A script for kids and grown-ups by the author of Óðsmál (Odsmal)
and many other interesting
at yule-tide, at winter solstice, or any time, at blót and
feasts, at home and out in nature..
A script for kids and grown-ups. Helgileikar (ritual performance)
The quest of The Cats of Freyja is to give the whole world a profound understanding of the beautiful, many many thousand years old culture of our reverent, wholehearted, earnest, intelligent, intuitive, peaceful, ethical, spirituallly minded, pagan ancestors.
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Exterior site or interior does not matter. A home, a hall, a garden, a hillock, a valley, a grove, a street, the school's sports-site. It is the spirit of yule that counts. Bonfire is good at Gymisgarðar (Gymisgardar, the gardens of Gymir, where Gerður's (Gerdur's) home is) if we play in the wilderness.
I suggest we use the true north-direction and true south-direction in the play.
the southern part are Jötunheimar (Joetunheimar, the worlds
of eotens), and there we have Gymisgarðar (Gymi's gardar).
dogs (played by kids) are seen slumbering. They watch the gates to
the place where Gerður (Gerdur) lives in Gymisgarðar
A yellow tent, lit-up inside, preferably a round one, will be good for Skírnir (Skirnir). There he slumbers to begin with -- not far from Frey's dwellings.
Hliðskjálf (Hliðskjalf) is elevated. Hliðskjálf (Hliðskjalf) is at the northern end. From there all worlds can be seen.
The snowy mountains -- the way that Skírnir (Skirnir) rides from Freyr to Gymisgarðar (Gymisgardar) -- should perhaps not be trespassed by us men in Miðgarður (Midgardur), but we can move along at both sides of it.
Kids in Iceland love to dress up - all December and till the 6th of January - like jólasveinar (jolasveinar; yule-boys, that perhaps are our reverent ancestors in disguise). We sometimes use Santa-red for the costumes. I suggest the kids that play Skírnismál (Skirnismal) dress up as jólasveinar (jolasveinar). Why can we not have many many Santas around just as we have all the northern jólasveinar (jolasveinar)? They express all love and all joy anyway.
We start the play with the tune for the norðurhjari (nordhur-hjari), norðurhjaratónar
For musical notes click here
Note: The word norðurhjari (nordurhjari) means that our location is a northerly one, and it might even suggest that we are on the margins of the inhabitable world due to unfavourable climate. This feeling is to emphasize the sincere meaning of our hope for spring to come, the need for us to have Gerður (Gerdur) to bring us renewed life of vegetation.
Now we have the set-up. The sacred play (ritual) now begins:
Njarðarson (Njardarson, son of Njörður (Njordur))
goes to Hliðskjálf (Hlidskjalf) and sees over all
worlds. He sees into Jötunheimar (Jeotunheimar, the bright
abode of jötnar (joetnar, eotens)).
For musical notes click here
At Gymisgarðar (Gymisgardar) we see Gerður (Gerdur), the beautiful maiden, walk from her father's hall to her private abode.
I suggest Gerður (Gerdur) wears green, light, volatile clothes. They can be fixed over the warm winter clothes necessary for out-door performance. It is even better if Gerður (Gerdur) looks chubby. That used to indicate material bounty anyway.
We can have happy maidens as consorts to Gerður (Gerdur), -- their behaviour beautiful, indicating vigour and happiness by dance-like movements, and they smile.
Freyr fixes a gaze on Gerður (Gerdur). He falls in love with her. You know: "her arms illuminate the whole surroundings".
We can have little bells or metal-triangles close to Freyr to tickle our feelings when Freyr falls in love, and to draw our attention to him and his feelings.
But Gerður (Gerdur) is far away from Freyr. He can not reach her here and now.
Gerður (Gerdur) goes into her private hall. Freyr at last descends from Hliðskjálf (Hlid-skjalf).
Because Freyr can not reach Gerður (Gerdur) his breast gets heavy, his mood gets unhappy.
Högni Freyr, the dramatic drum.
Here we play again the tune of the cold dark North (nordurhjaratonar).
Note: Actually we realise, and Freyr realises of course, that he must win Gerður's (Gerdur's) love in order to promote the cosmic purpose: evolution, the purpose of the universe, the zeal towards which we should direct our efforts; namely, to exist in order to gain perfection thus reaching the highest goal.
(Skadhi) is fine in a white skiing suit.
It worries Skaði (Skadi) to see Freyr unhappy. So she goes to Njörður (Njordhur), and tells him that his son is not happy.
