Notes on the nature of God and the Emanations

These notes are in reference to previous posts I made on the nature of God, which if you haven’t read, I will link below.

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It should be noted that both the roots for the term God and Emanation have to do with water in some capacity, and both refer to the flowing, or pouring out of a liquid substance. The root Ǵʰew is used for libation, a pouring out of water, which is derived from the root of Ǵʰē, which means release, or letting go of something.

The root Meh₂ that becomes the word Emanation is fairly multifaceted. It implies a wetness or dampness, but also means a moment in time, or an opportune moment. It also has the meaning of something good, or great depending on use. In certain descendant languages such as in Celtic and Germanic languages, it gathers an additional meaning relating to an increase in quantity such as in the words most, or more.

Going on to look at another root, which I’ll say is not really a root in it’s own right, is (s)meh₂, which means to signal or to beckon. It is the origin of the word manus in Latin, or hand. This root is just a transformed use of Meh₂, primarily in the genitive sense, since it has an s-mobile attached to the front of it. It reveals that Meh₂ has yet another feature that is related to the hand, and in the Latin sense, has the attribute of having power over people or things.

Based on this, I’ll conclude the following:

The nature of God is that of a constant and creative libation, or a cosmic flow; a releasing, or pouring out of all creation, like water spilling forth from a spring. This release is the the constant act of creation and recreation; all of creation is constant change. This occurs at no singular point in time, but is happening at all times, and it does not cease in how much it spills forth.

The nature of the Emanations is that of the constant dispersal or extensions of the cosmic flow. That is, the ever-expansive and ever-increasing act of creation. The constant dispersal allows for instances in time where the constant change is readily presenced and therefore, known. This could be interpreted as Providence, as dictated by certain traditions.

The most basic forms we may come to know them by, is the phenomena of the world we inhabit – that which are called the Gods of the ancients. Each Emanation in its own right as an extension of the cosmic flow holds its own power over what it manifests as, but this does not mean they are static in nature; they themselves flow forth just as all things in the cosmos and are subject to constant change.

The presencing of an Emanation is a natural theophany, and is a sign, or a metaphorical hand that extends itself from the primal source, the God, to the human.

Full Þórs – Björn Magnússon Ólsen

Translation:

In the winter it is so dead and dreary, for the darkness creeps over the people, and the cold weather shudders and pierces, moving towards hot blood.

Then, that fine light shines low in the south of the land, like a deaf sun. When else is it more necessary to drink, then at Yule?

Our fathers wised that the middle of winter should be celebrated. Yes – back then many a man was drunk of mead in the hall.

At Þorrablót there was heavy drinking, bull-horns went around the benches, and the ugly enemy soaked with boasts and beer.

And shields flowed with pure gold, were arranged in a ring around the host of chiefs, and hot kettles were filled whole with horse meat.

Wastefulness was with brilliant worth, so tremendous was the great gushing, since libation was drunk to the Gods all, and eightfold Þórr.

Because of that, no one has to ask of Öku-Þórr to try a drink; he drank them all under the table in one pull.

Though, the fleshmongering was the worst – Lord protect us from that. That corner of the sea is often refreshed by the strong god.

And we, who now in weakness try to walk in our fathers tracks, we bid Þór from pure heart for mind and courage.

The glass is now all weak: the beautiful mirrored shield-bosses of old, kettles to plates streaming with steaks, horns of liquor.

Because of that, there is still need to bid on strength and mind for the weak host, and to call on strong Þór to steady our Þorrablót.

O! Gift us Þór! To that time! To drink as much as you! We sign the heathen hammer in memory and pure belief!

Original text:

Á vetrum er svo dautt og dapurt,
Því dimman grúfir yfir þjóð,
Og kuldahretið hryllir napurt
Ið heita blóð.
Þá gægist að eins lágt um ljóra
Í landasuðri hin daufa sól,
Hvenær er heldur þörf að þjóra
En þá, um jól?

Það feður vorir vissu endur
Að vetri miðjum fagna skal,
Já, þá var margur maður kenndur
Af mjöð í sal.
Við Þorrablót var þéttan drukkið,
Er Þjórshornið um bekki fór,
Og þar var ljóta Satans sukkið
Við sumbl og bjór.

Og skjöldum, renndum skíru gulli,
Var skipað kríngum goða sjöt,
Og hitukatlar heilagt fullir
Með hrossakjöt.
Spillíngin var með virðum snjöllum
Svo voðalega geysistór,
Því full var drukkið Ásum öllum
Og áttfaldt Þór.

Því til þess hafði einginn orðið
Við Öku-Þór að reyna drykk;
Hann drakk þá alla undir borðið
Í einum rykk.
Þótt melludólgur væri´ann versti –
Varðveiti Drottin oss frá því –
Því optar hornsjórinn hressti
Inn hrausta tý.

Og vér, sem nú í veikleik reynum
Í vorra feðra að gánga spor,
Vér biðjum Þór af hjörtum hreinum
Um hug og þor.
Að gleri alt er orðið veiku:
Að ítrum speiglum buklin forn,
Katlar að disk með strembnum steikum,
Að staupum horn.
Það er því meir enn þörf að biðja
Um þrótt og huga veikri sjót,
Og heita á þrúðgan Þór að styðja
Vort Þorrablót.
Æ, gef oss, Þór! að þessu sinni!
Að þjóra jafnmikið og þú!
Vér signum hamri heiðið minni
Í hreinni trú.

