Below is the song of the Lorelei, a beautiful water spirit with golden hair who lures sailors to their doom with the dangerous beauty of her song.
She was probably once a river Goddess. At an even earlier date, I believe her to have originally been the embodiment of Ran, a very ancient Nordic Goddess of deep waters and Death. Her sensual embrace brought the souls of brave Vikings travelling by sea to another realm, in otherworldly ecstasy.
A poem of this name, Lorelei, was made and popularized by Heinrich Heine in 1882. It provides the lyrics for the best known version of the song, and is meant to be sung while passing by the Lorelei rock on the river Rhine. Many people do sing it, as an act of homage to Nature and their ancestors… In essence, it is an ancient Pagan Germanic ritual which survives still….
I first heard this Heathen hymn, the Lorelei, when I was a teenager, with a train and ferry pass, traveling down the Rhine in a river boat. As we approached the sacred mountain everyone grew silent. Someone handed me a card with the words of the song and a picture of the Lorelei on it and we all started singing. It was a haunting, unearthly melody. All of us who sung it felt its power and beauty, and the mystery of it, and its great antiquity. No one mentioned that it was a religious song, but it was evident that we all knew it and felt the awe of it. Together, we sang the lovely, solemn prayer until we passed out of the sight of the great precipice where the spirit of the Goddess seemed to reside. Here is a choral group honoring the Lorelei in similar fashion.
Lorelei is alluded to in one of my videos, Mimisbrunner’s Mysteries. Please see here.
Here are the words.
Heinrich Heine, 1822 (1799-1856)
1. Ich weiß nicht, was soll es bedeuten,
Daß ich so traurig bin,
Ein Märchen aus uralten Zeiten,
Das kommt mir nicht aus dem Sinn.
Die Luft ist kühl und es dunkelt,
Und ruhig fließt der Rhein;
Der Gipfel des Berges funkelt,
2. Die schönste Jungfrau sitzet
Dort oben wunderbar,
Ihr gold’nes Geschmeide blitzet,
Sie kämmt ihr goldenes Haar,
Sie kämmt es mit goldenem Kamme,
Und singt ein Lied dabei;
Das hat eine wundersame,
3. Den Schiffer im kleinen Schiffe,
Ergreift es mit wildem Weh;
Er schaut nicht die Felsenriffe,
Er schaut nur hinauf in die Höh’.
Ich glaube, die Wellen verschlingen
Am Ende Schiffer und Kahn,
Und das hat mit ihrem Singen,
Die Loreley getan.
Here is one of the better translations..
Tr. Frank 1998
1. I cannot determine the meaning
Of sorrow that fills my breast:
A fable of old, through it streaming,
Allows my mind no rest.
The air is cool in the gloaming
And gently flows the Rhine.
The crest of the mountain is gleaming
In fading rays of sunshine.
2. The loveliest maiden is sitting
Up there, so wondrously fair;
Her golden jewelry is glist’ning;
She combs her golden hair.
She combs with a gilded comb, preening,
And sings a song, passing time.
It has a most wondrous, appealing
And pow’rful melodic rhyme.
3. The boatman aboard his small skiff, –
Enraptured with a wild ache,
Has no eye for the jagged cliff, –
His thoughts on the heights fear forsake.
I think that the waves will devour
Both boat and man, by and by,
And that, with her dulcet-voiced power
Was done by the Loreley.
May the mysterious Lorelei still reign as long as the rock form she has taken yet hovers over the misty banks of the Rhine…
For those interested in Odinist religion, or the Lorelei, you can contact me currently at Tel (321) 318-9726