mercredi 26 novembre 2014

VOLSUNG

VOLSUNG )))))))))))))) by Ron McVan
" In all epochs of the world's history, we shall find the Great Man to have been the indispensable savior of his epoch; --- the lightning, without which the fuel never would have burnt. The History of the World, I said already, was the Biography of Great Men." ...................Thomas Carlyle
Sige, was a son of Wotan. He was a bold man and warrior. The ancient Norse Tales tell us that in those valorous days of the Volsungs, that King Skadi was a great and powerful man and mighty of his hands; yet it was Sige who was known as the mightier of the two, and, as Wotan's son, was of higher birth as well. Sige was greatly respected, until he killed Brede an innocent servant of Skadi's while on a hunting venture, because Brede had happened to slay the most game. In consequence of this crime, Sige was driven from his own land and declared an outlaw. Although he was marked as a criminal, he had not entirely forfeited Wotan's favor, for the god now gave him a well equipped vessel, provided him with a number of brave followers, and promised that victory should ever attend him. Thanks to Wotan's protection, Sige (also spelled Sigi) soon won the glorious empire of the Huns and became a powerful monarch.
The word Hun and or Hunn oftentimes can become very misleading. Most people identify the word "Hun" with Atli, or more commonly known "Attila the Hun" and his mongol hoards that raided Europe. Through the pages of history one will find that the Germanic tribes are sometimes referred to as Huns. The word Hun did not originate with Attila and the Mongol raiders, it is a prehistoric Aryan tribal name and still found on gigantic grave monuments known as Hunic Graves or "Hunen-Betten". A tall strong man was known as a "Hune". The Teutonic Hunsing tribe long preserved the Hunic name in Friesland. The word occurs in many personal and place names both in Germany and in England; for instance: Hunbolt (a Rhineland hero), Hunferd, Hunf, Hunbrecht (chanpions among the Frisians and Rhinelanders in the "Beowulf" epic); Hunboldt, (bold like a Hune); Ethelhun, (noble Hune); then there are in German geography, The Hunsruck Mountain; Hunoldstein, Hunworth, Hunstanton, Huncote, Hunslet, Hunswick, and many other places from Kent and Suffolk up to Lancashire and Shetland, where certainly no Mongolic Huns ever penetrated.
The confusion of the Hunic name thickens when in the time of Attila, he had recruited many Teutonic Hunes into his army of Mongol Huns. Gudbrand Vigfusson, a Norse scholar of the 19th century boldly proposed to change the Hunic name of Sigurd, in the Eddic text, into "Cheruskian". He imagined the former name to be absurd, because Siegfried was by no means a Hun; but Vigfusson was unacquainted with the wide historical distribution of the Hunic name in Germany and England. (The name Volsungar, literally means "children of volsi" or phallus).
Sige would become a great warrior and his fame in battle was spread far and wide. He achieved outstanding glory in his prime, but his life's end was clouded by many dissensions and conspiracies within his own kingdom. Eventually came a great battle and Sige was slain. His son Rerir would reign next in his fathers place and Rerir would raise a mighty army and avenge his father's death and honor. Rerir became an even larger than life monarch than his father Sige and also accumulated much wealth from his many victories in battle.
Rerir took into marriage a noble and beautiful wife but in the years to come, they still could bear no children. They prayed to the gods of their plight, most particularly Freyja for a chance to have a child to carry on their name. Freyja heard them and in her compassion dispatched one of her maids who was a daughter of the giant Hrimner. Thus the agent of Freyja was sent down to Midgard (Earth) in the guise of a crow bearing a magic apple for the queen. Soon afterwards the queen became pregnant with child but she would carry the child in her belly for six winters, during which time, Rerir, fell ill of a sickness and died. The child of Rerir and his queen would not actually be delivered into the world until he was already seven years old. The queen was left with little choice but to have her son cut out of her belly and Volsung the mighty was born.
The warrior fame of Volsung was widely acclaimed and he ruled his people justly and fair. Volsungs wife was the giant Hrimner's daughter, whom Freyja had sent as a crow with the magic apple to Sige and his Queen. Her name was Ljod. Volsung and Ljod immediately began building their family and the first born were Sigmund and his twin sister Signy. In time King Volsung and his Queen Ljod would produce ten sons and one daughter who like their father would become strong in prowess and cunning and all things high and mighty. From his earliest years Volsung was big and muscular, full of daring in all manly deeds and trials, and in his earliest days it was obvious that Volsung was destined to become a warrior of legend. Although fierce in battle, he retained a pleasant and good natured character in everyday life among his family and kinsmen. King Volsung ruled over a vast stretch of land between the sea and the country of the Goths. The days were golden; and the good Frey dropped peace and plenty everywhere, and men went in and out and feared no wrong secure in the Kingly leadership of mighty Volsung.
