Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Norse (by Norsewest)

It seems that some Norwegian metal guitarist named Varg Vikernes has been making stuff up ridiculous stories. Like this creation myth.
Our world was created in co-operation between these three proto-forces. Between Múspellheimr (the stars) and Niflheimr (the frozen matter in space) there was Gínungagap (the void). The universe was resting. It was inactive. It was in a state of complete balance.

The universe woke after this rest of Freyr. Óðinn's force threw the mass out in all directions again. The stars began to melt the frozen matter in space when they met each other, out there in Gínungagap; in the void.

In Múspellheimr, there was the divine bosom, the explosion which gives new life to the universe. In Niflheimr, there was the resting divine thought, frozen. The ice melted and it became active again.

In Ragnarök, the opposite forces cancel each other out until only one force is left standing. Since the gravitational pull is constant, while the explosion only works over a limited time, gravity will always win. It will always, after a period of time, force the mass of universe together again.
Everyone knows that Ginnungagap was the boundary between Niflheim (the land of frost) and Muspelheim (the land of fire), where the great icecow Audhumla, who belonged to the giant Ymir, licked Buri out of the ice. And Buri was the father of Borr, who mated with Bestla (a frost giant), to beget the Æsir: Odin, Vili and Ve.

Then the Aesir killed Ymir (whose blood poured forth and destroyed all but two of the jotunn), and used his flesh to make the earth, his bones to make the mountains, and his teeth and bone fragments became stones; and they used his skull to become the arch of the sky.

(See? They recycled.)

Is Varg just insane? The Allfather will destroy him for this heresy! And I can go on at length about how Odin is a metaphor for death, not some stupid proto-force of expansion/explosion.

(That whole question of Varg's sanity is actually a valid concern. I mean, he did do 16 years for murder and arson. On the other hand, he's descended from the Vikings, so burning down churches and slaughtering innocents might just be a genetic imperative for him.)

The whole skycow story makes as much sense as "God was bored, and took a week to make the earth, but we don't know how or what he built it out of," if you think about it.

I wonder if the story of Ymir's blood is where we get these profane bastardizations like "the Great Flood"?


Suicidal Jane said...

"Everyone knows that Ginnungagap was the boundary between Niflheim (the land of frost) and Muspelheim (the land of fire), where the great icecow Audhumla, who belonged to the giant Ymir, licked Buri out of the ice."

Was I out sick that day?

Anonymous said...

OK, I'll bite. How is Odin a metaphor for death. I thought he was just the leader of the viking gods.

Nameless Cynic said...

First, they aren't the Viking gods. They're the Norse gods, and the Vikings happened to be one of the people who worshiped them. (Admittedly the most famous, but still...)

Now, none of the Norse gods has a single aspect - despite what Marvel Comics wants you to believe, Thor was way more than "the God of Thunder."

This includes Odin (Wodin, Wotan), who was a god of war, death, wisdom, madness, poetry, prophesy and a couple of other things I can't remember right now (for example, he plucked out his eye to gain wisdom - which might show a little madness, but gained him the knowledge of the past and future, as well).

But his Death aspects are visible all around him: the halls of Asgard belong to him, where the brave slain warriors hang out; they're gathered up from the battlefields by his handmaidens, the Valkyrie.

He has a spear that never misses, and a collection of animals: two ravens, Hugin and Munin; and two wolves, whose names I would have to look up. But both ravens and wolves are carrion eaters. (Odin would also occasionally transform himself into an eagle - guess what the eagle tends to eat?)

And finally, he has an 8-legged horse named Sleipner, who is also a metaphor - when is a man carried by an 8-legged horse? When 4 men carry him to his funeral pyre.

Monkey_Lord said...

The wolves would be Herki and Geri. The spear that never misses is Gugnir. And it's spelled Speipnir.

Coincidentally, the raven's names stand for Thought (Huginn) and Memory (Muninn).

You thought you were a geek?

Nameless Cynic said...


And you can't correct the English spelling for Nordic words. But other than that, you're right.

Anonymous said...

Hey, not all those descended from the Vikings burn down churches or slaughter innocents.

And not all those slaughtered were in fact innocent. We won't even get into the question of whether burning down the churches was justified, given that the church was well-known for appropriating and oppressing the old religions. Please.

Go Vikings.