2010-01-01

Last revision 2024-02-22

In the beginning:

Ginnunga-gap

The misleading gap

 

A great nothingness

According to old Icelandic texts, the universe started with a great void, a misleading gap. Then ice and fire started the creation of the visible world. This gap was called Ginnungagap.

 

Ginnungagap or gap var ginnunga

The Icelandic skalds were wordsmiths: they forged words and sounds together into kennings. A kenning is a word in which the meaning of the object or an aspect of the object is revealed. Thus 'branch-eater' is a kenning for fire, it reveals an aspect of fire. 'Water heater' could also be a kenning for fire, but (nowadays) also for an electric kettle or a central heating boiler.

The Völuspá 3 states: gap var ginnunga. This means: The gap was ginnunga, where ginnunga can be interpreted as mighty and young or as deception, joking. Space can be seen as a gap with galaxies.

The beginning of everything is ginnunga gap. This is a kenning for the universe. It is a deceptive (ginna, ginning) hole. It is also the open space (gap) for the great jester (ginnungr): Óðinn. At the same time it is the great young chaos: great (ginn) young (ungr) chaos (agi). You can compare these meanings with the maya concept of the Brahmins. According to the ancient indo-european insights, creation is a deception and you can only find the truth within yourself.

 

Zarvan Akarana

The idea that the creation started with an empty void is old and predates the separation between the Germanic peoples and 'the zoro-astrians'. See Edda means wit and Where did Germanic peoples come from.

According the oldest cosmology of the zoro-astrians the universe began as Zarvan Akarana. Zurvan is assumed to be 'a god' without gender and beyond (or before) good and bad. I believe, that Zarvan Akarana refers to empty space without time. Time is measured by the change of things. But when there is only an empty gap with nothing in it, then you can not measure time. So empty space is always timeless.

In my opinion it is a mistake to imagine Zurvan as a god or deity. Zurvan refers to something before the creation started. In the terminology of astrophysics: It refers to that what caused 'the big bang'. Any speculation of that 'something' seems pointless to me. (See: A modern vision of man and god)

Further reading: Iranian encyclopedia, Brittanica, zoroaster

 

Het grote gein gat (The great joke hole)

If I had to translate Ginnunga-gap into Dutch, I would call it 'Het grote gein gat' or in English 'The great joke hole'. Without any evidence it is stated, that the Dutch woord 'gein' comes from the Yiddish word 'chein'. See etymologie.nl. But 'een geintje uithalen' has a strong relation with deception as a joke. So 'gein' could also be similar to 'ginna' and 'ginning'.

The Dutch language also has the word 'ginnegappen'. The oldest form of this word is in a sentence dated 1613: 'wat let u te ginnegabben?' (Why would you not laugh mockingly?) See etymologie.nl. Ginnegappen generally means making verbal jokes and laugh mockingly.

 

The Great Young Chaos

The description of Ginnunga-gap in the old Icelandic texts show a picture of an enormous expanse that is young and chaotic. So I like to believe, that Ginnunga-gap also means 'The Great Young Chaos'.

According to astrophysicists, the Universe started with a big bang. They do not supply any evidence for the bigness of the bang. Nor do they dare to speculate about the cause of the bang. Perhaps the creator of the Universe ate beans and onions and he let out a string of farts. And one of these farts could be our Universe. Was it a big bang or perhaps a small bang? Perhaps our whole Universe is nothing more than a tiny bang. That would be a good joke.

But it seems likely, that in the beginning the Universe was a Great Young Chaos.

 

 

Völuspá 3

In the Völuspá we read:

 

At the beginning of the old cycle

the place were Ymir lived

there was no sand or sea

and no cool waves.

Jörð was not created

nor the sky above

empty space was mighty and young

and there was no grass.

The last line gives evidence, that this story is ancient. The old Germanic peoples probably came from tribal people that lived on horseback in Central Asia. No grass means no horses. See: Where did Germanic peoples come from.

I interpret 'ginnunga' as 'ginn ungr' which translates to mighty, great and young. 'Ginnunga' translates to deception, joking. Then the translation of the 7th line would be:

empty space was deceptive

 

 

Völuspá 4

In the Völuspá we read:

When the sons of Bur

lifted the ground (above sea-level)

there appeared glorious Middle Earth.

And they created the sun, shining from the south

and it shone on a hall of stone (Middle Earth).

The ground thawed and became grassy with leek.

(So there was food for the horses.)

 

 

gylfaginning 4

In the gylfaginning we read:

Gangleri said: "What was the beginning. How did things start? What was before?"

Hárr answered: "As is told in Völuspá:"

This text is not equal to the text in the Völuspá that we know. In gylfaginning 5 this unknown Völuspá is called 'other shorter Völuspá'.

At the beginning of the old cycle

then there was nothing

there was no sand or sea

and no cool waves.

Jörð was not created

nor the sky above

empty space was might and young

and there was no grass.

 

There are four different versions of the gylfaginning. At some places there are huge differences. See gylfaginning. I give two versions here under.

Version Codex Regius.

Then said Just-as-high

Before there were so many cycles

before Jörð (Mother Earth) was shaped

Niflheimar was made ready.

In the center there is a spring

hver-gelmir it is named.

and from there flow

rivers with these names.

svöl gunnþrá fjörm fimbul þul slíðr ok hríð sylgr ok ylgr víð leiptr

Gjöll is nearest to the gate of Hal.

 

Then said Third

First was Muspell made, a world in the southern half (of Ginnunga gap).

It is bright and hot, blazing and burning.

It is impassable for those that are not decended from Surtr

it is outlandish

There is no solid land there, everything is molten.

To protect the world (Muspellr) he (surtr) has a flaming sword.

And when it comes to the end of the world (Middle Earth) he comes

to wage war and slay all gods

and burn all homes with all the people.

so says the Völuspá.

 

Völuspá 52

In the Völuspá we read:

At the time of ragna rök

Surtr comes from the south with distorted cries,

his sword shines like the sun.

The gods that are destined to fall

are crushed with stones,

when bloodthirsty savages roam Middle Earth.

Men go on the road to Hall

and the sky is cloven (by the flaming sword of Surtr).

The second line is usually interpreted as 'með sviga lævi'. This does not connect to Icelandic words. The original manuscript is hard to read. The last letter of the word 'læti' or 'lævi' is interpreted as an 'i', but it also looks like an 'a'. The letter before that looks a bit like letters that are used for 'v', but it is not exactly the same.

The fourth line: valtíva is interpreted as val tíva, where tíva translates to 'gods'. Tíva generally refers to the Ace Týr. But in poetic writings it is often used as 'god'. At the end of the cycle we get the fall of 'the regin', the ruling powers or 'gods'. Perhaps the meaning of this line is that these 'gods' are clashed with stones.

 

 

gylfaginning 5

In the gylfaginning we read:

The rivers mentioned above are named élivágar. When they were so far from where they gushed out, a poison that came along with the rivers came to life and hardened like a slag of dross. And that what flows out brought forth (something, a creature) and that became ice. Then ice became a place (or a world). And when the rivers flowed no more, then the vapor came down like drizzling rain, and that was poisonous, and it froze to rime. Rime covered rime, layer upon layer and it became a very unpromising creature in Ginnungagap.

It is usually assumed that élivágar comes from él vágar. Then it translates to 'ice waves' or 'rivers of rain'. But perhaps we should read it as eldi vágar. Then we can interpret élivágar as 'waves of creation'. In these streams there was a quickening. And then Ymir, the primordial giant, came to life.

The manuscripts read eitr kvikja. The usual translation of eitr is poison. I can not find any other possible translation of this word. But it feels wrong. Why are these rivers poisonous? Why came Ymir (the primordial giant) from poison? Was it Christian prejudice of Snorri Sturluson? Or has the word eitr also another meaning?

 

What we know of Ginnunga-gap, is that the northern part is filled with the quality of heaviness, with ice and rime, very hard to deal with, and there is a drizzling rain and gusts of smelly fog. But the southern part of Ginnunga-gap is light and sparkling and every where there are sparkles from Muspellr.

