public domain translations

anonymous asked:

"Zeetha being named after the Hindu ideal of female duty and honor" Whaaaat? What is this and where is this from???

Sorry I didn’t see this ask earlier Anon! 

Like Gil, Zeetha is named after an archtypical character from a famous epic poem, in this case Sita from the Ramayana (the Tamil version of her name is transliterated as Seetha, so Zeetha’s name is only a slight corruption). Hinduism has two very important epic poems: the Ramayana is one, with the other being the Mahabharata (I can’t believe I spelled that right on the first try???); they’re comparable to Homer’s epics, with the Mahabharata as the Illiad and the Ramayana as the Odyssey. 

The Ramayana is about Rama, one of the avatars of Vishnu, who sets out to rescue his wife Sita, an avatar of Lakhsmi, who has been kidnapped by a demon king who wishes to marry her. You can read a full public domain translation here over at the sacred texts archive

Basically, I have a lot of feelings about how Zeetha and Sita both represent the idea princess of their civilization and get stranded far from home with nothing but faith and hope to keep them going. The feelings get a lot more complicated than that, and go into a lot of Sita’s roles as the traditional “ideal” for woman & her relationship with the Earth and how she contrasts with Gilgamesh’s rejection of his own role and obligation to the land in search of personal glory BUT that’s a rant for another day.

anonymous asked:

Hey, possibly a redundant question but I'm not entirely sure and really curious, is there any correlation of birds/bird symbolism with Loki (whether traditional, recon, UPG anything really)?

Loki is associated with air and flying quite a bit in the lore. One of Loki’s heiti is Sky-treader (which was also sometimes translated as Skywalker before Star Wars happened. lol.) At other points, he’s called Hawk’s Child and Vulture’s Path. (See this post for the original Old Icelandic terms.)

Furthermore, Loki actually transforms into a bird a few times. He borrows Freyja’s falcon cloak to scout for Thor’s hammer and to rescue Idunn from Thjazi. Interestingly, Thjazi is in the form of an eagle when he abducts Loki and Idunn to begin with.

In the Prose Edda, at least, Loki also owns a pair of magical shoes that allow him to fly on his own.

Some people think the Winged Man of Uppåkra is a depiction of Loki wearing the falcon cloak. But the piece could also be Volund the Smith, or some other figure.

In a less direct connection, Loki is known as “the Raven God’s Friend”, in reference, of course, to his blood brother Odin. Many modern devotees associate Loki with ravens as well for this reason. Alternatively, some associate Loki with crows and/or magpies, since they’re the raven’s wily corvid relatives.

If you’re interested in exploring the connection further, we encourage you to read the stories yourself. You can find links to some public domain translations on our reading list.

- Mod E

anonymous asked:

Do the myths say where we come from? I believe in Evolution personally but was brought up in a Creationism mindset. I am curious of what the Norse myths have to say about the subject? Or what other Norse polytheists believe?

As with the other questions on similar topics we’ve answered recently, I want to reiterate that the majority of modern Heathens don’t take the myths literally. We believe that science is the best way to explain the origins of the universe in physical terms. There’s a good chance that the myths weren’t meant to be completely literal when they originated either, since the modern concept of history as a completely true and literal thing is actually relatively recent.

But like most other cultures, the Norse did have a creation myth. You can find it in the first parts of Gylfaginning and Völuspá  You can read public domain translations of those texts here and here. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something more easily digestible, we have a post with recommended Edda translations.

The basic gist is that the world was created when the heat from the realm of primordial fire, Muspelheim, met up with the ice floes from the realm of primordial ice, Niflheim. The resulting mist coalesced into a frost giant named Ymir and a giant cow named Audumbla. Ymir reproduced asexually by budding, nourished by the cow, and everything was cool.

Until Audumbla, who liked licking the salty ice around her, as cows do, ended up gradually freeing another dude from the ice with her licking. This dude was named Buri, and he was Odin’s grandfather. Buri’s family really didn’t like the frost giants, despite intermarrying with them, and decided to claim supremacy for themselves.

So Odin and two comrades (whose identities vary based on the source) killed Ymir and fashioned our own human realm, Midgard, from the giant’s corpse. His skull made the sky, his blood made the oceans, and so on. After that, Odin and friends took a couple of sticks they found on the beach and imbued them with life to form Ask and Embla, the first humans. Those two went on to populate Midgard.

That’s leaving a lot of stuff out, along with all the awesome poetry that’s survived a millennium, so I really encourage you to read the texts themselves. But in a nutshell, yeah, giant corpse. Which makes the fact that the Aesir are defeated by giants at Ragnarok all the more symbolic.

- Mod E