Why you’re NOT a pagan

The human need for identity has an interesting way of transforming words. During my studies of history, language, and the occult, I have seen more than a handful of denominations that cultural revivalists and occultists have used to distinguish themselves and their respective groups. I mean, it makes sense – with the advent of increased information through the internet, it seems anyone and their morbidly obese catkin cousin can throw a word around and transmogrify it into an identifier – however logically retarded it may be. Everything seems to be fair game.

Which brings me to my main subject at hand – pagans.

Many who claim this term, would state that it is a derogatory term invented wholly by Christians. As far as the late usage, sure. The term is certainly a pejorative when we look at the ecclesiastical usage, as it was a way to demarcate those of an older way of living from those of the new faith. But, as with everything under the sky, there are layers to unfurl.

The term is adopted from an old Roman administrative term pagi. This was the designation of tribal territories in rural areas, often in places such as Celtic Europe and could also be applied to the late Germanic areas as well. These territories lay outside the areas where the political powers were centralized: walled urban city-states, port cities, hillforts, and villas or manors.

Being applied to places where Rome had a significant hold, it seems that this word was used to describe the splintered, shire-like setting these people lived in. While there was a large amount of proximity, these shires were bordered, and within them dwelled different peoples. They may have shared the same tongue, or variances of the same culture, but they weren’t all the same. As Rome moved into these regions, they instilled what was known as the villa system onto the pre-existing inhabitants, which was adopted and thereafter maintained by incoming Germanic tribesmen even after the Romans fell. This form preceded the late manorialism seen in medieval England after the Norman conquest in the eleventh century, which was a form of feudalism on a micropolitical scale.

There were originally common people – regular ass folks who were scattered across these territories. Working on a local level for their subsistence and were not dependent on the hand of a master for their meals. The foreign influence from Rome changed this dynamic entirely and fashioned the colonate or tenant farmer system. This is a passive form of slavery whereby one lives on the land, is bonded to it, and works the fields, with the landowner getting the capital from the produce. This was usually a whole family affair, and whole generations were raised under the heel of this system.

That term bonded strikes a tone for me, so let me put it into context for you. When looking at the etymology of the term pagi, it gives roots of peh₂ǵ and peh, and both primarily mean to attach, or to join. Which really, are just synonyms for being bonded to a thing. These roots have later descendant words such as pact and fastened.

Based on these understandings – what is the term pagan really referring to? Did this word accurately ascertain what these common folks really were like? I would conclude that yes – the term was correct based on the observations of the people who dwelled in these types of areas. Their characteristic inclination was to be bonded to the land they dwelled in and be bonded to their local populace through culture and custom. Loyal to their own, and them alone.

I would say the term in truth, should be more of a description of the habits of the dwellers, rather than an actual identifier. This would not have been a word used between them anyway, since history details that all these ancient peoples had tribal names separate from the foreign classifications of Rome. Tribal differences always bring along with it the in-group/out-group mentality, which is a natural animal mentality, and is ultimately a healthy mentality. While this usually led to violent ways of demarcation between people – I’d say that violence is healthy to maintain the society and the appropriate power structures. Any society that negates violence or defense tends to die out after some time.  Just look at what happened to Tibet in 1950. Slaughtered.

Though for modern pagans, none of these principles seem to hold weight, which is why they are in essence – not pagan at all. Most would be happier to negate these principal forms in favor of not being attached to others and staying solitary, which just means that they don’t want to be held responsible for creating and maintaining a culture or people. Over the years, I have heard many say that it is impossible in the world we currently live in, but frankly I have always seen that as a cop out, revealing a deep laziness which degrades the spirit. Being a pagan takes a certain amount of work, planning and bringing others into your sphere all for the goal of cultivating something to last beyond you.

Setting up some shitty little altar in your living room does not mean you are a pagan. Being a pagan is not about belief, but about how you live, and the willingness to be a part of something other than yourself. Being a pagan is about adding to a group and allowing that group to prosper through building relationships, having families, and sharing amongst one another, for one another. To be bonded, attached, or joined with others of like countenance and form is how a people and a place is created. This is fundamentally tribalism, and to be a pagan is to be inherently tribal down to your very roots.

To be lukewarm on this is not even an option. The foundation is black and white. If you have no shared people, culture, or tribal territory – you are not a pagan.

Þórr heitir Atli

A name shared with the saga rendition of Attila the Hun, the name holds a connotation of wrath, and it is a derivative of the term atall meaning to be fierce, savage or wild.

A pattern I have noticed, is that this is usually used as a descriptive term of the eyes. The phrase ötul auga, which meant to have piercing eyes. Certain artifacts repeat this ocular detail, such as the ones depicted here.

Due to the protective function of Þórr, this seems to be a way of warding one from the evil eye, and unfortunate weather. Similar marks and stamp patterns adorn hammers and axe pendants from Germanic and Uralic areas.

His eyes may dispel misfortune, but pray they do not fall upon you.

Of Memory and Necrosophy

As it has been discussed before, there is always an underlying message to myth.

