OLD NORSE MYTHS VERSUS OLD NORSE ORIGIN STORIES
This article is copied from Maria Kviuhaug - aka LadyoftheLabyrinth and we think it's a good read.
"I have noticed a peculiar attitude sometimes emerging when I present and discuss the legendary origin sagas of the Old Norse instead of just their myths; that some people will gladly embrace Norse myths, but will at the same time dismiss their legendary history as “rubbish”.
Some Old Norse sources are accepted as worthy of scrutiny, while other sources are dismissed as rubbish, even when they are written by the same person. Almost anything you know about Norse Cosmology and mythical worlds derive from Snorri, but his ancestral lore is dismissed. It is as if trying to understand the wholeness of their lore is a stupid thing or something.
This is hard to understand, but I believe it has to do with how our age is so dominated by absolutes. It is as if the idea that you may look at a cultural phenomenon from different and more angles than just one is impossible, and that it is preposterous to actually be interested in ALL the written material that they left behind.
I spent years and years discussing and proving how Old Norse myths (Edda and skaldic lore, primarily) shows a deep metaphysical and spiritual philosophy about the cosmos, its many dimensions and the human condition within it.
I discussed this all the time in my YouTube lecture series “Hidden Knowledge in Old Norse Myths.” I discussed it all the time in my book “The Seed of Yggdrasill”.
People were thrilled at what I was pointing out: an ancient, timeless, mystical approach to the universe and all the beings within it is the core theme of Norse mythology.
But a mythology, no matter how true you believe it may be, is always created by people. It is always created by people within a cultural and historical context. And it should come as no surprise that a people who created a mythology that actually discusses the deeper and hidden meanings of mythological narratives also had a conscious interest in their own history and the culture that created these myths.
People who dismiss Snorri Sturlusson´s origin stories as “rubbish” should start to think about the fact that if it had not been for Snorri´s Prose Edda (Gylfaginning, Skaldskaparmál), we would not have understood squat about the deeper meanings and metaphors found in Edda and Skaldic poetry.
His Prose Edda is a discussion of these meanings and metaphors.
His work is the key to unlock the riddles and hidden meanings of these myths. So when Snorri writes a pseudo-historical saga about the history of the people who created these myths, you should know better than to just dismiss his works as “rubbish”.
Pay some respect to the person who made these myths available to you. For example: Without Snorri, you would not have known squat about the nine worlds, since he is the source to that knowledge.
When Snorri writes about the geographical origin of the “Aesir”, he is not really writing about the gods anymore.
He is writing about the people who brought these gods with them.
He is writing about the people who carried the Indo-European language elements and Indo-European mythological and cultural elements into Scandinavian prehistory. He is writing the lore of the ancestors and how they moved in the past; the movements of the people who are behind the Norse myths.
This is why we should study his legends just as much as we study his myths. This is why we should study the ancient cultural connections and historical movements of the past – events that were pivotal to the creation of the myths and the spiritual paths that we today know as Old Norse mythology and religion.
Dismissing this aspect of our history while embracing the results; the Norse cosmology and spirituality – that is the only thing worthy of being called rubbish."
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