§1 I am the union of fire and ice, where their streams meet. I am energy and have no state. Nothing I grasp, and what have, do not hold. I am only I who know and all that I am is that knowing. I am for I know myself to be apart from what I am not.
Selves change: world is eternal. Self reappears, goes about in new forms: self is eternal. World about changes- worlds come and go. I release it and selves change beyond the selves they are. Ginungagap is eternal, void between fire and ice. It cares not for me nor not-for-me. The Void I have formed; the Void forms me-the Gods both were before and follow too. Conscious became the Void, became first thought and gave first word and It was Ošin.
§2 Energy goes on, takes new forms. It merges with, emerges from, the play of selves, best tribal minds, the oldest souls. With each living and each dying, They self-merited through successive higher lives, progression to Godlihood. Huginn (pure thought) creates itself best formed mind of tribe, and this goes on, becomes immortal. Ginungagap is hereby thought in minds of Gods and men, and formed thereof and from its self, ancient milk of that first auroch (giant European cattle). Lived much and many(a long cycle of birth, death, and rebirth) becomes that Force compassion, troth in the ways of men. Looked with care upon itself became Ginungagap and it spake, Frigga.
§3_Faced stone and storm, the dying and birthing of worlds 'ere ours was thought to be. Faced with no concern for hurt nor loss, went on, as conscious, went on in all of storms of worlds. Pure courage was born to the Void. Pure ardent valour came to the worlds-before-world and spake the holy spark in darkness, Thor.
Frigga nurtures young shoots of life. Freyja is pure beauty and Balder is pure light. All Their own right self-won, self-determined. Each spake us in the travail of birth. In each cloth tied to bough, in each ale cast from horn,(a cloth is tied to the bough of a tree near a sacred well or spring for healing and the ale or mead may be poured from a horn for sacrifice)I give to Them, and They to me, in turn.
§4 Green Man Frey came not one great harvestman, nor came He one great swain o'plenty. Long ago, Who forestayed Earth's embrace(an immortal), wrote Himself large in the home of Gods. No, ever He grows anew in each fair free-holder, every ardent swain, and bringer of harvest. His is all that lived thus and ever shall. Should none harvest, still He is. Should none love, yet He is. Thought itself too hard a darkness, burst to flame, bright lit, fair and beauteous, Balder it spake. In the High Sun, when the wheel on ground (the children of the kindred scribe the Sun-Wheel in the earth at Solstice and place the four grains of the North therein, wheat, rye, barley, and buckwheat) is cut becomes anew, for timeless the Gods and true.
§5 Gošanum give back to me the cycle, time from time. They redeem to me what is forfeited in change from one threadbare cloak (incarnation) to the next. All forgotten here, the Gošanum beyond change anchor our timeless core. Who opens may See from life to life. Who opens must sit out his thoughts. Who opens, her shall the Gods speak of time and cause, of life to life renewed. Who sits in the halls of men? The changeless ones. Who sits, renews. Who watches, renews. Who cleansed of his own voice hears Theirs, renews. And Ask and Embla Ošin and Frigga formed, and from the Void gave Huginn and Muginn, gave Leitr too. And the Void moved in smaller ripples and it spake Wunsch. (gave thought and memory, and, connecting man to the realm of the Gods, man's wishing, Wunsch, very obscure deity, Wish) Open is the way to See the Void, open to who reflects it as Ran's daughters' Knakve's dance. (meditation is a reflection of the magical void and who would do it reflects the energy of the Gods as do waves the moonlight, a lovely poetic image)
§6 An illness came and took the frail. Lady of small green things helped some, the vitki (priest-magician) others. The lady who spun and wove, she never faltered, though it struck about her house. At her stoop she lay unrobed in Summer sweat. In the cold day, brisk drove the herd with only a shawl about. In Ostara's cold water (not the day, but the month named for the Goddess) was she seen by the men o'weirs (fish-traps in a river, hence- fishermen.)
They came to ask this weft-woman, why never afflicts you? And she told the five purities. I sweat Balder's gaze but may no return it-this be first. I lay in Sunna's smile and ask She probe my innards with light, the dark moon chase, this the second. (sunning, she avoids looking at it and uses visualization of the golden light's entering the internal organs, an extant practice.) I sit the cold fast water 'til it is faster than my thought and rumbles out cares for three. Drink I only from skins I fill at the high stony brooks and eat not the day, this every month for four. I sit and do not ponder, do not do. Once it be wind in rushes-they sweep me clean. Again a brook rushed past and next 'twas leaves before a storm. Last dusk it was a thousand calling frogs. Into the shadow I gaze, where none will look, or to tan grasses, wind-rustled, they sweep me clear. Or in the babble of brook the play of Sunna's greeting washes eyes as stone-speech cleanse the ear, and this be five. (then, as now, life could be stressful-she knew how to contructively ease the stress)
§7 Opening is active, for the mind I must put aside is active. I take the active urge to be passive, to allow in the Knowing of the Powers. Comes only in the active self, then puts itself aside. The Opening I either do by act of will, or quite undo by unthinking for the mind I know stands aside the Path of Power. By such paradoxes do I advance, for life is known by precept, but lived by riddle, and so must be thought.
