Inge Norgaard, Tapestry Weaver Artist

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Norse Mythology

Fimbulvinter
Fimbulvinter and Ragnarok
Each tapestry is 15"high x 16"wide, 2006

Fimbulvinter (Fimbulwinter) and "The Last Battle of the Gods." Also called "The Time of the Wolfs." Fimbulvinter is three brutal winters with dark, biting frost and storms. In this biting cold and dark comes the setting of the final battle, Ragnarok. Moral breaks down, brother will fight brother, giants fight the gods and gods fighting monsters. Nothing will survive.


The giant wolf Skoll will size
the sun and swallow her.

Snow storms, bitter frost and
biting winds will go on for
three straight years.

The giant wolf Mani will
swallow the moon.

The stars will fall down from
the Skye, into the deep.
It is all dark now.

The wolf Fenrir will swallow Odin,
the one-eyed All Father.

The giant Surt will throw his
blazing sword and
set fire to the whole world.

The Midgaard Serpent,
twisting and writhing will spew
venom at Thor, who throws
his hammer and kills it,
before he himself falls dead
from the venom.

The earths sinks into the sea.

The earths rises again
out of the ocean, fair and green.
The eagle fly and catches fish,
the corn will ripen.

 

      
Idun and her Golden Apples
Bronze, 20" high x 9" wide, 2006
Idun was a Nordic goddess of youths and fertility. She was the keeper of the golden apples of youth.

 

Yggdrasil, The Tree of Life
The Tree of Life
60" x 144", 1984

Yggdrasil
The mighty ash Yggdrasil, is the world axis around which the universe is.
The Tree of Life nourishes and sustains all nature.
It comes from the past, into the present and reaches towards the future.
It will survive Ragnarok. Yggdrasil will always be.
One root goes to Niflheim, the world of the frost giants.
The second root goes to Midgard where Mimer's well of wisdom is.
This is where Odin the Allfather gave his one eye to Mimer for a drink from the fountain to gain more wisdom.
Odin is known as the wise, one-eyed god.
The third root goes to Asgard where Urds fountain is.
There the three Norn spins each man's fate tread and maintain the root of the tree of life.
On this plain the gods keep council every day.

Voulspa. From Poetic Edda:
An ask I know, Yggdrasil its name,
With water white is the great tree wet;
Thence comes the dews that fall in the dales,
Green by Urth's well does it ever grow.

 

Heimdals Nine Mothers
Heimdal's Nine Mothers
56" x 92", 1986

Heimdal's Nine Mothers
Heimdal was born where the land and sea meet,
by nine giantesses that were sisters, virgins and the personification of the waves.
Heimdal was the defender of the bridge of heaven, the Rainbow Bifrost.

 

Balders Dream
Balder's Dream
84" x 60", 1989

Balder's Dream
Balder's dream is the beginning of the end.
The battles of the gods or Ragnarok.
Balder the most fair and beautiful of all
the gods were having dreams for telling his death.
In these, Loki is reviled as truly evil
and responsible for the coming of Balder's death.
Odin, Balder's father, takes his eight legged horse Sleipnir
to Niflheim to persuade Hell not to take Balder.
The Hell hound, Gram, chases the Allfather.
Odin takes no notice.
He gallops hard on the eight legged horse
until he comes to Hell's deadly hall.

In Voulspa the Seeress tells; I saw for Balder,
the bleeding god, the son of Othin,
his destiny set: famous and fair in the lofty fields,
full grown in strength the mistletoe stood.

 

Balders Pyre
Balder's Pyre
6' x 5'

Balder's Pyre
They carried the dead Balder down to his boat Ringhorn.
A pyre was build around the body, treasures laid.
Balder's wife Nana was watching.
The sight of the lifeless body was too painful and broke her heart.
She was laid beside her dead husband.
Odin whispered something in Balder's ear
and then at his sign the boat was set afire.
All the Gods wept as the boat was drifting out
and the wind filled her sail and she sailed away.

This myth is suggested to symbolize the winter solstice,
especially because Balder is one of the only Gods
to be reborn after the Battle of the Gods.

 

Freja
Freja, The Necklace of Brisings 75" x 56" 1994

Freja
Freja is the goddess of love. She came to a dismal cave. There was a sound of tapping. She looked in and discovered the sweltering smithy of four dwarves. From the anvil came a dazzling light and Freja saw the most beautiful necklace, a breathtaking work of the dwarves. She desired it more than anything she had seen before and asked if it was for sale—she would pay any riches for it. It was not for sale. The dwarves had all the gold and silver they wanted. She pleaded and they finally told her she could have the necklace if she slept with each of them for one hight. Four nights are just four nights, thought Freja, but the necklace would be forever. So she agreed.

Loki, the trickster, found out and told Odin. Odin was furious but wanted the necklace as proof. So Loki stole the necklace, changed himself into a seal to take the necklace out into the ocean to hide it. Heimdal, recognizing Loki's eyes in the seal, knew he was up to no good and followed him. When he discovered that Loke was hiding Freja's necklace, he took it and swirled it back to Freja.

 

Gefion and Her Four Bull-Oxen
Gefion and Her Four Bull-Oxen, detail 48" x 120" 1987

Gefion and Her Four Bull-Oxen
Gefion is the goddess of riches and fertility.

The Swedish King Gylfe owed Gefion a favor.
He told her she could take as much land from Sweden that she could plow off in one day and one night.
Gefion took her four sons that she had with a giant and changed them into four giant bull oxen.
She then chose a fine piece of land and plowed so hard and deep that the very crust and rock began to loosen.
That land they dragged into the sound and Gefion left it there and called it her fertile Island of Zealand.
She had tricked the king, made Sweden smaller and added a great island to Denmark.

 


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