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Lyfing
Thursday, December 11th, 2008, 10:21 PM
Here is what I figure Rydberg was saying in his chapter called:

35. GULLVEIG-HEIDR. HER IDENTITY WITH AURBODA, ANGRBODA, HYRROKIN. THE MYTH CONCERNING THE SWORD GUARDIAN AND FJALAR (http://www.northvegr.org/lore/rydberg/035.php) ..

In regards Gullveig-Heidr being Angrboda....

Gat Loki the Wolf with Angrbotha,
And Sleipnir he bore to Svathilfari,
But of all ill wights most awful by far
Is Byleist’s brother’s baleful offspring.

A half-burnt heart which he had found--
It was a woman’s ate wanton Loki;
With child he grew from the guileful woman.
Thence are on earth all ogres sprung.

Voluspa hin skamma 13-14, Hollander trans.
( ie. The Short prophecy of the Seeress...from the ?12th century)




The half-burnt heart is Angrbotha’s and she could be Gullveig. The reasoning being that both Gullveig and Angrbotha were burnt and still live..


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

Voluspa 21, Hollander trans.


In the east sat the old one,52 in the Iron-Woods,
Bred there the bad brood of Fenrir;54
Will one of these, worse than they all,
The sun swallow, in seeming a wolf.

52. Probably the giantess Angrbotha, about whom see Note 54.

54. Or Fenris-Wolf, a mythical wolf engendered by Loki with the giantess Angrbotha, “Boder of Ill.”


Voluspa 39, Hollander trans.



Loki is the mother and Angrbotha is the father. Loki having gave birth before as is told in Lokasenna 33 and 23...

Njorth said:
“Little sin me seemeth, though beside her mate
A wedded wife have a lover:
That the unclean As with us should dwell,
I wonder, who was a woman.”


Othin said:
“Granted I gave; as give I should not,
Mastery to worser men:
Thou winters eight wast the earth beneath,
Milking the cows as a maid,
And there gavest birth to a brood:
Were these womanish ways, I ween.”

Lokaseena 33 and 23, Hollander trans.

=======


In Helgakvitha Hundingsbana I, Sinfjotli compares Guthmund with “the vala in question” and Guthmund compares Sinfjotli with Loki..

( Sinfjotli said: )

“A witch wast thou on Varin’s Isle,
Didst fashion falsehoods and fawn on me, hag:
To no wight would’st though be wed but to me,
To no sword-wielding swain but to Sinfjotli.

“Thou wast, witch-hag, a valkyrie fierce
In Alfather’s hall, hateful and grim:
All Valholl’s warriors had well-nigh battled,
Willful woman, to win thy hand.
On Saga Ness full nine wolves we
Had together--I gat them all.”

( Guthmund said: )

“The father wast not to Fenris-Wolves,
Though older thou than all of them;
For gelded wast thou near Gnipa Grove
By thurs maidens on Thor’s Ness, before.

Helgakvitha Hundingsbana I 38-40, Hollander trans.

---

Rydberg says of this..“The evil woman with whom one of the two heroes compares the other is said to be a vala, who has practised her art partly on Varin's Isle, partly in Asgard at Alfather's, and there she was the cause of a war in which all the warriors of Asgard took part. This refers to the war between the Asas and Vans.”


Gullveig-Heid is Hrimnir’s daughter. Who lived in both Asgard and Midgard. As is related in Völsungasaga...


Freyia no less hearkens wherewith they prayed unto her: so she, never lacking for all good counsel, calls to her her casket-bearing may, [1] the daughter of Hrimnir the giant, and sets an apple in her hand, and bids her bring it to the king. She took the apple, and did on her the gear of a crow, and went flying till she came whereas the king sat on a mound, and there she let the apple fall into the lap of the king; but he took the apple and deemed he knew whereto it would avail; so he goes home from the mound to his own folk, and came to the queen, and some deal of that apple she ate.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/vlsng/vlsng04.htm


Of Hvetna’s sons Haki was best,
But Hjorvarth was Hvethna’s father,
Heith and Hrossthjof, Hrimnir’s kinsmen.6

6. The last two are giant’s names. Heith may be identical with the witch mentioned in “Voluspa,” St. 22

Voluspa hin skamma 5, Hollander trans.

Of this Rydberg says..”In allusion to the cremation of Gullveig-Heid fire is called in Ţórsdrápa Hrímnis drósar lyftisylgr, "the lifting drink of Hrímnir's daughter," the drink which Heid lifted up on spears had to drink.”

======

In regards Angrbotha being the same as Aurbotha..

Frey traded his sword for Gerd ( even though it says nothing of such in Skirnirsmal? )..

Loki said:
“With gold thou boughtest Gymir’s daughter,
And sold the thurs thy sword;
But when Muspell’s sons through Myrkwith ride
What weapon, wretch, wilt then wield?”

Lokasenna 42, Hollander trans.

Gerd is Aurbotha’s daughter..

Frey wedded Gerth, who was Gymir’s daughter,
Of etin-kin, with Aurbotha.
Thewful Thjatsi to them was kin,
The skulking thurs; was Skathi his daughter.

Voluspa him skamma 3, Hollander trans.


As Angrbotha has Frey’s sword, then she and Aurbotha could be the same..

His harp strking, on hill there sat
Gladsome Eggther,57 he who guards the ogress;
O’er him gaily in the gallows tree
Crowed the fair red cock which is Fjalar58 hight.

57. “Swordbearer.” He is glad because of the approaching downfall of the gods, announced by the crowing of the cock.
58. “Multiscient.” He wakes the giants in the last combat.

Fjalar is the same as Suttung..

The heron of heedlessness hovers over the feast,
And stealeth the minds of men.
With that fowl’s feathers fettered I was
When I was Gunnloth’s guest.

Drunk I became, dead drunk, forsooth,
When I was with wise Fjalar;12
That bout is best from which back fetches
Each man his mind full clear.

12. Identical with Suttung ( St. 103 ), if the above reference is correct. See also “Voluspa” St. 41 and Note 58.

Havamal 13-14, Hollander trans.

Odhroerir was in “Surtr‘s sunk dales“..

The mead which forth
From Surtr's sunk dales
The Strong-through-spells
Swift-flying bore.

Skáldskaparmál II

Surt kills Frey with his own sword..

