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The myths of Sigurðr Fáfnisbana

From our legends, fairytales and songs we read about heroes who fight dragons. These myths are found everywhere in indo-European, Germanic and Norse indigenous culture and traditions. The dragon figures may seem like supernatural creatures, with wings, multi-headed and fire-spitting. They are “adventure creatures”. They are in the myths wise, represent spiritual significance and maintain the primal forces of nature and cosmos. They connect to water and guard gold. In other words, they are full of symbolism, metaphors and personifications - and have, as the reader may have already understood, nothing to do with superstition or a view that dragons exist in the real world. Neither did our pre-Christian ancestors believe so.

Sigurd kills the dragon Fåvne, from Urnes in Sogn, Norway.

All the attributes of the dragon can be linked to ancestors and ancestral cult. Our ancestors cultivated honor and heroism. They lived by a principle of "reincarnation" of honorable ancestors, in a descendant who had to attain the blood heritage through the struggle to be "reincarnated" as them.

Therefore, the dragons are related to water, and the water represents the ancestors and the spirit in our mythology. Therefore, the dragons guard gold, where precisely gold in our tradition represents light (reflection of the sun) and light elves (ancestors). The gold also represents the wealth (spiritual and physical) our dead ancestors accumulated throughout their lives, buried with in the mounds. These riches fell into the "reincarnated" hands, after proving themselves worthy through battle. This battle is not physical, as the myths portray. Above all, it is spiritual. In other words, the physical battle with the dragon is a descendant's struggle to gain memory and knowledge from his ancestor - and thereby be considered "reborn".

From Fáfnismál and Regísmál we can read about Sigmund, who was the son of Reidmar and brother of Regin and Oter. Sigmund was a great warrior, honorable and stoic. He fell in battle.

From the excerpt - Um Sinfjotles daude (the death of Sinfjotle):

Sigmund was the king of Frankland, Sinfjotle was the eldest of the sons, the other was Helge, the third Håmund. Borghild, Sigmund's wife, had a brother named. . . . . But Sinfjotle and. . . . . proposed the same woman, and for that Sinfjotle killed him. But when he got home, Borghild asked him to leave; but Sigmund offered her fines, and it was so that she accepted it. Borghild carried the burial beer at the graveside; she took poison, a large horn full, and carried to Sinfjotle. But when he looked down the horn, he realized it was poison in it and said to Sigmund: "Stiff is the drink, Dad!" Sigmund took the horn and drank it. It is said that Sigmund was so stubborn that he was not hurt neither outside or inside and all his sons tolerated the poison on their bodies. Borghild carried another horn to Sinfjotle and asked him to drink, and it went all that way. And yet the third time she carried her horn to him, and added bad words if he would not drink. He spoke to Sigmund as before. He said, "Use your beard for strainer, son!" Sinfjotle drank and was dead at once. Sigmund carried him a long way and came to a long and narrow fjord, and there was a small ship and a man on onboard. He asked Sigmund to ferry across the fjord. But when Sigmund carried the body out on the ship, the boat was loaded. The ferryman told Sigmund to go inside the fjord, and pushed the ship out and left abruptly. King Sigmund stayed in Denmark for a long time, in Borghild's kingdom, since he was married to her. Then Sigmund went south to Frankland to the kingdom he had there. He got his wife Hjørdis there, daughter of King Øylime; their son was Sigurd. King Sigmund fell in battle against the Hundings sons, but Hjørdis then marries Alv, the son of King Hjalprek, Sigurd grew up there, being a boy. Sigmund and all his sons were far above all other men in strength and growth, boldness and all ability. Sigurd was, nevertheless, the foremost of all, and he is called of all men of the most bestowed of warrior kings. "

Odin (thought/spirit) rows Sinfjotle over water to Valhall (the hall of the dead, chosen ones, to be reborn)."Ferrymen" (Odin by his different names and masks) that rows fallen over water and rivers, to the hall of the spirit and the realm of death, is seen throughout our mythology.

Fåvne (Norse: Fáfnir) are in the myths a violent dragon or serpent. According to the records in Fáfnismál and Regísmál, he was the son of Sigmund, the son of Reidmar, brother of Regin and Oter. Fåvne guarded a large treasure and was eventually killed by the hero Sigurd Fåvnesbane who stabbed it with the sword Gram.

Fåvne was originally a dwarf (this personifies a dead and buried ancestor), but was transformed into a dragon by the ring Andvarenaut (Norse meaning: "caring" soul / spirit, Fylgja ("guardian angel") and fish). Oter was killed by Loke, and the dwarves would take revenge in blood and kill Loke, Odin and Hønir. In the myths, this is the "trinity" that forms a human being - as in the myth of Ask and Embla. Odin bargained with Reidmar, and they agreed that the Æsir would buy them selves free by filling Oter's skin with gold. Loke stole the ransom from the dwarf Andvare. Before the Æsir left the dwarves, Loke warned that there was a golden ring, Andvarenaut, inside the treasure. Andvarenaut was cursed, and the curse struck the owner [1}. Reidmar didn't care, but the warning turned out to be justified: Reidmar was killed by Fåvne, and Regin was driven into exile by him. Fåvne then went to a cave to hide his gold. There, the ring transformed him into a greedy dragon, guarding his gold until his death. Fåvne was then killed by Sigurd Fåvnesbane, the foster son of Regin.