Then Third said: "Like the cold was supported by Niflheimar (land of mists) and all things that are grim, so was that what had knowledge (wit) of Múspellr called light. And Ginnunga gap was warm as air without wind. And then there was an encounter between rime and wind heated (by Muspellr). Thus there was a battle of fire and ice, which melted the ice to a dripping rain. And then this dripping fluid was brought to life by the power that was sent by the heat and it got a manly form that was named Ymir. But ice giants call him Aurgelmi (roaring mud, roaring clay). And then came the race of ice giants. So it was declared in the other shorter Völuspá:

Note: In the text it is said: Then came the race of Ice giants. It does not say, that the ice giants descended from Ymir. But perhaps that was what the writer wanted to say. As far as I know, there is not an exact specification in the old Icelandic writings about the origin of the hrímþursar (Ice giants) and jötnar (Fire giants). Nor is it stated when these giants came into being. In my interpretation the hrímþursar and the jötnar already existed before Ymir. The jötnar live in 'the southern part' of ginnungagap and the hrímþursar live in 'the northern part'.

This quote from 'the other shorter Völuspá' seems wrong. seiðberendr comes from seiðr bera. It can be interpreted as 'those who produce (or give birth to) the seidr and bear themselves proudly and humbly. So the seiðberendr are the volva's. They are devoted to Freya and not to Óðinn. And they are already named in the first two lines. Ymir has just been described as a product of the battle between the heat of Muspellr and the cold of Niflheimar. How can Fire giants decent from Ymir? The fire giants already lived in Jötunheimar. And the ice giants already lived in Niflheimar. (That is how I interpret the old texts.) It is possible that the writer of this text assumed that jötnar were the same as the hrímþursar. And that he not made a distinction between ice giants and fire giants. From a shamanic poit of view that is problematic. These lines seem to be the product of someone who did not know the old wit.

 

From Aurgelmir comes with the sons of the jötna (plural of jötunn) the Jötunn who is foremost in wit (of knowledge).

These lines seem wrong to me. And these lines are not in the Codex Upsaliensis version. It seems to me, that these lines have been added later by someone without enough wit (knowledge) of the old cosmology. Aurgelmir is how the Ice giants call Ymir. Ymir was born out of the battle of Ice and Fire. Ice melted and became liquid and vapors. Out of these four elements Ymir was born. The word Jötunn means devourer and refers to fire. 'Devourer of wood' is a kenning for fire. The jötna are the Fire giants. It seems to me, that they existed before Ymir. The hrímþursar (ice giants) also existed before Ymir. But in the following quoted verse of Vafþrúðnismál it is stated, that Ymir was a Jötunn. I see three different explanations for this discrepancy:

  • My shamanic interpretation deviates from what the Icelandic people believed.

  • The writers of these text had forgotten about the nature of the several races of giants.

  • There were many different believes and stories about the 'supernatural beings'.

 

Vafþrúðnismál 31

In the Vafþrúðnismál we read:

Poisonous drops spat out of the Élivágar (ice waves or waves of creation) and they became a jötunn.

The last two lines do not exist in the Vafþrúðnismál and are taken from Gylfaginning (Snorri Sturluson's Edda). The Codex Regius version has the lines shown above. But I replaced the word órar with ór ár. The word órar doesn't make sense. The interpretation then becomes:

From the river (came poisonous drops and formed to Ymir and from that came) a race (that) lives all together. They are so very ugly and hideous.

The Codex Upsaliensis version has the following text:

I assume, that these line refers to the race of ice giants or hrímþursar. And that these hrímþursar exist from the first beginning, before Ymir came to life. But the text is not clear.

 

 

The picture:

runictarot/jpeggroot/shields/Ginnungagap.jpg

This picture is completely black.

 

Explanation:

Creation has yet to begin. The deceptive hole is still completely void and without light. This is the period before the 'Big Bang'. There is absolutely nothing yet.

This is also the period before conception. When the man injects his red-hot semen into the dark primordial matter (the egg), the darkness splits and creation begins. This hasn't happened yet. The egg is still unfertilized. The first mating has yet to take place.

 

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Edda means wit

When you put a 'V' before the word Edda, you get Vedda or Veda.

Vedda or Wedda is related to the Dutch word 'weten' and the Germand word 'wissen' (to know) and the English word 'Wit'

The Edda, the Rig Veda en the Zend Avesta have the same origin.

Where did Germanic peoples come from

According to DNA research of David Reich et al. the Germanic people came from Central Asia from the Yamnaya culture.

