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Thread: Symbols in Teutonic Mythology

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Western Europe

    Symbols in Teutonic Mythology

    Symbols in Teutonic Mythology

    The apple symbolizes eternal youth. Without consuming the golden apples of the goddess Idun, the gods would grow old and wither because their bodies are physically human (Crossley-Holland, 3.

    Teutonic mythology portrayed blindness as simpleness and gullibility, though a trait of the good-willed. In the myths, the blind god Hod, having been tricked by Loki, accidentally slays his brother Balder, an event that was said to be the first signal of the approach of Ragnarok, the end of the world (Crossley-Holland, 150-161).

    Blood is a symbol of truth and loyalty, as well as life in Teutonic mythology. Blood oaths were sacred to the Teutons, and represented the key role of the bond between men. Also, during times of famine, it was believed royal and sacred blood had to flow to appease the gods. Like Christian holy water, blood was shed in sacrifices; it was sprinkled on temple walls and on people; and hunters often even drank warm blood--all to avert bad luck and to ensure the fruitfulness of the coming year (Chantepie de la Saussaye, p.372; Davidson, Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe, p.5.

    Bifrost, a "flaming three-strand rainbow bridge" is guarded by the god Heimdall and connects the middle world of people, Midgard, to the upper world of the gods, Asgard (Crossley-Holland, 240).

    Caves and clefts in the earth were seen as a means of communicating with the underworld. For example, in the myth that is the source for Wagner's Ring, the dwarf Andvari lived in a cave where he kept his treasure. However, to pay a ransom for the death of a giant named Otter, the god Loki managed to extract the treasure from Andvari by fooling him into thinking the cave spoke to him, though the voice was only Loki's echo. In retaliation against the god's theft, Andvari placed a curse upon the stolen treasure, which included the ring, and said that it would destroy whomever owned it (Davidson, Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe, 26; Crossley-Holland, 239).

    Garm is the Hound of the Underworld, a giant-dog, who at the end of the world in Ragnarok will kill the god Tyr. According to the epic Gylfaginning, Garm guards the island Lyngvi, where Loki the trickster god and his son the wolf Fenrir are chained. The "foremost of all dogs," Garm "is to bark with all its might when the chains of Loke and Fenrer threaten to burst asunder" (Rydberg, p.384-5).

    Teutonic myths say that in Niflheim, near the Spring of Hvergelmir, Nidhogg the dragon and his accomplices gnaw at the roots of Yggdrasill, the World Ash Tree, trying to loosen its foundation and thereby put an end to all eternally (Crossley-Holland, 15).

    Last edited by Agaliha; August 4th, 2010 at 07:13 PM. Reason: Snipped for copyright

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    near Tacoma, WA


    Interesting info. Though I had to snip the text. We don't allow copyrighted material to be posted in full on MW. If you want to share a site or text (unless it's clearly in public domain) please use provide a small snippet and a link to the text for people to read. Thank you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Thanks for posting this site and there are a lot of nice things to see on there. Unfortunately cats are given no mention to the list of symbols, as they are the symbol of Freya.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Chesapeake, VA

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