“Holy Horse!” – Horses in the Germanic and other polytheistic Traditions

Cavalia-logo-500x375

written and copyrighted by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt

Alongside the multitude of deities in Germanic Paganism there are several other beings of importance, which are all too often overlooked.
The horse is an especially sacred animal in the Northern traditions, particularly to the Saxons.

Horses attested to in Lore

Sleipnir

There is, of course, the most famous horse Sleipnir, the eight-legged son of Loki. Unlike his siblings Fenris, Hel and Jörmungand, he is not met with general hostility. This is the story of his conception:

mason-svadilfariBlast, a Hrimthurse (frost giant) was asked to build an impenetrable wall around Asgard. As payment he asked for the giant siblings Sunna (the sun), Mani (the moon) and – should she have him – Wanen Goddess Freija, hostage of the Asen deities.
The Asen pretended to agree to Blast’s terms, but resorted to threatening Loki with a painful death if he didn’t find a way to cheat the great builder out of his payment.
Svadilfari (“Unlucky traveler”) was the name of the Thurse’s horse that helped him carry the heavy boulders used to build the Asgardian walls.

Odin_Loki_and_Sleipnir_by_Hellanim

image by Hellanim

Loki turned himself into a female horse, luring away Svadilfari from his master and mating with him in the forest. The story’s end varies from culture to culture. Here we know that despite being delayed by the absence of his horse Svadilfari the great builder still finished Asgard’s walls on time. Outraged, Wotan and the rest of the Asen Gods sent Thunar to murder the Hrimthurs. Another story is that they murdered him only after finding out he belonged to the race of giants.
Shortly afterwards Loki gave birth to Sleipnir (“Swift Glider”) who – according to different stories – was either claimed by or given to Wotan as a gift.

Sunna’s Horses

Many other horses are attested to in the lore. Amongst them are Alswinn (“Very swift one”) and Arwark (“Early Guard”), Sunna’s horses. Then there are the Goddess Dag’s (“Day”) horse Skinfaxi (“Shining Mane”) and Hrimfaxi (“Frost Mane”) who belongs to the Goddess Nótt (“Night”).

109487_orig

In 1902 a Bronze age artifact was unearthed in the Moor of Trundholm in Sjelland, Denmark. As can be told from the image below this sun chariot has six wheels (Could this possibly be linked to the sixth rune of the Futhark, Kenaz, the fire-sun of life?) and carries one large disk which strikingly resembles the sun itself – the Goddess Sunna.

14db9dff-f0f5-4cd1-b254-b7cf57dbfaf8
The Nibelungs and others

In the Nibelungs we have Goti, Gunther’s (Gunnar/Gundahar) horse that refused to pass Brünhild’s ring of fire and famous Siegfried’s (Sigurd) Grani, a descendent of Sleipnir. The name Grani has been translated as “Grey” but also as “Conifer” (even today the word gran means conifer in the Scandinavian languages.) The latter translation would point to a connection with Saxnot-Týr and the world yew tree Yggdrasil.

There are those horses belonging to humans, Beli, Falhofnir (“Fallow hooves”), Skeidbrimir (“Snorting”), Swedish King Adil’s horse Slöngwir and King Ali’s horse Hrafn (“Raven”).

Giants’ Horses

The horses of giants like Gullfaxi (“Golden Mane”) who belongs to the giant Hrungnir (“Hunger”), the giant who challenged Wotan to a horse race and who was then murdered by Asgardian Thunar.

CaptureThere is even a giant with the name of Hrosstjofr, simply meaning “Horse Thief”.

A German folktale from the Harz region knows of the giant Bodo who had a run-in with Brünhilde in the forest.
He wanted her for a wife, but terrified, she fled on her horse. Bodo, also on his giant horse, chased after her.
Finally, Brünhilde reached a great ravine. As Brünhilde preferred death over being married to a giant she forced her mare to leap, but instead of falling into the divide they both safely landed on the other side.

Brunhilde-Sprung__716x500_The impact had been so severe that until this day you can see Brünhild’s horse’s hooves on the “Roßtrapp” stone.
On the other hand Bodo and his horse – too heavy for the jump – had both fallen into the ravine. All he has left of Brünhilde is her crown that she had lost during the fall. He is still holding on to it and keeps everyone who attempts to dive to the ground of “Bodo River” (Bode) in order to retrieve it in his watery grave.

_hufabdruck2There are even children’s books loosely based on or inspired by this tale such as “The Giant and the Nymph” (Der Riese und die Nixe) from the 60’s.

Dwarves’ Horses

One of the known dwarves’ horses is Verdrasill, usually translated as “Path-Horse” but possibly meaning Earth-Horse, which appears to make a little more sense.

thumbelina_smallest_horse

Asen Horses

The horses of the Asen we know of are Gisl (“Whip”), Glad (“Happy”), Heimdall’s Gulltopp (“Golden Braid” NOT Golden Mane!), Gna’s Hofwapnir (this could mean “He who throws his Horse-Shoes” but it could also mean “Farmyard Protector”), Lettfetti (“Lightfoot”), Silfintopp (“Silver Braid”) and Sinir (“Sinewy”).

 *

 Horses, Magic and Shamanism

 Horse Blessing

Northern polytheistic Shamans use the ancient “Horse Blessing” (Pferdesegen) to this day. In recent years the medieval rock band In Extremo has turned the Pferdesegen into a song quite popular on our Medieval Fairs.

gullfa6

The Original Text (plus translation):

Fonna demo uelle in diz tulli
Gang ut, nesso, mid nigun nessiklinon
Ut fana themo marge an that ben
Ut fan themo bene an that flesg

: Ut fan themo flesgke an thia hud
Ut fan thera hud an thesa starla :

Gang uz, nesso, mit niun nessinchilinon
Uz fonna demo marge in deo adra
Uonna den adrun in daz fleisk
Fonna demu fleiske in daz fel

: Ut fan themo… :

Translation:

Crawl out,
Worm, with nine other worms,
From marrow into vein,
From vein into flesh,
From flesh into skin,
From skin into hoof. (Literally: sole of the hoof)

Crawl out, Worm,
with nine other wormies,
From marrow into bone,
From bone into flesh,
From flesh into skin,
From skin onto this arrow head.
So you can be shot far away.

There have been countless (fruitless) attempts at making sense of the Horse Blessing intellectually and several German shamans have warned academics that this is something to be understood “with the heart and soul only”. Of course, the questions are valid and remain: Why 10 worms all in all? Was the Horse Blessing only meant for horses or for men as has been stated before?

Runes

Whatever the answer, one thing that is for certain is that horse and man have a deep (spiritual) connection in the Germanic belief system(s). Even in rune lore we don’t only have Raido, literally ride, but find that Mannaz (“Man”) is strikingly similar to the Ehwaz rune (“Horse”). Maybe because “Marr er manns Fylgja” (Mare is man’s Guardian Spirit see https://paganmeltingpot.wordpress.com/2014/09/06/the-fylgjen-guardian-animal-spirits/) was the motto of several Germanic tribes, and especially the Saxons, the “horse people” as they often called themselves.

ehwazmannaz
Ehwaz is etymologically related to the Eiwaz rune also known as “Eo” or “Eolh”; eoh in Old High German means horse. This would complete the yew world tree/Shamanic horse travel circle.

Oracles

009 white horseWhite horses were the oracle animals of the Saxons. The white horse represents spirituality and spiritual purity, the “Otherworld” or other realm, Shamanic travel, also in other cultures. These horses were kept in sacred groves where they were tended to with loving care. Alrunen (witches), Sibyllen (seers) or other cunning women read the future of their tribe from the behavior of the animals, sometimes in combination with the runes.

NiedersachsenLower Saxony’s crest consists of a rearing white horse (German “Schimmel”) connecting horse divination with the legend of the Schimmelreiter (rider of the white horse, linked to the Wild Hunt). The story has survived in stories such as Theodor Storm’s novel of the same name, albeit drastically altered.

Second Merseburg Incantation

Original text (plus translation):

Phol ende Uuôdan uuorun zi holza.
Dû uuart demo Balderes uolon sîn uuoz birenkit.
thû biguol en Sinthgunt, Sunna era suister,
thû biguol en Frîia, Uolla era suister;
thû biguol en Uuôdan sô hê uuola conda:
sôse bênrenkî, sôse bluotrenkî,
sôse lidirenkî:
bên zi bêna, bluot zi bluoda,
lid zi geliden, sôse gelimida sin!

