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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.



 

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Donar, Arminius, Teut and Divine Intervention in the Teutoburgerwaldschlacht


Arminius or Hermann as my ancestors called him is considered to be the one who unified the continental Germanic peoples in the face of a common enemy: Rome.

Of noble blood and of the tribe of the Cherusci he was sent as a hostage to Rome at an early age and trained as a Roman commander but he never forgot his Germanic blood and when Germania was in peril in 9CE from Roman invasion into her heartland Hermann secretly forged alliances with neighbouring tribes to mount an effective resistance to the Romans. He succeeded in slaughtering in the region of 22,000 men. Rome`s armies were literally decimated-their overall strength reduced by over 10%. Never again did Rome seriously entertain invasion of our sacred soil.

One factor which I did not fully appreciate until a few days ago that helped Hermann was the weather.
Many history books refer to stormy weather around the time of the battles in passing as if it was not a determining factor. However after watching an excellent documentary this week, Weather That Changed the World-Lost Legions of  the Rome I have now begun to appreciate that there is an extra dimension to this battle.

The commentator stressed how violent storms occurred prior to and during the battle which caused the Romans to become literally `bogged` down and become easy pickings for the Germanic tribesmen. They had to abandon their heavy artillery during the march. The storms were attributed to Thor or more properly Donar who acted not only as the German God of Thunder but also as a God of War. Our primary deities-Thunor, Woden, Tiw, Saxnot and Frey all had their own specific spheres of influence but all could be called upon in the midst of battle to give favour to their followers and this is what happened in the Varusschlact or Teutoburgerwaldschlacht.

The documentary was both informative and very rousing. Thunor/Donar/Thor was certainly worshipped as a primary deity in that part of the world. There is place name evidence for this, eg Dornberg-the hill or mountain of Thor in the Teutoburg district.

The name Teutoburg could be interpreted as the fortress of Teut. Now Teut is cognate with the Old English theod [Proto-Germanic *theudo] and the Irish Tuatha[Proto-Celtic *touta] demonstrating an early Celto-Germanic shared word but it has an even earlier Proto-Indo-European root: *teuta. However Teut was also the eponymous deity of the Teutonic peoples. Teut may  be derived from Tuisco referred to in Tacitus` Germania, the father of Mannus and the grandfather of the Ingvaeones, Herminones and Istaevones. He is the ancestral God of the Germanic or Teutonic peoples and He is thus honoured in the place name Teutoburg. How fitting that the Teutoburg should be the scene of Germania`s triumph and Rome`s defeat!   
From Teut we derive the name by which we call ourselves-Teutons which is cognate with Deutsch. So Deutschland is the land of the Teutons. The Tuatha De Danann, a mysterious and divine Nordic race who according to the Lebor Gabala Errren[The Book of the Taking of Ireland] are the Aesir of Germanic mythology in a different cultural setting and many of the Irish deities have direct counterparts in Germanic mythology.

A bronze statue of Hermann, the Hermannsdenkmal was erected in 1875 near Detmold in the southern edge of the Teutoburgerwald. A similar statue was also erected in 1897 in New Ulm, Minnesota by the Sons of Hermann and named the Hermann Heights Monument. This one is made of iron and sheeted with copper. There are other statues of Hermann to be found in the USA and I may discuss and show these in a future article dedicated specifically to this subject.

Arminius or Hermann as I have pointed out before in Irmin, Arminius and the Herminones published on this blog on 28/9/12 is a variant of the Germanic God name Irmin and the Celtic Eremon and Ariomannus, the Indo-Aryan Aryaman and the Iranian Airyaman. Hermann is thus the human incarnation of THE Aryan God to be found amongst the divided Aryan peoples. See also `Ar` as a Prefix in Aryan God/Goddess Names published on my Aryan Myth and Metahistory blog on 4/8/12 and Aryaman/Airyaman/Ariomanus/Eremon/Irmin-the Divine Concept of Aryanness published on 17/8/12 on Die Armanenschaft der Ario-Germanen blog!

