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Thursday, 31 December 2009

The Four Sacred Treasures of the Tuatha De Danann


When the ancient Irish Gods, the Tuatha De Danann left their Hyperborean Urheimat to colonize Eire with the permission of their chief God, The Dagda they brought with them 4 sacred objects which feature in Celtic Mythology, the Stone of Destiny[Lia Fail], the Spear of Lugh[Slea Luin], the Sword of Nuada[Claiomh Solais] and the Cauldron of the Dagda[Coire Ansease].

The Stone of Destiny

This sacred stone is the stone on which the High Kings of Eire stood at Tara to confirm their right to the throne. It would confirm the election of the rightful ruler by roaring. The stone was sent to Scotland in the 6th century CE for the crowning of Fergus the Great. An ancient prophecy said that wherever the stone was a king of the Scotic race would reign. The said stone was further removed to England in 1297 by Edward I and became the Coronation Stone in Westminster Abbey. The current monarch can trace her descent back to the very same Scotic or Irish-Milesian rulers. The stone was returned to Scotland in 1996 where it currently resides in Edinburgh Castle. However any future British monarch will still be crowned on this stone when it has been temporarily returned to Westminster Abbey.
The Northumbrian rune stave Stan is esoterically linked to the stone.

The Spear of Lugh

Lugh is cognate with the Germanic God Woden/Wotan/Odin and both possessed a sacred spear. In Germanic mythology this is called Gungnir and runes were engraved on the tip of the spear. This spear was both a practical magical weapon and also a symbol of the divine authority of both of these Gods.
The Northumbrian rune stave Gar is esoterically linked to the spear. Gar is Old English and is cognate with the Old High German Ger, both having the meaning of `spear`.
T.W. Rolleston in his Myths and Legends of the Celtic Race[1911] also draws a link to the Hammer of Thor and to the lightening weapon of the Aryo-Indian Thunder God Indra which is suggestive of a common Indo-European magico-cultural inheritance. It also suggests an association with the swastika which is also called the Hammer of Thor.

The Sword of Nuada

Nuada or Nuada of the Silver Hand like the Germanic God Tir was one handed. He lost one of his hands in battle whilst Tir lost his hand as the result of a false oath made to the Fenris wolf.
Nuada was the first king of the Tuatha De Danann and had cognates with the Welsh Nudd and the Gaulish Nodens. A silver hand was fitted to replace his natural one but this blemish subsequently made him unfit to rule the Tuatha De Danann. Interestingly Tir was the original Germanic sky God and may be traced back to a much earlier Indo-European deity long before the emergence of Woden who was subsequently portrayed as Tir`s father and became the primary God of the Teutonic peoples in Tir`s place. The Germanic myths do not explain this apparent `fall from grace`.
The Common Germanic Tiwaz rune stave is Tir`s rune and may be esotrically linked to this sacred object. Some Wodenists also make an association with the Northumbrian rune stave Cweorth although for the time being I can detect no direct link with the sword. Its appearance at the end of the 33 Northumbrian rune row makes it very tempting to draw such an association as the other 3 `Grail` runes certainly are linked with these sacred Celtic treasures.



The Cauldron of the Dagda

The cauldron was a talisman of abundance and regeneration and also appears in the Welsh myth of Bran the Blessed and in the works of the Welsh Bard Taliesin. Not only could the Cauldron feed a host of men but the bodies of fallen warriors immersed inside it would be regenerated but the said regenerated bodies lacked the power of speech.
Cauldrons feature prominently in Celtic myth and I am reminded of the famous Gundestrup Cauldron found in 1891 in a peat bog in Denmark. It is thought to date to the 1st century BCE which would place it within the late La Tene Iron Age period. The mythical and religious figures that feature upon the sides of the cauldron support the view of the Cauldron being an object of regeneration and/or sacrifice.
It is likely that the Cauldron is the original `Holy Grail` and it is interesting that the extant Arthurian literature usually portrays the Grail also as an object of abundance and regeneration.
This sacred object is linked esoterically with the Northumbrian rune stave Calc which is a rune of transformation, a key attribute of the `Holy Grail`.

It is tempting to also draw a special link between the the Sword and the Stone. Arthurian myth places the sword Excalibur in a stone. This of course could be just a simple stone but whilst the sword Excalibur had a supernatural origin like the Sword of Lugh it was also a symbol of divine kingship like the Stone of Destiny and the Sword of Nuada.

Likewise one may draw a special link between the Spear of Lugh and the Cauldron of the Dagda as they also represent the spear of the Celtic hero Parsifal and the Holy Grail of Arthurian myth.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Eire and the Aryan Connection


Ireland, Erin, Eireann or Eire represents probably the earliest place of settlement of the invading Aryan tribes from the east.
Irish mythology makes reference to five invasions. They are as follows:

The coming of the Partholan into Ireland.

