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Sunday, 22 December 2013

Taranis and Thunaraz-a Comparison.



The Celts named their thunder deity after their term for thunder:

"Taranis is cognate with the u-stem *taranu- seen in Old Irish torann, Welsh taran `thunder`. The Celtic taran- is metathetic for tanar-(= Germanic *thunar- `thunder`)" [Comparative Mythology, Jaan Puhvel, 1987]

The Teutonic peoples did likewise: 
"Thor (ON Thorr, in southern areas >Donar.)"
"Donar. The southern Germanic equivalent of the Germanic god of thunder who is called> Thor in the north, and Thunor in Old English."
"Thunor (OE). The OE of the Germanic name of the god of thunder > Thor/Donar."
 "Thunaer. Old Saxon form of the name of the god Thor/Donar."

All these terms are related to the Germanic *thunar-`thunder`. The original name for the Proto-Germanic Thunder God would therefore have been *Thunaraz. The Slavs and Balts on the other hand did not name their thunder deity directly after the word for thunder. As I have previously established [*Perkunos- the Original Name of the Northern PIE Thunder God [published here on 12/8/12] the Balts and Slavs had very similar names for this deity: Perkonis amongst the Prussians[Prussian is an extinct Baltic language], Perkons from the Latvian and Perkunas from the Lithuanian. Amongst the Slavic peoples He is named Perun[Czech]and Pyerun[Russian]and Perunu[Old Russian]. All of these form derive from *Perkunos and the first element of the name, Per is derived from PIE *peru, meaning `stone`. So this derivation is very different than the Proto-Germanic *Thunaraz and Proto-Celtic *Tonaros. Unlike the Balts and Slavs who are satem Indo-European speaking peoples the Celts and Teutons[in common with the original Nordic Latins] were centum speaking Indo-Europeans and thus we may assume that they shared a common living space after their dispersal from the original Aryan Urheimat. The Teutons remained closer to the Balts and Slavs than the Celts did which is demonstrated in the name of Thor`s mother. We should recollect that an alternative name for Jord[Thor`s mother] is Fjorgyn which Jaan Puhvel [Comparative Mythology] states is a cognate with *Perkunos. Interestingly there is a male version of this name, Fjorgynn who is said to be the father of the Godess Frigg. This would make Him the grandfather of Thor and thus possibly an older term for Thor/Thunaer/Thunor/Donar, bringing the Teutonic Thunder God`s name closer to the northern PIE original.

Although `thunder` and `stone` are obviously different terms we know that Thunaer`s  original weapon was an axe, not a hammer[in common with the Balts and Slavs] and that this was made of stone, not Iron. The antiquity of the stone axe, the symbol of the ancient Indo-Europeans is reflected in the etymology of the word `hammer` which originally meant `stone.` Thus the hammer developed from the axe and changed from being a stone weapon to one of metal. However even in the Bronze Age Indo-European chieftains still retained the stone battle axe as a mace of authority as can be seen in the grave artifacts at the Bush Barrow near Stonehenge. [See my The Bush Barrow Stone Mace- Indo-European Thunder Axe?, published on 1/6/13 on my Aryan Myth and Metahistory blog].  In Chapter 31 of Teutonic Mythology volume 1 by Viktor Rydberg it is stated:


"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. The club is, as we have seen, the weapon of  the Teutonic patriarch, and is wielded side by side with Thor`s hammer in the conflict with the powers of frost."


And in Chapter 111:

 "In the Teutonic mythology, Thor`s hammer was not originally of metal, but of stone."

Ryberg in his Teutonic Mythology volume 2[Investigations into Germanic Mythology Volume II Part 1], Chapter 29 repeats this argument:


" "And in the poem, verse 51, it is said that Thor`s sons shall possess Vingnir`s hammer after the battle of Ragnarok-doubtlessly referred to as such, because Thor received his first hammer either from Vingnir or in a battle with him."[Section 97] 

"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." [Section 110]

 "It is certain that Thor took a stone hammer from Vingnir`s home as a spoil of victory, which he always used against the giants afterwards, except during the short time he possessed an iron hammer that Mimir`s son Sindri had forged for him."[Our Fathers` Godsaga, Viktor Rydberg]

And from 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."

Thus `thunder` and `stone` are two related concepts connected to the axe or hammer wielding Sky God. Certain fossils and stones were made into amulets and carried by our ancestors to provide protection against lightning. In particular bemnites, ammonites and sea urchins were considered to be thunderstones, discharged by the Thunder God and their possession helped guard against destructive lightning strikes.



Sunday, 24 November 2013

The Worship of Krodo and Ostera by Sacred Fire



In an earlier article titled Krodo, a Lost Saxon God Traceable to Aryan Times [7/9/13] I discussed the existence and origins of this lesser known God. Whilst His worship was localised to the Harz Mountains of northern Germany He is a Saxon deity and thus should be of relevance to Wodenists here in England also.
It is high time that this God was once again given the honours due to Him.

Whilst perusing Legends and Tales of the Harz Mountains, North Germany[1885] by Maria EliseTurner Lauder I was immediately struck by the following passage which is to be found in the tale The Steinkirche and the Hermit:

"In the grey days long ago, when paganism ruled the land, there stood on the hills near the cave called the Steinkirche-altars to the gods.Bright were the fires to Krodo in the darkness of the night, and on the opposite cliffs rose the fire pillar in honour of the goddess Ostera."         

What is significant about this passage is that Krodo was woshiped in close proximity and in conjunction with Ostera, a Goddess who is much more well known to us. The second interesting point is that these deities were obviously worshiped during the night and by the use of sacred fires. The nighttime is in my opinion the most appropriate time to honour our Gods for this is the time when we become more receptive and aware of non-human activity. In particular dusk and dawn represent liminal boundaries between light and darkness and thus between Midgarth and other planes of existence. This is an important point that we need to take on board. All of my spiritual and magical undertakings are carried out in darkness.

The story goes on to relate how a xtian hermit converted the "wild Sassen" by a `miracle` when he struck the hard rock with a wooden axe and this supposedly had an immediate effect on the heathen Saxons. In reality nothing of the kind occurred. We know that instead that the temple of Krodo [and presumably of Ostera] was overthrown by the King of the Franks, Charlemagne [Karl der Grosse- Charles the Great]:

"Bothe`s Sassenchronik relates under the year 780, that King Charles, during his conquest of the East Saxons, overthrew on the Hartesburg an idol similar to Saturn, which the people called Krodo."[Teutonic Mythology Volume 1, Jacob Grimm]

The image at the head of this article is reputed to be the head of Krodo built into the wall of the Schlosskirche in Buendheim, Bad Harzburg.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

The Thorstein in the Harz Mountains





In the Harz Mountains, south of Halberstadt there stands a massive rock formation called the Glaeserner Moench-the Glass Monk or Crystal Monk. However the ancient Teutons called this sandstone rock the Thorstein-Thor`s Stone. Only with the enforced xtianisation of my  Saxon ancestors did the name change to the Glass Monk. This latter name unfortunately still persists to this day, possibly out of false notions of political correctness rather than fear of the impotent dying xtian church.

After the conversion of the Saxons a legend developed about a nun and monk breaking their vows of chastity and being turned into sandstone. The shape of the rock is suggestive of both a monk`s hood but also of Donar`s hammer. Donar was worshiped both in the forest and on mountains and the sound of His thunder in the Harz is quite dramatic. Early Bronze Age finds dating back to about 2,000 BCE have been discovered in this location.

Further Reflections on Woden`s Eye



I have before remarked on my blogs the similarity between the Germanic God Woden and the Celtic Lugus/Lugh/Lleu. Woden as we know has one eye due to His deposit of an eye in Mimir`s well in order to gain wisdom. Likewise when engaging in magic the Irish Lugh closes one eye and hops on one foot. Both Gods wielded a magical spear and Lleu[Welsh form of Lugh] was able to transform Himself into an eagle after His `death`. Lleu then took up residence in a tree on a plain[which in mythology has magical significance] and one is reminded of the suspension of Woden on the World Tree for nine days and nights.

Scholars also draw parallels between the Gaulish God Esus[a possible explanation for the name given to the Nazarene] and Lugus and thus with Woden. We know that men were sacrificed to Esus by hanging and stabbing in sacred groves, methods of sacrifice sacred of course to Woden who is known as Hangatyr[The Gods of the Hanged] who hung and stabbed Himself whilst on the World Tree. Anne Ross in her Pagan Celtic Britain[1967] stresses "the necessity for a general investigation of religious exchanges and influences between the Celtic and Germanic peoples."

The preservation of Mimir`s head with herbs and incantations spoken by Woden along with the association of the presence of His lost eye in Mimir`s well have strong parallels in Celtic mythology. The Celts were renown for the preservation of skulls for sacred and magical purposes. This may hint at a common Celto-Germanic inherited legacy rather than `exchange` or `borrowing`. One particular important example is the preservation of the head of Bran which seemed to have similar properties to Mimir`s.

