you're reading...
Pre-2008 Posts


Aijo by Värttinä.

Do not miss the curse towards the end. Talk about strong women.




4 thoughts on “Aijo

  1. Norns

    Nuremberg, once known as Nornenberg, Norn’s Mountain, is where the three Norns were said to live. They answered to no one. The two great deity-families of the Nordic-Germanic world, the Vanir and the Aesir, were themselves subject to this ancient female triad, for the Norns were older than the oldest god. Among themselves, the oldest and original Norn was Urd — other variants of her name include Wurd (Old High German), Wryd (Anglo-Saxon, commonly translated as “Fate”), Weird (English), Urth, Urtha, Urdr, Urda, Ertha — our word “earth” is derived from her. She was the Norn of destiny.

    The second sister was Verthandi, “Being,” or the one who governed the present moment. The third was Skuld, often translated as “Necessity,” as in the “necessity” of repaying “a debt that all must pay” — i.e., death. Thus, Skuld was the death-Norn who determined the length of each life. It was said that when Doomsday arrived, it would be Skuld who would lay the death-curse on the whole universe. Interestingly, shamanic-bard-poets known as skalds were Skuld’s servants — in their hands was the creation of visionary literature.

    The three Norns were known collectively as Die Schreiberinnen, “the Writing Women,” who wrote the on-going book of Destiny in which they revealed the deep secrets of the universe. They were the “three mysterious beings” of the Prose Edda — High-One, Just-as-High, and Third. Sometimes they were depicted spinning the webs of fate but this is a Graeco-Roman influence from myths of the Three Fates, or Moirai. The Norns originally carved records of each destiny into staves of wood. They were writers, not spinners.

    They lived in a womblike cave under Yggdrasill, the great ash that was the World Tree. Near their cave was the cosmic wellspring of life, destiny, and justice — Urdarbrunnr, the “Well of Urd.” To preserve the life of the World Tree, the Norns annointed it daily with white clay from the spring and gave it pure, shining water from the well. This water later fell back to earth as dew — when harts (deer) grazed on the dew-moist branches, their milk turned to honeyed mead, the elixir of life, which feeds the gods and warriors of Valhalla. The gods themselves gathered daily around Urd’s sacred Well, for this assembly-place was the gods’ court of law where they solved problems and settled legal disputes. Led by Odin, most arrived on horseback except for thunder-god Thor, who liked to wade through the rivers en route to Urd’s Well.

    The Norns were said to live under a mountain where the German city of Nuremberg (or Nurnberg) was founded. As Katherine Neville writes:

    …The original name of Nurnberg was Nornenberg — Norns’ Mountain — where, in the ancient Teutonic myths, the three female fates called the Norns sat in a cave within the mountain, like judges, spinning, weaving and cutting the fate of every man. Nurnberg was also chosen by the Allies after World War II for the Judgment at Nurnberg, where Nazi war criminals were tried and sentenced….
    That this would be the site where former Nazis were brought to justice strikes a profound resonance with those skaldic visions in which the gods’ own court of law was held around the Well of Urd.


    Posted by womensspace | October 28, 2007, 4:25 pm
  2. such wonderful music, heart! thank you so much for opening this door for me. 🙂

    i can really feel a connection with all of this far away Norn herstory, too. i started studying runes when i was in high school because one day i came across The Hobbit and i easily translated the runic lettering on the map that was printed inside the book. i taught my best friend how to read and write it and we wrote each other secret messages in runic lettering. not too long after that i was browsing a wiccan shop chatting about this experience when the shop owner directed me towards the norns and rune divination. everything i learned in that book felt so foreign since i grew up in a christian home. i hid the book and my runes from my mom who was adamant that any kind of ‘witchcraft’ was ‘evil’.
    unfortunately i went through a mad christian phase a couple of years ago and i threw away the runes i made and the book the shop owner gave to me because i was always convinced that runes were a part of this ‘evil witchcraft’. after the christian fog lifted from my head, i have always regretted throwing all my rune stuff away. 😦
    i can not help but feel the hands of fate on me now as i read your blog and remember the reasons why i felt connected to such a foreign way of life in the first place. i really feel that this music has sparked something in me that i’ve been searching for. it has inspired me to look deeper into the Background. i can feel my spirit leaping!

    Posted by avril joy | October 29, 2007, 5:24 pm
  3. Hey, Avril, glad you loved the music! Me, too. Notice the way these women don’t display their bodies gratuitously in any way. This is usually true of women who sing “roots” music. They often wear clothing specific to their communities and ethnicities and, that I have never seen, it has never been about being sexxxeee, hawt, none of that. That would be all wrong because it would be such a distraction from the power of the women’s music, their voices, dancing, instruments.

    So interesting re The Hobbit– Värttinä worked with the music people for theater/play version of the Lord of the Rings.

    Re Christianity and being forced to throw away your runes and everything associated with women’s knowledge (because it was women who were said to be the rune-givers, not male gods, as the story has been twisted to say). First we are ripped away from our people, our homes, land, mothers, women, forced to serve men, then all of our knowledge, whatever our mothers handed down to us is branded demonic, evil and satanic and it has to be destroyed so it can be replaced with the worship of male deities. It’s the story of the Burning Times over and over, in small and large ways.

    I’m so glad you were sparked. 🙂 Me, too.


    Posted by womensspace | October 29, 2007, 11:42 pm
  4. I “see” the Minoan Mellisae here, the full bell shaped skirts, the movements of arms and hips, absolutely stunning. Another great intro, thanks Heart.

    Posted by Hazel | November 7, 2007, 5:46 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog Stats

  • 2,599,016 hits

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


The Farm at Huge Creek, Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, The Feminist Hullaballoo