Translation:

Phol and Wodan were riding to the woods.
And the foot of Balder’s foal was sprained
So Sinthgunt, Sunna’s sister, conjured it.
and Frija, Volla’s sister, conjured it.
and Wodan conjured it, as well he could:
Like bone-sprain, so blood-sprain,
so joint-sprain:
Bone to bone, blood to blood,
joints to joints, so may they be mended.

merseburger zauberspruchOn 5th and 6th century bracteates Wotan is often shown as healing the front leg of a foal or horse, so the content of the second Merseburg Charm is clear.
However, some of the names in this old 9th/10th century incantation had scholars scratching their heads for a long time.
Who or what is Phol/Fol? – It is none other than Balder-Frey himself. In Germanic lore there is hardly one God that did not appear as the aspect of another at some point.
Both Balder and Ingvi-Fro (Frey) are referred to as “Fohlengott” (Foal god).
Unrelated to this, one of Frey’s Swedish attributes is “yew tree god”. The god of the (world) yew tree or Yggdrasil was Saxnot/Sahsnotas to the Saxons and Týr-Tiuz in the rest of the North of Germany. And thus the story comes full circle.

As for Sinthgunt, her name is mentioned nowhere else. Might she be a personified star if she is Sunna’s sister? The Northstar perhaps? Whether any of this will ever be reliably solved is doubtful.

History and Legends

The Saxons

Offering_by_LundThere have been some misconceptions about the “Barbaric, brutish” Saxons having slaughtered and eaten horses in twisted ceremonies.
This is not correct in its entirety and derives from the attempt of (early – and later…) Christians to present everything non-Christian as blood-crazed insanity. (Ironic considering they practice theophagia, something that no sensible Germanic Pagan would have ever dreamt up in their wildest nightmares).
The truth is that on major holidays or very special occasions – such as a Blót or wedding – a horse was slaughtered and its body consumed completely, as was the standard for that time.
Its head was often hung from a pole or from the main hall’s door.
Its blood was sprinkled on an offering stone and sometimes on the foreheads of the newlyweds or participants. This was considered a blessing, as the horse was “holy” due to being tied to the Yggdrasil (Yewhorse, Yewpillar see https://paganmeltingpot.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/yggdrasil-yew-not-ash-tree/) and its blood, the essence of its life, held significant magical/Shamanic powers.
The horse’s skull, its hooves and some of its bones were later used for a Nidstang, but that is a post for another day.
Anyhow, the idea that you can eat deer, hares, pork or beef but not horse meat is a socio-cultural development, a Christian development. This hysteria could be compared to the hysteria of moslems who claim that pork is “unclean” and pig and dog  “filthy beasts”.

gans2These “horse Blóts” are still somewhat remembered in Grimm’s Fairy Tale The Goose Girl/The Goosemaid (“Die Gänsemagd”) in which the horse Falada’s (note the runic incantation in this name!) still speaking head is hung from the city gate, dripping blood onto everyone who passes under him.

Hengist and Horsa

Hengist HorsaFamous even across the borders of both Germany and England are Hengist (“Stallion”) and Horsa (“Horse”), the legendary Saxon warriors and conquerors who invaded the English island.
To some they are only heroes, to others semi-Gods, and then there are those that apotheosize them.
The Greek historian Timaeus (345-250 BCE) already wrote about the North Sea Germanic peoples that they worshipped a pair of mythological twins, which he equated with the Greek Dioskouri (Castor and Pollux).

Hengist Horsa PferdeschmuckFact is that the beautiful carved horse head gables representative of Hengist and Horsa embellish many of our houses in the North. Like back then, these horse head gables are supposed to watch over the household and family, and they literally do.
Whether White Horse Hill (Uffington in Oxfordshire/Berkshire) has anything to do with Hengist and Horsa has been wildly disputed, however, this impressive piece of art was formed by filling dug trenches with crushed chalk.

horse in ukHorses in other polytheistic religions

Gallo-Roman

Of course the horse wasn’t only sacred in the Germanic belief system. Epona is a Celtic horse Goddess or more accurately a Goddess in the shape of a horse.

Celtic

Celtic horse Goddesses are Irish Macha (“Mare”) and Etain Echraide (“Etain Horserider”) for example.

Welsh

rihannonRihannon is usually depicted as riding on her white mare.

Pictish (Scottish)

The Kelpie is a water being or spirit inhabiting the lochs (lakes) of Scotland. It either appears as horse or human to other humans.

Greek

Poseidon is the Greek God of the Sea whose waves were called “mares of Poseidon” by poets and whose chariot was pulled by a hippocampus.
In his hieros gamos, sacred (spiritual) wedding, with Demeter, the latter turns into a white horse in order to express her grief over Hades having kidnapped her daughter Persephone.
Poseidon falls in love with equestrian Demeter and changes himself into a steed to woo her.

Another famous Greek horse is winged Pegasus, who was born out of the bleeding neck of Medusa after Poseidon had decapitated the Gorgon woman.

birth-pegasusAbraxas, Bronte, Eous, are sungod Helios’ faithful horses.

Aithon has alternately been used to identify the horse of Ares but also one of the horses of Helios. Other horses belonging to Ares are Phobos (“Fear”) and Phlogeus.

Zeus’ four horses, corresponding with the four winds, are called Anemoi. Their individual names are Euros, Boreas, Zephyrous and Notos.

Kyllaros and Harpagos are the horses of Castor and Pollux.

Hindu

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHayagriva is a guise/avatar of the God Vishnu. The early Indus Valley population venerated Hayagriva as the deliverer of the Vedanta and horses in general for their speed, strength and intelligence.

Ancient seals of the Indus Valley population already depict the Unicorn as we still know it.

Roman

Since Latin poet Virgil was the first to mention them, Hippogriffs might just be of Roman origin. However, Hippo is Greek for horse but griff comes from Roman gryph for griffin.

The October Horse was the annual sacrifice of a horse to the God Mars.

Mongolian

wz-windhorse1The soul of a person is referred to as wind-horse.

Ksaya Tngri is an equestrian deity protecting souls and earthly riches.

The horse of a Mongolian “Robin Hood” figure lifted itself and his master off the earth and flew across a river when they were pursued by lawmen.

Slavic

sva

The God Svantovit owns a white horse.

Chinese

langmaHorse is part of the Chinese zodiac. Horses in general play an important role in Chinese mythology. Langma is the “dragon horse” and Tianma is a type of Chinese Pegasus for example.

Swedish (contemporary)

dalahc3a4stIn Sweden the Dalahästar, the crafty and beautifully painted wooden horses from the Dalarna region are popular souvenirs and are usually found in standard Swedish homes as well.

English (contemporary)

The Red Vale Horse is a work of art first recorded in the 16th century and maintained until this day. It is similar to the White Horse Hill mentioned earlier in this post. The only difference is that instead of using white chalk, red clay was used.

Advertisements

Yggdrasil – Yew, not Ash Tree

world_tree

written by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt

In my specific belief system it is uncontested that Yggdrasil is a yew tree and not the ash tree that is only once mentioned in the Völuspa of the Edda, although the descriptions of Yggdrasil clearly are not those of the ash tree.

In the light of the persisting Wotan cult we mostly read that Ygg, “the terrible”, is another name for Wotan and drasil is the Old Norse word for horse.
This has been linked to the Wild Hunt, led by Wotan. Alas, originally it was Frau Holle (Hulda, Frigg) who led the nightly Wild Hunt before Wotan replaced her.

Another attempt at a translation is “terrible tree” (Gallowtree), also linking this to Wotan hanging himself from the world tree for nine days and nights in order to receive the runes.
The hanged Wotan is also known as Hangatyr. Why would Wotan’s name be “Hanging Tyr”? Here we have more proof for Wotan replacing all the old (high) Gods and his cult establishing him as some sort of almighty Allfather figure.

On top of this, Wotan’s tree is the ash, his spear Gungnir made of this wood as well. Since Wotan had replaced our old chief God(s) it is not surprising that certain elements were modified.

Sahsnotas Irminsul

Hangatyr, Týr-Irmin who hung himself from the world tree

The term Gallowtree is not so far-fetched, considering that the yew tree is linked to death (and rebirth), basically the circle of life. The Elder Futhark rune Eiwaz/Eo and the Anglo-Saxon rune Yr symbolize this tree. There is no rune symbolizing the ash tree.

A more reliable translation for “Yggdrasil” would hence either be Yewhorse or Yewpillar. The Old Norse yggja and Germanic igwja are words for the yew.
Drasill could as well be a form of the indo-Germanic syllable –dher, meaning pillar, support.

Another name for Yggdrasil is Irminsul, Irmin’s pillar. Irmin is another name of our original chief God Sahsnotas (Saxnot-Týr).

Irminsul my old poster

From “Drasill’s” Mouth – Accounts of the Nature of Yggdrasil in the Eddas and other Lore

In modern translations of Gylfaginning 17 (Edda) the word barr has been mistranslated as leaves. Barr means conifer.

Throughout the Edda it is emphasized that the world tree is an evergreen tree. The ash is not evergreen but the coniferous yew is. Even in the Norwegian Rune Song it is said of the Eiwaz/Eo rune: “Yr is the most evergreen tree”.

