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Title: Grógaldr  
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Subject: Galdr, Svipdagsmál, Necromancy, Svipdagr, Eddic poetry
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Groa's Incantation by W. G. Collingwood

Grógaldr or The Spell of Gróa is the first of two poems, now commonly published under the title Svipdagsmál found in several 17th-century paper manuscripts with Fjölsvinnsmál. In at least three of these manuscripts, the poems are in reverse order and separated by a third eddic poem titled, Hyndluljóð.[1] For a long time, the connection between the two poems was not realized, until in 1854 Svend Grundtvig pointed out a connection between the story told in Gróagaldr and the first part of the medieval Scandinavian ballad of Ungen Sveidal[2]/Herr Svedendal/Hertig Silfverdal. Then in 1856, Sophus Bugge noticed that the last part of the ballad corresponded to Fjölsvinnsmál. Bugge wrote about this connection in Forhandlinger i Videnskabs-Selskabet i Christiania 1860, calling the two poems together Svipdagsmál. Subsequent scholars have accepted this title.[3]

Gróagaldr is one of six eddic poems involving Menglöð. He is all too aware of the difficulty of this: he presages this difficulty by stating that:

"she bade me travel to a place
where travel one cannot
to meet with fair Menglod"

His dead mother agrees with him that he faces a long and difficult journey but does not attempt to dissuade him from it.

Svipdag then requests his mother to cast spells for his protection.

Groa then casts nine spells, or incantations.


  1. ^ McKinnell, John; Meeting the Other in Old Norse Myth and Legend, D.S. Brewer, 2005, p. 202.
  2. ^ Ballad no. 70 in the second volume of his Danmarks gamle Folkeviser
  3. ^ Einar Ólafur Sveinsson, "Svipdag's Long Journey," Hereditas, Folklore of Ireland Society, Dublin, 1975.
  4. ^ Rydberg, Viktor, Undersökningar i Germanisk Mythologi, första delen, ch. 108;Falk, Hjalmar "Svipdagsmál," Arkiv för nordisk filologi, vol. 9-10, 1893-94.

External links

  • Grógaldr in Old Norse from «Kulturformidlingen norrøne tekster og kvad» Norway.
  • Grógaldr (Old Norse)
  • Grógaldr (English)
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