The Lay of Volund (Summary)

There was once a Swedish king named Níthoth (“Grim Warrior”) who had two sons and a daughter, Bothvild (“War-Maiden”). There were also three sons of a Finnish king. They were named Slagfith (“Finn-Smith”), Egil and Volund (this name has not yet been properly explained, but may be connected with the Old Norse word vél, meaning “craft”). They were running on snowshoes while hunting game and, coming eventually to the Wolfdales, made themselves a house by some water called Wolf Lake.

One morning these young men woke and found by the shore three young women who were spinning flax. These women were valkyries, and being so had swanskins which they had laid beside themselves at the time.

Two were daughters of a king named Hlothvér. These two were called Hlathguth the Swanwhite and Hervor the Allwise. The third valkyrie was Olrún. She was the daughter of King Kíar of Valland. (In order, their names mean “the Necklace-Adorned Warrior-Maiden”, “the Warder of the Host” and “the One Knowing Ale Runes”.)

The brothers, seeing the lovely valkyries on the shore’s edge, took their swanskins and the women as their wives in doing so. Egil took Olrún, Slagfith took Hlathguth, and Volund took Hervor. They all stayed coupled in this manner for seven years before the women were overcome by their inborn longing to be valkyries again. At this time the women left to be at battles and did not return (note: “to be at” does not necessarily mean they actually fought in the battles. It is also a possibility that they hung around the back lines and handed new shields and swords to disarmed men,tended the wounded, or did other things like this. A village cannot survive without an ample supply of women, so it wouldn’t be a good idea to send them to the front lines to be slaughtered).

Egil and Slagfith went forth on snowshoes to look for their wives while Volund stayed in the Wolfdales and waited for his wife to come home. The Njára King, Níthoth heard that Volund was alone in the Wolfdales and went at night with his men to wait for Volund. At his home in the Wolfdales they found seven hundred of the smith’s rings. They only took one so as not to arouse suspicion, though it probably had magic power (suspicion was best avoided since Volund was termed to be a lord of the alfs with supernatural strength).

Volund the Smith, weary from the hunt, soon came striding home.

He made a fire to cook the meat of a bear. He broiled the meat and laid himself down on bearskins to rest. (This is a bit similar to Heracles/Hercules being associated with a lion and wearing a lion skin. He was strong and brave like a lion while Volund is more like a bear. If you also imagine totem animals as magically absorbing damage a warrior receives in battle while giving him strength, that would mean Heracles drew power from the lion while Volund drew power from the bear, and each of their respective animal totems would have absorbed some of their pain.)

Volund rested on these bearskins still as he noticed that one of his rings was missing. His hope was that his wife had come home and taken it. He sat awake for a long time waiting for her before he fell asleep. This is what King Níthoth and his men were waiting for.

As Volund slept, they put heavy shackles on his hands and fastened his feet with strong fetters. When the smith woke he asked who had done this thing to him. Níthoth, rather than giving him a straight answer, accused Volund of stealing from him the gold rings which he and his men had found, and Volund was brought to the king’s hall. In this place King Níthoth gave his daughter Bothvild the gold ring he had stolen from Volund’s hall, and he himself kept the sword Volund had owned.

The Queen mentioned to her husband in a low voice that Volund clearly had hate in his flashing eyes, like the glittering orbs of an adder. She mentioned how he bared his teeth when looking upon his sword and ring, both stolen from him. Then she made the following suggestion, still speaking to her husband in a low voice: “Sever ye soon his sinews’ might, let him sit henceforth in Sævarstath.” (“Sævarstath” = “Stead by the Sea”)

So Volund was hamstrung and set down on an isle called Sævarstath, which wasn’t far from land. Volund then worked with metal to make the king all manner of precious things. During this time, only the king dared to go see him.

Seeing his sword at the king’s side and his bride’s armring being worn by the king’s daughter greatly disheartened him. Then King Níthoth‘s sons drifted to his door one day.

They called for the keys to the chest as they wished to see gold and gems and wealth so wondrous. Naturally, it was at this time that Volund conceived his plan of vengeance. He told them to come back the next day and said he would give them gold then. (There is another version in which he tells them to come after the first snowfall and walk backwards to the door. He later shows the king the tracks leading from the door to clear from himself the suspicion of being involved in their disappearance, which will be explained presently.)

They returned and Volund cut off their heads. He buried their bodies under the bellows’ pit.

He turned their skulls into drinking vessels, set them in silver, and sent them to the king. He made their eyeballs into shining beads and gave them to the cunning queen. Then he made their teeth into beauteous brooches which he sent to the king’s daughter.

