Jörmungandr - The beginning and the end

Jörmungandr - Der Anfang und das Ende | Valhalla Gear

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Mythen & Learnings

Having introduced Fenrir, in this article we dive into the ocean and unearth the Midgard Serpent to understand why we have placed the serpent symbol right next to Fenrir in the depths of our ocean of consciousness. In this article, too, we reload the "EDDA" and create a mental rainbow bridge between mythology and the task of reactivating the feminine and sacred in our world. In many cultures, the snake as a symbol of femininity has undergone a transformation from a life-giver to an insidious being. Seen metaphysically, it stands for the hidden powers of the subconscious and at the same time symbolizes the transience of all things. It is a sign of polarity.

The primal symbol of the snake is anchored in many cultures and has contrasting meanings. It can be understood as renewal and life, on the other hand poison and death characterize the meandering myth. Despite its destructive and poisonous nature, Jörmundgandr meant more to the Germanic people than mere annihilation. There is more hidden in their saga than the impending end in Ragnarök predicts. Matriarchal symbolism is anchored in many cultures. However, eternity and the creative potential of the constant molting find their climax in the Midgard snake and allow different conclusions than expected.

Spoiler Alert: You have undreamt-of villain powers that you can use for good...just like a real anti-hero 

This article is supposed to be about the mighty brother of Fenrir and Hel. This time it will be gigantic, mystical, shocking and a little shudder will probably not be missing. Most know Loki as the god of discord, illusions and malice. Hollywood also took up this image and created a sympathetic anti-hero in Marvel's Avengers, whose wit, his clumsy fantasies of omnipotence and his bold level-headedness, when it seems to be about the essentials, you just can't stay angry for long. This double-tongued trickster from Asgard has not only lived up to his role as a shapeshifter and rascal in the films, but the Edda also gives us food for thought in this archetype; he shocked and also the smile in view of this enemy image is not missing. 

However, this article is not about the father, but about the firstborn and the anti-hero DNA. How much father is in the son and how does Jörmungandr help us to re-appreciate female divinity?

The world of legends

What happened until now...You already know from our last article how the highest of all Asgardians dealt with Loki's brood."Fenrir - wolf of wolves". Even this initially inconspicuous worm caused the gods to shudder almost immediately after its birth. Chapter 34 of Gylfanning describes this moment: 

He threw the serpent into the deep sea that lay around the lands, but it grew so large that it lived in the middle of the sea and now surrounded all the lands, biting its own tail.

The gods were wrong here too, underestimating Loki's insane genetics. The snake grew to such enormous proportions that it encompassed all of Midgard, biting its own tail in the process.

snake or dragon?

Again we are dealing with a gigantic and unpredictable being with Loki's DNA. According to the etymology, the name of Jormungandr comes from Old Icelandic and means something like "huge clock", where "Jormun" can be understood as immensity and the "Gandr" as "monster". In my opinion, this term is probably the most appropriate, because it reflects people's entrenched primal fear of their own transience. Nothing else actually introduces the monster in the Edda. The snake bites its own tail and time catches up in the final showdown Ragnarök one yourself. Where there is a beginning, there is an end...but more on that later.

In the Edda of Snorri, the beast Midgard snake called. While in this name the suffix "ormr" means snake, another named name can Details rather be understood as a dragon figure.

In its ambiguity, the giant snake is seen as the guardian of Midgard, who eliminates anyone who does not have a residence permit in Midgard, and as the devourer of the world and the beginning of the end...Pretty symbolic, isn't it? She is considered to be both the guardian of the Vikings and their world and the destroyer of the same. Jörmungand is considered a protective symbol for men. As a notorious seafaring people, considering the sometimes monstrous natural phenomena on the vastness of the oceans, there is probably no better symbol than a huge snake-dragon hybrid, which can stack the waves into meter-high towers and on whose grace the sailors are dependent. 

A Skladic poem entitled Ragnar's Slaying" describes the snake as the fish border of all men's countries. While in other metaphors of the Scandinavian languages it is titled as a worldly necklace or as a rigid world band. I think the picture becomes clear.

Loki & Jormungand - Villain DNA

As you already know, the Midgardschlange one of Loki's children and thus part of the deadly triad. The Midgard Serpent is the perfect metaphor for the forked tongue that Loki uses in his cold and rigorous pursuit of his goals. Like Loki's construct of lies, Jörmungandr grows immeasurably. It's much the same with intrigue...one lie follows the next, and the complex system only works so long as the previous lie can attach to the next. But that is only a fraction of the knowledge that can be brought to our time from the mythological point of view. Loki is sometimes portrayed as somewhat androgynous, the snake underscoring this age-old conflict of gender roles by uniting polarity within itself. A near-perfect symbol of the inner turmoil of the feminine and masculine aspects within each of us. 

"Then the ocean will sweep over the land, because the Serpent of Midgard, seized by her ‚Riesenwut‘ , which will reach shore. [...] The Serpent of Midgard will blow out so much venom that it will spray it all over the air and sea. It will be absolutely terrifying and will be next to the wolf advance. "

The Tasks of Thor

This conflict is also reflected unadorned in the rivalry between Thor, who here clearly stands for unrelenting strength and masculinity. There are actually no adversaries facing each other, just two parts of the same being. At this point it should be said that we have no gender-specific prejudices and want to contribute to the clarification of our inner conflicts. 

When we speak of rivalry, in this case we mean more of pure hatred between the thunder god and the serpent. But how does this enormous dislike come about? 

