Posts Tagged ‘Norse’

Floki In the Temple

Floki In the Temple

On the mystery of Spiritual Awareness ~

I am a harmonious one,
A clear singer seeing,
I am the greeness of the growing earth,
blue depth of sky, a spirit with the freeing,
I am a wielder of the words that beget worlds,
A dancing that is advancing, a myth for the time being,
I am the unseen, a serpent of the air,
A dragon distributing keys to the temples of meaning,
I am the birds and the soul of the bees,
Ever sacred trees, paths to the stars and beyond all of these,
I am the speaker concealed in the heart
And I am to be found before riddle of minds start.

c.Celestial Elf 2014

Narrated in the voice of ‘Floki’, this animated poem descibes the perspective of being in tune with the inner self of thought and memory, balanced with the outer self of nature and cosmos. Acting then as a spiritual compass or sun stone, it is a poetic device by which to orient to the divinity within and as such serves as a very powerful blessing.

In the television series Vikings, Floki
Is a boat builder and incorrigible trickster, who also happens to be Ragnar Lothbrok‘s eccentric and closest friend. Committed to helping Ragnar sail west, he secretly designs and builds a new generation of Viking longboats for their voyage across the ocean westward.

He also does seem to embody many characteristics of his nearly namesake Loki.
While treated as a nominal member of the Aesir tribe of gods in the Eddas and Sagas, Loki occupies a highly ambivalent and ultimately solitary position amongst the gods, giants, and the other classes of invisible beings that populate the traditional spirituality of the Norse and other Germanic peoples.

Our Floki character appears to be based on  
Hrafna-Flóki Vilgerðarson…

Flóki Vilgerðarson
9thC Common Era, was the first Norseman to deliberately sail to Iceland. His story is documented in the Landnámabók manuscript. He heard good news of a new land to the west, then known as Garðarshólmi.
He wanted to settle in this new land and so he took his family and livestock with him.
From Western Norway he set sail to the Shetland Islands where it is said his daughter drowned. He continued his journey and landed in the Faroe Islands where another of his daughters was wed. There he took three ravens to help him find his way to Iceland, and thus, he was nicknamed Raven-Floki (Norse and Icelandic; Hrafna-Flóki) and he is commonly remembered by that name.

Three Ravens Print by Dona Reed

Loki and moral ambiguity;
Loki, famously ambivalent, is perhaps best known for his malevolent role in The Death of Baldur.
We may wonder why the Scandinavians had such an apparently wicked god in their mythology at all?
Loki features so prominently in the tales of Norse mythology because these tales explore the inner meanings of the physical realm that we still inhabit.  In earlier times the Northern peoples did not share the conceptions of  absolute moral ‘good’ or ‘evil’ that have been employed to various ends since the rise of christian dominated societies. Some values and actions were appropriate for some people and situations; others were inappropriate for those same people and situations but might be appropriate for other people and other situations.

This was not however the dangerous free-for-all of moral relativism that it sounds. In traditional Germanic society, a person who occupied a particular social role and was a devotee of that role’s corresponding god or goddess could rightly be held to the standard of conduct appropriate for that role and its divinity. Thus, while most Viking Age men were held to the standards of honor and manliness exemplified by such figures as Tyr, Thor, or Freyr, for example, not everyone was necessarily held to these standards.
Devotees of Odin, for example, followed a path of ecstatic and creative self-actualization that often seemed fickle, ruthless, irresponsible, and even shameful by the standards of, say, a man of Thor.

Thus Loki cannot fairly be considered an example of moral ‘evil’. Instead, he’s an example of one of the countless, often opposing and contradictory principles and meanings of which life consists. Wether they accept it or not, many people appear to share the flexible and self interested mindset as exemplified by Loki. It is inevitable however that in an informed and conscious Pantheisitic, animistic,perspective which accepts both light and dark as parts of a unified whole, even (f)Loki’s irreverence itself is a spiritual perspective and ultimately worthy of respect.

Grateful thanks to my source for this research;
Dan McCoy – Norse Mythology for Smart People./Loki
 Ásáheil og Vána!
May the Blessing of Aesir and Vanir
Ever Be With You!

 

 

 

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On The Yule Tree and her Greenery;

On The Yule Tree and her Greenery;

The peoples mid winter celebrations of life with evergreen plants is an ancient tradition in which folk decorate their homes with winter greenery and berries.
As an evergreen of protection, Holly’s spiky bristles repel unwanted spirits. Holly, sacred to Holle, the Germanic underworld goddess, symbolizes everlasting life, goodwill and potent life energy. Its red berries represent feminine blood. Together, mistletoe and holly represent the Sacred Marriage at this time of year with the mid winter Solstice, the re-birth of the Sun.

The Winter Solstice, also known as Yule, is in terms of sunlight the shortest day in the year and the longest night (December 22/23). Religious ceremonies are held att this time in honour of the return of the Sun which at the Winter Solstice begins to regain its power and to ascend on the horizon. Bonfires are lit in the fields and crops and trees are ‘wassailed’ with carols sung to wish them good healthas they are toasted with cups of spiced cider. Apples and oranges which represent the sun, are laid in baskets of evergreen boughs, to be shared with friends and neighbours.

The ancient Celts believed that the first humans were descended from trees and as such trees were highly revered by them, particularly the mighty Oak tree.
Evergreens were also sacred to the Celts, because they did not ‘die’ they thereby represented the eternal aspect of the goddess. Their greenery was also symbolic of the hope for the suns return and with it the life abundant of all growing things. At Winter Solstice they therfore decorated their trees with images of the things they wished for the waxing year to bring them – fruits for a successful harvest, charms for love, nuts for fertility and coins for wealth…

At this time, the Earth spirits are at rest, preparing for the hard work ahead, of replenishing the Earth with new life in the coming spring and naturally, celebrations are held in honor of these worthy spirits.

In Scandinavia, Yule trees were first brought into homes, decorated with bells, candles and ribbons to attract these spirits, to provide shelter through the winter. Bread, fruit and nuts were hung from the branches to provide food for them in the trees.

The evergreen tree has also been long associated with gift giving as citizens of ancient Rome celebrated the ‘Saturnalia’, a week long December festival honoring the God Saturnus, by exchanging gifts attached to evergreen branches.

In an old Norse tradition, the evergreens were burned to encourage the return of the Sun. A direct descendant of this practice still carried out today is the burning of the Yule log. The ceremonial Yule log, ideally of Ash – from the Norse world tree Yggdrassil, is the highlight of the Solstice festival. In accordance with tradition the Yule log must either be harvested from the householder’s land or given as a gift, but never be bought. Once dragged into the fireplace it is decorated with seasonal greenery, blessed with cider or ale and set ablaze by a piece of last years log which has been kept for just this purpose. The log will then burn through the night, smolder for 12 days and will be ceremonially extinguished. The Yule log’s role is one of bringing prosperity and protection from evil, as a magical protective amulet – by keeping the remnant of the log all the year long the protection of warmth and light will remain throughout the year.

Putting the Solstice sun and sacred trees together we have the waxing and the waning of the sun ritualized therough the death and rebirth (resurrection) of the trees and their respective Kings of their seasons.

The hanging of robin and wren ornaments on the Yule tree commemorates these deeper meanings as the robin is the animal equivalent of the Oak King, the wren of the Holly King. Each Yule and Midsummer they play out the same battle as the two kings battle for the season.The robin – ie Oak King, symbolically kills the wren to signify the return of light – the end of the reign of the Holly King presiding over the darker part of the year. A contemporary reminder of this is the tradition of the wren boys, celebrated on 26 December (also St. Stephen’s Day). The tradition consists of ‘hunting’ a fake wren and putting it on top of a decorated pole. Then the crowds of mummers or strawboys celebrate by dressing up in masks, straw suits and colourful motley clothing and, accompanied by traditional ceilidh bands, parade through the towns and villages.

Strong opposition to Christmas trees by Puritan settlers kept the Christmas tree tradition out of America until the nineteenth century, when German settlers bringing their own seasonal celebrations popularized the tradition.

