Devyn Christopher Gillette - The Sons of Odin A Heroic Analysis of the Volsunga Saga (116.0 Kb)
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Without the lasting power of the story, especially in the sharing of myths and legends, a society functions ethically or with much hope of retaining its individual culture. In addition to being a vehicle for spiritual and psychological illumination, myths are the means by which a culture identifies its relationship to the universe, how it defines its processes of ritual, and how significant events warrant rites of passage.The Saga of the Volsungs, an oral account written during the latter period between 1200 and 1270 in the ... More >>>
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Without the lasting power of the story, especially in the sharing of myths and legends, a society functions ethically or with much hope of retaining its individual culture. In addition to being a vehicle for spiritual and psychological illumination, myths are the means by which a culture identifies its relationship to the universe, how it defines its processes of ritual, and how significant events warrant rites of passage.
The Saga of the Volsungs, an oral account written during the latter period between 1200 and 1270 in the Codex Regius (Book of Kings) and discovered later in a burning barn, accounts for events that likely occurred during the transformative Indo-European migration era of the third through fifth centuries. Fortunately, unlike most other European examples of pre-Christian lore, its translation seems to be free of the "corrective" biases liberally administered by Benedictine pens. Scholars have suggested that the myth specifically reflects the wars among the Burgundians, Huns, and Goths, and the saga treats many of the same legends as the Middle High German epic poem Nibelungenlied written circa 1200. The legends were later immortalized for contemporary audiences through Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen tetralogy composed between 1853 and 1874.
This presentation attempts to isolate and analyze elements within this saga that are common to most hero myths. These commonalities include unusual birth of the hero, the concept of the mother as symbolic of the Great Goddess, a search for the father, a threat to the young hero, quest, the notion of the dragon slayer, guides on the hero's path, and the final confrontation with death.
This analysis is mutually fashioned in the cultural anthropological character of Levi- Strauss and the interpretive manner of Jung and Campbell. It is important then for the reader to understand that references to the text need not occur in any particular order, at all, or to a particular personage for the analysis to convey its visceral points. This approach is in league with the idea that linear interpretation functions well in logical deduction, but plays little role in mythological thinking. This is not to suggest that I am attempting to reduce the myth into impotent component parts, but the analytic process itself has much to offer.
(Permission for circulation by the author: Devyn Christopher Gillette)
Devyn has been active in the Pagan spiritual community for more than 25 years, and has been a speaker and workshop presenter at numerous gatherings and symposia. In 1992, he was awarded the Shield of Valor by the Witches League for Public Awareness while producing the "Between The Worlds" radio broadcast. A Craft elder, he introduced the Blue Star tradition of Wicca to Canada in 1999. He is a freelance writer with a background in anthropology and lives in Toronto with two cats and a snake. He invites comments, questions, and opportunities to go out and share a pint over buffalo wings with friends he has, and hasn't, met.
Devyn Christopher Gillette about himself: I dance in the rain. I adapt and overcome. I believe that every day is an adventure. I have it and I have a lot of it to give. I'm an elder within the Craft community, having trained students, facilitated open rituals, administered rites of passage, organized networks, and have been a featured speaker at various conferences and symposia throughout the northeast Pagan community. I embrace spirit in daily life. I am the Goddess' perfect child. I'm here to learn more, share more, and be.
Sources: https://www.blogger.com/profile/06314675717273742097, http://www.dailyom.com/users/000/637/000637297.html