According to mythology, Jörmungandr and Thor met exactly three times. According to chapter 46 of the Gylfaginning in the Snorris Edda, Thor and companions visited at Útgarða-Loki the giant and lord of Utgard Castle in the world Jotunheimer. In order to humiliate the god and his companions, the giant challenges Thor to a showdown with supposedly easy tasks:

Raising the Cat

This is the first prank, as the giant casts a spell disguising the Midgard Serpent into a gigantic cat and challenges the strong god to lift the cat. Thor, offended in his vanity, suddenly sets to work and is unable to completely lift the cat off the ground. He just manages to get his four paws off the ground. Later there is a note that Útgarða-Loki uncovered the deception and called Thor's achievement an impressive feat. Other tasks included drinking a stuffed horn and fighting an old nanny.

The victim of virtual realities

The giant, no less impressed that Thor was able to lift the enormous weight of the Midgard Serpent, decides to reveal his magic and not rub his failure in the god's face. The giant revealed trickery with illusions to Thor. The drinking horn was connected to the ocean, making it impossible to empty, and the old nanny was old age itself. Even for a god of Thor's stature. This revelation only reinforced Thor's determination to defeat the Midgard Serpent. One can justify this deep hostility with the fact that both sides openly spread the other side of their own shortcomings to each other. Thor the mighty god of thunder, son of Odin, thrower of lightning, slayer of the ice giants and the Norse masculinity in Persona and the Midgard serpent that slumbers deep in secret. Massive, global, and crucial to the Battle of Ragnarok. She symbolizes the hidden female aspect in the subconscious of the world. In a world in which the feminine has been suppressed, demonized and condemned to the depths of the consciousness ocean for centuries, the outrageous must grow and probably bite its own tail at some point. Accordingly, the pain should be jarring.

The Second Reunion - Fishing with Thor

According to several historical poems, the Serpent of Midgard and Thor should meet a second time. Thor, in the form of a young man, decided to fish for the serpent together with the giant Hymir. Armed with an ox's head as bait, the two headed out to sea and the snake bit and almost dragged the god into the ocean with its overwhelming power. Out of sheer fear, the giant cut the rope before the god could win the fight. Furious, Thor let the giant go overboard. This legend only fuels the fires of the two enemies. The hammer blow of Mjölnir, which the serpent had received in battle, now also kindled deep feelings of dislike in the serpent.

What symbolic power! The stronger, as a symbol for the male sex, fishes for legitimacy of his supremacy and wants to end the feud with violence and the other, as a symbol of the suppressed femininity, wants to tear down the god of thunder and free himself. Among other things, sea currents, high tide, low tide, but also floods and catastrophes are attributed to the Midgard snake. In addition, her gravitational abilities and influence on the earth's rotation are attributed. In the Nordic world, it functions as a protective wall for the human race. As the womb of the world, if you will. Again we see the ambiguity between spirit and matter. So if the existence of the human world depends on the well-being of the destructive but also life-giving Midgard Serpent, what interest does Thor have in destroying it?

As always, the answer is very simple. As in all cultures, it is about self-regulation and balance. Even after the devastating day of Ragnarök, the balance is maintained as the two adversaries battle to the death. Thor kills the Midgard Serpent and is subsequently killed himself by the cloud of poison emanating from the corpse. A clear picture! Repressed femininity leads to toxic masculinity. The day of the twilight of the gods deserves its own article and should therefore only be touched upon here.  

Jut, but what does that have to do with our current situation?

Especially in current events it's worth looking at deep-seated fears again. Where can we find these the quickest? In the archaic primal fear of our ancestors. For the destructive and life-giving power of the sea, it was the Midgard Serpent that snaked around the rudder from the depths of the world's oceans and thus controlled the fortunes of a seafaring people. Protection of the human race and at the same time a monster of unimaginable proportions. In Greek mythology, too, the snake symbol experienced the change from female wisdom to the male phallic aspect of oppression. In the course of patriarchalization, you can use a concrete example to establish this. As a symbol of female wisdom and aspects of fertility, the snake was simply wrapped around the staff of Asculapius and thus turned into its male counterpart. A topic that we are still working on today and the importance of which could hardly be surpassed in the last few decades. Not to mention the biblical story of the lying serpent, which of course could only seduce the woman. I think you recognize the pattern. The emancipation of women and the revival of femininity as an act of creation literally explodes in the media liberation that surrounds us. In my opinion, Norse mythology paints an even clearer picture of this conflict and its transcendence. Jörmungandr stands for the suppressed anger of the supposedly weaker sex. It's a holy rage that just grew and grew over the past few centuries until it nearly spanned the globe and bit itself in the tail. A question of time? Absolutely! A question of principle? Naturally! The principle of polarity calls for correction of the equation. Thor's hammer blow on the old man's dusty head. In the social structure of the Vikings there were demonstrably higher-ranking women and equality was in large parts more advanced than it is today. That's why we're calling for a renewed BACK TO BASIC!

Because this is where the Lindwurm is actually buried. The modern man knows about the necessity of his own emancipation of his own feminine parts. As with the inner wolf, everything revolves around one's own shadow parts and their processing. The same goes for all the brave shieldmaidens out there, of course. Live your femininity and discover your male part. We are currently experiencing an enormous step backwards in terms of liberating these inner parts. Old white men are crying out at the top of their voices, endangering the progress of all mankind. 

We don't politicize, but we want to make you think, because sometimes it helps to look into your own ancestry.

So by Odin's beard, live your inner Freya again too!

Father and son - a mighty team!

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