Norse Mythology – How Odin created the world.

In most if not all (I haven’t studied all of them) religions/myths there is a world origin story. Now many of them are fairly silly… Norse Mythology is one of those silly origin stories. To be clear, I am a pagan but like most spiritual people I do not follow literally the doctrine of a religion per se more so the intent of the prose. Simply put, it’s been my experience that most practioners of faith seek the message rather than the literal. We often get caught up in historic nuances as many religions were taught literally.

This is mainly due to the masses being illiterate and a literal rendition of a concept was the simplest way to convey the message. Once the masses began to have available to them books and literacy we enter the period of enlightenment (in the west anyway) where individuals were able to discern the meaning rather than take literally the text. Here we are in 2022 and many of the old religions don’t translate well. I had a wise old man once say to me “Today’s religion is tomorrows myth” and what he meant was, faith evolves.

Thousands of years ago your ancestors were likely worshiping idols of gold or statues of some kind. They were wishing for and hoping for the same thing as you are now but the times dictated a different means to the same end. Faith is a wonderful ideal and if you can get there, regardless of the path I tip my hat to you. So what about the Norse mythos of how the world was created?

In the beginning there was Muspell.

The Vikings saw the world as created by Odin differently. When they looked up at the sky, they believed that it was the skull of Ymir (a god Odin killed) and the world they lived on must be his dead body, mutilated and stuffed into his skull. If that’s the case, then the oceans must be his blood, the mountains his bone, and the clouds his brains.

We find the tale of Ymir in many Edda’s and there are some rune stones that depict this episode. The leap of detail though (the body parts making up the physical world) is a creation of the story tellers at the time. They had no other way to discern how all these things got here. How do you explain why a mountain is where it is in 650 AD? You attribute it to the gods. “Why there though?” someone asks and your best guess is after killing the prior good Ymir they cast his body aside and it formed the world.

I mean do you believe the clouds are an old giants brains? I suppose it’s possible but we now know through science how water, dust sun light etc. plays roles in the formation of weather on the planet.

The point here was to illustrate to you faith is a hard thing to discuss because we often decide (rightly or wrongly) that our faiths are the word of god(s) and its absolute. We examine a little closer, with knowledge, and see that many of the stories we hold dear are part of our religions are in fact creative acts of fantasy. The overall message? God created the planet. That’s what the Norse pagans believed and many of us practicing today believe. Very similar to other religions, do we think it’s because he defeated the great giant Ymir and used his body parts? No, however we do concede its possible….

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Requested blog post: How can Christianity help me with Anxiety?

This is not a sponsored blog; I am not being paid to do this. A reader whom I don’t know if they are subscribed or not asked me to give my thoughts on how, and why Christianity can help with Anxiety. I explained to them I was not a Christian and thus my opinion would not be based on credible experience. I don’t dislike Christians; I simply don’t believe in the notion that Christ was divine. We got past that large obstacle and the request stood, so here is the post.

I could scour the internet for witty quotes or sermons given by devout Christians but whenever I need an answer about Christianity or need to understand how things are rationalized in that faith, I find myself looking at the book of psalms.

Psalm 43.1

Vindicate me, my God,
    and plead my cause
    against an unfaithful nation.
Rescue me from those who are
    deceitful and wicked.

Faith is a strength, not a weakness

Faith in the Christian god is a great gateway to self-improvement. We have to acknowledge faith first, the concept of life, your life, being in the hands of a supreme being must be comforting. That doesn’t mean it is without trepidation. The same god gave you these emotions which, to many Christians is part of the larger test of life. In the end it’s been my humble experience that Christianity and its doctrine has an answer for everything that could possibly be troubling you.

As with Psalm 43.1 above, god understands there are those who are deceitful and wicked he has heard the prayers. The word “those” is the pivotal point of the psalm here as one normally assumes that it pertains to people or peoples but the breadth of faith allows us to extrapolate this to anything. The brick that is off color on your wall at work that sets off your anxiety might fall into this category.

God knows this, he understands you and it’s okay. It’s okay to be anxious, it is okay to feel abnormal, it is okay to not understand emotional responses you have that others don’t over similar events. God understands, and he understands you. To the person who asked me to write this thank you. For you specifically, the answers are in the scripture and your devotion to prayer and your quest to extract from said scripture as much comfort as you can. It’s all there for you, this is your faith, your god, these words are written for you to help you.

Me? You don’t need to worry about me, I appreciate your offers of prayers thank you. Serve your god and his will. Take care of yourself and yours and place yourself in a better position to help others as a result. In times of weakness or anxiety? Go back to the scripture, the book of psalms has so many answers for you, you will be fine.

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