In Gylfaginning 16 it is mentioned that intoxicating honeydew (mead) is dripping from the world tree. The ash tree has many wonderful healing properties, it does not have one single component that is intoxicating though.
The yew tree on the other hand does. Its poison Taxin has an equally intoxicating and hallucinatory effect similar to LSD.

Valknut-I-Wotans-Knoten-I-Walknut-T-Shirts

The Walknut, originally not a symbol of Wotan, (just as the line of Wal and the Wal-küren were once not of this God either) is representative of the world tree (nine worlds). What tree does this remind you of, a yew perhaps?

In Fjölswid 13 we are asked, “Tell me the conifer’s name whose branches are encompassing all lands?”

The rune Eiwaz is also known as Iwaz and the Old High German word iwa means everlasting, eternal. As eternal as the “evergreen” leaves of the yew tree and as everlasting as the circle of life.

eihwaz-yew

The God Ull lives in Ydal (Yew Valley) and his bow and arrow are made of yew, just like Skadi’s are. Even in Iceland Yggdrasil was associated with bow and arrow. Bows and arrows were traditionally made out of yew due to its near indestructible, robust quality. Europe and especially Germany was “the land of yew”.

The Yule tree has traditionally been a conifer tree and where I live it was traditionally a yew tree up until the 19th century. The Yule tree is symbolic of the world tree Yggdrasil. I am not sure about you, but I have never heard of anyone having put up an ash tree for Yule…

Now, this might be coincidence or over-interpretation, but it always struck me as funny that when you turn around Thunar’s hammer Mjölnir, it resembles a tree, or yew tree more accurately. Mjölnir is the sustainer of the world tree and ultimately the multiverse. Since most of our ancestors were not Viking raiders but farmers it is obvious why they depended on the hammer which brought on rain and hence growth of crops. Thus hammer and tree are connected.

Irminsul yule

Here you have it from the horses – or “drasill’s” – mouth, it is made very clear in lore what kind of tree Yggdrasil really is and always will be.

The Symbolism of Numbers

i_020

by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt

0
Zero
Void/Nirvana (Buddhism)
Circle of life
One
Oneness
Completion
Harmony (Pythagoras)
Universe (Hinduism, Babylonian religion)
Entrapment
Vicious cycle
In Thursatrú: “Chasek”, Darkness
Earth
Womb
Dynamic
Tarot: The Fool

00
In Thursatrú: “Bohu”, Emptiness

000
In Thursatrú: “Tohu”, Crown of God

1
#1
First (place)
Creator
Adam
Bears resemblance to the 11th rune of the Futhark: Isa
Fehu rune (wealth)
The “loneliest number”
Capricorn/Aquarius
Tarot: The Magician
Lenormand: Rider

2
Togetherness
Couple
Shakta-Shakti (Hinduism)
Pair
Samsara (Buddhism)
Duality (monotheism, Zoroastrism, Gnosticism, some forms of Satanism)
Yin and Yang
Balance
Uruz rune (Audhumla)
Aquarius/Pisces
Twins (also spiritual)
Tarot: High Priestess
Lenormand: Clover

3
Triple/Threefold Goddess
Birth, life, death or alternately life, death, rebirth
Third Dimension
Triskele
Triquetra
“Power of three” (Alchemy)
Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva and their consorts Saraswati, Lakshmi, Kali (Hinduism)
Loas (Baron Samedi, Baron de la Croix and Baron Cemetiere) (Vodun, Santeria, Candomble)
Heaven (sky), earth, water
Level OTIII (OT three) is when the “cosmic truth” of Scientology is revealed: Xenu alarm!
Phases of the moon
Norns (Germanic Paganism)
Matrons (Germanic Paganism)
3×3 worlds/levels on the Yggdrasil world tree (Germanic Paganism)
Body, mind and spirit
Thurisaz rune (giant power, Thunar)
Three astrological signs in each element
Gullveig was burnt three times (Germanic Paganism)
Loki and Angerboda have three Rökkr children (Hel, Fenris and Jörmungand) (Germanic Paganism)
The brothers Loki, Aegir and Kári (Germanic Paganism)
Pisces/Aries
Three sixes – 666
3 x 3 = 9, the “magical number”
Wishes a djinn will grant
Trinity (Christianity)
Triratna: Buddha, Darma, Samgha (Buddhism)
Jesus is dead for 3 days and reappears 3 times after his resurrection (Christianity)
Heaven, Man, Earth as a union (Daoism)
The Erinnyen (Alecto, Tisiphone and Megaira) (Hellenism)
The Moirae (Roman)
Trismegistus (Hermetic)
Graces (Hellenism)
Gorgons (Hellenism)
Sirens (Hellenism)
Hores (Hellenism)
Hesperides (Hellenism)
Sun, moon, earth – the unity of the creator (Maori)
“Three’s a crowd”
“Third time’s a charm”
Pyramid (Kemetism, mathematics)
Number of the spirit
Tarot: Emperor
Lenormand: Ship

4
Number of the material world
The Loas plus Maman Brigitte (Vodun, Santeria, Candomble)
The deities Sol, Dag, Mani, Nott (Germanic Paganism)
Earth/Matter
Corners
Quarters
Elements
Cardinal points
Seasons
Germanic dwarves (Austri, Sudri, Vestri and Nordri)
Germanic stags (Dainn, Dvalin, Duneyrr and Durathror)
Aries/Taurus
Ansuz rune (god, Wotan, Ase)
Temperaments (sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric, melancholic) (Anthroposophy)
Four winds
Quarters of the moon
Order
Arms of the Cross (Christianity)
The three Rökkr children of Loki plus Sleipnir (Hel: Earth, Sleipnir: Air, Fenris: Fire, Jörmungand: Water)
Arms of the indo-European Sunwheel and Hindu Swastika
Main archangels (Christianity)
Four books in the Gospel (Christianity)
Worlds in the Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism)
Four giants to hold up Heaven (Maya)
Four streams of milk run through Asgard (Germanic Paganism)
Four pillars holding up Heaven (Kemetism)
Horsemen (Plague, Famine, Death and War)
Brahma (four-faced) (Hinduism)
Castes (Hinduism)
Four-leaf clover
Tarot: Empress
Lenormand: House

5
Pentagram/Pentacle
The 4 stags plus Eikthyrnir
Akasha
Ether
Spirit
Higher self
Crown chakra
Taurus/Gemini
Raido rune (travel, movement)
Senses
If you cut fruit with a core such as apples or pears crossways the core looks like a pentagram
Human pentagram (head, arms, legs)
Pentateuch (Judaism, Christianity)
Pentagon
(23, 2 + 3 = 5, Illuminati)
5 pillars of Islamism
Tarot: Hierophant
Lenormand: Tree

6
Kenaz rune (fire, Loki, Surt, Muspelheim, Ragnarök, creation))
Hexagram (Magen David or “Shield of David” in Judaism, Mer-kah-ba in Egypt); triangle pointing upward (phallic), triangle pointing downward (yonic) – creation
Saturn
Tarot: The Lovers
Loki
Saturday (Loki’s/Saturn’s day)
Breaking out of the cycle
Three sixes – 666
Senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch and the “sixth” sense, intuition/magical knowledge)
6 days of creation (Sumerian, Judaism, Christianity)
Honeycomb
Lenormand: Clouds

7
Seven Saxon worlds (as opposed to the common 9 worlds on the Yggdrasil world tree)
Deadly Sins (Christianity)
Gebo rune (gift)
Day of rest (Judaism, Christianity)
Days of the week (dedicated to Mani, Saxnot, Wotan, Thunar, Frija-Frigg-Freija, Loki and Sol)
7 original Germanic holidays
In anthroposophy 7 years mark one period of soul-development
7 visible colors in a rainbow
Heptagon, Heptagram (Occult traditions)
Pleiades (Greek)
Servant maids of Hathor (Kemetism)
Houses of the underworld with 3×7 gates
Book with seven seals (Christianity)
Cosmic number as it includes 3 (spirit) and 4 (world)
Snow White and the seven dwarves (German fairy tale and folklore)
7th son of a 7th son (Christianity)
Forgive 7 times 7 (Christianity)
Pan has seven flutes (Hellenism)
“7th Heaven”
Chakras
Arms on the Menorah candleholder (Judaism)
Mithra’s cave has 7 doors with 7 altars to which 7 steps lead up to (Mithraism)
777 is the number of life according to Aleister Crowley’s Liber al vel Legis (O.T.O.)
The number of the God Toth (Kemetism)
Tarot: Chariot
Lenormand: Snake

8
Forever (eternity after eternity)
Eightfold wheel (Buddhism)
Holidays in the Wheel of the Year (Wiccan, Celtic, Druid, partly Germanic…etc.)
All known children of Loki: with Angerboda: Hel, Fenris, Jörmungand, with Swadilfari: Sleipnir, with Sigyn: Wali, Narfi, with Glut: Einmyria, Eissa
8 Dynamics in Scientology (not a religion but a money-cult, but nonetheless…)
Wunjo rune (bliss),
Tarot: Strength
Lenormand: Coffin

9
Planets in our solar system (I’m not giving up Pluto!)
Hagalaz (hail, Hel, Holle)
The „magical“ number:
9 x 1 = 9
9 x 2 = 18 > 1 + 8 = 9
9 x 3 = 27 > 2 + 7 = 9
9 x 4 = 36 > 3 + 6 = 9
Etc…
The sum of 666; 6 +6 +6 = 18 > 1 + 8 = 9
Nine muses (Greek/Roman)
Nine underworlds (Maya)
The nine stages of hell (Dante)
Wotan hung from the world tree for 9 nights (Germanic Paganism)
9 worlds in the multiverse (Germanic Paganism)
9 Undines (wave-sisters, the daughters of Ran) (Germanic Paganism)
The Helveg (way to Hel) takes 9 nights (Germanic Paganism)
Songs that Wotan learned from Bölthorn (Germanic Paganism)
Number of days that Skadi and Njord reside in one of their homes at a time (Germanic Paganism)
3 triple Goddesses in Celtic lore
“Cloud nine”
Virgins in Celtic lore
Tarot: Hermit
Lenormand: Flowers

10
Nauthiz rune
Ten Commandments (Judaism, Christianity)
Sephiroth (Kabbalah spheres)
Tarot: Wheel of Fortune
Lenormand: Scythe

11
Isa rune (Hel, Helheim, Niflheim, Niflhel, Naströnd, stagnation, ice)
Thursatrú worlds
Lucifer
Lucifer-riddle
Master number in Numerology
1 + 1 = 2
Tarot: Justice
Lenormand: Rods
Chakras plus energy points of the extremities

12
Zodiac signs
Halls of Asen and Wanen Gods
Months of the year
Jera rune (year, year’s end, end of a cycle, harvest, Rökkr, Ragnarök)
Tribes of Israel
Dalai Lama council members
Members of a jury
Gates of hell through which Re passes each night (Kemetism)
Olympian Gods (Hellenism)
Asynjur (Germanic Paganism)
Paladins of Charlemagne
Chinese zodiac
Knights of the Round Table (Artus saga)
Apostles (Christianity)
Tarot: The Hanged Man
Lenormand: Owls

13
Original zodiac signs
Perthro rune
Friday 13th (Knights Templars)
Moons in the ancient Nordic year
13 steps on the Illuminati pyramid
Heavens (Mayan religion)
12 Apostles + Jesus (Christianity)
Triskadecaphobia (fear of the number 13)
Paraskevidekatriaphobia (fear of Friday the 13th)
Tenebrae (Christianity)
Tarot: Death
Lenormand: Child
Lokasenna chapter in the Edda: Loki’s flyting of the Aesir Gods and their misdeeds (Germanic Paganism)

14
Eiwaz rune
Tarot: Temperance
Lenormand: Fox

15
Algiz rune (elk)
Tarot: Devil
Lenormand: Bear

16
Sowilo rune (sun, Sol)
Tarot: Tower
Lenormand: Stars

17
Tiwaz rune (Týr-Saxnot, justice)
Tarot: Star
Lenormand: Stork

18
Berkana rune ((re-)birth, Perchta, Holle, Frija-Frigg)
Tarot: Moon
Lenormand: Dog

19
Ehwaz rune (yew tree)
Tarot: Sun
Lenormand: Tower

20
Mannaz rune
Tarot: Judgment
Lenormand: Public

21
Laguz rune (lake, Ran, Aegir, Nehallenia)
Tarot: The World
Lenormand: Mountain
December 21st – end of the Mayan Calendar in 2012 (1 + 2 + 2 + 1 = 6, rebirth/new era)

22
Ing rune (Ingvi-Fro, Frey, Irmin, hearth fire, fire of creation)
Lenormand: Park

23
Dagaz rune (day, Ragnarök)
Illuminati
Lenormand: Rats

24
Futhark
Othala rune
Lenormand: Heart

25
Lenormand: Ring

26
Lenormand: Book

27
Lenormand: Letter

28
Lenormand: Man

29
Lenormand: Woman

30
Lenormand: Lillies

31
Lenormand: Sun

32
Lenormand: Moon

33
Lenormand: Key
Jesus’ age when he allegedly died.

34
Lenormand: Fish

35
Lenormand: Anchor

36
Lenormand: Cross

40
Years that the Israelites wandered through the desert according to the Bible
Jesus fasted in the desert for forty days (Christianity)

218
In MLO 218 stands for the “Satanic Current”. 2 + 1 + 8 = 11
Lucifer’s number

400
Years that the Egyptians enslaved the Israelites in the Bible

450
“Five hundred doors and four times ten” doors that Einherjer will pass through; 4 + 5 = 9, 0 = cosmos; a complete multiverse (Grimnismal) (Germanic Paganism)

666
The “number of the beast”
The Hebrew letter Vav (W) – world wide web (barcode conspiracy)

777
In Aleister Crowley’s Liber al vel Legis (Book of Law) the number of life

800
Einherjer will pass through each of the 540 doors

999
Numbers are often dreamt upside down, 666 might just as well be 999

1000
Years that Satan rules over the world before the return of Jesus

144,000
Of people who will go to Heaven (Jehova’s Witnesses)

432,000
Einherjer combined will walk through the 540 doors in Grimnismal 23, 24 (Edda) (Germanic Paganism)
Sum of 432,000 = 9

This is an incomplete list as of yet.

Who by Fire? – Fire Deities and Symbolism in Paganism

PIA03149_br1

written and copyrighted by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt

From the Hindu God of fire to Celtic Lugh to Loki, from the bonfires at Eostre’s Day, Mittsommer and Lughnasad to the candlelight of carved pumpkins and Yule tree candles or logs and from the fires of Muspelheim and its sons and daughters to the smoke rituals in Shamanic traditions – fire, it appears, is central to all Pagan religions. Fire represents the Gnostic “spark of life”, creation itself but just as much it stands for the inferno of destruction, for Ragnarök, the end of the world, itself.

 belarusian_neo-pagan_bonfire_2007

In northern European Shamanic traditions the act of ceremonially or ritually making a fire by hand, wood and stone is an act of creation. The wooden hand drill symbolizes the phallus, whereas the fireboard is yonic. The spark or fire created could be viewed as the “fire child”. Without each other phallus and womb are nothing, together they create the sacred fire of existence.

The Anglo-Saxon “Runesong” speaks of the yew tree as the “keeper of the fire”, in Germanic traditions it is either the yew or ash tree (Yggdrasil) that represents all of existence. But fire was not only viewed as friendly as we can see in the Anglo-Saxon Yr- and Elder Futhark Eiwaz-rune, both representative of the yew tree as much as death. The circle of life is complete in the fire-symbolism. Death begets life begets death and so forth.

 agni

One of the more popular fire deities is the three-faced (life, death, rebirth) Hindu God Agni. Most other indo-Germanic high Gods of fire are based on him, not only etymologically. Agni might be connected to Irish Goddes Aine and he is Ogni in Slavic Paganism, the German word Ofen (oven) derives from it. The Russian word ogon means “ignite” in English. – Germanic Ing, Yngvi or Ingvi-Fro (Frey) is the God of the sun, of growth, creation, crops. He is also an aspect of Sahsnotas (Saxnot-Týr). The Ing-rune stands for the hearth and hearth fire and the sun wheel is dedicated to him and his sister Freija. And Agni is married to Swaha, whose name means offering or literally “offering gift”. The Sanskrit word Swastika (Hindu sun wheel) is related to it.

diwali-swastika

The holy Hindu Swastika and our indo-European sunwheels deriving from it have nothing to do with the 3rd Reich, Hitler or nazism.

Germanic Sol is not just the Goddess of the sun, she is the sun itself. When the sun goes down her brother Mani (“moon”) gifts the earth with his silvery light.

Lugh is an Irish deity and former hero/semi-deity, whose name means “the shining one”. He is usually depicted with his spear, which is referred to as “the finest of the yew”. Here we find the yew-fire correlation once more. Lugh’s holiday is Lughnasadh, (“nasád” meaning assembly). Historically, the Gaels celebrated very differently than today’s Pagans, Wiccans and some Celtic Reconstructionists do. Nowadays the sun (Lugh) is praised and given thanks to, the harvest season is welcomed, lavish celebrations including food and drink are mostly a part of the holiday.

lughlammas

Lughnasad was originally dedicated not only to Lugh, but especially to his foster mother Tailtiu, who died of exhaustion after having plowed all of Ireland so it would be a fruitful island.