Most myths yield a corpus of material that may allow an operant to further develop their praxis. But, many look at myth as a means to glean what their ancestors might have believed, and many cling to these poems in a literal way – focusing solely on the anthropomorphic forms rather than the inner meanings surrounding these figures and their actions. Whether it be from the Edda, Theogony, or even the Christian Bible, these subtle forms will always be embedded in poetical verbiage and the scrawl of scribes. To effectively work with the many images and forces we deem as divine, one must tread down their overgrown pathways, and enact their work ourselves. We do this in emulation, but also for our own becoming. This is how I view ritual, and have gotten the best results with this methodology.


..any repetition of an archetypal gesture, suspends duration, abolishes profane time, and participates in mythic time.


Mircea Eliade, The Myth of The Eternal return, page 36.


One such myth we can draw a ritual from, is in Ynglinga Saga chapter 4 which gives details a crucial part of Mimir’s story and how he came to talk with Óðinn, and became a medium for his divination:


“Óðinn tok höfuðit ok smurði urtum, þeim er eigi mátti fúna, ok kvað þar yfir galdra, ok magnaði svá, at þat mælti við hann ok sagði honum marga leynda hluti.”

“Odin, took the head and smeared worts, which possessed power against rot, and spoke over it with sorcery, and empowered it so that he could speak with it, and it said to him many hidden lots.”

The first ritual focus is the process of embalming that the sorcerer is enacting.

The first term comes from the word smyrja, which means to butter or smear something on an object. Other ways of using the word, is to anoint something – like a King. What is smeared, is usually an ointment of some sort, judging by the use of the word smyrsl. But since the term is utilized when speaking of butter or fat, this is likely what was most commonly used as the base of said ointment. In later black book traditions, smearing butter on objects, or using butter as a medium to transfer sorcery was common. The medieval fear of witches stealing butter may result from this tradition, as it was fat was/is a crucial piece of survival, especially during the winter months. The importance here should be noted.

The second term urtum, means an herb otherwise called a wort. It essentially is the root and/or stems of a plant. The term jurt is another form of this word, and indicates an aromatic scent accompanying the herbs, and was later used for spices. The strong scents would likely be to rouse the spirit of the being, while preserving the physical form of the head. The word urt, is used for the first brew of malt in each season and was also used for eggs. All of these indicate the components of what was used in combination with the butter/fat.

The second ritual focus is the recitation upon finishing the embalming process.

Óðinn was said to kvað þar yfir galdra or speak with sorcery over the head of Mimir to make it empowered – magnaði. The metrical form of galdralag would have been used when speaking over the now embalmed head of his friend, and is a relatively simple poetic form. These verses were said to be fathered by Óðinn, as he was the father of all sorcery. The term magnaði is key, as it is commonly used when detailing the animate sorcerous power, as in making something like a rock or a tree root. it is not an inherent power already held by an inanimate object, but one given to it, by the use of the object as a medium. A similar word is megin, for might or strength. This is commonly used for Gods like Þórr.

This ritual has obvious elements of Necromancy, though Necrosophy is a proper name for it due to it revolving around obtaining information in the mythic sense. There is a similarity to those rituals of creating a famulus or fétiche, which take up the dead contents of animals or humans and imbue their shades into objects; usually an object carried on an individuals person, or back into their original skeletal remains for use as ritual objects and indenturing a spirit into the servitude of the sorcerer. The process of keeping such a form alive and awake, is to feed it with sacrifices and/or offerings – what type of offerings are all dependent on what you are creating into a famulus. For instance, for Óðinn to gain sight to the fate of his son Baldr, he gave up his eye. Offerings in many cases are like for like. In my experience, most spirits respond more readily to fresh blood and meat.

The process is as follows:

  1. Obtain a vessel you wish to imbue, and place it in your ritual space.
    a. This can be a skull, bone, or limb such as a hand or paw.
    b. You can place this upon an altar, or a specialized bowl or box.
  2. Prepare the roots and stems of the plants you have chosen to rouse the shade.
  3. Prepare the malt.
    a. Grind it into powder.
  4. Prepare the eggs.
    a. This should be less than the butter, otherwise it will not solidify properly.
  5. Render the butter into liquid.
    a. Ensure that there is enough butter to cover the entire vessel.
  6. Combine the contents together as the butter is being rendered, and mix.
    a. Let this simmer.
  7. Once the contents are mixed thoroughly, pour the mixture onto the vessel.
    a. It will dry fairly quickly, so ensure that you cover the entire area of the vessel.
    b. Rub the mixture into the vessel.
  8. Once finished, set the vessel into the ritual space.
  9. Make your first sacrifice/offering.
    a. If using an animal, ensure that the blood is dripped onto the vessel.
    b. If using your own blood, do the same as above.
    c. If using alcohol or some other substance, do the same as above.
  10. Recite your verse/meter as many times as possible.
    a. Ensure that this is memorized, you will need to speak this each time you give a sacrifice/offering.
  11. Meditate on imbuing your intent and focus it into the shape of the vessel.
  12. Depart.

SEEK IMPERISHABLE FAME

Brothers, what we do in life… echoes in eternity.

The greatest of heroes did not live long lives, and did not obsess about the afterlife.

Whether it be Heracles, Achilles, Sigurd or Thor — they all prioritized action and deeds, and certainly were not distinguished by their moderation.

Such moderation was for men who wanted to live their lives long and comfortable; within their control. Their names eventually withering from memory, and thus their power in this world.

Conquerers, warmongers, and our favorite heroes all sought after the same thing — Imperishable Fame. A major axiom that is repeated through multiple Indo-European cultures.

When your name is on the tongues of thousands of people, it’s easy to imagine a deification process occurring.