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and I am firmly against privacy violations.

 

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This website has a lot of pages and a lot of information. This page will give you information about how to navigate these websites.

Man and god

A modern vision of man and god.

 

Anima Mundi is the soul of the world. Individual people can be seen as 'nerve cells of the earth'. Humanity can be seen as 'the nervous system of the earth'. Is the totality of humanity causing a higher consciousness? Is Anima Mundi self-conscious?

Who and what is Firewolf

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Firewolf about spiritual subjects

Firewolf about science and spirituality

Information about consultations and healings

Andreas Firewolf is a shamanic healer. But he does NOT heal your physical body. For physical diseases you should consult a medical professional.

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Nine layers

A model of the cosmos

This is a description of a model of the cosmos. A new cosmology. This model has nine three-dimensional layers. Several forces connect these layers through the fourth dimension.

Most people believe, that they can see the physical world, but that is not possible. Our senses perceive an abstraction of the physical word. What we 'see' is a mental image of the world.

Man and god

A modern vision of man and god.

 

Anima Mundi is the soul of the world. Individual people can be seen as 'nerve cells of the earth'. Humanity can be seen as 'the nervous system of the earth'. Is the totality of humanity causing a higher consciousness? Is Anima Mundi self-conscious?

Gaia and Anima Mundi

According to the Gaia hypothesis, the earth is a living being. Anima Mundi is the world soul, who gives life to the earth.

We can compare individual people with individual nerve cells in the human body. And humanity as the nervous system of Mother Earth.

Questions: Does Anima Mundi have self-awareness? Does humanity collectively form a self-conscious being? Do we as humanity enable the self-awareness of Anima Mundi?

The Harmful Consequences of Selfishness

You can solve problems together with others!

 

Don't be a green frog that lets itself boil because it doesn't dare to jump out of its comfort zone. Jump out of your pan and become a fully human!

Spiritual Materialism pollutes the astral worlds

Materialism is the attachment to possessions, status or wealth. Spiritual materialism is the attachment to spiritual status, attachment to a particular belief. The idea that you are higher because you have a certain faith, or follow a certain spiritual teaching, is an expression of spiritual materialism.

Spiritual materialism is also the use of spiritual means to achieve selfish earthly goals.

Mental, emotional and sentimental hygiene

Today (2018) there are many non-physical epidemics. One epidemic of madness and/or idiocy is not over and the next is already on its way.

Non-physical epidemics arise from lack of:

Save the world or save yourself?

There is nothing wrong with the world

Change yourself

The world is changing

How do you save yourself?

ginn

mighty, great

ungr

young

ginnunga

mighty and young | deception | joking

ginna

to dupe, fool one | to decoy, entice

ginning

deception, befooling

gap

gap, empty space | shouting, crying

ginnungr

juggler, lister

agi

awe, terror | uproar, turbulence | discipline, constraint

ár

year | plenty | name of a Rune | oar | first beginning | anciently, of yore | early

var

was

alda

a heavy (swelling) wave, a roller | time, age | old cycle

þar

there, at that place

er

who, which, what | am, is

ymir

ymir

byggði

inhabited

vara

was | to warn, caution | to give (one) a foreboding of | wares

sandr

sand | the sea shore

nor

sær

sea | seen

svalar

balcony | to chill, cool

unnir

waves

jörð

jörð (the earth, Mother Earth)

fannsk

found

æva

never | at any time | not

upphiminn

up-heaven

en

but, and, if, when

gras

grass, herbage, herb

hvergi

each, every one | whosoever | nowhere | by no means, not at all

áðr

already | before, heretofore | a little while | before

burs

burs

synir

sons

bjöðum

bottom (lowest ground) | flat land

um

around, about, all over, past, beyond, across, along, during, in the course of, at, in regard to, because of, above

yppðu

lift up | raise

þeir

those

miðgarð

Middle Earth

mæran

famous, glorious, illustrious

skópu

shape, create, form

sól

the sun

skein

shines

sunnan

from the south | in the south

á

on, upon, in

salar

hall, great room

steina

to stain, colour, paint | stone | pit of a fruit

þá

then, at that time, at every moment, there-upon, in that case, when | thawed ground

