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Saturday, 27 November 2010

Wid-Ar


Taken from the website of Woden`s Folk

The New God form

The new religion of Wodenism is named after the All-Father, Woden, yet in reality the god that we see as being the archetype of the New Age is Widar. The name Widar is usually rendered Forest Warrior which is the title of this article. Widar is seen as a Woodland God, but the warrior bit is usually glossed over – maybe too fierce for certain “humanitarian” pagans!
When using the title we will write it as Wid-Ar which is a breakdown of the title into its two sections of meaning –
Wid – forest, woodland: this is the Old English wudu and is the basis of the name Widukind which could be rendered Forest Kind or Woodland Kind.

Ar – this is a very interesting title since the term “warrior” does not fully cover it. The Root AR is the root of the term Aryan but even this does not render a full meaning. The term Aryan has the same root as certain other words which will give a clue as to the true meaning –

Here/heri/harry/herian/heriar/herle/herjan/har/hari etc.

The Root AR is related to all of the terms used for the Germanic Männerbünd and the concept of the Wild Warrior of the Wilderness. This is a very interesting concept in view of the roots of Wodenism.

Wid-Ar is the son of Woden and the brother of Wali. It is Wid-Ar who slays the Fenris Wolf at Ragnarok and becomes the High God of the New Order. Widar was the son of Woden and Grid and he represents the imperishable forces of Nature.

Widar followed Woden to the Fountain of Wyrd where the three Sisters of Wyrd uttered the following prophecy –

“Early begun.”
“Further spun.”
“One day done.”

To this the Goddess of Fate added – “With joy once more won.” The Goddess explains that even though Woden will fall in the Last Battle Wid-Ar would be his avenger, and he would live to rule over a regenerated world after having conquered his enemies.

Woden falls at Ragnarok, slain by the Fenris Wolf. But it is Widar who avenges him by placing his foot with its Iron Shoe (some say leather) in the gaping jaws and wrenching them apart. This act could only be done to release the Spirit of Woden – for Woden reappears in the New Order as Widar.
At one level the Fenris Wolf represents rampant technology which has overwhelmed our Folk and wrenched them away from their true Gods. We live in the Wolf-Age which is an age of decay, degeneration and destructive powers.

Today Wid-Ar is the Silent God for he sits silent on his throne in Landwidi, awaiting his time at Ragnarok. When his time comes he will be Wid-Ar the Avenger – avenger of Woden and God of Regeneration and Renewal.

The Hooded Man Prophecy is all about the coming of Wid-Ar, for is not the figure of Robin Hood the Forest Warrior? In the Root AR we may also see the name of Herne whose name could well derive from this root. Robin Hood is the Forest Warrior and his father is Woden-Herne – the One-Eyed Hunter-God.

Wid-Ar has certain things in common with the Egyptian god Horus –

1.
Horus is an Avenging God.
2.
Horus is also known as the Silent God.
3.
The name Heru (the Egyptian for Horus) is very much like our here/heri/herian etc.
4.
Horus, like Wid-Ar is the avenger of the death of his father.
5.
Added to these we have a Germanic God named Saxnot revered by the East Saxons; an alternative name for this god was Cheru or Heru – the Sword-God. It is to be noted that Wid-Ar wielded a sword.

The symbol for Horus is a Falcon or Hawk; it is also to be noted that in some legends Horus has only one eye. It is also significant that the symbol for Horus is an eye – the Eye of Horus. It is perhaps significant that Gawain is also associated with the Hawk, and that Parsifal has the role of restorer and the renewal of Nature. Parsifal seems to be a later version of Gawain.

One legend has it that the Sons of Ivalde (Wade) had united their efforts in forging the Sword of Cheru. This is the most famous sword wielded by Ætla the Hun. It is thus not really strange to recall the name Cheru or Heru as being that of the original name for Horus.

