Tag Archive | story telling

TimeSlips: looking back and forward!

 

Timeslips cover

We’ve reached another huge milestone and once again it’s time to take a few moments to thank everyone who visits and travels through history with me! A few of you have been here since the beginning with me and I want you to know how much I appreciate your continued following through all of the paths we’ve taken in exploring history. Some of you arrived here via the Sims, where this all started, some made the journey through those mysterious Outlander Stones, and yet others have sailed in with the Vikings!  No matter how you have found us, many of you have chosen to stay on the journey.  I can not tell you how much it means to me, how much I appreciate your visits, your comments, questions, and your involvement in this site. I bid you all a gracious and heartfelt welcome and hope that you will continue to enjoy exploring the past with me!  As I mentioned, we have reached a personal milestone for me- 100,000 views! If you have been with me from the earliest beginnings, you will understand why this is such an amazing accomplishment for me.

I began this blog as a way to share my little fantasy world of the Sims 3, my builds, my characters and my stories within that context. One thing has been here since that initial beginning and that has been a life long love of history! I used that Sims platform to begin sharing my love of history, story telling and the weaving of those passions together. I am forever grateful to the Sims 3 for providing me with a basis to begin this journey!  If you look back in my archives, you will find the creations, the ideas and the stories that have led us to where we are today- in the middle of the Viking era with historical figures such as Ragnar, Rollo, King Ecbert, King Charles of France and others who will arrive in our future.

When I began building the castles and homes of history, I did it with the thought and premise that every building has a history filled with people, events and stories never told. I went on the idea that perhaps if one had such ability, they might be able to feel the vibrations, hear the sounds of that past and see the stories unfold in some way. Much of my early writing was a combination of building or renovation progress and the stories that came to life with that progress. I based it much on the way you might see it if you were renovating a historical building in real life. Each time you strip away a layer of paint or dust, you find a new layer, a new story of the past.

As I’ve mentioned, it all began with Sims 3, with castles, with royals, with history and fantasy woven together. Those creations, characters and stories were a huge part of  our beginnings here . While I have progressed from them, I have not forgotten them and I am proud of them. That early work enabled me to set a foundation for this blog that I have tried to keep in mind even today as I use other platforms such books and television to hopefully inspire and encourage you on your own explorations of history. My intent has always been to present history in a way that is interesting and captures your attention. I have always tried, from the beginning to present historical facts in a way that you might be curious enough to go off on your own search of history. In the past, I used the Sims 3 platform to weave together a long and ongoing look at history with a huge dose of fantasy… the Sims allowed me to explore that venue, that realm of vampires, fairies, witches and time travel and use them in telling the stories of the past. As I used that method, I always tried to incorporate actual events, facts and real life mysteries where ever possible along the way. Those early stories, while often fanciful did lead us through history from the present to the past and back again. Yes, I have taken a break from them, but as any writer can attest to, sometimes you need to step back, take a long break, and perhaps re-evaluate your work. The story remains in the background waiting for that time when you can return, re-focused with a clearer idea of where to go. That is where my story is… always in the back of my mind, always in my heart, waiting for that time when I can return to it and give it the proper attention and focus that it deserves!

In a way, my deviation and time away from the story is actually a way of doing more research into the past while keeping my original story and those characters that are now like a part of my family in mind. In some ways, the paths are always connected whether  or not you are ever aware of it. My mind continues to research, to piece together events and people together in relation to my beloved story of the past, the present and the future!

For those of you who have arrived later in the journey and have not searched this space for other bits of information, I can only suggest and hope that you take some time during your visits here to explore those other times, places and stories that are stored here! My archives have become a rather vast vault of time and history spanning from the earliest Roman history in Britain, to that now ever present Viking era that involves so much more than just the Vikings, it veers from tales and history of King Arthur to the mysteries of the princes of the tower. Our journey through time brought us to the world of Outlander, where we became lost in the Standing Stones and spent much time in the 1700s of Scotland and early America, and because of that trip, we found ourselves immersed in the world of the Vikings and early Saxon history! As a result, we are now on a journey through the early medieval period that includes those Vikings, Saxons, and everyone else in between that the Vikings influenced from the Frankish Empire to the creation of Normandy and the eventual battle for a united Kingdom of Britain, as well as future travels to Iceland, Ireland, Scotland, and possibly even on to earliest explorations of North America.

So, how do my early stories of history still remain connected to this present path we are on?  Well, for that you need to take a look at some of those early stories and where my characters have been in the past. First of all, you may need a short summary of how their stories actually began with a fantasy called Royals Castle and a young woman named Eleanor Deguille… my first blog entries covered the beginnings of her story and her life. She began at Royals Castle, traveled through time to various points in history, arrived in the present and then travelled back again. Throughout her story, she met a number of historical figures, viewed some important events and, her story introduced us to some other important characters who had their own stories to tell.

Lady Eleanor DeGuille through time and history, from a lonely child pawn of Royals to an uncertain romance, timeless friendship to a Mother's spirit within her guiding her journey and her destiny.

Lady Eleanor DeGuille through time and history, from a lonely child pawn of Royals to an uncertain romance, timeless friendship to a Mother’s spirit within her guiding her journey and her destiny.

Eleanor’s story was the start of this blog! If you are interested, you can read those earliest beginnings here:

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/eleanors-journal-entries/

For another look at Eleanor and how her life is woven together within the threads of history and legends, you can read this story about the legends of Avalon, Melusine the Water Goddes and my interpretation of that legend as it shows up through history with people such as Henry VIII and his ancestors making claims to being descended from Arthur and even Melusine! Melusine is a legend or tale that has it’s origins in early France, mainly Poitou, the low countries, and Normandy! She was often referred to as the  fairy of Normandy, or Bretagne. Connecting Eleanor to this legend gave her a more solid connection to the history of France.

Avalon cover1

Arthur and Vivianne

Arthur and Vivianne

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/melusinas-story-a-royals-link-to-avalon/

Eleanor Deguille’s mysterious life eventually connected her to the beginnings of tales of Britain, Romans  and a man named Arthur… that is was where her life, her time travel and her story began. While her story and the rest of it is steeped in the fantasy of those Vampires, Witches, Fairies and time travel, it is woven together with those real events of history. Eleanor’s story took her from that early beginning in the fairy tale realm of British history to the 1400s and 1500s of France, England and Scotland. In those earliest beginnings we met a man named Eric North. Eric’s story is just as important as Eleanor’s and it is a connecting point for that earliest time in Britain’s history. Eric’s story begins in the present day, and then goes on to tell the story of the earliest migrations of the Norse to areas of Northern Britannia as it was known then by the Romans who inhabited the isle. Eric began his life in one of the far off North places and made a journey by sea as a young child with his family to a place now known as the Isle of Skye on the coast of Scotland. He spent his youth growing up in that place which would eventually become Dunvegan Castle.  I used this place and this Castle as the setting for Eric’s birthplace and ancestral home because of it’s rich ties to early Viking history as well as it’s stories of such mythical things as the Fairie Flag. It’s location also lent itself well to making it plausible as a place that some of those earliest travelers might have made their way to. I have always attempted to make those  connections where ever possible when weaving together the fantasy and the history.

You can read part of Eric’s story here:

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/eleanors-journal72-erics-memories-a-time-before-vampyres-and-a-life-of-contradictions/

Eric in the Castle Eric's final farewell to loved ones

While Eric’s character and story are that of the fantasy realm, his story does make the connections from that earliest migration of the Norse, their settling in this new unknown place and their eventual plausible meetings with the Romans who were attempting to advance from the southern portions of Britannia into the northern portions which were already inhabited by groups such these ancient Norse and Picts…  Eric’s story tells of the rich history  those northern regions now known as Scotland. His story presents the earliest known legends and theories that go back as far as Egyptian migrations to that area!

You can find more of the ancient history of  the Romans and the Norse migration here:

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/from-the-creator-ancient-history-connects-the-norse-with-romans-and-king-arthur/

This early post explains some of the theories and thoughts on possible Egyptian migration to Ireland and Scotland!

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/07/20/from-the-creator-historical-information/

As to why I chose the Isle of Skye for the setting, you can read that here:

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/from-the-creator-some-historical-background/

If you go back and read some of these early posts, I think you will see how Eric came to play such an important part in my story, how he sort of took over the story with his life and his story and why he remains such an important connection for me on my path through history which has landed me in this time of the Vikings and kept me here for so long!

 

All of those early stories of history have led us to where we are right now, exploring the real history of all of those people that Michael Hirst and other creators/authors introduce us to! One such important person is Rollo, who we have seen claw his way out of the shadows and darkness of his early life to put himself on the path to his own fame and dynasty.

 

Portrait of Rollo's destiny. Credit to Ines Jagger of Vikings Aftermath group and to lindamarieanson of deviant art. 600px-Cronological_tree_william_I_svg

William the Conqueror AKA William I

Recently, I began reading a book about our Viking, Rollo’s descendant, William the Conqueror and was rather surprised to find a mention of the Fairie Flag in it. The Fairie Flag is one of those relics of Dunvegan Castle that I originally found so intriguing when researching a past for my character,  Eric.

Dunvegan cup, Fairie Flag and rory mors horn

Dunvegan cup, Fairie Flag and rory mors horn

fairy_flag_2

http://fairyroom.com/2013/01/fairy-flag-of-dunvegen/

More information on the history of Scotland, Clans, Dunvegan Castle and the Fairy Flag can be found in this early post:

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/from-the-creator-some-history-of-clans-in-scotland/

Now, as I mentioned, the book I was reading was about William the Conqueror and Normandy so I was immediately puzzled and curious about this  reference to the Fairy Flag. The book is  The Lion and the Rose: William Rising by Hilary Rhodes. It is the first book in a series about William, his history and his conquest of England. Yes, it is historical fiction, but it is extremely well researched and I think it presents a great picture of the man and his path to the Crown of England. The author presents and provides some excellent resources and references as well as weaving together an interesting story!

http://www.amazon.com/Lion-Rose-Book-One-William-ebook/dp/B00L4K5GKE/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1433189138&sr=1-3&keywords=the+lion+and+the+rose

Fairie flag and Robert of Normandy

In the beginning of the book, William’s Father, Robert the Magnificent or Robert the Devil, travels to the Byzantine Empire where he meets the Empress Zoe, who shares a foreshadowing, a prophecy of his future with him. That prophecy is a bit of a puzzle for readers to decipher throughout the book or books. I found it interesting, intriguing and of course I had to go in search of answers!  The prophecy states: The fighting man and the wyvern and the fairie flag, all will come, and all will give battle, but it is the lion that reaches for the roots. I can not see the end of that. I can not see if it will be enough. The deepest roots can be ripped free. And there is a great ripping to come, aye.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_I,_Duke_of_Normandy

In attempting to make sense of this puzzle, there is one other piece of information that shows up on the same page and is an important clue. This bit of information ultimately gives us the answer to the puzzle of the Fairie Flag and links the entire story and history of Dunvegan Castle to that of the Vikings. That clue is found in the mention of one Harald Sigurdsson… otherwise known  as Harald Hardrada!

Harald_Hardrada_window_in_Kirkwall_Cathedral_geograph_2068881

Harald Sigurdsson (Old Norse: Haraldr Sigurðarson; c. 1015 – 25 September 1066), given the epithet Hardrada (harðráði, roughly translated as “stern counsel” or “hard ruler”) in the sagas, was King of Norway (as Harald III) from 1046 to 1066. In addition, he unsuccessfully claimed the Danish throne until 1064 and the English throne in 1066. Prior to becoming king, Harald had spent around fifteen years in exile as a mercenary and military commander in Kievan Rus’ and in the Byzantine Empire.

When he was fifteen years old, in 1030, Harald fought in the Battle of Stiklestad together with his half-brother Olaf Haraldsson (later Saint Olaf). Olaf sought to reclaim the Norwegian throne, which he had lost to the Danish king Cnut the Great two years prior. In the battle, Olaf and Harald were defeated by forces loyal to Cnut, and Harald was forced in exile to Kievan Rus’ (the sagas’ Garðaríki). He thereafter spent some time in the army of Grand Prince Yaroslav the Wise, eventually obtaining rank as a captain, until he moved on to Constantinople with his companions around 1034. In Constantinople, he soon rose to become the commander of the Byzantine Varangian Guard, and saw action on the Mediterranean Sea, in Asia Minor, Sicily, possibly in the Holy Land, Bulgaria and in Constantinople itself, where he became involved in the imperial dynastic disputes. Harald amassed considerable wealth during his time in the Byzantine Empire, which he shipped to Yaroslav in Kievan Rus’ for safekeeping. He finally left the Byzantines in 1042, and arrived back in Kievan Rus’ in order to prepare his campaign of reclaiming the Norwegian throne. Possibly to Harald’s knowledge, in his absence the Norwegian throne had been restored from the Danes to Olaf’s illegitimate son Magnus the Good.

In 1046, Harald joined forces with Magnus’s rival in Denmark (Magnus had also become king of Denmark), the pretender Sweyn Estridsson, and started raiding the Danish coast. Magnus, unwilling to fight his uncle, agreed to share the kingship with Harald, since Harald in turn would share his wealth with him. The co-rule ended abruptly the next year as Magnus died, and Harald thus became the sole ruler of Norway. Domestically, Harald crushed all local and regional opposition, and outlined the territorial unification of Norway under a national governance. Harald’s reign was probably one of relative peace and stability, and he instituted a viable coin economy and foreign trade. Probably seeking to restore Cnut’s “North Sea Empire“, Harald also claimed the Danish throne, and spent nearly every year until 1064 raiding the Danish coast and fighting his former ally, Sweyn. Although the campaigns were successful, he was never able to conquer Denmark. Not long after renouncing his claim to Denmark, the former Earl of Northumbria, Tostig Godwinson, brother of the newly chosen English king Harold Godwinson, pledged his allegiance to Harald and invited him to claim the English throne. Harald went along and entered Northern England in September 1066, raided the coast and defeated English regional forces in the Battle of Fulford near York. Although initially successful, Harald was defeated and killed in an attack by Harold Godwinson’s forces in the Battle of Stamford Bridge.

Modern historians have often considered Harald’s death at Stamford Bridge, which brought an end to his invasion, as the end of the Viking Age. Harald is also commonly held to have been the last great Viking king, or even the last great Viking.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harald_Hardrada

 

Harald Hardrada could be considered as the fighting man of the prophecy, but what connection would that have in relation to the other parts, such as the Fairie Flag of Dunvegan Castle?  What does the Fairie Flag or Dunvegan have to do with this at all? Well, for that, you need to know the history of Dunvegan Castle, and the theories on the origins of the Fairie flag!

dunvegan8

Dunvegan Castle

dunvegan3

Dunvegan Castle2

 

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/from-the-creator-history-of-dunvegan-castle/

Although three individual Chiefs in the last seven generations have been comprehensively ruined by the apocalyptic difficulties caused by the unrelenting hostility from centralised government towards the Clan system practised behind the Highland line, they have remained faithful to the Rock. Dunvegan Castle is said to be the oldest inhabited castle in Northern Scotland, having been occupied by the Chiefs of MacLeod continuously, for over seven centuries and still today remaining the Ancestral home of the present chief, Hugh MacLeod of MacLeod, the 30th of the line, and his family.

Geneologies trace the origins of the McClures and the MacLeods to a thirteenth century fellow named Leod (1200-1283), the son of Olaf the Black, King of the Isle of Man, who in turn was the descendent of the eleventh century Norse King Harald Hardrada. Leod married Lady Macarailt, an heiress to Dunvegan, the birth of their two sons (Tormond and Torquil) marking the entry of the MacLeods into Dunvegan and the pages of history. Very simply, “Mac” is a Gaelic word meaning “son of” with Tormond fathering the MacLeods of Harris, and Torquil begetting the MacLeods of Lewis. (Incidentally, the McClure’s are the descendents of Tormond.)

 As to the theories on the Fairie Flag…  Legends, however fantastic or far-fetched they may appear to be, are rarely without some trace of historical fact. When a relic survives to tell its own story, that at least is one fact it is impossible to ignore. The precious Fairy Flag of Dunvegan, the most treasured possession of the Clan, is just such a relic …The traditional tales about its origin, some of them very old indeed, have two themes – Fairies and Crusaders. Fairy stories are difficult to relate to fact; they often occur as a substitute for forgotten truth. The connection with the Crusades can, however, be linked to the only definite information available as to the origin of the Fairy Flag – the fabric, thought once to have been dyed yellow, is silk from the Middle East (Syria or Rhodes); experts have dated it between the 4th and 7th centuries A.D., in other words, at least 400 years before the First Crusade. So was it the robe of an early christian saint? Or the war banner of Harold Hardrada, King of Norway, killed in 1066, or did it emerge mysteriously from some grassy knoll in Skye? The Legends are all we have to guide us to the answer.

So, there is our connection between Harald Hardrada, the Fairie Flag and Dunvegan Castle! Harald’s connection to the prophecy and to William the Conqueror is that he was one of the fighting men attempting to lay claim to the crown of England at the same time as William. He felt he also had a valid claim and chose to fight Harald Godwinsson for it. It is sometimes thought that his battle with Harald brought about the end of the Viking age, and the end of Harald’s rule of England as well. Harald Godwinsson and his forces defeated Harald Hardrata at the  Battle of Stamford Bridge but did not have time to recover fully before having to turn around and face William and his army at Hastings. The forces were well evenly matched and the battle was close. It is thought that had Godwinsson’s army been better rested and recovered from the previous battle with Hardrada, they would probably have been victorious in the battle of Hastings.

There is one  bit of information on Harald Hardrada that should be of interest to all of us who are waiting for the next raiding season of the Vikings Saga to arrive…

Harald Hardrada was a descendant and a member of the Fairhair/Finehair dynasty of Norway. A member of that dynasty is rumored to be arriving on our Viking shores soon! One Harald Finehair and brother, Halfdan the Black will be showing up as rivals and threats to Ragnar.

peter franzen4

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2015/05/06/vikings-season-4-coming-soon-to-a-village-near-you/

Harald Fairhair (Old Norse: Haraldr Hárfagri, Norwegian: Harald Hårfagre; c. 850 – c. 932) was remembered by medieval historians as the first King of Norway. According to traditions current in Norway and Iceland in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, he reigned from c. 872 to 930. Most of his life remains uncertain, since the extant accounts of his life in the sagas were set down in writing around three centuries after his lifetime. A few remnants of skaldic praise poems attributed to contemporary court poets exist which seem to refer to Harald’s victories against opponents in Norway. The information supplied in these poems is inconsistent with the tales in the sagas in which they are transmitted, and the sagas themselves often disagree on the details of his background and biography.  Two of his sons, Eric Bloodaxe and Haakon the Good, succeeded Harald to become kings after his death.

Harald_Hardrada_saga_ancestry

A last bit of interesting information on Harald Hardrada…. it seems that there has been some effort and attempt being made to make a bio-pic movie about his life. I just recently came across a few articles regarding the possibility of Leonardo DeCaprio producing and starring in such a movie. The articles are a bit dated though and I have heard nothing else about such a project. I am curious about it  and wonder if it is still going forward…. With all of interest now in Viking history, I would think it might do well!

http://www.slashfilm.com/leonardo-dicaprio-producing-and-could-star-in-viking-film-king-harald/

 

This battle for the crown of England was  much a case of family disputes and feuds over who had right or claim to that crown. Harald Hardrada had a claim based on his link to the previous ruler, Harthacanut of Denmark and England but realistically he had a very weak claim at best. Harald Godwinsson had no real claim either, the only with any true justifiable blood claim to the crown was indeed William the Conqueror, who was at least a blood relative- even though distant- of King Edward. So, in this sense, William would end up digging deep into the family roots and toppling all to claim the crown. The only other person with a better and legitimate blood claim was unfortunately a young boy with no hope of winning any battle for the crown.

The one other part of the prophecy that we have not mentioned yet is the wyvern.

A wyvern (/ˈwvərn/ WEYE-vərn), sometimes spelled wivern, is a legendary winged creature with a dragon‘s head and wings; a reptilian body; two legs; and a barbed tail.

The wyvern in its various forms is important to heraldry, frequently appearing as a mascot of schools and athletic teams (chiefly in the United States and United Kingdom). It is a popular creature in European and British literature, video games, and modern fantasy. The wyvern is often (but not always) associated with cold weather and ice, and it will sometimes possess a venomous bite or have the ability to breathe fire. The wyvern is a frequent charge in English heraldry and vexillology, also occasionally appearing as a supporter or crest.

In regards to it’s mention in the prophecy, a wyvern is used as symbol in one very  important place.  The Wyvarn is depicted as the symbol of Wessex, the home of Ecbert and his descendents including Alfred the Great and on to Edward the Confessor who left the future rule of England in such dispute and question that his witan/council even went so far as to search for a long exiled and hidden heir residing in Hungary!

After the Danish conquest of England in 1016, Canute had the sons of Edward’s half brother Edmund Ironside, Edward said to be only a few months old, and his brother, Edmund, sent to the Swedish court of Olof Skötkonun  (who was either Canute’s half-brother or stepbrother), supposedly with instructions to have the children murdered. Instead, the two boys were secretly sent either to Kiev, where Olof’s daughter Ingigerd was the Queen, or to Poland, where Canute’s uncle Bolesław I Chrobry was duke.  Later Edward made his way to Hungary, probably in the retinue of Ingigerd’s son-in-law, András in 1046, whom he supported in his successful bid for the Hungarian throne. Many years later when it became apparent that King Edward and his wife Edyth were not going to produce and heir, a search for any missing heirs ensued and Edward the exile was found in Hungary.

On hearing the news of his being alive, Edward the Confessor recalled him to England in 1056 and made him his heir. Edward offered the last chance of an undisputed succession within the Saxon royal house. News of Edward’s existence came at a time when the old Anglo-Saxon Monarchy, restored after a long period of Danish domination, was heading for catastrophe. The Confessor, personally devout but politically weak and without children, was unable to make an effective stand against the steady advance of the powerful and ambitious sons of Godwin, Earl of Wessex. From across the Channel William, Duke of Normandy, also had an eye on the succession. Edward the Exile appeared at just the right time. Approved by both king and by the Witan, the Council of the Realm, he offered a way out of the impasse, a counter both to the Godwinsons and to William, and one with a legitimacy that could not be readily challenged.

Edward, who had been in the custody of Henry III, the Holy Roman Emperor, finally came back to England at the end of August 1057. But he died within two days of his arrival. The exact cause of Edward’s death remains unclear, but he had many powerful enemies, and there is a strong possibility that he was murdered, although by whom is not known with any certainty. It is known, though, that his access to the king was blocked soon after his arrival in England for some unexplained reason, at a time when the Godwinsons, in the person of Harold, were once again in the ascendant. This turn of events left the throne of England to be disputed by Earl Harold and Duke William, ultimately leading to the Norman Conquest of England.  Edward the exile did leave an heir, a young boy- Edgar the Aetheling who was immediately made heir apparent or Atheling. When Edward died, the boy, a young teen at the time was too young to successfully wage a fight for the crown or win any war that was certain to follow. The council feared being taken over again by outsiders waiting for a chance to claim England so they chose instead to elect Harald Godwinsson to the rule. Edgar eventually found asylum in Scotland with Malcom III, who had married Edgar’s sister Margaret.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_the_%C3%86theling

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_the_Confessor

Wessex is often symbolised by a wyvern or dragon.

Both Henry of Huntingdon and Matthew of Westminster talk of a golden dragon being raised at the Battle of Burford in AD 752 by the West Saxons. The Bayeux Tapestry depicts a fallen golden dragon, as well as a red/golden/white dragon at the death of King Harold II, who was previously Earl of Wessex. However, dragon standards were in fairly wide use in Europe at the time, being derived from the ensign of the Roman cohort, and there is no evidence that it identified Wessex.

 

800px-Flag_of_Wessex_svg

Wyvern on early flag of Wessex

 

Why is any of this important in relation to where we’re at now in history with the Viking age?  It is extremely important because the Vikings of our Vikings saga as presented by Michael Hirst, and hopefully soon the onscreen version of Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Chronicles, will soon move on to the next years, the next era of the Viking history that includes so much more than just the story of Ragnar Lodbrok and his adventures. We will soon be traveling to the time when Ragnar’s sons and so many others make their own marks and contributions to history. We will see the beginning of Rollo’s great dynasty in Normandy take shape, we will see Ecbert’s grandson, Alfred the Great will take his place in history. The battles for land and claims to kingdoms will begin in earnest and we will witness all of it. As we do, I will continue to help weave the history and the stories together, and perhaps one of these days, I will even find time and inspiration to return to some of my original stories.  I hope that all of you will remain on the journey with me and enjoy all of it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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love, lust and everything in between in the Vikings Saga

love int our viking worldJarl Borg's Valentine

Yesterday was  Friday the 13th… for some reason, a day now associated with bad luck?  I mention this because in my time spent here in this early Viking era, there does seem to be an abundance of bad luck in marriages and relationships?

