Kvasir the Seer

Kvasir the Seer

Kvasir is a Seer: practitioner of Rune Divination, voice for the Gods, and teacher of Norse myths.

25/12/2023

'Twas the night before Yule
and all through the hall,
Not a creature was stirring,
not a warrior nor thrall.
And I in my armour,
my shield and my helm,
Was drunker than anyone
else in the Realm.

I staggered upstairs
and fell into bed,
While four quarts of mead
were ablaze in my head.
Then up from below
came the sounds of a brawl,
So I grabbed up my axe
and ran down to the hall.

I missed the last step
and crashed down in a heap,
Thinking, “Why can’t those low-lifes
downstairs go to sleep!”
When what to my wondering
eyes should appear,
But two brawny strangers,
wielding mallet and spear.

I said to myself,
“We’ll soon have them beat!”
Then I noticed ten warriors
laid out at their feet.
I gave out a yell
and leapt into the fray…
I’ll always regret
my poor choice of that day.

For the one laid his hammer
to the side of my nose,
And up, up, up
to the rafters I rose.
Then came a lone frightened
voice from the floor,
“Those are no mortal warriors
— that’s Oðin and Thór!”

Then they looked at each other
and they said, “Battle’s done.
Now they know who we are,
it no longer is fun.”
Then Thór raised his hammer,
and his elbow he bent,
And with a loud crash,
through the ceiling they went.

I crawled through the hall
and flung open the door,
Not really sure
that I’d seen them before.
The snow bathed in starlight,
the moon like a glede,
I saw them ride off
on an eight-legged steed.

And I heard them exclaim,
‘ere they flew out of sight,
“TO VALHALLA WITH YULE,
WE JUST LOVE A GOOD FIGHT!”

21/12/2023
21/12/2023

I am honored that so many of you visited me at The Texas Viking Festival this year. I hope that you departed with useful guidance and insight to aid you as you begin the new year. I look forward to meeting you again in the future, so I might hear how your journeys have unfolded.

*****************

Today is the Winter Solstice, when the light of day is shortest, and the darkness of night lingers long. Many of you have been walking in the darkness, unsure if you will feel the joy of walking in the daylight again. During this time of year we continue the traditions of lighting candles and holding celebrations to remind us that the Sun's warmth will return in time. And simikarly, as you make your way through the dark times of your life's journey, find warmth and light among friends, family, and those activities that you are passionate about. Doing so will remind you that the darkness of your present troubles will eventually come to an end and that your joy will return.

17/12/2023

Celtic Yule traditions are rooted in ancient Celtic pagan practices and beliefs. Yule, also known as the Winter Solstice, marks the shortest day and longest night of the year. It is a time of celebration and renewal, as it signifies the return of the sun and the promise of longer days ahead.

Lighting the Yule Log: The Yule log is a large, specially selected log that is burned in the hearth to bring warmth and light during the darkest time of the year. It is often decorated with evergreen branches, ribbons, and other festive items.

Decorating with Evergreens: Evergreen plants, such as holly, ivy, and mistletoe, are commonly used to decorate homes during Yule. They symbolize eternal life and the promise of spring's return.
Feasting: Yule is a time for feasting and sharing food with loved ones. Traditional Celtic dishes, such as roasted meats, root vegetables, and spiced cakes, are often enjoyed during this time.
Wassailing: Wassailing is a traditional Celtic practice of going from house to house, singing carols and offering blessings for a bountiful harvest in the coming year. It is often accompanied by the sharing of spiced cider or ale.
Divination: Yule is considered a liminal time when the veil between the worlds is thin. Many Celtic traditions involve divination practices during this time, such as scrying, tarot readings, or casting runes, to gain insight into the future.
Mummer's Plays: Mummer's plays are traditional Celtic folk plays performed during Yule. They often involve masked performers, music, and comedic or dramatic storytelling.
Bonfires: Lighting bonfires is a common Celtic Yule tradition. The fires are believed to bring light and warmth during the darkest time of the year and to ward off evil spirits.
Offering to the Spirits: Yule is a time to honor and appease the spirits and deities of the land. Offerings of food, drink, and other gifts are often made at sacred sites or in the home to show gratitude and seek blessings for the coming year.

