Archive | November, 2014

Hornelen

14 Nov

Hornelen

Mystical mountains of might

There are mystical mountains all around the world. Not much attention is paid to their myths and magic, but slowly they are coming more into focus. For example, Untersberg in Salzburg is said to be home to the Kaiser Friedrich Barbarossa, who sleeps as long as the ravens fly. He is said to awaken when his people need him most. Another mystical mountain in Austria is Grossglockner. This mountain is the highest peak in the region, but more fascinating is that it is located on a powerful energy layline and as such, generates more energy, sending it thus into the universe.

Norway has its own mountains of myth and might. One might have heard of Lyderhorn in Bergen. One of the seven mountains of the city of Bergen, witches dance on the winter solstice. People once believed the witches cavorted and danced with menacing demons, casting spells on the fearful Christians nearby.

Witch Mountain Hornelen

A less known mountain of legend is located in Nordfjord. That is Hornelen, which is notable in other terms for being the highest underwater peak with a great portion of its rocky fells extending below the sea. It rises up to the sky with a distinct form. Here, legends were told of witches as well: witches who committed such questionable acts as sex with goats, and other fanciful tales including demons, orgies and the like.

During the Viking age, the top of the mountain was called Smalsarhorn, (meaning) Sheep Horn. The rest of the mountain was called Helen. Over time, the names came to merge to Hornelen (Horn-Helen).

If we examine archaeological fact of the region, we note that cave paintings in Vingen dating back thousands of years are found nearby. These cave paintings were thought to not have been simply the amusement of a bored day, but to have served a ritual purpose as the location was not easily accessible (i.e., people travelled there by boat when the occasion thus called for it, as in special heathen holidays, worship and ritual). So people reserved the location for specific interaction with natural elements and gods, as part of their spirituality at the time. The cave paintings depict animals, such as deer. In Shamanism from all over the world, animals hold a symbolic and literal power to connect the shaman to various aspects of the self and the universe. As such, one could conclude the paintings played a similar role in the context of rituals held.

All over Europe, we find remnants somewhat hidden from view, just calling for our attention. They will awaken our spiritual senses, inspire us, and make us realize that our ancestors too, possessed a shamanic, native religion where they communed with the powerful, life-giving and also destructive forces of nature and the universe. Though some elements survive today only as campy little stories of witches and wizards and demons, going further back in time, these silly stories are based on real and sacred spiritual practices (often twisted to profanity to discourage interest in them). If we look closely and with reverence at the natural surroundings, we will find more and more places of natural power and wonder and can thus feel stronger ties to ancestors and rekindle an interest in Pre-Christian, Nordic past.

Hornelen in Nordfjord

Hornelen in Nordfjord