Donar thus assisted His Volk in their time of greatest need just as He can assist us today when we are facing a similar threat extinction as a people. Call upon Him today and seek the protection of His hammer!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

The Germanic Gods in Charms, Poems, Folklore and Germanic Literature



In addition to the Elder and Younger Eddas[Poetic and Prose Eddas] faithfully preserved in that Germanic holy isle of Iceland we also have information concerning our Gods from other sources, some containing overt references to the deities, others more covert ones, no doubt out of fear from persecution by the xtian church.
These other sources include folk tales, popularly known as fairy tales and survivng verse charms, spells and references in ecclesiastical writings, histories and classical sources. Also by studying various laws enacted by xtian monarchs and prohibitions issued by the church we find a mine of useful information.

Many of these sources have not even been translated into English never mind researched. This is made clear in Philippe Walter`s Christianity. The Origins of a Pagan Religion, 2006, published by Inner Traditions[an excellent source for Indo-European and traditionalist literature]. The book focuses on Celtic, particularly French material but also includes Germanic references as well and makes the case for the survival of Indo-European religious and spiritual traditions in European xtianity. This work should in my opinion be read in conjunction with The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity: A Sociohistorical Approach to Religious Transformation by James C. Russell, 1996. The first part of the latter book is a bit heavy going. Readers may wish to skip this part and go immediately to what is for us the most relevant second part of the book.

Now let us turn to some of the Germanic sources that refer to our Gods! The Nine Wort Spell or Nine Herbs Charm for snakebite, contained in the Lacnunga. This is quite a long Old English spell which about half way through refers to Woden so I will only quote the most relevant part:

"Those nine are mighty against nine venoms. A worm came slithering, but nothing he slayed. For Woden took up nine wondrous twigs, he struck the adder so that it flew into nine pieces. Now these nine worts have might against nine wonder-wights. Against nine venoms and against nine flying shots."
My readers should note that in Old English as in Old Norse a worm is meant to be a snake or serpent like creature such as a dragon.The nine wondrous twigs or glory twigs may very well have contained the names of the herbs written in runes.

Woden is also referred to but in a disparaging manner in Maxims I, part B, verse 60 of the Exeter Book:

"Woden wrought idols, the Almighty glory,...."

H.R. Ellis Davidson in her Gods and Myths of Northern Europe[1964] refers to a surviving magical incantation from Lancashire:

"Thrice I smites with Holy Crock, With this mell[hammer] I thrice do knock, One for God, and one for Wod, And one for Lok."
Lok is no doubt intended to refer to Loki.

Woden or more correctly Wodan appears with other deities; Phol, Balder, Sinthgunt, Sunna, Frija[Frigga] and Volla in The Second Merseburg Charm from early 10th century CE Germany:


"Phol and Wodan were riding to the woods,
and the foot of Balder's foal was sprained
So Sinthgunt, Sunna's sister, conjured it.
and Frija, Volla's sister, conjured it.
and Wodan conjured it, as well he could:
Like bone-sprain, so blood-sprain,
so joint-sprain:
Bone to bone, blood to blood,
joints to joints, so may they be glued."

It should be noted that in both the Old English Nine Herbs Charm and the Old High German Second Merseburg Charm Woden/Wodan is presented as having healing abilities above that of other deities.
Dr Stephen E. Flowers in The Galdrabok. An Icelandic Book of Magic refers to an ancient Scottish formula, recorded in 1842, no doubt xtianised but recogniseable to be a variant of The Second Merseburg Charm:

"The Lord rade, and the foal slade; he lighted, and he righted, set joint to joint, bone to bone, and sinew to sinew, Heal in the Holy Ghost`s name!"
We should recall that the Lowland Scots are of Germanic not Gaelic origin and this is reflected in their Lowland Scots dialect which is Germanic and probably more authentically so than Modern English! There is a corresponding passage in the Atharva Veda which no doubt suggests that this healing formula is extremely ancient and traceable to Aryan times:

"Let thy marrow come together with marrow, thy joint together with joint; together let what of thy flesh has fallen apart, together let thy bone grow over."[IV 12]

Saxnot alongside Woden and Thunor appear in the 9th century CE Old Saxon Baptismal Vow:

" I renounce all the deeds and words of the devil, Thunaer, Wōden and Saxnōt, and all those fiends that are their companions."

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles make reference to Woden as being an ancestor of various royal dynasties. Bede also in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People refers to the semi-legendary and semi-historical Hengist and Horsa as being great grandsons of Woden.

The First Merseburg Charm which is rarely referred to in books on Germanic mythology also contains an interesting reference to female divinities:

"Once there was sitting lofty ladies sitting here and there some bound bonds, some hemmed the warrior bands, some picked at the fetters, so that the hasp-bonds break, and the warriors escape."

