We did this block in mid-November. The weather was cold, gray and dreary, perfect backdrop for listening to ancient Nordic Tales. The Druids lived a life of harsh reality, the abundance of harvest came only when they had a balance of rain and sun. To them, it seemed to lay solely in the hands of the Gods and spirits, who decided to grant them food or famine. Rituals took place at quarter year in sacred areas. Daily life was built on necessity rather then pleasure. Much of their beliefs were etched in the supernatural of ice Giants, mischievous Trolls, Gods of Thunder, of Fertility, of Wind, of Love. Evil sprang from the depths of darkness, while the good had fallen from the bright lit heavens. This came at the right time for Tristan, he not only devoured each story, he dove right in and allowed each piece to be completely absorbed by his whole being. He was so eager to start this block, he obviously did not mind doing it for 5 weeks straight. This is how Donna Simmons (Christopherus Homeschool) planned it in her program. We did not speak or study the history of the Vikings but rather only visited their spiritual belief. I will share with you the journey we took to the land of Norse, hoping to give you some insight or ideas for your personal journey.
The story began with the creation of the world.
“There was no earth, no sun, no moon, no stars. There was Niflheim, a waste of frozen fog, and Muspelheim, a place of raging flames. And in between the fog and fire there was a gaping pit – Ginungagap.”
From the gaping pit immerged a frost giant named Ymir, and a hornless ice cow. For a long time there were only the two of them. Ymir fell into a deep sleep and while he slept, a male and female jotun came to life in his armpit, and a troll with six heads sprouted from his feet. These creatures grew quickly and had offsprings of their own.
The ice cow also brought life by licking the brimy brim of Ginungagap. She went on licking until a handsome new creature immerged, he had a son who was even more handsome and took for a wife a beautiful jotun maiden. She bore three sons, who were the first of the great Aesir gods; Odin, Hoenir and Lodur.
In the middle of Midgard, the earth, grew an enormous ash tree, its branches and leaves reached as far as Asgard, and its roots grew down into the depths of Muspleheim and Niflheim. At the foot of this enormous tree lived three Fays of Destiny, the Norns. They decided the fate of each human being.
“Their names were Urd, Verdande, and Skuld, and they knew what was, what had been, and what was to be. The Norns spun a thread of life for every human being.”
distinguish the differences between each of them.
Waldorf Education has a way to entertwined all subjects into one. Take Norse Mythology for example, in a tradional school this would probably fall under Social Studies. But in reality if taught in a holistic way, touches upon History, Geography, Social Science, Language Arts and Arts. I’ve also included Mathematics, by introducing Tristan to cross-stitching. Using a well known Celtic Knot, he transfered the cross-stitch design onto graph paper, allowing him to learn about scale, measurement, geometry and symetry. Once completed it was a beautiful, esthetically pleasing work of art, showing his capacity for perseverance.