Comes Surt from the South with the singer-of-twigs,
The war god’s sword like a sun doth shine;
The tall hills totter, and trolls stagger,
Men fare to Hel, the heavens rive.

Another woe awaiteth Hlin,
When forth goes Othin to fight the Wolf,
And the slayer of BelI ( Frey ) to battle with Surt:
Then Frigg’s husband will fall lifeless.

Voluspa 51-52, Hollander trans.

Aurbotha also lived in Asgard..

( Svipdag said: )
“Tell me , Fjolsvith, for I fain would know;
Answer thou as I ask:
What the maids are hight before Mengloth’s knees
That sit in sisterly wise?”

( Fjolsvith said: )
“Hilf one is hight, Hlifthrasa another,
A third, Thjothvara;
Ede Bjort and Bleik, Blith and Frith,
Eir and Aurbotha.”

Fjolsvinnsmal 37-38, Hollander trans.

In Mengloth’s hall there are those same apples which in Völsungasaga, Hrimnir’s daughter, Heid is entrusted with..

( Svipdag said: )
“Tell me, Fjolsvith, for I fain would know;
Answer thou as I ask:
How that ash is hight which out doth spread
Its limbs over all the land?”

( Fjolsvith said: )
“Tis hight Mimameith, but no man knoweth
From what roots it doth rise;
By what it falleth the fewst guess:
Nor fir nor iron will fell it.”

( Svipdag said: )
“Tell me, Fjolsvith, for I fain would know:
Answer thou as I ask:
Of the fruit what becomes of that far spreading tree,
Since nor fire nor iron will fell it?”

( Fjolsvith said: )
“Of its berries thou shalt bear on fire,
For ailing women to eat:
Then out will come what within was held--
Such strength is bestowed on that tree.”

Fjolsvinnsmal 13-16, Hollander trans.

Mengloth could be Freya..

Finding a way
Some other day
Something on that
I just may very well say

Lyfingsmal 2911 ;)

Hyrrokin, meaning “fire-smoked” could be the same as Aurboda, carrying ships out to sea..

"The Ćsir took the body of Baldr and brought it to the sea. Hringhorni is the name of Baldr's ship: it was greatest of all ships; the gods would have launched it and made Baldr's pyre thereon, but the ship stirred not forward. Then word was sent to Jötunheim after that giantess who is called Hyrrokkin. When she had come, riding a wolf and having a viper for bridle, then she leaped off the steed; and Odin called to four berserks to tend the steed; but they were not able to hold it until they had felled it. Then Hyrrokkin went to the prow of the boat and thrust it out at the first push, so that fire burst from the rollers, and all lands trembled. Thor became angry and clutched his hammer, and would straightway have broken her head, had not the gods prayed for peace for her."

Gylfaginning

Aurboda was also a vala, and this strope calling her “wet-cold” could be how she didn’t get burnt, like Gullveig and Angrbotha..

Gymir's wet-cold Spae-Wife
Wiles the Bear of Twisted Cables
Oft into Ćgir's wide jaws,
Where the angry billow breaketh.

Skáldskaparmál XXV

Adding to all this I would like to include ( from Rydberg) ...

"Under such circumstances it is utterly impossible from a methodological standpoint to regard them otherwise than identical. We must consider that nearly all mythic characters are polyonomous, and that the Teutonic mythology particularly, on account of its poetics, is burdened with a highly-developed polyonomy."

“So far as the very names Gullveig and Aurbođa are concerned the one can serve as a paraphrase of the other. The first part of the name Aurbođa, the aur of many significations may be referred to eyrir, pl. aurar, which means precious metal, and is thought to be borrowed from the Latin aurum (gold). Thus Gull and Aur correspond. In the same manner veig in Gullveig can correspond to bođa in Aurbođa. Veig means a fermenting liquid; bođa has two significations. It can be the feminine form of bođi, meaning fermenting water, froth, foam. No other names compounded with bođa occur in Norse literature than Aurbođa and Angurbođa.”

Rydberg concludes..“The result of the investigation is that Gullveig-Heiđr, Aurbođa, and Angurbođa are different names for the different hypostases of the thrice-born and thrice-burnt one, and that Hyrrokin, "the fire-smoked," is an epithet common to all these hypostases. “


I ain't saying he's right, but it sure is interesting..:D

Later,
-Lyfing

Carl
Friday, December 12th, 2008, 08:57 PM
Rydberg concludes..“The result of the investigation is that Gullveig-Heiđr, Aurbođa, and Angurbođa are different names for the different hypostases of the thrice-born and thrice-burnt one, and that Hyrrokin, "the fire-smoked," is an epithet common to all these hypostases. “



This is the heart of it. Rydberg was at it for years trying to draw all the threads together to make a neat parcel! Its funny really that this great Swedish Christian should do this. The Asatru now spend much effort to keep all the "players" apart ( - diversity within nature) and not see them all crashed together and internally co-related. Its a huge subject - I need to fish out some texts from the Swedish commentators at the time. Then, few people believed his analysis - and not so many would today. There are so many counter-arguments.

But Anyway , I think it is useful to have one thread where these issues might be considered.... we shall see. You know that I personally much prefer Jacob Grimm - and he is not one of the witch burners! :D

Lyfing
Friday, December 12th, 2008, 10:23 PM
Hey Carl,

Thank you, very much, for making a thread out of my post. And, editing it as well ( I know how much you like to make words bold. ) What alchemy I must say (?.)

I like Rydberg’s “neat parcel”, as you put it. I have spent years drawing all the threads apart to make sense of it. Not because of a diversity within nature, but a unity within nature. I also like Joseph Campbell’s “neat parcel.” Both of them seem to have taken mythology from a standpoint of “elementary ideas.“ Rydberg “distilled” our mythology into, perhaps, it’s most ancient/genuine ( that is what he claimed ), or at least distinct, motifs. Campbell “distilled” everyone’s mythology into motifs and had it figured that they were all a part of what he called The Hero’s Journey. As I take mythology, in this instance, from a psychological perspective, I find their works complementary to each other, and I wonder, as I have previously stated, if one will ever drink again of Odhroerir, and take these ever-so-mighty motifs, and create, of them, a new poem or two. That is what mythology is all about ( to me anyhow ), finding the kernel of it all, and going with it..

On another note,

What do you think of these parallels, other than calling Rydberg a “witch burner”..??