Lugh was known as a fine craftsman and crafty, albeit in a different way, is Loki, his Germanic equivalent. Loki is a son of Muspelheim, the realm of fire, but his father is none other than the Jotun (giant) Fornjot(ur). Loki’s brothers are the northwind (Air) Kári and Aegir, God of the Sea (Water) and Byleist (maybe an earth or forest jotun?). – This would complete the cardinal points. For the four elements played a greater role in the Germanic and Norse traditions than is usually acknowledged today. (For example we have Austri (East), Vestri (West), Sudri (South) and Nordri (North) the dwarves, and four stags eating at the branches and roots in all four cardinal points of the worldtree, namely Dainn, Dvalin, Duneyrr and Durathror amongst others.

Loki appears to be etymologically related to Lugh, yet his name (also) means “closer”, “ender”, “finisher”. He closes this cycle by ending the world, he brings on Ragnarök, so a new, fresh world can come from it. Surt, the King of Muspelheim, sets fire to the world, but it is Loki who prepared the way throughout lore.

There has been a common misconception that Loki is nothing but a “trickster god”, “chaos deity” and especially to American converts to Heathenry he is often a kind of Nordic Satan. This is not a polytheist way of thinking but stems from the old mindset as found in monotheistic religions. The inability to fully comprehend polytheism seems to be one of the biggest challenges that modern Paganism or Pagan revival movements face today. The cruel aspects of life and nature were equally held sacred in the “old ways”.

Loki Rackham 7766

Ragnarök is a metaphor, one which emphasizes that fire is both representative of death as much as life (or rebirth) and to say that the giants are “the enemies of the Gods” is hence incorrect. The giants and the Gods (as much as all other beings) are all part of a very complex belief system that developed over thousands of years, it is too simple to state that they are enemies of each other because they pursue different goals. In the end, both of them “win”, the giants as the forces of raw evolution destroy this world, but the Gods return and as the forces of “consciousness” and stability ensure the duration of the next one. Well, until the next big leap that is.

 Ragnarök - earth burning

However, luckily not all fire deities are as controversial and have been demonized as much as Loki has been by pseudo-polytheists.

1

Pele is the Hawaiian Goddess of volcanos and magma (liquid fire) who is in constant rivalry with her siblings, all water-related deities.

In the Vodun religion (“Voodoo”) Maman Brigitte is a Loa (spirit) who tends to and lights the candles on the graves of the deceased. She is related to the other spirits of the dead. There is Baron Samedi, Baron Saturday; Saturday being Saturn’s or also Loki’s day, the 6th day of the week, whereas the 6th rune of the Futhark is Kenaz=fire.
Baron Cemetiere means Baron Cemetery and last there is Baron De la Croix, Baron of the Cross. Maman Brigitte likes it hot – usually the offerings to her include (cayenne) pepper, often mixed into rum. Hot beverages and foods have often been associated with the burning sensation of fire and thus it comes as no surprise that she is syncretized with Celtic and Irish Brighid/Irish Catholic Saint Brigid who is also associated with fire.

MamanBrigitte

Maman Brigitte

 The Aztec Goddess Coatlicue (coatl = serpent, snake) is also known as “the one with the skirt of serpents”. She is the Goddess of life, death and rebirth, mother of the South and southern stars and of “fire and fertility”, sometimes called the “fire *of* fertility”.

Mayan_god

Tohil is the sungod in the Mayan religion.

In Japanese mythology Kagu-tsuchi is the kami of fire, the Chinese “kitchen god” or God of stove fires is Zao Jun.
Shapash is Caanite El (YH) and Asherah’s (WH) daughter, she is the “torch of the Gods”, in related tribal religions Asherah’s name is also Shua and the union between her and her husband is “Yeshua” – Jesus, also known as “the light of the world” in Christian mythology.
In Gnostic traditions Lucifer (often) signifies the fire of enlightenment, knowledge, self-gnosis.
See https://paganmeltingpot.wordpress.com/2014/02/15/the-forgotten-lord-of-self-gnosis-lucifer-the-lightbringer/

Icon_of_Jesus_Christ,_called_Spas_Nerukotvorny_sml

Many Pagan fire and solar deities have crowns of fire, Jesus, the “light of the world” has his halo.

Slavic Svarog is the god of blacksmithery, fire, the sun and his Greek equivalent is Hephaistos.

Aryaman is another Hindu deity of fire (note the similarity to Zoroastrian Ahriman). Ar or Ahr is an Armenian God whose name means life, his son is Mihr – “Fire”.

You could possibly also link Germanic Thunar and his Slavic equivalent Perun to fire as they are the Gods of lightning amongst other things. Lightning brings rain, which in turn helps crops grow. Another cycle of life symbolism.

 perun-lightning

There are just too many examples of fire deities, fire beings such as the Phoenix or generally fire representing life, death and rebirth/evolution to list on here. A google search will surely reveal a few more or less complete lists for those interested in delving into this topic a little deeper.

Today, fire has become something so common in everyday life that most people, especially non-Pagans, completely overlook how much we depend on it. Lighters, cigarettes, candles, batteries, guns, stoves and ovens, light bulbs, street lamps… Electrical devices are powered or set into motion by a “spark”, an impulse. Yet we do not even take this into account anymore. Everything is fire, everything is alive.

If you light a candle on your altar tonight…perhaps give special thanks to the fire deities of your distinctive path and the cosmic force of creation – the fire of life that connects us all.

il_570xN.471032967_7bwx

Things that go Bump in the Night – “Nightmares”: Germanic Elves

Kansi-net
by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt

The original German word for “nightmare” is Nachtmahr, a Mahr, Mare or Mara being a kind of nightly Alb (Elf) believed to ride people, trees or horses while they are sleeping and bringing on dreams or visions.

Even today we still know the English word “mare” for horse and several Germanic tribes, especially the Saxons, regarded horses as sacred walkers between worlds, animals with Shamanic qualities.
Loki’s equestrian offspring, eight-legged Sleipnir was given to Wotan and in later mythology it is Wotan instead of Frau Holle who is leading the “Wild Hunt” at night; a nightly spectacle in the sky in which spirit-beings and Alben are wildly dancing and celebrating.

buchcover_wildejagd

The word mare is also related to the German word “Mär”. It has been mistranslated as “story” or “fairy tale”, but it really means “message from the spirit realm”.
We can see this from one of the traditional Christmas Carols where it says, “From Heaven above is from whence I come, I bring you many good messages” (Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her, ich bring Euch manche gute Mär).

Nowadays nightmare is called “Albtraum” – Elf Dream, formerly “Albdruck” – Elf Pressure, since the Alben were believed to sit on people’s chests when riding them.
Of course what we associate with the word nightmare nowadays is a bad dream, something that stems from Christian influence unsurprisingly.
The Alben were demonized, the messages from the other realm considered satanic. When the belief in these messages persisted, the Christians did what they do best, they made up a distinction between “good” messages coming from heaven and “bad” messages coming from demons.
The Christians went as far as turning the Shamanic riding into something sexual. Female Alben, the Succubi and their male counterparts, Incubi, were believed to either rape or seduce men and women in their sleep, stealing semen and children and causing barrenness.
The Germanic people did not make a distinction in quality between the dreams that dark elves and light elves brought them, all messages were equally important.

Johann_Heinrich_Füssli_053

Johann Heinrich Füssli’s painting already shows the Christian misconception of the “night-rider”/nightly Elf being demonic and “evil”

If you are unsure whether you were visited by an Alb the previous night, check your hair. Legend is that if your hair is extremely ruffled in the morning or you inexplicably have a few braided strands of hair that an Alb or Frau Holle herself brought you a message.
In Ireland it is not Frau Holle but the Mórrigan (her name obviously related to OE “maere”), the “phantom queen” who brings such Shamanic dreams.

morrigan3

Other German night-beings are the Frankish Nachtgiger, possibly related to the Butzemann (bogeyman, boggart) which kidnaps children that keep playing outside after duskfall. It carries them so far away from home that they never find their way back.
In Swabia this being was called Nachtkrabb, which has nothing to do with the word “Krabbe” meaning crab, it comes from OHG hraban, raven. Ravens were mystical birds of the dead and the other realm. (Wotan, the later “god of the dead” is often accompanied by his two ravens Hugin and Munin and so is the Irish Mórrigan.)

Winselmutter-01

Winselmutter

The Winselmutter, Whining Mother (White Lady) is a Thuringian night-spirit who haunts the houses of severely ill and dying people, crying for their pain and calling them to the other side. She is described as either an elderly lady, a white light or even as an anthropomorphic cow, a fact that reminds of the relation between Holle (Frigg) as described above and Audumla, the cosmic cow, Mother of all.

