This is my forty-sixth monthly teaching letter and continues my fourth year of publication. In the last lesson, we took up the subject of perverted or “false Odinism.” We discovered it was a farce, and just the opposite of what should be expected of authentic or “true Odinism.” I then quoted a chapter out of a book entitled The Story Of Norway by Hjalmar H. Boyeson. This was a very old book being published in 1886. While this book was very informative, it was based mainly on what is considered Younger Edda, which tends to be somewhat problematical in nature. Snorre Sturlasson was the author of a book entitled the Heimskringla; he also wrote the Younger or Prose Edda. With this lesson, we are going to concentrate, for the most part, on what is considered Elder Edda. This should give us a truer view of the lifestyle of the Norse Vikings. We were on the subject of Egypt and got sidetracked by the term “ashet tree” on various Egyptian obelisks which led us in turn to the term “ash tree” in Norse Mythology.
We are now going to try to make some sense out of Norse Mythology. Don’t let anyone ever tell you any differently, as the Norse people are some of the finest folk to ever set foot on the face of this earth. How could they be otherwise when many of them have Tamar as their great great grandmother, especially Odin? I will now present this subject from the book History Of The Norwegian People by Knut Gjerset, Ph.D., professor of Norwegian language, literature and history in Luther College, Decorah, Iowa. (Little Norway of America). This book was published in 1915. On page 92, he speaks of the temperament of the Norwegian people. I will enclose some comments on the text in brackets [ ]:
“He [the Norseman] loved the battle and the stormy sea; he admired the strong, the brave, the cunning, the intellectual; for the old and feeble he had no interest, for the suffering no sympathy; the weak he despised. He sang of valor and of heroic deeds; not of love and beauty. [Note: These Norsemen had been fighting for their very lives for several hundreds of years from the time they had left Assyria until they arrived in the Scandinavian part of Europe leaving them hard and heartless.] The sagas of the rich and powerful have been written, the poor and unfortunate classes are passed over in silence. But in the Viking Age the lifegiving spirit of Christianity was breathed gently also upon the pagan North. Unconsciously at first the hard heartstrings were loosened, and the soul was stirred by a new life. Notes of love and sadness steal into their songs, words of affection and sorrow are chiseled on their tombstones, woman gradually rises to new dignity, and the rights of the heart gain recognition. Even religious life is deeply affected by this gentle influence. The Light of the World had cast its first faint glimmer upon the intellectual and moral life of the North, — the Viking expeditions had begun to bear their greatest fruit.