This week’s Thursday photo prompt – reflection #writephoto has ushered me into the presence of two mysterious personages. Their ancient voices calling from a time of fire and ice. Prophecy and truth are scattered to the winds, they are what I must seek. My pen flies over the page recording their words for all eternity. The Sybil’s voice reaches out from the mist enshrouded, wind blown moorland; thereby setting the scene for this encounter. There was a long established tradition for poets in ancient Norway and Iceland to start a poem by asking for silence from the audience. I have taken the liberty of using these words but the journey thereafter is mine. A strange journey it has to be admitted.
I ask everyone to give me a hearing, the lesser and the greater sons of Heimdallr. It is your wish, Odinn, that I relate well the old lore of men as far back as I can remember.¹
Of human, there was no sound. Of human, there was no sight. We were but a glimmer of light in Ymir’s eyes. Ymir pondered long, pondered hard on the destiny of the first world. The time of Askr and Embla blazed forth like torches in the darkness, and then did they take form from the mating of fire and ice. Regindómr, the mighty doom came and passed like a dying sun. We were no more, neither gods nor human. Such sights have I seen since you offered me the runes Odinn. I blazed my way across the starry heavens and retreated to the roots of the World Tree. Much have I sacrificed for truth and hidden knowledge One-Eyed one. Lightning struck and beset by shadowed visions. My drum beats out the rhythm of your heartbeat. I hear it in my dreams. I am yours Odinn, prophesying the past, present and future. Not all choose to believe my words. Such is my fate. Here I stand now in this unknown world, seeking visions from reflections in the dragon’s eye. The colours shift like waves beating upon the shore. The time has come Odinn to face my present.
Here I stand now in this unknown world, seeking visions from reflections in the dragon’s eye. The colours shift like waves beating upon the shore. I see where you have come from seekers of truth and illusion; tread gently upon the earth beneath your feet lest it draws you into the realm of Hel. Then shall Naglfar, the ship of death, sail into the mists. You must seek meaning in my words. The Seer’s words come clothed in many guises; seek that which will free you. Seek not to escape the destiny writ in stone, surrender to it, surrender to it. The visions depart as the wind whispers its message, ‘Odinn waits in the depths of yonder cave’. I call upon wind and rain to cease; it is safe passage I seek over this grey and remote land. The light returns once more to my world as I walk surely through heather and grass. The earth trembles beneath my feet as my protector follows. The dragon is ever present, ceaseless in its vigilance. It is kin to my clan. Bound by blood are we two.
The cave mouth approaches, vast and silent. It beckons. I enter into its sacred halls. The dragon’s breath lights my way through the darkness. Soon I glimpse His shadow, cloaked in mystery does he stand before me. I have yet to glimpse his face. What say you Odinn? I have returned as you have asked. How may I serve? He lifts his hat and do the runes pour forth like an unceasing waterfall. There was one who stood in my place many, many moons ago. She followed a different god, she was I and I am she. ‘You are reborn once more Seeress’ he says, ‘your line stretching unto eternity. Record keeper, rider through the worlds. Be my eyes and ears in this new age. Seek the mysteries, warn the unwary.’ One rune he picks and offers to me. I look and nod. It is done. My journey starts now. Odinn lifts his face and I see what he truly is. Such an honour shall not be forgotten. The rest I cannot speak of, the veil obscures the mysteries yet to be enacted. Here I stand now in this unknown world, seeking visions from reflections in the dragon’s eye. The colours shift like waves beating upon the shore.
¹Hermann Pálsson (ed., tr.), Voluspá: The Sybil’s Prophecy, Lockharten Press, Edinburgh 1996