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Sunday, 5 May 2013

Anglo-Saxon Thunor`s Hammer and the Cult of Thunor

The worship of Thunor was very strong in pre-xtian Anglo-Saxon England as evidenced from place-names and archaeological finds of Thunor`s Hammer amulets dating back to the 7th century. Gale R. Owen in his Rites and Religions of the Anglo-Saxons states:
"English place-names, both current and obsolete, testify to a cult of Thunor, mostly in Saxon areas[and apparently not at all in Anglian areas]. Thunor was probably woshipped in sacred groves or meadows, or was perhaps associated with such landscapes, since the majority of of place-names containing his name link him with the Old English word leah. Thundersley and Thunderley Hall[Essex], Thursley[Surrey], two places once referred to as on thunres lea[Hants.] and one as on tunorslege[Sussex] testify to this, together with Thunorleaw, the only Kentish place-name associated with this god. Thunderfield[Surrey] and to thunresfelda[Wilts.] show the same link, and Thundridge[Herts.] again relates Thunor to a`natural feature."
Often one hears the argument that the Mjolnir hammer amulet originated in defiance by the heathen Scandinavians to encroaching xtianisation of the north. However this is not the case. Before the emergence of the `vikings` into history in 793CE the hammer was being worn as an amulet by the heathen Englisc. However I do concede that the increasing popularity of the hammer as an amulet probably stems from a reaction to aggressive xtianisation. A grave in 7th century Gilton, Kent contained several hammer and spear pendants. The female occupant of the grave was no doubt a follower of Woden and Thunor, the spear of course representing Gungnir. As I have written may times before the hammer itself was a natural development from the axe, the original northern European thunder weapon. At one stage the two were absolutely identical in form. The Celtic Gaulish Sucellos was also portrayed as a hammer wielding Thunder God.
"Apparently, Thor`s axe/hammer was originally a long-handled double-peened/bladed weapon similar to the one in the belt of the spearman[Ing?] on Weser bone #4988. It might have originally been a long-handled single-bladed axe, like those wielded by the ancient ithyphallic men in the Bronze Age rock carvings."[The Divine Thunderbolt. Missile of the Gods by J.T. Sibley]
The Anglo-Saxons even after xtianisation still associated the axe with Thunor:
"Se thunor hit thryscedh mid theare fyrenan aecxe".[Dialogue of Solomon and Saturn.]Translated into modern English this read: "Thunor threshes with a fiery axe".
The Thunder Axe goes right back to the Stone Age and even during the Bronze Age stone axes were still carried by Indo-European warriors, kings and priests both as a sign of the primary sky/thunder God and of their very own Aryan racial identity. Over 70 carvings of upturned axes have been discovered on the sarcens of Stonehenge as a sign of consecration by the Indo-European Wessex culture to the Aryan Thunder God.

7 comments:

RanA Ulfa said...

Excellent post about this subject. I also believe that even the early Britons and Celts had an understanding of Thor.

Wotans Krieger said...

Yes but obviously not using that name.He was known as Taranis to the pre-xtian British population.Like Thunor this word means `thunder`.

Mick said...

Yes, agree, great post. Recently threw off the shackles of xtianity and enjoy reading through your posts.
Hail Taranus/Thunor. (Also developed a liking for Lugh)

Sam Wenger said...

He is actually surprisingly similar to the Iroquois Thunder God 'Heno' because it 'shatters' the pure race idea and strengthens the cultural. It is also very likely besides believing in him on their own, the Mohawk and the Norse interacted in war and peace, the first 'Fur Trade' on the Saint Lawrence Seaway. Fascinating stuff. Of course the Icelandic "Land Taking Book" said the Norse followed the Irish west

Unknown said...

Well my comment may not be read by y'all but I read before a while back as well the norse Wernt the only one to wear the hammer or slave norse russ i read in continental germania somewhere when romans where in the area they wore what they called club of Hercules forgive my absence of German but the Germans took them up like other similarities and cultural exchange as being clubs of donar or thor or how ever you use a variant of his name

Blayze Dunbar said...

Well my comment may not be read by y'all but I read before a while back as well the norse Wernt the only one to wear the hammer or slave norse russ i read in continental germania somewhere when romans where in the area they wore what they called club of Hercules forgive my absence of German but the Germans took them up like other similarities and cultural exchange as being clubs of donar or thor or how ever you use a variant of his name

Wotans Krieger said...

The axe or hammer is a fairly ubiquitous device of the Indo-European Thunder God and originally the iron Hammer developed from the stone axe and prior to this wedge shaped Donnerkeile and belemnite stone fossils thrown down from the heavens by *Thunaraz. Try doing a search on my Celto-Germanic blog and you will find many articles on this issue as it is one that fascinates me. The club of Hercules appears to have been adopted by the continental Germanic tribes in the Roman occupied parts of Germania, ie the Rheinland and termed the Donarkeule, Donar from the German Donner meaning thunder. Hercules was equated to Donar by the Romans and Germanic tribes. Thanks for your comment. Be aware though that they are moderated by me prior to publishing so you only have to post the comment once!