Later,
-Lyfing

Hrafnmann
Monday, December 15th, 2008, 04:00 AM
This is the heart of it. Rydberg was at it for years trying to draw all the threads together to make a neat parcel! Its funny really that this great Swedish Christian should do this. The Asatru now spend much effort to keep all the "players" apart ( - diversity within nature) and not see them all crashed together and internally co-related. Its a huge subject - I need to fish out some texts from the Swedish commentators at the time. Then, few people believed his analysis - and not so many would today. There are so many counter-arguments.

But Anyway , I think it is useful to have one thread where these issues might be considered.... we shall see. You know that I personally much prefer Jacob Grimm - and he is not one of the witch burners! :D

Although this may not be the right thread for the following, it is pertinent to the underlying nuances which Carl has accurately alighted upon. First off, I like to state that I'm not a fan of Rydberg on so many levels, but the matter is an old one and we need not flog that dead horse. With regards to one of the central issues here, I'm not willing to ideologically sacrifice the number of gods (and other entities) for the sake of historical confusion, and tidiness of pet theories especially those stemming from non-believers. After all the gods of both tribes are viewed as might hosts and that equates to numbers! I find this proclivity for syncretism and overzealous hypostatic resolution far too foreign an approach which is best left to xianity, Hellenic philosophy and the like. Not sure I hinted at this in another thread, but this 'urge to merge' deities/beings not only is a habit of non-believing scholars, but also comes from those whom I believe are not truly ready for polytheism by not being able to deal with so many gods/beings in their faith. Most folk come from another direction and it *is* a hard habit to break. I know folk have to come to their own understanding and our way generally despises dogma, but some notions clearly of foreign currency can perpetuate inappropriate avenues of inquire and outdated modes of thinking. I also know folk have to have some starting mark from which to work, but at some point they have to dispense with outlandish thought and hopefully arrive at an indigenous perception based on truth and fact, i.e. that which is both interiorized and exteriorized. When I explored using the well-worn tracks of *accepted wisdom* that exist out there, one day I realized I was trying to either pigeonhole or attempting the 'round peg into the square hole' thing. I stopped and said...this ain't working. Lines of inquiry usually led to dead ends and/or sapped the vibrancy out of our culturally unique expression of a living way, for indeed as heathens, that is what we are attempting to revive. It is all well and fine to be cerebral and scholarly but folk have to take it to the next level and beyond and make those emotional attachments necessary to round out the whole processes. Indigenous perception does exist, and we do have all the equipment within our toolbox necessary for folk to arrive there, but it takes work and a willingness to alter mindset. The road has been rough and will continue to be so but we are seeing a lot of internal agreement arising on numerous issues as heathenry re-establishes. This is a good sign that through trial and error we are on the right course. One day we will be able to rid ourselves of relying on external sources and modes of thought such as the Rydberg's, Campbells, Jungs, etc., of this world since we will have our own house brand once again established and thriving.

Ooops. . .bit of rant there but this is one of my pet peeves.

Carl
Monday, December 15th, 2008, 02:31 PM
:valknut:

Well this thread was set up to consider the Rydberg Synthesis since I know that its been eating away at Lyfing for a long time :D - and we may need to find a suitable antedote! I agree with old Turville-Petre , the Oxford Icelandic Professor , Rydberg was simply too extreme to be taken very seriously by the world. But he has his followers even now. Yet his critics at the time were many - and he had little impact in Germany , for all his painstaking work.

We really do have there two "Teutonic Mythologies"- !

Adolf Noreen observed at the time that he (and others) did not essentially arrange but create......

"He is not a restorer - but something far greater : a creative artist, a great poet".

Now I am not too sure about Noreen's judgement on this. In the case of Richard Wagner, I have no doubts. However much the Edda was distorted in the Ring Cycle, the outcome is a work of emense power and genius which stands as a mighty landmark in the history of western music.... an equal to Beethoven or Bach. The MusicDrama is worth the distortions in its own right ! With Rydberg, the scholarship is vast - like his work. Much of it is profound in its analysis and insight - even allowing for the degree of personal interpretation of the Eddaic materials. But when we come to the substance of this thread, we are in deep hot water - which threatens to distort the entire fabric of the World of the Gods, or indeed , of our own Gods ( as Suut might have it!:oanieyes , this language being written long ago in the blood!)


The central thesis is that Gullveig-Heidr = Angrboda.


""Loki was the cause of the former prelusive war. His feminine counterpart and ally Gullveig-Heidr, who gradually is blended, so to speak, into one with him, causes the other.....""

(Rydberg TM.27) :(

poor Heid - as the mother of all evils ! :(

It has never been my understanding; I have 'lived' with Hollander and Turville-Petre for "a long time" and neither would accept this ( nor would Bellows ) - indeed, T-P argued almost diametrically, that far from being "the great evil one of IronWood , mother of the Wolf etc " , Heid is little short of a Vana agent or deity - some say, possibly even Freyja herself! I dont go quite there - but T-P's detailed Icelandic analysis of the name indicates both gold (gull-) and woman ( veig , like Solveig ) - or perhaps force or might.... even veig as strong drink - suggesting Gold Intoxication or lust ( and hence the possibility there of evil and corruption! ). Heidr also can mean shining and bright. T-P concludes with words etched into my understanding ;) :

" She is one of the Vanir who were gods at once of riches and of that evil form of magic called Seidr"

---- to unpack then , riches and gold ( -- Njord's palace? Freyja's tears...) and Seidr , the northern branch perhaps , the intuitive and shamanic empowerment which (perhaps) even gave the Vanir the edge when it came to the (brief?) War of the Gods ( - "Vigspa" ?). Odin ( Woden ) hadn't met that - couldn't see that, went against it - perhaps already having some doubts? - and soon enough realized that even he couldn't win in that way ( ;) ). Yes , we know, the whole wide world sees these witches ( - Heid et al ) and 'sorcerers' and their like as "wicked and worthy of burning"! :oanieyes. ; why, even in Voluspa, we have mention of this , even she says it - those 'wicked' women! :-O


But there's a catch!

Voluspa herself "sits out" , she herself is one of them ( Hollander,28). And for her great wisdom, Odin rewards her (29). Moreover, as it turns out, Freyja , surely the primal Goddess of Seidr (?), instructs Odin in its power - to the extent that other texts now even have Odin himself as the Lord of Seidr!