The Greek version of Horus rides on a Ram, and this is the symbol of Hama. The alternative name for Wid-Ar is Ing, for this is the Age of Ing or the Age of the Crowned and Avenging Son of the Sun. That this infers a return to an age of wildness and barbarism is clear from this god being the Woodland Warrior, and the archetype being related to the figure of Robin Hood, an outlaw, and a “Wolf’s Head”.

The fundamental difference between Wodenism and that of Asatru, Odinism, and Wotanism is that the former is based upon the rejection of the Hanged God in all his forms, including that of Odin. In our own Wodenic Lore – connected to the new Age of Ing – we recognize a new and virile archetype or god-form, that of Wid-Ar the Avenging Son. Wid-Ar is Woden, who has descended from the Tree of Woe, “swallowed” by the Wolf’s Jaws, and is reborn as Wid-Ar whose archetype is a Crowned God, wielding a Flaming Sword, and wiping away all that is rotten and degenerate upon the Earth.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Thunor and the Flyfot


There is a clear link between the fylfot[swastika] and the Germanic thunder God Thunor/Thor/Donar and this is via His hammer Mjollnir.
"The image of Thor`s weapon spinning end-over-end through the heavens is captured in art as a swastika symbol[common in Indo-European art, and indeed beyond]"[page 31 of Gods, Heroes, & Kings The Battle for Mythic Britain by Christopher R. Fee]. When Thunor throws His mighty hammer it gives the appearance of a rotating fylfot. The hammer represents one of the four arms of this sacred Aryan symbol. So when followers of the Asatru faith wear the hammer of Thunor around their necks they are also in effect carrying a flyfot or swastika.
Stephen Taylor in his book The Flfot File also draws on this connection: "The Flyfot was, amongst many other things, the symbol of Thor, the Norse god of thunder. It represents a stylised version of his hammer, Mjollnir["Smasher"] which he would throw as a weapon and which would cause the rumblings of thunder and shattering power of lightning."[Page 79].
The association of the hammer with a sky God is to be found amongst other Indo-European cultures. The Baltic thunder God Perkons also carried a hammer called Milna which may very well be linked linguistically to Mjollnir along with the Russian molnija and the Welsh mellt which both mean `lightning`.
The Slavic thunder God Perun carried an axe which fulfills a similar function in mythology to the hammer. Indeed sometimes Mjollnir is referred to as an axe or a club and we must not forget that the Greeke Herakles and the Roman Hercules both carried a club. Other Indo-European sky or thunder Gods such as the Greek Zeus or the Roman Jupiter had a thunderbolt as their primary weapon but we must not forget that Mjollnir is the source of lightning in Germanic mythology. The Indian Indra also carried a thunderbolt as his primary weapon.
Not only is the concept of the thunder and sky God a pan Aryan mythological concept but so also is the fylfot or swastika and no doubt this connection between the two is via the thunder God`s weapon whether it be axe, club, hammer or thunderbolt.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Ing


"Ing was first among the East-Danes
seen by men until he again eastward
went over the wave; the wain followed on:
this is what the warriors called the hero."
[Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem, translation by Edred Thorsson taken from `The Nine Doors of Midgard`]

Who was Ing? Clearly it is more than the name of a Rune stave. We probably have the answer in the following passage taken from Tacitus Germania 2.2:

"In ancient lays, their only type of historical tradition, they celebrate Tuisto, a god brought forth from the earth. They attribute to him a son, Mannus, the source and founder of their people, and to Mannus three sons, from whose names those nearest the Ocean are called Ingvaeones, those in the middle Herminones, and the rest Istvaeones."

The `they` that Tacitus refers to are of course the Germanic peoples. It is generally believed by scholars that the `Ocean` which Tacitus refers to is either the North Sea or the Baltic Sea.
Are there any other traces of this myth to be found in any other ancient writings? Indeed there is one other reference to this myth which is to be found in the Frankish `Table of Nations` from 520CE:

"there were three brothers, first Erminus, second Inguo, third Istio, from them developed thirteen peoples."

Pytheas also encountered a people called the Inguiones on the coast of the North Sea in which case the name dates back to at least the fourth century BCE.

