character:baldr

Concerning Baldr.

Komiði sæl og blessuð, vinir mínir,
(Come happy and blessed, my friends,)

Since yesterday, I have been thinking about Baldr quite a bit. I have been thinking about the way he is treated by Snorri Sturluson in the Prose Edda, and how revered Baldr is. I have begun to get the impression that Baldr represents and stands for the ideals of peace, kindness, and mercy. His description by Snorri makes me think this, although it takes some work to get there, I suppose, so here is the passage for reference:

“Odin’s second son is Baldr, and there is good to be told of him. He is best and all praise him. He is so fair in appearance and so bright that light shines from him, and there is a plant so white (in terms of light) that is is called after Baldr’s eyelash. It is the whitest (again, in terms of light) of all plants, and from this you can tell his beauty both of hair and body (thus comparing Baldr to everything light and bright). He is the wisest of the Æsir and most beautifully spoken and most merciful, but it is one of his characteristics that none of his decisions can be fulfilled.

One thing that really stands out to me is the constant comparison Snorri makes to light. The Poetic Edda does not seem to emphasize this quality of him as much as Snorri does here. I may be wrong, but the Poetic Edda primarily focuses on his death, rather than his appearance or likenesses. Regardless, Snorri introduces Baldr as if he were light itself (but still in a very symbolic way meant for comparison), which is very important considering that Ragnarök, the end of times, begins after his death. The two sources of light in the world must vanish before Ragnarök can begin: Sol, the literal sun that warms the worlds, and Baldr, the symbolic light within each living soul. To think these references to be to anything other than light ruins the symbolic role that Baldr plays.

I would also like to single out the ending of the quotation:

…it is one of his characteristic that none of his decisions can be fulfilled.”

If Baldr is so wise and so good, why do none of his decisions end up fulfilled? Perhaps it is because he, representing ‘good nature’, is often consumed by hatred and cruelty. Think about Ragnarök again. When the world ends, ‘evil’ forces consume the world because ‘good’ itself has perished. The situation is more complicated than that, though, because determining what is evil and what is not is in itself a complicated matter. Thinking only in the way that Snorri depicts these events, though, it is evil that brings the world to its end.

I also cannot help myself but notice the concepts of Christianity that are imbedded into Baldr’s image, especially in the Prose Edda. Think about it. Baldr is as pure as light, he is the most merciful, and his death is almost like that of a martyr. Not to mention his pacifist nature (he gets attacked, but does not fight back). Furthermore, although he is not the only one to return after Ragnarök, he does indeed return from the dead. This is peculiar because the world is now a perfect, peaceful place; it is no surprise, then, that Baldr returns and fills it with his goodness once again. (All of this should also sound a bit Jesus-like, but maybe it is just me).


I find Baldr to be goodness itself. He is an ideal that we should try to achieve and admire. After all, he is so highly spoken of, and all of the Æsir lament his loss. Their rage towards Loki seems to be more out of despair for Baldr’s death than an actual hatred for Loki (or is it?). Their actions show how difficult it is to show mercy and kindness to others, especially when in despair. Even after Baldr’s death, the Æsir show no mercy to Loki. Baldr was the merciful god.

Without mercy and kindness, the world will fall in turmoil; Ragnarök will come. Evil will arise from neglect and abuse. Loki was not shown mercy nor kindness; he was treated terribly. Loki resented Baldr because he was an ideal that the rest of the gods pretty much worshipped. Loki resented Baldr because Loki represents our imperfections (which is very human and not mean too be demeaning). We struggle to reach these ideals of kindness and mercy; we struggle to reach to Baldr’s heights. After all, even the gods could not live up to these ideals that Baldr symbolized. 

But perhaps some of us can still learn from their troubles and embrace the kindness and mercy of Baldr. We must not simply revere Baldr’s perfections and ideals, for that will only bring resentment and hurtfulness. The real problem, then, is when we have standards that are too high. If we constantly judge others based off of such high standards, it will be painful and difficult for those struggling to reach those ideals. Therefore, we must try to kept Baldr in mind and in heart, rather than force others to be in his image. We must show kindness and mercy to others so that we may quell the anger and resentment of this world. It is the act, not the appearance or complete likeness, of Baldr that we must emit. We must make our ideals reality, rather than using them to cast judgement upon others.

Then again, I’m just a rambling wanderer.

Let me know what your thoughts are, if you want to! I can’t be the only person who understands Baldr in such a way.

Með vinsemd og virðingu,
(With friendliness and respect,)
Fjörn

At the top are Hades and Persephone, and below them are Baldr and Hel.

Baldr and Hel aren’t lovers in the old myth, but it’s a modern interpretation (got popular with the comic Valhalla) that I think is pretty cute, the idea being that Hel wouldn’t let Baldr leave the underworld because she had fallen in love with him, and Baldr didn’t want to leave anyway because the feeling was mutual.

That version gives it some similarities with Hades and Persephone’s relationship, so I had to draw them too.

It's Jul on the Ouroboros Witch Server
  • Goat - Today at 10.56 PM:
  • Housemates keep putting up mistletoe. Rib hurts from amusement XD.
  • Rowyn - Today at 10.57 PM:
  • @Goat How much mistletoe are we talking?
  • That sounds awesome Nova sucks that I hate apples lol
  • Goat - Today at 10.58 PM:
  • @Rowyn Like. Baldr is triggered until New Years level amount.
Baldr and Loki #76

I got a request for both of them with this number so I just combined them !! 