And T-P writes:

" But Freyja was not only a goddess of gold and jewels; she was also a witch (!?) - fordaetha - and mistress of that 'disreputable' magic Seidr. This was the practice by the Vanir and Freyja taught it to the AEsir and especially to Odin*"

(* I think Snorri's work is the origin of this belief).


In the end, IMO , Odin's final victory is the balanced gathering together of his Wisdoms to face ( or endure?) the ultimate onslaught [Ragnarok]. He needs all the branches, he needs Freyja's own powers on his side. She becomes herself the leader of a Warrior host - I see this as Odin's gift to her in the face of Ragnarok. Many do now clearly see her as the Queen of the Valkyries ( -- the internet is wonderful for seeing just how perceptions can change!! ;) )


So there! - they tried to burn her, many times to destroy this wicked 'golden' witch (?) - but they failed (she was protected) , just as they failed to overthrow the Vana gods [of the north]. A better way was needed for the Gods to unite and work together in the face of whatever was to come. And so it was.

Far from being the old one in Ironwood (?), the grim giantess Angrboda, 'mother' of the lovely pup FenrisUlf - thanks be to Loki - Gullveig is transformed into her wise and widely famous and well known self , Heid , who is welcomed about the houses of Midgard for her strange wisdom and spellcraft. And if some still call such folk 'wicked' , well then the joke is on them perhaps! They drove the Shaman out in much the same way - only to widely impoverish their societies - and the various Saxo-look-alikes also set Europe ablaze in their witch burning mania out of loyalty and service to their God of love and mercy. Its a strange lore that......hardly surprising, if it seems to be losing its way in recent times......

But then, as Nietzsche might have put it , "what is that to me!"

:algiz:

======

Lyfing
Tuesday, December 16th, 2008, 08:04 PM
Hey Hrafnmann,

You make a very good point with bringing up Polytheism. I have found that..All the Gods and Goddesses are in there. When we utter their names and tell their tales, they come alive deep in our dales.

And, what is this “house brand” you speak of..??

Hey Carl,

"He is not a restorer - but something far greater : a creative artist, a great poet".

Well, that is something for me to think about..!!

...

Now, since we ( me in particular I suppose ) are all reminded of the sanctities of our Gods and Goddesses, and that Rydberg created with his arranging..

And, seeing as to how I brought up Campbell, I must offer this as a thought on Freya, those fruit of the tree, Gullveig, and Ragnarok…


Certain imprints impressed upon the nervous system in the
plastic period between birth and maturity are the source of many
of the most widely known images of myth. Necessarily the same
for all mankind, they have been variously organized in the differing
traditions, but everywhere function as potent energy releasers and
directors.

Primitive Mythology, page 61

The next constellation of imprints to be noted is that associated
with the bliss of the child at the mother's breast; and here again
we have a context of enduring force. The relationship of suckling
to mother is one of symbiosis: though two, they constitute a unit.
In fact, as far as the infant is concerned who is still far from
having conceived even the first notion of a dissociation between
subject and object, inside and outside the affective aspect of its
own experience and those external stimuli to which its feeling,
needs, and satisfactions correspond are exactly one. Its world, as
Jean Piaget has clearly shown in his study of The Child's Concep-
tion of the World, is a "continuum of consciousness," 15 at once
physical and psychic. Whatever impinges upon its unpracticed
senses is uncritically identified with the attendant tonalities of its
own interior, so that between the external and internal poles of its
world there is no distinction. And this undefined, undefining ex-
perience of continuity is only emphasized by the readiness of the
mother to respond to, or even to anticipate, its requirements. 16
The whole tiny universe of this self-centered mite is "a network of
purposive movements, more or less mutually dependent," 17 and
all tending toward the good of itself.

But the mother cannot anticipate everything. There are moments,
consequently, when the universe does not correspond exactly to
experienced need. Whereupon the imprints of that first terrifying
shock of separation, the birth trauma, which afflicted the whole
organism in its initial experience of the assault of life, are more or
less forcefully reactivated. The mother is absent; the universe,
absent; the bliss of the blessed infant imbibing forever the
ambrosia of the madonna's body is gone forever. Melanie Klein,
who has devoted particular attention to this very early chapter of
our universal biography, has suggested that at such moments an
impulse to tear "good body content" from the mother is im-
mediately and simultaneously identified by the child with the
danger of its own bodily destruction. 18 Hence, when the mother
image begins to assume definition in the gradual dawn of the
infantile consciousness, it is already associated not only with a
sense of beatitude, but also with fantasies of danger, separation, and
terrible destruction.

We all know the fairy tale of the witch who lives in a candy
house that would be nice to eat. Indeed, we have seen already
what a scare she gave to a child who conjured her up in play. She
is kind to children and invites them into her tasty house only be-
cause she wants to eat them. She is a cannibal. (And for some six
hundred thousand years of human experience cannibals, it should
be born in mind and even cannibal mothers were grim and
gruesome, ever-present realities.) Cannibal ogresses appear in the
folklore of peoples, high and low, throughout the world; and on
the mythological level the archetype is even magnified into a
universal symbol in such cannibal-mother goddesses as the Hindu
Kali, the "Black One," who is a personification of "all-consuming
Time"; or in the medieval European figure of the consumer of the
wicked dead, the female mouth and belly of Hel.

In a myth of the Melanesian island of Malekula in the New
Hebrides, which describes the dangers of the way to the Land of
the Dead, it is told that when the soul has been carried on a wind
across the waters of death and is approaching the entrance of the
underworld, it perceives a female guardian sitting before the
entrance, drawing a labyrinth design across the path, of which she
erases half as the soul approaches. The voyager must restore the
design perfectly if he is to pass through it to the Land of the Dead.
Those who fail, the threshold guardian eats. One may understand
how very important it must have been, then, to learn the secret of
the labyrinth before death; and why the teaching of this secret of
immortality is the chief concern of the religious ceremonials of
Malekula.

