Storytelling is… #12 The Skald

 

 

Storytelling is… #12 The Skald

What is a Skald?

I could look it up, and perhaps I will, but there is almost no need of history, we are history, we are re-making it as we go along. Let ‘What is a Skald?’ be answered by what is needed of me.

Some of you are, like, yes but what is a Skald? I am storyteller to the chieftain so we can start from there.

Fame and respect I suppose. A storyteller and or poet would be noticed and enjoyable. They would be thanked loudly as well as being responded to as they go along. So it was with me I guess. I did many a performance in many a place before I was asked to be Skald. Poetry and story and most importantly, a mixture.

So audiences were aware of me. Any passing chieftains would be able to see that appreciation shown by the crowd at a glance. They would hear the applause and sometimes even cheers. They would hear laughter – but I do maintain that I am funnier over here in Norway than I was back home in Yorkshire.

There needs to be a little more than this when that chieftain comes along. He needs to like what he hears, to see where the performer is coming from with an air of expectation.

More than this though, they need to jell. So it was with Georg and I. We got along with mutual respect and anticipation right from the start. Not that we are alike, or at least not in every way; our views compliment each other. Also, as Georg says, we ‘look right’.

Not that the role is exclusive, parts of the job can be stepped into by others at times: storytellers, shamans, musicians, hosts, all play a part as happens.

Georg saw me perform at the Jorvik Viking Festival (many times in fact) and through that he invited me to go to Gudvangen.

My performances were a mixture of poetry and story and were tailored to fit the occasion, and the needs of the festival organisers. This arrangement is a happy compromise which also requires and effort to acknowledge the needs of the audience.

So it was in history and so it is that history repeats itself.

Yes, Skald, or Skalt, means poet. One needs to be a poet, experience shows however one needs to be so much more.

The praise poems are needed of course. Special occasions are marked, battles also. In this Viking town rather than just celebrating past battles the Skald needs to support in current ones; fighting the corner in more gentle or subtle ways than the battles of axe-wielding of old. One may also need to help bury the hatchet.

Other roles such as ceremonies we shall come to which often require poems; ‘poems of a purpose’ beyond the topic of the role of the chieftain.

I think my chieftain (or would-be king) continues in the role not just because of the massive levels of respect and expectation from thousands of supporters but also because it is fun.

One must have fun, one must also take ones role very seriously. I know I do. I couldn’t write for the job if I didn’t have a massive respect for the man, for his role, for our societies, and for all who come here.

I am not alone in the role, Georg has several singers, poets, tellers around him – I throw myself into the role and try to take up every challenge. I try.

I take my ‘job’ very seriously, that way it leads to a whole load of fun.

I am sure the Skalds of old had fun, I am also sure they were storytellers. It is said that their panegyrics (praise poems) were quite complicated. The main elements of skaldic verse ( to keep this brief and simple) are: beat rather than rhyme, resonance, assonance, alliteration, consonance and that uniquely Norse metaphoric construct the kenning. The naming-word structures kenning were chiefly used to refer to stories from the Norse belief system which we most often refer to as the myths.

It is believed that the Skald utilised a combination of skaldic verse and story; partly to enthral, partly to impress.

A poem would be spoken, not all of it would be understood so the Skald would look impressive, they would then tell the story or stories which related to the kennings, so being entertaining and explanatory they would now repeat the poem and the listeners would understand it and they could be impressed with themselves.

Some say there was vanity involved, even so far as to say that we only know of the myths / belief system because such as Snorri could feel immortal because we could understand his poetry.

I know that I am immensely proud of being humble and it is the only reason I have been so exceptionally successful.

My main topic here shall be my diversity within the complexities of the role it is an echo of the past in the present, and the skalds certainly diversified.

Beyond the many aspects of the role there is also the fact that it has come about through the natural occurrence of events to be perpetually entwined with occurrences of the past.

We are a rock. A bridge. A ship. A hog-back stone. We are a Heiti – A short replacement of description by metaphor.

We are a time-talker – death-spanner – eon-kin; we are interlinked by our use of kenning.

Our very panegyrics: our words of praise unite us across time.

We are the ‘sound’ from the Proto-Germanic skalliz = sound, voice, shout. The Old High German skal for sound; a skalsong was a song of praise.

Be aware we also have cross time connections in the field of mocking, insulting, word-sparing, with the current English word scold coming from the same root.

For good or bad as a skald you will be an influence, usually for the good of course. You will be an influence and may diversify further into other roles.

You will join the ranks of the keepers of culture and history and of old this often led to other roles.

Becoming a clerk or a scribe was common; a record keeper. Some became preachers, then, as of now, are different faiths and different groups. One now might be led into a role within a re-enactment society’s management, back then skalds would become representatives at a Thing; at the All-thing. You are a skald you are a prominent figure.