(Unfortunately, there is a line missing here. I will summarize based on context as best I can.)

Bothvild, still bearing the ring of Volund’s wife, took it back to the smith in secret so as not to let anyone else know it was broken. Volund told her that he would heal the ring in such a way that would make it seem even fairer to her father, much better to her mother, and the same as before to herself. He then proceeded to get her so drunk that she fell fast asleep. Volund escaped laughing (he may have made himself a pair of wings during his captivity and used these to escape as in the Greek story of Daidalos). When Bothvild woke, she fled the island out of fear of Volund’s escape and her father’s wrath. She wept.

 

Volund rested now on a high house wall as he listened to the queen speak with King Níthoth. She asked him whether he was awake, to which he replied that he had barely slept since the death of his sons. He complained of despair and the cold (i.e. cruel) counsel of women (in accordance with the Old Norse proverb, “woman’s counsel is cold”), as his wife’s words only served to chill him even further rather than helping his grief.

In desperation for an explanation for the early deaths of the sons, he cried out, “Make answer, Volund, thou alfs’ leader! What hath become of my hapless boys?”

The unpleasant reply went as follows:

“Ere shalt thou swear     all oaths to me,

by ship’s bulwark     and shield’s border,

by swift steed’s shoulder     and sharpest sword:

that to Volund’s wife     thou work no harm,

nor brew for my bride     baleful counsel,

though wife I have     whom well ye know,

or child I have     thy hall within.

 

“To the smithy wend,     for Volund builded,

there the bellows shalt     all bloody find:

I hewed off the heads     of thy hapless boys,

and their bodies buried     ‘neath the bellows’ pit.

 

“With skill their skulls     ‘neath the scalp which lay

in silver I set     and sent them to thee;

of the bairns’ eyeballs     shining beads I wrought

and gave to the cunning queen of Níthoth.

 

“But out of the twain’s     teeth made Volund

beauteous brooches     and to Bothvild sent them;

and now Bothvild     is big with child,

your only daughter,     dear to you both.”

Níthoth was very saddened to hear these things and wished to get vengeance, but Volund was so far off the ground that it would’ve been impossible for him to be hauled down and the king didn’t have any men strong enough to shoot that high.

Volund laughed and lifted himself away.

The king told a thrall of his named Thrakkráth (“He Who Gives Pleasant Counsel”) to go bid Bothvild to come so she could speak with him. After she came to him, he asked her if what Volund said was true. She confessed that it was and said she was ashamed, but said that she hadn’t the strength to strive against him.

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To Do List Part III

I apologize, but I haven’t had time to write a post of my usual quality lately since my work schedule changed. Soon it’ll be going partly back to the way it was before, so hopefully I’ll have more time then. For now you will be getting crop rotation and barometers.


 

So about plants: crop rotation is important if you plan on doing some subsistence farming. Supposedly it helps prevent damage from bad insects. They’ll be looking for whatever it is they were eating last year, and if it’s in a different place there’s a rumor that this somehow makes this difficult for them. If you add peanuts to your rotation (assuming they are not an invasive species in your area) it also supposedly fertilizes the soil by leaving some plant matter underground. The soil then breaks down this plant matter and fertilizes itself. One more thing: Wikipedia recommends alternating between deep-rooted and shallow-rooted plants. I fully admit to being out of my element on the subject of plants, so let’s move on.

If you’re looking to distance yourself a bit from electronics but still find yourself checking the weather forecast on a television or the internet, you can also get an idea of how the weather might be on any particular day by going outside and checking a barometer. They don’t actually need to be outside, or so sayeth my grandmother, but if you’re outside then you can also get an idea of the cloud cover and temperature. If you live in a place with little air pollution it’s also a good opportunity to catch a breath of fresh air. Of course you don’t have to rely entirely on a barometer and your senses. You can always keep doing the zombie-stare at the screen if you want to.


P.S. I recommend learning the difference between insects that help and harm your plants if you don’t already have a grip on it. Three good ones: bees, butterflies and ladybugs.

To Do List Part II (Cows)

So about cows: like chickens there again will be a bunch of different breeds to choose from. For whatever reason I haven’t had as much luck finding information on them, so I’m going to have to use information I learned almost entirely second-hand from farmers… Which isn’t a bad source, actually. It lacks detail but maybe I can add some more later.

