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Ynglinga saga - 07 Chapter Seven

Identifier

017143

Type of spiritual experience

Background

A description of the experience

CHAPTER SEVEN

Óðinn changed shapes. Then his body lay as if it was asleep or dead, while he was a bird or an animal, a fish or a snake, and travelled in an instant to distant lands, on his own or other people’s business. He also knew how to put out fire or calm the sea or turn the winds in any direction he wished with words alone, and he owned a ship called Skíðblaðnir, on which he sailed over high seas, but it could be folded together like a cloth.

Óðinn kept Mímir’s head by him, and it told him much news from other worlds, and sometimes he awakened the dead from the earth or sat himself under hanged men. Because of this he was called draugadróttinn (‘lord of ghosts’) or hangadróttinn (‘lord of the hanged’).

He had two ravens which he had trained to speak. They flew over distant countries and told him much news. From these things he became extremely wise. All these skills he taught along with runes and those songs that are called galdrar (‘magic spells’).

Because of this the Æsir are called galdrasmiðir (‘magic makers’). Óðinn knew, and practised himself, the art which is accompanied by greatest power, called seiðr (‘magic’), and from it he could predict the fates of men and things that had not yet happened, and also cause men death or disaster or disease, and also take wit or strength from some and give it to others.

But this magic, when it is practised, is accompanied by such great perversion that it was not considered without shame for a man to perform it, and the skill was taught to the goddesses. Óðinn knew about all the treasure of the earth, where it was hidden, and he knew songs which would make the earth and cliffs and rocks and grave-mounds open up before him, and with words alone he would bind those who were in them and go in and take from there whatever he wanted.

He became very famous because of these powers. His enemies feared him, but his friends trusted him and believed in his power and in him. And he taught most of his skills to his sacrificial priests. They were next to him in all lore and magic. And yet many others learned much of it, and from there heathendom spread widely and lasted for a long time. And people worshipped Óðinn and the twelve rulers and called them their gods and believed in them long afterwards.

The name Auðunn comes from Óðinn, and people called their sons this, and from Þórr’s name come the names Þórir and Þórarinn, or it is combined with other elements, as in Steinþórr or Hafþórr, or changed further in other ways.

The source of the experience

Norse

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

god