Two kids can play each character. For example: Two girls can hold the role of Skaði (Skadi). One girl plays tablo, mimicing the worries. The other girl, who chants Skaði's (Skadhi's) lines, can hold a script.
Note in this context: This should secure that there is not placed a burden too heavy on young performers. The role should not be too demanding for them. Yule is all enjoyment. Great achievements are good when they come naturally. Effort is all joy when it is natural and easy to us. Powerful, rightful actions are without stress, you know, but one-pointed and thoroughly enjoyed.
Note: Some few-tones chanting is fun for kids to add (create) to the lines --- with or without help from grown-ups. It is assumed that the ancient kvæði (kvaedi, poems) were chanted, but the tunes are lost as they most likely were banned. Luckily the kvæði (kvaedi, poems) themselves survived.
Njörður (Njordur) as a sea god looks great in a blue rain-overall with a rain-hat on. Even a 3 years old kid can play Njörður (Njordur) here.
come, my husband,
Skaði (Skadhi) shows Njörður (Njordur) into the hall where Freyr sits motionless and looks depressed.
(SKADI; cont.) says:
Skaði (Skadi) and Njörður (Njordhur) go to the tent wherein Skírnir (Skirnir) sleeps. We can eventually hear his snoring.
(SKADI; cont.) says:
up, wake up!
We hear from within the tent that the snoring is troubled out of rhythm. But nothing else happens.
(SKADI; cont.) says:
We hear grunting from within the tent. The zipper is opened from within. Out peeps sleepy Skírnir (Skirnir) in a yellow sleeping bag.
(SKADI; cont.) says:
(Skirnir), still in the sleeping bag, clumsily rolls himself, or
hops, out of the tent. He tries to undo the zipper of the sleeping
bag from within, but the zipper is stuck.
(SKADI; cont.) says:
Skaði (Skadi) easily undoes the zip.
(Skirnir) can wear golden or bright yellow clothes. He is revealed
just like a fly or a butterfly emerging from its pupa, or a snake
shifting skin. We can exaggerate the effects by a bright sound of
music and a sigh of admiration from everyone.
(Skirnir) does not seem to be going to do as Skaði (Skadi)
Skírnir (Skirnir) reluctantly grants a reaction to Skaði's (Skadi's) wish.
peeps into the hall where Freyr still sits motionless, obviously
in deep remorse.
sittest thou here,
speakest thou to me, my noble lord,
At last Freyr utters a deep sigh and speaks with great difficulty, not getting straight to the point --- his unhappy in-love problem -- but slowly getting at it.
rememberst that we
knowest that thou canst trust me,
Reluctantly Freyr opens his heart for Skírnir (Skirnir).
fair maiden is to me dearer
give me the sword
Freyr gives his own sword to Skírnir (Skirnir)
that fights all by itself
A kid leads Frey's pony to Skírnir (Skirnir)
Some notes for the non-profane minds:
-> The horse is a brilliant horse. It is the great, dynamic force of life, vital energy.
-> For the man that understands the term enlightenment Skirnismal should be taken as the dawn of a new cycle in life, the beginning of the path leading inwards towards the true, infinite consciousness in man. And the result that will be coming up is Bliss, Ananda.
-> Odsmal is written for the common, blind man as his first step to understand pure and profound heathenry and learn about what beauty awaits him in life when he sees Truth.
-> Skirnir (the shining one, the clear one, the illuminated one, the bright one) is our mental force, life force, or can be perceived of as an avatara, or a ray sent by divinity.
-> The spiritual Sun that was hidden or covered for us is rediscovered by our own effort.
-> Snowy mountains and the flame vafurlogi are obstacles between our world of thoughts and pure consciousness within. There are obstacles even if we are, actually, searching for our innermost ourselves. And even if the path is natural, the quivering mind -- though, an expression of divinity and our precious tool -- is a nuisance. It is the only enemy to itself. The lovely mind is a silly distraction from the marvellous track!
But we know that we will succeed in our task. "Otherwise Gymir will take us both."
(Skirnir) also takes along a bag that Freyr hands over to him. It
contains eleven golden apples and the ring Draupnir. These things
we see later.
(SKIRNIR) says to the horse:
we both conquer in this task
Skírnir (Skirnir) rides away from Freyr.
Freyr can show impatience every now and then, as the trip and the wooing will take a long time, and Freyr knows that there will show up some unforeseen troubles and difficulties for Skírnir (Skirnir) and the pony. He awaits in suspended wishfulness.
