Norse mythology beginnings
Creation, Death, and Rebirth
Told to King Gylfi in the guise of Gangleri
Ginnungagap = Open Void
Muspelheim= Destroyers’ Home guarded by Surt with the flaming sword
(flaming world) the sparks that came from it became sun and stars
Niflheim = Fog land, with a spring called Hvergelmir, with eleven rivers with
the foam becoming ice and turning into mist )
From the foam venom came Ymir and the Audhumla = cow came from the
ice and fed him. Aud. Licked ice and Buri (grandfather of gods) was born
From Buri came Bor and Bor had Odin, Vili, and Ve and they killed Ymir.
The rest of the Frost giants drowned in his blood.
Bergelmir alone escaped and he and his wife sired the next race of giants.
The corpse of Ymir made the world.
Flesh = earth
Blood = salt sea
Large bones = mountains
Smaller bones and teeth = rocks and pebbles
Hair = forests
Eyebrows = barrier to separate giants and dwarfs from middle earth
Skull = sky
Brains = storm clouds
First man = Ask from ash tree and first woman Embla from elm tree
Odin, Vili and Ve built Asgard and two ravens, Thought and Memory fly over the
world every day and return to sit on Odin’ shoulders
Norse Gods are not immortal
Valhala is the hall of the slain. Valkyries are daughters of Odin who
choose the slain.
Go through list of gods on pg. 460
Death of Balder will lead to Ragnarok, the last great battle. Loki causes it
and is confined in Hel, his daughter and the goddess of the dead.
Next for 3 years there will be bloody wars and evil will run wild and ruin the
world and then three terrible winters.
The earth will shake and free Fenrir, Loki and a dragon. All the creatures
of evil will fight the gods and they will be destroyed and then all the
human beings will be and then the earth will be reborn again. And the
two humans who had survived the endless winters will become the
parents of the next race of human beings.
Mapping Trickster Figures
1. ambiguous and anomalous personality of the trickster:
“a necessary anomaly involving every set of extremes:
sacred and profane, life and death, culture and
nature, order and chaos, fertility and impotence…he is
not defined merely as a series of oppositions or
contrasts. His activities are
outlawish, outlandish, outrageous, out of bounds and out
2. deceiver/trick player: “a consummate and continuous
trick-player and deceiver. In many cultures and
religions, the trickster acts as the prima causa of
disruptions and disorders, misfortunes and
improprieties.” He might be an unconscious numbskull
(the trick can be played back on him) or a malicious
3. shape-shifter: “The trickster can alter his shape or bodily
appearance in order to facilitate deception. Not even the
4. situation-invertor: “The trickster exhibits typically
the ability to overturn any person, place, or belief,
no matter how prestigious. Profaning or inverting
social beliefs brings into sharp relief just how much
a society values these beliefs.”
5. messenger/imitator of the gods: “Often of
uncertain or impure birth, the trickster can be both
a messenger and an imitator of the gods.” He can
slip back and forth. He may be the messenger of
death or he may bring gifts. Society may be
simultaneously disrupted and renewed.
6. sacred/lewd tinker: “noted for his ingenuity in
transforming anything at hand in order to find a
creative solution. The trickster seems impelled
inwardly to violate all taboos, especially those which