According to a number of authorities cited by W. F. Jackson
Knight in a highly interesting and suggestive article on "Maze
Symbolism and the Trojan Game," the labyrinth, maze, and spiral
were associated in ancient Crete and Babylon with the internal
organs of the human anatomy as well as with the underworld, the
one being the microcosm of the other. "The object of the tomb-
builder would have been to make the tomb as much like the body
of the mother as he was able," he writes, since to enter the next
world, "the spirit would have to be re-born," 19 "The maze form
which is an elaborated spiral gives a long and indirect path from
the outside of an area to the inside, at a point called the nucleus,
generally near the center. Its principle seems to be the provision of
a difficult but possible access to some important point. Two ideas
are involved: the idea of defence and exclusion, and the idea of
the penetration, on correct terms, of this defence." 20 "The maze
symbolism," he states further, "seems somehow to be associated
with maidenhood. . . . The overcoming of difficulties by a hero
frequently precedes union with some hidden princess." 21

In the celebrated story of Theseus, the labyrinth, and the
princess Ariadne, the Cretan labyrinth was difficult to enter and as
difficult to leave, but Ariadne's thread supplied the clue. And
when the legendary founder of Rome, the hero Aeneas, arrived, in
the course of his journey from Troy, at the cavern-entrance of the
underworld, he found engraved there, upon the rocky face, a
figure of the Cretan labyrinth. And when he and his company had
made sacrifice of abundant beeves and lambs to the ultimate deities
of that abyss, "Lo! about the first rays of sunrise the ground
moaned underfoot, and the woodland ridges began to stir, and
dogs seemed to howl through the dusk as the terrible guardian, the
Sibyl, arrived. 'Away! Depart, you unsanctified!' she cried. 'Retire
from the grove! But thou, Aeneas, come, unsheath thy steel; now is
need of courage, now of strong resolve!' Whereupon she plunged
in ecstasy into the cavern opening, and he, unflinching, kept pace
with his advancing guide." 22

We have already noted that in the early Irish kingly burial mound
of New Grange (which is to be dated somewhere in the second
millennium B.C.) labyrinthine spirals are prominent, not only
within the narrow passages to the "nucleus" but also, and most
conspicuously, on the great threshold-stones at the entrances,
where they guard the four gates, one facing in each of the four
directions. In ancient Egypt the structure known as the Labyrinth
(mentioned by Herodotus and Strabo, and excavated by Flinders
Petrie in 1888) was a vast complex of buildings beside an artificial
lake, with the tombs of kings and sacred crocodiles in the base-
ment. The relationship (if any) of such megalithic structures and
the rituals of their use in Egypt, Crete, and Ireland to the mortuary
customs of remote Melanesia, which are also associated both with
megaliths and with the symbolism of the spiral and the labyrinth,
as well as with animal sacrifice (the sacrificial animal there, how-
ever, being the pig), we shall consider when we come to the prob-
lem of the origins and diffusion of the mythological motifs of the
neolithic and equatorial culture spheres. For the present, it will
suffice to remark that in Malekula, when the voyager to the Land
of the Dead has proved himself qualified to enter the cave by
completing the labyrinth-design of the dangerous guardian, he dis-
covers therein a great water, the Water of Life, on the shore of
which grows a tree, which he climbs, and from which he dives into
the waters of the subterranean sea. 23

The Hindu mother-goddess Kail is represented with her long
tongue lolling to lick up the lives and blood of her children. She is
the very pattern of the sow that eats her farrow, the cannibal
ogress: life itself, the universe, which sends forth beings only to
consume them. And yet she is simultaneously the goddess Anna-
purna (anna meaning "food," and purna, "abundance"), India's
counterpart of Egyptian Isis with the sun-child Horus at her breast,
or of Babylonian Ishtar, nursing the moon-god reborn, the archaic
prefigurements in Mediterranean mythology and art of the Ma-
donna of the Middle Ages.

And so, in mythology and rite, as well as in the psychology of
the infant, we find the imagery of the mother associated almost
equally with beatitude and danger, birth and death, the inexhaust-
ible nourishing breast and the tearing claws of the ogress. The
heavenly realm, where the paradisial meal is served forever, and
Olympus, the mountain of the gods, where ambrosia flows these,
certainly, are but versions fit for adult saints and heroes of the bliss
of the well-nursed child. And the primary imprint of which the fury
and fright of the disemboweling maw of hell is the adult amplifica-
tion is no less certainly the child's own fantasies of its raging
body its whole universe torn apart

Primitive Mythology, pages 67-71



The Meeting with the Goddess

The ultimate adventure, when all the barriers and ogres have
been overcome, is commonly represented as a mystical marriage
(Is 6<? ya/ios) of the triumphant hero-soul with the Queen Goddess
of the World. This is the crisis at the nadir, the zenith, or at
the uttermost edge of the earth, at the central point of the cosmos,
in the tabernacle of the temple, or within the darkness of
the deepest chamber of the heart.

In the west of Ireland they still tell the tale of the Prince of the
Lonesome Isle and the Lady of Tubber Tintye. Hoping to heal
the Queen of Erin, the heroic youth had undertaken to go for
three bottles of the water of Tubber Tintye, the flaming fairy
well. Following the advice of a supernatural aunt whom he encountered
on the way, and riding a wonderful, dirty, lean little
shaggy horse that she gave to him, he crossed a river of fire and
escaped the touch of a grove of poison trees. The horse with the
speed of the wind shot past the end of the castle of Tubber Tintye;
the prince sprang from its back through an open window, and
came down inside, safe and sound.

"The whole place, enormous in extent, was filled with sleeping
giants and monsters of sea and land—great whales, long
slippery eels, bears, and beasts of every form and kind. The
prince passed through them and over them till he came to a
great stairway. At the head of the stairway he went into a chamber,
where he found the most beautiful woman he had ever seen,
stretched on a couch asleep. Til have nothing to say to you,'
thought he, and went on to the next; and so he looked into
twelve chambers. In each was a woman more beautiful than the
one before. But when he reached the thirteenth chamber and
opened the door, the flash of gold took the sight from his eyes.
He stood awhile till the sight came back, and then entered. In
the great bright chamber was a golden couch, resting on wheels
of gold. The wheels turned continually; the couch went round
and round, never stopping night or day. On the couch lay the
Queen of Tubber Tintye; and if her twelve maidens were beautiful,
they would not be beautiful if seen near her. At the foot of
the couch was Tubber Tintye itself—the well of fire. There was
a golden cover upon the well, and it went around continually
with the couch of the Queen.

