Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Birth Of God Vali

The Birth Of God Vali Cover The Prophecy made by Rossthiof was duly fulfilled, for Rinda bore a son named Vali (Ali, Bous, or Beav), a personification of the lengthening days, who grew with such marvelous rapidity, that in the course of a single day he attained his full stature. Without even taking time to wash his face or comb his hair, this young God hastened off to Asgard with bow and arrow to avenge the death of Balder, God of light, by slaying his murderer, Hodur, the blind God of darkness.

“But, see! th’ avenger, Vali, come,
Sprung from the west, in Rindas’ womb,
True son of Odin! one day’s birth!
He shall not stop nor stay on earth
His locks to comb, his hands to lave,
His frame to rest, should rest it crave,
Until his mission be complete,
And Baldur’s death find vengeance meet.”
-VALHALLA (J. C. Jones)

In this tale, Rinda, a personification of the hard-frozen rind of the earth, resists the warm wooing of the sun, Odin, who vainly points out that spring is the time for warlike exploits, and offers the adornments of golden summer. She only yields when, after a shower (the footbath), a thaw set in. Conquered then by the sun’s irresistible might, the earth yields to his embrace, is freed from the spell (ice) which made her hard and cold, and brings forth Vali the nourisher, or Bous the peasant, who emerges from his dark hut when the pleasant days have come. The slaying of Hodur by Vali is therefore emblematical of “the breaking forth of new light after wintry darkness.”

Vali, who ranked as one of the twelve deities occupying seats in the great hall of Gladsheim, shared with his father the dwelling called Valaskialf, and was destined, even before birth, to survive the last battle and Twilight of the Gods, and to reign with Vidar over the regenerated earth.


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