Sorcery The Reverse Of The Sacred Runes Gullveig-heidr The Source Of Sorcery The Moral Deterioration Of The Original Man





But already in the beginning of time evil powers appear for the purpose

of opposing and ruining the good influences from the world of gods upon

mankind. Just as Heimdal, "the fast traveller," proceeds from house to

house, forming new ties in society and giving instruction in what is

good and useful, thus we soon find a messenger of evil wandering about

between the houses in Midgard, practising the black art and stimulating

the worst passions of the human soul. The messenger comes from the

powers of frost, the enemies of creation. It is a giantess, the daughter

of the giant Hrimnir (Hyndlulj., 32), known among the gods as Gulveig

and by other names (see Nos. 34, 35), but on her wanderings on earth

called Heidr. "Heid they called her (Gulveig) when she came to the

children of men, the crafty, prophesying vala, who practised sorcery

(vitti ganda), practised the evil art, caused by witchcraft

misfortunes, sickness, and death (leikin, see No. 67), and was always

sought by bad women." Thus Voeluspa describes her. The important position

Heid occupies in regard to the corruption of ancient man, and the

consequences of her appearance for the gods, for man, and for nature

(see below), have led Voeluspa's author, in spite of his general poverty

of words, to describe her with a certain fulness, pointing out among

other things that she was the cause of the first war in the world. That

the time of her appearance was during the life of Borgar and his son

shall be demonstrated below.



In connection with this moral corruption, and caused by the same powers

hostile to the world, there occur in this epoch such disturbances in

nature that the original home of man and culture--nay, all Midgard--is

threatened with destruction on account of long, terrible winters. A

series of connected myths tell of this. Ancient artists--forces at work

in the growth of nature--personifications of the same kind as Rigveda's

Ribhus, that had before worked in harmony with the gods, become, through

the influence of Loke, foes of Asgard, their work becoming as harmful as

it before was beneficent, and seek to destroy what Odin had created (see

Nos. 111 and 112). Idun, with her life-renewing apples, is carried by

Thjasse away from Asgard to the northernmost wilderness of the world,

and is there concealed. Freyja, the goddess of fertility, is robbed and

falls into the power of giants. Frey, the god of harvests, falls sick.

The giant king Snow and his kinsmen Thorri (Black Frost), Joekull

(the Glacier), &c., extend their sceptres over Scandia.



Already during Heimdal's reign, after his protege Borgar had grown up,

something happens which forebodes these terrible times, but still has a

happy issue.





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