In the past some scholars have associated the Gaulish Lugos with ravens, another connection with Woden.
Lugus is both a martial and an intellectual/magical God:

"He appears to have been regarded as a deity of a type which is closely paralleled by the Germanic Odin, and in the descriptions of Odin`s powers as a magician, patron of the arts and crafts, and in the representations of him as a horse-riding, spear-brandishing warrior, accompanied by his two ravens of wisdom and knowledge, we are clearly dealing with a closely similar concept, perhaps ultimately stemming from a common European religious tradition."[Ross]

Interestingly there is a further association with the Welsh Bran via the raven:

"Bran is associated with the bird by reason of his name alone..."[Ross]

I have commented before that the presence of Woden`s eye in Mimir`s well symbolises the passage of the sun across the sky, finally descending into the sea in the west prior to its resurrection in the east. Significantly the Sun Wheel, Sonnenrad or Solar Cross is the symbol of Woden whilst curiously the Fylfot or Swastika belongs to Thunor, symbolising His hammer or axe in flight. Jaan Puhvel in his Comparative Mythology, 1987[which I highly endorse]  associates the eye with the well in other Indo-European cultures.

"`Eye` and `[well]spring are curiously interchangeable in the lexica of many Indo-European and Semitic languages: Hittite sakui-, Armenian akn, Akkadian inu[m], Hebrew and Arabic `ayn have both meanings, Persian casm `eye` and casma `spring` both reflect Old Iranian casman- `eye`, and Latvian aka `well` matches Russian oko `eye`. The connection might reside in mythical traditions about fiery substances deep in water on the one hand, attested from India and Iran to Ireland, and in prescientific speculations about sight as an intraocular form of fire, found for example in Plato`s Timaeus (45b-d) and in the Old Indic Sutrasthana (21.7) by Susruta."

So one can visualise how Woden`s lost eye is a fiery circle that submerges into the well or sea which represents the Unconscious. On a personal note this conforms with  my own Wodenic initiatory experience which I related in my article A Personal Mystical Vision of the Runes from 17/10/11 posted on my Die Armanenschaft der Ario-Germanen blog.

The remaining eye of Woden symbolises intellectual knowledge and the Conscious whilst His submerged sacrificed eye represents instinctual knowledge, the  Unconscious and the Blood Memory which may be referred to as the Racial Collective Unconscious. Likewise His raven Huginn stands for thought, the intellect and the Conscious. Muninn on the other hand stands for memory, both personal and collective as the Blood Memory, the instincts and ancestral knowledge. In the Grimnismal in the Elder Edda it is stated[Benjamin Thorpe translation]:


"Hugin and Munin fly each day
over the spacious earth.
I fear for Hugin, that he come not back,
yet more anxious am I for Munin"

The well of course can be linked to the sacred cauldron of Indo-European mythology, most strongly found in Celtic and Arthurian mythology and also known as the Graal. This is a theme which I intend to comment further on in a future article.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Further Reflections on the 432,000 Einheriar



My readers will be aware that Walhalla is said to have 540 doors through which 800 warriors pass through each one, making a total of 432,000 Einheriar.

"Five hundred doors and forty
          I think there are in Valhall;
          eight hundreds of warriors will go together from one
          door
          when they go to fight the wolf."[Grimnismal 23, Elder Edda, Larrington translation]

In the very next verse we are told that Thunor`s hall Bilskirnir[which means `the one striking lightning with rays of light`-Simek or `suddenly illuminated by lightning`-Lindow] also contain 540 rooms.

"Five hundred daises and forty,
          so I think Bilskirnir has in all;
          of all those halls which I know to be roofed,
          my son`s I think is the greatest."[Grimnismal 24, Larrington translation]

Benjamin Thorpe translates `daises` as floors in his translation. John Lindow in his Handbook of Norse Mythology using the Clarendon translation refers to 540 `rooms`. The general scholarly consensus seems to be that it is rooms not daises nor floors that Grimnismal is meant to convey. Snorri Stturluson in Gylfaginning in the Younger Edda quotes from Grimnismal and refers to `apartments`:

"Five hundred apartments and yet forty more I think are in
           Bilskirnir in all. Of the buildings whose roofs I know, I
           know my son`s is the greatest."

Significantly then the number 540 is associated with both Woden[Walhalla] and Thunor[Bilskirnir]. The repetition of this number may be important as the ancients may have wished to emphasise some great teaching to us. It also could signify that despite who may be the reigning God of the Aesir at the time, whether it be [originally] Thunor or [latterly] Woden it is the number which is significant.

I cannot but help think of the words of the Nazarene in John 14:2: "In my father`s house are many mansions."
This is not a Jewish but an Aryan concept. One could just as easily say: "In All-Father`s house are many mansions."

Viktor Rydberg in Our Fathers` Godsaga states that the "Prose Edda perpetuates many errors" in referring to Bilskirnir as Thunor`s residence and that instead it is another name for Walhalla.

At the time of Ragnarok the 432,000 Einheriar[540 x 800] will march forth to do battle against the enemies of the Gods and men. Interestingly  the number 432,000 is the number of years that the Kali Yuga will last according to Hindu mythology. In Sumerian mythology 10 great kings lived a total of 432,000 years. In Mesopotamian belief 432,000 years lapsed between the crowning of the first earthly king and the coming of the deluge. Ragnarok therefore will be both the conclusion of the Wolf Age and the beginning of a new Golden Age.

"Valhalla presents yet another aspect which links it with Eastern scriptures of remote antiquity: Odin in Grimnismal tells his pupil that there are `five hundred doors and forty more` to Valhalla; and that eight hundred warriors issue from each when Odin emerges to war with the wolf. Further we are told that there are five hundred and forty halls in bulging Bilskirner (the shining abode), the largest being `my son`s`- the solar deity`s. Multiplying 540 x 800 we get 432,000 warriors and the same number of halls. In both Babylonian and Indian chronologies this figure occurrs in numerous ways. Multiples of it define specific astronomical cycles while, divided by various numbers, it applies to terrestrial events of greater frequency, even down to the pulse beat of the human heart, generally reckoned as 72 beats per minute. It is itself the length in human years assigned to the Iron Age, in Sanskrit the kali yuga, when the forces of darkness are most challenging."[The Masks of Odin. Wisdom of the Ancient Norse, Elsa-Brita Titchnell]

Hinting at a common Aryan source for this wisdom she states:

"Curious that this should be the number assigned to Odin`s champions. It certainly hints vigorously at some common source from which these widely separated traditions have descended and at some hidden meaning which makes this figure recur in them."  








Monday, 11 November 2013

The Aesir and Vanir, a Reflection of the Megalithic and Battle Ax Peoples and Their Fusion



It is my contention that the megaliths of northern Europe were constructed by the forefathers of the Germanic peoples who are themselves a fusion of the Northern European Megalithic culture and the Corded Ware/Single Burial/Battle Ax Culture.

The controversy of where to locate the historic Urheimat of the Aryan peoples may never be conclusively decided. Using different scientific disciplines such as comparative linguistics, archaeology, comparative mythology and more recently DNA studies we can at least throw some light upon the subject.
One thing is more or less certain and that the Out of Asia theory is no longer popular and indeed even in the 19th century was not universally accepted. My personal view is that the undivided Aryan people, what scholars would call the Proto-Indo-Europeans originally lived as one people somewhere in Northern Europe. Apart from my own biased sentiments this location best fits the known available evidence. There will be many people who will read this and fervently disagree with me but they are welcome to do so.

The Proto-Indo-Europeans-I shall now instead use the shorter and more convenient term of Aryans are associated with three material cultures which are usually closely linked by scholars: the Corded Ware, Single Grave Burial and Battle Ax cultures. For convenience sake and out of personal preference I will use the term `Battle Ax people` as a collective noun.

We must be careful and not make the simple equation that language = race. Sometimes it does but more often than not it is not a reliable indicator of ethnic and racial origins. Prior to the arrival of the Battle Axe people there already dwellt a Nordic population in northern Europe.


"The arrival in the North of people of the Corded Ware-Single Grave culture made very little change in the physical characteristics of the inhabitants, since the bearers of this culture were Nordic, as were those of the Megalithic culture in the North. Chemical analysis of the preserved hair of the Bronze Age tree-trunk burials show depigmented, that is, blond hair." [The Germanic People. Their Origin Expansion & Culture, Francis Owen, 1960]. 

What therefore changed were not the racial characteristics of Northern Europe but their physical cultures.
Not only were the speakers of Germanic Nordic but so were the bearers of Proto-Indo-European.

"The original speakers of Indo-European must have been Nordic."[Owen]
 "At the same time the fact that the first Aryans were Nordics was not without importance. The physical qualities of that stock did enable them by the bare fact of superior strength to conquer even more advanced peoples and so to impose their language on areas from which the bodily type has almost completely vanished. This is the truth underlying the panegyrics of the Germanists: the Nordics` superiority in physique fitted them to be the vehicles of a superior language."[The Aryans, V. Gordon Childe,

The dominant physical type in Europe has always been Nordic and even today scholars are not in disagreement with this fact. The only physical culture that can be associated  with the Aryans in Northern Europe has its location in Saxony and Thuringia.

"This leaves only the Corded Ware culture of Upper Saxony and Thuringia to be associated with the original Indo-Europeans."[Owen]
 "On the basis of the archaeological and anthropological evidence the conclusion must be that the people of the Single Grave-Corded Ware-Battle Ax culture were the original Indo-Europeans."[Owen]

The bearers of this original Aryan culture expanded from the area of Saxony further north and towards the east into Russia. Many today speculate that the Aryan homeland is to be located in Russia but I contend that this is where the Aryans expanded into on their way to India, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan etc. The direction of movement was always to the east-Der Drang nach Osten!

