Norse Doom

Some more musings on Norse pagan gods this week. I’ve discovered we are all doomed (maybe) and the Vikings knew all along.
I’ve been fascinated by the Vikings for most of my 40 years but one thing that strikes me is that the link between constellations and other objects in the night sky and Norse mythology is perhaps underplayed these days. I started looking into it recently and came across a possible clue to the origin of the viking’s myth of the end of the world, and maybe even hint of impending doom from the sky.
In many cases, a lot of the origins of seemingly obscure Norse myths look like they are actually staring us in the face, or rather we are staring up at them in the night sky. For example “Bifrost”,-for the Vikings the road or bridge from "earth" (midgard) to "heaven" (asgard)-is widely believed (including in the marvel comics version of Thor) to be a rainbow, but the name translates as "trembling/shimmering road". To me, the Northern Lights or the Milky Way makes more sense as to what Bifrost was, particularly when the Eddas also say that Heimdall (the bright/white god) guards the end of Bifrost from his house "high up in the sky". That suggests that "Heimdall" is probably a very bright star somewhere at the end of the milky way or in the northern sky, perhaps the planet Venus. Venus is the brightest object in the night sky after the moon and in the evening and morning could well be perceived as being at the "far end" of either the milky way or where the Northern lights touch the horizon.
There are other specific stars that are related to incidents in Norse myths where bits of giants or gods (toes, eyes or whatever) got chopped off and placed in the sky by Thor or Odinn. Orion's belt was also possibly called "Frig’s Distaff" (Frig was Odin's wife) in the past but I can't find the origin of this theory beyond the internet, so it might just be a wiki-truth.
Famously, the Vikings thought the world was doomed. A final cataclysm called Ragnarokr ( will destroy the earth, men (and women presumably) and the gods themselves as they fight a last desperate battle with jotunns and monsters of chaos let loose on the world. Again perhaps there is some half-forgotten sky lore in this tale. For example, in Old Norse, the constellation Hyades was called "Ulf's Keptr," Wolf's mouth and given that the Hyades is close to the ecliptic, the apparent path of the sun, is reminiscent of the Norse myth that the wolf Skoll (treachery) pursues the Sun across the sky and at the end of the world would catch and eat it. A slight shift in the earth's rotation on its axis perhaps?
The constellation Auriga was called the "Battlefield of the Aesir*" (asar bardagi) and the obvious battle that all the gods are in is Ragnarok. Something appearing to come from that region of the sky like an asteroid could have happened and given rise to the Ragnarok myth. The Edda relates that at the climax of Ragnarok the sun becomes black, the sea rises to cover the earth, the stars vanish, steam rises and flames rise up to touch the heavens. To leap deftly into the realms of speculation, a huge firestorm, a dust cloud that blots out sun and stars and a Tsunami are reminiscent to me of a comet strike on the earth. Could the myth of Ragnarok be a half remembered memory of a comet or asteroid coming from the constellation of Auriga and striking the earth sometime in the dark ages?
The fact that the comet Hartley 2 appeared at its closed point to earth in the constellation of Auriga in 2010, and will return in 2017, suddenly gives a bit more pause for thought.


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