Three states has the life of man, youth, prime, and old- three streams his time, for water comes down divided. One branch 'neath the high Sun dry fish, cut peat, and herd to market drive. One branch the tales 'round fire, the time of Thing, the boy give knife and rope (fighting and fastening-practical defense and knotwork), the girl give loom and ladle, to both to sit, to pray, to grind soot and stir (make ink for runes?). The third lie still in stream, its course of dreams, of quiet, of fire or moon gazing. (Three "courses" of time, then are the work, the family- feeding, teaching, doing together, and resting and meditating or contemplating. These may hardly seem congruous to us now, but the old pictures on drinking horns, the walls of passage graves, etc., confirm this. Also consider the division into three parts, of activities, like the clerk, warrior, and cultivator in Peter Breugel's 17th Cent. C.E. painting 'Land of Cockayne.')
§8 Paths of Power yield to the man who stares beyond his own reflected gaze. The inner reckoning, leap beyond the known-reflected sur-face, beckons. The paths open not by act, but by decision. Who has decided he cannot live but in Power, that is so. Feasts and droughts arise for who holds abundance. Who holds someone sorrows at her loss. Who holds what should shall ever regret what is. Much a man can hold, but this I know, none may hold the Runes. Who holds not, nor expects, he lives in Power. Who holds not, nor clutches, nor seizes, is much given, but little estate will build. Who holds little can be little riven by grief. Who holds not, but accepts and looks forward with good anticipa-tion gathers pleasantry and is beyond sorrow.
§9 Never is there time, 'ere the field be tilled. Never is there time, 'ere the nets need tying (mending), that I can sit and learn. Never is there time to bend the limb to keep the age-dragged gait away (to do the postures?). Act beyond, beyond fatigue. Act beyond, beyond what is not to be worked with, beyond comfort, and beyond known headlands (the borders of knowledge). Who sails beyond creates new charts. (Who acts beyond creates a new reality.) If the new land comes not here, still is a man richer to have sailed for it. In his next voyage shall She (Urdr) send him to a better journey.
Never is there time to strive, yet time must find. Never the man is so busy that he may not stop and look about. Even busy, two in the wharves, one sees the sky, one not. Always one may be aware. I can re-frain from too much trencher (feeding) and too many cups. I can curb the tongue from boast or threat. I can be still and learn, or sit in horgr. Even with poor food, even with an humble cottage, much can understand. Even a town sweeper (perhaps someone who cleaned streets as does a school janitor clean halls?) can be of Power, and all hear his thought and see his glow (aura?).
§10 Faith is participation. Faith constructs and creates experience. Like from the mold cheese is taken, thoughts our experience create, but is also influential. Who can hold the image of the higher world will reach it. He whose logic deconstructs experience lives only in his head. Sweet the sleep of the one who tires in striving to know. Sweet is the touch of woman's roundness to man and sweet the hard shoulder of man to woman, but the touch is a moment- no place of full happiness is in this wald (literally, 'wood'- plane of existence?).
§11 Know the Spirit mound (like 'faerie hills'?) is there, is here, and I access it. Do not contruct, nor imagine. Stand anew at each threshhold, not knowing but at ease with what is not known. Walk briskly in, knowing nothing still, and know the impress of eternity on mind. Calm the heart, calm and deep, the mind which opens to all forms of power. Bliss is in moments, the calm of morning 'ere the house (family) awakens, waving grain, awaiting the Sun's taking off the dew before the scythe, moments are bliss, or it is not at all.
He came to the horgr after far trekking to the fiery realm, trading amber. Whereof to consecrate this place, he wot? For I have seen of ewe and fat shoat the folk of robes (ancestors to Semites) kill and the knotched stone soak. Here they make holy and should we. The gyšja gave that to kill and not eat would Višar or Ullr offend. "Consecrate," she said, "this circle, the warrior with his sword motion (sciamachy), the craftsman with her banner, and the brewer with 'is mead. All with their gifts of mind, this Thor loves best, as keeps the hill." (obviously a play on Thor and tor, or stone circle on a hill)"Consecrate thus with your essence given the Gods."
§12 Faith is participation. It is choosing not to choose and turning to decide that all is undecided and awaits, eternal journey. It is influential: know that I can journey and all realms of experience are open to my tread. Share with another and they travel also. Believe that what I behold is "just imagination" or "just expectation" (suggestion) and I am moored tight to my own shore. Can or can't, real or imagined: either way I'm "right." The can and real are richer and connect me to a deeper journey. Bliss is in moments but the moments are far longer than they seem. Each is endless if one but let it be so.
§13 Once smithied, the sword is ever near my grasp. Will becomes reflexive once built. Thor's forge smithies greater evolution. It constructs a higher world by effort's hammer. Then Ošin, laughing, releases it all, and I ascend the glass mountain to the Gods.
§14 We are reborn;
Self is eternal,
ever new in new surrounds.
It is reborn:
World is eternal
Itself remade by our returning selves.
Truths are created: laws are eternal.
Self is eternal: worlds are eternal:
All are in flux to higher matters bound:
all need my mind's flight to higher cycles bound.