" 'Upon my word,1 said the prince, Til rest here a while.' And
he went up on the couch and never left it for six days and
nights."2*

The Lady of the House of Sleep is a familiar figure in fairy
tale and myth. We have already spoken of her, under the forms
of Brynhild and little Briar-rose.29 She is the paragon of al!
paragons of beauty, the reply to all desire, the bliss-bestowing
goal of every hero's earthly and unearthly quest. She is mother,
sister, mistress, bride. Whatever in the world has lured, whatever
has seemed to promise joy, has been premonitory of her
existence—in the deep of sleep, if not in the cities and forests of
the world. For she is the incarnation of the promise of perfection;
the soul's assurance that, at the conclusion of its exile in a
world of organized inadequacies, the bliss that once was known
will be known again; the comforting, the nourishing, the "good"
mother—young and beautiful—who was known to us, and even
tasted, in the remotest past. Time sealed her away, yet she is
dwelling still, like one who sleeps in timelessness, at the bottom
of the timeless sea.

The remembered image is not only benign, however; for the
"bad" mother too —(1) the absent, unattainable mother, against
whom aggressive fantasies are directed, and from whom a counteraggression
is feared; (2) the hampering, forbidding, punishing
mother; (3) the mother who would hold to herself the growing
child trying to push away; and finally (4) the desired but forbidden
mother (Oedipus complex) whose presence is a lure to dangerous
desire (castration complex)—persists in the hidden land
of the adult's infant recollection and is sometimes even the
greater force. She is at the root of such unattainable great goddess
figures as that of the chaste and terrible Diana—whose absolute
ruin of the young sportsman Actaeon illustrates what a
blast of fear is contained in such symbols of the mind's and
body's blocked desire.

Actaeon chanced to see the dangerous goddess at noon; that
fateful moment when the sun breaks in its youthful, strong ascent,
balances, and begins the mighty plunge to death. He had
left his companions to rest, together with his blooded dogs, after
a morning of running game, and without conscious purpose had
gone wandering, straying from his familiar hunting groves and
fields, exploring through the neighboring woods. He discovered
a vale, thick grown with cypresses and pine. He penetrated curiously
into its fastness. There was a grotto within in, watered by
a gentle, purling spring and with a stream that widened to a
grassy pool. This shaded nook was the resort of Diana, and at
that moment she was bathing among her nymphs, absolutely
naked. She had put aside her hunting spear, her quiver, her unstrung
bow, as well as her sandals and her robe. And one of the
nude nymphs had bound up her tresses into a knot; some of the
others were pouring water from capacious urns.

When the young, roving male broke into the pleasant haunt, a
shriek of female terror went up, and all the bodies crowded
about their mistress, trying to hide her from the profane eye.
But she stood above them, head and shoulders. The youth had
seen, and was continuing to see. She glanced for her bow, but it
was out of reach, so she quickly took up what was at hand,
namely water, and flung it into Actaeon's face. "Now you are
free to tell, if you can," she cried at him angrily, "that you have
seen the goddess nude."

Antlers sprouted on his head. His neck grew great and long,
his eartips sharp. His arms lengthened to legs, and his hands
and feet became hooves. Terrified, he bounded—marveling that
he should move so rapidly. But when he paused for breath
and drink and beheld his features in a clear pool, he reared
back aghast.

A terrible fate then befell Actaeon. His own hounds, catching
the scent of the great stag, came baying through the wood. In a
moment of joy at hearing them he paused, but then spontaneously
took fright and fled. The pack followed, gradually gaining.
When they had come to his heels, the first of them flying at
his flank, he tried to cry their names, but the sound in his throat
was not human. They fixed him with their fangs. He went
down, and his own hunting companions, shouting encouragement
at the dogs, arrived in time to deliver the coup de grace.
Diana, miraculously aware of the flight and death, could now
rest appeased.30

The mythological figure of the Universal Mother imputes to
the cosmos the feminine attributes of the first, nourishing and
protecting presence. The fantasy is primarily spontaneous; for
there exists a close and obvious correspondence between the attitude
of the young child toward its mother and that of the adult
toward the surrounding material world.31 But there has been
also, in numerous religious traditions, a consciously controlled
pedagogical utilization of this archetypal image for the purpose
of the purging, balancing, and initiation of the mind into the
nature of the visible world.

The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Pages 100-104

Thinking of Nerthus..



The Anglii ( Angles, the future English ) worshiped the goddess Nerthus, Mother Earth, whose image was honored in a car procession and bathed--after which those who had bathed the image were drowned in a lake on her sacred isle. One thinks of the legend of the Greek hunter Actaeon, who, chancing upon Artemis bathing in her forest pool, was transformed by her into a stag, to be slain by his own hounds; and one thinks , too, of the impudent young adept in the temple of the goddess in Egyptian Sais, who, when he made bold to lift the veil of her image was struck so with amaze that his tongue was there-after ever dumb. For it was she who had declared; "There is none who has lifted my veil" ; that is to say: none who has lived to reveal the secret of my divine motherhood of the world.

Occidental Mythology, Page 476

..:)

Later,
-Lyfing

Hrafnmann
Thursday, December 18th, 2008, 05:11 PM
Hey Hrafnmann,

You make a very good point with bringing up Polytheism. I have found that..All the Gods and Goddesses are in there. When we utter their names and tell their tales, they come alive deep in our dales.

And, what is this “house brand” you speak of..??


I'm referring to the development of a "Germanic mindset" (within a heathen context) stemming from indigenous exploration. This processes of discovery should rely on a natural 'welling up' of insight and wisdoms within a cultural milieu. I'm saying use that gift of the gods we call grey matter and all aspects of psycho-somatic complex. All the tools we need are there to revive a unique home-grown perspective; one that is communicable for the layering of new knowledge. Gaps in understanding should not be packed with foreign filler for the sake of convenience, but should be looked upon as a challenge with the aim of shaping a seamless knit with the material of our own crafting. Some may call this a blinkered approach, but at this point in our heathen revival we do need to be focused inward, seeking those ancient sources of strength and sustenance from which to build upon. We do need a sound and proven core of understanding if we are to weather what wyrd will throw at us in the years ahead. This is why I am an advocate of folk comparing notes of their studies and ruminations (while adhering to the boundaries of Germanic culture) for when arises independent, simultaneous discoveries, chances are one is on the right track to attain significance and meaning with any given matter at hand. This always thwarts dogmatic tendencies for this process is a continuous one that allows for growth and change which reflects our reality.

As with anything in this life, the most satisfaction is to be had from that which is attained by one's own will and hard work be it individually or by a folk.

