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An ash I know, Yggdrasil its name,
With water white is the great tree wet;
Thence come the dews that fall in the dales,
Green by Urth's well does it ever grow.

Art by Miguel Coimbra
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THOR, LOKI & THE ORIGIN OF LIFE
Abridged from Science Focus
[Goofy first paragraph, interesting news]

Avengers fans will know Asgard as home to Norse gods Thor and Loki, but thanks to a new study it also lends its name to a group of microbes that shed light on the origins of life on Earth.

The godly group are single-celled organisms called archaea or ‘ancient things’. Archaea were discovered in 1977 and form one of the three domains of life alongside bacteria and eukaryotes.

The identification of this new group, known as the Asgard archaea, represents another missing link between single-celled organisms and complex life. It follows the description in 2015 of the genome of the deep-sea archaeon Loki at a hydrothermal vent.

"We named these new archaea Thor, Odin and Heimdall after the Norse gods,” says Eva Fernandez-Caceres of the study team. “These new groups are found in environments all over the world, not only in the deep sea like Loki,” she said.

Genetic evidence seems to show a strong evolutionary link between eukaryotes and organisms related to the Asgard archaea.

Loki and the other godly archaea were discovered from genetic material isolated from the environment. Archaea are found everywhere, but notably in extreme environments where other life cannot survive, such as volcanic pools and the hydrothermal vent where Loki was found.

Source: sciencefocus.com/article/nature/thor-and-loki-microbes-hold-clues-origin-life
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Might've gone Odin, Vili & Vé, but then less press probably.
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TUNNEL TO BE BUILT UNDER STONEHENGE
Abridged from The Guardian
A [1.8-mile] tunnel is to be built under Stonehenge under plans announced by ministers, a move that will reignite controversy over improving roads around the ancient site.

The transport secretary said the tunnel could enhance Stonehenge by removing traffic. The concept has been backed by its custodians, English Heritage and National Trust.

Others regard it as a scheme that could irreparably damage the world heritage site. Last year, historians Dan Snow and Tom Holland attacked the proposals.

Snow, president of Council for British Archaeology, likened them to vandals destroying ancient artefacts:

“We have recently started to realise that the standing stones are just a beginning. They sit at the heart of the world’s most significant and best-preserved stone-age landscape. The government’s plans endanger this unique site.

“Around the world we see pictures of our fellow humans smashing the treasures of the past and count ourselves lucky that we live in a country which values its rich history and appreciates what it offers modern Britain. Our heritage helps us understand ourselves, how we got here and where we are going."

Holland said: “There is so much waiting to be learned about how Stonehenge was built – if we decide, as a country, not to sacrifice it to road building. The battle to save our most significant neolithic landscape is an unending one.”

Source: theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jan/12/stonehenge-a303-tunnel-chris-grayling-world-heritage-site
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"You found the golden age in the fjords, you had a good trade, you made a good living. The warband protected you and there were þings of law. You didn't need a friend like me. But, now you come to me, and you say: 'Ragnar, give me revenge.' But you don't ask with respect. You don't offer friendship. You don't even think to call me jarl. Instead, you come into my hall on the day my daughter is to be married, and you ask me to do murder for arm rings."
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Love those Lewis Chessmen.
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THE ILLUSTRATED HÁVAMÁL: SAYINGS OF THE HIGH ONE
fatefulsigns.com/store/the-illustrated-hvaml

I'm proud to have been editor for this wonderful dual-language (Old Norse and Modern English) edition of the medieval Odin poem with fantastic new illustrations by artist +Sam Flegal. The books are finally here! Follow link above for more information.
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Laura Gibbs's profile photoRichard Meyers's profile photoMichael A Koontz's profile photo
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Congrats :)
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"Many men in this land say that when a man has his arrogance at his highest, he can then be laid the lowest." - Thidrek's Saga
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BUILT IN IRON AGE, USED BY VIKINGS
Abridged from The Scotsman
A major project to unlock secrets of the Highland broch is underway in the very far north of Scotland. Very little is known about the often complex Iron Age stone structures which point to life in Scotland up to 3,000 years ago.

Around half of Scotland’s 500 broch sites can be found in Caithness. For the first time in 20 years, major excavation work will be carried out at a Caithness broch site. Plans are underway to re-create a full-sized broch.

Kenneth McElroy, chairman of Caithness Broch Project, said: "There is a lot to be interested about in brochs and archeologists still argue what they were used for. They are uniquely Scottish; you don’t find them anywhere else. Most of Britain at the time had roundhouses but Scotland had these huge, complex structures.