"It is difficult to see how the bearers of this culture could have originated in Southern Russia. It is true that the kurgans in that region were Single Graves and certain examples of the Corded Ware pottery, but many of them belong to the Bronze and even to the Iron Age. The older graves would be the result of the expansion of the Single Grave-Corded Ware people into Southern Russia from the West as part of the general expansion described above."[Owen]

Professor Owen points out that in the Central Asiatic steppes "There is no evidence of the use of such a device as the Corded Ware technique, nor is there any indication of the presence of anything like the Single Grave, the facetted battle-ax or the boat-ax. This explanation is a survival of the traditional belief of ex oriente lux."

The dogma of ex oriente lux or light comes from the east survives to the present day and there is a prejudice amongst many scholars against any idea of civilisation coming from the north or the west. Thankfully these blind book worms are being proved wrong every day as new evidence continues to emerge of the northern origins of civilisation-an Aryan civilisation at that!

This Aryan culture of Single Grave burial can be traced right back to the Mesolithic and even the Upper Paleolithic and may have influenced the development of the Northern Megalithic culture.

"That the people of the Single Grave-Corded Ware culture in their original home in Upper Saxony and Thuringia were physically of the Nordic type can scarcely be disputed, and this is equally true of all the areas into which these colonizers carried this culture, either by peaceful expansion or military conquest."[Owen]

The Aryan Nordic Battle Ax people emerging from the Saxon heartlands merged with the Nordic Northern Megalithic people to create what we now know today as the Germanic or Teutonic peoples. This actual prehistoric event is reflected in Germanic mythology in the war between the Aesir and the Vanir, the Aesir being the Battle Ax people who worshipped the Sky God whose symbol is the ax, later to become the hammer of Thunor, and the earth deities of the Vanir of which Nerthus is an early example.

"The amalgamation of the peoples and cultures of the Northern Megalithic and the Single Grave-Corded Ware-Battle Ax cultures which resulted in the formation of the Germanic people, was followed by a relatively long period of internal development before the first phase of Germanic expansion began."[Owen]
"The religion of the Sky God was introduced into Northern Europe by the Indo-European bearers of the Corded Ware culture."[Owens]

The union of the Aesir and Vanir reflects the intermarrying that took place between these two Nordic peoples to create the Germanic peoples.

"Thus Othin[Woden], who in the early developments of Teutonic religion probably was a Sky-god, was the husband of Jord, the Earth-goddess and mother of Thor, the thunder-god."[The Rites of Old Europe 12,000-3,500 BC, E.O. James]   

Founding wars between two opposing pantheons of Gods may of course be found amongst other Indo-European peoples of course, reflecting similar prehistorical events but it is in the Eddas that we gain valuable literary primary evidence for the origins of the Germanic peoples which is supported by archaeology and other disciplines. The supreme meeting between the Battle Ax and Northern Megalithic cultures is best represented in England`s Stonehenge with its numerous Bronze Age axe carvings in the sarcens. Thus these two symbols: the ax and the megalith are sacred to the Aryan Germanic peoples today just as they were thousands of years ago.

"The new Temple of the God of the Sky stands where the festivals of the Great Goddess used to be held before the warriors with their battle-axes came across the sea from the east with their new god whom we could see was more to be feared."[Stonehenge of the Kings, Patrick Crampton, 1967]
 "And these battle-axe users seem to have played a powerful role in the fusion of cultures which led to the extraordinary upsurge at the time of the final building of Stonehenge."[Crampton]

It is interesting that the author of Atlantis of the North, Juergen Spanuth also comes to a similar conclusion and points out that the oldest dolmens are to found in Schleswig-Holstein, the "heartland of the Nordic Megalithic" culture which he says spread eastwards and sounthwards. He also points out that the oldest axes in the world are to be found in northern Europe and draws a connection between the axe and the megalithic culture. Like other scholars Spanuth believes that the war between the Aesir and the Vanir referred to in the Younger Edda and the Heimskringla[both works by Snorri] is a mythologising of an actual event that took place in northern Europe; a clash between invading Battle Ax people and the more indigenous Megalithic people which ultimately led to their fusion into a single people: the Germanic people. This is reflected in the fusion of the Aesir and the Vanir, the Vanir being subsumed to the the Aesir who were clearly more dominant.

"The gods of the two peoples, the Vanir of the megalith builders and the Aesir of the Corded-ware People, also amalgamated with one another."[Spanuth]


Sunday, 10 November 2013

The Cerne Abbas Giant and Donar

Much debate has been had over the years concerning the age and identity of the Cerne Abbas Giant. Scholars often compare him to the classical demi-god Hercules or Heracles. I have in one recent article drawn my readers` attention to a lost Saxon God called Heil and his cult centred around the area of Cerne Abbas. We know very little about Heil and it would be useless to speculate beyond the bounds of my article Heil, Lost God of the Saxons[27/10/13] until further evidence has been found.

Those scholars who suggest a link between the giant and Hercules are in favour of a Roman antiquity to the figure but I believe that it is much older and more native than this. The Dagda, the primary God of the Irish-Celtic mythology would be a better fit for the evidence. The Dagda was a supreme and protective deity and He is renown for His iron club and cauldron which is a possible source for the Holy Graal, an object plagiarised and misrepresented by the xtian church. The Dagda was known as the All-Father and here we are reminded of the Germanic All-Father Woden. In Irish mythology The Dagda became chief of the Tuatha De Danann after the loss of Nuada`s hand in battle. We are again reminded of a similar event in Germanic mythology. The once supreme Tiw was replaced by Woden and Tiw also lost His hand, not in battle but as a sacrifice to restrain the Fenris Wolf. It would seem that both mythologies are representing a similar Aryan event, the eclipse of one Sky God by another.


However scholars tend to equate Woden more with Lugh. Like Woden Lugh also carried a formidable magic spear and was connected with ravens. Lugh used magic and as with Woden He is known to have had either one eye or used a one eyed magical technique. Thunor on the other hand has a closer parallel with The Dagda. Like Tiw, Thunor once held supreme position amongst the other Germanic Gods but in many Germanic lands was later eclipsed by Woden. Thunor`s thunder weapon was generally held to be an axe like the Baltic and Slavic counterparts. This axe later evolved into the hammer. Sometimes images or amulets are indistinguishable between the two. However it is less well known that He is also associated with a club. Indeed in the Rhineland Donar is more associated with the club than an axe or hammer. Some scholars postulate that this is because of cultural contact and exchange with the Romans. However this can not be the case with The Dagda and there is reason to believe that this weapon was common to both the Celtic and Germanic Thunder God at an early stage. In a sense this represents the series of development of weapons and tools through prehistory to historical times.

Donarkeule[Donar Clubs] were popular in Anglo-Saxon Britain and examples have been found with `hailstone` markings. Significantly no such finds have been unearthed in Scandinavia. [See The Divine Thunderbolt. Missile of the Gods by J.T. Sibley, 2009]. If the giant does have an origin which goes no further back than the Roman occupation of southern Britain then it could just as easily represent the God Donar as Hercules for we know that German mercenaries did serve Rome and they could be responsible for the creation of this chalk figure.

The enlarged phallus of the giant along with the club signifies a fertilty role and we know that Thunor`s hammer was a fertility symbol as well as a weapon. We are reminded of the story of the loss of Thor`s hammer in Thrymskvida in the Elder Edda in which the hammer is placed in the lap of the `bride`[Thor] as part of the marriage ceremony. This symbolism continues on into folklore:

"In Scandinavia the union of man and wife was anciently consecrated by laying Thor`s symbol, the hammer, in the brides`s lap; and Thursday is still regarded as an auspicious day for marrying. In Germany, where Christian tradition has partially identified Thor with the devil, it is held unlucky to marry on that day.

"In a wood near Dahle there was formerly a great oak tree (now reduced to a stump) to which new married couples used to repair, dance round it three times, and cut a cross upon it. This cross betokened of yore Thor`s hammer, the consecrator of marriage."[Curiosites of Indo-European Folk-lore, Walter Keating Kelly, 1863]

The Dagda seems to be a God that was limited to Ireland and not pan-Celtic. Celtic mythology is replete with hundreds of local deities so I would contend that the Cerne Abbas Giant is more likely to have his origins in Donar than either The Dagda or Hercules.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Polar Symbolism and the Immoveable Centre in Aryan and Celto-Germanic Tradition



The idea of the sacred centre in an important feature in Germanic, Celtic and other Indo-European spiritual systems. This is most clearly evidenced in Ireland and Iceland, both of which are islands in the outer perimeter of the Aryan European centre. This may be significant, the idea of an island in the middle of the sea.

In Iceland shortly after its colonisation from Norway the island was split into four quadrants, each governed by a Thing, the Germanic legal assembly in which laws were made and recited and cases brought before the law for settlement. The centre of the four Things is where the annual All-Thing was held at Thingvellir where the most important cases were settled. In Ireland we also have a similar sacred centre at Tara which was surrounded by the four Irish kingdoms of Ulster, Connact, Leinster and Munster. This centre like Thingvellir in Iceland had both a sacral and legal aspect. This was the symbolic centre of Ireland and the residence of the High King.

Hilda Roderick Ellis Davidson in Myths and Symbols of Pagan Europe[1988] 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 by some scholars 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.

