Iðunn and Eden – Comparing Norse and judeo-Christian Myths

Given that it is the season of fall, when apples fall from trees, I thought I would discuss one of my favorite myths, which is that of Nordic goddess Iðunn.

Iðunn is the keeper of Asgard’s apples, which keep the Gods youthful. Her name is said to mean “ever young”, “rejuvenator”, or “the rejuvenating one.” She is the wife of Bragi, and she is portrayed as a kind and beautiful goddess.

For some reason, she is a necessary part of the God’s retaining their youthfulness, as they need for her to hand out the apples. When she is lured from Asgard by Loki, the Gods quickly deteriorate, becoming old, weak, and gray, and only become youthful again when she is returned. An apple a day not only keeps the doctor away, it also wards off old age!  The Gods of Asgard continue this ritual to survive until Ragnarok.

It appears Iðunn is very much a fertility goddess:

Some surviving stories regarding Iðunn focus on her youth-maintaining apples. English scholar Hilda Ellis Davidson links apples to religious practices in Germanic paganism. She points out that buckets of apples were found in the 9th-century Oseberg ship burial site in Norway and that fruit and nuts (Iðunn having been described as being transformed into a nut in Skáldskaparmál) have been found in the early graves of the Germanic peoples in England and elsewhere on the continent of Europe which may have had a symbolic meaning and also that nuts are still a recognized symbol of fertility in Southwest England.

Davidson notes a connection between apples and the Vanir, a group of gods associated with fertility in Norse mythology, citing an instance of eleven “golden apples” being given to woo the beautiful Gerðr by Skírnir, who was acting as messenger for the major Vanir god Freyr in stanzas 19 and 20 of Skírnismál. In Skírnismál, Gerðr mentions her brother’s slayer in stanza 16, which Davidson states has led to some suggestions that Gerðr may have been connected to Iðunn as they are similar in this way. Davidson also notes a further connection between fertility and apples in Norse mythology; in chapter 2 of the Völsunga saga when the major goddess Frigg sends King Rerir an apple after he prays to Odin for a child, Frigg’s messenger (in the guise of a crow) drops the apple in his lap as he sits atop a mound. Rerir’s wife’s consumption of the apple results in a six-year pregnancy and the caesarean section birth of their son—the hero Völsung.

How is a people (a race) kept “young”? By continually having more children through the generations, continuing our bloodlines and traditions.

The apple does not fall far from the tree.

What is happening to the White race right now? We are growing old and gray, and fewer young White children are being born to continue the cycle of rejuvenation. We have lost the gifts of Iðunn’s apples.

“Fruit of the womb” is also mentioned in the Bible, showing the association of bearing children with the gift of fruit.

Let us now consider the story of Eden, which seems to be an obvious phonetic connection to the Nordic goddess. As we all know, Eve is “tricked” into disobeying the psychopathic deity Yahweh by the serpent who has wrapped himself around the tree, and she convinces Adam to eat the apples with her. (It should be noted that a serpentine dragon also guards Hera’s golden apples, which are tended by the Hesperides aka Seven Sisters.)

“You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die,” says the God of the Abrahamics. The serpent tells Eve, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Who lied and who told the truth? Adam was presented the apple by his wife, a goddess in her own right, and did he die? No, he lived a long, long life, supposedly living to be 930 years old. A bite from the apple provided him with extreme youthfulness! Why would a good God not want to share this fruit with his Adam and Eve? Why would he want to withhold knowledge from them?

To this day, apples are still symbols associated with education and knowledge.

Which myth seems to fit better with a healthy worldview? The one in which a benevolent, beautiful goddess bestows the gifts of youth upon our people or the one in which an evil woman curses all future generations by giving her husband forbidden fruit?

Hail Iðunn!

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