"It is difficult to understand how they were even built. They were more than likely lived in and served some sort of domestic function, but there has not been enough research into them. There are more brochs in Caithness than anywhere else in Scotland and we don’t really know why."

Brochs are typically a massive, circular structure built using a drystane construction method. Some have walls up to 4 metres thick and inside floor space of around 10 metres diameter. They were occupied from around 800 BC until the 2nd century AD, experts believe, with examples also found in Orkney, Shetland, the Western Isles and Aberdeenshire.

McElroy said activities, planned around the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017, would focus on three main sites. They are Things Va, near Thurso, thought to have been later used by Vikings as an assembly place, Bruan Broch at Ulbster and Rattar near Castle of Mey.

Source: scotsman.com/news/secrets-of-the-highland-broch-to-be-unlocked-1-4339298
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Thor, the Thunder God
by Johannes Gehrts (1855-1921)
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Science of the Vikings
from "Asterix and the Normans"
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Who is this "Gum" they mention?I haven't read of him in the sagas ;-P

Asterix never ceases to crack me up.
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HEL BANNED IN ICELAND
Abridged from Iceland Monitor
Icelandic Naming Committee has just ruled that Hel cannot be used as a name in Iceland.

Hel is a goddess in Norse mythology. She rules the underworld, and it has the same name as her. She is one of Loki’s three children, along with the Miðgarðsormur [World Serpent] and Fenrisúlfur [Fenris Wolf]. The word hel also means hell in Icelandic.

The committee says there is a risk of the name being a nuisance for the name’s bearer, given that Hel refers to death and Hel’s underworld kingdom.

There are strict laws on what names are allowed in Iceland and all disputes are settled by the Icelandic Naming Committee. The point of the committee is both to preserve Icelandic language, as all names have to fit into Icelandic and its rules, and to protect people from receiving names that might trouble them in the future.

Source: icelandmonitor.mbl.is/news/politics_and_society/2017/01/09/not_allowed_to_name_after_nordic_goddess_hel
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I am She-who-must-not-be-named, fear my approach.
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BEOWULF, THE BIBLE & DINOSAURS
Excerpt from Louisville Magazine

From an interview with Andrew Snelling, Director of Research for Answers in Genesis, the ministry behind Ark Encounter, a Christian fundamentalist theme park in Kentucky

"And there was a story called Beowulf in which the king slays a dragon, and this happened in Norway."

"So you take Beowulf to be evidence of dinosaurs existing?"

"Yes," Snelling said. "It was an eyewitness account."

Posters hanging in the front hall affirmed what Snelling had told me – human cultures have lived among dinosaurs in the form of dragons.

A display with a warrior's helmet propped on a stand, the scrap of a scroll upon which had been scratched Tolkien-like runes, and a sword crusted with blood, was headed:

"Beowulf and the Dragon: Aided by a brave warrior, Beowulf vanquished the flying dragon and saved the land. Did these men or their ancestors actually fight dinosaurs and pterosaurs? This idea would be consistent with the Bible."

Source: loumag.epubxp.com/i/767403-jan-2017
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haha yup, that is the simple truth Will :)
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Don't let the trolls grind you down.
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The Norse Mythology Google+ Page
Introduction
Dr. Karl E. H. Seigfried is a writer on mythology and religion. A Norse mythologist and musician in Chicago, he teaches courses on mythology, religion, J.R.R. Tolkien and Richard Wagner for Newberry Library's Seminar Program. He taught Norse mythology at Loyola University Chicago and Norse religion at Carthage College, where he was founder and faculty advisor of the Tolkien Society.

Karl is President of Interfaith Dialogue at the University of Chicago and serves on the Spiritual Life Council, the advisory board for the Spiritual Life Office. He is also Contact Person for the Ásatrú Student Network.

Karl's website, The Norse Mythology Blog, was named the world's Best Religion Weblog in 2012, 2013 and 2014. It is the first religion blog to enter the Weblog Awards Hall of Fame. In addition to original articles and interviews on myth and religion, the site features projects such as the Worldwide Heathen Census 2013, a first attempt to estimate current numbers of adherents of the modern iteration of Norse religion.

Karl is a featured columnist for The Wild Hunt, the primary international source for news and commentary relating to minority religions. Mollie Hemingway, Senior Editor at The Federalist, has called The Wild Hunt "a must-read for those interested in news and events dealing with the modern Pagan and Heathen communities – and religion coverage in general."

Karl's writing on mythology and religion has been broadcast on the BBC as part of a series featuring "leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond." His work has been published in Herdfeuer (Germany), Iceland Magazine, Interfaith Ramadan (Italy), MythNow (Joseph Campbell Foundation), On Religion (UK), Religion and Ethics (Australia), and Reykjavík Grapevine (Iceland).

