We begin our exploration of the Kalevala, the epic national poem of Finland. Hear our introduction to this amazing poem, compiled by Elias Lönnrot as Finland sought independence from the Russian Empire. We introduce many of the main characters including Väinämöinen, the old, wise bard who was the inspiration for Gandalf of the Lord of the Rings. The prologue of the Kalevala describes Lönnrot's motivations, and aligns closesly with what we're trying to do at the Northern Myths Podcast. Join us as we start this new journey into this epic poem.

This is the Northern Myths Podcast, an archetypal exploration of the myths and legends of Northern Europe, including Norse mythology, the Finnish Kalevala, and more. If you'd like to support the show you can support us on Patreon here: Northern Myths Podcast Patreon

The Kalevala is the epic national poem of Finland. Compiled by Elias Lönnrot from folk poetry from throughout Finland, Karelia, Estonia, and what is now northwest Russia, the Kalevala describes the worldview of the Finnish people from ancient times through to the modern day. It includes the adventures of Väinämöinen and Joukahainen, Ilmarinen and Lemminkäinen, from the distant lands of Pohjola, to Kalevala's wide heathlands.

Check out our YouTube channel for videos of all episodes and interesting clips of the show: 
Northern Myths Podcast YouTube Channel

Show Outline:

0:00:00 - Introduction to the Kalevala, the history of Finland, and Elias Lönnrot
0:10:38 - Prelude: The purpose and creation of the Kalevala and the meaning for the Northern Myths Podcast
0:18:15 - Lines 0 - 10: The longing to sing the people's legends
0:32:26 - Lines 11 - 36: The coming together of peoples, introduction to the Finno-Ugric language group
0:43:21 - Introduction to Väinämöinen, Joukahainan, Kaukomieli (Lemminkäinen)
0:52:56 - Lines 37-50: The transmission of stories down the generations, introduction to Louhi, Vipunen
1:06:42 - Lines 51-70: The collection of legends from around the country
1:12:06 - Lines 71-102: The safeguarding of the legends and bringing them into the future
1:22:58 - Lines 103-116: Introduction to Ilmatar, mother of Väinämöinen
1:29:00 - Lines 117-126: Ilmatar sinks down to the precosmogonic waters
1:32:37 - Lines 127-136: A storm impregnates Ilmatar, the archetypal nature of Kalevala
1:41:03 - Lines 137-150: Ilmatar was pregnant for a long time, no offspring was perfected
1:47:47 - Lines 151-176: Ilmatar prays to Ukko to deliver her from her torment
2:01:53 - Conclusion, Recap, and Acknowledgements

If you'd like to follow along with us or learn more about the ideas we talk about on the show, we have a list of recommended books on our website. Included are our recommended copies of the Poetic Edda and the Kalevala, as well as books about archetypal narrative, comparative religion, and more: Recommended Books

We also have Northern Myths Podcast merchandise available at our official shop.

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