the dictionary of norse mythology


VALI 2 The youngest son of the god odin. His mother was rinda. Vali avenged balder's death by slaying the blind god hodur with his arrow. He was one of the few gods to survive ragnarok, the end of the world.Vali is a personification of the light of the days that grow longer as spring approaches. Because rays of light were often depicted as arrows, Vali was usually represented and worshiped as an archer. For that rea-son his month in old Norwegian calendars is desig-nated by the sign of the bow and is called Lios-beri, the light bringer. Lios-beri falls between the modern calendar's mid-January and mid-February. Vali, the Avenger Vali was the youngest son of the god odin. This myth tells of Vali's origins and of how he avenged the death of his half brother, Balder. It is part of Balder's Dream in the poetic edda.When Balder, Odin's beloved son, began having frightening dreams, Odin made a journey to the underworld to seek the knowledge of an ancient sybil. She told Odin that Balder would be killed and that his death would be avenged by another son of Odin's, Vali, as yet unborn. The child's mother would be Rinda. Vali would slay Hodur Balder's killer when he was but one night old, with his hands still unwashed and his hair uncombed.Odin next sent hermod, the messenger of the gods, to the wicked but powerful wizard rostioff, in Lapland, to find out more. Hermod took Odin's horse, sleipnir, and runic spear, and set off. The journey was long and there were many perils, but at last Her-mod reached the desolate country where the wizard dwelled. Rostioff was not welcoming. He took the form of a terrible giant and approached Hermod with a strong rope, but Hermod struck him with the magic staff, and the giant fell at once. Hermod bound Rostioff with his own rope.

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