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Carl
Saturday, November 8th, 2008, 06:36 PM
This post relates to the first War between the Aesir and the Vanir.

Everything points to the arrival of a mysterious Witch in Asgard......which greatly alarmed the early Aesir (Asa/Asen) Gods) . But try as they may, they could not destroy here! The Gods went to war; The Aesir could not defeat the Vanir! Some new way needed to be found for the Gods of the North to work together for the good of all. This is what the AsaTruar now would argue for and what appears from the record to be the fact.

But there are still some problems within the Eddaic text here taken from the very first essential and pagan section - Voluspa, The Prophecy of the Seeress. These problems demand answers from all students of the Edda. Therefore consider.


relevant text : verses 21- 24 :

Translation from the CODEX REGIUS : English translation mainly inspired by Auden & Taylor, Larrington, Boyer (French version), and Genzmer (German version)


21.

Ţat man hón fólcvíg
fyrst í heimi,
er Gullveigo
geirom studdo
oc í höll Hárs
hána brendo;
ţrysvar brendo,
ţrysvar borna,
opt, ósialdan;
ţó hón enn lifir.


21.
The first war in the world, she well remembers,
When Gullveig was spitted on spear-points
And in Hár's hall, burned her.
Thrice burned, thrice reborn,
Well asserted, she lives yet.


---------------------------------------------

22.
Heiđi hana héto,
hvars er til húsa kom,
völo velspá,
(völva well-wise-speaking)
vitti hon ganda;
(witty her magic-wand)
seiđ hon, hvars hon kunni,
(seidr she, who-always she knows)
seiđ hon hug leikinn,
(seidr she meaning carried)
ć var hón angan
(always was she delight)
illrar brúđar.
(of ill young-wives)


22.
They call her Heidi when she visits their homes,
A far seeing völva, wise in talismans.
Caster of spells, cunning in magic.
To [wicked] women always welcome.



----------------------------------------------------


23.
Ţá gengo regin öll
á röcstóla,
ginnheilög gođ,
oc um ţat gćttuz,
hvárt scyldo ćsir
afráđ gialda
eđa scyldo gođin öll
gildi eiga.

23.
The gods hastened to their hall of judgement,
Sat in council to decide if
The Aesir would pay a tribute
If all the Gods should receive an offering.


----------------------------------------


24.
Fleygđi Óđinn
oc í fólc um scaut,
ţat var enn fólcvíg
fyrst í heimi;
brotinn var borđveggr
borgar ása,
knátto vanir vígspá
völlo sporna.

24.
At the host Óđinn hurled his spear
In the first world-battle; broken was the plankwall
Of the gods fortress, the field was left to the winning Vanir.


==================================


The Hollander translation :


21
I ween the first war in the world was this,
When the gods Gullveig gashed with their spears,
And in the hall of Hár burned her --
Three times burned they the thrice reborn,
Ever and anon: even now she liveth.

22
Heith she was hight where to houses she came,
The wise seeress, and witchcraft plied --
Cast spells where she could, cast spells on the mind:
To [wicked] women she was welcome ever. (?)

23
Then gathered together the gods for counsel,
The holy hosts, and held converse:
Should the Ćsir a truce with tribute buy,
Or should all gods share in the feast.

24
His spear had Óthin sped o'er the host:
The first of feuds was thus fought in the world;
Was broken in battle the breastwork of Ásgarth,
Fighting Vanir trod the field of battle............

====================================

Now there are two problems here ( at least).


1. Why does Gullveig, the Golden , not die when the [early] Aesir try to destroy her; what is the nature of her "protection"?


2. Isnt it rather odd that the truce here precedes the begining of the battle ( - signalled by the throwing of Odin's spear). 'Asgard's walls' end up destroyed - and having to be rebuilt - and the Vanir take the battle field - as if victorious in this battle round anyway...

To my mind Bellows resolves the second problem by reversing the order of verses 23 and 24. Many translators have divised differing arrangements of the old manuscript and in my view this is the most acceptable. But yes, there are other explanations!!
(life is like that!)

I will leave open the issue of Gullveig , the gold intoxicated...for the moment. Who is she? in whose name might she have ventured into the Hall of the Asa Gods? It is one of the most searching questions of Norse Mythology and Symbolism. Bellows supplies clues for many.



Voluspa -- trans. BELLOWS
==================

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.


Bellows own notes here :

[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(Vanir) were Njord and his children, Freyr and Freyja, all of whom later 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 magical 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..........]



23. On the host his spear | did Othin hurl,
Then in the world | did war first come;
The wall that girdled | the gods was broken,
And the field by the warlike | Wanes was trodden.

24. Then sought the gods | their assembly-seats,
The holy ones, | and council held,
Whether the gods | should tribute give,
Or to all alike | should worship belong.

-----------------------------

notes:
[23. This stanza and stanza 24 have been transposed from the order in the manuscripts, for the former describes the battle and the victory of the Wanes, after which the gods took council, debating whether to pay tribute to the victors, or to admit them, as was finally done, to equal rights of worship........


====================================

Lyfing
Sunday, November 9th, 2008, 12:59 AM
Hey Carl,

Thank you for the threads.

I’m not sure where to start. As one thing leads to another…


1. Why does Gullveig, the Golden , not die when the [early] Aesir try to destroy her; what is the nature of her "protection"?

That is a good question.

It seems like her ‘protection” comes about by..


The duty of the Vana-deities becomes even more plain, if it can be shown that Gullveig-Heid is Gerd's mother; for Frey, supported by the Vana-gods, then demands satisfaction for the murder of his own mother-in-law.

http://www.northvegr.org/lore/rydberg/035.php

To this, I am reminded of the Theosophical text called The Masks of Odin..


The ash child is also cyclically reborn from the ashes of its former self, like the phoenix. There is also a connection with Gullveig, "the thirst for gold," which urges the conscious mind to seek the "gold" of the mystical alchemists -- wisdom. Gullveig is said to be "thrice burned and thrice reborn, yet still she lives" (Voluspa 22).

http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/odin/odin-1.htm


The lays are not always sequentially clear, and we find ourselves suddenly plunged into a sketchy mention of Valhalla where Odin's warriors are fed the three boars -- the results of their conquests on the earth which, as we have seen, is symbolized by a boar in the Norse as well as other mythologies. Their names, Andrimner, Sarimner, and Eldrimner, respectively breath (air, spirit), sea (water, mind), and fire (heat, desire and will), constitute a symbol within a symbol as these characteristics apply to the composition both of nature and of man. When verse 18 is paraphrased: "spirit lets mind be steeped in desire and free will; few know what nourishes the One-harriers," the deduction is that the conquerors of self are nourished by a progressive and purposeful sublimation of the desires and will. This is psychology of a high order. It gives substance and purpose to human evolution as progressive change, and affords a powerful incentive for growth to the human soul. Far beyond the notion that evolution pertains merely to bodies, there is here a realization that what evolves is the consciousness of beings, and that in the human kingdom free will plays a significant part in this process.

http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/odin/odin-16.htm

I know that you, Carl, recommend Grimm over Rydberg. I’ve read them both and I like them both, but for now I’m going with Rydberg’s words..


27.
SORCERY THE REVERSE OF THE SACRED RUNES. GULLVEIG-HEIDR, THE SOURCE OF SORCERY. THE MORAL DETERIORATION OF THE ORIGINAL MAN.

But already in the beginning of time evil powers appear for the purpose of opposing and ruining the good influences from the world of gods upon mankind. Just as Heimdal, "the fast traveller," proceeds from house to house, forming new ties in society and giving instruction in what is good and useful, thus we soon find a messenger of evil wandering about between the houses in Midgard, practising the black art and stimulating the worst passions of the human soul. The messenger comes from the powers of frost, the enemies of creation. It is a giantess, the daughter of the giant Hrímnir (Hyndluljóđ 32 = Völuspá in Skamma 4), known among the gods as Gullveig and by other names (see Nos. 34, 35), but on her wanderings on earth called Heiđr. "Heid they called her (Gullveig) when she came to the children of men, the crafty, prophesying vala, who practised sorcery (vitti ganda), practised the evil art, caused by witchcraft misfortunes, sickness, and death (leikin, see No. 67), and was always sought by bad women." Thus Völuspá describes her. The important position Heid occupies in regard to the corruption of ancient man, and the consequences of her appearance for the gods for man, and for nature (see below), have led Völuspá's author, in spite of his general poverty of words, to describe her with a certain fullness, pointing out among other things that she was the cause of the first war in the world.

http://www.northvegr.org/lore/rydberg/027.php

And just who is Gullveig..



35.
GULLVEIG-HEIDR. HER IDENTITY WITH AURBODA, ANGRBODA, HYRROKIN. THE MYTH CONCERNING THE SWORD GUARDIAN AND FJALAR.


The duty of the Vana-deities becomes even more plain, if it can be shown that Gullveig-Heid is Gerd's mother; for Frey, supported by the Vana-gods, then demands satisfaction for the murder of his own mother-in-law.



Their identity is apparent from various other circumstances, but may be regarded as completely demonstrated by the proofs given. Gullveig's activity in anitiquity as the founder of the diabolical magic art, as one who awakens man's evil passions and produces strife in Asgard itself, has its complement in Angurbođa's activity as the mother and nourisher of that class of beings in whose members witchcraft, thirst for blood, and hatred of the gods are personified. The activity of the evil principle has, in the great epic of the myth, formed a continuity spanning all ages, and this continuous thread of evil is twisted from the treacherous deeds of Gullveig and Loki, the feminine and the masculine representatives of the evil principle. Both appear at the dawn of mankind: Loki has already at the beginning of time secured access to Allfather (Lokasenna 9), and Gullveig deceives the sons of men already in the time of Heimdal's son Borgar. Loki entices Idun from the secure grounds of Asgard, and treacherously delivers her to the powers of frost; Gullveig, as we shall see, plays Freyja into the hands of the giants. Loki plans enmity between the gods and the forces of nature, which hitherto had been friendly, and which have their personal representatives in Ivaldi's sons; Gullveig causes the war between the Asas and Vans. The interference of both is interrupted at the close of the mythic age, when Loki is chained, and Gullveig, in the guise of Angurbođa, is an exile in the Ironwood. Before this they have for a time been blended, so to speak, into a single being, in which the feminine assuming masculineness, and the masculine effemninated, bear to the world an offspring of foes to the gods and to creation. Both finally act their parts in the destruction of the world. Before that crisis comes Angurbođa has fostered that host of "sons of world-ruin" which Loki is to lead to battle, and a magic sword which she has kept in the Ironwood is given to Surt, in whose hand it is to be the death of Frey, the lord of harvests (see Nos. 89, 98, 101, 103).

http://www.northvegr.org/lore/rydberg/035.php


Maybe, I can come up with more later. For now, I’m eating spa Mrs. Lyfing.

