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Guest Sigurður

Jorð And Thor

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Guest Sigurður

Thor's favourite pastime is bashing giants with his hammer, right? Why is it that he feels such animosity to the kin of his own mother, Jorð? And as he is therefore half giant, surely he is fighting his own? Perhaps I am missing something here, but I can't work out the answer.

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Moonhunter

it seems to me that any ettin who marries one of the gods becomes part of the family, so to speak - one of the Aesir or Vanir, rather than an ettin. Think of Skadhi, Loki, Gerd, Simek suggests that, as Odhinn's mother was also an earth-jotun, that it ties in with an idea of the gods being born of the earth.

 

going beyond that - your question implies you seek system of some kind. You might like Rydberg, if so. Though he tends to be out of favour in the UK, except among very dedicated Loremasters.

 

If you really seek systematic theology, you won't find it as a heathen. for example, think of Kvasir. ;)

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Guest Sigurður

Well, it's not so much that I was seeking system. It's just that I was wondering about the apparent inconsistency, but what you said makes for a sensible explanation. I will look up that Rydberg person anyway, as I've never heard of them before.

 

Thanks :)

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Moonhunter

sorry - I wasn't trying to sound sniffy. I should have scattered more smilies! :lol:

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Guest ioan

I'm a bit rusty on the eddas, but isn't Thor mainly bothered with those giants who threaten Asgard and Midgard? I don't feel he necessarily thumps any old etin he comes across :)

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Marcus

If you consider Aesir & Jotnar to be tribal designations rather than "essences of being" then all such problems disappear (and also explain how intermarrage/breeding etc. work). It also sheds a fair bit of light on the tribal world view of our ancestors (which you can then check against the archaeological record and notice some interesting and useful correspondences)l

 

M.

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Freydis

If you really seek systematic theology, you won't find it as a heathen. for example, think of Kvasir. ;)

 

Oh i don't know. I'm not crazy about mead, but I know plenty of people who salivate if you mention it......;)

 

Sorry, I'm being facetious. Blame it on one of those breaks you're glad to get home from.

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Guest OyasDancer

If I remember my readings, Thor was raised by giants as he was just too much for the Aesir to cope with - in one account he kills his adoptive parents as they decide to march on Asgard as he won't have them going after his father's kin. In other stories they're alive and well. He is best friends with some giants, and seems to be bitter enemies with the Frost Etin in particular (he wars with them regularly to bring forth spring). However it seems to me in many accounts that Thor fights because his father commands him to, not because he really particularly hates the etin-folk - and as I've mentioned he's still friends with some of them. I have indeed wondered why many folk want to gloss over the fact that Thor's own name actually means "giant" and that his mum is a giantess, but heigh ho. Might be why Thor and I get on so well, doing that whole multi-cultural thing. (Oh dear, I just got here, and suddenly went all scholarly, meep, sorry)

Edited by OyasDancer

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Moonhunter

If I remember my readings, Thor was raised by giants as he was just too much for the Aesir to cope with - in one account he kills his adoptive parents as they decide to march on Asgard as he won't have them going after his father's kin. In other stories they're alive and well.

 

OK, I'm going to display my ignorance here - what stories are they? I'd like to read them. I haven't found anything like that in the Eddas.

 

He is best friends with some giants, and seems to be bitter enemies with the Frost Etin in particular (he wars with them regularly to bring forth spring).

 

I've not come across that, either, I'm afraid. Can you point me in the right direction? Many thanks!

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Guest OyasDancer

Sure, here you go - the Gutenberg files: http://www.gutenberg...28497-h.htm#ch4 Vingnir and Hlora were giants. Search the texts for reference to Orvandel, who was a giant that Thor carried across the river upon his back, but the giant's toes froze and he threw these up into the sky as stars - it was Orvandel's wife who tried to remove the stone shards from Thor's head after his battle with Hrungr - she was another giantess.

 

As for the battle with Frost Thurses, I quote from the Baldwin project, which was done in the 20s as a retelling of the Eddas for children - I find these fascinating and I have perused through most of them as well as the West African stories: http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=mabie&book=norse&story=thor spacer.gif

The frost-giants were always trying to get into Asgard. For more than half the year they held the world in their grasp, locking up the streams in their rocky beds, hushing their music and the music of the birds as well, and leaving nothing but a wild waste of desolation under the cold sky. They hated the warm sunshine which stirred the wild flowers out of their sleep, and clothed the steep mountains with verdure, and set all the birds a-singing in the swaying tree-tops. They hated the beautiful god Balder, with whose presence summer came back to the ice-bound earth, and, above all, they [128] hated Thor, whose flashing hammer drove them back into Jotunheim, and guarded the summer sky with its sudden gleamings of power. So long as Thor had his hammer Asgard was safe against the giants.