Blessings
Moonstone

17/12/2023

Last night was our Yule Blot. Music, skalds, dancers, flaming arrows that lit a bonfire that served as the pyre for our Julebuk. Yaupon Sebastian Bock took with him the messages and wishes of thousands of our guests on his journey to meet the gods.
Happy Yule!

17/12/2023

Perhaps I'll change my name to Floki the Goat Builder?

Special thanks to my brother in combustible goat construction, Jeff Giusto! Human man shown for scale.

📸: Meagan, mother of Magni.

15/12/2023

Friends, join us this weekend for the conclusion of the 4th Annual Yule Celebration of The Texas Viking Festival! Saturday night is Jólblot and we will close out the festival with an intimate performance inside the Knotty Gnome Ho**ah Lounge!

Photos from Kvasir the Seer's post 11/12/2023

Many visitors sought guidance from the Gods this weekend at The Texas Viking Festival. And I forsee many more visitors next weekend. Will you be one of them?

Photos from Kvasir the Seer's post 09/12/2023

The Texas Viking Festival is starting in just 12 more hours. My seer hut is ready for visitors and my apprentices have spent the last few days renovating the Tree-Henge in the back of the Godwood (where the old blacksmith shop used to be). My hut is just at the end of the Village Road and our Tree-Henge Shop is next door to me.

Seer Hut: 10am-1pm & 5:30pm-9pm

I will be performing Rune Divination for anyone who wishes to learn the fate the Gods have written for them. My services are FREE of charge, but tips are greatly appreciated.

Tree-Henge Shop: 10am-9pm

At the Tree-Henge you can find runes and instructions for performing divination rituals on your own at home. I have a very limited supply of Runes, that were hand-carved by me, in Stone, Bone, or Wood. For those who cannot get one of these sets, I have inexpensive Runic Dice so you can try them without the expense of a hand-made item.

Additionally, I have crafted a large Hnefatafl game board. Hnefatafl is frequently called "Viking Chess" due to some of the similarities between the game. It is played on a larger chess-style board, 11x11 squares. The two players fight with unequal forces (12 Defenders and 1 King VS 24 Attackers). The Defenders's goal is to get the King to the safety of 1 of theb4 board corners, while the Attacker's goal is to capture the King.

My apprentices will be available to teach the game to anyone who wishes to learn this ancient Norse board game and will do so for FREE, but tips are appreciated.

Additionally I have crafted a limited supply of Hnefatafle sets on with leather game boards and glass game pieces. These are the perfect travel game to add to your Viking garb, so you can take it to the mead hall and challenge your friends to a game of "Viking Chess".

********

I shall "SEE" you tomorrow.

Edda 07/12/2023

What are the Eddas?

Edda is a term used to describe two Icelandic manuscripts that were copied down and compiled in the 13th century CE. Together they are the main sources of Norse mythology and skaldic poetry that relate the religion, cosmogony, and history of Scandinavians and Proto-Germanic tribes. The Prose or Younger Edda dates to circa 1220 CE and was compiled by Snorri Sturluson, an Icelandic poet and historian. The Poetic or Elder Edda was written down circa 1270 CE by an unknown author.

Etymology of 'Edda'

Snorri Sturluson's work was the first of the two manuscripts to be called Edda, however, scholars are uncertain how this exactly came about. Snorri himself did not name it. The term, 'Edda', was later ascribed to Snorri's work by a different author in a manuscript from the early 14th century CE, the Codex Upsaliensis, which contained a copy of Snorri's Edda within it. Gudbrand Vigfusson, in The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue, quotes the Codex Upsaliensis as saying, “This Book is called Edda, which Snorri Sturlason put together according to the order set down here: First, concerning the Æsir and Gylfi.” The first use of the word 'Edda', that has thus far been located, was in a poem called the Lay of Righ (Háttatal), which was authored by Snorri. In this poem, the word 'Edda' is used as a title for “great-grandmother.” Multiple theories exist, but one suggests that the term may have become associated with Snorri's manuscript because, like a great-grandmother, it carries a breadth of ancient knowledge and wisdom. Another theory that is more widely accepted by scholars today proposes that 'Edda' is closely associated with the word Oddi, which is the Icelandic town where Snorri grew up.

