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Friday, 23 December 2011

Fosite/Forseti-a Prototype of Thunor?


The Frisian God Fosite possessed an axe and it was He who was considered the law giver and judge of the Frisian tribes. His temple is called Axenshowe. It is possible that this Fosite is the same deity referred to in the Norse Eddas as Forseti, the son of Baldr and Nanna, whose residence was Glitnir. He is represented in the Eddas as a God who settles disputes.
Alcuin in the 8th century CE refers to an island called Fositesland, situated between Frisia and Denmark and named in honour of the God who was worshipped there.
Fosite`s Nordic counterpart Forseti is mentioned once in the Elder Edda and four times in the Younger Edda.

"Glitnir is the tenth, it has golden buttresses,
and likewise is roofed with silver;
and there lives Forseti most days
and puts to sleep all quarrels."

[Grimnismal 15]

"There is a hall called Glitnir, it is held up by golden pillars
and likewise roofed with silver. There Forseti dwells most
days and settles disputes."

[Gylfaginning]

"Then the Aesir instituted their banquet and twelve Aesir who were to be judges took their places in their thrones and their names are as follows: Thor, Niord, Freyr, Tyr, Heimdall, Bragi, Vidar, Vali, Ull, Haenir, Forseti, Loki;....."

[Skaldskaparmal]

"How shall Baldr be referred to? By calling him son of Odin and Frigg, husband of Nanna, father of Forseti,......"

[Skaldskaparmal]

"Yet shall be listed names of Aesir. There is Ygg and Thor and Yngvi-Freyr, Vidar and Baldr, Vali and Heimdall. Then there is Tyr and Niord, I list Bragi next, Hod,Forseti. Here is Loki last."

[Skaldskaparmal]

There are no adventures ascribed to Him in the Eddas which gives the impression that he may have been a `minor` God, if there can be such a thing! An alternative explanation is that he represents the image of a very ancient God. We should not forget that not a great deal is mentioned about the God Tyr in the Eddas but we know that He is a much older deity than Woden and once occupied the chief seat amongst the Gods. So it is quite possible that Forseti or Fosite was eclipsed by another God. If this is the case then who could this God have been?

My guess is that He is Thunor, Forseti`s uncle. This is not so unusual as one may think. Tyr who was once senior to Woden and probably existed at a time when Woden didn`t and yet nevertheless was relegated in the Eddas to being his `son`. We see a similar thing happening with Forseti becoming the nephew of Thunor although He may have been a much older deity.
Fosite, the God of the Frisians who made up part of the Anglo-Saxon tribes like Forseti was a God of justice as the legends surrounding the origin of the Lex Frisionum [Law of the Frisians]makes clear:

Wishing to assemble written lawcodes for all his subject peoples, Charlemagne summoned twelve representatives of the Frisian people, the Āsegas ('law-speakers'), and demanded they recite their people's laws. When they could not do so after several days, he let them choose between death, slavery, or being set adrift in a rudderless boat. They chose the last and prayed for help, whereupon a thirteenth man appeared, with a golden axe on his shoulder. He steered the boat to land with the axe, then threw it ashore; a spring appeared where it landed. He taught them laws and then disappeared.The stranger and the spring are identified with Fosite and the sacred spring of Fositesland.

In addition to being both Gods of justice and having similar names Fosite carries an axe and as previous articles on my Aryan Myth and Metahistory and Celto-Germanic Culture, Myth and History blogs make clear the axe was the prototype of the hammer of the Thunder God in both Germanic and Indo-European mythology. Thus there is a link between Him and the Thunder God Thunor. Also applying the practice of folk etymology there is also a link between the name of Thor and Forseti.
The judge`s or chairman`s gavel has its origins in the hammer or axe of this God of justice as alluded to in the writings of Rune Master and Ariosophist Guido von List.
Interestingly the reference to the twelve Asegas has a parallel with the 12 Aesir-the major male Gods that is who sat in judgement at the well of Urd each day.

I believe that the legend regarding Fosite and the Asegas is the remnant of a very ancient story preserved amongst the Frisians and reveals an earlier phase of Thunor as His wielding of an axe rather than a hammer indicates.