15 Scarcity, hardship, direst necessity; these were the woodsman's companions. Once his axe struck hoard beneath an ancient oak, as had set there in ancient time. Into a hall, to hold a hall, he took companions. Hungry he acted, though the table high with breads and shields of meat. Why, wot they, of him, pushed away from table? Act ever scarce, he said, pare wanting to the musts and always I'll have enough. Embracing want would never want again.
§16 Freedom is a puff of wind. He is not free, the stag who with hoof scrapes beneath the snow for greens. He is not free though I saw him for a moment at the cliff, as if he o'erlooks the valley as lord. It is a moment. It is releasing, and not doing.. From Impeccable it arises. Who does well worries less than who does poorly his craft. Who does to perfection may then release them, all outcomes great and small. Only the impeccable can release. Only from the perfect arrow's flight, can the archer 'ere it land, turn his head.
§17 Seeking the Golden Age within, all who do must seek it in their intention. Then it may come to be. Why a dark age is thus is that most less willing and less able to see. Cleanse sight and hold clear the vision- pure earth, land loved by each, no serfs, all waters clean of hides (tannery wastes in water?) and wanting little, each is content. Of kings and councils, few, and these nearby.
§18 Cultivate stillness in reflection. In the business and busyness of life it is not idle, must be sought. Cultivate stillness in all passions, as the Watcher, never judging or reacting. Clear like Moon, like lake and still, Heimdall watches over all. Observe detached yet act. For greater truths are in commoner places found. At the wharves and in the commons are greater matters chosen. Wholeness, I know, is facing squarely my situation. Plan that direction to the Higher goals, what for the Earth and for your Folk be good. Further the way (evolution) where you can. Wholeness is forged from deciding and acting.
§19 Wholeness is creative and by intention lives, birthed in the freedom to act, to choose. The Gods leave me free that I may be co-creator. Freedom is momentary. It arises in the impeccable act and in releasing that act from care. Send out my choice, create, detach it from my self. Self goes on: world is eternal.
§20 Worlds change: self is eternal, reborn into different matrices that we call 'worlds.' Vision is eternal, beyond Time, smallest cell of Ginungagap, seeking the Golden Age and my own Godlihood, holding the sight. Releasing into being what worlds we have. The seer by knowing knows. The diviner by stave and stone. The man of Power holds his vision tightly at the highest reach of self. Released into being his flight is the flight of all whom he touches.
§21 Though cozy abed with belovčd, each sleeps ever alone. Each is born alone and dies thus, though a foeman with reciprocal strike die too. In all only the Gods accompany us througout, ever Task-Giver (Mannsfylgja, of the Fates), ever the Bearer of Constitutions (Kynnsfylgja), and ever the tendencies of Breed (Oaettarsfylgja). Always the Fates and the Gods engage each life. The wise keep with Them, in turn, while the fool may fear or trivialize, and is ever alone.
§22 When choice presents, be kind. Less thought takes the kind man than one of guile, a freer mind and lighter step has he. Easier for self it is to release the higher act. Be noble, good, kind, where the helping furthers the Higher Life.
Be passionate but fair, forceful and swift to scour out sickness. No kindness to the world-destroying worm, no kindness show to the Sun darkening wolf. Act as the talons of the Gods in nature, vermin destroy lest they gnaw the slender thread of food. (food chain? or would this have meant a rope pulling or binding a wagon of grain?)
§23 What the world manifests is what Ginungagap thought. Its Hugr (will of the soul) is awakening. The worlds yawn at the cusp of every Age (obscure passage). Hugr calls to higher thought, greater knowing. In the scheme of things be kind when you can. When you cannot, be hard and in either case, be noble.
§24 The Galdr is no destination. It is a trackless journey. It is the eyes of the mind, travelled in the attention. It is decision. It is deciding what to envision, for what envisions, in some wise comes to be. It is a trackless expanse for the steppe-wanderer, happy for the quest. Whether another arrive or not we cannot know, but journey in joy and without expectation.
§25 Self and worlds change: Gods are eternal. Tribe is the medium of transformation. Go to the crossroads and uplift them. In retreats only the self is rested. Through several selves, through the tribe, uplift to detach, struggle to attain the Higher, release all gains and gain detachment.
Selves are reborn: worlds are eternal. Selves thought beyond the cycle of cause are to Godhood born. In passionate involvement cleanse, protect, elevate the tribe. By example of we, the flax-people, will other tribe progress. Self changes; Gods are eternal- heighten the Self to seek the realm of Gods.
§26 Act passionately with clear vision where you see your way and step lightly where the path ascends in scree (loose rock). Live fully here, yet live apart. Sustain, acheive, and yet release. Hold tight the moment and shape it intensely, yet give to quiet reflection and release, for matters only the shape of acts, the shape of intentions and the thoughts of souls (hamar). Be these High, They know it, to mirror thoughts of the Gods. Polish slate (presumably the flat stone was polished to make mirrors?) to clear act and choose for clear and higher selves to come and may His thought (Ošin- Father of thought) enter every moment. Act for my future selves- be better, higher born: for worlds change; self is eternal.
§27 World that is known builds from thought. As seer, it is unlearned, forgotten. As sword wielder, I cut it free. Cleansed of talk, I confront the world. My talk deconstructed, I float without anchor in the eternal. Much is beyond thought. The Seišr has no end, for the Gošanum are without end and advance also. Cultivate awareness: reach for Godhood. There is no truth, but there are truths. What is real we create as do those unseen.