The term "lofty ladies"[Dr Stephen E. Flowers` translation] is a translation of idisi which may be cognate with the Old Norse dis and the plural disir who are of course Mother-Goddesses or protective deities. The context of the charm as well as the terminology is certainly suggestive of this.

Thunor also is referred to in the ancient surviving Anglo-Saxon literature. The Old English poem The Dialogue of Solomon and Saturn states:

"Se thunor hit thryscedh mid thaere fyrenan aecxe."

Traslated into Modern English:

 "Thunor threshes with his fiery axe".

John Mitchell Kemble in his The Saxons in England identifies in addition to this a further reference to the Thunder God in the Exeter Book:

"and I am inclined to see a similar allusion in the Exeter Book, where the lightning is called rynegiestes waepn, the weapon of Avkv Thorr, the car-borne god, Thunder."

This article is meant to present only the most accessible material. I intend to expand further on the evidence in future articles.




Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The Germanic Caste System Reflected in the Hair Colours of the Sons of Rig



I have written before on my blogs about the Germanic caste system:

The Rigsthula or Germanic Caste System[16/10/06, Aryan Myth and Metahistory].
Tacitus, Germania and the Armanenschaft[4//3/07, Aryan Myth and Metahistory]
Jarl the Wotan Caste[2/6/07, Aryan Myth and Metahistory].
The Rigsthula Revisited[31/7/11, Aryan Myth and Metahistory and Celto-Germanic Culture, Myth and History].
The Significance of Red, White and Blue/Black in Aryan Society and Cosmology[8/4/13, Aryan Myth and Metahistory]

Rather than go over old ground I would encourage my readers to study the aforementioned articles. What I would like to focus on here is the fact that the 3 sons sired by Rig-Heimdall display the Aryan caste colours or varna in their physical characteristics.

The first child sired upon Edda[Great Grandmother] was named Thrall and he is described as "dark as flax" according to the Larrington translation of Rigsthula[Poetic Edda] although .in the Thorpe translation he is described as "swarthy". 

The second child sired upon Grandmother was named Karl and he is described as having a "ruddy redhead".

The third child sired upon Mother was named Jarl and he is described as having "light" hair. Interestingly his eyes are describes as being "piercing as a young serpent`s"[Thorpe translation] or "like a young snake`s"[Larrington translation]. One is reminded of the serpent eyes of the Volsung clan who were descendants of Woden Himself. It may very well be that the Rig who fathered these children was not Heimdall as popularly believed but Woden who is renown as being the sire of kings. Rig itself is borrowed from the Irish word ri, meaning `king`.

Jarl goes onto father a number of offspring but it is his youngest, Kon who receives special attention and learning from Rig in the runes. Again this points to Rig being Woden rather than Heimdall. For it is Woden who is lord of the runes. The Larrington version calls the child Kin, rather than Kon but both names have a similar meaning. In Old English for instance cyn has the meaning of both `kin` and `king` via cyning. Thus there is the sense of the king being of the same racial stock as his people, a part of the folk, not separate or distant from it as began to happen in Norman England when the structure of Anglo-Saxon society was replaced by a repressive feudal system.

Having established that the 3 Germanic castes were represented by the colours black, red and white we can trace this back to an earlier Aryan system which has its variations amongst the various Aryan peoples. Germanic society had no separate priestly caste. The priestly and warrior/noble castes were one and the same unlike other Aryan peoples such as Indo-Iranians and Celts. This would help to explain why Caesar wrote that:

" The customs of the Germans are very different from those of the Gauls. They have no druids to preside over religious matters, nor do they concern themselves with sacrifices."[The Gallic Wars, 6.21]

That is not to be interpreted that they had no priests for they certainly did and we have evidence of this from the writings of other contemporary classical writers. However the priests did not appear to have formed a separate cast in Germanic society. However with the coming of xtianity to the North this changed and the age old struggle between priestly and royal authority began all over again. The Germanic fusion of the royal and sacral roles are fused together in the chieftain or king:

"That we have here an `updated` Germanic version of the birth of the social classes is clear from colour symbolism: Jarl is white-blonde in hair and complexion, Karl is ruddy, and Thrall is black. The Indo-European priestly white, military red, and third-estate blue/green[further subdivided in India into yellow for the vaisya and black for the sudra] have slipped along with the substitute, so that white now marks the warriors, red the peasants, and black the slaves. Jarl`s youngest son Konr Ungr `young noble` ended up as a magician-king, thus symbolising the fusion of the remnants of the priestly function into the warrior aristocracy[cf. Old Norse konungr `king`konungaz
or *koningaz, preserved as a borrowed petrifact in Finnish and Estonian kuningas `king`, Russian knjaz` `prince`].[Comparative Mythology, Jaan Puhvel, 1987].


Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Finnish and Estonian Thunder Gods Traceable to *Perkunos, North-West Aryan Thunder God



Much can be learned about the beliefs of our ancient Germanic ancestors by exploring the mythology and folklore of closely related peoples such as the Balts, Celts and Slavs. Much also can be learned from the Finns and Estonians who shared a common Nordic living space with Germanic and Indo-European peoples.
The similarities in their mythologies is due to cultural borrowing and also to a common inheritance once shared between the Aryans and Finno-Ugric peoples.

One particular example of a shared inheritance is how the northern Thunder God is viewed. In Finland one of the names of the Thunder God is Tuuri who is probably the same deity as the better known axe and hammer wielding Ukko. Ukko is derived from the Finnish word for thunder Ukkonen. In this way they followed the example of the Germanic peoples who named their deity from thunder; Thunor/Thunaer and the Celtic Thunder God Taranis whose name is derived from the Proto-Celtic word for thunder, *Toranos. So both Thunor, Taranis and Ukko are personifications of thunder. 

Tuuri is rarely referred to in the mythology of the Finns and appears to have been relegated to a `minor` role as a God of the harvest, luck and success. In modern Finnish tuuri does mean `luck`. There is a village, Tuuri in Alavus, Western Finland which appears to have been named after Him. His name is cognate with the Estonian Taara who is likewise a Finno-Ugric Thunder deity. Furthermore Tuuri appears to be also cognate with the Irish Tuireann whose name again points to a Proto-Indo-European root for `thunder`. Also related to the Germanic Thor is Horagalles, the Sami Thunder God.

"There were significant cross-cultural exchanges between the Sami and the Swedes/Norwegians: the Sami thunder god, once named Tirmes, Turms, or Dierbmes, was to some extent repatterned after Thor. He gained the name Horagelles from `Thor karl` or `Thor kalle`[`Thor-fellow`]."[The Divine Thunderbolt. Missile of the Gods by J.T. Sibley, 2009]

The Finnish mythological epic The Kalevala which was recovered and published by Elias Lonnrot in 1849 is a collection of Finnish and Karelian oral myths and songs which Lonnrot collected and wrote down to form a cohesive epic. Similar activities of course occurred in 19th century Germany with the Grimm brothers who also committed to paper old German nursery rhymes, folklore and myths.

"Steady old Vainamoinen he hastened to ask: `Where did the fires go from there where did the sparks dash after Thor`s field edge-to the forest or to sea?"[Rune 47]

Ukko is equated with Perkele and it is believed by some scholars that this was Ukko`s original name. This is obviously related to the Proto-Indo-European *Perkunos or *Perkwunos.The similarity to the Lithuanian Perkunas and the Latvian Perkons is obvious. The Estonian version is Peko or Pekolaso. The Indo-European origins of Ukko and Tuuri thus established it is a reasonable strategy for us to examine Finnish and Estonian mythology for other traces of Indo-European concepts and in so doing we recover some of our own lost Aryan heritage.


Monday, 12 August 2013

Odin Stones and the Odin Stone



Yesterday by chance I found and purchased from a shop in Whitby what may be called a Holey Stone, Witch Stone, Hag Stone, Wishing Stone, Seeing Stone or Odin Stone. This particular stone is a Pholas Dactylus. These stones have a naturally occurring hole or holes that are so smooth that they appear to have been bored through. 

Such stones, became known as Holey Stones for this reason and according to surviving folklore if you peer through the hole you can gain a glimpse of the Otherworld, hence the term Seeing Stone. By writing a wish down on paper and pushing it through the hole and being left overnight the wish become granted, hence the name Wishing Stone. Alternatively one may rub the stone round the hole in a clockwise direction[not widdershins]and the wish is said to come true. Hanging the stone from your bedpost overnight will protect you from nightmares. My readers may be aware that our ancestors commonly believed that the Nightmare was not just a bad dream but  an evil entity which sits on people`s chests and is said to ride the victim, hence the term mare.