One thing is for certain, there were stories to tell, there was a wish to listen, be captivated, to learn. I am very glad to say there is still a place for story today; still a place for old tales and tradition always. Being the skald can definitely lead to stories being told.

One should come to this role through respect. I understand that in some societies, especially in Britain, one has to endure tests – it all sounds a bit Greek to me.

Back in the day, (The Norse day – our heyday), one might be tested by circumstance and be seen to rise above. Perhaps one may even take part in a skald-off – the old mock fights of mocking words, where you make the other look so bad that you rise to the fore – not for me that one, (unless pushed).

In many a re-enactment society to tell stories there are tests which one must. Forgive me if I have details wrong but it goes something like this… Apply to be a member, pay up a fee, arrange to go to the annual training weekend, do the village test, and acting test, three appearance tests and the skald test – you are now a skald. I would place the emphasis on ‘a’ skald and would better describe this as being tested to be a storyteller. There are other ways yet this is one way.

To become ‘the’ skald however this comes from respect.

By ‘the’ I mean the chosen representative of a leader or group; it may be a queen requiring great praise, it may be your local Vikingslag for berating the loser of a scrap or a skirmish. Be it live action role play or at a Viking activity centre it is best not to look at the role as a rank, a qualification or an employment; you deserve the role.

You will be busy.

We shall need to write and or memorise skaldic verse or stylized words for the sake of the occasion, achievements and celebration, (I use a leather binder rather than memory).

We may well help others; story circles, workshops, shares, we may even organise a vote to choose skald of the festival, of the market, of the year. We can create storytellers.

There shall be collaboration; with visiting dignitaries, event managers, business owners, societies. There will be creative collaborations with musicians, drummers, singers, chanters, marchers, actors – with bloggers, vloggers, media, artists, weavers.

Then, of course, there are the speeches, welcoming, declaring open, creating an atmosphere, thinking of fun ways of saying things – attempting to capture the essence of the atmosphere but also of what my chieftain will want to put across.

People should feel good – my chieftain’s golden rule is everyone is welcome except those who don’t make others feel welcome.

Then our chieftain shall speak and I shall have made everyone aware of how important his words shall be – I can put them in a nutshell for you though – It is all about love.

There is the blot or versions of same. This can be a ritualistic ceremony where everyone involved is deeply moved with the connection to the Aesir. The Asatru are the followers of Odin’s family, they are his family.

Such ceremonies are similar to many activities which many British would describe as Pagan.

A simple ceremony can be formed at an opening to bless and celebrate – this is often a mixture of light-hearted and or sentimentally moving. We fill the horn with mead and pass it round, as it circulates each person takes a sip (or gifts a little to the earth if they don’t drink alcohol); as I say these can be endearing and powerful or as simple as ‘Skol’!

One highly jocular comment seemed to be extremely popular when I was in the circle, “Cheerio Miss Sophie.” – this is seen by Norwegians as quintessentially English and yet, for years, was completely incomprehensible to me.

Everyone is welcome and ‘everyone’ is a wide-ranging set of people. – there is almost every belief here and many reasons to be here; Pagans may feel a connection to the place, Asatru to their gods, Muslims might be internally connecting in their own way, Jewish… – you get the idea.

We all have reasons for being here too, from the tourist to the re-enactor, from the site owner to the child of the drummer, traditionalists and newcomers, outsiders and originators, we can all get something out of this, and the nearest I can come to summarising is – timelessness.

There are specific ceremonies, ie funerals, naming days, blessings, weddings, initiations. How are these done? – By everyone sharing their expectations and wishes, to ensure that these elements are included.

You have jobs beyond the grand occasion, newcomers should feel welcome, they should not feel unsure, they should be guided and befriended. – Keep an eye out for them and point them at the right person (possibly yourself).

New ideas will come and you will seek to be encouraging and informative.

Off-shoots of my role have included, contributing to newsletters, blogging, arranging tapestry presentations across the globe.

The biggest thing perhaps is the parade; the background to it and the resultant ceremony.

Background indeed, often an aspect hardly noticed IE there are drummers and pipers hanging around wondering what’s going on. The film crews will be arriving in about five minutes. “Could you drum so they hear which way to come?” “Maybe blow horns when they are in sight?” “Could you be at either side so they walk through?”

To the chap with the three-metre spear, “Could you accompany the chieftain and I so you are his honour guard on the stage?”

“You warriors, when I hold up my hand for silence for the chieftain could you run in front of the stage roaring and clash your weapons to your shields?”

“Galda man, when the shields have been clashed and the horns have been blown could you make one of your spiritual screams?”

“The crew won’t be set up in front of the stage for ten or fifteen minutes so we all could parade around the full camp following our chieftain.”

