I’ve now read Völuspá in Old Icelandic – a comparative edition, comparing the Codex Regius and Hauksbók manuscripts.
I found it on this website:
It’s interesting to find that I can understand quite a bit more of Old Icelandic than I had expected. Some of the words are close to words in my own dialect.
It’s useful to be able to look at the text of the originals, and compare it to different English and Norwegian translations; some translations I’ve seen doesn’t correctly translate the original text.
Reading about the old Norse religion is really fascinating!
One of the problems when trying to form a picture of the old religion and the gods, is that the Viking pagans only had an oral tradition, so nothing was written down before Christian monks and missionaries came to Scandinavia, and brought Latin and parchment with them.
So, it’s difficult to tell how much is coloured by a Christian view; what has been subtracted, added and changed.
When you read stories from the old manuscripts, it’s easy to see that there are a lot of stories that were never written down, and which now are forgotten.
The fascinating thing about Norse Tradition paganism, is people’s own experiences with the gods. this is called UPG, Unverified Personal Gnosis.
If several people have had the same experience, can tell the same story, it’s called Peer-Corroborated Personal Gnosis (PCPG).
When I first began to reread the old stories, it seemed to me that the Jotun must’ve been gods once, before they were replaced by the Æsir. They seemed to represent more primaeval powers.
So, there are actually three pantheons in the old Norse faith: the Jotun, the Vanir, and the Æsir who are the youngest.
Yesterday I started reading “The Jotunbok : Working With the Giants of the Northern Tradition” by raven Kaldera. The name Rökkr have been given to the most powerful Jotnar who were revered as gods, even among their own. The book have several PCPG stories. It’s fascinating reading.