VIKING LORE FOR EASTER
Oddly enough, as well as for Jesus Christ on the holy day of Easter, there’s a much lesser known resurrection account for Odin, the Allfather god of the Vikings. This coming Easter Sunday I’ll be explaining it while playing my Celtic harp as part of ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS, an evening of adult storytelling at the Riverwalk Cafe and Music Bar in Nashua, NH.
Harping, lore and two vivid long tales accompanied with 12-string guitar.
The show starts at 7 pm. Hope to see you there!
Odds Bodkin returns to the Riverwalk Music Bar to perform ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS: VIKING MYTHS OF ADVENTURE on Sunday night, April 1 at 7:00 p.m.
Eat and drink adult beverages like a Viking, then hear two epic Viking myths wrapped in little-known lore (Thursday is Thor’s Day; Wednesday is Wotan’s Day). First, a tale of magic and illusion as Thor and Loki journey to the city of their enemies, the Frost Giants. Meet Thor, big, strong, slightly dim and lovable, along with Loki, everything Thor is not. You’ll hear characterizations for these mythic characters, along with peasants and immense giants. And of course, a full score on 12-string guitar. Then, the long tale of Odin’s search for the blood of his best friend who’s been murdered, his blood brewed into a wisdom-bestowing elixir. Hear another 12-string, along with more music and voices for dwarves, a dangerous, lonely giantess, and Odin himself.
Plus little-known Viking lore (Russia was named after the Vikings?) explained as Odds plays Celtic harp and shows his scholarly side.
Adventure, humor and great acoustic music!
“one of the great voices in American storytelling”—Wired
VIKING SEDUCTION IN THE #METOO ERA
“Now plainly I speak, since both I have seen;
unfaithful is man to maid;
we speak to them fairest when thoughts are falsest
and wile the wisest of hearts.”*
Odin’s words, of course, speak to how men are generally programmed by evolution to flatter as many women into bed as they can, even wise ones.
Considering the gender wars raging at the moment, that’s central to what infuriates women about men in general––playing the wild card of sex. Since I’ve been married for decades, have three grown sons and am no longer in the mating market, I’ll stay mum about how I think this is all going to turn out.
Instead, I’ll just tell The Mead of Poetry as it was handed down and let the chips fall where they may. In this old Viking myth, Odin’s best friend has been murdered and his blood brewed into a magical mead. Toward the end of his long quest to return the mead to Asgard, Odin learns that a beautiful but deadly giantess, Gunlod, guards it inside a mountain.
What does he do? After sneaking inside, he speaks to her “fairest” when his heart is “falsest” and seduces her. He then steals the mead and flees, feeling no remorse at breaking her heart.
I’m not saying that’s honorable, but it’s certainly timeworn male behavior.
Taking whatever lumps I will for it, with guitar in hand, I’ll be telling this controversial tale on Sunday, April 1 at the Riverwalk Café and Music Bar in Nashua, NH, along with another big old Norse myth, Thor Against the Frost Giants. It’s adult imagination entertainment with compelling, movie score-like music that proves once again: there’s nothing new under the sun.
The show is at 7 pm.
*from Hávamál: The Words of Odin the High One
(illustration created by Meaghan Ingram, after seeing this show in Boston)
NUDGING THE SERPENT OF MIDGARD
At the end of a string of failures, Thor’s last chance to prove his strength is by lifting a kitty cat’s paw. Groaning and huffing, he tries, but it barely rises before it slams back to the floor. As the Frost Giants roar with laughter, the god of thunder looks over at Loki, who has lost an eating contest earlier, and is embarrassed, too.
Little do they know they’re both victims of illusory magic, and they are competing against impossible odds, even for Aesir.
At the tale’s surprise ending, the truth emerges. Thor takes solace in his father Odin’s words, which I’ve drawn from the Viking book of etiquette, Hávamál:
When some thane would harm me
in runes on a moist tree’s root,
on his head alone shall light the ills
of the curse that he called upon mine.
Catch the beginning, middle and end of this full-length tale, plus a myth of seduction and vengeance on Sunday, April 1 2018 at 7 p.m. at the Riverwalk Music Bar in Nashua, NH and again on May 26, 2018 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado.
I’ll also include little-known lore while playing my Celtic harp. Lots of amusing character voices animate the tales. Hope to see you there!