I hope that answers your question to some degree. ;)

Psychonaut
Friday, December 19th, 2008, 11:26 PM
Well this thread was set up to consider the Rydberg Synthesis since I know that its been eating away at Lyfing for a long time :D - and we may need to find a suitable antedote! I agree with old Turville-Petre , the Oxford Icelandic Professor , Rydberg was simply too extreme to be taken very seriously by the world. But he has his followers even now. Yet his critics at the time were many - and he had little impact in Germany , for all his painstaking work.

We really do have there two "Teutonic Mythologies"- !

Hmm, I think that the biggest problem with taking Rydberg's work too seriously is that, aside from presenting a highly syncretized and glossed over theology, he was himself a non-believer. It's not that there isn't a certain elegance to the mythos Rydberg presents or that it isn't a useful way of dealing with some of the inconsistencies the Eddas present. However, I would trust his synthesis about as much as I would Wagner's or this fellow's (http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=562). The very nature of his system is synthetic rather than organic. It seems that throughout there are unnatural fusings disparate ideas and deities that in all actuality could be separate. Also, synthesis is one thing when it is informed by personal insight of a spiritual nature, but in Rydberg's case, the impulse seems to be more of a strictly organizational rather than religious nature. He is a systematizer rather than a prophet.

Lyfing
Saturday, December 20th, 2008, 02:00 AM
Here are a few more thoughts on this matter along the same lines..


A distinction must be drawn, through all our studies of mythology, between the attitudes toward divinities represented on one hand by the priest and his flock, and on the other by the creative poet, artist, or philosopher. The former tends to what I would call a positivistic reading of the imagery of his cult. Such a reading is fostered by the attitude of prayer, since in prayer it is extremely difficult to retain the balance between belief and disbelief that is proper to the contemplation of an image or idea of God. The poet, artist, and philosopher, on the other hand, being themselves fashioners of images and coiners of ideas, realize that all representation--whether in the visible matter of stone or in the mental matter of the word--is necessarily conditioned by the fallibility of the human organs. Overwhelmed by his own muse, a bad poet may imagine his visions to be supernatural facts and so fall into a posture of a prophet--whose utterance I would define as “poetry overdone,” over-interpreted; wherefore he becomes the founder of a cult and a generator of priests. But so also a gifted priest may find his super-natural beings losing body, deepening into void, changing form, even dissolving: whereupon he will possibly become either a prophet, or if more greatly favored, a creative poet.

Three major metamorphosis of the motifs and themes of our subject, therefore, have to be recognized as fundamentally differing even though fundamentally related, namely: the true poetry of the poet, the poetry overdone of the prophet, and the poetry done to the death of the priest.

Occidental Mythology, Pages 518-519


Poetry itself was Othin’s ale, and in poetry of his sort resided the power of life…to those who had learned the reading of the runes--for which Othin gave himself in gage--nature itself revealed the omnipresent jewel.

Occidental Mythology, Pages 489-490

Now, I know I talk about Campbell a lot. I have ground his books up by stuffing them in an antique sausage maker I found in a pressure cooker I busted open with my hand axe. And, then, sebsuquentially, made turds I've painted flowers with..:-O

Which goes onto this one..may have to do with Gullveig and the alchemist's Gold..??


A third system of imprints that can be assumed to be universal
in the development of the mentality of the infant is that deriving
from its fascination with its own excrement, which becomes
emphatic at the age of about two and a half. In many societies the
infant experiences the first impact of severe discipline in the matter
of when, where, and how it may permit itself to respond to nature;
the worst of it being that for the child, at this period of its life,
defecation is experienced as a creative act and its own excrement
as a thing of value, suitable for presentation as a gift. In societies
in which this pattern of interest and action is regarded as unattrac-
tive, a socially determined reorganization of response is imposed
sharply and absolutely, the spontaneous interest and evaluations of
the earlier period of the child's thought being then strictly re-
pressed. But they cannot be erased. They remain as subordinated,
written-over imprints: forbidden images, apt on occasion, or under
one disguise or another, to reassert their force.

Throughout the higher mythologies there is abundant evidence
of dualistic systems of imagery deriving from this circumstance.
They are to be recognized in the prevalence of an association of
filth with sin and cleanliness with virtue. Hell is a foul pit and
heaven a place of absolute purity, whether in the Buddhist,
Zoroastrian, Hindu, Moslem, or Christian organization of the
afterworld. Furthermore, there has been a suggestion from Dr.
Freud to the effect that the infantile urge to manipulate filth and
assign it value survives in our adult interest in the arts painting,
smearing of all kinds, sculpture, and architecture as well as in the
urge to collect precious stones, gold, or money, and in the
pleasures derived from the giving and receiving of gifts. The aim
of the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century alchemists to sublimate
"base matter" (filth and corruption) into gold (which is pure and
therefore incorruptible) would represent perfectly, according to this
view, an urge to carry the energies locked in the first system of
interests into the sphere of the superimposed second, so that,
instead of suppression and therewith division, there should be
effected a sublimation, or vital fusion, of the two socially opposed
systems of the psyche, or, to use the phrase of the poet Blake, a
Marriage of Heaven and Hell. And the fact that it was precisely at
the time of the collapse (for many) of the authority of the
medieval dualism of God and devil that the greatest flowering not
only of alchemy but also of the Occidental arts took place may
tend to confirm this psychoanalytical reading of the urge that
brought them forth. The value of gold, of the marble and clay of the
sculptor, and of the materials of the painter may be supposed,
furthermore, to have been the greater inasmuch as all were derived
from the bowels of the earth which, according to the system of
the saints, had long.received an emphatically negative interpretation
as the seat of hell.

And it may be noted further, in this connection, that in
practically every primitive society ever studied the smearing of
paint and clay on the body is thought to give magical protection
as well as beauty; that in India, where cowdung is revered as
sacred and the ritual distinction between the left hand (used at
the toilet) and the right (putting food into the mouth) is an issue
of capital moment, a ritual smearing of the forehead and body
with colored clays and ash is a prominently developed religious
exercise; and, finally, that among many advanced as well as primi-
tive peoples the sacred clowns who in religious ceremonies are
permitted to break taboos and always enact obscene pantomimes
are initiated into their orders by way of a ritual eating of filth.