Later,
-Lyfing

Ulf
Sunday, November 9th, 2008, 02:06 AM
Now there are two problems here ( at least).


1. Why does Gullveig, the Golden , not die when the [early] Aesir try to destroy her; what is the nature of her "protection"?

Seid is my guess. The Aesir did not know (of?) Seid until the Vanir (Freyja) came and taught them.


Njörđr’s daughter was Freyja. She presided over the sacrifice. It was she who first acquainted the Ćsir with seiđr, which was customary among the Vanir')

The Aesir witness the Vanir's power of magic/seid and realize they can not overcome their opponent through physical/traditional means.

The Vanir are a mystical, earth based/shamanistic race, while the Aesir are the noble, warlike race. The Aesir find their match in the magics of the Vanir and wish them allies instead of enemies.

Odin does have magic at this time though it would seem. He saves Mimir's head using herbs and charms. The Aesir do not seem to be inclined towards magical attributes, a large portion of the magical items they have are gotten from other races e.g. Mjöllnir, Skíđblađnir and Gungnir from the Sons of Ivaldi.



Freyja is mentioned briefly in the poem:

"Then sought the gods their assembly-seats,
The holy ones, and council held,
To find who with venom the air had filled,
Or had given Óđr's bride [Freyja] to the giants' brood.

In swelling rage then rose up Thor,
Seldom he sits when he such things hears,
And the oaths were broken, the words and bonds
The mighty pledges between them made."

These two stanzas are part of the story mentioned in the Prose Edda, when the gods tried to break the deal with the owner of Svadilfari in order to protect Freyja. Here Freyja is mentioned as "Óđr's bride", and the one with "venom the air had filled" is Loki. Parts of this scropt were lost because the Völuspá manuscript, like most other Eddic Poems, was in very poor shape.

In his books, Viktor Rydberg had another idea. He thinks that these stanzas are connected to the story of the execution of Gullveig (which is mentioned right before this part), and that Gullveig was executed because she gave Freyja to Jötunheim. Rydberg's explanation is not unsupportable, because given Völuspá's poor state, many Eddic editors sorted the poem differently.

It would seem then that this is after the Aesir-Vanir War if Rydberg is to be believed. Unless Gullveig gives up Freyja before the war and these events unfold after the war's resolution? Although I must admit I get confused as to the time line of events. :|

Also, Grimm mentions next to nothing about Gullveig or Heidr. :shrug

Carl
Sunday, November 9th, 2008, 11:46 AM
Briefly only ! Thats an excellent start with two great contribution which seem to me deeply relevant to this central question. Interesting it will be to see how the argument goes.... ;)

But don't avoid the other issue ( perhaps more minor) : using the Hollander translation above , should the truce come before the war -- or was Bellows right to reverse the verse order of the original MSS . Fact is , we just know that the Volva's mind could jump around anywhere the spirits lead her! She seems so wise.... not surprising to see Odin giving her such great rewards for her Spa! (- this does seem to have been the way upp there).


Alone, she sat out when the Lord of gods,
Óthin the old, her eye did seek:
"What seekest thou to know, why summon'st me?
Well know I , Ygg*, where thine eye be hid:
--- in the wondrous well of Mímir;

Each morn Mímir his mead doth drink
Out of Fjolnir's* pledge : would ye know more?"

Gave Ygg to her - arm rings and gems,
For her seeress' sight and sooths:
The fates I fathom , yet e'en further see,
See far and wide the worlds about...

(*Odinn of course.)

Ulf
Sunday, November 9th, 2008, 03:15 PM
From Lyfing's post:

and Gullveig, in the guise of Angurbođa,

Could Gullveig have been the Vanir's version of Loki? Both of them working together to start the War? Many times the Aesir came to Loki's aid even after he had caused all the trouble, would the Vanir do the same for their own 'trickster' goddess?

Loki was known as a shapeshifter, is it possible that Gullveig/Angrboda was as well? Also to the Norse the seid practitioners were referred to as wicked women, maybe this was also the Aesir's position, but on discovery of the Vanir's power allowed a truce rather than be destroyed.

I was thinking that maybe Odin wanted a truce and allies for the battle at Ragnarok. He is very interested in the prowess of warriors from all battles, maybe the truce was his way of trying to tip the balance in the Aesir's favor.

I have Larrington's translation of Voluspa here:

21
She remembers the first war in the world,*
when the buttressed Gullveig with spears
and in One-eye's hall they burned her;*
three times they burned her, three times she was reborn,
over and over, yet she lives still.

22
Bright One they called her, whenever she came to houses,*
the seer with pleasing prophecies, she charmed them with spells
she made magic wherever she could, with magic she played with minds,
she was always the favorite of wicked women.

23
Then all the Powers went to the thrones of fate,
the sacrosanct gods, and considered this:
whether the Aesir should yield the tribute
or whether all the gods should partake in the sacrifices.

24
Odin shot a spear, hurled it over the host;
that was still the first war in the world;
the defensive wall was broken of the Aesir's stronghold;
the Vanir, indomitable, were trampling the plain.

25
Then all the Powers went to the thrones of fate,
the sacrosanct gods, and considered this:
who had mixed the air with wickedness,
or given Od's girl to the giant race.

-------
Personally, I think it makes more sense this way:
-------

24
Odin shot a spear, hurled it over the host;
that was still the first war in the world;
the defensive wall was broken of the Aesir's stronghold;
the Vanir, indomitable, were trampling the plain.

23
Then all the Powers went to the thrones of fate,
the sacrosanct gods, and considered this:
whether the Aesir should yield the tribute
or whether all the gods should partake in the sacrifices.

25
Then all the Powers went to the thrones of fate,
the sacrosanct gods, and considered this:
who had mixed the air with wickedness,
or given Od's girl to the giant race.
--------

Also, about 25, it seems they sit at counsel together after the battle to decide who or what caused their fight. 'who had mixed the air with wickedness,' makes me think it's Loki; 'or given Od's girl to the giant race.' and this Gullveig or Loki.

From Larrington's notes:
*Thus the Vanir manifest themselves both in the divine and the human worlds, demanding a share of sacrifices (v. 23). The Aesir at first go to war over this but eventually concede the tribute.
-------
This seems to make a good deal of sense as to why the Aesir war with the Vanir. The Vanir were receiving sacrifices that the Aesir thought were theirs. This may be reminiscent of the sacrifices of the farmers, giving them to fertile Vanir and not the warring Aesir. Could this be analogous to the farmers not paying proper tribute the nobility? May be some uprising by the farmers against the nobility, for the reason of the nobility demanding more tribute?

Ok, I think I'm finished. :|

Ulf
Sunday, November 9th, 2008, 06:18 PM
I'm thinking maybe the ordering 23 24 25 is correct. Maybe 23 is a counsel held before the battle. 24 is the battle, 25 the counsel after the truce. :shrug.

Carl
Sunday, November 9th, 2008, 08:48 PM
Ah - not quite Ulf. I stopped at 24 because I know the sequence ; most translators conclude that after 24 , there is a bridge to the next episode - which relates to a completely new story - namely :

" or given Od's girl (!!! - oh! Carolyne! :( ) to the giant race" .

But this is another problem which we should really tackle on this thread-topic.

And --- "Gullveig, in the guise of Angurbođa" -


---- is one of Rydberg's worst ideas which is not generally accepted. I far prefer your thought that Gullveig is directly coming from the Vanirs....and they are neither stupid or evil - as events seem to show. Indeed, Odin must have also come to that realization ... eventually.

The link is surely Gold ; Gullveig and the Vanirs are both known for their reliance and use of the metal.
It is Freyja herself who weeps tears of gold when the mysterious Od (!) goes off aroving.... well she might.

Anfang
Sunday, November 9th, 2008, 09:36 PM
Ah - not quite Ulf. I stopped at 24 because I know the sequence ; most translators conclude that after 24 , there is a bridge to the next episode - which relates to a completely new story - namely :

" or given Od's girl (!!! - oh! Carolline! :( ) to the giant race" .

But this is another problem which we should really tackle on this thread-topic.

And --- "Gullveig, in the guise of Angurbođa" -

---- is one of Rydberg's worst ideas which is not generally accepted. I far prefer your thought that Gullveig is directly coming from the Vanirs....and they are neither stupid or evil - as events seem to show. Indeed, Odin must have also come to that realization ... eventually.

The link is surely Gold ; Gullveig and the Vanirs are both known for their reliance and use of the metal.


Angrboda

Again!- How does the Mother of Hel Ferniris and the Mitgard serpent, Get relgated to such a low position in the Pantheon?

The Mitgard serpent Wraps itself around the Earth. as we know an enduring Indo European Image (Minoan snake goddess, etc etc)

Hel's place is cold and dark. the second womb, death, the open grave.
the reality of impermanence for the mortals "The gods are doomed and all is lost". awaiting.... ? The Grunstrupp Cauldron tell you.
Fernris the Wolf. is fiery and virile, The sacrificial male indominable in life.

Because these stories passed down to us from people like Snorri, and probably many other male story-tellers who had been converted, the power of Angrboda is in my view underrepresented.

Angrboda may be(and I said may not is) an aspect of the tripple Goddess in her destroyer mode.

