God of the Summer Sun

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Speaking of Óðr, I’ve encountered some interesting theories about him in my studies recently.

Most scholars tend to view him as a strange double or Vanic counterpart of Óðinn associated with creative and battle frenzy, shapeshifting, shamanic ordeals and otherworldly journeys.

However a number of Neopagan authors apparently regard him as the God of the Summer Sun, and specifically heat, vitality, fertility and rejuvenation, with his absence in Winter prompting Freyja to go in search of him.

Something about that really resonates, although I’m not sure their arguments necessarily hold up to scrutiny. Then again, so little has come down in the lore concerning Óðr that most arguments end up being fairly speculative, mine included. (This is where being an Orpheotelest and mantis really comes in handy.) 

Vonlenska

I have always loved this song by Sigur Rós:

The aural world it conjures is just … *shivers* Ah, yeah.

And because of the stunning visuals I included the video on numerous playlists for Dionysos, even before I started tapping into the Black Sun current. (It has obviously taken on added significance since then.) But I don’t think I ever bothered looking up the lyrics – which, as it turns out, are just as relevant.

Brennisteinn

Við skerum á
Augnaráð
Nú stingur í
Ofbirta
Nú bræða óf
Endalok
Svo flæðir inn
Dagsbirta
Nú teygir sig og togar
Og togna út við örmunum [Vonlenska]
Reyna að móttaka [Vonlenska]
Og brestu yfir hrapa stað
Rennur blóð í æðum
Í skinninu
Yðar á
Krækir klónum í
Og klórar í
Nú teygir sig og togar
Og togna út við örmunum [Vonlenska]
Reyna að móttaka [Vonlenska]
Og brestu yfir hrapa stað
Reisum mér búkinn
Hryggjasúlan æðu
Rennur blóð í æðum
Ekki segja neinum frá
Ekki segja neinum frá
Ekki segja neinum frá
Ekki segja neinum frá
Ekki segja neinum frá
Ekki segja neinum frá
Nú teygir sig og togar
Og togna út við örmunum [Vonlenska]
Reyna að móttaka [Vonlenska]
Og brestu yfir hrapa stað
Reisum mér búkinn
Hryggjasúlan æðu
Rennur blóð í æðum

Which, when Englished, becomes:

Sulfur

We plunge in
A glance
Then strikes
A blinding light
Then they melt
The end
And flows in
The daylight
Now it drags and pulls
And tears out every particle
Joints ache
And crack, they are dislocated
Blood runs in the veins
In the skin
Your (skin)
It digs its claws
And lacerates
Now it drags and pulls
And tears out every particle
Joints ache
And crack, they are dislocated
We raise our bowed bodies
The spine we straighten
Blood runs in the veins
Don’t tell anyone
Don’t tell anyone
Don’t tell anyone
Don’t tell anyone
Don’t tell anyone
Don’t tell anyone
Now it drags and pulls
And tears out every particle
Joints ache
And crack, they are dislocated
We raise our bowed bodies
The spine we straighten
Blood runs in the veins

Pure gold, man.

And the word Vonlenska? It means:

Vonlenska (Eng: Hopelandic) is a term coined by the band to refer to the vocalizations that Jónsi sings in lieu of lyrics in Icelandic or English. It takes its name from “Von”, a song on Sigur Rós’s debut album Von where it was first used. However, not all Sigur Rós songs are in Hopelandic; many are sung in Icelandic.

Vonlenska differs from both natural and constructed languages used for human communication. It consists of strings of meaningless syllables containing non-lexical vocables and phonemes. There is no grammatical relation between or among syllables, nor are they accompanied by clearly defined word boundaries. Vonlenska emphasizes the phonological and emotive qualities of human vocalizations, and it uses the melodic and rhythmic elements of singing without the conceptual content of language. In this way, it is similar to the use of scat singing in vocal jazz and puirt à beul in traditional Scottish and Irish folk music. The band’s website describes it as “a form of gibberish vocals that fits to the music”. It is similar in concept to the ethereal vocals used by Cocteau Twins singer Elizabeth Fraser in the 1980s and 1990s. Many of the syllable strings sung by Jónsi are repeated many times throughout each song, and sometimes throughout the whole album.

Óðr’s poetry.