The BIG BOOK Heritage edition is out and this is the best edition yet.
Maria Kvilhaug explores the parables of Old Norse myths, revealing spiritual mysteries and metaphysical speculation at the heart of Old Norse Paganism. The Edda poems were most probably created by Viking Age skalds who knew the art of making metaphorical riddles and how to hide messages behind words. Many poems are veritably incomprehensible without the knowledge it takes to decipher the riddles.
When Snorri in the 1220's realized that young people were beginning to lose their understanding of the ancient form of Norse poetry, he wrote his book so that “young students of poetry may decipher that which has been subtly spoken”, adding that knowledge has been “cleverly disguised in runes”.
Snorri based his work on old poems almost forgotten at the time, and it was not until 400 years later that an Icelandic family presented a secret leather manuscript that had remained hidden in their family for 500 years, to Bishop Brynjolv Sveinsson in 1643.
Why was the manuscript hidden throughout the centuries? What were the real messages behind Old Norse poetry? Are the Norse myths truly just funny stories about gods, trolls and giants, or do they hide some deeper insights?
Kvilhaug has researched the archeaology and background to the Edda Poems and Sagas of Northern literature, and historical folk lore data. She has translated the original ancient Norse manuscripts and approaches the Poems as metaphor for traditional ritual and rites of passage in the ancient cultures of Scandinavia. Her insights open up the poems to reveal a whole new world where The tree of life, the red-gold of wisdom and the goddess of death and renewal are central to an almost forgotten way of life.
Written in a warm and friendly style, this book is informative, revolutionary and enlightening. It will change the way we view the Poetic Eddas, and perhaps help rebuild an understanding of the pagan past of the Northern peoples. It may even restore a rationalized familiarity with their true Northern god(s) and goddess(es).