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Willy Worship In Old Norway -

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Völsa þáttr

The story of the Völsi


A little horseplay in darkest rural Norway. This tale is said by some to be a rare surviving record of phallus worship in ancestral times, suggesting the maid servant plays a leading and enthusiastic part in the ritual. Others believe it is merely an invention, propaganda on the proselytizing of that grotesque mass murderer King Olaf II.



According to an ancient poem, an elderly man and his woman lived on one of the north coasts of Norway, near a good harbour where warships could safely moor, far from the main inhabited areas and the highway. They had two children, a son and daughter, as we see at the beginning of the poem


There live a carl and an aged woman by the coast. He had a son with the Golden Bil1 and a daughter. There was also a slave and maid. The farmer was a wise man and placid, but his wife was haughty and controlled much of the household daily life. The farmer's son was lighthearted and joyful, full of pranks and rowdy. The farmer's daughter was older and of a sensitive nature and wise, despite growing up far from society. The farmer had a big hound, a bitch called Lærir. They had no perception of the true faith.


So it came to pass in late autumn the farmer's horse died. He was very fat, and seeing that heathens ate horse meat the horse was put to that use. At first, the slave cut off that member which nature has given to all things, to the generation of the other animals, that the ancient poets called waverer or quiverer on horses. As the slave went to throw that member onto the ground next to him, the farmer's son caught it up laughing, and went into the living room. There sat the mother, her daughter and the maid . He shook the friendly phallus at them with many coarse comments and spoke :


Here, you might see a rather vigorous phallus cut off a father of horses

Feel maid; this Völsi will not remain calm between your thighs


The maid reared up and laughed, but the farmer's daughter asked him to carry this abomination out. The old woman stood up and walked to the other side and grabbed it saying that neither him nor any other shall destroy it, that it may be of benefit. She going forward then wiped it with care inside a towel with onions, leeks and other grasses, so that there could it not rot, and put it down in her store chest. Throughout the autumn, the old woman took it up every evening with a prayer, for worship. and it became that she further showered it with bouquets for faith, and held it for her God, leading her husband and children and all his household into error.

It's fjandans2 power grew, and it's strength increased so that it could stand erect by itself, at her wish. It became her habit to carry it into the living room, where she as first in the household would recite a verse, subsequently the farmer and so from each to the other, until in time it came at the end to the maid who received it. Every one should recite a verse. Each of them spoke according to their feelings.


Some time before King Olaf was displaced by Knut the King, and he commanded his ships north along the coast. He had heard of transgressions practiced along this coast and it was his will that here as elsewhere the people would turn to the true faith. He willed that he should go out of his way and make for the safe harbour by the farmstead, as the wind was fair for that course. They come late in the day into this anchorage. The King directed that his men would camp overnight in the ships, whilst he visited the settlement and ordered Finn Árnason and Þormóð Kolbrúnarskáld to go with him.


They all put on grey cloaks over their clothes, and came to the farm in the shadow of evening. They entered and sat on a bench in the living area Finn sat innermost, then Þormóð, but the King sat nearest the doorway. They waited until darkness descended but no one came to the room. At last came a woman with a torch, and it was farmer's daughter. She greeted them and asked their names, but they all said Grimm. She sets lights in the room. She was then able to see the guests clearly, her gaze often drawn to the one sitting by the door. Completing her inspection a verse formed in her mouth.


I see the visitors' gold and rings I covet

I would rather be a cripple than a liar

I recognize you, my king.

It is you , Olaf.


The one who sat closest answered


'Let us be quiet about this, you are a wise woman'


They exchanged no more words. The farmer's daughter left, and a little later came the farmer and his son and the slave. He seated himself on a low seat and his son with him, but the slave farther away . They jested with the visitors about their fine clothes.


A board was put in place and set with food, The farmer's daughter sat up with her brother, but the maid servant sat with the slave. The three named Grimm sat together we are told. Last comes the old woman who carries the Völsi in her arms. and went to the farmer on his seat. It is said that she did not greet the guests . She unwrapped Völsi and set it on her husband's knees and sang


Erect now you Völsi possessed of linen, leek supported.

Mörnir3 accept this sacred thing

You husband, you should hold it now.


The farmer did not say much about it, however he took it and sang :


I would not, if I were in charge have this brought out from the back.

Mörnir accept this sacred thing

You, my son take hold of Völsi


The Farmer's son grabbed holding it up and waving it at his sister spoke


Should you marry, you brides women should moisten the back of such a cock

Mörnir accept this sacred thing

You, the master's daughter, have a pull at Völsi


She makes a rather little about it, but did however perform the household ritual. She held Völsi at arm's length, recited a verse :


I swear by Gefjun and the other gods

that I take unwillingly this rosy appendage

Mörnir accept this sacred thing

but , slave of my two parents you take hold of Völsi


The slave takes it and said:


Cheese would be to me the greater honour thick and chunky and very broad,

rather than receive this Völsi on a work day.

Mörnir accept this sacred thing

And you, maid of the two, push and pull with Völsi


The maid took it gently, embraced it, stroked it and sang:


I certainly could not resist

if you were to run into me

if we were alone in pleasure

Mörnir accept this sacred thing

you, Grim guest catch hold of Völsi


Finn took it and held on. He recited this verse :


Long have I sat by many coasts

hoisted sails with snow stiffened hands

Mörnir accept this sacred thing

you, Grim, my comrade, catch hold of Völsi


He passed it to Þormóður . He received it and thinking he had a clear idea of how it was created, grinned and spoke


I've been around, but never before have I seen

a phallus travelling along the bench

Mörnir accept this sacred thing

You , Chief Grim take a hold of Völsi


The King took it and sang


Steersman I and forecastleman and leader of all peoples.

Mörnir accept this sacred thing

you, house dog get you charge of this monstrosity.


He then threw it on the floor, and the hound seized it up. And when the woman saw that, she was all in flight. Drew herself up and spoke :


What kind of a man unknown to me,

gives the Holy Object to the dog?

You lift me above the door frame and the door beams4

so I can see if I can save the holy sacrifice.

Put it down, Lerir, let me not see you swallow it you cowardly, miserable bitch.


The king then threw off his disguise, and all knew him. He then preached to them. The old woman was reluctant to come to the faith, but her husband was rather quick to accept, By the power of God and diligently Olaf overcame at last and they all took the faith and were baptized by the King's court priest. They have kept the faith since then, having become aware, of what they might believe, and know their creator. Realizing the evil and inhuman ways they had lived had been unlike all the other good men. By such a display, Olaf applied his heart to destroy and obliterate all immoral and pagan sorcery on the peripheral outskirts of

the Norwegian sovereignty, and in the in the middle regions of the continent. He had the greatest capacity to attract the many to the true faith. It's now become apparent that he has in these things been acting by the will of God.



1 Golden Bil - His wife

2 fjandans - fucking

3 Mörnir - Giantess - etin-woman - Skaði

4 Ahmad ibn Fadlan account of a Swedish chief's burial has the sacrificial slave girl being lifted above a door frame to see into the next world.


Note - This translation by me was done on a rainy Sunday, with a copy of Anthony Faulkes Norse text, an Icelandic glossary and a good pinch of UPG. i.e not at all authoritative

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Thank you, Davkin! I enjoyed that very much.


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