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Footnotes 2-23 appeared from pages 1 to 5, covering the notes of the section Ginungagap. Since the translation project will stop due to the release of the completed version of the book, Sorcery and Religion in Ancient Scandinavia, the remaining notes and translated portions of the book will be posted here before the blog ends.
Below are the Footnotes labeled 2 through 23, each edited to include the exact term they are going over since the superscript numbers were not ttransferred in the passages of the translation.
2 Gínungagap – “TheSwallowingGap”. From the root word ginawhich meanswide, big, wide-extended, faralone withoutthe intention ofbeingfilledup. It also meansillusion,and while thegapmeansempty room, we get the bigemptyfraudulentcompartments, whichindicatethat the creationitself isadelusionstagedby thegodsfrom anothergalaxy, perfectpeople whoaresentto createmore.
3 Niflheimr – “Nebula”andthe darkworldof the wordnifl-Greekνεφελη, nebula andheimr.
8 Ymir – Fromymjaorumda, which meanssound, honk, murmur, mutter, moan, and carrythemselves. It means the hugecommotioninthe planets’andthe sun'screation,from thecosmicwindsand hugemassesofmaterial matter thatcollide.
9 Aurgelmir – From aur, soil, clay, sand, gravel, mud, coarseferroussand; gelmir, severe rash, pull, motion.
10Auðhumbla – from Audra, deserted, uncultivated(land), unusedand empty, and hum, half dark, twilight, the sea/ocean, and blue, blue-black.
11 Búri – From Burien,the stretcher,themat: the birth, orof the same:the person whogives birth.
12 Börr – From the word fordrill, man, or burr (English “bore”, “burrow”), son, or borfrom theGermanicbôron, meaning drill, plow, cut.
13Bölþorn – From bol, meaning misery, andthorn, thornbush, bramble. Bestlacomes frombest, meaning laid or blood, ofGermaniclagwa, sea water at the sea shore, poetic word for sea.
14Óðin–From odr (English root for “ether”), mind, thought,anger, elatedmoodand spirit, which is bentin theaccusativesingular, specifictermsareóðinn, andhenceÓðinn. Heis the spirit, itembodiesthepowerofallcreation, his brothers, Vílir(will) and Véi(the sacred) areexpressionsofthis power. Véi comes fromvig, which is thesacred, connectingpower,asseen inthe old verbvígja(to initiate). Véi isholyplacein general, andthe peace thatrestsin suchsites.Wehavein these threethinking, willingness, andthe sacredbondthat mustunite themso that theycould producethe good.The Spiritgives life, the Will takes care ofit andsanctuaryremovesthe impure.
15 Trollsanger or the Nine Songs – Helearned to know thenatureof matter, from alphatoomega. The numberninerepresentsthe ninemonths ittakes tocomplete thecreationofa new human life. The ninemagicsongsare the ability tocreatenew lifethrough andofwhat alreadyexists- hererepresented byBölþorn’sson.Nineisthe perfectnumber,whichcontainsall theother numbersin itandthat can bemultiplied byanyof them, including himself, and yet alwaysbenine (referring hereto the rulethat nineis the highestnumber,and thatthe onlyrealnumbersarefrom one tonine).
16 The Four Dwarves – Austria(east), Vestri(west), Nordia(northern) and Suðri(south).
17 Miðgarðr – Thefortifiedhome of manlocated in theworld.
18 Ymir’s Brains – Here it’s talking about metaphors. The idea is that matter has many forms, and each gives rise to different things; the brain turns into clouds because of the same, percisely because the brain brings thoughts.
19 Bergelmir – From seeds and berries, pollen, spores and sperm, of the Germanic stem bazjá-, or small shrub. The basic meaning is that which grows in brush vegitation. Gelmir comes from galm, which means rash or to move. He avoids drowning in Ymir’s blood by setting himself in a Ludres (a hollow body, a box, a coffin). These are all things that bear the basis for life itself, plants and wildlife that float on objects in the sea of blood, or that are held in the air by the wind, until sea’s level falls and land rises again so that it can renew life on earth.
20 Þruðgelmir – From þrúðr, strength; gelmir derived from galm, which means rash or movement. These are mighty forces of the universe that over millions upon millions of years, slowly but surely, develop life in small cells and then on to more high quality life. Examples of such forces are cosmic radiation.
21 Mundilfær – From mundr, gift, renumeration thatthe groomgaveas paymentfor the bride, dowry, Faerie, chance,opportunity, that one isableto,means, wealth, or theonecan afford.Refers to the fact that themoonand the sunwere the bestheavencouldprovide as a dowryforits marriage tothe earth.
22 Alsviðr – From árvakr, vigilant; the prefix all-, meaning much or a lot; svinnr (sviðr), quick, wise, sensible and judicious.
23 Svalinn – Definitive form of svalr, meaning cool, dry. It means “the cooler”. Refers to the layer of ozone molecules in the atmosphere about thirty kilometers up that absorb ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
The word “Aes” or “As” comes from the Old Norse word “Áss”, the plural being “Aesir”, which further comes from the Norse word “ans” (which comes from the Germanic “ansuz”), which means mouth or river’s mouth, breath, a source of divine primordial callings. When the Ancient Germans listened to the river’s soft murmur and studied the vortices in the water they listened to ans; the speech of the gods. There are clear parallels to the Etruscan aisos (gods) and the Latin ara – which due to sound-shift rules was earlier pronounced asa or ansa – which signified the first of a shrine formed by a tree trunk. In the same way that the letter “N” fell away from proto-Norse “anst” (Old Norse “ást”, meaning love) and “gans” (Old Norse gás, meaning goose), the “N” disappeared from ans and turned it to áss. The theorie e.g. of Snorri Sturluson that the gods were from Asia (the western part of what is now Turkey) and for that reason were called gods or Aesir (asamenn, i.e. “Asian men”) is thus an obvious error. The classically trained Snorri wanted to connect his own ancestors as much as possible with the glorious Troy from the Asian part of ancient Greece.
The Aesir are twelve: Oðinn, Þórr, Baldr, Týr, Bragi, Heimdallr, Höðr, Víðarr, Váli, Ullir, Forseti and Loki. Freyr and Njörðr are regarded as part of the Vanir. Of the gods’ horses there is to say that Oðinn’s is called Sleipnir (glider, runner), and it has eight legs. Heimdall’s horse is called Gullintoppr. The otherhorses are namedGlaðr(happy, ready), Gyllir(gilde), Glaer or Gler(glistening), Skeiðbrímir(the fast runner),Silfrintopp(silvertop), Sinir(wiry), GíslorGils(beam or jet), Falhófnir(palehoof) andLéttfeti(lightax-blade). FreyrrodeBlóðughófi(bloody hoof). Baldr’shorsewas burnedat the stakewithhim, andÞórr has no horse. Hegoesonfootor rides using broken ones. The others ride through the air ontheirhorses.
The Aesir-goddesses are Frigg, Sága, Eir, Gefjon, Fulla, Sjöfn, Lofn, Varr, Vör, Sýn, Hlín, Snotra, Þrúðr, Gná and Sól. Other goddesses are Bil, Njórunn (Njörunn), Nanna, Hnoss, Gersemi, Rindr, Rán, Freyja and Sigyn.
The gods’ homes are as follows: Þórr’s Þrúðheimr; Ullir’s Ýdalir; Freyr’s Alfheimr; Váli’s Valaskjálfr; Sága’s Søkkvabekkr; Óðinn’s Glaðsheimr with Valhöll (Valhalla), Þjazi’s Þrymheimr, where Skaði now lives; Baldr’s Breiðablik; Heimdall’s Himinbjörg; Freyja’s Folkvangr; Forseti’s Glitnir; Njörðr’s Nóatun; Víðar’s Landviði. Óðinn lives with Frigg in Glaðsheimr, with the Valkyries and Einherjar in Valhöll and with Sága in Søkkvabekkr.
The Aesir are the world’s creators (“shapers”). They are the life’s breath, which permeates and enlivens all the dead nature and seeks to shape it according to its will.They gathered daily to consult each other on the world’s fate. They are given human character and conduct, but all in the higher and nobler form; they are more beautiful, stronger, wiser, they see and hear better and go faster.
They are called Bönd (band) because they bind or tie everything together, Díar (men) and Jólner (derived from Jolly, July). They are binded together with tendencies and are in life inseparable. The term “god” comes from they fact that they are “good”.
Of the Vanir much is already told. The name comes from Vanr (Norwegian vann), which means Water. Therein lies the contradiction between the Aesir and Vanir; the first are the gods of the heavens and solid matter, the others of water. The Aesir went to war with the Vanir. The battle ended in that they gave each other hostages; the Vanir got Hoenir and Mímir, while the Aesir got Freyr and Freyja and their father, Njörðr. Hoenir was made Chief among the Vanir, but it was Mímir – whose vision was great – who ruled through his advice. When Mímir wasn’t round, they told Hoenir that the others had great provisions, and the Vanir understood that he wasn’t a good leader, although he could see really well. The Vanir felt tricked by the Aesir, and for revenge they cut off the head of Mímir and sent it to Óðinn. He smeared the head with herbs to it wouldn’t rot and got life into it again using spells. It awoke and could talk to him, and was able to give him counsel. They started a new war, which ended with the Aesir’s victory. Óðinn decided that they would unite forces and all the Aesir and Vanir had to spit into a cup. From the spit he created Kvasir. Both Aesir and Vanir were afterwards called Aesir (“gods”); all should be equal.
WhileNjörðrlivedinVanaheimrhe begatchildren with hissister,Njerð, who gave birth toFreyrandFreyja. Theywerealso howeverspiritualactivities,namelyFreyr as the sun god andFreyjaasthe moon god. Whenwefurtherdescribe theAesir and Vanir itmaybe mentioned thatthe Aesir describethe thoughts, while the Vanir describe theemotionsin man.The Aesirarefullyconscious, clear, fixed ideas, the Vanirof movingand volatileemotions.
Another important part of the world is Yggdrasill, the World Tree, the Holy Ash. From it comes the dew that falls in valleys. Over it is scooped aur (coarse, iron-rich sand). Evergreens stand on Iðavöllrover Urð’ssource. Its three roots stretch out, and under the one that stretches into Jötunnheimr is Mímir’s source – where Gínungagap once was. Under the second one which stretches into Helheimr is Hel’s source underneath the third one, in Ásgarðr, is Urð’s source.
In the Ash’s branches sits an eagle, and between its eyes a hawk named Veðrfölnir. A squirrel, Ratatoskr, runs constantly and steadily up and down between the eagle and the serpent Níðhöggr that gnaws at the root that ends in Níflheimr. The squirrel calculates things, discovers and finds things, and brings it to the eagle and to the worm. There are four dear near the tree that gnaw bent-necked on the protruding branches, or that run around on the tree’s branches and eat the leaves. They are called Dáinn, Dvalinn, Duneyrr and Duraþrór.
InHvergelmirwithNíðhöggr are so many worms that no one has time to count them before their death; Góinn and Móinn who are Grafvitnir’s sons, Grábakr and Grafvölluðr, Ófnir og Sváfnir, and many more that are all constantly struggling in the tree branches. Yggdrasill has greater hardships than men do; a deer gnawing from above, on the sides of the rotting tree and beneath it gnaw the worm Níðhöggr and the other worms.
It is the largest and the best tree, which extends beyond the world and up to heaven. In Hvergelmir is where the primal is hidden. In Mímir’s well are cunning and wits hidden; Mímir is very wise and helps himself to some daily water from the well. He uses the Gjallarhorn as a drinking horn. In Urðarbrunnr is the spirit hidden. From this well take the Norns daily water which they pour over Yggdrasill, to keep it alive. The water in this well is so sacred, that everything that comes into contact with it become all white. Two swans swim in the well and from them descend all other swans. The water that falls from the tree are called honeydrops, and they nourish the bones.
Around the tree collect the gods when they go to council. Iðunn fell down from the tree to the underworld once, and Heimdallr was assigned to go get her.
The tree is the natural gathering place for spiritual activities. It was here that our [Norway’s] forefathers sacrificed to the gods, and next to the springs and rivers was a tree-way portal to the world of the gods. Óðinn even hung himself in the tree, in order to learn about the otherside (hence the name Yggdrasill, meaning Ygg’s horse. Yggr is a name for Óðinn), and in addition, I can show this was the Irminsûl of the Saxons.
Yggdrasill is an image of the brain. Its roots extend to the primal well, the subconscious well and the spiritual well. The eagle is at the highest strata, while the hawk takes care of the lower strata. The deer dwell on earth and the worms underneath. The birds are the thought which can leave the brain, and the deer the external forces that are struggling within it. Worms are the countless electrical signals in the brain, which the nerves – the squirrel – pick up and bring to their place. That Yggdrasill, the brain, has bigger problems than people know is the obvious fact that the brain breaks down the most throughout life, with mindless alchohol use, addition of chemical substances, physical battles and more. Also the brain is damaged from within. It wears itself out, with all its electrical activity. Life pours through water (the blood) across it from life’s well (the heart), to delay its decay and keep it alive. The branches reach out across the world because everything relates to the brain. Without the brain, we percieve nothing.
The Spirit – Óðinn – hung itself in the brain for nine days and nine nights. It had to connect with the Thoughtin order to learn the secrets (runes) from the other side. It could set itself into matters belonging to death without linking to anything that dies. ]. Spirit is eternal. Nine is the number that contains everything, and it teaches everything about both the positive and negative of death – to get a little break from life sometimes.
This image is also connected with the creation of the Aryan race, in Atlantis, where humans had a part in spitirual life. The fourth, Atlantean race was always aware; from cradle to grave. But they could not think for themselves. They could not create something for themselves. They were mechanical and acted only on instinct. The fifth, Aryan race learned to think for themselves, how to create and improvise, and with these newly acquired powers they managed to defeat the fourth race, which went to war against them when they discovered that the new breed was a threat to their existence. The price of these new forces [abilities] was that they were addicted to sleep without full awareness. Only in sleep is the Aryan race capable of receiving impulses from the gods, from the spirit. Man must live a dual life; on in the waking state, and one during sleep.
An important part of this picture is that Óðinn impaled himself with his spear before he hung himself on the World Tree. This is symbolic that he connected to the Thought’s power, the ability of conscious thought and the sharp mind, toward the brain when he was a spirit attaching himself to the World Tree. For this reason, it is said that the first conflict occurred when Óðinn threw his spear over the enemy crowd; it was the new breed’s ability to improvise and think for itself that triggered the conflict.
Óðinntravelled to Jötunnheimr, to its outer edge. There he met Mímir who guarded wisdom’s well. He asked to drink the water in the well, but wasn’t allowed to until he gave one eye in exchange. Evidence in part is that the eye can be seen in the water after it has surfaced into the sea, as it looks up – as a reflection of the moon. The significance here is that only when people are asleep, Óðinn’s eye – the sun – has fallen into the sea, the human part of the spirit. Wisdom can only be made used of when man is awake, but acquires the spirit’s wisdom when he sleeps. Knowledge is processed by the spirit. When they say that Mímir drinks from the well with Gjallarhorn, it means when the sun reflects on the sea forming a picture of a horn on the surface, the drinking Mímir. The sky and the sea notify each other’s wisdom in this way.
Anothertree is calledMímameiðr. Itcannot be damaged byeitherwood oriron, anda rooster, Viðófnir, sitsat the top. Itspreadsits branchesoverallcountries and itisa symbolof the sea,spreadingitswatersoverthe world.
(continued in PART I., The Norns - Fylgja and Hamingja - Dísir)