Could the Ing of the Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem be the same Inguo of the 6th century CE Table of Nations? The clue is in the line: "Ing was first seen among the East-Danes."
The royal families of the Angles and Danes who lived in what is today`s Denmark and northern Germany have a smiliar origin myth which is to be found in the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf where the funeral of Scyld Scefing is referred to along with his mysterious arrival: "They provided him with no lesser gifts, treasureof the people, than those had done who at his beginning first sent him forth on the waves, a child alone. Then also they set a golden standard high over his head, let the water take him, gave him to the sea." This Scy;d son of Scef[sheaf] is clearly the same person as Ing.
The Danish kings traced their ancestry back to Skioldr[Scyld] and were referred to as Skioldungar[Scyldungas]. Curiously over the passing of time they began to be called Ynglingar like the Swedish royal family after the vanic God Yngvi-Freyr.
It is Freyr and not the asa God Woden who is reckoned to be the ancestor of the Swedish royal house. The cult of Freyr was particularly strong in Sweden.
H. Munro Chadwick in his `The Origin of the English Nation` posits the theory that the Swedes originally worshipped the Goddess called Nerthus who had a sanctuary on an island off the Baltic coast which was frequented by a confederation of seven tribes referred to in Germania. Over time he believes that Nerthus transformed into the male Freyr and that Freyr`s sister Freya represented an intermediate stage. This follows the general trend of Germanic society becoming increasingly agnatic.[Descent and inheritence via the male line as opposed to cognatic-via the female line].
Tacitus refers to the worship of this Goddess in Germania 40.2-4. The seven tribes are listed as the Reudigni, the Aviones, the Anglii, the Varini, the Eudoses, the Suarines and the Nuitones. He states: "There is nothing noteworthy about them individually, except that collectively they worship Nerthus, or Mother Earth,...."
The worship of Nerthus, Freyr, Freya and Ing was clearly an important and central aspect of the religion of one or more of the Germanic tribes who gave their name to the land which came to be called England, the land of the Angle, Engle or the people of the God Ing. Interestingly England is pronounced as Ingland in the English tongue.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Iceland-a Holy Isle


Iceland has received a lot of exposure in the news over recent weeks because of the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano and the consequent disruption to the travel arrangements of millions of people.
However how many people are aware of the special significance of this holy isle? How many realise that the Icelanders were one of the last northern peoples to be christianized in the year 1000 CE under pressure from the Norwegian King Olaf Trggvason? Despite this apparent conversion many of the people still honoured the ancient Gods and Goddesses privately. The Law Speaker Thorgeir Thorkelsson had the responsibility of making the formal decision to accept the alien religion of Christianity at the Althing in that same year. Thorgeir himself was originally a Gothi, a heathen priest. The conversion did not run deep and interestingly Iceland saw the revival of the old religion in the late 1960s and the subsequent formal recognition of Asatru in 1973 by the Icelandic government. At about the same time the old religion was experiencing a revival in other Germanic countries. The Asatru Free Assembly was created in the USA which eventually became the Asatru Folk Assembly and later the Asatru Alliance.
The Ring of Troth was formed by some former members of the Asatru Folk Assembly.
In Australia in 1972 the Odinist Movement received a reassurance by the government that the profession of Odinism would not result in prosecution by the authorities.
In England the Odinic Rite was formed in 1972. A member of their Court of Gothar subsequently created Woden`s Folk in the late 1990s.
Followers of the old religion naturally look to Iceland as a holy isle for it was in Iceland that the Eddas, the sacred literature of the pre-christian Germanic peoples were committed to writing. In addition to the Elder Edda[Poetic Edda] and the Younger Edda[Prose Edda] we have a wealth of saga material which provides us with additional information on the beliefs and practices of the Germanic peoples. Without these writings our religion would be that much the poorer and indeed may have struggled to have ever been revived.
Today in Iceland according to the latest official statistics from 2009 there are 1,395 members of the Asa Faith Society. Obviously this figure does not include those people who honour the old Gods but are not formally alligned with any organisation.
In Iceland there are still 50 known Runestones to be found today.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Walpurger`s Night/Beltane


