Myth Monday: After Ragnarok

* As usual, taken from Faulkes translation of Snorri’s Edda. Direct quotes in italics.

After Gangleri is told about Ragnarok, he asked the High-ones what happens after Ragnarok when all the gods, Einheriar and mankind are dead. They tell him that there are many mansions both good and bad “The best place to be in heaven then will be Gimble, and there will be plenty of good drink for those that take pleasure in it in the hall called Brimir. That is also in heaven”. There is also a good hall in Nidafioll that’s called Sindri. But “On Nostrands is a large and unpleasant hall, and its doors face North. It is also woven out of snakes’ bodies like a wattled house, and the snakes’ heads all face inside the house and spit poison so that rivers of poison flow along the hall, and wading those rivers are oath breakers and murderers”. But it is worse in Hvergelmir “There Nidhogg torments the bodies of the dead”. Gangleri then ask if there will be any gods alive after that and any kind of earth or sky. He’s told that the earth would shoot up from the sea green and fair, and crops will grow unsown. “Vidar and Vali will be alive, the sea and Surt’s fire not having harmed them, and they will dwell on Idavoll, where Asgard had been previously”. Thor’s sons Modi and Magni will arrive bringing Mjolnir with them. Then “Baldr and Hod will arrive from Hel. Then they will all sit down together and talk and discuss their mysteries and speak of the things that had happened in former times, of the Midgard Serpent and Fenriswolf. Then they will find in the grass the golden playing pieces that had belonged to the Aesir”. There will be two people who had laid hid in a place called Hoddmimir’s holt safe from Surt’s fire. Their names are Life and Leifthrasir. They’ll feed on the morning dew “and from these people there will be descended such a great progeny that all the world will be inhabited”. And the sun will have given birth before she was caught by the wolf, and this daughter will be just as fair as her mother and ride the sky in her mother’s previous path. 

The high-ones then told Gangleri “if you know any more questions to ask further into the future, I do not know where you will find answers, for I have heard no one relate the history of the world any further on in time. And may the knowledge you have gained do you good”. Then there were noises from all directions. And when Gangleri looked around, he found he was standing out in the open and there was no more castle, and he went off back to his Kingdom to tell of what he learned. “And from his account these stories passed from one person to another”. After this, it says that the Aesir sat at council and decided to give the names of the gods (such as Odin, Thor, etc) to humans so that generations later men would not doubt that these men were the Aesir whose names they were given. 

My questions and discussion thoughts: First, is a question that some in my spiritual group have asked and discussed in the past. That is the question of where the gods go after Ragnarok and are they punished for their own deeds then? With this being told in this way after Ragnarok about the good and bad mansions, does that mean that gods who committed certain wrongs like murder and oath-breaking will also go to Nastrands? 

2) How will the gods left behind marry & have children if they are all male? Will they marry with humans? Or since Hel and those places are mentioned, will it be with surviving Jotun? Or just remain only these 6 male gods and not have families as their predecessors did? 

3) The two humans’ names are Life & Leifthrasir. Leifthrasir is a masculine term meaning roughly “lover of life”, or more so “zest for life”. Is this then similar to systems such as Wicca and Italian witchcraft like in the book “Aradia” views on Goddess & God where female is life and male is living of life? Or could it be the idea of both what is called masculine and feminine together as a whole, as opposed to separate (unity not polarity) necessary for life & creation to carry on? 

These are just a few of my thoughts and questions. Feel free to discuss or offer your own thoughts and questions from this reading. Until next time. See you soon.

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