The coming of the Nemed into Ireland.

The coming of the Firbolgs into Ireland.

The invasion of the Tuatha De Danaan.[The folk of the god whose mother is Dana].

The invasion of the Milesians[Sons of Miled] and the conquest of the Tuatha De Danaan.

We know that at least some of these if not all of the invading peoples were of Aryan stock.
As a minimum the Milesians are regarded as the ancestors of the Irish Gaels and the Tuatha De Danaan are widely referred to as the deities of the Irish people. In Irish mythology myth and history seem to blend and mortals and immortals do not appear to have such clear dividing lines between them as in say the Teutonic mythology.

The sciences of comparative linguistics, mythology and modern genetic testing all point to the Irish people having been in possession of Ireland from the earliest days of the Aryan dispersal.
It is conceiveable that the Aryans did not arrive in Ireland all at the same time but came in waves of immigration and possibly using different routes. Mythology tells us that the Milesians came by the way of Spain.

Ulick J. Bourke gives abundant linguiistical evidence in his Aryan Origin of the Gaelic Race and Language for the great antiquity of the Irish tongue putting it on a par with Sanskrit, Greek and Latin.

He has this to say about the various invasions:
"All these different migrations had come forth from the Keltic family home; and all spoke the same language. All were Aryan. Thus the ancient annals of Ireland accord most wonderfully with the teaching of the science of comparative philology."

One has only to look at the name or names of Ireland itself to see this ancient Aryan connection.

"For those who for whatever reason wish to resist the idea that the Celtic mythology and religion[as well as culture] is essentially based on Indo-European roots, it might be noted that the first element in the names Ire-land and Ira-n are the same liguistically, and both are related to the Arya-ns of India. Thus the great span of Indo-European culture, from the middle of Asia to the westernmost islands of Europe, can be seen in its full expanse from ancient times."
[Edred Thorsson , aka Dr Stephen Edred Flowers, The Book of Ogham]

This theme is further emphasised by Peter Berresford Ellis, author of various books on Celtic mythology, history and culture, "To demonstrate some of the similarities of vocabulary between Old Irish and Sanskrit, we may refer to the following: arya[freeman] in Sanskrit, from which that much maligned word Aryan comes from. In Old Irish, the cognate is aire meaning "a noble"." [The Mammoth Book of Celtic Myths and Legends].

In addition to the Aryan connection with the name Ire-land there is also the equally explicit connection with Er-in, Eire, Eireann[pronounced `Aryan`. The Ar Aryan prefix is cognate with Ir and Er and many examples of such connections may be found in other Indo-European languages. What they have in common is their meaning-Land of the Aryans, which is linguistically the same as Aryavarta[Sanskrit] or Iran/Eran.

The Aryan connection may also found in the names of some of the ancient Irish deities, eg Eremon. The name of this Irish god is cognate with Ariomanus a god from Celtic Gaul which in turn is cognate with the Sankrit Aryaman and the Iranian airyaman.[J.P. Mallory and D.Q. Adams, The Oxford Introdution to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World].

According to Irish mythology Eremon was one of three Milesian leaders who set out for the conquest of Ireland. Initially he occupied the north but after a war he became victorious and ruled the whole of Ireland from the sacred centre of Tara.
Prior to this Ireland at one time was ruled by three Danaan kings. The wife of one of these kings was called Eriu. Her name has persisted through the course of time and in the dative form her name, Erinn is now a poetic name for Ireland or Eire.
Professor L. Austine Waddell writes: "And Ireland of the Irish-Scots has also its "Holy Isles", with very ancient remains, including a magnificent "prehistoric" fort of cyclopean masonry in the Hitt-ite style, in Galway Bay, and also significantly named "Aran" or "Arran", which like the name "Erin" and "Ir-land", in series with the "Airy-ana" or "Ir-an" or "Land of the Aryans" of the ancient Sun-worsipping Aryans in the Orient." [The Phoenician Origin of Britons, Scots and Anglo-Saxons].

Sunday, 9 August 2009

The Horned God Archetype


The horned God is an archetype common in many Aryan mythologies, most especially amongst the northern Europeans. The renowned Wotanist Ron McVan writing in his Creed of Iron Wotansvolk Wisdom states "Through anthropological research one can trace the line of horned god prototypes back to Paleolithic times. The earliest known representation of such a figure is found painted on the interior walls of the Caverne des Trois Freres in Ariege, France and dates to the late Paleolithic period. Among an assemblage of animals, a figure of a man is clothed in the skin of a stag and wearing on his head the antlers of a stag. It seems evident from the relative position of all the figures that the man is dominant and that he is in the act of performing a ceremony."