Yesterday evening the kindred that I ward celebrated Walpurger`s Night, the eve of the Goddess of May, known in the German lands as Walpurger. Typically after the enforced christianisation of the Germanic peoples this Goddess was `converted` into a christian saint.
The evening of the 30th April and the 1st of May has for millenia been acknowledged as a sacred time in the calendars of the ancient Germanic and Celtic peoples. The Celts themselves call this special time Beltane after the God Belenus. This is generally a celebration of the arrival of Summer in the northern lands. Bonfires would have been lit and young men and women would have danced through the smoke of the fires to encourage fertility.
On the 1st May which even today is a national holiday in may parts of the world maypole dancing is still practiced in some English villages and in small towns and villages throughout the Germanic world. The maypole is of course representative of the phallus.
May eve as with Samhain[31st October] is a time when the portal between this and other worlds is weakened and those who possess psychic powers may experience unusual supernatural phenomena.
In the Harz mountains of Germany where my mother was born the witches would gather on the highest peak known as the Brocken. On a stormy Walpurgisnacht the Wild Hunt led by the God Wotan would chase the Goddess Walpurger and the Harzhexen[Harz witches].

Saturday, 17 April 2010

The Sacred Centre


Both the Germanic and Celtic traditions have a concept of a sacred centre. One can see this in the sacred sites of Tara and Uisnech in Ireland and at Thingvellir in Iceland. The two Irish sites were described "like two kidneys in one animal" according to a Middle Irish source[Davidson, 1988].
It would be helpful to picture in your mind the sacred sunwheel or Eye of Woden when thinking about this concept.
The Eye of Woden is divided into 4 quarters just as Tara is symbolically the centre of Ireland around which the four kingdoms of Ulster, Connacht, Leinster and Munster are situated. Likewise the Icelandic Thingvellir is the symbolic centre of Iceland which in ancient times was divided into four quarters each having their own `Thing` or place of judgement. Thingvellir was the site of the Icelandic `Allthing`.
At such sites the Celts and Teutons at certain times of the year would recite the law, introduce new laws, try cases brought before the priests, chieftains or kings and inaugurate or proclaim new kings. These sites were symbolic of the centre of the cosmos and its very beginnings.
Hilda Ellis Davidson in her book, Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe states "The pattern of four divisions round a central point is found in both Iceland and Ireland, and Mueller claims that this is a fundamental pattern in both Germanic and Celtic tradition."
This fourfold division reminds one of the fourfold division of the year and the four cardinal directions. Indeed one can see this same division in the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc with its 4 aetts of 32 Runes and its 33rd Rune Gar[the spear of Woden] placed at the centre of the 4 aetts when arranged in a circle. At the centre of both Tara and Uisnech sacred stones were erected: at Tara the Stone of Knowledge[Lia Fail] and at Uisnech the Stone of Division. An example of what these stones may have looked like is the Turoe Stone in County Galloway in Ireland. The stone is curiously dome shaped and its curious patterns are divided into four parts. The stone is said to resemble the Omphalos at Delphi, reckoned also by the ancient Greeks to be the centre of the world.
One of the principal sacred sites of the continental Germans was Eresburg, the location of the Irmunsul, a wooden column held sacred by the Saxons which corresponded with the mythical Scandinavian world tree Yggdrasil, the centre of the nine worlds of the Eddas. The Irmunsul was cut down by Charlemagne in 772. Irmin is considered to be an alternative name for the ancient Germanic sky deity Tiw. The Elder Germanic Rune stave Teiwaz is dedicated to this God and is shaped like a tree. Irmunsul like Yggdrasil supported the entire cosmos. In the Volsungasaga a tree is said to have supported the hall of Sigurd`s grandfather Volsung.
Significantly beneath Yggdrasil the Gods held assembly and so the link between a symbolically central site and divine communication and judgement is paralleled.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Death and Afterlife in Germanic Mythology


The Eddas tell us that the body of man is divided into the following constituent parts:-

La-blood/lifegiving warmth.