I shall call onlookers to follow us so we have a crowd from the stalls.

So, everybody marches.

Being adaptable and able to respond ably to commission are vital skills.

People need to get there too. How is the place represented? Can you improve upon what is out there? During the course of writing this blog several people have enquired upon how to visit my chieftain’s town.

The getting there is a story in itself and can be made very entertaining, especially if you make it seem of the Viking age.

I was lost at a huge place with many stalls, all selling odours and alcohol, water was highly priced. I became lost in this accused place and passed many many gateways all leading to other worlds. When I found the right gate and donned Freyja’s feathers I landed in a place of many tunnels – no wonder you people believe in dwarves.

I am from the new lands and have returned to the old stone to remember they ways.

The narrative of the day is also important. Letting people know in a fun way what to expect and what they can take part in.

Activities can be acted out see………………….

I of the new lands must admit to forgetting the old ways – we no longer have grass on our rooves – we have done the terrible deed of missing with the others – Saxon! Angles! Even Parisii!

I may have an advantage; being fluent in English as the world of the Viking is multinational and English is a common tongue, giving me advantage of a Norwegian speaker slightly, possibly, maybe.

We have told multinational stories in over twenty languages and dialects. See Norway in a Nutshell.

Viking Saga in a Nutshell – As performed at Gudvangen Viking Market 2017

On the topic of tangential roles I have recently been asked to write a story to accompany every product on a Viking website.

My own blog keeps me busy with its various strings. This blog is part of the Storytelling is.. string. There is also a series of prose poems on the Gods and Goddesses. Plus another string on my many visits to Gudvangen; this set or series has recently been widened to include My Viking Dreamlife which mixes reality with myth and folklore.

The roles and off shoots I have described are the main elements defining the Skald in a timeless way through the needs of the community. As it must be so shall it be and so shall it always be in the before.

And that I show I ended up with a blood brother and living in a little hut next door.

 

 

 

Storytelling is… #12 The Skald

Storytelling is… #12 The Skald

Storytelling is… #11 The Poem

Storytelling is… #10 The Links

Storytelling is… #9 In A Circle

Storytelling is… #8 The Techniques

Storytelling is… #7 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Being Skaldic

Storytelling is… #6 The Spendlow Lectures Part 2 Chanters Stool

Storytelling is… #5 The Spendlow Lectures Part 1 The Chosen

Storytelling is… #4 An introduction to Adrian Spendlow (me)

Storytelling is… #3 The Bio

Storytelling is… #2 The Show

Storytelling is… #1 Show intro

 

 

 

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Skaldic Kennings for our Chieftain

Skaldic Kennings for our Chieftain

A film team from France were creating a documentary about the Cheiftain of the Viking town in Gudvangen, Norway and I was asked to write a poem in my role as skald to be part of the film…

Njardar Viking Town

Look around

What brings you here?

Dream-creator

World-shaker

Love-bringer

History-maker

Community-seer

Remove-fear

Happen-here

Team-steer

Freedom-father

Gudvangen-leader

Gift-sharer

All-carer

Past-weaver

Peace-caster

Doubt-killer

Hert-filler

Originator

Let love and growth sustain

All because of

Our Chieftain

A man who has no power

And no official role

Who makes things happen by the hour

And gives this place its soul

Let me say it here again

May your gods be thanked for

Our Chieftain.

 

AS

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry Collection by Adrian Spendlow 10 2017

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The shirt was white-flowered blue with paler cuffs and collar

Crispy salad and crunchy cheese

Cold boiled new pots. and huge old ham

Making sure the home-made lemonade is keeping cool

With regular bathroom calls for personal appearance checks

When at the door to admit her, a blob is spotted

A breakfast blob below the collar

 

Turned out she was into S & M

 

                                           Adrian Spendlow

 

 

Aloud and Wild

 

I cry

 

I cry who I am

 

I cry

 

 

                       Adrian Spendlow

 

 

Nothing More

 

A friend who loves

 

I know

 

And am understood

 

There is

 

Nothing more

 

Adrian Spendlow

 

 

 

Galvanised Experience

 

We weave back into the past of reality

For this is more set in stone than actuality

The happenings of the happened must have their glory

Nothing of the now is as real as the story

Blind to the flowerings of the rockery

Present view point forever slippery

 

                                                Adrian Spendlow

 

 

Upon a time…

There once were children

Until imagination

Took them to an island

Where inner callings

Turned them into tribes

Happy they were in pretence

Except that –

Something happened inside

A darkness overcame them

They writhed

Hearts heaved

Other ancient aspects of them

Steadily started to rise

Something monstrous

Arisen

As one, they wizened

Scaled and fearsome

Winding wildly

Onward

Moving gruesomely on

They have become

A…

Dragon!

