Video 1-9 (Cosmology and Metaphors)

1: Soundwaves and the Big Bang

About the importance of translating names and place-names in Old Norse myths in order to understand the coded messages of metaphysics, philosophy and spirituality. Example: The two first lines of stanza 3 in Völuspá, Poetic Edda, where AR VAR ALDA; THAR ER YMIR BYGDHI, should be translated as “In the Beginning was the Wave, when Sound was building”, and what THAT might mean…


2: þórr and Electricity Conduction

About Thor the Thunder God and how the lore of Thor may indicate some ancient knowledge about electricity and how to conduct it.

3: Myth and Parable

In this video I am discussing comparative mythology using examples from the ancient Indian epos Mahabharata, the myth of Krishna and the Gopis, as well as ancient Mystery cult and the myth of Isis and Osiris as understood by Mystery initiates in the Classical age. These examples to throw light on how Old Norse myths ought to be read -- as parables.

4: Skaldskáp – the Art of Poetry

About how the Old Norse poetical metaphors worked.

“Heiti” = “that which someone/something is called”. “Kenning”= That by which someone/something is known. Poetical metaphors in Old Norse. “Skald” = “bard, poet”. “Skaldskáp”=Poetry. “Utiseta”=”to sit outside” (in a crossroad, burial mound, beneath a hanged man, on a battlefield, or in a sacred grove or mountain or by a sacred spring, at night, in order to seek visions, inspiration or communion with the dead or with the spirits. Poets did this in order to seek inspiration).

“Prose Edda” is the nickname of Snorri Sturlusson´s work on Old Norse poetical metaphors of 1225 AD. In this video I describe a possible scenario in which a poem is conceived and a metaphor created 1200 years ago in Old Norse Norway…

The metaphorical layers described:

“Ship (hostile)”=”Horse of the Ocean”= “Steed of the Waves”= “Wolf (the Steed of Hel) of the Waves”= “Wolf of the Nine Daughters of Aegir/Rán”= “Wolf of the Nine Daughters of the Island Dweller”= “Wolf of the Nine Mothers of Great World (Heimdallr)”= “Wolf of the White God´s Mothers”= “Wolf of the Horn-Blower´s Mothers”= Wolf of the Grasping One”. =”Ship” (hostile, doomed to wreck).

5: The Embrace of Death

In this one I talk about how everyday speech in pagan Scandinavia was full of metaphors and that common metaphors for death and dying shows how old Norse people perceived the afterlife and the Goddess.

Rán= the goddess of the ocean. The name means “Robbery” and refers to her tendency to rob people of their lives. She is the wife of sea god Aegir (“The Terrifying One”) and the mother of the nine waves, who are the mothers of the present Universe.

6:Myth and Reality

My own near death experience serves to illustrate how I understand mythological lore such as the Siren´s Call, the Embrace of Death and the Old Norse fylgjur (personal fate goddesses or guardian angels).All to anwer the question: If male goddess worshippers got to make love to the Goddess in death, what did women get?

Thre three mythical aspects to my story:
1. Huldresang, “Song of the Huldra” is like a Siren´s Call heard in the wilderness rather than in the ocean. Huldra is the queen of the forest spirits (huldrefolk) in Norwegian folklore. She calls people to serve her in her underworld mound. The story I had to leave out for the sake of time-limits on Youtube is this: I once watched a man walking towards certain death as if hypnotized. People were shouting and screaming at him to make him stop, but he paid no attention. I took up my binoculars and watched his face and recognized his emotion as similar to my own when I felt “the call”. I watched the man die. I talked to a friend who was a native there (Zapotec, it happened in Mexico), and she told me that she believed, as everybody there did, that there was a monster living there that sometimes “called” people to their deaths.
2. Death experienced as being loved, see my previous video in this series.
3. The Fylgja (pl.fylgjur) is a Norse feminine noun meaning “follower”. A human being would have a woman fylgja and an animal fylgja that followed him or her through life. The followers, both the animal and the woman follower were aspects of that human´s own soul, but the woman follower would also be a goddess in her own right, a norn (fate goddess) and an aspect of the oldest norn Urdr, (Origin). These individual fate godesses ascended from the Well of Origin and appeared at the moment of birth, spinning the fate of the individual thoughout his or her life. These fate goddesses were either descended from the dwarf Dvalinn (Coma, Sleep, Hibernation) and would be spinning away unconsciously, the individual experiencing little control or consciousness about his own fate. Other fate goddesses were descended from the gods and would be powerful, or from the elves and would be soulful and immortal, the fate of the individual varied accordingly. Most people had a sleeping fate, but the fate (follower) could be awakened by those who dared to reach her in the Underworld.
Other mythologies have similar creatures that guide and steer the individual, they may be called guardian angels and so forth.

7: That which is disguised in Runes   

” I wrote this book so that young students of poetry may understand that which has been subtly sung.”

“That, I think, has been cunningly hidden in runes.”

                                                 (Snorri Sturlusson, 1225 AD, Prose Edda)

Snorri (1179-1241) wrote his Prose Edda in an attempt to preserve the Norse art of poetry, realizing that people no longer understood old poems (bardic poems and edda poems) because they were forgetting the pagan myths and thus the meaning behind the art of metaphorical allusion. At the same time he cleverly preserved ancient myths in a way that was inoffensive to the Church .

The Poetic Edda on the other hand had to be hidden away from the authorities for many centuries, being too pagan to be acceptable.

Snorri edited out of each myth everything that could be a threat to the Church´s monopole on salvation and resurrection of the soul in order to make the myths acceptable, and at the same time he provided keys to understand the myths of the Poetic Edda when that manuscript one day finally surfaced from oblivion.

Poetic Edda: A collection of pagan, mythological Norse poems about gods and heroes that were written down some time after the conversion on Iceland in 1000 AD, dissapeared but copied. The surviving copy is the manuscript known as the Codex Regius, written down some time during the 12th century AD, and a few sheets from another lost copy which adds to or offer alternatives to the poems of the Edda. The Codex was hidden away some time during the 13th century around the same time that Snorri wrote his Prose Edda, in which he explained the pagan use of metaphors (and at the same time managed to convey as much pagan lore he could without offending the Church). Until 1643 Snorri´s Prose Edda and a few sheets from the lost copy constituted all the written lore of the pagan ancestral heritage of Scandinavia in the Norse language. Then the Poetic Edda surfaced on an Icelandic farm where it had been hidden 400 years…                                                                       

(More about the Prose Edda and the Poetic Edda in my footnote video “The Prose and the Poetic Edda as sources to Old Norse Paganism  

8: Good versus Evil and the Powers that Be

About looking beyond the polarities of good and evil in order to understand pagan lore. About realizing that sources such as Snorri may be somewhat misleading as they are adapting the alien pagan mindset to a Christian mindset. About the Powers, the Ruling Forces, and how they are not as easily classifiable or fit into a hierarchy as it may seem at first glance…

9: The Great Goddess

This is the ninth video in my series and since the number 9 is the number of the Dísir, the goddesses, and particularly the Great Dís, Freyia (“The Lady”), I dedicate this talk to Her. I spend quite some time tearing down the stereotypical image of Freyia as the “Goddess of Love and Beauty”, an epithet that is not supported by any Pagan source but is the interpretation of later scholars from the 18th century onwards, it was just assumed that Freya was the Norse version of Aphrodite/Venus.

My thesis on the Maiden with the Mead may be read as an ebook from the University of Oslo library, go to this link and click on “full text” to read it:


9 Responses to Video 1-9 (Cosmology and Metaphors)

  1. Kevin Lloyd Small says:

    Not long after the begining of the red tide
    With the light was one who under white blankets did hide
    Rudely awakened and forced back to the school of hard knocks
    She swam gracefully and deeply past the old fellows blocks
    And in the depths did find
    Wisdom’s roots entwined
    With each and every mind
    Kaleidoscopic and in kind
    Sweetly sharing she caste away the rind
    Her vast labour’s leanings
    prop up misty meanings
    The butterflys of sound
    Carry forth my crown
    And beneath it my spys
    Who oft tell me lies
    Across a fibre optic wave round
    Has my hunger substance found
    But Odin eats not
    But memory and thoght
    My appetite and greed
    I put aside for the mead
    I raise cup to lips
    And my heart takes to the ships


  2. /jmj says:

    Hello maria,

    I have made, more or less, the same researches on some of the topics you presented here on videos. I’m very happy to find someone who has that kind of interest.

    As I live in France, my knowledge about “norse myths” is not great and profound as yours. But through many mythologies I read, it is clear that sound and language have played a central role in this world.

    These researches are not made on the academic level but more on a personal one.

    Sound as a wave or today ‘s physically described as a “standing wave” (see ernst chladni’s plates and/or ripples on the surface of water) is a basis in various mythologies for reflexions which can embrace philosophy, poetry, metaphysics, logic, etc.

    Language is that sound which is made of tongue, communication (verbal or not), alphabets, etc. I think that the old people have used language not in the way we use it. Today we see language as a thing which is outside ourselves. So the letters which compose our language are outside us as an independant reality for the meaning of objectivity. Because we have that need of being outside (objective) from this world. Each letter of the english or french alphabet has no meaning with the all world although old alpahabets such as sumerians have a direct connection with the real world.

    Outside is, according to me, the whisper of the biological world, the living being (which is indeferently the tree, the grass, the human being, the ant or the horse or the goddess as you may have suggested it), which tries to understand that physical world. That strange world where there is no living being but only waves and movements through the thin air.

    Nevertheless, i’m exploring your website and read, see what you obtain/seek.



  3. Arn says:

    Just found your lectures & now i’m in love. Exactly what I have been looking for.the philosophy behind the Eddas has been a great search of my own. Thank you dear lady!

  4. siv grøstad says:

    Hei. Har aldri vært bort i noe lignende. TAKK. Har lett etter akkurat det du snakker om. Den levende spirituelle delen av vår fedrearv……….mødrearv. Prøvd å komme nærmere inn på mytologien ved å lese Viktor Rydberg: “Undersøkningar i Germansk mytologi” Den førte meg videre ut i verden…det greske, vedas, Egypt, Campell, Gimbutas, sjamaner osv. Har funnet veldig få kvinner.

  5. Thank you, Maria, for your brilliant, insightful work. I am part of a Seidr community in the US, and am myself of mostly Germanic but a little Scandinavian origin. It has been difficult to find meaningful sources on the Norse myths, sources that contribute to our understanding of the cosmology in a way that can vitalize our relationship to the world. I knew there had to be more to the tradition than what I was getting from the typical sources. You have provided some excellent windows into the potential this tradition has, and have rekindled my excitement about the myths themselves.

    Thank you as well for your personal sharing about death. I found it beautiful and moving, and has helped me in my own relationship to death and dying.

    I hope you continue to do this important work, and have all the resources you need to do so.


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  9. James says:

    Excellent work and thank you, it is appreciated! Keep the interpretations/translations and especially the names coming.

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