Of course they need a lot of space. A lot a lot. Well they’re large creatures and they like to roam a bit sometimes, so that isn’t unexpected. The unexpected part is when hearing about how a cow jumped a fence. I’ve never been able to confirm that cows can actually jump and it is possible that those people just meant that the cow(s) in question just broke through the fence and wandered off, but it does make me wonder about those fences. I can believe that a cow can break through a fence like it’s made of wet notebook paper and a couple of toothpicks, but I question how high of a fence a cow could jump. Not that it matters much. If they really want to leave, they will. If you care for them properly then you shouldn’t have to worry about it.

Speaking of caring for cows, different breeds are said to produce different amounts of milk. Individuals within breeds and mixed-breed cows can dry up regardless of genetic background, so if you happen to be looking to buy a cow and you see something that looks like a bargain from something that’s supposed to be a really good breed, of course you shouldn’t trust the person trying to sell her to you. She might only be good for burgers. Maybe she was born with a twin brother and the person selling her tells you she hasn’t dried up… That’s because if a cow is born with a twin brother she won’t produce milk. Ever. Twin girls are fine, though. It’s just the cow + bull combination that you don’t want. So it’s just like ordering things off the internet. Do your research and don’t trust people.

Furthermore, if you want to care for a cow, be prepared to wake up around 4:30 in the morning to milk her and then go back to do it again later that afternoon. They need a lot of attention and if they don’t get milked when they need to be, it will cause them to be in physical pain. That isn’t a problem that weighs equally on all kinds of cows, though. The older kinds that haven’t been bred to produce copious amounts of milk (you can tell they haven’t been bred for it because their udders are so much smaller that it’s plainly obvious) supposedly don’t have that problem as much.

So it’s up to you to decide how much cow milk you think you’re going to drink in a given amount of time and then to pick a kind of cow that should produce an amount of milk close to that (if you’re just going to drink it yourself that is). But if you want to start a dairy farm or something then go ahead and get more cows. If you don’t really ever feel like drinking cow milk, then I’d recommend saving yourself the giant cash wad it takes to buy and care for one or more cows and just get something else that will help you be more autonomous.

Personally, if I had to choose between buying and caring for half a dozen chickens or one cow, I’d definitely go with the chickens. That’s just me though.

 

To Do List

So that daylight saving garbage happened and now we’re all tired because businesses and the government wanted more business and tourist dollars and so on. A bunch of people are going to die from car crashes and other accidents that wouldn’t have happened if this didn’t happen so woo hoo (can you hear whether I’m being sarcastic?). Anyway, short and sweet is probably the way to go until I catch up on my sleep and so (and so I’m rhyming again) *cough* that’s what this is going to be.

This won’t be helpful to all of you, but it might help some of you.

First of all: if you’re looking to buy a farm and you’re looking on regular home-buying websites, you’re probably not having much luck. A simple search term switch is all that is needed. Instead of typing “houses for sale” and looking for giant lots (which can get rather expensive and discouraging), try looking up “farm property for sale”, picking at least one site that looks trustworthy, and searching around your region or the one in which you want to live. Buying a farm lot should be much cheaper than buying a mansion and easier than tearing that mansion down to build a farm on top of the resulting lot, which will be covered in waste bits from the broken mansion. If you live in the US or Canada this search term switch will be especially helpful because who in Europe would want to sell their family farm that they’ve owned for generations? Actually, if you can answer that, you’re all set. Good luck. Now if you want to immigrate to another country and work on a farm there, then your quest just got a lot harder. When searching for “jobs abroad” you can find an abundance of trash you won’t be interested in and I’m sad to say that from what I’ve seen the Europeans mostly or only want people born in Europe working on their farms. You won’t make much progress on this front unless you know someone living there who is either willing to hire you to come work on their farm or if you know someone who knows someone who has a farm and that person is willing to hire you to come work on their farm. Then there’s the paperwork, the living and working visas, and you’ll be needing to go to an embassy. It all becomes very complicated… Unless of course you just marry someone who already has European citizenship. Then you’re all set (again).

