Sunday, 2 August 2015

Anglo-Saxon Thunder Lore

It is ironic but in the xtian churches' desire to eradicate genuine Germanic and Aryan heathen lore they inadvertantly saved some of it. The shavelings brought literacy to the converted peoples although this self-same literacy was denied to the bulk of the people, being the preserve of cloistered monks. Nevertheless some real gems of heathen lore were preserved by the clerics although to the casual reader it may not always be so obvious.

One example of such heathen lore is that concerning thunder. One work which is traditionally attributed to Bede is De Tonitrius Libellus:

"If thunder arises in the east on the coast, then according to the wise traditions of philosophers, it indicates that during the course of that year there would be a great outpouring of human blood [i.e. a battle].
If the thunder comes from western regions, then...it is said to presage death for the offspring of Adam, and a terrible plague approaching in the course of that year.
If the thunder is in the south, then, as wise and astute philosophers assert...it foretells that the inhabitants of the ocean [i.e. fish] will die off in some great misfortune.
When thunder is heard from the north...it signifies the death of the worst transgressors, that is of pagans and of heretic Christians." (Aspects of Anglo-Saxon Magic, 1996, Bill Griffiths)

Although attributed to Bede this is disputed by modern scholars but nevertheless appears to date back to the late 9th century at the latest. The reference to "pagans and of heretic Christians" could well be an addition to and an interpolation into the original lore which would of necessity have been oral in nature. What the clerics did preserve they contaminated as in the example of the Rune Poems and Saxo Grammaticus. The great work of Wodenism today is to cleanse our lore of xtian contamination as much as we are able. The Asatru Edda (2009) and the more recent The Odinist Edda (2014), both published by The Norroena Society are worthy attempts at doing so and in the spirit of Viktor Rydberg they present our lore as a consistent epic with material not found in the Eddas being included.

If of course De Tonitrius Libellus is the work of Bede then we must consider that this lore was written down at a time when England had only just lost its last heathen king.

"The last part of England to remain worshipping the old gods officially was Sussex, whose king Arwald (died 686) was the last Pagan king in Britain." ( Pagan Magic of the Northern Tradition. Customs, Rites, and Ceremonies, 2015, Nigel Pennick)  

Little is known of this Saxon king but is it not time that we acknowledged him as the last defender of Anglo-Saxon heathendom? Even his name is significant-Ar-wald. Now before anyone tells me that he was regarded as a xtian saint, this is simply not true! Arwald was killed by the xtian Caedwalla, king of Wessex in the Isle of Wight. Arwald's two younger brothers betrayed our ancient Gods by accepting xtianity before they were executed. No doubt they were tricked into doing so with the false promise that they would be saved if they did so, this being interpreted possibly as they being spared execution! This was a common xtian trick! Consequently because the names of these two brothers was unknown they were collectively cannonised and the two became known as St. Arwald! St. Arwald's day is 22nd April, very close to England Day (23rd).

The Ar prefix in Arwald's name is indicative of nobility and the very concept of Aryanness as embodied in the Germanic God Irmin, the Irish Eremon, the Gallic Ariomanus, the Vedic Aryaman, the Avestan Airyaman.
"The king of the Sons of Mil, Eremon, is etymologically the equivalent of the Gaulish Ariomanus, reflecting the same personified *aryomn 'Aryanness' as is seen in the Vedic Aryaman and the Iranian Airyaman. In addition, very specific traits connect Eremon with both of the latter. The dossier of Eremon in the Lebor Gabala involves his role as builder of causeways and royal roads. In the Historia Britonum of Nennius, the Book of Leinster, the Book of Lecan, and some other scources, Eremon arranged a protection against poisoned enemy arrows that consisted of pouring cow's milk into furrows on the battlefield. He also provided wives to his allies and arranged for hereditary succession in favour of the Irish, his own people."(Comparative Mythology, 1987, Jaan Puhvel)
Aryan god ( *h4eros). A deity in charge of welfare is indicated by a number of lexical correspondences (Skt Aryaman, Av airyaman, Gaul Ariomannus, OIr Eremon, and non-cognate functional correspondences, e.g. Vidura in the Mahabharata. The Aryaman-type deity is associated with building and maintenance of roads or pathways, with healing, especially involving a ritual where cattle urine or milk is poured in a furrow, and the institution of marriage. In this sense he is seen as a 'helper' in to the First Function deity of the Mitra type." (The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World, 2006, J.P. Mallory and D.Q. Adams)
Thus King Arwald's name could be interpreted as the Arman, the Aryan man of the forest; wald meaning forest or the military leader of the forest as Ar and Heri are cognate. Germanic kings were not only regarded as descendants of the Gods but also had by necessity to be effective military leaders.

In addition to thunder having a particular significance according to the four directions it may also be interpreted according to the month:

"In the month of January, if it thunders, it presages great winds, and the crops of the earth will turn out well, and there will be a battle (or, war).
"In the month of February, if it thunders, it foretells the death of many people and most of the kingdom.
"In the month of March, thunder signifies great winds, and crops turning out well, and discord among people.
"In April, thunder betokens a happy year, and the death of evil people.
"In May, thunder presages a hungry year.
"In the month of June, thunder signifies great winds, and madness among wolves and lions.
"In the month of July, thunder signifies crops turning out well, and livestock perishing.
"In the harvest month, thunder signifies a good yield, and people will sicken.
"In September, thunder means a good harvest, and the killing of powerful (or rich) people.
"In October thunder fortells a great gale, and crops yet to come, and a lack of fruits from trees.
"In November thunder bodes a happy year, and crops yet to come.
"In December, thunder predicts a good harvest from the soil, and harmony, and peace." (Griffiths)

Thunder also has a significance according to the days of the week.

"If the first thunder comes on Sunday, it signifies the death of children of your kin.
"If it thunders on Monday, that presages great bloodshed in some nation.
"If it thunders on Tuesday, that signifies a failing of crops.
"If it thunders on Wednesday, that means the death of land-workers and mechanics [craeftiga].
"If it thunders on Thursday, that means the death of womenfolk.
"If it thunders on Friday, that means the death of sea-creatures.
"If it thunders on Saturday, that means the death of judges and officials." (Griffiths)

The astute reader will notice that the thunder lore according to the days of the week signifies death on six days and crop failure on one! Also the thunder lore according to the direction is also in each case a warning of death! However the thunder lore attached to the months of the year has a more rational basis and is no doubt based on sound observation by our ancestors whilst the thunder lore concerning days of the weeks and direction is based on pure superstition. It is no wonder that our great God Thunor, the very personification of thunder was prayed to for protection and at the same time was held in awe by our ancestors.

"Se thunor hit thryscedh mid thaere fyrenan aecxe."(Dialogue of Solomon and Saturn) [translated as "Thunor threshes with his fiery axe".]
Not surprisingly our ancestors wore and were buried with axe amulets as a means of propitiating Thunor and seeking His protection in this life and the next.

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