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The norse gods of water and sea

Posted on 2006.12.15 at 21:52
Current Mood: curiouscurious
Tags: , , , ,
In these days of everlasting wetness, rain, flooding, water everywhere, and a feeling of being wet all the time, I cant help but being preoccupied with thoughts of creatures having to do with water. 

In norse mythology, there are several gods and jotner (some sort of caothic creatures - anti-gods if you like) that are connected with water. 

Njord- the god of sea and weather, but  a vane (a second group of gods, in addition to the aesir) and as such perhaps more of a god of the sea's fertility.
Ægir/Aegir- a god or jotun if the sea
Ran- wife of Ægir/Aegir, goddess or mistress of the sea, she was feared by the fishermen and sailors, since she would draw people down and drown them
The nine daughters of Ægir/Aegir and Ran-  Their names are Himingleva ('That through which one can see heaven'), Dufa ('The pitching one'), Blodughadda ('The bloody hair'), Hefring ('The riser'), Udr ('Frothing wave'), Hronn ('Welling wave'), Bylgja ('Billow'), Drofn ('Foam-fleck') and Kolga ('Cool-One').

But after rain and general wetness comes sun. I live in the hope. These nine women might be the mothers of Heimdall. Exactly what kind of god he is, might be a bit obscure. Perhaps a sun god? He guards Bifrost, the rainbow bridge leading from Aasgard-the gods realm, to Midgard-the human realm, and has a horn called Gjallarhorn which he will blow when the jotner attacks. From his house he can se everything in the world, an he can hear the grass growing. The seeing everything argues for the theory that he is a sun god. I am not sure of who his father might be, at the time being, but he is said to have nine mothers.  And since the sun raises from the waves, at least in a poetical sense, it makes sense that the nine wave women should be his mothers.
Heimdall also have three sons, called Jarl, Karl and Trell. Meaning - earl, farmer and slave. So there we have the origins  of social classes as well.

weather, thunder


Posted on 2006.12.15 at 11:35
Current Mood: awakeawake
Tags: , ,
Fish. A very important food group in Norway, although not as much today perhaps as it used to be. Fish has been a part of the everyday life in Norway for ever and ever, and in turn in the minds of people. Fish has become an abstract entity, that can be found in myths, artworks, literature and songs, and is not just a dish on the dinner table.

The most typical norwegian fish is perhaps the cod. It played a very important part in the development of Bergen as one of North Europe's most important trading centers during the middle ages, and thus, both indirectly as well as directly, fed thousands of families around the country.

A little list of literature, songs etc:

The baroque poet Peter Dass wrote a long poem: Nordlands Trompet, where the cod is praised.

Johan Bojer wrote a book entirely dedicated to the fishing of cod: Den siste Viking

The very stupid song: Lofottorsken

There are myths connected with the cod as well. Every year the cod would swim up to Lofoten, in the northern parts of the country, and it was said that the cod (as a group) was led there by the King Cod. Earlier it was believed that the King Cod was a specie in its own right, since it has a crown like bump in its forehead. Today we know that this crown is really just a deformity, where the jaws has been underdeveloped, thus making the forehead look enlarged. But back in the days, this was a special kind of fish, and to catch one was considered very lucky. If you managed to catch 7 of them, you would have good fishing and good weather for the rest of your lifetime.

The King Cod could also be used for weather forecast. You then dried the King Cod, and hung it in the roof. 

KIng Cod

Regular Cod

The cod is just one of the creatures which has myths, stories and beliefs connected to it. The coastal Norway has got quite a lot of history and tradition connected to the everyday life of sea, fishing, having the ocean as the primary way om communication with other parts of society, which in many cases could be other countries, as well as other settlements on the costal line. The innland parts of Norway was much more isolated, and this again is the reason why these parts has been so overly studied in a romantic and national perspective. But that is another discussion. Back to the tales of the sea.

One of the other creatures of the ocean very connected to Norway is the whales and catching whales. Whale hunters used to have a black line on the lookout, resembling a black ribbon of sorrow. What lies behind this?

Where does the idea that some fishes has got a taste for man flesh, and therefore could not be eaten come from?

And of course it is Draugen, the supernatural being known latest from the PotC, DMC, as Davy Jones. The Norwegian Draug, the names root the same as can be found in drowning, is a negative force. He is wearing the clothes of a fisherman, but the boat he sails in has got only one side, it is half a boat.  He is said to be a drowned fisherman, and thus is a representative to all those that drown at sea. Quite a few, that is. To see him is bad luck, it means that someone, probably the witness, is going to drown. He has been described several times, both in visual art and in literature.  This picture, by Teodor KIttelsen, is one version:


I shall never do it again

Posted on 2006.12.11 at 14:27
Current Mood: crushedand geriatric
Tags: ,
I had one of my classes to day. One of the girls asked me: How old are you? And I said: How old do you think I am? And she said: 40, no 50 years.
Ìt doesn't help that she was 6 years old, and that 6 years olds have no clue as to what 40 years means, or even 10 for that matter. It doesn't help that one of the other girls said: No, she is 20. (20 years is ancient for those little ones anyhow)I now feel as old as Metusalem.

