Sunday, 24 April 2016

Armenon-a Divine Ancestor of the Germanic Peoples

There is a great deal of fascinating information about the ancient Indo-European and Germanic peoples contained in what Professor L.A. Waddell termed the British Chronicles. Examples of the writers who would fall under this catergory are Bede, Gildas, Nennius, William of Malmesbury, Gerald of Wales, Geoffrey of Monmouth etc. It is my intention to make a thorough study of these writings when I retire in 3 months time.

The following is an extract from Nennius' Historia Brittonum (Giles translation):

"17.  I have learned another account of this Brutus from the ancient books of our ancestors.  After the deluge, the three sons of Noah severally occupied three different part of the earth: Shem extended his borders into Asia, Ham into Africa, and Japheth into Europe.
The first man that dwelt in Europe was Alanus, with his three sons, Hisicion, Armenon, and Neugio.  Hisicion had four sons, Froncus, Romanus, Alamanus, and Brutus.  Armenon had five sons, Gothus, Valaothus, Cibidus, Burgundus, and Longobardus.  Neugio had three sons, Valdalus, Saxo, and Boganus.  From Hisicion arose four nations--the Franks, the Latins, the Germans, and Britons: from Armenon, the Gothi, Valagothi, Cibidi, Burgundi, and Longobardi: from Neugio, the Bagari, Vandali, Saxones, and Tarinegi.  The whole of Europe was subdivided into these tribes.

Alanus is said to have been the son of Fethuir; Fethuir the son of Ogomuin, who was the son of Thoi; Thoi was the son of Boibus, Boibus of Semion, Semion of Mair, Mair of Ecthactur, Ecthactur of Aurthack, Aurthack of Ethec, Ethec of Ooth, Ooth of Aber, Aber of Ra, Ra of Esraa, Esraa of Hisrau, Hisrau of Bath, Bath of Jobath, Jobath of Joham, Joham of Japheth, Japheth of Noah, Noah of Lamech, Lamech of Mathusalem, Mathusalem of Enoch, Enoch of Jared, Jared of Malalehel, Malalehel of Cainan, Cainan o Enos, Enos of Seth, Seth of Adam, and Adam was formed by the living God.  We have obtained this information respecting the original inhabitants of Britain from ancient tradition.

18.  The Britons were thus called from Brutus: Brutus was the son of Hisicion, Hisicion was the son of Alanus, Alanus was the son of Rhea Silvia, Rhea Silvia was the daughter of Numa Pompilius, Numa was the son of Ascanius, Ascanius of Eneas, Eneas of Anchises, Anchises of Troius, Troius of Dardanus, Dardanus of Flisa, Flisa of Juuin, Juuin of Japheth; but Japheth had seven sons; from the first, named Gomer, descended the Galli; from the second, Magog, the Scythi and Gothi; from the third, Madian, the Medi; from the fourth, Juuan, the Greeks; from the fifth, Tubal, arose the Hebrei, Hispani, and Itali; from the sixth, Mosoch, sprung the Cappadoces; and from the seventh, named Tiras, descended the Thraces: these are the sons of Japheth, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech."

As was typical of the era in which Nennius wrote biblical personages were mixed in with historical and mythological characters, not only in the ancestry of kings but in the origins of entire peoples. If one disregards the biblical corruption evident in these chronicles then there is a great deal of information which is of both interest and of use to us. In this article I wish to focus specifically on the  paragraph which I have underlined. My readers will note the reference to a person called  Armenon who is credited with being the father of the Goths, the Burgundians and Langobards. I am unsure as to the identity of the tribe known as the Cibidi. As with Tacitus' Germania we have a founding father of the Germanic peoples Alanus who equates to Mannus, the son of the earthborn God Tuisto. Let us read again the relevant passage from Tacitus:

 "In ancient lays, their only type of historical tradition, they celebrate Tuisto, a god brought forth from the earth. They attribute to him a son, Mannus, the source and founder of their people, and to Mannus three sons, from whose names those nearest the Ocean are called Ingvaeones, those in the middle Herminones, and the rest Istvaeones. Some people, inasmuch as antiquity gives free reign to speculation, maintain that there were more sons born from the god and hence more tribal designations- Marsi, Gambrivii, Suebi, and Vandilii- and that those names are genuine and ancient."(Germania 2.2, Tacitus, J.B. Rives translation)

"In the traditional songs which form their only record of the past the Germans celebrate an earth-born god called Tuisto. His son Mannus is supposed to be the fountain-head of their race and himself to have begotten three sons who gave their names to three groups of tribes- the Ingaevones, nearest the sea; the Herminones, in the interior; and the Istaevones, who comprise all the rest. Some authorities, with the freedom of conjecture permitted by remote antiquity, assert that Tuisto had numerous descendants and mention more tribal groups such as Marsi, Gambrivii, Suebi, and Vandilii-names which affirm to be both genuine and ancient." (H. Mattingley translation, revised by S.A. Handford.)

I suggest that the formula that we have in Nennius: Alanus > Hiscion + Armenon + Negio = Mannus > Istio + Irmin + Ing. Armenon and Hiscio very clearly are derived from Irmin and Istio respectively. Negio contains within it the name Ing. Clearly Armenon is not just an earthly ancestor but the divine ancestor of the Germanic and other Aryan peoples. Thus Armenon = Irmin = Aryaman = Airyaman = Eremon = Ariomanus.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

A Connection Between Cuthman, Cuthbert and Fro-Ing

In the writings of our Folk Warder Wulf Ingesunnu there are occasional references to the mysterious figure of Cuthman http://inglinga.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/the-white-stone-of-ing.html
It would be helpful to look at the etymology of this character's name. Cuð is Old English for 'known'; some define this as 'famous' which in my mind is not exactly the same thing. It is the past participle of  cunnan, to 'be or become acquainted with' or more interestingly 'be thoroughly conversant with, know, know how to, have power to, be able to, can.' (See A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary by J.R. Clark Hall). This word in turn is derived from Proto-Germanic *kunthaz.

I believe that there may be a connection between the Cuthman discussed by Wulf and the Cuthbert of Northumbria. Now I am not saying that this is the same person but it is indicative of a certain archetype, possibly a divine archetype or maybe a name or badge of office. Certainly both Cuthman and Cuthbert have miraculous powers in the surviving Old English and Norman texts.

Wulf draws a comparison between Cuthman and the ancient God of the English, Ing, Ingwe, Fro-Ing. Indeed he may be a heavily xtianised version of this God. Let us not forget that the church did not just seek to destroy or eradicate our ancient Gods but they incorporated them into their own mythology as saints-or demi-gods if you will!  One of the reasons for this is because these divine archetypes were too ingrained in the Collective Unconscious or Blood Memory of our folk to be completely eradicated so instead they outwardly changed them but the inner essence remains the same.  

Cuthbert has an additional element which I believe to be of significance. The suffix to the name, bert is derived from Old English beorht, meaning 'bright, shining, brilliant, light, clear, loud: excellent, distinguished, remarkable, beautiful, magnificent, noble, glorious: pure, sublime, holy, divine.' (J.R. Clark Hall). We get here the feeling that this is not meant to be brightness in the ordinary mundane sense of the word but a divine brightness, a sacred shining light that was an attribute of Fro-Ing. Cuthbert is said to have power over animals, the elements, had the ability to prophesy, he could detect the presence of hidden water, turn water into wine, able to supernaturally extinguish fires, cure the sick and after his death not only did his supposed dead body perform acts of healing but it lay uncorrupted (see Bede's Life of Cuthbert and Ecclesiastical History of the English People). I am reminded here of the account of Fro-Ing's 'death' in the Ynglinga Saga:

" When it became known to the Swedes that Frey was dead, and yet peace and good seasons continued, they believed that it must be so as long as Frey remained in Sweden; and therefore they would not burn his remains, but called him the god of this world, and afterwards offered continually blood sacrifices to him, principally for peace and good seasons." (Ynglinga saga 13)

According to  Snorri Sturluson therefore the body of this 'dead' God still had the capability of producing good seasons for His believers. There is an indirect link between this myth and the legend of the continuing powers of the dead body of Cuthbert, the 'powerful shining one'. I believe that this connection between Cuthman, Cuthbert and Fro-Ing merits further research and I am sure that further revelations will be brought to light.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

The Association of Copper with Thor

Now we all recognise that our High Lord Woden is the primary deity associated with magic. However there is evidence here and there to support the idea that some Germanic magicians also incorporated elements of the worship of Thor in their magical practices. There is an account related in Icelandic Folk Tales and Legends (Jacqueline Simpson, 1972) that supports this association:

