Translated by Kári Pálsson & Dr. Karl E. H. Seigfried for The Norse Mythology Blog
Read the original article (in Icelandic) here
Original text © Ásatrúarfélagið
|Vor Siður – newsletter of the Ásatrúarfélagið (“Æsir Faith Fellowship”)|
|In the foreground are the ruins of the old farm in Goðdalur|
Photograph by Kári Pálsson
Ingibjörg Sigvaldadóttir, a housewife born in 1912 in Svanshóll, remembered that her father Sigvaldi Guðmundsson had told the farmer then living in Goðdalur that he shouldn’t have removed the remains of the old hof that stood in the valley. The farmer later denied having done so and claimed he only covered it with soil and built over it.
In the 1952 yearbook of Ferðafélag Íslands (Icelandic Touring Association), Jón Hjaltason wrote, “Goðdalur has been a place of tragic events and accidents. It is clear that this place is filled with the wrath of the gods, and that only land-wights want to live there.”
|Heiðinn Siður á Íslandi by Ólafur Briem|
Remains from different eras have been found throughout the valley, and the dale is a popular location for archeologists. Once, when I was playing in valley’s little stream as a boy, I found a small square iron plate that looked like ashtray with a picture of bearded man done in an interesting style. I’m not sure how old this iron tray was; I gave it to an adult and learned nothing more. It was likely from before the time of the avalanche.
|Blót stone found in Goðdalur, Iceland|
Eyrbyggja Saga tells of a hof raised by Þórólfur Mostraskegg:
There he let build a temple, and a mighty house it was. There was a door in the side-wall and nearer to one end thereof. Within the door stood the pillars of the high-seat, and nails were therein; they were called the gods’ nails. Therewithin was there a great frith-place [peace-place, sanctuary]. But off the inmost house was there another house, of that fashion whereof now is the choir of a church, and there stood a stall in the midst of the floor in the fashion of an altar, and thereon lay a ring without a join that weighed twenty ounces, and on that must men swear all oaths; and that ring must the chief have on his arm at all man-motes [moots, meetings].
On the stall should also stand the blood-bowl, and therein the blood-rod was, like unto a sprinkler, and therewith should be sprinkled from the bowl that blood which is called hlaut, which was that kind of blood which flowed when those beasts were smitten who were sacrificed to the gods. But round about the stall were the gods arrayed in the holy place.The blót stone from the valley was likely used as a hlaut-bowl like the one described in the saga.
|Photograph of Goðdalur by Kári Pálsson|
Thanks to Kári & the Ásatrúarfélagið for sharing this piece. Þakka þér kærlega fyrir!