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.