Gradually the sacred tree and its traditions have been absorbed, its meanings minimalized by the pervasive christian and ensuing materialistic culture. But our collective unconscious naturally returns to the deeper significance of the evergreen tree and its promise of life renewed as we decorate our Yule Trees.

In practicing this ritual of dressing the Yule Tree/Christmas Tree, we are celebrating the turning of the great wheel of the year, the return of the sun at midwinters solstice time, our thanks for the forces of nature that bless us and our joy at the life it brings to us all.

Freyr

My hand-carved Freyr charm

Freyr, Frey -Old Norse Mythology lord of the sun, rain and harvests,
He is a shining god, bringing fertility and prosperity to all.
Freyr was one of the Vanir gods that went to live in Asgard after the War between the Æsir and Vanir.

He is the noblest of the gods. Together with his sister, Freyja, he brings peace and prosperity to men and the blessings of fertility to the home and the field. The Norsemen made sacrifices to Freyr ’til árs ok friðar’ (for frutifulness and peace).

Left to right: Njörðr, Skaði, Freyr. From the book The Elder or Poetic Edda; commonly known as Sæmund’s Edda. Edited and translated with introduction and notes by Olive Bray. Illustrated by W.G. Collingwood.

His home is Alfheim and he is known as God of the dead: those interred in the kin mounds and Lord of the land of the Alfs (Elves). This place was later called Elfhame and Elphame, and in more modern times Elfland or Elfenland.
Symbolism, Stags antler, Ship, Wagon, Boar, Rays of the sun, Phallic symbolism (and consequently the modern suggestion of a horn of plenty)
Sacred Animals, Boar, Horse, Stag.
* A Freyr idol with a priestess (or the god’s “wife”) would go on procession round villages to bless the fields during harvest.
* His holy places could not have weapons or outlaws within them and no blood shed.

The possible connections of Freyr with Ingui and their similarities have been noted.
It is known that, according to Norse mythology, Freyr was closely linked with the Sun. He was the god of peace and fertility. His parents were the sea god, Njord and the giantess, Skadi. He translates as the most prominent and most beautiful of the male members of the Vanir, and is often referred to as ‘God of the World’. Subsequent the merging of the Aesir and the Vanir, Freyr is known as ‘the Lord of the Aesir’. Freyr is also called upon by common folk to grant fertile marriages.

Ingui, or Ing, is the rather obscure name of a god in the Anglo-Saxon heathen tradition who was the god of sun and rain, and the patron of bountiful harvests. He was both a god of peace and a brave warrior. He was also the ruler of the elves.

If as many schools believe, he is one and the same as the Norse god, Freyr, then Ingui’s social standing as a god among the Anglo-Saxon heathens could have been one of great veneration.

Evidence connecting the Anglo-Saxon Ingui to the Norse Freyr is that another name for Freyr is Yngvi or Yngvi-Freyr, the Yngvi element is phonetically cognate with the Anglo-Saxon Ingui. It’s possible that the Anglo-Saxon Yngvi-Freyr may have been called Ingui-Frea, Frea being the Anglo-Saxon cognate of Freyr.

Freyr’s Return;

As important for the individual
and development of the world
as the revival of the Divine Feminine
in all Her myriad forms,
is the retrieval of the Passionate, 

Vibrant Masculine.

We might rediscover the caring masculine energies
to be a vital part of the cosmological balance
of universal and interpersonal forces.

Praise Be To Freyr!

Praise Be To Freyr!
To Life, to Spirit, to Freedom!
Praise be Green Hills and Verdant Valleys Forever!
Fertility to the Fields and Flowers!
The Birds and Bees!
The Deer and the Does!
Praise to Dancing and Drinking!
To Frolicksome Freols!
Lifter of Hefts and Hafts!
Unbinder! Lord of the Elf Fields!
May my life be a tribute to the Freedom you o’ersee!
May my life be filled with your festivity and frith!
Praise Be to Freyr!
The Mighty Elf Lord of Freedom!
© Siegfried Goodfellow 2005

In heathenism and paganism, poetry becomes prayer through which we enter into the magic of being in touch with all the holy powers that make this life a sacred blessing.

May You Be Blessed ~

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