This is probably more valid today than ever before, wouldn’t you say?

This was a feat that kept their names current through time, thereby giving them an immortal status, and thus a certain spiritual power. A gift to their descendants of a mighty lineage, one that they could be proud of.

This is why men should look back on these ancient men, in an effort to kindle themselves for the trials of today and embolden themselves.

But somewhere, in some ugly glass tower — a welp of a man will sit back in his recliner, making judgements on such heroes as being brutish, toxic, or extreme for the sake of wealth, women and power.

“Yes, and..?”

There will always be critics, especially those who value inaction or caution as their baseline. The key thing is to keep seeking that imperishable fame, which is the key to the eternal flame and eternal life.

Put your whole spirit into what you do, and act on what you affirm as true.

Do it for your sons. Do it for your story.

But moreover, do it for your fucking self.

ḰLÉWOS N̥DHGWHITÓM

Ranting against the Earth Mother

Fisherman from Birsay on the Orkney Islands. Kind of related.

For some reason, some Heathens and Germanic pagans have decided to equate the cult of Nerthus as explained by Tacitus with Jǫrð from later folklore. I guess this is because of the ease of access and an attempt at fashioning a “tradition” based around two extremely vague figures. Both of which they terribly fumble around with and use to verify their weak ass earth worship.

But, to add more fuel to the argument — I’m going to subject you all to a quick rant for a second, and see what information I can pull from the words.

The proposed root for Nerthus is h₂nḗr, which means “man”, with an emphasis on the vitality or vigor of that man. See anēr in Greek, and later andro- root, and usage of Ner- in Italic, such as in “Nero”, and Nar- in Sanskrit.

The exact quote from Tacitus’ Germania “nisi quod in commune Nerthum, id est Terram matrem”— while the common denomination has a suffix of -us, a masculine form, the quote has -um, a neutered singular form of that same masculine suffix.

This betrays the proposed Germanic rendition to Nerþuz and Latin Nerthus, as the -us in Latin comes from the masculine adjectival ending -ós in Proto-Indo-European and likewise cognates to the Germanic ending -az, resulting in Nerþaz as a proper form. The -ō stem as being the female equivalent of the -az ending. Adding the -z would pluralize that form.

Further, while the text calls this figure the “Mother of Earth”, the figure was worshipped among coastal and other near-coastal tribal groups. This indicates that it was very likely a religion with a divine figure pertaining to the sea, especially when one considers the custom they mentioned in the treatise. There is more backing on this being more associated with the later Njǫrðr in Old Norse — the god of coasts, fishing and general abundance.

It could be stated that the function of this cultural piece was mistaken by the author based on his understanding of earth-goddess cults, or or simply represents the common twinning or doubling of divinities in certain traditions — this becomes apparent when one observes that the children of Njǫrðr, whom he sired on his unnamed sister-wife, hold different gendered forms of the same name, Freyr and Freyja; proposed forms are Fraujaz and Frawjō. It could be that the chthonic or earthly aspect comes from this part of the cultus, and was the female function.

Based on the name, it seems that this religion observed the male form as it’s primary focus. The divine pair I would reconstruct as being Nerþaz, and Nerþō in Proto-Germanic.

So with these points being out there in the open now, I don’t think Nerthus can equate the later form Jǫrð, as “the mother of Thor”. Especially since the roots of her name comes from the h₁er, and h₂erh₃ roots, pertaining to dry earth and ploughed fields, which don’t actually correspond to the function of Tacitus’ Nerthus at all.

This whole idea is really just a fantasy for hippies who want to play with runes.

THE ROOTS OF THUNDER

Photo of ribbon lightning by William N. Jennings, 1885.

The case of the Thunderer in Germanic ethnolinguistic groups is a difficult one to plot effectively, especially when speaking on the origins of his name. There are significant cognates in the Indo-European lexicon that do give credence to the formation to his name, but there hasn’t been – as far as I have seen – a coherent analysis of his name and the etymological lineage he bears.

Regarding the proposed model of Indo-European mythemes, the Germanic stands out as separate and distinct in the way it doesn’t follow said model. One form that some suggest, is that Týr is the original weather and sky god; chief of all the gods. This is mostly based on surface level linguistic speculations. (1)

The reason I make this claim, is because the similarities in consonance of the classical European cultures does not constitute the same functionality in other branches such as the Germanic cultures. Especially with most cultic elements being attributed to Þórr, as an active role of the weather and sky god in most recorded contexts, while also being the center of the traditional forms of worship. (2)

There is an even further split as the literature has portrayed Óðinn fulfilling the patriarch function, and the role of the king. In many cases there seems to be shared elements between the two, such as both sharing prophylactic and malevolent wind sorcery, and even sharing names that should be attributed to the other. (3)

This status of Óðinn should certainly be taken as a late addition to the Germanic narrative structures, with the Icelandic versions primarily influenced by classical literature.

The difference from the common model, is because other Indo-European cultures such as the Mediterranean cultures have deities such as Ζεῦ πάτερ, Jupiter, or reflections of a form extending from the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European Dyēus Pəter. As an active divine epithet, it was crucial in the social structure of later Indo-European cultures of southern Europe.

Vedic areas did not hold their rendition of Dyáuṣ Pitṛ́ in the same light, but the form was foundational in the Rigvedic texts as a sort of deus otiosus or inactive Uranic figure. This seems to have been a multifaceted concept that developed differently based on regional cult variants at any given time, as most cults are built upon either hierarchical preference, population norms or mores.