§28 Without ideas is drawn by the Fates and inner sight to experience. The gunnar [warrior] invents in every instant, unencumbered by thought. Without knowing, everything shines new, every moment. Without knowing, all is lived, not thought into being. Without knowing, all is fresh, and the day's path to stream yet is filled with surprise, with wonder. Patience to the hunter his pursuit, quiet treading. The fisher-folk of silent waves and Sun on water see. The gunnar, he by careful movement given, invents each moment, invents his life anew.
§29 Impeccable and earnest, warriors come to battle for meaning. Some men of arms but most were in any work but war. Found only battle, urgency, fear, pain, squalor. Found small friend-circles to bind same-chosen hardships and there found meaning.
Still, the father threshed, the mother baked. Still the younger carved the wooden bowl and spoon. Filthy and hurt, his pike he hung by fire, hollow his cheeks. What meant, what known, the same, the threshing, the pot for water to stream, what meant was how he came again, and that was all. The same place began anew, rich in remembered valour, with the scythe he wend.
§30 Eight steps to be gošard, yes, but few the journey make. For all there is the eight steps advancing in your state. First, have long sight over many lifetimes, be still and listen, ask Her and listen what is not from past fulfilled.Second, live with passionate attainment, for outside reflects within and matters well-resolved do bring to peace. Third, do fully the mind apply, yet with full detachment, for never man knows all the winds and currents. Fourth, cultivate noble character, helpful, kind when can be. Fifth, with compassionate bearing, help all ascend (evolve) upward by example, goad, or teaching. Sixth make full intention through higher plans and seek their completion. Seventh cultivate stillness apart and in the core of the business of living. Eighth, create openness to Powers, openness to forces unseen, full know what moves beneath the flux of worlds.
§31 At a crossroads camped many diverse men at the Summer-high Sun. Goši cooked for the lot of them, cleared the vessels and sat. At field's edge apart from camp, he hew the willow branch of creek near road. Stange shapes upon it cut and the ploughman said had a glow. "Only cuckoo's day's Sun," said a merchant. "With his thoughts, made it thus," offered a maid, and she was right also.
Next morn's light, he stood at hill's edge. Like tree with ancient braches, blown by storm or bent by frost, then still and stared. Glanced over, far to see and said the smoke-meat (smoke-house operator?), "He watches over the shrubs, how silly!" Heard this the houseman's daughter, "No, da, the small ones (nis, earth spirits) sport where he does look-canst not see'em?" And both were right.
At the next road to Uppsala (the only firm location that we are given), a miller saw him and remembered as he and son the full sacks wend to market. Another campment, he sat at water's edge, high Sun to's back, and clear the sky. "Feel it tremble," spoke the miller, and fell silent. "But distant cloud-fire," said the son, and both were right. At fire that eve, all knew the goši but none knew his years. The eldest of the market road knew him when a youth-he hoary then, nor whence he came. None could guess- he would not tell, as he to temple wended.
§32 Great compassion is a transformation. Freyja's tears and Tyr's gripped fist changed ages in greater and smaller lives. Compassion is power. Great is Heimdall's axe, red-flashing. In superb compassion Thor His great sword wields. Not from anger, nor from hate does the hawk overfly the field to search for vermin.
Great compassion like Higher Love is for the evolved only. Higher life is hardness, the hardness of sea-winters and fields, the forests and squares. In its busyness, its reaching for the World, the Higher man overreaches. Who stomachs not the struggle withdraws, deludes from his own I-ness, which thinks itself beyond the world and draws apart. The higher man in struggle is at peace, treats with compassion where is meet and with the talon when is needed.
§33 Completeness is the shrouds well tied, the chamber well swept and ordered, and the child full-taught. Wholeness is the spine relaxed, the life well-thought (planned?), with winter's stores dried and hung.(rafters)
Fulfillment is the son grown to father, the daughter to mother, and the ship coursing home. Final is the purpled haze of Shedding-time, beech leaf fallen and the warrior's self-known last moment. Completion is the knock [end of arrow that mates with string] released from its grip, the message sealed and sent, the fork behind on the path taken. Hold not to the doing, nor the making. Create and release, work, plan, prepare, for there is wholeness, but after that, allow, and never expect.
§34 Grounding is the well-fleshed horse a'pastured, the grave barrow with blue glow. and the stones stood 'neath at four points (not literally, but the 'points' of the year-solstices and equinoxes). Weary but full comes the fisherman home from his trawl and bowman the day's hunt. Complete and whole comes the warrior without wound from axefield, or the wife, taut-bellied to labors.
35 Fulfilled the pilot who senses the rocks near placid coast or the wayfarer who the highwayman intuits to change his course. Fulfilled the gleaner who knows dry day to harvest. Fulfilled and complete who knows a fellow's needs and fills them- when each for each does, friend, it is called. Complete is the one with much given to high and noble act, yet needs but little, her shall the Gods fulfill.