The Prose Edda

Snorri Sturluson's Edda was later called the Prose Edda, due to his addition of prose explanations of the difficult alliterative verse and symbolism. It appears that Snorri designed the manuscript as a textbook on skaldic poetry. However, it has been most highly prized for the songs and poems that record an incredible array of mythology, heroes, and battles. His verse was reflective of older styles of court poetry and was esteemed as a high standard for other poets. It was a standard perhaps unattainable by future generations of poets, as it was considered by many as overly cryptic and difficult.

Snorri's Edda was later nicknamed the 'Younger Edda' because much of it derives from older sources. What those sources were is a matter of speculation. Some researchers believe Snorri based it largely on folkloric oral traditions that he may have heard, while others think he used an elder written Edda. However, experts agree that he did add many of his own details. As a result, he gives readers a more elaborate version of Norse mythology that at times reveals his Christian influence.

Contents of the Prose Edda

Prologue: Snorri reveals his Christian influence by giving an account of the Biblical version of creation with the stories of Adam and Eve, the Great Flood and Noah's Ark.

Gylfaginning: Here Begins the Beguiling of Gylfi - Perhaps truest to ancient sources, this book is a mythological story in the form of Odinic poems that explain the origin of the Norse cosmos and the chaos that will ensue.

Skáldskaparmál: The Poesy of Skalds - This text continues with mythological stories of the Norse gods but weaves educational explanations on skaldic poetry into the narrative.

Háttatal: The Enumeration of Metres - Includes three distinct songs that celebrate King Hákon and Skúli Bárdsson, the powerful father-in-law of the king. Snorri added comments and definitions between stanzas to ease the reader's difficulty of interpretation.

Poetry From the Prose Edda

The following excerpt from the first book in the Prose Edda, 'Gylfaginning', connects the Poetic and Prose Edda together. In it, Snorri references the 3rd stanza of Völuspá, the most famous poem of the Poetic Edda that details the mythological creation and destruction of the Norse cosmos. This story in the Prose Edda is about King Gylfi of Scandinavia who travels to investigate the wise and cunning leaders of the east. The king pretends to be an old man, Gangleri, who asks many questions of the leaders.

"Gangleri said: 'What was the beginning, or how began it, or what was before it?' Hárr answered: 'As is told in Völuspá

Erst was the age when nothing was:
Nor sand nor sea, nor chilling stream-waves;
Earth was not found, nor Ether-Heaven,—
A Yawning Gap, but grass was none."
(Gylfaginning: Chapter IV)

An Elder Edda Surfaces

In 1643 CE, a highly respected Icelandic collector of numerous works on Norse literature, Bishop Brynjólfur Sveinsson, obtained a copy of an older manuscript. No scholar knows where it came from or if it originally had a name, however, it was evident that the newly discovered compendium and Snorri's Edda had some common origins. Although the bishop attributed this manuscript to the priest and author, Saemundur Sigfússon (1056-1153 CE), and called it Saemundur's Edda, today, scholars agree that this was incorrect. The author/compiler is still unknown. However, Bishop Brynjólfur believed the manuscript to be the Elder Edda. Completely written in verse, the Elder Edda later became known as the Poetic Edda to distinguish it from Snorri's prose counterpart.

In 1662 CE, Bishop Brynjólfur gifted many of his important literary collections to the King of Denmark, Frederick III, to place in the new Royal Library. The Poetic Edda was among those gifts. It became known as the Codex Regius ('King's or Royal Book') and remained safeguarded in Denmark until it was returned to Iceland in 1971 CE.

The Codex Regius is a cherished artefact containing ancient myths and stories of heroes that cannot be found elsewhere. Older copies of the Codex Regius and its sources that may have once existed were lost or destroyed. It currently contains 90 pages, but 16 of those went missing sometime after it went to Denmark. The Poetic Edda took a bit of an evolutionary divergence from the Codex Regius as other poems were added to the Poetic Edda over the years. Today, many people refer to the oldest King's Book as the Codex Regius of the Poetic Edda to distinguish it from a different volume of Codex Regius, which contains a copy of Snorri's Edda and dates to the first half of the 14th century CE. The contents of any modern Poetic Edda vary and depend on the author.