The location of a stone, mountain or tree at the sacred centre  reminds me of the polestar around which the milky way in the form of the flyfot circulates. The pole is immoveable, only the outer arms of the fylfot rotate.
Polar symbolism is an integral aspect of Aryan Hyperborean tradition:

"Its motionless centre signifies the spiritual stability inherent in those who are not affected by the stream and who can organise and subject to a higher principle the energies and the activities connected to the inferior nature. Then the cakravartin appears as the dhamaraja, the `Lord of the Law`, or the `Lord of the Wheel of the Law.` According to Confucius: `The practice of government by means of virtue may be compared to the polestar, which the multitudinous stars pay homage to while it stays in its place.` Hence the meaning of the concept of `revolution`, which is the motion occurring around an `unmoved mover`, though in our modern day and age it has become synonymous with subversion.

"In this sense royalty assumes the value of a `pole`, by referring to a general traditional symbolism. We may recall here, besides Midgard(the heavenly `middle abode` described in the Nordic traditions), Plato`s reference to the place where Zeus holds counsel with the gods in order to reach a decision concerning the fate of Atlantis: `He accordingly summoned all the gods to his own most glorious abode, which stands at the centre of the universe and looks out over the whole realm of change.`"[Revolt Against the Modern World, Julius Evola, 1934]

Evola goes on to discuss some of the symbols of  regality and their polar connections, eg the sceptre which is symbolically related to the `axis of the world` and the throne which like the mountain is an elevated place. In Germanic mythology the sword of Tiw, the spear of Woden and the club of Donar would of course represent the royal sceptre. At various times these Gods represented the highest of the Northern Gods: first Tiw, then Thunor and latterly Woden. Likewise in Celtic mythology the sceptre symbolism is found in the sword of Nuada, the spear of Lugh and the club of the Dagda. In turn these Celtic counterparts for the Germanic high Gods also represented the chiefs of the Gods.

Tiw is a more remote deity from Thunor and Woden. This may in part be the result of the distance in time since Tiw was regarded as the highest God. In historical times this honour was accorded to Woden and prior to that, Thunor. Tiw is thus transcendent, immoveable and His laws are fixed. He is the centre around which all else revolves. He is the `unmoved mover`. This symbolism is also reflected in the Indo-Aryan myth of  Shakti and Shiva, Shiva representing the divine male who is still and unmoving. His function is action via non-action. This is discussed in some detail in Julius Evola`s Eros and the Mysteries of Love[1958]


Thursday, 7 November 2013

Taranis, Thunor and Brian Branston

Whilst there is good range of books available on Germanic mythology and religion, over 95% of them are concerned purely or primarily with the North Germanic, Norse or Scandinavian branches of our people. There are very few books available in English on the subject of Anglo-Saxon, Netherlandic or German mythology. Indeed there is also little available in English on Baltic and Slavic mythology and religion and yet there is an abundance of material on Celtic mythology. Why this is the case I am not entirely sure but I believe that some of it is down to the rejection by many English people of their Germanic heritage as the result of two world wars caused and maintained by England against her continental Germanic brethren. This prejudice is also reflected in so-called academic circles.

One popular book on English mythology was published in 1957 by Brian Branston: The Lost Gods of England. This is an easy to read work and is full of useful and interesting information but it is not without fault. Whilst discussing Thunor Branston makes this partly erroneous observation:

"Thunor means `thunder`. The god was christened[if the verb is permissable] in the lower Rhineland although one could not say that he was born there. It was at a time when Saxons and Celts were rubbing shoulders: they traded goods, they traded ideas and they traded gods. The name Thunor I take to come from the second element of Celtic Jupiter Tanarus, the `Thundering Jupiter` and it must have been adopted into a Saxon dialect during the period before the North West European Sound Shift, that is, before A.D. 1."

There is no evidence whatsoever to deduce that the Germanic Thunor`s name has its origins in the Celtic Tanarus. That is simply bad scholarship. He presumes a great deal and expects us take his presumptions as scholarly fact!

"Taranis is cognate with the u-stem *taranu- seen in Old Irish torann, Welsh taran `thunder`. The Celtic taran- is metathetic for tanar-(= Germanic *thunar- `thunder`)" [Comparative Mythology, Jaan Puhvel, 1987]

Simply put, both the Celts and the Teutons named their Thunder God after their respective terms for `thunder`. It does not in way imply a borrowing one from the other. There could be grounds of course to assume that both Taranis and Thunor descended from a common Celto-Germanic  form. In fact this to a certain extent makes some sense as both the Slavs and the Balts named their Thunder deity after Perkunas[and its many variants] which has its origins in the Proto-Indo-European *Perkunos, loosely named after the concept of the oak tree rather than thunder. So in this sense the Celts and the Teutons have a closer affinity.

Branston also appears to be rather reluctant to use the term `Germanic` or `Teutonic`, preferring instead to use the ridiculous and cumberson `North West European`!

"It is important, if we are to understand our own mythology, to explore the relationship existing between the northern peoples, that branch of the Indo-European speakers who were the ancestors of the present day Germans, Frisians, Dutch, Danes, Swedes, Norwegians, Icelanders and English. This group has been called in the past the Germanic or Teutonic nations: both names are ambiguous, for a part has come to be used for the whole, while both terms have an undesireable emotional colouring. I therefore propose to use a phrase formed in the same way as `Indo-European` and to call the ancestors of the Germans, Frisians, Dutch, Danes, Swedes, Norwegians, Icelanders and English after the part of the continent we first find them inhabiting in historical times the `North West Europeans`".
The emphasis is mine. Thank the Gods that his ridiculous notion did not catch on even in the politically correct and stifling halls of acadaemia!

 

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Heil, Lost God of the Anglo-Saxons



Recently whilst perusing my copy of Charles Isaac Elton`s Origins of English History I noticed a reference to an obscure Anglo-Saxon deity. Whilst discussing the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons to xtianity he writes:

"The history of the conversion is full of incidents which illustrate the character of the English paganism. We are told of Ethelbert`s care to meet the missionaries under the open sky, for fear of the magical influence which they might gain by crossing his threshold; of the king bowing before his idol in a road-side shrine near Canterbury, and taking part with his nobles in the offering of the sacrifices, and of Augistine in his journey to the West breaking to pieces the image of a god which was adored by the villagers. The local traditions preserve the remembrance of the Woden-Hill within sight of the missionaries` landing-place, and of a temple on the site where Westminster Abbey stands, once `a place of dread` on the march-land where several kingdoms joined, but dedicated to the wealthy `King of London`, at the request of his protector Ethelbert."

The footnote to this text states:

"Bede, Hist. Eccl. i. 25; Thorn`s Chronicle, Dec. Script. 1760. `Cerne Abbey was built by Austin, the English apostle, when he had dash`d to pieces the idol of the pagan Saxons called Heil, and had delivered them from their superstitious ignorance.` Camden, Brit. 56; Will. Malmesb. Gesta Pontificum, 142."

I cannot however find any reference to the incident of the destruction of the idol of Heil in the relevant section of Bede`s Ecclesiastical History of the English People. However according to Paul Newman`s Lost Gods of Albion:

"The French hagiographer Gotselin[1058-98] was the first to record St Augustine`s visit to Cerne not long after he settled at Canterbury in 1090. Drawing on an earlier source-quite possibly Saxon-he describes the `demoniac` worshippers of `Helia` taunting and driving out St Augistine and his band. This account filtered into ampler chronicles, notably De Gestis Anglorum, written and compliled by William of Malmesbury, a scion of mixed Norman and English stock who died c. 1143."

Newman goes on to recount how Augistine came to `Cernel`, the old name for Cerne and he was jeered at and repulsed by the local community. He also refers to the Life of St Augistine in which the author tells us that Augustine destroyed the idol Heil, or Hegle. Walter of Coventry, a 13th century chronicler also recites a version of the story in which he refers to the idol as Helith. The well of  Augustine still stands at Cerne Abbas. Could it be that Heil, Hegle or Helith is the Anglo-Saxon name for Cerne? According to the 1789 edition of William Camden`s Britannia and William Stukely the chalk hill figure was called `Helis`.

Whether this figure has its origins with the Anglo-Saxons no one can determine but it is absolutely clear that our ancestors did venerate this figure and equated it with Heil. This often happens when new peoples take over an ancient sacred site. They honour it but name it after their own god or gods. One interesting aspect of the Cerne giant is that he wields a club in his right hand and some have speculated that he represents Hercules and thus has a Roman origin. However we need to bear in mind that Thunor also wielded a club as an alternative to the axe or hammer and thus it could just as easily be related to Him. The etymology though is against this idea and it is more likely that this area was sacred to the God referred to as Heil. The name would imply possibly a deity of healing. This name, particularly in the form Helith is in fact suggestive of a Goddess rather than a male deity. It is interesting that the well I referred to is reckoned to have healing properties and thus predates Augustine`s arrival there. Some have speculated that Helith may be related to Frau Hoelle or the Norse Hel but more research is surely needed about this deity before we can speak with any authority about Him/Her.



Sunday, 20 October 2013

The Harz, Thunor and the Ar-cynn


The ancient Hercynian Forest of northern Europe at one time stretched from the Ardennes through to the Black Forest and Harz Mountains along to Bohemia. It marked the division between northern and southern Europe. At one time Germany itself was almost totally covered by forest and still even today is heavily forested.