A Nature endowed by Spirit – Animism & Pagan Values in Germany’s early 20th Century Childrens’ Literature

written by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt

The animism as portrayed in the works of mainly early 20th century German authors was prompted by the epoch of Romanticism of roughly a century earlier.
It was an attempt to rekindle the early spirit of this movement which sought to defy the cold, sterile trend of Realism and the age of industrialism.
It strove to keep alive something sacred and mystical, something that could not be explained with science and logic.
Romanticism is essentially the science of the heart and soul.

 bohatta brombeeren

Especially three female authors/artists come to mind when thinking of animism, pantheism or an anthropomorphic display of nature and animals in children’s literature; Ida Bohatta (*April 15th 1900 †1992) Else Wenz-Viëtor (*April 30th 1882 †1973) and Sibylle von Olfers (*May 8th 1881 †1916).

While hardly anything is known about Bohatta’s personal life, Wenz-Viëtor’s life was considered turbulent and scandalous back then. She divorced a fellow artist only to get remarried shortly afterwards.

The scandal von Olfers caused her wealthy family was nothing in comparison to this, but nonetheless refusing a promising marriage proposal only to join the “Grey Sisters” – a Catholic order – came as a shock to her parents.

As different as the lives of these three women were, they had one thing in common, the belief in the inherent goodness of a nature endowed by spirit and an unshakable belief in the order of it.

 bb-olfers4

Sibylle von Olfers’ most famous work remains Something about the Root Children (“Etwas von den Wurzelkindern”), a book about an elderly lady, Mother Earth, living underground with her countless little “root children” – anthropomorphic flowers and plants.

Mother Earth is depicted as a crone throughout the whole book. This is to emphasize her knowledge and wisdom and the fact that she is not only mother but a grandmotherly – gentle mother figure – to her (root) children.

In the beginning of the book she wakes up the root children who get ready to sow their own spring gowns.

6a00d835167d4d53ef00e5506cd6d78834-800wi

The children then spend a lovely summer dancing out in nature and celebrating the season with their friends – beetles, grasshoppers and other insects – until they are called back home to Mother Earth again come fall.

As Mother Earth takes the root children to bed again, so they will rest underground over the winter, they are already looking forward to the next season outside again.

The root children do not mature over the summer, they remain the same in size and age, only their gowns change from pastel spring blossoms to bright summer colors to rusty autumn reds and oranges.

This emphasizes that we and our fellow creatures are and always will be Mother Earth’s children, her offspring. We may grow and mature and increase knowledge, but we will never be as wise and grand as our sacred Mother, who we are but a part of.

Wagner01d

Of course von Olfers has been heavily criticized by (German) liberals, the ”’68ers”. They view her work as dangerous to children, accuse her of misrepresenting nature and “teutomanic ideal world nonsense”; something they are also quick to accuse Bohatta and Wenz-Vietor of.

As a Pagan who grew up with these books as a guide on how to treat nature and all living creatures – with love and respect – I will leave this uncommented…

 bohatta elfen bei nacht

Bohatta’s famous The Spring Children (“Die Frühlingskinder”) a book about anthropomorphic flowers is also in the vein of von Olfers’ books. Both her and Wenz-Viëtor do not only portray nature as animated but add dwarves (or literally “little root men”/”root wights”), elves and fairies and other Vaetten to the mix.

 pucki_und_ihre_freunde-9783799642033_xxl

Other German authors:

In her Woodsman’s Pucki (“Försters Pucki”) novels Magda Trott (*March 20th 1880 †1945) wrote about the special relationship between children, their pets, animals and nature. A nature they still view as mystical, yet holy, complete and just. The faith in the order of nature is at the center of the first few Pucki novels as well, but more importantly Pucki – representative of mankind in general – is too. The morale of the stories is that we all have a place in nature, a role to fulfill, a wyrd and orlog, even though these terms are not specifically mentioned.

Trott, too, has been criticized by the German liberals who tried to ban her books due to a “dangerous” portrayal of right and wrong and “antiquated gender roles” and the fact that Trott had to find a middle way between writing about headstrong, independent Pucki whilst appeasing and promoting the nazi regime.

Later versions of the novels have been edited to the effect that all traces of nazi-friendliness were erased. I have the original books which I also read at age 6. Luckily my parents chose to explain to me the political background and that some things had changed instead of robbing me of the experience of reading and enjoying the books regardless of the sparse political nonsense on the fringe of the story.

 haeschenschule_weitere_600

Bunny School (“Die Häschenschule”) and Little Sabina the Chicken (“Sabinchen das Hühnchen”) are further examples. Little Sabina is a rather lazy young chicken lady, who wants to go and enjoy the comforts of the world instead of laying eggs. Finally, the farmer’s wife has had enough and plans to slaughter her for dinner. A reformed Sabina becomes the prime example of a dutiful hen who finds true happiness only as she embraces who and what she is.

38819862

Conrad Ferdinand Meyer’s works were usually rather lugubrious in nature save for Little Thimble (“Fingerhütchen”)

Many international childrens’ books today still portray animals as anthropomorphic, but whereas in early 20th century (German) literature the natural hierarchy and order are emphasized, international bestsellers such as Wilbur and Charlotte by E.B. White (1950’s) or Julia Cunningham’s Maybe, a Mole (1960’s) are about incompatible species helping each other out or predators and their prey becoming best friends, whereas the predator is only reformed once being ashamed of what he is. Something that Disney has made a habit of promoting as well.

168_malsehn_ein_maulwurf_1

German version of Maybe, a Mole by Julia Cunningham

Just as much as I like certain aspects about the Pucki books I still love some of the storylines in the two books mentioned above. This is not an attempt to bash the books, merely to point out the shift in literature and pedagogy. The traces of animism and sometimes pantheism and being a part of a greater picture were all moved more and more into the background. Instead anthropomorphized animals were used to teach children about inter-human relationships. Something that neither worked nor could it ever have in my personal opinion, considering how I see too many children treat nature, animals and even their trusted friends – their pets.

bohatta wichtelbohatta æbleblomstervietor wiesenstadt

I, for one, am grateful I grew up in a world filled with magic, faeries, tree and stone wights and many more creatures like that. I’m grateful my parents taught me to take every living thing for what it is and not try to change it; that I had no right to do so, because everything alive had a right to be free in being true to itself. That is something that I for one took from these wonderful books and the lovely illustrations.

Else Wenz-Vietor Der Heuschreck und die Blumen by Max Dingler 1924-10

Arabian Paganism and Islam’s Pagan Origins

written by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt

(Mohammed and his followers went on a rampage to destroy every trace of Paganism in Arabia, but at least a few survived! A relief of AlLat, 100 AD)

Muslims call the time pre islam “jahiliyyah” – age of ignorance. In turn what muslims are ignorant of is that the Allah/Al-ilah they worship is but an ancient Pagan deity. 

Most of what we know of Arabian polytheism is from scanty reliefs and stone inscriptions and from Ibn al-Kalbi’s “Kitab al-asnam”, Book of Idols.

The name Allah is the personal name of the God of the moon. He was married to the Goddess of the sun and had three children with her, the “daughters of Allah”.
His daughters’ names were AlLat (“The Goddess”), Goddess of harvest, fertility, and love. Like her mother she was associated with the sun. She might be related to Greek Leto, mother of the sun God Apollo.
AlUzza (“the Mighty One”) was the Goddess of honor, justice, war, and passion. She was associated with the stars.
Manat was the Goddess of fate, death, and the afterlife. Like Allah she was associated with the moon. Medina is named after her.
The Gods in this divine family were considered “high Gods”, meaning they were at the top of the pantheon of Arabic deities.

deusas

Some view them as separate although connected deities, but most non-islamic scholars agree that Allah and Hubal are one and the same God. One of Hubal’s names is also “Lord of the seven oracle arrows”, the number seven representing the moon.
The “horns” of fertility of the moon deity Hubal towered atop the Kaaba as the most powerful deity of all. The horns were made up of the crescent moon with its tips (horns) pointing upwards. The same crescent moon that is now adorning so many flags of islamic countries and is essentially the symbol for mohammedanism today. On the same Kaaba quadrat annually circled by Muslims instead of Pagans now. The religion changed, the God they worship is still the same old lunar deity though.

C14

It is important to note that muslims, christians and jews do not worship “the same God” hence! Christianity is a religion that pieced together its beliefs from Osiric, Dionysic, other proto-Indo-European and samaritan-jewish tribal ideas of a savior figure.
Judaism’s YHWH was actually the unity of the heavenly couple. Yeh was another name for El, the fatherly God. His wife was Ashera or also sometimes called Hava or Shua. Their union was Yeh(ha)va YHWH or Yehshua. Think about it… – Yeshua is the Aramaic name of Jesus…

But back to Arabian Paganism.