Contents of the Poetic Edda (Codex Regius)
Mythological Poems:

* Völuspá - The Seeress's Prophecy
* Hávamál - Sayings of the High One
* Vafþrúðnismál - The Ballad of Vafthrúdnir
* Grímnismál - The Lay of Grímnir
* Skírnismál - The Lay of Skírnir
* Hárbarðsljóð - The Lay of Hárbard
* Hymiskviða - The Lay of Hymir
* Lokasenna - Loki's Wrangling
* Þrymskviða - The Lay of Thrym
* Völundarkviða - The Lay of Völund
* Alvíssmál - The Lay of Alvís

Heroic Poems:

Three lays of Helgi
* Helgakviða Hundingsbana I or Völsungakviða
* Helgakviða Hjörvarðssonar
* Helgakviða Hundingsbana II or Völsungakviða in forna

* Frá dauða Sinfjötla - A short prose text
* Grípisspá - Grípir's Prophecy, The Prophecy of Grípir
* Reginsmál - The Lay of Regin
* Fáfnismál - The Lay of Fáfnir
* Sigrdrífumál - The Lay of Sigrdrífa
* Brot af Sigurðarkviðu - Fragment of a Sigurd Lay
* Guðrúnarkviða I - The First Lay of Gudrún
* Sigurðarkviða hin skamma - The Short Lay of Sigurd
* Helreið Brynhildar - Brynhild's Ride to Hel
* Dráp Niflunga - The Slaying of The Niflungs
* Guðrúnarkviða II - The Second Lay of Gudrún
* Guðrúnarkviða III - The Third Lay of Gudrún
* Oddrúnargrátr - Oddrún's Lament
* Atlakviða - The Lay of Atli
* Atlamál hin groenlenzku - The Greenlandic Poem of Atli

The Jörmunrekkr Lays
* Guðrúnarhvöt - Gudrún's Lament
* Hamðismál - The Lay of Hamdir

Poems Added That Are Not in the Codex Regius

* Baldrs draumar - Baldr's Dreams
* Gróttasöngr - The Song of Grotti
* Rígsþula - The Lay of Ríg
* Hyndluljóð - The Lay of Hyndla
* Völuspá - Short Prophecy of the Seeress
* Svipdagsmál - The Lay of Svipdag
* Grógaldr - Gróa's Spell
* Fjölsvinnsmál - The Lay of Fjölsvid
* Hrafnagaldr Óðins - Odins's Raven Song

Poetry from the Poetic Edda

One of the most important mythological poems is Hávamál, in which Odin explains how he acquired the runes by sacrificing himself to himself on the Yggdrasil tree. As translated by Olive Bray, stanzas 137 and 138 explain:

"I trow I hung on that windy Tree
nine whole days and nights,
stabbed with a spear, offered to Odin,
myself to mine own self given,
high on that Tree of which none hath heard
from what roots it rises to heaven.

None refreshed me ever with food or drink,
I peered right down in the deep;
crying aloud I lifted the Runes
then back I fell from thence."

Preservation of Germanic History

It was by good fortune that the Codex Regius of the Poetic Edda was preserved. Widespread destruction of pagan manuscripts occurred in the 18th century CE across Europe. Additionally, in 1728 CE the Great Fire in Copenhagen tragically burned at least one-third of the city including over 35,000 volumes of books and a large collection of historical documents at the University of Copenhagen library.

Today, the Eddas are a key to the ancient world of Germanic history. More than just a vast source of mythology, the Eddas reveal the intimate relationships between humans, gods, and nature, and the deep reverence that was built upon these beliefs. This is especially significant in light of a resurgence of Icelandic Pagan religion. Additionally, the extensive usage of the Eddas across the world as resources for Norse studies testifies to their scholastic relevance. Both the Prose and Elder Eddas are national treasures that have captured history within their poetic pages and are a testament to the tenacity of the Icelanders to remember and preserve their precious heritage.

