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Under the root (of Yggdrasil) that turns in the
direction of the frost giants lies the spring of Mímir, in
hidden wisdom and understanding; Mímir is the name of
the owner of the spring. He is full of wisdom
because he drinks
from the spring out of the horn Gjöll. All-father came there and
asked for a single
drink from the spring, but he did not get it
until he had given one of his eyes as a pledge. As it says in
the Sibyl's Vision:
I know where
Othin's eye is hidden,
Deep in the wide-famed well of
Mead from the pledge of Othin each morn
drink: would you know yet more?
It is said that
Odin's eye rests in the well of Mimir...and that Odin traded his eye
for just one drink from the wisdom-rich waters of that well. What
work will you do for wisdom? How hard will you work and what will
you sacrifice of yourself to attain it?
The beginning of
this story is that Baldr the Good had some terrible dreams that
threatened his life. When he told the Æsir these dreams, they took
counsel together and it was decided to seek protection for Baldr
from every kind of peril. Frigg exacted an oath from fire and water,
iron and all kinds of metals, stones, earth, trees, ailments,
beasts, birds, poison and serpents, that they would not harm Baldr.
And when this had been done and put to the test, Baldr and the Æsir
used to amuse themselves by making him stand up at their assemblies
for some of them to throw darts at, others to strike and the rest to
throw stones at. No matter what was done he was never hurt, and
everyone thought that a fine thing. When Loki, Laufey's son, saw
that, however, he was annoyed that Baldr was not hurt and he went
disguised as a woman to Fensalir to visit Frigg. Frigg asked this
woman if she knew what the Æsir were doing at the assembly. She
answered that they were all throwing things at Baldr, moreover that
he was not being hurt.
"Neither weapons nor trees will injure Baldr; I have taken an oath
from them all."
The woman asked:
"Has everything sworn you an oath to spare Baldr?"
"West of Valhalla grows a little bush called mistletoe, I did not
exact an oath from it; I thought it too young." Thereupon the woman
Loki took hold
of the mistletoe, pulled it up and went to the assembly. Now Höð was
standing on the outer edge of the circle of men because he was
blind. Loki asked him: "Why aren't you throwing darts at Baldr?"
"Because I can't see where Baldr is, and, another thing, I have no
Then Loki said:
"You go and do as the others are doing and show Baldr honour like
other men. I will show you where he is standing: throw this twig at
him." Höð took the mistletoe and aimed at Baldr as directed by
The dart went
right through him and he fell dead to the ground. This was the
greatest misfortune ever to befall gods and men.
So worried was Frigg for her son's life, that
she elicited oaths from everything not to harm her son, but
tragically underestimated Mistletoe. This story underlines the
lengths to which parents will go to safeguard their children, and
the lengths to which we all go to safeguard our loved ones (among
Thór has two goats known as Tooth-gnasher and
Gap-tooth, and the chariot he drives in. The goats pull the chariot,
and for this reason he is called Oku-Thór (Driver-Thór). He also
owns three precious things. One is the hammer Mjöllnir (Crusher),
which the frost ogres and cliff giants know when it is raised aloft,
and that is not surprising since he has cracked the skulls of many
of their kith and kin. His second great treasure is a belt of
strength, and when he buckles that on his divine might is doubled.
And he owns a third thing of great value in his iron gauntlets; he
cannot do without these when he grips the handle of the hammer. But
no one is well-informed enough to be able to recount all his mighty
deeds. I can, however, tell you so many
things about him that it would take a long time before
all I knew had been related.'
In our Lore,
Thor is a tireless defender against the chaos and harm that
destructive Jotuns threaten to bring about. Just how hard
are you willing to work in defense of our Folkway and our way of
life? Does your family, your kindred, and your friends count on you
for their protection, and do they see you as a stalwart defender?
Just something to consider now and again.
