Friday, October 7, 2016

Wodan, Geri, Freki, and the Lower Self

Sometimes we can find other things that stick out within the Northern Lore.  This is just one of the many......

The Lore tells us that Wodan/Odin has two wolves, Geri and Freki, who are his constant companions, as are his ravens, Hugin and Munin (see Your Personal Ravens - Hugr and Munr 9/20/2016).  Scholars tell us that the names Geri and Freki mean "the greedy one" and/or "the ravenous one."  So, we have two greedy and ravenous canines.  And, All-Father, according to the Lore, knows how to treat them.  

Within the Grimnisal and the Gylfaginning we find All-Father feeding his companions.  In one instance, we see All-Father ALLOWING Geri and Freki to eat some of the flesh of the battle slain.  In the other example, All-Father feeds Geri and Freki with the food from his own table; he consumes nothing but wine as his food and drink (the food on All-Father's table is limited to what is there).  That All-Father consumes nothing but wine, not mead or ale is important.

In the northern climes, grapes to make wine could not be grown, but during the Germanic migration Age and the Viking Age, wine was something that the better off sought as a trading commodity - it was a rich man's drink; mead and ale were left for the common man (this was also true for the Germanic tribes).  And, in my opinion, imported wine may have been thought of like Soma (Sanskrit), a ritualistic stimulant drink (something from our proto-Indo-Iranian-European past).  Here I must state that wine "may have been thought of like Soma..."  not in a literal but figurative sense. Within the context of our northern Lore, this wine was the drink of All-Father, something to help improve his higher self, or something to set him apart.  In my opinion, it was an added extra on top of "the Mead of Inspiration."  It was that which opened up new worlds of the Mind.  So, what could all of this mean to us today?  

In both sources we see All-Father feeding his companions, Geri and Freki.  In my opinion, Geri and Freki, the greedy, ravenous ones, are metaphors for our lower, baser, selves.  Contrary to Monotheistic salvation doctrine, All-Father tells us NOT to ignore the needs of our lower self (the body, sex, eating, drinking, enjoying life, etc.) - He tells us to feed it, just enough to satisfy these basic needs (not gorging yourself or engaging in any form of gluttony.  The Havamal contains many admonitions concerning gluttony).  Then we see that All-Father, after taking care of his Geri and Freki, drinks wine - the all that he needs - for refreshment and renewal.  For us, that wine of refreshment and renewal can and should be found in contemplation and meditation.  Hot Damn!  What a difference a World-View can make!

                                                    Copyright @2016 Terry Unger


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