Karl was editor for The Illustrated Hávamál: Sayings of the High One, a dual-language (Old Norse and Modern English) edition of the medieval Odin poem with new illustrations by artist Sam Flegal. He wrote all definitions relating to Ásatrú (Norse religion) in the Religion Newswriters Association's Religion Stylebook, and he was a co-author of the Heathen Resource Guide for Chaplains written for the U.S. Department of Defense.

"One Crime over the Line: Śiśupāla in the Mahābhārata," Karl's article examining events at the royal consecration of Yudhiṣṭhira in light of other happenings in the Mahābhārata, later Indian texts, historical practice and religious concepts, will be published in volume 65 of the Journal of the Oriental Institute, the peer-reviewed academic publication of MSU of Baroda (India), the institution that issued critical editions of Vālmīki's Rāmāyaṇa and the Viṣṇu Purāṇa.

Karl has been interviewed on myth and religion by the ABC, BBC, Daily BeastHistory Channel, OnFaithPublic Radio International's The World, Strings Magazine, Chicago Public Radio's Morning Edition, Raven Radio, Viking Magazine and Wired Magazine. He has been a featured lecturer on literary and musical interpretations of Norse mythology at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Wagner Society of America and Wheaton College.

A member of the American Academy of Religion, Religion Newswriters Association, Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study, and Viking Society for Northern Research (UK), Karl is also the Official Norse Mythologist of the Stephanie Miller Show.

Karl holds degrees in literature and music from University of California at San Diego, University of Wisconsin at Madison and University of Texas at Austin. He studied literature and art history at Loyola University Chicago Rome Center in Italy and has taken Icelandic language courses through University of Iceland's distance learning program. He recently received an academic scholarship from University of Chicago Divinity School and is now working on an MA in Religion.

REVIEWS OF THE NORSE MYTHOLOGY BLOG

Chicago Public Radio: "[Karl's] one of the country’s most respected researchers and lecturers on Norse mythology."
Chicago Humanities Festival: "Seigfried is a prolific chronicler of the world of Norse mythology."
Johan Hegg (Amon Amarth): "[Karl's] probably a better Guardian of Asgard than I am."
Jóhanna G. Harðardóttir (Ásatrúarfélagið): "Hér er rétti maðurinn á ferð til að kenna Norræna goðafræði í US."
Weaving Wyrd: "His questions are thought-provoking, and his scholarly bona fides are pretty impressive."
Syracuse University iSchool: "This is an entertaining and enlightening blog to follow for anyone interested in Norse mythology."
Bob Freeman: "For anyone with an interest in Norse culture, myth, and magic, there is no better place to visit on the web."
Carthage News: "His would be considered a David-and-Goliath story, except Carthage professor Karl Seigfried topped the writers who discuss those kinds of biblical figures."
The Wild Hunt: "If you aren’t already reading Dr. Karl E. H. Seigfried's amazing The Norse Mythology Blog, then you've been remiss. The blog is one of the most content-rich affairs for lovers of Norse mythology I’ve ever seen."
Tales of a GM: "This is an amazing resource for anyone interested in the history and culture of Northern Europe. The Norse Mythology Blog is such a brilliant combination of modern issues and ancient sources. If you have any interest in Norse culture or mythology, then you must visit Dr Seigfried’s site."
Vancouver Sun: "The best blog on faith and spirituality may be one about a so-called ‘dead’ religion, Norse mythology. The Norse Mythology Blog reflects deep knowledge of this ancient religion, along with an affable spirit. [Karl] knows everything one would ever want to know about Thor, Odin, Frey, Loki, Frigg, Freya and countless more Norse gods, goddesses and mythological hangers-on."
City Magazine (Serbia): "Ako vas je ikada makar malo zainteresovala istorija i kultura severne Evrope, a naročito njena istorija, ovde ćete naći mnogo više interesantnog štiva nego što biste se ikada nadali. Posebno je interesantno da uspeva da poveže savremene momente sa prastarim izvorima."

HONORS & AWARDS

2015

On Religion (UK)
: Most Popular Article of 2015
"Northern Zombies & Heathen Worldviews"

2014


Weblog Awards (International): Best Religion Weblog
First religion blog to enter Weblog Awards Hall of Fame

2013

Weblog Awards (International)
: Best Religion Weblog

Bob Freeman: Best Esoteric Website

The Wild Hunt: Top Ten Pagan Stories of 2013
"Ásatrú Added to Religion Stylebook"

2012

Weblog Awards (International): Best Religion Weblog

NORSE MYTHOLOGY ONLINE

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QUESTIONS? Contact Karl through the Contact page at The Norse Mythology Blog.