View Full Version : The Guardian Spirits of Iceland

Friday, December 16th, 2005, 10:39 AM
The four Guardians of Iceland, one for each quarter, of the country are described in an old tale telling of a magician who was sent by King Harold Gormsson of Denmark to investigate the country prior to invasion.


The magician swam to Iceland in the form of a whale, and when he reached the country he saw that all hills and mountains were full of spirits, large and small.


He came to Vopnafj÷r­ur (Fjord of Weapons) on the East coast and a huge dragon approached him, accompanied by reptiles, worms and lizards.


He then swam north to Eyjafj÷r­ur (Fjord of Isles) and was approached there by a bird so huge, that the wings touched the mountains on each side of the valley. The bird was accompanied by numerous other birds of all sizes, large and small.


He went west and south and came to Brei­afj÷r­ur (Wide Fjord), where he was approached by a huge bull which waded into the sea and made loud noises, the bull was accompanied by by a large number of spirits.


He went from there and south of Reykjanes (Smoke Peninsula) and wanted to take land at VÝkarsskei­ (The Sands of Vikar), but was approached by a huge rock giant whose head was higher than the mountains and carried a large iron staff, and he was accompanied by a host of other giants. Then the magician went east along the south coast, where he could find no landing places. Thus the intentions of the King of the Danes came to naught due to the efforts of the Guardian Spirits of Iceland.


This story is embodied in The Seal of Iceland, where the Dragon represents the Eastern part, the Bird the Northern part, the Bull represents the Western part and the Rock Giant the Southern part.

Source (http://www.simnet.is/gardarj/folk/guard.htm)