19: The Son of Earth (Thor) pt.1About the hidden structure of initiation and the message of a spiritual quest in the lore of Thor in the Poetic Edda. An explanation to why and how the great Thor is ridiculed and humiliated in the Edda poems. I begin with the Harbardsljód (The Song of Long Beard)
The names of the Rainbow Bridge that connects the worlds and that the gods traverse when moving between dimensions are:
Bífröst= Shivering Voice /Vibrating Sound (from “bifa”=to vibrate/shiver and “röst”=voice, sound
Biflind= Soft Vibration (from “bifa”=to vibrate/shiver and “lind”=soft, gentle)Hlésey= The Wind Shielded Island (=the Island of Immortality, since wind is a metaphor for death and mortality).
The place is named as the home of sea giant Aegir and his nine daughters, the giantesses of the cosmic waves who birthed the present universe, also known as the daughters of Rán the death goddess and as the daughters of Njordr, the god of winds and waves.
It is also the home of the nine valkyria sisters of Odin in the poem Oddrungratr, and it is the home of the “berserk she-wolves” that Thor claims to have met and fought while Odin attended the “linen-white woman”.
Thialfi = “Holding Together” (of the mind, mentality, paradigm of understanding), Thor´s servant.
His other servant is the girl Röskva =”To grow” or to “dig up” (investigate, learn)
Along with the fact that Thor is a god of the air dimension and of electrical movement, these servants seem to point to Thor´s metaphorical role as the mentality of man, the mind.
20: The Son of Earth (Thor) pt.2Sources (Poetic Edda)
Harbardsljod (The Song of Long Beard) was discussed in the previous video, where Thor was refused entry to Odin´s lands, the divine realms, and told to seek his mother Earth for guidance.Trymskvida (The Song of the Drummer) where Thor looses his hammer, symbol of his power, and has to assume the role of a maiden bride in order to retreave it. Hymiskvida (The Song of Hymn) where Thor, in the shape of a young boy, has to find a cauldron that is big enough to contain all the mead of Aegir at the Island of Immortality so that the gods may party in the immortal realms. With the help of his mother Earth, he succeeds in tricking the frost giant (death) and return to the party at the Island of Immortality with a “cauldron” that covers his entire body.
Thor´s journey to Utgardsloki, where he learns of cosmic forces greater than himself -- and also that the world is illusion. Thor´s journey to Geirrödr (Red-Spear=death) where he has to go unprotected, without his hammer, power belt and iron gloves. He seeks the aid of the giantess Gridr, who represents a witch and Earth herself, and who is the mother of Vidar the Silent (Expansion in Silence = expansion of the mind or spirit through silence, the son of Odin =Spirit). She teaches him how to defeat Red Spear and lends him her power wand, her power belt and her iron gloves so that he may succeed with his task.
Outside Inspirational sources to my understanding: Carlos Castaneda´s books about his apprenticeship to a Mexican Yaqui sorcerer. Jet Li`s movie “Fearless”. The Karate Kid movies. Taoism`s teachings of the Yin power. Siberian and Native American shaman traditions employing gender-bending as a means to transform the mind, archaeologist Brit Solli was the first Norwegian archaeologist to systematize and openly point out the fact that numerous Scandinavian burials show that gender-bending as a lifestyle existed as an integral part of the Norse culture, apparently in connection with ritual and magic, something which is reflected in the Norse literature, and is also reflected in numerous deities, especially the gods Odin, Loki and Skadi.
Examples of transgender behavior in the Poetic Edda:
Thor`s bridal journey (Trymskvida)
The warrior hero Helgi Hundinsbani lives for a while disguised as a servant maiden before his initiation (Helgakvida Hundingsbani).
The shaman Sinfiötli openly argues with his male ex-lover Gudmundr about who had been the “man” in their homosexual relationship. Sinfiötli is accused of having been castrated by giant maidens in the past, something he does not deny but disregards, as he asserts that he still possesses virile power. (Helgakvida Hundinsbani)The shaman Atli is accused of having been castrated, and like Sinfiötli he assures his opponent that he still has masculine powers although he does not deny the castration (Helgakvida Hjörvardssonar) Odin reveals that one of his many names is Ialk -- the Castrate (Grimnismál) Odin and Loki accuse each other of severly “unmanly” behavior in the past, and Frigg tells them “what you two gods did together in the past ought not to be mentioned” (Lokasenna) After having talked about how impossible it is to trust women, Odin declares that he “can speak truly” because he has “known both”, and that men are just as traitorous towards women (Hávamál) Gudrun, a woman, dresses in armor and fights alongside her brothers, and when all male candidates of her family are dead, she assumes the male responsibility of taking vengeance. She is hailed as “the last bride in armor”. Prose Edda: Loki transforms into a woman in order to reach the halls of Frigg. Loki transforms into an old woman in order to deny weeping for Balder. Skadi assumes the masculine warrior role and attacks the Aesir wearing armor and weapons. She divorces her husband and returns to the mountains where she sustains herself hunting with bow and arrow, skiing.Saxo Grammaticus (Gesta Danorum): Odin changed into the shape of an old woman in order to trick a maiden.
