....................

....................

Monday, 6 May 2013

The Club, Sickle and Spear as Examples of Thunder Weapons

In many articles on my blogs I have discussed the nature of the Thunder God`s primary weapon, the axe or the hammer. But there are other weapons and implements which have been used by Indo-European Thunder Gods or Sky Gods exhibiting Thunder God characteristics. Examples of these are the club[Donarkeule], the sickle and the spear. In parts of southern Germany followers of Donar[donner=thunder] often wore `Hercules` Clubs` as a sign of their allegiance to Him rather than the more usual hammer or axe. According to Tacitus[Annals] the Germani worshipped a God identified as Hercules by the Romans. Within Lower Germania there exist dedications to Hercules Magusanus. J.B. Rives in his commentary to Tacitus` Germania states:
"The names of the dedicators and of the associated deities[eg. Hludana] indicate that this was a Germanic deity; his epithet may be connected with Old High German magan, Old English maegen, `power, strength`."
He goes on to say that
"Many scholars assume that he was *Thunaraz, ie Old High German Donar and Old Norse Thor."
There are of course similarities with the club of the Irish All-Father God The Dagda. His club was made of iron[as was Mjolnir] and
"had a soft end used to resurrect the dead"[The Divine Thunderbolt. Missile of the Gods by J.T. Sibley]
Thor`s Hammer had similar life-inducing properties and was used by Him to resurrect His goats after they had been eaten. The Donarkeule interestingly were rarely made of metal but usually from deer antler, bone or wood so few would have survived the centuries. The sickle was another thunder weapon and iron examples have been found in graves in Soedermanland, Sweden. Along with the long-handled hammer the sickle was an attribute of the Gaulish Thunder God Succellos. Interestingly the hammer and sickle was THE ultimate symbol of the USSR. Could this be an unconscious desire of the Slavic Russians to identify with their pre-xtian deities? Ancient Archetypes can never be suppressed or repressed but will always come to the fore. The more they are suppressed the greater will be the eruption of their manifestation as occurred in 1930s Germany[See Carl Gustav Jung`s essay Wotan, 1936] The spear was also a thunder weapon and in Germanic mythology it was wielded by the All-Father Himself, Woden. Woden`s spear Gungnir is generally not thought of as a thunder weapon as this side of Woden`s nature is not stressed in the mythology. However we should remember that He supplanted both the earlier Thunor and Tiw as the All-Father, the supreme sky God as Germanic society was forced to become more warlike. He even more so than Thunor is a God of the warrior, of the Maennerbund. However He did not completely replace Tiw in this respect. Like Tiw His primary weapon is the spear. Not only is this a weapon of war and consecration[as is the axe/hammer] but also a thunder weapon. It was analgous to Zeus/Jupiter`s staff/sceptre and the trident of Poseidon. On Migration Age iron spearheads one often finds symbols of thunder and lightning such as the Fylfot, small dot in circle hailstone symbols and keraunio which represent thunderbolts. Woden still retains His image as a God of the storm and tempest as best envisaged in the Wild Hunt.

No comments: