Friday, 18 April 2014
There is still in many runic and so-called 'Asatru' circles a great deal of lingering prejudice against the Armanen Futhork but in German lands it still remains the prevailing Rune row and it is the only Rune row which can be equated to the 18 stanza Havamal-Sayings of the High One in which Wodan imparts His Rune wisdom to us, His children.
Most of this system's critics point out to us repeatedly that it is not 'historic' whatever that may mean! All things at some point are new and over time obviously become 'historic' so this argument has little merit. There is a clear and tangible relationship between the Armanen Runes and the Elder, Younger and Anglo-Saxon Rune rows and unlike the surviving Rune Poems the lore attached to each of these Runes is untainted by the alien judaic religion of xtianity. When studying the Rune Poems it is essential that all three are used in conjunction and comparison in order that we may derive the original lore regarding them. The Old English Rune Poem which provides details about 29 off the 33 Northumbrian/Anglo-Saxons Runes is the longest poem but it is the most contaminated by xtianity.
An example of such contamination is:
"(Tir) is a token, it keeps troth well with noble-men always on its course over the mists of night, it never fails." (Edred Thorsson-Rune-Song)
No mention is made of our most ancient Germanic deity *Tiwaz in this version and yet the other Rune Poems do mention Him:
"(Tyr) is the one-handed among the Aesir; the smith has to blow often." (Old Norwegian Rune Poem, Thorsson)
Tyr is also mentioned in the Icelandic Rune Poem:
"(Tyr) is the one-handed god and the leavings of the wolf and the ruler of the temple." (Thorsson)
Likewise Wodan is not directly referred to in the Old English Rune Poem:
"(God) is the chieftain of all speech, the mainstay of wisdom and comfort to the wise, for every noble warrior hope and happiness." (Thorsson)
The Old Norwegian Rune Poem is also a little vague in regards to who this deity may be:
(A god) is the way of most journeys, but the sheath is (that way for) swords." (Thorsson)
The Old Icelandic Rune Poem is much more specific:
"(Ase) is the olden-father and Asgard's chieftain and the leader of Valhalla." (Thorsson)
The Old Norwegian Rune Poem is not free from contamination either:
"(Hail) is the coldest of grains; Christ shaped the world in ancient times." (Thorsson)
The Old Icelandic Rune Poem which is closely related to it is rather different:
"(Hail) is a cold grain and a shower of sleet and the sickness of snakes." (Thorsson)
The Old English Rune Poem is rather sound in this particular comparison:
"(Hail) is the whitest of grains, it comes from high in heaven. A shower of wind hurls it, then it turns to water." (Thorsson)
The Old Icelandic Rune Poem is the most faithful to our ancient traditions than the other two and this must always be borne in mind. There may indeed be a case for a rewriting of the Rune Poems in order than their original heathen meanings be restored. In fact this has already been attempted by Edred Thorsson in the 'Fifth Door' of his The Nine Doors of Midgard, a book which is more than a book. It is a complete curiculum for the aspiring Rune Magician and an esoteric work which I highly recommend. This poem is simply titled A New Rune Poem and in my opinion is a valiant effort in restoring the meaning and lore of the 24 Rune Elder Futhark. Strangely he does not include the last five Runes of the Old English Rune Poem.
It is quite clear to me that Guido von List recognised that much of our ancient lore had been either lost or contaminated by xtian scribes. Clearly his 18 stave Armanen Rune row was an effort to restore and cleanse our Germanic lore and by equating it to the Havamal he succeeded in this respect. The Armanen Futhork is also a very folkish Rune row and would therefore appeal to those of us who are folkish and in particular of German descent. I see no reason though why we should not make use of all four systems and the mediaeval Runes as well which do not belong to a specific Rune row which I intend to discuss in a future article.
Thursday, 10 April 2014
I have been a practitioner of Rune Yoga for quite a few years now, mainly focussing on the Elder Futhark and the Armanen Futhork, although I intend to extend this practice also to the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc and Younger Futhark shortly. One thing until recently which I have neglected is the use of hand Mudras which supplement normal Rune Yoga. Indeed it can at times be a suitable alternative as the adoption of a Mudra may be done at any time and in place with little attention been drawn to the practitioner. Also for those of us who are getting older it may be a little easier to use unless like me you suffer from a hand tremor!!
Useful information about Mudras may be found in Edred Thorsson`s The Nine Doors of Midgard and also in Siegfried Adolf Kummer`s Runen-Magie, translated by Edred as Rune Magic so I do not intend to repeat the very same information here. One particular Mudra however may be used also as a secret sign of recognition between Armanists and Esoteric Wodenists and that is the Mudra for the Ar Rune.
Kummer has this to say about the Ar Rune:
"The a-Rune, Ar, Aar (eagle), the Eagle of the Sun, noble-man, Aryan, Arman, the Son of the Sun, Aar-fire=primal fire, the Son of God. Harmony=Ar-mony. Ar=acre (field). Ar-Arahari, the spiritual Sun; Arimann, the Sun-Man, the Aryan. The Ar-Rune is also the rune of the healer, the physician (Arzt). Numerical value 10.
