Monday, December 03, 2012
Lo, they do call me
The depiction of Yggdrasil was inspired by a carving from the Hylestad stave church door, circa 1175. The door depicts scenes from the story of Sigurd, in this scene Regin sleeps and Sigurd roasts the dragon's heart and burns his finger. The original carving places Sigurd and Regin at the base of a beautiful and smooth curving tree. The birds are original to the carving but the roots and the serpent Níðhöggr were added from my imagination. I chose to keep the illumination a subtle mix of browns which is both reminiscent of the carved wood of those ancient doors and appropriate for the gravity of the piece
The text for this page was inspired by the Risala of Ahmad Ibn Fadlan, a 10th century Islamic traveler who first-hand witnessed a Rus ship burial and wrote about what he saw. During that burial, a slave girl is sacrificed with her lord. Shortly before she is killed, she speaks this brave prayer which was translated to Ibn Fadlan as he watched the burial ceremony. This particular version of the prayer text is used in the movie The Thirteenth Warrior and is a poetic interpretation of the many translations of the Risala.
The pseudo-runic font I found on the title page of a 1908 printing of The Elder or Poetic Edda. To date, this is one of the better runic illusionary runic fonts I have found.
The text reads:
Lo there do I see my father
Lo there do I see my mother, my sisters and my brothers
Lo there do I see the line of my people, back to the beginning. Lo, they do call me, they bid me take my place among them, in the halls of Valhalla, where the brave may live forever.
Prints are now available at my Etsy store, Currant Thoughts. The prints measure 4.5 X 6.5 inches and are matted in brown to 8 X 10 inches.
Special thanks to my Asatru heathen friends Brad Taylor-Hicks and John Beale who consulted with me and helped to consider which version of the text would have the best, and most appropriate, appeal. Also, thanks to Hunter Masters, my resident source of Norse mythology and symbolism.