"If a man own a 'Thor's Hammer', he will know who it is who has robbed him if he loses anything. To make this hammer, one must have copper from a church bell, three times stolen. The hammer must be hardened  in human blood on a Whitsunday, between the reading of the Epistle and the Gospel. A spike must also be forged out of the same material as the hammer, and this spike one must jab against the head of the hammer, saying: 'I drive this in the eye of the Father of War, I drive this in the eye of theFather of the Slain, I drivethis in the eye of Thor of the Aesir'. The thief will then feel pain in his eyes; if he does not return the stolen goods, the procedure is repeated and then the thief will lose one eye; but should it prove necessary to repeat it a third time, he will lose the other eye too.
"Another method is for a man to steal a copper bell from a church between the Epistle and the Gospel, and make a hammer from it. When he wants to know who the thief is, he must take a sheet of paper and draw a man's eyes on it, or, better still, a whole face with two eyes, using his own blood, and on the reverse of the sheet draw a suitable magic sign. Next, he must take a steel spike and set one end of it on the eye and strike the other end with the Thor's Hammer, saying 'I am giving eye-ache to the man who robbed me me', or, 'I am knocking out the eye of the man who robbed me'. Then the thief will lose one eye, or both, if he does not give himself up first."

As Christopher Alan Smith remarks in his excellent Icelandic Magic. Aims, Tools and Techniques of the Icelandic Sorcerers (2015)  this motif of eye-piercing is evident in the Huld manuscript, the image of which features at the head of this article.

One recurring theme in some of the Icelandic spells is the use of a copper hammer. In the Isländska Svartkonstboken there is the following thief finding spell:

"To find out a thief. If, with magical knowledge, you want to find out who is stealing from you, then take a little thorn bush and carry it on your person so that it may not be separated from you. Then take a little copper pin with a copper hammer. Make the following stave on the crossbeam of the house from which it was stolen, then stick the pin into the right eye [of the figure], and while doing this say: 'In Buskan Lucanus'.

Clearly copper was regarded as a sacred metal by the Germanic peoples and before the invention of bronze which is an alloy of copper and tin this metal in its pure state was prevalent in a period between the Neolithic and the Bronze Ages and the term for this intermediate age was the Chalcolithic, meaning Copper Stone Age. Although associated with the Neolithic it is generally regarded as part of the Bronze Age. Copper is a pure metal and has the lustre of gold. It is also known to have healing qualities. It is resistant to bacteria and is non-corrosive. Furthermore it is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. In addition to it being a primary metal in the alloy bronze it can also be alloyed with zinc to form brass and in a lesser ratio of copper to tin it forms pewter. Along with gold, silver, mercury, tin, lead and iron copper is one of the seven metals of the ancients. These metals are also referred to as the seven planetary metals and relate to seven day week. Copper is particularly sacred to the Goddesses Venus and Freyja. H.A. Guerber writing in Myths of the Norsemen stated:

"When the god thus drove from place to place, he was called Aku-thor, or Thor the charioteer, and in Southern Germany the people, fancying a brazen chariot alone inadequate to furnish all the noise they heard, declared it was loaded with copper kettles, which rattled and clashed, and therefore often called him, with disrespectful familiarity, the kettle-vendor."   
J.T. Sibley in her remarkable The Divine Thunderbolt. Missile of the Gods (2009) explains this myth as having a Greek source. The legendary King Salmoneus of Elis apparently dragged brass kettles behind his chariot in order to bring on thunderstorms in order to bring rain to his parched lands. The sound of the kettles clashing imitated the sound of thunder. (see page 227) This reminds me of the fact that in Swedish heathen temples large bronze hammers were used to imitate the sound of thunder, a practise also of the heathen Slavs and Balts.

In all three of the above spells it is noted that the hammer of Thor is made of copper but also in the first two spells it was made from copper which had to be stolen from a church bell. This in the eyes of the post conversion Icelandic magician gave the hammer a magical potency. In a remarkable tale by the Danish folklorist Hans Christian Anderson there is a further association between Thor and the metal copper:

Thursday came dressed as a coppersmith with a hammer and a copper kettle ; these were the marks of his nobility. ' I am of the highest birth,' he said, ' heathen and divine. In the northern lands I am named after Thor, and in the southern after Jupiter, who both knew how to thunder and lighten. That has remained in the family.' And then he beat on the copper kettle and demonstrated his high birth.

As I have commented before it is remarkable how much of our ancient pre-xtian Germanic lore survives in folktales. It is imperative that we continue to mine these for further examples of ancient spiritual heathen heritage.