Hercynian is believed to have a Proto-Celtic derivation from *perkunia, meaning "oak". With the loss of the initial `p` and the addition of `h` in Latin the word becomes Hercynian. It is probable that Harz is in turn derived from Hercynian and is Middle High German for "mountain forest".

It is significant that from *perkunia we have a direct link to the reconstructed name of the North-West Aryan Thunder God *Perkunos. *Perkunos and the related Proto-Germanic *Thunaraz is of course the God of the oak. Thus the Harz belongs to Him. It is in the forest that the Teuton feels totally at home. No wonder that modern living and the concrete jungles of today`s world have acted as a cancer in the spirit of our folk.
In the forest the Teuton feels closer to his gods than in any other environment.

According to Charles Isaac Elton in his Origins of English History[1882]:

"The original spelling of the name was `Arcynia` and `Orcynia`.

Once again we meet with the prefix `Ar` as we do so many times in the names of our Aryan deities. The meaning of Arcynia could be defined as the Ar kin, the Ar cynn, in other words the forested land of the Aryan race. It is in this forested mountainous area that the Gods of the Germanic peoples have their origins, where they revealed themselves to the Ar-cynn. Our two primary deities Thunor and Woden are Gods that are definitely connected with mountains and the forest and it is from here that the Cult of Woden travelled north into Scandinavia.

Stories of our Gods have survived to this day in the Harz which has remained a mysterious and mystical place. For those of my readers who understand German there is an excellent two DVD documentary set titled Mythos Harz which takes the viewer on an exciting and informative tour of the cultic sites of the Harz.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Thunor/Thunaer/Donar/Thor-the Importance of Using the Saxon Name


For a while now I have reflected from time to time on the importance of using our own ancient Saxon and Anglo-Saxon names for our Gods. Too often I see non-Scandinavian Germanic people use Norse terms for their deities instead of their own more valid native names. A typical example is the use of the Norse Thor/Thorr/Tor when Thunor/Thunaer/Donar would be more valid. Sometimes this is out of laziness, sometimes due to lack of knowledge.

On occasions I have used the Norse terms but only so that the person I am talking to would more readily understand who these Gods are. I believe the time has now come when we as Saxons should refer to our deities by the correct terms. This article is a starting point for this.

Rudolf Simek in his Dictionary of Northern Mythology has this to say in the opening entry for Thor:

"Thor (ON Thorr, in southern areas >Donar.)"
"Donar. The southern Germanic equivalent of the Germanic god of thunder who is called> Thor in the north, and Thunor in Old English."
"Thunor (OE). The OE of the Germanic name of the god of thunder > Thor/Donar."
 "Thunaer. Old Saxon form of the name of the god Thor/Donar."

Phonetically the Old English and the Saxon names for this God are very close and either would be appropriate for us to use. Even Donar would be closer to the name of the God than Thor.
All these terms are related to the Germanic *thunar-`thunder`. The original name for the Proto-Germanic Thunder God would therefore have been *Thunaraz.

Simek states that in 9th and 10th century England the ON Thor/Thur was used predominately which he suggests is indicative "that the native name of Thunor had already been forgotten and that as a result of the very early Christianization of England the ON form had to be borrowed." He goes on to point out that place names in honour of Thunor such as Thunderley, Thursley and Thurstable are in Saxon areas. He is clearly a God much loved and honoured by the Saxon folc.

However the 9th to the 10th century Old English Dialogue of Solomon and Saturn does refer to Thunor:

 "Se thunor hit thryscedh mid thaere fyrenan aecxe."

Translated into Modern English: "Thunor threshes with his fiery axe."

I believe that it is important that we adhere to our native God names, not only because they are native but in most cases they are more ancient than the Old Norse terms. We do honour to our Gods by taking this approach.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Irmin, the God of the Irminsul and the Herminones


Some scholars such as Rudolf Simek[Dictionary of Northern Mythology] doubt the existence of the Saxon God Irmin. Their argument is that apart from the Irminsul which presupposes a God Irmin there is no independent evidence to support the theory of there being a God called by this name. They interpret Irmin to mean `great, tall` and thus the Irminsul to be nothing other than a tall column or pillar. This argument is shallow and does not stand up to indepth critical analysis.

My first question is why our Saxon ancestors would erect great pillars to worship if they did not symbolise an actual God? Of course one could equate the Irminsul of the Saxons with the Yggdrasil of the Scandinavians and I believe that this on one level is a valid thing to do. However there is only very limited evidence that the Scandinavians used such great pillars as part of their rites. The Irminsul is a thing that seems to be peculiar to the Saxons and the tradition lives on today in Saxon areas of Germany and in England in the form of the Maypole.

Again there are some who say that "there is no evidence" to link the Maypole with the Irminsul but they are otherwise at a loss to explain the Maypole`s origin! Some in typical Freudian style view the Maypole as a phallic symbol despite there being no evidence to support this. A more likely comparison between Maypole dancing would be the dancing sunwise around certain megaliths which continues up to the present day. Often the people who carry out these customs do not understand the true purpose of the activity or that they are indeed carrying out a prextian sacred rite in honour of the Sun and/or Irmin. It is significant that this is both an English, Scandinavian and a continental Germanic custom. The spread of this customer may have started in Saxon Germany and spread northwards and into England with the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons. Of course with the growth of the English empire this custom spread to other parts of Britain and modern English speaking countries.

The customs that the Church could not suppress or plagiarise continue today in our folklore. A useful guide to such customs is to be found in In Search of Lost Gods. A Guide to British Folklore by Ralph Whitlock.

In addition to the Irminsul the name of Irmin is to be found in one of the three tribal designations referred to in Tacitus` Germania:

"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. Some people, inasmuch as antiquity gives free reign to speculation, maintain that there were more sons born from the god and hence more tribal designations-Marsi, Gambrivii, Suebi, and Vandilii-and that those names are genuine and ancient."[Germania 2.2]

The Frankish Table of Nations from around 520CE states:

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

Other classical writers such as Mela and Pliny also mention the Hermiones. The use of the `h` at the beginning of Hermiones or Herminones is purely a Latin aspirate and was not used by the Germanic peoples.
Our ancestors would have referred to themselves as Irmiones/Ermiones or Irminones/Erminones or something cognate with this term. It is interesting that all three Germanic tribal divisions are said to alliterate, ie they each start with the same letter: Ingvaeones, Irminones and Istvaeones.

"The aspirate given by the Romans to Herminones, as to Hermunduri, is strictly no part of the German word, but is also very commonly retained by Latin writers of the Mid. Ages in proper names compounded with Irmin."[Teutonic Mythology, Volume 1, Jacob Grimm]

Interestingly the Hermunduri occupied the region of Saxony and Thunringia and undoubtedly were in part the ancestors of the Saxons and belonged to the tribal division of Herminones.

We know that there is evidence to support the argument that the Ingvaeones were named after their ancestral deity Ing. It is conjectured also that the Istvaeones were named after the first Germanic man, Askr[see Teutonic Mythology, Volume 1]. It is logical therefore that the Irmin of Irminones must be a divine ancestor.

Irmin can be found as part of many ancient Germanic names,eg:

Hermanaric, Hermann, Ermintrudis, Irminfrith[King of the neighbouring Thuringi], Irmansuint, Irmingart, Irminolt, Irmandrut, Irmanperalit, Irmandegan, Irmandeo, Eormenric, Eormenred, Iiurminburg, etc.

Of course the great prince of the Cherusci who thrashed the Romans in the 1st century CE was named Arminius or Hermann. He was of course an historical figure but one can see how such figures can become embroiled in myth when comparisons with the legendary Siegfried are made.  

Scholars are tempted to equate Irmin with other deities such as Saxnot who is purely a Saxon God like Krodo but also He has been compared with Tiw and even Woden. I think it best that we consider Him on His own merits until further research of a conclusive nature is carried out.

In an earlier article titled Aryaman/Airyaman/Ariomanus/Eremon/Irmin-the Divine Concept of Aryanness, published on my Aryan Myth and Metahistory blog on 17/8/12 I demonstrated that Irmin has His origins in an original Aryan deity even though over time amongst the Germanic peoples His worship appears to have been confined mainly to the Saxons. This deity reconstructed name is *Aryomn. We are thus genetically and spiritually Ar-manen or Ir-minen, Arya. There should now be no doubt about the validity of our use of this term as a self-descriptor.


Sunday, 29 September 2013

Iron, a Sacred Metal to our Ancestors



Iron as a metal has fascinated me for some time, mainly because of its association with the Thunder God.
My readers will recall that Thunor/Thor/Donar was given an iron hammer by the dwarves Brokk and Sindri as part of a contest between them and the sons of Ivaldi.

However as I have written before this iron hammer was not the original one. Thunor first wielded a stone hammer which he had taken from his foster parents, Vingnir and Hlora who raised Him.

"It is certain that Thor took a stone hammer from Vingnir`s home as a spoil of victory, which he always used against the giants afterwards, except during the short time he possessed an iron hammer that Mimir`s son Sindri had forged for him."[Our Fathers` Godsaga, Viktor Rydberg]

After the new iron Mjolnir was destroyed by Wieland`s sword Gambantein, Thunor resorted to using the original stone one again and it is this stone one which will be recovered by Thunor`s sons, Magni and Modi after Ragnarok.  In my opinion the tale of the two hammers is a reflection of the transition from the Neolithic to the Iron Age. During the Bronze Age neolithic tools were still used alongside bronze ones and this is why we do not hear of any stories of Thunor having a bronze hammer. Of course originally the stone hammer would have been an axe. Many Thor`s Hammers do tend to resemble the axe rather than a pure hammer.
The stone battle axe is a symbol not only of the Aryan Thunder God but a symbol uniquely associated with our Germanic and Aryan ancestors.