 

                        Adrian Spendlow

 

 

 

I Was That Janitor

I was abducted by aliens

Abducted

Examined

Stimulated

Tickled

They took me in their

Metal ship

They stripped me with their

Metal probes

They fed me with their

Metal chips

They thrilled me with their

Metal nodes

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

 

Abducted

It was smashing

And they had

three of everything

They took me

OOOOOOOOH

They took me

from this place

This paltry earth

Did what they did

Then

They

Brought me back again

It’s true

I know

It happened to me

 

They brought me back

To the exact same place

At the exact same time

But they wiped the memory

From my mind

But I had had a

premonition

That I was going

I know

The question on your lips is

When……

It happened in the middle

Of this poem

 

                                     Adrian Spendlow

 

 

Kick

The myth of magic speaks in this

The embodiment of solid stillness

I have walked in fungi forest

In it’s secret oozing silence

All around the lake

 

Everywhere a brooding, living beauty

And it spoke

The runes ran thick

Quick the age old message

From root to stick

 

Oh the air

It was in the very air

A sporeform finger

Investigating

“Get out”

“Go away”

“Your not a growing thing”

 

I felt the sickly sing-song sting

It’s clamping, poly-primal cling

It threatened me with everything

And so I ran

 

Pale blues – Limes –

The palest shade of pink –

Spotted scarlet sporting spots –

Balls of pustule puffing putrid stink –

I ran past parasols that turn to ink –

Penny Bun Balletes –

A tree, – no longer visible

 

I hear the age old message

Air so liquid thick

They tell me

Just what I should think

I understand

And so I ran

As planned

 

            Adrian Spendlow

 

 

The Strength of Strangers

 

A witch may wish

Or visit here

Bringing upon us

News of her wisdoms

 

Ravens may fly here

Foretelling of arrivals

Ships can be seen afar

 

Fires will burn

Hot and sudden: red

All will ready

 

Arming themselves

Forging an iron resolve

Death or glory

 

Farm safety

Depends, it seems,

On bloodied victory

 

Our history however

Echoes a message,

 

Sometimes

Those apposed to us

Can be traded with

 

 

Adrian Spendlow

                          as Skald

 

 

Times

I rise above

I lift

I like to be

 

I roll without knowing

I should know

I should

 

I am the news

 

The disaster

The fascinating

The moment

 

And the fall

 

I rise above

 

 

             Adrian Spendlow

 

 

 

haiku

The long dusk; the low sun

Before Autumn twilight

All golden now

 

                    Adrian Spendlow

As there is this Me Too thing going on at the moment i thought I would reblog a couple  of my survivor poems (from a forthcoming book)…

Soul Property

These little subtle things of hate

Somewhat less often of late

The trick is in anticipation

Playing upon preoccupation

 

Returning to times in memory

(Unaware of victor’s glory)

Which hurt beneath the levels of aware

To always inside still be there

 

Recollection ever present

Something of self is rent

Quietly said, privately spoken

Hit and hit again upon the broken

 

Words quietly said, privately spoken

Hit and hit again upon the broken

 

All time lost to anticipation

 

Adrian Spendlow

 

I used to perform this one with a blues band…

 

DEEP IN THE NIGHT

 

Deep in the night I just want to cry

The rest of the time

There are things I am after

Reaching

To be – What I’m driven to be

But just not being up to it

Leaves you inadequate

Deep in the night,

When I touch the unreachable,

That’s when the heart is,

Wanting to cry

 

Then a mask falls

I’m living – and fooled into being –

Happy – Go lucky – Hardworking – and me.

Believe it.,

“There’s nothing to stop you”

“You are who you are”

 

Deep in the night I just want to cry

Passion and pleasure

Fulfilment, procurement

I can do it. I can make it. – Keep my wolf away.

Sensuality saves you – you forget you have feelings

Even inner peace, on the odd time I achieve it,

Rankles, on my heart, as merely a sham

 

Deep in the night,

I hear,

Deep in the night,

So clear,

Deep in the night,

Comes the echo,

“Just what is you justification for being on this planet”

Damn! It’s a voice! I can hear it.

And sometimes I buckle

 

Tortured for the moment and blind to the dawn

Deep in the night sometimes

Deep in the night I just,

Deep in the night when I falter

Deep in the night I just want to cry

 

                          Adrian Spendlow

 

And an old fun one from back when I smoked…

                Jelly Baby Continuum

 

OH OH   Out of Rizlas   Out the house   Corner shop

Oooooooo   Jelly Babies   Mmmmm   Scoff

All the way back   Home   Empty pack

Time   For a fag   Out with the baccy   Rizlas

Reach in pocket   OH OH   Empty pack    What!