Psychonaut
Sunday, November 9th, 2008, 11:19 PM
What about this as a possible analogue:


Georges Dumézil (1966 and 1973) believed that the first war was based on a mythical Indo-European pattern that also emerges in the Roman legend of the war between the warlike Romans (comparable to the Ćsir) and wealthy Sabines (comparable to the Vanir) and that the Gullveig element corresponded to the role of Tarpeia in Roman tradition. In one common version Tarpeia betrayed the citadel to the Sabines in exchange for what they had on their left arm, meaning their gold bracelets. However the Sabines, while taking advantage of Tarpeia's treachery, fulfilled their part of the bargain by striking her with their shields, which were also on their left arms, until she died.
Source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gullveig)

Anfang
Monday, November 10th, 2008, 12:53 AM
What about this as a possible analogue:


Source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gullveig)


Well yes, here we are on to something George Dumezil was french Philologist , well, he was Romanian and a french citizen. For some reason the Romanians are really into Roman antiquity. A strongly recomended book by Dumezil (who I call Dumme Sau Jokingly), is Archaic Roman Religion.
In this book we find Philological Evidence of the Common Indo European roots latins Share with the Germanics- I call him Dumme Sau because he, like other male philologists fail to make some important connections that the man you accused of "dubious scholarship", Robert Graves was able to make, if a little too poetic for the taste of most. This male centric approach is the rule not the exeption so we can hardly blame him for it. The book is good.
In one passage he describes the women of the community at a ceremony in an oak grove holding up not their own but the Woman's next to her's baby and asking the gods to let this child thrive (for the beneffit of the Volk), and to make them strong. That feels kindred to the Germanic spirit to me. It is my Idea, and Joseph campbell shares this view, that the patriarchal "Only man is god" religions presently in European Lands are the result of imported ideas from the Middle East and Egypt.

In any event "Archaic Roman Religion" can be bought online, unless it is out of print.

Carl
Monday, November 10th, 2008, 10:07 AM
From Lyfing's post:

Could Gullveig have been the Vanir's version of Loki? Both of them working together to start the War? Many times the Aesir came to Loki's aid even after he had caused all the trouble, would the Vanir do the same for their own 'trickster' goddess?

Loki was known as a shapeshifter, is it possible that Gullveig/Angrboda was as well? Also to the Norse the seid practitioners were referred to as wicked women, maybe this was also the Aesir's position, but on discovery of the Vanir's power allowed a truce rather than be destroyed.



OK - well , it didnt take us long to locate the heart of the matter ( -- so a bit like Loki then :D !). It is inevitable given recent propaganda from certain organizations.

The Gullveig/Angrboda hypothesis is classic Rydberg... and it is followed through by all those who favour that sort of thing. Personally I dont - but I can see that it leads to all sorts of new and dismal possibilities which appear to me to be contradicted by the fact of Odin's own emense flexibility of mind and thought. But then .......


Rydberg was a great Christian Scholar in Sweden, a bible expert who seems to have followed much of Saxo's line on matters of evil in the old mythology:|. Scandinavia was much into denying the Gods at that time - and dismissing any possible significance they might have had. ( By Gods Anfang, I include Goddesses - after all , Odin would! - he wouldn't have given a fig for any who wanted to split away the major goddesses within the ultimate orbit of the united Gods. I believe Freyja was a vital part of the totality - and Frigga too, of course.... even though she , unlike hyperactive Freyja, she stays silent! You might also think about who Freyja's "husband" might have been ; it does sound to have been rather an open affair :D And don't forget that Gold! )


[Saxo Grammaticus (c. 1150-1220) also known as Saxo cognomine Longus is thought to have been a secular clerk or secretary to Absalon, Archbishop of Lund. He is the author of the first full history of Denmark.]


Saxo, as a churchman, spiritually dismisssed the reality of the Gods; they were for him stories about wicked people in the olden days. There was much wickedness then....there was the disgraceful Frey in Uppsala (!) and there was his ever scandalous sister Freyja - apparently , it seems , one of the main targets of the early church ( & guess why!). And of course, there was an endless stream of bloodthirstly war Gods who came along ( - in time and space) before the wonderful and glorious coming of the Holy Pope and all his works! :D No, Saxo was in no doubt about the truth - and the Pagans had none of it! :(


Rydberg fought for some of the Gods to be understood much more seriously- but even he distorted much in the process . He wasn't really sympathetic to the pagan world - but sought to mould it into his own moralistic Christian framework of good and evil as he saw it. In this, he failed. His views were treated by Swedish contemporaries with very mixed regard indeed and overall, he was seen as something of an extremist. He made no impact in Germany and little elsewhere ( I have seen English accounts from at the time).

[I]Rydberg's multiple identifications are generally not accepted by later scholars. - wikip.


Jakob Grimm's ( et al !!) approach , I think, is altogether more broad, open and tolerant. But then, they had the Brocken and a fine tradition of alternative thinking....and a host of folk deities buried away in obscure folklore and centuries of being, one way or another, in the company of the old Gods. [? What am I really saying that Sweden didn't :oanieyes - surely not ! ]


So its no surprise to find Gullveig dismissed as an evil, (wise and wicked) witch , verily - a lady Loki ! (Hang on, wasnt that Loki Odin's blood brother ? - albeit , only a God by 'adoption'...).

Agreed - there it is in Voluspa -- waiting to be misread :D :oanieyes -

illrar brúđar
....of wicked women . :-O


But, who knows what the old Seeress had in mind at that moment when she 'used' such words! ( Remember, the poem predates the Christian era and may well have been a direct representation of pagan lore in the ?8-9th century in the north. It may also have been altered - who knows).
-- After all, Gullveig didnt die ;' she lives still'!

The 'magic' in its various forms continued. Njord wanders homeward after Ragnarok - and Freyja? Does anyone imagine their evil magic has (now) been brought to a close? And wasn't Odin intinsically part of it? Should he then be set aside also ?
:dlook

The early Aesir had to rethink it a bit... Odin had encountered a newer magic perhaps. ( From the Havamal , it is clear he didnt always get his way! He was younger once - and evidently needed to learn new songs. But there were always others to seek out on his 'wanderings' - in different worlds perhaps - and sometimes they even came to him - with mixed results !! :|)

Lyfing
Monday, November 10th, 2008, 04:25 PM
Here are a couple more things..

Maybe the cause of the war can be inferred by it’s effect, the ensuing peace, with it's creation of the Odroerir..??


This distinction is upheld also in the different and mostly euhemerized accounts of the war between the Ćsir and the Vanir. Of this Snorri gives two accounts. In his Edda, Bragi, recounting to Ćgir the origins of poetry, says that the gods had a dispute with the people called Vanir. The cause or nature of the dispute is not mentioned. A peace-meeting was appointed, and peace was established by each and all spitting into a vat. When they parted, the gods would not let this token perish, but from it created a man, Kvasir. His story will be told later.4 A different account of the settlement is given in a previous chapter of the Edda. Njord, reared in Vanaheim, was delivered as hostage to the Ćsir, Hśnir being taken in exchange by the Vanir. He became an atonement between the two groups. This statement is copied from Vafthrudnismal.5

Eddic Mythology (http://www.heathengods.com/library/eddic_mythology/macculloch-contents.html), page 26



A fuller version of the Odrörir myth is given by Snorri in the Bragarśdur as an explanation of the origin of the art of poetry.

Here it is connected with the war between Ćsir and Vanir. To establish a pledge of peace between the two parties, both of them spat into a vessel. This is doubtless derived from some folk-custom, of which there are examples from other regions, showing that the saliva-rite is analogous to the blood-covenant.61 This saliva now becomes the subject of a further myth, for, as is obvious, if the saliva of men is important in folk-belief, that of gods must have greater virtues. The Ćsir took the contents of the vessel and out of the saliva formed the being Kvasir, who was so wise that to every question about anything he could give the right answer. He went everywhere instructing men, until the dwarfs Fjalar and Galarr slew him, and collected his blood in the kettle Odrörir and in the vats Son and Bodn. They blended honey with the blood, and so formed the mead of which whoso drinks becomes a skald. These dwarfs, having drowned the giant Gilling and slain his wife, were set on a reef by Suttung, the son of the giant pair. Over this reef the waters poured at high tide, and to save themselves they offered him the precious mead as a satisfaction. Suttung hid it in the rock Hnitbjorg, and set his daughter Gunnlod to watch it.

The story then goes on to tell how the Ćsir came into possession of the mead. Odin set out and came to a place where nine thralls were mowing. He took out a hone from his belt and sharpened their scythes so that they cut better than ever before. As they wished to possess the hone, he threw it up in the air, and when they rushed to catch it, each struck his scythe against the other’s neck. Odin now went to the giant Baugi, Suttung’s brother, to seek a night’s lodging. Baugi was bewailing the loss of his thralls, and Odin, calling himself Bolverk, offered to do their work, asking as wage a draught of Suttung’s mead. Baugi said that he had no control over it, but nevertheless went with Odin to Suttung when harvest was over. When Suttung heard of the bargain, he refused to grant a drop of the mead. Odin, as Bolverk, now suggested certain wiles to Baugi, who agreed to them. He drew out the auger Rati, “Gnawer,” and bade Baugi pierce the rock with it. When the hole was made, Bolverk changed himself into a serpent and crawled through it. Baugi, who had tried to deceive him in boring the hole, thrust at him with the auger but missed him. Bolverk now went to the place where Gunnlod was and slept with her for three nights. Then she gave him three draughts of the mead. With the first draught he emptied Odrörir; with the second Bodn, with the third Son, and thus gained all the mead. Turning himself into an eagle, he flew off swiftly. Suttung saw the eagle in flight, and himself as an eagle pursued it. When the Ćsir saw Odin approach, they set out vats, and Odin, entering Asgard, spat out the mead into these. But he was so nearly caught by Suttung that he sent some mead back wards. No heed was taken of it; whosoever would might have it: it is called the poetaster’s part. Odin gave the mead to the Ćsir and to those men who have the ability of composition.

Eddic Mythology (http://www.heathengods.com/library/eddic_mythology/macculloch-contents.html), pages 52-54

It’s something to think about anyway. I’ll be back with some thoughts on it ( Loki being Odin's blood-brother..perhaps). Any from ya’ll..??

Later,
-Lyfing

Lyfing
Monday, November 10th, 2008, 06:44 PM
So we know that Loki and Odin are blood-brothers..


Loki said:

“Art mindful Othin, how in olden days we
Blended our blood together?18
Thou said’st that not ever, thou ale would’st drink
But to us both it were borne.”

18 We are not told elsewhere of this blood-brothership. For the rite, see “Brot af Sigurtharkvithu,” St. 18 note 18.

The Flyting of Loki,9

“Forgettest, Gunnar, altogether
How your blood ye both did blend under sward?18
Him now hast thou with hate requited,
And foully felled, who foremost made thee.

18 The ceremony of swearing foster brothership is here referred to. This was accomplished by standing underneath a strip of upraised sod and letting one’s blood flow on the same spot in the ground with that of the brother-to-be. The act is probably symbolic of common issue from the same womb.

Fragment of a Sigurth Lay,18

The Poetic Edda, translated by Lee M. Hollander.
Look at all those nines..??

A question then could be as to whether or not there is a parallel between Odin and Loki being blood-brothers and the truce between the Aesir and Vanir ending up with them spitting together and making Kvasir..??

If there is, then one could draw a connection to Loki with Gullveig. This is done by Rydberg in the aforementioned chapter called..35.GULLVEIG-HEIDR. HER IDENTITY WITH AURBODA, ANGRBODA, HYRROKIN. THE MYTH CONCERNING THE SWORD GUARDIAN AND FJALAR…where it is said..



Thus we have found that the three characteristic points -
unsuccessful cremation of an evil giantess,
her regeneration after the cremation,
the same woman as mother of the Fenrir race -
are common to Gullveig-Heid and Angurbođa.

Their identity is apparent from various other circumstances, but may be regarded as completely demonstrated by the proofs given. Gullveig's activity in anitiquity as the founder of the diabolical magic art, as one who awakens man's evil passions and produces strife in Asgard itself, has its complement in Angurbođa's activity as the mother and nourisher of that class of beings in whose members witchcraft, thirst for blood, and hatred of the gods are personified. The activity of the evil principle has, in the great epic of the myth, formed a continuity spanning all ages, and this continuous thread of evil is twisted from the treacherous deeds of Gullveig and Loki, the feminine and the masculine representatives of the evil principle. Both appear at the dawn of mankind: Loki has already at the beginning of time secured access to Allfather (Lokasenna 9), and Gullveig deceives the sons of men already in the time of Heimdal's son Borgar. Loki entices Idun from the secure grounds of Asgard, and treacherously delivers her to the powers of frost; Gullveig, as we shall see, plays Freyja into the hands of the giants. Loki plans enmity between the gods and the forces of nature, which hitherto had been friendly, and which have their personal representatives in Ivaldi's sons; Gullveig causes the war between the Asas and Vans. The interference of both is interrupted at the close of the mythic age, when Loki is chained, and Gullveig, in the guise of Angurbođa, is an exile in the Ironwood. Before this they have for a time been blended, so to speak, into a single being, in which the feminine assuming masculineness, and the masculine effemninated, bear to the world an offspring of foes to the gods and to creation. Both finally act their parts in the destruction of the world. Before that crisis comes Angurbođa has fostered that host of "sons of world-ruin" which Loki is to lead to battle, and a magic sword which she has kept in the Ironwood is given to Surt, in whose hand it is to be the death of Frey, the lord of harvests (see Nos. 89, 98, 101, 103).

http://www.northvegr.org/lore/rydberg/035.php

Here it would seem appropriate to address this good and evil which Rydberg has been called out on. I’m not so sure his interpretation has anything to do with him being a Christian and has more to do with the mythology itself..as he said the following in regards to the lower world and Judgement Day..



95.
ON THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF THE MYTHOLOGY.
The account now given of the myths concerning the lower world shows that the hierologists and skalds of our heathendom had developed the doctrine in a perspicuous manner even down to the minutest details. The lower world and its kingdom of death were the chief subjects with which their fancy was occupied. The many sagas and traditions which flowed from heathen sources and which described Svipdag's, Hadding's, Gorm's, Thorkil's, and other journeys down there are proof of this, and the complete agreement of statements from totally different sources in regard to the topography of the lower world and the life there below shows that the ideas were reduced to a systematised and perspicuous whole. Svipdag's and Hadding's journeys in the lower world have been incorporated as episodes in the great epic concerning the Teutonic patriarchs, the chief outlines of which I have presented in the preceding pages. This is done in the same manner as the visits of Ulysses and Ćneas in the lower world have become a part of the great Greek and Roman epic poems.
Under such circumstances it may seem surprising that Icelandic records from the middle ages concerning the heathen belief in regard to the abodes after death should give us statements which seem utterly irreconcilable with one another. For there are many proofs that the dead were believed to live in hills and rocks, or in grave-mounds where their bodies were buried. How can this be reconciled with the doctrine that the dead descended to the lower world, and were there judged either to receive abodes in Asgard or in the realms of bliss in Hades, or in the world of torture?
The question has been answered too hastily to the effect that the statements cannot be harmonised, and that consequently the heathen-Teutonic views in regard to the day of judgment were in this most important part of the religious doctrine unsupported.
The reason for the obscurity is not, however, in the matter itself, which has never been thoroughly studied, but in the false premises from which the conclusions have been drawn. Mythologists have simply assumed that the popular view of the Christian Church in regard to terrestrial man, conceiving him to consist of two factors, the perishable body and the imperishable soul, was the necessary condition for every belief in a life hereafter, and that the heathen Teutons accordingly also cherished this idea.
But this duality did not enter into the belief of our heathen fathers. Nor is it of such a kind that a man, having conceived a life hereafter, in this connection necessarily must conceive the soul as the simple, indissoluble spiritual factor of human nature. The division into two parts, líf og sála, líkami og sála, body and soul, came with Christianity, and there is every reason for assuming, so far as the Scandinavian peoples are concerned, that the very word soul, sála, sál, is, like the idea it represents, an imported word. In Old Norse literature the word occurs for the first time in Olaf Tryggvason's contemporary Hallfred, after he had been converted to Christianity. Still the word is of Teutonic root. Ulfilas translates the New Testament psyche with saiwala, but this he does with his mind on the Platonic New Testament view of man as consisting of three factors: spirit (pneuma), soul (psyche), and body (soma). Spirit (pneuma) Ulfilas translates with ahma.
Another assumption, likewise incorrect in estimating the anthropological-eschatological belief of the Teutons, is that they are supposed to have distinguished between matter and mind, which is a result reached by the philosophers of the Occident in their abstract studies. It is, on the contrary, certain that such a distinction never enitered the system of heathen Teutonic views. In it all things were material, an efni of coarse or fine grain, tangible or intangible, visible or invisible. The imperishable factors of man were, like the perishable, material, and a force could not be conceived which was not bound to matter, or expressed itself in matter, or was matter.

http://www.northvegr.org/lore/rydberg/095.php

“the perishable body and the imperishable soul”

As Paul said..


O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Romans 7:24

In Ro 7:14-24 Paul has described the bondage of the will to the flesh which is the condition of the natural man, and closes with the cry for deliverance.

http://bible.cc/romans/7-24.htm

So, back to the point. If the first war in the world was caused by Gullveig, then what of the Ragnarok being caused by her and Loki’s offspring with Loki in the lead..?? Could there thus be a connection between Odhroerir and Gimle..??


I see a hall than the sun more fair,
Thatched with red gold, which is Gimle hight.
There will the gods all guiltless throne,
And live forever in ease and bliss

Voluspa 63, Hollander trans.

Einherjar perhaps..??

Just some thoughts. Thanks again for the thread Carl. It has caused me to search myself.

Later,
-Lyfing

Lyfing
Monday, November 10th, 2008, 08:49 PM
So, now I have started to think about the Einherjar, and how there could ever be a connection between them, the Odhroerir, Heimdall ( Gullveig teaching the reverse of his Runes ), and the first and last war.

The first thing that pops up is what the Einherjar eat..


By Andhrimnir 26 in Eldhrimnir 27
Saehrimnir 28, the boar is boiled,
The best of bacons; though tis barely know
What the einherjar eat.

26 “Sooty in the face,” the cook of Valholl.
27 “Sooty from the Fire,” the kettle.
28 “Sooty Black” (?).

Grimnismal 18, Hollander trans.


Heimdall brought the runes to mankind..and..


For its mission the child had to be equipped with strength, endurance, and wisdom. It was given to drink jarđar magn, svalkaldr sćr and Sónar dreyri (Völuspá in Skamma 10). It is necessary to compare these expressions with Urđar magn, svalkaldr sćr and Sónar dreyri in Guđrúnarkviđa in forna 21, a song written in Christian times, where this reminiscence of a triple heathen-mythic drink reappears as a potion of forgetfulness allaying sorrow. The expression Sónar dreyri shows that the child had tasted liquids from the subterranean fountains which water Yggdrasil and sustain the spiritual and physical life of the universe (cp. Nos. 63 and 93). Són contains the mead of inspiration and wisdom. In Skáldskaparmál, which quotes a satire of late origin, this name is given to a jar in which Suttung preserves this valuable liquor, but to the heathen skalds Són is the name of Mímir's fountain, which contains the highest spiritual gifts, and around whose rush-bordered edge the reeds of poetry grow (Eilífr Guđrúnarson, Skáldskaparmál). The child Heimdal has, therefore, drunk from Mímir's fountain. Jarđar magn (the earth's strength) is in reality the same as Urđar magn, the strength of the water in Urd's fountain, which keeps the world-tree ever green and sustains the physical life of creation (Völuspá). The third subterranean fountain is Hvergelmir, with hardening liquids. From Hvergelmir comes the river Svöl, and the venom-cold Elivágar (Grímnismál, Gylfaginning). Svalkaldr sćr, cool sea, is an appropriate designation of this fountain.

http://www.northvegr.org/lore/rydberg/021.php

And what Elsa-Brita Titchenell, the author of The Masks of Odin said in something she wrote called Man's Destiny in Myth..


To understand the system, we must define the terms. In the Norse Edda, Odin occurs on every level of life. On the highest plane of cosmic ideation it is the essence of creative universal consciousness, the Allfather. The name is a form of ođr, universal intelligence (Greek nous), whereof the spiritual soul of man is an intrinsic part. (Ođroerir, "container of ođr," which held the mead of wisdom from which Odin himself drank in a far past aeon, is one of the holy vessels which contain the "blood of Kvasir" -- a "hostage" sent by the unmanifest superior divinities (Vanir) to the lesser, creative deities (Aesir). This suggests the continuity of divine inspiration: a transmission or avatar from inconceivably sublime cosmic powers descending to a god world still far superior to our own. It also suggests the continuous evolutionary growth of Odin, now Allfather of our worlds and divine root of every living being in our sphere, from a formerly lesser condition.) While in a general sense Allfather is implicit in all forms of manifestation, Odin also has his specific domain: a "shelf" or plane of substance superior to our physical matter, named "Gladhome" (Gladsheim), where is located Val-hall, the "hall of the elect." Val means "choice"; it also has the meaning "death" when it applies to Odin's warriors, the "One-victors" (einherjar). As the word implies, each has achieved victory over one -- himself. Each has elected to die as a personal, limited egoity and gained a transcendency of consciousness into the realm of the gods or, to put it another way, has overcome the lesser, human propensities and united with the cosmic purpose of life. This is a continuous process of growth, hence of change, each daily "death" being a transformation from a less to a more perfect condition. The heroes are brought to Odin's sacred hall by the "crowners of the elect" (Valkyries) who are closely related to man's hamingja, his "guardian angel" or spiritual soul. They are therefore our protectors and tutors.



The feast of the One-victors, far from a drunken orgy -- unless it be in the sense of the original Dionvsian Mysteries, when wine represented spiritual illumination -- is a partaking of universal elements. These are symbolized by the honeyed mead or nectar of the gods, as in the Greek myths (honey is gathered through the selfless efforts of bees for the common good. In the Greek Mysteries, the mystae, initiants, were called melissae [bees]), and by the three boars:

Andrimner lets Saerimner be steeped in Eldrimner:
Few know what the Einherjar eat.

"The boar of air lets the boar of water be steeped in the boar of fire." The boar represents the formative principles of earth where needed experience is gained. We find a similar metaphor in the Hindu Puranas, where the boar stands for Brahma, the creator, who supports the globe earth on its tusks. Here, the Edda's "Grimnismal" (Lay of Grimner), the One-victors are nourished by a trinity of boars, also representing creative powers, the energic aspect of nature's elements. Odin (air: spirit), Honer (water: mind), and Lodur (fire: will and desire) may be substituted in the verse, yielding

Spirit lets mind be steeped in will and desire:
Few know what nourishes the One-victors.

The higher self or spirit of man permits the human ego to be tested in the fires of the soul to prove its integrity. If successful, the man brings to birth his inner god, the mortal earns its immortality, uniting with the indwelling universal Odin.

http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/sunrise/28-78-9/eu-ebt1.htm


In The Masks of Odin she draws connection with all of the above with from whence the roots get their nourishment..


Any Tree of Life -- human or cosmic -- draws its nourishment from three roots that reach into three regions: one rises in Asgard, home of the Aesir, where it is watered by the spring of Urd, commonly translated as the past. However, the real meaning of the name is Origin, primal cause, the connotation being that of antecedent causes from which flow all subsequent effects. Urd is one of the three "maidens who know much" the Norns, or Fates, whose farseeing gaze scans past, present, and future, as they spin the threads of destiny for worlds and men. "One was named Origin, the second Becoming; these two fashioned the third, named Debt. Fortune's lots, life and death, the fates of heroes, all comes from them." (5) Urd, the past, personifies all that has gone before and is the cause of both present and future. Verdande is the present, but it is not a static condition; on the contrary it means Becoming -- the dynamic, everchanging, mathematical point between past and future; a point of vital importance for it is the eternal moment of choice for man, when conscious willing decision is made, directed by desire, either for progress or retrogression on the evolutionary path. It is noteworthy that these two Norns create the third, Skuld, meaning Debt: something owed, out of balance, to be brought into equilibrium in the future -- the inevitable result of all the past and of the present.
While the Norns are the Norse equivalent of the Greek Moirai or Fates who spin the thread of destiny we recognize in them also what in the Stanzas of Dzyan (6) are called Lipikas -- a Sanskrit term meaning "scribes" or "recorders." Like the Norns these are impersonal, implacable processes that automatically retain every event and set the stage for the balancing action of karma, the natural "law of consequences" or of cause and effect, which operates infallibly in all fields of action and determines the conditions met by every entity as a result of its past choices. In the unself-conscious kingdoms this is a purely automatic adjustment; in the human kingdom, every motive, noble or base, brings appropriate opportunities and obstacles that modify the future. Moreover, as the human awareness is capable of self-determined choice, it is also increasingly conscious of its responsibility for events to come. Each being is the result of all that it has made itself to be, and each will become what is in preparation through its present thoughts and deeds. The record of the everchanging complex of forces remains in its inmost identity the higher self in man, the individual's own Norn which the Edda calls his hamingja. In the Christian tradition it is our guardian angel.

Yggdrasil's second root springs from Mimer's well. This, the well of absolute matter, belongs to the "wise giant Mimer," source of all experience. It is said that Odin drinks each day from the waters of this well, but to do so he had to forfeit one of his eyes, which is hidden at the bottom of the well. In many popular tales where Odin is disguised as an old man in a blue fur coat, he wears a slouch hat to conceal the fact that he is lacking one eye. However, this is not the same as saying that he has only one eye. Can we be so sure that he had only two to begin with? The sacred writings of many peoples refer to a distant past when humanity possessed a "third eye" -- organ of the intuition, -- which, according to theosophy, retreated inside the skull millions of years ago where it remains in vestigial form as the pineal gland, awaiting a time when it will once again be more functional than it is today. Such an interpretation gives us information not only on the meaning of the tale but on the picture language used in these myths. As immersion in the world of matter provides the experience which brings wisdom, consciousness (Odin) sacrifices part of its vision to obtain daily a draught from Mimer's well, while Mimer (matter) obtains a partial share of divine insight. Mimer is the progenitor of all giants, the timeless root of Ymer-Orgalmer, the frost giant from which worlds are formed.

Long ago, it is said, Mimer was killed by Njord (time) and his body was thrown into a swamp (the "waters" of space). Odin retrieved his severed head and "confers with it daily." This suggests that the god, consciousness, uses the "head" or superior portion of its matter-associate, the vehicle or body, to obtain the distillate of experience. At the same time the giant achieves a measure of consciousness by association with the energic, divine side of nature. Duality appears to be universal: no world is so low, no consciousness so elevated as to be beyond this perpetual interchange, as the divine impulsion daily organizes and dwells in worlds of action, "raising runes of wisdom" by experience. Consciousness and matter are thus relative to each other on all levels, so that what is consciousness on one stratum of cosmic life is matter to the stage above it. The two sides of existence are inseparable. Both comprise every level of life as giants grow into gods and gods are graduates of former giant worlds, evolving toward still greater godhood.
Mimer's tree is Mimameid, the Tree of Knowledge, which is not to be confused with the Tree of Life, though the two are in certain ways interchangeable, for knowledge and wisdom are the fruits of life and living; conversely the application of wisdom to living brings immortality in ever loftier ranges of the Tree of Life.

Yggdrasil's third root reaches into Niflheim (cloudhome), where the clouds -- nebulae -- are born. This, like the other two realms, refers not to a place but to a condition. The name is highly suggestive as nebulae are stages in the development of cosmic bodies. The root is watered by Hvergalmer, source of all the "rivers of lives" -- classes of beings. (7) These are what we call the kingdoms of nature which in their great variety of forms make up every globe. Niflheim, where lies the source of all these life types, contains the seething caldron of matter -- primordial, undifferentiated substance out of which the matters of all ranges of substantiality and materiality are derived. It is the mulaprakriti (root-nature) of Hindu cosmogony, whose divine complement is parabrahman (beyond-brahman).

The intricate life system of Yggdrasil contains both facts of natural history and cosmological information which may be gleaned from the texts. For instance, the first root, springing from Asgard, the realm of the Aesir, watered by the well of the past, maps the "fates of heroes" from cause to effect for all hierarchies of existence, and the gods are no more exempt from this inexorable law than any other form of life. Yet every moment changes the course of destiny as each being acts freely within the limits of its own self-created condition.

The second root, watered by Mimer's well, draws its nourishment from the experience in matter earned by the divine eye of spirit, as Odin daily confers with Mimer's head.

The third root is watered by the many rivers of lives: all the different expressions needed to fill the requirements of all kinds of consciousnesses.

http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/odin/odin-2.htm

So, on to Gullveig..


Just as Heimdal, "the fast traveller," proceeds from house to house, forming new ties in society and giving instruction in what is good and useful, thus we soon find a messenger of evil wandering about between the houses in Midgard, practising the black art and stimulating the worst passions of the human soul. The messenger comes from the powers of frost, the enemies of creation. It is a giantess, the daughter of the giant Hrímnir (Hyndluljóđ 32 = Völuspá in Skamma 4), known among the gods as Gullveig and by other names (see Nos. 34, 35), but on her wanderings on earth called Heiđr. "Heid they called her (Gullveig) when she came to the children of men, the crafty, prophesying vala, who practised sorcery (vitti ganda), practised the evil art, caused by witchcraft misfortunes, sickness, and death (leikin, see No. 67), and was always sought by bad women." Thus Völuspá describes her.

http://www.northvegr.org/lore/rydberg/027.php

So, now, what of the wars..what of the Wyrd of the Gods..??


An ash I know, hight Yggdrasil,
The might tree moist with white dews;
Thence come the floods that fall adown;
Evergreen overtops Urth’s well this tree.

Thence wise maidens three betake them--
Under spreading boughs their bower stands--
{Urth one is hight, the other, Verthandi,
Skuld the third: they scores did cut,}
The laws did make, they lives did choose:
For the children of men they marked their fates.



