What happened to Óðinn's father bórr and grandfather búri?

Discussion in 'Norse Mythology' started by Alejandro, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. Alejandro

    Alejandro Active Member

    There were gods who were older than Óðinn and his brothers Vé and Vili. Those gods, more ancient than these first three Æsir, were their father Borr and grandfather Búri. Any thoughts (even by way of wanton inventive speculation :)) on what happened to them during and after the death of Ymir, when Óðinn, Vé and Vili built and became the chiefs of Ásgard? Do we suppose that they were worshipped like their descendants (at least at some point) or what?
  2. Caburus

    Caburus Active Member

    Maybe they drowned in the bloodflood when Ymir was killed.
    Or are they tending the divine cow Audhumla somewhere, and living off cheese and yogurt in the Milky Way?
  3. Alejandro

    Alejandro Active Member

    Haha! I absolutely digg this Reply! I've never thought to ask what happens to Auðumla after her involvement in Búri's creation/emergence. You've got me sold on the idea, dude: divine dairy farming up in outer space :D!

    I doubt that these fellers would've drowned in Ymir's blood, for two reasons. One is that they seem to have been roughly the same size as Ymir, so we'd need a lot more water than Ymir was made of in order to submerge these guys in it. The other is the idea that Óðinn and his brothers had something specifically against Ymir and his offspring (notwithstanding the fact that these Æsir were the cosmic Giant's descendants themselves), whereas what makes Búri special is specifically the distinctions between him and Ymir, almost as if we should believe that he was alright simply because he was not Ymir. At any rate this is what makes Óðinn and his brothers divine: they are the grandsons of the "anti-Ymir."
  4. Caburus

    Caburus Active Member

    Its always felt odd that the giants are so maligned, yet most of the Aesir have giant mothers or wives. Understandable hostility though, for Odin attempted to bring about the death of all giantkind. According to Gylfaginning, "And when he [Ymir] fell, so much blood flowed from his wounds that with it they drowned all the race of frost-giants, except that one escaped with his household," implying that the three brothers consciously directed or used the blood, rather than it being an uncontrolled flood. Any idea why Bor's sons were so hostile to the giants?
    Do the names Buri and Bor mean the same thing?
    Alejandro likes this.
  5. Alejandro

    Alejandro Active Member

    It's a fascinating phenomenon, recurring on an even more epic scale in Hindu mythology (in which some believe we should find the origin of many aspects of Western mythologies), that the original sin committed by the giants, the reason for the gods' hatred of them, seems to be simply that they are giants! It's only after the gods throw the first punch that the giants become known as their traditional enemies and are thereafter constantly portrayed as intending the gods ill. It seems to be only on rather shaky grounds that Borr's sons bear Ymir and his frosty descendants such hostility. It may stem from latent human hostility towards the harsher elements of nature experienced in Northern Europe. These frigid elements were personified as the giants of rime, ice, sleet, snow and wind, and as we huddle close to our hearth-fire in the middle of winter's blizzards, naturally, it should seem, of course these giants are evil, which should be enough reason to hate them, even if they're our great-grandmother. I'd interpret this as the psychology behind Óðinn's answer to the question in the Gylfaginning about whether Ymir is some kind of god: "In no way do we acknowledge him to be a god; he was evil and all his descendants. We call them frost giants." It's strangely hypocritical that Óðinn does not consider himself to be evil, since he himself is a descendant of the evil Ymir. Óðinn is probably thinking of himself and his fellow Æsir as Búri's offspring, necessarily disregarding their maternal heritage.

