Tag Archives: Norse sagas

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An Esoteric Commentary on the Volsung Saga, Part VI

2,831 words

Part I here, Part II here, Part III here, Part IV here, Part V here

Chapter 8. The Vengeance of the Volsungs

In the last installment of this series, we told of the birth of the hero Sinfjotli, product of the incest of the twins Sigmund and Signy. Read more …

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An Esoteric Commentary on the Volsung Saga, Part V

Sigmund & the wolf.

2,559 words

Part I here, Part II here, Part III here, Part IV here, Part VI here

In our last installment, we saw that after Sigmund pulls the sword from the tree Barnstokk, Siggeir (who has just married Sigmund’s sister, Signy) offers to buy it from him. When Sigmund refuses, Siggeir immediately begins plotting revenge. On a pretext, he takes Signy and leaves the wedding feast early, inviting Volsung and his ten sons to visit him in Götaland. Read more …

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An Esoteric Commentary on the Volsung Saga, Part IV

Willy Pogany, Sigmund & the Wolf (1920)

3,220 words

Part I here, Part II here, Part III here, Part V here

In our last installment, we saw how King Volsung marries his daughter Signy off to the loathsome King Siggeir of Götaland, a man she “was not eager to marry.” Read more …

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Longfellow’s Scandinavian Influences

2,289 words

For a long time, the tales of Norse voyages to North America described in the Saga of Erik the Red and the Saga of the Greenlanders were thought to be legends. It was not until the nineteenth century that historians and archaeologists began to investigate the subject of Pre-Columbian Norse exploration in earnest. The first to do so was the Danish historian Carl Christian Rafn, whose Antiquitates Americanæ (published in 1837) sought to ascertain the location of Vinland. Read more …

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An Esoteric Commentary on the Volsung Saga, Part III

Siegmund the Walsung, Arthur Rackham, 1910.

1,890 words

Part I here, Part II here, Part IV here

Chapter Three: The Marriage of Siggeir to Signy, Volsung’s Daughter

In our last installment, we met Volsung (“stallion phallus”), who becomes a great King and sires eleven children: the twin brother and sister Sigmund and Signy, and nine brothers (who go unnamed). Volsung builds a “magnificent hall” around an immense apple tree whose branches weave about the beams of the roof. Read more …

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An Esoteric Commentary on the Volsung Saga, Part II

Arthur Rackham, Siegfried’s Death (1924), from his illustrations for Wagner’s Ring

3,283 words

Part I here, Part III here

Chapter Two: Concerning Rerir and His Son Volsung

In the previous chapter, we saw that Sigi, the son of Odin, is the first step in the god’s master plan: the creation of a new race of super-warriors, who will come to be known as the clan of the Volsungs. In order to become a truly great warrior, Sigi must transgress man’s laws and remove himself from society – entering the wilderness where he will live as his own master and create a world of his own. Read more …

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An Esoteric Commentary on the Volsung Saga, Part I

A carving depicting Sigurd sucking the dragon’s blood off his thumb, from a stave church in Setesdal, Norway.

4,517 words

Part II here

The purpose of this essay is to offer an account of the hidden meaning of the Volsung Saga (Völsunga saga). In drawing out this meaning, I will approach the saga from a Traditionalist standpoint, broadly speaking; i.e., from the standpoint of Guénon and Evola. I will touch on some details concerning the relation of the saga to other sources, but I do not aim to provide anything like the sort of account a historian or philologist might give. Read more …

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The Struggle for Life in the Prose Edda

Friedrich Wilhelm Heine, The Ash Yggdrasil, 1886

1,480 words

Snorri Sturluson
Translated by Jesse L. Byock
The Prose Edda 
London: Penguin, 2005

There is always an air of mystery surrounding the most ancient religious texts. The great bulk were gradually developed through oral traditions, passed down, and then evolved from generation to generation. We typically know little or nothing about their authors, whether the Brahmins who composed the Upanishads or the Greeks’ notoriously elusive “Homer.” Read more …

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Ancestral Being, Part Four

Siegfried & Mime, Arthur Rackham, 1911

2,325 words

Part 4 of 4 (Part 1 here; Part 2 here; Part 3 here)

7. Concluding Reflections

I turn now to some thoughts on how the foregoing treatment of the influence of the past on the present ought to affect our own present, when we finish this essay and return to the real world.

It is a well-known fact that our ancestors acted with awareness of membership in the clan: trying to be worthy of their own ancestors, and not to disgrace them. Read more …

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