Second: What farm would be complete without some chickens or something? I’ve even been to cattle farm ranch things where the farmers kept chickens for sustenance, so don’t worry about it. Just do research and you’ll be fine. So you’ll want to start by looking up “chicken breeds”. Put your eyes back in your head because – yes – there are a bunch of sites on this. Some people are apparently obsessed with chickens. I don’t know what to tell you. I’m related to one and I still don’t understand. Anyway, research chicken breeds, what kinds can live in your area or where you want to live, expected life span, egg laying and brooding habits and so on. Now (and this is rather important), before you start buying chickens, you need a place for them to live and something to prevent them from being eaten by coyotes (I don’t know if that’s a problem where you live, but it is here. If it isn’t, then just replace coyotes with whatever predators are in your area. Also thieves and vandals). So make sure you have a coop and some sort of fence or something set up so your chickens don’t die. Make sure the fence encompasses a wide area because chickens supposedly scratch like there’s no tomorrow. Have we all heard the horror stories of chickens scratching green fields into barren wastelands? No? Well you have now. And make sure to grab their eggs bright and early in the morning or their feces will make the eggs inedible (although I guess how the chickens treat the eggs will vary depending on the breed). So no slacking or sleeping in late!


 

To be continued… Probably.

Abortion and Reproductive Rates

Originally this was longer, but I decided I didn’t need to give so many examples of unhappy children or broken families. Now the post does a much better job of, as some people say, “cutting right to the good stuff”.

 


 

You’ve no doubt seen those advertisements presented to us by followers of Judeo-Christian religions (of course…) showing happy families with kids that have things wrong with them (no fingers, missing a chromosome, schizophrenic, and so on) despite any evidence anyone apart from me has seen that would suggest the contrary – the families are not happy.  They are burdened and broken.

It isn’t even a matter of pro-choice vs. pro-life because the primary reason for the choice should be whether it’s a healthy baby that will grow up to be happy. (Stay tuned for the mathematical logic of why it shouldn’t be an option to abort healthy European kids.) If it’s missing a chromosome or something then, sure, give the mother the choice, but we have to look at which kinds of babies should be given the option or not beyond that.

For example, so-called “black” people have many children per family. The family has one mother and multiple fathers often enough that I’m not even going to bother looking that up. Contrariwise, European families have one mother, one father, and one or two kids. It used to be about two and a half kids per “white” family, but that number has dropped a bit since I was a kid. So let’s do a bit of hypothetical math here.

We will begin by assuming that the hypothetical “black” family has four kids (maybe a bit smaller than you’d expect me to start with, but let’s say the mother ate too much terrible food and got fertility problems) and the hypothetical European family has two kids.

Two of the black kids are twins. That pair of children is one year apart from the next child which is one year apart from the next child, so there are three years of age difference between the four of them.

The European kids have about five years of age difference between them. This is because having kids is expensive and European families take this into account when planning a family. They wanted more kids though, I assure you.

We’ll call those original kids Generation 0.

If we assume that each of the black kids grows up to have four more black (or mongrel) kids, you get sixteen black kids in the next generation, which we will call Generation 1.

Also in Generation 1 are three European kids. It would’ve been four, but one of the European kids from Generation 0 went to college and got a Master’s Degree and wanted to work on her career before she got married. This didn’t leave her enough time to have more children before she was turned infertile by a combination of age, bad food, sodium fluoride, and some radiation from airports, microwaves, cell phones, computers and so on. Her brother had two kids, though. Huzzah for him.

So Generation 1 has sixteen black kids and three European kids.

I don’t think we need to go on to Generation 2, but I’m going to anyway.

Each of those sixteen black kids grew up to have four more kids. Each of the three European kids grew up to have two more kids, but one of those kids was a mongrel, so we can’t count him as a European.

Here is a comparison:

Black kids:

Generation 0 = 4 black kids

Generation 1 = 16 black kids

Generation 2 = 64 black kids

European kids:

Generation 0 = 2 European kids

Generation 1 = 3 European kids

Generation 2 = 5 European kids + 1 mongrel

So if we add the numbers from the different Generations of black kids we get 84, but if we add the numbers from the different Generations of European kids we only get 10 and a mongrel. Add to this the age distance between the European children per Generation and you find that each one would have much more difficulty finding an acceptable mate than the black children, which would also contribute to what I’m going to explain next.

What we can see from this exercise is that since black families produce so many more children over time than European families, this endangers the European species by threatening to breed it out of existence in addition to threatening to kill us all with overpopulation. Since there is such a large difference in numbers between the two groups, my conclusion is that black families should have the choice to abort babies even when they are healthy while European families should not have this same option. However, if the family decides they are unable to care for the healthy European baby, I also think it would be fine for them to put it up for adoption. So in the end there’s really no need to abort the healthy European baby in the first place even if the family can’t take care of it.

As a final note, I’ve heard rumors that Jewish families have reproductive rates much closer to that of blacks than that of Europeans. If we assume this is true then knowing Jews to be, in fact, mongrels, we find yet another pattern which results in Europeans being bred out and the world being threatened by overpopulation.