    It's apparently possible that Borr and Búri mean the same thing. The definitive meaning of Búri is apparently unknown, but it could be related to Borr's name, which is also spelled Burr. Borr/Burr means "Son."
    Rhonda Tharp likes this.
  6. Native

    Native New Member

    When reading of many cultural stories of creation, most stories begin with just the primeval elements which are personified and deified in the mythological telling.
    For instants the Egyptian "Ogdoad" tells of "4 primeval with specific qualities and elementary deities of both gender" i.e. they are complementary forces of creation.In Ogdoad it is said:
    “The eight deities were arranged in four female-male pairs: Naunet and Nu, Amaunet and Amun, Kauket and Kuk, Hauhet and Huh. The females were associated with snakes and the males were associated with frogs. Apart from their gender, there was little to distinguish the female goddess from the male god in a pair; indeed, the names of the females are merely the female forms of the male name and vice versa. Essentially, each pair represents the female and male aspect of one of four concepts, namely the primordial waters (Naunet and Nu), air or invisibility (Amunet and Amun), darkness (Kauket and Kuk), and eternity or infinite space (Hauhet and Huh).
    Together the four concepts represent the primal, fundamental state of the beginning, they are what always was. In the myth, however, their interaction ultimately proved to be unbalanced, resulting in the arising of a new entity. When the entity opened, it revealed Ra, the fiery sun, inside. After a long interval of rest, Ra, together with the other deities, created all other things”.
    AD: Here we see how the primeval elements interacts and creates a result as they themselves undergoes a transformation, in this case Ra, the fiery light from where everything else is created in the then known Universe, which must be the Milky Way and the Solar System of course.
    We also know that the Egyptian goddess Hathor is connected to the Milky Way and therefore the major Norse deities also must be connected to this celestial object. It is therefore my opinion that Bure and Bor were/are primeval elementary deities who were transformed in the process of creating the Milky Way and here it also is my opinion that the northern hemisphere Milky Way contours, which very much looks like a great man/god, is connected to the Norse Odin.
    On the southern hemisphere, the Milky Way contours very much looks like a great woman, and in the Norse mythological terms “she” must be Frigga, the wife of Odin. So here we have 2 major goddesses representing the very same cosmological mytheme.

    Regards Native

    NB: I don´t know if I can post any links for the time beeing - but maybe later on.
    Rhonda Tharp, Alejandro and Myrddin like this.
  7. Myrddin

    Myrddin Well-Known Member

    Native - Thank you, you are a wealth of information.

    I hope to see some links!

    E. M.
  8. Alejandro

    Alejandro Active Member

    Interesting concept, Native! I hadn't thought of Búri and Borr as part of the celestial cosmology itself, so sort of the same way in which most of the universe was constructed by Borr's sons out of Ymir's body. Descriptions of Búri make it sound like he would have been too big to fit in the universe which Óðinn and his brothers created, and possibly the case was the same with these brothers' father Borr and perhaps the size of these gods decreased exponentially with each generation(?)...

    Hmmm... What if Búri and Borr existed beyond the nine worlds...? Parallel/Other universes of their own, even...?
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013
  9. Hykez

    Hykez New Member

    Well... I guess we don't have these informations due to the lack of care of the christians with the old myths... Thinking speculatively, maybe Borr and Búri has just faded or went to a different dimension or something. But, I have an opinion from where did they came from.

    Ragnarok is suppossed to be cyclical, right? What if it happened before and ended up in the void of Ginnungagap, Muspelheimr and Niflheimr? Ymir has formed by the fire and ice of the two realms, but Búri was in the ice of Niflheimr. What if Búri was the last glance of a different word that existed before everything? I guess it's possible, since after Ragnarok some gods will survive (Vidar I guess, since he slays Fenrir) and Balder will rise from Niflheimr and re-build the world... the same way Búri did.

    I like to think that the beginning of everything was also the end of everything, like the Ragnarok is.
    Alejandro likes this.
  10. Alejandro

    Alejandro Active Member

    Kool idea! Snorri's version of Búri's origin could be interpreted to mean that when Auðumla licked Búri out of the ice of Niflheim, he already existed, trapped, inside the frozen wastes.
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  11. Hykez

    Hykez New Member

  12. granpa

    granpa Member

  13. Canada

    Canada New Member

    Since we know that norse in general are violent, I think that Odin just killed them. Perhaps it was a dispute over who would rule over the realms and such.
    After all, this sort of thing happened a lot in mythology. Just look at Seth and Osiris. Baldr and Hod. Heck, even look at Cain and Abel.

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