Kalevala Part 3

Let’s start out with updates. Another 80,000 word manuscript has come to an end, so now I may be able to focus a little more time on the blogs. With summer upon me here in Michigan, there will be plenty of outdoor work to do as well. Either way, my time is looking a little less full.

I am also starting out on a new endeavor, one that I find very exciting! Watch this space for updates as I move forward! Heck, there may even be a new blog in the near future.

For this post, I will recount my own experiences from the Kalevala, from Rune 7. You will notice that I have skipped a few poems as far as the blog is concerned. There are fifty poems in the Kalevala, and to recount them all here would be a monumentous task. It would be like retelling and rewriting the Kalevala from my own experience of it.

At the current time such a project is beyond me. As such, my retelling will be limited to the stories of greatest interest to me. I will try to go in order the best I can, but inevitably some parts will be left out.

My experience of these stories is something like one part shamanic journeying, and one part guided meditation. They all follow the story pretty closely, but at the same time it as if I am accompanying Vainimoinen in his journeys. Sometime he is my guide, sometime I am just a bystander, and sometimes I am just like a “third person” camera.

As such, my experience of Rune 7 is as follows.

After being shot from his horse by Joukahainen, Vainimoinen falls into the sea and floats for many days. He laments his fate, and is cold and in pain.
“Why, oh, why has such a horrid fate befallen me? I should have never left my homelands! How am I to survive in this place, I cannot make a shelter of find, nor a cabin on the waves?” So the old man floats on, and is miserable, cold, and in a great amount of pain.
Then from the North, from the Sami lands, flies a great bird, that spots Vainimoinen in the water.
“Why are you in the water, old fellow? Don’t you know you will not survive long in there?” The bird asks.
Vainimoinen sees the bird, and knows it to be an eagle.
“I was shot from my horse my a wicked man, and I fell into the sea. Now I have been carried far from my home, far from my farm at Kaleva.” Vainimoinen said.
“Ah, I thought when I saw you that I knew you. You left a great birch in a clearing, a deed of which I am most grateful. If you would, climb up on my back, and I will carry you to dry land.” The eagle said. Then did Vainimoinen see the eagle as an old friend, and so climbed up on his back.

The eagle soared over the waves, and took Vainimoinen to some nearby land, and there is left by the eagle.

Vainimoinen walked over the strange land for many days, and wailed and wept. For he was in a strange land, and bruised with many cuts and lashes, and his beard was all disheveled.

So it was that a fine maid from Pohjola heard the cries and laments as she was doing her chores, and so she ran to find Louhi, the mistress of Pohjola. She went with the girl to hear the lamenting, and knew that such wailing did not belong to a woman or a child.
“Thus is the wailing of an old man.” Louhi said.

So Louhi went in a boat to the old man, and asked of him why he was lamenting?

He told her of his story, and of his trials, and how he desired only to get back home. So Louhi took Vainimoinen into her home, and feed him, dried him and gave him a bed to rest. When he was better, he desired even more to go back to his farm in Kalevala.

Louhi asked the old man what he would give in exchange if she helped in get home. Vainimoinen offered her a tall hat filled with gold and silver.

“I have no desire for coins of gold, nor of silver. What I desire is a Sampo, a lid of many colors. If you were to forge one for me, I would send you home, and would send my daughter with you as a wife.” Louhi said.

“I have not the skill to forge a Sampo, but such a craftsman I know. His name is Ilmarinen, and he could make you a forge of many colors. Such is his skill that he could shape the sky, and hammer out the ground, and you would never see a mark of hammer or tong.” Vainimoinen said.

So Louhi agreed to help Vainimoinen find his way home, but her daughter was pledged to one who could make a Sampo.

“She will go with the one who forges a lid of many colors, from the tip of the shaft of a swan’s feather, from the milk of a farrow cow, from a single barleycorn, from the fleece of one sheep.” Louhi said.

Then she helped Vainimoinen hook up a sleigh, and told him how to find his way back to Kalevala. He sped on to tell Ilmarinen of Louhi’s daughter.


About Nicholas Haney

I am a writer, author, hunter, craftsman, and student of anthropology/archaeology. View all posts by Nicholas Haney

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