He goes on to state "It is into the Bronze Age when the horned figure flourished again among the Indo-European[Aryan] tribes of Egypt, Mesopotamia and India. Horned gods were quite common in Mesopotamia, as in Babylon and Assyria. The copper head found in the gold tombs of Ur is believed to be earlier than the first Egyptian dynasty, displaying an advanced stage of metal working. When Alexander the Great raised himself above the kings of the earth and declared himself a `god`, he wore a horned head piece as a symbol of his divinity. Polytheism appears to have arisen among the Aryan cultures, East and West, with the amalgamation of tribes, each with its own gods. The horned deities were prevalent throughout Greece and Rome."

Greek mythology has its half man, half bull Minotaur and of course the half human and half goat God Pan.
In Egypt the Goddess Hathor was portrayed with cow`s horns and the God Osiris with the horns of fertility.
However what of the horned Gods of northern Europe? The most prevalent horned deity is Cernunnos. His image dates back as far as 20,000 years ago and was worshipped in pre-christian Gaul. The Gundestrup cauldron from Denmark features a stag-horned God believed to be Cernunnos. The cauldron dates back to the second-first century BCE.

"As a symbol, the stag is of considerable antiquity in the Celtic or proto-Celtic world. For hunters the stag with its tree-like antlers represented the spirit of the forest; its agility, speed and sexual vigour were admired, and there was a mystery in the autumn shedding and regrowth of the antlers in the spring, which could easily symbolise seasonal death and rebirth.

"Stag symbolism is prominent on the Gundestrup Cauldron where the stag-horned god Cernunnos is associated with a stag and where on another plate, a god grasps a stag in each hand.
"In the case of Cernunnos. who is often represented with a stag as well, being antlered himself, one sees the adoption of the animal-attribute perhaps to symbolise the very close and indeed essential rapport between beast and deity."[The Gods of the Celts. Miranda Green].

Cognate with Cernnunos is the name of the God Cerne, whose image as the Cerne Abbas giant lies on Giant Hill above the village of Cerne Abbas in Dorset, England. He is renowned for his errect phallus and mighty club. The figure does not have horns but Eric L. Fitch author of In Search of Herne the Hunter speculates that Cerne was once horned and thus further linking him with Cernunnos. He also mentions that the name Cornwall in both its English version and its Cornish[Kernow] refers to "the corner, curved shape or horn-like aspect of the principality itself." He further links the name of Cerne to Herne the Hunter. The Saxon `horn` is cognate with the Latin `cornu`. The letters `h` and `c` are interchangeable between certain Indo-European languages, the `c` often mutating into `h` .

The name Herne can be identified in place-names in Kent and Hampshire. Herne may be derived from the Saxon word `Hyrne` meaning a corner or angle. An alternaive origin for Herne can be traced to `haer` which means a stone or rock and this can be found as a place-name in Bedfordshire. `Cerne` may also be traced back to the Celtic word `cairn`. This is all suggestive of the curvature of the horns or antlers which relate to both Herne and Cernunnos.

"Thus here we see Horn-Herne-Cernunnos-Kernow-Cornu, all aspects of the one theme of the curved horn. It is therefore no surprise to find that a ghostly figure who wears a set of horns or antlers on his head is known by the name of Herne."[In Search of Herne the Hunter].

Herne is linked to the Wild Hunt which is common to all northern European cultures.
"Wild Hunt stories tell of a spectral hunt which courses across country, through forest or across the sky, usually led by some form of demonic personage with an entourage of ghostly horses, hounds, devils, and otherworldly beings. Accompanying the Hunt are all manner of unfortunates. These include unbaptized children, suicides, murderers, adulterers, criminals, blasphemers, witches and freemasons, as well as soldiers, churchmen and courtesans. They are often deformed, with their heads in their chests or facing backwards"[In Search of Herne the Hunter].

In Germanic mythology and folklore the Wild Hunt is led by Odin/Woden/Wotan.
The Wild Hunt in Germanic regions usually occurs during the Twelve Nights of Yuletide on a stormy night. The scholar Hoefler was the first to prove that the legends of the Wild Hunt are "in an exceptional majority reflections of ancient cults of secret societies".[Quoted via Rudolf Simek`s Dictionary of Northern Mythology].