The proposed etymological lineage of Þórr, stems from the root (s)tenh2 which based on my understanding of reconstruction, I transliterate to tenə. The zero-grade form being (s)ton̥ə, becoming the nominative compound (s)ton̥ərós which after shifting out of Northwest-Indo-European, then became þunaraz, and later þunraz in Proto-Germanic. (4)

This seems to be connected to an original word root of ten through the form tenh2 which would still be transliterated to tenə, which then gives a similar zero-grade format of ton̥. In the original form, the ten root holds the meaning of extension, or being outstretched. Which is easily able to be translated conceptually to the outstretched sky itself, extending above and across the earth. Additionally, the ten root extends to ténəus, and then becomes þunnuz in Proto-Germanic, and gives descendant words such as þynne, þunnur and the English word thin. (5) (6)

These terms seem to point to a synthesis of sorts at some point in history, creating the myriad versions of the Thunderer in Germanic languages:

    Proto-Germanic — Þunaraz, Þunraz
    Proto-Norse — Þunaraʀ, Þunaʀ
    Old Norse — Þórr, Þóarr
    Faroese — Tórur
    Norwegian, Danish and Swedish — Thor, Tor
    Old English — Þunar, Þunor, Þunær
    Middle English — Þunor and þonder
    English — Thunder
    Scots — Thuner
    Yola — Dunder
    Old Frisian — Thuner
    West Frisian —Tonger
    Old Saxon — Thunar, Thunær
    Old High German — Thonar, Donar
    Middle High German — Donar
    German Donar — Dutch Donar, Donner, Donder, Donre.

The Scandinavian branches dropped the medial (n) in the word at a late position in their history, while the continental and western sources withheld the medial (n), resulting in our current terminologies when speaking of thunder. I do not see these have having different roots, but shifts in dialects over time.

In the later form of the root, it seems to be a technical term for augury; to indicate, presage or foretell. Evidence for this form comes from the Latin use of the word portend. (7)

With this in mind, I recall the work of Tacitus who notes that the Semnones branch of the Suevi did hold augury in a high regard; the functions of the ravens Huginn and Muginn, the sparrow-speech of the wise King Dagr, and even the hero Sigurðr obtaining the knowledge of bird-speech are in line with this type of custom. (8) (9)

These types of divinatory customs are associated with the many Sky Father renditions, and/or other celestial figures and these methods are used to interpret the will and decisions of these gods.

While the shifted roots of ten and tenə contributed to linguistic development, the conceptual development must be looked at from other angles and similar cognate words must be observed, as the lineages based on the model for other cultural forms of the Thunderer seem like they are missing a step in the reconstruction efforts.

Indra, for example holds an esteemed height within Rigveda, the oldest piece of Indo-European spiritual literature – mentioned more than 200 times. Which is far more than any other deity in the corpus. He is noted as having a similar position to Þórr, but the components of his name are disputed among many linguists, despite it being rather clear.

One of the oldest recorded instances of this form comes from the Mitanni-Hatti treaty (KBo I 1 Vo 56), and the form seems to be IN-TAR in their Indo-Aryan tongue. This term has been related to the Hittite verb tarḫ, which gave way to the name of their weather god Tarḫunna. (10)

The root of this term has been noted as terh₂ or terə — meaning to cross or pass; overcome or conquer. The Hattian weather god was named Taru, from the same root. (11)

Consistent forms found throughout Anatolian cultures show that this is a common form for weather gods:

  • Luwian — Tarḫunz
  • Carian — Trquδ
  • Milyan — Trqqñt
  • Lycian — Trqqas, Trqqiz

The Celtic cultures also show the same etymological similarities:

  • Gaulish — Taranis
  • Old Breton — Toran
  • Breton — Toran
  • Old Cornish — Taran
  • Cornish — Taran
  • Middle Welsh — Taran
  • Welsh — Taranu
  • Old Irish — Tuirenn, Torann
  • Irish —Torann
  • Scottish Gaelic — Torrunn, Tàirneanach

A basic reconstruction for the original word in Proto-Indo-European would be terənós.

The root terə also is one of the closest forms that can be compared to the Germanic word Þurs. This would be a significant format to follow, based on premise that within Germanic myth, the þursar and the god Þórr are on opposing forces.

Tarḫunna repeats the dragon/serpent-slaying mytheme as other Indo-European storm-gods, an archetypal tale is meant to describe rebirth and renewal of life, with the dragon/serpent representing death or chaos. Chaos is meant to be overcome, or dominated.

This connection is the reason why there is such a tension in later Germanic myth between Þórr and the þursar, as there is an intrinsic cultic relationship between the two elements. A particular form to follow that likely merged with the aforementioned one is terh1 or terɐ which means to twist, bore or drill; pierce. This is a form that relates well to the concept of a thorn, which is noted by the corresponding rune poem as given in the Anglo-Saxon sources. (12)

The root has an indication towards cereal grains, and the act of threshing. Words developed from this root in Germanic languages are þyrel, þurh, þrum and þǫrmr which each have their prescribed roots as þurhilą, þurhw, and þruma. All of these relate to creating holes; an opening, or material that is bored through such as a tree trunk, or a stump, as other continental cognates give their meanings to imply beams and poles. The Scandinavian variant seems to be an edge, or the brim of a wide hole. When we look at the different renditions of the þursar, we can see the similarities to these other terms:

  • Old Norse — þurs
  • Old English — þyrs
  • Middle English — þurs, thursse, thyrce, thurs, thirs
  • German — turse
  • Norwegian and Danish — tosse, tuss, tusse, tust
  • Swedish — tuss, tusse
  • Scottish Gaelic — tursa.

The mechanical function of this potential root serves as the aggression and action of this force when unfettered, creating holes and fractures in the flesh of the earth and the fabric of the firmament. In many ways, creating a threshold to cross as terə is implied to do, which would lend to negative connotations, as this being would be directly opposed to both the social or cosmological order. This damages the sanctity of order.

I hypothesize that in later mythopoetic renditions, this was separated to become a wholly separate set of beings that relied on entropy as their main function, hence their positions in late Germanic sources.

A final form is ters, which means a thirst or dryness. This gives the Old Norse terms þorskr and þorsti; þurstu being proposed in Proto-Germanic. It can relate to literal thirst, or towards a dryness of an object like harðfiskur, or dried fish. The Latin descendant of the suffixed ters root gives the word terrain. Based on this, we can place these beings as having a more chthonic nature, and thus within the Indo-European cosmogony – being inherently destructive and hostile towards the fundamental forces such as those aerial or celestial types. There is always this type of dualism in Indo-European macrocosmology.

Tenə, as it is given with the subscript (s), is based on cognates in Satem languages such as the following:

  • Sankrit — stánati
  • Old Church Slavonic — стенати (stenati)
  • Russian — стенать (stenát)
  • Lithuanian — stenati/steneti.

These terms come from the extended root of Proto-Indo-European sténh₂-e-ti; which can be rendered as (s)ténə-e-ti or (s)ténəti. These forms follow the similar route as postulated in Proto-Indo-Aryan and Proto-Indo-Iranian stánati. The Vedic and Iranic influence on Balto-Slavic languages is evident even today.

The interesting thing to note, is that in Middle-Iranian languages such as Parthian and Sogdian, the (s) was dropped and became the words, tndwr/tandur, and twntr/tundar respectively. These shifts are crucial, as they detail an emphasis on the initial dental. The modern Persian word is تندر, or tundar, and the Pashto term is tana. These words had formed before the actual word thunder had been created in Germanic languages. These were very likely formed from the retention of the ten root in Eurasian and other Asiatic languages based on interaction with Indo-European languages for a time.

The dropping of the (s) was also within the Centum languages at certain points, such as in Greek τείνω (teínō); τόνος (tónos), and Latin tono; tonos; tonus; tonere; tendere. Evidence of retention of the (s) is in Ancient Greek in the words στένω (sténō); Στέντωρ (sténtor), and German stöhnen. The proposed origin of this form is still said to be of (s)ten which means a groaning, or a sigh as a separate derivation of tenə. This very clearly comes from the low rumbling of thunder or howling winds often heard off in the distance during storms. A final note; the (s) subscript is what is known as an s-mobile, and likely derives from a remnant of an earlier gemination, and then was subject to a degemination process. The origin of the (s) was likely in reference to thunder in a genitive context of some sort – being owned by another being or object. (13)

But based on the overwhelming lack of the (s) in other cognates, it seems that this other being or object being left behind in favor of the resulting thunder as the sole focus. Indirectly detailing that the act of thundering was a characteristic of a certain being – the inanimate divine sky who was transitioning towards animation via violent storm. The result of this celestial violence was the power of thunder being kept as a taboo word and eventually fashioned into a separate and distinct divine form, and the original divine operator being forgotten or maintaining a more distant function as “the one who moves, but moves not”.

When looking under this lens, we may see this original being, this Sky Father as emanative; becoming various celestial or aerial divine forms over time — a different mask for the same force.

CONCLUSIONS:

1. The first firmament element is inherent in the etymology of the Germanic Thunderer. The origin of this is from the Proto-Indo-European root TEN, denoting the expanse of the sky being the inanimate divine function.

2. (s)TEN is the second firmament element, and is an animate variation of (1), and is the audible prelude to the third firmament element; the howling sound of wind.

3. The third firmament element, or the meteorological element is noted by the shift to the word TENə which is Thunder and is an animate divine function.

4. The first chthonic element yields a notion of being a dry and cold landscape, being an inanimate divine form, which is characterized by the root TER.

5. The second chthonic element is characterized by the term TERɐ, which gives way to an action of aggression and damage by boring holes and creating negative spaces via fashioning thresholds within the cosmological, or natural order.

6. The primary aggression element is held within the root TERə, which has its origin in the characterization of the Thunderer, which later became another negative function that stood against the natural order of Indo-European cosmogony. This is an additional animate divine function and was an early cult function of the Thunderer being the one who overcomes or crosses the threshold of chaos and death that is representative of the dragon and/or serpent figures.

7. The retention and re-organization of these terms were likely kept as taboo words so as to not incur the wrath of the operant or active form of a celestial being; the result being the formation of a new entity or set of entities entirely.

8. (1), (2), (3), and (6) were merged together as both linguistic elements and concepts to create what we now as Þórr. This is primarily a celestial element.

9. (4), (5), and (6) merged together as both linguistic elements and concepts to create what we now know as Þurs. This is primarily a chthonic element.