Saxo also explains that in the pagan past, many women chose to become warriors and live unmarried, warrior lives. We do not know if he is just basing himself on the memory of mythical creatures such as valkyrias, or if there is a reality behind it. In fact, one third of female burials from the Viking Age contain a weapon. The most usual weapon for women was the bow and arrow, but many were also buried with spear or sword. It would seem that one third of women at least learned to master one type of battle skill. However, male graves usually contained a complete set of weapons, including spear, sword, long knife, axe, shield, armor, so there was a marked difference between male and female burials even when the female had owned, and probably used, a weapon. Some male graves, however, contained almost purely female objects and he was buried wearing a dress, all honored shown to him, it seems that he was acknowledged as transgendered.
21: The Thundergod´s Maze (Conclusion to the Lore of Thor)Conclusion to the Thor Lore of my two previous videos adding some personal experiences with Thor to shed light on mystical ways of perceiving the myths.
Some concepts mentioned in the video:
Kristinndómr = “The Rule of Christ” (Christianity in old Norse language)
Heidindómr = “The Rule of Heidr” (Paganism in old Norse language. “Heidr” means “brightness” or “heath”, and the word heidindómr is usually thought to refer to the practice of worshipping outdoors -- i.e. on the “heaths”. The name Heidr is also the same as Freya used in Völuspá (The Prophecy of the Witch, Poetic Edda) when she walked the Earth at the dawn of time, after her initiation trial by fire, and taught the art of seidr to the people.)
Forn sedr = “old custom”, in retrospect, what descendants said to describe the faith of the pagan ancestors.
Lokasenna=Loki´s Mocking, a poem of the Poetic Edda, where Loki mysteriously enough mocks the gods and goddesses, one after the other, while they try to explain that he has misunderstood their actions.
York= a city in Yorkshire, England, which was once dominated by Vikings. It is famous for its many ghost sightings.
Kundalini Shakti : Kundalini is a serpentine energy identified as the Goddess as Shakti (=”power”, the dynamic energy that carries the universe) within the body. Tantric traditions within Hinduism and Buddhism attempt to raise the kundalini power up the spine as a path towards enlightenment.
According to Snorri, Freya weeps for the loss of her husband Odr (=”poetry”, “spirit”), who vanished or got lost. She searches for him throughout the world, “taking upon herself new names and new shapes wherever she goes, everywhere leaving her tears of pure red gold.”
22: Odin, Víli and Vé -- Spirit, Mind and PassionOdin=The Spirit, The Poetry, The Ecstasy (Frenzy, Passion)
Odin, Vé and Vili : Spirit, Awe and Will (Intent)
Odin, Hænir and Hlödurr = give Breath, Mind and Vitality
Odin, Hænir and Loki= Spirit, Mind and Passion
Odin, Thor and Loki= Spirit, Mind and Passion
Odin, Thor and Freyr= Spirit, Mind and Passion
Heimdallr, Njordr and Freyr = Spirit (universal) Mind (conducts “winds” and “waves”) and Passion
The trinity interact with each other on a quest towards transformation and enlightenment represented by the goddess of immortality, the cosmic soul.
Idunn is called Asa Leika (in the poem Haustlong) = “The Lover of (all) the Aesir”, and she offers to them the fruits of Immortality. Identifying the goddesses as coming together in one explains also, among other things, why Freya is said to have had all the Aesir as her lovers (Lokasenna).
“Sagnahræri”= Mover of the Stories = Loki, the passion, as he is described in the poem Haustlong.
Dwarf = “dvergr” = Mutilated One (the limitation of physical reality, puttling limitless spirit into a formed shape in order to exist in the physical world.