These were Germanic warrior bands and their earliest reference is to be found in Tacitus` Germania: "For their part, the Harii, besides their military might in which they surpass the peoples listed a little above, savage as they are, enhance their inborn ferocity by trickery and timing: their shields are black, their bodies stained, they choose dark nights for battles, and thus inspire terror with their shadowy horror of a ghostly army. None of their enemies can withstand that strange and so to speak hellish sight: for in every battle the eyes are overcome first."[43.4]

"The name `Harri` probably meant something like `warriors` [cf. Gothic harjis, `army`] and presumably had some connection with the battle practices noted here. Many commentators, following the theories of Hoefler[1934], see in this account evidence for the sort of cult group whose memory survived in the widespread Germanic legends about the Wild Hunt, the ghostly riders who ride through the storms during the twelve nights of Yuletide. These would in origin have been bands of warriors dedicated to *Wodenaz as the god of battle fury[Simek]. This theory rests on some striking similarities, but it is impossible to corroborate. Phrases like a `ghostly army` are just as likely to be rhetorical embellishments added by Tacitus; if they are removed, his description would be well suited to a practice of stealth attacks with no particular supernatural associations."[Rives]

Again returning to Ron McVan, "Within the Aryan tradition of the Celts the horn has a long and celebrated lineage. To the Celts horns were a powerful symbol of virility and power. They not only gave their gods horns, but enhanced their chances of success in battle by wearing horned helmets. It was believed that a warrior wearing such headgear would not only stress his own martial and male qualities, but ensure for himself the protection of the deity whose particular attribute they represnted. Kings and priests were, also , horned to indicate their special power. " [Temple of Wotan].

In addition to the Gundestrup Cauldron the long lost Gallehus horns which date to the beginning of the 5th century CE also depicts anthropomorphic figures with horns or antlers.
The Abbot`s Bromley horned dance is still practiced each year on the first Monday after 4th September at Abbot`s Bromley in Staffordshire.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

The Aryan Invasion Theory and Celto-Germanic Mythology


The purpose of this article is not to discuss or examine the various theories of Aryan origins and the location of the Urheimat but to consider if the mythologies of the Germanic and Celtic peoples support an invasion theory.
Theories come and go according to the dictates and fancies of the academic world which appears to be as fickle as the rest of humanity.
Do the mythologies of the northern European peoples support an invasion theory? I believe that they do but it is important to realise that what the mythologies cannot do is give us any conclusive indication as to the location of the Urheimat.
We will start with the mythology of the Germanic peoples. Germanic mythology recognises two originally seperate pantheons, the Aesir and the Vanir. Modern writers on the subject superficially designate the Aesir as war and sky gods whilst regarding the Vanir as earth and fertility deities: this is an oversimplification.
Could the two different clans, their meeting, warfare and eventual union be a distant memory of an invading Aryan people confronting an existing Old European population, their clashes in battle and melding together?
As Ralph Metzner states in his The Well of Remembrance: "As the Kurgan and Aryan tribes spread out over Europe, Anatolia, Persia, and India, they consolidated their control over the societies they invaded and conquered. Pastoral, gardening, and farming economies were combined in various ways, as walled towns were built and city-states arose, ruled by warrior kings."
He goes on to say: "Hybrid cultures had hybrid mythologies. Mythologies must obviously reflect the historical, political, economic, and psychological patterns of experience. In Europe, the stories of the warfare between the Aesir and the Vanir deities mirror the clashing of cultures between nomadic, invading Kurgan warriors and the settled farming and gardening communities of Old Europe. Stories of the peacemaking efforts between these two clans of gods, both failures and successes, must surely reflect similar stable and unstable alliances among the hundreds of tribes and clans that wandered back and forth across central Europe for several millenia, right up into the period of the great migrations in the third, fourth, and fifth centuries of the Christian era."
The war that took place between the Aesir and the Vanir was inconclusive, neither side able to achieve a victory. A peace treaty was made and hostages were exchanged. Both sides had to spit into a vessel and they created from the mixing of their spittle a being called Kvasir. This name is cognate with the Norwegian kvase and the Russian kvas, a juice fermented from berries.
The mixing of spittle and the sharing of an intoxicated drink included in ceremonies for the conclusion of peace is common to numerous archaic tribes.
The Vanir gave Njord and his children Frey and Freyja to the Aesir whilst the Aesir gave in turn Hoenir and Mimir to the Vanir.
In the Dictionary of Northern Mythology Rudolf Simek states: "In older scholarship the myth of the Vanir wars was mostly seen as a reflection of a historical war which took place in the 2nd millenium B.C. At that time the established South Scandinavian-West European megalithic culture was overrun by the north-westward advancing battle-axe culture, whence came the mixture of the [non-Indo-European? matriarchal?] champions of the megalithic culture[=Vanir] with the Indo-Germanic battle-axe people[= string ceramics culture=Aesir]. These historical processes would have stayed in memory in the form of the myth of the Vanir and the pact of peace between the Aesir and the Vanir[Eckhardt].
In opposition to this theory, Dumezil pointed out the related myths and legends among other Indo-Germanic peoples[the Romans, Indians] and interpreted the Vanir wars as a result of this as the social conflict within a society in which the hierarchical followers of the kings[=Aesir?] and the farming population [for whom the vegetation cult and magic were of significance] stood against each other. Only through the pact of peace between these social classes-which in the myth of the Vanir wars indeed take on a central position-was the ordered social and religious structure of the Indo-Germanic society created[Dumezil, de Vries]."
Interestingly as a side point the land where the Aesir came from according to Snorri`s etymology in which he mixes together classical, christian and Germanic elements was Asia, called Asaheimr or Asaland, the capital of which is Asgard.
Now what light does Celtic mythology throw upon this issue?
Charles Squire in his The Mythology of the British Islands states: "We also find them seperated into two opposing camps, a division common to all the Aryan religions. Just as the Olympians struggled with the Giants, the Aesir fought the Jotuns, and the Devas the Asuras, so there is warfare in the Gaelic spiritual world between two superhuman hosts."
Interestingly in the above paragraph Squire does not refer to the opposition in the early days between the Aesir and the Vanir but after their union these two clans became known collectively as the Aesir. This may be because of the more dominating warrior role of the Aesir clan. Although this clan were warrior Gods, is the reason why they failed to win the war due to the Vanir being more numerous? The myths do not clarify this issue for us but if the Vanir represent a more numerous settled agricultural population and the Aesir a less numerous but a warrior elite much more skilled in the arts of warfare it could explain the lack of a decisive outcome in the war.
The new collective Aesir went on to fight further battles with the Giants, resulting ultimately in the climatic battle of Ragnarok. Could the Giants also in some way represent a residual older population still not assimilated or conquered by the Aesir?
Irish mythology knows of up to seven invasions of Ireland by various races of divine, semi-divine or human races. The Book of Invasions is a record of this mythical and semi-historical series of invasions and colonisations.
British Celtic mythology recognises two clans of Gods, the Children of Don which is cognate with the Irish Tuatha De Danann[the people or tribe of the Goddess Danu] and the followers of a Goddess called Domnu; their king is her son Indech. They are more popularly known as the Fomors. Tuatha is cognate with the Germanic Teut The Tuatha De Danann were not the first race of Gods to arrive in Ireland. The Celtic myths recognise two earlier extinct races, the Race of Partholon and the Race of Nemed. Both races expired after each fell victim to a mysterious plague.
Squire states: "Just as the largest Iberian tribe was called the `Men of Domnu`, so the Fomors were called the `Gods of Domnu`. Thus eternal battle between the gods, children of Danu, and the giants, children of Domnu, would reflect, in the supernatural world, the perpetual warfare between invading Celt and resisting Iberian. It is shadowed, too, in the later heroic cycle. The champions of Ulster, Aryans and Gaels par excellence, have no such bitter enemies as the Fir Domnann of Munster and the Fir Gaillion of Leinster. A few scholars would even see in the later death-struggle between the High Kings of Ireland and his rebellious Fenians the last historic or mythological adumbration of racial war."

