The name in Old Norse, valkyrja, as well as in old English wælcyrge, mean literally, ” the one who chooses kill them “. The word valkyrie is used by the Anglo-Saxon researchers in the light of the names of the Greco-Roman goddesses of the vengeance and the punishment, the Furies or the Erinyes, as of the Roman goddess of the war, Bellona.
The valkyrie is, in the most former strata of faith, a goddess of the deaths represented by the crow.
At the same time as the design of the valhöll evolves of the battlefield in the paradise of the warriors, the accent also moves at valkyries. The primitive design gives way to the girls armed with shields, to the virgins warriors of the earth who, following the example of einherjar, survive after the death in the valhöll. As they were certainly formerly as genius of the deaths, they keep certainly being closely associated with Odin, but from now on they have for function to intervene in the battle and to decide so on fate; thus they become extraterrestrial warriors who execute Odin’s will.
The valkyrie is to move closer to the goddess to Celtic warrior, to Morrigan, which can take the shape of a crow or an Irish creature Badb which is at the same time a seer predicting the fate of the men on the battlefield and a crow or a crow.
The crow gives information to valkyries, what shows the dialogue between the valkyrie and the crow in the Poem of Haraldr, consisted in the end of the IXth century. Seeing a crow with its bloody beak and some flesh adhering to its claws, a valkyrie asked him where from he name. The bird answered him that he had followed king Haraldr until the battle of Hafrsfjördr where he was victorious of his enemies and was so able to unify Norway.
The prediction of the seer also comes true by the work of women’s hands in the creation of a banner in the crow: “because the Danes had a banner possessing a wonderful property, and although it will seem incredible to the reader, nevertheless, because it’s true, I shall speak about it here for him and for love of the truth. Because although she is weaved by a simple very brilliant silk and there is no figure embroidered still, it seems that in wartime a crow appeared to it in case of victory, opening its beak, beating wings, shaking legs, but in case of defeat, the crow was then quiet and in position of free-fall.” (Hrafnhildur Bodvarsdottir, p. 111)
Sometimes, the valkyries-seers covered with blood are perceived like weavers, as in the poetry Darra ð arljóð in which valkyries predicts the result of the day battle following (example: the description of Brian Boru’s fall in front of strengths Vikings in the Battle of Clontarf, on 1014). The weaving is a function absolved both from the valkyrie and the nornes. In Beowulf, the ” weft of the victory ” (wigspeda gewiofu) was created by the valkyrie.
The valkyrie which can weave the victory can also weave the defeat, because the valkyrie possessed the art of the strategy, and it allowed him to undo a warrior by the terror, or to free him from the same links. As nornes, valkyries are confidentially involved in the weaving or the spinning of the fate of the men (Skuld is at the same time the name of a valkyrie and the name of a norne). For this capacity, valkyries such Says them was worshipped and honored by sacrifices as in the saga of Ynglinga ( 28 ).
The valkyrie comes there to assume a friendlier role in the heroic poetry, where they lose mostly their lines démoniques, humanize and are even capable of coming there to like mortal. Small amulets and images on commemorative stones begin to depict a face of beautiful woman, welcoming in the life of beyond the grave, the hero died with a horn to be drunk.
At this later moment, the legend of valkyries, as minor goddesses of the death, conjugates with the folk theme of the woman swan (that is women who can take the shape of a swan, sometimes as the result of a curse). So, as the woman swan, the valkyrie is voyagerridalopt OK log, ” by the air and by the water. ” We know that the swan was collectively associated with the concept of fortune-teller. To see for example the expression, are scwant mir mean ” I have a premonition or a presentiment “.
If we could capture and keep a virgin swan, or its coat of feathers ( alftarham ), it was possible then to take away a wish from him/her. This is maybe the reason why valkyries is associated with the virgins swans or oskmey ( chosen virgin), or maybe that they pull this name of the appelations of Odinn, Oski or Wunsc ( the wish). In its attributes, as at the Roman god been similar Mercury, Odinn is described from time to time carrier of a baguette of wish ( wunsciligerta ). Grimm establishes a relation between the wunsciligerta or the thorn of sleep with which Odin casts a spell to Brynhildr and dishwashing in a magic sleep but also with the enchanted spindle on which according to the popular tale, the descendants of Brynhildr will prick themselves fingers and will be plunged into a sleep of hundred years. Rocks associated with valkyries Brynhildr or Kreimhildr is sometimes called spilstein or chreimhildespil, resulting from spilled, the stone was indicated by kunkelstein (the stone distaff).
The theme of the woman swan appears in very first strata of the sagas.
– in Helreid Brynhildar, a named man Agnar deceived Brynhildr and his seven sisters to its service, by hiding whereas they bathed then, by stealing their coats of swan.
– In Volundarkvida, the saga tells that three valkyries put down their coats of swan to sit down on the bank and spin the linen.
– In the saga Hromundars Greipssonar, the valkyrie Kára appears in swan flying over a battle, transformed by the port of an alftarham (” the coat of feather “).
In the old days, the virgin valkyrie swan evolves towards the character of Dornroschen, the Sleeping Beauty.
The descriptions of the valhöll of Odinn describe valkyries as his foster daughters (Odins meyjar), as well as einherjars (the warriors chosen by Odinn) are his foster sons.
Although sources are not clear on this subject, the first one of valkyries seems to have been the vane goddess Freyja. In Grímnismál 36 and Gylfaginning 36, Freyja is described as being the valkyrie first one, called Valfreyja, ” the mistress of the persons killed ” who is of use the beer to the banquets of ases (Skaldskarpamal 17).
As Odin, she received half of the warriors died in the fight, in her manor house Sessrúmnir, to Folkvang. But because the women pass before, she was authorized to choose in the first one! Freyja possessed a magic coat of feathers of hawk which allowed him to take the form of a hawk if she wished it, what establishes a similarity with the virgins swans having “coats of feather” or coats giving the power to metamorphose and to fly.
A false idea spread about valkyries is that they would have been women warriors. This is not established because there is no single narrative of a valkyrie fighting and only rarely carrying a weapon. In fact, the women warriors of the Age Viking are especially a myth, engendered by authors as Sax Grammaticus which, as Christian priest, was startled by the relative freedom and the social power of the women of Vikings in the common life, so that he wrote women’s numerous stories warriors who based much more on the references in his classic education to the Greek legends of the riders than to the customs Vikings. The purpose of Sax was to present a woman warrior, then to create a virile hero who would beat her only with the aura of virility and the beauty.
In the modern art, valkyries is sometimes described as being of beautiful virgins going up Pegasus_, decorated with helmets and armed with lances. It is a false representation because the “horse” of Valkyrie was a kenning of wolf (according to the text of the runic stone of Rök). Contrary to stereotypes, they did not thus go up winged horses. Their frames were rather these hordes of wolves which were lying about in the middle of the bodies of dead warriors. The hordes of wolves and ravens, cleaning battlefields the next day, could thanks to the legend of valkyries have been there to serve bigger causes by being much more than vultures …
The origin of Valkyries is not generally reported but several known valkyries seems to have had mortal relatives or arise from the nobility.