You walked into the onsen prepared for some relaxation and hot water to soothe your muscles, but instead you got gods. Naked gods.

When you practically ran into Loki and Baldr who had just come out of the springs themselves, you immediately averted your eyes, looking straight up. The worst part was that the two of them actually tried to make conversation with you.

“Oh, going for a dip?” Loki asked with a smirk. “You should have come earlier and joined us.” You rolled your eyes as you looked off, trying not to stare again.

“You’re not going in that, are you?” Baldr asked, eyeing your towel that you had wrapped around yourself tightly. You let out a sigh.

“No, of course not. I’m just not about to get naked in front of you two. You’re leaving, right?” You knew there was annoyance in your tone, but you really just wanted to relax and them being there, just standing there in all their glory-

“Please put your penises away,” You interjected loudly on whatever Loki was about to say. “Seriously can you please just put something on?” You added, sounding exasperated.

Baldr blanched, clearly realizing you were upset but Loki just chuckled as the two of them wrapped towels around their waists.

“There’s nothing unnatural about these human bodies,” Loki said haughtily, “I’m sure yours is just as attractive as our- OW!” Loki whined as you smacked him in the side of the head.

“Just get out of here,” You grumbled, walking towards the spring, and watching to make sure they left (Loki rubbing the side of his head) before you got in. Once you were submerged in the warm water, you let yourself sink down, the water covering your blushing cheeks as you closed your eyes and tried very hard not to picture the couple of glances you stole at the gods’ terrific bodies. After all, you’re only human, a very very turned-on human.

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Doodle for @meatquest of their Baldr bud!

If you like it and want any of the transparent versions, I’m happy to email them or something!

Nanna

In Norse mythology, Nanna Nepsdóttir or simply Nanna is a Goddess associated with the god Baldr. In the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, Nanna is the wife of Baldr and the couple produced a son, the god Forseti. After Baldr’s death, Nanna dies of grief. Nanna is placed on Baldr’s ship with his corpse and the two are set aflame and pushed out to sea. In Hel, Baldr and Nanna are united again.

I’ve remade an altar for Baldr!

Out of an old wooden presentation crate; I’ve just removed the packing straw and dividers and added two pins to suspend the necklaces. (One is, obviously, a silver skeleton key that I got from the wonderful owner of Le Chat Perlé in Montreal in exchange for getting her a set of runes, and the other is has a viking fireball stone from Wiccan Trinity here in Chateauguay and a brass mjolnir that I got from another local dealer!)

I’ve got a cinnamon slice candle burning and, because it’s honestly the only booze I have around, a splash of raspberry sourpuss in the libation bowl.

May continue work on the grimoire, now that I feel everything is nice and settled.

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Figures of Lore | 

Baldr, god of light, joy, purity, beauty, innocence, and reconciliation. Son of Odin and Frigg, he was loved by both gods and men and was considered to be the best of the gods. He had a good character, was friendly, wise and eloquent, although he had little power. His wife was Nanna daughter of Nep, and their son was Forseti, the god of justice. Baldr’s hall was Breidablik (“broad splendor”).Most of the stories about Baldr concern his death. He had been dreaming about his death, so Frigg extracted an oath from every creature, object and force in nature (snakes, metals, diseases, poisons, fire, etc.) that they would never harm Baldr. All agreed that none of their kind would ever hurt or assist in hurting Baldr. Thinking him invincible, the gods enjoyed themselves thereafter by using Baldr as a target for knife-throwing and archery.

The malicious trickster, Loki, was jealous of Baldr. He changed his appearance and asked Frigg if there was absolutely nothing that could harm the god of light. Frigg, suspecting nothing, answered that there was just one thing: a small tree in the west that was called mistletoe. She had thought it was too small to ask for an oath. Loki immediately left for the west and returned with the mistletoe. He tricked Baldr’s blind twin brother Hod into throwing a mistletoe fig (dart) at Baldr. Not knowing what he did, Hod threw the fig, guided by Loki’s aim. Pierced through the heart, Baldr fell dead.While the gods were lamenting Baldr’s death, Odin sent his other son Hermod to Hel, the goddess of death, to plead for Baldr’s return. Hel agreed to send Baldr back to the land of the living on one condition: everything in the world, dead or alive, must weep for him. And everything wept, except for Loki, who had disguised himself as the witch Thokk. And so Baldr had to remain in the underworld.

A meadow with Baldur’s Brow in it (and plenty of other related flowers, too). I feel that this is a very appropriate representation in nature of who Baldur is: a pleasant meadow, filled with a fresh scent and a gentle breeze.

Photo by Anita, via Flickr.

Baldr is a little shit.

So, lately, in my meditations, a male figure kept showing up and just like… voguing. Once he was lounging on his back while riding a reindeer propped up with his elbows on its antlers. 

I couldn’t figure out who it was, so I kept asking, and every time I did the phrase that came to mind over and over again was “the golden boy.” At first I thought it could be Freyr, since I associate the color gold with him, but it didn’t quite fit. 

I did a little research and found this description of Baldr

He’s loved by all the gods, goddesses, and beings of a more physical nature. So handsome, gracious, and cheerful is he that he actually gives off light.

and was just like, “Oh. Duh.”

As soon as I figured out who it was he fucked right off and, I swear, he just showed up for the attention and lost interest as soon as the intrigue was gone.