With such a powerful clan it became necessary to construct a huge dwelling of which both family, guests and fellow warriors could be comfortably entertained. King Volsung began construction in the midst of fertile fields and fruitful gardens. Fairer than any hall short of Valhalla was that dwelling. The roof was thatched with gold, and red turrets and towers rose above. The great feast hall was long and high, and its walls were hung with glimmering shields; and the door nails were of silver. In the middle of the hall stood the pride of the Volsungs,--- a mighty oak tree which grew up from the center of the room, whose blossoms filled the air with fragrance, and whose green branches, thrusting themselves through the ceiling, overhung the roof with its foilage. The oak tree he named "Branstock". Far be it from Volsung's thoughts and imaginings that one day the divine originator of his bloodline, Wotan, would appear as a physical guest at his grand home but there were many chapters of life's drama yet to be unfolded in the Volsunga Saga. Old is the tale of the Volsung clan. By Iceland's skalds was it sung to harp music in distant days, and warriors loved to hear it in the feasting hall as they drank mead, while the log fire reddened their faces and the night wind bellowed through the gloom.
Siggeir was the King of the Gauts and much attracted to Volsung's daughter Signy and wanted her for his bride. The day would soon arrive when they both would come together to wed in Volsung's hall. A great feast was prepared and many warriors were in attendance. When the feast was over, a tall, old man entered the festive hall. He wore a blue cloak, mottled with grey, a rounded foppish hat which was drawn down over his face, and tight breeches of linen. Those close enough to observe his entire countenance saw that he had only one eye on the right side of his face and his feet were bare. In his firm vise-like hand he carried a gleaming and wonderful to behold sword which he plunged with much deliberation into the Branstock oak tree clear up to the hilt. At that point the festive hall grew so quiet that one could hear a pin drop. Then the peculiar guest spoke gravely unto everyone that was present within the hall: "I gift this sword, he said, unto the man who can draw it from Branstock. He shall find it a goodly blade indeed, for it hath no equal." Wotan then vanished before the stunned and baffled crowd without anyone aware that they had been in the presense of a god.
The chief warriors all began to clamor in excitement to prove that they could surely pull the sword out of Branstock but in vain were their attempts and even King Volsung and his nine sons could not pull it loose. It was not until Volsung's remaining son Sigmund laid his right hand upon the sword and yanked it free that the rightful man became the proud owner of Wotan's gift. King Siggeir was ill pleased that he himself could not possess the dazzling sword and made offer of much treasure to Sigmund to buy it but Sigmund flatly refused even when Siggeir offered the entire hoard of gold that he possessed. Feeling scorned and with much anger in his heart Siggeir returned to Gautland with his now reluctant bride. Once home Siggeir was quick to devise a treacherous scheme to wreak vengence upon the kinsfolk of his newly wed queen. Siggeir invited King Volsung and his family to come and visit him at his own kingdom in three months which Volsung readily accepted.
The time quickly passed and Volsung made ready three ships for the voyage to Gautland. Once the ships arrived at safe harbor Signy came to warn her family in secret that her husband had collected together a great army to ambush them but Volsung disdained to return in the face of a challenge. To his daughter Signy Volsung replied: "A hundred battles have I fought, and I was ever victorious. In my youth I feared not my foemen, and in my old age I shall flee not before them. A man can die but once, and he can escape not death at his appointed time. So we shall fare onward nor fear aught, and no man shall tell that Volsung ever fled from danger or sued for peace." The next morning brave Volsung with his two sons and all of their followers arrived fully armed before the Hall of Siggeir but a full battle-ready army was there to meet them far greater in number. A long, hard and fierce battle began and in the end Volsung was slain with all of his people. His sons were taken captive. Siggeir became possessed of Sigmund's sword, which he named Gram.
Signy pleaded with her husband to spare her brothers lives whereupon Siggeir decided that rather than kill them outright, that he would instead tie them to a fallen tree out in the forest to be devoured one by one by a fierce female werewolf. Each day that passed another brother of Signy was eaten alive until Sigmund alone remained alive. Signy, with the wit of her Wotan bloodline devised a plan to have one of her messengers smear her brothers body with honey. When the wolf returned to devour Sigmund it immediately was taken by the sweetness of the honey and began licking Sigmunds face. Sigmund, when the time was just right, bit the tongue off of the wolf and in the struggle he burst his fetters and the monster was slain. The wolf however was actually Siggeir's mother who was a witch and skilled in the art of shape-shifting. Sigmund found a safe retreat deep in the woods where he built a subterranean dwelling and awaited his hour of vengeance. It would be many long years that Sigmund would spend in his forest hideaway until the time was right to unleash his vengeance. In the meantime his sister bore two sons to her husband Siggeir.
