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.