The Scandinavian Edda (AQC vol. 1 1886)
In the very first Ars Quatuor Coronatorum (1886) there is a short text about the Edda which refer to “my paper” (in another publication then?), but is not signed. It is among other short remarks and at the end of them appears the name of John Yarker. Maybe this was quoted from another publication? In any case, here is the text:
I ought, in my paper, to have mentioned that the catechetical instruction of the Scandinavian Edda has a closer bearing upon the Greco-Egyptian Divine Pymander and the Bembine Table of Bro. “Wcstcott than may at first sight appear. Both the Edda and the Divine Pymander are Initiatory Catechisms, but this is more apparent in the former than the latter. The Edda is said to have been an oral system, reduced to writing in Iceland almost a thousand years ago. The basis of this initiation is a sybilline poem called the Voluspa, which Sigge, the high priest of the Allfather, Odin, carried with him from the region of the Caspian nearly two thousand years ago. It bears its own evidence of a common descent from the same ancient culte as the Avesta and Vedas. It is couched in symbolical language which the litei al school, failing to interpret, has treated derisively, and is doubtless one of the most ancient of sacred writings. It deals with the attributes of the indestructable Lord of All, cosmogony, the nature of the gods, the elementaries or giants, the heavenly palaces, and carries the universe from the flood-chaos to the creation of gods, mankind, the final destruction of the gods and all things, on to their still more glorious n -birth. Sigge having established a temple of his worship in Sweden, governed by twelve pontiffs, aftei the number of the Voluspan gods and goddesses. Gylfe, the Scytho-Scandinavian king of the country goes as Gangler or Pilgrim to seek initiation. He arrives at the porch of a beautiful palace, where; he beholds a guard who is tossing in the air seven swords and catching them as they descend. After certain questions the Guard conducts the Gangler through numerous halls until he arrives at one where are seated three personages, represented as wearing crowns, and Pilgrim is informed that these are to be addressed as — the High ; the Equal ; the Highest. Pilgrim puts his questions to these and receives the sacred instruction which Sigge brought from Asia, and to which he had added the design of rendering his neophytes invincible in war. He calculated so well that they eventually destroyed his enemy the Roman Empire, wdio had driven himself out of Asia as a wanderer. The Edda terminates by instructing the neophyte in the symbolic use of the terms of the mysteries by the Scalds, or poets ; the use of the Runic stanzas, or what the Hindus term Mantras, for magical purposes ; and a quantity of moral maxims, attributed to Sigge himself. Gylfe being discharged by the three Hierophants amid thunder, lightning, and tempest, he finds himself in the open fields, and the palace has vanished.
It is asserted that these mysteries gave rise to numerous fraternities and Guilds of a Masonic character, established for mutual aid and protection, and there can scarcely be a question that it is to Sigge, and not to his Roman enemies, that our Teutonic ancestors owe these institutions, and Rome doubtless obtained them from the same Asiatic source as Sigge. They have actually a myth resembling that of the Babylonian Ishter, the Egyptian Osiris, the Greek Dionysius, the Syrian Adonis, etc. Balder the beautiful is slain by a shaft of mistletoe at the instigation of Loke, ” the disgrace of gods and men,” who resembles the Accuser of Job and the Set of Egypt ; he descends to the Abode of Death, but Frigga the Scandinavian Ishtar or Isis, induces Balder’s brother to descend to Hela for his ransom. The emissary takes a nine days journey through dark valleys, and at length obtains access to Hela, who consents to allow Balder to depart if all things animate and inanimate weep for him. All nature laments for the beautiful Balder, except a cave-dwelling witch, who turns out to be the evil Loke, who meets with condign punishment, but Balder remains with Hela until the destruction and re-birth of all things.