Saturday, 19 July 2014
Horagelles, the Lappish Thor
Heathenism continued in the very far north of Europe well after the last of the Germanic peoples were xtianised in the 11th century. Lithuania for example was not officially converted until 1387 (A History of Pagan Europe, Prudence Jones & Nigel Pennick). Indeed the Lithuanians were amongst the first Northern Europeans to restore their native religion in 1967 and is known as Romuva. Traces of heathenism lingered even longer amongst the non-Indo-European Saami or Lapps. Shamans were still being burnt alive by the xtian church as late as 1693 (Jones & Pennick).
It is clear to me that if we are to recover as much of our lost ancient Germanic lore as we can we must explore the surviving remnants of the closely related Indo-European Baltic mythology (Lithuanian and Latvian) as well as even the Finno-Ugric peoples of the North (Finns, Lapps and Estonians). Inevitably the cultures of the Baltic, Finno-Ugric and Germanic peoples share common concepts and practices due to the close geographic proximity of these peoples but also the shared blood. There is a very high degree of Nordicism amongst these people, even amongst the Lapps who by the way share mtDNA which is to be found amongst other Europeans. The Haplotype V which I happen to share and is very rare in central Europe (about 4%) is to be found in abundance amongst the Lapps of Finland, Norway and Sweden (59%).
The Lapps worshipped Thor who was known to them as Horagelles (Old Man Thor) or Toora/Taara in Estonia and Torym to the Ostyaks. My readers will note that in the accompanying image of a 17th century engraving of a Saami sacrificial site Horagelles has a long handled hammer, and nails in the head. Suspended from the nail is a flint which the God can use to make fire.