Djinn

Central to polytheist Arabian belief was the idea of ‘barakha’. A holy and animating power or blessing instilled into humans through Gods or djinn (spirits). This power cannot be seen with the eyes, it is a universal soul (power).
The only proof for the existence of the Gods was the effects of their deeds in this world, by natural occurrences, miracles and so forth. They are for the most part messengers and mediums of Allah who is “not of this world”, so consequentially the original source of the barakha is Allah himself. Like Catholics pray to God through the Virgin Mary, angels and saints the Arabic people prayed to Allah through these other, “lesser” Gods and spirits.

mecca-black-stone-cc-toursaudiarabia

Originally the tawaf was a pilgrimage to and the circling of the Kaaba to worship the 365 God statues inside. (One for each day of the year.) The Kaaba pilgrimage for once united the different tribes and their different practices and Gods.
The Kaaba was circled seven times in honor of the seven planets (of the week) and the four lunar phases which each took seven days. The heavenly bodies, as was established earlier, were central to Arabian Pagan worship.
Lesser tawafs were made to other holy places, shrines (hajj) all over Arabia also.

Typically, worship and rituals were not planned in advance and occurred spontaneously. and can occur at any time. However, there were fixed holy days all revolving around astrology and especially the moon. Common practices included meditation, divination, the erecting or visiting of a temple, swearing an oath or oaths to one or more deities and curiously lion hunts. (If anyone knows more about the connection to lion hunts to Arabian worship please enlighten me!)
Also upon entering another village an offering to the local Gods and landspirits had to be made.

A251 desert moon  3 x 3.7   152 kb

In the islamic religion the talbiyah (invocation to their god) is the same as during Pagan times. Allah is praised as the highest God. In conclusion if there is a “highest” then there must be lesser Gods. Talbiyah is a prayer formula that Mohammed appears to have neglected to alter accordingly when creating his new monotheistic religion.

During the Pagan janazah (funeral) ist was customary for women to shriek, wail and beat at themselves. Some say this was to ward off evil spirits, others say it was so the spirit of the deceased would not enter and possess a living body. Women were considered to be especially susceptible to spirit possession.

The ritual animal mass slaughter-bloodbath by the hands of woman, man and child (after the holiday of Eid) is widely known in islamic culture. This, too, stems from Pagan times when the first goat of the flock was sacrificed to AlLat, Goddess of harvest, after summer’s end. It might be best to comment that only men and sometimes women sacrificed to AlLat, never children.

Ancient Arabian lunar chart

Aqiqah is the islamic practice of sacrificing a sheep or lamb to Allah when a child is born. The Pagan meaning of this sacrifice was to appease Allah so he would take the lamb instead of the child. (Infant mortality was high in ancient Arabia.)

Idols called wathan (hence the new name Wathanism for Arabian Neo-Paganism) were interpreted as the temporary house of the baetyl, deities, not as the specific deity itself. They were power points at which the worshipper could invoke the presence of the deity.

Wathan for a baetyl

The deities and beings of Arabian polytheism are too many to list on here, a list and more thorough description of who they are and their interrelations can be found at sacred-texts archive online or on Wikipedia for example.
Many of the later ones already bear the hallmarks of Christian influence. For example Uj ibn Anak is a jabbar, giant, said to have bred with humanity. The whole story reminds a bit of the tale of the nephilim, whereas in the Bible it was angels that had bred with mankind and brought forth the giants (nephilim) hence.
Maryam (Mary) was acknowledged as a deity in Arabian Paganism and many Gods from other cultures in the general area were adopted into the pantheon of Arabian Gods as well.

Other ways of devotion were tree, animal, phallic worship and the devotion to the Mother Goddess. Unfortunately, despite such rich tribal pantheons of female deities women were still treated rather horribly in the Arab society. Something that the mohammedian religion only made worse evidently.

Shevaun-Docherty-Date-Trees

It’s questionable whether there is an actual existent Arabian Neo-Paganism to speak of. There are no written records of it, only accounts of what once was. It is rumored that in the Levant Neo-Paganism is growing, albeit in secret as apostasy from islam is punishable by death.
I have found only one person online that described himself as a Wathanist and he was a third generation Jordanian American from a non-muslim family already.

Does anyone know of an online forum or Wathanist blog other than the blogspot one, which appears to be dead? If you do, please drop me a line.

The Fylgjen – Guardian Animal Spirits

krafttier_300

by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt

In the Norse traditions the Fylgjen (Old Norse: Fylgjur = followers) are guardian spirits. The concept of Fylgjur was adopted by today’s German Heathens and Germanic Pagans, though the guardians prayed to were originall the Idisen (Old Norse: Disir. > https://paganmeltingpot.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/its-a-girl-thing-germanic-heroines-warriors-seers-witches-and-goddesses-part-1/ ). Every human being and every Asen and Wanen deity has at least one such guardian spirit representing the specific soul energies and personality traits of its charge and always gently guiding them back to who they truly are. These spirits usually take the form of an animal and in Scandinavia they are said to take on the shape of young females also on occasion.

My Guardian - Spirit Companion 2

Thunar had his goats Tanngrisnir and Tanngjöstr, Freija had her cats, Ingvi-Fro his boar Gullinborsti, Heimdall his rooster Gullinkampi and his faithful horse Gullintop, Wotan his wolves Geri and Freki and his two ravens Hugin and Munin, and so forth.

It is notable that the Jöten and Thursen (giants) do not possess Fylgjen. What would they need protecting or guarding from? Also they are the forces of nature embodied and nature is endowed with an immeasurable multitude of facets and soul energies. And how would you lead nature back to itself? This, it seems, is necessary for simpler creatures but certainly not nature.

Traditionally Fylgjen would take the shape of regional animals (Germanic spirituality was irrevocably tied to land, soil, family and fate).

 79640432

Fylgjen don’t show themselves to their charges until they reveal themselves to them in the final hour of death. However, there is one exception. It was believed that they show themselves to those who possess the “second face”, people with special connections to the spirit world, Sibyllen (seers), Alruner (witches) amongst others.

If you do not possess the gift it is still possible to find out what or who your Fylgje is. According to folklore you must wrap a handkerchief around the blade of a knife three times. Hold up the knife at the ends of the handkerchief and begin thinking of or speak the names of the animals that come to mind. When the blade slips through the handkerchief and falls to the ground you know which animal represents your Fylgje – the last one you thought of.

wechselwarm-g05

Other names for the Fylgjen are Forynia, Vardivil, Vardögl, Vardöiel und Vardygr, Folgie or Ham(ingja).

Crystals, Gems & Stones: Copal

Untitled

by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt

Also known as: younger amber, Cobal

Chemical formula: C10H16O + (H2S)

Corresponding astrolgical sign: Gemini

Geological information: Copal is a kind of un-polymerized tree resin from deciduous and conifer trees. Like in amber insects or parts of plants may be found encased in it.

Locations: New Zealand, South America and the isles of the South-West Pacific.

Golden CopalWhite

Mythology: Before divination the Copal is being smudged by Shamans across Middle- and South America. Copal has a sweet, flowery smell. Native American tribes use it as a cleansing stone in their rituals.

Physical appliance: Copal helps detoxify the liver and has an anti-convulsive effect on the stomach.

Mental appliance: Has a stimulating effect. Helps unlock creativity and spirituality/insight.

Effect on the Chakras: Corresponds with the 3rd Chakra. A person with a balanced Solar Plexus-Chakra appears self-contained and emotionally steady.

Cleanse: 1-2x a month. Best re-charged amidst a group of (cleansed) rock crystals.

Copal_with_insert_10-15g_1

It’s a Girl Thing! – Germanic Heroines, Warriors, Seers, Witches and Goddesses *Part 1*

383618_2880245605995_1159744734_n

written and copyrighted by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt

 Germanic lore is filled with heroines, fierce women, both mortal and immortal. It seems important to note that neither mortal women – priestesses and seers, amongst others – nor the Goddesses were meek, gentle loving mother figures; the warrior aspect was very strong in each of them.
Too many Pagans pervert Freija into nothing but a “Love Goddess”, completely ignoring her role as head of the Walküren. – Once the Walküren bring in the slain warriors it is not Wotan who first gets to choose the strongest, bravest and boldest ones but Freija. If you have ever listened to German or Scandinavian folk tales in which Freija angrily rides on her chariot drawn by gargantuan cats bearing their claws, you might not look at her as nothing but a gentle deity of love anymore.

The Sibyllen (Seers)

seerThe Sibyllen (seers) had a very high standing in Germanic culture.
Waluburg is one that deserves more credit than she receives these days; the Walpurgisnacht fest is named after her. On the contrary to popular belief it does not derive from Christian Benedictine nun Walburga who lived in the 700’s AC. – !
Walurburg’s name was mentioned on Greek ceramic shards found in Egypt from around 2 AD.
Another source for her existence was found on a list of Greek-Egyptian soldiers – “Waluburg, Semnoni Sybilla”, meaning Waluburg, Seer of the Semnone tribe.