Bjarni Þór, using
pebbles for rythmic pace of the pony on the frosen mountains,
When Skírnir (Skirnir) rides the pony on the frozen ground of the northern part of our scene, we men in Miðgarður (Midgardur) clap together two pebbles rhythmically to their footsteps.
We can follow them along on their long way. We can have it take some time, as it is a long journey and a dramatic show is coming up.
Of course the boy who chants the lines for Skírnir (Skirnir) follows him along.
the snowy mountains the pony's pace is slower. The gait is that of
foot by foot to mount the (imaginary?) steep slopes.
(Skirnir) rides to Jötunheimar (Jeotenheimar, eotens' worlds)
to Gymisgarðar (Gymisgardar).
Skírnir (Skirnir) now decides to ride to the shepherd and addresses him.
We men in Miðgarður (Midgardur) remember to let the hoofs sound when Skírnir (Skirnir) rides, and to stop when the pony stops.
shalt forever be prevented from
Skírnir now rides towards Gerður's (Gerdur's) abode again. We men in Miðgarður (Midgardur) give the pony all the strength we have, because he is going to do the impossible: leap over the unsurpassable, dark, blazing, wavering flame (logi ((pronounce: law-eei), the vafurlogi (pronounce: vaw-eurr-law-eei).
flame, vafurlogi, can be a red, thin (silky) cloth that some kids
move in a luring and thhreatening way on the ground (the
(Skirnir) and Frey's pony succeed in passing the flames!
Gerður (Gerdur) notices the terrible noise.
The servant girl walks to the (imaginary?) window and peeps out in order to find out what the reason for it could be. She sees handsome Skírnir (Skirnir) and the magnificent stallion.
SERVANT GIRL says:
The servant girl leads Skírnir (Skirnir) into Gerður's (Gerdur's) abode.
(GERDUR; cont.) says:
Skírnir (Skirnir) shows Gerður (Gerdur) the eleven golden apples. He is self-assured and expects nothing but her sincerest thanks.
(SKIRNIR; cont) says:
shall I ever with Freyr live.
(Skirnir) was perhaps not prepared for this straight-forward
turning down of his gallant offer.
he pulls himself together and has to make another try.
(Skirnir) must not fail in his task to get Gerður (Gerdur) to
give her love to Freyr. Failing would mean extinction of mankind,
and the effort of billions of years of evolution coming to an end
without reaching the highest goal and serving the very purpose of
life on earth.
(Of course we do know that we are Gerður (Gerdur) when we live on the material level of life only)
Gerður (Gerdur) is as calm and secure and persistent as ever.
Now Skírnir (Skirnir) brings up the magic wand, gambanteinn. He touches stubborn Gerður (Gerdur) with it.
Now Skírnir (Skirnir) may walk slowly in circles around Gerður (Gerdur) and we men in Miðgarður (Midgardur) can make a muffled, spooky sound to get the effect of magic and mystery and bring the affair's very gist onto the act.
Also we shall understand that the material part can not live without the divine origin of all things.
We should know --- and make sure that every kid knows --- that the inevitable power of Nature will help us. Mother Earth is starting to rock us towards the sun now. The warm beams from our goddess Sun shall wake everything up with a kiss in due time. The warmth of life-giving goddess Sun in spring will thaw Gerður (Gerdur). But we have to wait. Spring will show up after some lapse of time, that is to say "nine nights".
As this is the symbolic language of edda (referring to nature's phenomena to explain what we do not see), we refer to nature's cycles and ongoings to explain the higher spheres of life: There is inevitably evolution, but we should help and we should understand the purpose and meaning of our life.
should clarify that this persuasion of Gerður (Gerdur) has
nothing to do with horror, hell-threat or an act of physical or
Gerður (Gerdur) is perceived as a cycle in the evolution of
mankind, and Gymir as crude phases of evolution, we see Skírnir
(Skirnir) as a ray sent by divinity. Divinity is not understood by
the crude ones. Divinity is within us, and is the very substance
we are made of and made from, but it can not be seen with our
worldly eyes --- which makes things rather difficult for us(!!).
We depend on what we claim to see, but it is only the material bit
Skírnir (Skirnir) will never fail in his duty to convince Gerður (Gerdur), - tell her what will happen to her if she rejects the divine part of life --- even if she could not care less about our welfare and means of survival. But still we must help him. Life is meant for action. We, men in Miðgarður (Midgardur), must not fail in our effort. Sloth and inertness is one thing (bad, negative), trust and resolution is another (good, positive).
Gerður (Gerdur) is the uncertainty factor in this play. We can not trust her. We agree on this persuasion that Skírnir (Skirnir) is about to perform, because her decision is of the greatest importance to us. The whole game is a question of life or death for us (mankind).