The myths thus tell of Sigurd's ancestral lineage, and his "rebirth" and accession to his ancestor - in a fairytale format. They tell of the young Sigurd, who must fight Fåvne the Dragon to gain blood memory, blood heritage and spirit. We find this example in several places, myths and tales. The god Thor also does the same when he fights the Midgard serpent during Ragnarok in Völuspá. Thor (son of the earth and spirit) fights the dragon / serpent in the waters around Midgard (the middle world, the state between living and dead), in the same way that the pillar is crushed in the hall between life and death in the myth of Geirrød. He is reborn as his son Magne (meaning: the strong), in the subsequent cycle after Ragnarok [2].

The symbolism of the Edda poem is identical to the heroic poems and myths of Sigurd. At the cosmological level, Thor represents gravity, electrical voltage, circouit and the planet Jupiter. The Midgard serpent also represents the belt itself around the globe, better known as the equator. The myths are multidimensional, but with the same patterns – the patterns of Mother Nature.

Thor fighting the Midgard serpent.

After the revenge and Sigurd's murder of Fåvne, he roasts the dragon's heart and eats it. Mythologically, the blood and heart of the dragon are thus a metaphor for good and protective properties. It symbolizes that he is in the process of merging the spirit of the father (the ancestral spirit). You become what you eat. Then, according to Sigrdrífumál, he rides to Hindarfjell (of the female deer, symbolically linked to ancestors and mountains - castle / burial mound, womb - can also be translated as "obstacle"):

"Sigurd rode up on Hindarfjell. On the mountain he saw a bright light, like a burning fire, and the flame rose to the sky. Then he saw that there was a man sleeping in full armour. He first took the helmet off his head and then he saw that it was a female. The armour sat as firmly as it was sprouted to the skin. Then he cut it open with Gram (his sword) from the neck and out to the arms, and took the armour off her. But then she woke up, sat up and looked at Sigurd and spoke. Sigurd sat down and asked for her name. She called herself Sigerdriva and was a valkyria. She said two kings fought eachother. Sigurd asked her to learn him wisdom, if she had wisdom from all the realms. She then took a horn filled with mead, and gave him the drink of memory”.

The Valkyria Sigerdríva (of - victory) gives Sigurd (of sig - victory and urd-honor) the wisdom. Valkyrias in our mythology are the ones who choose the fallen. They are the warrior's thoughts, and represent your own will and your own desire that brings you to Valhall (the hall of the spirit, from where your soul / spirit and your honorable reputation are called up again (named) by your descendants and reborn in them). Sigerdríva gives Sigurd a whole horn with Skaldemjød (poetic mead). This is a metaphor for blood memory and wisdom.

The ancestor in the burial mound (Hindafjellet) in full combat gear is precisely Sigurd's ancestor. The Valkyria Sigerdríva represents both the actual sorceresses who held the actual rebirth rituals inside the burial mounds (initiations), the symbolic "bearer" or "mother" of the soul, just as the goddess Hel in our mythology ruled over the same in the realm of death. By the sword Gram's incision in her armor, the memory of blood is born - brought about by his Valkyrie. For she lay in perpetual sleep, in a shield with fire as guard, by Odin (the spirit) himself, until the one who brought Fåvne's gold (blood / fire /memory) entered, as the only one who could.

The myths and stories of Sigurd Sigmundsson Fåvnesbane reproduce in fairytale format, and full of symbolism, only our ancestors' ancestral cult and code of honor. Our ancestral rituals from autumn equinox to winter solstice, which above all revolve around symbolic rebirth of ancestors in youth, in kin, in seasons, nature and the cosmological cycle - contain all these components of the myths. Just as our fairytales deal with exactly the same symbolism, where the actions are repeated three times - the three symbolic reincarnations that permeate our seasons in nature, our myths, fairytales, legends and high festivals.

Living dragons never existed, and of course had no real function in these rites. They are just symbolism - so you should remember, and more easily access and pass on the knowledge.

After the forced Christianisation of Europe, the Christians tried to adopt and circumvent these ancient myths. The Bible mentions the archetype as Adam, who crushes the serpent's head. This was interpreted as Christ, as "the last Adam", where he crushes the devil. In the middle Ages, this was also linked to the introduced saints, such as St. George. Germanic and Norse tradition is of course monumentally older, and is not duplicated and faked.

[1] Not surprisingly, Tolkien (Lord of the Rings) relied on this myth. Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde, is the same Germanic myth.

[2] Ragnarok is not the end of the world. Our world view is not linear, it is circular. A Ragnarok is only a change. From one life to another, from one year to another, from one season to another, etc., where the family and the forces of nature intertwine and spin around in the eternal cycle.

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There was a lot of good information here. Well written. Thanks.

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