Source-

Edda Edda is a term used to describe two Icelandic manuscripts that were copied down and compiled in the 13th century CE. Together they are the main sources of Norse mythology and skaldic poetry that relate...

Photos from Kvasir the Seer's post 06/12/2023

I have completed my work and present to you, the "Codex Kvasir"

550 pages jam-packed full of Norse Mythology. 44 poems of the Elder Edda, Snorri's Prose Edda, 6 Sagas, and my writings in an illustrated Compendium which includes a massive family tree showing all the Norse Gods and most of the Legendary Kings of Scandinavia.

This process began in January of 2023, with an attempt to create a family tree for the Norse Gods based upon the many Myths and Sagas, some of which were confusing or contradictory. In the end my project went from just a 1 page family tree to a 7 page family tree that was part of a compendium that relates my understanding of the myths and summarizes all the Gods and realms within.

And to support these writings I needed to include the original works for reference. Fortunately there are English translations within the public domain for all the works, except for 2 of the Sagas, these I translated myself. An index was also created to help readers search for various Gods, Kings, Artifacts, and Locations within the myths.

To make the Codex more visually appealing, I have included numerous images of the Gods, symbols within North Mythology, and 2 maps of the Norse Cosmos (the 9 realms) that were based on the 2 different ways one could interpret the myths (a mythological version that follows the creation myth literally and a euhemerized version that is based in the real world).

As this is a Codex, intended to faithfully represent a newer version of the great hand-written tomes from centuries long ago I used a heavy parchment paper and a script font to print the book. The book is hand-sewn together and bound within a cloth and suede leather cover. The cover is secured with natural jute twine and a hand-painted image of Yggdrasill adorns the cover.

There is currently only 1 of these books in existence, but I am now taking orders from anyone interested in owning a unique, hand-made copy. If you wish to own one of these massive compilations of Norse Myths, then head over to www.KvasirTheSeer.com and scroll to the bottom of the page to fill out an order request. No deposit is necessary u til I begin production of your book, wait times will vary based on demand, but each book requires several days to produce, as they are hand-made by Kvasir himself, so place your order early.

You can visit Kvasir at The Texas Viking Festival the next 2 weekends to see the Codex Kvasir in-person and place your order.

Below are numerous images of the Codex Kvasir showing a tiny fraction of the contents within.

Photos from Kvasir the Seer's post 06/12/2023

The Elder Futhark Runes are an ancient alphabet, that we are told was brought to mortals through the teachings of the Æsir God Heimdallr. He learned the Runes from his father, Óðinn, the All-father.

Prior to Óðinn the Runes, and the magic within, was the exclusive domain of the Norns. The Norns are 3 Jotnar women (Giantesses) who have a residence near the base of Yggdrasill (the World Tree). There the Norns (Urðr, Verðandi, & Skuld) divine the fates of all living beings and inscribe their lives upon the trunk of Yggdrasill, in the form of Runes. These 3 sisters are roughly synonymous with the Fates of Greek myth and frequently each is attributed one of 3 tenses: Past, Present, & Future (though this is largely an extrapolation and not necessarily the case).

Mortals may wield the power of the Runes through the written word, where it can preserve history, tell stories, and persuade others to join a cause. But the Runes are also magical in nature and may be used, as the Norns and Óðinn do, to perform divination rituals where our fate can be made more clear.

As a Seer, I have been granted this power, and use it to aid others in understanding their fates. While our fate is largely predetermined, a result of the culmination of our past thoughts and deeds, we can make some changes that will affect the impact our fated future will have upon us (good or bad) and how we handle that which we cannot control. Because our future is determined by our past, we must first look backwards into our history of joy, struggle, and trauma to truly understand the path they have paved for us in the future.

Anyone who will be attending The Texas Viking Festival in December of 2023 and who wishes to learn of their fate, may seek me out, so I can guide you as we consult the Gods.

Photos from The Texas Viking Festival's post 06/12/2023

I will be attending The Texas Viking Festival , seekers of the Gods' wisdom may find me and learn what Fate has been decided for them.

And if you are interested in more social aspects of Norse culture, nearby I will have a Hnefatafl table setup, so visitors can learn to play "Viking Chess".

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