The roots of the word may be traced back to Proto-Germanic *maron down to Old English maere and its cognates are to be found in other Germanic languages. The mare is also called a Hag, identical in type to the maere; hence the term Hag Stone or Witch Stone.

The Holey Stone also contains properties that protect one from thunder.

"Among the peasantry, there were other amulets or images referencing the thunder god and his divine rhunderbolt/thunderweapon. These include fossils, certain stones, manufactured amulets, plants, and ceraunia. Ammonites, belemnites, and sea urchins were especially prized as thunderbolts or thunderstones. Belemnites were also called wernaegel[`warding nails`], and were used in folk medicine to cure humans and cattle. Fossilised sharks` teeth, as well as flint arrowheads, were believed to be fairy arrows.
 "Flint, as both raw nodules and worked ceraunia, was a primary thunderstone in Anglo-Saxon Britain. Naturally holed flints[`hag stones`] were hung on nails in barns and on cattle pens in order to protect both the animals and the dairy."[The Divine Thunderbolt. Missile of the Gods, J.T. Sibley, 2009]

In connection with this general concept of Holey Stones there was of course the Odin Stone which stood near the Stanness Standing Stones on Orkney until it was destroyed by an incoming stranger called Capt. W. Maackay[may his name be accursed!] in 1814.Our ancestors in post-conversion times often showed little respect for these sacred stones and either destroyed them in a calculated act of sacrilege or used them for building materials. In at least one respect we live in more enlightened times where our physical[but not biological] heritage is valued and protected.

It is said that the Odin`s Stone was used to bless marriages in not just heathen but in xtian times as well.

"The parties agreed stole from the rest of their companions, and went to the Temple of the Moon, where the woman, in presence of the man, fell down on her knees and prayed the god Wodden (for such was the name of the god they addressed upon this occasion) that he would enable her to perform all the promises and obligations she had and was to make to the young man present, after which they both went to the Temple of the Sun, where the man prayed in like manner before the woman, then they repaired from this to the stone [known as Wodden's or Odin's Stone], and the man being on one side and the woman on the other, they took hold of each other's right hand through the hole, and there swore to be constant and faithful to each other. This ceremony was held so very sacred in those times that the person who dared to break the engagement made here was counted infamous, and excluded all society ."[Rev. George Low, 1774].

The use of the Odin Stone to perform marital promises reminds me of the sacred Oath Ring to be found in Woden`s and Thunor`s temples. Our ancestors also used holes in ash trees for the purpose of healing sick children:

"These trees, when young and flexible, were severed and held open by wedges, while ruptured children, stripped naked, were pushed through the apertures, under a persuasion that by such a process the poor babies would be cured of their infirmity.
 "This custom, and that of passing children and cattle through perforated earth or rocks, or through natural or artificial openings in trees, especially the ash and the oak, is common to most European countries."[Curiosities of Indo-European Tradition and Folk-lore, Walter Keating Kelly, 1863]
Mr Kelly goes on to conclude that this practice is symbolises healing through a new birth and is probably traceable back to Proto-Indo-European times:

"It appears indeed to be a close copy of a Hindu religious useage, and probably had its origin, like the latter, in times previous to the dispersion of the Aryans."

The association of Woden or Odin with the Odin Stone may be a remembrance of the Eddic myth of Odin having a hole bored through the mountain in order that he may gain access to the sacred mead.


Saturday, 10 August 2013

The Fusion of the Aryan Battle Ax and Northern Megalithic Peoples



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 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 Mesollithic 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."[Owen]

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]

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Horned Helmeted Northern Warriors and Priests-a Reality



Frequently one reads in modern history books that the Vikings `never wore horned helmets`. This is emphasised time and time again, so much so that this has made me suspicious of why this is reiterated.
Depending on how you define a Viking they may in a narrow sense be correct. For instance if one is referring to that limited period of Scandinavian and European history known as the Viking era then there is probably no evidence for their use.

However the Viking era is a limited period of history from the 8th to the 11th centuries CE and in my opinion too much emphasis is placed on this period of Germanic history. This is something that those of us who are part of the Germanic heathen reawakening need to reflect upon.

