The king was so impressed with Leif that he invited Leif to stay in Norway.
Leif decided there was no reason to rush back home to Greenland, so he accepted
the offer. While in Norway, he marveled at all the wonderful things and rested
in the lap of luxury
One day, while playing chess with Leif, King Olaf told him of how he used to
also worship the gods Leif did. He also told him of how a plague had struck
Norway and how many people had died. Then he told Leif of how he turned away
from those gods and began to worship the living Christ. He was baptized along
with thousands of Norwegians, and then the plague stopped.
Leif, not being very faithful to the Viking gods, became very interested in
Christianity. He finally agreed to be baptized and accept this new faith. On his
return voyage, he brought along a priest to spread the Christian faith to
Sometime after Leif had returned to Greenland, he became restless. He decided
to find the lands to the west of which Bjarni had spoke. So he bought Bjarni's
boat and set off with Thyrker and some men towards the north, following Bjarni's
course. After sailing up the western coast of Greenland, he sailed west for 600
miles and found a land with high glaciers and rock.
They landed, but were disappointed because the land seemed to be one huge
slab of rock. Because of this he named it Helluland (Slab Land or Flat Rock
Land), which is now believed to be Baffin Island. Leif then sailed south and
found another land. When he went ashore he found it to be flat with white
beaches and some trees. He named this land Markland (Woodland) which today is
believed to be the eastern coast of Canada.
Then Leif sailed southeast for two days and came to an island with a mainland
behind it. On this land the dew on the grasses seemed as sweet as honey. Here
Leif had some booths or temporary shelters built. But, the land here was so rich
that he decided to build at least one large house for the winter. On this land
there were salmon bigger than any the Vikings had ever seen before, there were
also very rich pastures there for their cattle (they had brought a few), and
there were rich forests covering this land.
After the houses were built, Leif sent out an exploration group to explore
the land. After one of these expeditions, Thyrker didn't return. The men
searched for him all day and finally found him the next morning. When they found
him he was very excited and blabbering in German. After he calmed down he
explained to the men that he had found grapes on this land.
Leif ordered his men to load grapes and timber onto the boat, and then they
settled in for the winter. But the winter here was very peculiar. No frost came
to the grasses. They also noticed that the days and nights were of more equal
When spring came and the men were ready to go, Leif gave this land a name,
Vinland, which either means Wineland or Pastureland. We now know Leif's Vinland
to be L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland.
Surprisingly, few people ever returned to Vinland, only Leif's sister and a
small group of settlers who were killed by Indians. Because of this, Europe
remained almost totally in the dark about the discovery of this new world. The
only references to it are in the Norse sagas where most of the information
concerning Leif Erikson is recorded.
- Encyclopedia Britannica
Just north of the most northerly Orkney Island, there is an eddy or whirlpool
called the Swelki (from Old Norse svelgr or sea-mill). At the bottom of the sea
floor in this spot is a magic mill, and with it are two giantesses, Grotti-Fenni
and Grotti-Menni, who grind and grind and grind.
Originally the mill was supposed to grind out good things, but when the
giantesses were enslaved and forced to turn the mill, they cursed it to grind
nothing but salt. And while they still are enslaved to the mill, to this day it
still grinds salt. The legend states that the whirlpool is caused by the waters
of the sea, pouring through the grind-stone's center hole. The Norse called the
great whirlpool maelstrom.
NORSE MEDITATION SYMBOL
LOKI THE TRICKSTER
The most unpredictable and certainly the most dangerous god in the Northern
pantheon was Loki. His activities ran from the merely mischievous to the
blatantly malicious. Supremely clever, Loki ensnared everyone in complicated
problems, to which he always supplied a remedy - through his solution often
engendered even greater troubles.
Loki is an immensely powerful magician, and shares with Odin the ability to
sex- and shape shift at will. His parents were both giants (the perpetual
enemies of the gods) and Loki had some unusual children, including the huge wolf
borne from Loki's brief dalliance with a giantess.
Loki was fair of face, and took many lovers, despite his constant criticism
of goddesses who did the same.