Monday, 1 April 2013

Woden and the Fylfot

We usually associate the fylfot[swastika] with the God Thunor and this is correct to do so but there are instances where our ancestors have also associated this most holy symbol with Woden. As you can see from the above images, in the first one Woden is depicted with His two ravens and a border of fylfots above His head. This is a 12th century church carving from Great Cranfield church in Essex. This picture also features in Nigel Pennick and Prudence Jones` A History of Pagan Europe. The second image shows a typical carving of Woden wearing His horned raven helmet. What is different about this picture is that the fylfot is located on the front of His helmet just above His eyes where one would expect the pineal gland or `Third Eye` to be positioned. The third image is a rather typical bracteate[a coin used as an amulet pendant during the Germanic migration age] showing Wotan, His horse, a runic inscription ALU and the fylfot. Scholars speculate that these were used as devices to aid meditation and divination amongst the Germanic peoples. The fylfot is closely related to the Sonnenrad[Sunwheel], the equilateral cross in the circle and some speculate that the fylfot originated from the Sonnenrad. The Sonnenrad is more associated with Woden than Thunor and is often referred to as Odin`s Eye or Wotan`s Eye[See Rudolf Koch`s The Book of Signs, p18]. Koch states underneath the fylfot image that:
The swastika, or fylfot cross. Derived from the sun wheel.
One can certainly see the rounded Thulean swastika as being an intermediate symbol between the Sonnenrad and the fylfot. It is possible that the more straight legged fylfot originated from the Sonnenrad via the rounded Thulean one. The origins of the swastika are speculated upon in Swastika the Earliest Known Symbol and its Migrations[1894] by Thomas Wilson. I will not discuss this more here but reserve this in depth issue for a future article. More interesting information about the fylfot in the British Isles can be found in The Fylfot File by Stephen Taylor[I highly recommend this work despite it being written by a churchman!] The image of the dancing raven-helmeted Woden has rightly been subjected to much analysis by Wodenists but I am particularly interested in the positioning of the fylfot in the second image. In my own meditative work I use a rounded fylfot for protection but it is also important to visualise the symbol as well, often in a yellow or red-gold glow, vibrant and fiery. In addition to offering protection the fylfot also is able to open the sixth Ajna chakra or wheel. Holding as well as visualising the fylfot can aid meditation and the gaining of spiritual insight-sight WITHIN! Clearly Woden intends us to use the fylfot to help open this 6th wheel in order to unlock our spiritual and psychic capacities. As with all things Woden is our guide. We follow in His steps in order to gain full awakening. The concept of the chakras or wheels as we would refer to them in the Germanic tradition along with the teaching of the Irminsul and Kundalini are part of a more ancient collective Aryan body of lore which the Germanic and Hindu traditions belong to. This issue is something I intend to explore in a future article.

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