Read the other Great Myths Here Here are a handful of translations of verses 138-145 of the Hávamál, found in the Poetic or Elder Edda. The Hávamál is a loose collection of sayings and advice – at times cryptic and at times playful – all attributed to Odin. Among the more cryptic parts, these verses detail Odin’s self-sacrifice upon “that […]
Odin & Baldr The High One heard the lowest prophecy: already riddled with the worst of dreams, his boy Baldr would be killed by his brother. And worse: another brother would avenge him, family hacking down family. And worse: these murders would lead to the end, to three winters of war and three more years of only winter, and all […]
Two bits of old Norse, first poetry & then prose, on the death of Odin’s son, Baldr: All at once the gods were gathered, and all the goddesses came to speak, the mighty deities had a discussion, why Baldr’s dreams were foreboding. Odin rose up, the ancient sacrifice, and on the Sleipnir placed a saddle; he rode down from there […]
What is the reason for gold being called otter-payment? It is said that when the Aesir went to explore the whole world – Odin and Loki and Haenir – they came to a certain river and went along the river to a certain waterfall, and by the waterfall there was an otter and it had caught a salmon in the […]
From a dialogue about the beginning of the world; at one point, a giant called Ymir is mentioned: “Where did Ymir live, and what did he live on?” “The next thing, when the rime dripped, was that there came into being a cow called Audhumla, and four rivers of milk flowed from its teats, and it fed Ymir.” Then spoke […]
Many thanks to the editors at Literary Juice, who just published my poem “Odin & Baldr”.
To see the ways in which a religion works, one of the best ways is to observe their missionaries and how they adapt stories created in one historical and geographic area, for people and places wildly different. On this point, nothing beats the ninth-century Saxon saga Heliand, which presents Jesus as a chieftain, prayers as runes, and refers to the […]