By the time Signy's sons were ten years old she could already see that their nature heavily favored their father's characteristics more than her own Volsungian bloodline. She had her brother Sigmund put both children through some tests to see if they were fit to measure up to the Volsung name but both children demonstrated the cowardess and unworthiness of their father Siggeir so she had Sigmund put them both to death. Soon thereafter a third son was born to Signy and this time the child whom she named Sinfjotle was indeed of Volsung blood. Sinfjotle was fair as her kin, strong and without fear and was a pleasure to his mothers heart. Signy told her son about his fathers treachery and how Siggeir had killed her brothers and betrayed her father and she filled his heart with the fame and glory of the Volsungs. Signy sent her son to Sigmund to be tested as she had done with her first two sons and he proved out to be a worthy Volsung indeed. Sigmund trained Sinfjotle in feats of strength and the ways of a Volsung warrior.
When the time was right both Sigmund and Sinfjotle set to work to have their vengeance upon Siggeir and stealthly slipped into his dwelling but the king and his guards detected the intruders and a fierce battle ensued whereupon both Sigmund and Sinfjotle found themselves up against overwhelming odds and were captured. Siggeir and his nobles held council to devise a cruel death for the intruders and it was decided that they were to be buried alive. Signy again devised a solution to save her brother and before the two men were covered over with a stone slab she wrapped the magic sword Gram in some straw and slipped it into the coffin. Once Sigmund discovered his sword he easily cut his way through the stone slab and both men were once again free to finish what they had started out to accomplish. Sigmund hewed logs with Gram and put fire to them and soon Siggeirs entire hall was aflame. Siggeir awoke and cried out in anguish and Sigmund heard him and in triumph answered: "Now dost thou know, O treacherous man, that a son of Volsung remains alive. I am Sigmund, and Sinfjotle, son of Signy is here with me."
The queen Signy heard her brothers voice amidst the flames and made her escape to the door where he was standing. "Full well thou knowest," she said unto Sigmund, "that I never forgot how Siggeir killed King Volsung. My very children I had slain because they were too weakly to avenge my sire's death. But behold! Sinfjotle is a mighty warrior indeed, for he is not only mine own son, but a son of King Volsung also. For vengeance have I striven through long years, so that Siggeir might have his death due in the end. Now my labour is finished and my purpose is achieved. I have no need of longer days, nor do I desire to live now. By compulsion was my life spent with Siggeir; now that I have free choice I shall die gladly with him... Fare thee well." So saying she kissed Sigmund and Sinfjotle, and hastening back to her husband to perish with him in the flames. King Volsung's death was now revenged and Sigmund and Sinfjotle boarded ship and returned to their homeland. A usurper sat upon Volsungs throne, but was speedily overcome by the avenging heroes, and the glory that had departed from Hunaland was again restored.
The Volsunga Saga is long, heroic and adventuresome and is an idyllic example of a noble Odinic warrior bloodline at its finest. From Sigmund the tales carry on to Helgi Hundingsbane, Sigurd the Dragon Slayer, and Brynhild and Gudrun,all leading up to the unforgettable hero Siegfried and the Nibelungenlied which nourished Richard Wagner's dramatic musical masterpiece, The Nibelung's Ring. (The name Nibelungen, or Niflungar in the Norse, means "children of the mist") The Volsunga Saga's not unlike their southern Euro counterpart writings found in Homers Iliad and Odyssey, epitomize the heroic ancestral life living experience of a noble and valorous heritage. The faith and deeds of our forefathers are more essential to our survival as a species than most people today can ever understand. Forever may the saga's, tales and legends remain in our remembrance! To our noble ancestors of greatness and to their well earned deeds of renown and legend do we Hail!
"The ancient legends relate that the gods created humans out of their own
substance, "in their own image" as the Bible has it, and that for ages divine
teachers walked the earth with us, training the newborn intelligences to
understand and work with nature's ways. In the course of time, as the human race pursued knowledge and gained experience of good and evil, through the exercise of free will, the innocence of those days was lost. In the headlong progress toward more material interests, humanity drifted away from its divine liberation: our human consciousness must learn to know truth from error and deliberately free itself from the lures of matter in order to assume its rightful place among the gods."
.................Elsa-Brita Titchenell
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