I recently agreed to write a piece for an author anthology coming out in 2025. The invitation was to include a Valkyrie. That plunged me into a review of Norse mythology this past weekend. It was a vitalizing journey (did I mention nerdiness in my last post?).
Giants, Norns and Valkyries
To understand Valkyries, one really has to come to an understanding of a few other entities, including the giants, part of the Nordic origin story.
Giants: The first living creature was the cow. The second, formed from the same material, was a giant named Ymir. Next came Buri, ancester of the Aesir (gods). Buri fathered Borr, who married Bestla, of the giant race. Borr and Bestla (Aesir and giant) gave birth to Odin. Odin’s first wife was Jord, a giant and mother of Thor.
Ymir’s sweat formed two trees with human form, Ask and Embla, who became the first humans. The Aesir killed Ymir and from his corpse, formed the Earth (I hope you see the potential here for metaphors regarding psyche 🙂 creating Midgard and Asgard—two of the Nine Worlds of Yggdrasil, the world tree.
The rune Thurisaz was the ancient name for Thor, both meaning “Giant.” Being half-giant, Thor was the only one who could keep the giants in line. Giants were believed to be forces of chaos. Their world was Jotunheim. The Aesir were defenders of order against the chaos of the giants.
I’m going to stop there for now! Next we get to the Norns, three giantesses, guardians of the past, present and future.
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