Er   Jelly Babies   Scoffed   Packet in pocket

Cig papers….   In bin   Damn   Back to shop

Ooooooo   Jelly Babies

 

 

                               Adrian Spendlow

 

 

Here is the previous collection

 

Discworld blog

And here is the last magazine type blog I did…

Do buy the guy

guy-link-board

 

Click ‘Poetics’ in the footer bar below to go to the first poetry blog and then keep clicking ‘Next in Current Series’ to work through them all…

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Viking Saga in a Nutshell – As performed at Gudvangen Viking Market 2017

Viking Saga in a Nutshell – As performed at Gudvangen Viking Market 2017

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See ‘how to’ at the bottom for ways to turn these shortened sagas into performances

Sigurd the Warrior038 sig sword up

The warrior thrust his sword – into his scabbard034 sig sword

Mounted his mighty horse – and rode through the night035 sig horse

And the next day009 rode all night

And the next night008 ride all night

Ahead was an enormous mountain036 mountains

In the mountain was a huge cave037 cave

He leapt from his horse – and strode in038 sig sword up

Up a long high tunnel084 up tunl

Towards an enormous cave087 to enor cave

In the cave was an enormous heap of gold010 pile of gold

Upon the gold was an enormous dragon007 dragon on pile

“Roar”039 dragon

He crouched in fear, “I cannot kill this thing!”089 crouch fear.jpg

Two birds landed on his shoulders and whispered,013 two raven

“Dig a hole” “What with?”090 dig what.jpg

“Dig with your sword.” “Why?”092 with sword.jpg

“Just dig, dig, and leap in!”094 leap in.jpg

The great monster awakes039 dragon

Sigurd the warrior crouches down with his sword012 wait in hole

The monstrous dragon flies out through the tunnel095 d flies out.jpg

Sigurd stabs, stabs, urg, hu, arg, p,dumph096 s stabs

The dragon bites, RRRRaphnth!011 dragon head

Sigurd slices, “Hahahahahahaha!”097 haha 01.jpg

“Hahahahahahaha!”098 haha 02

 

 

Sigurd Awakens Brinhild

Sigurd the warrior raised his sword034 sig sword

He sliced right through the dragon’s neck025 neck slice

And from its claw he took the cursed gold ring026 ring

“I will go and seek my fortune”099 seeks.jpg

“Hang on, I already have a fortune”010 pile of gold

He filled his saddlebags with dragon’s gold028 sadlebag

He rode away on his horse which was afraid of nothing – nothing030 sig rides

Nothing076 man horse 01 flipped

Forests, swamps, mountains029 terrain types

Upon a far mountain is a tall tower0100 on mount.jpg

Surrounded by flames0101 in flames.jpg

The horse leaps0102 leaps.jpg

Through the air024 sig leaps

Through the flames031 sig through flame

Sigurd dismounts inside the tower0103 dismounts.jpg

Laid asleep upon a stone bed is…0104 asleep.jpg

The most beautiful woman he has ever seen0105 most beaut.jpg

She was unclothed027 sleeps

He took her in his arms0106 in arms

He kissed her0107 kiss.jpg

She awoke, “I love you”0108 awake

“I love you too – will you marry me?”0109 will you.jpg

He put the ring upon her finger0110 ring on

The cursed ring026 ring

That is just the beginning of a story – where0111 beginning of.jpg

Everybody dies0112 ev dies 01.jpg

 

For the Love of Freyja – and the Walls of Asgard

The big boss god of all the Viking gods?054 god war flipped

OOOOOOOOOOOdin047 odin 01

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOdin048 odin 01 flipped

His city was in ruins049 asgard

Ruins050 asgard flipped

Along came a handsome stranger044 h stranger

“I will build the walls of your city for you”045 h stranger flipped

“And all I want in return is…”078 hs 02

“The sun, the moon and the beautiful lady Freyja as my wife oooooo”0114 str the sun.jpg

“Everybody all at once” “The sun, the moon and the beautiful lady Freyja as my wife oooooo”0120 sun 04.jpg

Odin said, “You want what!”069 odin 02 flipped

“Everybody all at once” “The sun, the moon and the beautiful lady Freyja as my wife oooooo”0115 ev the sun group 01.jpg

That is a lot, I will ask Loki070 odin loki heads

“What does he want paying?”057 loki 01

“Everybody all at once” “The sun, the moon and the beautiful lady Freyja as his wife oooooo”055 odin and loki 01

“Only if he can get it done in less than half a year”059 half a year

Odin told the stranger…068 odin 02

“But will you still pay me “Everybody all at once” “The sun, the moon and the beautiful lady Freyja as my wife oooooo”0116 sun 01.jpg

