Hávamál

The Song of the High One

Audio Book

Discover the philosophy of the Old Norse.

When I say, "Philosophy", this is not mere theory, but a very practical and necessary mindset, for the Old Norse lived on the edge of existence, in some of the most extreme and inhospitable climates and lands.

Yet in such adversity, the Old Norse, in the days before modern tech', not only survived, but thrived. This took more than mere physical stamina, but also strong social ties, and individual mental toughness.

How did they endure their hard lives with resolve?

There are many examples in historical literature of famous Vikings who remained equiposed, even cheerful, in the face of the most extreme adversity. What was their secret?

What was the source of the Vikings' famous courage?

How did they navigate the complex life of the social élite?

How did they view love?

Contemplate the Hávamál, and you will learn all that, and much more.

The Hávamál is a poem - or a collection of poems - within a larger corpus known as the Poetic Edda, a collection discovered in medieval Iceland (though the language shows that the poems are much older), and one of the chief sources of the Norse heathen worldview. The Poetic Edda has been a source of great inspiration for centuries, and has been compared to the Kalavela, the Mahabharata, and other great texts of the ancient world.

And within the Edda, the Hávamál is the longest, and arguably the most important poem. Hávamál means "The Song of the High One", which means Odin, the Norse god of wisdom. Its lessons are a heathen analogue to the Book of Proverbs, or the Tao Te Ching. Besides very practical advice on how to live, there are enchanting tales of love, adventure, and magic.

Its reasoning is often hard and uncompromising. And yet, through this poem, one is led ultimately to a view of the world that is wiser, yet braver and carefree. At times, the poem is cryptic and mysterious. The poem transports one to the life of a wanderer, a warrior, or a noble of the Dark Age, and yet its advice can be interpreted for the modern age by anyone who so chooses.

I've made an audio-book and PDF file of this great poem, read in a natural English accent. I've used Olive Bray's 1908 translation into English, on account of her incomparable wordsmithing. Her style is a poetic, archaic yet accessible English.

The audio book is just over 39 minutes long, with accompanying PDF file. This is a poem that will serve as inspiration for years to come. To purchase, please click "Buy" at the bottom of this page.

If you'd prefer to read the PDF file first, without the audio, I'm happy to give you a copy on me - just fill in the form below, and I'll give you instant access.

Free PDF File

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Technical Info'

This is a 100% digital download product - there is no physical product, and no wait. The main part is a set of MP3 files, within ZIP files. You'll need software to open zip files (modern WindowsTM will do this for you - for other operating systems, please check). To read the PDF file, you can get a free PDF reader from Adobe.com, though alternative readers, like Sumatra PDF Reader, are also available.

Guarantee

If what you have read speaks to you, I don't want you to have any reason to hesitate in making a purchase, so I take all of the risk. In the unlikely event that you're less than delighted with these recordings, raise a support ticket within 60 days of purchase, and I will issue a full refund (see terms and conditions).

The price is £6.00 / $9.00. (Taxes may have to be added depending on circumstances.)

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