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The Mission of the Individual Folk Souls
GA 121


by the Translator


Odin's sacrifice of higher rank becomes transformed into a higher power—he becomes lord of the runes, the creator of language. In the language of the Mysteries this renunciation is described as the sacrifice of Odin's eye at the fount of Mimir. This eye is the clairvoyant eye which, as pineal gland, lost its function in the course of evolution. At the same time this sacrifice prepares the development of independence and freedom, for only by serving his intimate relationship with the Gods is man able to stand foursquare upon the Earth and become self-reliant.

Odin and the Fenris Wolf

(a) The prose Edda recounts the destiny of the three children of Loki: the Midgard Snake, the Fenris Wolf and Hel. Odin flung the Midgard Snake into the ocean, consigned Hel to Niflheim and kept the Fenris Wolf to himself. At the Twilight of the Gods the Wolf was destined ultimately to destroy him. The Ahrimanic forces which feed upon the living substance of the etheric body are portrayed in the figure of the Fenris Wolf. And because it threatened danger to the Aesir they bound it with a silken ribbon to a rock. (They were unwilling to kill the Wolf in order to avoid polluting the sanctuary with blood.)

(b) The original language of Atlantis was a unity. It was the creation of Odin with the formative forces of the laryngeal organism. Through the alliance of Odin and Loki, Ahrimanic forces entered into the etheric body and the organism of speech. The power of Ahriman (present in the undivided, primal language of Atlantis) perished after the Atlantean catastrophe—this is the Fenris Wolf of Nordic tradition. Wherever human speech or language becomes a means of concealing the spiritual world or denying its reality, we find the influence of the Fenris Wolf. Where the word describes only sensible phenomena or physical facts to the exclusion of supersensible or spiritual facts, Odin has succumbed to the Fenris Wolf. Ahrimanic influences gradually blunt the response of the etheric body. It loses its former receptivity to life processes: this is reflected in the shifting of consonants in the Indo-European languages (Grimm's Law). On the one hand, new elements are added, on the other, articulation becomes more indefinite, more insensitive; symptoms of paralysis set in—amalgamations, loss or disappearance of certain vowels and consonants. The original language which was a unity is split up into diverse tongues, into dialects. Here is seen the influence of the Fenris Wolf. Through the Fenris Wolf death enters into the organism of language—dead languages, e.g. Latin, have therefore become victims of the Fenris Wolf.

Odin and Thor

Thor is the son of Odin. Whilst the power of Odin is present in respiration and language, Thor works in the blood, in the rhythmic pulse-beat. Blood is the physical expression of the ego in the metabolic system. Thor is portrayed in the sagas as a choleric with red blood, quick to anger, ever ready to wield his hammer Mjolnir and endowed with a powerful will. Odin's sphere of activity is the astral body, that of Thor the etheric body.

The alliterative verse of Old Norse (the poetic Edda), Old English (Beowulf), Old Saxon (Heliand) and Old High German (Hildebrandslied) is based on two rhythmic laws—the rhythm of respiration and the rhythm of blood. A single breath corresponds to four pulse beats (eighteen and seventy-two to the minute respectively). This ratio of 1:4 is found in the long line which consisted of two half verses separated by a caesura. Each hemistich had two strongly accented syllables. Thus in the form and law of alliterative verse is reflected the relationship of Odin and Thor. The Voluspa was written in this metre known as Fornyrthislag.

This whole subject is treated in detail in Chapters IX and X of Ernst Uehli's Nordisch-Germanische Mythologie als Mysteriengeschichte (Rudolf Geering Verlag, Basel 1926) to which I am indebted for many of the above suggestions.