Thor’s Day Alert #14: Fimbulvetr
Happy Thor’s Day, everybody!
And Happy New Year. If you stayed up too late or imbibed too much last night, you’ve come to the right place. For if that’s the case, then you’re probably not feeling renewed nor full of hope for a great 2009, to say nothing of tackling those resolutions that looked so good on paper yesterday.
The good news? I’m going to give you a reason to go back to bed. It is, after all, still winter and in many places mighty cold outside. And you never know — winter may never end. Why get all excited about losing weight and quitting smoking if the end of the world is nigh?
In Norse myth, Ragnarok (the end of the world) is presaged by a time called Fimbulvetr, which means terrible winter. Following I give you a short passage from The Prose Edda, as translated from Icelandic by Jean I. Young:
Then Gangleri said: ‘What is there to relate about Ragnarok? I have never heard tell of this before.’
High One said: ‘There are many and great tidings to tell about it. First will come the winter called Fimbulvetr. Snow will drive from all quarters, there will be hard frosts and biting winds; the sun will be no use. There will be three such winters on end with no summer in between. Before that, however, three other winters will pass accompanied by great wars throughout the whole world. Brothers will kill each other for the sake of gain, and no one will spare father or son in manslaughter or in incest. As it says in the Sibyl’s Vision:
Brothers will fight
and kill each other,
men will know misery,
adulteries be multiplied,
an axe-age, a sword-age,
shields will be cloven,
a wind-age, a wolf-age,
before the world’s ruin.
Disturbing, eh? I say start your resolutions in the spring — after we’re sure winter has passed and the end of the world averted!
Thanks for stopping by. See ya next week!