Norse Mythology

The Norse Creation Myth and Wars in Heaven

What is the source of the Baldr myth?

There are scholars who have suggested that Baldr originates with Middle Eastern fertility gods such as Attis, Baal, Adonis, and Osiris, who died in the old year and then revived with the plants of the new year. Baldr’s plant was the mistletoe, which typically is found on the oak tree, a tree sacred to the Norse, to the Celts, and to Indo-Europeans in general. In Christian times, northern Europeans would see the Baldr myth as a prophecy pointing to the story of their own god, who after his death was said to have harrowed hell and returned with a host of the dead now freed from the torments of hell. It is certainly possible that the Baldr myth was itself affected in its retelling by Christians, as was probably the case of the strange myth of Odin’s hanging on the world tree.


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