Next time I shall just come out and say 28.


weather, thunder


Posted on 2006.12.08 at 12:51
Current Location: At work
Current Mood: wet and soppy
I just got updated on the horribleness of the weather here in Bergen. It has rained every day for the last forty five -45- !! days. I believe that it says in the Bible that when Noah was sailing around it rained for 40 days. So we got five more days so far. I don't think I have to say more, except: 45 days without sun can't be healthy. I think that I might have cought a hint of English disease.


the damned weather

Posted on 2006.12.08 at 07:51
Current Mood: pessimisticpessimistic
I hate the weather. Rain, rain, rain, wind, wind, wind. Dark, cold, wet, nasty. Yuck.


A bit more James.

Posted on 2006.12.05 at 22:05
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
Tags: ,
Another thing about the Bond/Le Chiffre likeness.. Even though they seem the same, as to the whole I don't give a f***k about what you do to my girldriend.. they really are not. Bond learnt from his mistake at the poker table, when he didn't see Le Chiffre bluffing. So he probably knew Le Chiffre was bluffing during the "I will kill your girl" dialouge. Either way. So why give in?

I can sleep tight now.


James Bond, lisenced to be loved

Posted on 2006.12.05 at 20:23
Current Mood: ecstaticecstatic
Tags: , ,
Ohmigod.. I just came from the new James Bond film, CR, and it was the greatest Bond film I've ever seen. It might even be better than the first ones, and I do love Sean and also Roger, for that matter, but Daniel Craig, mama..

The film, in short, took the entire concept back to its roots, leaving all the big action formula behind in favor of an actual content. A lot of cynicism, sarcasms, and a Bond that is actually ugly when angry, and with less attractive sides. And the fighting.. very realistic, in a fictional world, of course, but still.

And Mads Mikkelsen. How very elegant. And scary, and a bit disgusting, with his bleeding eye. I really liked the time where he and his silent Borgia kind of girlfriend was attacked in the hotel, and the terrorist threatened with chopping off her arm. No protests there..
The interesting part though, is the parallell in behavior of Le Chiffre and Bond. When Bond is sitting naked in the chair, and Le Chiffre is trying to beat Bond's privates to hell, Le Chiffre threatens to kill Vesper. What does Bond do? He doubts, but really, it is just the same thing. He doesn't really protest at all. So good guy/bad guy are not so very different, after all.

A bit more on the torture scene- When the seat of the chair was ripped out, the first thing I thought, oh, great, they are going to do something so painful that he is going to shit him self, poor bastard. But no. It was even worse. I actually shrank in my seat(no pun intended, no).

Another thing I really loved, was the reference to Moneypenny, even though she isn't in the film.

I will have good dreams tonight, and I will buy this film on dvd.


Blue Beard

The horrible mistake

Posted on 2006.12.05 at 12:01
Current Mood: crushedcrushed
Tags: , ,
I have finished guiding the two groups of today, and all went quite well, until all of a sudden, it didn't. I was about to end the guided tour with the kindergarten group, we had talked about ginger bread houses, Christmas trees, presents, dinners, St. Nikolaus in all his aspects, when one of the adults from the kindergarten said: I hope we are going to talk about Sta. Lucia? I said: No. Then all the children started to talk about it, and very unprepared (i.e. I hadn't prepared a suitable lie) I had to talk about who Lucia was. I decided I shouldn't give them the adult version of her death, with torture with fire and decapitation, so I said, she was put in prison, and then she died.

Big mistake! Of course the little monsters have imaginations from hell, so they started imagining the way she died, starving, strangling, and all of a sudden everybody were on the brink of crying. Or at least everybody were very serious. The way only a five year old can be.

Anyway. This was all very unpleasant, so the next time I will definitely go for: Lucia was a beautiful princess, whose name means light, and that is why girls dress up as her on the 13th of December. Fine, the end, full stop.


Less work moral, please

Posted on 2006.12.05 at 07:54
Current Mood: coldcold
Current Music: Buffy Sainte Marie
Tags: ,
I have decided that to day is the day to be a bit laid back, to stop stressing around. I slept like a pig yesterday, and today I feel rested. No need to destroy this feeling by being extreme effective. I shall, after all, guide two groups of small children today, the last group from a kindergarten, and that will demand a lot of energy, so waste not!

Instead, I shall post some of my favorite childhood fairy tale illustrations, by a fellow called Fritz Kredel. The first one is from Blue Beard, which made a big impression on me as a child.

Another lovely story is the one about the 12 dancing princesses, and I like this picture because I think it illustrates very well the going "under earth", which by the way, sounds much better in norwegian.

I know very little about this illustrator, I know that he is much better known in both USA and in Germany than in Norway for one thing. He was born in 1900, and ran of to the States sometime before 2WW, and that he drew both military maps and fairy tale illustrations. But I have no clue as to when he drew these illustration, since the book I got them from is in a very poor state. What I like is that they have a very german romantic style, a dash of wagnerism, perhaps. Another thing is the artists very obvious training, given away by his very loud compositions. I like that, it is solid, traditional, and it suites the genre of fairy tale. (Not to say that nontraditional styles can't be just as suitable.)I shall see what else I can find out about this artist.


terror on the telly

Posted on 2006.11.26 at 21:24
Current Mood: boredbored
I was watching a tv show about the glorious eighties, after a long day on the museum, with 270 children visiting on our family day, me being the one in command. Up pops Samantha Fox, being 40 years old or something, and then it hits me, she look just like the leader of the norwegian democrats, FRP, Siv Jensen. How scary is that.

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