April 27, 2021

Sprëhhan 3

Faced stone and storm – the dying and birthing of worlds1, before ours was thought to be. Faced with no concern for hurt or loss – went on, conscious. Went on in all of storms of worlds. Pure courage was born to the Void. Pure ardent valor came to the worlds-before-world and spoke the Holy Spark in darkness: Donar2! Frija3 nurtures young shoots of life. Frouwa4 is pure beauty and Baldere5 is pure light – all their own right Self-won, Self-determined. Each spoke us in the travail of birth. In each cloth tied to bough6 – in each ale cast from horn7 – I give to them, and they to me, in turn.

My Interpretations

Born from storms and strife. Lightning strikes in the clouds. The early shoots of spring.

Self-won. Self-determined. The actualization of the Self.

We give and take in our relationship with the gods. I think of the rune Gebo: it represents a gift or exchange (including that of hostages), and reminds us of debts that are due. We constantly owe to the gods, we must honour them, give offerings, and honour our ancestors. We must be grateful and give back.

Notes on Sprëhhan 3

  1. Wright cites the Völuspá 1:
    “Ginnunga-gap was there, beginning before beginning, seething and churning void of nothingness from which first things merge. Blessed skull and cauldron, radii of zenith and nadir, keeper of three Wells and three roots, soul of all seeds, it is the all of nothing, the nothing of all.”
  2. Donar.
    Old High German for Thor; his name means, “thunder, rumble, din.”
  3. Frigg.
  4. Freyja.
  5. Baldr.
  6. Wright notes that this is descriptive of the strips of cloth tied to the boughs of trees, each representing a wish for well-being (also: “prayer tree”).
  7. Wright notes that this describes sacred drink poured from a drinking horn; as in Ausa Vatni, or “sprinkling water.” This latter practice was done on babies who were eight days old, and warriors going into battle. Both were means of protection and healing.

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