It’s not known for certain how the superstition surrounding this day arose, but both Friday and the number 13 are connected with the crucifixion of Christ (Friday being the day the crucifixion took place, commemorated weekly in Catholic practice, and 13 being the number of people present at the Last supper). According to Phillips Stevens, Jr., associate professor of anthropology at the University at Buffalo (SUNY), “There were 13 people at the table (at the Last Supper) and the 13th was Judas. The Last Supper was on a Thursday, and the next day was Friday, the day of crucifixion. When ’13’ and Friday come together, it is a double whammy.”[3]

Friday has been considered an unlucky day to undertake journeys or begin new projects at least since the 14th century, as witnessed by Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friday_the_13th

This year, that most special of days devoted to such things as love, Valentine’s Day falls directly after that most unlucky of days in some societies, Friday the 13th. How that will bode for many who are superstitious and yet still hoping for love and romance remains to be seen?

The world and time that I live in now has no such tradition or ritual day as Valentine’s Day. That will come much later… Though in that part of the world which is now Christian, the day is already marked as one of the Saint’s Days and thereby a Holy Day.  It is not a day devoted to love of anyone other than God and the Saints? In the future, it will take on that more romantic notion because of one such Saintly legend.

J.C. Cooper, in The Dictionary of Christianity, writes that Saint Valentine was “a priest of Rome who was imprisoned for succouring persecuted Christians.” Contemporary records of Saint Valentine were most probably destroyed during this Diocletianic Persecution in the early 4th century.  In the 5th or 6th century, a work called Passio Marii et Marthae published a story of martyrdom for Saint Valentine of Rome, perhaps by borrowing tortures that happened to other saints, as was usual in the literature of that period. The same events are also found in Bede’s Martyrology, which was compiled in the 8th century.  It states that Saint Valentine was persecuted as a Christian and interrogated by Roman Emperor Claudius II in person. Claudius was impressed by Valentine and had a discussion with him, attempting to get him to convert to Roman paganism in order to save his life. Valentine refused and tried to convert Claudius to Christianity instead. Because of this, he was executed. Before his execution, he is reported to have performed a miracle by healing Julia, the blind daughter of his jailer Asterius. The jailer’s daughter and his forty-four member household (family members and servants) came to believe in Jesus and were baptized.  A later Passio repeated the legend, adding that Pope Julius I built a church over his sepulchre (it is a confusion with a 4th-century tribune called Valentino who donated land to build a church at a time when Julius was a Pope).  The legend was picked up as fact by later martyrologies, starting by Bede‘s martyrology in the 8th century.  It was repeated in the 13th century, in Legenda Aurea.  The book expounded briefly the Early Medieval acta of several Saint Valentines, and this legend was assigned to the Valentine under February 14.

There is an additional embellishment to The Golden Legend, which according to Henry Ansgar Kelly, was added centuries later, and widely repeated.  On the evening before Valentine was to be executed, he would have written the first “valentine” card himself, addressed to the daughter of his jailer Asterius, who was no longer blind, signing as “Your Valentine.”  The expression “From your Valentine” was later adopted by modern Valentine letters.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentine%27s_Day

For me, it is now one of those memories of the future that I think about on occasion but do not usually miss? When I look back, or forward… to such times, I think of them fondly but they do not have a place in my world now so I choose not to dwell upon them. Oh, yes, I do once in a great while think of the romantic notions that the day puts forth, and I do occasionally indulge in my own romantic daydreams and fantasies… Don’t we all on some occasion do the same?  It has been my choice thus far in this life to remain single and unattached, much comparable to my previous life in the future. Though, I do admit that it was far easier much of the time be single in those previous future years that I lived in! Here, life is difficult for all women and it is considered a given that women will marry and have children. Those of us who do not accept that role are looked at as to be pitied and frowned upon?  It is expected that we should be married, a part of a family unit, both for benefit of the community and as not to be a burden on the society? After all, if we are not married with family, who will care for us in our old age?  Even though the society here looks upon women more favourably than many others, it is still expected that we as women will eventually wed and much of our value as women is placed on this… our marriages will bring families, lands and profits together ensuring a better life for our next generations.  Many do marry for love, in that they are lucky, for just as many are wed for financial and political reasons. Most young girls here as everywhere else do not marry whom they choose, but who is chosen for them by their families. It is always hoped that the arrangement will lead to love or at least good companionship between the couples?  In my situation here, I have no family, other than my “supposed” brother, Gunnar, who brought me here and placed me in the care and keeping of Siggy and Earl Haraldson.

In most instances, if I were a young girl, it would have been up to Gunnar to decide upon a marriage for me? I would have been allowed some choice in the matter and hopefully, the one I would choose would be acceptable to my family. But, I came to this place as an adult woman able to make my own choices… Gunnar has disappeared, I fear the worst for him… I’ve not heard anything of him in quite some time? Neither have the other travelers left here. There are not many of them left either… most of those who were here chose to leave when Earl Haraldson turned so suspicious of all and so brutal in his attacks on any he deemed a threat. Many of the families that might have stayed on here, have chosen instead to go elsewhere, such as Gotland, where they say they will have good lives and more peace. So, my connections to the future are becoming less and less as the years go by.  With Gunnar gone, it might have fallen to Earl Haraldson  to make some arrangement or choice of marriages for me as I was a part of his household. But, with his demise as well, I was left on my own… in many ways, that was much fortunate for me! For, having seen his choice for his own daughter, Thyri, I can only imagine who he might have decided upon for me? His henchman, that Piggy man was not married and was always following me around, sometimes in suspicion, other time in disgusting lust! He did once put forward the proposition to Earl Haraldson that I would make a fine wife for him, luckily Siggy chose to veto that suggestion! Perhaps that is one reason I stay by her and stand for her, as she did for me in those early days!

Now, the years have passed and I am still on my own, by choice… I do wonder at times if I shall ever find anyone here in this time, or if  I shall be on my own forever? Not that it really worries me that much, I do not dwell on it often. I have a good life now and I do have as well, a goodly portion of treasure in my keeping that will suffice for me if need be in my future. On returning from one of his many trips, Gunnar left with me a chest of much value for safekeeping. He told me that should he not return, it would be for me to use as I see fit. So, for now, I remain a part of Siggy’s small household… haaaa it is pretty much just me and Siggy on our own here, with Rollo as our friend, our companion, and our protector.  There time when I think of Rollo in those ways which I know I should not… what woman could be around him and not have her thoughts wander that way at times?  Late at night when I am most lonely, I do think of him and imagine that he might feel the same things for me that I feel for him? I keep these thoughts to myself, I am nothing if not practical in my nature! I know such thoughts and feelings are not to be acted upon and would only cause much trouble with us all.  I suffer silently from that ailment known as unrequited love. We have all suffered it at some time in our lives and it gets us nowhere to continue dwelling upon it! It is best to accept what the Gods give us in this department, but so difficult not yearn for more. The Gods have fated me with the man’s friendship and I should appreciate that in itself above all else! I value the friendship of both Siggy and Rollo. I would never compromise this gift of friendship for some few moments of lust filled bliss that would destroy what we all have together now! I am a sensible woman… but Gods, it is so hard at times to ignore the feelings toward him. My only salvation in this is an ironic and strange one. Siggy knows my plight, understands it and is always thoughtful of my feelings. She keeps telling me that I should find one to spend time with to ease my thoughts in this direction? Then she smiles and understands that I am not one to be so easy with my lusts or my affections that I would choose to just enjoy sex for the simple pleasure of it! I have done that already in my past, the future, and I do not need to do it here… I learned long ago that it is never so simple as just lust or just sex, and I do not want it to be that way.  I have learned from experience that I want it to mean something to both of us who would share in this activity. Siggy and I understand each other on this thought.  Even though there are time when women must do what ever they need to, yes even trade their physical bodies in return for what they need, it does not mean that we trade our minds or our hearts in that activity!