Among the Jicarilla Apache of New Mexico the members of the
clown society are actually called "Striped Excrement." 24 They are
smeared with a white clay and have four black horizontal stripes
crossing their legs, body, and face. 25 In our own circuses the
clown is garishly painted, breaks whatever taboos the police permit,
and is a great favorite of the youngsters, who perhaps see reflected
in his peculiar charm the paradise of innocence that was theirs
before they were taught the knowledge of good and evil, purity
and filth.

Primitive Mythology, pages 71-73


Those are important ingredients in my "home brew"..;)

Later,
-Lyfing

Psychonaut
Saturday, December 20th, 2008, 03:47 AM
A distinction must be drawn, through all our studies of mythology, between the attitudes toward divinities represented on one hand by the priest and his flock, and on the other by the creative poet, artist, or philosopher.

I think that this quote in particular deserves attention as it speaks a great deal about the way we discuss the myths. A lot of what we discuss tends to blur the lines between these two perspectives. On the one hand, most of us wish to preserve the integrity of the myths, but on the other hand a great many of us fall into Campbell's second category of thinkers. Maintaining some distinction between these two perspectives (literal and UPG one might say) certainly has import, but great gains can certainly be made by engaging in dialog of the second order.

Hrafnmann
Saturday, December 20th, 2008, 07:08 AM
I think that this quote in particular deserves attention as it speaks a great deal about the way we discuss the myths. A lot of what we discuss tends to blur the lines between these two perspectives. On the one hand, most of us wish to preserve the integrity of the myths, but on the other hand a great many of us fall into Campbell's second category of thinkers. Maintaining some distinction between these two perspectives (literal and UPG one might say) certainly has import, but great gains can certainly be made by engaging in dialog of the second order.

I can’t agree with Campbell’s framework since from a Germanic perspective the so called "priest and his flock" is not applicable given what we know about ancient heathenry’s non-centralization and lack of need for special intercessory figures (for the most part) and what this paradigm represents. As for the “creative poet, artist, or philosopher“ side, this to doesn’t hold either, for such ‘positions’ were an integral part of the way, working seamlessly within the spiritual/cultural milieu. We are dealing with a whole here, each ‘part’ sustaining and validating the other. The division is a false one in my opinion.

Psychonaut, though I understand what you are saying for that argument is an old one within heathenry, your literal vs. UPG allusion connotes the next category along the lines of rational vs. the irrational. Yes, you can entertain any two as separate perspectives, each going down its own path and reaching their own conclusions. . .if indeed there are any to be found. Each of course is to some degree faulty when dealing with the same subject. On one hand we have reason (scientific even), or literal as specifically defined, with all its orderliness and need for fact. One peril here is evident and its name is dogma, often bereft of real emotional/inspirative components. Such can be straitjacketing in more than one way either from a lack of fact or new input, or tired routes of thinking. We need not look further than the Greeks to see how this went for them since they ended up all but ‘logicking’ themselves out of their indigenous religion. Now on the other hand the irrational resides in all its wildness and unpredictability. This too can apply to UPG with its non-transferable nature. Hardly firm ground to fare about in individually or collectively to find understanding we can deal with without certain touchstones. We can explore these extremes (if you will) but what we often find there is the curious seed(s) of contrariness waiting to lure us in another direction. The blurring you speak of is the middle ground and it is where I believe one will find the truest footing for our sense of reality. I need not quote the pertinent saws regarding middle-wise, nor alight on the fact that Middangeard was aptly named for more than one reason.

With regards to dialogue of the delineated perspectives be it literal vs. UPG, rational vs. irrational, etc.; yes, there is merit in mining the one vein or the other to see where it leads. As heathens we free to explore all these fields in various combinations since that is a very healthy thing to do, but one should keep in mind where to find the surest traction when things get slippy. . .any field can be fraught with cow-slop. :D

Psychonaut
Saturday, December 20th, 2008, 07:32 AM
I can’t agree with Campbell’s framework since from a Germanic perspective the so called "priest and his flock" is not applicable given what we know about ancient heathenry’s non-centralization and lack of need for special intercessory figures (for the most part) and what this paradigm represents.

Hmm, I think that the sources show that we most certainly did have a priestly caste, as did all of the other Indo-European peoples. In Germania we find numerous references such as:


But to none else but the Priests is it allowed to exercise correction, or to inflict bonds or stripes. Nor when the Priests do this, is the same considered as a punishment, or arising from the orders of the general, but from the immediate command of the Deity, Him whom they believe to accompany them in war. They therefore carry with them when going to fight, certain images and figures taken out of their holy groves.

Hrafnmann
Saturday, December 20th, 2008, 05:38 PM
Hmm, I think that the sources show that we most certainly did have a priestly caste, as did all of the other Indo-European peoples. In Germania we find numerous references such as:

Though I'm not overly fond of relying too heavily on Tacitus given his account is second and third hand if not contrived in some aspects, yes, we have to account for the place of priest given we have nouns like wéofodţegn, gođi, etc. which is why I add "for the most part" in acknowledgment of the other. My point is that they were apparently not critical for the functioning of our way unlike the major organized religions we know that invest so much in such functionaries. Within elder heathenry anybody could engage in religious activities if the want arose. Such a function as priest is a specialization and only useful when a society *needs* such figures, and need can be defined in countless ways. But all this is another topic. :D

As for Campbell's distinction, it still doesn't wash in a heathen context of priest vs. poet or what have you. He implies that priests and the gathering of folk are some how rigid, unthinking, and struck with 'blindness of faith' as opposed to the poet/artist/philosopher who somehow operates without constraints or dare I say lacks inspiration(!?) whatever the source. This is a classic case of over-generalization to further his own theories and doesn't reflect reality. To put it is simplistic terms, a wéofodţegn in his duties would have had to be just as much a free thinker as inspired, as a scóp had to be as much inspired as a thinker. The human mind works on a blend of the two and cannot be neatly divided. With regards to each of these social positions, both would be drawing on the same pool of knowledge in various measures and applying it to the task at hand as a part of the complex weave of a culture and way.

Psychonaut
Saturday, December 20th, 2008, 07:07 PM
As for Campbell's distinction, it still doesn't wash in a heathen context of priest vs. poet or what have you. He implies that priests and the gathering of folk are some how rigid, unthinking, and struck with 'blindness of faith' as opposed to the poet/artist/philosopher who somehow operates without constraints or dare I say lacks inspiration(!?) whatever the source.

I think there definitely is a qualitative distinction between religious types, but that this thread (http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=108967) might be the better place to discuss it.