Sunday 8 December 2013

Havamal Snippets 108: Odin needed to use violence to escape the clutches of the Giants

This verse is the next in a series about Odins adventure to get the Mead of Poetry from a Giantess named Gunnloth. (Click on parts one, two, three, four if you want to.)  Gunnloths name means 'War Summon' or 'War Invitation' (according to various sources) which might mean that for teh God Odin to escape from the Giants court, he needs to have enjoyed the War Summoner.  When thinking about Gods and Giants, it's useful to remember that Gods deal with the realm of thought, and Giants deal with the realm of the physical.  In the context of this verse it seems to imply that for the protagonist Odin to escape from the clutches of physically oriented creatures he needs to be able to 'summon war', ie to get violent.

Taking this notion a little further, and applying it to everyday real life, we could substitute physically oriented 'Giants' for physically oriented humans (eg Jocks, bullies, machos), and then substitute 'Odin' for a regular John Doe, and subsitute the 'Giants Court' for the Jocks domain.  Thus we have a rough guide of how an average John Doe needs to 'summon war' (get more physical, emotional, aggressive) in order to defeat the Jocks and escape their clutches.

Ifi er mér á
at ek væra enn kominn
jötna görðum ór
ef ek Gunnlaðar ne nytak
innar góðu konu
þeirar er lögðumk arm yfir

Doubtful it is to me
that I could have come again
out of the giant's court,
if I had not enjoyed Gunnloth,
the good woman,
over whom I laid my arm.


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