For Rollo, I am a strange one indeed!  He is not used to such women as me, one who chooses a life such as that priest, Athelstan.  He says it is not right, for a woman such as I to not want to be with a man? Ohhh if he only knew… He contantly introduces and suggests men who thinks would be a good match for me? He shakes his head in frustration at my refusals. He says he would see me happy? As though that is what would make for life’s happiness? One day, he mentions that in his voyages to that England and from Athelstan, he has heard of places where women such as I might be, live together and make vows to their God… Perhaps I should like to go there? Would that make me happy, he asks?  I can not help but laugh loudly at this thought! He would suggest taking me on a voyage to England just so that I might enter a Nunnery or Convent!  No, that thought should not be to my liking, I must explain to him.  I am not so devout in my religions that I should be willing to think myself wed to God?  I may be celibate by choice for now, but I am certainly not for those reasons such as the monks, priests and nuns are! I walk away still laughing at that idea…  No, I admit that it is more my practical, sensible and scared silly future knowledge side that keeps me celibate for the most part. I am sorry to say that the idea of sharing myself with most men in this time causes me to think of what various incurable diseases they may also be sharing with me? Ummm also, it is far hard enough living here on my own, I should not like to think of giving birth to a child here? Ahhh yes, I know women have been enduring and surviving it for thousands of years previous even to this time… but, the fact of the matter is, many women do not survive it, and almost every women here can attest to having lost a child or two or three in child birth or as infants.  Quite simply put, I do not find myself up to this part of life right now and the only surest method of preventing such event is not participate in the activity which causes it! 

 Rollo’s mention of those sanctuaries for women brought about a lengthy discussion of them and my explanation of how many women go there not so much because they are so devoutly religious.  Many of them choose God over a bad marriage. With those Christians, there is no such option of divorcing each other… other than possibly in some extremely rare cases that must be approved by their highest religious leader, the Pope who is like their highest King? This completely confused both Rollo and Siggy and I gave up trying to explain more. I just tried to convey the idea that those Christian women were oft treated very badly and to enter the sanctuary of the church life was one of their few options. I only wanted to stress this to Rollo and advise him to  please in his raiding of places, leave those such women be. I have heard and read of some of these places of sanctuary were raided and attacked as viciously and violently as any other places.  That is not to suggest that Ragnar and his group do such things, but I felt some need to reassure myself that none of them would go down such a path as that? Rollo’s answer at that time was to shrug it off and he did take some offense that I would think such a thing, that they would brutally attack women… there were far better uses for them than that! I knew he meant it in jest but neither Siggy or I found it amusing!

Our conversation did cause me to sit one night thinking of  all of the marriages and relationships I have seen here. The relationships do not change over time for the most part. The only one that will change is the one in which the marriage is arranged? And, if  I look at that realistically, it has not been very long in terms of history that such notions about marriage have changed. In some ways, I do ponder on whether that was really such a bad thing… for one’s families to be involved in ensuring that a marriage would be beneficial to all and that often young people do not know their hearts and minds well enough to make such important decision. Then I think of those such as poor Thyri and that disgusting Piggy Henchman, and I quickly conclude that while it may work on some levels, there are always those who will suffer from it! Thank the Gods that Rollo put an end to this man’s miserable life for me…. Thank You, Rollo- For that you will be forever my hero!

an axe to his chest

An end to Piggy henchman thanks to quick action with an axe from Rollo… Thank You Rollo, My Hero!

 

Thyri was one who suffered much from arranged marriage until Siggy stepped in and put an end to it.  Thyri’s marriage was one that was based solely on the financial benefit and the alliance it would bring for her Father.  Thyri was worth 20 pounds of silver and some land thrown in for good measure.

thyri3 guests you didn't tell me about guests  this is earl Bjarnie the happy and excited groom haraldson's family watches as well

before anyone realizes what she is up to Siggy grabs knife and stabs thyri's husband

before anyone realizes what she is up to Siggy grabs knife and stabs thyri’s husband

 

in a daze she walks away from the crowd

in a daze she walks away from the crowd

Siggy’s own marriage to Earl Haraldson was an arranged one… but she did love him once and remembered him for who he once was, not the cruel man that he changed into? She did have happiness with him once and truly mourned him when he died.

siggy and Earl Haraldson

Haraldson shows siggy the locks of their sons hair

Haraldson shows siggy the locks of their sons hair

He is what I used to be ambitious restless and he was right but I knew that in my heart new baby2

I stopped caring about anything when our boys died

I stopped caring about anything when our boys died

siggy says her last goodbye

siggy says her last goodbye

 Arranged marriages in the Saxon world

In that  other place, England, most marriages of nobility were arranged with little regard for happiness or love being involved in such arrangements. One such union was that of King Aelle and his formidable wife, whose devotion to God was most likely above that to her husband? She is one of those women who might benefit from escaping or ummm choosing to follow God in a nunnery?

Aelle and his lovely wife Aelle toasts to the agreement

Aelle takes this very seriously Aelle and family attend  yes his son is named ecbert

Another such union in that England was that of Aelle’s daughter Judith to King Ecbert’s son, Aethelwulf. A marriage designed and planned for the specific purpose of alliances with no regard for the feelings of those involved in the arrangement.

judith vikings judith with her fathe Aille Judith_Wedding vikings aethelwulf2

what on earth is going on here?

what on earth is going on here?

ecbert at his court

King Ecbert with Judith and Princess Kwentirith

The only things that mattered were the decisions and agreements between the two Fathers!

Alle and Ecbert

Alle and Ecbert

 Foolish dreams and Fairytale Fantasies

Here in Kattegat, as in most place, those who fare a bit better in the marriage decisions are those of the working classes… those people who make more of their own decisions based just on what is best for them. These people often have more voice and choice in who they marry. The relationships difficulties are still much the same as any in our future day.

There are those who marry young, choose their mate on those youthful romantic ideals… we all know, the stuff that fairytales are made of- One true love, and happily ever after? Then they grow up, grow apart and become different people than who they started life as? One such couple would be of course, Ragnar Lothbrok and his wife Lagertha!  Sadly that happily ever after was not to be and their marriage could not stand the tests that it was put to.  I do not like to make accusations or place blame, but it does seem to me that Ragnar’s new found power and fame went to his head a bit? Also, his desires for more sons and the temptation of a younger woman did nothing to ease their problems, in fact it resulted in the demise of the marriage. Lagertha refused to share him with another wife and chose to leave, taking Bjorn with her. I can not fault her for this decision… it was like a blow to her womanhood and throwing the fact that she could not bear him another healthy son in her face?  So much for the romantic fairytale fantasy!

Lagertha-and-Ragnar-ep2 ragnar and lagertha ask athelstan to join them

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Bjorn in the middle of the fight

Bjorn in the middle of the fight

Bjorn tries to break up the fight

Bjorn tries to break up the fight

 

anger and resentment start here

anger and resentment start here

attempts to make nice with Lagertha fail

attempts to make nice with Lagertha fail

lagertha does not fall for it

lagertha does not fall for it

 

Unrequited Love

Part of those foolish childhood dreams and romantic fantasies is that ailment which we have already discussed, Unrequited Love and Desire. Yes, I do suffer from this as I have admitted, but Rollo has endured it himself. From the beginning he was enamored of his brother’s wife, Lagertha. She remained ever faithful to her husband until the marriage ended so badly and repeatedly dissuaded Rollo’s advances. He held hope within his heart for a very long time and even now he holds her in high esteem. I sometimes think that perhaps he holds every other woman up to her, compares them to her and they always fall short in his estimation? In his eyes no one woman will ever come close to being another Lagertha… Even Siggy, whom he does seem to care much for, does not warrant the value and esteem he puts on Lagertha.

rollo and lagertha2

Rollo tries to tempt Lagertha in the beginning

 

you're too great a warrior but perhaps not so great a man

you’re too great a warrior but perhaps not so great a man

ragnar blames rollo Where were you

ragnar blames rollo Where were you

anger and resentment start here

anger and resentment start here

When he went against Earl Haraldson and defended Ragnar, Lagertha tried to thank him for it… His answer to her was, “I did not do it for him, I did it for you!”