§36 Beneath waves, within wind, all is motion. Fastness is what I think to see it still and understand. The Gošanum change, like moon upon waves, we reflect Them. Within Flux, Ginungagap called out for order, and it spake Knakve. When its awareness shined upon the sky-sent sons of Heimdall (men), when oaks and ashes speech and mind were given, called they out for order and spake it, Tyr. Beneath, had always been an order, though none divined it, at the heart of storm and birthing of worlds, always the first, Ginungagap.§37 Before the fish are laid to dry is the thought. Before the thatch is laid over is the thought. Silent she weaves between cottages, selling loaves, the Deep-Minded. Between the busyness of life is contemplation. No unnecessary actions, no frivolous occupations, no idle chatter, pleasant but aloof from gossip, erect and alert she goes- who knows her age? The superior woman. Between cottages, between chores, her inner world, the silent salt marsh at road's edge, silent passes. Between the business is thought. Before the fire, while others stare like beast, is her contemplation. After linen and wool are on grasses dried in sun (laundry at creeeks?) before the brook is contemplation. In the hofr early and at the stones (presumably standing stones or horgr), with time picked from between the businesses of life is her meditation. She is not a healer. She is not a seer, but those who seek advice, find that she tells well the knots of a man's decision.
§38 None should too much hoard: great ownings of some beget great misery by most, and none should have too little. All from the market road, the tavern hour should have, and plenty. From windows should women lean and talk together, and men at shores 'ere the nets be gathered. By the huntsman's fire is the talk that long endures in ear.
A new road the royal council declared, new markets would bring and great goods from the coast, would all grow in weal. Rather came more beggar and landless merchant, crawled o'er the work-camp. And came more brigands to work the road and the toll-takers too. All ended we had less than more. Weal is but for few together banded, the same as chat by nets or huntings plan. Few to share is weal, for much is not needed, nor the knobby knees of soulless men (serfs with clear orthopaedic symptoms- during the Dark Ages, landless men were said to be without souls- a practice even in 19th Cent. C.E. Russia- see §56). Weal is that done well by few, with few to share and weal is time and talk before late windows and early cups.(late light on long afternoons and libations before supper?)
§39 Another's land wist not, said she from the peaceful land. All councils, unpaid, sit to serve, time given after duties, need no taxes save to build when all have need. They built the quay and some brought bread. Others their carts with sand, some of stone, and some brought rope, did the Fries. These and their labors given built quay, roads, and temples. No tax needed they, nor slaves, nor wars. Great owning creates great dearth and high-paid councils (rulers) brings the death of armčd peasants' sons (conscriptees).
In the peaceful land, all owned roundel (an ancient unit of land), though all owned different, and none owned another, but only worked with. The folda-woman (priestess-councillor), she wove wool and raised her lamp to Frya. The augerman (priest at a sacred drilling ceremony, or diviner- 'auger' is ambiguous) with leaves and roots the foaming crock tends. In the peaceful land, each her advantage is yet another's too.(if this literally refers to Frisia, parts of it accord with the period described in other accounts and other parts do not)
§40 Happy he dug (grave) barrow as the face flushed pale and blood left more.(aneurysm?) He was not sad, went to the hill that his mound be seen. "These clothes," he said,"to the wooden maid I give," (offers his body to the Maid of the woods, possibly Skaši, or offers his possessions to the hofr, known by its wooden statue of a goddess)and waited in the happy hours, though leaves took care (fell?), for the death ship's tide. Feared not the wayfarer of skins and oar (a skin boat, possibly Frey's bee ship) the sky stroke (of an oar in the air-river) or the roiling, coiled Beast. (should the final journey take him past Jormungand, the ocean serpent, to Ošainsaker, or through the sky-way to Valhalla or Folksvangr- a difficult passage at best) Happy he goes to storm and wise, the waves, Her (Ran's) daughters' dance- puts out all thought, great ocean mind, was called, eyes gray and deep who said before the hill he hard climbed (ascended the hill where he built the barrow to look out to await death), "This voyage but begets another." [Beautifully shows the Aryan attitude toward death of an old mariner and his assumptions about it, which are a bit at variance with Eddaic fragments.]
§41 In the Eastern wood, he tracked, was ill and wasted. Sky overshadowed his plan of march (ability to reckon position from sun or stars) and thorns had torn the flesh. On the dry (stream) bed he climbed ice-free, (must have been at Spring thaw)a narrow passage, then disputed by bear. Bloodied he smelt, weak he seemed. No way to flee, he threw his life away. His staff he seized and made pure act beyond fear, beyond hunger, the huntsman knew fear. He went on and beyond fear lay panic. He moved through panic, came detachment. Released pain, fatigue and detachment, came he to resolution. Drove the wind-broke oak rod deep to innards, not waiting, without the moment's thought. In pure act of resolution he threw his life away and thereby won it.
