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Orpheus and Eurydice
A great tragedy struck newlyweds Orpheus and Eurydice the day after their beautiful wedding. Eurydice was poisoned by a snake and found dead by her new husband. After the funeral, Orpheus went travelling, seeking the land of the dead where he finds Hades and his wife Persephone. He pleads with them to give him back his Eurydice. With the help of the third sister of the Three Fates, who cuts the threads of lives, Orpheus is told to leave the kingdom and that Eurydice will follow him, so long as he doesn’t look behind him. On their way, Orpheus hears Eurydice stumble and turns to catch her, he glimpses her face and she disappears, the thread of her life is cut irrevocably this time and Orpheus never saw her again – at least not until many years later when he died and joined her in the shadowy kingdom.
This is a story told by the Viking people of Scandinavia. Balder was the most beautiful of all the gods and he is son of Odin, King of the gods. He had terrible dreams. To reassure and protect him, his mother, Frigg, summoned her servants to ride across the nine worlds and make all of creation promise not to harm him. Everything made the promise, except mistletoe which the servants took pity on as it seemed so tiny and weak. News spread and all the gods and goddesses marvelled at how Balder could come to no harm no matter what spears, arrows and stones were thrown at him. This news and that of the mistletoe reaches Loki, a trickster who fashions a bow from mistletoe and tricks Hoder, Balder’s blind twin into firing it at Balder, who dies. The Queen of the dead promises to bring him back if all of creation weeps for him. At Frigg’s behest, all does…except Loki.