Thursday, 13 February 2014

Hraesvelgr, Olvaldi and his sons

Olvaldi is the father of Thjazi, father of Skadi the Ice Giantess, Iði and Gangr who are all storm giants. Hraesvelgr is a giant, in the form of an eagle, who sits at the top of the world and causes the winds to blow when he beats his wings. In the cauldron of my Gewessi thoughts I see Hraesvelgr as controlling the jet streams. It is the jet stream that modern Logos has discovers controls the winds and thus the weather around the world. So why are these Jotun's in my thoughts?

Because the Ents, Giants or Jotun's personify the natural forces that are outside of human control and Hraesvelgr and Olvaldi's sons apply specifically to winter in North Western Europe. If the Eagle beats his wings one way then the Jet Stream moves allowing Thjazi, or rather Thjazi's daughter to control the period from Yule to Eostre. As happened in 2013 when we were plunged into a very cold period of ice and snow.

Hraesvelgr beat his wings another way this winter and instead we have been at the mercy of Iði and Gangr who have wrought storm after storm over us causing floods and havoc. They started just at Yule, although the Christian / St.Jude storm was a precursor before Samhuin, and have continued through to Imbolc. It brings to mind the Anglo Saxon Riddle (answer storm):

Sometimes my lord corners me;
then He imprisons all that I am
under fertile fields - He frustrates me,
condemns me in my might to darkness,
casts me into a cave where my warden, earth,
sits on my back. I cannot break out
of that dungeon, but I shake halls
and houses; the gabled homes of men
tremble and totter; walls quake,
then overhang. Air floats above earth,
and the face of the ocean seems still
until I burst out from my cramped cell
at my Lord's bidding, He who in anger
buried me before, so shackled me that I
could not escape my Guardian, my Guide.

Sometimes I swoop to whip up waves, rouse
the water, drive the flint-grey rollers
to the shore. Spumming crests crash
against the cliff, dark precipice looming
over deep water; a second tide,
a sombre flood, follows the first;
together they fret against the sheer face,
the rocky coast. Then the ship is filled
with the yells of sailors; the cliffs quietly
abide the ocean's froth and fury,
lashing waves, racing rollers
that smash against stone. The ship must face
a savage battle, a bitter struggle,
if the sea so buffets it and its cargo
if souls that it is no longer under control
but, fighting for life, rides foaming
on the spines of breakers. There men see
the terror I must obey when I bluster
on my way. Who shall restrain it?

At times I rush through the dark clouds
that ride me, churn the sea into a frenzy,
then afterwards let the waters subside.
When one cloud collides with another,
edge against sharp edge, the din
of destruction, a mighty noise, echoes
above the dwellings of men; dark bodies,
hastening, breathe fire overhead,
flashing lightning; thunderous crashes
shake the sky, then growl darkly.

The clouds do combat, dark drops
fall, rustling rain from their wombs.
A fear-tide flows in the hearts of men,
a growing terror - strongholds succumb
to dread - when that ghastly troop goes
on the rampage, and shrithing evil spirits,
spurting flames, shoot sharp weapons.

A fool is unafraid of the death-spears,
but for all that he will die
if the true Lord lets fly the arrow,
a whistling weapon, straight through rain
from the whirlwind above. Few men
survive if they are struck by lightning.

I am the origin of all that strife,
when I rush through the concourse of clouds,
surge forward with great strength, and fly
over the face of the water. Troops on high
clash noisily; then afterwards,
under cover of night, I sink to earth,
and carry off some burden on my back,
renewed once more by my Lord's power.

I am a mighty servant: sometimes
I fight, sometimes wait under the earth;
at times I swoop and sink under water,
at times whip up waves from above;
sometimes I stir up trouble
amongst scudding clouds; swift and savage,
I travel widely. Tell me my name,
and Who it is rouses me from my rest,
or Who restrains me when I remain silent.

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