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  • aomiarmster 1:15 AM on 15/10/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Freyr, Gullveig, , , Norns, , Urth, Vanir, Verthandi, , Wanes,   

    The Poetic Edda: Voluspo 

    19. An ash I know, | Yggdrasil its name,
    With water white | is the great tree wet;
    Thence come the dews | that fall in the dales,
    Green by Urth’s well | does it ever grow.

    20. Thence come the maidens | mighty in wisdom,
    Three from the dwelling | down ‘neath the tree;
    Urth is one named, | Verthandi the next,—
    On the wood they scored,— | and Skuld the third.
    Laws they made there, and life allotted
    To the sons of men, and set their fates.

    [19. Yggdrasil: cf. stanza 2 and note, and Grimnismol, 29-35 and notes. Urth (“The Past”): one of the three great Norns. The world-ash is kept green by being sprinkled with the marvelous healing water from her well.

    20. The maidens: the three Norns; possibly this stanza should follow stanza 8. Dwelling: Regius has “sæ” (sea) instead of “sal” (hall, home), and many editors have followed this reading, although Snorri’s prose paraphrase indicates “sal.” Urth, Verthandi and Skuld: “Past,” “Present” and “Future.” Wood, etc.: the magic signs (runes) controlling the destinies of men were cut on pieces of wood. Lines 3-4 are probably interpolations from some other account of the Norns.]

    p. 10

    21. The war I remember, | the first in the world,
    When the gods with spears | had smitten Gollveig,
    And in the hall | of Hor had burned her,
    Three times burned, | and three times born,
    Oft and again, | yet ever she lives.

    22. Heith they named her | who sought their home,
    The wide-seeing witch, | in magic wise;
    Minds she bewitched | that were moved by her magic,
    To evil women | a joy she was.

    [21. This follows stanza 20 in Regius; in the Hauksbok version stanzas 25, 26, 27, 40, and 41 come between stanzas 20 and 21. Editors have attempted all sorts of rearrangements. The war: the first war was that between the gods and the Wanes. The cult of the Wanes (Vanir) seems to have originated among the seafaring folk of the Baltic and the southern shores of the North Sea, and to have spread thence into Norway in opposition to the worship of the older gods; hence the “war.” Finally the two types of divinities were worshipped in common; hence the treaty which ended the war with the exchange of hostages. Chief among the Wanes were Njorth and his children, Freyr and Freyja, all of whom became conspicuous among the gods. Beyond this we know little of the Wanes, who seem originally to have been water-deities. I remember: the manuscripts have “she remembers,” but the Volva is apparently still speaking of her own memories, as in stanza 2. Gollveig (“Gold-Might”): apparently the first of the Wanes to come among the gods, her ill treatment being the immediate cause of the war. Müllenhoff maintains that Gollveig is another name for Freyja. Lines 5-6, one or both of them probably interpolated, seem to symbolize the refining of gold by fire. Hor (“The High One”): Othin.

    22. Heith (“Shining One”?): a name often applied to wise women and prophetesses. The application of this stanza to Gollveig is far from clear, though the reference may be to the [fp. 11] magic and destructive power of gold. It is also possible that the stanza is an interpolation. Bugge maintains that it applies to the Volva who is reciting the poem, and makes it the opening stanza, following it with stanzas 28 and 30, and then going on with stanzas I ff. The text of line 2 is obscure, and has been variously emended.]

     
  • aomiarmster 7:10 AM on 10/10/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , Vanir   

    Gods on the run by *humon

    Random Æsir god, Vanir goddess, and Jotun. They’re not supposed to look like any specific people from the Eddas.

    This is not meant to be an illustration of how they are usually portrayed, but simply how they look in my mind after having read about the old Norse religion and the many speculations surrounding it.

    The Æsir represent culture, tamed nature, order, and the male sex. They were at the very top of the godly hierarchy, so I put him in blue which was the color of the rich because it was very expensive to make.

    We know very little about the Vanir, but because the only Vanir with any significant roles in the Eddas are fertility gods, they are considered to be connected with fertility. This is why I have started drawing them more or less plump because classic fertility statues are often depicted so.
    It used to be a common belief that they represented an older religion, but that has since been dismissed by most experts. Still the idea lingered with me, so I tend to portray them more shamanic looking.

    Finally a Jotun. Even though they were the oldest and wisest of the races, they were the lowest in the hierarchy, which is why I have given him clothes with the lightest colors. In Viking culture you could tell a person’s place in the social hierarchy by how dark their clothes were, from the rich blue, to the slaves’ white.
    Jotuns represented chaos, wild nature, magic, and the female sex. Their roles as chaos and femininity gods can be seen by how male Jotuns were able to give birth. The first jotun Ymir gave birth in his sleep, Loki birthed quite a few children (most as a woman, but also as a man), and Odin who was king of the Æsir but originally a Jotun himself, also birthed children in the form of a woman.
    Men who could shapeshift into women was a special Jotun ability.

    The rainbow in the background is of course Bifrost, the bridge that connected the worlds.

     
  • aomiarmster 5:36 PM on 12/09/2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Freya, , Vanaheim, Vanir   

    Vanir 

    mischief-maiden:

    by Micha F. Lindemans
    In Norse myth, the Vanir are originally a group of wild nature and fertility gods and goddesses, the sworn enemies of the warrior gods of the Aesir. They were considered to be the bringers of health, youth, fertility, luck and wealth, and masters of magic. The Vanir live in Vanaheim.

    The Aesir and the Vanir had been at war for a long time when they decided to make peace. To ensure this peace they traded hostages: the Vanir sent their most renowned gods, the wealthy Njord and his children Freya and Freyr. In exchange the Aesir sent Honir, a big, handsome man who they claimed was suited to rule. He was accompanied by Mimir, the wisest man of the Aesir and in return the Vanir sent their wisest man Kvasir.

    Honir however, was not as smart as the Aesir claimed he was and it Mimir who gave him advice. The Vanir grew suspicious of the answers Honir gave when Mimir was not around. Eventually they figured out that they had been cheated and they cut Mimir’s head off and sent it back to the Aesir. Fortunately, this betrayal did not lead to another war and all the gods of the Vanir were subsequently integrated with the Aesir. There is not much known about the Vanir of the time before the assimilation.

     
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