We are use to judge things just by what we hear or what is told to us, this happens with all things in life because it is a rarity in the human nature to delve deep into any subject, trying to understand the meaning of things, to see all the sides of something, seldom anyone goes through the “trouble” of studying the true nature, essence and meaning of a variety of subjects, this is why i will be writing about Fenrir today. Those familiar with the Norse myths and stories know well who Fenrir is, it is one of the names often heard especially when the subject is Ragnarök, but do they know full well who this Fenrir really is and his purpose?
Fenrir is the god of destruction in the Norse pantheon, he is the son of Loki and Angrboda and he is father to Hati and Skoll, the two wolf brothers who chase the Sun and the Moon. Fenrir takes the form of a great black wolf and he is imprisoned in a cave, bound by a magical chain, locked away because he desires to devour all things, including the world of mortals and everything in it.
His mother, Angrboda, is the wolf mother, and as a leader of the wolf clan in Iron Wood, most of her children are giant werewolves. Her eldest son with Loki was fiercer, larger, wilder than all the other children she had, when he grew to adulthood, he began to kill and devour everything in his path, no one nor anything could restrained him or stop him, he was too strong and too large. The Aesir gods tried to hold him in a magical chain called Laeding and then with another one called Dromi, but both were broken. The Aesir called upon the Duergar ( Dwarves ) for forge a chain out of gold melted along with six impossible things ( the roots of a mountain, the footfall of a cat, the beard of a woman, te nerves of a bear, the breath of a fish and the spittle of a bird ), in this way they would chain Fenrir. The rest of the story of how he was chained we know, or at least we have heard of many times and it can be found anywhere, suffice to say that he now lies in a cave under a mountain on Lyngvi’s Island located in the Lake Amsvartnir in Niflheim. There he waits for the day he can fee himself again and have his revenge.
It is easy to fear such a thing, however, Fenrir isn’t a monster nor a demon as the Christians wanted people to believe, Fenrir is a deity of tremendous power, and because all things are sacred in their manner, also the nature of Fenrir is sacred. We are too used to divide the world into bad things and good things as each gives us certain feelings and emotions, we separate what gives us pain and sorrow into the group of bad and evil, and what gives us pleasure and happiness into the group of the good side and we tend to creat a perfect world with all the good things but we forget that without the bad things there couldn’t be any good at all, for we must taste sadness and pain in order to give the proper importance to all that is good, like all things in nature are balanced, good and evil cannot life without each other, so this is why people don’t understand the true nature of Fenrir, because his nature alone is already a mystery, not easy to comprehend, and if one goes in mind that he is all evil and must be put aside and forgotten, it will be even harder to understand. To understand his purpose, we have to look at nature and how it works. Nature isn’t all about beautiful things and happy stuff, nature has its cruel side and a terrible destructive power, in order to create life, the eternal balance between chaos and order. We must took at Fenrir as the personification of that natural destruction, the symbolism of chaos, as a volcano spitting fire and lava, killing, burning creating wastes of dust and black earth, but a great fertilizer for the soil, and life will sprout out of that ground, in this way the world was created, think of Fenrir as the great sea waves that devour the land and take lifes but it is a natural happaning to create new lands, clean and wash away dirt, think of Fenrir as the great stars that burst releasing an enormous power, or even galaxies, like our own that will desintegrate some day in order to create new stars, worlds and life. This is a good way to start understanding the naure of Fenrir, the terrifying side of nature, beautiful sometimes, majestic, magnificent, imposing respect, but also with a benevolent side. Fenrir exists so we may never forget that we are part of nature and we are bound to its laws, and we aren’t above nature, nor can we escape from its terrible powers. Often the powers of the devine are reflected on nature, in its beauty and also in its cruelty, not that the divine are cruel, but these actions in nature must exist once again in order to balance all life, to take it away and replace it with new life. Fenrir is the destruction that must be chained, but some day will come out and devour the world, the symbolism that this world will come to an end when nature is ready for it, and there isn’t nothing you can do to stop it, nor it will have any compassion for you, nor it will make a special exception for you, nature is as it is, like Fenrir is what he is, nothing will change it, that is his own nature, you have to accept the way things are, but new life will be created again, as our own world was created, by fire and ice, with dust and bits of worlds that exploded. This is Ragnarök also, or at least a part of its true meaning, but about that i will write a post just for Ragnarök and its full meaning.
The world isn’t easy, it isn’t black and white, even if we try to hid that fact or forget the not so much pleasant side of nature, we need to understand things, we have the power to make our own choices and make our own fates, but when it comes to the nature’s laws, we aren’t above it and we must accept how it works.
Fenrir in nature is very much like us mortals, with both good and bad, capable of living naturally but containing the beast within, because some times we want to burst in anger, but we need self control, but we also need to release that in some way, and Fenrir teaches us to do so, not only if one might speak with him and learn his wisdom, but just by reading his story and understanding the full meaning of it.
It is with Fenrir and his story that we can find a meaning for Baldr’s death. Fenrir and Baldr are both sacrificed gods, in one way or another. The Aesir sacrificed the god of destruction, the darkest deity of them all, in order to save all living beings from his wrath and terrible destructive powers and on the other hand, Loki and Hella arranged a well planned scheme in which Odin might had known and played his part, to sacrificed Baldr the brightest of all the gods, the exact opposite of Fenrir, again in order for all living creatures survive after Ragnarök, where it is said that he will rule. Each one of them was sacrificed in his own manner to safeguard the future, one will bring the end of things and the other will bring the new beginning, the renewal of life after a chaotic destruction, just as it happens in nature.
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