Thursday, 11 March 2010

Berserker - Ulfhednar

"Berserker" - when a warrior became so angry that he lost control.

It was said to be linked to bears and bearlike qualities. "Ulfednar", or Wolf Head, was a warrior robed in a wolf pelt, who entered battle during his manic anger.

Soldiers and warriors have been called predatory beasts, associated with bears and wolves and other vicious animals. Military emblems often feature carnivorous species, even though they can display horses, stags and mythical creatures too but of those of loyal strength, anger and physical power.

The animal spirit or Fylgia shows itself in a warrior's rage.

A blessing on weaponry by Allfather Odin:

A third song I know, if sore need should come
of a spell to stay my foes;
When I sing that song, which shall blunt their swords,
nor their weapons nor staves can wound
An eleventh I know, if haply I lead
my old comrades out to war,
I sing 'neath the shields, and they fare forth mightily;
safe into battle,
safe out of battle,
and safe return from the strife.
(Lee M. Hollander, trans. Poetic Edda. Austin.
Univ. of Texas Press. 1962. pp. 44-45) 

Shapechanging was visually observed while men became beserk and werewolf legends are full of battling males and bloodthirst. 

For more info on the BERSERKER visit:
Viking Answer Lady 

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