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
          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!