There is however abundant evidence that Germanic warriors and probably priests DID wear such headgear. Similar evidence also exists amongst the Celtic peoples. There is first of all written evidence by classical writers such as Diodorus Siculus and Plutarch that make reference to northern European warriors such as Celts and Teutons wearing horned and even winged helmets. The common argument that it was not `practical` is not evidence at all, merely an opinion. In the Middle Ages, in the Age of Chivalry that is, knights were often portrayed wearing similar headgear and clearly these helmets did not impair their battle prowess! The Order of the Teutonic Knights in particular were very fond of this kind of headgear.

There is also archaeological and artistic evidence that certainly in the Bronze Age and early Iron Age such headgear was worn by northern warriors.For example in 1942 two Bronze Age horned helmets were discovered in Vekso in Denmark. On the Arch of Constantine from 315CE there are Germanic warriors called Cornuti depicted wearing horned helmets in the Battle of Verona in 312CE. Interestingly the etymology of Cornuti does suggest `horn`. Decorative plates on the Sutton Hoo helmet depict dancing men wearing horned helmets but this no doubt was connected to ritualistic activity. The Finglesham belt buckle portrays a similar figure which many consider could be an image of Woden or His priest. This motif is repeated in the chalk image of the Long Man of Wilmington although the figure does not have a horned helmet there is speculation that he once did. However we do not necessarily have exactly the original figure. More than likely it was changed over the centuries either by accident or by design. Horned helmets were not the preserve of just the warriors but clearly also part of the priestly regalia. Again this should give us food for thought when we as practicing Germanic heathens consider our own regalia. The Gundestrup cauldron from Denmark also shows numerous horned helmeted figures-again engaged in ritualistic activity. Bronze statuettes, possibly votive offerings have been recovered such as the horned helmeted and torc wearing figurine from Grevensvaenge in Zealand, Denmark. The right arm is missing but it is speculated that he carried an axe or a hammer and thus could be considered to be a representation of the Thunder God.

A very spectacular horned helmet found in 1868 in the river Thames, known as the Waterloo Helmet dates back to 150-50 BCE. The fragile construction of the helmet suggests that it was for ceremonial rather than battle use.

There is simply too much evidence for us to say that the Germanic and Celtic peoples did not wear horned helmets for either ceremonial, ritualistic or warfare purposes. It is likely that such practices continued into the Viking era but used only for ritualistic or ceremonial purposes-until of course the Age of Chivalry when warriors once again adopted them!

What we now must ask ourselves is why did our ancestors wear them and I believe that the answer can be found in the mythology and religious practices of our Neolithic and Bronze Age forefathers. The Horned God is a very common archetype and existed in many forms throughout northern Europe.There is a whole chapter contained within Pagan Celtic Britain[Anne Ross, 1967] which discusses this archetype but within a British context. She states that "The cult of the horned god is perhaps second only in importance to the cult of the head." The prehistoric nature of this deity is emphasised: "the Celts drew to a large extent upon concepts derived from beliefs and symbols current in northern Europe and elsewhere in the proto-Celtic and Bronze Age phases of pre-history." She makes reference to the "ancestry of the Celtic cult of horned gods in Europe" being "furnished by the series of figures from prehistoric Denmark, depicted on rock or bronze."

The most famous horned deity in northern Europe is of course the Celtic Cernnunos or the Anglo-Saxon Herne, both names derived from `horn`.  No doubt warriors adopted horned helmets for the same reason that Berserkers wore bear shirts and Ulfhednar[Wolfheads] worse wolf pelts-in order to be empowered by the ferocity of these creatures. They also became impervious to wounds and injuries incurred in battle.
The horns no doubt conferred feelings of force and power upon their wearers. Berserkers were not just confined to the Germanic world but there is mythological evidence that the Celts were acquainted with this idea also, such as the semi-divine Cu Chulainn who entered a rage called the `warp spasm`!

How far these horn helmeted northern warriors traveled is indicated by Juergen Spanuth in his excellent although out of print Atlantis of the North:

"Here the ancient Egyptian artists, in their typical naturalistic style, have preserved the likenesses of many hundreds of North Sea warriors, with the horned helmets, rayed crowns, flange-hilted swords, types of ship and racial characteristics typical of the people who inhabited northern Europe at that time."[1979]