Mimir’s sons dance, the downfall bodes
When blares the gleaming old Gjallarhorn;
Loud blows Heimdall, with horn aloft;
In Hel’s dark hall horror spreadeth,
Once more Othin with Mim’s head speaketh
Ere Surt’s sib swallows him.

Trembles the towering tree Yggdrasil,
Its leaves sough loudly: unleashed the etin.

What ails the Aesir and what the alfs?
In uproar all etins-- are the Aesir met.
At the gates of their grots the wise dwarfs groan
In their fell fastnesses: wit ye further,or how?

Garm bays loudly before Gnipa cave,
Breaks his fetters and freely runs.
The fates I fathom, the farther I see:
Of the mighty gods the engulfing doom.

Voluspa, Hollander trans.


It is the towering tree Yggdrasil that trembles. The source of it’s three root’s nourishment threatened. It happened to begin with in the first war, and will happen again with the last.

Later,
-Lyfing

Lyfing
Tuesday, November 11th, 2008, 09:39 PM
What do ya’ll think about it being a “cult-war”..?? Here are some ideas from Eddic Mythology (http://www.heathengods.com/library/eddic_mythology/macculloch-contents.html)..


Gollveig, “Gold-might,” who is burned and comes alive again, is thought to embody the power of gold and its refining by fire. Whether she is the same as Heid, or whether the stanza about Heid is in its wrong place and refers to the Volva who utters the whole poem, is a moot point. If Gollveig and Heid are identical, both have some connexion with Freyja. Freyja’s tears are said to be red gold, and gold is called Freyja’s tears.7 Freyja is described as a sorceress who introduced magic or a special kind of magic among the Ćsir. Gollveig-Heid would thus be Freyja, and the ill-treatment of this Vanir goddess would be the cause of the war. Unfortunately the myth in Voluspa is too enigmatic and the stories given by Snorri are too much euhemerized, to tell exactly what the primitive form of the myth was. Whether, as asserted by Müllenhoff, it meant that by gold the gods were corrupted or endangered, like heroes of Sagas, is problematical. Gollveig may, however, have some connexion with the introduction of gold among the Northern people.

This myth of a war between groups of gods or of these regarded more or less as mortals, seems to reflect the opposition of rival cults and their upholders — one recently introduced and gaining popularity, but opposed by the supporters of the other. At last, after violent conflict, a compromise was effected and both cults now existed side by side. The groups of deities are linked together, but their separate origin is never quite forgotten. Which group of gods was first in the field, and where was the scene of this cult war? Opinions vary. Njord is closely linked to the goddess Nerthus whose cult on an island, probably Seeland, is described by Tacitus. Frey, sometimes called Yngvi-Frey, would then have been, like Nerthus, a divinity of the Teutonic amphictyony known as the Ingvćones, whose habitat was North-west Germany. The Vanir group would thus be indigenous in that region: did it there come in contact with an incoming cult of Odin, with the result of a cult war, the legends of which were carried to Scandinavia with the passing of the cult to that region?

On the other hand, the Vanir cult, passing to Sweden, where the worship of Frey obtained great prominence and was carried thence to Norway and Iceland, would come in conflict with the cult of Odin recently introduced into Sweden, and Sweden would thus be the scene of a cult war. It will be observed that Odin is the chief protagonist on the side of the Ćsir in the myth.8

Others think that the cult of Frey, the Svia-god, or Sweden god, or the blot or “sacrifice” god of Sweden, though introduced to Sweden from without, was now firmly rooted there. The cult of Odin, the Saxa-god or Saxon-god, was introduced later, c. 800 A.D., and aroused a strong national counter-current of opposition. This is the view of Golther, and Chadwick says: “That the two cults of Odin and Frey were originally quite distinct, and that the latter was the earlier of the two, there can hardly be any serious doubt.”9
Whatever be the truth regarding this cult war, it is clear that some fusion occurred, and that now the temples, altars, and images of Ćsir and Vanir stood side by side. This is seen from historical notices of cult, and from the grouping of Odin, Thor, and Frey.

Golther also finds a trace of this cult war in another chapter of the Ynglinga-saga. After Odin heard that good land was to be found in Gylfi’s country or Sweden, he journeyed there. Gylfi had no power to withstand the Ćsir folk. Peace was made, and Odin and Gylfi had many dealings in cunning tricks and illusion. Odin erected a temple with blood-offerings according to the custom of the Ćsir at Sigtun. Frey’s seat was at Upsala.10 Here, instead of the Vanir, the Swedish king opposes Odin, and the latter succeeds in establishing a cult. The Swedish kings, who regarded themselves as descendants of Frey, would naturally oppose the cult of Odin.

Though the cult of Odin does not strike one as other than that of a barbaric people, that of the Vanir was not necessarily more enlightened, and it has some primitive traits — the brother-sister marriages of Njord and of Frey, and the phallic aspect of the latter.

There are traces also of the opposition between gods of light, fertility, merchandise, and prosperity, such as the Vanir were, and gods of war, like Odin — the gods of people with contrasted cultures, but later coalescing and sharing cult and sacrifice. This appears in the statement of Voluspa about Ćsir and Vanir sharing sacrifices, and of the Ynglinga-saga, that the Ćsir had blood-offerings, while Odin gave sites to the “temple-priests,” i.e., the gods Njord, Frey, etc.11

A similar view of a war between divinities is found in the euhemerized accounts of Celtic mythology in Ireland. The Tuatha Dé Danann fought with Firbolgs and Fomorians. Yet both intermarried or were in friendly relations with each other. There is an echo here of the strife of friendly and hostile nature powers, or, more likely, of the conquest of aboriginal people and their deities by an incoming race and their gods, with subsequent union between the two.12

Eddic Mythology, pages 27-30 (http://www.heathengods.com/library/eddic_mythology/macculloch-02.html)

Later,
-Lyfing

Psychonaut
Wednesday, November 12th, 2008, 12:28 AM
What do ya’ll think about it being a “cult-war”..??

I think that's a pretty reasonable proposition, especially if we view the Vanic cult as being an outgrowth from the pre-Germanic UP peoples.

Carl
Thursday, November 13th, 2008, 04:29 PM
From Psychonuats post #9

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gullveig



"Turville-Petre

A different theory supported by (Prof) Gabriel Turville-Petre is that Gullveig is a name for the goddess Freyja. In the Prose Edda tale Gylfaginning, Freyja sheds tears of red gold for her husband Ódr in his absence and who is mother of Gersemi and Hnoss, whose names both mean "Treasure". Freyja is often associated with a love for jewelry and treasure in surviving representations.


In Snorri Sturluson's Heimskringla, in the Ynglinga Saga, chapter 4, Snorri relates that it was Freyja who introduced seiđ among the Ćsir as it was in use and fashion among the Vanir. Therefore, all Vanir practice seiđ. In chapter 7,Snorri relates that Odin also knew Seiđ:

"…but it was not thought respectable for men to practise it; and therefore the priestesses were brought up in this art......"

============


Prof. Gabriel Turville-Petre was Prof.of Ancient Icelandic at Oxford; his book "Myth and Religion of the North" is a classic text which I have known for some time. He was one of the sensible guys who found Rydberg's conclusions to be extreme and unjustified. They stem from Rydberg's tendency to simplify things, to combine them into something neat and morally acceptable. I have looked into his 'Teutonic Mythology' and it is quite clear that he was indeed heavily influenced by the "Goddess denying" cleric Saxo and desparately wanted to prove that Gullveig's "evil sorcery" was something so unique that she could only be Mrs Loki and the co-generator of the the World's most dangerous monsters!! :oanieyes


Alas - there is no such proof. She lives still ...and is perhaps clearly better understood after the truce. Strange through .... there it is :

illrar brúđar.

But I dont think she was Freyja herself. Not even a hypostasis of Freyja. The extent of her "intoxication" with gold ( something loved by the Vanir for sure) and the clearly strange magic with which she appears , is enough to rouse the early AEsir to primitive wrath. Perhaps they (the incoming cult) had indeed arrived from the south - through Denmark and into Sweden or Norway, who knows. It is said the cult did more northwards; it would have encounter others, with differing traditions. Perhaps there were memories of previous wars - the Lombard war is often given. Unless I am wrong, the sole mention of Gullveig (-as surely the cause of the war under discussion), is in Voluspa. Her name is not given elsewhere.


Perhaps she was therefore a Giant in league with the Vanir; not all giants were bad - only most! Odin's mother was surely good (!?) , Mimir too . Some were wise and some powerful. Gullveig I think of as a first and early contact with the Vanir; that's why it all proved such an outrage to them. She suffered fire - as Odin did also [Grimnismal]...they both survived! Her magic was surely not so different in kind from that of the Volva's own - who Odin later consults ; it is generally said that Odin eventually learns the same in any case. It is hard to believe that the entire assembly of the Vana Gods could have been so comprehensively deluded by this witch. It is far easier to believe that newly the arriving Aesir might have fallen into war through their ignorance of the things yet to be. As I said , Odin sought to become wise by considerable effort of will , perhaps even suffering. You know the story.

As it was - she lives still & the war went against them!

brotinn var borđveggr
borgar ása,
knátto vanir vígspá
völlo sporna.

broken their walls,
- the Vana taking the battlefield!

.....time for a rethink!

Anfang
Friday, November 14th, 2008, 05:31 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gullveig



"…but it was not thought respectable for men to practise it; and therefore the priestesses were brought up in this art......"

More likely men were not thought capable of doing it.


Still, we have to think to the root. what of the Concept of 'Evil" being "punished by destruction"?

It would be equaly impossible for these men, writing in those days to think of the destruction of the world in any way other than as punishment of the wicked. It could be that the time of the Ragnarok was simply a time to start the cycle agaiin with no other reason than that it is the will of the gods.

Lyfing
Friday, November 14th, 2008, 10:45 PM
I think that's a pretty reasonable proposition, especially if we view the Vanic cult as being an outgrowth from the pre-Germanic UP peoples.

That’s a thought. Especially with the “Venus of Willendorf” and what Joseph Campbell said of Thor in Occidental Mythology..