Sunday, 21 June 2009

The Sacred Midsummer Solstice


Many of us in the Wodenist/Wotanist/Odinist religious community along with people of other prechristian northern European religions will have observed some form of rite in recognition of the summer solstice. This observance goes back into Aryan prehistory and even after the forced christianisation of our peoples some form of observance of midsummer rites continued.
J.G. Frazer in The Golden Bough states "According to a mediaeval writer the three great features of this festival were the bonfires, the procession with torches round the fields, and the custom of rolling a wheel. The writer adds that the smoke drives away harmful dragons which cause sickness, and he explains the custom of rolling the wheel to mean that the sun has now reached the highest point in the ecliptic, and begins thenceforward to descend."

Mr Frazer then goes on to relate that the main features of the midsummer festivals are characteristic of the spring festivals also.

"In Swabia lads and lasses, hand in hand, leap over the midsummer bonfire, praying that the hemp may grow three ells high, and they set fire to wheels of straw and send them rolling down the hill." He goes on to give further examples throughtout the German-speaking lands and France.
"In our own country the custom of lighting bonfires at midsummer has prevailed extensively. In the North of England these fires used to be lit in the open streets. Young and old gathered round them; the former leaped over the fires and engaged in games, while the old people looked on. Sometimes the fires were kindled on the tops of high hills. The people also carried firebrands about the fields."

He also gives further examples from Wales, the Isle of Man, Ireland and even further afield from Lithuania and the Slavic lands. Mr Frazer explains the prevalence of these midsummer rites in northern Europe due to them being sun charms to provide a proper amount of sunshine in the gloomy north. He cites examples of our ancestors throwing blazing discs into the air and reasons that such a practice is a type of imitative magic like the swinging of a burning tar-barrel round a pole or the rolling of a burning wheel down a hillside. "by counterfeiting the sun`s progress through the heavens you really help the luminary to persue his celestial journey with punctuality and despatch."

