In honor of today’s Freydayhood, I thought I would peel the curtain back on my current projects yet further and declaim to you, O Wise and Learned Reader, some thoughts and snippets I have come across that currently drive my words. Things have been decidedly heavy and grim around here of late and so I thought I might address a lighter topic: the survival of hoary gods.
Of late, I have been grappling with questions of faith and fate, of the wyrd and the weird (I couldn’t resist). In my readings and delvings into the mythology of the Norse and their forebears, I have come across some rather marvelous statements that have rocked me. At least one Norse god survived the Christian Conversion Period. This comes from an impeccable source, one of our main sources on Norse mythology, in fact. Snorri shares the secret that Freyja survived, was still being worshipped in his day in the High Middle Ages (fraught though that term may be, I can’t recall the more proper academic terminology at the moment).
If one survived, perhaps others did also. Who else made it? Njord? Demeter? Local gods of river and wood, hearth and home? The Genii Locii? Which of my ancestral deities survived the turmoil of that changing world between pagan and proper believer? The cultural Catholic part of me is troubled by this hope, but the part of me that is fascinated by world religion, the part of me that wanted one day to see the Hajj, to walk in Jerusalem, to wander Nepal, and Mongolia, is now obsessed with this notion. There are so many holes in our knowledge of the past. Myths that were never written. Works destroyed in some great burning or another, or even threads of silvery fate, woven starlight wending through humanity’s long, stumbling journey through our world.
If our knowledge of the myths is so incomplete, what else have we taken for granted? Might Odinn be a little more tricky, a little more sinister than even our oldest tales say? Perhaps Fenrir may have spared one life instead of claiming it, honoring an oath and solemn vow.
I’ve been calling this new manuscript Fimbulwinter as a working title, just so I have something to grasp on to prove the words are being made real. I know it is ill-fitting, just a placeholder really. This afternoon, a more fitting title occurred to me. Subject to change and the whims of the universe, and hopefully, the whims of publishers and agents, but I am beginning to think of this book as Justice and the Wolf.
What do you think, O Ye Wise?