PS: by the way, under the giant’s spell, Thor thought he was lifting a kitty cat. Turns out it was the Great Serpent of Midgard, the heaviest thing on earth.
Thanks to Courtney Herrera, a dynamic herbologist in Colorado, I’ll be returning to the Mountain State this May 25-27 to visit Sunrise Ranch in Loveland for two storytelling concerts and a how-to storytelling workshop. Open to the public, tickets are now on sale.
First, COME, CHILD AND SIT WITH ME BENEATH THE WISDOM TREE, a Friday evening performance for families. Kids of any age are welcome. The theme of the overall weekend is our mythic and sacral relationship with trees down through the millennia. The show starts at 7 p.m. and details and tickets are here.
On Saturday night it’s THOR AND ODIN BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS, two immense Viking myths (the real deal, not Marvel) with little-known Viking lore that has fascinated the wonderful adult audiences I’ve had lately on Harvard Square. Tickets are here.
If you know anyone in Colorado who’d like to learn to tell stories (it doesn’t matter what kind) freely and creatively, then let them know about ANCIENT TREE MAGIC AND LORE: A TWO-DAY STORYTELLING WORKSHOP FOR ADULTS. I’ll be spending eight hours during Saturday and Sunday sharing this version of THE DOOR TO IMAGINATION: HOW TO AWAKEN YOUR INNER STORYTELLER, my course about discovering your Muse. Details and tickets here.
All these events I’ll fill with live music on Celtic harp, 12-string guitar and other instruments. The Muses will be at work. I’ll be playing a Celtic harp donated by Dave Kolocny of Kolocny Music in Denver. For years Dave has graciously given me a harp to use while out West.
Sunrise Ranch is a glorious spiritual retreat center with stunning physical beauty, great food and a host of caring folks.
Please let your Colorado friends know about these upcoming events!
What a night I had Sunday evening at Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA. ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS, my adult show of Viking myths, was sold out, which was great, of course, but the highlight was when the audience sang with me.
For the second long tale, The Mead of Poetry, I wrote a song that the lonely but deadly giantess, Gunlod, sings in her cave in the heart of a mountain. Her father has commanded her to guard the magical mead, an elixir brewed from Odin’s best friend’s blood. His friend has been murdered for it, and Odin is on a quest to return it to Asgard where it belongs.
As he approaches Gunlod’s cave, he hears
One soul, lost in loneliness/Down in the dark where nobody dares to go
One soul, none will ever see/My father’s will has now imprisoned me
Guard it, he says/Guard it, he says/Guard it. Let no one touch it at all.
I sang this in Gunlod’s voice, but then invited the audience to sing it with me. What a moment! In natural voice I sang, and lo, all those nice people joined in on the haunting tune. The room rang with men’s and women’s voices. They learned it almost immediately. Nice moment, along with all the laughs I heard throughout the two stories.
For New Hampshire audiences, I’ll be reprising this show this coming Sunday, Jan. 21 at 6:00 pm at Schoodacs Coffeehouse in Warner, NH. Intimate setting. Tickets are $15.
The show begins with little-known Viking lore, accompanied by Celtic harp music, then moves to Thor’s Journey to Utgard, a hilarious and magical adventure that Thor and Loki experience with Frost Giants (12-string guitar score), and then The Mead of Poetry (with a second 12-string). It’s fine for older kids, but is essentially an adult show.
So if you’d like to immerse in some adult storytelling, and even learn about the Medieval Climate Optimum and how we got our days of the week, come!
Jan. 8: Odin and Thor Battle the Frost Giants: Viking Adventure Myths
Two epic Viking myths wrapped in little-known lore (Thursday is Thor’s Day; Wednesday is Wotan’s Day) told by Master Storyteller and Musician Odds Bodkin. First, Thor Meets the Frost Giants, a tale of magic and illusion as Thor and Loki journey to Utgard, capital city of their enemies. Then, The Mead of Poetry, the long tale of Odin’s search for the blood of his best friend who’s been murdered, his blood brewed into a wisdom-bestowing elixir. Told with 12-string guitar scores and Celtic harp musings, with character voices and vocal effects. Seating at 5:00 pm. Show begins at 5:30 pm.
Tickets $15 table seating, $10 bar seating. Get your tickets here. Continue reading “2017 Adult Storytellings at Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA”