The Druids of ancient Europe were the “Oak Seers.” Dur means oak. Wythe means seer. Put together you get Durwythe, or Druid. Dur is an old word for oak, from which we derive our word “door,” since in the old days the strongest doors were of oak. They were, pardon the pun, durable. The Norse god Thor’s name has the same etymological root: dur, or oak, that tree most often struck by lightning. What comes with lightning? Thunder. Hence Thor, the God of Thunder.
His name has–sorry, here comes another pun–endured all this time because wonderful stories are told about him. The most intriguing among them, at least by my lights, is Thor’s Journey to Utgard. It’s the tale of how to prove his strength to his enemies, the Frost Giants, he journeys to their capital city and messes up terribly, or at least so it seems. He fails at every task of strength put before him as the giants guffaw. Loki is along for the journey as well, and he fares no better. These are not the characters you see in Marvel movies or those stories. These are genuine old myths.
As the first long tale in my Zoom performance tomorrow night, Sunday Jan. 10, Thor’s Journey is humorous in places, mostly because he and Loki trade barbs and insult one another at every turn. But still, it’s epic, as is the score on 12-string guitar. Here’s a sample:
I’ll be introducing Viking mythology as I play Celtic harp, and then I’ll launch into the two long tales with an intermission between them. Lots of characters. Lots of music. Lots of fun. Join the crowd. Folks will be tuning in from all over.
This Zoom event is sponsored by Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA.
ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS
ODDS BODKIN, storyteller and musician
SUNDAY, JAN.10, 2021 at 5 PM EST on ZOOM