Regarding the hand Mudra itself:
"......the Ar-Rune hand-sign which is performed right-handed and with the thumb bent downward as far as possible. Here through singing the a-a-a sound particularly electric energies are accumulated in the hand, so that the Runer feels a fine tingling and a gentle pricking in the thumb, the base of the thumb, and the hand center; the outstretched fingers begin to vibrate lightly. Thoughts or inner meditations are focused on receiving Ar-Fire and Solar powers. This sign particularly affects the forces of life, in a rejuvenating and strengthening manner. Drawing the power into the body produces a strong effect on the solar plexus. The astral color is silver-grey to bright grey-green."
Tuesday, 1 April 2014
The Northumbrian Futhorc contains 4 Runes not found in the Anglo-Saxon or Old English Rune Poem. These are Cweorth, Calc, Stan and Gar, the latter 3 being known as Grail or Gral Runes. Some writers also refer to Cweorth as being a Gral Rune but thus far I have seen no convincing arguments.
I have in previous articles linked the Calc, Stan and Gar Runes to 3 of the Hallows of the Irish Tuatha De Danann. Calc being associated with the Cauldron of the Dagda, Stan being associated with the Stone of Destiny and Gar being associated with the Spear of Lugh who is the Celtic equivalent in certain respects to Woden. Gar is of course also Gungnir and this 33rd and final Rune stands outside of and central to the 4 Aetts. Stylistically it incorporates within itself the 4 Aetts and represents the cosmic centre around which all the other Runes (and Gods) revolve. Gar can also be associated with the spear of Parsifal, the latter day Siegfried. Parsifal is the coming God-Man, the Arman and Sonnenmensch. Wagner intuitively felt this truth and this is why he produced Parsifal as the final music drama as it represents a continuation of the previous Der Ring des Nibelungen cycle. Wagnerian scholar Paul Schofield makes the case for such a link in The Redeemer Reborn. Parsifal as the Fifth Opera of Wagner`s Ring, 2007.
The Sword of Nuada may find its parallel in the Tiw Rune although this is not generally considered to be a Gral Rune but we must remember that when we are discussing the Runes along with Germanic and Celtic mythology what we have are the broken shards or remnants of a lost Hyperborean Aryan tradition which we are trying to piece together. There are mythological parallels between Tiw and Nuada which further strengthen this association.
It is interesting to consider that Cweorth has in fact 2 forms as a Rune stave, one of which closely resembles the Ear Rune which immediately precedes it. Meditating on this form of the stave I realised that there could indeed be a Gral connection for both Ear and Cweorth in its Ear type form resemble a tree. The Havamal in the Elder Poetic Edda tells us that Woden sacrificed Himself to Himself upon the world tree:
- "I know that I hung on a windy tree
- nine long nights,
- wounded with a spear, dedicated to Odin,
- myself to myself,
- on that tree of which no man knows
- from where its roots run.
- "No bread did they give me nor a drink from a horn,
- downwards I peered;
- I took up the runes, screaming I took them,
- then I fell back from there." (Larrington translation)
Thus we have a link between Cweorth and the 3 accepted Gral Runes. This represents not a Christian myth but a Kristian one. Woden is here represented as the Aryan Cosmic Krist crucified upon the World Tree, not for the pupose of `forgiving sins` but in order to seek and acquire knowledge.
Edred Thorsson writing in ALU, a Advanced Guide to Operative Runology, 2012 speculates that the "symbolic complex" of Calc-Stan-Gar may have its ultimate origins in the Aryan North Iranian tribe of Alans. Apparently the Romans settled a military contingent of Alans in northern England and southern Scotland. He draws a link between this tribe and the English surname of `Allen' or `Alan`. He states that the Alans are closely related to the Scythians who had a myth reported by Herodotus in the 5th century that at the origin of their tribe there fell from the sky a plow and yoke, a battle-axe and a cup. The Aryans are closely associated with agriculture and possibly the inventors of it as L.A. Waddell makes clear in his A Sumer Aryan Dictionary:
"This title Ar, Ari, Arya, or "Aryan", appears, as I have shown, to have originally designated the Early Aryans as "The Ploughmen" from the Sumerian Ar, Ara, "plough", which is now disclosed as the source of the Old English ear, "to plough, to ear the ground" and of "ar-able", etc.[See Ar, "plough" in Dict]. The Aryans are now seen to have been the traditional inventors of the plough and of the Agricultural Era of the World; and the sense of Ara or "the exalted ones" appears to have been used for this title when this gifted race became the rulers of the various aboriginal tribes-the Sumerian also gives the plough sign the meaning of "raise up, exalt" as the secondary meaning of ploughing as "the uplifting" of the earth[see Ara, exalt, in the Dict]."
This Scythian myth obviously tells us that they believed themselves as Aryans to be the inventors of agriculture. Likewise the battle-axe has its origins amongst the Aryan peoples as the myth relates. The cup of course alludes to the Gral myth. Edred points out that the 3 symbols of plow and yoke, battle-axe and cup relate to the 3 Dumezilian functions of the Indo-European caste system. The plow and yoke relate to fertility, the battle-axe relates to war and the cup relates to priestcraft. Likewise the stone (Stan) represents the earth and thus fertility/agriculture, the spear (Gar) war and the horn/cup (Calc) priestcraft.