To Lóðurr

Hail to you Lóðurr the Obscure, who causes
the land to be fruitful, and the people to be
plentiful and finely shaped, O force of attraction
and blazing manifestation who can cleanse
the impurity and ill-luck that comes of man’s misdeeds
by immersion in your sacred bath on Saturn’s Day.
O Lóðurr, to the Æsir you are a mystery; and the Álfar
are equally puzzled when asked about your nature
and activities. Even the ghost of the great Völva Gróa
summoned back to her mound grew tight-lipped
when interrogated about you; finally she confessed
that she saw the sons of Börr and Bestla the beautiful Gýgr
walking along the seashore when they came upon
the little capable Askr and Embla, void of destiny,
two pieces of driftwood entwined as one,
and out flew the knives of Óðinn, Hœnir and Lóðurr
who proceeded to carve mighty Runes into their bark;
the first cutting gave them spirit and life,
the second cutting wit and feeling,
and the third cutting form, speech, hearing, and sight.
Alföðr spoke their names into being with his voice
like the furious cry of the raven, and thus from humble
ashwood and elm were made the first humans, male and female.
She would tell no more, no matter how hard-pressed by Gangleri.
Even Svipdagr, when he summoned her a second time,
could not get Gróa to say whether you are a distinct God
or a mask worn by Vé, Loki, Freyr, Óðr or someone else,
and I don’t imagine I’ll find out either. So hail Lóðurr,
whoever you are and whatever you’ve been doing since
that initial act of violent creation at the dawn of the world,
and, I pray, may you be there after its twilight too.

4 thoughts on “To Lóðurr

  1. There’s an obscure bit of skaldic poetry that pretty clearly states Loður and Loki are the same, and having dealt with Them both ;), I’m convinced. Doesn’t mean a God can’t lend His or Her mask out to be worn by another though…we see that in the Iliad.

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      1. Harlequin is the one that got me. That’s almost always Loki for me, but I’ve seen Dionysos wear it, and I’ve seen other Gods wear that mask. it ‘s perplexing but Gods are perplexing and I wonder if we perplex Them quite as much as They us. lol.

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