“And can my horse help?”046 hs and horse

“Hahaha what good is a horse? It was a magical horse060 horse mountain 01

It flew down and picked up a mountain061 horse mountain fly

The stranger used it as a brick065 hs brick 01

It flew down and picked up a mountain062 horse mountain fly flipped

The stranger used it you get the idea066 horse to hs brick

He will get it down in time and then we will have to pay him067 hs brick to wall

“Everybody all at once” “The sun, the moon and the beautiful lady Freyja as his wife oooooo”0118 sun 02

Loki turned into a beautiful lady horse brrrrrrr071 loki turns horse072 lady horse 01

The stallion followed her075 man horse 01074 lady horse 02

Into the magical woods077 into magic wood

Now the stranger wouldn’t get the job done in time and he wouldn’t get paid…078 hs 02.jpg

“Everybody all at once” “The sun, the moon and the beautiful lady Freyja as his wife oooooo”0119 sun 03

He threw off his handsome disguise and became the rock giant he really was079 off to biff

He went to biff Odin0121 goes to biff.jpg

But Odin biffed him080 odin to biff

He biffed him so hard he flew all the way back to the land of the giants081 biffs giant

The walls were nearly finished and Odin didn’t have to pay…0122 nearly wall.jpg

“Everybody all at once” “The sun, the moon and the beautiful lady Freyja as his wife oooooo”0123 ev group flipped.jpg

 

Loki

The god of mischief058 loki 01 flipped

Trickery0124 trickery.jpg

Cruelty0125 cruelty

“When the goddess awakes see how she screams”0126 she screams.jpg

Loki laughs “hehehehe”0127 l laughs 01.jpg

“Hehehehehe”0129 l laughs 02.jpg

He is also a shape changer god0130 shape change.jpg

(say to the cast,) “Say the names of four random creatures or things”0131 creatures.jpg

The gods had had enough of him056 odin and loki 01 flipped

They threw away his children0132 throw ch

The giant snake they threw into the sea, “Roar, sploosh”0133 throw snake 01.jpg0134 throw snake 02.jpg

The monster wolf into the ground “hoooooowl”0135 wolf in

His putrid, rotten daughter down to the underworld016 hel falls

Scream!014 hel

Burning poison was dripped on Loki’s face0136 poison face.jpg

“All scream together!”0137 all scream.jpg

“See my daughter fly her ship of the dead”0138 her ship

“And we will kill you all!”0139 kill all.jpg

“Hahahahahaha” –0142 haha 01 “Haha”0143 haha 02.jpg

That is the end of Loki’s story, in which…0140 l dies

[Say to the cast] (“All say together, “Everybody dies” on the count of three.) 1 2 3 “Everybody dies!”0141 ev dies

 

 

Ragnarok

The end of the world, where everybody dies0151 end of world

Gods, Monsters, wolves and slaves0152 gods monsters etc

Everyone fights together until they die015 all fight

Did we mention everybody dies?0153 dd we ment

Because they do0154 cos do

The sea rises up and swallows the land033 yg wave

Lightning strikes the great tree032 yg lightning.jpg

The great tree falls,017 yg falls

eeeke, creeeeak, vrooooompht, budoumpht, budoumpht, budoumpht0155 eek.jpg

budoumpht0156 bdumpht

One branch019 yg twig

One branch remains standing free of the water019 yg twig

The bits of the old world gather around the branch018 yg

Two figures climb down to this new land020 lithr babe

Lith and Lithrasia0150 l and l

New life begins, cradled in their arms021 babe

The power of the old gods rises from the sea0157 old gods.jpg

The light of life and hope023 yg old gods.jpg

We raise up our arms in wonder and say, “aaaaaaah”022 l and l arms

 

 

Njord; the god of the sea

He leads us0158 he leads.jpg

Guides us0159 guides.jpg

Stare out to sea with him0160 stare

For under the sea is a terrible goddess0161 under is terrible g.jpg

Ran! She is wicked and twisted0162 twisted.jpg

She swings her net and catches sailors “aaaaaaaargh”0163 swings

They wander her home forever0164 wander.jpg

“I am cccccold.” – “I miss my familyyyyy”0165 ccold

“I wish I hadn’t drowneded”0166 drownded.jpg

“Hahahahaha” Ran laughs and claps0167 claps.jpg

That is how sick she is0168 sick.jpg

Njord is good; 0169 good.jpghe guides us0170 guides.jpg

This is his home0171 home.jpg

Njardarheimr0172 njard.jpg

He stands now by the sea0173 by sea.jpg

Bless him with mjord and ol0174 ol.jpg

Gudvangen! Njardarheimr!0175 gud

 

Although I wasn’t yet strong enough to face being at Gudvangen this year I was thrilled to be asked by stand-in host Annabelle to allow her to continue my tradition of multi-national stories. So each of the scripts I have published here has been performed in my honour by Annabelle with a gang of pals such as Karin in many languages and dialects simultaneously.