Meteorites were considered by our ancestors to be divinely sent and from the meteorite iron of a special quality may be obtained. Meteorite iron according to J.T. Sibley, the author of The Divine Thunderbolt. Missile of the Gods, is "capable of taking a brilliant polish." This is because it contains 5-12% nickel which also helps to retard rusting. Iron pyrite which is also called `fools` gold` would have made quite an impression and of course when struck by flint it would shoot off sparks.

Iron in folkore was used to repel witches, ghosts, fairies and any kind of malevolent being. Iron axes or axe amulets, horseshoes, nails and knives were frequently used as a means of supernatural protection. Meteorite iron in particular was used for the formation of sacred tools in many cultures. In Sweden the `trolls` cross` was made of iron in the shape of an Odal rune and used to ward of malevolent magic.

"An axe(Thor`s weapon) and a broom are laid crosswise on the inner side of the threshold over which the nurse has to step when she goes out with an infant to have it christened. This is done that the babe may be safe from all the devices of the powers of evil.
"As Indra used to milk the cloud cows and churn the milk lakes and fountains with the thunderbolt, so did Thor. The German god`s  fiery weapon was often represented as an axe, and hence it is a customary thing with witches to draw milk from the handle of an axe stuck in a doorpost."[Curiosities of Indo-European Tradition and Folk-lore, Walter Keating Kelly].

There is a reference to iron in the Old Norwegian Rune Poem for the rune Ur:

"(Slag) is from bad iron;
           oft runs the reindeer on the hard snow ."

 

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Cremation, the Way to Woden



Over recent years I have given much thought as to the most appropriate method of disposing of the body after death, whether it be inhumation or cremation. This issue as Aryan or Germanic heathens should be important to us because as heathens we should desire to recover both the beliefs and practices of our ancestors prior to their forced acceptance of the alien and semitic religion of xtianity.

It is quite clear to me now after a great deal of study that cremation should be the preferred option for us as devout heathens. In this article I will present some of the evidence and the thinking behind this.

In The Road to Hel Hilda Roderick Ellis (Davidson) [a book published originally under her maiden name of Ellis] Dr Davidson demonstrates that the rite of cremation travelled northward through Germany into Scandinavia.

This should not surprise us as the Cult of Woden has its origins amongst the continental Germanic tribes. Later on He was recognised in Scandinavia. This God is a purely Germanic, indeed a purely German deity. There are very few etymological or theological cognates. Scholars have tried without success to compare Him to deities in other Indo-European mythologies. The closest cognate to Woden is in my opinion the Indo-Aryan God Vata. See my article Woden and Vata-Vayu-a Comparison published on this blog on 2/10/12!

It is through the act and rite of cremation that the Einherjar ascend to Walhall to be with their Lord of the Slain, the Lord of the chosen slain that is.

Initially cremated remains were buried in body-length stone cists. These later were reduced in size to small box-like stone cists which would contain the urn holding the ashes. Sometimes they were placed in mounds or ship graves. Eventually urns were not used at all.
The change from inhumation to cremation occurred at the time of the transition to the Bronze Age when Indo-European language and customs spread out throughout Europe.

Snorri Sturluson in his Ynglinga Saga says that Odin taught His followers to burn their dead:

"every man should enter Valhall with as much wealth as he had on his pyre, and should also enjoy everything which he himself had buried in the earth; and the ashes should be borne out to sea or buried in the earth; but over men of renown a howe should be raised as memorial, and over all men who acquitted themselves manfully memorial stones should be raised; and this continued for a long time afterwards."

We are reminded of the magnificent heathen funeral of Boewulf where he was cremated and his ashes placed in a barrow facing the sea. My readers should recall that the author of the poem was a xtian so such a depiction of a glorious heathen funeral is rather amazing.

"Heaven swallowed the smoke."[Beowulf]

This is the essence of the thinking-the non-corporeal elements of man, some may refer to this as the soul or spirit although the Germanic interpretation is more complex than this, [See my article Death and Afterlife in Germanic Mythology published on my Celto-Germanic Culture, Myth and History blog on 30/1/10!]
is freed from the physical body to return to All-Father Woden. The life force of the individual fully individuated awakened Einherjar is returned to his previous God-like state in Walhall, the abode of those who are awakened and faithful to Woden. Those of us who have sworn sacred oaths of allegiance to Him have the Valknut carved upon our flesh as a sign that we belong to Him and He will take as when He chooses.

"The burning was carried out in very splendid wise. It was then believed that the higher the smoke rose in the air, the loftier would his position be in heaven whose burning it was; and the more possessions were burned with him, the richer he would be."[Ynglinga Saga]
 We cannot enter Walhall in our physical body. Our spiritual essence must be released in order that we may enter a spiritual realm. The existence of our decaying body in the earth delays our transition to this spiritual state and causes us to remain Midgarth bound. This may be the reason for some hauntings. Cremation frees us from ties to this realm of existence. In the Icelandic Sagas we have many curious incidents of the dead walking freely among the living as draugar-vampires in other words and it is only via burning that the dead can be sure to be left at peace from the activities of the malevolent dead.

Cremation both frees the dead so that they can begin the journey to the next realm of existence and protects the living from malevolent spirits. Furthermore it is a mark of reverence to the Aryan Sky or Sun God as Dr Davidson points out:

"The evidence for linking cremation with the burnt offering on the one hand, and with the cult of the sun god on the other, is perhaps the most suggestive."[The Road to Hel]

From the Prose Edda we have a detailed desciption of Baldur`s funeral which was of course a cremation on a pyre. Likewise there is a description of the cremation of both Sigurd and Brynhildr in the Poetic Edda.
There is no shortage of literary evidence from Germanic saga, legend or myth is support of the very Germanic practice of cremation. By committing ourselves to this final act, this final rite we are demonstrating our total loyalty to Woden and our ancestral Gods.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Irmin and Krodo, Saxon Gods



In previous articles I have discussed the Saxon God Irmin and His cognates to be found in other Aryan mythologies, ie Aryaman[Indo-Aryan], Airyaman[Iranian], Eremon[Irish] and Ariomanus[Gallic] and how an original Aryan God is postulated, called *aryomn. I have demonstrated that there is a further link with the Germanic Mannus, the Indo-Aryan Manu and a Celtic `Mon`. I have also discussed the connection between Irmin and the Herminones.

Whilst some scholars such as Rudolf Simek question the existence of Irmin as a deity[Dictionary of Northern Mythology] there are others such as Jaan Puhvel[Comparative Mythology] that do not and have identified that Irmin and His other cognates hark back to a Proto-Indo-European God who was the very essence of Aryanness.

I have recently also discussed my intial research regarding the more obscure Saxon God Krodo. Very few have heard of this deity and yet His memory lives on in my ancestral Harz mountains, not only in the form of place names and myths but also He has now become almost a `mascot` or tourist attraction! Whatever way He is remembered it is important that He is remembered and honoured by those of us who follow the Northern Gods. Like Irmin, I discovered that He is not only a Saxon deity but that He has cognates in other Indo-European mythologies: Sativrat and Kirt[Slavic], Saturn[Roman] and Satyavrata[Indo-Aryan]. Like Irmin, Krodo is a solar deity who is associated with the solar wheel[Kolovrat].

I started to ponder what connection there could be between Irmin and Krodo. Obviously they are both Saxon deities and some would say that their existence was disputed. I believe that I have presented enough evidence on my blogs to substantiate the existence of Irmin and there is also sufficient evidence to accept Krodo`s existence. My recent article about Krodo sets out all the available evidence that I have collected thus far.

Apart from being Saxon both Gods were subject to acts of sacrilege by Charlemagne. In 772CE Charlemagne or Karl der Grosse as he is known in Germany  destroyed the Irminsul, a sacred pillar erected for the worship of this God. Shortly after in 780 Karl also destroyed the temple and idol of Krodo. There is evidence for more than one Irminsul but they all appear to have been located in the Saxon lands.

I have to ask myself why was Karl`s hatred towards Irmin and Krodo so intense? We know that the continental Saxons were amongst the last of the West Germanic peoples to accept xtianity. They did so only after appalling persecution and the extermination of their bravest nobles. 4,500 Saxons were beheaded by this monster in Verden after they were caught worshiping the old Saxon Gods. The Saxon Wars from 772 to 804 were in reality religious wars where our Saxon ancestors fought against the forced imposition of xtianity upon their people. They resisted the xtian invader to the very last drop of their blood. For this reason we should be proud of them and remember their holy sacrifice.

Irmin and Krodo must therefore have symbolised to Karl the stubbornness of the Saxon people. For this reason he tried to eradicate all memory of these Gods from our ancestors` memory. He did not succeed!
Whether it be xtianity[now a spent force] or islam we will never bow the knee to an alien and brutal, semitic, psychotic desert tribal `god` who delights in and whose supporters delight in[see recent events in Syria] the torture and beheading of those who think differently to them.

