bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Month for Loki: Nine

Nine in Norse Mythology, from Wikipedia:

  • Nine worlds that are supported by Yggdrasil.
  • At the end of Skáldskaparmál is a list of nine heavenly realms provided by Snorri, including, from the nethermost to the highest, Vindblain (also Heidthornir or Hregg-Mimir), AndlangVidblain, Vidfedmir, Hrjod, Hlyrnir, Gimir, Vet-Mimir and Skatyrnir which “stands higher than the clouds, beyond all worlds.”
  • Every ninth year, people from all over Sweden assembled at the Temple at Uppsala. There was feasting for nine days and sacrifices of both men and male animals according to Adam of Bremen.
  • In Skírnismál, Freyr is obliged to wait nine nights to consummate his union with Gerd.
  • In Svipdagsmál, the witch Gróa grants nine charms to her son Svipdag. In the same poem there are nine maidens who sit at the knees of Menglod.
  • In Fjölsvinnsmál, Laegjarn’s chest is fastened with nine locks.
  • During Ragnarök, Thor kills Jörmungandr but staggers back nine steps before falling dead himself, poisoned by the venom that the Serpent spewed over him and after that, he resurrected himself.
  • According to the very late Trollkyrka poem, the fire for the blót was lit with nine kinds of wood.
  • Odin’s ring Draupnir releases eight golden drops every ninth night, forming rings of equal worth for a total of nine rings.
  • In the guise of Grímnir in the poem Grímnismál, Odin allows himself to be held by King Geirröd for eight days and nights and kills him on the ninth after revealing his true identity.
  • There are nine daughters of Ægir.
  • There are nine mothers of Heimdall.
  • There are nine great lindworms: Jörmungandr, Níðhöggr, Grábakr, Grafvölluðr, Ofnir, Svafnir, Grafvitni and his sons Góinn and Móinn.
  • The god Hermod rode Sleipnir for nine nights on his quest to free Baldr from the underworld.
  • The giant Baugi had nine thralls who killed each other in their desire to possess Odin’s magical sharpening stone.
  • The god Njord and his wife Skadi decided to settle their argument over where to live by agreeing to spend nine nights in Thrymheim and nine nights at Nóatún.
  • The giant Thrivaldi has nine heads.
  • The clay giant Mokkurkalfi measured nine leagues high and three broad beneath the arms.
  • When Odin sacrificed himself to himself, he hung upon the gallows of Yggdrasill for nine days and nights. In return, he secured rúnar ‘runes, secret knowledge’.
  • The valknut symbol is three interlocking triangles forming nine points.
  • There are nine surviving deities of Ragnarök, including Baldr and Hödr, Magni and Modi, Vidar and Váli, Hoenir, the daughter of Sól and a ninth “powerful, mighty one, he who rules over everything”.

Month for Loki: Eight

Loki is big on the concept of “negative capability,” which John Keats defines as, “when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.” Namely, that a poet must remain open to all ideas, to all identities–even to the point of obliterating one stable identity–if that poet is to remain truly creative. Basically: embrace uncertainty, because it leads to change, and change is generative and inherently creative.