10. This entire concept likely originated from an epithet about an all-encompassing Sky Father figure; resulting in the splitting into many different divine variations over time across many cultures.

REFERENCES:

1. Altgerm. Religionsgesch., I, pp. 170-175.; Mythes et dieux des Germains, 1939, ch 1: Mythologie indo-européenne et mythologie germanique; Mitra-Varuna, Georges Dumézil.

2. Saga Ólafs konungs Tryggvasonar 167: Þórr sat í miðju; Eyrbyggja Saga ch. 3, 4; Hann varðveitti þar í eyjunni Þórshof og var mikill vinur Þórs og af því var hann Þórólfur kallaður; Þórólfur Mostrarskegg fékk að blóti miklu og gekk til fréttar við Þór; Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, Descriptio Insularum Aquilonis: in hoc templo, quod totum ex auro paratum est trium deorum venerator populus, ita ut potentissimus eorum Thor in medio solium habeat triclinio.

3. Viðrir, from veðr; Gylfaginning ch. 6, 40; Skáldskaparmál 64, after poem 154.

4. American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots: (s)tenə.

5. American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots: ten.

6. American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots: ten, II.1.

7. American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots: ten, I.1.b.

8. Germania, Tacitus, ch 39: Vetustissimos se nobilissimosque Sueborum Semnones memorant; fides antiquitatis religione firmatur. Stato tempore in silvam auguriis patrum et prisca formidine sacram omnes eiusdem sanguinis populi legationibus coeunt caesoque publice homine celebrant barbari ritus horrenda primordia.

9. Ynglinga saga ch 21: Dagr hét son Dyggva konungs, er konungdóm tók eptir hann; hann var maðr svá spakr, at hann skildi fugls rödd. Hann átti spörr einn, er honum sagði mörg tíðindi; flaug hann á ymsi lönd.

10. Journal of Indo-European Studies; About the Mitanni-Aryan Gods, 2010, Arnoud Fournet.

11. American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots: terə2

12. Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem: Ðorn byþ ðearle scearp; ðegna gehƿylcum anfeng ys yfyl, ungemetum reþe manna gehƿelcum, ðe him mid resteð.

13. Indo-European s-mobile and Indo-European morphology, Kenneth Shields Jr., 1996.

ANSUZ IS OUR ANCESTRY

The prevailing form of the word depicts a rune representing the mouth of rivers, a god, or Óðinn himself. But, to peer into the deeper layer of Ansuz comes from the words that assisted in its reconstruction.

It’s first recorded instance was by Alcuin, the Gothic word Aza, which gives us the word Ahsa; an axis, beam or pillar. The root Ahs, gives the meaning of an ear of grain. This root also holds a myriad divergences. The most notable, is in its initial meaning as mind or intellect. This yields the following words, all relating to the soundness of mind in Gothic:

• ahei – sense

• ahjan – mean

• ahma – spirit

• ahmeins – intelligence

• ahmeins – spiritual

Branching off from the h₂eḱs or hᵉéḱs root in Proto-Indo-European, the axis plays a key role in the religious dynamic of the Germanic element. As the objects of worship, these godpoles are imbued with the power of mediation between the divine and man – the axis mundi.

Jordanes, the scribe of Getica, held that the semi-divines worshiped by the Thervingi were hailed as the Anses, and engendered their people – they were the ancestors. Jordanes was also at one point a pagan, as he describes that he was not learned prior to his conversion. Thus, likely held some intimate understanding to the practices and customs.

Note, his name means horse-warrior.

Diving deeper towards the cultural cognates of term Anses, I found the following:

Avestan – aŋhū, and ahura.

Sanskrit – ásu, and ásura.

Uralic – asera

Tocharian – ās

Hittite – hass

All of these denominations are of lordship, and of a creative, life-giving essence. These words when reconstructed, turn to the Proto-Indo-European h₂énsus or hᵉénsus. The particle of h₂éns- or hᵉéns, means to beget.

The sequence shown below details how the word may have shifted:

hᵉénsus > hᵉánsus > ánsus > ānsus > ansuz

Some reconstruct this as Ansaz, which may have been used in a singular nominative sense. But that may have developed from hᵉénsóus, which would then lead to Ansauz, the singular genitive form.

Ansuz turns to AnsuR in Proto-Norse, after the split between different Germanic dialects. Gothic retains the more archaic Northwestern Indo-European sound structure; it is more common to see (-s) over (-z) or (-R), as a suffix. A possibility for the (-R) shift is the similar pattern displayed by the plural form of the word h₂n̥suró, or hᵉán̥suró. This may have added to the shift in their form, and I think the words with (-R) originated with the plural form and eventually dropped the (-ó), which would listed as:

Hᵉénsuró > hᵉánsuró > ánsuró > ānsur > ansuR

This may have also had a hand in the language shift, in addition to the grammatischer wechsel of Karl Verner.

In Scandinavia, these tongues would shift once more, and remove the (n) from the word, giving way to the form As, or as the Scandinavians retained Áss, Óss and in Æsir – commonly defined as pillars, beams, or masts. Óss holds the meaning of a river mouth, or an estuary leading to the ocean.

These would play a pivotal role in the culture of the Germanic people of the late era, especially within the history of the settlements of Iceland. Men like Ingólfur Arnason, and Þórólf Mostrarskegg, and the sagas surrounding them detail an incredible amount of piety, and attention to old custom.

