• Odelsarven

Our sacred lakes

Many lakes and waters have been sacred in Norway. That is, when the water lies so that the sunrise in the east can be seen, and that the moon is reflected. Many of these lakes still bear names today after the gods, which represent the sun and moon. The names are those that are classified as "natural names" by name researchers. They date from year zero in our timescale, and back in time.

Water with such a location in our tradition represents the very connection between the living and the dead - us and our ancestors. The water reflects both the sky (Tyr [1], with the sun and moon and our physical world) and the realm of death (Hel / Valhall, the state after death, the state before rebirth).

The sky god has one eye in the sky, and one in the realm of death - balanced by the sun and moon. In this context, the realm of death is represented by Mime's well, personified by the water. The name Mime means memory. In our mythology the well-guard Mime is the one from whom Odin (the spirit) seeks wisdom and consultation. To do this, in our mythology Odin had to pledge his one eye, of which sun and moon represent his two eyes, one of which is dead / blind. Mime is thus a personification of our own experiences. The sacrificial eye is a personification that humans cannot see the full picture, and what is between “heaven and earth”. The moon itself is a symbol of what exists but cannot be seen. Just as spiritual knowledge people do not perceive - just like the sun exists in a night of moonlight, even if you only see the sunlit dead moon.

The well Mime is guarding, possessing the secrets of the runes, and they are a personification of the very knowledge of the realms. This can be reflected from Odin's pledged eye (the moon) - from Mime's well (the water).

Drawing by Theodor Kittelsen.

A number of lakes are named after the moon goddess Skade (such as Skadavatn etc.). The goddess Skade in itself has given the name to Scandinavia, which means “Skade´s Islands”. A number of place names in Norway carry her syllables - such as Skien, Ski, Skodje etc.

There are countless examples of very ancient and named holy waters and lakes in our country. They have names according to our gods / goddesses, and most often with the second syllable -water, -lake, -in etc., where every variant means water.

A nearby example of this is Lake Tyin. In pre-Christian times, this was a sacred lake, and the name is derived from Tyr (Norse Týr, proto-Nordic TíwaR) meaning strife, justice, and Tyr's attributes through Odin (Norse: Óðinn, proto-Nordic: WôðanaR) and last paragraph -in for water, sea, waterways. The area in which this water is located has been central to the passage between east and west ashore since the first settlement in Norway.

Other examples of places where you find our ancestors' ancient sacred lakes are in places with place names with spelling - sun. They are located so that you can see the sunrise in the east, preferably on a ridge, with water nearby. Typical place names can be Solberg, Solheim, Solvang, etc. In these places, our ancestors have reflected for thousands of years.

As our legend tells, moonlight can make you "crazy" (of Latin luna, and English lunatic), or give you positive powers. The moon's shine, reflected by water, gives a far stronger light. This light represents in our tradition our ancestors (light elves), knowledge, blood memory, intuition and reflection. They represent what Odin (the spirit) stated by pledging one eye to gain access to his experience. It also means your own experiences, like a normal mortal. Therefore, it was also said that all your emotions and moods are enhanced in reflected moonlight, for good and bad.

The personalized stories of the werewolves that occur under the full moon are related to this practice. A werewolf is half a beast, and half a human in legend and fairytales. Mythologically, this represents the power of the moonlight, where negative forces and states of mind can be amplified when exposed to it. Likewise, the image of the werewolf represents more animal/primordial drives. The full moon affects both our solar system, tides, oceans and, not least, the reproduction, and the female cycle. They influence primordial power and basic instincts.

Our ancestors never had churches or false idols. Their groves and gods were nature, and their forbears. Those of us who have been sitting in the moonlight by a lake and reflected, can confirm that there is something timeless, inspiring and divine about it. You stare into the divine. As if it was our ancestors themselves who spoke to us.

[1] Tyr also represents Odin, since Odin is part of Tyr's attributes.

Additional Note:

As the patterns here explain, the full moon is thus a symbol of ovulation being the egg.