Edited by OyasDancer

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Moonhunter

Sure, here you go

 

That's very kind of you, thanks. At the risk of sounding like a Loremaster (which I am not!) I wonder if you know the sources for these tales? though they are very pretty, they seem (from my small knowledge) to be basing a fair amount of fantasy on a small amount of source material. For example, is all this:

Although generally good-tempered, Thor would occasionally fly into a terrible rage, and as he was very dangerous at these times, his mother, unable to control him, sent him away from home and entrusted him to the care of Vingnir (the winged), and of Hlora (heat). These foster-parents, who are also considered as the personification of sheet-lightning, soon managed to control their troublesome charge, and brought him up so wisely, that the gods entertained a very grateful recollection of their kind offices. Thor himself, recognising all he owed them, assumed the names of Vingthor and Hlorridi, by which he is also known.

 

based on this:

"What figures should be employed to periphrase the name of Thor? Thus: one should call him Son of Odin and of Jörd, Father of Magni and Módi and Thrúdr, Husband of Sif, Stepfather of Ullr, Wielder and Possessor of Mjöllnir and of the Girdle of Strength, and of Bilskirnir; Defender of Ásgard and of Midgard, Adversary and Slaver of Giants and Troll-Women, Smiter of Hrungnir, of Geirrödr and of Thrívaldi, Master of Thjálfi and Röskva, Foe of the Midgard Serpent. Foster-father of Vingnir and Hlóra.

 

The latter is from Snorri's Skalskaparmal in the Younger Edda, of course. And - according to Simek and others - seems to be the only reference to Thor's foster parents. :)

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Guest OyasDancer

The sources for the stories is the eddas themselves - which for all we know is "fantasy" as well. I've noticed that Eddas are often said with the same connotation (and interpretation) as "Bible" - and can mean a thousand things. From the various research I've done and from other scholars' studies it was put to me they were giants. But of course people are going to disagree, and that's fine, but I did find it rather interesting and it would make sense.

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Moonhunter

The sources for the stories is the eddas themselves - which for all we know is "fantasy" as well. I've noticed that Eddas are often said with the same connotation (and interpretation) as "Bible"

 

Oh, not bible. And yes, they had to be written as someone's UPG at some point. I guess i just like to know which is stuff that was invented 'back then' and what is stuff that has been invented since, if you understand. Just so I know who invented which piece of information so I can pick which bits I choose to believe, or think the gods approve. ;)

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Guest OyasDancer

Aye, I get you - from the sources I found they're from translations or stories which have been told in Norway for quite some time. How's your Icelandic? I've a link or three from Iceland's texts (and my icelandic is terrible) which may be a better source, I have only managed to glean bits and pieces - the really exciting thing is what may be found in that site in Norway which may add completely new mythos and eddas we've never even heard before, much like the Grimm's tales which have just been re-discovered.

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Moonhunter

which site in Norway? Not Northvegr? And my Icelandic is terrible :D

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davkin

http://www.norsemyth...rine-found.html This is a bigun - I think some of the reconstructionists may have to change their views about "Gods were never worshipped"; we just didn't find the proof till now. Exciting find, this!

 

I saw this when it was first reported. I think the only new information to come to light is the construction of that particular Temple. It adds weight to the belief of some that our ancient Temples were of similar construction to the Stave Churches. It also confirms the stories in The Book of Settlements and the Sagas about the fleeing Heathen folk taking the poles from the High Seat with them. Some cast them into the sea on reaching Iceland and where the poles were washed up they founded their settlements. I can see nothing to influence the way anybody thinks that the ancients approached the deities.

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davkin

The sources for the stories is the eddas themselves - which for all we know is "fantasy" as well. I've noticed that Eddas are often said with the same connotation (and interpretation) as "Bible" - and can mean a thousand things. From the various research I've done and from other scholars' studies it was put to me they were giants. But of course people are going to disagree, and that's fine, but I did find it rather interesting and it would make sense.

 

Both the books you mention were part of a surge of interest in Viking matters in the late 19th early 20th centuries. Other titles include, 'The Tragedy of the Norse Gods', 'The Heroes of Asgard' most of these books seemed to be aimed at the younger reader.

 

Ms Guerber seems to have made things up as she goes along in the interests of a good tale. I don't have Mr Mabies book so can't really comment.

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Guest OyasDancer

Again, I've had it said to me that there was no evidence the gods were ever "really" worshipped, and this place truly exists, with a space for sacrifices as well.

