by the reader
    Supporting runes: To be discovered by the reader

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