Heaving their öndvegissúlur into the sea, to guide them where they would build their settlements. They would travel with the very dirt under their ancient temples, to establish a new sacred space for themselves. Even a new afterlife would be fashioned for their ancestors and descendants, from the local environment, dwelling and feasting in the center of Helgafell.

Ingolf takes possession of Iceland by Johan Peter Raadsig, 1850.

Quite similar in use to the bolvan/bałwan of Slavic peoples, these idols depicted the gods, heroes of old – or great chiefs who displayed martial ability.

Zbruch idol

The axis poles of the Germanic tribes, likely shared this commonality at the beginning stage of their demarcation from the Northwestern Indo-European branch. Eventually they started to display more centralized deities, such as the tribunal of Óðinn, Þórr and Freyr.

Broddenbjerg idol

Both Óðinn and Freyr have a marked distinction of fathering royal lines in both Scandinavia and England, receiving reverence as fathers of both kings and lords. Ancestral ties from both these figures would have been highly prized – and praised.

Other developments in the Anglo-Saxon runes hold that there was a shift in meaning likely due to the local environment, being shrouded in oak and ash trees; ac and æsc respectively. Both have slightly different, but related roots; oak from a mix of the hᵉéyǵ root, and the hᵉéḱs root, and ash from the hᵉéhós root.

But what does this mean exactly for the definition of Ansuz?

This gives a different context to what the rune itself means, from a standpoint of origins. It allows for the information gleaned to be applied in a realistic form, rather than a fantastical one.

Three major points for practical use:

1. As offerings, we should give them grain – to feed them, nourish them. This will ensure that we can gain insight, soundness of mind from them, allowing them to bestow their spirit upon us.

2. The Pillars should be erected, and depicted with imagery of these Ancestors – the Gods. Further, these idols should be fashioned from the oak or ash trees. These are the pillars of the world; holding the up firmament, showing us the way onwards to our First Fathers.

3. Fresh water should be given to them, from the mouth of a river or a small lake. To wash these idols in water from these places, is to remind them of home – and purify them for their journey back into flesh.

These Ancestors were once at the forefront of our mind at all times when dealing with things socially, and were given copious amounts of sacrifices and gifts. They had their place on high, as they were the ones who made us. They were the ones who paved the way for our children, and thus importance is quite clear.

Most of the rune poems associated detail an overwhelming emphasis on core concepts such as ancestry, asylum, death and remembrance.

The following translations are based on the aforementioned etymology of Ansuz:

(Norwegian)

ᚬ Óss er flæstra færða fǫr;

en skalpr er sværða.

The Pillar is the flow moving, faring;

but also the scalp of the sword.

(Icelandic)

ᚬ Óss er aldingautr

ok ásgarðs jöfurr,

ok valhallar vísi.

The Pillar is the Old Pourer of Sacrifices,

Lord of the Ancestor-yard;

and wise of the Slain-stones.

(Anglo-Saxon)

ᚩ Os byþ ordfruma ælere spræce,

wisdomes wraþu ond witena frofur

and eorla gehwam eadnys ond tohiht.

The Pillar be the chief of all speech;

wisdoms wrath, and wise-man’s sheath,

and each Lord’s old-age and thought.

ᚪ Ac byþ on eorþan elda bearnum

flæsces fodor, fereþ gelome

ofer ganotes bæþ; garsecg fandaþ

hwæþer ac hæbbe æþele treowe.

The Pillar be on earth the elder bairn,

Flesh fodder, fowl fares often over the lake;

The Spear-man proved where the Pillar has noble trow.

ᚫ Æsc biþ oferheah, eldum dyre

stiþ on staþule, stede rihte hylt,

ðeah him feohtan on firas monige.

Pillar be over on high,

Dear elders hard on the foundation,

Placed right on the wood,

However many men fought him on Mona.

The Norwegian shows a sense of neutrality, or reverence in the presence of an idol – hence the Pillar being the scalp, or scabbard of the sword. A man must put his weapons away in front of the idol, because it is imbued with the power of his Ancestors. Sacred grounds were areas of law, and no blood must be shed there unless it was an ordained sacrifice.

The Icelandic gives a direct proclamation that the Pillar is an elder priest, who was once the guide of the people. In death, he joins the rest of the Ancestors. He, being one who knew the tales of the slain, written in stone.

The first Anglo-Saxon poem again details the neutrality of the sacred space. But it furthers that idea with adherence to customs of speech; words were binding, and this Pillar is where the most crucial of bonds must be spoken. If one was lacking in wisdom, it could mean their reputation – and their life. This is certainly why it is said to be associated with the old age of Lords, and on the thought on their mind. You will be remembered for your words.

With the second, the Pillar is signified as being the elder children of the group. The old ones who have left us in their deaths, but will return again in the flesh. This new flesh will be flattened by the meat of fowl, and become strong spearmen. They will prove their nobility and become great – as only the most noble become worthy of being placed on the high Pillar within the Ancestor-yard.

The third poem, reiterates the importance of reputation. A man who fought with many men on the Isle of Mona, or Anglesey, joins the Ancestor-yard for his deeds. Beloved elders are placed right on the wood of the Pillar – becoming the foundation for the next generation.

There are so many layers to this concept, but the crux is simple and effective.

Remember your Traditions.

Remember your Ancestors.

Remember your Gods.

Remember ANSUZ