Laeti-motion.

Lik-the physical body consisting of natural elements.

Litr goda-colour/image/countenance.

Ond-spirit/breath.

Odr-the soul/reason.

The Elder or Poetic Edda[Voluspa 17 and 18] contains one of the two myths concerning the creation of man or the first Teutons. Odin along with Hoenir and Lodurr acted as a trinity of Gods in the creation of Teutonic humanity from the form of two trees known as Ask[the male and cognate with the ash tree] and Embla[the female and probably cognate with the Elm tree but there is much scholarly debate over this].
The second creation myth is to be found in Gylfaginning 8 in the Younger or Prose Edda and the ceating Gods in that myth are Odin and Vili and Ve, His brothers.
The body[Lik] has already been formed by the dwarves Mimir and Durinn which is an indication that the dwarves at one time were an early race of Gods as were the giants. Indo-European mythologies have many similar exampes of where early races of Gods are supplanted by more recent ones. One thinks in particular of the struggles between the Titans and the Olympian deities and the wars between the Aesir and Vanir and the Asa/Vana Gods against the giants. Irish or Celtic mythology also has examples of struggles between competing pantheons of Gods which point to a mythologising of actual historical struggles between different ethnic groups for possession of land.
The God Lodurr who is only mentioned once in the Eddas grants la, litr goda and laeti to the lik.
Hoenir according to Voluspa 63 is one of the 7 named Gods who survive Ragnarok and his role in Germanic mythology is uncertain but nevertheless he is one of the three creating Gods and grants odr to the lik.
Odin grants ond which is fitting when one considers that He is the most important deity and the granting of breath or spirit is associated with the highest of Gods or the supreme God of monotheistic religions.
In Gylfaginning Odin grants the breath of life, Vili intelligence and movement and Ve outward appearance, speech, hearing and sight. The etymology of Ve suggests that he is associated with the word ve meaning `holy` whilst Vili is associated with the `will`. Both are brothers of Odin.
At the point of death the various elements, physical and spiritual/psychic seperate.
The earthly matter, la and lik seperate from a person`s higher elements and remain on Midgardr. What remains, the ond, odr and litr goda travel to the underworld, Jormungrund for judgement. The ond and litr goda are seperated from the odr at Nagrindar, the gates of Niflhel and the remaining odr receives a new litr goda corresponding to the spiritual condition of the odr. So in effect we create our own judgement and our own ultimate destiny whilst here on Midgardr.
Those who die in battle or have led the life of a warrior[spiritual `warriors` included] are selected to reside in either Valhalla with Odin or in Folkfangr with Freyja.
"The earthly death consists of the earthly matter, the la and the lik, being seperated from the person`s higher elements and staying behind on Midgardr. The dead who have fared to Jormungrund are made up of ond, odr, and litr. If one is sentenced to a second death at Gimle, the ond and the litr goda will be seperated from him at the Nagrindar. Then there remains only the odr; and this receives a litr that corresponds with the condition of the odr. The higher elements return to the Godin, traveling to the afterworld; whereas the lower elements are spread across the earth, returning to the waters, to the plants, and to all that lives."[XXIV.9. Asatru Edda].
Those who are judged by the Gods at the Helthing as being guilty of crimes against the Folk or the Gods such as perjury, murder, adultery, defaming of temples, opening of gravemounds, treason and villainy will be sentenced to the second death and punishment in the halls of Niflhel.
"Once a person has died, their higher elements remain around the corpse for three days, and attend their own Helfor. All will have a guide that will lead them to Hel, which appears before them right before their death, carrying their summons to the Helthing. Foremost among them are the Valkyrjur, beautiful maidens with contemplative faces. Whenever a battle takes place, they appear fully armed there on their horses, although some wear feather guises, and with their spear shafts point out the champions whom Odinn and Freyja have selected for their halls, and they carry the fallen to Jormungrund, and from there on Bifrost to Asgardr.
Urdr sends maidservants of a very different sort to the inhabitants of Midgardr who are not among the heroic dead, each by the nature of their death. To those who surrender to the burden of years comes the Dis who is the handmaiden of the bent and stooping. This kind-hearted Dis removes the burden which Elli puts on men, and which gradually gets too heavy for them to bear. Children have their guides, who are motherly, tender, and kind. To those who were snatched away by plague or other epidemics come Leikn and the beings of Niflhel who resemble her, and those who die of disease are carried away by the corresponding vaettir of disease to the Helthing to be judged by the Godin."[XXIV 15, 16 Asatru Edda].
The brave dead who reside in Asgardr with the Gods and Goddesses spend their `time` feasting and fighting, preparing for the day of Ragnarok when they must go forth with the Gods to fight their last battle to prevent the triumph of the forces of chaos, the sons of Muspel.
"All those who die in battle heroically are his adopted children. He assigns them places in Valhol land they are known as Einherjar."
[XXV 6, Asatru Edda].
The etymology of Einherjar is Old Norse and means` those who fight alone`. Thor is designated as Einheri in Lokasenna 62 and means `the one who fights alone`.
Sometimes the dead choose to remain in their burial mounds close to their kin and clan in order to protect them by their presence. There are examples of this to be found in the Icelandic sagas. The concept is also linked to the idea of the dead residing in mountains, particularly dead kings that await their return to their people in times of great national distress. I think in particular of the legends that relate to Friedrich Barbarossa, Friedrich II, Widukind, King Arthur, Bran the Blessed, Charlemagne, Fionn mac Cumhaill, Ogier the Dane, Heinrich the Fowler, etc, etc.
One thing is for sure and that is our ancestors do act as guardians, watching over their descendants down the generations.
"Those who have become immortal look down on the mortals and protect their children on earth. In Midgardr`s atmosphere, through the entire airspace they travel, and where one prepares sacrifice and invokes them, there come holy, faithful, wise fathers with help and blessings for their children. They bring power, wealth, and descendants; they hear, help, and console; and they fight bravely and heroically in battle."[XXIV 29, Asatru Edda].
There is also evidence to support the case for reincarnation in both Germanic and Celtic mythology and such reincarnation appears to manifest within the same family and genetic lines with forefathers reincarnating as their own descendants.
One of the most interesting examples of reincarnation is to be found in the story of Helgi Hjorvardsson who reincarnates as Helgi Hundingsbane and Helgi Haddingjaskati in the Poetic Edda.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