It is unclar how she wound up in Egypt, it may be concluded that she was either a hostage or more possibly accompanied a Germanic troop of the Roman army. Seers were highly valued by both the Germanic and also the Roman people.

In fact, Waluburg’s name already points to her profession. Walus means stave. Sibyllen worked with rune staves but also a wand-like stave with which they directed power.

gambara

Gambara is another potent Sibylle. She was a Winnile high priestess who represented the female principle of the Goddess(es) and of her tribe, just as her two sons, warriors, represented the male principle. The name Gambara also reveals her position. Gambara comes from gand, gander, gandr = stave and bara means to bear.
The Laiamicho-myth describes in detail how the Langobards received their name and Gambara’s role in it. But it is mainly a tale about how the formerly rather Goddess-centric culture and religion of the Winniles saved their tribe from Vandal annihilation by converting to the Wotan cult, quickly spreading up North from the Nether-Rhine region. The Mother cult was long dead before the rise of Christianity for those tribes who followed the Wotan cult.

 220px-Velleda

Weleda/Veleda/Velleda of the Bructeri might be the most commonly known of the Sibyllen due to the accuracy of her predictions during the Batavian rebellion. Seers often had a great amount of political power as well. Tacitus writes in his “Germania” that Veleda was requested as a referee and witness during a dispute between the Tencteri tribe with their Roman neighbors.
On a side-note she appears not to have been held in high esteem by the Greek. A satirical poem on a marble fragment speaks of her as “That long (tall) snobbish virgin who is venerated by the Rhinewater-drinkers”. Message received.

Veleda’s name might derive from the word völva, another term for Seer or possibly from the Celtic word welet, to see. Some argue that her name might mean “good leader” from vel/vael = good and leda = to lead.

The Matronae

 

How much of the Matron cult was Roman- and Celtic-inspired is unclear. Votiv-stones were primarily Roman and the layout of the temples and altars dedicated to the Matrons reminded of Celtic traditions.
The ancient German votive-stones, altars and temples were meant to honor the Mothers, both human and immortal, with inscriptions such as “To my Germanic Mothers” or “To all Sueban Mothers”.

Interestingly, the Matrons were always depicted in pairs of three, one virgin, one married woman (as illustrated by her bonnet) and one elderly woman.
You might recognize a familiar principle here. – Maiden, mother and crone.
Matrons, similar to the Idisen, are female guardian spirits and worshipping them was a highly personal and individual matter.
In the family home this motherly spirit was represented by a serpent and little bowls of milk were offerings to her.

From Anglo-Saxon historian Beda Venerabilis (673-735 AD) we know that Yule Eve was called “modra nect” – Mothers Night and the temples of Matrons were overflowing with offerings that night.

Saxo Grammaticus (1150-1220 AD) describes how a man named Fridlevus, who was deeply immersed in prayer, approached the shrine of a Danish temple depicting three Teutonic Goddesses.

The Nornen (Norns)

 index

The Nornen are three sisters (here we have the threefold Goddess theme again) who weave every being’s fate from birth to death. They weave our wyrd, personal fate and our orlog, family karma/fate.

Urd is the Norne of the past. Her name comes from the word wurd and even in modern German the word “wurde” means “was”. Her name is also related to the term wyrd, fate, something that was also determined in the past.

Verdandi is the Norne of the present. In German she is“die Werdende”, becoming. – The present is a rather timeless zone, it is gone as soon as you think “now” and not just there yet whenever you think “soon”, so it is constantly becoming.

Skuld is the Norne of the future. The meaning of her name is a little harder to translate into English. Skuld can mean guilt but here it is rather debt, to owe something. Etymologically the English word “should” probably comes closest. In the future there is always something you “should” or must do.

Apart from those three there is a wide variety of other Nornen, some of them of divine origin, some of them Dunkelalben (dark alfs), Vaettiir/Vaesen (wights), Dverger or of other descent.

In ancient times it was believed that the good Nornen grant good, happy, easy lives whereas the bad Nornen granted difficult lives filled with strife, illness and bad fortune.

A runic inscription in a 12th century church (!) in Norway says, “The Norns determine the good and the bad, to me they only brought sorrow”.

What they determine for us is the law, only they know why they weave our lives the way they do and we only have a limited amount of free choice. No matter what we do, we are always being led back to crossroads or situations determined for us. Personality or conduct don’t matter, all must bow to their universal law. A harsh truth, but a truth nonetheless.

The Norns are basically the rulers of the multiverse, not even the Aesir Gods can escape the fate woven for them – they will fall in the end battle of Ragnarök to make way for the New World.

The Idisen (Disir)

 1922685

The Idisen are a group of semi-divine origin. They were named in the Merseburger Zaubersprüche (Merseburgian Incantations):

“Eiris sazun idisi, sazun hera duoder,
suma hapt heptidun, suma heri leridun,
suma clubodun umbi cuoniouuidi:
insprinc haptbandun, inuar uigandun”

Once Disir were sitting, sitting here and there.
Some were binding fetters, some were restraining the army.
Some were undoing the fetters, ????????
Free yourself from the fetters, escape the warriors!

As mentioned before the Idisen were female guardian spirits, mostly thought of as ancestors watching over their family line. In the above incantation they intervene during war, on the battlefield. I’m curious as to what the Walküren would think of that!

Etymologically the word Disir derives from the indo-Germanic root dhei. Flamish “dyze”, old Slavic “deva” = virgin and the Sanskrit words “devi” = female aspect of the divine and “dhisanas” = female godlike beings are related to it as well. The singular Idis or Dis is synonymously used as Lady (or Queen), for example Wanendis is another title of Freija, Lady/Queen of the Wanen. Jodis is another name for Hel, Queen of the Dead.

see

Countless places, especially forests and lakes in Germany and places in Scandinavia attest to exactly how venerated the Idisen were. Diseberg, Disevid, Disasen, Disin (Sweden), Dispe, Dissau, Disinsfurt in Germany. Also Itzehoe (Itz being etymologically related to Dis) and hoe meaning forest.

In the same way in which the Idisen were revered as the female guardian spirits of a family clan the Alben (alfar, elves) were revered as the male guardian spirits of a clan or Hof (family farmhouse). However, the veneration, blot, sumble, libation, etc. was always conducted by the women of the house. This is also accounted for by Sighvat of Norway. In 1018 the Christian skald traveled from Norway to Sweden. When nightfall came he stopped at several farms, asking for a place to stay. The men of the houses did not answer him. Finally one woman confronts him and yells at him,

 Heathen_altar

“Do not dare come inside,
you miserable man!” said the wife.
“I fear Odin’s wrath, for we are Heathens!”

The nasty woman, who senselessly
chased me away from her farm
like a wolf said
that they were having an Alfablót inside.

The Idisen were also offered to and worshipped during the Rauhnächte (the twelve days of Yule), also still called the Mothers’ Nights in the Ore Mountains of Germany and in Bohemia (In nowaday’s Czech Republic).

Modraniht

Next up: Part 2 including the Valkyries, the White Lady: Frau Holle and more.

Eric Edwards Collected Works

Miscellaneous Writings & Articles

Hedniska Tankar

En Hedning Ser På Världen

The Mockinghare's Song

A blog on anything pop culture, psychology, serial killers and more

20th Century Truth

The Defence and Evidence Court Historians Never Discuss.

Process Church Of The Final Judgment

Resource site for The Process Church and the works of Robert De Grimston

Celto-Germanic Culture, Myth and History

A Germanic Pagan's Musings, Religious and Magical Studies, Green Pharmacy, Recipes, Rituals and more

Aleph's Heretical Domain

"I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's; I will not reason and compare, my business is to create" - William Blake

Ancestral Cult

A research organisation aiming to revive the European Philosophy and Religion (by V. Vikernes and M. Cachet)

Son-of-Seaxneat

Explorations in Anglo-Saxon heathenry

National-Anarchist Conference 2017

A Germanic Pagan's Musings, Religious and Magical Studies, Green Pharmacy, Recipes, Rituals and more

Thulean Perspective

For Blood & Soil

Regarding Myatt

About David Myatt, A Modern Mage

Old European culture

A Germanic Pagan's Musings, Religious and Magical Studies, Green Pharmacy, Recipes, Rituals and more

Naturally Ariana

Eat better - not less

Attack the System

Pan-Anarchism Against the State, Pan-Secessionism Against the Empire

Der Honigmann sagt...

Der etwas andere weblog...

Rapunzelturm

A Germanic Pagan's Musings, Religious and Magical Studies, Green Pharmacy, Recipes, Rituals and more

Spiritual Satanist Blog

A Germanic Pagan's Musings, Religious and Magical Studies, Green Pharmacy, Recipes, Rituals and more

satanicviews

Left Hand Path; religion; philosophy; mind; technology; current affairs.

%d bloggers like this: