List of Abbreviations
Alv. BD FS GG GM Har. Hav. HM HK LS RG SD SK Thry. Vaf. SVSP VSP Alvismal Baldrsdraumar Fjolsvithsmal Groagalder Grimnismal Harbarthslioth Havamal Hymiskvitha Hyndlulioth Lokasenna Rigsthula Svipdagsmal Skirnismal Thrymskvitha Vafthruthnismal Voluspa Hin Skamma Voluspa


Natural forces.Table of Contents List of Abbreviations Table of Contents Introduction Volume I: The Elder Edda The Spae of the Volva The Words of Har Lay of Vafthruthnir Lay of Grimnir Lay of Skirnir Lay of Harbarth Lay of Hymir The Flyting of Loki Lay of Thrym Lay of Alvis The Dreams of Baldr Lay of Rig The Shorter Spae of the Volva Lay of Hyndla Lay of Svipdag The Galder of Groa Lay of Fjolsvith Volume II: Keys to Practical Application Chapter 1: Runic Keys to Eddic Myth Chapter 2: Working with Holy Wights. and their Holy Names Chapter 3: Spring Drama and Eddic Myth Chapter 4: Magical Initiation and Faring Forth into Ettinhome Appendix A: Thinking About the Hail Rune Appendix B: Pronunciation of Old Norse Glossary Bibliography Illustrations iii v vii 1 3 16 41 51 63 71 81 87 99 105 111 115 123 127 133 135 143 145 163 175 183 189 195 199 201 205 v .


alliteration. This book is especially practical for those who wish follow the authentic pre-Christian religion and magic of the English and other Teutonic folk. and lore from which rituals. The mythological poems of the Elder Edda hold the keys to the understanding and practice of the pre-Christian religion of the Germanic peoples. but the magic of Eddic lines reaches far below the shallow waters of mundane conscious understanding into the depths of the collective unconscious. The original Old Norse text is included in its entirety on the facing pages of the English version so that the reader can easily compare the two. The poems of the Poetic Edda were probably compiled by Saemundr Sigfusson in the 12th century in Iceland. and initiatory rites can be reconstructed or authentically created. This is the truest translation for purposes of understanding the religious content of the Poetic Edda. rhythm. It is the task of the modern elders (priests) and vitkis (magicians) to gain a conscious knowledge of the meanings and powers of these combinations of word. The words of a given stanza are not juxtaposed merely because the resulting rhythms and word plays are pleasing. A new translation of the mythological poems of the Edda is the main component of this work. Earlier renditions have been artful paraphrases by scholars who valued the poems as literary monuments. but it is clear that many of the heroic poems go back to the lore of the 6th and 7th centuries. into the realms where our souls mingle with the realms of the Gods. and rune. in which the mysteries of the old lore are encoded by word. The stanzas of the Eddic poems hold the secrets of our Gods. Notes to each poem. and the hidden wisdom of the rune-masters rediscovered. Many of the keys are provided also for unlocking the secrets of mysteries of the cults of Thor. The impact of these magical stanzas perhaps may not be registered consciously.Introduction This is a practical manual of self-transformation. The Eddas hold the wisdom of the Erulian RuneMagicians. but because of there are deep magical resonances among such words. as well as the keys to understanding the soul and the nine worlds of Yggdrasil . Tyr and the Vanir. The power of the Eddic verses can be used for invocations and magical operations. The poems of the Poetic Edda form the most complete and authentic body of surviving pre-Christian Germanic religious and magical lore. by those who know how to ask. in depth discussions. and many of these poems may be fathomed to incredible depths and heights. It is the task of this book to provide the modern seeker with the keys to understanding deeper levels of meaning and to encode these into modern English for fashioning invocations to the Gods and for shaping powerful poetic staves in magic. vii . The inaccuracies of such translations have led many modern pagans astray. sacred dramas. and illustrations are included to illuminate and help in the exploration of the deeper levels of the religious and magical content. idea. The religious content is revealed with accuracy and clarity. None of them ever imagined that their audiences would include practitioners of the Eddic religion. a glossary of religious terminology. The Eddic poems are spells. None of the poems can be dated with any certainty. It takes the form of a working edition of the mythological poems of the ancient Norse Poetic Edda for modern “pagans” who practice the magic and religion of the North. This book is about asking. These poems provide sufficient material for an accurate reconstruction and revivification of the Odian religious and magical philosophies. These poems hold spells. poetry was a powerful form of magic. For the rune-magicians. This book enables the reader to fathom the mysteries of the Eddic poems so that the elder Troth of the Gods of Europe may again be rightly hailed in holy groves. but disregarded the religious and mythic content as the nonsensical but amusing folklore of a more primitive world. though much of this lore is filtered through an Odian lens. These also to provide the keys by which this understanding may be applied in ritual blessings to the Gods and in magical workings.the world tree of the ancient North. invocations. meter and rune. It is generally believed that none of the poems were actually composed in their present form before the 9th century.

This is the level at which the myths may be connected to seasonal festivals. Reading and contemplating these poems are magical acts in themselves. These words are defined in the glossary and some are discussed in detail in the notes or chapters. the self goes from ignorance of harmony with the divine order as the forms represented in the myths are realized in one’s life. Chapter 1 tells how to transliterate the rune poems into the Viking Age runes for purposes of fathoming the runic content of the poems and the meta-linguistic content of the poems.When you are unraveling the mysteries of the Eddic poems. or their Old English equivalents in order to translate words that convey religious ideas are no longer found in English. for the Eddas were composed by initiates into runic mysteries. From this we find out what our Gods are like and what they stand for. By reading and internalizing these poems. keep in mind that there are three basic levels of meaning associated with these myths. In Midgard -the manifest universe. and geography of the outer homes. it is sometimes necessary to use Old Norse words. of these wights as well as the rituals for blessings and magical operations in which these wights are summoned. The second level of meaning may be termed the natural. The third level of meaning is the initiatory. and of criminal and dishonorable conduct. This book provides the fundamental tools by which the seeker may get a grip on the northern lore and by which Rune-Gild siblings may decode the Eddic poems. The translation was rendered as clearly and as accurately as possible. Here you may seek the magical applications of a poem. Chapter 3 tells how to recognize Spring Drama motifs in Eddic myths and how to adapt these myths to Spring Dramas and festivals. and elves. it tells how to use the holy names of the magical streams of numinous power associated with the natural elements and forces of the nine worlds. I trust that the lost concepts may be reintroduced into our culture with the reintroduction of these words. These poems may be taken as a model of the divine order and used magically for self-transformation. Chapter 3 contains a spring drama based on the Lay of Svipdag that was performed at the blessing to Ostara in 1989 CE. This chapter discusses kinds of magic that may be performed in some of the outer worlds. This virtually enables the reader to discover a “Teutonic Kabbalah”. Keys to this level of understanding are provided in chapters . and also how create runic sigils based on these poems for gand-magic.and in the notes to each poem. It tells how to create galder or magical runic songs based on Eddic stanzas. Chapter 4 discusses magical initiation in the Eddas and “faring forth” into the outer worlds for such “shamanic” operations. especially magical initiation. It is at this level that you can explore the mysteries that lay behind the apparent meanings. The first level is that of the narrative itself. The chapter contains a list of other sources for lists of names and deeds. For the sake of accuracy. This is the level important to understanding the Vanic mysteries explored in chapter 3. It is the third level with which this book is most concerned. The myths tell of basic virtues. Fundamental truths of the northern social order are reflected in the deeds of the Gods and heroes. Specifically. Deeper linguistic and meta-linguistic levels of meaning may be fathomed by those who work closely with the Old Norse text. Here the myths are considered in their connection to rituals of initiation. The four chapters following the notes provide keys to understanding the lore and applying it in ritual and magic. Chapter 2 explains the uses of holy names in invocations and magic. of heroism. dwarves. of right and honorable conduct. Notes are provided to each chapter to allow brief elaboration of important words and ideas and explanations or translations of obscure names. This chapter also provides other keys to the natural interpretation of Eddic myths. The main component of this book is a facing page translation.this is the stuff of which weather magic is made. viii . It also tells how to understand these holy names as keys to the magical languages used by the wights of the nine worlds and to use this language in ritual blessings to ettins.

Volume I The Eddas .


They gave names to night and the new moons. beneath the ground. Ár var alda. Ek man jötna þá er forðum mik Níu man ek heima. and early evening. auð smíðuðu. The moon did not know what main it had. mögu Heimdallar. ok tól gerðu. The Spae of the Volva 1. 2. in the days of yore. vant ór gulli. en gras hvergi. né svalar unnir. the nine steads. companion of the moon. they named midday. nor earth were to be found. hendi inni hægri sól þat né vissi máni þat né vissi stjörnur þat né vissu 6. ok um þat gættusk. the greater and lesser of Heimdall’s children. hátimbruðu. á Iðavelli. teitir váru. They shaped Midgard. I recall the nine worlds. Hittusk æsir þeir er hörg ok hof afla lögðu. mid afternoon. and green leeks grew from the ground. nótt ok niðjum morgin hétu undorn ok aftan. From the south the sun. All the Regin went to the doom chair. 4. á rökstóla. Soon Bur’s sons heaved up the earth. Tefldu í túni. vara sandr né sær jörð fannsk æva gap var ginnunga 4. fædda höfðu. um himinjöður. they founded forges and smithied. sinni mána. mæran skópu. that I speak the old spells of the world. Neither sand nor sea. The stars did not know what stead they had. nöfn um gáfu. they shaped tongs and wrought tools. 5. There was neither heaven above. the earth. 8. Valfather. mjötvið mæran 3. Sól varp sunnan. Þá gengu regin öll ginnheilög goð. þat er ekki var.Völuspá 1. the earliest I can recall. It is your wish. Valföðr. 2. to reckon the years. brought me to life. níu íviðjur. They played tables in the garth and were blissful. forn spjöll fira. vel fyr telja þau er fremst um man. grænum lauki. fyr mold neðan. they came from Ettinhome. . árum at telja. Hljóðs bið ek allar meiri ok minni Viltu at ek. var þeim vettergis uns þrjár kvámu ámáttkar mjök helgar kindir. á salar steina. 3. nor grass anywhere. threw her right hand across the edge of the world The sun did not know what hall it had. None of them lacked gold. High they timbered hof and harrow. the Ginn Holy Gods mooted over this. 3 ár um borna. bjöðum um ypptu. Áðr Burs synir þeir er Miðgarð sól skein sunnan þá var grund gróin 5. It was in the earliest times that Ymir dwelled. 7. nor cold waves. there was nothing but Ginnungagap. né upphiminn. tangir skópu 8. until three maidens came from the Thurses. I bid a hearing from all holy wights. of the Glorious Meting Wood. þursa meyjar ór Jötunheimum. 6. hvat hann megins átti hvar þær staði áttu. 7. who. Their might was awesome. The Aesir met on Ida Vale. The sun shone from the south on the stones of the stead. ok miðjan dag. hvar hon sali átti. I recall the children of Ettins.

There was Motsognir. Þar var Draupnir Hár. and Anarr. Vindálfr. Álfr ok Yngvi. 13. Thekk. Veig and Gand-Elf. Austri. Then all the Regin went to the doom chair. Skafith. Finnr ok Ginnarr. Fundinn. Niði. Allthief. Dóri. Andvari Scirvir. Frægr ok Lóni. An. Nýr ok Nýráðr. Fili. Óinn. Nar and Nain. Hornbori. hver skyldi dverga ór Brimis blóði 10. salar steini til Jöruvalla. Óri Skirvir. ok Dolgþrasir. Bíldr ok Buri. Billingr. North and South. Víli. Fíli. Fjalarr ok Frosti. Dain Bifor. Hlévangr. 11. These dwarves made many man-like-bodies out of the earth as Durinn had asked. Nali. Bofor. mæztr um orðinn en Durinn annarr. Now are the dwarves rightly listed. Eikinskjaldi.9. 9. Ánn ok Ánarr. Litr ok Vitr. Haugsthori. Jari. Alf and Yngvi and Eikenskjaldi. Bild and Buri Frar. Brúni. Nár ok Náinn Bívurr. 15. and Oakenshield. Windelf. Þá gengu regin öll ginnheilög goð. meðan öld lifir. Jari. Fundinn. Lit and Vit. 13. Ái. Nari. Náli. Glói. Eikinskjaldi. 11. East and West. Hievang. mörg um gerðu sem Durinn sagði. Sviurr. Draupnir was there. 16. 12. Vestri. Virfir. Norðri. 14. Suðri. Frár. 14. Fjalarr and Frosti. Dúfr. Reginn ok Ráðsviðr. Nyr and Nithi. Bávurr. Alþjófr. dróttir skepja ok ór Bláins leggjum. nú hefi ek dverga. ok um þat gættusk. Andvari Skáfiðr. Hannar. 10. But Durinn was second. 16. the greatest in speech of all the dwarves. Billing. rétt um talda. Mjöðvitnir. Bombur. Þorinn. Finn and Ginhar. Mál er dverga ljóna kindum þeir er sóttu frá Aurvanga sjöt 15. Oinn and Meadvolf. Nar and Nyrath. Þrár ok Þráinn. Vili. Lofars hafat. and Ai. Kíli. Virvir. Thror and Thrainn. Nípingr. þat mun æ uppi langniðja tal á rökstóla. 4 . I speak of the dwarves in Dvalinn’s host to tell of their kind down to Lofar. Bruni. Nýi. The long line of down to Lofar will be known while men live. Ori. Har. Kili. Nóri. of those who sought the abode of Aurvang at Jorovallar from the stone of the hall. Dáinn Bömburr. Veggr ok Gandálfr. and also Dolgthrasir. Fraeg and Loni. Dvalinn. Svíurr. Nithing. Þekkr. Entranced. from Blain’s bones. Reginn and Rathsvith. þeir mannlíkun dvergar í jörðu. 12. Hanarr. Hefti. í Dvalins liði til Lofars telja. Gloi. They held moot to say who should shape the Drighten of the dwarves from Brim’s blood. Hepti. Dori. Aurvangr. Haugspori . Duf. Aurvang. Þar var Móðsognir dverga allra. Thorinn. Hornbori.

Ever green it stands over Urth’s well. Hoenir gave them wod. 22. Thrice she was burned. 21. There they stabbed Gullveig with spears. a tall tree. The wise volva knew gand magic. wet with white dews. ausinn þaðan koma döggvar stendur æ yfir grænn 20. From there come three maidens. Scores they carved. and lacking orlog. ósjaldan. 23. The Ginn Holy Gods held moot as to whether the Aesir should pay tribute or whether all the gods should have a wassail. hár batmr.Þær lög lögðu. geirum studdu hana brenndu. The board wall was broken. lives they chose. Fleygði Óðinn þat var enn folkvíg brotinn var borðveggr knáttu vanir vígspá á rökstóla. They had neither breath nor wit nor life hue nor manner nor good looks. They worked Orlog for the sons of men. and burned her in Har’s hall. völu velspáa. One is called Urth. þær líf kuru örlög seggja. That was the first battle in the world. ok litu góða. From the host came three. Skuld ina þriðju. I recall the first battle in the world. hvíta auri. oft. 17. the fortification of the Ases. 24. the other Verthandi. 5 . Urðarbrunni. the far seeing spae woman. from the water that stands under the tree. 19. Then all the Regin went to the doom chair. lá né læti önd gaf Óðinn. ór því liði æsir at húsi. lítt megandi örlöglausa. heitir Yggdrasill. hvars hon kunni. called Yggdrasil.17. Unz þrír kvámu öflgir ok ástkir fundu á landi Ask ok Emblu 18. seið hon. Önd þau né áttu. hvárt skyldu æsir eða skyldu goðin öll 24. to coast. æ var hon angan illrar brúðar. she understood seith. mighty and powerful Aesir. óð gaf Hænir. Heiði hana hétu hvars til húsa kom. She played with minds by her seith. It happened often. She is called Heith. thrice she was born. Lothur gave them life and good looks. vitti hon ganda. Þat man hon fólkvíg er Gullveigu ok í höll Hárs þrisvar brenndu. Odin sped a shot into the host. Ask veit ek standa. ok um þat gættusk afráð gjalda gildi eiga. margs vitandi er und þolli stendr. aðra Verðandi. Þá gengu regin öll ginnheilög goð. völlu sporna. borgar ása. Þaðan koma meyjar þrjár ór þeim sæ. dews dripping down into the dales. The fighting Vanes trod the battlefield óð þau né höfðu. Urð hétu eina. fyrst í heimi. Odin gave them the breath of life. the third Skuld. I know an ash that stands. 22. There they found an ash and an elm of little might. and yet she lives. 18. seið hon hug leikinn. fyrst í heimi. þó hon enn lifir. né litu góða. deep in lore. who comes to houses. 21. þærs í dala falla. 20. ok í folk um skaut. She was always dear to evil women. þrisvar borna.skáru á skíði. laws they laid. . 23. lá gaf Lóðurr 19. alda börnum.

mál öll meginlig 27. Þórr einn þar vá . ok Geirskögul. then word and oath. Herrfather dealt her rings and a necklace to have her spells of spae and spae magic. Valði henni Herföðr fekk spjöll spaklig sá hon vítt ok um vítt 30. Hildr. When only one year old. Odin. ok um þat gættusk lævi blandit Óðs mey gefna. where the old one came. 30. einnættr vega. Hild. er hann slíkt um frekn. Höðr nam skjóta. There were also Gunnr. örlög fólgin. Oaths were broken. powerful pacts made between them. nönnur Herjans. hverjir hefði loft allt eða ætt jötuns 26. slender and fair. Sá hon valkyrjur görvar at ríða Skuld helt skildi. Ek sá Baldri. Do you want to know more. í inum mæra Drekkr mjöð Mímir af veði Valföðrs . Mímisbrunni. She sat out. til Goðþjóðar. 28. Gondol and Geirskogul. I saw Baldr. er á meðal fóru. high among the trees. grund valkyrjur. 31. Baldrs bróðir var sá nam Óðins sonr á rökstóla. Óðins barni. Baldr’s brother was soon born. . 29. his orlog hidden. aurgum fossi Vituð ér enn . Do you want to know more. 32. son of Odin. Óðinn. where your eye is hidden— in the water of Mimir’s well. Varð af þeim meiði. Odin’s son got vengeance 6 þrunginn móði. Skuld held a shield. en Skögul önnur. or what?” 29. 26. valkyries ready to ride over the earth. He seldom sits when he hears of such. Gunnr. morgun hverjan Vituð ér enn . the bloodied God. She sees widely over each of the worlds. hljóð um folgit helgum baðmi. She knows where Heimdall’s hearing is hiddenunder the holy sky scraping tree. the mistletoe teinn. vítt um komnar. She sees valkyries coming from afar. Veit hon Heimdallar und heiðvönum á sér hon ausask af veði Valföðrs . völlum hæri mistilteinn. all alone. of borinn snemma. Over it flow the watery falls from Valfather’s pledge. ready to ride to the Gothic host. Göndul Nú eru talðar görvar at ríða 31.eða hvat? hringa ok men. What seemed glorious when on the boughs turned to a deadly dart when Hoth made his cast. the awesome Ase looked in her eye. Then all the Regin went to the doom chair. Þá gengu regin öll ginnheilög goð. er mær sýndisk. ok spá ganda. there. “What do you ask of me? Why test me? I know well. or what? 28. blóðgum tívur. Thor was then swollen with rage against the foe.hann sjaldan sitr Á gengusk eiðar. Mimir drinks mead each morning from Valfather’s pledge.25. and Skogul another. Now Herjan’s maidens are listed. Ein sat hon úti yggjungr ása Hvers fregnið mik? Allt veit ek. The Ginn Holy Gods held moot over he who blended the sky with poison and gave Oth’s woman to the tribe of Ettins. orð ok særi.eða hvat? þá er inn aldni kom ok í augu leit: Hví freistið mín? hvar þú auga falt. 27. It stood and grew. stóð um vaxinn mjór ok mjög fagr 32. 25. harmflaug hættlig. of veröld hverja.

einna nokkurr í trölls hami.eða hvat? 7 . feigra manna. It was the hated form of guileful Loki. Vituð ér enn . 36. Á fellur austan söxum ok sverðum. í Fensölum Vituð ér enn . They were real strong bonds made of guts. sad by her husband. nái framgengna. until he had born Baldr’s foe to the pyre. Another stood on Okaini. drops of venom fall in through the smoke hole. Then Vali wound war fetters. Þó hann æva hendr áðr á bál um bar en Frigg um grét vá Valhallar. 35. Þá kná Váli heldur váru harðger 35. Sigyn sits there. and the warg rips men apart. 38. A stream of saxes and swords flows from the east through Poison-Dales. Austr sat in aldna ok fæddi þar Verðr af þeim öllum tungls tjúgari 41. Haft sá hon liggja lægjarns líki Þar sitr Sigyn ver vel glýjuð. reddens the seat of the gods with gore. Nithogg sucks dead bodies there. it was the beer hall of the Ettin Brim. She saw a hall stand. Falla eitrdropar inn sá er undinn salr 39. or what? vígbönd snúa. Do you want to know more. The worst one of them all.eða hvat? 33. á Niðavöllum Sindra ættar. Do you want to know more. sólu fjarri norðr horfa dyrr. undir Hveralundi. in the grove of kettles. She saw there oath breakers and murderers. 40. She saw one lying in bonds. rauðum dreyra. á Ókólni en sá Brimir heitir. 38. þunga strauma ok morðvarga glepr eyrarúnu. Frigg wept in Fensalir for Valhalla’s woe. or what? 34. on Nastrond. Vituð ér enn . 37.eða hvat? um eitrdala Slíðr heitir sú. wading the swift stream. quite far from the sun. Fyllisk fjörvi rýðr ragna sjöt Svört verða sólskin veðr öll válynd. 37. He fills himself on the flesh of dead men. The sun turned swarthy in the following summers. Would you know more. Sal sá hon standa Náströndu á. 39. orma hryggjum. 34.33. A golden hall stood in the North on the vales of Nitha. Baldrs andskota. or what? 36. The hall is wound with the spines of snakes. um sumur eftir. There were also those who deceived the female advisers of others. shall take the sun in the shape of a troll. þeygi um sínum Vituð ér enn . 41. He never washed his hands nor combed his hair. Loka áþekkjan. The doors face north. Do you want to know more. It is called Slith. um ljóra. or what? 40. The old one sat in the Iron-woods in the east and raised the brood of Fenrir. The weather grew entirely shifty. it was the dwelling of the tribe of Sindra.eða hvat? í Járnviði Fenris kindir. né höfuð kembði. höft ór þörmum. Sá hon þar vaða menn meinsvara ok þann er annars Þar saug Niðhöggr sleit vargr vera. Stóð fyr norðan salr ór gulli en annarr stóð bjórsalr jötuns.

ok sló hörpu glaðr Eggþér. how fare the elves? All of Ettinhome is in an uproar. But another sings beneath the earth. Hræðask allir áðr Surtar þann 48. fyr Gnipahelli. 45. askr standandi. shields are cloven. He was the herdsman of a giantess. skildir ro klofnir. hórdómr mikill. Vituð ér enn . Garm bays loudly before Gnipa-Cave. fyr steindurum. Skelfr Yggdrasils ymr it aldna tré. a sword age. öðrum þyrma. vindöld. The Meter will be set alight. Geyr nú Garmr mjök festr mun slitna fjölð veit ek fræða. but I see more of Ragnarok and the powerful victory Tivar. skálmöld. en jötunn losnar. of Ragnarok and the powerful victory Tivar. A wind age. Sister’s sons bring ruin on their sib. no man will spare the other. við Míms höfuð. um ragna rök 45. fyr jörð neðan at sölum Heljar. the standing ash. The old tree howls. Hvat er með ásum? Gnýr allur Jötunheimr. Garm bays loudly before Gnipa-cave.eða hvat? 49. Mim’s sons play. Yggdrasil. right before the kin of Surt swallow it. Hvat er með álfum? æsir ro á þingi. 46. is shaking. before the world falls. 48. So do you want to know more. Bræðr munu berjask munu systrungar hart er í heimi. ok at bönum verðask. The bonds are sheared and he runs hungry. 47. Geyr nú Garmr mjök festr mun slitna Fjölð veit ek fræða. I know much lore. gól um honum fagrrauður hani. vargöld. Heimdall blows loudly on old Gjallarhorn with the horn aloft. 8 . The Aesir met in things. en mjötuðr kyndisk Gjallarhorni. Brothers shall battle one another and fight to the death. Gól um ásum sá vekr hölða en annarr gelr sótrauðr hani 44. at Herjaföðrs. mun engi matr 46. masters of the mountain walls. en freki renna. 44. sifjum spilla. She knows much lore. Gullinkambi sang for the Ases. í galgviði sá er Fjalar heitir. skeggöld. the Ettin is loose. a soot red cock in the halls of Hel. 43. horn er á lofti. Leika Míms synir. There is hardness on the world and great whoredom An axe age. All who walk the Hel-roads are terrified. 42. fram sé ek lengra römm sigtíva. 43. a warg age. um ragna rök fyr Gnipahelli. áðr veröld steypisk. or what? 49. Sat þar á haugi gýgjar hirðir. The dwarves groaned before stone gates. stynja dvergar veggbergs vísir. yet see even more. How fare the Ases. He sat on a howe hill strumming a harp. mælir Óðinn 47. á helvegum sefi of gleypir. Odin speaks with Mim’s head. at inu galla Hátt blæss Heimdallr. The fair red cock called Fjalar sang to him from the gallows tree. he was the glad Eggther. en freki renna. Gullinkambi. fram sé ek lengra römm sigtíva.42. He wakes the heroes of Warfather. The bonds are sheared and he runs hungry.

Hrymr ekr austan. í jötunmóði. Naglfar losnar. Vithar. Hrym fares from the east. Heroes walk the Hel-road. 50. með freka allir. Sól tér sortna. 54. 51. við orm vega. Then came the mighty son of Hloth (the earth). með sviga lævi. The fierce jaws of the earth encircling worm gaped from the hills at the holy sky. sígr fold í mar. Heaven is cloven. Býleists í för. vega at valdýri. Another sort of grief comes to Hlin when Odin fares to fight the wolf and the illustrious Bane of Beli to battle with Surt. The ship fares from the East. Víðarr. Fara fíflmegir þeim er bróðir 52. not worried about fame. with Loki steering. Steam and fire ferment. 55. við úlf veka. um lög lýðir. heiðar stjörnur. en ari hlakkar. við himin sjálfan. Odin’s son strode to fight against the wolf. bjartr at Surti. 54. Þá kemr Hlínar er Óðinn ferr en bani Belja þá mun Friggjar hefisk lind fyrir. sól valtíva.50. The sun of the slaughter Tivar shines from his sword. 56. 53. Miðgarðs véurr. 51. Vithar’s kinsman slays the warg. troða halir helveg 53. Fjörgynjar burr níðs ókvíðnum. en gífr rata. orms í hæðom. 55. falla angan. and the land sank into the sea The bright stars fell from heaven. Viðard niðia. 9 . bearing a linden board. snýsk Jörmungandr Ormr knýr unnir. hverfa af himni Geisar eimi leikr hár hiti lindi jarðar. The sun turned dark. to vie with the deadly beast. The eagle screams and its pale beak is cutting corpses. ok aldrnara. and fiends reel. heimstöð ryðja. The worm Jormungand is engulfed by an ettin rage and churns the waves. All heroes shall leave the homestead. slítr nái Niðfölr. 57. Þá kemr inn mæri gengr Óðins sonr drepr af móði munu halir allir gengr fet níu neppur frá naðri 57. Then Odin´s son meets the worm. en himinn klofnar. Kjóll ferr austan. He struck the heart of Hvethrung’s son and so his father was avenged. Naglfar is loose. Flames leap high to heaven itself. Lætr hann megi Hveðrungs mundum standa hjör til hjarta. Surt fares from the south with the bane of branches. þá er hefnt föður. Crags shake. The folk of Muspell come over the sea. mögr Hlóðynjar. Then comes the mighty son of Victory-father. Surtr ferr sunnan skín af sverði grjótbjörg gnata. Fjorgyn’s son strode nine steps back from the serpent. In rage Midgard’s ward dropped him. ormi mæeta. Þá kemr inn mikli mögr Sigföður. Ginn lopt yfir gapa ýgs kjaptar mun Óðins sonr vargs at dauða 56. harmr annarr fram. koma munu Múspells en Loki stýrir. Beylast’s brother 52. Frigg’s lover will then fall. Kinsmen of fools fare with Freki.

63. neðan berr sér í fjöðrum. dróttir byggja ynðis njóta. 61. 64. frá Niðafjöllum. the work of the gods. fram sé ek lengra römm sigtíva 58. Both Baldr and Hoth shall live in Hropt’s victory hall. The Aesir meet in Ida-Vale and talk of the mighty Midgard worm. Sér hon upp koma jörð ór ægi Falla fossar. undursamligar í grasi finnask.eða hvat? sólu fekra. fiska veiðir. á Gimléi. Þar munu eftir gullnar töflur þærs í árdaga 62. Þá kemr inn ríki öflugr ofan. Þá kná Hænir ok burir byggja vindheim víðan. Baldr mun koma. 60. the awesome one from above who rules all. Then comes the strong one. earth from the ocean. The bonds are sheared and he runs hungry. öðru sinni iðjagræna. There the worthy drightens shall dwell. all agreen. 59.58. búa þeir Höðr ok Baldr vé valtívar. Munu ósánir böls mun alls batna. Nú mun hon sökkvask. his brother’s two sons will live there in the wide wind home. She knows much lore. or what? 64. sá er á fjalli 60. áttar höfðu.flýgur völl yfir. Baldr will return. at regindómi sá er öllu ræðr. 65. 66. recalling the mighty doom and Fimbulty’s ancient runes. en freki renna. They will again find the wondrous gold chess pieces in the grass. Hrofts sigtóftir Vituð ér enn . but I see more about Ragnarok and the Powerful Victory Tivar. forever in happiness. the flashing viper from under Nitha-Fells She sees Nithogg carrying corpses in his feathers as he flies over the valley. The unsown acres will then grow. akrar vaxa. those they had owned in the days of yore. thatched with gold in Gimle. Sal sér hon standa gulli þakðan Þar skulu dyggvar ok um aldrdaga 65. Evil will turn better. dreki fljúgandi. . 62. Niðhöggr nái. The dark drake comes flying.eða hvat? hlautvið kjósa bræðra tveggja Vituð ér enn . to the doom of the gods. flýgr örn yfir. Do you want to know more. standing fairer than the sun. á Iðavelli máttkan dæma á megindóma fornar rúnir. She sees another rise up. She sees a hall. Þar kemr inn dimmi naðr fránn. Garm bays loudly before Gnipa-cave. Do you want to know more. 10 . or what? 63. Geyr nú Garmr mjök festr mun slitna fjölð veit ek fræða um ragna rök 59. Torrents flow and the eagle flies above scanning the fells and hunting fish. Finnask æsir ok um moldþinur ok minnask þar ok á Fimbultýs 61. Now she shall sink down. Hoenir will then handle the lot wood. fyr Gnipahelli. 66.

Gap is the same as our word “Gap. and Lodur. The noun ginnung can mean deceit. The root vol is found in the word volsi which refers to a phallic image made from the phallus of a horse. Odin (Valfather=Father of the Slain) has awakened an ancient and renowned volva from the dead to ply her for knowledge. They answered questions about crops. The word volva means “one who carries a rod (volr)”. and to perform magic. They practiced various divinatory. seith. and “Ginn-fire” is a name sometimes given to the smith’s fire. Like Odin. our Middle Earth. 1. especially as it is associated with the God Tyr who is the judge who metes out dooms (judgements) and measures.” Ginn refers to magical forces that pervade the universe. Ginn is the root word in our word “beginning. mankind experienced a liminal period of Chaos. Ginn is a pantheistic magical stuff that flows through the universe. The gods Odin. A more complete description of the meeting of fire and ice in Ginnungagap may be found in Gylfaginning 6. just as he wakes another such woman before the gates of Hel in The Dreams of Baldr. The title of the first part of the Prose Edda is Gylfaginning. A volr was a cylindrical rod of about a foot and a half in length that was rounded or pointed at one end. Ginn is the magical stuff of the cosmic void in the beginning. The “holy kind” are the Gods and “Heimdall’s children” are men. The gunnungar is the magical stuff of the world. the coming years. rites. On the God Heimdall.The Spae of the Volva: Notes Volvas were seeresses who travelled about the countryside performing acts of wizardry for the locals. It may have been that the magical stuff of this gap was Ginn. if he knows how to ask and how to understand. Ginn is the magical stuff of which the world is wrought. The verb ginna means to delude or to intoxicate. 3. Mankind was created from two trees by Odin. and young couples. Ginn is a prefix found joined with words that signify the names of beings and objects that are high and holy. Between creation by Odin and the creation of social order by Heimdall. The nine worlds are ordered about the meeting tree or world ash whose roots and branches connect the outer realms to Midgard. the modern seeker may fathom the mysteries of Volva’s words. but the social classes were created by Heimdall. especially divinatory. They chanted and went into trances in which they could see more deeply into the ways of Gods and men. which is the center of the universe. 2. which means the deluding of Gylfi. the illusion that is the fabric of human consciousness. This is the tree as the universal column or Irminsul. Hoenir. A magically charged cosmic void called “Ginnungagap” existed before creation. the verb ginna can mean both to deceive. So also does Svipdag awaken his dead mother for magical knowledge. Wise women such as the volva held a high and honored place in Teutonic society from the beginning of recorded Germanic history. Meter is here the same as the English word “mete” (measure). healing and cursing arts known as spae. Human society operates by accepting shared 11 . The spells of the Volva are perhaps the most powerful in the Edda.” The verb Ginna can mean to delude or to intoxicate. The word Ginnungagap (The gap of Ginnung) is formed of the words Ginnung and Gap. Vili and Ve are sometimes called the Ginnregin. It is found in one of Odin’s names. trickery or illusion. In Swedish. see the glossary and index. “Beneath the ground” refers to the world tree as a seed. Spae wives would travel the country side and attend sacrificial feasts after which they would ascend wooden platforms to perform magical. It is numinous and holy. The “Glorious Meting Wood” is the world tree. The volva was fostered by ettins in ancient times. perhaps in phallic shape. galder and gand.

By shaping the world of the first primal giant. the more you lose some kinds of opportunities. When they built the first temple they were able to begin ordering their world by fashioning the tools of their conscious minds and the tools of science that are their extensions by the creative fires they stoked in their forges. the first great layer of Orlog (sometimes mistranslated “fate”) was lain. Each society has its own outlook that makes sense in its own context. The word Regin is found especially associated with the words Ginn and Rok. It is sometimes thought that these maidens were Norns. but it is also possible that they were just ettins who assaulted the heavens and wreaked havoc before the Gods had built the walls of Asgard. In this way. By this first cosmic act. The Gods themselves established the first blessings. See glossary. The greatest deeds often require such an act. When the Gods had ordered their world and were enjoying the fruits of their efforts in paradise. and Ve) to understand the world’s mysteries and to see beyond the illusions and handle the magical essence of the universe. they began to know the power of the Norns. Vili. Much of our own elder lore is difficult to understand because we have adopted alien cultural constructs. the actions of your parents and ancestors have already determined much of your destiny. but may seem insane seen from the point of view of another cultural system. while you make others available. The Regin are the Aesir Gods Odin. 12 . All important choices involve sacrificing one set of options for another and commitment to the chosen options. the events that may occur. 8. Hof and harrow refer to temple and alter. holy feasts. The creation of the world was at the expense of the ettin race. Hence the need for Thor’s vigilance. and sumbles. These maidens could include Gullveig and Heith. The three maidens could as well be interpreted as the three lives of Gullveig. Each society and members within a society are sometimes said to have their own way of looking at things or to see things differently. in the present. If the members of a society cannot agree to share certain basic assumptions about the world. and ever after the forces of Ettinhome were at war with the Gods and Men. 4. The three maidens may well be the Norns themselves bringing the unpleasant results of the Gods’ work into the world. the sons of Bor brought about the pattern by which the world would function and fall again to ruin and disorder and by which it would be reshaped.” 7. The circumstances into which you are born shape the kinds of lifestyles you may lead. Orlog does not refer to fate or predestination. Ida Vale is the plain upon which the Gods dwelled before the raising of the walls of Asgard. but is the idea that actions have consequences that shape possibilities and limitations for the actions that may be taken. 6. The longer you live. The act of creation set the processes in motion that would ultimately lead to the destruction of the world. Actions taken in the present will shape the possibilities of the future and must be based on possibilities created by past actions. The sons of Borr committed the first great cosmic sin in by killing their own ancestor Ymir to reshape the universe. Those who understand ginnung understand that the world is a tricky place and that things are not what they seem. Our languages are our most basic tools for articulating and ordering our assumptions into a seemingly coherent whole. there will be chaos which must again be fashioned in a way that seems real. Vili and Ve in their capacity as advisors. It is especially the job of the Ginnregin (Odin. Rok means judgement and Ragnarok means “Judgement of the Regin.illusions (cultural conceptual constructs) as truths. Three maidens (possibly the Norns) arrived from Ettinhome and their days of ease were over.

The three great Norns are Urth (what has been) Verthandi (what is becoming) and Skuld (what shall become). 13 . These three stanzas may also be keys to magical initiation into women’s mysteries and magical practices. Gullveig (the power of Gold) is the cause of war among the Gods. They struck a deal with a master builder from Ettinhome who was to receive the sun. Heimdall sacrificed his ordinary hearing in Mim’s well to gain supernatural hearing. gand and seith magic. Loki cheated the ettin out of his horse just before the project was completed. Odin. Odin gave them the breath of life. While the Gods were blissful on Ida Vale. In the context of war between the Aesir and Vanir. just as Odin pledged an eye to Mim’s well to gain supernatural sight. Thor was called on to kill the giant when the project was completed and the Gods thereby broke another oath. 23. the Aesir started the first war. Hoenir gave them inspired mental activity. It is presumably on account of Gullveig that the Aesir found themselves in a stalemate with the Vanir. He rides through the nine worlds by hanging from this steed. Odin still sees through this eye. The Aesir could not kill Gullveig with fire or iron. Hoenir was given as a hostage to the Vanir. The original dwarves were shaped by the Ases and these dwarves then created others by shaping manlike bodies from the earth. Valfather’s pledge is the eye Odin left in the well in exchange for a drink of its waters or mead. 26.9. Her initiation by fire recalls Odin’s ordeal in The Lay of Grim. they felt no lack of Gold. so the Aesir decided to build a fortification. 28. Casting the first spear over or into the enemy host was a way of sacrificing the fallen to Odin. 25. Gullveig is usually thought to be Freya. Lust could not be killed with material weapons. Hoenir and Lodur created mankind from two trees just as they ordered the cosmos and their own consciousness about a tree. Oaths were made to insure the safety of the ettin and that he was allowed the help of his horse. in order to obtain visions or knowledge. There are also many lesser Norns walking the world. Like a volva. The Norns are not conscious beings who plan the destinies of men and Gods by their own whim. 19-20. especially at a howe. The Vanes destroyed their fence. Rather they are the forces that mechanically process the actions of the world’s wights to turn the shape of the world. he has a view from the top and another from below in Mim’s well. and Lodur gave them physical characteristics. she is said to visit homesteads. for she would be reborn each time she was destroyed. the moon and Freya in payment if he completed the project in one winter. Rather than give in to the demands of the Vanir. “Sitting Out” is the practice of meditating at a holy site. Yggdrasil means Odin’s steed. Freya is the goddess who discovered the magical practices typical of the Vanir and it was she who taught these to Odin. After her ordeals she is reborn and emerges in stanza 22 with another name (Heith) and with the powers of spae. When he looks over the worlds from his seat in Asgard. 21. 10. Perhaps this is why the skies were mingled with venom. From Urth’s Well the Norns come and there is soon war. Another Odinic triad. 27. but Gullveig introduced lust and greed so that soon they found themselves in competition for the fires of life of which gold is a symbol.

The Old Norse phrase Hamr Trollz refers to faring forth in animal shape. 14 . In Mengloth’s garth a cock is to be seen sitting in the branches of Yggdrasil. The word troll does not refer to the giants of later folklore. This golden hall of Sindra is in Dwarfhome. As the forces of destruction overwhelm the world the social order crumbles into chaos and even the holiest bonds of kinship dissolve. 40. The word Hamr is often found in soul travel contexts. Nothing is static where life is concerned. If the soul withstands the knives of Slith and wades its waters. or some of them may find their way to another being. may be one of those which is here waded. and this is the word found Hamingja. According to Snorri’s Yngling Saga c. This is one of the barriers between Midgard and the depths of Ettinhome. Sindra is the dwarven smith who made Gullinbursti. the river of knives which originates from Hverglmir. 36. In some Scandinavian languages the word simply means magic. Ironwooders may be manifestations of the fetch souls of those faring forth into Ettinhome. Garm runs hungry with Freki. 35. The place of torments may be seen as places of shamanic type initiation as well as of death. Troll magic in the case of Hati and that of the Ironwooders is that of faring forth as wolves. The spells of spae are the stanzas of the Voluspa. Draupnir. who is here described as “having the shape of a troll. Mim’s head is likely the same as Mimir’s. 33. but rather to magical beings of Ettinhome. for the garths of both are warded by herdsmen on Howe-Hills. Troll magic is the magic of changing into a wolf. Skoll and Hati are the wolves who chase the sun and the moon across the heavens. Hati may be a fetch soul of Fenrir faring forth to chase the sun while the wolf himself remains bound in Asgard. though it is not known where. see note 2 above. and especially not where spirit is concerned. There is no one final resting place. Ironwood. like Mirkwood. The rooster is a symbol of change and awakening. When Loki travels to Ettinhome.” Hamr is the word used for shape. It is located in Niflheim with Hverglmir and Nithogg. 44. The Meter is the world tree. 46. while “gand” refers to the methods by which spae is practiced. The word appears infrequently in the Elder Edda. Nastrond=Shore of the Dead. but the term “ride” can refer to taking possession of a wolf or its skin for the purpose of faring forth. The components of a shredded soul may be dissolved. The Germanic place of torments is not permanent. 43. Slith. or it may fall to more unpleasant places and may even be dissolved. The being who takes the sun is Hati. The parts of the soul may be sundered from the individual and wend their ways back to their source of origin. but in Snorri and in HH 30 we find Troll-wives riding wargs in Ironwood. After death the soul may stay relatively intact and move to one of the heavenly halls for a time. Nitha vales=Dark Vales. The rooster crows at twilight. 42. Loki was bound in a cave in the guts of his son. the liminal period between day and night which is neither the one nor the other. The tree upon which the cock sits is Yggdrasil. is a great forest in Ettinhome that is full of trolls and troll-wives who ride wargs. These beings are called Ironwooders. Freki is the name of one of Odin’s wolves. The Ironwooders are said to ride their wargs. It is an age ruled by outlaws and outdwellers. 38-39. and Mjolnir. he sometimes borrows the falcon or hawk shapes (Hamr) of Freya or Frigg. a warrior magic par-excellence. The sons of Mim play about the tree while Odin speaks with the head of their father. This could be the abode of a giantess such as Mengloth or Gerth. When Mim’s (memory’s) sons deceive. 4. Odin takes every opportunity to master forms of magic with which he is unfamiliar. mental activity goes awry.29. 45. it may emerge strengthened.

The venom of Hvergelmir and its serpents is essential to the process of creation. Its counterpart is Irminsul (great column) which forms the vertical axis of the cosmos while the serpent forms the horizontal axis. he embalmed it and sang spells over it. The Voluspa and the myth of Ragnarok can be taken as model for change and creation. Frey slays Beli. the mother of Thor. 50. Grith is the giantess who granted Thor iron gauntlets and a belt of might on his voyage to Geirroth’s hall. to be formed anew. as if the events and figures were part of one’s own self and psychology. Think of the poems as a dream and interpret them as if they were dreams. A world is created. the Midgard serpent. 54. If no wood is cut. These stones are portals between living and dead at grave sites. 48. 66. The heavenly and earthly bodies fall back into the chaos of stanza 5. The Vanir felt cheated when they discovered that Mimir was incapable of giving advice when not in the presence of Hoenir. Stone gates are the gates between Dark-Elf home and Midgard.the Vanir cut off the head of Mimir and returned it to Odin after Mimir had been sent to them as a hostage. Neither can form good plans without working in conjuction with the other. Mimir means memory and Hoenir and Mimir function together like the ravens thought and memory. According to Gylf. 53. The terms “stone door” is the dwarven equivalent of the “doors of the dead” by which ancestors may be contacted from Midgard. Hljoth and Fjorgyn are names for Earth. no boats are built. 56. it is necessary to destroy. This may be seen as another means of moving beyond his own personal memory to that of the collective cultural unconsciousness. Nithogg and the forces of the next Ragnarok are already present in the newly created paradise. or as a point at which dwarves may be called forth into Midgard. 57. it is destroyed and it is created anew. Such stones may be used to cross over into Dark-Elfhome when faring forth. The gates may be any stone formation sacred to dwarves. who was also sent as a hostage by the Aesir. As they reorder the game pieces. Jormungand. 15 . As figures were part of one’s own self and psychology. When Odin received the head. so they reorder the world for the next phase. See 59. In order to create. and the games begin anew. 36. and presumably better. means “great gand” or great magical staff. So it is in the process of self transformation and self development. 61. Vithar is the son of Odin and Grith.

Watch out and check all gates before faring forth. 4. and. Hail the givers! A guest has come where shall he sit? Hard pressed is he. en augum skoðar. 3. if he can get them. The wary guest who comes to the feast listens in silence. svá nýsisk fróðra hverr fyrir. 16 . Vits er þörf þeim er víða ratar. 2. Vatns er þörf þeim er til verðar kemr. þá er horskur ok þögull kemr heimisgarða til. He will be mocked. Gefendr heilir! Gestr er inn kominn. góðs um æðis ef sér geta mætti orðs ok endrþögu. Hard to know what foe sits before you in the next room.Hávamál 1. The dull should stay home. drying and friendly words as well. 6. því at óbrigðra vin fær maðr aldregi en mannvit mikit. good words. Elds er þörf þeims inn er kominn ok á kné kalinn. for he who comes for a meal. and welcome again. Matar ok váða er manni þörf. um skyggnast skyli. 6. sjaldan verðr víti vörum. Food and clothing is needful to men who have fared over the fells. The wise and silent are seldom harmed when wary in the hall. The Words of Har 1. Water is needful. a man cannot have. who cannot sit with sages. 5. hvar skal sitja sjá? Mjök er bráðr sá er á bröndum skal síns um freista frama. þeim er hefr um fjall farit. but watchful instead. than understanding. Thus the wise ward their ways. 4. því at óvíst er at vita hvar óvinir sitja á fleti fyrir. 5. dælt er heima hvat. 7. þerru ok þjóðlaðar. At hyggjandi sinni skylit maðr hræsinn vera. Gáttir allar áðr gangi fram um skoðask skyli. kindness. one should pry around. 2. One should spy around. Let a man not be boastful about his wisdom. 7. at augabragði verðr sá er ekki kann ok með snotrum sitr. Fire is needful for those who arrive with cold knees. Inn vari gestr er til verðar kemr þunnu hljóði þegir. Wits are needful to he who travels far. heldur gætinn at geði. A more trustworthy friend. eyrum hlýðir. 3. who tests his luck by the fire. casts his eyes about and pricks up his ears.

roaring drunk. who must get these things by the help of another. A man bears no better burden on the wilderness ways than great wisdom. A man should be glad and happy until defeated by death. when on the wilderness ways than great wisdom. One can have no worse fare. því er ölðr bazt. 11. Byrði betri berrat maðr brautu at en sé mannvit mikit. Hinn er sæll er sér um getr lof ok líknstafi. with wise Fjalar. slíkt er válaðs vera. þess fugls fjöðrum ek fjötraðr vark í garði Gunnlaðar. 14. Silent and attentive. hann stelr geði guma. glaðr ok reifr skyli gumna hverr. Byrði betri berrat maðr brautu at en sé mannvit mikit. He has it hard. A man often gets evil counsel from the heart of another. því at færa veit er fleira drekkr síns til geðs gumi. Ölr ek varð. Happy is he who gets praise and knows liking staves. auði betra þykkir þat í ókunnum stað. A man bears no better burden. er maðr eiga skal annars brjóstum í. varð ofrölvi at ins fróða Fjalars. than too much ale. Era svá gótt sem gótt kveða öl alda sonum. on road or field. and battle bold should a chieftain’s son be. Ale is not so good as they say for the sons of men. 13. I became drunk.8. A man’s mind knows less. vegnest verra vegra hann velli at en sé ofdrykkja öls. meðan lifir. 12. 15. The best wassail is that which a man leaves with his wits. unz sinn bíðr bana. Óminnishegri heitir sá er yfir ölðrum þrumir. 8. 17 . Þagalt ok hugaltskyldi þjóðans barn ok vígdjarft vera. 14. 10. The heron is called mindlessness who hovers over men stealing their minds I was bound by that fowl’s feathers when I was in Gunnloth’s garth. Sá er sæll er sjálfr um á lof ok vit. 9. 13. 12. 15. 10. ódælla er við þat. 11. the more he drinks. því at ill ráð hefr maðr oft þegit annars brjóstum ór. at aftr um heimtir hverr sitt geð gumi. 9. It will prove better than wealth in an unknown homestead. Happy is he who gets praise and has wit throughout his life.

when he gets drunk. 22. ef hann sylg um getr. ef hann við víg varask. 23. uppi er þá geð guma. er hann vita þyrfti at hann era vamma vanr. ókynnis þess vár þik engi maðr at þú gangir snemma at sofa. Often he brings ridicule on himself when he is among wise men who mock the man’s belly. hittki hann veit. drekki þó at hófi mjöð. Ill tempered the wretch. 16. þá er móðr er at morgni kemr. Gráðugr halr. nema geðs viti. The unwise man never knows how much to eat. 20. mæli þarft eða þegi. 21.16. The greedy man. allt er víl sem var. allt er senn. hverju geði stýrir gumna hverr. that he is not without faults. The fool gapes when among the folk. sá er vitandi er vits. 19. No man shall call you ignorant if you go to bed early. what his mind is like. þylsk hann um eða þrumir. who laughs at everyone. 21. 17. 22. 19. He alone knows. 18. and soon it is seen. en ósviðr maðr kann ævagi síns um mál maga. A man should not refrain form the cup though he drink mead in the hof let him say what is needful or be silent. without mind’s wits eats himself in sorrow. 23. Ósnjallr maðr hyggsk munu ey lifa. Sá einn veit er víða ratar ok hefr fjölð um farit. Ósviðr maðr vakir um allar nætr ok hyggr at hvívetna. The unwise man thinks he will live forever by avoiding battle But old age will give him no rest though he be spared from spears. er með horskum kemr manni heimskum magi. as he should. The herd knows when to go home and leave the grazing ground behind. Haldit maðr á keri. He cannot recognize. who has wandered widely and has fared over the fells what mind stirs in each man if he himself has wits. oft fær hlægis. en elli gefr hánum engi frið. Kópir afglapi er til kynnis kemr. þótt hánum geirar gefi. 20. 18. Hjarðir þat vitu nær þær heim skulu ok ganga þá af grasi. He mutters and mopes. 18 . 17. Vesall maðr ok illa skapi hlær at hvívetna. The stupid man lies awake all night and thinks about everything and is tired in the morning though all is as it was. etr sér aldrtrega.

26.nema haldendur eigi. 25. 29. though he is kin. þótt hann með grömum glami. engi þat veit. hvat hann skal við kveða. At augabragði skala maðr annan hafa. ef hann með snotrum sitr. at hann ekki kann. þótt til kynnis komi. He is wise who leaves the flyting when guest mocks guest. Do not ridicule another man. Ærna mælir. The stupid man thinks that all who laugh at him are friends He does not notice how the talk goes when he sits with wise men. þótt þeir um hann fár lesi. gestr at gest hæðinn. ef hann freginn erat ok nái hann þurrfjallr þruma. staðlausu stafi. margr þá fróðr þykkisk. Ósnotr maðr þykkisk allt vita. Fróðr sá þykkisk. Wise seems he who knows how to ask and answer. Ósnotr maðr er með aldir kemr. 31. The speedy tongue that never stops often brings itself harm. and leaves dry skinned. When the fool fares among folk it is best he stay quiet. sá er flótta tekr. But when he is at the thing he finds few spokesmen. at hann á formælendr fáa. 25. hraðmælt tunga.24. 27. 24. þá þat finnr er at þingi kemr. Hittki hann fiðr. Fróðr þykkisk. þat er bazt. But he does not know what to say when men test him. He who grins at the feast does not know that he chatters among foes. því er gengr um guma. 30. He oft seems wise who is not questioned. oft sér ógótt um gelr. 28. at hann þegi. nema hann mæli til margt. 27. 31. 28. No one knows that he knows nothing unless he talks too much. He who never shuts up blathers powerless staves. The unwise man thinks that all who laugh at him are friends. ef hann á sér í vá veru. eyvitu leyna megu ýta synir. 30. The stupid man thinks he knows all when he is at home. hittki hann veit. er fregna kann ok segja it sama. ef hans freista firar. cannot be hidden from men. 26. Ósnotr maðr hyggr sér alla vera viðhlæjendr vini. 29. veita görla sá er um verði glissir. What goes about among men. sá er æva þegir. 19 . Ósnotr maðr hyggr sér alla vera viðhlæjendr vini.

39. and a thatched roof. 35. at leið sé laun. þótt tvær geitr eigi ok taugreftan sal. Gumnar margir erusk gagnhollir en at virði vrekask. 20 . aldar róg þat mun æ vera. 32. When one stays too long in another’s house. 36. 35. A man should often get his meal early. eats like he were starving without even asking. Though he owns but two goats. þótt hann sé firr farinn. He should not stay too long in one stead. Bú er betra. Árliga verðar skyli maðr oft fáa. órir gestr við gest. Ganga skal. 37. home is hall. or so generous as to loath a gift were it given. A man should not step one foot forth in the field without weapons. ef lengi sitr annars fletjum á. þótt á brautu búi. þat er þó betra en bæn. því at óvíst er at vita nær verðr á vegum úti geirs um þörf guma. it is better than begging. But a straight way lies to the good friend. Vápnum sínum skala maðr velli á feti ganga framar. at værit þiggja þegit. 38. One’s home is better though it be small. when on the road. 33. It is a long way to the false friend though he dwell by the road. 34.32.. skala gestr vera ey í einum stað. 33. Then the guest should go. 37. Fannka ek mildan mann eða svá matar góðan. ljúfur verðr leiðr. though it is small. Many a man is being friendly when he teases at the table. Sitr ok snópir. Bú er betra. halr er heima hverr. home is hall. 34. halr er heima hverr. blóðugt er hjarta þeim er biðja skal sér í mál hvert matar. 36. Afhvarf mikit er til ills vinar. 39. 38. His heart will bleed who has to ask for each meal’s meat. One cannot know. nema til kynnis komi. though he lives far away. Otherwise he sits and idles. þótt lítit sé. To each. eða síns féar svági [glöggvan]. I never found a generous man who was so free with his food. that he would turn it down. love turns to loathing. There is always strife when guest clashes with guest. When he visits friends. To each. One’s own home is best. þótt lítit sé. ef þægi. en til góðs vinarliggja gagnvegir. when he will need his spear. lætr sem sólginn sé ok kann fregna at fáu.

If you do not trust a man. and he speaks his mind with you laugh with him. A man shall ever be a friend to his friends and give gift for gift. 40. I once traveled alone and lost my way. fagrt skaltu við þann mæla en flátt hyggja ok gjalda lausung við lygi. Vin sínum skal maðr vinr vera ok gjalda gjöf við gjöf. Those who share gifts stay the fastest friends. but give lies for lies. fór ek einn saman: þá varð ek villr vega. Maðr er manns gaman. share your mind with him. 44. Many affairs go awry. Vin sínum skal maðr vinr vera. auðigr þóttumk. viðurgefendr ok endrgefendr erusk lengst vinir. exchange gifts. Ef þú átt annan. If you know another and trust him not and you want to get good from him speak fair to him while thinking falsely and give him lies for lies. fara at finna oft. 42. but speak not your mind and deal fitting rewards for his gifts. margt gengr verr en varir. If you know that you have a friend and that he is true. þat er á sjálfum sýnst.40. 47. A man shall always be a friend to friends and to the friend of a friend but never a friend to a friend’s enemies. oft sparir leiðum þats hefr ljúfum hugat. Féar síns er fengit hefr skylit maðr þörf þola. vildu af hánum þó gótt geta. 21 . 41. Það er enn of þann er þú illa trúir ok þér er grunr at hans geði: hlæja skaltu við þeim ok um hug mæla. and that you will get good from him. 42. 45. 43. er ek annan fann. ef þat bíðr at verða vel. laughter for laughter. 43. þeim ok þess vin. 45. glík skulu gjöld gjöfum. þann er þú vel trúir. and visit him often. 41. Friends should share joy in weapons and clothes that are evident to one another. en óvinar síns skyli engi maðr vinar vinr vera. geði skaltu við þann blanda ok gjöfum skipta. man rejoices in man. Veiztu. 44. 47. 46. when things go well. Ungr var ek forðum. þanns þú illa trúir. When I was young. Vápnum ok váðum skulu vinir gleðjask. ef þú vin átt. ok vilt þú af hánum gótt geta. One should not have too much need of the goods he has gotten. hlátr við hlátri skyli hölðar taka en lausung við lygi. Often one squanders on enemies what was intended for loved ones. I thought myself rich when I found another. 46.

55. 48. svá er maðr. ef sá er alsnotr. You can win praise with little. 49. Hvat skal hann lengi lifa? 51. Shameful the naked hero. en ósnjallr maðruggir hotvetna. A wise man’s heart is seldom glad when he has got himself great wisdom. 49. fræknir menn bazt lifa. A small lake has a little sand. er þeir rift höfðu. The young fir tree dies that stands sheltered by neither bark nor needle in the field Such is a man whom none love. því at snotrs manns hjarta verðr sjaldan glatt. Váðir mínar gaf ek velli at tveim trémönnum. 50. and seldom has sorrow. But it slackens on the sixth and the friendship goes awry. 52. hlýrat henni börkr né barr. 52. Middle wise should each man be and not over wise. 54. Why should such a man live longer? 51. 54. æva til snotr sé. The minds of men are small and not all men are equally wise. Meðalsnotr skyli manna hverr. I gave my clothes to two tree-men in the field. Hotter than fire friendship burns for five days between false friends. oft kaupir sér í litlu lof. The fairest life is had by the one who knows many things well. er á. 53. Því at allir menn urðut jafnspakir. Lítilla sanda lítilla sæva lítil eru geð guma. Mildir. Eldi heitari brennr með illum vinum friðr fimm daga.48. 53. sá er manngi ann. 22 . Give not great gifts. But the unwise suspect all and always pine for gifts. þeim er fyrða fegrst at lifa er vel margt vitu. He who gives gladly lives the best life. Hrörnar þöll sú er stendr þorpi á. Mikit eitt skala manni gefa. rekkar þat þóttusk. æva til snotr sé. 50. neiss er nökkviðr halr. No man is whole. Meðalsnotr skyli manna hverr. Half a loaf and half a cup won me fellowship. sjaldan sút ala. en þá slokknar er inn sétti kemr ok versnar allr vinskapr. Middle wise should each man be and not over-wise. sýtir æ glöggr við gjöfum. með halfum hleif ok með höllu keri fékk ek mér félaga. half er öld hvar. Men they seemed with clothes. 55.

Þurra skíða ok þakinna næfra. He who knows not his orlog may sleep untroubled. Fire is kindled from fire. Ár skal rísa sá er á yrkjendr fáa ok ganga síns verka á vit. if three know. þótt hann sét væddr til vel. All will know. 58. He should rise early who has few workers to see to his work himself. So fares a man in a throng where few will plead his case. Middle wise should each man be and not over wise. þjóð veit. 58. Half of wealth is gotten by initiative. 63. einn vita né annarr skal. þeim er sorgalausastr sefi. funi kveikisk af funa. Brandr af brandi brenn. Each shall ask and answer who is wise and wishes to be called wise. not even a second. æva til snotr sé. Seldom does the lying wolf get the lamb or the sleeping man victory. hálfur er auðr und hvötum. Meðalsnotr skyli manna hverr. maðr af manni verðr at máli kuðr en til dælskr af dul. Let none know. 59. 57. sjaldan liggjandi ulfr lær um getr né sofandi maðr sigr. ef þrír ro. A man should ride to the thing though his clothes are well worn. He loses much who sleeps in the morning. 23 . þátt hann hafit góðan 62. 61. A man should not be ashamed of his shoes and breeks. þess kann maðr mjöt ok þess viðar er vinnask megi mál ok misseri. Brand burns brand and is so burned. A man is known by his talk and the dull man is known by his nonsense. 56. Þveginn ok mettr ríði maðr þingi at. He should rise early who wants to take the life or property of another. 57. margt um dvelr þann er um morgun sefr. Skúa ok bróka skammisk engi maðr né hests in heldr. unz brunninn er. 59. 63. Snapir ok gnapir. 60. 61. Well fed and washed fare to the thing. The eagle snuffles and droops when he fares over the waves of the sea. örn á aldinn mar: Svá er maðr er með mörgum kemr ok á formælendr fáa. Fregna ok segja skal fróðra hverr. er til sævar kemr. for wood to last in the winter time. sá er vill heitinn horskr. or even less of his horse.56. Ár skal rísa sá er annars vill fé eða fjör hafa. though they are not the best 62. örlög sín viti engi fyrir. Dry firewood and birch bark for roofing a man can measure. 60.

eld sá ek upp brenna auðgum manni fyrir. 71. þá hann þat finnr. eða tvau lær hengi at ins tryggva vinar. He finds. A halt man can ride a horse. sumr af fé ærnu. 70. 66. 67. Hér ok hvar myndi mér heim of boðit. öl var drukkit. 67. 72. þars ek hafða eitt etit. án við löst at lifa. The fire burned for the wealthy man.64. some by wealth and others by good works. 69. sjaldan hittir leiðr í líð. Sonr er betri. 24 64. Stones seldom stand by the roads unless raised by kin for kin. sumr af verkum vel. en úti var dauðr fyr durum. er með fræknum kemr at engi er einna hvatastr. Fire is better for the sons of men and the sight of the sun. sjaldan bautarsteinar standa brautu nær. þótt hann sé illa heill. Betra er lifðum en sé ólifðum. —— —— Words spoken by one to another often bring an evil reward. The handless can be herdsmen. some by friends. 66. heilyndi sitt. 65. a blind man is better than a burned man. if a man can keep it and live without shame. Good health also. 69. Ríki sittskyli ráðsnotra hverr í hófi hafa. A man is not entirely bereft though his health is poor. sumt var ólagat. er maðr öðrum segir oft hann gjöld um getr. sumr er af sonum sæll. though born late after the father has passed away. ey getr kvikr kú. nýtr manngi nás. . All who are wise in rede shall not be overly forceful. Better to be alive and happy. Erat maðr alls vesall. Mikilsti snemma kom ek í marga staði en til síð í suma. 65. The ale was already drunk or yet unbrewed. hjörð rekr handar vanr. The loathed find little among the folk. Better to have a son. Some are blessed with sons. and a dead man is of no use. 72. nema reisi niðr at nið. but the dead man lays outside. —— —— orða þeira. The quick always get the cattle. Far too early I arrived at many steads. The deaf can fight bravely. 68. þótt sé síð of alinn eftir genginn guma. Eldr er beztr með ýta sonum ok sólar sýn. ef þyrftak at málungi mat. who walks among the stout. Haltr ríðr hrossi. daufr vegr ok dugir. 70. 71. that no one is the strongest. sumr af frændum. But too late at others. ef maðr hafa náir. Here and there they had me in their homes. blindr er betri en brenndr séi. 68. if I was not hungry for meat or hung two hams for the true friend for the one I had eaten.

deyr sjalfr it sama. svá er auðr sem augabragð. only his pride. maður er auðigr. deyja frændr. It is found when you ask the runes which are known to the Regin made by the Ginnregin drawn by Fimbulthul. ef hann þegir. mæki. kinsmen die. and you yourself shall die. 25 74. Deyr fé. Cattle die. 77. annar óauðigr. Praise the day in the evening. nú bera þeir vonar völ. er gefin er. mey. 74. There is no blame in that. But I know one that never dies that is the doom of each one dead. margr verðr af aurum api. 73. 81. Tveir ro eins herjar. þá hefir hann bazt.konu. The store rooms of Fitjung’s sons were full. en orðstírr deyr aldregi hveim er sér góðan getr. a sword when it is tried. 79. One man is rich and another poor. Deyr fé. 80. deyja frændr. er yfir kemr. 76. 75. 80. the falsest of friends. Cattle die and kinsmen die and you yourself shall die. er þú að rúnum spyrr inum reginkunnum. But fair fame never dies for the one who wins it. it is best to keep silent. ef eignask getr fé eða fljóðs munuð. handar væni. Ósnotr maðr. Veita hinn er vettki veit. öl. a maid when married. Night is joyful if provisions are adequate. . 81. hann er valtastr vina. Thus flies wealth in the twinkling of an eye. Fullar grindr sá ek fyr Fitjungs sonum. ek veit einn at aldrei deyr: dómr um dauðan hvern. Nótt verðr feginn sá er nesti trúir. en mannvit aldregi: fram gengr hann drjúgt í dul. 75. Þat er þá reynt. ice when crossed. Two take on one. His wisdom never increases. þeim er gerðu ginnregin ok fáði fimbulþulr. even more in a month. 79.73. The tongue is the head’s bane. Fall nights pass and weather changes many times in five days. ale when drunk. hverf er haustgríma. I expect fists under every fur coat. 78. At kveldi skal dag leyfa. metnaðr hánum þróask. fjölð um viðrir á fimm dögum en meira á mánuði. Now they bear the beggar’s staff. The cabins of ships are cramped. er drukkit er. a torch when it is burned. The unwise man only grows arrogant when he wins himself wealth or a woman’s love. 76. He who knows nothing does not know that many men become apes. 78. 77. er reyndr er. deyr sjalfr it sama. er mér í heðin hvern tunga er höfuðs bani. er brennd er. ís. skammar ro skips ráar. skylit þann vítka váar.

myrkri við man spjalla. as to trust in these. Hew wood in the wind.82. Get a sword for hewing and a maid for kissing. if it breaks on foot. or drifting rudderless on heavy seas. magran mar kaupa. húsi hálfbrunnu. vellanda katli. hesti alskjótum. Look for speed in a ship. a bride’s bed talk. 90. veðri á sjó róa. eða skyli haltr henda hrein í þáfjalli. and for cover from a shield. brúðar beðmálum eða brotnu sverði. en mæki saurgan. a broken sword. völu vilmæli. a crashing wave. tvévetrum ok sé tamr illa. 83. brigð í brjóst um lagið. fallandi báru. a swelling wave. þótt á brautu mæti. or poorly trained two year olds. sem aki jó óbryddum á ísi hálum. 86. a king’s son. . Weather ruins the acres. a coiled snake. . Such is the love of a woman whose heart is false. though met on the road. Early sown acres should no man trust. 87. 84. a grunting boar. a burning fire. Let no man trust a maiden’s words. eða í byr óðum beiti stjórnlausu. a boiling kettle. 85. an uppity thrall. rótlausum viði. 87. and stupidity the son. Fljúganda fleini. Like riding unshod horses over slippery ice. night old ice. Meyjar orðum skyli manngi trúa né því.þá er jór ónýtr. a half-burned house. A flying arrow. A sick calf. a grinning wolf. Bróðurbana sínum. play with a maid in the dark. teitum. a rootless tree. mörg eru dags augu. Your brother’s slayer.veðr ræðr akri. skate on the ice. 88. 89. ísi einnættum. and a rusty blade. rýtanda svíni. hætt er þeira hvárt. en á ísi skríða. buy a lean steed. Akri ársánum trúi engi maðr né til snemma syni. ormi hringlegnum. Svá er friðr kvenna. 89. the pleasant talk of a volva. vaxanda vági. or like a halt reindeer on a slippery fell. and falsehood lurks in their breasts. the fresh fallen warrior. nor too soon a son. 85. 26 sjalfráða þræli. for their hearts were shaped on a spinning wheel. gínanda ulfi. þeira er flátt hyggja. heima hest feita. en mey til kossa. for many are the eyes of the day. bjarnar leiki eða barni konungs. the play of bears. One must not be so trusting. 82. Each of these is a risk. feed your horse at home and your hound at home. nor the talk of a woman. or too swift a horse. 88. 86. Við eld skal öl drekka. mæki höggs. . galandi kráku. val nýfelldum.en vit syni.ef einn fótr brotnar -. 90. a singing crow. á skip skal skriðar orka. Sjúkum kalfi. en á skjöld til hlífar. row out to sea in good weather. 84.brennanda loga. Í vindi skal við höggva. er kveðr kona. Drink ale by the fire. Brestanda boga. því at á hverfanda hvéli váru þeim hjörtu sköpuð. en hund á búi. verðit maðr svá tryggr at þessu trúi öllu. A brittle bow. A steed is worthless. 83.

heimska ór horskum gerir hölða sonu sá inn máttki munr. which deceive the hearts of the wise. oft fá á horskan. brigðr er karla hugr konum. þess er um margan gengr guma. Our hearts are most false when our words roost fair. 92. The heart and body of the wise maid were dear to me.91. þá vér fegrst mælum. 93. jarls ynði þótti mér ekki vera nema við þat lík at lifa. “Auk nær aftni skaltu. Ástar firna skyli engi maðr annan aldregi. Hugr einn þat veit er býr hjarta nær.” 27 . if you would speak with me. Þat ek þá reynda er ek í reyri sat ok vættak míns munar.” 91. á heimskan né fá. Each counsels himself. I found that out. 95. The lure of a beautiful woman often snares the wise while leaving the fool. 98. 95. Billing’s daughter I found on her bed. öng er sótt verri hveim snotrum manni en sér engu að una. Billings mey ek fann beðjum á sólhvíta sofa. 98. ef þú vilt þér mæla man. 93. því at ek bæði veit. Praise the looks of the bonny lass. Óðinn. “Come back near evening Odin. 92. þeygi ek hana at heldr hefik. He shall speak fairly and deal wealth who will win a woman’s love. A man’s heart is false with women. Powerful love makes fools of heroes and sages. 97. 94. Only your own mind knows what is dearest to your heart. Win by wooing. koma. 94. líki leyfa ins ljósa mans: Sá fær er fríar. for I know both. einn er hann sér um sefa. but I had not my will with her. It would be entirely unfitting unless only the two of us know of this deed. er vér flást hyggjum: þat tælir horska hugi. A man should not heap abuse on another for something that happens to many men. allt eru ósköp nema einir viti slíkan löst saman. Fagurt skal mæla ok fé bjóða sá er vill fljóðs ást fá. The sun-white maid slept and a Jarldom seemed nothing to me if I lived without her love. I say this openly. Eyvitar firna er maðr annan skal. 96. Bert ek nú mæli. lostfagrir litir. hold ok hjarta var mér in horska mær. 97. No man should ever ridicule another’s love. There is no worse illness for a sage than losing love for himself. when I sat in the reeds and waited for my heart’s delight.

ef hann vill margfróðr vera. 103. Mörg er góð mær. Þá ek þat reynda. Thus I risked my head. með brennandum ljósum ok bornum viði. 101. and I had not my way with her. 106. síns ins svára sefa. 102. But I found a bitch bound to the fair maid’s bed. Many a good maid proves false hearted when you get to know her. 104. ef görva kannar. and her heavy-heart. I found that out when I lured the wise woman in lust. I worked not my will. yfir ok undir stóðumk jötna vegir. The old ettin I sought. as I sat on her golden seat. He should be thoughtful and eloquent if he wants to be learned in lore and praised as such. Gunnlöð mér um gaf gullnum stóli á drykk ins dýra mjaðar. 104. þat er ósnotrs aðal. Oft skal góðs geta. ok hafða ek þess vettki vífs. 28 99. Rata munn létumk rúms um fá ok um grjót gnaga. had I been silent. Gunnloth gave me. 105. The auger bored and made me room gnawed through stone. er ek var enn um kominn. svá hætta ek höfði til. 100. svá var mér vílstígr of vitaðr. a drink of the dear won mead. grey eitt ek þá fann innar góðu konu bundit beðjum á. 102. Glad in his household and cheerful with guests and wise let a man be. their torches alight. I thought that I would have great pleasure and all her heart. for her goodwill. Auk nær morgni. Aftr ek hvarf ok unna þóttumk vísum vilja frá. The clever maiden had sport of me with all manner of mockery. 105. . er it ráðspaka teygða ek á flærðir fljóð. ill iðgjöld lét ek hana eftir hafa síns ins heila hugar. That is the lot of fools. Heima glaðr gumi ok við gesti reifr. 106. sviðr skal um sig vera. Near morning I went in again when the folk were asleep. now I am back I would have gotten little. þá var saldrótt sofin. minnigr ok málugr. Inn aldna jötun ek sótta. Svá kom ek næst at in nýta var vígdrótt öll um vakin. nú em ek aftr um kominn: fátt gat ek þegjandi þar. 101. hitt ek hugða at ek hafa mynda geð hennar allt ok gaman. 103. fimbulfambi heitir sá er fátt kann segja. over and under were the ettin ways.99. 100. An evil reward I dealt her afterwards. háðungar hverrar leitaði mér it horska man. hugbrigð við hali. I spoke many words to work my will in Suttung’s hall. I went back thinking she loved me. So I came the next night and the warriors were all awake bearing bright brands. but I was misled. mörgum orðum mælta ek í minn frama í Suttungs sölum. The man who has little to say is deemed an idiot.

113. I watched and thought. því at Óðrerir er nú upp kominn á alda vés jaðar. Do not rise at night. asking about Bolverk. Loddfáfnir. or to find the outhouse. 109. 111. heed it well. I know that Odin swore an oath on a ring. Mál er at þylja þular stóli á Urðarbrunni at.107. heyrða ek segja svá: 112. Ifi er mér á at ek væra enn kominn jötna görðum ór. 111. Ráðumk þér. For the wise little is lacking. At Bölverki þeir spurðu. Do not sleep in the arms of a woman skilled in black arts such that she locks her limbs with yours. en þú ráð nemir. except to spy. I heard the speech of men. 110. 109. had I not enjoyed the good woman Gunnloth in whose arms I lay. sá ek ok þagðak. heed it well! You will use it if you learn it. I saw and was silent. þeirar er lögðumk arm yfir. At Har’s hall. þér munu góð ef þú getr -: nótt þú rísat nema á njósn séir eða þú leitir þér innan út staðar. Loddfáfnir. Ráðumk þér. Baugeið Óðinn hygg ek. 107. né um ráðum þögðu Háva höllu at. ef hann væri með böndum kominn eða hefði hánum Suttungr of sóit. svá at hon lyki þik liðum. if you understand it. it will get you good. I would hardly have come out alive from the garth of the ettins. whether he was among the Gods or had been slain by Suttung. Háva höllu í. You will use it if you learn it. The next day rime Thurses strode out to ask rede of Har in Har’s Hall. 29 . Ins hindra dags gengu hrímþursar Háva ráðs at fregna Háva höllu í. in Har’s hall I heard them speak. njóta mundu ef þú nemr. To Gunnloth he brought sorrow. I put it to good use. It is time to sing on the sage’s seat at Urth’s well. if you understand it. 110. Vel keypts litar hefi ek vel notit. ef ek Gunnlaðar né nytak. How shall his troth be trusted? He robbed Suttung and took his sumble. Othroerir has been brought up to the ve of the gods. 113. I give you rede Loddfafnir. njóta mundu ef þú nemr. sá ek ok hugðak. 108. fás er fróðum vant. en þú ráð nemir. it will get you good. innar góðu konu. Dear bought. I give you rede Loddfafnir. I heard talk of runes. hlydda ek á manna mál. at unnið hafi. of rúnar heyrða ek dæma. þér munu góð ef þú getr -: fjölkunnigri konu skalattu í faðmi sofa. They were not silent at council. 112. hvat skal hans tryggðum trúa? Suttung svikinn hann lét sumbli frá ok grætta Gunnlöðu. 108.

it will get you good. því at hrísi vex ok hávu grasi vegr. 120. If you fare veil on fell or fjord. njóta mundu ef þú nemr. ferr þú sorgafullr að sofa. en þú ráð nemir. If you have a true friend fare to find him often. þér munu góð ef þú getr -: illan mann láttu aldregi óhöpp at þér vita. 118. I saw a man sharply bitten by the ill words of a woman. heed it well! You will use it if you learn it. 120. en þú ráð nemir. Shrubs and grass grow to cover the untrodden path. heed it well! You will use it. Ráðumk þér. þér munu góð. ef þú getr -: veistu. 114. You will not want food or any pleasure and you will seek your bed in sorrow. I give you rede Loddfafnir. njóta mundu ef þú nemr. Her false tongue brought his death. Loddfáfnir. ef þú vin átt þann er þú vel trúir. en þú ráð nemir. if you understand it. I give you rede Loddfafnir. þér munu góð. 119. Ráðumk þér. þér munu góð ef þú getr -: áfjalli eða firði. 115. She will work it that you will not want to go to the thing or care about the talk of the folk. Never tell your hardships to foemen. 115. if you learn it. Ráðumk þér. 117. mat þú villat né mannskis gaman. ef þik fara tíðir. fásktu at virði vel. heed it well! You will use it if you learn it. Loddfáfnir. if you learn it. Loddfáfnir. Loddfáfnir. Ráðumk þér. it will get you good if you understand it. Draw a good man to yourself with staves of joy. and you will have healing songs while you live. I give you rede Loddfafnir. 116. en þú ráð nemir. I give you rede Loddfafnir. and her attacks were unjust. 117. því at af illum manni fær þú aldregi gjöld ins góða hugar. if you understand it. 118. Watch that you are not lured to bed by another’s wife. for you will never get a reward for your good wishes from evil men. far þú at finna oft. it will get you good if you understand it.114. Ofarla bíta ek sá einum hal orð illrar konu. Loddfáfnir. it will get you good. er vættki treðr. heed it well! You will use it if you learn it. Hon svá gerir at þú gáir eigi þings né þjóðans máls. ef þú getr -: góðan mann teygðu þér at gamanrúnum ok nem líknargaldr. meðan þú lifir. Ráðumk þér. 30 . 116. I give you rede Loddfafnir. þér munu góð ef þú getr -: annars konu teygðu þér aldregi eyrarúnu at. heed it well! You will use it. njóta mundu ef þú nemr. njóta mundu ef þú nemr. ef þú nemr. it will get you good if you understand it. 119. bring food. en þú ráð nemir. fláráð tunga varð hánum at fjörlagi ok þeygi um sanna sök. njóta mundu.

heed it well. kveð þú þér bölvi at ok gefat þínum fjándum frið. Anything is better than fickleness. Sifjum er þá blandat. ef þú nemr. njóta mundu. if you learn it. if you learn it. en þú ráð nemir. Loddfáfnir. Sorrow eats the heart of he who can no longer speak his mind to anyone. it will do you good if you understand it. I give you rede Loddfafnir. it will get you good if you understand it. Never bandy words with stupid apes. 127. it will get you good. heed it well! You will use it. Ráðumk. I give you rede Loddfafnir. . they will wish you ill. sorg etr hjarta. 31 121. Því at af illum manni mundu aldregi góðs laun um geta. ef þú nemr. if you understand it. Loddfáfnir. ef þú segja né náir einhverjum allan hug. 126. if you learn it. ef þú getr -: þrimr orðum senna skalattu þér við verra mann oft inn betri bilar. 126. say so. I give you rede Loddfafnir. njóta mundu. 122. ef þú nemr. þér munu góð. ef þú getr -: in þínum ver þú aldregi fyrri at flaumslitum. ef þú getr -: hvars þú böl kannt. Never give friendship to your enemies. I give you rede Loddfafnir. þér munu góð. þér munu góð. nema þú sjálfum þér séir. Bandy not three words with a lesser man. Loddfáfnir. Be not a maker of shoes or a shaper of shafts. þér Loddfáfnir. skór er skapaðr illa eða skaft sé rangt. or the shaft is not straight. it will get you good. þér munu góð. 124. en þú ráð nemir. heed it well! You will use it. Ráðumk þér. en þú ráð nemir. 124. ef þú nemr. If you know that someone is evil. njóta mundu. Never be the first to forsake a friend. en þú ráð nemir. 127. Ráðumk þér. 125. 125. unless they are for yourself. if you learn it. Often the better man fails when the worse gets hostile. Loddfáfnir. allt er betra en sé brigðum at vera. You will use it. en góðr maðr mun þik gerva mega líknfastan at lofi. hver er segja ræðr einum allan hug. He is no friend. þér munu góð. ef þú getr -: skósmiðr þú verir né skeftismiðr. Ráðumk þér. 122. heed it well! You will use it. heed it well! You will use it. 123. whose words are always fair. en þú ráð nemir. ef þú getr -: orðum skipta þú skalt aldregi við ósvinna apa. If the shoe is ill shaped. 123. þá er inn verri vegr. it will get you good if you understand it. if you understand it. friendship is shared. era sá vinr öðrum. Ráðumk þér. I give you rede Loddfafnir. njóta mundu. er vilt eitt segir. njóta mundu. But a good man will get you the love and goodwill of many. You will never get any good from an evil man. þá er þér böls beðit. ef þú nemr. if you learn it.121. When each can speak all his mind to the other.

133. Loddfáfnir. en lát þér at góðu getit. njóta mundu. ef þú nemr. 130. No man is so good that he has no faults. er koma. Pledge your troth and hold fast to it if you want joy from her. Sons of men become like hogs. heed it well! You will use it. 130. 133. Ráðumk þér. when warriors enchant you. 129. ver þú við öl varastr ok við annars konu ok við þat it þriðja at þjófar né leiki. þér munu góð. heed it well! You will use it. Loddfáfnir. but always do good. þér munu góð.gjalti glíkir verða gumna synir síðr þitt um heilli halir. Do not look up in battle. ef þú nemr. at einugi dugi. and it will do you good if you understand it. If you want a good woman. ef þú nemr. it will get you good if you understand it. ef þú getr -: ef þú vilt þér góða konu kveðja at gamanrúnum ok fá fögnuð af. fögru skaltu heita ok láta fast vera. 131.128. Loddfáfnir. Never rejoice in evil. if you learn it. 32 . Often those who sit inside do not know the kin of those who have arrived. heed it well! You will use it. but don’t be overcautious. Be especially wary of ale and of another man’s wife. Watch yourself. njóta mundu. erat maðr svá góðr at galli né fylgi. Loddfáfnir. heed it well! You will use it. Ráðumk þér. I give you rede Loddfafnir. ef þú nemr. ef þú getr -: varan bið ek þik vera ok eigi ofvaran. Thirdly. speak pleasure runes to her. njóta mundu. I give you rede Loddfafnir. None loathes good if she gets it. I give you rede Loddfafnir. heed it well! You will use it. if you learn it. njóta mundu. if you learn it. Oft vitu ógörla þeir er sitja inni fyrir hvers þeir ro kyns. Loddfáfnir. ef þú getr -: at háði né hlátri hafðu aldregi gest né ganganda. þér munu góð. Never make sport of guests and travelers. en þú ráð nemir. þér munu góð. 131. en þú ráð nemir. né svá illr. ef þú getr -: illu feginn ver þú aldregi. and it will get you good if you understand it. 128. leiðisk manngi gótt. 132. and it will do you good if you understand it. Ráðumk þér. en þú ráð nemir. none so evil that he is not worthy in some way. 132. if you learn it. and it will get you good if you understand it. en þú ráð nemir. ef þú nemr. if you learn it. þér munu góð. I give you rede Loddfafnir. ef þú getr -: upp líta skalattu í orrustu. Ráðumk þér. 129. en þú ráð nemir. ef getr. see that you are not tricked by con-men. . I give you rede Loddfafnir. njóta mundu. Ráðumk þér.

myself to myself. get þú váluðum vel. do well for the wretched. 134. and given to Odin. 33 . fold skal við flóði taka. en þú ráð nemir. þér munu góð. if you learn it. if you learn it. dangling with the furs and swinging among the bushes. nýsta ek niðr. 138. æpandi nam. 139. Alum use for rabies and runes against evil. kjós þér jarðar megin. The old often speak wisely and clearly. sjalfur sjalfum mér. call on the main of the earth. 135. When you drink ale. 136. on that tree of which no man knows from what root it rises. Deal out rings or he will wish you all sorts of trouble. on a wind swept tree for all of nine nights. and fell back from there. The earth draws off floods. á þeim meiði er manngi veit hvers af rótum renn. Oak is good against costiveness. geiri undaðr ok gefinn Óðni. heed it well! You will use it. screaming I took them up. but fire against diseases. Baug þú gef. heed it well! You will use it. beiti við bitsóttum. Loddfáfnir. Rammt er þat tré. ef þú nemr. for earth is good against ale. þér munu góð. I looked down. ef þú getr -: at hárum þul hlæ þú aldregi.heiftum skal mána kveðja. en þú ráð nemir. nor drinking horn. it will get you good if you understand it. njóta mundu. wounded by spear. at ek hekk vindgameiði á nætr allar níu. They dealt me no bread. ef þú getr -: gest þú né geyjané á grind hrekir. 137. Ráðumk þér. They say the moon is good against hate. Never laugh at the hoary sage. Við hleifi mik sældu né við hornigi. 136. or drive him out the door. nam ek upp rúnar. Wise speech oft comes from the dried skin that hangs with the hides. . þér munu góð. heed it well! You will use it. ax við fjölkynngi. The beam must be sturdy. en við bölvi rúnar. it will get you good if you understand it. Ráðumk þér. I know that I hung. I drew up the runes. 135. njóta mundu ef þú nemr. that is unbarred for all who ride up. Loddfáfnir. I give you rede Loddfafnir. Loddfáfnir. eða þat biðja mun þér læs hvers á liðu. en þú ráð nemir. eik við abbindi. en eldr við sóttum. ef þú getr -: hvars þú öl drekkir. oft er gótt þat er gamlir kveða. fell ek aftr þaðan. 138. höll við hýrógi. því at jörð tekr við ölðri. grain against wizardry bearded rye against feuds. I give you rede Loddfafnir. Ráðumk þér. Instead. I give you rede Loddfafnir. er ríða skal öllum at upploki. it will get you good if you understand it. 137. njóta mundu. 139. Do not abuse a guest. Veit ek. if you learn it. ef þú nemr. oft ór skörpum belg skilin orð koma þeim er hangir með hám ok skollir með skrám ok váfir með vílmögum.134.

who want to be leeches. I carved some myself. I know those magical songs. or any human. 146. Svá Þundr um reist fyr þjóða rök. 142. 144. 147. þeir er vilja læknar lifa. meaningful staves. Þá nam ek frævask ok fróðr vera ok vaxa ok vel hafask. know how to send them. Hjalp heitir eitt. It is better unsent. Ljóð ek þau kann er kannat þjóðans kona ok mannskis mögr. þar hann upp um reis. ausin Óðreri. 141. You will find runes. sorrow and affliction. 147. er hann aftr of kom. 145. Rúnar munt þú finna ok ráðna stafi. ek reist sjalfr sumar. Fimbul spells I got from the famous Son of Bolthor the father of Bestla. know how to ask them. I know another that is needed by the sons of men. So Thund carved before the doom of mankind. know how to bloody them. Fimbulljóð níu nam ek af inum frægja syni Bölþorns. know how to read them. that the God Hropt carved. but Dain for the elves. not known by the wives of kings. than over sacrificed. Betra er óbeðit en sé ofblótit. mjök stóra stafi. 143. One word led me to another. er fáði fimbulþulr ok gerðu ginnregin ok reist Hroftr rögna. Dvalinn for the dwarves. One is called help and will help you in all sickness.140. than to sacrifice too much. Veistu hvé ráða skal? Veistu hvé freista skal? Veistu hvé blóta skal? Veistu hvé sóa skal? - 145. Óðinn með ásum. ey sér til gildis gjöf. 146. that Fimbul dyed. Bestlu föður. Veistu hvé rísta skal? Veistu hvé fáa skal? Veistu hvé biðja skal? Veistu hvé senda skal? 140. one work led me to another. 34 . Odin among the Aesir. know how to stain them. that the Ginnregin shaped. He rose up and came back after that. orð mér af orði orðs leitaði. 142. A gift always looks for a gift. en þat þér hjalpa mun við sökum ok sorgum ok sútum görvöllum. 141. Then I began to grow and waxed well in wisdom. Asvith for the ettins. I had a drink of the dear mead that was drawn from Othroerir. know how to wield them. mjök stinna stafi. 144. 143. very powerful staves. know how to sacrifice them. very strong staves. Dvalinn ok dvergum fyrir. ok ek drykk of gat ins dýra mjaðar. Know how to carve them. betra er ósent en sé ofsóit. Ásviðr jötnum fyrir. Þat kann ek annat er þurfu ýta synir. It is better not to ask. verk mér af verki verks leitaði. en fyr alfum Dáinn.

Þat kann ek it tíunda: f ek sé túnriður eika lofti á. I can still the wind. 154. 152. 154. If need arises. 153. þann eta mein heldr en mik. inna heimhuga. ef ek hann sjónum of sék. brennrat svá breitt. Þat kann ek it níunda: f mik nauðr um stendr t bjarga fari mínu á floti. I know a sixth. he who says he hates me will get hurt. ok þann hal er mik heifta kveðr. Þat kann ek it fjórða: ef mér fyrðar bera bönd að boglimum. þann kann ek galdr at gala. I know a tenth. I know a seventh. Þat kann ek it fimmta: ef ek sé af fári skotinn flein í folki vaða. Þat kann ek it átta. 149. Þat kann ek it sjaunda: ef ek sé hávan loga sal um sessmögum. but I will be unharmed. If a foe shoots a shaft into the host. So their shapes (ham) shall fare home. 35 . eggjar ek deyfi minna andskota. 151. put the entire sea to sleep. ek svá vinnk t þær villar fara inna heimhama. it cannot fly so fast that I cannot stop it. at ek hánum bjargigak.148. Fetters spring from my feet. I can dull the blades of my attackers so that they can strike by neither weapon or wile. svá ek gel. 155. If I see ghost-riders sporting in the sky. Þat kann ek it sétta: ef mik særir þegn á vrótum hrás viðar. at ek ganga má. I can help them by singing the spell. I know a fourth. If some thane attacks me. 148. sprettr mér af fótum fjöturr. to save my ship on the flood. I can work it that the wild ones fare away. If I see a fire high on the hall around my bench companions. 155. It is useful for all who know it. I am able to quell it. bítat þeim vápn né velir. I know a third for the event that I should be in dire need of fettering a foe. 153. and calm the waves. Whenever hatred flares up among warriors’ sons. 149. 152. I can get free. and bonds from my hands. Það kann ek þriðja: ef mér verðr þörf mikil hafts við mína heiftmögu. with the wood of a young root. en af höndum haft. 150. I know an eighth. so that if bonds bind my limbs. so their spirits fare home. I know a ninth. if I catch sight of it. vind ek kyrri ági á k svæfik allan sæ. 150. 151. er öllum er ytsamligt at nema: hvars hatr vex eð hildings sonum at má ek bæta brátt. fýgra hann svá stinnt at ek stöðvigak. I know a fifth.

I know a twelfth: If I see a hanged man swinging high in a tree. 160. I sing under the shield and they fare into battle mighty and whole. hyggju Hroftatý. þörf ef þú þiggr. Ljóða þessa mun þú. I know a fourteenth: If I talk of the gods before the folk. I know a sixteenth.156. he will not fall. Þat kann ek it fimmtánda er gól Þjóðrerir dvergr fyr Dellings durum: afl gól hann ásum. und randir ek gel. þó sé þér góð. heilir hildi frá. 157. 159. Þat kann ek it fjögurtánda: ef ek skal fyrða liði telja tíva fyrir. so that the man walks and speaks with me. and needful if known. I know a Seventeenth to keep her from shirking me for any other man. If I want the heart and pleasure of a winsome lass. Þat kann ek it tolfta: ef ek sé á tré uppi váfa virgilná. and wend to bed with her. I can speak of Ases and elves. once you learn it. I know an eleventh: If I lead old friends into the fray. they fare from battle whole. 160. and understanding to Odin. 162. en þeir með ríki fara heilir hildar til. He will not be cut down by swords. I know a thirteenth: If I sprinkle a young thane with water. it will be useful to you when you understand it. lengi vanr vera. I know a fifteenth. 36 . koma þeir heilir hvaðan. which Thiodrorir the dwarf sang before Delling’s door. 161. hugi ek hverfi hvítarmri konu ok sný ek hennar öllum sefa. ása ok alfa ek kann allra skil. 159. svá ek ríst ok í rúnum fák at sá gengr gumi ok mælir við mik. munat hann falla. they are whole. 158. long will you lack it. 158. but it will get you good. Loddfáfnir. power to the elves. though he goes to battle. nýt ef þú nemr. Þat kann ek it sjautjánda at mik mun seint firrask it manunga man. Þat kann ek it ellifta: ef ek skal til orrustu leiða langvini. Þat kann ek it sextánda: ef ek vil ins svinna mans hafa geð allt ok gaman. Mind this Loddfafnir. I turn the mind of the white-armed lady to me. wherever they go. 156. 162. I can carve and stain runes. 161. 157. Þat kann ek it þrettánda: ef ek skal þegn ungan verpa vatni á. ef þú getr. þótt hann í folk komi: hnígra sá halr fyr hjörum. fár kann ósnotr svá. Few of the unlearned know these things. He sang might to the Aesir. en alfum frama.

Þat kann ek it átjánda. Heill sá.163. 163. þeirs hlýddu. hail the one who knows them useful to he who gets them hail they who heed them.allt er betra er einn um kann. neither maid. . allþörf ýta sonum. Nú eru Háva mál kveðin Háva höllu í. 164. or my sister. I know an eighteenth that none know. óþörf jötna sonum. nor man’s wife. Hail the one who speaks them. er ek æva kennik mey né manns konu. heilir. njóti sá. except to the one who lies in my arms. Now are Har’s sayings said. 164. in Har’s hall needful for the sons of men unneeded by ettins’ sons. er kvað. er nam. er kann. heill sá. It is always better kept secret. þat fylgir ljóða lokum. nema þeiri einnier mik armi verr eða mín systir sé. 37 .

13-14 refer directly to the episode of the rewinning of the poetic mead in stanzas 104-110 in which Odin gets back the poetic mead that was lost to ettins. should not fare forth into the worlds but should rather stay at home. It is actually the initiatory sequences of the winning of the runes and the poetic mead that are at the heart of the Havamal. Stanza 2-4 recall some of the basic elements of creation. #5. Odin was able to accomplish his goal after ingesting the world’s stock of poetic mead. For most people. In such states of mind. 8-9 tell of the need for winning ways and the use of “likingstaves” or magic and magical understanding mentioned above that allows deeper insight into ordinary events such that allows one to gain the trust and liking of others. such as fire. There are some who give themselves over to madness and let forces beyond themselves control. Stanzas 1-4 deal with basic physical needs and the basic elements of the world and sets forth the main theme: the crossing of unknown thresholds and faring forth into strange territory. and maintain this state. 11-14 warn against ill-measured mead consumption. mead is a symbol of poetic inspiration or holy fury and madness. 38 . The Odian is the master of madness. the more madness one can handle. This state allows one to see beyond ordinary appearances to a deeper level of reality and to see the sacred side so that one’s actions take on a sacred quality. and all the practical advice is in some way related to initiation into the runic mysteries. of which only a few drops.” As many strategies as one may employ. love and travel with a little bit of magic and religion thrown in. are available on Midgard. the journeyman should waken himself to a higher state of consciousness. and admonishments against drinking too much. such as food and shelter. one who has not mastered the advice that follows. Mead and ale were an important part of elder Teutonic social and ritual activities. magical operations and divination are effectively performed. In some cases. The stronger one’s will and awareness. warns that a fool. To use inspiration or madness creatively in poetry. It is for travelers of Midgard and the outer homes. art or battle. Stanzas 8-10 recall the need for Self-reliance. ice. These deeper levels of lore can be unlocked by the keys given in chapter 1. Havamal is generally interpreted as practical advice for a young man on matters of life. for one’s self and awareness are easily lost in the ensuing madness. The Viking Age vitki would have found this advise useful on ventures in Midgard as well as on farings into the outer homes. One must not depend on the wit of others but must have good counsel from the Self or the fetch soul within. Many of the stanzas giving practical advice have an esoteric level of significance. as pleasurable as it might be. the vitki has transcended his ordinary understanding and is able to see things from a holier point of view. and the some basic needs for survival on the road. The first of these stanzas. the vitki is able to transcend the mundane and to become aware of the sacred in the ordinary. Magically. known as the poet-tasters share. not its slave. Ritual actions and the invocation of holy names. Thereby one’s actions in the mundane world will become more effective and the quality of one’s work will increase. magic. Stanzas 11-14 warn that too much ale robs men of wit and awareness. and a variety of meditative exercises are good for waking one’s self to self-remembrance.The Words of Har: Notes The Havamal is written for the wayfarer. Many of the following verses give advise for gaining liking and may be considered “liking staves. it is needful to know that fast friendship and trust are gained by demonstrating worthiness of such. be watchful and attentive. In such states. like alcohol itself. though this approach is usually avoided by Odians. Inspiration. characteristics of the wise. and earth. and those who deal with wayfarers. When on the road. the madness must be harnessed and channeled by an alert mind and a powerful will. 5-31 deal with the importance of wits and awareness for the initiate. 6-7 tell us to maintain high levels of awareness. excessive inspiration is no more useful than drunkenness. water. is not to be consumed excessively.

56 says a man who knows not his orlog may sleep untroubled and would seem to be an admonishment to avoid such knowledge. For the fool. In sacrifice the Gods are invited to fare forth into Midgard. Passages regarding gifts and friendship may be taken as comments on sacrifice..” 56-57 offer more wisdom on friendship. and 19 tell us that silence is a needful part of attentiveness. but rather by impulse.15. The fool is not conscious. The same idea is conveyed in 29 but warns of the harm that results of perpetual loss of self to delusions and dreams. 68-72 deal with health. 7. The ignorant are often ignorant of their own stupidity (stanza 22). gift giving. The fool is out of touch with his instincts (stanza 21) besides lacking conscious control of his own behavior. All other stanzas in the Havamal have some bearing on these episodes. 54-56 warn that it is best to be wise in the ways of Midgard before faring to the outer homes. Exploration by runic transliteration is appropriate for these stanzas-see chapter 1. 30-52 are a series of “liking-staves” concerned with ways of gaining trust. He merely reacts to situations rather than assessing his situations and consciously controlling his behavior to affect the outcome. Just as it is hard to tell what lurks in the minds of strangers when you are chattering yourself. The attentive mind (stanza 18) can discern the nature of the minds of those around him. but to avoid losing awareness. 16-29 contrast the wise with fools by depicting the mind of the fool as inattentive and ineffectual for its unfocused dwellings on useless matters.loses much (59). for ordinary folk. praise and friendship and avoiding the opposite. The vitki is not looking for sleep anyway for “the sleeping man seldom gets victory (st 58)” and “. you need inspiration. Besides a knowledge of sacrificial etiquette. awareness. Stanza 17 points out that the fool is constantly muttering. so it is hard to maintain a high level of awareness if the mind is not quiet and focused. but are valid as well in dealing with the holy powers. Such will often see their own failings most clearly in others and make fools of themselves criticizing others for weaknesses most obvious in themselves. A vitki must master the art of clearing his mind of distracting chatter. and wise conduct. habits such as eating and drinking are guided by neither instinct nor plan. 6. but not for the Odian vitki. whether in sacrifice or faring forth. Fire and the sun are used as metaphors for good health. and so it is. Because the fool will never really understand the talk and action of folk around him (stanzas 22-26) his deeds will never match his expectations and he will always fail in time of testing. A good grasp of consensus social and physical reality is needful before one can expect to have effective dealings with metaphysical realities. These stanzas follow naturally from those concerning wakefulness. 19. Those capable of waking to higher states will can see how much an ordinary state of awareness resembles sleep. Again tells us that drink (inspiration) is necessary. These recount Odin’s winning of inspiration and discovery of the runes and are the central episodes of the Havamal. and the Gunnloth episode in stanzas 104-110. unable to truly know itself or others. These passages refer not just to etiquette in mundane situations. Note that useful esoteric knowledge may be found in the stanzas from 56 on in comparing them to previous stanzas. and a quiet focused mind. and should be treated as guests. to the Rune poems (st 138-165). since the proper frame of mind is important to conducting of sacrifices in order not to sit among the Gods as a fool. Recapitulates the need for attentive awareness and vigilance in magical endeavors. For such a man. Sages will regard such ill discipline with scorn and contempt if not amusement. The stanzas concerning gift giving are particularly applicable to sacrificial ritual practices. An unfocused mind is perpetually lost in its own dreams and chatter. the sleeping state is not unlike the waking state (stanza 23) and is lost in agitated dreams in both. 39 .

Thus Odin broke his highest oath of all. Just as the mead was won at the roots in the darkest depths of Ettinhome. wiser. 81. onto the lover. sentient wights. and immersing himself in the collective unconscious where he consciously grasps the runes. 40 . the part sacrificed is not destroyed. 87. Emotional states alone that are generated by amorous experiences are a proven source of inspired madness. the fickleness of lovers. 82. and the mead flows back down the ettin paths. and how he does this by breaking his oath to Gunnloth. 104-110 tell us how Odin won for the Gods the mead of poetry and inspiration. let alone maintain. where Odin sacrifices himself to himself by hanging. Odin’s sexual conquests are not mere hedonism. Odin’s crime was all the more heinous that the oath was made to a high and holy part of himself. to his higher self. but exalted by being given and united to the part of the self to which it is sacrificed. and Gunnloth returns to Ettinhome. and the oath was not to a mere ettin. This oath was made to his own fylgja. See chapter 1. contents of the personal and collective unconscious may be brought before the light of consciousness. Yggdrasil=Steed of Odin. In this exalted state. in such a way that she and her wisdom are united with his conscious self creating an entity far greater than either separately. and difficulties in winning them. Stanzas 138-161 are about the discovery of the runes. usually unconsciously. Sometimes it is possible to experience intense interaction with the fetch wife during a romantic experience in which the fetch wife is projected.The stanzas 79.and sub-conscious parts of his soul. The stanzas preceding the Gunnloth episode warn of the dangers of courting. that made to the most sacred part of himself. 143 Odin made some of his wisdom available to other. as in his pledge of his eye to the well of Mimir. They may also be taken as runic spells composed of several runes and turned into galder and sigils for the purposes of Workings. When Odin gives his conscious self over to his higher self. In this case he sees the whole picture all at once. To win the poetic mead Odin breaks an oath sworn on a ring (stanza 110) to Gunnloth. so were the runes won in the branches. Actually. and 90-102 hold lore on initiation by relations with the opposite sex and the fetch wife—see chapter 4. but efforts to drastically raise his level of consciousness by welding it with supra. he is atoning for the broken oath. or higher self. Odin rides through the nine worlds by hanging to fathom its mysteries. who is none other than his own fetch. or fetch. The union must occur again and the mead must be drunk again. By an apparent act of self-betrayal in which one part of the self is sacrificed to another. Such states are difficult to achieve. 146-146 The first 16 stanzas correspond to the first 16 runes of the younger row. The broken oath explains Odin’s name Bolverk (Evil-Doer).

heill þú á sinnum sér! œði þér dugi. “Heima letja ek mynda Herjaföðr í görðum goða. ettin. May wod serve you. whether you are all-wise. now I need know how Vafthruthnir lives in his hall.” Vafþrúðnir kvað: 7. Frigg. I am very eager to exchange elder stave lore with the all-wise ettin. hitt vil ek vita. þvíat engi jötun ek hugða jafnramman sem Vafþrúðni vera.” 5.” Odin 3.” Frigg 2. inn gekk Yggr þegar.” Frigg kvað: 4.” Óðinn kvað: 3. hvars þú skalt. nú em ek í höll kominn á þik sjálfan sjá.” Odin 6. Fór þá Óðinn at freista orðspeki þess ins alsvinna jötuns.” 41 . “Heill þú nú. when you have words with the ettin. ef þú fróðr sér eða alsviðr jötunn.” Frigg 4. Aldaföðr. who hurls words at me in my hall? You will not leave unless you are wiser. Warfather. dared many deeds. First of all I want to know whether you are learned. Óðinn kvað: 6. hitt vil ek fyrst vita. hvé Vafþrúðnis salakynni sé. “Hail Vafthruthnir! I have come into your hall now to see you for myself.” Lay of Vafthruthnir Odin 1. fjölð ek freistaða. “What wight is this. at höllu hann kom. Life’s Father.Vafþrúðnismál Óðinn kvað: 1. He arrived at Im’s father’s hall. “I have wandered widely.” Vafthruthnir 7. fjölð ek reynda regin.” Frigg kvað: 2. oft challenged the Regin. in the garth of the gods. orðum mæla jötun. “I advise you to stay home. Vafþrúðnir. 5. stay whole on the way. forvitni mikla kveð ek mér á fornum stöfum við þann inn alsvinna jötun. for I know of no ettin as mighty as Vafthruthnir. “Ráð þú mér nú. for I long to go to wise Vafthruthnir. and there Ygg strode in straightaway. “Then fare forth whole and return whole. “Hvat er þat manna er í mínum sal verpumk orði á? Út þú né komir órum höllum frá. alls mik fara tíðir at vitja Vafþrúðnis. nema þú inn snotrari sér. “Heill þú farir. “Give me rede now Frigg. “Odin fared forth to test the wisdom of the words of the all-wise ettin. heill þú aftr komir. “Fjölð ek fór. ok átti Íms faðir.

hesta beztr þykkir hann með Hreiðgotum.” Odin 8. Gagnráðr. I need a welcome. er hverja dregr nótt of nýt regin. I am austan dregr nótt of nýt regin. “Why then. er til auðigs kemr. “Hví þú þá. hvé sá jór heitir. ofrmælgi mikil. That mare’s mane shines. gestr eða inn gamli þulr. Gagnráðr. bring themselves evil by bragging. then we shall see whether guest or aged sage has greater wit. “Seg þú mér. “Gagnráðr ek heiti.” Vafthruthnir 11.” Vafþrúðnir kvað: 13. Those who come against the cold-ribbed. since you want to test your might from the floor: What do they call the horse who draws night from the east to the good Regin?” Odin 14. “Tell me Gagnrath. hygg ek. who draws the day over mankind?” Odin 12.hef ek lengi farit ok þinna andfanga.Óðinn kvað: 8. who so draws. “Let the poor man who visits the wealthy man say what is needed and not. alls þú á gólfi vill þíns um freista frama. he is called. for I have fared far. and I come thirsty from my faring into your hall.” Vafthruthnir 9. jötunn. þaðan kemr dögg um dala. Gagnrath.” Óðinn kvað: 14. mælisk af gólfi fyr? Far þú í sess í sal! þá skal freista. laðar þurfi .” Vafthruthnir 13. hvárr fleira viti.” Vafþrúðnir kvað: 9.” Óðinn kvað: 12. hvé sá hestr heitir er hverjan dregr dag of dróttmögu. “Seg þú þat. since you want to test your might from the floor: what is that horse called. “Skinfaxi heitir. and your reception. méldropa fellir hann morgin hvern.” Óðinn kvað: 10. er inn skíra dregr dag um dróttmögu. I think. alls þú á gólfi vill þíns um freista frama. ettin. mæli þarft eða þegi. Gagnráðr. “Gagnrath. “Shining Mane”.” 42 . “Hrímfaxi heitir. nú emk af göngu kominn þyrstr til þinna sala. “Óauðigr maðr. To the Hreithgoths he seems the finest. do you speak from the floor? Have a seat in the hall. “Rime-Mane” he is called. He slavers foam each morning. at illa geti hveim er við kaldrifjaðan kemr. ey lýsir mön af mari. thence come dews to the dales.” Odin 10. “Tell me Gagnrath.” Vafþrúðnir kvað: 11. who draws the day through the sky and over mankind each day.

hvé sú á heitir.” 43 .” Vafthruthnir 15. gestr. “Ífingr heitir á. they call the field. where Surt and the beloved Gods shall meet for war. since you want to test your might from the floor: What do they call the field.” Vafthruthnir 17.” Óðinn kvað: 18. “Ifing. ef þitt œði dugir ok þú. en ór beinum björg. and heaven from the skull of the rime-cold ettin.” Óðinn kvað: 16. We two shall wager our heads in the hall. since you want to test your might from the floor: What is the river called. over wisdom. Gagnráðr. “Seg þú þat it eina. “Vigrith. en ór sveita sær. and let us speak seated. never iced over. Óðinn kvað: 20. hundrað rasta hann er á hverjan veg. How did the earth and the heavens first come to be.” Vafþrúðnir kvað: 19. “Earth was shaped from Ymir’s flesh. er deilir með jötna sonum grund ok með goðum. Vafthruthnir. ok mælumk í sessi saman.Vafþrúðnir kvað: 15.” Odin 20. “Ór Ymis holdi var jörð um sköpuð. that divides the realm of the ettin’s sons from that of the Gods. Gagnráðr. “Tell me this first. far þú á bekk jötuns. “Fróðr ertu nú. himinn ór hausi ins hrímkalda jötuns. er deilir með jötna sonum grund ok með goðum. Now come to the ettin’s bench.” Vafþrúðnir kvað: 17. my guest. “You are quite learned. sá er þeim völlr vitaðr. and you know. verðrat íss á á. where Surt and the beloved Gods shall meet for war?” Odin 18.” Vafthruthnir 19. The field allotted them is a hundred leagues in all directions. and the sea from his blood. “Tell me Gagnrath. alls þú á gólfi vill þíns um freista frama. inn fróði jötunn. Vafþrúðnir. alls þú á gólfi vill þíns um freista frama. if inspiration serves you. Seg þú þat. oh wise ettin?” Vafthruthnir 21. höfði veðja vit skulum höllu í. Seg þú þat. er finnask vígi at Surtr ok in svásu goð. hvaðan jörð um kom eða upphiminn fyrst. gestr. mountains from his legs. “Vígriðr heitir völlr. my guest. vitir. “Tell me Gagnrath. Forever it will run free. um geðspeki. opin renna hon skal um aldrdaga.” Vafþrúðnir kvað: 21. hvé sá völlr heitir er finnask vígi at Surtr ok in svásu goð. that river is called. that divides the realms of the Gods from that of the sons of ettins?” Odin 16.

ný ok nið skópu nýt regin öldum at ártali. “Vindsval he is called. and the moons come into being?” Vafthruthnir 25. “Tell me the fourth. “Seg þú þat it þriðja. and also how the sun. alls þik svinnan kveða ok þú. alls þik fróðan kveða ok þú.” Vafþrúðnir kvað: 27. Vafþrúðnir. “Seg þú þat it fjórða. himin hverfa þau skulu hverjan dag öldum at ártali. Vafþrúðnir. ef þítt œði dugir ok þú. vitir. Vindsval was born by Vasuth whose kin are cold-ribbed. who is winter’s father. “Dellingr heitir. “Tell me a third. hvaðan máni kom. hvaðan dagr um kom. for they say you are wise. Vafþrúðnir. Night was born of Norvi. and that you know: how did the winter and warm summer first come into being among the wise Regin?” Vafthruthnir 27. hann er Dags faðir. the night.” Óðinn kvað: 24. Vafthruthnir. vitir. of the kin of Ymir.” Odin 24. since you say you are wise. hann er Vetrar faðir.” Vafþrúðnir kvað: 23. “Seg þú þat annat. hvaðan vetr um kom eða varmt sumar fyrst með fróð regin. “Vindsvalr heitir. “The father of the moon is named “Mundilfari.” Óðinn kvað: 26. and summer’s is Svasuth. since they say. en Svásuðr sumars. and you know: how the moon faring over men. Vafthruthnir.” 44 . Vafthruthnir. if inspiration serves you.” Odin 22. eða nótt með niðum.Óðinn kvað: 22. “Seg þú þat it fimmta. alls þik fróðan kveða ok þú.” He is the father of the sun as well. vitir. “Tell me a second. sá er ferr drótt yfir. hann er mána faðir ok svá Sólar it sama. “Delling he is called who is father of day. eða sól it sama.” Odin 28 “Tell me the fifth. en Nótt var Nörvi borin. in the days if yore?” Óðinn kvað: 28. came into being?” Vafthruthnir 23. and that you know: How did day that fares over men. Vafthruthnir. The Regin shaped the new and waning moons for men to tally time.” Odin 26. Vafþrúðnir. that you are wise. vitir.” Vafþrúðnir kvað: 25. and that you know: Who was the eldest of the ettins. “Mundilfari heitir. sá er ferr menn yfir. hverr ása elztr eða Ymis niðja yrði í árdaga. They turn the heavens every day and tally time.

” Vafþrúðnir kvað: 35. “Tell me the sixth. First thing I can recall is the wise ettin being set in a flour-bin. “Seg þú þat it sjaunda. þar eru órar ættir kómnar allar saman. inn baldni jötunn. your earliest knowledge.” Odin 32. “Tell me an eighth. Vafþrúðnir. hvé sá börn gat. “In the endless winter. and that you know: what is your first memory. and that you know: how did the unruly ettin beget children when he had not the pleasure of an ogress?” Vafthruthnir 33.” Odin 30. vitir. Vafthruthnir. ettin?” Vafthruthnir 35. unz varð ór jötunn. “Ór Élivagum stukku eitrdropar.Vafþrúðnir kvað: 29. oh wise ettin?” Vafthruthnir 31. er hann hafðit gýgjar gaman. þá var Bergelmir borinn. since you are wise. and that you know: from whence came Aurgelmir and the sons of ettins in the beginning. “Drops of venom sprang from Eliveg and increased until an ettin arose. er sá inn fróði jötunn á var lúðr um lagiðr. and his father was Aurgelmir. Therefrom comes our entire tribe. Örófi vetra áðr væri jörð um sköpuð.” Vafþrúðnir kvað: 33. alls þik svinnan kveða ok þú. Vafþrúðnir. Vafthruthnir. ok þú.’ Bergelmir was born. vitir.” Óðinn kvað: 32. Bergelmir was born. the wise ettin begat a six-headed son. fótr við fœti gat ins fróða jötuns sexhöfðaðan son. þá var Bergelmir borinn. jötunn. þú ert alsviðr. before the shaping of the world.” 45 . “Seg þú þat it átta. svá óx. vitir. alls þik svinnan kveða. en Aurgelmir afi. “Under the hands of the Rime-thurs they say a daughter and son grew together.” Óðinn kvað: 30. “Undir hendi vaxa kváðu hrímþursi mey ok mög saman. alls þik svinnan kveða ok þú. since they say you are wise. before the earth was shaped. hvaðan Aurgelmir kom með jötna sonum fyrst.” Óðinn kvað: 34. því er þat æ allt til atalt. since you say you are wise. Vafþrúðnir. Foot with foot. “Tell me a seventh. Þrúðgelmir var þess faðir.” Vafthruthnir 29. since they say you are wise. “During the countless winters. and our fierceness.” Vafþrúðnir kvað: 31. “Örófi vetra áðr væri jörð sköpuð. “Seg þú þat it sétta.” Odin 34. inn fróði jötunn. his father was Thruthgelmir. þat ek fyrst of man. hvat þú fyrst of mant eða fremst um veitzt. Vafthruthnir.

“He was shaped in Vanaheim by wise Regin who gave him as hostage to the gods. and that you know. sitja meirr um sáttir saman.” Odin 40. “Seg þú þat it níunda. In the last age he will return home to the wise Vanir.” Odin 42. but is itself unseen by men?” Vafthruthnir 37. the deeds of all the Gods. hvaðan Njörðr um kom með ása sonum .” Óðinn kvað: 38. how you know. æ menn han sjálfan um sjá.” Odin. “Seg þú þat it tólfta.” Vafthruthnir 41. They choose the slain. who sits at heaven’s end. then ride from the fight. frá jötna rúnum ok allra goða segir þú it sannasta. since you know. an ettin in eagle’s shape. They say the wind wafts from his wings and over mankind.” Vafthruthnir 39. oh all-wise ettin. hvaðan vindr um kemr. “Allir einherjar Óðins túnum í höggvask hverjan dag. jötunn í arnar ham. Vafthruthnir. val þeir kjósa ok ríða vígi frá. “Tell me the twelfth. 38. vitir.” Vafþrúðnir kvað: 41.” Óðinn kvað: 42.Óðinn kvað: 36.” Óðinn kvað: 40.hofum ok hörgum hann ræðr hunnmörgum ok varðat hann ásum alinn. alls þú tíva rök öll. “Seg þú þat et ellifta hvar ýtar túnum í höggvask hverjan dag. since you know the deeds of all the gods: how did Njorth come to be among the sons of Ases? His hofs and harrows are innumerable. “Hræsvelgr heitir. inn alsvinni jötunn. af hans vængjum kvæða vind koma alla menn yfir. sitja meirr um sáttir saman. er sitr á himins enda. í aldar rök hann mun aftr koma heim með vísum vönum. and sit as friends. “Tell me an eleventh: What men fare into the field to kill each other each day.” Vafþrúðnir kvað: 37. where does the wind come from which wends over waves. “He is called Hraesvelg. Since say you are the wisest in the runes of the ettins and all the Gods. val þeir kjósa ok ríða vígi frá.” Odin 36.” 46 . “Tell me a tenth. “Í Vanaheimi skópu hann vís regin ok seldu at gíslingu goðum. Vafþrúðnir. but he was not begotten by the Ases. since they say you are wise. “All the einherjar slay one another in Odin’s field each day. Vafþrúðnir. hví þú tíva rök öll. Vafthruthnir. “Seg þú þat it tíunda.” Vafþrúðnir kvað: 39. alls þik svinnan kveða ok þú. vitir. “Tell me a ninth Vafthruthnir. Vafþrúðnir. vitir. svá at ferr vág yfir.

” Odin 48. “Far have I fared. they shall hide Hoddmimir in the woods. much have I dared. “Three tribes of maidens descended over Mothgras’ village. en þaðan af aldir alask. áðr hana Fenrir fari. that maid will ride the wilderness ways of her mother. oft have I tested the Regin.” Vafthruthnir 43.” Odin 44. oft have I tested the Regin. morgindöggvar þau sér at mat hafa. When the Regin die. þá er regin deyja. “Fjölð ek fór. oft have I tested the Regin. So shall mankind be nourished. How comes the sun to smooth heaven once it is killed by Fenrir?” Vafthruthnir 47. “Far have I fared.” 47 . níu kom ek heima fyr Níflhel neðan.Vafþrúðnir kvað: 43. “Líf ok Lifþrasir. er þessa hefir Fenrir farit?” Vafþrúðnir kvað: 47.” Óðinn kvað: 44. What man will live. and way down in Niflhel to where the heroes of Hel die.” Odin 46.” Óðinn kvað: 46. much have I dared. “Fjölð ek fór. much have I dared. “Eina dóttur berr alfröðull. hinig deyja ór helju halir. fróðgeðjaðar fara?” Vafþrúðnir kvað: 49. “Þríar þjóðár falla þorp yfir meyja Mögþrasis. mær. fjölð ek reynda regin: Hverjar ro þær meyjar. þá er inn mæra líðr fimbulvetr með firum?” Vafþrúðnir kvað: 45. hamingjur einar þeira í heimi eru þó þær með jötnum alask. “Far have I fared. “Alfrothul will bear one daughter before she is killed by Fenrir. when the great fimbulvetr comes to mankind?” Vafthruthnir 45. þvíat hvern hefi ek heim um komit. “Lif and Lfthrasir. for I have been about in the world. fjölð ek freistaðak. I wandered the nine worlds. Who are the wise minded maidens who fare over the sea?” Vafthruthnir 49. though they are ettin’s ilk.” Óðinn kvað: 48. fjölð ek reynda regin: Hvat lifir manna. fjölð ek freistaðak. They bring hamingja to their homes. er líða mar yfir. fjölð ek freistaðak. sú skal ríða. “From the runes of ettins and all the Gods I can speak the truth. “Frá jötna rúnum ok allra goða ek kann segja satt. en þau leynask munu í holti Hoddmímis. móður brautir. They shall have the morning dews as their meat. “Fjölð ek fór. fjölð ek reynda regin: Hvaðan kemr sól á inn slétta himin.

fjölð ek reynða regin. “Ey manni þat veit.” Odin 54. þá er rjúfask regin?” Vafþrúðnir kvað: 53. Mothi and Magni shall have Mjolnir to wield after the battle. “Fjölð ek fór fjölð ek freistaðak. fjölð ek reynða regin: Hverir ráða æsireignum goða. much have I dared. What did Odin say to the ears of his son before he was hoisted to the pyre?” Vafthruthnir 55. Hvat mælti Óðinn. “Víðarr ok Váli byggja vé goða. Móði ok Magni skulu Mjöllni hafa Vingnis at vígþroti. “Far have I fared.” 48 .” Óðinn kvað: 52. “Far have I fared. áðr á bál stigi. feigum munni mælta ek mína forna stafi ok um ragna rök. It was with a doomed mouth that I told old staves and spoke of Ragnarok. Which Ases shall rule the land when the fire of Surt is slaked?” Vafthruthnir 51.Óðinn kvað: 50. He shall cleave the cold jaws of the wolf in combat. Who shall bring death to Odin when the Regin are ruined?” Vafthruthnir 53. þess mun Víðarr vreka. þá er sloknar Surtalogi. þá er sloknar Surtalogi?” Vafþrúðnir kvað: 51. “Úlfr gleypa mun Aldaföðr. “Then the wolves will gulp down Allfather. oft have I tested the Regin. much have I dared oft have I tested the Regin. “Fjölð ek fór fjölð ek freistaðak. “Fjölð ek fór fjölð ek freistaðak. Now I have exchanged my wisdom in words with Odin. siálfr í eyra syni?” Vafþrúðnir kvað: 55. “Far have I fared. hvat þú í árdaga sagðir í eyra syni.” Óðinn kvað: 54. Hvat verðr Óðni at aldrlagi. You are the wisest. but Vithar will venge him. “No man knows that which you spoke to your son in the days of yore. kalda kjafta hann klyfja mun vitnis vígi at. Nú ek við Óðin deildak mína orðspeki. fjölð ek reynða regin.” Odin 50. “Vithar and Vali shall dwell in the ve of the Gods when the fire of Surt is slaked.” Odin 52. much have I dared. oft have I tried the Regin. þú ert æ vísastr vera.

12. 43. This passage is not entirely clear and we can not be certain that it was a flour bin that Bergelmir is set in here. Hoddmimir may be a name for Yggdrasil. Elivag=Ice-Waves is the name of the primal stream that flowed from the north and met with fire in Ginnungagap to form Ymir. Ygg is a name for Odin meaning “awesome. The ettins and elves have some runic knowledge as indicated by Hav. Herfather=Warfather=Odin 4. 44. Vigrith is mentioned in Gylf. Aurgelmir is Ymir. It is not known who the Hreith-Goths were. 29. 39. The flour bin may be the same as the millstone described in Gylf on which Bergelmir floated to safety when the rest of his kin was drowned in the blood of Ymir. Vafthruthnir fares forth into the nine worlds in search of wisdom. Einherjar-see glossary. Njorth was given to the Ases as a hostage after the war between the Vanes and the Aesir. Because it is never iced over it is never easily crossed. 160. 35. 51. 42.” 11. Fimbulvetr=Great Winter is a severe winter that lasts three years that lasts three years and precedes Ragnarok. 4 41. 143. 31. 10 and Hav. Like Odin. 19. 2. Vafthruthnir=powerful in weaving or entangling. In Hym. 18. On Delling see Gylf. Regin must refer to an Odinic trinity here since the Ases as a whole are mentioned in the next line. 49 . Elivag must flow between Ettinhome and Midgard. The concept of the sun as a shining disc drawn on a cart has existed in Europe at least since the Bronze Age as evidenced by the Trundhome Chariot which is a bronze statue of a horse drawn chariot bearing a gold covered disc. This may be the same as the sound in the Harbarth’s Lioth which also separates Gods and ettins. 23 and Yng. This is likely one of the rivers that separates cosmic realms and empties into one of the seas that separate the worlds. 5 Hymir is said to dwell east of Elivag. See Gylf. 45. Odin is the father of madness or inspiration. 5. 17. Gylf. If Hymir dwells to the east of it. The word oth in Odin’s name or wod in Woden’s name means madness or fury which were considered the essence of inspired mental activity. 16.Lay of Vafthruthnir: Notes 1. 11 and Skd 26 both have Mundilfari as the father of the sun and the moon.

They may be Norns. On Ve. On Hamingja. see glossary. The identity of these three maidens cannot be established. or beings similar to the nine maidens of Lyfjaberg.49. Dises. 51. see glossary. 50 .

where they found a farmer and spent the winter. Fulla. Agnarr var tíu vetra. ok hét Agnarr eftir bróður hans. He tortured him to make him talk and then set him between two fires where he stayed for eight nights. King Geirroth had a son who was ten winters old whom he named Agnar after his brother. sits as king of the land. although his father had died. The two rowed out on a boat with tackle to angle for small fish. at Geirröðr væri eigi matgóðr. Lay of Grimnir King Hrauthung had two sons. Frigg sendi eskismey sína Fullu. Grímnir drakk af. Vindr rak þá í haf út. Þeir fengu byr ok kómu til stöðva föður síns.” The boat drifted away and Geirroth strode up to the town where he was well received.Grímnismál Frá sonum Hrauðungs konungs. at eigi fyrirgerði honum fjölkunnugr maðr. En þat var inn mesti hégómi. my foster son.” Odin said that was a huge lie. þá mælti karl einmæli við Geirröð. fundu kotbónda einn. Þeir reru tveir á báti með dorgar sínar at smáfiski. Var þá Geirröðr til konungs tekinn ok varð maðr ágætr. Odin spoke: “Do you see Agnar your foster son. Agnarr gekk at Grímni ok gaf honum horn fullt at drekka ok sagði. He said: Óðinn ok Frigg sátu í Hliðsjálfu ok sáu um heima alla. Hann hljóp upp á land. er eigi vildu hundar á ráða. þar er smyl hafi þik. en hratt út skipinu ok mælti: “Farðu nú. en Geirröðr fóstri minn er konungr ok sitr nú at landi?” Frigg segir: “Hann er matníðingr sá. while Geirroth. When the farmers led them to the shore. en þá var faðir hans andaður. Odin and Frigg sat on Hlithskjalf and looked over all the worlds. Þau veðja um þetta mál. She said he was coming to his land and would be marked out in that no hound was so savage as to attack him. at konungr gerðir illa. Geirröðr var fram í skipi. he had bound the man whom the dogs would not attack. Sá var í feldi blám ok nefndist Grímnir. Konungr lét hann þína til sagna ok setja milli elda tveggja. They took a fair wind and arrived at their father’s harbor. at engi hundr var svá ólmr at á hann myndi hlaupa. hvar hann elr börn við gýgi í hellinum. ok sagði þat mark á. Hét annarr Agnarr. how he begets children with a giantess in a cave. Nevertheless. Grim drank and the fire flared up and burned his cloak. Kerling fóstraði Agnar. ef honum þykkja of margir koma.” Skipit rak í haf út. ok þó lætr konungr hann handtaka þann mann. Óðinn mælti: “Sér þú Agnar fóstra þinn. In the spring the man got a ship for them.” Frigg said: “He is so stingy with food that he starves his guests if he thinks that there are too many. en Geirröðr átta vetra. The wind blew them into the ocean. Agnar was ten years old and Geirroth eight. Honum var vel fagnat. er hann þíndi þenna mann saklausan. to Geirroth. Hann kvað: 51 . Hon bað konung varast.” Óðinn segir. Geirröðr konnungr átti þá son tíu vetra gamlan. at feldrinn brann af Grímni. They walked inland. In the murk of the night they were wrecked on a shore. Þar váru þeir um veturinn. at hann kvelr gesti sína. Hrauðungr konungr átti tvá sonu. Frigg sent her maid servant. sá er þar var kominn í land. og sagði ekki fleira frá sér. Geirroth was at the bow of the ship and leapt ashore and pushed the ship back shouting “Go now! Go out into the sea and be taken by Smyl. en annarr Geirröðr. En er þau kerling leiddu þá til strandar. Geirroth became king quite famous. She bade the king watch himself lest a man cunning in sorcery bewitch him. one was called Agnar and the other Geirroth. til Gerröðar. It was a great falsehood that Geirroth was not generous with his food. Agnar walked over to Grim and gave him a full horn to drink from and said that it was wrong for the king to torture him since he was innocent. ok sat hann þar átta nætr. the man spoke alone with Geirroth. en Geirröðr gekk upp til bæjar. þótt hann væri at spurðr. Í náttmyrkri brutu þeir við land ok gengu upp. The woman fostered Agnar and the man raised Geirroth and gave him rede. They made a wager on this matter. at þat er in mesta lygi. Þá var eldrinn svá kominn. At vári fékk karl þeim skip. The man wore a blue cloak and called himself Grimnir but would say no more about himself even though he was asked. en karl fóstraði Geirröð ok kendi hánom ráð.

Glaðsheimr heitir inn fimmti. Agnarr. You will never get better payment for a single drink. Heitr ertu. Odin and Saga drink there gladly all their days from golden vessels. I drive you far away. is called Valaskjalf. the son of Geirroth he alone shall rule the land of the Goths. Valaskjálf heitir. Bær er sá inn þriði er blíð regin silfri þökðu sali. Eight nights I sat between the fires. svá at mér manngi mat né bauð. þar er in gullbjarta Valhöll víð of þrumir. 5. er ek liggja sé ásum ok álfum nær en í Þrúðheimi skal Þór vera. 8. 7. eins drykkjar þú skalt aldrigi betri gjöld geta.1. þar þau Óðinn ok Sága drekka um alla daga glöð ór gullnum kerum. and way too big. except for Agnar alone. göngumk firr. 8. alls þik heilan biðr Veratýr vera. as a tooth fee. Átta nætr sat ek milli elda hér. and was founded by the Ases in the days of yore. The fifth is called Gladhome. Hail Agnar! Veratyr bids you greetings. Yew Dales is the place where Ull has made himself a hall. er vélti sér áss í árdaga. 6. gotna landi. 52 . Though I cast it aloft. Geirröðar sonr. in the days of yore. en þar Hroftr kýss hverjan dag vápndauða vera. “You are a hot fire. The Gods gave Elfhome to Frey. There stands Valhalla fast and wide. unz um rjúfask regin. Sökkvabekkr heitir inn fjórði. Fire! The cloak is singed. In Thruthheim Thor shall dwell until the ruin of the Regin. þótt ek á loft berak. 2. No man dealt me food. where Hropt chooses the weapon slain each day. Heill skaltu. The third hall. en þar svalar knegu unnir yfir glymja. 3. 1. 4. 7. Cold waves crash around the fourth which is called Sokkvabekk. 6. The land I see lying near the Ases and the elves is holy. er einn skal ráða. 4 Land er heilagt. the cloak burns before me. funi! Loði sviðnar. hripuðr ok heldr til mikill. 5. 2. nema einn Agnarr. 3. brennumk feldr fyr. thatched with silver. built by the blithe Regin. Ýdalir heita þar er Ullur hefir sér um görva sali Álfheim Frey gáfu í árdaga tívar at tannféi.

The thingruler of men presides without crime in the high-timbered hall. Fólkvangr er inn níundi. þeim er til Óðins koma salkynni at séa: sköftum er rann reft. Breiðablik eru in sjaundu. Breithablik is the Seventh. en þar Heimdall kveða valda véum. 11. Heavencrag is the eighth. Himinbjörg eru in áttu. 15. They say Heimdall wards the holy steads there.en þar Freyja ræðr sess kostum í sal. 9. fornar tóftir föður. en nú Skaði byggvir. 13. 16. Mjök er auðkennt. á því landi. Now Skathi. 10. 16. Glitnir is the tenth. lives there in the former abode of her father. It is well known to those who come to Odin and see his hall that it is roofed with spear shafts and shingled with shields and the benches are strewn with mail. 53 . 12. Glitnir er inn tíundi. en þar Forseti byggir flestan dag ok svæfir allar sakir. Mjög er auðkennt. 12. en þar Njörðr hefir. er ek liggja veit fæsta feiknstafi. I know that the fewest of evils abide there. Þrymheimr heitir inn sétti. It is well known to those who come to Odin to see his hall that a warg hangs before the west door and an eagle hovers above. þeir er til Óðins koma salkynni at séa: vargr hangir fyr vestan dyrr ok drúpir örn yfir. where the terrible ettin Thiazi dwelled. þar vörðr goða drekkr í væru ranni glaðr inn góða mjöð. Forseti sits there most of the day and puts all strife to rest. Noatun is the eleventh. The God’s warder drinks in that tranquil hall. manna þengill inn meins vani hátimbruðum hörgi ræðr. The sixth is called Thrymheim. The ninth is Folkvang.9. glad in good mead. 13. 15. en hálfan Óðinn á. hann er gulli studdr ok silfri þakðr it sama. skjöldum er salr þakiðr brynjum um bekki strát. and there Freya assigns seats in the hall. skír brúðr goða. sá inn ámáttki jötunn. 14. Nóatún eru in elliftu. er Þjazi bjó. She chooses half the slain each day and Odin has half. 11. 10. 14. bright bride of the gods. and that is where Baldr built himself a hall. hálfan val hún kýss hverjan dag. Its studs are of gold and the roof was shingled in silver. sér um görva sali. en þar Baldr hefir sér um gerva sali. and that is where Njorth built himself a hall.

ranna þeira er ek reft vita. en þat fáir vitu. 17. Þýtr þund.17. Seahrimnir is the best of meats. hve hon er í lás lokin. 19. The gate that stands in the field near the holy doors. Andhrimnir boils Saehrimnir in Eldhrimnir. Hrísi vex ok háu grasi Víðars land Viði. míns veit ek mest magar. That river’s current seems too strong for the throng of the slaughtered to wade. árstraumr þykkir ofmikill valglaumni at vaða. svá hygg ek á Valhöllu vera. leapt from horseback eager to venge his father. þá er þeir fara við vitni at vega. 20. Huginn ok Muninn fljúga hverjan dag Jörmungrund yfir. 23. though I fear more for Muninn. Wise and battle-accustomed. 24. Valgrind heitir. the stout one. svá hygg ek Bilskirrni með bugum. 19. 23. 20. átta hundruð einherja ganga senn ór einum durum. is called Valgrind. Vithar’s land. 54 . 22. við hvat einherjar alask. óumk ek um Hugin at hann aftr né komit. Huginn and Muninn fly over the earth each day. the greatest ever built was that of my son. 22. unir þjóðvitnis fiskr flóði í. There the son. 18. Eight hundred einherjar shall sally forth from a single door when they fight the wolf. þó sjámk meir um Munin. I think there are five-hundred and forty doors in Valhalla. That gate is old and few know what latch locks it. Gera ok Freka seðr gunntamiðr hróðigr Herjaföður. 18. 24. Thund roars and fish live in the flood of Thiothvitnir. en við vín eitt vopngöfugr Óðinn æ lifir.en þat fáir vitu. I think there are five hundred and forty rooms with rings in Bilskirni. though not well known. Of all the halls I know. and high grass in Vithi. I dread that Huginn may not come back. fleska bezt. which the einherjar eat. Fimm hundruð dyra ok um fjórum tögum. er stendr velli á heilög fyr helgum dyrum. Fimm hundreð gólfa ok um fjórum tögum. Brushwood grows. en æar mögr of læzt af mars baki frækn at hefna föður. 21. forn er sú grind. Andhrímnir lætr í Eldhrímni Sæhrímni soðinn. but Odin the weapon-father always lives on wine alone. famous warfather feeds that to Geri and Freki. 21.

Vönd ok Strönd. Golltopp and Lettfeti. Nyt and Not. the goat is called. Nönn ok Hrönn. Glær ok Skeiðbrimir. 28. Sylgr ok Ylgr. Heiðrún heitir geit. That drink cannot be drained. Gipul and Gopul. er stendr höllu á ok bítr af Læraðs limum. Víð ok Ván. er falla til Heljar héðan. Gömul ok Geirvimul. 30. Sækin ok Eikin. en af hans hornum drýpr í Hvergelmi. 29. önnur Vegsvinn. heilög vötn hlóa. Eikþyrnir heitir hjörtr. Svöl ok Gunnþró. these steeds the Aesir ride when they fare to doom each day at the ash Yggdrasil. Glath and Gullir. Síð ok Víð. Svol and Gunnthro. Glaðr ok Gyllir. Þyn ok Vín. Gráð ok Gunnþorin. Gísl ok Falhófnir. 27. er hann dæma ferr at aski Yggdrasils. Gipul ok Göpul. these Thor shall wade each day when he fares to doom at the ash Yggdrasil. another Vegsvinn. kná at sú veig vanask. 26. þær falla gumnum nær. Gjöll ok Leiftr. 55 . Slíð ok Hríð. Nyt ok Nöt. Vína heitir ein. Silfrintoppr ok Sinir. From there all waters have their ways. Rin and Rennandi. Eikthyrnir the hart is called who stands in warfather’s hall and eats of Laerath’s limbs. er stendr höllu á ok bítr af Læraðs limum. 29. Gler and Skeithbrimir. Grath and Gunnthorinn. She fills the vat full of bright mead. who stands in warfather’s hall and eats of Laerath’s limbs. Drops fall from its horns to Hverglmir. Gomul and Geirvimul. Vith and Van. því at ásbrú brenn öll loga. þeim ríða æsir jóm dag hvern. Sylg and Ylg. Fjorm and Fimbulthul. 30. þriðja þjóðnuma. þær skal Þórr vaða dag hvern. þær hverfa um hodd goða. Gisl and Falhofnir. 25. 28. Fjörm ok Fimbulþul. Tholl and Holl. Silvertop and Sinir. a third Thiothunna. Þöll ok Höll. Vond and Strond. Rín on Rennandi. Heithrun. Gulltoppr ok Léttfeti. skapker fylla hon skal ins skíra mjaðar.25. turn about the hof of the Gods with Thyn and Vin. and the two Kerlaugs. and Gjoll and Leipt flow among men and thence to Hel. Kormt and Ormt. 26. Körmt ok Örmt ok Kerlaugar tvær. Slith and Hrith. er þeir dæma fara at aski Yggdrasils. Sith and Vith. þaðan eiga vötn öll vega: 27. One is called Vina. Soekin and Eikinn. The bridge of the Gods is all ablaze with fire and the holy waters seethe. Nonn and Hron.

en á hliðu fúnar. 36. Ratatoskr heitir íkorni. 35. Ratatosk the squirrel is called who runs on the Yggdrasil ash. 33. æsir. Grabak and Grafvolluth. and Reginleif. Rime Thurses beneath another. Arvakr and Alsvith hungry shall draw up the sun. Hel býr und einni. 36. 34. þeir eru Grafvitnis synir. Hel dwells beneath one. These are Dain and Dvalinn Duneyr and Durathror. Goll and Geironul. He bares the words of the eagle above and tells them to Nithogg beneath. Hlok and Herfjotur. en þat of hyggi hverr ósviðra apa: Góinn ok Móinn. I know that mountain and Ocean would burn if he ever fell from there. Hlökk ok Herfjötur. 38. They shall always tear the twigs from that tree. Three roots spread three ways under the ash Yggdrasil. Ófnir ok Sváfnir. annarri hrímþursar. 33. Grábakr ok Grafvölluðr. skerðir Niðhöggr neðan. Svalinn heitir hann stendr sólu fyrir. Þryjár rætr standa á þría vega undan aski Yggdrasils. 32. ef hann fellr í frá. at æ skyli meiðs kvistu má. þeirs af hæfingar gaghálsir gnaga: Dáinn ok Dvalinn. Hildr ok Þrúðr. The distress endured by the Yggdrasil ash is more than men know. There are four harts who gnaw with their necks thrown back. björg ok brim ek veit at brenna skulu. ísarnkol. Skeggjold and Skogul. skínanda goði. the Aesir. 56 31. The hart bites from above. .31. 38. Askr Yggdrasilsdrýgir erfiði meira en menn viti: hjörtr bítr ofan. en und þeira bógum fálu blíð regin. þriðju mennskir menn. Randgríðr ok Ráðgríðr ok Reginleif. Ormar fleiri liggja und aski Yggdrasils. hygg ek. er renna skal at aski Yggdrasils. 34. Duneyrr ok Duraþrór. Hirtir eru ok fjórir. arnar orð hann skal ofan bera ok segja Niðhöggvi niðr. Ofnir and Svafnir. þær bera Einherjum öl. Randgrith and Rathgrith. Hild and Thruth. 35. Under their bellies the blithe Regin. and human beings under the third. its side is rotting and Nithogg gnaws its roots from below. Hrist ok Mist vil ek at mér horn beri. 37. These bear the ale to the einherjar. Göll ok Geirahöð. skjöldr. Skeggjöld ok Skögul. 37. Hrist and Mist will bare me the horn. 32. Árvakr ok Alsviðr þeir skulu upp héðan svangir sól draga. More worms lie under the Yggdrasil ash than unwise apes can imagine. Goinn and Moinn. the sons of Grafvitnir. He is a shield for the shining Goddess. hid cold iron. Svol he is called who stands before the sun.

39. Sköll heitir úlfr, er fylgir inu skírleita goði til varna viðar, en annarr Hati, hann er Hróðvitnis sonr, sá skal fyr heiða brúði himins. 40. Ór Ymis holdi ver jörð um sköpuð, en ór sveita sær, björg ór beinum, baðmr ór hári, en ór hausi himinn. 41. En ór hans brám gerðu blíð regin Miðgarð manna sonum; en ór hans heila váru þau in harðmóðgu ský öll um sköpuð. 42. Ullar hylli hefr ok allra goða hverr er tekr fyrstr á funa, því at opnir heimar verða um ása sonum, þá er hefja af hvera. 43. Ívalda synir gengu í árdaga Skíðblaðni at skapa, skipa best, skírum Frey, nýtum Njarðar bur. 44. Askr Yggdrasils, hann er æðstr viða, en Skíðblaðnir skipa Óðinn ása, en jóa Sleipnir, Bilröst brúa, en Bragi skálda, Hábrók hauka, en hunda Garmr. 45. Svipum hef ek nú ypt fyr sigtíva sonum, við þat skal vilbjörg vaka; öllum ásum þat skal inn koma Ægis bekki á, Ægis drekku at. 46. Hétumk Grímnir, hétumk Gangleri, Herjann ok Hjálmberi, Þekkr ok Þriði, Þuðr ok Uðr, Herblindi ok Hár.

39. The wolf is called Skoll who follows the shining God to the wood of warning. But Hati is the other, and he is the son of Hrothvitni, and he shall follow the bright bride of heaven. 40. The earth was shaped from Ymir’s flesh, from his blood the sea, hills from his bones, trees from his hair, the sky from his skull. 41. From his brow the blithe Regin made Midgard for the sons of men. From his brain they shaped all the angry clouds. 42. Ull and all the Gods will befriend him who first takes it off the fire, for the worlds are opened to the sons of Ases when they heave off the kettle. 43. The sons of Ivaldi went forth in the days of yore to shape Skithblathni the best of ships for Frey, the noble son of Njorth. 44. The Yggdrasil ash is the best of trees, Skithblathnir of ships, Odin of Ases, Sleipnir of Horses, Bifrost of Bridges, Bragi of Skalds, Habrok of hawks and Garm of hounds. 45. Now I look up to the sons of the victory gods and thereby awaken help from all the Aesir who come to Aegir’s bench for Aegir’s drink. 46. I am called Grim, and Gangleri, Herjan and Hjalmberi, Thekk and Thrithi, Thuth and Uth, Helblindi and Har.


47. Saðr ok Svipall ok Sanngetall, Herteitr ok Hnikarr, Bileygr, Báleygr, Bölverkr, Fjölnir, Grímr ok Grímnir, Glapsviðr ok Fjölsviðr; 48. Síðhöttr, Síðskeggr, Sigföðr, Hnikuðr, Alföðr, Valföðr, Atríðr ok Farmatýr. Einu nafni hétumk aldregi, síz ek með fólkum fór. 49. Grímni mik hétu at Geirröðar, en Jálk at Ásmundar, en þá Kjalar, er ek kjálka dró; þrór þingum at, Viðurr at vígum, Óski ok Ómi, Jafnhár ok Biflindi, Göndlir ok Hárbarðr með goðum. 50. Sviðurr ok Sviðrir er ek hét at Sökkmímis, ok dulðak ek þann inn aldna jötun, þá er ek Miðvitnis vark ins mæra burar orðinn einbani. 51. Ölr ertu, Geirröðr, miklu ertu hnugginn, öllum Einherjum

47. Sath and Svipal and Sanngetal, Herteit and Hnikar, Bileyg, and Baleyg, Bolverk and Fjolnir, Grim and Grimnar, Glapsvith and Fjolsvith, 48. Sithott and Sithskegg, Sigfather and Hnikuth, Allfather and Valfather, Atrith and Farmatyr. There is one name I have never been called since I have fared among the folk. 49. They call me Grimni at Geirroth’s and Jalk at Asmund’s. I was called Kjalar when I drew the sled, and Thror at things, Vithuth in battles, Oski, Omi, Jafnhar and Biflindi, Gondler and Harbarth among Gods. 50. Svithar and Svithrir I was called at Sokkmimi’s, the time I hid the old ettin and had slain the famous son of Mithvitnir. 51. You are drunk Geirroth. You’ve drunk way too much. You are quite bereft of the blessings of all the einherjar and the friendship of Odin. 52. I said much and you remembered little. Friends betray you. I see the sword of my friend all sprayed with gore. 53. A sword mown man will Ygg now have. I know your life is through. there are many Dises. Now you will be able to see Odin—Move against me if you dare. 54. I am called Odin and was called Ygg before. I was named Thund before that. Vak and Skilfing, Vafuth and Hroptatyr, Gaut and Jalk I was called by Gods. Also I was called Ofnir and Svafnir. I think they are all one in me.

hefr þú ofdrukkit; er þú ert mínu gengi, ok Óðins hylli.

52. Fjölð ek þér sagðak, en þú fátt um mant, of þik véla vinir; æki liggja ek sé míns vinar allan í dreyra drifinn. 53. Eggmóðan val nú mun Yggr hafa, þitt veit ek líf um liðit; úfar ro dísir, nú knáttu Óðin sjá, nálgastu mik ef þú megir. 54. Óðinn ek nú heiti, Yggr ek áðan hét, Hétumk Þundr fyr þat, Vakr ok Skilfingr, Váfuðr ok Hroftatýr, Gautr ok Jálkur með goðum, Ófnir og Sváfnir, er ek hygg at orðnir sé allir af einum mér.

Geirröðr konungr sat ok hafði sverð um kné sér, ok brugðit til miðs. En er hann heyrði at Óðinn var þar kominn, stóð hann upp ok vildi taka Óðinn frá eldinum. Sverðit slapp ór hendi honum ok vissu hjöltin niðr. Konungr drap fæti ok steyptist á fram, en sverðit stóð í gögnum hann, ok fékk hann bana. Óðinn hvarf þá. En Agnarr var þar konungr lengi síðan.

King Geirroth sat with his sword on his knees half unsheathed. When he heard that it was Odin who had come, he stood up to try to take Odin from the fire. The sword fell forward and stood against him and took his life. Odin disappeared, but Agnar was king in the land for a long time.


Lay of Grimnir: Notes
Prose: Hlithskjalf is the high seat in Odin’s hall from which Odin looks over the nine worlds. See SK Prose Introduction and the note to the prose introduction. 1. When Grim takes the drink the fire flares up and burned his cloak when the fire met the magically charged liquid in a magically charged space. As in Ginnungagap, this reaction brings about the shaping of a new being. Grim becomes more powerful at the end of the ordeal. After consuming the drink, which may be seen as the waters of Hverglmir from which change is brought about when it meets the fires of Muspell, Grim has power over fire. 2. In the winning of the Runes (Hav. 138-139) Odin hangs for nine nights and dealt neither bread nor drinking horn. Grim’s casting off of the old cloak is symbolic of his casting off of his old identity to enter into a new level of being. Agnar’s role is also that of an initiate. He is cast out -to the sea, away from human company, to live in an island in Ettinhome where he lives and has sexual union with a giantess. Just as he is fostered by a woman (Frigg) on the farm in Midgard, so he is fostered by a giantess in outgard. On the initiatory significance of union with women of outgard, see chapter 4. The cave is a symbol of the womb of the mother earth, into which he descends to undergo initiatory ordeals and to be reborn from the cave after union with the fetch soul in its contrasexual form as a giantess. Agnar begets progeny by the giantess in order to be reborn in the company of his brother Geirroth for the purpose of vengeance, just as Odin bears Vali to venge Baldr and Vithar as a means of surviving Ragnarok. See Voluspa and Baldr’s Dream. Geirroth has a son whom he names Agnar who rescues Grim and thereby brings about the death of his father. The second Agnar is a rebirth of the first. After undergoing the transformation and reaching an important level of maturity, the younger Agnar passes an initiatory test by helping Grim and then receives priestly and kingly lore so that he can replace Geirroth as king. 3. Veratyr is a name for Odin and means “God of Mankind.” 4. Elfhome is the heavenly abode of the Light Elves that is just beneath Asgard. 8. Gladhome is where the Gods first set up their judgement seats after they ordered the world. See Gylf. 14. This is where Asgard and Valhalla were established. The Gods meet at Urth’s well beneath the world tree each day to give judgement. Hropt is one of Odin’s names. 10. On wargs (ON vargr) see index. 11. The story of the slaying of Skathi’s father Thiazi and Skathi’s marriage to Njorth is told in detail in SKP 1. 12. These Ves (holy steads) are in Asgard. 14. Freya is more similar to Odin than are many of the Aesir. She not only takes half the slain each day, but she also seeks inspiration and wields magic. It was she who taught Odin Seith. 15. According to Gylf. 32. Forseti is the son of Baldr and Nanna. Forseti may be the same as the God Fosites, the Frisian God whose sanctuary on the island Helgoland is mentioned in the Life of Willibrord. This passage is translated in Grove and Gallows by James Chisholm. 18. Andhrimnir is the fire that boils the sacred boar meat (Saehrimnir) in the kettle Eldhrimnir. Saehrimnir is eaten by the warriors in Valhalla, and like Thor’s goats, is always whole again the next day.


27. Those who would know must seek in the nine-worlds. The waters drawn up by the roots of Yggdrasil are released by the harts and the goat Heithrun whose udders release the liquids in rivers back to the seas and wells that sustain the tree. It is the source of numerous rivers that flow throughout the multiverse. Nonn=bold. Nithogg=The One Who Strikes Down. 30. 26. Sylg=swallower. The worlds bound by the three main roots include A) Asgard. like mead. Thiothunna=people swallower. Ylgr=wolf. Soken=rushing forth. Those who seek Valhalla but are not strong enough of are swept away by the current of Thund. and Midgard B) Hel. Wine. Fjorm=hasty. Hrith. 28 Vino=Wine Stream. It is clear that the lore of the rivers and waters of the multiverse was once part of body of lore concerning travel through the nine worlds. Thund may the river in Asgard that separates the abode of Fenrir from the Gods and may be one of the difficult barriers on the way to Valhalla. the weaker souls are unable to gain entry into Valhalla. 21. Ylg. Fimbulthul=greatly roaring. According to Gylf. Groth=greedy. This is the flood of Thjothvitnir (ON Great Wolf) who may be Fenrir. Rin=Rhein. which seem to separate Urth’s Well from the rest of Asgard. 4. The roots binding the nine worlds may be visualized as the triangles of the valknut (knot of the slain). Fimbulthul. Gunnthra. Gjoll=frenzied. Vith=broad. Not=burning. 27-28. the fish may be taken as swords swimming in the blood they are drawing from Fenrir. One who experiences only memory without thought finds himself in states of awe and terror at the chaotic and uncontrolled contents of his imagination. Thyn=roaring. 31. as well as on spirit. Urth’s well is in Asgard. Odin needs only inspiration. Light-Elfhome. 25-26. The rivers served both as boundaries between the worlds and as well as means of travel between the worlds. Odin fears most for memory because thought can not work effectively without it. 28 These rivers are definitely from Hverglmir. Sith=slow. Gunthro=battle brave. and Hverglmir is in Niflheim. Leipt and Gjoll run from Hverglmir to Hel. Fjorm. The rest of the wights must sustain themselves on meat. Gunnthorn=battle-lusty. Muspelheim and Niflheim C) Vanaheim. It is impossible to reconstruct this lore purely from the-written record. from whence these rivers flow. Huginn=thought and Muninn=memory.19. Thought can be improved and developed with a good foundation in memory. These waters boil and steam at this meeting place beneath the flaming rainbow bridge. Nyt=milk. These may be seen as the cognitive and creative sides of the brain. Hrith=storming. Eiken=raging. Hvergelmir (roaring kettle) is the pool in Niflheim from which the primal waters that met with fire in Ginnungagap flowed. Slith=fearful. 20. The Bifrost Bridge meets Asgard at the well of Urth. One with thought only is likely to experience only the present. Mimir’s well is in Ettinhome. material of the manifest universe. By means of Thund. Since fish is a common skaldic kenning for sword. The Gods established twelve seats for moot in Gladhome at Ida-Dale near Urth’s well 29. These liquids are drawn back into Asgard by the tree to the leaves where they are again consumed and processed by the harts and goat. The Gods ride magical steeds capable of leaping the fierce cosmic rivers which Thor wades. Dwarfhome and Ettinhome. Slith. Vith. Sylg. Tholl=swelling. Geirvimol=teeming with serpents. is a metaphor for inspiration. The rivers in 27 flow to heaven while the rivers in 28 flow through Midgard and wind their ways to Hel. unable to make connections between the present and the past. Svol. Each root may be thought to bind three worlds and ends at one of the three cosmic wells. 32. Leipt=lightening. Svol=cold. Vond=difficult. 61 .

Goll=Shrieking. Thrithi=Third. Hnikar=Thruster. 48-51 is a list of some of the many names of Odin. The sons of Ivaldi are the dwarves who made some of the God’s most powerful tools and weapons. Arvakr=Early Waker. Bolverk=Worker of bale. Uth=Wave. Har=One-eyed. Likely the serpents of Hverglmir. Herfjotur=warfetter. Sanngetal=Truthfinder. Bileyg=One-Eyed. Gondlir=Gand-Wielder. Randgrith=shield fierce. Gangleri=Wayweary. 36. and can be folded up like a piece of cloth. See Gylf. Fjolnir=One who Hides in Furs. Geironal=spear storming. Hnikuth=Thruster. Harbarth=Grey-Beard. Thuth=Thin. 42. Grim=mask. and Gungnir. 43. Svafnir=One who puts to sleep. Herrjan=Warrior. Skithblathnir. In this context Odin is a sacrifice waiting to be heaved from the flames and the wisdom of Odin is thereby opened to Agnar. including Sif’s hair. Fjolsvith=Shape-shifter?. Thruth=The Strong. carries all of the Gods in all of their armor. Svipal=Changeable. Skoll pursues the sun and Hati pursues the moon. Rathgrith=planwrecker. Svithrir=The Wise Svithat=Sage. Sithott=LongHood. Hlok=battling. Baleyg=Fiery-Eyed. 35. 44. Alsvith=Very Swift 39. sails over land and sea. Skithblathnir is a ship given to Frey by dwarves known as the sons of Ivaldi that always has a fair wind. Mist=misty. 62 . Ofnir=Weaver. Hild=battle. Grim=Hood. This stanza speaks of sacrifice. Atrith-One who charges by horseback. Thekk=Welcomed one. Hjalmberi=Helmbearer. Sithskegg=Long-Beard. Sath=Truthful. 54. 37. Vak=Wakeful. Herteit=Glad in Battle. Skeggold=battle age. The following is a list of translations for those that are translatable.34. Sigfathir=Victory-Father.

ok gakk skjótt at beiða okkarn mála mög ok þess at fregna. “Hví um segjak þér. had sat in Hlithskjalf. “I do not think that your love is so very great that you cannot tell me about it. um daga?” Freyr kvað: 4.” 3. warleader of the gods.” Freyr kvað: 6. sad in the hall. “Rise now Skirnir and go and bid my son to speak.” Skirnir said: 2. “Í Gymis görðum ek ganga sá mér tíða mey. ok sá þar mey fagra. hero. at þú mér. sonr Njarðar. hveim inn fróði sé ofreiði afi. Skathi said: 1. þá er hon gekk frá skála föður síns til skemmu. “Segðu mér þat.” Skirnir said: 5.” Skírnir kvað: 5. Hann sá í Jötunheima. oh young hero.” 3. “In Gymir’s halls I saw the beloved maid walk before me and from there her arms brightened the sky and the sea. “Tell me Frey.Skírnismál Freyr. né segir. minn dróttinn. en af þaðan allt loft ok lögr. the son of Njorth. “How do I tell you.” Frey said: 4. Þá mælti Skaði: 1. all day long my drighten. ef ek geng at mæla við mög ok þess at fregna. hveim inn fróði sé ofreiði afi. Frey’s servant was called Skirnir. vel mættim tveir trúask. He looked into Ettinhome. mikinn móðtrega? Því at álfröðull ýsir um alla daga ok þeygi at mínum munum. and there he saw a beautiful maid going out of her father’s hall and into her bower. Njorth bade him to ask Frey to speak. fólkvaldi goða. ok sá um heima alla. Ask the wise one with whom he is angry. Freyr. “Evil words will I have from your son if I go to speak with the lad and ask the wise one with whom he is angry.” 63 .” Skírnir kvað: 2. “Illra orða er mér ón at ykkrum syni.” Frey said: 6. of my heartache? It is because the elfbeam shines all day and yet not on my heart. því at ungir saman várum í árdaga. ok ek vilja vita: Hví þú einn sitr endlanga sali. seggr inn ungi. Lay of Skirnir Frey. Njörðr bað hann kveðja Frey máls. Skírnir hét skósveinn Freys. for when we were young in days of yore well could we trust each other. what I wish to know. “Rístu nú. and saw over all the worlds. From this he fell to a deep depression. hafði einn dag setzt í Hliðskjálf. Why do you sit alone. Þar af fekk hann hugsóttir miklar. “Muni þína hykka ek svá mikla vera. Skírnir. seggr. armar lýstu.

Hann reið at þar. þess er um sal Gerðar var. er hefr” Skírnir mælti við hestinn: 10. “It is dark outside. Neither Ase nor elf nor any man desires that we have this arrangement. ok þat sverð. er þú á haugi sitr ok varðar alla vega: Hvé ek at andspilli komumk ins unga mans fyr greyjum Gymis?” Hirðir kvað: 12.” Freyr kvað: 9. “Mar gefðu mér þá þann er mik um myrkvan beri vísan vafrloga. ása ok álfa þat vill engi maðr at vit samt séim.” Skírnir kvað: 8. that can bear me through the darkness and the famous flickering flame and give me the sword that swings itself against the tribe of ettins.” Hirthir said: 12. “Mar ek þér þann gef. er sjálft vegisk við jötna ætt. er þik um myrkvan berr vísan vafrloga.7.” .” Skirnir said: 13. “Tell me herdsman. eða ertu framgenginn? Andspillis vanr þú skalt æ vera góðrar meyjar Gymis.” Skirnir said: 8. “Mær er mér tíðari en manna hveim ungum í árdaga. “I give you the horse to bear you over the darkness and the famous flickering flame. He rode up to the shepherd sitting on the howe and spoke to him: 11. Both of us shall arrive or the great ettin will take the two of us. you who sits on the howe hill.” Frey said: 9. “Kostir ro betri heldr en at klökkva sé. “It is better to be a hero than to whine for he who wishes to travel. ok bundnir fyrir skíðgarðs hliði. and the sword that swings itself if wise the wielder. Now I say. “Myrkt er úti.” Skirnir spoke to his horse: 10. hveim er fúss er fara. einu dægri mér var aldr um skapaðr ok allt líf um lagit. báðir við komumsk. My age was shaped to the day and a long life was allotted me. “Hvárt ertu feigr. “Give me the steed then.” 64 11. hirðir.” Skirnir rode into Ettinhome until he came to the yard of Gymir where there were savage hounds tied to the wooden posts of the gate that stood before Gerth’s hall. er féhirðir sat á haugi. let us fare forth over the wet fell over the tribe of thurses. how we may come to speak with the young maid beyond the grey hounds of Gymir. “Segðu þat.” Skírnir kvað: 13. þursa þjóð yfir. “Are you death bound or are you dead? You shall always lack the company of the good maid of Gymir.” Skírnir reið í Jötunheima til Gymisgarða. “The maid is more beloved to me than maid has been to any man in elder days. og kvaddi hann: 7. mál kveð ek okkr fara úrig fjöll yfir. ok þat sverð. eða okkr báða tekr sá inn ámáttki jötunn. er sjálft mun vegask ef sá er horskr. who wards all the ways. Þar váru hundar ólmir.

frið at kaupa.” Gerðr kvað: 20. we shall not live together. “Hvat er þat hlym hlymja. þó ek einn um komt eikinn fúr yfir yður salkynni at séa.” Ambátt kvað: 15.” Ambot said: hér úti sé minn bróðurbani. “Maðr er hér útistiginn af mars baki jó lætr til jarðar taka. “Epli ellifu hér hef ek algullin. 17. “Bid him come into our hall and drink the maid’s mead! Though I fear that outside waits my brother’s slayer. to strike a deal such that you say that Frey is to you the most beloved man who lives. þó ek hitt óumk. “What is that din I now hear in our hall? The earth shakes and everything before the hold of Gymir trembles. at þú þér Frey kveðir óleiðastan lifa. “I shall never accept your eleven golden apples for the love of any man.” 65 . en allir fyrir skjálfa garðar Gymis. though I come alone over wild fire to see your halls. “There is a man out here who stepped off the back of his steed.” Gerth said: 14.” Skirnir said: 18.” 17. er ek heyri nú til ossum rönnum í? Jörð bifask. “Epli ellifu ek þigg aldregi at mannskis munum.Gerðr kvað: 14. né vit Freyr.” 19.” Gerðr kvað: 16. “Inn bið þú hann ganga í okkarn sal ok drekka inn mæra mjöð. and not with Frey. “I have here eleven apples all golden that I will give to you. “I am not an elf or an Ase’s son nor a wise Van. byggjum bæði saman. “Emkat ek álfa né ása sona né víssa vana. For as long as we both shall live. “Are you an elf or an Ase’s son or a wise Van? Why do you come alone over wild fire to see our halls. Gerth. þau mun ek þér. “Hvat er þat álfa né ása sona né víssa vana? Hví þú einn um komt eikinn fúr yfir ór salkynni at séa?” Skírnir kvað: 18. Let him bring his horse into the garth. 19. gefa.” Gerth said: 20.” Gerth said: 16. Gerðr. meðan okkart fjör lifir. In need of company the young man comes for the good maid of Gymir.

“You will become a spectacle when you go out. þó ek hins get. “I smite you with a taming wand and I shall break you. 27. snugga heljar til. “Ara þúfu á skaltu ár sitja. You will turn away from home and towards Hel. málfáan. to do my will. “I shant accept the ring. er þik gumna synir síðan æva séi. 28. “Maiden. á þik hotvetna stari. mjóvan. your father will be a dead man. 66 Skirnir said: 21. mær. at ykkr vega tíði. er þú út kemr. I do not lack gold in Gymir’s halls where my father’s wealth I deal.Skírnir kvað: 21. era mér gulls vant í görðum Gymis.en ek þik temja mun.” Gerth said: 24. verðr þinn feigr faðir. átta eru jafnhöfðir.” Skírnir kvað: 23. maiden. “Baug ek þikkak. You will be well known when the guard of the Gods gapes through the gates . though it was burned with Odin’s young son. þann er brenndr var með ungum Óðins syni. mær. gapi þú grindum frá. “Sér þú þenna mæki. mær. nema þú mér sætt segir.” Gerðr kvað: 24. at deila fé föður. “Tamsvendi ek þik drep. maid? I shall hew your head from your neck unless you agree with me. er ek hef í hendi hér? Höfuð höggva ek mun þér hálsi af.” Gerth said: 22. Man will be more loathsome to you than the shining snake to men. matr né þér meir leiðr en manna hveim innfráni ormr með firum. 26. er af drjúpa ina níundu hverja nótt. “Ánauð þola ek vil aldregi at mannskis munum. at mínum munum. “You shall sit forever on the eagle’s mound.” Skirnir said: 25. “At undrsjónum þú verðir.” Skírnir kvað: 25.” Skirnir said: 23. Hrimnir will stare at you and every wight will stare at you. horfa heimi ór. 26. vígs ótrauðir. “Do you see this narrow inlaid sword that I have here in my hand. “Sér þú þenna mæki. though I guess that if Gymir finds you he will slay you in short order. do you see this narrow inlaid sword that I have in my hand? Before these edges will the old ettin fall. ef it Gymir finnizk. víðkunnari þú verðir en vörðr með goðum. “I will give you a ring that was burned with Odin’s young son. You shall go to where the sons of men will never see you again. þótt brenndr sé með ungum Óðins syni. mjóvan.” Gerðr kvað: 22. þar skaltu ganga. á þik Hrímnir hari. málfáan. “Baug ek þér þá gef. 27. “Threats shall never force me to do the will of any man. 28. er ek hef í hendi hér? Fyr þessum eggjum hnígr sá inn aldni jötunn. Eight rings of equal weight drop from it every ninth night.

þar þér vílmegir á viðarrótum geitahland gefi. into the halls of rime thurses everyday. 33. This by your own will. manna nyt mani. eða verlaus vera. at mínum munum. reiðr er þér Ásabragr. æðri drykkju fá þú aldregi. af þínum munum. þitt geð grípi. 30. “Tramar gneypaþik skulu gerstan dag jötna görðum í. 33. 31. 35. sá er var þrunginn í önn ofanverða. er þik hafa skal fyr nágrindr neðan. You shall have weeping for amusement. til hrímþursa hallar þú skalt hverjan dag kranga kostalaus. kranga kostavön. 34. “Odin is angered with you the highest God is angered with you. Your mind will be dull and your grief shall waste you. vaxi þér tár með trega.29. 32. 67 . 34. maid by my own will. gambantein ek gat. “Heyri jötnar. you have incurred the costly wrath of the Gods. gambantein at geta. “I walked to the woods. þik morn morni. ver þú sem þistill. en þú fengit hefr gambanreiði goða. mær. to the sappy woods to get a power-teinn and I got a power-teinn. how I forbid the joy of mankind to the maid and the company of men to the maid. Frey shall hate you you criminal maiden. 31. 35. “Fiends shall bend you through the dismal day and in the garth of ettins you shall creep without choice or hope of choice. 32. “Reiðr er þér Óðinn. Beneath the roots of trees you shall never take another drink. en ek mun segja þér sváran súsbreka ok tvennan trega: 30. Sezk þú niðr. maid. “Ever shall you dwell with three headed thurses or be without husband. “Madness and howling shall increase in you. mær. hvé ek fyrbýð. sjálfir ásliðar. and the champion of the Ases himself! Hear how I forbid. in firinilla mær. synir Suttungs. “Með þursi þríhöfðuðum þú skalt æ nara. grát at gamni skaltu í gögn hafa ok leiða með tárum trega. You shall sit below and I shall dictate great hardship and twofold grief. “Tópi ok ópi. “Til holts ek gekk ok til hrás viðar. “The thurs called Hrimgrimnir shall have you beneath the door of the dead. May you be as a thistle thrust into the top of the harvest. “Hrímgrímnir heitir þurs. tjösull ok óþoli. 29. and you shall know grief and tears. “Hear me now ettins! Hear me now rime thurses! Sons of Suttung. hvé ek fyrirbanna manna glaum mani. heyri hrímþursar. þik skal Freyr fíask.

en eft nætr níu þar mun Njarðar syni Gerður unna gamans. at myndak aldregi unna vaningja vel. fullum forns mjaðar. “Örendi mín vil ek öll vita.” Gerðr kvað: 39.” Skirnir said: 38. “Barri heitir. How shall I endure three? Often a month seemed less to me than waiting half a wedding night.” Skírnir kvað: 38. Freyr stóð úti ok kvaddi hann ok spurði tíðenda: 40. en eft nætr níu þar mun Njarðar syni Gerðr unna gamans. langar ro tvær. When will you meet in tryst the strong son of Njorth. though I never thought that I would ever love a Van’s son. “A night is long. before you unsaddle the steed. Frey stood outside and spoke with him asking tidings. áðr þú verpir söðli af mar ok þú stígir feti framar: Hvat þú árnaðir í Jötunheima þíns eða míns munar?” Skírnir kvað: 41. ef gerask þarfar þess. Skírnir. madness. er vit bæði vitum. lundr lognfara. and impatienceI can scratch them off just as I scratch them on if need arises.” Gerth said: 37.” 68 . “I want to know all my errand done before I ride away from here. and before you take a step. sem ek þat á reist.” Frey said: 42. ok tak við hrímkálki.” Gerðr kvað: 37. “We both know there is a quiet grove called Barri. “We both know a quiet grove called Barri.” Skirnir said: 41. “Barri heitir. “Þurs ríst ek þérok þríá stafi. ergi ok æði ok óþola. 40.36.” Gerth said: 39. After nine nights.” Then Skirnir rode home. “Welcome now heroic lad and take this rime cup full of hoary mead. svá ek þat af ríst. er vit báðir vitum. “Segðu mér þat. After nine nights Gerth will give her love to the son of Njorth. “Heill ver þú nú heldr. what you gained in Ettinhome that was to either your or my liking. Two are longer. “I carve a thurs rune for you and three staves -ergi. lundr lognfara. sveinn.” 36.” Þá reið Skírnir heim. áðr ek ríða heim héðan. nær þú á þingi munt inum þroska nenna Njarðar syni. hvé um þreyjak þrjár? Oft mér mánaðr minni þótti en sjá hálf hýnótt. þó hafðak ek þat ætlat. then will Gerth give her love to the son of Njorth. “Löng er nótt. “Tell me Skirnir.” Freyr kvað: 42.

Grimm. Frey is never involved. but lacked the sort of magical skills by which Odin and Loki fare. and Midgard. see chapter 4. risk going completely insane. He watches the nine worlds from the nethermost regions by means of the eye he sacrificed and left in Mimir’s well as pledge in exchange for a drink from this well of mead. On flickering flame. When an Odian fails to wield his inspiration or madness. II 725). Until Frey is united with his fetch soul. the inspiration. guardian hounds. The Vanic myths are bound up closely with spring and winter rites and dramas. From on high Odin looks out over the nine worlds. Skirnir may be seen as a shaman who fares forth into the outer realms to help Frey recover his soul. 36. and shaking earth. Frey ascended the throne and looked out over the world and saw sights he was not prepared for. In this context Frey’s moodiness is symbolic of winter dormancy. 5-14. but his activities were confined to Vanaheim. hence the warnings against too much mead (inspiration) in the Havamal. On the natural interpretation of Skirnismal. (J. including the Thurs rune. Magic-Tefinn or “Gamban Tefinn”. or his higher self. but could not tolerate the environment any more than Skathi could tolerate Njorth’s abode. When a journey into an outer realm is made. and the madness that came to him on that seat. Skirnir scratches cursing staves on a teinn. which the Old Norwegian Runic Poem calls “the torture of women. not only for his own initiation but to act as a technician of the sacred or the soul on behalf of his folk. The sword that swings itself is a fairy-tale motif. 9. Frey had a steed capable of leaping the flames of Ettinhome. Frey is not a God known for faring into Ettinhome. The Odian should master and understand the lore of the nine-worlds. There is a fine line between inspiration and madness. Though this poem is the telling of a spring renewal myth. it wields him. Asgard. see chapters 4. and went mad. and a sword that excelled in ettin fights. including true Odians. Those who use Odinic magical techniques. Every year the rescue of a spring queen from the underworld and her marriage to a spring God is celebrated. including the giantess Gerth. 32. and the ettin-like strength by which Thor gets along in the eastern realm. Frey was a powerful God of war and magic. We might say that he was unable to handle the powerful visions. As a result he became so disoriented and depressed that he was unable or unwilling to speak. see chapter 3. 8. in this case in the form of his fetch wife. Myth. Hlithskjalf is Odin’s seat in Valhalla. Frey is not an initiate of Odian magic and so unprepared to see so widely and deeply.Lay of Skirnir: Notes Prose Introduction. For more on the esoteric significance of union with the fetch wife. see Glossary. His father Njorth once tried to live with Frey’s mother Skathi in her father’s hall in the mountains of Ettinhome. herdsmen who sit on mounds. it has an initiatory meaning. hence the theme of periodic separation and reunion of Vanic couples. he is incapacitated.” 69 .


eða hverr á skipit. “Hildolf he is called who gave me custody of the craft. saðr em ek enn þess. fœði ek þik á morgum. “Þeygi er sem þú þrjú bú góð eigir. “Þat segir þú nú. verðra matr in betri. Before heading home I ate my fill and am sated by herring and goat. síldr ok hafra. berbeinn þú stendr ok hefr brautinga gervi. veiztattu fyrir görla. meis hef ek á baki. at þú hafir brœkr þínar. “Although it is not likely that you own even three good steads. segðu til nafns þíns. “You boast your meal a morning deed but you know not all. er stendr fyr sundit handan?” Ferjukarlinn kvað: 2. baðat hann hlennimenn flytja eða hrossaþjófa.” Ferjukarlinn kvað: 6.” The Ferryman said: 6. “Who is that churl of churls who calls across the waves?” Thor said: 3. “Ferry me over the sound! I will feed you in the morning. “Who is that lad of lads who stands across the sound?” The Ferryman answered: 2. “Hverr er sá karl karla. át ek í hvílð. I think your mother is dead. þatki. er kallar um váginn?” Þórr kvað: 3. dauð. “Steer that ferry boat over here and I will show you the stead. er mik halda bað. Lay of Harbarth Thor was travelling out along the eastern road when he came to a sound. “Árligum verkum hrósar þú. I have a basket on my back with the best meal. The folks at home are downcast. er þú heldr við landit?” Ferjukarlinn kvað: 8.” The Ferryman said: 4.Hárbarðsljóð Þórr fór ór Austrvegi ok kom at sundi einu. “Now you are telling me the thing that seems heaviest that any may know when you say my mother is dead.” Þórr kvað: 5. A ferryman with a ship stood on the other side. er býr í Ráðseyjarsundi. Tell me your name if you want to cross the sound!” 71 Þórr kallaði: 1. ek mun þér stöðna kenna. He bade me ferry no robbers or horse thieves only good men and those whose deeds I know. But who owns that boat you’ve got on the other bank.” . “Fer þú mik um sundit. er ek görva kunna. verðinum. öðrum megin sundsins var ferjukarlinn með skipit. er hverjum þykkir mest at vita. döpr eru þín heimkynni. at mín móðir dauð sé.” Thor said: 5.” Ferjukarlinn kvað: 4. A warrior wise in rede he and lives by Rathsey sound. Thor hailed him: 1. “Hverr er sá sveinn sveina. “Hildolfr sá heitir. ef þú vill um sundit fara.” Thor said: 7. rekkr inn ráðsvinni. góða eina ok þá. bare legged you stand in beggar’s gear not even wearing your breeches. at þín móðir sé. “Stýrðu hingat eikjunni.” Þórr kvað: 7. áðr ek heiman fór. hygg ek.” The Ferryman said: 8.

þótt ek sekr séak. His head was of stone. You will be well rewarded for your mockery if I wade over the sound. er ór steini var höfuðit á. er Algrœn heitir.” Þórr kvað: 15. “It would seem an awful shame to me if I were to get my gear all sopping wet wading over the river to you. “Hér mun ek standa ok þín heðan bíða. What were you doing then Harbarth?” Harbarth said: 16.” Þórr kvað: 17. I am Odin’s son.” Thor said: 17. “Var ek með Fjölvari fimm vetr alla í ey þeiri. við Þór knáttu hér dœma. þó lét ek hann falla ok fyrir hníga. I hide my name seldom. “En þótt ek sakar eiga.” Harbarth said: 14. but I felled him and he died.” Hárbarðr kvað: 14.” Thor said: 15. “I would tell you my name and that of all my kin even if I was outlawed. þrúðvaldr goða. nema ek feigr sé. Hvat vanntu þá meðan.” Thor said: 13.” The Ferryman said: 10. “Segja mun ek til nafns míns. margs at freista. “Though I had a reason.” Þórr kvað: 11.” Thor said: 11. nema þú sakar eigir?” Hárbarðr kvað: 12. “Hversu snúnuðu yðr konur yðrar?” .Þórr kvað: 9. “Hárbarðr ek heiti. “Harm ljótan mér þykkir í því at vaða um váginn til þín ok væta ögur minn. “Unless you have a reason. the brother of Meili. ok til alls eðlis. vega vér þar knáttum ok val fella. hvat heitir þú. sá inn stórúðgi jötunn. skylda ek launa kögursveini þínum kanginyrði. “How were the women with you?” 72 hylk um nafn sjaldan.” Þórr kvað: 13. þá mun ek forða fjörvi mínu fyr slíkum sem þú ert. the father of Magni. er vit Hrungnir deildum. Thor said: 9. “Now you recall how I fought with Hrungnir the tall and arrogant ettin. “Hvat skaltu of nafn hylja. ef ek kœmumk yfir sundit. ek em Óðins sonr Meila bróðir. I am a powerful God! It is with Thor you are chattering. seduced maidens. hins vil ek nú spyrja. dared many deeds.” Ferjukarlinn kvað: 10. Hárbarðr?” Hárbarðr kvað: 16. “Hins viltu nú geta. “I was with Fjolvari for five entire winters on the island of Allgreen where we fought and slaughtered. You will not find a tougher man now that Hrungnir is dead. I would ward my life against the likes of you unless I were doomed. mans at kosta. Now I want to know your name. why should you hide your name?” Harbarth said: 12. en Magna faðir. “Here I stand awaiting your arrival. fannta þú mann in harðara at Hrungni dauðan. “I am called Harbarth.

hvílda ek hjá þeim systrum sjau. mikil myndi ætt jötna. What were you doing then Thor?” Thor said: 19. they were wise. Hvat vanntu þá meðan. ef oss hollar væri. if only they had been loyal. “The oak gets that which falls from another. þær ór sandi síma undu. “We had some lively ladies if only they had been gentle. Each for himself in such affairs. þá er ek vélta þær frá verum. Hvat vanntu þá meðan Þórr?” Þórr kvað: 19. ef allir lifði vætr myndi manna und Miðgarði. What were you doing then Thor?” Thor said: 23.” Harbarth said: 22. horskar áttu vér konur. I cast the eyes of the sons of Alvald up into the cloudless sky. “I was in the east smiting ettins. “I think you payed evil to a giver of good. gaf hann mér gambantein. þau er allir menn síðan um sé. “Sparkar áttu vér konur.” Hárbarðr kvað: 22. en ek vélta hann ór viti. He gave me a magic teinn and I drove him out of his mind. They wound rope out of sand dug the ground out of deep dales but I was too wise for all of them. þau eru merki mest minna verka. ef oss at spökum yrði.Hárbarðr kvað: 18. um sik er hverr í slíku. inn þrúðmóðga jötun. harðan jötun ek hugða Hlébarð vera. er af annarri skefr. “Þat hafr eik. Hárbarðr?” 73 .” Þórr kvað: 21.” Thor said: 21. What were you doing then Harbarth?” launaðir þú þá góðar gjafar. I slept with those seven sisters and had my way with them all. What were you doing then Harbarth?” Harbarth said: 20. “Illum huga Harbarth said: 18. I deemed Hlebarth one tough ettin. Mankind and Midgard would have been naught. “Miklar manvélar ek hafða við myrkriður. Hvat vanntu þá meðan. Hvat vanntu þá meðan Þórr?” Þórr kvað: 23. “I dropped Thiazi the hardy ettin. “I worked powerful love spells on Mirk-riders. er til bjargs gengu. I turned them from their husbands. upp ek varp augum Alvalda sonar á þann inn heiða himin. Those mighty marks of my work have all men seen since. Hárbarðr?” Hárbarðr kvað: 20. ok hafða ek geð þeira alt ok gaman. those baleful brides who walk the crags. “Ek drap Þjaza. ok ór dali djúpum grund um grófu. varð ek þeim einn öllumefri at ráðum. The ettin tribes would be strong had they lived. “Ek var austr ok jötna barðak brúðir bölvísar.

“Thor has plenty of strength but no heart. if I could reach across the sound!” Harbarth said: 28.Hárbarðr kvað: 24.” Thor said: 25. þó urðu þeir mik fyrri friðar at biðja. gladdak ina gullbjörtu. I goaded wild boars and never made peace.” Thor said: 27. In fear and cowardice you stood in a glove. “Why should you reach over the sound when there is no reason? What were you doing then Thor?” Thor said: 29. With that linen white lady I played we had a secret meeting where I gladdened the gold bright one. Harbarth! I would drop you straight to Hel. “Hárbarðr inn ragi. They came before me suing for peace. en Þórr á þrælakyn. “I was in Valland waging wars. gagni urðu þó lítt fegnir.” Þórr kvað: 25. Þórr?” Þórr kvað: 29. Odin takes the earls who fall in the slaughter but Thor takes the kin of thralls. They hurled boulders at me but it availed them not. en aldri sættak. “Ek var austr ok við einhverja dœmðak. ef ek mætta seilask um sund. “You coward. ef þú ættir vilgi mikils vald. “I was in the east talking to a woman. lék ek við ina línhvítu ok launþing háðak.” Hárbarðr kvað: 28. ek mynda þik í hel drepa. svá at Fjalarr heyrði. Then you did not seem much like Thor! You dared neither to sneeze nor fart for fear that Fjalar hear you.” Harbarth said: 24.” Þórr kvað: 27. What were you doing then Harbarth?” Harbarth said: 30. “Hvat skyldir um sund seilask. “Þórr á afl œrit. That maid liked to play. Hvat vanntu þá meðan. atta ek jöfrum.” Thor said: 31. “Ójafnt skipta er þú myndir með ásum liði. “You unevenly divide the folk with the Ases if you had much power. gamni mær unði. “Then your dealings went well. “I was in the east warding the river where Svarung’s sons sought me. er sakir ro alls engar? Hvat vanntu þá. Óðinn á jarla. þá er í val falla. grjóti þeir mik börðu. af hræzlu ok hugbleyði þér var í hanzka troðit ok þóttiska þú þá Þórr vera. þá er mik sóttu þeir Svárangs synir. Hárbarðr?” Hábarðr kvað: 30.” Hárbarðr kvað: 26. eh?” 74 .” Harbarth said: 26. “Góð átt þú þér mankynni þar þá. “Var ek á Vallandi ok vígum fylgðak. en ekki hjarta. “Ek var austr ok ána varðak. hvárki þú þá þorðir fyr hræzlu þinni hnjósa né físa.” Þórr kvað: 31.

raising banners. It will serve as referee to reconcile us. “Hvat vanntu þá meðan. battling with women. vélta þjóð alla.” ef ek viðr of kœmumk.” Thor said: 33. They worked ill and deluded the entire folk. Hárbarðr kvað: 42.” Þórr kvað: 39. had you not betrayed me. “Brúðir berserkja barðak í Hléseyju. œgðu mér járnlurki en eltu Þjalfa. nema þú mik í tryggð véltir. chased away Thjalfi. “What were you doing in the meantime Thor?” Thor said: 37. “Þess viltu nú geta.” Þórr kvað: 33. “I was on a raid against this very place. but I held that linen white maid fast nevertheless. er ek skorðat hafðak. “Klæki vanntu þá.” Harbarth said: 36.” Harbarth said: 34. “I would have helped you had I been there. “Do you mean that you came against us to work evil?” Harbarth said: 42. “Bœta skal þér þat þá sem jafnendr unnu. What were you doing then Harbarth?” Harbarth said: 40. threatened me with iron clubs. Þórr kvað: 41. er hingat gerðisk geir at rjóða. er þú á konum barðir. “Liðs þíns væra ek þá þurfi. skelldu skip mitt. “Emkat ek sá hælbítr sem húðskór forn á vár. “I am no heel-biter.” Thor said: 39. “You acted disgracefully then Thor. hardly women. like an old rawhide shoe in spring. “I battled with berserker brides at Hles Isles. Þórr. en varla konur. Harbarth said: 32.” Þórr kvað: 35. “I was in need of your help Thor.” er þú fórt oss óljúfan at bjóða. Hvat vanntu meðan.” Hárbarðr kvað: 34.” Hárbarðr kvað: 38. Þórr. “I would have trusted you.Hárbarðr kvað: 32. þeir er okkr vilja sætta. “I shall make amends to you with an arm ring. gnæfa gunnfana. They shattered my ship when I put it ashore. at ek helda þeiri inni línhvítu mey.” Thor said: 35. “Vargynjur þat váru. “Ek vark í hernum.” 75 . Þórr?” Þórr kvað: 37. “Ek munda þér þá þat veita.” Harbarth said: 38.” munda baugi.” Thor said: 41.” Hárbarðr kvað: 36. Hárbarðr?” Hárbarðr kvað: 40. “Ek munda þér þá trúa. reddening spears. þær höfðu verst unnit. “They were she-wolves.

“I took them from men.” Harbarth said: 50. langt myndir þú nú kominn.” Thor said: 47. ef þú litum fœrir. hygg ek. “Asa-Thor! I never thought you would let a ferryman beguile you. seinn ertu at för þinni. heimishauga. ef ek ræð á vág at vaða. in hnœfiligri?” Thor said: 43. þann muntu þrek drýgja.” Harbarth said: 44.” Hárbarðr kvað: 48. “Whence come your spiteful words. “Svá dœmi ek um slíkt far. “Sif is at home in whoredom.” Harbarth said: 48. “Orðkringi þín mun þér illa koma. “Sif á hó heima. “Harbarth you coward! You have been delaying me. You would howl louder than a wolf if I smote your head with my hammer.” Þórr kvað: 47.” Thor said: 51. very old men. halr inn hugblauði. You would be far by now had you been travelling. Þórr. “Nam ek at mönnum þeim inum aldrœnum. hans muntu fund vilja. “Satt hygg ek mik segja.” Hárbarðr kvað: 52. “Your glib tongue would bring you ill if I decided to wade the waves.” Hárbarðr kvað: 44. Never have I heard anything more hateful. who dwell in the wood of the home. þat er þér skyldara.” 76 . “Hvar namtu þessi er ek heyrða aldregi in hnœfiligu orð. calling them wood of the home. You should want a meeting with him and there prove your might.” Þórr kvað: 49.” Þórr kvað: 51. “Þó gefr þú gott nafn dysjum. “You tell me what seems the worst to me! You are a craven man! I think you are a liar. “I think that I speak the truth.” Hárbarðr kvað: 50. for that is you duty. ulfi hæra hygg ek þik œpa munu. “Ásaþórs hugða ek aldregi mundu glepja féhirði farar. “So I deem such things. er búa í heimishauga. “Hárbarðr inn ragi.” Þórr kvað: 45. ef þú hlýtr af hamri högg. at þú ljúgir.” Hárbarðr kvað: 46. “Mælir þú at munns ráði.” Harbarth said: 52. er þú kallar þær heldr hefr þú nú mik dvalðan.Þórr kvað: 43.” Thor said: 45. “You give a very good name to graves. svá at mér skyldi verst þykkja.” Harbarth said: 46.” Thor said: 49. You are late on your journey.

ok mun hon kenna hánum áttunga brautir til Óðins landa.” Thor said: 59. “Then show me the way if you will not ferry me over the waves.” Thor said: 57. hittu föður Magna. Hold to the road to the left until you reach Vesland.” Þórr kvað: 59. and show her kinsman the wilderness way to Odin’s land. haltu svá til vinstra vegsins. “Get away from this sound! I won’t let you cross!” Thor said: 55.” alls þú vill mik eigi Hárbarðr kvað: 56. langt er at fara. sinn annat.Þórr kvað: 53. “Vísa þú mér nú leiðina. “Will I get there within the day?” Harbarth said: 58. “Skammt mun nú mál okkat. önnur til steinsins. launa mun ek þér farsynjun. unz þú hittir Verland. Thor said: 53 “I will now give you some advice.” Þórr kvað: 55. “Taka við víl ok erfiði.” þér skal fars synja. “Mun ek taka þangat í dag?” Hárbarðr kvað: 58. er ek get þána. “Go away! Go to where all demons may have you. hættum hœtingi. stund er til stokksins. her son. “Shorten your talk then. einni svarar. “Farðu firr sundi. Come here to Magni’s father!” Harbarth said: 54. ró þú hingat bátinum.” Hárbarðr kvað: 54. another to the stone. if you will answer only with insults. “It is easy to deny but far to travel. um váginn ferja. There Fjorgyn will meet Thor.” alls þú mér skœtingu ef vit funnumk í Hárbarðr kvað: 60. There is an hour to the stock. “I guess that you will have misery and hardship when the sun rises. I will pay you back for denying me a crossing if we ever meet again at another time. “Far þú nú. þars þik hafi allan gramir.” Harbarth said: 56. “Ráð mun ek þér nú ráða. Lítit er at synja. at upprennandi sólu. Row that boat over here and let us stop squabbling. þar mun Fjörgyn hitta Þór son sinn.” Harbarth said: 60.” 77 .” Þórr kvað: 57.

but hinders him instead. 15. The realms of Ettinhome and Helhome are realms to which the dead fare. and that he asks the ferryman if they will get there within the day. as indicated by his asking of the ferryman for directions in stanza 55. see GG. The significance of the story of the laming of the goats is yet to be fathomed and incorporated into modern Thoric cultic practices. 10. 4.N. This may be taken as a survival of initiation lore. 6. Thor and Tyr ventured out to Hymir’s hold in Thor’s wane but had to return on foot because the goats were incapacitated by the deceit of Loki. As much as he clearly desires to cross the stream. The motif of the death of Thor’s mother may be the survival of a winter myth since Thor’s mother was Fjorgyn or Jorth. though Thor can not recognize him. eaten. and SD and Hervor’s Saga. Thor is known to have one hall. Harbarth is one of Odin’s names. the mother earth. 78 . see GM 49. The O. Thor is wandering on foot. According to Snorri. Thor is unable in this instance. Likely the variations occurred along regional lines. These realms are separated from Midgard by great rivers and even oceans. That Thor offers to feed the ferryman in the morning. warded by a seemingly unfamiliar ferryman (actually Odin) who calls himself Harbarth. though it rarely means “oats” in early literature. He is Thor’s own father. Bilskirnir. Harbarth’s first words are intended to shock. The souls of the dead are admitted to and led to the appropriate realms by ferrymen and herdsmen. According to Snorri a farmer with whom Thor shared his feast broke the bone to get marrow. and is therefore without his goats and must cross the sound by boat or by wading. instead of by wane.N. 7. Hildulf=Battle Wolf. On Thor’s fight with Hrungnir see Skd 17. This spell was intended for use in an initiatory journey into Ettinhome. Thor lost his goats on his voyage to Utgarth and later visited Hymir on foot. Thor finds himself in a strange land. Herdsmen who ward specific regions of Ettinhome may be seen in SK.Lay of Harbarth: Notes Introductory Prose: Thor is returning from an expedition to Ettinhome and has arrived at a river that separates Ettinhome from either Midgard or Asgard. it is possible that the O. This episode was perhaps incorporated into a tale for specific cultic purposes. 3. Note that Thor is instructed to get help form his mother. Thor normally has little trouble wading waters that separate the worlds. and the skin and bones hollowed so that the goats became whole again. That the episode appears in two different tales of Thor’s eastern voyages suggests that it is independent and more important than the individual stories to which the episode was attached. The Lay of Harbarth may be a myth associated with initiatory practices in which young men were left in unknown wilderness to find their ways back and tested by elders. just as Svipdag obtained help from his mother on his initiatory quest. 6. word hafra refers to oats rather than to goat. word can mean either. For this reason I am inclined to think that Thor is carrying the meat of his two goats who were left behind when they were lamed in a culinary accident. At the river which separates Ettinhome from Midgard. Stanza 56 shows that Harbarth is lying in order to shock Thor. though two steads are mentioned. Even as Harbarth speaks he is disguising his identity. There is some inconsistency in the stories of the loss of Thor’s goats. This recalls the first spell that Svipdag learned from his mother which allowed him to shake form his shoulders what seemed shocking or demoralizing. including Thruthheim and Thruthvanger mentioned in GM and Gylf 21. The bone did not heal. tells us that it is late in the afternoon and that Thor has a long day’s trek behind him. Thor meets Harbarth who could help him. It seems that his goats could be sacrificed. Because he is without his goats. But according to the HM.

in dealings with other ettinkind. 26. then it is likely that Thor takes a path to the north so that when he takes a road that bares to the left he will cross the river or sound and arrive in Midgard where he meets his mother Fjorgyn who tells him how to get to Asgard. see glossary. Thor and Odin both recount their encounters with powerful sorceresses in Ettinhome. One such she wolf was the mother of King Siggeir who fares forth into the night as a wolf to devour the nine brothers of Sigmund in the Volsung Saga. Odin is here meeting a giant maiden such as Gunnloth for purposes of the kind of magical initiation discussed in chapter 4. In Gylf. In Skd I and Hav 14. 37. 29. 56. which tells of Thor’s journey to Utgarth. conveying souls to their appropriate place in Ettinhome or beyond. Odin’s seductions of giant maids are not mere hedonism. Mirk-riders are likely the wolf or warg riding troll maidens who ride about in one of the forests of Ettinhome called Mirkwood. 79 . 39. Odin had his way with them. See VSP note 40. The adjective Gold-Bright is fitting for these beautiful ettin women whose abodes are rich and splendid. 30. If the river runs north and south. this ettin is called Skrymer rather than Fjalar. The baleful brides of stanza 23 may be similar beings. Harbarth may be seen here as the ferryman who wards the way between the worlds. and Asgard or Midgard in the west. Although these ettin maids were physically and magically powerful and unwilling. On Thiazi see Gylf. If he travelled south and turned left. Consistently. dividing Ettinhome in the east. 19. Fjalar is a dwarf name in VSP 10 and LS 60 and 62. Odin appears in this capacity in the Volsung Saga as well. Likewise.17. 20. On Berserkers. 56. Thor smashes them with Mjolnir asking questions later. he would be travelling east and wind up deep in Ettinhome. and Harbarth is giving Thor good directions. but part of his initiatory work as explained more fully in chapter 4. while Odin interrogates them. Svarung’s sons are giants. Fjalar is the name of one of the dwarves who killed Kvasir. and perhaps also in Iron wood. Thor crushes them while Odin seduces them.


8. áðr saðir yrði. örkost hvera. But another came forth all in gold and white of brow. much like a kinsman of Misterblindi. vit gervum til. 2. Þórr kvað: 6. Önn fekk jötni hugði at hefnðum bað hann Sifjar ver “þanns ek öllum öl 4. Ár valtívar ok sumblsamir hristu teina fundu þeir at Ægis 2. Until Tyr spoke truly giving Hlorritha good rede. vinr. “Wise Hymir dwells eastward of Elivagar My fierce father has a kettle there. “Veiztu ef þiggjum Týr kvað: “Ef.” 7. Then they turned to the hall of Hymir 8. oft sumbl gera. Ygg’s son spitefully looked him in the eye: “You shall often make sumble for the Ases. They then fared forth from Asgard for most all of the day until they came to the stead of Egil who herded the horn-glorious goats. Lay of Hymir 1. Mögr fann ömmu hafði höfða en önnur gekk brúnhvít bera veiðar námu. Fóru drjúgum Ásgarði frá.” orðbæginn halr. who thought next of venging himself on the God. our work is wily.” þann lögvelli?” Thor said: 6. hirði hann hafra hurfu at höllu. horngöfgasta.” barnteitr fyr miskorblinda. Grandson met grandmother and they loathed one another greatly. yðr of heita. She had nine hundred heads. 5. “Do you know if we can get that boiler?” Tyr said: “If. They found Aegir had plenty of everything. But the great Gods and the Ginnregin were unable to get one at all.” 3.” 4.” dag þann fram unz til Egils kvámu. “Býr fyr austan hundvíss Hymir á minn faðir rúmbrugðinn hver. The fell-dweller sat happy as a child. Sat bergbúi mjök glíkr megi leit í augu “Þú skalt ásum 3.” mærir tívar of geta hvergi. She bore strong brew to her son. vélar 7. gathered in sumble and before they were sated they shook teinns and looked on lots. The taunting hero had troublesome work for the ettin. Týr Hlórriða einum sagði: Élivága at himins enda. my friend. He bade Sif’s man fetch a fit kettle: “Then I shall heat up some ale for you all. algullin fram bjórveig syni: 81 . hundruð níu. Yggs barn í þrá. ok á hlaut sáu. rastar djúpan. er Hymir átti. hann næst við goð. Né þat máttu ok ginnregin unz af tryggðum ástráð mikit 5. Of yore the Tivar of the slain hunted game. mjök leiða sér. móðugr ketil. sér fœra hver.Hymiskviða 1. That roomy vessel is a mile deep.

glumðu jöklar. Eight were shattered. Véurr heitir sá. a friend of men called Veorr. The meal of Hlorritha seemed very great indeed to the friend of Hrungnir. Þótti hárum verðr Hlórriða “Munum at aftni við veiðimat ek viljak ykkr und hvera setja. kinnskógr frörinn. höfði skemmra síðan báru.” 12. Hvern létu þeir ok á seyði át Sifjar verr einn með öllu 16. though you are strong of spirit. en kom Frilla kvað: 11. hverr harðsleginn fram gengu þeir. til sala þinna. “Ver þú heill. und salar gafli. greedy. Hroth’s enemy follows him. He was uneasy when he saw the sorrow of giants walking on his floor. The old ettin beheld his foes. but of meat from the hunt. but one cauldron. var karls. stendr súl fyrir.” fyr sjón jötuns. öxn tvá Hymis. The pole broke in two before the ettin’s gaze. 16. Soon the ettin bade three bulls be taken for boiling. Hymir. “In the evening. Sagðit hánum er hann sá gýgjar grœti þar váru þjórar bað senn jötunn 15. stayed whole when it fell from the post.” 9. and wicked of mind. came home heavy laden from hunting. hugfulla tvá er minn fríi glöggr við gesti. mörgu sinni görr ills hugar. Stukku átta.” 10. Sundr stökk súla en aðr í tvau 13. My lover is quite often stingy with guests. hugr vel þá. He for whom we waited is back in your hall after a long trek. oh glad-minded one! Your son has come to your hall. nú er sonr kominn sá er vit vættum fylgir hánum vinr verliða. “Hail thou Hymir. Each was shortened by a head and they bore them to the roasting pit. 10. þrír of teknir. En váskapaðr harðráðr Hymir gekk inn í sal. “Kin of ettins. en forn jötunn sinn andskota. hard-hammered. sjónum leiddi 14.9. 12. we three must live by another meal. af vegi löngum. But then the terrible one. 14. “See where they sit under the gable hall.” varð síðbúinn heim af veiðum. áss brotnaði. the churl returned with a frozen beard. áðr sofa gengi. Then they stepped forward. Hrungnis spjalla vel fullmikill: öðrum verða vér þrír lifa. en einn af þeim heill af þolli. í hugum góðum.” The pillar sprung asunder. sjóða ganga. á golf kominn. 13. “Áttniðr jötna. hróðrs andskoti. But the husband of Sif had all of two oxen himself before going to sleep. Sé þú. 15. They stand before a pillar to protect themselves. the hard-reding Hymir. I will put you two under the cauldron. Frilla said: 11.” 82 . He strode into the hall with icicles a jangling. hvar sitja svá forða sér.

17. Véurr kvaðzk vilja ef ballr jötunn Hymir kvað: “Hverf þú til hjarðar, brjótr berg - Dana, 18. Þess vænti ek, ögn af uxa Sveinn sýsliga þar er uxi stóð 19. Braut af þjóri hótún ofan Hymir kvað: “Verk þykkja þín kjóla valdi 20. Bað hlunngota áttrunn apa en sá jötunn lítla fýsi 21. Dró meir Hymir einn á öngli en aftr í skut Véurr við vélar 22. Egnði á öngul, orms einbani gein við agni, umgjörð neðan 23. Dró djarfliga orm eitrfáan hamri kníði ofljótt ofan 24. Hraungalkn hlumðu, fór in forna sökkðisk síðan

á vág róa, beitr gæfi.

17. Veorr said he wanted to row out onto the sea if the stubborn giant would give him bait. Hymir said: “Turn to the herd if you trust your mind, and seek bait, breaker of mountain-Danes.” 18. “This is what I think - I think it would be very easy for you to get crap from my oxen.” The warrior went quickly to the wood where a black ox stood. 19. The thurs-slayer ripped from the bull the high two horned hill. Hymir said: “Your work seems much worse, keel-wielder, than when you were sitting.” 20. The lord of goats bade the kinsman of apes steer the roller-horse outward, but the ettin had little desire to row out any further. 21. Famous Hymir, moody, soon drew up two whales on a single hook. But in the aft of the craft, Odin’s kin, Veorr, craftily fixed his tackle. 22. The warden of men, bane of worms, fastened the ox-head to the hook. He who hates the god and lays below encircling all the lands of the earth gaped on the hook. 23. Daring and bold, Thor drew the venomous worm up onto the gunwale and struck the high head-hill of the hideous brother of the wolf from above with the hammer. 24. Fiends of the woods shrieked the crag hills roared, all together on the ancient earth. That fish sank back into the sea.

ef þú hug trúir, beitur sœkja.

at þér mynit auðfeng vera.” sveif til skógar, alsvartr fyrir.

þurs ráðbani horna tveggja.

verri miklu en þú kyrr sitir.”

hafra dróttinn útar fœra, sína talði at róa lengra.

móðugr hvali upp senn tváa, Óðni sifjaðr vað gerði sér.

sá er öldum bergr, uxa höfði; sú er goð fía, allra landa.

dáðrakkr Þórr upp at borði; háfjall skarar ulfs hnitbróður.

en hölkn þutu, fold öll saman; sá fiskr í mar.


25. Óteitr jötunn, svá at ár Hymir veifði hann rœði Hymir kvað: 26. “Mundu um vinna at þú heim hvali eða flotbrúsa 27. Gekk Hlórriði, vatt með austri einn með árum bar hann til bœjar ok holtriða 28. Ok enn jötunn þrágirni vanr, kvaðat mann ramman, kröfturligan, 29. En Hlórriði, brátt lét bresta sló hann sitjandi báru þó heilan 30. Unz þat in fríða ástráð mikit, “drep við haus Hymis, kostmóðs jötuns, 31. Harðr reis á kné fœrðisk allra heill var karli en vínferill 32. “Mörg veit ek mæti er ek kálki sé — karl orð um kvað: aftr ævagi:

er aftr reru, ekki mælti, veðrs annars til.

25. The ettin was not glad. When they rowed back, Hymir spoke not while at the oar. He turned the steering board until the wind came the other way. Hymir said: 26. “Would you share half the work with me? Why don’t you haul the whales home to town, or make fast our sailing-goat.” 27. Hlorritha stepped out and grabbed the stem and hoisted the water-horse up by the bilge. Alone he hefted both boat and oars, he carried that ocean-boar over wooded ridge and hot spring to the ettin’s hall. 28. But the ettin, who was want to be obstinate bandied words with Thor about strength. He said that although a man could row, he was neither strong nor mighty unless he could break the chalice. 29. When he had it in his hand he let fly while still sitting. He shattered a stone wall and drove it through a pillar, yet they bore the chalice back to Hymir whole. 30. Then the lovely lady taught him one good bit of advise that she knew. “Strike Hymir in the skull for this part of the ettin is stronger than any cup.” 31. The stern goat-lord rose on his knees and strove with all his godly might. The churl’s headpiece stayed whole, but the round wine-cup was shattered asunder. 32. “A very dear thing is gone from me now that my chalice lays in ruin before me The karl said: “I can never again say: “Brew me some beer!”

verk halft við mik, haf til bœjar festir okkarn.”

greip á stafni upp lögfáki, ok með austskotu brimsvín jötuns, hver í gegnum.

um afrendi, við Þór sennti, þótt róa kynni, nema kálk bryti.

er at höndum kom, brattstein gleri, súlur í gögnum; fyr Hymi síðan.

friðla kenndi eitt er vissi, hann er harðari, kálki hverjum.”

hafra dróttinn, í ásmegin; hjalmstofn ofan, valr rifnaði.

mér gengin frá, ór knéum hrundit;” “knákat ek segja þú ert, ölðr, of heitt.


33. Þat er til kostar, út ýr óru Týr leitaði stóð at hváru 34. Faðir Móða ok í gegnum sté hóf sér á höfuð upp en á hælum 35. Fórut lengi, aftr Óðins sonr sá hann ór hreysum folkdrótt fara

ef koma mættið ölkjól hofi.” tysvar hrœra; hverr kyrr fyrir.

33. “It will be another loss, if the ale-keel can be taken out of our hall.” Twice Tyr tried to budge the boiler but it stood fast at each try. 34. The father of Mothi seized the rim and strode across the floor down through the hall. The husband of Sif heaved the boiler up over his head and the ring handles rang on his heels. 35. They travelled far before they looked. After Odin’s son was back on the road he saw a many headed folk-host fare from the crags with Hymir. 36. Standing he heaved the cauldron off his shoulders and swung murderous Mjolnir before him and dropped the entire throng of those whales-of-the-rocks. 37. They did not travel far before they saw one of Hlorritha’s goats lying half dead, the harness-horse was lame of leg, and all because of baleful Loki. 38. You have heard, who know the lore of the Gods, what happened next, how the crag dweller was rewarded for that, when he payed with both his children. 39. The mighty one came to the thing of the gods with the cauldron that Hymir once owned, and the Gods shall drink ale with Aegir.

fekk á þremi golf niðr í sal; hver Sifjar verr, hringar skullu.

áðr líta nam einu sinni; með Hymi austan fjölhöfðaða.

36. Hóf hann sér af herðum hver standanda, veifði hann Mjöllni morðgjörnum fram, ok hraunhvala hann alla drap. 37. Fórut lengi, hafr Hlórriða var skær skökuls en því inn lævísi 38. En ér heyrt hafið, goðmálugra hver af hraunbúa er hann bæði galt 39. Þróttöflugr kom ok hafði hver, en véar hverjan ölðr at Ægis

áðr liggja nam halfdauðr fyrir; skakkr á beini, Loki um olli.

hverr kann um þat görr at skilja? hann laun um fekk, börn sín fyrir.

á þing goða þanns Hymir átti; vel skulu drekka eitt hörmeitið.


Lay of Hymir: Notes
1. The Gods are gathered at a sacred feast and for sumble (ritual drinking) and engaged in divinatory magic using rune teinns. The runes on the lots would have been colored with blood from the animals sacrificed for the feast. The use of cauldrons is important in sacrifice; there are usually three; one to boil the meat of the sacrificial animal, one for its blood, and another for the mead or ale. There is debate over the meaning of the phrase orkost hvera which is sometimes translated “a lack of kettles” and at others “an abundance of everything.” Since they were having a feast it is likely that they did have the kettles needed for boiling the meat and holding the blood, but lacked a kettle suitable for ale. 5. Eliveg is the venomous river that flowed from the well Hvergelmir into Ginnungagap where Aurgelmir, the first ettin, was created. See Gylf. 4. Hymir is also mentioned in LS 34. In this instance, Hymir is said to be Tyr’s father, though in SK 9 it is said that he is Odin’s son. Variants on the traditions of the Gods are numerous and the stories varied according to the regions or even hearths over which they were told. Our purpose is to understand the logic of the Elder Edda, so we will accept the Eddic version. To reconcile the two traditions, we might say that Odin was the father of Hymir, so that Tyr was the grandson of Odin. The wagon by which Thor travels to Ettinhome when he has company on a journey is drawn by two goats. See also Gylf. 21. The word “fierce” is used to translate the word mothugr, the root of which is moth, cognate to our word mood. See FS note 21. 9. Thor and Tyr stood behind a pillar in the gable-hall on which the nine cauldrons were hung. 10. “Heavy laden” is a conjectural translation of sithbuinn. 30-31. In Germanic myth and folklore, giants are reputed to have skulls harder than stone, which is befitting of large crag-dwellers. Heroes descended from giants, such as Egil Skallagrimson, sometimes have especially hard heads. 32. The last line of this stanza is not clear. 37. The story of the laming of Thor’s goats is told in Gylf . 44.


and also Frey’s attendants. Margt var þar ása ok álfa. Thor did not come because he was in the east. “Inn skal ganga Ægis hallir í. því at hann var í austrvegi. who was one-handed. þá er hann hafði fengit ketil in mikla. Eldir. and Odin’s son Vithar. Þar var Njörðr ok kona hans Skaði. Loki could not stand hearing all this praise. hvat hér inni hafa at ölmálum sigtíva synir. “Veiztu. hann hafði búit ásum öl. Víðarr son Óðins. and bespatter the Regin in the hall with reproach and abuse. Aegir had two attendants. Thor’s wife Sif was there. They had gleaming gold for firelight and the ale served itself. Loki was there.” Eldir kvað: 4. When the Fenrir wolf was bound it had bitten off Tyr’s hand. Sjálft barsk þar öl. Loki kvaddi hann: The Flyting of Loki Aegir. Þórr kom eigi. Byggvir and Beyla. Loki mátti eigi heyra þat. Loki hvarf aftr ok hitti úti Eldi. “Bear in mind that if you go into Aegir’s hall to see the sumble. Til þeirar veizlu kom Óðinn ok Frigg kona hans. . Loki var þar ok þjónustumenn Freys. along with Bragi and his wife. kona Þórs. Byggvir ok Beyla. Ægir átti tvá þjónustumenn. there are few kind words for you. was there.” Loki said: 3. Tyr. ása ok álfa er hér inni eru. ok drap hann Fimafeng.” 87 . brewed ale for the Gods when he acquired the great kettle that was just described. Þá skóku æsir skjöldu sína ok æpðu at Loka. I will bring to the sons of Ases. Fimafeng and Eldir.Lokasenna Ægir. There were many Ases and elves. The Aesir shook their shields and began shouting at him. á þat sumbl at sjá. and also Frey and Freya. Idunna. sem nú er sagt. Freyr ok Freyja.” Loki kvað: 3. svá at þú einugi feti gangir framarr. Þar var lýsigull haft fyrir elts ljós. who was also called Gymir. manngi er þér í orði vinr. Fimafengr ok Eldir. they will smear it on you. hann var einhendr. “Tell me Eldir. hrópi ok rógi ef þú eyss á holl regin: á þér munu þau þerra þat. á þat sumbl at sjá. Sif var þar. Menn lofuðu mjök hversu góðir þjónustumenn Ægis váru. so he slew Fimafeng. en þeir fóru at drekka. and blend this venom into their mead. “The sons of Victory-Tivar speak of their weapons and their deeds in war.” 1.” Eldir said: 4. ok eltu hann braut til skógar. Njorth and his wife Skathi were there. þar var griðastaðr mikill. before you walk a single step away.” Eldir said: 2. ?Of vápn sín dæma ok um vígrisni sína sigtíva synir. They drove him away into the woods and went back to drinking. From the Ases and elves within.Fenrisúlfr sleit hönd af hánum þá er hann var bundinn. “I shall go in to Aegir’s hall to see that sumble. Bragi ok Iðunn kona hans. ef þú inn gengr Ægis hallir í. People praised highly the good attendants of Aegir and oft said how good they were. “Segðu þat.” Eldir kvað: 2. Loki turned back and hit upon Eldir and spoke to him: 1. what the gods here within are saying over their ale. ok blend ek þeim svá meini mjöð. Hate and evil. Odin and his wife Frigg came to the feast. It was a great ve. er öðru nafni hét Gymir. Týr var þar. jöll ok áfu færi ek ása sonum.

er vit í árdaga blendum blóði saman? Ölvi bergja lézktu eigi mundu.” Þá stóð Viðarr upp ok skenkti Loka.” Óðinn kvað: 10. þögnuðu þeir allir. nema okkr væri báðum borit.” Then Loki strode into the hall. that if we should bandy words. When the Gods saw who stood before them. and let the wolf’s father sit at the sumble. En er þeir sá.” 7. kvaddi hann ásuna: 11. um langan veg.Loki kvað: 5. er fyrir váru. bekkjum á. “Hail the Aesir! Hail the Asynjur. “The Aesir will never choose you a place and a seat at the sumble. that we blended our blood together in days of yore. þrungin goð. Loki kvað: 6. “Remember this Odin. hverr inn var kominn. Eldir. they fell silent. “Bear in mind Eldir. auðigr verða mun ek í andsvörum. “Sessa ok staði velja þér sumbli at æsir aldregi. lest Loki speak flyting staves to us in Aegir’s hall. and all the Ginn-Holy Gods. unless it were born to both of us. You said you would not taste ale. Bragi. or ask me to leave. for they know which wights they ought to have at fair feasts. “Why be so quiet. Bragi. “Mantu þat. “Hví þegið ér svá.” Odin said: 10.” 88 Loki said: 5. who sits inside on this bench. Óðinn. “Rise Vithar. Lopt. at þér mæla né meguð? Sessa ok staði velið mér sumbli at.” Loki kvað: 9. “Veiztu þat.” Síðan gekk Loki inn í höllina. Before drinking Loki spoke: 11. þvíat æsir vitu hveim þeir alda skulu gambansumbl um geta.” . en áðr hann drykki.” Then Vithar stood up and filled Loki’s cup.” Bragi said: 8. heilar ásynjur ok öll ginnheilög goð nema sá einn áss er innar sitr. except for this one Ase. ef vit einir skulum sáryrðum sakask. Loki said: 6.” Loki said: 9. ef þú mælir til mart. ásu at biðja at mér einn gefi mæran drykk mjaðar. eða heitið mik héðan. síðr oss Loki kveði lastastöfum Ægis höllu í.” 7. “I. ok lát úlfs föður sitja sumbli at. “Þyrstr ek kom þessar hallar til.” Bragi kvað: 8. I will have cogent retorts when you talk too much. Loptr. “Rístu þá. come thirsty to this hall from a long trip and bid the Aesir grant me one more drink of mead. that you are unable to speak? Choose a place and seat for me at the sumble. Viðarr. stifled God. “Heilir æsir.

you are the most wary in war. who are gathered herein. ef þú vreiðr séir. grem þú eigi goð at þér!” Loki kvað: 13. Clean-washed. If you are so offended. at þú Loka kveðira lastastöfum Ægis höllu í.” Bragi kvað: 14. lest you deal bale to the Ases. “Snjallr ertu í sessi. skalattu svá gera. svá sem fyr innan emk Ægis höll um kominn. “Jós ok armbauga mundu æ vera beggja vanr.” Idunna said: 18. ok bætir þér svá baugi Bragi. Bragi bekkskrautuðr! vega þú gakk. Bragi. Bragi. “Þegi þú. you wrapped your arms about your brother’s slayer. and fancy yourself so bold. ef fyr útan værak. Iðunn. Bragi. of all our dear sons. vilkat ek at it vreiðir vegizk.Bragi kvað: 12.þik kveð ek allra kvenna vergjarnasta vera.” Iðunn kvað: 16. I would have your head in my hand. you are the most wanton. and the shyest in shooting. ása ok álfa. “I will not bandy bale staves with Loki in Aegir’s hall. “Bið ek. Do not anger the Gods with you!” Loki said: 13.” Loki kvað: 15. síztu arma þína lagðir ítrþvegna um þinn bróðurbana. er hér inni eru. Bragi. and bid you have Bragi’s arm ring.” 89 . Bragi. “Mar ok mæki gef ek þér míns féar. “I bid you think of our children. “Veit ek.” Bragi said: 12 “I give you my sword and my horse. but won’t do anything. barna sifjar duga ok allra óskmaga. höfuð þitt bæra ek í hendi mér.” Loki said. “Silence Idunna! I say that of all wives. and not to bandy bale staves with Loki in Aegir’s hall. for of all the Ases and elves. so that you two do not do battle in rage. “Loka ek kveðka lastastöfum Ægis höllu í. 15.” Bragi said: 14. lykak þér þat fyr lygi. “I know that if I was outside.” Iðunn kvað: 18. I calm Bragi.” Loki said: 17. my wealth. who is drunk on beer. hyggsk vætr hvatr fyrir. “You shall always be lacking in both horse and arm-ring. þú ert við víg varastr ok skjarrastr við skot. síðr þú ásum öfund um gjaldir. you are a bench ornament. I would spare you little for your lies. then come outside and fight!” Idunna spoke: 16. just as I am now inside Aegir’s hall. “You are clever on the bench. Braga ek kyrri bjórreifan.” Loki kvað: 17.

and you bore babies.” Óðinn kvað: 21. “If I have given victory to those to whom I should not have.” Odin said: 21. ok hefr þú þar börn borit. sigr.” Gefjon said: 19. ef ek gaf þeim er ek gefa né skylda. The white youth gave you a ring and you laid your thighs over him. you know that for eight winters you were under the earth giving milk as a cow or a woman. ok örviti. “Örlögum ykkrum skylið aldregi segja seggjum frá. out of your mind.” Loki kvað: 20. but to duller men. at hann leikinn er ok hann fjörg öll fíá.” 90 . firrisk æ forn rök firar. those deeds of old that you keep hidden.” Frigg said: 25. átta vetrvartu fyr jörð neðan kýr mólkandi ok kona. er þú fær þér Gefjun at gremi.” Loki said: 20. vitka líki fórtu verþjóð yfir.” Loki kvað: 24.” Frigg kvað: 25. “You two should never tell tales of your orlog.” Óðinn kvað: 23.Gefjun kvað: 19. þess mun ek nú geta. who beguiled you to þér sigli gaf ok þú lagðir lær yfir. to lesser men. “Silence Gefjon! Now I shall tell. “Hví it æsir tveir skuluð inni hér sáryrðum sakask? Loftki þat veit. I think that these were womanish ways. “Veiztu.” Loki said: 24.” Loki said: 22. of the deeds you two Ases did in days of yore. I think that those were womanish ways. “Ærr ertu. hvat it æsir tveir drýgðuð í árdaga. just as well as I. ok draptu á vétt sem völur. sigr. that you fared among men in the form of a vitki. Óðinn. oft þú gaft þeim er þú gefa skyldira.” Loki kvað: 22. “En þik síða kóðu Sámseyu í. “Þegi þú. at hon öll um viti jafngörla sem ek. “Þegi þú. “Why are you two Aesir attacking one another with wounding words. that you plied magic like a volva. Loki knows he is a joker and that he loathes the Gods. for I think she knows the orlog of all men. Gefjun. to provoke Gefjon’s anger. er þik glapði at geði: sveinn inn hvíti. ok hugða ek þat args aðal. inum slævurom. Often you did not grant victory to him whom you should have. ok hugða ek þat args aðal. þú kunnir aldregi deila víg með verum. “Silence Odin! You never could deal victory to men. Loki. því at aldar örlög hygg ek. “You are mad Loki. “But they say you worked seith magic on Sam’s Isle. inum slævurum.” Odin said: 23.

“Enn vill þú. “Shut up Freya! You are a fordaetha and have done much evil. hryggr muntu heim fara. “You know that if I had a son like Baldr in Aegir’s hall. in bed with your brother. at ek fleiri telja mína meinstafi.” Frigg said: 27. örlög Frigg hygg ek at öll viti. þú ert fordæða ok meini blandin mjök. “Þegi þú. Do you remember. ok myndir þú þá.” Loki said: 30. You will fare home grieving. “Þegi þú.” Freya spoke: 29. er þú ríða sérat síðan Baldr at sölum. “Flá er þér tunga. reiðir ro þér æsir ok ásynjur. Of the Ases and elves who sit herein. Viðris kvæn.” Freyja kvað: 31. how the blithe Regin caught you. “Your tongue is false. Freyja. hygg ek at þér fremr myni ógott um gala. Loki. era þér vamma vant.” Freyja kvað: 29. “Veiztu.” Loki said: 28. þú ert fjörgyns mær ok hefr æ vergjörn verit. “Silence Freya! I know well that you are not lacking faults. síz þik at bræðr þínum stóðu blíð regin. you would not leave the sons of Ases. ef ek inni ættakÆgis höllum i Baldri líkan bur. though she does not say so herself. I think that you shall sing some evil to yourself. Freya. ek því réð. út þú né kvæmirfrá ása sonum. but took them both to your bosom. er þá Véa ok Vilja léztu þér.” Loki kvað: 30. þótt hon sjálfgi segi. Frigg. telling twisted bale staves. as Vithri’s wife did not hinder Vili and Ve. The Aesir and the Asynjur are wroth with you. Frigg.” Loki kvað: 28. ok væri þá at þér vreiðum vegit.” Loki said: 26. when you farted?” 91 . “You are raving Loki.” Loki kvað: 32. to each you have been a whore. þik kann ek fullgörva. er þú yðra telr ljóta leiðstafi. Frigg. before he had battled you in rage. “If you like. “Silence Frigg! You are Fjorgyn’s daughter and have always been the most lustful.” Frigg kvað: 27. “Ærr ertu.” Freya said: 31.” Loki said: 32. ever since the time that you. hverr hefir þinn hór verit. frata. I think that Frigg knows all orlog. Freyja. I planned it such that you do not ride behind Baldr to the halls.Loki kvað: 26. báða i baðm um tekit. Freyja. ása ok álfa. I shall speak more of my harm-staves. “Þegi þú. er hér inni eru.

but you lost Hrothvitnir. Njörðr.” 92 . a scandal that the womanish Ase who came here has born babies. þá ek mög gat. “Frey is the best of all the bold riders in Asgard. böl er beggja þrá. and since have begotten a son whom no one hates. mey hann né grætir né manns konu.” Tyr spoke: 37.” Njorth said: 33. and loosens each from fetters.” Njörðr kvað: 35. “Stop it Njorth! Show some moderation! I will no longer hide that you begot such a son with your sister. ok þikkir sá ása jaðarr. however.” Loki said: 38. handar innar hægri mun ek hinnar geta.” Loki kvað: 34. ok leysir ór höptum hvern. er ek vark langt heðan gísl um sendr at goðum.” Loki said: 36. þann er mangi fiár. “Handar em ek vanr. ok era þó vánu verr. “Silence Njorth! You were sent from the east as a hostage to the Gods. ok hefir sá börn of borit. It is. er í böndum skal bíða ragnarökrs. Týr. The maids of Hymir had you for a piss-hole. “Freyr er beztr allra ballriða ása görðum í. “I had my consolation: long ago I was sent as a hostage to the Gods.” Loki kvað: 38. en þú hróðrsvitnis. Hymis meyjar höfðu þik at hlandtrogi ok þér i munn migu.Njörðr kvað: 33. He brings no sorrow to maids or men’s wives. I also know that Fenrir chewed off your right hand.” Njorth said: 35.” Loki Said: 34. Njörðr.” Tyr said: 39. haf þú á hófi þik! munka ek því leyna lengr: við systur þinni gaztu slíkan mög.” Týr kvað: 37.” Týr kvað: 39. “Þat er válítit. “It is no crime that a woman have both a husband and lover. and seems the best of Gods. er þér sleit Fenrir frá. “Sú erumk líkn. hitt er undr. þú vart austr heðan gíls um sendr at goðum. “Silence Tyr! You never could bring justice between two men. er áss ragr er hér inn of kominn. and made water in your mouth. “Þegi þú. þú kunnir aldregi bera tilt með tveim. who is an evil pain to us both. that wolf who bides Ragnarok in bonds. “Þegi þú. “Hættu nú. úlfgi hefir ok vel. þótt sér varðir vers fái.” Loki kvað: 36. He was worse than expected. hós eða hvárs. “I may be missing a hand.

Unless you shut up. I would crush the marrow of this evil crow and smash all his limbs. mergi smæra mölða ek þá meinkráku ok lemða alla í liðu. You have never gotten even a penny. “Úlfr sé ek liggja árósi fyrir. Nor could they find you in the straw of the floor when men waged war. öln né penning hafðir þú þess aldregi vanréttis. “Byggvir ek heiti. at hon átti mög við mér. “Þegi þú. Týr. en mik bráðan kveða goð öll ok gumar. bundinn. I am triumphant here. ok svá sælligt setr.” Loki said: 40. unz rjúfask regin. nema þú nú þegir.” Frey said: 41. veizta þú þá.” Freyr kvað: 41. ef ek eðli ættak sem Ingunar-Freyr. vesall.” Loki kvað: 46. vesall. “Silence Byggvir! You never could deal meat to men.” Byggvir kvað: 43. and the Gods and men say I am fast.Loki kvað: 40. with the sons of Hropt gathered together drinking ale. Byggvir. “Who is this tiny thing that crouches abjectly and snuffles like a dog? You shall always be about Frey’s ears and chattering at the mills.” Loki said: 46. þá er vágu verar. þú kunnir aldregi deila með mönnum mat. “Silence Tyr! It happens that your wife bore a son by me. “Hvat er þat it litla er ek þat löggra sék. þat varð þinni konu. “You bought Gymir’s daughter with gold and so sold your sword. “Þegi þú.” Loki kvað: 44. ok snapvíst snapir? at eyrum Freys mundu æ vera ok und kvernum klaka. því em ek hér hróðugr.” Byggvir spoke: 45. en er Muspells synir ríða Myrkvið yfir. you wretch. wretch.” Loki said: 42.” Byggvir kvað: 45. því mundu næst. bölvasmiðr!” Loki kvað: 42.” 93 . hvé þú vegr. you forger of bale. “Gulli keypta léztu Gymis dóttur ok seldir þitt svá sverð. “If I had the lineage of Ingunar-Frey. you will not know how to fight.” Loki said: 44. But when the sons of Muspell ride through Mirkwood. at drekka Hrofts megir allir öl saman. for that injury. “I see a wolf lying before the mouth of a river until the ruin of the Regin. “I am called Byggvir. and such a blessed seat. you will next be bound. ok þik í flets strái finna né máttu.” Byggvir said: 43. “Veiztu.

” Loki said: 48.” Heimdall said: 47.Heimdallr kvað: 47. svá at þú ert örviti.” Loki kvað: 50. “Létt er þér.” Loki said: 50. munattu lengi svá leika lausum hala. when you bade me share your bed. know that you will have cold rede from my vés and fields. “Léttari í málum vartu við Laufeyjar son. With a wet back you shall ever stay awake as the watchman of the Gods. Why not leave him alone? Too much drink will rule any man such that he minds not his speech. . but your tail will not wag so loosely for long. Loki? því at ofdrykkja veldr alda hveim. þars vér á Þjaza þrifum. Such tales are told when we reveal our blemishes.” Skathi said: 49.” Þá gekk Sif fram ok byrlaði Loka í hrímkálki mjöð ok mælti: 53. Loki. “Silence Heimdall! In days of yore. “Veiztu.” Skaði kvað: 51.” Loki kvað: 52. for the Gods will bind you to a sword with the rime-cold guts of your son.” Skaði kvað: 49. ef vér görva skulum telja vömmin vár. “Heill ver þú nú. því at þik á hjörvi skulu ins hrímkalda magar görnum binda goð. ef fyrstr ok efstr vartu at fjörlagi. remain without stain. fyrstr ok efstr var ek at fjörlagi. “Loki is drunk and out of his mind.” Loki kvað: 48. “Though you were first and foremost among the gods at the slaughter when you took Thiazi. ok tak við hrímkálki fullum forns mjaðar.” Skathi said: 51.” 94 . er sína mælgi né manat. ef mik á hjörvi skulu ens hrímkalda magar görnum binda goð. getit verðr oss slíks. Loki. and let myself alone among the Ases. þér var í árdaga it ljóta líf um lagit: örgu baki þú munt æ vera ok vaka vörðr goða. “Though the Gods will bind me to a sword with the rime-cold guts of my son. Heimdallr. a hateful life was allotted you. know that I was first and foremost among the slaughter when we seized Thiazi. “We hail you Loki! Take this goblet full of mead.” Loki said: 52.hví né lezkaðu. “You are happy now Loki.” Then Sif walked forward and poured mead for Loki into a rimy cup and said: 53. “Þegi þú. þá er ér á Þjaza þrifuð frá mínum véum ok vöngum skulu þér æ köld ráð koma. þá er þú létz mér á beð þinn boðit. “You were lighter when with Laufey’s son. “Veiztu. “Ölr ertu. Loki. heldr þú hana eina látir með ása sonum vammalausa vera.

Mjolnir will take away your talk.” Thor spoke: 59. “Þegi þú. I will cast you into the east where no one will ever see you again!” Loki said: 60.” Then Thor came and said: 57. “Fjöll öll skjálfa.” Loki took the horn and drank: 54. “Shut up you wretched wight. ok svelgr hann allan Sigföður.” Loki said: 58. ok verðr þá þínu fjörvi um farit. ok var þat sá inn lævísi Loki. and he swallows Victory-Father whole.Hann tók við horni ok drakk af: 54.” Loki kvað: 60. I will drop your shoulder-cliff out from under your neck and send you to your doom. hygg ek á för vera heiman Hlórriða.” Beyla said: 55. “Jarðar burr er hér nú inn kominn. I think Hlorritha is on the way home. in the thumb of a glove. But I know of one. dritin. and that was hateful Loki. You are all damp and dirty. svá at ek vita þikkjumk. síðan þík mangi sér. rög vættr. oh champion! You did not seem like Thor then. he I know well. “Þegi þú. There you crouched. “Austrförum þínum skaltu aldregi segja seggjum frá. “You should never tell to warriors of your voyage to the east. mál fyrnema: upp ek þér verp ok á austrvega. einn ek veit. or my mighty hammer Mjolnir will take away your talk. hví þrasir þú svá. síz í hanska þumlungi hnúkðir þú.” Þórr kvað: 59. “Ein þú værir. þér skal minn þrúðhamarr. He will bring to rest he who slanders the Gods and heroes. who had Hlorritha’s wife for a whore.” Loki kvað: 56.” Loki said: 56.” Loki kvað: 58. þér skal minn þrúðhamarr. han ræðr ró þeim er rægir hér goð öll ok guma. vör ok gröm at veri. cowering. and are one of the more shamed to come among the Gods. ok þóttiska þú þá Þórr vera. ókynjan meira koma med ása sonum. “Shut up you wretched wight! My hammer of might. deigja. “Silence Beyla! You are Byggvir’s woman and stir much evil. Mjöllnir. “Þegi þú. Thor. mál fyrnema: herða klett drep ek þér hálsi af. hór ok af Hlórriða. who has just now arrived! Why are you so feisty Thor? You won’t be so feisty when you fight the wolf.” Beyla kvað: 55. Mjöllnir. ef þú svá værir. Þórr? en þá þorir þú ekki er þú skalt við úlfinn vega. “All the fells shiver. Beyla. þú ert Byggvis kvæn ok meini blandinn mjök.” 95 . einheri.” Þá kom Þórr at ok kvað: 57. “You would be the one if you were careful and true to your husband. öll ertu. rög vættr. “Son of Jorth.

Mjolnir. but you will never hold a sumble after this. leiki yfir logi. ok svaltz þú þá hungri heill.” 65. There the Gods took him. “Lifa ætla ek mér langan aldr. sat there and held a basin under the poison. Sigyn kona Loka sat þar ok helt munnlaug undir eitrit.” Loki kvað: 62. But I will leave you now for I know your weight. er hér inni er. þér skal minn þrúðhamarr. He was bound with the bowels of his son Narfi. mál fyrnema: Hrungnis bani mun þér í hel koma fyr nágrindr neðan. or my hammer of might. “I think I will live a long life. rög vættr. “I spoke before the Ases. þat eru nú kallaðir landsskjálftar. þvi at ek veit at þú vegr. Mjöllnir.” Loki said: 62.” Thor said: 63. what my mind urged me tell. rög vættr. “Kvað ek fyr ásum. Venom dripped down. eiga þín öll. venom dropped on him and he struggled so hard that the entire earth shook. en fyr þér einum mun ek út ganga. þér skal minn þrúðhamarr. Þá kippðist hann svá hart við. En er munnlaugin var full. 96 . þóttú hætir hamri mér. you went hungry. skarpar álar þóttu þér Skrýmis vera. draup þar ór eitr. will take away your talk! By Hrungnir’s bane you will fall to Hel beneath the gates of the dead. svá at þér brotnar beina hvat. mál fyrnema: hendi inni hægri drep ek þik Hrungnis bana. “Silence you slanderous wight. The straps of Skrymir were strong and you couldn’t get your food. she bore the poison away. Skaði tók eitrorm ok festi upp yfir annlit Loka. þaz mik hvatti hugr. kvað ek fyr ása sonum. at þaðan af skalf jörð öll. “Þegi þú. Ægir. and before the sons of Ases.” En eftir þetta falst Loki í Fránangrsforsi í lax líki. Sigyn. Hann var bundinn með þörmum sonar síns Vála. bar hón út eitrit. Mjöllnir. When the basin was full.Þórr kvað: 61. will take away your talk.” Loki said: 64. These are what men now call earthquakes. Skathi took a viper and fastened it over Loki’s face. en þú aldri munt síðan sumbl um gera. en meðan draup eitrit á Loka. Loki concealed himself in Frangang falls in the shape of a salmon. My right hand will drop you wielding Hrungnir’s bane and break all your bones. ok brenni þér á baki. Flame are playing on all that you won in her and are burning on your back.” Loki kvað: 64. ok máttira þú þá nesti ná. Loki’s wife. “Shut up you slanderous wight! My hammer of might. Though you were whole.” After that. Þar tóku æsir hann. Mjolnir. but his son Vali turned into a wolf. “Öl görðir þú. “Þegi þú. though you threaten me with your hammer.” 65 “You brewed ale Aegir. Thor said: 61. en Narfi sonr hans varð at vargi.” Þórr kvað: 63.

Odin learned Seith from Freya. The rite of blending blood is described Saxo Grammaticus’ account of Hadingus in which an earthen chamber is dug and the blood of the parties is mingled on the ground. Some have suggested that this poem is late and that the bitter exchanges between the Gods and Loki are mainly lies and the poem was a Christian effort at defamation and blasphemy. It was Skathi who fastened the venomous snake over Loki’s face when he was bound. see chapter 3. 11. these were true as well. 16. The two emerge reborn as brothers and the earthen chamber may be seen as symbolizing the womb of mother earth. but the elder poems are clearly of heathen origin. 24. and in their contexts. Heimdall waits for Ragnarok in a hall before the rainbow bridge Bifrost in order to warn the Gods of the approach of the hosts of Hel and Muspell. 48. Skathi’s father Thiazi was destroyed by the wiles of Loki. 25. There are no lies in the Elder Edda. 97 . Ergi refers to shameful sexual acts. On Thor’s voyage to Utgarth. and then to apply these truths to our daily lives. 49. That some mixing did occur in the late viking age is likely. 32. Among the Vanir. It is our task first to understand the Eddic myths on their own terms. Bale staves are curses. see SKd 45. especially passive sodomy by a male. 60. 17. and Christian interpretations can be seen in Snorri Sturluson’s Younger Edda. See BD. Loki engineered the death of Frigg and Odin’s son Baldr. Idunna is the Goddess who holds the apples that sustain the youth and vigor of the Gods. Odin takes the best at the peak of their abilities for service in Valhalla. See SKd 1. Lines 3 and 4 may be taken as a general invocation of the Aesir. Bosi gives a ring to a woman before seducing her on three different occasions. and much of the lore revealed in the flyting is corroborated by other Eddic lore. Many scholars would have us believe that much Eddic lore is actually Christian in origin based on a few shallow parallels between Christian and Eddic myth. On the meaning of brothers marrying the same woman in turn. 9. See YS. 22. 23. 28. While on Midgard they are often confronted with great adversity and losses in order that they will be strengthened. Frigg here confirms the accusations of both Loki and Odin.The Flyting of Loki: Notes 1. and then to realize the truths that are discovered in our own souls. There is no real evidence to support this view. See chapter 3 for the mythic significance of a union between a maid and her brother’s slayer in the spring drama myths. 20 In the Saga of Bosi and Heraud. only our own inability to understand the lore. 26. Of course there were many regional variations on the myths and their meanings. though it was forbidden to all others. marriage between brother and sister was permitted.


They went to Freya’s fair home: and first spoke to her with these words: “Would you loan me your feather skin. Thrym said: 7. Loki.” alls fyrst um kvað: hvat ek nú mæli Jarðar hvergi áss er stolinn hamri”.” 5. ef ek minn hamar er hann vaknaði um saknati. Freyju túna alls fyrst um kvað: jaðrhams léa. réð Jarðar burr 2.” 5. so that I might find my hammer. Jorth’s son began groping about. er eigi veit né upphimins: 3. Have you hidden the hammer of Hlorritha?” Thrym said: 8. Fló þá Loki. ása garða jötna heima. 6. “I have hidden Hlorritha’s hammer eight leagues beneath the earth. Then the feather skin whirred and Loki flew until he got out of Asgard and came to Ettinhome. to what I’m going to tell you. “Þó munda ek gefa þér þótt ór gulli væri ok þó selja. Freyja kvað: 4. unless he brings me Freya as queen.Þrymskviða 1.fjatrhamr dunði. aftr um heimtir Freyju at kvæn. Freyja.” 3. “How fare the Aesir? How fare the elves? Why have you come to Ettinhome?” Loki said: “Ill fare the Aesir. 2. On waking his hammer was gone. mættak hitta?”. Lay of Thrym 1. unz fyr útan kom ok fyr innan kom 6.” 99 . Thrym the lord of thurses sat on a howe twisting golden collars for his grey dogs and evened the manes of his horses. Freya. átta röstum hann engi maðr nema færi mér . “Ek hefu Hlórriða. um at þreifask. No one shall get it back. Þrymr sat á haugi. þursa dróttinn. These words he spoke first: “Listen up Loki. gullbönd snøri mön jafnaði. ill fare the elves. Ving-Thor was wroth. His beard shook and his hair tossed. hamar um folginn?” hamar um fólginn fyr jörð neðan. Hvat er með álfum? í Jötunheima?” illt er með álfum. greyjum sínum ok mörum sínum Þrymr kvað: 7. at væri ór silfri. Ok hann þat orða “Heyrðu nú. hefr þú Hlórriða Þrymr kvað: 8. Reiðr var þá Vingþórr ok síns hamars skegg nam at hrista. Gengu þeir fagra ok hann þat orða “Muntu mér. “I would give it to you even if it were made of gold or silver. No one yet knows anywhere on heaven or earth that this Ase’s hammer has been stolen.” Freya said: 4. “Hvat er með ásum? Hví ertu einn kominn Loki kvað: “Illt er með ásum. skör nam at dýja.

sögur um fallask lygi um bellir. Freyja. “Let keys dangle from him and let women’s weeds fall about his knees let bridal stones bedeck his breast and his head be properly hooded. 10. 12.9. sem vanir aðrir: brúðar líni.” allir á þingi allar á máli ríkir tívar hamar um sætti. Reið varð þá Freyja allr ása salr stökk þat it mikla “Mik veiztu verða ef ek ek með þér 14. hrynja lukla um kné falla breiða steina um höfuð typpum. spoke: “Let us gird Thor in bridal linen and in the great Brising necklace. vissi hann vel fram “Bindum vér Þór þá hafi hann it mikla 16. 15. Thrym the lord of thurses has your hammer. like a Vane. The ruling Tivar reded on how to get Hlorritha’s hammer back. Fló þá Loki. jötna heima ása garða. the whitest of Ases.” 13. Senn váru æsir ok ásynjur ok um þat réðu hvé þeir Hlórriða 15. miðra garða alls fyrst um kvað: 9. while lying it may become a lie. who. Ganga þeir fagra ok hann þat orða “Bittu þik. unz fyr útan kom ok fyr innan kom Mætti hann Þór ok þat hann orða 10. Then all the Aesir and Asynjur fared to thing for moot. while still in the air. and no one can get it back unless he brings him Freya as a bride. hvítastr ása. men Brísinga: vergjarnasta í Jötunheima. í Jötunheima. “Hef ek erfiði ok erendi. The whole hall of the Ases trembled. hann engi maðr aftr um heimtir nema hánum færi Freyju at kván.” ok fnasaði. Heimdall. the lengthy news.” 16. While sitting a story may fail. They went to the fair hall of Freya and Thor first spoke these words: “Freya.fjatrhamr dundi. Látum und honum ok kvenváðir en á brjósti ok hagliga Freyju at hitta alls fyrst um kvað: brúðar líni. Þá kvað þat Heimdallr. He met Thor in Midgard who first spoke to him with these words. don bridal linen.” 100 .” 14.” Loki said: 11. “I will be thought a whore if I go to Ettinhome with you. “I have trouble and tidings. þursa dróttinn. Freya was wroth and snorted with rage. Þrymr hefir þinn hamar. for together we shall drive to Ettinhome.” Loki kvað: 11. men Brísinga.” 12. “Hefir þú erindi Segðu á lofti oft sitjanda ok liggjandi . The feather skin whirred and Loki Flew until he got out of Ettinhome and into Asgard. could see far ahead. and the great Brising necklace was broken asunder. undir bifðisk. “Have you tidings as well as trouble? Tell me. vit skulum aka tvau 13.” sem erfiði? löng tíðendi.

ók Óðins sonr 22.” 24. I own many treasures and have many jewels. Þá kvað þat Loki “Þegi þú. and they fit his head with a hood. It seems I lack Freya alone. Þórr.” 18. Þá kvað þat Þrymr. daughter of Njorth of Noatun here to me as a bride.” um komit snemma öl fram borit. Laufeyjar sonr: ambótt vera.17. They clothed Thor in bridal linen and the great brising necklace and let keys dangle on him. spoke: “The Aesir will call me a queer if I allow myself to be dressed in bridal linen.” 17. Senn váru hafrar skyndir at sköklum. Bundu þeir Þór þá ok inu mikla létu und hánum ok kvenváðir en á brjósti ok hagliga 20.” brúðar líni meni Brísinga. jötni at gamni. eight salmon. Þá kvaðþat Þór “Mik munu æsir ef ek bindask læt 18. The husband of Sif ate one ox. the mighty Ase. nú færa mér Njarðar dóttur 23. 101 . í Jötunheima. Ganga hér at garði öxn alsvartir fjöld á ek meiðma. The two of us shall drive to Ettinhome. Thor. í Jötunheima. The mountains broke and flames scorched the earth as Odin’s son fared into Ettinhome. þær er konur skyldu. skyldu vel renna. “Golden horned cows and oxen all ablack graze here in the garth for the pleasure of ettins. bridal stones were on his breast. Laufeyjar sonr: þeirra orða. and drank three measures of mead. Then spoke Thrym. einnar mér Freyju 24. þursa dróttinn: ok stráið bekki. They hastened to the harness and ran well. hrynja lukla um kné falla breiða steina um höfuð typpðu.” 21. lord of thurses: “Stand up you ettins. and strew the benches with straw! Now they are bringing Freya. jötnar. krásir allar drakk Sifjar verr þrúðugr áss: argan kalla brúðar líni. Þá kvað Loki “Mun ek ok með þér vit skulum aka tvær 21. Var þar at kveldi ok fyr jötna einn át oxa. Þegar munu jötnar nema þú þinn hamar 19. Then spoke Loki. Laufey’s son: “Silence Thor! Say no more! Unless you get your hammer back. Then spoke Loki Laufey’s son: “I will go with you and be the handmaid. 22. the ettins will soon dwell in Asgard. Ásgarð búa þér um heimtir.” 23. Evening soon came and ale was born to the ettins. sáld þrjú mjaðar. Björg brotnuðu. 20. Women’s wear fell about his knees.” 19. “Standið upp. and all the womens’ delicacies. átta laxa. brann jörð loga. fjölð á ek menja. Freyju at kván ór Nóatúnum. ávant þykir. gullhyrnðar kýr. Soon the goats were driven home.” heim um reknir.

so madly eager was she for Ettinhome. lord of thurses spoke: “Bring the hammer to hallow the bride!” He laid Mjolnir on the bride’s knee: “Hallow the two of us together by the hand of Var!” 31.” 28. “Hvar sáttu brúðir Sáka ek brúðir né inn meira mjöð 26. í Jötunheima. Hard-minded Hlorritha laughed in his breast when he saw the hammer. Sat in alsnotra er orð um fann “Át vætr Freyja svá var hon óðfús 27. She received a blow instead of schillings. but sprang back to the other end of the hall. þursa dróttin. 102 . Then Thrym. and then crushed the ettin’s kin. all-knowing. þursa dróttinn: brúði at vígja. 30. fyr hringa fjölð. í Jötunheima. um beðið hafði. daring to ask for bridal gifts: “Take from your hand those red rings. endr at hamri.” ambótt fyrir við jötuns máli: átta nóttum. and found words to speak to the ettin: “Freya has not slept at all in eight nights. Þá kvat þat Þrymr.” 25. Then spoke Thrym. ástir mínar. “How terrible are Freya’s eyes! Fire seems to burn in those eyes. Drap hann ina öldnu hin er brúðféar hon skell um hlaut en högg hamars Svá kom Óðins sonr jötna systr.” lysti at kyssa. Várar hendi. biðja þorði: hringa rauða. 32. The knowing handmaid sat there and found words to speak to the ettin: “Freya fasted eight nights.” 29. if you want to have my love. First he slew Thrym. The ettin’s baleful sister stepped in. Inn kom in arma hin er brúðféar “Láttu þér af höndum ef þú öðlask vill ástir mínar. lusting for kissing. ambótt fyrir við jötuns máli: átta nóttum. 32. lord of thurses. í meyjar kné. a stroke of the hammer instead of a heap of rings. lord of thurses: “Where have you ever seen a bride bite more sharply? I have not seen a bride bite as broadly or drink as much mead. endlangan sal: augu Freyju? eldr um brenna. Þrym drap hann fyrstan. Hló Hlórriða hugr í brjósti er harðhugaðr hamar um þekkði. “Berið inn hamar lekkið Mjöllni vígið okkr saman.” 30. my love and all my friendship. ok ætt jötuns alla lamði. He pulled the linen. alla hylli. so madly eager she was for Ettinhome. þursa dróttinn: bíta hvassara? bíta breiðara mey um drekka. And so Odin’s son got his hammer back. Laut und línu. Þá kvað þat Þrymr.” jötna systir.25. fyr skillinga. en hann útan stökk “Hví eru öndótt Þykki mér ór augum 28. Then he smote the old sister of the ettins. she who had demanded bridal gifts.” 27.” 31.” 26. Sat in alsnotra er orð um fann “Svaf vætr Freyja svá var hon óðfús 29. The brides-maid sat.

“The ninth is Var. The hammer was used to hallow brides in heathen marriage ceremonies. wherefore such covenants are called vows. She paid for it by spending a night with each of them. Loki typically travels to Ettinhome by means of Freya’s falcon shape (ON “hamr”). She also takes vengeance on those who perjure themselves. Thor is not versed in this sort of magic. She harkens to the oaths and compacts made between men and women. In the Gautrek’s Saga it is related that the farmer Rennir had the horns of his favorite ox gilt with gold and silver.. 23. 35. The Brisingamen is the prized necklace of Freya that she acquired from the four dwarves who fashioned it. Var is one of the Asynjur. 13.” 103 . According to Snorri in Gylf.Lay of Thrym: Notes 4. In the Younger Edda Loki uses borrows Frigg’s hawk shape to fly to Geirroth’s hall and uses Freya’s falcon shape to travel to Thiazi’s garth. 30. It was later stolen by Loki and retrieved by Heimdall. By this shape Loki fares forth into Ettinhome.


“Vingþórr ek heiti. “I shall break the oath. “I am called Alvis. or have my approval of marriage. eiga vilja ek. I would rather have the snow-white lass than to be alone. For weapon’s worth I have come. . It is for myself alone. I was not home when she was promised. fjarrafleina. ertattu til brúðar borinn.” Alvis: 7. As her father. þá er þér heitit var. I live beneath the earth. “I am called Vingthor! I have wandered wide. er í ráðum telsk fljóðs ins fagrglóa.” Alvíss kvað: 7. hratat um mægi mun hverjum þykkja. at ósátt minni skalattu þat it unga man hafa ok þat gjaforð geta. Let no man disregard fast oaths. “Hvat er þat fira? Hví ertu svá fölr um nasar? Vartu í nóttmeð ná? Þursa líki þykki mér á þér vera. heldr en án vera. þat it mjallhvíta man. sonr em ek Síðgrana. heima skalat hvílð nema.þik munu fáir kunna.” Alvis said: 5.” Þórr kvað: 4. “Who is this man. “Hvat er þat rekka. I have the most say. You will not have the young lass by my leave. bregði engi föstu heiti fira. hef ek víða ratat. I won’t waste time getting home. “Sáttir þínar er ek vil snemma hafa ok þat gjaforð geta. með goðum. “What sort of being are you. to give her for marriage. Who brought you the rings?” Thor: 6. er gjöf er. at sá einn. for now my bride shall come home with me.” Thor said: 4.” Alvíss kvað: 3. and get your approval.Alvíssmál Alvíss kvað: 1. vagna vers ek em á vit kominn. nú skal brúðr með mér heim í sinni snúask.” Þórr kvað: 2. á ek und steini stað. þvíat ek brúðar á flest um ráð sem faðir. hverr hefr þik baugum borit?” Þórr kvað: 6.bý ek fyr jörð neðan.” Alvis said: 3. “I will soon have your consent.” Lay of Alvis Alvis said: 1.” Alvíss kvað: 5. I have a stead under the stones. “Clear the benches. varka ek heima. of all the Gods. You were not born for a bride.” Thor said: 2. I am Sithgrani’s son.” 105 . “Bekki breiða. who says that he is the father of the fair maid? You wretch! Few will know you. “Alvíss ek heiti. “Ek mun bregða. you who are such a white-nose? It seems to me that you ought to get a thurs’s corpse. It will seem to all that I was hasty with the maid.

ettins call it “Upper-World”. “Jörð heitir með mönnum. that you know. which is seen by the sons of men. alfar gróandi.” Þórr kvað: 13. “Tell me this Alvis. en hlýrnir með goðum. “Ways” by the Vanes. dvergr. Elves call it “Growing”. en mylinn með goðum. give you what you wish. but it is called “Fiery” among the Gods. . that you know the origin of all beings: what is the moon called. dwarf. wise guest. . “Segðu mér þat Alvíss. dvergr. Vanes call it “Windweaver”. for I think.öll of rök fira vörumk. that you know the origin of all things: what heaven is called in each of the worlds?” Alvis said: 12. “Tell me this Alvis. “Máni heitir með mönnum. and dwarves call it “Dripping Hall”.öll of rök fira vörumk. hvé sá himinn heitir erakendi. Gods call it “Sky”. in each of the worlds?” Alvis said: 14. skyndi jötnar. “Heaven” it is called among men. dwarf. “Tell me Alvis. heimi hverjum í?” Alvíss kvað: 14. en skin dvergar. heimi hverjum í?” Alvíss kvað: 12. at vitir. elves call it “Fair-Roof”.” 106 .” Thor said: 8. kalla aur uppregin. alfar fagraræfr. the origin of all beings: what the earth is called. for I think. kalla alfar ártala. . Þórr kvað: 11. for I think. and the Uppregin call it “Clay. kalla vindófni vanir.” Thor said: 11. Ettins call it “Speed”. in each of the worlds?” Alvis said: 10. ígrœn jötnar.” 9. “I will grant you the maid’s love. dwarf.Þórr kvað: 8.” 9. kalla hverfanda hvél helju í. “Segðu mér þat Avlíss. uppheim jötnar.öll of rök fira vörumk. sá er menn séa. “It is called “Earth” by men. “Greenish” by ettins. at vitir. Thor said: 13. “Segðu mér þat Alvíss. dvergar drjúpansal. dwarves call it “Shining”. ef þú ór heimi kannt hverjum at segja allt þat er vilja ek vita. hversu máni heitir. at vitir. “Himinn heitir með mönnum. In Hel they call it “Turning Wheel”. en með ásum fold. “Men call it “Moon”. that lies beneath the sons of men. kalla vega vanir. but elves call it “year reckoner”. dvergr. er liggr fyr alda sonum heimi hverjum í?” Alvíss kvað: 10. hvé sú jörð heitir. “Meyjar ástum muna þér verða vísi gestr of varit. if you can tell me everything I want to know about each of the worlds. “Field” by the Ases.

but the sons of Ases call it “Allbright”. er skúrum blandask.öll of rök fira vörumk. dwarf. . hvé þau ský heita. alskír ása synir. . “Segðu mér þat Alvíss. “Vindr heitir með mönnum. heimi hverjum í?” Thor said: 15. that you know the origin of all beings: what is the calm called that rests over each of the worlds?” 107 . it is called “Roarer” by ettins “Din-Farer” by elves. hvé sá vindr heitir. But “Rainhope” by ettins. er liggja skal. kalla vindflot vanir. at vitir. since I know. eygló jötnar. .” Þórr kvað: 17. ettins call it “Everglow”. that bring showers. dwarf. úrván jötnar. For I think. alfar fagrahvél. that men see in each of the worlds?” Alvis said: 16. at vitir. . heimi hverjum í?” Alvíss kvað: 20. elves call it “Fairwheel”. Thor said: 19.öll of rök fira vörumk. “Tell me Alvis.” Thor said: 21. that you know the origin of all wights: what the wide-faring winds are called in each of the worlds?” Alvis said: 20. alfar dynfara. “Segðu mér þat Alvíss. “It is called “Sol” among men. heimi hverjum í? Alvíss kvað: 18. “Sól heitir með mönnum. in each of the worlds?” Alvis said: 18.öll of rök fira vörumk. and “Weather Might” by elves. “Ský heita með mönnum.öll of rök fira vörumk. for I think. alfar veðrmegin. œpi jötnar. er víðast ferr. “Tell me Alvis. kalla gneggjuð ginnregin. dvergr. that you know the origin of all beings: what the sun is called. er séa alda synir. Thor said: 17. In Hel they call them “Hiding Helm”. dwarf. the Gods call them “Hope of Showers. “Men call them “Clouds”. en sunna með goðum. dvergr. hvé sú sól heitir. at vitir. at vitir. kalla dvergar Dvalins leika. hvé þat logn heitir. “Tell me Alvis. kalla í helju hviðuð. Gods call it “Waverer”.” They are called “Windsailors” by Vanes. and “Stormer” in Hel. that you know the origin of all beings: what are the clouds called. and “Sun” among Gods. “Segðu mér þat Alvíss. dvergr.Þórr kvað: 15. “Tell me this Alvis. the Ginnregin call it “Whinnier”. en váfuðr með goðum. heimi hverjum í?” Alvíss kvað: 16. dwarf. dvergr. Dwarves call it “Dvalinn’s Plaything”. for I think. “Men call it “Wind”.” Þórr kvað: 19.” Þórr kvað: 21. “Segðu mér þat Alvíss. en skúrván með goðum. kalla í helju hjalm huliðs.

and the Vanes call it “Wand”. “Sær heitir með mönnum. but “Stillness” by Gods. “Tell me Alvis. er menn róa. and ettins call it “Greedy”. in each of the worlds?” Alvis said: 24. “It is called “Calm” by men. en vallarfax með goðum. en sílœgja með goðum. that you know the origin of all beings: what is fire that burns before the sons of life called in all the worlds?” Alvis said: 26. but the Gods call it “Mane of the Fields. “Segðu mér þat.” the Gods call it “Flame”. dvergr. . ettins call it “Fuel”.öll of rök fira vörumk. at vitir. in each of the worlds?” Alvis said: 28. eldi jötnar alfar fagrlima. “Day-Quiet” by elves.” Hel folk call it “Mountain-Seaweed”. heimi hverjum í?” Alvíss kvað: 28. “Segðu mér þat Alvíss. “Men call it “Sea”. alfar lagastaf. “Viðr heitir með mönnum. “Men call it “Forest”. kalla vág vanir.öll of rök fira vörumk. It is called “Over-Warmth” by ettins. heimi hverjum í?” Alvíss kvað: 26. en lœgi með goðum. kalla dvergar dagsveru. hvé sá eldr heitir. en með ásum funi. dvergr. kalla hlíðþang halir. elves call it “Fair-Limb”. that men sail.” Þórr kvað: 25. “Wind-Lull” by the Vanes. in Hel they call it “Speedy”. hvé viðr heitir. The Vanes call it “Waver”. “Tell me this Alvis. Vanes call it “Wave”. .” Þórr kvað: 27. at vitir. kalla vág vanir. er vex fyr alda sonum. ofhlý jötnar. at vitir. that you know the origin of all beings: what they call the forest that grows before the sons of life. and “Deep-Sea” by dwarves. for I think. heimi hverjum í?” Alvíss kvað: 24.” Þórr kvað: 23. dwarf. frekan jötnar. and “Day-Shelter” by dwarves. for I think. dvergr. . alfar dagsefa. “Men call it “Fire.” Thor said: 23. Alvíss. dwarf. the origin of all beings: what is the sea called. “Logn heitir með mönnum. “Water-Stave” by elves. en forbrenni dvergar. the dwarves call it “All-Burner”. “Eldr heitir með mönnum.Alvíss kvað: 22. er brennr fyr alda sonum.” Thor said: 25. It is called “Eel-Home” by ettins.” Alvis said: 22. Thor said: 27. for I think. kalla dvergar djúpan mar.öll of rök fira vörumk. Gods call it “Endless Plain”. 108 . dwarf. that you know. álheim jötnar. kalla vindlot vanir. kalla vönd vanir. “Segðu mér þat Alvíss. kalla í helju hröðuð. hvé sá marr heitir. “Tell me Alvis.

öll of rök fira vörumk. Þórr kvað: 33. um dagaðr.öll of rök fira vörumk. they call it “Mead” in Hel. The Vanes call it “Growth”. in all the worlds. kalla í helju hnipin. “Öl heitir með mönnum.” Thor said: 29. Vanes call it “Stout”. dvergr. “Tell me this Alvis. óljós jötnar. alfar lagastaf. elves call it “Waterstave” but in Hel they call it “Drooping”. dvergr. ettins call it “Eating”. “Segðu mér þat Alvíss. er sáa alda synir. ettins call it “Pure-water”. Thor said: 33.” The Ginnregin call it “Hood”. for I vitir. “Segðu mér þat Alvíss. kalla sumbl Suttungs synir. “Bygg heitir með mönnum. dwarf.Þórr kvað: 29. hreinalög jötnar. that you know the origin of all things: what the seed is called. now the sun is shining in the hall. miklum tálum kveð ek tælðan þik. “Í einu brjósti sá ek aldrigi fleiri forna stafi. dwarf. but the Gods call it “The Dark. that you know the origin of all things: in each of the worlds. ettins call “Lightless”. “Nótt heitir með mönnum.” en barr með goðum. hvé sú nótt heitir. Ases call it “Beer”. that is drunk by the sons of life?” Alvis said: 34. alfar svefngaman. “Segðu mér þat Alvíss. and Suttung’s sons call it “Sumble”. . heimi hverjum í?” Alvíss kvað: 34. at vitir. that the sons of life sow?” Alvis said: 32. Thor said: 35. . “I never saw such eld staves beneath any breast. kalla grímu ginnregin.” 109 . but I fooled you with wily words.en með ásum bjórr. heimi hverjum í?” Alvíss kvað: 30. in all the worlds. “Men call it “Ale”. heimi hverjum í?” Alvíss kvað: 32. en í helju mjöð. nú skínn sól í sali. “Men call it “Night”. hvé þat öl heitir. en njól með goðum. Thor said: 31. kalla dvergar draumnjörun. uppi ertu.” Þórr kvað: 31. “Tell me Alvis. that you know the origin of all things: what is the ale called. dvergr. and “Barr” by Gods. dwarf.öll of rök fira vörumk. .er drekka alda synir. for I think. dvergr. at vitir. æti jötnar. “Tell me Alvis. what do they call night who was born to Nor?” Alvis said: 30. dwarf.” Þórr kvað: 35. in Nörvi kennda. “It is called “Barley” by men. At daylight you are up. kalla veig vanir. elves call it “Sleep-Pleasure” and dwarves call it “Dream-Weaver”. For I think. hvé þat sáð heitir. kalla vöxt vanir.

24. we may remind ourselves that there are similarities in that both are denizens of the realms beneath the earth and associated with graves and stones. 110 . Thor keeps Alvis talking until daybreak. It can also be translated as the “plaything of Dvalinn”. The visages of dwarves. dwarves who have not returned to Dark-Elfhome from their farings in Midgard are turned to stone. Vafuthr=Waverer and may well mean wanderer. ettins. 20. at which time. and trolls may still be seen in the rock formations that serve as gateways to their homes. 16. Lagastaf=Waterstave. This is also one of the names of Odin in GM 54. Though it may seem odd that Thor should tell a dwarf that he has a giant’s body. here to refer to the sea and again in 32 to refer to grain.Lay of Alvis: Notes 2. The term is used twice by the elves.

ríkir tívar. and met a hound from Hel. Wise in witchcraft. he began to sing valgalder until the corpse was forced to rise and speak. söðul um lagði. “Be not silent Volva! I will question you until I know all that I want to know. völva. 6. niflheljar til. 4. Þá reið Óðinn þar er hann vissi nam hann vittugri unz nauðig reis. 5.” þik vil ek fregna. “Hvat er manna þat er mér hefir aukit Var ek snivin snævi drifin döggu. þeim er ór helju kom. 3. I am a man from Midgard. segðu mér ór helju. 5. A shield lays over the clear drinks. He was bloody about his breast and he barked long at galder’s father. fyrir austan dyrr. 2. “Vegtamr ek heiti. Senn váru æsir ok ásynjur ok um þat réðu hví væri Baldri 2. and beaten by rain. unz alkunna. The Dreams of Baldr 1. Upp reis Óðinn. foldvegr dunði. For whom are the benches strewn with rings. Heljar ranni. Hveim eru bekkir flet fagrlig 7. völu leiði. Odin rode on. and he came to the high hall of Hel. 3. 8. The powerful Tivar mooted over why Baldr had baleful dreams. ok hann á Sleipni reið hann niðr þaðan mætti hann hvelpi. “Here stands mead brewed for Baldr. valgaldr kveða. um brjóst framan gól um lengi. liggr skjöldr yfir. and besprent by with dew? I was dead long. What wight shall be Baldr’s bane and rob Odin’s son of his life?” alda gautr.” 8. ek mun ór heimi: baugum sánir flóuð gulli?” of brugginn mjöðr. The ground thundered. “Hér stendr Baldri skírar veigar. I spoke by need.” 6. Then Odin rode for the eastern door for he knew the tomb of the volva was there. vil ek enn vita: at bana verða aldri ræna?” 111 . “What man is this whom I do not know who has increased my hardship by his journey? Was I covered in snow. en ásmegir nauðug sagðak. Sá var blóðugr ok galdrs föður fram reið Óðinn. “I am called Vegtam and am the son of Valtam. Up came Odin the old god and laid the saddle on Sleipnir. í ofvæni. erfitt sinni? ok slegin regni dauð var ek lengi. The sons of Odin are in despair. hann kom at hávu 4. He rode down to Niflhel. nás orð um kvað: mér ókunnra. the chambers a flood of fair gold?” 7. ballir draumar. Tell me about Hel.” sonr em ek Valtams. Soon all the Aesir were gathered at thing and all the Asynjur in moot. nú mun ek þegja. “Þegjattu. but now I am silent. Hverr mun Baldri ok Óðins son allir á þingi alla á máli.Baldrs draumar 1.

svá komir manna er lauss Loki ok ragna rök hróðrbaðm þinig. einnættr vega: né höfuð kembir. “Do not be silent volva! I will question you until I know all that I want to know. the old god. líðr ór böndum rjúfendr koma. “Ride home Odin. while one winter old. Who are the maidens who shall weep and cast their neck veils towards the heavens?” 13. ok á himin verpa 13. Óðinn. unz alkunna. “Ertattu völva heldr ertu þriggja 14. Odin’s son.” 10. Hverjar ro þær meyjar. “As I thought. before he bears Baldr’s slayer to the pyre. Hverr mun heift Heði eða Baldrs bana 11. This one. heldr ertu Óðinn.” 12. No men shall thus come to call me again.” 9. “Ertattu Vegtamr. Rather you are Odin. “Þegjattu. Now I shall be silent. and destroying Ragnarok comes.” 112 . aldinn gautr. vil ek enn vita: hefnt of vinna á bál vega?” í vestrsölum. þik vil ek fregna. nor wise woman but rather the mother of three thurses. þursa móðir. nor combs his hair. völva. He washes not his hands. before Loki is free. meir aftr á vit. shall slay him. “Þegjattu. and be triumphant. Rindr berr Vála sá mun Óðins sonr hönd um þvær áðr á bál um berr nauðug sagðak. Baldrs andskota. This wight will be the bane of Baldr and rob Odin’s son of his life. “Be not silent volva! I will question you until I know all that I want to know. you are not Vegtam. now I shall be silent.” þik vil ek fregna. I spoke under need.” 14. 10. unz alkunna. “Höðr berr hávan hann mun Baldri ok Óðins son nauðug sagðak. 12. I spoke by need.9. völva. “Rind bears Vali in the western halls.” “You are no volva.” ok ver hróðigr. nú mun ek þegja. vil ek enn vita: er at muni gráta halsa skautum?” sem ek hugða. “Hoth will bear the high and notorious spray.” né vís kona. What wight will bring vengeance against Hoth and send Baldr’s bane to the pyre?” 11. at bana verða aldri ræna. his limbs loosed from the bonds. nú mun ek þegja. “Heim ríð þú.

Valgaldra) are a necromantic form of Galder used to waken the dead to elicit wisdom form them. In Saxo’s story of Hadingus an engraved teinn is placed under the tongue of a corpse. 6. Guard dogs and quaking earth are common features of journeys to the halls of wise women in Ettinhome and Hel. See also FS. and Harbarth’s Lay 44-45 in Elder Edda.Baldr’s Dream: Notes 1. SGD. See Hav. 113 . The halls of Hel. Instance of this sort of magic are to be found elsewhere in Eddic and saga lore. are loaded with wealth. Sleipnir is the eight legged steed on which Odin fares out over the nine worlds. The lich or corpse-galder (O. It is possible that the hound in this case is Garm who is mentioned in VSP 43. 2. like those of Gerth and Mengloth. Valtam = Battle-Ready. Niflhel is the same as Hel. and chapter 4. A “thing” is an old Teutonic law assembly.N. Vegtam = Road-Ready. Also see the Hervor episode in Heidrek’s Saga. the Aesir meet at Urth’s well below Bifrost bridge each day. 4. GG. 157. According to Snorri.


hjón salkynna. He rose up from there. Edda picked up a lumpy loaf thick and heavy with bran. She set it in the middle of the table. miðra fletja. Lay of Rig Men tell in old tales that one of the Ases was called Heimdall and that in the days of yore he made a journey along a certain seashore until he came to a farm. setti á bjóð. ready for bed 5. jósu vatni. eldr var á golfi. hétu Þræl. 6. 4. kom at einum húsabœ ok nefndiz Rígr. They say that in the days of yore an Ase walked wise and holy. The door was closed and he strode in. inn nam at ganga hjón sátu þar Ái ok Edda.Rígsþula Svá segja menn í fornum sögum. 115 . He lay in the middle of the bed between the two. var kálfr soðinn 5. Mighty and mainful strode Rig. Sat between the two in the hall. then walked further the middle ways. fór ferðar sinnar ok fram með sjóvarströndu nökkurri. bar hon meir at þat soð var í bolla. ökkvinn hleif. 3. sá er Heimdallr hét. aldinfalda. 1. grœnar brautir ás kunnigan. miðrar rekkju. Joth and Edda sprinkled water on a dark linen clad boy named Thrall. Ríg stíganda. krása beztr. þrunginn sáðum. This is the story. Rig knew how to rede them well. 2. hjón salkynna. He stayed there three nights altogether. at einnhverr af ásum. ráð at segja. þríar nætr saman. Rígr kunni þeim reis hann upp þaðan. Rig knew how to rede them well. There was a fire on the floor. 3. Kom hann at húsi. Hoary sat man and wife there at the hearth. réðsk at sofna. Ai and Edda wearing old hoods. mánuðr níu. Þá tók Edda þungan ok þykkvan. Rígr kunni þeim meir settisk hann en á hlið hvára 4. Jóð ól Edda hörvi svartan. miðrar brautar. 7. best of fare. He strode further down the middle wilderness way until he came to a house. Nine months passed. miðra skutla. powerful on the green wilderness ways. Ár kváðu ganga öflgan ok aldinn ramman ok röskvan gekk hann meir at þat 2. Then she brought forth a bowl. there in the hall. Þar var hann at þat gekk hann meir at þat liðu meir at þat 7. the bowl full of broth and boiled calf. miðrar brautar. ráð at segja. He sat on the middle seat. meir lagðisk hann en á hlið hvára 6. hurð var á gætti. hár at árni. eftir þeiri sögu er kvæði þetta: 1.

turned the turf. meir settisk hón. Okvinkalfa. 13. Klur. Eikintiasna. Digraldi. langir hælar. byrðar gerva. She was named Thir. They talked and gossiped. and Hosvir. were happy in their home. rekkju gerðu þrungin dœgr. Digraldi. Nam han meir at þat bast at binda. gnarled the knuckle. akra töddu. She sat down in the middle seat with the son of the house next to her. 14. there was a chest on the floor.8. Þræll ok Þír 12. ropes of bast he bound. hurð var á skíði. Drott. Maðr teglði þar var skegg skapat. heldu á sýslu. He came to a hall and the door was closed. Their daughters were Drumba. Hann nam at vaxa var þar á höndum kropnir knúar fingr digrir. Dœtr váru þær Ökkvinkalfa Ysja ok Ambátt. lútr hryggr. Dröttr ok Hösvir. sonr húss. ok vel dafna. unnu at svínum. Lut and Leggjaldi. réttar brautir. Arinnefia. 116 . Kefsir. fingers were thick. I think the children were called Hreim and Fjosnir. 15. strode Rig straight on the wilderness ways. fed the swine. man and wife had that house. ok Arinnefja. lögðu garða. and her nose bent down. At that. herded goats. Lútr ok Leggjaldi. gengilbeina armr sólbrunninn. bore home brushwood all day. Then he began to test his might. Drumba ok Kumba. niðrbjúgt var nef. Kleggi. They laid fences. 12. 11. Thrall and Thir all day. Thence comes the tribe of thralls. 9. The man fashioned a loom pole from wood. bore burdens. inn nam at ganga. found a fire on the floor. Miðra fletja sat hjá henni rœddu ok rýndu. He started into the hall. geita gættu. skyrtu þröngva. bar hann heim at þat 10. Börn ólu þau. He began to grow and throve well. Þar kom at garði aurr var á iljum. skokkr var á golfi. hrís gerstan dag. Fulnir. 15. meið til rifjar. 8. Kefsir. they dunged the acres. Hreimr ok Fjósnir. hjón sátu þar. Eikintjasna. A bent legged woman approached his yard with dirty soles. eldr var á golfi. Tötrughypja þaðan eru komnar 14. his tunic close fitting. His beard was shaped. his hair hung over his forehead. Totrughyphia and Tronobeina. 11. 9. nefndisk Þír. Drumbr. Drumb.bjuggu ok unðu. Ambat. They bore children. hygg ek at héti Klúrr ok Kleggi. 13. megins um kosta. þræla ættir. ok Trönubeina. his back was bent His heels were long. . Gekk Rígr at þat kom hann at höllu. Rough the skin of his hands. Ysia. they lay together. and sunburnt arms. 10. skör var fyr enni. Fúlnir. hrokkit skinn. Kumbla. ———— fúlligt andlit. grófu torf.

giptu Karli.) Nine moons passed in the meantime. sveigr var á höfði. dúkr var á halsi. 24. hét Halr ok Drengr. smokkr var á bringu. réð at sofna. in a goat-skin skirt. and Ristil. he tamed oxen and made plowshares. Feima. Afi ok Amma 17. gekk hann meirr at þat miðrar brautar. ready to sleep he lay down. arðr at gerva. She braided thread and made cloth. Ristill. Amma bore a boy. 20. ok keyra plóg. betwixt the man and the woman. Brattskeg and Segg. Bundinnskegg. Brattskeggr ok Seggr. ok bú gerðu. Enn hétu svá Snót. he waxed well. kona sveip ripti. 19. bjuggu hjón. and broaches on her shoulders. and gave her to Karl. Boddi. The man and dwelled and dealt rings. Hann nam at vaxa öxn nam at temja. meir lagðisk hann en á hlið hvára sveigði rokk. Höldr. keys a dangling. He rose from the bench. rauðan ok rjóðan. Rig knew how to rede them well. dvergar á öxlum. öðrum nöfnum. Þar var hann at þat þríar nætr saman. kölluðu Karl. Thence comes the tribe of Karls. between the two.16. 21. þaðan eru komnar jósu vatni. spread sheets and established a household. 19. Sprakki. and Vif. fashioned carts and drove ploughs. Thegn. karla ættir. He began to grow. She named him Karl and clothed him in linen. breiddu blæjur 23. Svarri. reis frá borði. Brúðr. Þegn ok Smiðr. They brought home a bride. Snör heitir sú. red and ruddy he was. Fljóð. Búi ok Boddi. She was called Snor and sat veiled. 18. Smith. Affi and Amma owned that house. They lived happily and bore sons called Hal. ok hlöður smíða. Bóndi. hanginluklu. Svarri Sprakki. Jóð ól Amma. Svanni. He stayed there three nights all told (He walked the middle ways. áttu hús. 117 . Sat þar kona. . bauga deildu. Wild eyed. Svanni. Hold. She wore a muffler on her neck. Bond. Sprund ok Víf. 16. 23. Bruth. miðrar rekkju. Feima. ok vel dafna. Wise. 17. ráð at segja. She sprinkled him with water. riðuðu augu. Rígr kunni þeim 18. breiddi faðm.bjuggu ok unðu. Breith. Twirling her distaff the woman sat. 22. Börn ólu þau. in the middle of the bed in the hall. Bui. 20. 21. Breiðr. 24. Dreng. hús at timbra karta at gerva 22. timbered houses and built sheds. liðu meir at þat mánuðr níu. But the daughters were called by other names. Heim óku þá geitakyrtlu. bjó til váðar. Fljoth. settisk und rifti. She had a hood on her head and a smock over her breast. hjón salkynna. Sprund. Bundinskeggi.

29.25. bjartir vangar. ok hulði dúk. silki vafði. He was fair of hair. and his eyes pierced like an adder’s. Þá tók Móðir hvítan af hörvi. kinga var á bringu. hjón salkynna. þríar nætr saman miðrar brautar mánuðr níu. hreinni mjöllu. she smoothed the skirt and pleated her sleeves. var hurð hnigin. 28. golf var stráat. gazing at one another’s eyes. Rig rose from there. He stayed there three nights all told. He sat down between the two. 26. 28. Gekk Rígr þaðan kom hann at sal. 30. ráð at segja. 31. The lady of the house looked to her arms. setti á bjóð ok fugla steikða. Jarl létu heita. varðir kálkar. The door was leaning open and there was a ring on its post. They drank and talked to the end of the day. hulði bjóð. 27. She got a thin loaf of white wheat and set it on the table. ready for sleep. dagr var á sinnum. brún bjartari. 25. serk bláfáan. 26. her breast lighter. ötul váru augu réttar brautir. Bleikt var hár. miðra fletja. The garment trailed behind her. Her brow was brighter. fingrum at leika. Then fared out over the middle wilderness ways. drukku ok dœmðu. He walked in and the floor was strewn with straw. hleifa þunna. örvar skepti. 33. Faðir ok Móðir 27. Mother bore a son and clothed him in silk. The mother brought forth a white flaxen embroidered cloth and covered the table. ok sneri streng. Rig knew how to rede them well. 32. Keisti fald. Man and wife sat there. Sátu hjón. Framm setti hón silfri varða. fáin ok fleski vín var í könnu. She sprinkled him with water and called him Earl. Gekk hann inn at þat. sterti ermar. skutla fulla. Rígr kunni þeim meir settisk hann en á hlið hvára 30. jósu vatni. the man and the woman in the hall. hringr var í gætti. suðr horfðu dyrr. Svein ól Móðir. 32. He came to a hall whose door faced south. brjóst ljósara. En húskona strauk of ripti. The house-master twisted bow string and bent elm. She had a hood on her head and a brooch on her breast. the sark was blue. sem yrmlingi. Sat húsgumi alm of bendi. Þar vas hann at þat gekk hann meir at þat liðu meir at þat 33. bright of cheeks. than fresh snow. She set wine in a plated vessel. 118 . merkðan dúk. A silver platter she set at the table full of steaked fowl. Then strode Rig over the wilderness ways. and her neck whiter. hugði at örmum. háls hvítari 29. síðar slœður. sáusk í augu. Nine moons passed in the meantime. 31. hón tók at þat hvíta af hveiti. Father and Mother were playing with their fingers.

and granted it to all. Kom þar ór runni Rígr gangandi. en Barn annat. They dwelled together and were happy. hjó sundr baug. ok sér unðu. gifts and jewels. aldnar byggðir. 39. hesti hleypði víg nam at vekja. He hewed asunder arm rings. örvar skefta.námu leika. small fingered. he dealt wealth. hundum verpa. sverðum bregða. wielded shields. 37. 40. sped lances. Kund was another and Kon was the youngest. taught him the runes and granted his own name. Jarl á fletjum. 38. hringum hreytti. sund at fremja. They asked for her and drove her home. rode horses. to shatter linden shields. Walking Rig came. 39. Mögr. 41. myrkvan við. Arfi. Kundr hét enn. 36. until he came to a hall. They gave her to Earl and she walked in linen. The sons of the Earl grew up. shafted arrows flung spears. mjófingraða. hestum ríða. He began to shake spears. swung his sword. bloodied the earth dropped corpses. 119 Rígr gangandi. Konr var inn yngsti Jarli bornir. wakened war. 37. vá til landa. Sonr ok Sveinn. skapt nam at dýja. sitt gaf heiti. mey átti hann hvíta ok horska. Nith. Óku ærir kómu at höllu. hlífar bendu. Athal. skelfði lind. He rode further thence through Mirkwood. unz at höllu kom. frökkur dýja. 34. óðalvöllu.34. 38. Son and Svein came. Then came Joth. They tamed horses. He rode forth on his horse. saman bjuggu þau ættir jóku 40. val nam at fella. skeyti skófu. Upp óx þar lind nam at skelfa. . . fleini at fleygja. Burr was the oldest and Barr was the second. He began to shake linden shields He fixed bow strings. 36. His heralds drove over the wet wilderness ways and came to the hall where Hersir dwelled. bent elm. ok hjörvi brá. and slender horses. rúnar kendi. 41. þann bað hann eignask óðavöllu. hunted with hounds. and fair and wise. Then Rig came walking from the grove. Báðu hennar giftu Jarli. shook the ash-wood (spear). shaped shafts. Reið hann meir þaðan hélug fjöll. völl nam at rjóða. Rig bade him take possession of odal vales and old halls. . saying it belonged to his son. and Nithjung. A daughter he had. Réð hann einn at þat auð nam skipta. named Erna. leggja strengi. 35. Earl grew up there at the hall. son kvesk eiga. Niðr ok Niðjungr. Arfi. swung swords and swam the sound.sund ok tafl. Upp óxu þar hesta tömðu. ok heim óku. þar er Hersir bjó. He showered rings. skelfðu aska. meiðmar ok mösma. fought for land. Jóð ok Aðal. úrgar brautir. alm at beygja. They had children and lived cheerfully. gekk hon und líni. hétu Erna. over frosty fell. Burr var hinn ellsti. 35. öllum veita mara svangrifja. ok aldrs nutu. Mog. He ruled eighteen halls. They began to play at swimming and tables. átján búum.

sitting on a branch. Hann við Ríg jarl brögðum beitti þá öðlaðisk Rígr at heita. some to blunt edges and some to calm the sea. 45. 46. Þá kvað þat kráka. sorgir lægja átta manna. [hjörvi bregða] ok her fella. ægi lægja. He loosed missiles and tamed birds. 47. mönnum bjarga. Reið Konr ungr kolfi fleygði. 43. 44. and more to help pregnant women. So he came to have for himself the name Rig and runelore.” 120 . He contended in runes with Earl Rig. ok aldrrúnar. The young Kon rode through forest and copse. and knew the runes better. rúnar deilði. kunni rúnar. undir rjúfa. 42. He understood the chirping of birds. He battled him in wits. 47. and soothed sorrows. 43. “Dan and Damp have a hall more dear. But young Kon knew the runes age runes and life runes.42. En Konr ungr ævinrúnar meir kunni hann eggjar deyfa. 46. afl ok eljun 44. “Why do you tame birds young Kon? Instead you might ride horses and fell heroes. he quenched fires. kyrrði fugla. ok eiga gat rúnar kunna. Klök nam fugla. kjörr ok skóga. en ér hafið. sefa of svefja. kjóli at ríða. They know how to steer a ship and they know the edge of the sword and they bring ruin. sat kvisti ein: “Hvat skaltu. Á Danr ok Danpr œðra óðal þeir kunnu vel egg at kenna. calmed the seas.” kyrra elda. and estates larger than yours. He had the strength and endurance of eight men. A crow spoke. 45. ok betr kunni. dýrar hallir. Konr ungr kyrra fugla? Heldr mætti þér hestum ríða.

especially Ettinhome. 44. 7. 43. 24. 10. see glossary. 121 . Runic spells of these sorts are found in Havamal. As with all initiatory rites. See Lay of Thrym. “Middle way” refers to a road through Midgard.Lay of Rig: Notes 1. Sigurth Volsung understood the language of birds when he tasted the blood of the dragon’s heart. An infant was not accepted as a human being until after he was named which endowed the child with a soul. Naming is a person’s first initiatory rite. while a “wilderness way” is a road through an outer home. Keys dangling from a belt were typical bridal gear. On wilderness ways. Baptism was part of the pre-Christian rite of naming a child. and main. there is a period in which the individual is in an ambiguous liminal state beyond the pale of society. and Svipdagsmal. 2. Thir=Drudge 23. Runes and the cult of Odin were the province of the aristocracy. might.


3. ok Aurboðu. Viltu enn lengra? hann Greip um bar. Eistla and Eyrgjafa. frá Svarthöfða. but I will say more of what you need to know. ok munum fleira. 8. Skathi was that ettin’s daughter. slew his brother’s slayer. but Hjorvarth was the father of Hvaethno. Hjörvarðr faðir. The volvas are all from Vitholf. Hann Gjalp um bar. Much I have told you. at viti svá. 4. þó var Þjazi. powerful in magic. ok munum fleira. jötna ættar. frá Vilmeiði. ok Járnsaxa. Margt segjum þér vörumk. 6. Hrímnis kindar. Baldr’s father was Burr’s eldest son. Nine ettin maids begot the nailglorious one on the edge of the earth. Viltu enn lengra? í árdaga rögna kindar. Imthir and Atla. The Shorter Spae of the Volva 1. Varð einn borin rammaukinn mjök níu báru þann jötna meyjar 8. at viti svá. at viti svá. In the days of yore. skrautgjarn jötunn. but users of seith from Svarthofthi. Vitki’s all from Vilmeith. but will say more of what you need to know. bar hann Eistla hann bar Ulfrún Imðr ok Atla æsir talðir. þess lézk Váli síns bróður 2. hans var Skaði dóttir. Eru völur allar vitkar allir seiðberendr jötnar allir 6. frá Viðolfi. Do you want to hear more? 9. þeira frændi. Eleven were the Aesir all told. of the tribe of ettins and Aurbotha. Haki var Hveðnu en Hveðnu var Heiðr ok Hrossþjófr 5. Heith and Hrossthiof were the kin of Hrimnir. 9. and Jarnsaxa all bore him. verðr at hefna.Völuspá hin skamma 1. naddgöfgan mann við jarðar þröm. Burs arfþegi. ok munum fleira. hon var Gymis dóttir. Do you want to hear more? 7. sló hann handbana. Viltu enn lengra? hóti beztr sona. Haki was the best of Hvaethno’s sons. 5. ok Angeyja. Margt segjum þér vörumk. Var Baldrs faðir Freyr átti Gerði. 123 . but I will say more of what you need to know. frá Ymi komnir. 2. 3. við banaþúfu. Baldr fell to the grave hill. Gjalp and Greip. Frey married Gerth who was Gymir’s daughter. Do you want to know more? 4. 7. Váru ellifu Baldr er hné. Margt segjum þér vörumk. and all the ettin’s from Ymir. Thiazi was their kin. Ulfrun and Angeyja. ok Eyrgjafa. one was born kinsman of the Gods. I have told you much. Vali sought to venge him. I have told you much.

10. jarðar megni. 14. but mightier though I dare not name him. Thence come the snows and fierce winds at the ruin of the Regin. He waxed by the main of the ground and by the cold sea and by the blood of the sacrificial boar. Loki ate the heart. Loki begat children by Angrbotha and begat Sleipnir by Svathilfari. at viti svá. Another will then come. allra feiknast. Haf gengr hríðum líðr lönd yfir. 12. the stone of a woman half roasted in linden fire. við himin sjalfan. Thereby was Loki quickened with child by the evil woman. af konu illri. 11. a sib of the entire folk. ok munum fleira. þann at nefna. Loki át hjarta fann hann halfsviðinn varð Loftr kviðugr þaðan er á foldu 14. Þá kemr annarr þó þori ek eigi fáir séa nú en Óðinn mun jarðar megni. lindi brenndu. þaðan koma snjóvar þá er í ráði. 15. Ól ulf Loki en Sleipni gat eitt þótti skass þat var bróður frá 13. öllum meiri. 13. við Svaðilfara.10. One was born. en loft bilar. ok sónardreyra. 124 . Varð einn borinn sá var aukinn þann kveða stilli sif sifjaðan 16. The sky gave way. The sea stormed to heaven itself flooded over the land. The most awful of all monstrosities was that born by the brother of Byleist. I have told you much and will tell you more of what you need to know. Few can see beyond the time when Odin meets the wolf. at rögn um þrjóti. Do you want to know more? 12. 15. flagð hvert komit. ok snarir vindar. Margt segjum þér vörumk. Sá var aukinn svalköldum sæ 11. Býleists komit. hugstein konu. enn máttkari. Thence came flagthis onto the world. greater than all he was raised on the main of the earth. stórúðgastan sjötum görvöllum. 16. fram um lengra ulfi mæta. They say he is the most strong spirited. Viltu enn lengra? við Angrboðu.

Vili.who married Bestla to bear Odin. Gjalp=noisy.The Shorter Spae of the Volva: Notes 2. 27 Heimdall is called “golden tooth” and it is said that his teeth were of gold and his sword was called Head. 13. He grew powerful by the godly powers of the sea. 34 tells us that Angrbotha was a giantess in Ettinhome by whom Loki begat Fenris Wolf. Angeya=Oppressor. Atla=ruinous. Greip=Grip. Imthir=Frenzied. In the case of Heimdall these studs or nails may be the tusks of the boar. Eistla=Stormy. On the term flagtha. It is commonly thought that they are waves. the earth. 26 Heimdall was born to nine sisters at the edge of the world. Vitholf=Wood-Wolf 7. 9. According to Gylf. his tusks are his weapons. for ram’s horns may be called studs. 125 . Loki seduced Svathilfari by taking the shape of a mare. The meaning of “nailglorious” is not clear. Svathilfar is the stallion of the master builder in Gylf. Heith is the name of Gullveig in VSP 22. The term stud can be used to refer to horn. That his sword is called “head” suggests that he fights with his head. Jormungand. Gylf. 12. and Gullveig is both. The term may refer to horns or tusks. and Voluspa . 5. This is almost certain because stanza 5 is about volvas and users of Seith. and Hel. and the sacrificial boar. and Ve. but could as well be ettin maids such as those who dwell with Mengloth in Ettinhome which is on the edge of the world. in which case. 10. see the glossary and FS 2-3. Burr is the same as the giant Borr mentioned in Gylf. Jarnsaxa=Ironsword. In Gylf. 4. The term “nailglorious ettin” occurs in GG 14 and may refer to Fjolsvith. 42. Stanza 10 tells us that he was nourished by the blood of a sacrificial boar. Aurbotha is the same as the giant Ymir.


Þórr mun ek blóta. Nú taktu ulf þinn lát hann renna Hyndla kvað: “Seinn er göltr þinn vilkat ek mar minn 6. Freyja. í valsinni. í valsinni Innsteins burr. Gefr hann sigr sumum. “Dulin ertu. ríða vit skulum ok til vés heilags.” draums ætlak þér. and money to others. with golden bristles. Sister Hyndla who sleeps in the cave! Now is the twilight of twilights and we shall ride to Valhalla. byri gefr hann brögnum. við jötuns brúðir. sverð at þiggja. fair winds to sailors. Hyndla systir. en sumum aura. to that hallowed ve. in seeking me. vaki mín vina. 5. Hyndla. “Let us bid Battle-father He grants and gives gold to the worthy. “I shall sacrifice to Thor. that I lead my lover on the death road. 6. einn af stalli. mælsku mörgum ok mannvit firum. Gullinbursti. “Vaki mær meyja. með runa mínum. “Wake up maid of maids! Awaken my friend.Hyndluljóð Freyja kvað: 1. gull verðungu. to others he gives wisdom. “He gives victory to some. poetry to skalds.” Hyndla said: “Your boar is slow to tread the Gods’ road. er þú kveðr ver minnn þar er göltr glóar Hildisvíni. hjalm ok brynju.en brag skáldum. “You are false Freya. Flá ertu. 4. Your eyes show us that you lead your lover. er þú freistar mín. vísar þú augum er þú hefir ver þinn Óttar unga Freyja kvað: 7. einart láti. on a death journey. and valor to men. Biðjum Herjaföðr hann geldr ok gefr gaf hann Hermóði en Sigmundi Lay of Hyndla Freya said: 1. He gave to Hermod a helm and byrnie. Dainn and Nabbi fashioned for me. “You are dull Hyndla. whom the two dwarves. 3. at hann æ við þik þó er hánum ótítt 5. 3. mætan hlœða. er í helli býr. and ask him that he always show you favor. “Now take one of your wolves from its stall and let him run alongside my boar. son of Innstein. 127 . though he has no love for the brides of ettins. and Sigmund got a sword.” goðveg troða. nú er rökkr rökkra. á oss þannig. dvergar tveir þess mun ek biðja. 2. Dáinn ok Nabbi. er mér hagir gerðu. Nor will I burden my worthy steed.” Freya said: 7. til Valhallar 2. There is a golden boar. Hildisvin. the young Ottar. I think that it is a dream of yours. gefr hann mannsemi mörgum rekki. 4. í hugum sitja. many get the gift of speech.

Say who was a Scylding and who a Scilfing. hvarfla þóttu hans verk 15. “Þú ert. and slew Sygtrygg by the icy sword’s edge. Nú láttu forna ok upp bornar hvat ek Skjöldunga. who born of a chief. með yfirmönnum. mest manna val Hyndla kvað: 12. Þeir hafa veðjat Óttarr ungi skylt er at veita. who are descended from Gods. “Now you shall tally up from the oldest kinsmen the tribes of men. were sprung from Innstein. Móður átti faðir þinn hygg ek at hon héti Fróði var faðir þeirar. It is fitting to grant that the young warrior has his father’s share after his kinsman’s death. 9. was called a priestess of Hledis I think. en Innsteinn var Alfr var Ulfi. Hlédís gyðja. necklace bedecked. “Your father’s mother. 14. Alfi inum gamla. nauta blóði. ólu þau ok áttu sitja vit skulum ættir dœma. öflgastr manna. hæstr Skjöldunga. Her father was Frothi. his works seemed to tower to the corners of heaven. 15. Now the rough stones are glassed. á ásynjur. Auði var áðr Halfdan fyrri fræg váru folkvíg. Ulfr Sæfara. með svölum eggjum. Ottar. “Auði was the most powerful of men before that. Eflðisk hann við Eymund en hann vá Sigtrygg eiga gekk Almveig. 11. Svan inum rauða. en Fríund móðir. 128 . before that. menjum göfga. choose the greatest of men in Midgard. and Ulf to Seafara. átján sonu. at gleri orðit. say who an Othling. 10. and Friund their mother. young Ottar and Angantyr. en Sæfari 13. the best of women and they had eighteen sons. niðja talða ættir manna. hvat ek Skilfinga. for Ottar is ever true to the Asynjur. hvat er Öðlinga. með himins skautum. but Innstein was born of Alf the old. 13.8. 9. in the blood of the ox. svá at skati inn ungi eftir frændr sína. hlaðinn steinum. “He made me a high stone harrow. and Seafara to Svan the Red. föðurleifð hafi 10. and who a Wolfing. hvat er Ylfinga. who born of a noble. Hörg hann mér gerði nú er grjót þat rauð hann í nýju æ trúði Óttarr 11. þau er framir gerðu. hvat er hersborit und Miðgarði?” borinn Innsteini. Óttarr. Vala málmi ok Angantýr. “We two shall contend from our saddles! Let us sit and speak of the families of boars and of their kin. “He befriended Eymund the best of men. 8. hvat er höldborit. That foremost man conducted many battles. “You. œðzta kvinna. He led home Almveig. “They bet welsh metal. öll þótti ætt sú 14.” Hyndla said: 12. œðztan manna. Their whole family is superior among men. and Alf to Ulf. Senn vit ór söðlum ok um jöfra gumna þeira. He reddened them anew. er frá goðum kvámu. the highest of Scyldings. and Halfdan.

Barri ok Reifnir. I know both Brodd and Horvi. Barri and Reifner. and Alf the Old was begotten by Hild. Ísolfr ok Ásolfr ok Skúrhildar skaltu til telja allt er þat ætt þín. In that family the best of champions were born. Nokkvi’s daughter was born next. ok tveir Haddingjar. do you want to know more? 18. 23. Óttarr heimski. Your family is old. Búi ok Brámi. he was the mother’s father of your mother. Hrani. at viti svá. and the two Haddings. “Hervarth. and Thori Ironshield and Wolf the Gaping. foolish Ottar. 23. œðztir kappar. at viti svá. Your family is old. 22. Hjorvarth. she was the child of Svava and Saekonung. þaðan eru höldborit. Ölmóðs synir Skekkils dóttur. It is important to know this. 17. “From there the Scyldings and the Scilfings. skatna margra. fyrr en Kári. járnskjöldr Þórir. 16. þaðan eru Öðlingar. “Nanna. These are all your kinsmen foolish Ottar. Nanna var næst þar var mögr hennar fyrnð er sú mægð. Of the antiquity of this family I shall tell more. “Isolf and Asolf. They are all your kinsmen. You shall tally many heroes. þaðan eru hersborit. Þaðan eru Skjöldungar. allt er þat ætt þín. Tindr ok Tyrfingr. and Skurhilda who was Skekkil’s daughter. ok Frekar báðir. Gunnarr balkr. 19. var hann móðurfaðir þar var Fróði en eldri var 20. “Ketil was their kinsman. Dagr átti Þóru ólusk í ætt þar Fraðmarr ok Gyrðr Ámr ok Jösurmarr. móður þinnar. þaðan eru Ynglingar. and Alf the Old. fram tel ek lengra. It is needful to know this. 129 . hennar móðir. “Hildigunn was her mother. þaðan eru Skilfingar. Óttarr heimski. Klypp’s eldest son. these are your kinsmen foolish Ottar. the sons of Olmoth. from there the noble born and the princely born. the most worthy men of Midgard. 18. mágr þíns föður. Tind and Tyrfing. Var Hildigunnr Sváfu barn alt er þat ætt þín. 21. Frothi lived before Kari. ok sækonungs. from there the Othlings and the Ynglings. Hjörvarðr. Óttarr heimski. Grímr arðskafi. Her son was your father’s brother. 21. foolish Ottar. Ulfr grínandi. Ketill hét vinr þeira. 22. viltu enn lengra? Klypps arfþegi. Óttarr heimski. [Hervarðr. Alfr um getinn. viltu enn lengra? drengja móður. Alfr inn gamli. “Dag married Thora the mother of Dreng.16. Angantýr]. Nökkva dóttir. kunna ek báða allt er þat ætt þín. mest manna val alt er þat ætt þín. “Gunnar Balk. Angantyr Bui and Brami. Frathmar and Gyrth and the Freki brothers. 17. 20. foolish Ottar. Varðar. Brodd ok Hørvi Óttarr heimski. Amr and Josurmur. und Miðgarði. Grim Arthskafi. do you want to know more? 19. Varðar. Hrani.

25. frá Öðlingum.” Hyndla said: 30. 28. “This leader was of the Volsungs. “Gunnar and Hogni were the sons of Gjuki. all born by Jormunrek. they were in the retinue of Hrolf the elder. The din of the berserks and many evil deeds rushed over land and sea like wild fire. ættir rekja. Auðr djúpúðga en Ráðbarðr var þeir váru gumnar allt er þat ætt þín. Óttarr heimski. foolish Ottar. Kunnak báða váru þeir í hirð Allir bornir Sigurðar mági. frá Völsungi. foolish Ottar. These are all your kinsmen. Heiðrún fari. 24. 130 . These are all your kinsmen. goðum signaðir.hear my words. You rush out at night. Gjúka ættar. “Get out of here! I am going to sleep. who was the son of Auth. These are all your kinsmen foolish Ottar. böl margs konar. frá Jörmunreki. folkum grimms. “Aust and Bolm were the sons of Arngrim and Eyfura. but Guthorm was not of the Gjuki’s family.” mínum gesti. Óðs vina sem með höfrum váru bornir ok Eyfuru. Gunnarr ok Högni. Ívars dóttir. “Bring the ale of memory to my boar so that he remembers and recalls all my words and speak of these things on the third morning when those with Angantyr well of their families. fær þú fátt af mér hleypr þú. By the same their sister Guthrun. and Hjordis from the Hrauthungs. 28. 26. 27. frá Hrauðungi. um lönd ok um lög allt er þat ætt þín. Austr í Bolm Arngríms synir brökun var berserkja. like Heithrun among the billy-goats. Brodd ok Hörvi. Gjúka arfar. systir þeira. 27. though he was the brother of both sons. ok it sama Guðrún. Auth the deep-minded was the daughter of Ivar. You shall not have many opportunities for rest away from me. eigi var Gutþormr þó var hann bróðir allt er þat ætt þín. These are all your kinsmen. noble friend. was the father of Randver. foolish Ottar.” Freya said: 29. úti á náttum. brother of Sigurth the folk-ruler who slew Fafnir . þess er Fáfni vá. hlýð þú sögu minni. Óttarr heimski. 26. but Radbarth. “Bar þú minnisöl svá hann öll muni þessar rœðu þá er þeir Angantýr Hyndla kvað: 30. Hrólfs ins gamla. beggja þeira.24. orð at tína á þriðja morgni. 25. Randvers faðir. Haraldr hilditönn slöngvanbauga. “Snúðu braut heðan. but Eylimi from the Othlings. borinn Hrœreki sonr var hann Auðar. Freyja kvað: 29. These men were given to the Gods. “I knew Brodd and Horvi.” sofa lystir mik. Óttarr heimski. “Harold Wartooth was born to Hroereck Ringslinger. sem logi fœri. Sá var vísir ok Hjördís en Eylimi allt er þat ætt þín. fríðra kosta. Óttarr heimski.

You rush around at night like Heithrun among the billy-goats. You won’t leave this place. und fyrirskyrtu. Heiðrún fari. “You’ll not speak your magical words! Though you are a ettin’s bride. Rannt at Óði skutusk þér fleiri hleypr þú. bjór at hendi. úti á náttum. Ill health to you!” Freya said: 34. a fire on the earth . but more run from under your skirt. dýrar veigar. illu heilli.” Freya said: 32. brúðr jötuns hann skal drekka bið ek Óttari ey þreyjandi. well blended with venom. verða flestir ber þú Óttari eitri blandinn mjök.” 31. you evil ogress. “You always ran with lust to Oth. Bring mead to Ottar’s hand. “I see the embers burn. á braut heðan. Óðs vina sem með höfrum Freyja kvað: 32.” of íviðju. öll goð duga.” 131 . bölvi heitir. “Ek slæ eldi svá at þú eigi kemsk Hyndla kvað: 33.” Hyndla said: 33. Hyr sé ek brenna. He shall drink the good drink. He will eagerly be freed. Freyja kvað: 34. fjörlausn þola. you call down evil.” en hauðr loga. “Orðheill þín þóttú.” skal engu ráða.31. I bid all the gods help Ottar. “I set fire around you.

7.Lay of Hyndla: Notes 1. 10. The boar is possibly the form taken by the warrior’s fetch soul. a liminal period.” Twilight is a time of transformation. Ottar has a great deal of Vanic ancestry for his ancestors include Scyldings. Harold Wartooth had tusks. The alter was glassed from sacrificial flames. 2. The boar is especially strongly associated with Frey and Freya and may especially apply to Vanic warriors. Twilight is a good time to begin trance journeys and to perform other transformative magic. See VSP note 40 on troll women riding wolves. 32. and Frothi and Halfdan. Sigmund was given the sword Gram in the Saga of the Volsungs. the state between two phases that is neither one nor the other. In Hav 129. The boar is sometimes used as a kenning for kings or warriors. Like Odin. Hermod rode to Hel to try to persuade Hel to release him to the world of the living. Freya takes fallen warriors to live in her hall Folkvang. Like Brynhild in Saga of the Volsungs. Vanic warriors are known for wearing boar crested helmets such as those mentioned in Beowulf and those recovered by archaeologists. 5. Freya and Hyndla are intending to go to Valhalla from Ettinhome. she will now sleep surrounded by flames. Hyndla wishes to return to sleep. Ynglings. It may be that some Vanic warriors were capable of letting their fetch souls manifest in combat such that they raged with the power and fury of their fetch animal much like the Odian berserkers who wore bear or wolf skins and went into a berserker rage in which they fought like beasts and felt no pain. Hyndla means “little dog. 132 . Loddfafnir is warned not to look up in battle because some warriors will seem like wild boars when they enchant. and Freya sets flames around her. 6. 28.

megi. to a meeting with Mengloth. en þverri æ fyr þér.” 6.” 133 .” 6. and the loves of men are long. langir ro farvegar. “I sing to you the first. á vegum allr hygg ek at ek verða muna. “What worries you now. ef þat verðr. Gróa. “Wake up Groa! Awaken good woman! I awaken you at the door of the dead. er til moldar er komin ok ór ljóðheimum liðin?” 3. “Vaki þú. “Sing to me the magical spells that are good! Help me oh mother! Avail! It seems that I am too young and that I could die. “The journey is long. þykkjumk ek til ungr afi. langir ro manna munir. vek ek þik dauðra dura. “Ljótu leikborði skaut fyr mik in lævísa kona. 8. Let your self guide you. if it is worthy that you work your will. móðir.” 7.” 8. and tell you the most useful that Rind sang to Rand. Urth’s ward songs may hold you with all main when you are on the way. “Löng er för. bjarg þú.” 4.” 4. 7. er kvæmtki veit.” 5.þann kveða fjölnýtan. “Þann gel ek þér fyrstan. er þú þá móður kallar. þá er góðir eru. Þann gel ek þér annan. vaki þú. “I sing you the third so that if rivers rise to take your life Horn and Ruth will turn themselves hence to Hel and always ebb before you. the roads are long. ef þér þjóðáar falla at fjörlotum: Horn ok Ruðr snúisk til heljar meðan. The Galder of Groa 1. hverju ertu nú bölvi borinn. Do you remember how you bade your son come to your howe hill?” 2. “I sing you the second so that if you wander without will on the road. móti Menglöðu. sú er faðmaði minn föður: þar bað hon mik koma. “Galdra þú mér gal. góð kona. She bade me go there to she who grants no approach. sjalfr leið þú sjalfan þik. ef þú árna skalt viljalauss á vegum: Urðar lokur haldi þér öllum megum. “Hvat er nú annt mínum eingasyni. at þú af öxl skjótir því er þér atalt þykkir.” 2.” 5. ok skeikar þá Skuld at sköpum. So that you may shoot from your shoulders what seems shocking to you. Þann gel ek þér inn þriðja. at þú þinn vilja bíðr.Grógaldr 1. at þú þinn mög bæðir til kumbldysjar koma. “The artful woman who embraced my father shot me a hideous gaming board. ef þú þat mant. þann gól Rindi Rani. and Skuld turns the doom. my only son? By what curse are you burdened that you call she who is buried in the earth and has passed away from the world of men?” 3. er þú á sinnum sér. .

9. Þann gel ek þér inn fjórða, ef þik fjándr standa görvir á galgvegi, hugr þeim hverfi til handa þér, ok snúisk þeim til sátta sefi. 10. Þann gel ek þér inn fimta, ef þér fjöturr verðr borinn at boglimum: leysigaldr læt ek þér fyr legg of kveðinn, ok stökkr þá láss af limum, en af fótum fjöturr. 11. Þann gel ek þér inn sétta, ef þú á sjó kemr meira enn menn viti: logn ok lögr gangi þér í lúðr saman ok ljái þér æ friðdrjúgrar farar. 12. Þann gel ek þér inn sjaunda, ef þik sækja kemr frost á fjalli háu: hræva kulði megit þínu holdi fara, ok haldisk æ lík at liðum. 13. Þann gel ek þér inn átta, ef þik úti nemr nótt á niflvegi: at því firr megi þér til meins gera kristin dauð kona. 14. Þann gel ek þér inn níunda, ef þú við inn naddgöfga orðum skiptir jötun: máls ok mannvits sé þér á minni ok hjarta gnóga of gefit. 15. Far þú nú æva, þars forað þykkir, ok standit þér mein fyr munum; á jarðföstum steini stóð ek innan dura, meðan ek þér galdra gól. 16. Móður orð ber þú, mögr, heðan ok lát þér í brjósti búa; iðgnóga heill skaltu of aldr hafa, meðan þú mín orð of mant.”

9. “I sing you the fourth so that if fiends press you, ready on the gallows road, their minds shall turn their hands from you. Let them become friendly.” 10. “I sing you the fifth, so that if you get fettered and your limbs are bound, I will call loosening spells over your legs the locks shall spring from your limbs and the fetters from your feet.” 11. “I sing you the sixth, so that when you are on a sea that is greater than men know, the sea and the sky shall join together to help you and always grant you peaceful travels.” 12. “I sing you the seventh, so that when frost comes to vex you in the high hills deadly cold shall not take your flesh and your body will always ward its limbs.” 13. “I sing you the eighth, so that if night falls while you are out on a foggy road, a dead Christian woman will not harm you.” 14. “I sing you the ninth, so that when you argue with a nailglorious ettin, goodly speech and understanding shall not leave you in mouth and heart.” 15. “Never go where it seems dangerous, and let nothing harmful trouble your mind. On earth-fast crags I stood in the door while I sang spells to you.” 16. “Bear from here the words of your mother and let them dwell in your breast. You shall have an abundance of luck in your life as long as you mind my words.”


1. Útan garða hann sá upp um koma þursa þjóðar sjöt: “Hvat er þat flagða, er stendr fyr forgörðum ok hvarflar um hættan loga? 2. Hvers þú leitar, eða hvers þú á leitum ert, eða hvat viltu, vinlaus, vita? Úrgar brautir árnaþu aftr héðan, áttattu hér, vernðarvanr, veru.” 3. “Hvat er þat flagða, er stendr fyr forgarði ok býðrat líðöndum löð? Sæmðarorða lauss hefir þú, seggr of lifat, ok haltu heim héðan.” 4. “Fjölsviðr ek heiti, en ek á fróðan sefa, þeygi em ek míns mildr matar; innan garða þú kemr hér aldregi, ok dríf þú nú vargr at vegi.” 5. “Augna gamans fýsir aftr at fá, hvars hann getr svást at sjá; garðar glóa mér þykkja of gullna sali, hér munda ek eðli una.” 6. “Segðu mér hverjum ertu, sveinn, of borinn eða hverra ertu manna mögr?” “Vindkaldr ek heiti, Várkaldr hét minn faðir, þess var Fjörkaldr faðir. 7. Segðu mér þat, Fjölsviðr! er ek þik fregna mun ok ek vilja vita: hverr hér ræðr ok ríki hefir eign ok auðsölum?” 8. “Menglöð of heitir, en hana móðir of gat við Svafrþorins syni; hon hér ræðr ok ríki hefir eign ok auðsölum”

Lay of Fjolsvith
1. Beyond the yard he saw rising up, the dwelling of the tribe of thurses. “Fare hence from here, through the wet wilderness ways! There is no shelter for you here!” 2. “Who is that fiend who stands before the forecourt and wanders about the flickering flame?” Who do you seek or for what is your search or what is it that you want to know, oh friendless one?” 3. “Who is that fiend, who stands in the forecourt and offers no hospitality to the wanderer?” “You are without words of praise, Stranger so get out and go home!” 4. “I am called Fjolsvith and I am deep in lore but I am not free with my food. Never come here, to this hold. Go away quickly now, you wolf, down the road.” 5. “He desires to find the delight of his eyes who sees his most beloved. It seems to me that the wall around the golden hall glows. I want this place, my allodial estate.” 6. “Tell me boy! By whom were you born whose son are you?” “I am Vindkald, and my father is Varkald and his father was Fjolkaldr.” 7. “Tell me Fjolsvith, what I shall ask, and what I wish to know. Who holds power and rules this place and this land and wealth?” 8. “She is called Mengloth, and her mother begat her with Svafrthorin’s son. She is the one holding power and she rules this land and wealth.”


9. “Segðu mér þat, Fjölsviðr! er ek þik fregna mun ok ek vilja vita: Hvat sú grind heitir, er með goðum sáat menn it meira forað?” 10. “Þrymgjöll hon heitir, en hana þrír gerðu Sólblinda synir; fjöturr fastr verðr við faranda hvern, er hana hefr frá hliði. 11. “Segðu mér þat, Fjölsviðr! er ek þik fregna mun ok ek vilja vita: Hvat sá garðr heitir, er með goðum sáat menn it meira forað?” 12. “Gastrópnir heitir, en ek hann görfan hefk ór Leirbrimis limum; svá hefik studdan, at hann standa mun æ meðan öld lifir.” 13. “Segðu mér þat, Fjölsviðr! er ek þik fregna mun ok ek vilja vita: Hvat þeir garmar heita, er gífrari hefik önga fyrr í löndum lítit?” 14. “Gífr heitir annarr, en Geri annarr, ef þú vilt þat vita; varðir ellifu er þeir varða, unz rjúfask regin.” 15. “Segðu mér þat, Fjölsviðr! er ek þik fregna mun ok ek vilja vita: hvárt sé manna nökkut, þat er megi inn koma, meðan sókndjarfir sofa?” 16. “Missvefni mikit var þeim mjök of lagit, síðan þeim var varzla vituð; annarr of nætr sefr, en annarr of daga, ok kemsk þá vætr, ef þá kom.

9. “Tell me Fjolsvith, what I shall ask, and what I want to know. What is that gate called, that men do not see among Gods to be more dangerous?” 10. “It is called Thrymgjoll, and was built by the three sons of Sunblind. Fast fetters await the wanderer who hefts it from its portal.” 11. “Tell me Fjolsvith, what I shall ask, and what I want to know. What is that wall called that men do not see among Gods to be more dangerous?” 12. “It is called Gastropnir, and I built it out of the limbs of Leirbrimi and have fastened it so well that it will always stand as long as mankind shall live.” 13. “Tell me Fjolsvith what I shall ask you and what I want to know. What are the dogs called who stalk before the hall?” 14. “One is called Gif, and the other Geri and if you want to know, eleven wardens guard there until the destruction of the world.” 15. “Tell me Fjolsvith what I shall ask and what I want to know. Are there any men, who can enter while the audacious ones sleep?” 16. “A great alternation of sleeping was imposed on them when the watch was established for them. One sleeps at night, the other at day so that no one who goes there gets through.”


17. “Segðu mér þat, Fjölsviðr! er ek þik fregna mun ok ek vilja vita: hvárt sé matar nökkut, þat er menn hafi, ok hlaupi inn, meðan þeir eta?” 18. “Vegnbráðir tvær liggja í Viðópnis liðum, ef þú vilt þat vita: þat eitt er svá matar, at þeim menn of gefi, ok hlaupi inn, meðan þeir eta.” 19. “Segðu mér þat, Fjölsviðr! er ek þik fregna mun ok ek vilja vita: hvat þat barr heitir, er breiðask um lönd öll limar?” 20. “Mímameiðr hann heitir, en þat manngi veit, af hverjum rótum renn; við þat hann fellr, er fæstan varir; flærat hann eldr né járn.” 21. “Segðu mér þat, Fjölsviðr! er ek þik fregna mun ok ek vilja vita: hvat af móði verðr þess ins mæra viðar, er hann flærrat eldr né járn?” 22. “Út af hans aldni skal á eld bera fyr kelisjúkar konur; útar hverfa þats þær innar skyli, sá er hann með mönnum mjötuðr.” 23. “Segðu mér þat, Fjölsviðr! er ek þik fregna mun ok ek vilja vita: hvat sá hani heitir, er sitr í inum háva viði, allr hann við gull glóir?” 24. “Viðópnir hann heitir, en hann stendr veðrglasi á meiðs kvistum Míma; einum ekka þryngr hann örófsaman Surtr Sinmöru.”

17. “Tell me Fjolsvith, what I shall ask, and what I want to know. Is there any meat that one may give them in order to rush in while they eat?” 18. “There are two chunks of wingflesh on Vithofni’s limbs, and if you want to know that is the only meat one may give them to rush in while they eat.” 19. “Tell me Fjolsvith, what I shall ask and what I wont to know. What is the yew (barr) called whose limbs spread over all the land?” 20. “It is called Mimameith and no one knows from what roots it rises. Very few know by what it falls. Neither fire nor iron can destroy it.” 21. “Tell me Fjolsvith what I shall ask and what I want to know. What becomes of the mod of that great tree which neither fire nor iron fell?” 22. “Out of its (the tree’s) berries it (the mod) shall bring a fire for hysterical women. They (the women) shall turn outside from within. Such is the power of the meter among men.” 23. “Tell me Fjolsvith what I ask of you and what I want to know. What is the cock up in the high tree called who is all aglow with gold?” 24. “He is called Vithofni, he stands weatherglassy on the branches of Mimameith and imposes an immense grief on Surt and Sinmora.”


” 27. í seigjárnskeri liggr hann hjá Sinmöru. “Tell me Fjolsvith. and give it Sinmora before she will tell you that she will loan you that weapon for victory. er fáir eigu. sá er eftir ferr ok vill þann tein taka. Eiri örglasis. “Aftr mun koma.” 31. þann er í Viðópnis völum. men shall ever have only report.” 25. and what I want to know. “Segðu mér þat. þat er knegi Viðópnir fyr hníga á Heljar sjöt?” 26. what I shall ask of you what I want to know. what I want to know. and long will it hover on a spear point. sá er eftir ferr ok vill þann tein taka?” 28. en hann lengi mun á brodds oddi bifask. “Segðu mér þat. Will he return who fares after and wants to take that tine?” 28. er slunginn er vísum vafrloga?” 32. þat er menn hafi.25. “Tell me Fjolsvith. Fjölsviðr! er ek þik fregna mun ok ek vilja vita: hvárt sé mæta nökkut. “Lævateinn hann heitir. Ljósan léa skaltu í lúðr bera. “It is called Laevatein (poison teinn) and Lopt made it with runes. ef þat færir. It lays in a stout iron chest by Sinmora and nine charmed locks hold it. that is surrounded by the sight of flickering flame?” 32. Is there anything precious that men have that can make the pale witch glad?” 30. ok verðr því in fölva gýgr fegin?” 30. Sinmöru at selja.” 31.” 29. Fjölsviðr! er ek þik fregna mun ok ek vilja vita: hvárt sé vápna nökkut. Fjölsviðr! er ek þik fregna mun ok ek vilja vita: hvárt aftr kemr.” 138 . what I shall ask. áðr hon söm telisk vápn til vígs at ljá.” 29. Fjölsviðr! er ek þik fregna mun ok ek vilja vita: hvat sá salr heitir. Is there some weapon that can drive Vithofni away to Helheim?” 26. What is the hall called. “Tell me Fjolsvith. ok halda njarðlásar níu. auðranns þess munu um aldr hafa frétt eina fírar. “He shall return. his tailfeather. who fares thence wishing to take that tine if he brings that which few own and renders it to Aurglass (Sinmora). “It is called Lyr. Beneath the gates of the dead. Of its wealth. en hann gerði Loftr rúninn fyr nágrindr neðan.” 27. what I shall ask. “Segðu mér þat. “Tell me Fjolsvith what I shall ask you and what I want to know. “Segðu mér þat. “Hyrr hann heitir. “You must bring the shining object that lays in Vithofni’s stead.

“Segðu mér þat. Björt ok Blíek. Óri ok Bári. Fjölsviðr! er ek þik fregna mun ok ek vilja vita: hverr þat görði. Loki. er ek sé brúði á þjóðmæra þruma?” 36. ef görask þarfar þess?” 40. Blíðr. hvern þær ór nauðum nema. “Lyfjaberg þat heitir.” 33. Delling. Varr ok Vegdrasill. Dellingr. “Segðu mér þat. “There are some who are wise and help the men who sacrifice to them. She who climbs it will become healthy even though mortally ill. Which of the kinsmen of the Gods built that which is inside that hold that I have not yet seen?” 34. “It is called Lyfjaberg and it has long been a pleasure for the sick and wounded. 37. what I want to know. Eir ok Aurboða. þótt hafi árs sótt. “Segðu mér þat. Blith and Frith Eir and Aurbotha. Fjölsviðr! er ek þik fregna mun ok ek vilja vita: Hvat þær meyjar heita. ásmaga?” 34. er fyr Menglaðar knjám sitja sáttar saman?” 38. Loki. Atvarth Lithskjalf. what I shall ask what I want to know. kona. “Tell me Fjolsvith what I shall ask. Varr and Vegdrassill. ef þat klífr. eigi svá hátt forað kemr at hölða sonum.” 39. heil verðr hver.33. Líðskjálfr. another Hlifthrasa. What is that mountain called where I may see the bride standing gloriously?” 36. Dóri ok Úri.” 35. Anytime great danger comes to the sons of men they take them from need. þriðja Þjóðvarta. Then there are Bjort and Bleik. Dori and Uri. Fjölsviðr! er ek þik fregna mun ok ek vilja vita: hvárt þær bjarga þeim er blóta þær. What are the maids called. hvar er menn blóta þær á stallhelgum stað.” 39. Atvarðr. “Tell me Fjolsvith. “One is Hlif. “Tell me Fjolsvith. “Uni ok Íri.” 139 . “Bjarga svinnar. “Uni and Iri. Do they help those who sacrifice to them when they are in need?” 40.” 37. what I ask you what I want to know. “Segðu mér þat. “Tell me Fjolsvith what I shall ask what I want to know. er ek fyr garð sák innan. Fríð. the third Thjothvarta. “Hlíf heitir. who sing peacefully together before the knees of Mengloth?” 38. önnur Hlífþrasa.” 35. en þat hefir lengi verit sjúkum ok sárum gaman. Ori and Bari. Fjölsviðr! er ek þik fregna mun ok ek vilja vita: hvat þat bjarg heitir.

” 44.41. Menglöð! hér er maðr kominn. The sight of the beloved who has love for the other is very pleasing. The hounds welcome him and the house heaves up its locks. No man strives against the word of Urth even if it is among the worst. Urðar orði kveðr engi maðr.” 48. hundar fagna.” 44. “Fling open the gates! Open the gate wide! Here you may see Svipdag! Now go and see if Mengloth my delight desires my love. ef þú þat lýgr. “Vætr er þat manna. er knegi á Menglaðar svásum armi sofa: nema Svipdagr einn. saying that the hero has come to my hall from afar. high on a gallows if you lie. hvé þik hétu hjú? At ætt ok nafni skal ek jartegn vita. Sólbjart hét minn faðir. ef vilja myni Menglöð mitt gaman. hánum var sú in sólbjarta brúðr at kván of kveðin. ef ek var þér kván of kveðin.” 43. Hvaðan þú fórt. “Vel þú nú kominn. hvaðan þú för görðir.” 43. that I was betrothed as bride to you.” 140 . láttu hlið rúm. þat er knegi á Menglaðar svásum armi sofa?” 42. at hér sé langt kominn mögr til minna sala. at Svipdagr sé. Is there any man who is able to sleep in Mengloth’s loving arms?” 42. My father was called Sunbright.” 45. I think that you are Svipdag.” 46. hygg ek.” 47. 41. hér máttu Svipdag sjá. To him only was the sunbright maid given as betrothed bride. en þó vita far. “Wise Ravens shall tear out your eyes. fylgja skal kveðju koss. and the token. Go to the guest and see. I wandered the wind cold ways. “From whence do you fare? From whence do you travel? How did your parents call you? I shall know your father’s name. forkunnar sýn mun flestan glaða. “Heyr þú. “Hrittu á hurðir.” 48. Fjölsviðr! er ek þik fregna mun ok ek vilja vita: hvárt sé manna nökkut. “Horskir hrafnar skulu þér á hám gálga slíta sjónir ór. “Welcome! I have won my wish. gakk þú á gest sjá.” 45. 46. “Segðu mér þat. hefik minn vilja beðit. “I am called Svipdag. “Tell me Fjolsvith what I shall ask you what I want to know.” 47. My kiss shall follow the welcome. hús hefir upp lokizk. hvars hefir við annan ást. þótt þat sé við löst lagit. þaðan ráumk vindar kalda vegu. “There is no man who is able to sleep in the loving arms of Mengloth except for Svipdag. “Listen Mengloth! Here comes a man. “Svipdagr ek heiti.

er ek vætt hefi. en þú til míns munar. to my hall. Now what I wished for has happened now that you have come.49. Now it is certain that we two shall live our lives and times together. er vit slíta skulum ævi ok aldr saman.” 49. my man. mögr. nú þat varð.” 141 . “I had patience for your love and you for mine.” 50. til minna sala. Lengi ek sat ljúfu bergi á. “Long I sat on Lyfjaberg waiting for you day after day. Þrár hafðar er ek hefi til þíns gamans. 50. at þú ert kominn. beið ek þín dægr ok daga. nú er þat satt.

“The Limbs of Leirbrime” are often though to be the arms and legs of a clay giant since the name seems to mean “sea of clay. 21. This has led some to believe that it is a means of procuring an easy childbirth. In Icelandic contexts it is also used often to refer to a divine dispenser of Wyrd. “such is the power of the meter (divine measurer. Thurses dwell in the same region.” This is the material from which the wall Gastropnir was built. The word mjotuthr used here to describe the tree means meter or measurer and is cognate with the Anglo-Saxon word “Metod” which generally refers to God. In stanza 47 of Voluspa the word mjotuthr is used and it is said to be kindled or lighted. as a result of the fire from the berries. Though the text refers to the dwelling of the tribe of thurses. and Fjolsvith are of the tribe of ettins. it will “always stand as long as mankind shall live. Please note that yew berries are highly toxic. He is lucky to be alive. This passage is very vague and it is difficult to discern the precise effect or function of the berries. Mengloth. The word “fruit” is expressed in the Icelandic by the word moth which is indistinguishable in its dative form from the word mothr which means wrath or moodiness and is cognate with our word “mood. Fjolsvith calls Svipdag a vargr which literally means wolf and figuratively means outlaw. Braut refers especially to a road cut through rock or wilderness terrain.” 142 . The passage concludes with the phrase. and is said to be located beneath the earth and is called the “worthy measurer beneath the earth. will turn outside from within. and according to the text. though it is as likely to refer ecstatic states brought on by the berries. The dangerous flame about which Svipdag wanders is no doubt the same as the flickering flame that surrounds Sigdrifa in the Lay of Sigdrifa st. the world tree which will also endure and can be felled by neither fire nor iron. “Wet wilderness ways” is a translation of the words urgar braut. 2. One of the Rune-Gild drightens once tried burning yew berries and breathing the smoke. In stanza 22 this “mood” is referred to as a fire that the tree brings forth from its berries for use by woman who are in a state of madness or possibly pregnant. The passage seems to say that the women. Meter or mjotuthr is probably another term for the divine spark contained in the fruit of the tree and may be the same as the mothr (mood) referred to earlier. 31-32. 4. 12. especially Tyr) among men. In stanza 2 we find the word associated with nine giantesses.Lay of Fjolsvith: Notes 1.” This ambiguity is probably intended to indicate that an aspect of the spirit of the tree is contained in its berries. recalling the yew berries bringing forth fire in FS 22. Utan Gartha may mean “outside the wall” or that they are located in Utgarth. the region beyond the wall of Midgard in the east. It may also refer to the world tree itself. Urgar means “wet” and is related to the word Ur which refers to drizzling rain and is found in the name of rune Uruz. recalling the nine maids who dwell with Mengloth.” It seems likely that the wall is made from the limbs or branches of Mimameith.

Volume II Keys to Practical Application

Chapter 1 Runic Keys to Eddic Myth

” The runes F-U-Th-A-R-K form the first aett of six on the younger row. These poems provide keys to unlocking the mysteries of the runic staves (characters). shape. name. aett. the mysteries of the elder row were compressed and expanded in the younger row and fewer symbols were used to convey more complex ideas. A stanza of each poem is devoted to each stave. the resonances of the words themselves.” The twenty four character Elder Futhark is generally used by siblings of the rune-gild and other modern runesters. Many Eddic stanzas are spells and may be expressed by runes in galder and gand magic. the younger row is sometimes more difficult to work with at first. sound and meaning. Each rune has a name that has bearing on its esoteric significance. 147 . Each rune has a number corresponding to its place in the row. number. usually the first sound of their names. The order in which the runes appear should be studied carefully in order to understand how the runes are related to each other and how the runes of the row form a whole. The elements of the runic system include order. sound. can be expressed by the number 3. aett. The shapes of the runes should also be considered though you should bear in mind that there were many variations on the shapes used for the runes. number. Runic transliteration is one method of fathoming the deeper esoteric meanings encoded into the Eddic stanzas. Runic transliterations may be used both to deepen your understanding of the Gods and your own soul. It was maintained not as for purposes of recording literature or other mundane records. but others may be revealed by runic thinking. For this reason. there are two rune poems for the younger row.Runic Transliteration The Eddic poems were composed by rune masters and are much concerned with the mysteries of the nineworlds. but easier to use when you reach advanced stage of rune-work. Each rune is also associated with a particular sound. Finally. but as system of magic. The T rune (T) could be expressed as 3-1 meaning that it appears on the third row in the first place. Some of the mysteries of the world encoded may be explored by studying the content. Runic transliteration is a means of finding the runic expressions for the ideas and magic contained in the stanzas. Each rune has a place on an aett. The runic alphabet is divided into three rows called “aetts. Each rune has a definite place in the rune row. shape and meaning of the runes of the Younger Futhark. the meter and the grammar. The charts below show the order. Runes can also be expressed numerically by the aett and the position on the aett in which they appear. The Eddic runesters were using this system when they were encoding the runes into their poetry. These poems were composed in such a way that each stanza may have several related levels of meaning. The main difference between the Futharks is their number of runic characters. The next ten runes appear on two aetts of five runes. The third rune. There are 24 runes in the elder row and only 16 in the younger row. As time passed. The poems of the Edda were composed during the Viking Age when the 16 character Younger Futhark was in use. There are three main runic alphabets or “Futharks. Thurs. and employed magically to effect changes in the subjective and objective realms. name. The runic alphabet was not primarily a system of writing.

sovereign force spiritual path or journey internal. slavery/freedom contraction prima materia blooming forth into manifestation sun-wheel/crystallized light sovereign heavenly order gestation/birth.No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Esoteric Interpretation of Name dynamic power fertilizing essence breaker of resistance power of the word. magical fire or projection ice seed form need-fire. instrument of the birch numen human order of divine ancestry. power to connect realms life energy and organic growth telluric power 148 .

Note that nasals (m/n) before denatals (d/t) are generally not written. money. gold drizzling rain/slag/aurochs thurs (“giant”) (the) god ( = Ódhinn) a ride. human sea. bow of yew wood Transliterating the Runes The following table shows how to transliterate Old Norse words phonetically. Vowels a/á ö ø jö ei/ey æ/œ æn/œn o/ó u/ú e/é y/ý i/í a au u u au iu iau ai a i á u u i u i Consonants b/p b k/g/c/q k l l m m n n rr -R y s/z s t/d t v u j i h h th Þ . riding/vehicle/thunderclap a sore hail (a special rune name) need. I 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Old Norse Name fé úr (r) thurs áss reidh kaun hagall naudh (r) íss ár sól Týr bjarkan madhr lögr ýr Translation of Name cattle. Runes are never doubled. waterfall (liquid) yew.No. All such rules may be violated for magical purposes. bondage. Thus brandr = BRADy. harvest sun the god Tyr birch (-goddess) (a special rune name) man. fetters ice (good) year. Odinn is therefore OÞIN.

Rune Poems The Norwegian and the Old Icelandic rune poems are included here in their entirety in both the original languages and in modern translation. These poems are keys to the esoteric meaning of the runes of the Viking Age Futhark. 150 .

Ár er gumna góðe. bad-luck pleases few. nöktan kælr í froste. [Hail] is the coldest corn. blindan þarf at læiða. 6. the naked freeze in the frost. Sól er landa ljóme. [Harvest] is good for men. Hagall er kaldastr korna. fðesk ulfr í skóge. Kristr skóp hæimenn forna. is the worst for horses. 4. Úr er af illu jarne. 7. 11. 151 . 9. the blind need to be lead. Fé vældr frænda róge. Reginn sló sværðet bæzta. 10. 9. get ek at örr var Fróðe. bale makes a man pale. Nauðr gerer næppa koste. I say Frothi was openhanded. 11. I bow to the holy judgement. Ís köllum brú bræiða. Hr sounded like “kr” in Old Norse. [River Mouth] is the way of most journeys. [Need ] makes for a hard condition. 6. 7. Óss er flæstra færða för. en skalpr er sværða. Regin forged the best sword. Kaun er barna bölvan. Ræið kveða rossom væsta. kátr værðr fár af illu. 8. [Sore] is the curse of children. [Thurs] causes the sickness of women. it is clear from the meter that Hropt was the God who originally appeared in this place. 4. 1. [Ice] they call the broad bridge. opt lypr ræinn á hjarne. 2. Though the word krist appears in stanza 7. Þurs vældr kvinna kvillu. 1. [Money] causes strife among kinsmen. but a sheath is for a sword. 5. the wolf is raised in the woods. The first word that appears in each stanza is the name of the rune itself. 2. oft leaps the reindeer over frozen snow. 5. lúti ek helgum dóme. 10.The Norwegian Runic Poem This poem was penned around the twelfth or thirteenth century. 8. Krist shaped the world in days of yore. [Sun] is the light of the land. 3. böl görver nán fölvan. 3. [Slag] is from bad iron. [Riding] they say.

12. [Water] is a river that falls from the fell. at sviða. [Tyr] is the one-handed God. 14. opt værðr smiðr blása. 13. 152 . oft strikes the smith. fællr ór fjalle foss. 16. Loki brought the luck of falsehood. Týr er æinendr ása. it is wont to singe when it burns. [Man] is a growth of the earth. 15. Ýr er vetrgroenstr viða. [Birch] is the leafy green limb. great is the grip of the hawk. vænt er. mikil er græip á hauki. 14. Lögr er.12. 15. en gull ero nosser. 16. [Yew] is the wintergreen wood. Bjarkan er laufgroenstr líma. 13. er brennr. but gold is dear. Loki bar flærða tíma. Maðr er moldar auki.

Reið er sitjandi sæla ok snúðig ferð ok jórs erfiði. the second an Old Icelandic word for “leader”. Whip King 7. 4. and a swift journey. and hated by herdsmen. Þurs er kvenna kvöl ok kletta búi ok varðrúnar verr. Journey Worthy Man 6. Fé er frænda róg ok flæðar viti ok grafseiðs gata aurum fylkir. [Shower] is the crying of the clouds.: a painful spot. [Hail] is a cold corn. [Thurs] is the torment of women. and the crag-dweller. 6. 7. the house of rotten flesh. Úr er skýja grátr ok skára þverrir ok hirðis hatr. [Riding] is a blissful sitting. Hail Battle Leader 153 . umbre vísi 3. Gold Leader of the Retinue 2. Óss er algingautr ok ásgarðs jöfurr. Asgard’s wild boar. Valhalla’s leader. and the husband of Varthruna. and the work of the steed. Kaun er barna böl ok bardaga [för] ok holdfúa hús. Hagall er kaldakorn ok krapadrífa ok snáka sótt. 5. [Money] is strife among kinsmen.The Old Icelandic Runic Poem This poem was composed in the fifteenth century. the fire of the sea. Jupiter Point-Leader 5. Shadow Leader 3. 1. and the path of the serpent. grando hildingr. [Sore] is the bale of children. Saturnus þengill. iter ræsir. the first a Latin translation of the rune name. flagella konungr. and a sickness of snakes. ok valhallar vísi. a shower of sleet. These additional words are further keys to the esoteric word for the runes. Saturn Thing Ruler 4. Jupiter oddviti. [Ase=Odin] is the old God. and the ruin of the harvest. 2. 1. Each stanza is followed by two words.

the roof of the waves. [Harvest] is good for men. the increase of dust and the adorner of ships. and the young wood. Nauð er Þýjar þrá ok þungr kostr ok vássamlig verk. and a shining halo. the deadly sorrow of ice. [Need] is the hardship of the bondmaid. [Man] is the joy of man. abies buðlungr. and the little tree. Íss er árbörkr ok unnar þak ok feigra manna fár. 11. homo mildingr. 15. rota siklingr. 8. Wheel Descendent of the Victorious One 12. 13. Silver Fir Protector 14. Týr er einhendr áss ok ulfs leifar ok hofa hilmir. Ice Wild Boar 10. Mars tiggi. 14. 10. glacies jöfurr. and the wide kettle. and the hof-ruler. annus allvaldr. [Ice] is the bark of rivers. Lögr er vellanda vatn ok viðr ketill ok glömmungr grund. a heavy cost (or choice). [Sun] is the shield of the clouds. and a good summer. [Birch] is the leafy limb. Mars Director 13. Work Descendent of the Dead 9. 12. and hard work. and the green acre. [Wetness] is the eddying water. lacus lofðungr. Bjarkan er laufgat lim ok lítit tré ok ungsamligr viðr. Year All-Wielder 11. Sól er skýja skjöldr ok skínandi röðull ok ísa aldrtregi. Ár er gumna góði ok gott sumar algróinn akr. Lake Worthy of Praise 154 . Maðr er manns gaman ok moldar auki ok skipa skreytir. Human Generous One 15. 9. danger of the doomed. [Tyr] is the one-handed God and the leavings of the wolf. and the land of fish. opera niflungr.8.

arcus ynglingr. Ýr er bendr bogi ok brotgjarnt járn ok fífu fárbauti. and the giant of the arrow.16. Bow. [Yew] is the bent bow. Rainbow Descendent of Yngvi 155 . and the brittle iron. 16.

consult the index . and most notably. 8. Distill the content you deem important into a bind-rune and or into a galdric chant or song for use in magical workings and to allow you to recall profound insights and states of consciousness you experienced during meditation. passages that promise to yield insights that will be of the most immediate value 2.Asking the Eddas The Eddas are dense with meaning. so that you may shoot from your shoulders what seems shocking. The following steps should be taken in “asking” the Eddas. Consider the number and the order of the runes. Allow your Self to lead you. he sees not all. Transliterate the key words into runes. Assign runes to the key words. You find the spells of The Galder of Groa draw you. Think deeply on these runes. they are an unending source of wisdom. 5. 7. Svipdag (the young initiate in The Galder of Groa) must also be prepared for death and 156 . etc. “main”.there is no better way to come to an understanding of a word than to study all the ways it is used in the Edda. The stanzas of the Elder Edda are often spells in their own right. Contemplate the meaning of the passage in English and consider its connections to other passages in the same poem and in other Eddic poems. “I sing to you the first and recall the most useful which Rind sang to Rand. Look especially for names of holy beings and words for major holy words such as “might”. To find out how these terms are used in other Eddic contexts. 6. 1. 3. Chant the names or the sound (the first letter of the rune name is usually the vowel or consonant associated with the runes . The Eddas offer us the accumulated knowledge of generations of rune magicians. Ponder the meanings of the runes in the key words. Choose passages that intrigue you the most. Especially consider how the combination of runes in the word is significant. 4. This is the first which Rind gave to her son by Odin named Vali or Rand who was born for the purpose of venging the death of Baldr.see the table of Pronunciation of the Runes) of the one or all of the runes in the word while visualizing one or all of these runes. Suppose you are seeking lore on the soul because you wish to strengthen your presence of mind or your will. and after perusing the Eddic poems. “Regin”. Rand was born as a vehicle for the survival of part of Odin’s soul after his own death. “gand”. to survive Ragnarok. especially Stanza 6 which is for staying strong and unshaken in trying circumstances. By knowing how to ask you may discover their hidden magic. As the quest of the Odian is never ending. Find the key words in the stanza and ponder their meanings. so even the high God himself continues to wander the wilderness ways in search of knowledge. Runic thinking is a way to “ask” the Eddas to yield their encoded spells and hidden lore. “galder”. For those who go the way of Odin.” This is one of nine spells given a young man about to make an initiatory journey to Ettinhome. Though he sees farther than all others.

In fact. You will learn to interfere with the unconscious patterns to bring about a resourceful state of mind rather than paralysis or hysteria. What is shocking. or fetch. You need not go to war. but rather your own perceptions of them and their actions and the way that these perceptions are processed by your unconscious mind and by your nervous system. Visualize your sigil and sing your galder. Then bring out your hammer and recall the high states of mind .something made out of wood is ideal.” This is a spell in which the self acts on itself to effect change in itself. you will be able to maintain your composure in trying times. say a shark tooth or a bind-rune. These feelings may be anchored to a bind rune and a galdric rune song derived from stanza 6. say a hammer. Here you may recall a time of crisis in which you fell into a debilitating state of mind in which your subsequent actions only made things worse. In some cases you may wish to include a state of anger. Now that you have anchored the feelings to a symbol. if you are out of your wits. may be itself attacked or shot. you have some basis for control over them . A spell for keeping your spirits high under duress may form the basis for a spell to shake off “warfetters” and other spells by which warriors are paralyzed in battle. This recalls how Odin sacrificed himself to himself on the world tree to bring his conscious self to his supra-conscious Self for a profound flash of insight. If you can turn this stanza into a spell of your own. you need to be able to deal with the source of the terror in the world and with the terror itself in your own soul. a realm of the dead.the trials of daily life may be used to test and develop your powers. you cannot handle a crisis effectively. This spell was given to Odin’s son to ward his wits in from the terrors of the initiatory process. Once this has been accomplished. or fierce. The final clause of the stanza states “Allow your Self to lead yourself. Associate this symbol with as much of the feelings associated with states of fear or shock as you are able. The spell should initially be developed in your own magical working environment. if it is appropriate to the type of situation you envision.rebirth. until recalling the symbol is sufficient to recall the states. 157 . In your higher state you will ideally have access to rede from your higher unconscious Self. Then smash the shocking object with the hammer. You must first then be fierce with yourself. you will carve the runes onto an object. After this. The ability to gain greater awareness of and interaction with the higher self may be gained by a meditative program such as The Nine Doors of Midgard by Edred Thorsson which provides the basic magical exercises for the Rune-Gild. while singing the runes of your galder. In a ritual setting. but it will be a controlled anger from which the controlling part of yourself is removed and from which you may be withdrawn. or to Ettinhome to test these spells . The voyage to Ettinhome. recall the negative feelings associated with the foemen and concentrate them in an object on which the symbol or bind rune you have associated with them has been carved . you will be able to become angry if that is needed. It is not the foemen in the outer world who are the real source of your terror. it is best to develop your skills in less stressful environments before you need them for a real catastrophe. besides having conscious control of your body and nervous system. When something shakes your soul. As you do this you should recall the exalted states you wish to associate with these symbols and concentrate them in the object in which you are carving the runes. Ideally. It is your own soul which must be mastered first. and imagine the negative states being totally overwhelmed by the positive. The next step is to anchor your most exalted and resourceful states of mind to a runic spell. Fierceness may be countered by fierceness. may be seen as death and his emergence as rebirth. test your sigil in trying circumstances in your daily life until threatening situations stimulate you to states in which you have control of yourself. Recall other stimuli that have shaken your confidence and moral and contain them in your hand with a symbol of your choice. Anger is also easily summoned to replace fear.

words such Rind. which is pronounced y (see table of Old Norse pronunciation) alliterates with all vowels. The rules of meter may also be used to understand which words resonate with which others. you may select one or all of the runes and work them into a bind rune or sigil. Alliterating words begin with the same sounds. More important. and st usually alliterate with sk. All vowels alliterate with each other. “Shoulder” and “shocking” might be selected because they alliterate. sp. The word shoot (ON SKjotir) since shooting is the action by which the fears that bring loss of self control are driven away. circulating through your being. Those who wish to consider the double and triple meanings of some of the words in a given passage. Alliterating words often resonate powerfully. The fires of the soul must be kept in control. Fire and ice must be held in balance by the guiding force of consciousness á in conjunction with the ordering principal of the Tyr rune. see E. Look especially for words that alliterate in the Old Norse text. and therefore also with the hammer of Thor. Before meditating on the links between the runes in the word(s). or who want to understand the shades of meaning of a word. which may be transliterated SKIUT and SILFY respectively. begin looking for the words that are most powerful and most useful to your aim. From these words. transliterate them into runes and contemplate the significance of the runes. for the bearing the runes they contain have on your aims. the soul will freeze and be fettered. Ice holds the soul together. and may be taken as the guiding light of consciousness in the soul which should also be the center from which the rest of the soul is organized and its activities orchestrated. especially as they bare on your aims. and Rand. particularly in combination with the Tyr rune. In stanza 6. and if ice is overwhelmed by fire and turned water or steam. and rarely with s+ other consonants. or the effects of the terror will be augmented by dissolution. The names of holy beings should be considered as well as words conveying especially powerful holy concepts such as might and main. In the wrong measure you will have the drizzle of the U rune. The K rune K is the controlled heat of consciousness used to loosen the ice of the Iss rune which holds the rest of the being together. the aett of Hagal. there will be weakness and madness. Once you have a list of words. may consult an Old Norse dictionary. In consulting the tables of runic correspondences. The first rune in both “self” (sjalfr) and “shoot” (skjotir) is the S rune. and st respectively. and it is number eleven and appears on the second aett. thann kvetha fjolnytan” The first word in the first half-line alliterates with the first word in the second. but heat is needed to bring the dissolution that allows change. There are a number of methods for encoding runes into sigils. The second word of the first half-line alliterates with the second word in the second half-line. sp. Normally there are two sets of alliterating words binding two half-lines and these words were the accented words (those words stressed in the metrical scheme). gelk with kvetha. it sounds like our word soul. you will find that the name of the Sol meaning sun. it is associated with the sun wheel. 158 . heat is needed to prevent the soul from freezing into the state of shock and suffering a paralysis. would be selected because they are names of holy beings. meditate on the individual runes themselves. the last and fifth rune in the word “shoot” (skjot) which serves as an axis about which the sun wheel rotates. The first line of stanza 6 is composed of two half lines. “Shoot” and “Self” are two likely choices. it kills giants). If fire is overwhelmed by ice. Sk. rather than the power of the aurochs. “Thann gelk ther fyrstan. Fyrstan and fjolnytan also alliterate. Half-lines. thann alliterates with thann. The word sjalfr might be selected because of its bearing on the aim of the spell. and because the Self is such an important concept in Odian magic. Key words may also be selected for the bearing they have on your aims. those lines with a large space in the middle in the Old Norse text. are bound by alliterating words. Gordon’s An Introduction to Old Norse for the rules of meter in Old Norse poetry. On the other hand.Finding Key Words Alliteration After you have studied the meanings of the passage on their various levels as they relate to your purpose. J.V. (like the hammer.

” The state may be further anchored to a hand gesture that imitates the sigil or one or more of the runes that comprise the sigil. and iron or earth are balanced and regulated by the first and the last runes of the root of our word shoot. Scholars have done a good deal of work investigating the meaning of mythic symbols. therefore shoot is perhaps the single most useful word. then go to other Germanic sources. such as saga and folklore. etc. aurochs) rune. Ur is easily shaped by either fire or ice. is a guiding principal. the number of phases to the cycle. Number. Once you have pondered the meanings of the words in the stanza and their relevance to your aims. like Sol. by which the soul is guided in the absence of Sol. Sol is the guide of consciousness and Tyr T is the strength of will and the principal of right order about which the elements of the soul are marshalled and arrayed. such as that of the Kabbala. The U U rune is also the principal by which the resulting energies are channeled through your being. After considering the Eddas. For authenticity. since both words begin with this letter. Here I will summarize some of their observations and opinions to help you along in your own work. This may work as a magical system for an individual magician. and for reasons discussed above. but it will not be authentic.Between the Sol and Tyr runes. Ice can make it strong as iron or hard as snow. Edred Thorsson and Robert Zoller have made good progress in this direction but much remains to be done. is a system of abstraction and communication. For more infor159 . like myth. These dynamic forces of fire. the Sol and the Tyr rune. The idea of Self may be anchored by the S rune. but little has been done to get at meaning of the numerological content. slag. which may be the intonation of one or more of the runes in the word “shoot. Look at the kinds of things and events that happen in twos. rain. many of which are well known in occult circles today. To summon such states while in meditation. A typical approach is to take a familiar system of numerology. Runologists have been aware that number is an important part of magical runic inscriptions. Numerology has been part of many systems of philosophy in the past. Look at the events that occur in cycles. In this case we have selected the words “shoot” and “self. Try to understand the Eddas on their own terms by looking at the contexts in which a given number occurs in the Eddas. It is the cosmic axis of the world column (tree) Irminsul about which the wheel of Sol rotates. as many as you can. For the purpose of this magical working. Iss (Ice) and the Ur (drizzle. or it may be heated to molten liquid or drizzle. look for numerological thought in the Eddas themselves. To extract this lore you need to study the Germanic lore on numbers. The Tyr rune might be included for its ordering power and as the instrument of the destruction of the state of shock. and numbers of events that occur within a phase. and associate them with the image of the sigil and the sound of the galder. threes. abstract them into a runic sigil and galder. but have barely scratched the fertile field of northern tally lore. Tyr. we may also think of the Tyr rune as an arrow by which the will is projected (sent) and effected. Just as myths may have several levels of meaning and may sometimes convey complex ideas in abstract form. stand Kaun (fire). Seeking Rede From Within the self Number was a means by which meaning was encoded into the Eddic stanzas.” The act by which the self is protected is that of shooting. it is the pole star of the night sky. so complex abstract ideas are encoded into number lore. The sigil may look like this: Emblazon the sigil on your memory while in the state of mind you would have when under a state of duress. ice. fours. and incorporate it into rune-work. recall instances in which you have been this state.

or words to elicit deeper meaning and find ways to express a passage numerically. Unity. The Thurs rune is the third rune on the row and may be expressed by the number 3. 6. Twelve and its multiples were also especially holy. In old Germanic tongues. The Elder Futhark had twenty-four runes. Four is another key number. One way is to find the rune count of a line or half line. lines. Also note that we have the words eleven and twelve instead of something like one-teen and two-teen. Rare in Eddic sources. Three seems to be a number of dynamism. Northi. The Sol rune may be expressed by the number 11 since it is the eleventh rune in the row. In The Lay of Grim there is a list of the eight finest things. Rarely occurs in Eddic lore. Hence our unusual system of measures in which we have twelve inches to a foot. There were traditionally seven days between a death and a funeral. The dwarves at the four quarters. 2. Each rune has numeric value. half-lines. Think in terms of polar opposites such as fire and ice. 1. 7. Sol has three runes in it and therefore associated with the word three by its ‘rune count. This may be expressed in its position in the row.’ You may also tally up the numeric values of the runes contained in the rune name. The following are some keys to use in thinking about the first nine digits. Ginnungagap. It may also be expressed by the numbers 3 and 1 since it is the third rune on the first aett. Look at the rune poems when searching for the meaning of numbers by looking at the runes they go with. Beginning and first cause. The number of holy beings and things that come in threes is overwhelming. 9. 5. Suthri and Vestri may be though of as wardens of the four quarters who keep order and four as a number of stability. In Havamal 137 there eight cures for eight woes. Sol contained the Sol rune (11). 8. There were eight runes in each aett of the elder Futhark. Also consider holy teams such as the ravens Huginn and Muninn. Nine is the HOLY NUMBER. the Ur rune (2) and the Logr rune (15) for a total of 28. then you may apply numerical analysis to Eddic stanzas. the word “hundred” meant 120. and in stanza 144 there are eight steps to runic work. and twelve were among the holiest of numbers for the Germans. Austri. Note especially Odin-Vili-Ve. or the wolves Geri and Freki. or Skaldic Number-Lore by Robert Zoller available through the Rune-Gild. 3:4. Or it may expressed as 2:5.mation you may consult Runelore by Edred Thorsson. 1:2. The old Germanic number system used to be quasi-twelve based. The holy number twelve may be looked upon as three fours or four threes. There is little mythic lore on the number seven. especially the holy ones. Best you draw your own conclusions. nine. There are five runes in the names Odin and Woden. You may also explore the number of runes in a given rune name. It may also be expressed by the numbers 2 and 5 since it is the fifth rune on the second aett. Once you have a feeling for some of the numerals. or by its place on a given aett. 3. Old Teutonic week consisted of five days. There are nine-worlds connected by the world ash upon which Odin hangs for nine nights. Three and its multiples. especially three. 160 . 4. Holy things are sometimes listed in eights. the two sexes and other extremes.

and the truths of the world will unfold before you forever. As you begin exploration by one means.There are many ways to “ask” the Eddic stanzas. 161 . you will find others.


Chapter 2 Working With Holy Wights. Natural Forces and Their Holy Names .


The other pairs include. Calm and Sea 5. Heaven 3. Seed 13. Night and Seed Ale is the leftover as the odd element which can be used to begin another series of pairs. Ale Each of these elements is in someway related to the others by its function or holy name. Forest 11. the moon. as well as recalling earth’s use for drawing off floods. 165 . Forest and Night 7. fire. Earth 2. Only beings from six of the nine worlds are included in any one stanza. The stanzas of this lay reveal holy language of wights beyond Midgard that may be used in invoking them and the natural forces of Midgard. six holy names are given that are used by six categories of beings from the nine worlds.” The same stanza also sheds light on the magical uses of grain. The Moon work with the natural forces of Midgard and the wights of other worlds. Earth and Heaven 2. Heaven and Moon 3. Night 12. This may at first seem an unlikely combination compared to earth and heaven. The holy words of the Lay of Alvis function much like kennings. Fire and Forest 6. theses stanzas are the keys to creating galdra-magical songs or chants . Clouds 6. for example. Sea and Fire 6. 1. In such a state a vitki may experience a deep state of awe and awareness of some part of the world and its wights. Denizens of seven of the nine-worlds are represented in the poem. This language reveals relationships between Midgard and the outer worlds. In modern literary circles. Finally. Sea 9. Winds 7. call upon the main of the earth.Working With Holy Names Though the Lay of Alvis is frequently disregarded as a useless collection of synonyms. Sun and Clouds 4. Calm 8. the kenning is admired as a clever and amusing poetic device. Wind and Calm 5. Moon and Sun 3. The Sun 5. it is in fact an important source for the holy ritual and magical names used by the denizens of the nine worlds to invoke fundamental natural forces of Midgard. Earth and Ale 2. Holy-words distill sacrality from ordinary events and allow the speaker to transcend profane consciousness to a higher state of awareness of the profound beauty and normally unseen numinous power of the world. 1. Fire 10. though they originally functioned as holy words by which divine powers and wights could be called in ritual and magic. but The Words of Har 137 shows a connection “when you drink ale. A kenning is a poetic circumlocution for an ordinary event: the sea may be called a “whale road”. Thor interrogates the dwarf Alvis (Allwise) for the words by which the wights of the nine worlds to call thirteen of the natural phenomena of Midgard including. for “earth is good against ale. and trees. In the Lay of Alvis. The elements that are most closely related are listed next to one another and form pairs. Clouds and Wind 4. 1. Seed and Ale For each element.

It is the function of priests and magicians to know the divine forces that are essences behind the natural phenomena we experience in Midgard. The fifth place is always occupied by elves or dwarves. Some are names for different Asic and Odian forces in Asgard. Later it will become possible to invoke the holy powers of the sky in ritual settings in which the sky is not in view and with little or no meditative preparation. The words for the elements that appear in pairs may be compared to understand their relationships with one another. forest and fire do not seem as appropriate as a pairing of fire and sea. specifically the powers of consciousness of the Aesir) appears twice in the Lay of Alvis and appears elsewhere in the Eddas. There are three catagories of beings that are hard to classify.Those represented include the Ases of Asgard.” Suttung’s sons are the ettins who dwelled with Suttung who once held the mead of poetry. As your sense of the sky’s beauty deepens. Runic transliteration and deep meditation are useful tools. Hel-folk from Helhome. The thirteen elements are phenomena experienced by the wights of the other worlds when they fare forth to Midgard.” and ”Suttung’s sons. Those working with the runes may find that they are already familiar with these forces from workings with the runes that govern them. ettins from Ettinhome and men from Midgard. In the first series. In The Words of Har 80 they are associated with the creation of the runes. At first it is very difficult to become aware of these wights and elements. the Vanes of Vanaheim. Deeper levels of understanding of the meanings and uses of these stanzas may be acquired by fathoming the holy names and the wights who use them. and ettins are listed fourth. Hel-folk are usually listed sixth. There is no consciousness associated with Muspelheim or Niflhome as these are regions of the primal fire and ice that came together in Ginnungagap to create the world. since these elements are expressions of fundamental numinous powers that flow through the universe . The other beings are “uppregin” (high advising powers). Also check other Eddic lore concerning these elements. By singing or chanting the holy names of the elements during part of this experience. the dwarves of Dark-Elfhome. and which are reflected in some way in their own gards. Vanes usually appear in the third place but are listed in the sixth in stanza 10. you internalize the associations between names and the feelings you had and the knowledge you gained during the meditative sittings. Three catagories of beings appear in every stanza: Men are listed first. On two occasions third place is filled by the Ginnregin and on other occasions by Hel-folk. become aware of its might and the sense of beauty turns to awe. find an environment for which these wights have an affinity. begin by quietly gazing into the heavens and admiring their beauty. So also must our elders and gothis come to know the beings of the nine-worlds by summoning them and performing blessings in their honor. but by invoking the elements with their holy names and meditating on them in the presence of the natural phenomena which are their expressions one comes to know the numinous forces associated with the sky. Ettins and dwarves are best 166 . Ginnregin (holy advising powers. The stanza on forest names shows that ettins consider it fuel or firewood. the elves of Light-Elfhome. The Ases and Vanes are best summoned at harrows and hofs raised for the purpose. In a state of ecstatic awe you may experience the elemental forces of the sky. In order to work magically with these divine forces. the vitki must gain both an intellectual grasp of the qualities of these forces through scrutiny of the Eddic and folklore sources and practical experience by summoning them in religious and magical workings by their holy names.they are the stuff of which the nine worlds are made. All the words used by a single type of being may be compared to gain insight into its holy language. Lay of Fjolsvith 22 shows that the mood (spirit) of Yggdrasil brings forth a fire for hysterical women which makes it clear that there is a magical fire in wood. then the Ases. “sons of Ases. The other beings will change place with one another. These numinous powers are the divine reality behind nature. with Midgard and the other worlds. These powers are the stuff with which the magician works. To summon one of the wights of the outer gards. Some of the meanings that bind some of the more unlikely pairs may be discovered by looking at the holy names. Natural phenomena are expressions of these pantheisitic magical forces.

Kaun. ettins. The esoteric uses of the elements listed in the Lay of Alvis may be further fathomed by transliterating their names into runes. Ases. and carving it while chanting these runes and the names of the elements. trees in the Bjarkan and Yr runes. Rain and clouds have corresponding counterparts in Ettinhome and Dwarfhome. and ettins are found in the As rune. As one works with the world’s wights and elements. elves. and elves. trance journeys (faring forth). and land-wights into specially prepared ritual spaces in the rocks and the winds when we know how to call them in their holy languages. harrows and groves in these outer homes which serve as gates to Midgard. A rock holy to the dwarves in Midgard has its counterpart in Dwarfhome. Thereby right order is kept and goodly wights are called to the hospitality of our homes and hearths. Once you have become familiar with the beings of one of the outer gards (Dwarfhome. harrows. The natural phenomena of Midgard have counterparts in the outer homes as well. Just as we are used to meeting the gods in ritual spaces in which a gate has been created between Midgard and Asgard so may we summon dwarves. Elves are best summoned in the presence of lush vegetation and an open sky during the day. Just as there are howes. dwarves. Fire is associated with several runes. These keys unlock the cluster of powers and attributes of the natural forces much as the rune poems provide clues to the qualities of individual runes. or partaking of blessings you may gain a “feeling” for working with certain types of beings. The blessing is the worshipful way of rightly honoring these wights to reaffirm our kinship with them. The three wights who always appear in the stanzas of Lay of Alvis. one will become able to detect their presence while in mundane states of mind and be able to cross easily from a mundane state to a holy state by means of holy names. and Nauth in the younger row.) through meditative sittings. In comparing the Lay of Alvis to the rune-poems it might be noted that some of the elements and wights of the Lay of Alvis appear in rune-names and rune-poems. in the Rune-Gild are especially well prepared to begin working with the natural forces of the Lay of Alvis. Vanes. Elfhome. Working With the Wights and Forces of The Lay of Alvis Working With the Wights The blessing and the working are the two main types of ritual interface with the wights of the nine worlds. we are close to the spirits of the other worlds. the sea in the Logr rune. sky etc. crags. crag and cliff at night. Each stanza provides several holy names which provide keys to several aspects of a given element. so are there rocks. to thank them for the good we have gotten from them. The rune poems and the stanzas of the Lay of Alvis can be used together to fathom runic connections with the elemental powers. At this point you may try inviting these wights to work with you in your magical workings. And so we may also commune with them. Here it is easiest to enter a holy frame of mind. to acknowledge their place in the order of things. Those working with streams of runic power from the earth. The powers of the elements may then be tapped by arranging the runes that invoke the qualities of the element you want to work with into a sigil or bind rune. The sun is found in the Sol rune. When we enter a holy space. The working is a magical act in which friendly wights are called to aid the vitki in some magical operation. and the sky and clouds may be associated with the Ur and Hail runes. 167 . springs and groves in Midgard that are gates to the homes of ettins. including Fe. Mathr rune and Thurs rune. The essences of the phenomena of Midgard are to be found in the other eight worlds.summoned in the presence of stone. Men. Vanaheim etc.

Blessing 8. Loading 6. Reading 3. Giving 9. East. Loading: Ale is poured into a drinking horn. This might is blended with the might of the holy wights summoned in the call. Call: Here the wights are invoked by their names when known. The Theal performs speaking parts in which holy powers are invoked and their blessings given. The ninefold blessing parts are elaborated below. 4. Rede 4. 5. Reading: A passage from the Eddas or sagas is read or recited. and as poetically as possible. and the horn is raised aloft. This is done by standing straight with the arms straight out and up at about a 45 degree angle. Leaving These parts serve the following functions: 1. Call 5. This pose was known even to the Romans. Drinking 7. The passage should be about the wights that are being called on and the great deeds and attributes of these wights. The Goodman performs nonspeaking ritual actions involving the distribution of the holy liquid. Call 5. The positive attributes and deeds of these beings are again glorified. It may also state the purpose of the blessing in general terms. This is an old and holy stance taken by Germanic peoples when they commune with holy beings. 1. Giving 9. Hallowing 2. Hallowing 2. though the following three roles are most traditional: Theal. Hallowing: A hammer working or some other method of setting a space apart for holy working is performed. Leaving sets ritual time and space apart from routine puts rite into mythic context links myth to purpose of rite summons gods or wights to ritual space/time charges drink with holy might circulates holy might within circulates holy might without restores rightful part of might to deities. 168 . Shope and Goodman. Rede 4.” 2. Loading 6.Blessings The ritual blessing is a nine part operation which includes: 1. Reading 3. South. 3. The Shope speaks those parts involving the setting of mythic and social context. In the hammer working the hammer sign is traced in the air in air to the North. At the beginning of most rites the speaker strikes the holy stance of the rune M. The speaker may then verbally offer the might of the gathered folk housed in the ale to the wights. It is common for the ritual operations to be divided up among two or three celebrants in group workings. West and above and below the celebrants with the words “Hammer! Hallow and hold this stead. Blessing 8. Roles may be divided as the kindred leader sees fit. declares work rightly done/return to routine The blessings of the Troth may be celebrated alone or in groups. Drinking 7. Rede: The content and significance of the reading may be further elaborated or it may add details from other myths.

bring you gifts of honey and mead in thanks for the good you have granted us. Drinking: The speaker makes the sign of the hammer in the air over the rim of the horn and drinks from it. the lady of the Vanir! Hail Weyland and his wondrous works. throw open the gates this night and share with us the cup of craft and let us share blessings. Blessing to the Dwarves 1. Rede: “Let us think now. Giving: The contents of the blessing bowl are poured onto the ground to the east of the harrow with the words: “To Dvalinn and Durinn. be upon us. The story of the brewing of the poetic mead by Gjalar and Fjalar in Poesy of the Skalds chapter I might be recited instead. on the uses to which the kin of Dvalinn and Durinn put the mead they made from the blood of Kvasir. killers of Kvasir! Hail the makers of mainful Brisingamen. Hallowing: Speaker raises a hammer (not a Thor hammer) and hallows the quarters saying “By the hammer of Dvalinn. to Gjalar and Fjalar. brewers of Suttung’s poetic mead. In this cup let us mingle our main. the dwellers in the darkness. I hallow this harrow!” 2.” 5.6. precision and excellence exemplified by the dwarves in our own daily deeds. that wisest of wights in whom the combined knowledge of the Aesir and Vanir had been housed. 3. to the dwarves of the stone. by Brokk and Sindri. the glowing glory of Freya. Blessing: The harrow and gathered folk are sprinkled with the mead in the blessing bowl with the words: “The blessings of the dwarven smiths and artists. Hail Gjalar and Fjalar. and to all their kin gathered here. Loading: Mead is poured into the horn and the horn raised aloft with the words: “We give you welcome and the gifts of our works. Reading: Recite the story of the making of Thor’s hammer by Brokk and Sindri and the making of the other great godly tools told in Poesy of the Skalds (Skaldskaparmal) chapter 35 in the Younger Edda of Snorri Sturluson. highest of dwarves.” 169 . Hail Brokk and Sindri. to Brokk and Sindri. to the sons of Ivaldi. Hail Dvalinn. Drinking: Speaker drinks and then pours mead into the horns of the other celebrants. shapers of Skithblathnir and Gungnir. to Meadwolf and to Oakenshield. The horn is passed around to each sworn member of the kindred. who worked gold hair for Sif. makers of the hard hammer Mjolnir. Let us wisely wield their gifts. 7. to Weyland. entranced in artistic inspiration and madness! Hail the sons of Ivaldi.” 4. Blessing: Ale is poured into the blessing bowl on the harrow.” 6. forgers of the blade Tyrfing. who fashioned Frey’s golden boar and the ring Draupnir. A fresh cut evergreen sprig is dipped in the blessing bowl and the ale sprinkled on the harrow and sworn members with the words: “The blessings of (name of wights called) be upon you!” 8. Let us ponder the wondrous works wrought by the sons of Ivaldi. Let us strive for the craft. mighty masters of craft and creativity. Giving: Ale is poured onto the ground and the verbally dedicated to the wights who were summoned and to mother earth. 9.” 8. Leaving: The blessing is called to an end with the words “So shall it be!” added to any other closing remarks. to the dwarves of the earth. The remainder is poured into the blessing bowl. Call: “Hail Dvalinn and Durinn. Worthy wights of who dwell behind the gates of stone. 7.

especially ritual objects such as rune knives. and ettins. This is best done at a site known to be holy to these wights already.9. Be careful in such endeavors . Stones may be specially consecrated as “dwarf stones. troll-magic (the art of shape changing and faring forth). a sword. If you wish to pursue the matter further. Elves are best called for work involving weather magic. love. spears. or you may “fare forth” into the home of the dwarves. you be able to bring on higher states of mind. By these gates you may summon dwarves for communion. etc. destruction. hills and grave hills and especially consecrated stone alters are pleasing to ettins and dwarves. Ettins are best called on for workings involving the acquisition of wisdom through meetings with the fetch-wife or an ettin-wife. The ritual creation of magical tools of artistry would also be fall into the ken of the dwarves. never to return. access to dead ancestors. The following working is for the express purpose of endowing physical objects with numinous properties for specific purposes. check saga and folklore material. you may want to familiarize yourself with the beings you are working with in the context of a sitting. it is possible to obtain a gift from the dwarves. In such farings. King Sveigthir followed a dwarf into a crag. blessings or work. The mysteries of the ettins and Ettinhome are deep and complex.ever holding our oaths to ourselves and our folk. and trolls. In Europe. and some of the darker and deadlier arcane arts that you will find referred to in the Eddas. the brewing of magical meads. keep in mind the type of atmosphere that would be most suited for such wights. ettins. initiation. Dwarves are best called for workings involving the acquisition of creative powers. Let those who would test their wit against Vafthruthnir be very wise indeed. but in America we must discover suitable sites and discover the dwarves and ettins who are already there. Before engaging in a working of this nature. wise words. Leaving: “So our work is wrought and it again renews our hearts to do worthy deeds and to strive towards our goals with mighty moods. First check the Elder Edda and the Younger Edda. but I have not deeply fathomed their mysteries and am more familiar with the ways of dwarves. you might find you are able to get in touch with your creative faculties by recalling it to your memory. or at a site they would find pleasing. No doubt there are is a lot more to the elves than indicated here. prosperity. fertility. dwarves.” These serve as the gates between Midgard and Dwarfhome. and gands. or invite them in. References to these sources can sometimes be found in the notes of the better books on Norse mythology. fertility and prosperity. Crags. rings. the acquisition of mead or poetry. The gift will be special to you and may be integrated into your magical work for the purpose of obtaining higher states of consciousness or states of consciousness that are good for specific types of work. such as a ring. In Saga of the Ynglings. or artistic states 170 . and trust in our own powers . there are still sites known to be associated with these wights. Dwarven Workings Before doing a magical ritual. or a necklace. “Sitting Out” is a traditional practice in which you enter an altered state of consciousness and commune with holy is possible to lose your mind or your soul.” Magical Workings In planning workings for elves. lore concerning the creation and beginnings of the world. and in what sorts of endeavors they are best suited to help you. Say you were given a ring. I have found that dwarves and ettins are all too eager to be of help in magical work. it is wise to familiarize yourself with the lore available on the beings you choose to work with. and the magical creation of holy objects. Simply by handling the object.

” c. In the west set a bellows or small fan to represent the winds of the home of the heavens or of Vanaheim. to be set on the south side of the harrow to symbolize the fires of the forge and the energies of Muspell.” After the mead has been drunk and the harrow has been sprinkled with mead. fling wide the gates to Vanaheim. Let the wafting winds of Hraesvelgr rush forth to this harrow to fan the flames of Muspell. warden of the northern wickets. Besides the tools used in a blessing.” b. Fling open the gates and let the all-burning fires of Muspell flow forth to dwell in the fires of the hearth at this harrow. a. water. The working may ideally be placed in the context of a dwarf blessing with minor changes. If you are an artist. Austri. but before the remaining mead is poured on the ground. up to the point of the blessing phase. you might hallow the tool for the express purpose of performing magical acts. Let the waters of Hverglmir flow forth to fill the waters on this harrow with their might and main. Working for Forging a Magical Tool A. perform the following actions. Face the east in the M stance and call or sing the name Austri three times and say “Austri. To go a step further. Other tools. at which time the actual working takes place. Feel free to innovate. you might wish to charge a pen or a brush with the power to put you in touch with creative energies. painting. It also possible to set the fire. include a small brazier. The call should be modified to include the following invocation to Northi. fling wide the gates of Niflhel.of mind that were generated in the ritual setting in which they are created. Vestri and Suthri the dwarven wardens of the four quarters. including the gand and rune carving and coloring instruments may be placed in the center near the anvil. Face south and call or sing the name Suthri three times and say “Suthri. such as carving. slightly away from the harrow rather than on it. Place the mead on the east side of the alter and sprig on the west. A bowl or cauldron of water or some other liquid that seems appropriate should be set on the side of the alter to act as the liquid in which the tool is tempered and to symbolize the waters of Hverglmir. The elements of the four quarters are hereby brought together for the shaping of a magical tool. B. Face west and call or sing the name Vestri and say “Vestri. warden of the southern wickets. a. warden of the western wicket. The Harrow The harrow should be set up to resemble the basic components of a blacksmith shop. the realm in which the elements and energies of the nine worlds meet are synthesized and transformed.” d. warden of the eastern gates. or drawing runes or magical sigils or creating magical art objects. An anvil (any hard flat surface will so) may be set in the middle of the harrow surface to symbolize Midgard. let might and main of the ettin homes flow forth to dwell in the iron on this harrow. 171 . etc. Light the fires of the forge. A hammer may be set in the east to symbolize the iron and wood of Ettinhome in the east. It is also possible that you will want to include other elements from the nine worlds for the charging of the tool you are working on. Face north and call or sing the name Northi three times and say “Northi. Those who are themselves jewelers or metalsmiths of some sort may take the idea behind this working and set it to the metaphors of their own trade and may even use their own work space as the ritual chamber. The Working 1.

To call rain you will want to deal with three elements including clouds. f. To get a feeling for working with the clouds. e. runic or otherwise. 172 . In meditation you should contemplate the names of the elements you are summoning and think deeply on their significance in the presence of the element if possible.) Sitting Out (meditation) and b. Hold the hammer in both hands. h. I have known some who are confident in their abilities to change the weather. These transliterations may be turned into runic chants for the purpose of calling the elements with galder or gand magic. I would recommend two steps: a. Channel these energies through your arms and into the hammer. and by exploring the Eddic lore on it. c. wind and heaven and the names associated with them that are most pertinent to bringing rain. raise it aloft and focus the visions and feelings of this state of mind on the hammer and feel them in the hammer.b. that you have created for this name. and this sort of magic is very traditional and well attested in the old lore. Dip the tool in the water in the north to solidify shaped energies in the tool. the more effective you be in summoning that element in ritual contexts. Transliterate the Old Norse names into runes as described in Chapter 1. Once you feel that you are in tune with the qualities of a given name. Carve runes into object. Fan the flames with the bellows. but will not attest that any of the thunder storms with which I have been blessed were the result of magic. Pour the remaining mead on the ground and close with the words “So it is done!” Weather Workings The elements in the Lay of Alvis may be summoned for work with the weather. Remind yourself of the state of mind you wish to attain when you are using the tool you are about to hallow. Circle the object to shaped over the flames nine times. d.) summoning. Imagine streams of this power flowing from the clouds into a sphere around your body and then inhale some of it with each breath and imagine it coursing through your body. You may concentrate on one holy name until you understand how the atmospheres generated by this name differ from those of others. summon them by chanting or singing a mantra. Then bring the hammer down over the tool and transfer the numinous power from the hammer into the tool. g. Set the tool on the anvil. Bring out the hammer: Think on the purpose to which the tool is to be set. if you intended to do so. Nevertheless. go out on a cloudy day and chant a mantra consisting of the holy names ascribed to clouds. Therefore I include suggestions for working weather magic based on the holy-language of the Lay of Alvis. The more you get a feeling for working with an element in the presence of that element. I personally like a good rain storm.

He knew they were the most skilled of all dwarves and forced them to forge a sword. Dori=iron peg?. Bafurr=bean. Ai=father of the tribe. the dwarves were Durinn and Dvalinn. Iaruvalla=sandy realms. Fjallar=?. Nordri=north. 173 . Andvari=vigilant. The connection between dwarves. Thekkr=welcomed (also a name of Odin). Gloinn=glowing?. Nyi=new moon. that he is the dwarf who brought runic wisdom to the other dwarves. Nithi=waning moon. Sudri=south. and harts occurs again in the story of King Heidrek. Ratsvid=wise-counsel. Fili=file. Vestri=west. Hannar=skilled. and perhaps it is dwarves in the shape of harts who eat the leaves of Yggdrasil on the roof of Valhalla. Heptifili=file haft. Haugspori=howeraven. Nipingr=darkening?. and a boar). Fundinn=found. King Svafrlami chased a stag into the woods. He prevented the dwarves from entering the stone with a graven sword. Nainn=corpse. Regin=mighty. Gandalf=wizard elf. Nari=puny. Vigg=horse?. elves or ettins to their blessings. Alf=elf. Virfir=rod. Note that Dvalinn is the dwarf who fashioned the sword Tyrfing in The Saga of King Heidrek the Wise. Draupnir=Dropper? (The name of one of Odin’s rings). Austri=east. Another one of these harts is named Dain which is also a dwarf’s name. Dvalinn in particular. Allthiof=Allthief. Bifurr=shield ornament?. a sword. Thrainn=threatening.Catalogue of Dwarf Names This is a brief list of Eddic dwarf names and their translations. Jari=conflict. Loni=The Shining. The Lay of Alvis is a gold mine for those who wish to invite dwarves. Nyr=new. Vitr=wise. Nali=dead. Motsognir=mead drinker. The sword was Tyrfing. Bombur=large?. Thror=thriving (also a name of Odin. Dainn=dead. Dvalinn=entranced. Lit=beauty. but lost it at dusk and found instead two dwarves by a stone. Mjothvitner=meadwolf. Frar=quick. Hornbori=hornblower. Dolgthrasir=troll storming: Har=high. Frosti=frost. Eikenskjoldi=oakenshild. Nar=corpse. Perhaps the hart is a wer-shape taken by dwarves in their daylight farings. an elf. Thorin=strong. Dvalinn is also the name of one of the Harts in GM who eats leaves from the limbs of Yggdrasil. Fraegr=famous. and for those who are working with the magical streams of the elements. Vindelf=wind elf. Kili=wedge smith.


Chapter 3 Spring Drama and Eddic Myth .


or sibling. and adapt them to this model as a basis for the production of authentic spring festivals in the modern world. and Sigdrifa. You will find it best to reinterpret some of the text and to alter it slightly in some cases. The Eddic poems in which spring drama motifs stand out most clearly are the lays of Skirnir. 2. who is held in thrall to the Winter Lord as a spouse. the natural order. they have been obscured for having been preserved in writing at a time when people were more interested in the myths as entertaining stories of heroism and adventure. archaeology. 3. like the year. Sacred stories map the order of the cosmos. or some other close relative of the May Queen. daughter. Germanic myth is cyclic. or by contact with one of her minions. Our holiest festivals are the seasonal holidays such as Yule and Easter. preserve and celebrate the order and the holy.) The freeing of a divine or semi divine maiden in the underworld by a God or hero of the upper world. and the structure of the soul. the Eddic texts need to be understood in terms of the overall structure when you adapt them to a spring drama. and as a result of having come down to us through the channels of Odinic cults in which these myths were interpreted in terms of initiation into the mysteries of magic and the runes. Such themes are preserved in much of the heroic literature. the nature of the individual. to the underworld hold of the May Queen. The May Lord is set on his quest for the May Queen in the underworld by the machinations of the May Queen. It is our task take the myths whose structure and motifs echo the archetypal spring drama. Flyting and or battle between the May and Winter Lords in which the May Lord is victorious and the Winter Lord slain or driven out of town. the social order. 5. father. The society of the Gods is a mirror of that of their folk. The May Lord meets the Winter Lord who sits on a howe hill warding the way to the May Queen. and art. All of these orders are built in accordance with the same structure. husband. 4. The structure of the myths is the structure of reality. place-names.) The marriage of the hero (May Lord) and the woman (May Queen). saga. The May Lord travels in disguise. Of special worth are accounts of spring celebrations that survived throughout Europe into the early modern period. Myth and ritual define. Outline of Spring Drama 1. Svipdag. The microcosm of the mind is mirrored in the macrocosm of the heavens. Myths are about the order the world and define the sacred in its order. 177 . as reconstructed by scholars. folk custom. though spring drama motifs are present. These festivals celebrate certain points in the seasonal cycle such as the regeneration of the year in the dead of winter and the full manifestation and return of the powers of nature in spring. The structure of the spring drama has been reconstructed by comparative study of myth. The mysteries of the natural order and the seasonal cycle contain the mysteries of the other cycles and realms of existence. There are two main phases to the spring drama: 1. 2. especially an animal guise. The themes of the spring drama reverberate powerfully throughout much Teutonic myth and literature. and often a brother or father of the May Lord as well or instead. He may have indirect contact with the May Queen through a vision as in the Lay of Skirnir. The Winter Lord is a brother.Spring Drama and Eddic Myth Myths are a means by which a society speaks about itself. folklore. Therefore.

travels in disguise. The third phase is a contest between the May Lord and the Winter Lord. often in a beast shape. the Spring King is slain and resurrected before he triumphs over winter. If such a flyting existed in the original spring drama from which the myth ultimately is ultimately derived. and the Lay of Sigdrifa. Skirnir used the sword given him by Frey to defeat a giant before he reached the herdsman. and games etc. the hero slays his own brother or father in order to take his bride and his kingdom. The animal form he may have used in the original may have been a wolf. In the archetypal version of the spring drama. It seems that two brothers would alternately replace one another on a yearly basis in spring drama rituals. 1. In other versions. The dag in Svipdag means day. is common in the epic literature of the heathen north. This may be the source of the motif of the dual kingship and harken back to rites in which kings were sacrificed. In some instances. Now let us consider this outline in light especially of the Lay of Svipdag. 3. which provide much in the way of dialogue that can be used in spring dramas. The Lay of Skirnir opens with Frey having just glimpsed Gerth from the high seat and in the Lay of Fjolsvith Svipdag is compelled. and does not reveal his name to the herdsman or to Gerth. Sending the hero on a quest by the May Queen or one of her representatives is not included in detail in the Eddic myths. perhaps as one originally. The Winter King is married to the May Queen and holds her in thrall. The Spring Lord battles with the Winter King to the death. In the Lay of Svipdag there is a flyting between the hero in quest of the maiden and the herdsman on the mound before her yard. The May Lord. some of which may actually be authentic survivals from the original spring drama from which the myth was taken. 2. keeping the world captive winter. the Lay of Alvis. Procession around fields and into town accompanied by revelry and merriment. Svipdag triumphs when he reveals his true name. to visit Mengloth. compelled to seek a bride in the underworld. but also of the Lay of Skirnir. and it is possible that herdsman was not the Winter Lord in the original. for Fjolsvith called him a “vargr” which has the meaning of both “wolf” and “outlaw”. it seems that there is a long lineage of kings in which sons constantly replaced fathers. May Queen brings chalice to May King and they drink. 178 . Perhaps there were two Winter Lord figures in the original spring drama. In the Lay of Skirnir. dances. the battles appear as mere flytings. there is no flyting between the hero and the herdsman. one of whom slays the other to marry his bride. The theme of the twin kings or Gods. Such combats were a central part of the spring dramas and were well preserved in the spring festivals that survived in Europe into the early modern period. It could be that this myth was derived from a spring tradition in which the Winter Lord was the brother of the May Queen. Svipdag assumes the name of Vindkald (means windcold) in his encounter with the herdsman.6. It is also possible that the Winter Lord was Gerth’s father since Skirnir threatens to kill him. in a magical battle with a woman who was either his stepmother or one of his father’s lovers. In the Lay of Skirnir. 7. but does not give a false name either. So Thor slew Alvis by delaying him in conversation until the sun rose. In the Lay of Svipdag. The meaning of the word svip is uncertain. and the Lay of Grimnir. In the mythic poems of the Edda. Gerth feared that Skirnir had slain her brother prior to meeting with the herdsman. then we might guess that Fjolsvith was destroyed by the sun-like brilliance of Svipdag’s true identity when he casts off his disguise to reveal it. Skirnir travels on a horse. thereby hollowing their union and celebrating her return to Midgard. in which giants or dwarves are defeated in a contest of wits and lore. This recalls other Eddic flytings with underworld wights such as the Lay of Vafthruthnir. followed by feasts.

in rare instances. In this phase it is safe assume that a ritual marriage was celebrated. The procession had the purpose of leading the May Queen and King into town and making the fields fruitful. 3. and the other is by use of human actors to represent the May Queen and Kings. dressed in the garb of the opposite sex as the priests of the twin Gods known as the Alcis were reported by Tacitus to have done. When using effigies. Priests or priestesses who acted ritually as the consorts of a deity would either be of the opposite sex. Never come again to this 179 . Fjolsvith: Do you know who I am? Wolf! I am called Fjolsvith. After the Spring Lord defeats the Winter Lord. Drinking from a beaker was common in elder Scandinavian marriage ceremonies and is known sometimes to have been accompanied by a prayer for prosperity. Lay of Sigdrifa.4. it is customary to draw them about on a wagon. plus any that are appropriate for a ritual marriage. Svipdag. and may have. Act I: Vindkald arrives before the herdsman Fjolsvith. and Lay of Skirnir are clearly derived from spring drama myths. The Lay of Fjolsvith.) Alter with usual tools. and Mengloth. back even to the 2nd century. through the wet wilderness ways! There is no shelter for you here! The two pause and glare at each other until Fjolsvith interrupts the silence. There are a couple of ways to present the spring ritual. 2.) Fire before alter. In both Lay of Skirnir and Lay of Sigdrifa the hero is offered a vessel of mead by the bride. The use of effigies to represent a Goddess or God is well documented. 4.) A mound or elevated area to symbolize a mound where Fjolsvith sits. Props and sets. Generally it seems that there is one effigy and a priest who ceremonially marries the effigy. Extras might include the nine singing maidens who dwell in Lyr. is documented back to the 2nd century. Because they are preserved in the form of dialogues they are good material from which to flesh out a spring ritual. much as Skirnir arranges the marriage between Frey and Gerth. 5. and the hounds Gifr and Geri. Spring Drama Based on the Lay of Fjolsvith Cast: Fjolsvith. he is welcomed by the bride with a beaker of drink. 1. or that two effigies are married with a priest acting as mediator hollowing the marriage.) Perhaps a gate or door way before the alter with the fire in front of it. 5. One is by the use of effigies to represent the Gods. and I am not free with my food. Fjolsvith: Who is that fiend who stands before the fore-court and wanders before the flickering flame? Svipdag: What manner of fiend are you who stands in the fore-court and offers not hospitality to the wanderer? Fjolsvith: Have you no good words stranger? Fare hence homeward from here.) Animal skins and mask of boar or other Vanic animal. This again.

who are you. Run now! Run along boy! Run. Svipdag: The first spell my mother recited to me. unless your name be Svipdag. He then stands undaunted by the ettin’s threats. either using a weapon or slaying the giant with his tusks or antlers or horns. run outlaw. that I not be vexed. Svipdag traces a sigil in the air whenever he repeats this refrain. Svipdag performs another incantation Svipdag: Listen ettin. regains his composure. I come to claim this place as my allodial estate! Fjolsvith: Ha! Tell me lad. friendless one? Svipdag: He desires to find the delight of his eyes who sees his most beloved. outlaw. Vindkald traces a sigil in the air and recites an incantation in Old Norse or Old English. Mengloth: From whence do you fare? What did your parents call you. Stanzas 6-41 are then quoted verbatim using the refrain above for Svipdag’s parts. Svipdag: 180 . Svipdag Wise ravens take your eyes foul fiend! I am Svipdag. Fjolsvith: Who do you seek or rather what is the nature of your quest? What is it that you want to know. by ettins. Svipdag then casts off his skins and leaps over the flame. Mengloth carries a large horn of mead and greets him before the alter. oak of the mail thing? I shall know your father’s name and the token that I am betrothed to you. Svipdag: An eighth my mother recited.hold. that I may shake from my shoulders what seems shocking. Wolf. Now be on your way! The trolls take you. Svipdag engages in combat with the giant.” Vindkald. by whom were you born? Svipdag: I am Vindkald and my father was Varkald and his father was Fjokold. Vindkald traces another sigil and chants another spell. shaken slightly. Fjolsvith: The loving maid sleeps only in my loving arms and this shall never be your patrimony. now you tell me everything that I ask you. down the wet wilderness ways. It seems that the wall around the golden hall is aglow.

I have wandered the windcold ways. Svipdag dawns foliage and he and Mengloth lead a procession and dancing around the alter and fire. Look upon us with friendly eyes and grant victory to us! Hail the Aesir! Hail the Asynjur! Hail him on the beneficent earth! Goodly speech and human wit may you grant us and healing hands while we live! They drink and any other marriage rites are performed. Mengloth signs the horn. Mengloth: Long I sat on Lyfjaberg waiting for you day after day. Those up to it may jump over the fire in celebration of the triumph of spring. my father Solbjarti. my man. Now the thing I wished for has happened. 181 . Mengloth: Hail Day! Hail days sons! Hail the night! Hail the daughters of night.I am called Svipdag. now that you are finally here.


Chapter 4 Magical Initiation and Faring Forth into Ettinhome .


a land of awesome and terrible magical beings. In the Lay of Fjolsvith. Ettinhome is where Odin undergoes some of his most powerful initiatory experiences. until he returns. great wisdom. When they return from the liminal state of dissolution they are reconstituted as new beings. Fetch souls may also take the form of an animal. the gods. The fetch is a numinous tutelary spirit that belongs to each person and is that person’s means of access to higher unconscious wisdom and to divine knowledge. Faring forth is the act of immersing yourself in the unconscious. The vitki not only weds his conscious self with his personal unconscious. Svipdag. It is at the time of this union that self-transformation occurs. he will have a stronger link with the fetch and have easier access to its guidance. 185 . It is the time in which the initiate stands between two states of being but in neither one nor the other. the runes. At the time of union the fetch-wife offers a vessel of mead or ale to the vitki. a land of wards. drinking is the act of internalizing it and integrating it with conscious experience. Central to the initiatory experience is the “liminal” period. This is the point in the liminal experience where the vitki remanifests and emerges from the liminal state a greater being. When Sigdrifa gives drink to Sigurth. Rites involve a symbolic death and rebirth. Warg can mean both outlaw and wolf. Graduation and wedding ceremonies are the vestiges of initiation rites that remain in contemporary western culture. Initiation ceremonies are prominent in traditional societies and serve to transfer an individual from one status to another. hence an outlaw. By drinking the vitki brings the wisdom of the collective unconscious into himself and integrates it into his being. but the imagery of the fertility rites is interpreted in terms of initiation. It is an underworld land of the dead. is beyond the laws of society. Mengloth gives Svipdag drink when they meet. Ettinhome is the main liminal environment to which Odian magicians fare for self initiation. In modern psychological terms the fetch may be equated with the higher self. This is known as a person’s fetch animal while the contrasexual manifestation is known as the fetch-wife. In ceremonies of manhood boys are taken to the wilderness to undergo tests. Old patterns are dissolved so that new ones can be formed. and truth in a pure and undefiled form. The liminal period is a time of symbolic death.Magical Initiation and Faring Forth into Ettinhome The Lay of Fjolsvith and Lay of Sigdrifa are examples of spring drama stories that were understood in terms of initiation into higher mysteries of the soul and the nine-worlds by means of a union with the fetch wife. Like the spring drama myths. In the Lay of Fjolsvith. she gives him magical power and spells. Afterwards. but also with the collective unconscious. Odian magic is largely about self-initiation. the world of the archetypes. as an initiate in the liminal state. Initiations into manhood involve the reprogramming of the initiate by initiators. Odin obtains a draught of mead from Gunnloth immediately after union. It lays beyond the pale of our Middle Earth. It is at the hall of the ettin Suttung that Odin wins mead of poetry for Gods and men. the central event is intimate contact between a hero from Midgard and a divine or semi-divine woman in Ettinhome. It is at Mim’s well that Odin sacrifices an eye for second sight. By union with the fetch-wife the vitki gains access to divine wisdom from the higher unconscious self. Indeed. Those who pass are taught new knowledge by tribal elders. Self-initiation is a process whereby the individual explores his own soul and his environment and consciously brings about changes in himself to raise himself to more powerful states of being. It is a time in which the initiate is an outsider with no status in society. At the time of the union the vitki may experience profound flashes of insight. It is in Ettinhome that Odin has numerous magical liaisons with ettin-wives. A young man is recognized as an adult after he has symbolically died and been reborn as an adult. Svipdag is called a “warg” by the ettin herdsman who wards the hall of Mengloth.

Generally speaking. Ettins and the souls of ancestors are known to dwell together in hills and howe hills. especially rivers. It is good to visualize the journey in a light meditative state a few times before actually faring forth. I have found runes to be an effective tool for understanding and controlling my states of mind when faring forth. 186 . These features are common to most accounts. The road to and through Hel and Ettinhome are typified by:1. The crossing from routine to mythic reality requires an act of magic. singing. There is no evidence that I have yet come across for the use of Amanita muscaria by berserkers in the heathen age. Faring forth is concerned not only with the exploration and work within the realms of the Gods. Look especially carefully at the Lay of Svipdag. the use of drugs for such work is ill advised. Drugs allow easy access to trans-mundane realms but it is difficult to control the experience. additions and variations. Drums and drugs are commonly employed in traditional societies as vehicles for trans-mundane journeys. the Lay of Sigdrifa. The greater the being. 2. the more loudly the road trembles. This is can be accomplished with a variety of ritual and meditative techniques and facilitated by the use of holy sites where the boundaries between the worlds are thinner. 3. As you gain experience you will become familiar with a variety of holy states of consciousness and the inner workings of your own soul. Whether runes are used or not. study the geography of the journey carefully. the more likely you are to succeed in faring forth. The more experience you have with meditation. which lie before the waters.) traversing dark troll filled forests such as Mirkwood and Ironwood. Faring forth requires the ability to ability to get into deep states. There is also useful information in some of the sagas. Galder magic seems to have been the main vehicle of magical and mystical experience in the North. Drumming is used by many traditional societies as a means of controlling trance states. stepping into the holy stead will suffice to bring on a mythic state of consciousness.) the crossing of great bodies of water.) Gates to the hold of the fetch wife guarded by hounds. Faring Forth into Ettinhome Ritual work is done in a holy frame of mind. Though many traditional societies use hallucinogens on a regular basis as a shamanic vehicle. 4. a program of regular meditative and magical exercises is important to develop the skills needed for faring forth. Our folk seemed to have relied heavily on poetry. This seems to be a fable that started in the 18th century. In some cases. but also within one’s own soul. Know what obstacles you will likely face and devise spells to counter them. but there is no evidence for the use of drums among the Germanic folk either. There are a variety of techniques available for inducing trance and hypnotic states. a herdsman and flames. and the Lay of Skirnir. The Rune-Gild’s Nine Doors of Midgard is the best place to start acquiring the skills needed for faring forth.) roads that quake loudly beneath the tread of mortals and Gods. and chanting. There are a number of ways to initiate and control trance states. Both are regions to which departed spirits fare. Also look at the descriptions of Ettinhome found in the Younger Edda. We have no significant surviving lore concerning the use of hallucinogens for such purposes among the Germanic folk. This will be more apparent when permanent holy sites are available. you will never reach Ettinhome or Helheim no matter how far you may journey. though every account has its omissions. The sagas and Eddas contain not a peep on the use of any hallucinogenic plants. magic. In routine consciousness. they have acquired the knowledge of the use of the drug over centuries and perhaps millennia. The roads through Hel and Ettinhome are very similar and there seems to be a very close affinity between the two. pathworking and other mind and soul work. which separate one cosmic region from another. 5.) great wealth lays inside the holds of ettin-wives.Before faring forth.

Another way to fare forth is by transferring your conscious self into one of your fetch shapes. See chapter 1. This is the sort of spell one may have to use when fiends do not become amiable under a galdric spell derived from stanza 9. but rather to mollify their hostility. They are sometimes crossed by magical steeds or by taking bird shape. The fetchwife may ride the hamr shape. If it is not possible to actually be at such a site. From stanza 9 we learn that there is a “gallows road” across the river at which point the vitki is liable to meet “fiends. who is able to wade most such rivers and oceans.” Note that the approach taken with these fiends is not to attack them. The spells of the Galder of Groa reveal sites likely to be seen on the way to Mengloth’s garth. except by Thor. such journeys were begun by sitting out at an ancestral grave site. transferring the conscious self into it. and more than likely it will not. The Journey The Lay of Svipdag shows us a glimpse of the geography of underworld from the doors of the dead. The world hamr is often translated as cloak or skin in these contexts. into and through Ettinhome to the hold of Mengloth. For this spell. Maintenance of one’s spirits under adverse circumstances is crucial to success in long and difficult undertakings. These songs are spells to allow the wayfarer to handle the obstacles to be encountered on the way. Faring forth is the art of sending your conscious self forth into the world and the throughout the nine-worlds by transferring it to a suitable vehicle. 187 . allows passage through cosmic rivers that separate Middle Earth from Ettinhome.Starting the Journey Traditionally. This sea is to be controlled by the will of the magician through the use of a runic song. Such translations conceal more than they reveal. When Loki travels to Ettinhome he uses the falcon or hawk shaped hamrs of Freya or Frigg. or the conscious mind may take the form of its natural body and ride a fetch animal. The second spell enables the vitki to recover his spirit after demoralization so that he does not lose sight of his goal and wander aimlessly without will. The first spell Groa teaches Svipdag allows him to shake from his shoulders what seems shocking. which is to say that it allows him to avoid panic as a result of disorientation and loss of control during the journey. in stanza 8. The third spell. The vitki who would make such a journey is well advised to ponder the first spell of Groa in a meditative state to discover a rune or bind rune that serves this purpose. the vitki can look for inspiration to the Lay of Sigdrifa stanza 10 as well as from stanza 11 of the Galder of Groa. These rivers are almost always included in stories of journeys to the under world and are only crossed by magical means. Begin the journey to the underworld at the doors of the dead. and detaching it from the body to walk the worlds. then visualize an ancestral howe as the starting point for the journey. Troll magic is the art of gaining mastery of the hamr by means of the will and shaping it to the form of an animal. The tenth stanza is a spell for loosing fetters. Beyond the gallows road lies a sea which is liable to be heavy. It may also be used against the fetters of Mengloth’s gate Gastropnir.

Find a relevant passage form the Elder Edda and form a galdric chant or song by transliterating some of the words from the passage into runes. It is here that the vitki tries to elicit the secrets of the hold of Mengloth from Fjolsvith before entry. listen. now we may have to contend with a whole multitude. These spirits wander beyond the gates and flames in isolation and alienation. In this misty region the vitki may meet on the road the wraiths of dead folk who are not given entry by the ettin herdsman. Before faring forth. the vitki approaches Mengloth’s garth. these included the lost souls of those who abandoned the troth of their folk for alienation. you may try “sitting out” to seek rede from an ancestral volva. such as Groa. 188 . From the Galder of Groa you might transliterate the phrase “Awaken Groa!” When you feel the presence of the volva. These are the souls of outlaws. In the times in which the Lay of Fjolsvith was put into its present form. The ninth and final spell allows the vitki to work his will in a battle of wits with the herdsman who wards the gates.From the sea the vitki fares through high hills in which the frost threatens to doom him and his mission to immobility and stasis. In the late heathen period they had only to deal with a few Christian spirits. From the hills.

Appendix A Thinking About the Hail Rune .

the patterns by which the world may be broken down into component parts and by which these parts may be rearranged. dies. trees. Earth IE gen. The first sacrifice was Odin’s giving of himself to himself in which he dissolved himself in order to perceive the structural principals of the world and then reorder himself in accordance with the new knowledge. most condensed. and wind. The other 4 elements in the Alvismal are not found in the Grimnismal’s cosmogony include fire. sun-eye. of his bones the hills. Ymir. sun. From this table we notice that certain elements were left out of the account in the Grimnismal. Flesh Stone Plants Water Sun Bone Bone Hair Hair Blood/ Eye Sweat Blood Moon Cloud Heaven Wind Mind Eye Brain/ Head Thought Brain Skull Breath - A complete catalogue of these nine cosmic elements. The Hail rune is the seed that contains in latency the first principals by which the world tree Yggdrasil is manifested. calm. or make an abstract map of the cosmos or world tree. grows. “Of Ymir’s flesh the earth was shaped. The runes are a systematic expression of the totality of the worlds’ mysteries as Odin perceived them when he hung on the tree. From his brain they made the moody clouds hovering in the heavens. sea. the mother of the runes. beneath the earth. night. It is the work of the runester to discover these patterns himself in order to reshape self and society.The runes represent the archetypal patterns by which the nine worlds are structured. The pattern in the seed existed before Odin. Of his blood the briny sea. This was the second sacrifice. The Hail rune may be said to hold all the building blocks while the other runes express phenomena associated with particular combinations of these blocks. Of his hair the trees. we must look Grimnismal 41-42. 190 . According to the Norwegian Runic Poem. Odin shaped the world by slaying his kinsman the primal ettin.” Odin had to discover the first principles himself in order to reshape the cosmos. moon. and making the new order from the ettin’s body parts. clouds. ale.” This cosmic sacrificial structure can be found throughout the Indo-European world. and densest crystallization of these structures. Hropt (Odin) shaped the world in days of yore. “Hagal is the coldest grain. the simplest. plus some. the nine homes of the great meting wood. We already know the homology for nine of the 13 elements including earth. and seed. of his skull the sky. Seed is of course the “coldest grain” Hagalaz. From its snowflake form in the younger row we may derive all the other rune shapes. The hail rune is that seed. If we will look at how Hropt shaped the world in days of yore. is the template for the entire cosmos. and is reborn. In the Hail rune we may find the most fundamental. including grain. is to be found in the 13 spells of the Alvismal in which 6 names used in 6 of the nine-worlds are given for each of the 13 elements. including wind-breath. In the Skaldskaparmal Snorri gives us eye and shield as metaphors for the sun and moon. But of his brow the loving Gods made Midgard for the sons of men. and moon-mind. Odin may be said to have seen the component parts of the world and the principals by which they cohered such that he was able to dismantle the old edifice and to recombine its elements to shape the new order. The following table shows how the structure of the human being is applied to the cosmos in general in both the Grimnismal and in a the typical Indo-European pattern as reconstructed from a comparison of numerous Indo-European cosmological myths.” This refers to Yggdrasil as a seed in the cosmic stuff of Ginnungagap waiting to begin ordering the undifferentiated Ginn (primal stuff) into the nine worlds. In Hagal we have the mysteries of sacrifice. and the Hail rune. pattern Flesh Grim. in which prototypes for all of these archetypes are contained. as the Voluspa says: “I remember nine-worlds. sky. Then he repeated this process and worked his will on the cosmos.

It includes the elements of the sky. Hail is the seventh and the H shape has seven points. This work requires a careful study of these elements as they appear in kennings (check the Skaldskaparmal) and other mythic material concerning the soul and society. wind and water which in amount in human terms to skull. Pairs of opposites may also be juxtaposed on the bars of the H shape rune of the elder row or opposite one another on the snowflake pattern as shown below: Pairs of Elements in Grimnismal Elements from Alvismal 191 .The Anglo-Saxon Runic Poem describes the transformation of the “whitest grain” into water after a buffeting in the heavens by the wind. in this transformation recalls the Odin’s hanging on a windswept tree and might be included in a working for a similar self-sacrifice. Knowing this correlation between the cosmic and the human is a great tool for work with the other rune-poems as well as for the unraveling of other mythic lore. the gusting wind. or to society and its parts. The younger row is the best to work with when you are fathoming the runic content of the Eddas. The seed structures of the cosmos are to be found in man and vise-versa. It is whirled from the air of heaven and buffeted by gusts of wind and then it is turned to water. By considering this seed pattern carefully. The Hail rune may be ideographically represented by either the H shape of the elder row or by the H snowflake shape of the younger row. The prominence of breath. the mysteries by which Hropt shaped the world. you may extrapolate the pattern to the level of the human soul and its component parts. “Hail is the whitest grain. This pattern may be used successfully as a mapping device for the first principals associated with the Hail rune. breath and blood.” This may be taken as a formula for a sacrificial dissolution.

These values may be assigned to aspects of your own world. The arrangement of the elements and runes may be varied as it suits one for meditative and working purposes.Six names for the Moon from Alvismal Wights of the Alvismal Rune Mother Sol Mother of the Runes Elements of the Alvismal arranged on the Hail map with runic correspondences. 192 .

193 . but is only one of many approaches to understanding the runes.Mapping is an approach that may be used successfully with other runes as well. the seemingly crude cosmological and homological level of interpreting the mysteries of Hagalaz is only one of many. of self and world. but a very good starting point. Likewise. From the lore of the shaping of the world it is easy to move into the mysteries of the nature of sacrifice and its role in transformation.


Appendix B Pronunciation of Old Norse .


and v are just as in modern English. except before t. a á e é i í o ó ö ø u ú æ œ y ý au ei ey g ng h j p r s th dh rl rn nn as in “artistic” as in “father” as in “men” as in ay in “bay” as in it” as ee in “feet” as in “omit” as in “ore” as in “not” pronounced same as ö as in “put” as in “rule” as ai in “hair” as u in “slur” as u in German Hütte (i with rounded lips) as u in German Tür (ee with rounded lips) as ou in “house” as ay in “May. then this pt cluster is pronounced ft trilled r always voiceless as in “sing” voiceless th as in “thin” voiced th as in “the” pronounced dl pronounced dn pronounced dn after long vowels and diphthongs 197 . l. except before consonants.” or as i in “mine” pronounced same as ei always hard as in “go” as in “long” same as English. then as wh in “where” always as y in “year” as in English. m. t.Pronunciation of Old Norse The phonetic values provided below are those of reconstructed Old Norse (as it would have been spoken in the Viking Age). The consonants b. f. d.


Teinn: A talisman. go into a trance with the aid of magical songs. It involves getting into ecstatic states to gain visions and fare forth in animal shape. Such women would roam the countryside and attend feasts where they would sit on a wooden platform. used both as a name for the threefold divisions of the Futhark and eight divisions of the heavens. Jotun and OE.” Hamr: The plastic image forming stuff that surrounds each person. Seith: A Vanic form of magic taught to Odin by Freya. Galder: ON. Used when focusing on the multiplicity of being. Ettin: ON. Often defined as “luck. Visualized as a contrasexual entity. Typically performed by volvas. Originally “incantation. Eoten. Athling: A noble person motivated by noble goals and tasks.” and “guardian spirit. and war. Later meant magic in general. It is nonphysical and magical energy. Mobile magic force rather like mana of other traditions. Hamingja: ON. Here it is used to refer to verbal magic. Erulian: Member of the ancient gild of runemasters who formed an intertribal network of initiates in the Germanic mysteries. 199 . but especially verbal magic. Numen: A living holy power.Glossary Aesir: Race of gods corresponding to the functions of magic.” “shapeshifting force. A numinous experience is one in which contact is made with this power. Multiverse: The many states of being (worlds) that make up the universe.” The verb gala also means to crow. Fetch-wife: The fetch in female form. In this state they would answer questions of the villagers. Orlog: ON. an animal. which is the repository of all past action and which accordingly affects the person’s life: the personal divinity. One of the three female wights who embody the processes of cause and effect and evolutionary force. Also means a group or division of eight. Aett: Family or genus. It may be collected and reformed by magical power (hamingja) according to the will (hugr). Primal layers or laws of past action that shape present and future conditions. Ettin-wife: A female ettin taken in magical marriage. Norn: ON. Stave: A spell or a rune. A race of giants dwelling to the east of Midgard in Ettinhome. Fetch: A numinous being attached to every individual. or an abstract shape. law. and obtain visions of the future.

eroticism and prosperity functions. A linking force between men and gods (Odin in particular). Vanir: ON. World: One of the nine worlds or planes of being ordered about the world tree.Thurs: A strong and stupid kind of giant. World Tree: The ash Yggdrasil about which the multiverse is ordered. V é: A holy stead such as a temple or a grove. A setting for religious and magical workings. Vitki: A wielder of the runes. 200 . Volva: A female magician who specializes in seith magic. “Chooser of the slain. Yggdrasil: The world tree about which the nine-worlds are ordered. An Odian magician. Valkyrie: ON.” Protective numinous qualities that become attached to those who attract them. The race of gods corresponding to the fertility.

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The Nine Homes 205 .

206 .

207 .

In the Depths of Mim’s Well 208 .

209 . What Mardol sought was inspired furor. Od is thought to be Odin. which is what the od in Odin means.Mardol finds Od at Saga’s Shore Drawing by James Chisholm Mardol walked the earth weeping tears of gold in search of her husband Od. as the story goes.

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