The Etymology of Woden


This article is solely concerned with discussing the etymology of Woden`s name and its various cognates; it is not concerned with an exploration of his many and diverse roles.
Volume 1 of Grimm`s Teutonic Mythology gives quite a detailed analysis of the etymology and the various cognate forms of the name.
Among the Anglo-Saxons He was called Woden, the Langobards knew Him as Wodan or Guodan, the Old Saxons as Wuodan or Wodan, the Frisians called Him Weda, the Goths referred to Him as Vodans and the Scandinavians as Odinn. In the Faroe Isles He was called Ouvin and Saxo Grammaticus refers to Him as Othinus. In Old High German He was known as Wuotan. Another variant is Woatan.
The word is immediately derived from the Old High German watan from which comes the substantive wuot[modern German Wut] meaning wrath, fury, wildness and impetuosity. Grimm deduces from this that by extension Wuotan, Odinn "would be the all-powerful, all-penetrating being".
He goes on to say "How early this original meaning may have got obscured or extinguished , it is impossible to say. Together with the meaning of wise and mighty god, that of the wild, restless, vehement, must also have prevailed, even in the heathen time. The christians were the better pleased, that they could bring the bad sense into prominence out of the name itself. In the oldest glosses, wotan is put for tyrannus, herus malus.......so wueterich......."
He goes on to give examples of how the adjective was used to describe evil kings and evil deeds and thus the christians succeeded in further demonising Woden through their choice and use of language.
"The former divinity was degraded into an evil, fiendish, bloodthirsty being, and appears to live yet as a form of protestation or cursing in exclamations of the Low German people, as in Westphalia: O Woudan, Woudan! .....and in Mecklenburg: Wod, Wod!"
This primary aspect of Woden`s furious nature has in the past manifested itself in the battle rage of the ancient Teutons and the Berserker rage. Furor Teutonicus[Teutonic Fury] was a Latin phrase that referred to the aforesaid fierceness. In the Viking Age the christianised victims of the Viking raids would pray "From the wrath of the Northmen, O Lord, deliver us."