The hammer pictured in the graphic image was
made by Jan Fibiger, and is used here with his permission. He is an
amazing artist. His Deviant Art page is here: http://fibacz.deviantart.com/
Tyr is a
and leavings of the wolf
and prince of
According to the
Lore, the gods decided to shackle the Fenrir the wolf because he
threatened to eat all the worlds. The beast broke every chain they
put upon him. Eventually the Gods had the dwarves make them a
magical ribbon called Gleipnir. It appeared to be only a silken
ribbon but was made of six wondrous ingredients: the sound of a
cat's footfall, the beard of a woman, the roots of a mountain,
bear's sinews, fish's breath and bird's spittle. Fenrir sensed the
gods' deceit and refused to be bound with it unless one of them put
his hand in the wolf's mouth. Tyr, known for his great wisdom and
courage, agreed, and the other gods bound the wolf. After Fenrir had
been bound by the gods, he struggled to try to break the rope. When
the gods saw that Fenrir was bound they all rejoiced, except Tyr,
who had his right hand bitten off by the wolf. Fenrir will remain
bound until the day of Ragnarök. As a result of this deed, Tyr is
called the "Leavings of the Wolf"; which is to be understood as a
poetic kenning for glory.
It begs the question as to how brave are you on
behalf of your Folkway. Do you live openly as a heathen? What are
you willing to risk in order to safeguard your family, your kindred,
and your close friends? Do you stand up for yourself and your Folk
against all threats, including those that would harm emotionally,
mentally, physically, and spiritually?
'Bragi's wife is
Iðun. (One-who-renews) She keeps in her box the apples the gods have
to eat, when they grow old, to become young again, and so it will
continue up to Ragnarök (the twilight of the gods).'
'It seems to me that the gods trust rather a lot to the
care and good faith of Iðun.'
story tells of what goes wrong when Iðun was stolen away by the
giants, with Loki's help of course.
At the time
agreed on, Loki enticed Iðun out from Asgarð into a wood, telling
her that he had found some apples she would prize greatly and asking
her to bring her own with her for comparison. Then the giant Thjazi
came there in the form of an eagle, and seizing Iðun flew away with
her to his house in Thrymheim.
however, were much dismayed at Iðun's disappearance, and they soon
grew old and greyhaired. They held an assembly and asked one another
when Iðun had last been heard of, and realized that the last time
she had been seen she was going out of Asgarð with Loki. Then Loki
was captured and brought to the assembly and threatened with death
or torture. He grew so frightened that he said he would go after
Iðun into Giantland, if Freyja would lend him her falcon coat. When
he got the falcon coat, he flew north to Giantland. Loki arrived at
the giant Thjazi's on a day when he had gone out rowing on the sea
and Iðun was at home alone. Loki changed her into the form of a nut,
and holding her in his claws flew off at top speed. When Thjazi came
home, however, and saw that Iðun was missing, he assumed the shape
of an eagle and flew afier Loki, with a tremendous rush of air in
his wake. The Æsir, seeing the falcon flying with the nut and the
eagle in pursuit, went out under the walls of Asgarð carrying
bundles of plane shavings. When the falcon reached the stronghold,
he dropped plumb down at the fortress wall and then the Æsir set
fire to the plane shavings. The eagle, however, was unable to check
his course when he lost the falcon and his feathers caught fire and
then he did stop. The Æsir were hard by then and they killed the
giant Thjazi inside the gates, and that slaying is very
lend the Gods and Goddesses their strength, their youth, and their
vitality. Without Idun and her apples, they grow old and
greyhaired. Does your presence among your family and kindred
support and enliven those around you? When they grow tired, do
you encourage them and lend a hand? When they become
frustrated, do you work at their side and help them through their
challenges? When your energy wanes in your own efforts, do you
allow your family and kindred to support and enliven you?
Frey is an
exceedingly famous god; he decides when the sun shall shine or the
rain come down, and along with that the fruitfulness of the earth,
and he is good to invoke for peace and plenty. He also brings about
the prosperity of men.
'There was a man
called Gymir whose wife Aurboða was of the family of cliff giants.
