minstrel: Cultural Transmigration (was The Coming of Spring)

TrueRhymer at aol.com TrueRhymer at aol.com
Thu Jan 16 16:55:04 PST 1997

Mikal Writes.....

>  The descriptives of the Berserk were quite
>different from period to period in the Norse culture.
>	The idea that the Amerind concept, or the Aboriginal concept could
>be related is less likely.  Still there is an inheirant love of the
>monster in all cultures.  (Our modern one sides with King Kong and
>Frankenstien's science project.)

Oh yeah.  I still think that the Celts had a very unique perspective of the
young hero turning into something "Geiger-esque"  Maybe this is a
pre-historic "jungian" archetype

>	Do it.  It is facinating how as the Norse culture spent more time
>with their Irish friends in Limerick and Dublin just how much Freja's
>almost sidelight role as the head of the Valkyries becomes the Priestess
>of the gods, and Odin's equal in all but name.  The ealier tales almost
>mention her in a passing way, yet the later ones have her hall opposite
>the hall of Odin, and half the slain collected comming to her!

Did Freja ever get turned into a Saint?  Or any of the Norse God's?

>	Maybe.  But the similarities I am refering to are poetic by
>structure.  Take a good hard look at Patrick's Deer's cry in the original
>tounge.  It shows a lot of "germanic" rhythm that my old proffessor used
>to call "accidental".  I don't believe in creative accidents myself...

Uhm, on this one, I'd have to say "early ToastMasters"  From what I've read,
the Deer's Cry dates linguistically before the influence of our Norski's.
 There are signs of Druid mnemonics devices that definetely predate Bjorn and
the Boy's.

>	HMMMMM....two different stories turned into one?  Odin hung from
>an ash to gain the runes, (The Hamaval), and he stole the Cauldron which
>brewed the Mead of Poetry, (Bolverka).  Unless my education is sorely
>mistaken, those are the two concepts you use?
>	As to trolls, selkies, etc.  Those are the most impressive
>evidences of cultural exchange.  Just check out the Isle of Skye and their
>very Norse mythos.

It's been awhile since I've read my Norse Stuff (There's just so much Celtic
stuff to absorb) But did'nt Odin hang on the Ash tree 9 days, for a drink of
the poetry mead (again/ very Celtic) and afterwards create Runes? (I will
definetly bow to your expertise on this one.)

>	The Cauldron is also a recurring theme in human mythology.  You
>could even relate it to the Amerind concept of the White Buffalo.  Her
>hide is used to boil the soup.  The soup makes them wise....
>	I try to stay away from definite comparisons of objects or
>individuals when comparing a mythological creation of one culture to
>another.  There are certain objects and concepts that are almost
>universal, but could lead to confusion if you used them as a rule to hang
>a theory on.  

Oh no, I've had quite enough theory hanging from all the "golden dawn/bough",
early victorian quasi-celtic mysticism.  But, as a Storyteller, looking at
where mythos parallel and diverge gives me great insights into cultures and
 the shaping landscapes.
>	The oriental creature had the requisite limbs and served a more
>noble cause.  No Connection, even though the names are similar
>(Drakka/Dragon/Draconus/ (what was that chinese word again?)  I hate
>getting senile!)

I think the word you are looking for is "Lung"  Now, I do beleive that a
great deal of the Dragon mytho's in Celtic folklore, was brought over by the
Breton's. (ala the Normans)  Dragon's were just a concept applied to Celtic
monsters (of vaguely wormlike preportions).  You don't see'em in the early
stuff.  Also Chinese Dragons seem to have more "intelligent animist
elemental" aspects.  Our Dragon's just seem to eat things.
>> Do you see much shapechanging in Norse mytho's, aside for barsarkers (and
>> residual werewolf tales).  The Celts seemed to do it all the time.

>	Try the gods.  Odin is a wolf, a man, a giant, an eagle, etc.
>Loki is a Horse, a raven, a man, etc.  The Valkyries became swans.  Some
>mystical human figures in the tales have abilities:  Ottar could be an
>otter, Fafnir became a dragon, etc.
>	Shapechanging might be common to many cultures but the
>Irish/Scots/Norse similarities are too many to be accidental.

Well, shapechanging/animals is definetley a godly perogative...Leda and the
Swan, Posedion the Bull,etc.etc.  Seems much rarer in Mortal's.  Almost
always linked to your wizard/trickster types.  The Celt's definetly had a
frequent "morphing" price break, as they seemed to change shapes all the
time...i.e. Tuan, Taliesen, etc.  Celts were really big on identifying with,
have geases on, taking the name of...etc. Animals.  Maybe it's just because
the Celts just had a better pre-history oral tradition, and the other
cultures lost the link on the way.

What do you know about a Character named Wayland Smith?  He seems to be a
Norse Cross-over type.  Another "saxon-germanic" folk trickster is Till
Eulenspiegel (owl mirror).  Was he an actual shapechanger?  

It's been great discussing this with you....One of these day's, let this old
Bard buy the Old Skald a beer.  We'll discuss the shoddy treatment of
Greybearded Poets these days.

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