23: War, Peace and Gender in the Viking Age
24: Of Dwarfs and Men (The Meaning of Dwarfs in Norse Mythology)Summary: Snorri said that dwarfs originated as germs in the flesh of the world giant Ymir (Ymr.m.sg.”sound”), and that they were given life and shape from the “power words” of the gods. Ymir was the world giant that came into being when icy streams from Niflheimr(Misty World), the world of the dead in the north, were melted in the Ginn-unga-gap (the Abyss of the Sacred Descendants) by the hot streams of the fire realm of the south. Another image of the same theme is the cosmic cow Audhumbla (Rich Brew Ingredient) coming from the fire realm in the south in order to feed from the ice of the world of the dead. As she feeds on the cold of death, she melts the ice to reveal a sleeping encaged giant, Buri, the Cage. He becomes the grandfather of the Aesir. As she is nurtured by the frosty remnants of dead previous worlds, she feeds Sound with her streams of milk -- and from which the “dwarfs” emerge. In the Edda poem Völuspá, we hear that the King of Dwarfs is made by the blood of Fire and the limbs of the Dead -- the very same creation formula that made Ymir. Then we hear that Motsoknir was the greatest among dwarfs, and Durinn -- the Sleeper -- second. I believe that Motsoknir is identical to Ymir and Durinn to Buri, who was asleep beneath the ice.Motsoknir I take to mean “image/maker-seekers” or “-suction vortexes.” The other dwarfs create “images of humans” as the Sleeper spoke it, just like the dwarfs were spoken into form by the gods. In the Völuspá, the gods then came into the world of human beings through the images of dwarfs. Dwarf is in Old Norse “dvergr” and means “mutilated”. I take this to refer to how dwarfs were limited, chopped off from the whole images or models for human potentials, images that could limit the limitless spirit and create a universe of forms and shapes.
25: Pantheism pt.1: Mysteries, Heimdallr and the World Tree“Beautiful indeed is the Mystery given us by the blessed gods: Death is for mortals no longer an evil, but a blessing.” (Inscription at the Temple of Demeter, Eleusis)
Bibliography in Mystery Cults: Apuleius, Lucius Madaurensis/Griffiths J. Gwyn (overs. og red.) (1975): Metamorphoses book 11: The Isis-book Études preliminaries aux religions orientales dans l´Empire
Burkert, Walter (1987):Ancient Mystery Cults Harvard University Press, London
D´Alviella, Goblet (1981):The Mysteries of Eleusis — the secret rites and rituals of the Classical Greek Mystery tradition The Aquarian Press
Eliade, Mircea (red..et al.) (1987): The Encyclopedia of Religion New York: Macmillan
Pakkanen, Petra (1995): Interpreting early Hellenistic religion: a study based on the cult of Isis and the mystery cult of Demeter -- Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki
Eliade, Mircea (1965): Rites and Symbols of Initiation: the mysteries of birth and rebirth
New York: Harper & Row
Witt, Reginald Eldred(1971):Isis in the Graeco-Roman world, Aspects of Greek and Roman Life, London, Thames and Hudson
Egypt: Erik Hornung:Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt -- The One and the Many
India: David Kinsley: The Sword and the Flute, University of California Press 1971
J.L.Brockington: The Sacred Thread, Redwood Books, 1996
“There was a time when the rest of the happy band
they saw beauty shining in brightness
we philosophers following in the train of Zeus,
others in company with other gods;
And then we saw the beatific vision
And were initiated into a Mystery
which may be called most blessed,
celebrated by us in our state of innocence,
before we had any experience of evils to come,
when we were admitted to the sight of apparitions
innocent and simple, calm and happy,
which we saw shining in pure light.” (Socrates, in Plato´s Phaedrus, 250)
“For among the many excellent and indeed divine institutions
which your Athens has brought forth and contributed to human life,
none, in my opinion, is better than the Mysteries. For by their means we have been brought out of
our barbarous and savage mode of life
and educated and refined to a state of civilization; And as the rites (of the Mysteries) are called “initiations,”
So in very truth we have learned from them the beginnings of life,
And have gained the power not only to live happily,
But also to die with a better hope.”( Cicero, Laws II, xiv, 36)
“I am everything there is, everything that ever was, and everything that will ever be. No mortal has ever seen beyond my veil”. (Inscription at the Temple of Neith, Goddess of Existence, Egypt, recorded by Plutarch)
“Oh, All-Nature, Queen, Mother of all things, untiring Mother, exalted, creating, She who tames all, Unmentionable, shining, the first born who quenches everything, who brings the Light….Born of yourself, present everywhere and all-knowing…You Blessed One, who makes things grow and rot — Father and Mother of all things, Universal Worker, you who walk forth in an endless maelstrom, conserving, you who uphold yourself through repeated metamorphosis…I pray to you — give me peace.” (Orphic poem)
The soul wanders around in tiring circles, on scary roads through absolute darkness that lead nowhere; and then, just before the final end to all cruelties the soul experiences panic, perspiration and trembling. Then a wonderful light approaches the soul, it is met by clean spheres and fields that welcomes the soul with sacred words and sacred sights, and there the initiate will, now in its most perfect form, free of bondage, wander about, crowned with laurel, celebrating great festivals with others of sacred, pure souls.” (Pluthark)
“Wherever mankind was created, there was Nisaba established: Let the Wise teach the Mystery to the Wise!” (Assyrian history of creation 800 B.C- Nisaba was the Assyrian goddess of learning)
The unity of Heimdallr in: Gro Steinsland (1991): Det Hellige Bryllup og Norrøn kongeideologi (The Sacred Marriage and old Norse King Ideology)