A Quick Daily Study: Stanza 13

I started questioning EVERYTHING about my choice in modern day heathenism and the kindred but quickly realized 2 things: 1-The argument with my husband was a great influence on my feelings and 2-I don’t think the kindred is a right fit for me. This doesn’t mean I should quit altogether because I do still believe in my chosen path. However, I also don’t have to be a part of the kindred. I can still participate in Sumbels and Blots with them and participate in the book club but other than that I don’t have to be a part of that group. I could also seek out other solo believers in the area to have conversations with. Even though I’m still a little bit of an emotional wreck here we are at stanza 13 (again stanzas 10-14 are kind of similar).

Hollander:

The heron of heedlessness hovers o’er the feast;
and stealeth the minds of men.
With that fowl’s feathers fettered I was
when I was Gunnloth’s guest.

Pocker Havamal:

Oblivion’s heron ’tis called over
drink hovers; he steals the minds of men.
With this bird’s pinions I was fettered in
Gunnlods dwelling.

I happen to love this analogy with the use of the heron. I can just imagine this beautiful bird peacefully flying over the heads of men as they sit around and enjoy a hot meal, drink, and company. Quietly taking with and consciousness of speech and actions from the people below. Lines 3 and 4 remind me that I need to re-read parts of the Eddas. There are a lot and full of information.  Thanks to Our Temple of Our Heathen Gods, it reminds me that Odin is the narrator and speaking of his winning of poetry from Gunnloth. So, these two lines refer to Odin being affected by the heron (or bird) from the first two lines…when he had consumed all of that mead at once.

Part of the argument between my husband and I was the drinking during events. He overindulges and acts stupid. I tried reminding him that it’s not all about drinking and he tried telling me that it’s a major part of it. I disagree. I think moving forward this will be a personal journey. I’m ok with that.

A Quick Daily Study: Stanza 12

Although my stanza study of the Havamal isn’t daily it’s something I CANNOT just walk away from. I’m so proud of the people that are dedicating their time to their belief and religion of choice as I read about their journeys daily. It’s an inspiration into devotion. But it just doesn’t limit someone to religion or beliefs. It can be art, writing, photography, whatever it is it’s still an inspiration into doing something daily that brings happiness. Kudos Y’all!  Today  I’m on stanza 12. Reminder, stanzas 10-14 all seem to go together.

Hollander:

For good it is not, though good it is thought,
mead for the sons of men;
the deeper he drinks the dimmer grows
the mind of many a man.

Pocket Havamal (what I carry with me)

A worse provision no man can
take from than too much beer-bibbing;
for the more he drinks the less control
he has of his own mind.

Again, keep a sharp mind when out and about. Don’t partake too much in the mead and keep your wits about you. Alcohol diminishes the ability to make good choices. Odin has great advice.

 

A Quick Daily Study: Stanza 4

Another late night last night but talking with my son was worth it until the conversation turned into Sharknados and zombies. I was like,’ Dude, you’re stalling. Go to bed. Mommy loves you.’ He grinned knowing he was busted and took off to his room.  Yesterday according to my Asatru calendar was Feast of Sunna is a national holiday in Sweden. My daughter doesn’t follow the Norse beliefs so she wasn’t going to serve coffee and cake with a crown of candles and I’m ok with that. I think I wouldn’t do it either in fear of wax burning my scalp.  Today is Tulya’s E’en opens to the Norse Merry Month. Seven days before Yule, all the trolls are released from the underground. This is also the season when Odin and the wild hunt ride. Householders protect their farms by saining (blessing) them with the sign of the hammer, and fire is carried through all the buildings. I have a hammer hanging in my living room from my woodburning trial and error and even though I’m not going to carry a big ol’ torch through the house I will with a candle.

Here we are, Friday, and Stanza 4.

Hollander Translation:
A drink needeth to full dishes who cometh,
a towel, and the prayer to partake;
good bearing eke, to be well liked
and be bidden to banquet again.

Pocket Version: 
Water to him is needful for
refection comes, a towel and hospitable
invitation, a good reception; if he can get it,
discourse and answer.

Oh boy, this one is a lot to swallow. What helped me understanding this stanza, thanks to Temple of Our Heathen Gods,

Guests do not get an automatic pass (just as hosts do not get an automatic pass). When the guest enters the hall, he is implored in Stanza 1 to look about and make sure no foes are present. In Stanza 2 we see this idea that the guest is placed near the fire and “pressed” or tested. Questions are asked. The guest is measured and his or her worthiness judged. And in Stanza 4, we see that if the guest has earned it…he or she should get fair fame and conversation should be shared with him or her.

Another point that has been mentioned to me in the past, is something very easily missed. The stanza makes it clear that our ancestors valued cleanliness, at a time in history when cleanliness was not at the top of every culture’s list of values.

How about that to every guest be cautious and to every host be just as aware. As a host be hospitable and as a guest be grateful and generous as well.

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