grund

green field, grassy plain

gróin

grow, to grow (of vegetation)

grœnum

became green

lauki

leek

þat

from, that, it, so

ekki

nothing, nought | heavy, sobbing, sorrow, grief

eigi

one's own, one's property | not | new sprout of corn

mælti

to speak

jafnhár

Just-as-high

fyrr

before, sooner, rather

mörgum

many

öldum

time, age, cycle, period

sköpuð

to shape, form, mould, make, create, to take shape

niflheimr

niflheimr (home of mist)

görr

skilled, accomplished, ready, willing

ok

and, as, and yet, but, then, also

í

in, within, among, during, in regard to, by means of, through

honum

him

miðjum

middle, center

liggr

to lie (down, on something)

bruðr

spring, well

that, such

hvergelmir

hvergelmir

heitir

named

þaðan

thence, from there, after that

af

off, from; out of; past, beyond; of; with; denoting parentage, descent, origin; on account of, by reason of; by means of, in regard to;

falla

to be mistaken, to prove false | to fall | to flow (of water)

þær

they

svá

so, thus, also

heita

to call, give a name, named after one | to invoke | to heat | to brew, brewing

slíðr

fierce, cruel, fearful

hríð

storm, snowstorm | storm of troops in battle

sylgr

a drink of something, a draught

leiptr

lightning flash

gjöll

barker

næst

nearest, next, thereafter, thereupon

hel

Hal

grindum

a gate made of spars or bars, a fence | pen, fold | haven, dock | storehouse

var

was

mælir

spake, stated | measure

þriði

the third

fyrstr

first

þó

yet, though, nevertheless, still

heimr

a place of abode, a region or world

suðrhálfu

southern half

muspell

Muspell

hann

he

ljóss

light, bright, shining | light colored | clear, evident

heitr

hot, burning

at

towards, against, to, along, around, at, in | was not | an incited conflict or fight

logandi

blazing

brennandi

burning

ófœrr

impassable | disabled | impossible

þeim

them

eru

are

útlendir

outlandish

eigu

to have, to possess, to own

óðul

ancestral property, family homestead, native place | inheritance

surtr

surtr

nefndr

not found

sitr

sitting, staying

lands

lands

enda

to end, coming to an end

til

till, until, to, of, on, too

landvarnar

protection of the land

hefir

has, to have

loganda

flaming, blazing

sverð

sword

veraldar

world, age

mun

will, shall

fara

to move, pass along | to travel

herja

to go harrying or free-booting, to despoil, waste | to harry (wage war on) one another

sigra

to vanquish, overcome | to surpass | to gain a victory

öll

all

guðin

gods, goddess

brenna

to burn | burning | the burning of a house or person

allan

all, everybody

heim

home, homewards

með

1. with, along with, together with; 2. denoting help, assistance; 3. by means of; 4. through, with, using; 5. including, inclusive of; 6. among, between; 7. denoting inward quality; 8. along; 9. altogether, quite;

