When broken down into its constituent parts,
the story reveals itself to be,
perhaps, very much a ‘young man’s’ myth.
There are, though, tantalising hints
and clues to something much deeper
and ultimately more satisfying.
It is almost as though at some point
in its transmission the culture
responsible for its delivery
suffered a sort of collective amnesia
as to its salient points which then
became confused with less resonant concerns.
Or maybe that, too, is simply part of the riddle?
That the divine brew should here ‘cling
so tenaciously’ to the feminine
is curious to say the least.
Gunnlod’s initial situation is somewhat ‘Sybilline’?
As too, is the insistence on
a specific number and shape of receptacles
for the ‘heady liquid’.
Could this refer to a physical attribute for instance?
The cauldron and jars, along with the augur,
used to access the inner recesses of the mountain,
are, in the original story, all given names.
Is this designed to futher emphasise the personal nature of the quest?