Thursday, 20 February 2014

The Drudenfuß, an Ancient Germanic Symbol

The pentagram in German is known as the Drudenfuß and I believe that the German name is far more evocative and appropriate to use than the rather clinical pentagrame. This symbol is rarely used today within the context of Odinism/Wodenism/Wotanism and I feel this is largely because of its misuse by the so-called modern Wicca and also due to lack of knowledge regarding its origins and meaning . This is a shame: we should not allow our use or non-use of sacred Germanic symbols to be somehow influenced by these eclectic New Age charlatans.

I use the word `charlatan` because anyone who refers to himself as being a `druid` is certainly misguided. According to Julius Caesar druids spent 20 years being trained and committing ancient lore to memory. They did not accomplish this by way of short correspondence courses. Furthermore no-one can say with any degree of certainty what the beliefs and practices of the druids were-less so than in Germanic heathenism. It is quite sad to witness people of Germanic heritage following pseudo-Celtic belief systems. It is also pitiful to witness these neo-druids try to present their revived religion as a peaceful and almost universalistic one. The genuine druids of yore were far from peaceful but warlike and did not shy away from human sacrifice (as did the Germanic priests). The difference is that whilst we Wodenists are not afraid to acknowledge that human sacrifice was carried out by our ancestors (as it was by other Indo-Europeans) the neo-druids are in denial of the historic facts, putting it down to Roman anti-Celtic or anti-barbarian propaganda. Neither was their religion universal but folkish as was Germanic religion-much again to the chagrin of modern `Asatru`ers`!

As far as the Wicca are concerned they cannot even pronounce their own name: it is pronounced witcha not wicker! It is an Old English word meaning quite simply, `witch`. I believe however that individual within Wicca may be influenced by Wodenism if we do this in the right way. I have previously explained in my article Witchdom of the True, published on my Celto-Germanic Culture, Myth and History blog on 30/5/11 that Wicca, unbeknown to many of its adherents is actually grounded in the worship of the ancient English Gods, Ing-Frey and Freya and if cleansed of its universalist and namby-pamby elements may be considered a legitimate expression of English heathenism. I know this is a controversial issue to many Germanic heathens but I would encourage you to read Edred Thorsson`s book Witchdom of the True. A Study of the Vana-Troth and the Practice of Seidh and make up your own mind.

Now back to the issue of the Drudenfuß. In German folklore a Drude is supposed to be a malevolent spirit and in Southern Germany especially it is associated with nightmares. Druden were considered to participate in Woden`s Wild Hunt. It was also used as a term for `witch` in late mediaeval Germany. In popular folk etymology the word is also connected with `druid`. The Grimm Brothers associate the word with in their Deutsches Wörterbuch (German Dictionary) with the valkyrie Þrúðr. So the Drudenfuß is the Drude`s foot and was used by my German ancestors to ward off evil entities. It is thus a protective device and not a symbol of evil or `satanism` (a Semitic concept). Goethe made reference to this symbol in his Faust (1808). 

I must confess, my stepping o'er
Thy threshold a slight hindrance doth impede;
The wizard-foot [Drudenfuss] doth me retain.
The pentagram thy peace doth mar?
To me, thou son of hell, explain,
How camest thou in, if this thine exit bar?
Could such a spirit aught ensnare?
Observe it well, it is not drawn with care,
One of the angles, that which points without,
Is, as thou seest, not quite closed.

It has also been used as a coat of arms. This is what Walther Blachetta in his 1941 book, Das Buch Der Deutschen Sinnzeichen(The Book of German Symbols) has to say about Der Drudenfuß:

"Der  Drudenfuß ist das Symbol fuer-harmonische Gestaltung-,insbesondere fuer die des Menschen. Fuenf Sinne, fuenf Finger an jeder Hand und an jedem Fuss, fuenf Selbstlaute in der Sprache, fuenf Koerperteile am Leib (Kopf, zwei Arme, zwei Beine)-alle diese fuenfzahlen find Zahlen der Gestaltung des Menschen. Waehrend heute in der Volkskunst der Drudenfuss wie auch der Fuenfstern nur selten anzutretten find, waren sie frueher sehr haeufig. Auf schwedischen Felsbildern, auf Bronzegeraeten sind sie zu finden. Und in mittelalterlichen Bauhuetten war der Drudenfuss das Herbergsschild. Als Wappenbild und besonders oft als Hausmarkte koennen wir aber heute noch den Drudenfuß bemerken."

Wotans Krieger`s translation:

"The Drudenfuß is the symbol for harmonic forming, in particular for that of humanity. Five senses, five fingers on each hand and (five toes) on each foot, five vowels in language, five parts of the body (head, two arms, two legs)-all five-numbers are found in the forming of humanity. Whilst today in folk art we rarely meet with the Drudenfuß or the five pointed star, in the past they were very widespread. They are to be found on Swedish rock pictures, on bronze pieces of equipment. And in mediaeval construction workers` huts the Drudenfuß was the sign of the inn. As coats of arms and especially often as house marks we can still observe the Drudenfuß today."

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