Friday, April 23, 2010

You Put A Spell On Me

If you scroll down and look at my book list you will see that I have been reading myths, folklore, and fairy tales. I've just finished reading Children of Odin, based on Norse mythology. I was struck by the fact that a lot of myth stories reappear centuries later in another form and another culture- one such story being the tale of Brynhild, one of Odin's Valkyries, who he punishes for disobeying him by doing the following:
Then on the top of the mountain that is called Hindfell he had a Hall built that faced the south. Ten Dwarfs built it of black stone. And when the Hall was built he put round it a wall of mounting and circling fire.

More did Odin All-Father: he took a thorn of the Tree of Sleep and he put it into the flesh of the battle-maiden. Then, with her helmet on her head and the breast-mail of the Valkyrie upon her, he lifted Brynhild in his arms and carried her through the wall of mounting and circling fire. He laid her upon the couch that was within the Hall. There she would lie in slumber until the hero was without fear should ride through the flame and waken her to the life of a mortal woman.

This, of course, is the story of Sleeping Beauty, A.K.A. Briar Rose from Grimm's Fairy Tales. Both narratives have a beautiful young women falling under a spell that puts them into a deep sleep for many years.

Now, since myths and fairy tales are humankind's attempt to give explanation to things they do not understand religiously and/or scientifically, could these stories be about women who, like me, suffer from severe allergies every Spring and needed more sleep than is considered normal?

Or did someone put a spell on me?

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