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2011 06 07

"Teutonic mythology, beginning with the formation of Ymir
in Ginungagap, is a complete cycle of which Ragnarok is the
culminating chapter. Ragnarok is more than the final battle of
the world in which the forces of good and evil valiantly fight out
their predetermined one-sided battle. It is the complete
destruction of the universe and begins, roughly, with the death
of Balder and the realization by the gods that, in Loki, they
have been fostering the seeds of evil in their midst. Although
they have him secured in chains they know that it is too late:
the final dissolution has begun. This seems to be the point in the
cycle in which the sagas and the eddas were written and in all
probability, the time in which we are still living in spite of the
intervening millennium."
Funk & Wagnalls
Dictionary . . .

About Ragnarok


            In the Snorra Edda's ‘Gylfaginning', The Beguiling Of Gylfi, Sturluson has an ancient wanderer put questions to three knowledgeable beings called High, Just As High, and Third. In the chapter ‘Um Ragnarokkur', About The Cursed Judgement, the following is related:

            "Then spoke Gangleri:
            "~ ‘What tidings are there to say about the cursed-judgement? Of this have i never got hearing.'
            "High answered:
            "~ ‘Great tidings are of this to say and many. Yet the first is, that a winter is seen come, which is called awesome-winter. Then drifts snow out of all quarters. Frost is then great, and wind hard. Of no use the sun. This winter is three together and no summer in between. But before such happens there are three other winters when the whole world is in great wars. Then smite brothers for greed's sake, and no-one reveres father or sons in manslaughter or incest. Such it says in Voluspa.
            "‘Then becomes that, which great tidings seem, that the wolf-bitch gulps the sun's doings, and that seems to people a great harm. Then takes another wolf-bitch twinkling-members, and rifts are seen, and great dread. Lingering-stars are torn from heaven. Then too there are these tidings, that there is such a shaking in all the earth that mountains and trees loosen, and mountains are ruined, but all fetters and bonds break and tear. Then Fenris-wolf becomes loose. Then gushes the sea on lands, because Midgard's-worm thrashes then in giant fury and seeks to come on land. Then becomes further, that Naglfar is loosed, that ship, that is called such, which is made of the nails of dead people, and therefor be warned, if humans die with unshorn nails, these humans greatly increase the stuff of Naglfar, which gods and people would slow, its shelter making. But in this sea-going hastens Naglfar.
            "‘Hrymur is called the giant, who steers Naglfar. But Fenris-wolf fares with gaping mouth, and his nether jaw is against the earth, but his upper against heaven. This gape he would form more, if in this shelter there was room. Fire burns out of his eyes and nose. Midgard's-worm blows such poisons, that he scatters it all aloft and low, and he is all-terrible to see. He is on the other hand of thewolf-bitch.
            "‘In this din cleave the heavens, and creep thence Muspel's-sons. Surtur rides first and before him and after fire burns. His sword is much good. From it a shine brighter than the sun. But when they ride Bifrost, then breaks this, as before was said.
            "‘Muspel's-sons seek forward to that field, that's Vigrid called. There comes then Fenris-wolf and Midgard's-worm. There is then Loki come and Hrymur and with them all the rime-giants. But Loki follows all Heljar's-sons. But Muspel's-sons have their own ranks, and it is much bright. The field-of-action is a hundred leagues wide in every way.
            "‘But when these tidings come about, then Heimdal stands up and blows vehemently on Gjallarhorn and wakes up all the gods, and has them meeting together. Then rides Odin to Mimir's-well and takes counsel from Mimir for himself and his followers. Then trembles the ash Ygdrasil, and no lots are then without dread in heaven or earth. Aesir don harrier-dress and the only-harriers seek forward to the field-of-action. First rides Odin with golden-helmet and fair chain-mail and his spear, which is called Gungnir. Summons he to meet Fenris-wolf, but Thor goes forward on his other side, thus he has help to catch and batter against the Midgard's-worm. Freyr strikes against Surtur, and it becomes a hard together-going, before Freyr falls. That becomes his bane, that he is missing his good sword, which he gave to Skirni.
