When Coulomb Comments on Catholic North Lands · Skin-Walkers, Shapeshifters, Odinist Idols
Tumblar House | 2.III.2019
I happen to have a Catholic author to add to the previous list of Catholic Scandinavia - or two, a Norwegian subject residing on Iceland and a Dane clearly favouring Valdemar Atterdag.
It's the Dane, Saxo Grammaticus, who has most to say on this subject, and if you believe Odin coming to Uppsala and Bödvar Bjarke's fylgia appearing and so, here are two things related.
- 1) Odin was able to look like he had just died (no breathing or heartbeats visible) and, when waking up, to shift shape to a vulture and fly away.
- 2) When Bödvar Bjarke slept, his fylgia, shaped like a bear, was fighting for him (and fighting better than he), meaning, his protégé Hjalte (formerly Hött) does a mistake in waking him up in the final battle.
The fylgia is easiest to explain. Some kind of angelic (or elfin) being was sometimes showing. Fallen or not fallen.
Now, that one would be a different person from Bödvar himself.
Odin ... I tend to think he knew the arts of fakirs including hypnosis.
His pseudo-dead state ... fakirs sometimes do that.
His appearance as a vulture flying away? If one observer regularly observing this was sufficiently important, this would spread. Poor Gylfe, last monarch previous to Odin, could have been hypnotised, deeply, and Odin abused it to give this impression.
As to any less important person NOT so hypnotised seeing Odin rise up normally, well, I guess you know H. C. Andersen's Emperor's Knew Clothes ...? With the added incentive to comply, that not doing so might land him on the sacrificial list. You know, Odinism did - like Druidism - involve human sacrifice.
By the way, Bödvar, who considered Odin as giver of victory and loss in battle, fairly appropriately called him a traitor. Perhaps one of the truest words a Pagan said of his false gods ... though not for the reason Bödvar imagined.
Compared to that, Snorre (the Icelander / Norwegian) has less to say on shapeshifting, but the behaviour of his historic Odin (the one starting Yngling dynasty after deluding Gylfe) seems to involve invisibility in the perception of, precisely one man, Gylfe.
I think Charles can imagine exacly how this was arranged. If not, ask John Cerbone.
The non-historic Odin is of course Odin's self-representation, as having formerly killed a monster with his two brothers and created the world from it, and man and woman from two trees trunks.
Don't you believe a Swede could be sufficiently stupid to believe that?
Well, look at Reformation, Enlightenment and Social Democracy in Sweden!
The latter involved an episode c. 40 years long, of enforced sterilisations. Lapps and gipsies targetted.
You know, "believing doctrines of demons" and all that. And of course, "ab aquilone pandetur malum supra terram".
Btw, what do you consider as best among my theories on identity of Odin?
- 1) A Druid, fleeing from Julius Caesar? One whose Teutates' name was Nodens, changing it to Vodens and playing the part?
- 2) Yeshu Ben Pekharia (if that is how he was called) whom some Jews later confused with Our Lord Jesus Christ?
Odin very arguably DID found an idolatrous cult.
His son probably in some fashion played the part of a thundergod.
And the sons of Zebedee are also called "Boanerges" (which does not linguistically mean "sons of thunder") and why? "Because sons of thunder". Like Our Lord teasing them on their father or grandfather having been adored as an idol (but repented, otherwise he would not be back in Holy Land), and them responding by moaning like oxen (that is what boanerges does mean!)