Edited by OyasDancer

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Freydis

Aye, I get you - from the sources I found they're from translations or stories which have been told in Norway for quite some time. How's your Icelandic? I've a link or three from Iceland's texts (and my icelandic is terrible) which may be a better source, I have only managed to glean bits and pieces - the really exciting thing is what may be found in that site in Norway which may add completely new mythos and eddas we've never even heard before, much like the Grimm's tales which have just been re-discovered.

 

Ooooh, which Icelandic texts? My Icelandic is......well. just about functioning. My father's family come from Iceland and I lived there for several years as a child. I find reading much easier than speaking these days though! I'd be very interested to take a look. :)

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Freydis

Ah the Museum of Witchcraft. Well worth a visit, especially as there's nothing else to do on a wet day in Hólmavík. ;) They've done some good research, but iirc the sources don't go back beyond the C17 witch hunts and some of them are C18/19 reports of what was said in the C17. The C17 Icelandic witches owed more to Christianity (with a sprinkling of local folk lore) than to original pagan beliefs. That's not to say that there aren't nuggets of original belief in them, of course. It's a while since I've looked at these and i shall spend a happy hour or two digging through later.

 

BTW - yes, some of the exhibits are a bit gut wrenching, but they should be taken with a pinch of salt. Especially the famous (or should it be infamous) necropants. I don't think there's any evidence of anyone ever actually doing that, and the exhibit is an C19 forgery made out of pig's hide (or it might have been some other animal skin). ;)

 

The Icelandic Phallological Museum in Reykjavik is also worth a look. It's not pagan (obviously!) but there are some overlaps.

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Guest Lucy

Is this still relevant, this topic is kind of old. Never mind :D I just want to tell you that Jörd, Thors mother, is not alway assumed to be a giant, sometimes she is called a Vanir goddess. To me that feels about right.

 

But apart from this Thor also has a giant women (Jarnsaxa) (besides his 'normal' wife Sif) and his best friend ist part giant too (Loki) so he doesn't hate giants because they are giants but when they threatend Asgard, as mentioned before. ^^

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Capricorn

I strongly recommend this Youtube lecture by Maria Kvilhaug - since I share her views and she explains things much much better than I ever could!

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Guest Aranya

I strongly recommend this Youtube lecture by Maria Kvilhaug...

 

Thanks for posting this, so glad I found her videos; nicely done, informative stuff :)

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Moonhunter

I strongly recommend this Youtube lecture by Maria Kvilhaug - since I share her views and she explains things much much better than I ever could!

 

I'm afraid I didn't get beyond the second minute! :lol:

 

At around 1:45 she states that Tacitus related that the Germanic tribes traced their ancestry from a thunder god born of a earth goddess. I can't find this anywhere. :(

 

Tacitus mentions an "earth-born" god named Tuisto, but does not associate thunder with him. He also mentions the Germanic tribes principally worshipped mercury (=Odin) and also Hercules, who is normlly felt to be Thor, due to the similarities between hercules, Indra and Thor. He also, separately, relates a bit about nerthus, who appears to be an earth goddess. But these are all separate passages, as far as I can tell, with nothing associating Tuisto with Nerthus or Thor, or Thor with Nerthus.

 

I'd be pleased if someone knows of any associations in Tacitus to corroborate what the person in the YouTube video is claiming. :)

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Earthdragon

Interpretations... In Heathen Gods in Old English Literature. Cambridge University Press (p.269), there is the view that Tvaṣṭṛ and Tuisto are one and the same. Tuisto is the Father God of the Germanic peoples , according to Tacitus, and Tvaṣṭṛ is the father of Indra in the Vedic tradition. It is Indra that carries a lot of the characteristics of Thor. Wikipedia summarises these here , an excerpt being. 

"The similarities between Indra of Hindu mythologies and of Thor of Nordic and Germanic mythologies are significant, states Max Muller. Both Indra and Thor are storm gods, with powers over lightning and thunder, both carry hammer or equivalent, for both the weapon returns to their hand after they hurl it, both are associated with bulls in the earliest layer of respective texts, both use thunder as a battle-cry, both are heroic leaders, both protectors of mankind, both are described with legends about "milking the cloud-cows", both are benevolent giants, gods of strength, of life, of marriage and the healing gods, "

Tvaṣṭṛ made the vajra belonging to Indra and the vajra symbolises the thunderbolt.

I'd say with this level of similarity it is hard to posit a separate origination of these gods. It seems that as with the proto Indo European mother language to the European languages, there are also strong traces of seemingly distinct European mythology and legend coming from the same Indo-Aryan source.

Edited by Earthdragon
Clarity

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