‘How to’ guide:

If you are working with children they can repeat each line altogether after you and act it out; remember, many of the stories from the mythology are quite gruesome.

The multi-national story; you need people who speak different languages (and English) you can also encourage different dialects for a bit more fun. You say each of the lines and one at a time they saying along the row in their own language. It works wonderfully well, it works far better than it should! Prepare to have great fun.

I look forward to be being welcomed back into the fold at Gudvangen next year (or even sooner).

Love

Adrian

OldMan Comics – Cancer Care Capers

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God’s Bless Ya 02 – Hel – Ragnarok Mythology Festival, Denmark

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God’s Bless Ya!!! 02 – Hel – Ragnarok Mythology Festival, Denmark

(for bookings visit our site.)

Hel

As part of our show featuring myself with Alda and Sigrun Bjork Olafsdottir and our stunning models we present costume, music, song and story for a Goddess experience.

Here are poems inspired by Lady Hel herself, ruler of the dark lands of the in-valiant dead followed by my narration for the cat walk and the stunning Hel costume designed by Sigrun is elegantly shown for us by our talented model displaying for you to the unique magic of Alda’s composition.hel

The Hel Poems

Warning; Enter if you dare – here is contained the Viking history of belief in death, suffering and hell.

Read on only if you are of strong mind, will and maturity.

Ride beyond Modgud the bandaged and bleeding one if brave enough to cross her chasm path.

See eyes in the dark as growls rumble; guard hound Garm will let you in – yet will never let you out: see fire-eyes, hear blood drip as you slide by.

Hear forever screams from the long long long drop of the worthless as you leap the abyss.studio

Hel Poem 01 – What is Done Can Never Be

Born her of giants,

their shape-changer essence perverted her form

Until she matured monstrous

Living and dead

Rotten and luscious mixed

Yet somehow alluring

Empowering

Attracting you into her power

Commanding in presence

She pulls you into her will

You forever admire

Beg to endlessly serve

Wise Norns spoke of the danger of her

Born of beings of evil

Begatted by badness

The evil pretender god

With the hulking death volva

She was destined toward greatness

Forever to be fearful

hel press

Hel Poem 02 – Kenning

Stronghold-builder

Greif-giver

Tear-bringer

Flesh-rotter

Death-perpetuator

Glad-torturer

Witch-burier

Decrepit-concealer

Beautiful-enchanter

Toxic-user

Hel-builder

Coward-welcomer

Truth-despoiler

Serpent-inflicter

Balder-hater

Loki-daughter

Volva-loin-springer

Deathship-constructor

World-ender

Scream-mother

God-stealer

Light-hater

Hermod-scarer

Wolf-sister

Gloom-harbourer

Harm-danger

Cursed-leader

Misfortune-sleeper

Nightmare-enterer

Corpse-mother

If you wish to share,

Hel is just down there…

door 02 coloured.jpg

Hel poem 03 – Go Now Down

To where the cursed one fell

Ride nine days down

The north beneath the north

The world beneath the worlds

Hel’s citadel in hel,

Her Niflheim

Built forbidding from her mighty will

The darkest of powers of construction

Power out of destruction and death,

Here recreated from dread essence

Built of bitter cold,

The unending nights very core

All that remains of the dust of suffering

These her tools

The falling screams

Welts poisons spray cements and bonds

And builds

Take not your toe nails with you long

Naglfor is rising in the rising sea

To fly to war, to death of all

Oath-breakers island over rivers of spears

Living serpents bind and twine,

to bite the liar encased within

Niflhel her misty hel

Her towering walls are thrusted

Meer strength of will these gates forbidding built

From living witches buried deep

There grows the putrid plants of undead sustenance

Hel built all this

From dastard whim

falling darkness 04 up painted.jpg

Hel Poem 04 – Enter Forever

Doors open for you

To cavernous hall

Countless faces turn to you

Slowly the new dead turn grey face

The rotting and green see you

Further in the darkness,

are the less flesh than bone

Hear a drip drip drip

Watch your footing as you walk

Welcome to the land of the dead

Of the waiting

Lives of the countless

The pitiful, the unanswered,

The resigned and the scowling

Here are the leering, the most treacherous

You are stared at by the murderous

Feel if you can for the agonised

Beyond them the angry

Eyes only for you

Speak not to the dead

For then they can all speak to you

All, all at once

In their many moods and wishes

Many broken sounds.

From her glimmering veils of misfortune

She steps dangerously forward

Mottled and mouldering

Be caught in a tear fall forever to have seen her

Cry now

To be doubt-filled, untrusting, contrary to the full.