§42 From groans of maid and swain do the shudders of the low (birthing)chair come. There is deference to maidly brightness, yet wraps the shuttered (neighbor's talk through windows?) gossip about the shuffle footed crone. Strength of bow and staff is first con-scripted, first the stout son, foeman's iron will feel. Fine curves of prow with cargoes, worms, and scratched at rocks are ruined, so the maid her form brings child, the form to fade. Elder the warrior oozing- scarred and gap-toothed the soothing ale, gone the splendid youth the battle quickly ruint. Only the wit sharpens long past the eyes are dull. Only the hammered hide (vellum, parchment?)rings strong long past the stout arm lifts the smithy's sledge. Mind and soul alone will time alloy. (alloy, instead of 'allay', ties in metaphorically to the warrior-weapon-smith, often the same people)
§43 Potter at her fire stared but briefly. White-hot the ox (ox-hide bellows) it blew. Away she looked and the black fire saw. Mariner reckoned his way by star and moon, looked long upon Her and the dark ring saw. Took in the darkness, silent after watch, and sweated out the power. (redirected the negative, or dark energy of celestial bodies)Crewmen cried, "moonstruck" or "fool" as warm coasts plied and slapped their arms (mosquitoes?). He was unbit whom the dark power oozed out, a yew its resin. Alone in the stone-hut the herder saw not His (Balder's) fair face these many weeks, far beneath the Maidens' Shields (Northern Lights). He turned from fire and warmed the back. He opened to the Great Eye (Ošin's) and the Black Sun rose. (Some sort of spiritual discipline for harnessing the seemingly dark side of cosmic energies. Since there is a stašha meditation for "opening the Eye of Ošin", presumably, this is what the herder did, raising his sķsu in order to experience cosmic vision, even in constant near-darkness. That the passage describes a herder in Winter at a place for Summer pasturage is curious; perhaps he went up country in late winter to repair stone fences or the cottage itself? Surely the herd was not proximate.)
§44 On the voyage bread soured in the spots of rage. (is this a bread mold or ergot fungus, which would have been on the wheat, not the bread?) In the voyage peas and barley emptied. The One ate of the dew, as others famished, and sat eyes upward, then closed. Rubbed his belly those long days as others perished. (A method and pattern for rubbing the belly to send energy from the hands to it is in one of the Klķma age regression practices. Presumably this was done to more quickly liberate bodily fat reserved into food.) Breathed deeply the fogs with ale and water gone, as others from fog huddled. In the cove he walked the surf while others lay and groaned, did Aegir's man.
§45 Frey's Man at Harvest went out with girl-child gathering barley. Bronze-armed and strong, he had scythed: they gathered and tied the sheaves. In a shade of stack he paused to tell her of Gods, of kings, of ships, memories from him flowed whilst she lay her head on his hard shoulder in the late-noon (afternoon) heat.
Freyja's dame stoked the hearth, bread-baking, while the stout son split wood. A highwayman came as-beggar, came to rob. With outstretched bowl (for alms), he reached the gate over (split door)to seize the antlered grip (knives, combat or kitchen had a handle of wood, bone, or antler). She without stop split his skull with ladle e'en as he sleized it.
Happy the maid of valour and the swain of peace. Their young shall prosper and their mated powers increase. Happy the fox who climbs the berry bush when hare is scarce. Well is the wheelwright who hunts the winter marsh. Well is the potter who loaves bakes beside his wares. Pleasing to the Gods is the father who shines on his young like the Sun, with play and speech oft given. Pleasing to Goddesses the mother who takes her lass to haft and steel, to cooperage and thatch. For the Wise One says, "folk are everywhere by halves." (another recording of the observation in Havamįl) And the half lost, must the other one soon learn.
§46 Twelve years at rope, sail and helm, the weathered face made good the mariner's craft, and knew the secret rutter of far routes.(in days before modern navigation, pilots kept detailed notes on water appearance, seaweed, land features, and star position-'rutter'- these recordings were priceless)Came another to toil at sea, who saw himself at once a leader of crews, but had not the hard gales and lonely stars for companions.
So came to Thing one who had talked his dream, knew much 'ere he learned the Gods. The hoary gyšja, her knowing came of long hearing and longer recitation (referring clearly to a primarily oral transmission), all the ways of Gods and men, for knowledge asks a barter, but the self-important would ever lead the Thing though little knowing. Seven years before the wind a captain makes. Eight steps makes the goši. First; hear of the Old Ones, know what has gone before. Second; Seek solitude in quiet, green places, or in fells and crags to prove the runes (meditate on the runes?). Third; Journey foodless, sleepless, past the world of men and behold Powers and spirits teach you. Fourth; Return to loom, plough, or flock, doing busy in the ways of men, and seek quiet moment for the voice of Gods. Fifth; Act as seer, warrior, caster of the stones of Fates, as healer or as scribe. Sixth; Reach and bring another to the Thing, gošard to train. Seventh; To the world of men apply the Thing-spoken wisdom. Eighth; Learn and live the herder's stone hut and the crossroads of men, at once in both and speak the Thing. Seven years the lad to master of the ship and eight who would be master of Godly whale-path (kenning for the paths of Power), the harbors of mind.
§47 One walks bent with age soon enough. Bent and broke with care, the warrior is his Folk. The lonely border watch (guards), the snows 'ere short poppies and lupines break the steppe. Bowed with concern the leader, priest, and seer. The knight straightens in the act, like a well-strung bow, he launches cares. Bent ill is the man who shoots not forth his acts. Like a marmot, the face of the man, who, after many years but uses his paws to gather and his teeth to gnaw, full cheeked and beady-eyed the man who lives as squirrel. The knight is neither bent nor rat-faced- is fully formed, be he priest, merchant or seer- for any can be knightly.(physionomy as reflection of character- a New Age modern idea also)
Bent with heavy limbs the oak. Bent with nuts full the oak. Shading, tall standing, robe of Sif, the oak. Knowing has its costs-full hang the fruits- low hangs the bough. Who does the work of the Gods in Middle Earth, let ever her head not bow and her back not sag. Lift straight as Sif's shoot and give shelter. For light of step is the rat and light on wind is the noxious weed. One is food for fox or cat and the other trampled by the goat in shade of noble oak.