eldi

procreation | fetus, offspring | maintenance, feeding

segir

to say, to tell, to declare

völuspá

völuspá

hér

here

frá

from, from among, beyond

muspells

muspells

heimi

homeland

surti

surti

fyrst

first, foremost

muspellsheimr

muspellsheimr

ófœrt

impassable | disabled | impossible

útlendum

outlandish

mönnum

men

ræðr

give advice, counsel

fyrir

before, in front, for, at, ago, above, over, along

heims

homes

hendi

(ones) hand

koma

to come, to arrive

goðin

gods

heiminn

world

þriði

derde

ferr

travels

sviga

curved, switch

læti

noise, cries, manners, voice

skínn

shining

sverði

sword

valtíva

fallen god

grjót

stones

björg

help, deliverance, out of need

gnata

to clash

gífr

witch, hag, bloodthirsty, savage

rata

to travel, roam

troða

to tread

halir

men

helveg

hell-road

himinn

heaven

klofnar

cleaved

hár

high, tall, highest | thole | hair | dog-fish | name for Óðinn

kallaðar

to call, shout, cry | to summon, to invoke | to say, to claim | to name

élivágar

élivágar

váru

were

langt

long, far, distant | longing | wearisome

komnar

come

uppsprettunni

gush out and up, effervesce up

eitr

poison

kvikja

to quicken, come to life, to be kindled, to revive

that, that one | to sow

fylgði

followed

harðnaði

to harden, become hard

sem

as, so as, such as

sindr

slag or dross, iron-scales

renn

flows, streams, runs

ór

out of, from, made of, beyond measure, after

eldinum

bring forth, to maintain, to feed

varð

became

íss

ice

gaf

gave

staðar

location, place, spot

rann

large house | flow, stream, channel

héldi

to cover with rime, to fall as rime

yfir

over, above

þannig

that way, thither, this way, thus, so

úr

drizzling rain

stóð

strut | stand, stood | support, help, assist | stud (male horse)

eitrinu

poisonous

fraus

froze

hrími

hoarfrost, rime

jók

to augment, increase, to impregnate, to add, to surpass, exceed

hrímit

rime covered

hvert

whither, where, whithersoever

annat

second

allt

very ugly, very unpromising or unfavourable

ginnungagap

the great void, primeval chaos

él

shower of rain, snow or hail

vágar

wave, sea, creek, bay, matter from a sore

vissi

past tense of vit (to know)

norðrs

northern

ættar

family, race

fyltisk

filled with (?)

þunga

to load

höfugleik

heavy to deal with

hríms

rime, hoar frost

inn

in, into

gustr

gust, smell

hinn

the other, the others, the rest | the

syðri

more southern

hlutr

lot

ginnungagaps

ginnungagaps

léttisk

to lighten, to lift, to leave off

móti

against, contrary to | in the direction of, towards | in return for

gneistum

sparkling

síum

all around (?)

flugu

flying, flew

muspellsheimi

muspellsheimi

kalt

cold

niflheimi

niflheim (land of mists)

allir

everybody, everyone, all

hlutir

lot, share, part, thing, object

grimmir

grim

námunda

near to

muspelli

muspell

heitt

to be called, to be named, to promise (something to someone)

ljóst

light, bright, shining, fair, clear, evident, plain

hlætt

warm, mild

lopt

air, atmosphere, sky

vindlaust

without wind

mœttisk

met, encountered

hrímin

rime, hoar frost

blær

gentle breeze, gust of wind

hitans

heat, heating

bráðnaði

to melt, to thaw, to become liquid

draup

to drip, fall in drops, to let it rain, be leaky, to droop with the head

kvikudropum

drop of a fluid

kviknaði

quickened, brought to life, kindled, awakened, revived

krapti

powered, strengthened, empowered

þess

so, thus, of that kind, in so far as, yet so that, the more, so much the more

sendi

sent

hitann

heat

manns

manly

líkandi

form, shape

hrímþussar

hrímþursar, ice giant

kalla

to call, shout, cry | to summon, to invoke | to say, to claim | to name

aurgelmi

aurgelmi, roaring clay

ættir

parts of the heaven, eight directions | family, race

hrímþussa

hrímþurs, ice giant

hinni

the other, the next

skömmu

shorter

völur

volva

allar

everybody, everyone, all

viðólfi

wit-alf alf with knowledge

vitkar

sorcerers

vilmeiði

vilmeiði (name of Óðinn)

seiðberendr

bearers of the seidr

svarthöfða

black head (name of Óðinn)

jötnar

fire giants

komnir

came

seiðr

spell, charm, enchantment, incantation

bera

to bear, carry, convey | to wear | produce, yield | give birth to | to bear one down, overcome, oppress | to lear, be capable of bearing | to charge or tax one with | to set forth, report, tell | to keep, hold, bear | to bear off | to surpass | to bear oneself proudly (humbly) | she-bear

vafþrúðnir

vafþrúðnir (mighty weaver)

jötunn

giant

hvaðan

from where, whence

aurgelmir

aurgelmir, roaring clay

kom

comes, to come

jötna

plural of jötunn

sonum

son, sons

fróði

knowledgeable, learned

kvað

said

élivágum

élivágar

stukku

jumped, leaped

eitrdropar

poisonous drops

óx

grew

unz

till, until

saman

together, in common

því

therefore, because, for, why, the

æ

aye, ever, always

atalt

fierce, hideous, loathsome

órar

fits of madness, craziness, wild fancies

einar

only

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