I didn't do it for him I did it for you

Rollo held on to his hope until that day when Lagertha announced that she was carrying another child for Ragnar.  It was then that he seemed to see that youthful dream fade and then went on to Siggy.

As they observe the death Lagertha announces her pregnancy rollo watches them walk away I know you're a boy the seer told me By all the Gods you have made me a happy manrollo looks on at the two of them together

Second Choices and Second Chances

Sometimes we think of  relationships in terms of settling, or second choice? In some ways, maybe that was what Rollo was doing when he began his relationship with Siggy? He knew he could not have Lagertha so he chose instead, Siggy. Siggy was looking to him in terms of some desperation as well, so it might seem that she too was settling for what she needed to save herself and her daughter.

Rollo and Siggy have a love that many do not understand… It was not born of fairy tales of childish dreams and fantasies. Their lives have been painful and oft filled with darkness. But, sometimes love is painful and it grows from those darkest and deepest cuts to the heart.  Their relation may not last but I believe that they will remain friends and support each other whether together or apart… they will not spend their lives competing against each other to see who is most equal, as some others I know are so want to do…

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2015/02/12/vikings-the-beginnings-of-rollo-and-siggy/

Rollo and siggy

no one will force you to go anywhere if I vouch for you

no one will force you to go anywhere if I vouch for you

where is ragnar lothbrok

where is ragnar lothbrok

siggy and rollo meet secretly in a whare house

siggy and rollo meet secretly in a whare house

I have lost everything my sons my husband my daughter I will not lose you as well

I have lost everything my sons my husband my daughter I will not lose you as well

Rollo did later talk about this ailment of unrequited love and felt that he had finally conquered it. “This new Rollo does not love Lagertha or any longer suffer from that desire for her.”

siggy and rolloThis new Rollo does not love lagertha or suffer from desire for hera kiss for luck and good journey

 

Midlife crisis “I want what I want when I want it because I deserve it!

 When Ragnar became Earl, I believe that it did go to his head. He has made the comment that Power is dangerous, it attracts the worst and corrupts the best… He could be speaking of himself! I know that I should not make judgement but I can not help it. I am reminded in his actions of  words of the future as in Once a cheater, always a cheater? Ohhh, I know that he does not look upon it as cheating or disrespecting Lagertha, but that is the way I see it. There are oft times when I should like to tell Aslaug, who walks around here so smugly, “If he would choose you over one wife, then he will eventually choose another over you!” To me, his relationship with Aslaug is one of that typical midlife crisis where one sees a younger more youthful body and is tempted. Ahhh, yes he did offer appeasement to Lagertha in that she should stay and share him with Aslaug, to which Lagertha promptly refused and left to find her own way. So, now Ragnar has gotten what he thought he wanted… more sons and a wife is content to stay at home and enjoy her “Queenliness” Will he be content or happy now with this, I think not. Already he makes attempts at winning Lagertha back into his life as partners in raiding. It is easy to see in face that he should like more than that? I only hope that Lagertha keeps her head held high and does not fall for his attempts. I would remind her, “If he has done it once to you, he will surely do it again!”

aslaug makes her appearance aslaug in the water yes ragnar is in danger from himself and from temptation I am very tempted you can tire of fresh fish always

What Ragnar did not take into account or realize was how deeply this betrayal of Lagertha would cut his son Bjorn’s heart. Bjorn could not forget or forgive the action, and chose instead to leave with his Mother. So, in getting what he wanted, when he wanted it, he gave up a son not knowing if he would ever see him again.

 

could I offer you some ahhh refreshment some food what's wrong boy  What do you think  My father is making a fool of himself

ragnar and aslaug3

Years later Aslaug did provide him with those many sons he so desired but not a lot else.  When Lagertha returned, Ragnar still held to the thought that he might have both women… he went to the Seer about this and was bluntly told by the Seer, “You are foolish Ragnar Lothbrok, you forget one thing. The choice is not yours to make anyway.”

You are forgetting one thing Ragnar Lothbrok  The choice is not yours to make anyway

Love among the common folk

 There are those who are bound by less rules and make their relationship choices as adults. Ones who go into the relationship with eyes open and understanding of each other. Does that mean their relationship will hold any better than others? Tis difficult to say, but at least they knew each other well and made commitment to each other out of love with no other baggage or barrios between them. Such a couple was Floki and Helga. Two adults, who lived together and chose to make a life together.

desperately seeking floki bjorn meets Helga what are you doing here boy Torstien comes to warn of trap and of Rollo's torture they tell athelstan stories about their gods how the water was made and how the ice came helga tells the story of how the earth was created go to kattegat meet with earl and challenge him to personal combat with ragnarhelga4

I have to say that is one wedding which everyone enjoyed attending! So much love and happiness filled the air that day, it was a true joy to celebrate their union with them! I would only hope that it lasts through the storms of life that we all must weather!

helga with floki2lokie's helga vikings_gallery_episode7_1-P vikings_gallery_episode7_2-P vikings_gallery_episode7_3-P vikings_gallery_episode7_4-P

 

Strange Love and possibly Plural Love?

 I must speak of that love which defies any logical, rational or sane explanations? We all know of such strangeness.  Certain relationships that can only be explained as oddly bizarre, bordering on insanity? Our world encountered one such relationship, if you could call it that?  I do suppose that one might call it a timeless or forever sort of love that one man had for his wife, lasting long after her death.  Jarl Borg was that man…he entered our lives when he took over our village in revenge against Ragnar. Other than the treacherous feud that he was involved in with Ragnar and King Horik, the first impressions of him were that he was a normal and decent enough man?

Maybe you should ask horic of what is in mind before you come to me meeting jarl borg he seems like a nice enough man

As I said, at the very first he appeared a sane and normal man?  When he began to speak of his first wife, though his face showed a change as he told of how her death screams would forever follow and haunt him.

my wife's screams of death will haunt me for the rest of my life

my wife’s screams of death will haunt me for the rest of my life

Now, I must add that this relationship not only deals with a bizarre insane obsessive sort of love, but it could also be included in the category of plural love. As Ragnar made much mention of when trying to woo and convince Lagertha to stay and share their relationship, there were many instances where a man might have more than one wife. Though I do have to clarify that this particular instance puts that practice to the limits of any social boundaries.

During his stay in Kattegat we were well aware of his second wife, Torvi  who made the move with him but was not happy about any of it.

I am with child

I am with child

Jarl borg and his second wife   This is a disgusting place I want to leave here

Jarl borg and his second wife This is a disgusting place I want to leave here

jarl borg planning revenge

jarl borg planning revenge

Later upon visiting his homeland, Rollo discovered his rather unorthodox relationship and another wife? Rollo arrived at Jarl Borg’s  to find the odd group relaxing together… Yes, I know that it is not quite clear yet but you shall soon see the strangeness of this relationship. PLease take note of the very nicely covered object on the table.

jarl borg and his wives at home

Rollo asked what the object was and Jarl Borg very calmy and casually uncovered it adding, “That is the skull of my first wife”.

What is that   The skull of my first wife

Rollo was at a loss for words but attempted to remain calm and unphased by this situation.

jarl borg caressing his wife's skull

jarl borg caressing his wife’s skull

Mrs borg 1 listens to the discussion

Mrs borg 1 listens to the discussion

 

Rollo did ask whether such an arrangement was really fair to Torvi?  Torvi sat quietly throughout the discussion and offered no replies or input. She was after all only a second wife so obviously her status was much lower and her opinions would not be heeded.

rollo's only question  Is that fair to her

The first Mrs. Borg held much higher status and was asked to join in the discussion

what do you say my love what should we do

what do you say my love what should we do

waiting for her answer

waiting for her answer

what do you think you think I should go

what do you think you think I should go

After much private discussion between the two and some additional endearments, a decision was made.

rollo tries to maintain some calm in this odd situation

rollo tries to maintain some calm in this odd situation

jarl borg listens to his wife devoted embrace of his skull

After some length of time Jarl Borg announced that his wife was in agreement that they should go back to Kattegat!

sharing a passionate kiss with his first wife she thinks I should go

jarl borg's wife attends his execution

jarl borg’s wife attends his execution

 

I can really find no other words for this relationship other than that I can only assume that upon Jarl Borg’s death, his wife’s skull joined him for eternity?  The second Mrs. Borg did remain in the Kattegat area and we will possibly hear more about her quite soon?