            "‘Then becomes loose the hound Garmur, who is bound before Gnipahel. His lair is most dangerous. He meets Ty in fight, and each become the other's scathing. Thor bears the bane-word from Midgard's-worm and staggers thence back nine paces. Then he falls dead down to earth from such poison, that the worm blows on him. The wolf-bitch gulps Odin, that becomes his bane. But forthwith after turns forward Vidar and staggers with one foot in the lower jaw of the wolf. On his feet he has shoes, that in all ages have been collected for. The bits of leather, which people cut out of their shoes at the toes and heels. Thus must these bits of leather be cast away by humans, who believe such will come to the aesir and their followers. His other hand takes the upper jaw of the wolf and rives asunder his mouth. That becomes the wolf's bane. Loki is at war against Heimdal, and each becomes the other's bane. Thus next slings Surtr fire over the earth and burns all the homes. Such it says in Voluspa.
            "‘Here it says further such:
            Vigridr is called the plain,
            which finds the fights
            of Surtr and the beloved gods.
            Hundred leagues
            this is in every way.
            That is the field which is known.'
            "Then spoke Gangleri:
            "~ ‘What becomes then after, when burned are the homes, dead the gods and all the only-harriers and the people's folk? It has been said before, that each human must live in anysome home for all ages.'
            "Then answered Third:
            "~ ‘Many are then abodes good and ill. Best is then to be at Gimli, in heaven. And to them who think that game, all-good are then also the good drinks, in that chamber, which is called Brimir. It that stands at anysome field, made of red gold. It is called Sindri. In this chamber must settle good people and the righteous. At Nastrand is a great chamber and iller, with north facing doors. That which is woven all of rueful-worms, but the worms' heads know all within the house and blow poison, such that after that the chamber runs with poison, and there wade oath-breachers and murder-soilers, such as in Voluspa says.
            "Then spoke Gangleri:
            "~ ‘How forth live any some god then, or is there any some earth or heaven?'
            "High answered:
            "~ ‘Up shoots the earth then out of the seas, and is then green and fair. Wax then acres unsown. Vidar and Vali live then, so that no-one has sores and Surtr's-flame injure them, and settle there at Idafelli, there where before was Asgard. And then come Thor's sons, and have there Mjolnir. Thus next come there Baldr and Hodur from Heljar. They sit then all together and relate tales to remind them of the mysteries and to counsel about all tidings, which had gone before, about Midgard's-worm and about Fenris-wolf. Then find they in the grass there the golden-tables, where aesir headed family. Such it is said, that
            Vidar and Vali
            settle the sanctuary of the gods,
            that is blackened by Surtr's-flame,
            Modi and Magni
            must have Mjolnir
            as Vingnis is fight-destitute.
            "‘But there is what's called Hodmimi's-wood where hide two people, who such are called: Lif and Lifthrasir, and they have the morning-dews for food. But from these people come such great kin-produce, to settle all the homes, such as here says:
            Lif and Lifthrasir,
            but though hide they shall
            in the wood of Hodmimi.
            though hiding as food have,
            but from thence be ages all.
            "‘And it shall seem wonderful, when the sun engenders a daughter no less fair than she is, and she fares in the steps of her mother, such as here says:
            One daughter
            bears elf-halo
            before she's fetched by Fenrir.
            She must ride
            when the rulers are dead,
            her mother's road this maid.
            "‘But now if you can probe longer, that i've never known, hence there came, because no-one have i heard speak longer of the faring of the ages. And may it be useful now when you take it.'"


[About Ragnarok] [In the Beginning] [Futhark] [Name Scroll] [Nine in the Tree] [Runes of Magic and Mystery] [Weird] [Wise Woman Speaks] [Words of Woden] [Works Cited]