Odin would later find out that there was, indeed, a boy at school that really really liked him. We’re talking like liked him.
This is one of those comics I worried about a bit before posting because I’m not entirely sure how prolific the paper fortune teller, alternatively known as the “cootie catcher” (according to my sister in law), is these days or globally. Hopefully you folks have some passing knowledge of such things.
Odin’s encounter with the Volva is one of the better known bits of Norse mythology, being the first poem included in the famous Poetic Edda. The poem, though rather short, is a crucial component in our understanding of Norse cosmology. In the tale, Odin meets with the seeress, who speaks to him of hidden truths and her knowledge of both the beginning and the end of the world. She tells him about the ancient days when only Ymir existed and then about the creation of the world (or at least one version of it) in which Odin and his brothers lift the land above the sea to create Midgard. She goes on to tell of the creation of the sun, its placement in the sky, and the growth of vegetation that occurs on the land. Odin listens as she speaks of the ordering of the stars, the moon, the cycles of day and night and the naming of many things by the gods.
In her telling, a golden age dawns (quite literally) and the Aesir create wondrous things, play games, and enjoy wealth and prosperity. She mentions three giant maids coming up out of Jotunheim (possibly a reference to the three Fates) and the creation of the Dwarves. Then comes the creation of the first man and woman, Ask and Embla (Ash and Elm), who are like empty vessels to begin with. Odin gives them souls, sense is given by Honir, and heat and motion is given by Lothur (possibly another name for Loki). She then mentions the fates again and tells of the laws created by them and the Aesir. After all of these acts of creation, comes the first war in the world between two factions of gods.
After her recount of the battles and some other, rather confusing events, she reveals that she knows Odin’s own secrets as well. She knows of the sacrifice of his eye for hidden knowledge, and of the whereabouts of said eye. Being a mysterious fellow, I’m certain Odin didn’t appreciate his secrets being known.
The seeress goes on to tell of the slaying of Baldr by Loki’s trickery and how his wrath and the wrath of the giants and other monsters will lead to the final battle at Ragnarok. She prophecies the destruction of the gods and the earth and the deaths of the gods. Odin hears of his own demise, slain by the jaws of Fenrir, and of the destruction of the world serpent, Jormungandr, by his son Thor who survives but only manages to take nine steps before collapsing and perishing like his father.
After the destruction of the gods and the earth, she recounts the rebirth of the world, the blossoming of a new land. Baldr and Honir are given new life, and a new hall is made to house them in happiness. They rule the land with righteousness until a new and mighty lord who rules all lands appears (potentially a late reference to Christianity).
If you’ve never investigated the Poetic Edda, I highly suggest giving it a read, it’s not especially long, though it can be a little confusing. There are many annotated versions online that offer some useful notes that can help clarify some of the strangest bits.
It’d be nice if we could summon a seeress for ourselves to get the details on our future, but alas, today we are stuck with only ouija boards and paper fortune tellers. Though, I guess it might make things a little weird if we all knew exactly how we were going to die. Also, the volva in the story is a bit of a downer, she doesn’t really seem to focus on any of the good stuff that happens. I mean, how can you skip telling Odin about his son dressing up as a woman to get his hammer back?
I think that’s the only story I’d tell if I could see it before it happened.
It’s been a long time since I updated the site! I’m really sorry for that and I’m sorry if you’ve been wondering where I am! The site isn’t really designed for blog updates that aren’t attached to strips. If you’re ever curious about these sorts of things, I do try to post to twitter every now and again, that’s probably the best place to send me messages and things!
So for now what have I been up to? Well, I’ve been incredibly busy finishing up some work for smaller clients as well as doing some writing and illustrating for Boom! Studios. I’ve been doing comic covers for them for a while (which you can find in shops and online) but over the last couple of months I’ve done some short comics for both Munchkin (I illustrated Seller’s Market, in Issue #10) and Clarence (not sure about the details on this one but I wrote and illustrated a story about a road trip!). I’ve got caught up on a lot of work and I’m now trying to schedule some more consistent updates for Happle Tea. I really do miss updating frequently and I’m sorry I’ve been MIA a lot this year. There have been a ton of changes in my life and though they’ve been very positive, it’s been a bit overwhelming at times.
Anyway, I feel like I’m getting a better handle on life so hopefully I can get back on track here. I miss bringing comics to you guys regularly like you would not believe!