This is a testing, so beware her

Let all weep for your passing

Or scream silently forever in living hungry death

Shades in the shades see you

She holds the very god of light and beauty in her power

Weep;

Your tears melt the rime, these are meltwater tears

Beware her lest she summons her father

In his shape-shifter form he will remove all your hope.

She has you under her power

Will feed and keep you, all bedecked in gold;

Except witches,

those of you who see yourselves witches or herbal

Prepare to whimper under deep dark earth buried forever

Enter all

You are summoned

Weep now

Weep till you weep dry tears

Hel Poem 05 – Witch Burier

Rust Red the cockerel awakens the dead

There is one who has not slept

Hel’s Mother

Alive she is buried

Buried by Hel,

Daughter of Angraboda, born in Jotenheim

Here in Niflhel she buried her witch mother

Aware under there

So she Angraboda will know forever

That she is dead

Summon her from the earth if you dare

She will answer three questions

Yet all she wishes is,

to return to her dark earthen misery

She will take you with her too if she can

All she needs to know is your true name

Down you will go

Hel Poem 06 – You Cheater

If you spat in barrel,

and then broke your word

Then yes you shall go to her

Are you a liar?

All oath-breakers travel to her

Worst of the worst is the unfaithful

That is a promise which must not be broken

Meer human you have faults

So hence you will go to her

You know in your hearts

You are unfaithful; a liar

You cheat and you steal

And the tower awaits you

Step now though the waters

The icy waters of the river

The fast flowing river

Forged only of frozen

Each of the ice parts

Is formed as a spear head,

A seaxe or a dagger point

Bleed as you scream as you wade

Do not hurry though

For a torture of forever is waiting there

A tower of serpents

They will bite you forever

They will burn you with poison

Forever is forever

Oh how you will scream

Hel poem 07 – To Dream of Hel as Balder Did

Escape dark shapes in nightmares if you may.

For she will call for you

And oh yes, you will offer to go

As now each night in readiness she grooms

She brings you the despicable. Yes,

Gasp and moan. Be in half light, turn grey.

Whitening to the emptiness of the whitest weed

Feel not the sun’s warmth ever,

even when you walk awake

Seek deeper sleep…

Shadow skulkers shapeless now

Ghostly skull guests creep

Monstrous forms will snuff you

Thrash and kick all you will

Oh hope your screams will wake you

The lingering feelings will remain:

Naked doomed fear has grasped the living

As she was hurled into mist and darkness

You too now yearn for the world beneath worlds

Odin’s curse Hel wishes to share

And you,

are falling and falling

Hel (Prose) Poem 08 – Half Dead She Will Kill US

In her home beyond the sheer rock, she still hears the curse words,

“Share all that you have with the dead, adorn them in gold and feed them your putrid foods”

Her brother encircles the world.

While her other brother above bound to earth howls to be rescued.

One day her father will howl out in agony with hope in his dark heart that his offspring shall aid him, vengeance will be theirs together; Oh yes.

Capable of great structures, dark creation, from dark materials.

She has a ship readying, a dread vessel filling with undead.

Her Man-servant Ganglati and Maid-servant Ganglot they move so slow as not to be seen, until they are upon you; like weeping dark angels of stone.

She eats from Hunger with her knife Famine thinking only of the moment.

Sleeps in Sick Bed, her bed curtained by Glimmering Misfortune.

She dreams of the death of us.

Vengeance shall be theirs, Oh yes.

Hel

The Catwalk Talk

Born of a giantess who loved the unfaithful-one she was taken away because of her monstrousness. Her mother Angraboda was bound in her sleep by the Gods who despised her, and so hated her daughter. Hel is a putrid thing, half dead half alive. They cast her to Hel as her home down below us. As she fell and fell through the misty dark gloom the words of Odin echoed through her. “You are cursed, in your half-rotten half-beautiful self you are fitting only for death, live the forever death building cities for the dead.”

As she fell, as she landed, as she built, she swore her revenge. Oh how the world will end. Her great halls are filled with the myriad dead, only those fallen, who lost badly or while running, none of the brave go there. Die well my friends or you will join her. She looks at you now and feels the lies in your heart, the fears from your dreams and she knows. Your twisted dark desires glow out from you like a punishment, you have it in you to be one with her. For yes Hel is beautiful, entrancing, but once in her power when she turns to her other side there is the putridness you will worship forever. Oh yes, she knows. She knows you will be coming to her, you will feel the call in your nightmares and then forever in her halls hungry and bitter, awaiting the battle, the final battle to end all battles where everybody dies: Ragnarok is coming and you dark ones are ready, to rise up, rise up, rise up.

See also God’s Bless Ya!!! 01 – Skadi the Huntress