Norse Mythology 101 - An Introduction to our Viking Myths books
Volumes One and Two of Viking Myths are two new books written by Jacqueline Morley and illustrated by Patrick Brooks, Alessandra Fusi and Alida Massari. The stories inside include the classic Norse myths of Asgard, Loki, Thor and his hammer. The beautiful illustrations complement these old, mysterious and exciting stories perfectly.
The story of Norse mythology is, at its core, a story of cycles. The Norsemen (or Vikings) who first created these tales were fascinated by the cyclical nature of the seasons, the stars and life. The entire set of myths is really a long cyclical narrative that starts with the beginning of the cosmos and ends with its downfall, or “Ragnarök”, and then its rebirth. Everything in between is a manifestation of the common Norse belief in the meaning behind everything. They believed that the world around them revealed that which is sacred: the wonder, the beauty and the terror of the holy.
The famous Gods - Odin, Thor, Loki, and many more - and the mythologies that surrounded them were metaphorical representations of these beliefs and they show this Norse worldview, expressed through images and narrative. Above all, this shows an animistic worldview - in other words, the Norsemen believed that everything that exists, not just humanity, contained a consciousness, or spirit. And if everything had a spirit, that meant that everything was part of the grand narrative that would eventually lead to Ragnarök.
Ragnarök is, in a nut shell, the apocalypse. It was a foretold event that would lead to deaths of all those major Gods, and various natural disasters. Everyone dies and the world is flooded. However, this would lead to the rebirth of the Earth. It would return fresh and fertile, as would the old Gods. Interestingly, there is an aspect of this cyclical narrative that shows its similarities with many major world religions: after this rebirth, two human survivors would remain. These are the female Lif (“Life” or “the Life of the Body”) and the male Lifthrasir (“Lif’s Lover”, “the Lover of Life”), who would go on to repopulate the Earth.