Their daughter is Gerð, who is an exceedingly beautiful woman. One
day when Frey had gone to Hliðskjálf and was looking out over the
whole world, he looked towards the north and saw in one place a
large and beautiful dwelling. To this house went a woman; and, when
she raised her arms to open the door, they illuminated the sky and
sea, and the whole world grew bright from her. So, for the
presumption he had shown in seating himself on that holy seat, he
paid by going away full of sorrow. When he came home, he neither
spoke nor slept, nor did he drink anything, and no one dared to
Frey's chamberlain, Skirnir, and bade him go to Frey and ask him on
whose account he was so angry that he would speak to no one. Skirnir
said that he would go, but he was not eager and he said he expected
an unpleasant answer from him. When he came to Frey, he asked him
why he was so downcast that he would not speak with anyone. Then
Frey replied, saying that he had seen a beautiful woman and on her
account was so distressed that he would not live long if he could
not obtain her. "And now you are to go" (he said), "and woo her for
me and bring her here whether her father wishes it or not. I will
reward you well for it." Skírnir answered saying that he would go on
that errand but Frey was to lend him his sword, which was such a
good one that it fought by itself Frey agreed to that and gave him
the sword. Then Skírnir went and wooed the woman for him and
obtained her promise that, nine nights later, she would come to a
place called Barrey and there marry Frey. When, however, Skírnir
told Frey the result of his mission, Frey said:
"One night is
long, long is a second, how shall I three endure? shorter to me has
a month often seemed than this half bridal-eve."
This was the
reason why Frey had no weapon when he fought with Beli but killed
him with a hart's horn.'
'It is very strange that a chieftain like Frey should give
away a sword and leave himself without as good a one. It was a very
great drawback to him when he fought with the man called Beli. Upon
my word, he would regret his gift on that occasion.'
Then High One
'It was a small affair when he and Beli met.
Frey could have killed him with his bare hands. The time will come
when Frey will find it worse to be with out a sword -- when the sons
of Muspell ride out to harry.'
'One is called
Heimdall. He is called the white god, and he is great and holy. Nine
maidens gave birth to him, and all of them sisters. He is also known
as Hallínskíði and Goldtooth, he had teeth of gold. His horse is
called Goldtuft. He lives in a place called Himinbjörg
(Cliffs-of-heaven) by Bifröst. He is the warder of the gods, and
sits there at the end of heaven to guard the bridge from the cliff
giants. He needs less sleep than a bird, and can see a hundred
leagues in front of him as well by night as by day. He can hear the
grass growing on the earth and the wool on sheep, and every-thing
that makes more noise. He has the trumpet known as the horn Gjöll,
and its blast can be heard over all the worlds. A name for the head
is Heimdall's sword. So it is said:
said to he the name of Heimdall's house;
there the warden of the
glad at his gracious home drinks the good mead.
Heimdall guards his people with tireless and
unwavering attention to his duty. May we all put such unrelenting
effort into the task of safeguarding our families, our kindreds, our
loved ones, and our Folk...
'Forseti is the son of Baldr and Nanna, Nep's
daughter. He owns the hall in heaven known as Glitnir (Glittering).
Without exception all who come to him with legal disputes go away
reconciled; that is the best court known to gods and men. As it says
There's a hall called Glitnir with pillars of
it's also roofed with silver; there Forseti
day long settling all suits-at-law.
give wise advice? Are you someone that others would turn to for
assistance in resolving a dispute, and if you are...does your advice
allow all parties to walk away reconciled? Or does your advice cause
division and strife within your local community, and the heathen
community at large?
is sometimes necessary. But, look at the information about Forseti.
"Without exception all who come to (Forseti) with legal disputes go
away reconciled." I firmly believe we have too much strife within
our local kindreds, within our regions, and within and between the
national organizations. So, the question stands:
your advice - your rede - resolve disputes or cause strife. When two
good heathens come to you for mediation or advice, do you help them
solve the problem...or encourage strife?
work to solve problems to everyone benefit, or do you see every
issue...every matter...every situation as a fight to be had, and a
battle to be won?
look to commonalities between yourself and other heathens, or always
strive to find every little difference so you can debate, argue, and
tear other people down needlessly?
would all benefit from asking ourselves these questions...
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