Walter Keating Kelly writing in his Curiosities of Indo-European Tradition and Folk-lore states:


"Here we see at once that the German custom was nothing else than a dramatic representation of the great elemental battle portrayed in the sacred books of the Southern Aryans. In the one the blazing wheel stands on the top of the hill, in the other the sun stands on the summit of the cloud mountain. Both descend from their heights, and both are extinguished, the sun in the cloud sea, behind the cloud mountain, the wheel in the river at the foot of the hill. Here Indra, Soma, and the army of the Maruts hurl their deadly weapons and charge the demon host; there the triumphant combatants fire upon the foe or brandish their mimic lightning-straw torches-and persue him to the water`s edge. It is worthy of note that the women do not, as on other occasions, take any active part in the German ceremony; their doing so would be inconsistent with its character as an act of mimic warfare. They assemble only as spectators to watch the fortunes of the fight, and to exult in the victory of their own party".

The gathering of druids in recent years at Stonehenge which is perceived[amongst other things] as being a great sun temple demonstrates that we are seeing in our own lifetimes a resurgence in popularity and interest in the prechristian beliefs our our ancestors.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Walburganaht 30th April


This week on the evening of 30th April many of us in the Wodenist/Odinist/Wotanist religion remembered the festival of the German Goddess Walburga. James Hjulka Coulter in his Germanic Heathenry equates this deity with the Norse Freya.
Walburga Frouwa and Her twin brother Ing Fro[Frey] are the Lady and Lord of the Wicca tradition. She leads Woden`s host of wish-maidens and receives half of the heroes slain in battle.
She is the `Protectress of the Slain` and has great magical abilities. She taught Her craft to Woden and is regarded as the patroness of witches and She is the focus of honour at Walburganaht.
Her waggon or `wain` is drawn by by cats and hence the association of this animal with witches.
Treating these creatures with kindness brings the favour of the Goddess.
On the Brocken in my maternal Heimat of the Harz the witches gather every May eve to celebrate their ancient rites.
Whilst the continental Germans kept Walburgasnaht or Walpurgisnacht the Celts kept the festival of Beltane on the same evening. It is a time of magic when the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead are lowered. Fires were lit by the ancient Germans and Celts and people jumped through the smoke and and flames to purify themselves for the forthcoming summer season.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

St George`s Day and its Importance


On 23rd April this week many of us in the Cult of Woden and others within the folkish Wodenist/Wotanist/Odinist religion carried out sacred rites in honour of the dragon slayer which is at the root of St George`s Day or England Day as some of us prefer to say.
With the enforced christianisation of the Germanic peoples many of our old myths, festivals, feasts and holy days were appropriated by the church. What they could not eradicate they stole.
The same strategy applied when building church buildings. More often than not they chose sites which were sacred to our ancestors and our gods; sites of pre-christian temples, groves and burial grounds. The clergy knew that the people could not be prevented from carrying on with their old ways and practices and saw this method as the `lesser of two evils` for them.
St George`s Day is a typical example of this. According to Nigel Pennick in his Practical Magic in the Northern Tradition "Around this day is the remnant of an old festival of fertility, a week before the May Day ceremonies. St George`s Day is the traditional day for parades of dragons, hobby-horses and giant effegies through the streets. St George is a version of the northern hero Sigurd the Dragon-slayer, the Siegfried of Wagner`s opera."
Germanic mythology is full of stories of dragon-slayers, Siegfried or Sigurd being one of the most familiar but we also remember Beowulf whose last brave act before he died was the slaying of the dragon who had been tormenting the folk of his kingdom.
There are many local myths in England which recall the ancient memory of the dragon-slayer. I cite in particular the tale of the Lambton Wyrm:

[Taken from "Dragonorama"]

"The tale of the Lambton Wyrm (sometimes spelled Worm) is an English legend from the Middle Ages. It takes place near the River Wear in County Durham where Lambton Castle stands.
One day young John Lambton - heir to the Lambton name and estate - was out fishing in the river. After an unsuccessful day he finally caught something. Unfortunately it wasn't a fish but an unpleasant-looking eel-like creature.
Lambton threw the creature down a well (which became known as "Worm Well"), believing it would die. In fact it survived and grew - and grew.
Some years later, whilst John Lambton was away fighting in the Crusades, the wyrm, now fully grown, escaped from the well. It began to terrorise the region, killing and devouring local people.
The wyrm also kept on growing until it was large enough to wrap itself three times around the hill that was its home, which was unimaginatively named Worm Hill. The song of the Lambton Wyrm refers to "Pensher Hill", but some believe Worm Hill to be a small hillock to the North of the Wear near Fatfield Bridge.
John Lambton returned from the Crusades and swore to kill the Wyrm that he himself had unleashed. However he realised that it was too powerful for him.
So Lambton sought the help of a local witch. She agreed to cast a spell to help him, but there would be a price. After killing the Worm, Lambton would also have to kill the very next living creature he met on returning to Lambton Hall. He agreed.
With the help of the witch's spell and a coat of mail studded with spear-heads, John Lambton slew the Wyrm in a fierce battle. Exhausted from the battle, he returned home expecting to be met by one of the family dogs. In fact the first living thing he met was his father.
Lambton refused to kill his own father in cold blood. Because he broke his promise to the witch the Lambton family was cursed for nine generations."
There is much value in local folklore and nursery rhymes. They are the vestige of a pre-christian heritage. Jacob Grimm, the auther of Teutonic Mythology recognised this and together with his brother Wilhelm compiled a collection of nursery tales found throughout Germany which are known and cherished throughout the Germanic world.
The myth and symbol of the dragon-slayer is a part of our collective Aryan inheritance and traces of the dragon-slayer are to be found amongst all the Aryan peoples in varying degrees. Walter Keating Kelly writing in his Curiosities of Indo-European Tradition and Folk-lore states:"He[Vrita] possessed himself of the sun-wheel and the treasures of heaven, seized the [white] women, kept them prisoners in his cavern, and `laid a curse` on the waters, until Indra released the captives and took off the curse."
The ancient flag of the Anglo-Saxon English people is the White Dragon flag. Here is a history of that sacred banner:
[Taken from White Dragon Flag of Anglo-Saxon England]
"About 450AD. came the landing in Celtic Britain of two warrior traders, Hengest and Horsa who, together with their Saxon, Angle and Jutish followers are traditionally regarded as the founders of England. History records that the White Dragon was their emblem. During the next four centuries, the Saxon, Angle and Jutish settlers; originally from North Germany, Denmark, Jutland and Norway, who, together with the Northmen or Vikings, would become known collectively as the English, advanced from East to West through Celtic Britain.
Various accounts of the times record many battles between armies carrying the Celtic British Red Dragon Banner (now the Welsh Dragon) and the White Dragon Flag of the Saxons, Angles and Jutes (the English Dragon). The White Dragon was, and still is, the emblem of Wessex, the territory of the West Saxons and the English King, Alfred the Great.
Had not the last panels been lost, it is likely that the White Dragon Flag would have been seen displayed on that same Tapestry featuring a scene at Westminster Abbey during a ceremony for the Usurper, William of Normandy.
In a world with few certainties, the White Dragon Flag of the English people underlines our kinship with the past. It tells us from where we came and who we are. It imparts a sense of permanence and continuity. It is defining. Unlike St George's Cross, The White Dragon has no dubious religious connections or background unrelated to fact.
The successful re-emergence of the White Dragon Flag of the Saxons, Angles and Jutes (English) is entirely due to the thorough and detailed research conducted by The English Flag Society. This flag had been almost extinct for about nine hundred years. Investigation by John Green, Secretary of The English Flag Society, of the Early English period between the third and eleventh centuries A.D disclosed many references not only to the White Dragon Emblem, but also others, such as the Boar, Raven, Wolf etc.
Careful and scrupulous investigation, coupled with analysis of numerous references, showed clearly that the White Dragon, in terms of its representation of Englishness, was clearly the most popular. All the ethnic English who support the White Dragon Flag have declared themselves for their Anglo Saxon Jutish origins and drawn an invisible but unbreakable thread to the beginning of the English Nation in Celtic Britain.
Let the ethnic English, without triumphalism or overbearing pride, remind themselves that this modern world imperfect as it is, was made primarily by the Anglo Saxons. Almost all the benefits of modern life, including law, education, transport, medicine, entertainment and communications were derived in part or whole from the exertions of the English. Indeed, the first man on the moon was an American of Anglo Saxon descent!
Let all the English and their descendants, everywhere, whether in America, Canada, Australia or New Zealand remember, that wherever the English established themselves, for the most part, only benefit came from their presence."
It is of vital importance that all of us who are of English or related Germanic descent who reside in England honour St George`s Day and keep the memories and traditions of our Aryo-Germanic ancestors and gods alive in this nightmare multiracial and multicultural chaos that we find ourselves living in.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Ostara


This week many of us carried out our sacred rites in honour of the Germanic Goddess Ostara[Old High German/OHG name] also known as Eostra[Anglo-Saxon/AS].
She is the Goddess of Spring, of renewal and regeneration. As we give thanks to Her for the reappearance of Spring, of life after death we remember also that She is performing a Great Work in the hearts and minds of our Aryo-Germanic Folk in the various lands in which they now reside.
We ask that She bring about a great Awakening, a spiritual and folkish renewal in the body, blood, DNA and soul of our people. Before any great political change there must first be a spiritual renewal of the kind that we witnessed in late 19th century Germany and Austria.
The ancient name of the month of April amongst the Germanic peoples was Esturmonath, Ostermonat and Ostarmonath.
The Goddess must have been an important deity in the Germanic pantheon as the christian clergy were unable to eradicate Her name or the festivities attached to Her season but instead as with the feast of Yule they were forced to incorporate it within their sacred year. The term Easter is even to be found in the Authorised Version[King James Version] of the Bible.
Jacob Grimm in volume 1 of his Teutonic Mythology makes reference to the OHG adverb ostar expressing movement towards the rising sun, likewise with the Old Norse austr, the Gothic austr and the AS eastor.
She is therefore the divinity of the radiant dawn whose meaning has been usurped by the christian priesthood and appropriated to their doctrine of the resurrection.
In times past bonfires were lit at Easter. Grimm also states that "Maidens clothed in white, who at Easter, at the season of returning spring, show themselves in clefts of the rock and on mountains, are suggestive of the ancient goddess."
In the Norse Edda a male spirit of light bears the name Austri. One could conjecture that a female being could have been called Austra.
James Hjuka Coulter in his Germanic Heathenry associates Ostara with the Norse Goddess Idun, the keeper of the apples that grant immortality to the Gods. The apple of course is a mythical symbol of regeneration.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

The Celtic God Teutates


The Celtic god Teutates is mentioned by the classical writer Lucan in the 2nd century CE and refers to him as part of a triad consisting also of Esus and Taranis.

"You[Celts] who by cruel blood outpoured think to appease the pitiless Teutates, the horrid Ausus with his barbarous altars, and Taranus whose worship is no gentler than that of the Scythian Diana."
[Lucan, Pharsalia]

The literary references to human sacrifice also marry up with the archaeological evidence.
Referring to the Iron-Age peat bog burial of `Lindow man` Miranda Green writes:

"Perhaps one of the most evocative examples of British human sacrifice is the recent discovery of a peat-bog burial dating to around 300BC. The victim, a young ginger-bearded male, was first poleaxed, then garotted and his throat cut, the elaboration and the victim`s nakedness suggesting a ritual killing. After death the man was placed, crouched, in a shallow pool at Lindow Moss near Wilmslow, Cheshire, possibly to propitiate water or cthonic deities. That the man was not a peasant is suggested by manicured finger-nails and by his neatly clipped moustache, worn in the style of Celtic portrayals in iconagraphy and in the literature. Ritual bog-burials are known elsewhere in the Iron Age, for instance in Denmark, but this is the first British occurrence of a murdered bog-body."
[The Gods of the Celts]

The Celtic triad mirrors similar triads among other Indo-European pantheons such as the Germanic and Indo-Iranian.

"Esus-Lugus, Taranis, and Teutates as a triad receiving human sacrifice may thus roughly match the Scandinavian set of Odin, Thor, and Freyr in pagan Sweden, who were given human victims at Uppsala up to the Christianization in the eleventh century. They, like Jupiter-Mars-Quirinus, were a stylized Western Indo-European embodiment of the erstwhile tripartite pantheon, thus a match for the Eastern structure first glimpsed at Mintanni[Mitra-Varuna, Indra, Nasatya.]"
[Jaan Puhvel, Comparative Mythology]

Later Berne commentaries on Lucan identify Teutates with the Roman god Mars. Other commentaries associate Esus with Mars. They also refer to a sacrifice of a man to Teutates by drowning in a vessel of water.

Commenting on the Celtic triad T.W. Rolleston writes:

"It is noteworthy that in these names we seem to be in the presence of a true Celtic, ie Aryan tradition."
[Myths and Legends of the Celtic Race]

The name Teutates is cognate with words in various Indo-European languages.
"Teutates[Toutates, Totates, Tutates] is derived from *tewta `people`[Old Irish tuath, Oscan touto, Gothic thiuda] and thus resembles in meaning the Umbrian Vofione and the Roman Quirinus."
[Jaan Puhvel, Comparative Mythology]

The name for the Germanic peoples, Teuton has the same meaning and is also reflected in the name of the Teutones a Germanic tribe who were closely associated with the Cimbri a tribe which may have been of Celtic origin.
It has also been speculated that there is a link between Tuisco/Tuisto and Teuton. Tuisco, the son of Mannus was the mythical ancestor of the Germanic peoples and referred to in Tacitus Germania.

It is significant that the various gods of this Celtic triad had different forms of human sacrifice offered to them. Taranis` offerings were burned, Esus` were drowned whilst those offered to Teutates were hanged. This could be a reference to the elements of fire, water and air.