Jacob Grimm in his Teutonic Mythology Volume 1 refers to lingering traces of the worship of Irmin in Lower Saxony. He cites an old rhyme which was still in existence at the time of writing[1882] and he says:

"Here there seems unconcealed a slight longing for the mild rule of the old heathen god, in contrast to the strictly judging and punishing christian God."

"Hermen, sla dermen,
sla pipen, sla trummen,
de kaiser wil kummen
met hamer un stangen,
wil Hermen uphangen."
 

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Krodo, a Lost Saxon God Traceable to Aryan Times



Recently whilst reading Legends and Tales of the Harz Mountains, North Germany by Maria Elise Turner Lauder[1885] I encountered a tale called The Steinkirche and the Hermit which refers to both Ostera and a God called Krodo:

"In the grey days long ago, when paganism ruled the land, there stood on the hills near the cave called the Steinkirche-altars to the gods.
Bright were the fires to Krodo in the darkness of the night, and on the opposite cliffs rose the fire pillar in honour of the goddess Ostera.
The crackling flames illuminated the country and the mountains, and invited the inhabitants of the nearlying vales and heights to the wild customs, the bloody sacrifices, and the raving dance of heathenism."
Poetically Lauder goes on to tell us how a xtian holy man converted the heathen Saxons by a supposed miracle and:

"And the hearts of the wild Sassen were opened.....
"They vowed to a man henceforth to forsake the worship of Krodo, to remain true to the new faith....."

Despite having a mother who came from the Harz mountains I had never heard or read this story before and neither had I heard of this God called Krodo. After carrying out some research I have found that He is one of the Saxons` ancestral Gods and thus my ancestral God.

Jacob Grimm refers to Krodo in his Teutonic Mythology Volume 1 and relates Him to the Roman God Saturn.

"But that AS. Saeteresbyrig from the middle of the 11th century irresistibly reveals the `burg` on the Harz mts, built (according to our hitherto despised accounts of the 15th century in Bothe`s Sachsenchronik) to the idol Saturn, which Saturn, it is added, the common people called Krodo; to this we may add the name touched upon in p. 206 (Hrethe, Hrethemonath), for which an older Hruodo, Chrodo was conjectured. We are told of an image of this Saturn or Krodo, which represented the idol as a man standing on a great fish, holding a pot of flowers in his right hand, and a wheel erect in his left; the Roman Saturn was furnished with the sickle, not a wheel."

Grimm tells us that Hrodo may be related to Baldag/Balder and he derives from this that the seventh day of the week[Saturday] may have been called Roydag and thus sacred to Krodo[see supplement 3 on page 248]. Hrethemonath, the Anglo-Saxon month of March is the month heathens normally associate with the Goddess Hrethe.

Grimm draws further connections to the Slavic Gods Sitivrat and Kirt:

"...but beside Sitivrat we have learnt another name for Saturn, namely Kirt, which certainly seems to be our Krodo and Hrudo."
Interestingly he interprets Sitivrat as being:

 "sieve-turner" and that this "would be almost the same as kolo-vrat, wheel-turner, and afford a solution of that wheel in Krodo`s hand; both wheel (kolo) and sieve (sito) move round, and an ancient spell rested on sieve-turning. Slav mythologists have identified Sitivrat with the Hindu Satyavrata, who in a great deluge is saved by Vishnu in the form of a fish. Krodo stands on a fish; and Vishnu is represented wearing wreaths of flowers about his neck, and holding a wheel (chakra) in his fourth hand. All these coincidences are still meagre and insecure; but they suffice to establish the high antiquity of a Slavo-Teutonic myth, which starts up thus from one quarter."

Thus far we have established that not only is Krodo a Saxon and thus a Teutonic deity but His antiquity goes right back to Aryan times with his association with similar Slavic, Hindu and Roman deities. Indeed Krodo`s name is so ancient that Grimm states that it "is rather too ancient, and I can find no support for it in the Saxon speech." Clearly this deity was still remembered by the Saxons and other Aryan peoples long after their dispersion out of the Ur-heimat.

Elsewhere in Teutonic Mythology Grimm states:

"Bothe`s Sassenchronik relates under the year 780, that King Charles, during his conquest of the East Saxons, overthrew on the Hartesburg an idol similar to Saturn, which the people called Krodo."
One is reminded of Charlemagne`s[King Charles/Karl der Grosse] similar overthrow of the Irminsul also in the land of the Saxons in 772 CE.

In Goslar Cathedral there was stored the bronze Krodo Altar, dating back to the year 1040 CE, which is an indication that this God was still remembered with affection several hundred years after Karl`s sacrilege. It can now be found in Goslar`s town museum. A rebuilt statue of Krodo now stands at Harzburg Castle.

Even today there are a number of locations in the Harz that bear His name such as Crodenbeke [Krodo Valley]- now called Kroedlippen, Krotenpful, Crodenleide, Crothensee and Goetzenthal [Valley of the idols]. Ground Ivy is also called Crodokraut which affords protection against witches.

After Karl destroyed Krodo`s temple he erected in its place a chapel and the site of this today is Harzburg Castle. Tradition has it that when Karl asked the East Saxons who was the God they worshipped they replied: "Krodo is our god", to which the emperor replied "Krodo is all the same as kroten-duevel!" Thus "toad-devil" became a German curse. Such curses often involve the names of our ancient deities.





 

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Further Reflections on the `Two Hammers of Thunor` and Hercules



This article should be read in conjunction with my earlier one "Two Hammers of Thor" posted here on 17/1/10 and the more recent The Two Hammers of Thunor-Evidence from the Eddas on 2/6/13.

My previous article revealed that Thunor according to our mythological texts did in fact possess two hammers, initially a stone one followed by one made from iron.

Viktor Rydberg writing in Teutonic Mythology Volume 1, Chapter 31 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. The club is, as we have seen, the weapon of  the Teutonic patriarch, and is wielded side by side with Thor`s hammer in the conflict with the powers of frost."

In Chapter 111 he also states:

"In the Teutonic mythology, Thor`s hammer was not originally of metal, but of stone."

A reference to Thor possessing a club is to be found in Saxo Grammaticus` The History of the Danes, Book 3:

"But Thor shattered all their shield-defences  with the terrific swings of his club.....
"Shields, helmets, everything he drove at with his oak cudgel was crushed on impact..."

The handle of the club was lopped off and the Gods fled. His weapon now became useless. This club or cudgel is clearly separate from his hammer for not only is it obviously different in form but it is made of oak not stone or iron. Oak is sacred of course to the Thunder God for its excellent ability to attract His lightning.

"Brass (bronze?)  idols of the god would be placed under oak trees, as well as on the mountain tops, and also under oak trees. Perpetual fires to the god were made with oak, similar to the custom of the Old Prussians. Perkunas and the oak tree were considered one being. The place where there was a large oak which had an idol of Perkunas under it was called Perkunija; this word also means `thunderstorm`.[The Divine Thunderbolt. Missile of the Gods, J.T. Sibley, 2009]

The Baltic and Slavic Thunder Gods were also known to carry a club as did the Roman Hercules. In Southern Germany followers of Donar wore club amulets, very much like the ones worn by the followers of Hercules. These are known as Donarkeule. There are references in Tacitus` Germania to Hercules being worshipped in Germany:

"Hercules and Mars they appease with lawful animals."[Germania 9.1]

No doubt the reference to Hercules and Mars in this specific context relates to Thunor and Tiw. However in another passage Tacitus refers to a hero of the same name:

"They relate that Hercules also lived among them, and on their way into battle they sing of him as the first of all heroes." [Germania 3.1]

Also:

"For rumour has spread the report that pillars of Hercules still stand untried: perhaps Hercules really did go there,.....[Germania 34.2]

It is difficult to discern to what extent  Hercules the hero is to be identified with Hercules the God as a potential equivalent to Thunor and whether the Teutons referred to him by his classical name.
Writing in his Annals Tacitus states further that the enemies of Germanicus met in "a grove sacred to Hercules" in order to make plans against the Romans. In Lower Germania there are some dedications to a God called Hercules Magusanus. The dedicators had Germanic not Roman names. Magusanus may be connected to the Old High German word magan, meaning `power, strength` and is cognate with the Old English maegan.

J.B. Rives in his commentary to Germania states:

"The identity of this Germanic Hercules is uncertain. Many scholars assume that he was *Thunaraz, i.e. Old High German Donar and Old Norse Thor."

He points out that "the hammer of Thor corresponds to the club of Hercules." He also states that both Hercules and Thunor were killers of monsters. However if Thunor was to be equated entirely with Hercules then we have a problem for at the same time he was equated with Jupiter! In other parts of his commentary Rives distinguishes between Hercules the hero and Hercules the God. It is more than likely that Hercules the hero is to be equated with the Germanic dragon slayers: Beowulf and Sigurd/Siegfried.

As far as the hammer is concerned it is obvious to me that it was orginally made of stone and not iron as my initial quotation makes clear. Rydberg further states:

"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." [Teutonic Mythology Volume 2, Part 1, Chapter 29].

The concept of the two hammers, the original one being made of stone is accepted in The Asatru Edda:

"Thorr was brought up in Jotunheimr by a giant named Vingnir, and when he was ten years old, he received the stone hammer, Vingnir`s Mjollnir.[Page 27]
The iron hammer was made by the dwarf Sindre, no doubt to replace either a lost or not as effective stone hammer. The concept of a stone hammer makes it clear that the cult of the Thunder God goes right back to Neolithic times when the hammer was originally an axe, from which the hammer developed.
The replacement of the stone ax/hammer by an iron hammer shows the progression of Thunor from the Neolithic to the Bronze and then the Iron Age.