The figure of Thor, however, shows signs of being the eldest of the pantheon, even going back, possibly, to the Paleolithic age, when his celebrated hammer would have been properly a characteristic weapon. He is never equipped with a sword or lance, or mounted on a steed, like Wodan, but walks against his foes. And as a clever giant-killer, he has counterparts in the monster-killers of practically every primiteve hunting mythology on record. Heracles, among the Greeks, belonged to this primitive hero-type as well. But in the outrageously grotesque humor of the victories of Thor--which in many ways bear comparison with the legendry of the Dagda of the Celts--there is more of the primary mythic flavor of the old shaman-deeds of the heroes of the peoples of the Great Hunt than there is to be found among even the most bizarre of the epic hero tales of the Greeks.

Pages, 477-478

Now, I know Thor ain’t of the Vanir, but his mother is Jörđ. And, he is married to Sif, the golden-haired. He was also most favored by those of the North.

Also, quite interesting is an (?) association of Thor’s Hammer with the Swastika..


The Swastika is directly conected with the runes by the Hallristinger
characters [the ancestral characters of the runic futhark alphabet,
according to many researchers, and maybe it was used by the Vanir worship that existed before the aesir worship in north europe, since these characters is from the stone age or neolithic times.

http://www.angelfire.com/wy/wyrd/swastika.html


The clockwise whirling image from which the birds of the air
were produced suggests those designs on the earliest Samarra
pottery of the Mesopotamian high neolithic (c. 4500-3500 B.C.) *
where the forms of animals and birds emerge from a whirling
swastika

Primitive Mythology, Page 233

That said, everything (the above and these are obscure ones) I’ve came across points to the origin of the Vanir cult with the Neolithic, for example..


Diverse images of Mother Goddesses also have been discovered that date from the Neolithic period, the New Stone Age, which ranges from approximately 10,000 BCE when the use of wild cereals led to the beginning of farming, and eventually, to agriculture. The end of this Neolithic period is characterized by the introduction of metal tools as the skill appeared to spread from one culture to another, or arise independently as a new phase in an existing tool culture, and eventually became widespread among humans.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_Goddess

And, the coming of Scef ( ..whom Rydberg associated with Heimdall, who is a Vane, ..yeah his take does make one think of the Devil, and yeah he liked to draw many name-associations, nevertheless, I find there to be some, if not much, value in his writings..that is all I have to say about him )..


One day it came to pass that a ship was seen sailing near the coast of Scedeland or Scani, [* The Beowulf poem has the name Scedeland (Scandia): compare the name Skĺdan in De origine Longobardorum. Ethelwerd writes: "Ipse Skef cum uno dromone advectus est in insulam Oceani, quć dicitur Scani, armis circumdatus," &c.] and it approached the land without being propelled either by oars or sails. The ship came to the sea-beach, and there was seen lying in it a little boy, who was sleeping with his head on a sheaf of grain, surrounded by treasures and tools, by glaives and coats of mail. The boat itself was stately and beautifully decorated. Who he was and whence he came nobody had any idea, but the little boy was received as if he had been a kinsman, and he received the most constant and tender care. As he came with a sheaf of grain to their country the people called him Scef, Sceaf. [* Matthćus Westmonasteriensis translates this name with frumenti manipulus, a sheaf.] (The Beowulf poem calls him Scyld, son of Sceaf, and gives Scyld the son Beowulf, which originally was another name of Scyld.) Scef grew up among this people, became their benefactor and king, and ruled most honourably for many years. He died far advanced in age. In accordance with his own directions, his body was borne down to the strand where he had landed as a child. There in a little harbour lay the same boat in which he had come. Glittering from hoar-frost and ice, and eager to return to the sea, the boat was waiting to receive the dead king, and around him the grateful and sorrowing people laid no fewer treasures than those with which Scef had come. And when all was finished the boat went out upon the sea, and no one knows where it landed. He left a son Scyld (according to the Beowulf poem, Beowulf son of Scyld), who ruled after him. Grandson of the boy who came with the sheaf was Healfdene-Halfdan, king of the Danes (that is, according to the Beowulf poem).

http://www.northvegr.org/lore/rydberg/020.php

…..

Another interesting question pops into mind with..



"…but it was not thought respectable for men to practise it; and therefore the priestesses were brought up in this art......"

..if the Vanir cult is from the Neolithic, and Odin is "accused of seiđ" as well, what is going on there..??

Later,
-Lyfing

Anfang
Saturday, November 15th, 2008, 12:15 AM
That’s a thought. Especially with the “Venus of Willendorf” and what Joseph Campbell said of Thor in Occidental Mythology..

I don't know, but it seems to me that it is not the case thet the Concept of the Goddess as Great Mother comes from pre Aryan society.

1) The Sanskrit texts show kali to have been central to the hindu beliefs 5,000 years ago. did it just pop into their heads t just hen? No I dont think so.

2) The only reason why we would think that It would be the case that more ancient findings belonged to a different race is if we asume that the Aryans were patriarchal. I dont think think that that would be a safe assumption to make.


Now, I know Thor ain’t of the Vanir, but his mother is Jörđ. And, he is married to Sif, the golden-haired. He was also most favored by those of the North.

Also, quite interesting is an (?) association of Thor’s Hammer with the Swastika..






That said, everything (the above and these are obscure ones) I’ve came across points to the origin of the Vanir cult with the Neolithic, for example..



And, the coming of Scef ( ..whom Rydberg associated with Heimdall, who is a Vane, ..yeah his take does make one think of the Devil, and yeah he liked to draw many name-associations, nevertheless, I find there to be some, if not much, value in his writings..that is all I have to say about him )..



…..

Another interesting question pops into mind with..



..if the Vanir cult is from the Neolithic, and Odin is "accused of seiđ" as well, what is going on there..??

?? Indeed. ... If we stick with mythological text we will only get part of the picture. We must look to archeology and philology. of course the texts you are working from are extremely important.
Later,
-Lyfing

Psychonaut
Saturday, November 15th, 2008, 01:26 AM
The only reason why we would think that It would be the case that more ancient findings belonged to a different race is if we asume that the Aryans were patriarchal. I dont think think that that would be a safe assumption to make.

Every authority that I've seen on the Proto-Indo-Europeans does indeed portray them as a patriarchal people.

In his book Indo-European and the Indo-Europeans, Calvert Watkins tells us:

For the Indo-Europeans the society of the gods was conceived in the image of their own society as patriarchal. The reconstructed words *deiw-os and *dyeu-pter- alone tell us more about the conceptual world of the Indo-Europeans than a roomful of graven images.

In the book In Search of the Indo-Europeans, J.P. Mallory says of PIE culture:

In general, the father occupies the role of stern disciplinarian as do father's brothers who, in a patrilineal system, are all competing for positions of authority over their younger kinsmen (and potential competitors).

Anfang
Saturday, November 15th, 2008, 01:51 AM
Every authority that I've seen on the Proto-Indo-Europeans does indeed portray them as a patriarchal people.

In his book Indo-European and the Indo-Europeans, Calvert Watkins tells us:


In the book In Search of the Indo-Europeans, J.P. Mallory says of PIE culture:






look. at. the. pictures.-



Grundstrup Cauldron Juteland DK.

http://www.unc.edu/celtic/catalogue/Gundestrup/kauldron.html

Psychonaut
Saturday, November 15th, 2008, 02:07 AM
look. at. the. pictures.-



Grundstrup Cauldron Juteland DK.

http://www.unc.edu/celtic/catalogue/Gundestrup/kauldron.html

Yes...I see pictures of Celtic Gods and Goddesses. I do find it interesting that the image of Cernunnos, arguable the most famous of all the images from the Grundstrup Cauldron, is conspicuously absent from this set of photos.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/63/Detail_of_antlered_figure_on_the_Gundest rup_Cauldron.jpg

Attempting to paint the Celts as a matriarchal people flies in the face of most of our sources as well, as we know most of their principle deities (i.e. Taranis, Lugh, Teutates, Belenos, Cernunnos, etc.) were male. We also know that their prietstly caste, the Druids, was entirely composed of males. Finally, what gender did the Celtic rulers come from? Was Vercingetorix a woman? There is simply no evidence that the Celts, or any other IE people were matriarchal.

Anfang
Saturday, November 15th, 2008, 02:31 AM
Oh goodness, I guess you are having trouble clicking through the images.
The image of Cernunus is not absent at all , and it is disrespectful that you accused me of that.

That style is not Germanic.

Psychonaut
Saturday, November 15th, 2008, 02:51 AM
Oh goodness, I guess you are having trouble clicking through the images.
The I mage of Cernunus is not absent at alll , and it is disrespectful that you accused me of that.

That style is not Germanic.

As I said in the PM, my intent was not to be disrespectful, merely to make point out the apparent lack of an important picture.

Anfang
Saturday, November 15th, 2008, 03:53 AM
As I said in the PM, my intent was not to be disrespectful, merely to make point out the apparent lack of an important picture.


Otto Freiher -Leipsig 1898-

"In Lower Saxony, Frau Holle is a grey-haired old lady with long teeth, who dirties the spindle of the lazy weaver, hides a gift under the compartment of the spindle of the active ones [this piece of equipment is called wockenbreif in the local speech, in place of German Rockenbrief], brings new white shirts to children aged six, and who, in places where she used to be held in reverence, goes through with a car full of New Year gifts each new year's eve, between 9 and 10 p.m.. If she would crack her whip, only the devotees would hear it and go out to receive their gifts.

In the Hesse and the Thuringia, Frau Holle, Holde or Hulda, is described as a beautiful white shining woman with long golden hair of whom it is said, when it snows hard: "Frau Holle is shaking out the feathers of her bed". As the mother of all small creatures, or of the incarnated souls of dead non-baptized, but remembered, children, called "Heimchen" (small home) in Franconia, together with those souls, she takes care of the fertility of the fields that she plows with a golden plow, and she asks the "Heimchen" to irrigate those fields.