48 Some at Thing were amber-men and apart they drew. Flocks were fatted and bartered; sons brought to flail and spear (agriculture or soldiery): apart they did not age. Like the crag-tree, there from the grand-father's grand-father's tales, they stayed. (very obscure- does amber mean in appearance, tawny skinned, or their trade? perhaps an aura?)
Yet all behind, the island fell to sea: dark ones walked and drove their skin ships (wagons- the Scythians appears likely here) and never they cared for it all.(the glowing men, or what in the East would be called siddhas didn't care that their Folk were overrun is the gist of this passage) They had no gold, but each gloried in his own glow and in mountain fastness. Their plant withered but the flower in cool, high place endured, seeing only its own beauty, changeless before time.
One ages prior had from the crag descended, Rigr, sired sons of the North. "This mortal vessel I am not," he declared," and I will return whenever the times have need. Not the self-relfected flower, I go the seed and glow and fruit, life after life. To my shining-Ship bear me, when this time is done."(Was this berendr simply taking on Heimdall's name as a pseudonym? Or is this another, and not neces-sarily contradictory, relating of the information in Rigsthula and related lineage accounts?)
Some transformed, he said, through time, some in the lust of combat, then released; some transform by kindred minds blended to Powers, and, "I transform through you. Though I die many times to be with you. Some for Power, some for perfection, some for their amber sheen (perhaps they cultivated an amber light, visible to others, hence the halo seen around pictures of saints in pre-xian Buddhist, Greek, and Roman art), but I transform that you transform, as darts against the gathering gloom. Once I was bended at care," said Rigr, "then let it go in my best bow's release. In my quietest stealth and bravest position, took the field of valour. While others held (over them) the shield, I held also the sword." (A man of Power or Rigr-Scaef, incarnate as a man of Power, speaks of the selfishness of the holy man who withdraws and contrasts asceticism with the active life of "transformation" [usually in this narrative transliterated to "evolution", here in the original useage- the use of this more familiar term being our only transliteration for clarity] and how his task is to evolve through the gift of Higher knowledge to others, not in splendid isolation, a profound statement of the spiritual life.)
§49 At market came the Man of Power, only a glimpse, to stare, then he fades from sight. Simple lives the vitki and none may know where. His sons upon the hawk's path flown, he tends far borders, rushes, fens. He quickly speaks out his staves,(does divination with rune staves) for who have not will envy. Who envy will wound with the tongue or harm with the spear. He finds those who will counsel, does the Man of Power: none find him, nor is he known to others but as a herder of swine (how he appears to the uninitiated, and a real vocation). As the woolen men were about with men-of-arms he reached into his cart, "Mats of rushes! Well-woven mats of rushes!" (This portrait of the holy life is sadly toward the time of hiding. The appearance of Papal troops or armed local traitors with the monks is not surprising.)
§50 Others huddled at the storm. She went about in simple thread, hands raised to Erde or Tyr (in ceorth or tyrrune- obviously the commentator could not tell which from the side or from distance), stood still, tall, proud, palms opened. Others took to shade but in the heat of day she tread slowly. Others made busy in the night, but he gazed to the dark heart at the arch of trees (arched over a path or stream). Others huddled warm, when barefoot in the snow she trekked. Freedom in cold, freedom in hard, freedom is in simple hardships found.
§51 The youth thought him mad. He gazed into shadows in the noon slumber of high summer. In the snow he sat or stood until it melted about. At the marsh he sat, rubbed the juice of roots about to keep the biters away, yet stayed and sat. Now and then one sees him. A boy asked of him, why gaze or sit? The hermit answered, "Much do we do between birth and death and most of it no matter. In all that Grimnir (the Masked One- Ošin) does, He becomes aware. When He hung upon the tree, He became aware. When He bade Mimir speak, He was aware. Much passes between birth and death. What means any of it, I am not aware?"
But how, asks the youth, is to gaze to be aware? "In each place and force a spirit dwells before me, after me, and always. They show me the world before me and after me. They have shown me our world at the time of hidings, when the people of stones and the people of oaks, when the folk of staves and ravens, are banished, (Druids, Odinists) and they show me we shall return again, in the night after the next Sigurd." Now and again, Folk see him at marsh or skerry stone and none think him mad.
§52 Even among good folk come disputes. Before the Thing may be brought, but first in the common-house before elders. Ere wind bend the trees and rains the field's fair face's smoothness line, much is endured and much more learned. Go thence to elders. If between kin, the common ancestor has gone before, ask always that same from the Living Acre (Ošainsaker) be present; failing this, seek next who dwells behind. If between kins, let each an elder attend and together seek Tyr's council. Should not resolve, the elders locked, priest, priestess, seer ask to guide their way and make new choice beyond each position. Fails this, then matters wend before the Thing, where Tyr and Ošin, Saga, and the Fates sit as matters come to elders of many a kin as sit in council wise.