It is possible that the original stone hammer may have survived or rather will survive Ragnarok as there is a reference to Vingnir`s hammer being inherited by Thor`s sons, Magni and Mothi:

"And in the poem, verse 51, it is said that Thor`s sons shall possess Vingnir`s hammer after the battle of Ragnarok-doubtlessly referred to as such, because Thor received his first hammer either from Vingnir or in a battle with him."[Teutonic Mythology volume 2, part 1]





 

Monday, 26 August 2013

Loki, Logi and Utgard-Loki-Three Different Aspects of the Same God?


The Eddas know three different versions of the God Loki: Loki, Logi and Utgard-Loki. Whilst these are portrayed as three different personalities all three do overlap to a significant extent and demonstrate characteristics which may be derived from a single common source.

Frequently we find written that Wagner "incorrectly" portrayed Loki as a God of fire. Rudolf Simek in his Dictionary of Northern Mythology states:

"(Loge). A half-god created by R. Wagner in his opera Das Rheingold (tenor) who is the lord of fire. Loge probably is the result of Wagner`s confusion of the god Loki with the great Logi. In Snorri Logi is the personification of fire whereas the god Loki of Germanic mythology has nothing to do with fire."

I don`t accept that Wagner was "confused" about anything. He researched Germanic mythology thoroughly as part of his necessary preparation for his four part Der Ring des Nibelungen. It is clear that Wagner did conflate similar characters together-I do not deny this. After all this is a necessary device which film makers use when converting a novel to a screen play. However there is more to this than simple conflation.
I believe that Wagner realised that there was a link between Loki and Logi and he deliberately exploited this link to reunite a character or personality that had become split off into two separate individuals.

"Logi. (ON, `flame, fire`). A giant who is the impersonation of fire."

Logi appears in Gylfaginning in the tale of Utgard-Loki and the great magical contest waged by him against Thor, Loki and Thjalfi. He beats Loki in an eating contest because he is the personification of fire. However Loki doesn`t do a bad job of consuming the meal either!

Some scholars such as Wilhelm Waegner do see a link between Loki and the element of fire:

"At first Loki was held in high honour as the giver of warmth and god of the domestic hearth, and was looked upon as the brother of Odin and Honir, for the elements air, water and fire are intimately connected.
"The name Loki has been derived from the old word `liuhan`, to enlighten. It therefore has the same origin as the Latin lux, light. Thus he was also related to Lucifer (light-bringer), a title of honour which was given to the Prince of Darkness. In like manner as the northern tempter was chained to a sharp rock, Lucifer was believed in the middle ages to be chained down in hell. Saxo Grammaticus describes Utgarthlocus (Utgard-Loki) as laden with chains in Helheim, which proves that the myth of Loki and his punishment was believed long after the Christian era." [Asgard and the Gods].

This demonstrates a clear link not only between Loki and Loge but also between Loki and Utgard-Loki. The fact that Snorri portrays them as three separate entities does not disprove that originally they may very well have been one and the same person which over the process of time has split into three. This is not unheard of in mythology. 

In the commentary to Saxo Grammaticus` The History of the Danes Books I-IX  Dr Hilda Ellis Davidson states:

"In Snorri`s tale, Utgartha-Loki, whose name means the Loki of the Outer Regions (perhaps of foreign lands, or of the Other World) is represented by an enormous giant whom Thor and his comrades meet in the forest; he calls himself Skrymir, and it is some time before they realise that he is really Utgartha-Loki himself. 

Saxo refers to a character called Gorm who sacrifices to Utgartha-Loki, indicating that He is indeed a God:

"Gorm solicited Utgartha-Loki with combined vows and propitiations and thus obtained the beneficial spell of weather they desired."

As mentioned above Utgard-Loki meets a similar fate to Loki:

"From here the visitors could see a murky, repulsive chamber, inside which they descried Utgartha-Loki, his hands and feet laden with a huge weight of fetters."

 Further on in Saxo Utgard-Loki is specifically referred to as being a "god":

"He was unable to bear hearing this ugly and invidious report of Utgartha-Loki and was so grief-stricken about the god`s vile state that he gave up the ghost at the unendurable words , even while Thorkil was in the middle of his tale."

Loki and Utgard-Loki are both described as being Gods and both[like the other Gods] have giant heritage. The giants of Germanic mythology were, like the Titans of Classical mythology an earlier race of divine beings generically connected to the divine race that replaced them.

I contend therefore that if we are to learn more about Loki who is the Prometheus and Lucifer of the Teutonic world then we do need to research the characters of Logi and Utgard-Loki. Loki has quite rightly been compared to Prometheus and both meet the same punishment for betraying the other Gods. Prometheus is known for His gift of fire to men and Lucifer of course is a deity of light. The connections with Loki suggest an original common Aryan inheritance which would be of merit to explore further.

George W. Cox in The Mythology of the Aryans Nations, Volume II states:

 "The name Loki, like that of the Latin Vulcanus, denotes the light or blaze of fire, and in such phrases as Locke dricker vand, Loki drinks water, described the phenomena of the sun drinking when its light streams in shafts from the cloud rifts to the earth or the waters beneath. The word thus carries us to the old verb liuhan, the Latin lucere, to shine, and to Logi as its earlier form, the modern German lohe, glow; but as the Greek tradition referred the name Oidipous......., to know and to swell, so a supposed connexion with the verb lukan, to shut or lock, substituted the name Loki for Logi, and modified his character accordingly."

In closing I feel that I have demonstrated quite clearly that Loki was indeed a deity of fire/light but I accept that at the same time like the other deities He is a multifaceted God.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Further Reflections on the Goddess Isa



I have already discussed on this blog the existence of the Germanic Goddess Isa. [See Zisa/Isa/Ista/Isis/Ischtar/Isais published on 20/1/13 and The Germanic Ethnicity of Isolde, the Goddess Isa and Iceland published on 25/8/12.] What I wish to do now is bring together material from two previous articles to clarify my thoughts about this rather now obscure German Goddess.

It is a vital part of our task that we bring to light that which has been lost through both exoteric and esoteric means. However this blog unlike Die Armanenschaft der Ario-Germanen is more concerned with the exoteric so I will confine myself to what scholars actually know about Her.

Wilhelm Waegner in his Asgard and the Gods[1886] compares Isa with the Celto-Germanic Goddess Nehalennia who was primarily worshipped in the Netherlands:

"Nehalennia, the protectress of ships and trade, was worshipped by the Keltic and Teutonic races in a sacred grove on the island of Walcheren; she had also altars and holy places dedicated to her at Nivelles. The worship of Isa or Eisen, who was identical with Nehalennia, was even older and more wide-spread throughout Germany. St. Gertrude took her place in Christian times, and her name[Geer, ie spear, and Trude, daughter of Thor] betrays its heathen origin."
In Chapter V of Legends of the Wagner Drama[1900] which was reprinted as Legends of the Wagner Trilogy, part of The Volsunga Saga[1907]  by Eirikr Magnusson and William Morris, Jessie L. Weston states:

"This dwelling of Brynhild`s is either in or near Bertangaland, which is generally identified as Britain. With this closely agrees the Nibelungenlied, which represents the princess as ruling over Island and dwelling in the castle of Isenstein on the sea-shore. [Rassmann identifies Island as derived from Isa, a goddess of the under-world, probably the same as Holda, and not as Iceland.]"
Miss Weston goes on to state:
 "In the folk-songs current in Denmark and the Faroe Isles, Brynhild is represented as dwelling on the Glasberg, up the glittering sides of which none but Sigurd can ride.
"Now the Glasberg is well known to students of German folk-lore as the abode of departed spirits,ie the other-world, and, as such, connected with the mountain in which Holda, who is goddess of the dead, lives. It is no abode of terror, but of rest and bliss; though the dwellers in it would often gladly return to this world, but are unable of themselves to do so. Rassmann identifies the  Glasberg alike with the Gnita-heide, as mentioned above, and with the island Glid, mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles as the abode of departed spirits, the original root signifying glanz, freude, wonne."

Miss Weston goes on to compare the Glasberg and Glid with the Arthurian and Celtic belief in an island in the Western seas which is the abode of the blessed dead-Avalon or Tir na nog. She notes that "Avalon became identified with Glastonbury,"

It is interesting that Isa has thus far been compared with Nehalennia, Holda, Gertrude and Brynhild. There is a further connection-Isolde.

Again in Legends of the Wagner Drama whilst discussing Wagner`s Tristan und Isolde Miss Weston makes the case for Isolde being of Germanic and not Irish origin. She points out that in the 9th and 10th centuries Ireland was overrun by Vikings who held court at Dublin. Thus a princess from Dublin must logically be of Danish and not of Irish origin.

"That a princess of Dublin should bear a Germanic name is not merely probable, but natural, and consequently we find that German scholars give as the derivation of the name Isolde, Iswalt, or Iswalda[Eis-walterin=ruler of the ice], which explains the fact that the early German form seems to be Isalde, as in Wolfram, and not Isolde. The heroine then is no Celtic maiden, but a child of the North, a Viking`s daughter; hence the legends always represent her as fair and golden-haired-she is `die lichte` in the Northern versions, as distinguished from `die schwarze`, the rival Isolde.