Frey's love to us is a sure and secure thing to count on. The cosmic evolution is on a good going -- provided we get food! That is what the hazard with stubborn, self-assured, haughty Gerður (Gerdur) is all about.
what about us ourselves? Are we ourselves also too haughty
in our attitude?
(SKIRNIR; cont.) says:
willst be shammed and laughed at when thou art seen
(topi) and ópi (opi),
shall tell thee
wights will suppress thee
the palace of icy thurses
a three-headed thurse thou willst forever live
walked into the wood
(Odinn, the free human spirit) is bitter
(Hrimgrimnir) a thurs is named
Now Skírnir (Skirnir) draws (on the ground or in the air or whatever you prefer) the rune-character þ (th) that is called þurs (thurs). And he draws three more ill runes to bind a spell on stubborn Gerður (Gerdur).
A person who rejects the divine in life as of no importance in
life, will dry up. We know that life shall wither from within and
bring disharmony and eventually dis-ease, if life is lived on the
material level only, and if we assume that the material part of
existence is all there is to it.
Gradually Gerður (Gerdur) realizes what awaits her if she refuses to do what she is supposed to do (her dharma): play her role in the favor of the cosmic evolution, promoting the survival of mankind, that is gradually (i.e. slowly but surely, with trial-error methods of Loki (i.e. human nature)) trying to gain higher and higher states of consciousness.
one of us shall, at this point, reconsider if we are, on one hand,
(1) selfish and "shallow", or if we, on the other hand,
(2) realize our individual dharma in life, realize how to
contribute to the spiritual survival and evolution of the human
To gain this understanding, or to start spontaneously to contribute to the cosmic purpose - that is perfection -, we can do as teach Oðinn (Odinn), Krishna, Buddha and some others: transcend into yoga (i.e. union of the individual self into the cosmic Self) to get our worldly life infused with the supreme knowledge, the great wisdom within all things, Truth, Reality, Pure Intelligence, Creative Potentials.
this play here and now, Skírnirmál (Skirnismal), it
is the union of Gerður (Gerdur) and Freyr. But for goodness
sake do not let personifications (-here Gerður (Gerdur)
personification of worldly life, and here Freyr, personification
of divinity within us-) confuse you or lead you astray and out of
yourself. These are symbols meant for clarification and
explanation only. These symbols are not meant for flattery or
worship to the personifications involved. Idolatry is a silly
man's illusion if it has no deep and profound meaning behind it.
Real Truth is lived without thoughts and without beliefs. Lived by
each individual individually, even if we are together -- for the
fun of being together!
(SKIRNIR; cont.) says:
At this point we, men in Miðgarður (Midgardur), stop the spooky sounds and have perfect quietness and await Gerður's (Gerdur's) reaction with suspended excitement. Her decision means for us life or death. So: "please, Gerður (Gerdur), see the meaning of the whole situation, the importance of your understanding"!
[... a PAUSE loaded with enthusiastic and encouraging suspension ....]
(GERDUR) at last says:
the chalice of ice-like glass
men in Miðgarður (Midgardur) are relieved. We utter a deep
sigh of relief and happiness.
Barri refers to a wood of coniferous plants, trees with acicular
leaves, evergreens, a pine forest; (-- our Xmas tree);
now returns back home.
Freyr awaits Skírnir (Skirnir). We make sure that he hears that Skírnir (Skirnir) is arriving back home.
We men in Miðgarður (Midgardur) are happy. We possess the hallowed joy of yule-tide.
We realize that Frey's responsibility -- as a god of fertility and a god of peace among men -- is great, but we try to make him smile, as for this year, the whole year (cycle), Skírnir (Skirnir) has secured for us the real message of yule: peace and prosperity.
hang the eleven golden apples on the yule tree.
Skaði (Skadi) lights candles (or el-lights) in the northern part of our scene.
We help Freyr to wait -- for these terribly long nine nights - but 9 is no actual time or length in heathenry. We play for him, we sing for him, we dance around the yule tree. We help by making everything clean, tidy, beautiful. We give cookies. We give presents. We give a new garment to everyone. All these are symbols of renewal and hope for bounty.
Gerður's (Gerdur's) servant girls comb her hair and can fix beautiful wedding flowers to it. Gerður (Gerdur) is, I suppose, happy too, because she has found her dharma, her great and unique role in life. That is what we all shall strive for ourselves -- on unselfish conditions.
for drums and instruments around you. Listen to their sound.
jól! (gledileg jol (Icelandic); merry yule)
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