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Two Hammers of Thor?


The Eddas state that Thor`s hammer Mjollnir was made by the smith dwarves Sindri and Brokkr and is the subject of many giant slaying myths. It had special properties, being able to produce thunder and lightning and when it is thrown it returns to the hand of the thrower. It was also used as a means of consecration at funerals and weddings, thus alluding to Thor`s joint role as God of war and as a fertility deity. In order to handle Mjollnir Thor needs special iron gloves.
It is of great antiquity and features in Bronze Age rock carvings.
In the Viking Age it became the most important symbol for Scandinavian heathendom in its opposition to the alien religion of Christianity and was worn by adherents of the old faith as an amulet. Today those of us who have heard the call of the blood, the call of the ancient Germanic Gods wear this symbol as a visible expression of our faith in our ancestral Gods.
The etymology of Mjollnir is traced to the Proto Norse *melluniaR
Rudolf Simek in his Dictionary of Northern Mythology specuates that "it may be related to Old Slavic mlunuji, Russian molnija, `lightning`[either borrowed from there or else from an early stage] which would allow an interpretation of `the one who makes lightning; another attempt to explain it, however, relates Mjollnir to ON mjoll `new snow`, Icelandic mjalli `white colour`, and as such would mean `the shining lightning weapon`. In earlier scholarship Mjollnir had been connected with Gothic malwjan and ON mala `to grind` and interpreted as `the grinder`".
The etymology is also discussed in Jaan Puhvel`s Comparative Mythology and Puhvel cites the Welsh cognate mellt and also adds: "It is thus the bolt, and it can be represented also as an[originally stone] ax, a club, or as a counterclockwise hooked cross symbolizing a thunderball, resembling the Indic svastika-`good luck sign`[from Vedic su-asti- `well being, good fortune`]. It was a tool that the god used to `hallow` [vigja] beings in a positive vein[consecrate a bride, revive his own goat team, sactify the dead;cf. Indra`s vajra-cognate with Latin vegeo `arouse, quicken`]."
He goes on to add that both Thor and Indra used it as a thunder weapon against giants, serpents and demons. Clearly Thor/Indra relate back to a much earlier Proto-Indo-European thunder God as they like their other Aryan cousins-the Baltic Perkunas, the Slavic Peruna and the Celtic Taranis.
Viktor Rydberg in his Teutonic Mythology volume 1 states: "The hammer is Thor`s most sacred weapon. Before Sindre forged one for him of iron[Gylfaginning], he wielded a hammer of stone. This is evident from the very name hamarr, a rock, a stone."
Ryberg in his Teutonic Mythology volume 2[Investigations into Germanic Mythology Volume II Part 1] repeats this argument: "Thor`s oldest weapon is made of stone. The name itself says so, hamarr, and this is confirmed by the folk-idea of the lightning bolt as a stone-wedge. Likewise Indra`s oldest weapon was made of stone; it is called the `celestial stone`[Rigv.II,30,5] and is said to be `four-edged`[Rigv.IV,22,1,2]. This `four-edged` weapon has its symbol in the swastika, a figure that is rediscovered in the realm of Germanic memory and therefore must have derived from the Proto-Indo-European era.
All this brings me to the passage in the Asatru Edda: "Thorr was brought up in Jotunheimr by a jarl named Vingnir, and when he was ten years old, he received the stone hammer, Vingnir`s Mjollnir."
Far from the Eddas being a mediaeval Christian monkish construction they have their origins deep into the Stone Age as this transition from a stone to an iron Mjollnir represents.