another new face

 

Young and slightly frowned upon but not quite taboo Love

When young Bjorn grew up and returned to Kattegat with his Mother, he experienced that first rush of young love. Unfortunately, he experienced it with a slave girl. To say this was not a match which befit his station as heir to the Earldom is putting it mildly. It is one thing to use a slave girl for one’s relief and pleasure, but quite another story when one such Bjorn would think, or assume that he could raise her above her station in life. This fact did seem to escape Bjorn’s thoughts completely, though the young woman was very well aware and concerned of how inappropriate his behaviors toward her were.

the slave girl porunn appears

the slave girl porunn appears

the slave girl has caught bjorn's attention

the slave girl has caught bjorn’s attention

slave porunn at work

slave porunn at work

sit and talk to me it is alright I am the son of Ragnar

sit and talk to me it is alright I am the son of Ragnar

Do you have a boyfriend   Of course not how ignorant are you I am a slave

Do you have a boyfriend? Of course, but what are you thinking? how ignorant are you I am a slave

Eventually, they did work out some of the difficulties in this uncommon relationship. Aslaug did step in and make Porunn a free woman, and then Porunn decided that she would choose to be a shield maiden like Lagertha! So far as I know their relationship is still going well? But, you know how it is with young love, first love… it often does not last for very long.

vikings_season2_episode10_gallery_3a-P vikings_season2_episode10_gallery_6-P porunn shield maiden vikings_1 12

 

Godly, Saintly and Chaste Love

There is one last relationship I would touch upon here and it is an entirely different sort. This relationship is more of a spiritual type, but none the less just as important to that one who holds this relationship so close to his heart but does continuously question it and fear that he has lost it? That would be the priest Athelstan’s relationship with God, and his struggles with his beliefs. Athelstan takes this relationship quite seriously and treats it as one would any other sort of earthly and human union and relationship so we should respect that.  I bring it up here because recently he has begun to question his relationship on the spiritual level and there is some rumor and thought that he may be ready to enter into a more physical relationship on an earthly level. He did endure great suffering during his recent stay in England and began to have some odd visions and experiences which may have led him down this path to a more physical and intimate type of relationship.  First of all, he was asked to advise in the judgement of a young woman’s trial. He advised King Ecbert of Pagan laws regarding the mistreatment of women and thereby saved the girl from more punishment than she had already received in abuse from her husband.

I am a nun a bride of christ I am a bride of christ I can not show my face to any man   I am not any man I am King Ecbert you will show me your face or I will not be able to judge whether you tell the truth

This might seem unrelated to his future decisions but really I think it did play some part?  Some time after this trial, he had one of his odd visions? He thought that he saw the Madonna coming towards him out in the public courtyard. It took his breath away and his only response was, “Mary, Mother of Jesus!”

the beginnings of Athelstan's visions

Well, as the woman came closer, the vision cleared and it turned out to be the young woman he had helped at the trial?

it is just the young woman he saved

it is just the young woman he saved

I just wanted to thank you

I just wanted to thank you

It was the most chaste kiss, but it just might have been Athelstan’s first kiss?

a kiss for Athelstan

a kiss for Athelstan

The whole experience had a profound affect on him…

Mary Mother of Jesus

Could that one chaste kiss and all of his visions lead him to explore more earthly pleasures?

more wooo but with who?

more wooo but with who?

 

I do believe that I have run through all of the various relationships that I am aware of right now in our world? I hope that you have enjoyed my thoughts and my look at love in our Viking world. Happy Valentine’s Day to Everyone out there!

Just a quick update…. I must share that I do believe my secret and silent infatuation and unrequited desire of  Rollo has been found out? Who could have told him of this… perhaps Siggy in thinking to alleviate my current tensions and somehow repay me for my faithful service and friendship to her over the years? I do have to say that she may feel some guilt over her own actions and seeks to make some amends to Rollo in encouraging, allowing or at least turning a blind eye to some action on his part? Anyway, Rollo has come to me with his own message… an invitation to join him for a quiet and private enjoyment of the evening, just the two of us?

Valentine's day from Rollo

While I know that I should refuse such invitation, really how could any woman say no to such offer! So, I am off now to enjoy my special evening in the private company of Rollo!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the Creator: A Little about me!

         

I am a dreamer, a searcher, a story teller. I am on a journey through life and through time, a lover of history as well as of what the future might bring. I invite you to walk beside me for a while, share my space and enjoy the fantasy as well as the realities of life and all of it’s unknowns!

Timeslips cover

 

 

           Ahhhh Ok, today I am going to break with my usual policy of not talking about myself.  Normally, I try to keep the focus on my creations and general interests but I’ve decided to give you some insight on my life and how I came to be who and what I am today. Perhaps you’ll catch a glimpse of yourself in my story and you will be inspired to take your own leaps of faith and broaden your own horizons! Much of this information is probably listed somewhere in my profile should anyone have ventured there.  I am not going to write down my entire life story here for you, just a short abbreviated version so you can understand a little of  how my ever winding journey has brought me to this space!

 

I was born and raised in a small isolated mining town in Northern Minnesota.  Even from my earliest childhood memories,  my one consuming thought was to leave and see the rest of the world, the places and people that I read about in books. I think that from the time I learned to read, I was not content to stay where I was at. I was gifted, or cursed at such a young age with a very vivid imagination and an overpowering need to tell stories. When I was little, that imagination and story telling desire was by no means a blessing! In my desire to live out those fantasies, to have a different life than what I was given, I shared my little fantasies and stories with anyone who would listen… I did not understand yet how to weave the stories and share them as stories, I simply wove them into my life and presented them as that.  It was a difficult lesson to learn as a small child. I did not quite realize then that my stories, my imaginings and my wishful thoughts when presented in that way would cause so much hurt. When I look back on it now, I guess I could put it in some positive aspect in that my stories were well told enough that my childhood audience initially believed them? Then of course, they became quite suspicious and disbelieving… that was when I was suddenly and painfully ostracized from those former friends who became cruel and accusing. I sincerely wish that someone back then had taken the time to explain some differences to me, to understand my imagination and direct me to the process of writing it all down as what it was, a story!  Fortunately for me, there were a few kind children who were willing to overlook my childhood blunder of story telling excesses. I do still remember one of them with much appreciation and fondness, for she did make the connection. During that summer of banishment and ridicule from the other children, one girl, Lynnea, reached out to me and accepted me.  She also made a suggestion which I eventually took to heart.  I can still recall her simple words, “You tell such good stories, you should write them down!”  That simple idea had never occurred to me before!  From that time on, I wrote, almost as much as I read.
I am not going to go into all of the painful details of my life growing up in that small town or the specifics of a difficult family life, other than to mention that for so many reasons, I felt as though I never quite fit there- either in my family, or in that town.  I was constantly searching for something else, something I knew I couldn’t find there. Of course as a teen, one is never really sure what they’re searching for.  For me it was the same, I didn’t know what I was searching for, I only knew I was not going to find it where I was!  I was full of dreams, ambitions, thoughts of the bigger picture, and as someone once put to me, I couldn’t see the forest for the trees in my way. When I was dreaming of a future, I saw writing in it. My Father, how ever did not! His thoughts on that were, “Well that’s a nice hobby, Now what kind of job are you going to do?”  Ever practical, he was determined that I should go to school and learn an acceptable job skill such as nursing, teaching, maybe as a secretary since I did like to write? That was his reference to my writing ability… he decided against the secretarial option when he saw my grades for office procedures such as typing and book keeping! Well, he reasoned, there was always nursing or teaching! He laughed when I mentioned that my high school English teacher had suggested that I pursue a career in writing… His answer to that was, “So, how do you plan to support yourself with that?”  Suffice to say, my Father won his arguments and his battles for the time being. I was steered in the practical, acceptable direction of  going to school for x-ray technology. That career pursuit lasted about 6 months! While I found it interesting, it was definitely not something I felt any strong desire to make a career of… especially after passing out in the OR  being harshly dragged out and being told never to return to by a very irate Surgeon!  Well, Dad was annoyed by this failure on my part but eventually did agree to my attending the local junior college instead and hopefully then going for what he felt was the last remaining option, teaching… or Heaven forbid, Social work?!  I spent some time at college, all the while still searching for that elusive missing what, that unknown? 

After realizing and accepting that the unknown was still out there calling to me stronger than ever, I began looking around and seeing what my life was… I was frustrated with all of it, and scared of what a future would look like for me if I continued to stay where I was.  One night after far too much alcohol, which was becoming my personal means of coping with the situation, another friend came to my rescue with yet another fairly simple observation. It is one of those defining moments, where you recall it perfectly as if it were just yesterday. It was 5am in the morning, the sun was just coming up as I sat on the front step of  some acquaintance’s home, crying over my seeming inescapable life situation. Yet another night of binge drinking and the usual disasters that followed, I was at a point where I knew I couldn’t go on but not sure what to do about it. As I sat there, a friend sat down with me. He didn’t have to ask what was wrong, he knew, I think all that was wrong with my life, had struggled with it himself. We sat there for a while silently when he made the simple statement, “Get the Hell out of here, do what ever it takes but leave and don’t look back!” For a moment I just stared at him in confusion, unable to respond to his remark. He went on, “Do you want to wake up ten years from now staring at yourself in the mirror asking yourself what happened?” I nodded my head and thought on his observations while he went on. “Just pack your shit and leave otherwise you’re going to be one of those people you laugh at now, sitting at the end of the bar with a name engraved on your chair. You’ll be married to some guy you don’t like with four or five kids and no way to get out then.” His picture painted a clear enough image… one that I had already imagined before in my head many times before. But, to hear someone else point it out vividly and starkly is always a bigger wake up call! So, after all of these years, I look back on that moment, that conversation and that friend whom I never saw again and say very sincerely, Thank you so much Bob for those words of drunken wisdom! You most likely never knew how much they meant, or how they changed my life. I am reasonably sure that you don’t even remember that event but Thank you from the bottom of my heart anyway!

 

That was a turning point in my life, and shortly after that, I did pack my shit and leave, not to look back for quite some time! My search landed me at the office of an Air Force recruiter and for that experience in life, no matter how difficult those years were, I am also forever thankful! Those years were part of my search, my quest for that ever elusive unknown purpose in life. I was finally able to go out on the journey I was meant to. It taught me respect, responsibility, gave me self confidence, opened my eyes to the world around me and proved to me what a much bigger picture I was a part of.  During those years of self discovery, I met so many new people with other beliefs, other religions and cultures to share. I believe that it truly was such a part of my journey, my destiny and shaped my views on life and the world so much more than those earliest years ever could have. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful now for having had the chance to grow up in that small town and learn some of those basic values that my family instilled in me. What I do understand now is that it was only such a small part of what I needed to learn and experience! Those early years of stories, books, fantasies and day dreams were tempered with the real life lessons that I learned in the larger world of humanity.

 

Through all of those years my love of reading and writing never subsided.  My years in the military gave me the opportunity to live in Europe for two years and experience a great deal of the world I had only read about in books. It was during those years that I developed an even more intense passion for all things of history! Seeing all of those places I had only read about was such an inspiration for me to write about, to create images of and learn more about.  After I got out of the military and returned to Minnesota to raise my children, my life settled into the daily realities of being a single parent, working full time, going to school, raising kids and helping my now older parents. There was little time left for anything else other than those things.

 

I do want to say that over the years, my Dad mellowed in his views and eventually became my strongest supporter in all my efforts to find myself. No, he was not happy at first with my decision to join the Air Force… he fully expected me to be back home within a few weeks and admonished me that this was one of my more reckless and thoughtless ventures yet. He warned me that this was not something I could just quit when I decided it wasn’t for me, then clearly expected me to try to quit. He was fully prepared for me to fail at it and I think he was already in his head disappointed in me before I even tried it? It could have had something to do with my Mother’s feelings though as well… She was heart broken at the thought of my leaving and put the blame on my Father for it. She believed that he had encouraged me to leave with his stories of his own youth and his travels, and with the fact that he would no longer support me in my present schooling. Once he realized that I was serious, that I did not intend to quit or fail, and that I was accomplishing this goal I had set for myself, he was encouraging on all of my trials through the military experience. When I announced that I had found a way to get assigned to Germany, I think he was more excited than me! And, when I re-enlisted, he apologized for all of his previous doubts.  My Mother, on the other hand, while she was happy that I was succeeding and accomplishing something, wanted nothing more than for me to be home and closer to her. When I got out of the military and returned home to Minnesota, she cried and hugged me… please understand, we are not a huggie  feelie type family so this was an ultimate display for her! My Father was disappointed that I chose not to make a career of the military but he understood my reasons, and really he was more than happy to have his grandkids close to him.

 

I spent years struggling to go to school, work and raise my kids. My parents were there through it all with me, backing me, encouraging me and supporting me in every way possible. I thank them for that, am blessed to have had their help and can honestly say that we are far better off for having made the move back to them. One of the few moments that I saw my Father shed tears was when I graduated from college. Ohhh, and later when I granted his earlier wish for me to have an “acceptable” job… I spent seven years as a pre-school teacher! Turns out that he was right in one respect… I definitely needed a job that would pay the bills and allow me to raise my children without us all starving, or having to resort to living with Grandpa and Grandma!  Besides supporting my education and job efforts, he became my staunchest encourager in all things creative as well. I remember when he helped me purchase a home computer all those years ago when it was a rarity and sinful luxury rather than a common “every home has one” item. He saw how I so desperately wanted one, and felt a need for one in many respects. My initial reasoning was that it was important for the kids to have this tool for the future. He agreed with that and then softly made another comment, “It would be a lot easier to write on too, wouldn’t it?” I didn’t answer him then, just shrugged it off and kept trying to save my money for it. He came to visit close to Christmas that year and simply said, “Let’s go look at that computer you need.” He helped me finish paying for it and never said another word against the folly of my writing or my creating.  Maybe he realized that it was my one outlet, my one connection to that other world I had left behind when I came home to them. My parents were both strong believers in education and learning.  They instilled that in me, in my children and I thank them for that. They also instilled in me a sense of family and the importance of family ties. My Mother was one of those that I consider a Family record keeper. She was the oldest in her family and always kept in close touch with all of her family. She was one who knew the secrets… whether she chose to tell them is an entirely different matter and she had her reasons for keeping them. My Father less so of a record keeper but he instilled a feeling of families being important whether they were with you or not, whether you talked to them or not, liked them or not, they were family. In  one of my last conversations with my Father, he did not have to come out and say he was dying… we both knew he was, he very calmly added at the end of the conversation, “Make sure you take care of your Mother.”  His passing was one of the hardest things I have ever gone through in life and even after 20 years it still isn’t any easier.  For five years after his leaving, I did take care of my Mom, and in some respects it was the best five years we had together. I say this because I came to know her as a person, a friend, and not just a Mom.  I finally understood her better as she shared more of her past, her history with me.  We spent time together as friends and she shared her childhood, her youth and her secrets with me. She encouraged me as well, to find my happiness, my path in life where ever it might lead.

 

One of my Mom’s last wishes in life was to find out more about her family, to find ones she had lost and I believe it was her wish to settle much of the secrecy that she had held on to over the years. I helped her with that and it led me down my own path of discovery. Helping her fill in the blanks involved a great deal of  genealogy research, which I found I had my own passion for! It is an ongoing part of my life which I have shared with and passed on to my own daughter. It is all part of that never ending quest, that thirst for knowledge and answers about the world… the past, the present and the future.

 

Over the past years of my journey, I have learned that my search for that elusive unknown quantity is ongoing. It’s not something easily found or recognized and it’s not a search that has an ending… well, not at least until I reach the end of this life and go on to the next place, where hopefully then there will be some answers! It’s not like a search for the right thing, or place or job… no it’s nothing like that. It’s a search within yourself and the world around you for that next step in your journey, it’s more a search for the next clue rather than and ending result? The search and the journey are what makes you who you are, who you become later. It’s a never ending journey through time because I do believe that when this light dims, when this door closes, a new opens to us on that path!

My writing, my creating has always been a part of me from my earliest years with paper dolls and doll houses, to my story telling, my first attempts at writing it all down, my explorations with various outlets from candle making, doll house building, graphic designs, photos, cooking, computer simulations… they are all just a part of my need to express myself, to share a part of that which makes up me and to go on with the journey!