53 She went to well early to draw for potation of wormwood, for his head was still in his cups, the light of day did wound (appears to have been a hangover). She earlier chopped wood; for he could not. He tended not the ox and it feasted bloat weed (must be some sort of noxious weed that makes ruminants bloat). No ox to cart, no cart to haul, no eggs to market, though the children took from nest.
In the talk of markets, another ask, how could she suffer thus? The frau quoth, "You must endure. You must be a warrior in life." The gyšja, near trading her beads, replied it was false to be a warrior in life 'less first a warrior you be in choice. "The warrior's choice first make," saith she,"the good steel to arms, the high ground to hold, the early march on slumbered foe. To fight well who chose poor position is fool more than fighter. Well picks the spearman his ground and the bowman his hillock. Then fight well who must. The stubborn wight an ill-chosen stand may make. For warriors be ignorant or old, but rarely both."
§54 Dark was the storm in the East. Dark were the riders, short with horse-tail hair (black and thick). Where they took land (settled) are folk as burnt. From the horseman keep your daughters, and from the horseman's sons. From the skin house (yurt, or travelling wagon house, probably Huns) princess, keep your sons, for they go not to streams (to bathe) and drink sour milk (koumiss, fermented mare's milk).
Where now they trade and farm, are heads like hares (round- a real anomaly at the time), short, swart like elves-beware. Look only to the light of us, the fair-browed, whose brows do not meet. Look only to the tall of us, strong going and high-minded. Look only to the fair-minded and clever, good at trading stave (making rune staves to record purchase, prices, descr. for market) and equal of temper. Look for the quiet and earnest or the well-spoke and sincere. Here seek they maid and swain. Though some be comely too, the dark with dark belong_as geese by feathers nest else all is confused.
Once we were all of flax and heather (hair and eye color?)-that was in grandmother's days. Then came from the East in father's time, making the half-dark. Now dark with flax and either with half-dark 'til neither wood duck nor goose remain. (presumably a darker wild duck as contrast to geese)
§55 Two brothers there were as courted two sisters, both toothsome swains. The Binder held all that he had be it fit or not, but Free-Fisted held only were it weal. Binder courted the lass whose bright smile and full form promised strong youths, but her water was foul, for too oft sailed and loved not but her slated face. (slate=mirror, hence, narcissm) When tired or fled she, with magic, he by her hair bound her, or stick (rune stick) made to keep her. From Goddess his wish, and bound her fast.
Free-fisted found her sister much the same, and set her free. He slept alone, while Binder made a goodly home for stout children. Often they fought and never was it kempt and never peaceful. Soon they slept apart did Binder and Foul. Free-fisted (probably meaning that his hand was open, as he gripped nothing) went long years alone. When he met Fine Spirit, he did not seize her. Though they drew water at the same stream, each smiled, but carried skins apart. They met again and grew to court, to happy home and happy stout child. They prosper at the Mother's hearth, the house in peace. (Frigga's hearth)
§56 The hooded robed came and we hid in forests to Thing. Dark soldiers they brought from the South so we spoke in barns and hid the two horses (maybe referring to the two-horse symbol of Hengist and Horsa) amid rushes. From him they stole land, for he would (pay) no tax. From him they fined goats, for he would not tithe. Land gone, he settled the vik (creek) between the holder's grants (appears theocracy had resettled small free-holders into laborer's compounds, as serfs, and given their lands to large, powerful landlords for whom they would henceforth labor- the beginning of feudal nobility).
They would not suffer him to hunt, so weirs and traps he set. Since spring thaws o'er the low hearth flowed, he with sons built on poles, thatched high. (made a stilt house on land no one wanted) The rich taxed his foot upon their trail, so he make float to town. Then skins and fish he brought to market could not sell, be they not blest by the hooded ones, (an xian form of koshering was required in Dark Age marketplaces in some areas) thus he bartered for grain and cloth. Offered they to "save" him, would say at barter; he wot not and to the Gods was ever true. What they took never he stopped, but made anew. What they dammed he flowed around like waters of first budding.
The runes go far now from the land of men, for the new priests are barons and the new kings heavily tax and many in chains. Those who pray not with them and wot not 1 of 4 their sheep and bushels must with Ullh the wild hunt join and pick Frigga's down (in the sense, not of Ošin's Wild Hunt at Samhain, but hunting wild meat and foraging).
Darkness comes, the carts of cut stone hauled by tax-slaves for the hooded ones to build.(to build churches or cathedrals) Runes you shall speak man to man and woman to woman, shall whisper true to grandson brave. Turn to the heath and know it, for beyond this time, Sigurd shall rebirth to us, yet many his dragons and fierce then, say the gyšja. Slay he or be slain, the sons of his warriors shall set to the shaven wood (the shaved wood, used for paper in the North was called bók, whence the word 'book') again our way. Until then speak it to moon, to heath, to hidden men in places remote. Speak to star and perfect every word where naught hear but whose mind blend with mind. In this time shall speak it oft an truly that in far time it be little change before it come to birch again. (usually the birch was the wood shaved for writing sheets)