It is said that she had her old home in the Saalthal, between Bucha and Wilhemsdorf, but that she left this land due to the lack of gratitude of the citizens of Gosdorf? and Rödern. On a dark evening of the Kings day, she went to a river with her little people and asked for a ride. The driver was afraid at first of the high veiled shape that was surrounded by so many wailing children, but he did as he was asked at last. After three crossings, he found Frau Holla or Perchtha on the beach, busy at repairing her plough that the Heimchen were supposed to carry further. He was then told that his reward would be the shavings left behind. He took this with bad will, unhappy of a such a miserable reward. At home, he threw three pieces of shavings on the windowsill. In the morning he found three lumps of gold in place of the shavings. This is how Frau Perchtha rewarded all the help she received, and often she can still be seen, with her plow, on Three Kings' day, or Perchtenabend (Perchta's evening).

Three Kings' day, when these manifestations took place, was especially dedicated to her, as well as in Austria, Tyrol and Bavaria, under the names Perchtag or Prechtag (day of Perch or Prech) (earlier, in Zürich: Brechtentag), and in Swabia it was named Oberstag or …berst.

New converts to christianity, trying to shed horror on heathenism, described the formerly honored goddesses as bad spirits, and even Frau Perchtha or Holle, the sweetest and most beneficial goddesses, were made to become aggressive and punishing characters. "


Thus they tried and try to make believe she does not exist. But she is there, everywhere and in Everything.

Ulf
Saturday, November 15th, 2008, 04:36 AM
We've gone quite far off the topic, haven't we?

I'm preferring Larrington's idea:

From Larrington's notes:

Thus the Vanir manifest themselves both in the divine and the human worlds, demanding a share of sacrifices (v. 23). The Aesir at first go to war over this - but eventually concede the tribute.


23.
The gods hastened to their hall of judgement,
Sat in council to decide if
The Aesir would pay a tribute
If all the Gods should receive an offering.

Hollander's translation is the one that seems out of place here:


Hollander:
23
Then gathered together the gods for counsel,
The holy hosts, and held converse:
Should the Ćsir a truce with tribute buy,
Or should all gods share in the feast.

cf. Bellows* (revised):

24. Then sought the gods their assembly-seats,
The holy ones, and council held,
Whether the gods should tribute give,
Or to all alike should worship belong.

Anfang
Saturday, November 15th, 2008, 07:31 AM
How have we gone off topic? We are not bible jews, last time I checked.

There must be a multi disciplinary approach.

Georges Dumézil stated that the war need not necessarily be understood in matters of historicity more than any other myth because it is set before the emigration from the Middle East and, he states, accounts are more focused on the truce than on details regarding the battles.

and here is where we have to stop reading texts and reflect. What does this mean? truce for a God of war? not unless there was another force with authority that was centered on peace. And who did odin go to for advice ? a seeress, a Norna.

Carl
Saturday, November 15th, 2008, 06:41 PM
I do agree with Ulf very much - the thread has gone pretty wild at times - and is seriously off topic in places. We can really make little progress if folk plaster the thread with hopelessly off topic material.... let alone futile bickering --- which can only generate moderation !!


I would expect a greater sense of discipline in handling the subject under consideration.... which is the possible causes of this first war which she 'sees'.

Most critics see the treatment of Gullveig as the reason for he war ( as she presents it) . Why else would this issue have commanded so much attention in the Eddaic pagan poem under consideration?

Their battle magic in any case won the Vanir the warfield - that must have been a great shock to the Aesir surely! The Vanir were not after all a warlike host. But they did reach a settlement - and they then worked together. They shared in the celebration of the Gods - and that is how we have it now. There is no rivalry ongoing. There is henceforward a much wider task - coping progressively with Loki's mischief -- and facing up to the reality of Ragnarok. After all, that is what the Volva speaks of ultimately; it is Odin himself rewarding her for doing so. The first war is settled; Odin becomes progressively wiser to the future need - not as a mere War Lord but as a God of Magic in all its forms. Indeed, the Northern leader-Mercurius! At first, they did not have this Magic - not fully anyway. They didnt see Gullveig's excesses for what they were - an intoxication, something simply excessive. (Had it been Freyja herself, perhaps this would not have happened - it was, I suggested, but their first encounter). Odin learnt that lesson... adding it and other things to his own earlier wisdom. The excesses of Gullveig were put into perspective; 'she lives still in any case' - ( and in Midgard not Ironwood!! )


But dont get this out of balance; the Vanir were lead by old Njord and then also by Frey. There is no reason to think that Freyja had any problem with that at all. She wasn't even central to the great temple at Uppsala - but she was certainly there all the same - and Odin and Frey wouldnt have had that challenged in any way!! In fact overall, late North Germanic society remained fairly respectful and tolerant of the role of the Volva and feminine 'magic' generally. I believe they understood the balance correctly even in a manifestly warrior society. Not so the Church perhaps; Freyja was especially targetted! Witch-burning eventually ran wild....read Grimm on that one!

"Asatru" these days keeps a proper balance too....so it seems, all the Gods do share in the feast even when some prove to be more popular than others.

Recap:

- so what exactly was it that was so infuriating about poor Gullveig? Why was it that the Aesir got so out of their depth!! (Their poor fortress! :( ) There can't have been that many times when Odin's spear went astray?:oanieyes

.....oh, and dont continue to plaster the thread with irrelevant material which is not to the point! .

Anfang
Sunday, November 16th, 2008, 06:32 AM
Ok .. I think that you can understand my apprehesion, the combination of your presentation on these threads together with the material,asuages my trepidation somewhat.
Still i think we should continue with this subject a bit longer either examining some texts or going over some of the same ground again or both. I used the example of Frau Holle because it shows what the men in the Christian societies who controlled 'the word" did with the philosophies and stories of the old ways.
Stil I like and respect your presentation. For my part I would like to continue to look for some archeological evidence, and perhaps to make connections to other Indo European Mythologies.
We also can examine some of the text and read into it, as some of the details are enthrawlingly intersting.
For example, Why when the Vanir approach the Aesir to battle, does the narrator make a point of telling us that they were a man and a woman "Of equal size" ? Men are taller than Women on the average, but why was this particular difference salient? Also the fact that they did not use weapons
but instead it was a sound, a vibration that knoked the walls down.....

Ulf
Sunday, November 16th, 2008, 06:32 PM
Recap:

- so what exactly was it that was so infuriating about poor Gullveig? Why was it that the Aesir got so out of their depth!! (Their poor fortress! :( ) There can't have been that many times when Odin's spear went astray?:oanieyes

.....oh, and dont continue to plaster the thread with irrelevant material which is not to the point! .

The spear Odin threw can hardly be Gungnir, if I'm not mistaken. When Gungnir is fashioned along with Mjöllnir and Skíđblađnir, Frey is already with the Aesir.

Maybe Gullveig was benevolent towards the people she visited and the sacrifices people gave increasingly went to the Vanir, not the Aesir. The Aesir, with their might, think her an evil witch and act accordingly, but things don't go as planned.

Carl
Sunday, November 16th, 2008, 08:34 PM
The spear Odin threw can hardly be Gungnir, if I'm not mistaken. When Gungnir is fashioned along with Mjöllnir and Skíđblađnir, Frey is already with the Aesir.
.

Thats a clever idea...so an early Spear which perhaps had earlier magic upon it - but certainly not enough to defeat well established Gods in their own right. I can see nothing in Voluspa before the War in question which would invalidate the possibility! There has, seemingly, up to that point, been no great conflict......if you are right, then not yet even between Thor and the giants! It fits my idea of a gradual growth of magical power by the gathering of Odin's own wisdom. He was original given mighty Galdor ( songs) from his youth. And this was the first significant war ; I assume other previous conflicts were no problem to him.

Whatever we make of Gullveig's identity, she was clearly protected. I think of the Vanir as well established - the older Gods in the north perhaps ... along with Ullr it seems. Thats my model. Their powers clearly trumped at that stage. After the truce, new currents were at work. The Vanir would have helped in arranging the superWeapons. Perhaps also , afterwards , we can think of the bringing in Odin's RuneSearch episode.

Carl
Tuesday, November 18th, 2008, 05:33 PM
Alright - this threads grows exhausted. It is an interesting subject in many ways - not least because Snorri in his fabulous epic doesnt appear to mention the war between the Gods ( or Gullveig of course) [ am I right?] Could it be that he thought she was just too 'evil'? :D What was the nature of her evil which caused them to so roast her; it can't just be the Seidh since Freyja is considered to be the Lady of Seidh--- and even Snorri has it that Odinn became master of it through her instruction. All very strange. Maybe 'illar' is indeed a misreading or an interpolation into the battered old text! After all, she was 'wise & wicked'.


Concerning the thread topic anyway , Voluspa is in little doubt about this war :

"I ween the first war in the world was this,
when the gods Gullveig gashed with their spears....."


We have , I think deliberately, joined up somehow the historical progression from within Voluspa with the actual historical progression of the cult-tribes - and their clashing together through migration perhaps. Indeed, the possibility that the Vanir were already well established in the territory. We could locate this within the old Nerthus-Freyr lands of Denmark - or even (later) across into S. Sweden. This would fit with the other conflict , albeit translocated , which the Christian Snorri does talk about - as Pseudo-History. This is in the beginning of the Ynglingla Saga:


""4. OF ODIN'S WAR WITH THE PEOPLE OF VANALAND.

Odin went out with a great army against the Vanaland people; but they were well prepared, and defended their land; so that victory was changeable, and they ravaged the lands of each other, and did great damage. They tired of this at last, and on both sides appointed a meeting for establishing peace, made a truce, and exchanged hostages..... ""


To my tidy mind (!), it seems to fit the story quite well - making up for the omission from his Edda. Maybe the first war and Gullveig are not so significant.... what's all that fuss against Ragnarok? Yet it is important for these northern Gods to come to terms - and it is clearly therefore part of the total narrative.


Snorri's Ynglinga also places Freyja into the picture as part of the settlement:


"" Njord's daughter Freyja was priestess of the sacrifices, and first taught the Asaland people the magic art ( ie. of Seidh) , as it was in use and fashion among the Vanaland people. While Njord was with the Vanaland people, he had taken his own sister in marriage ( ??Nerthus) , for that was allowed by their law; and their children were Frey and Freyja. But among the Asaland people it was forbidden to intermarry with such near relations"".

Some adjustments there then!:oanieyes