Sunday, 11 May 2014

Wendhorn, the Rune of Turning and the Eternal Return



The Swastika as I have remarked upon before is primarily a polar rather than a solar symbol although it has over the course of time and the wanderings of the Aryans taken on this latter and subsidiary meaning.

The reason why it is so closely associated with the Aryan peoples is because of their original northern Thulean homeland, their Ur-heimat. Even when some of them migrated towards the southern hemisphere they took their lore and polar symbolism with them. This is why we see traces of the Swastika across many parts of the world.

Connected to the Swastika or Fylfot is the Irminsul or Caduceus which sustains it:

"If the swastika is the prime symbol of the Pole in its aspect as center of the celestial or terrestrial circle, then the caduceus is the prime symbol, in the West, of the World Axis that joins the two." (Arktos. The Polar Myth in Science, Symbolism and Nazi Survival, Joscelyn Godwin, 1996.) 

The Caduceus came into the possession of the Greek God Hermes (Roman equivalent: Mercury) who was compared by the Romans to our own Woden. I feel that this is significant for Woden is the master of travel (like Hermes/Mercury) between the nine worlds via His steed, the eight-legged Sleipnir. As Woden Initiates we emulate Him and seek to attain similar powers in travelling between different worlds or dimensions-or states of consciousness which we attempt to do via the spiritual disciplines of Rune Yoga, self-hypnosis and meditation.

It is no coincidence that the Aryan system of chakras or wheels are situated along the spinal column. It is via this column or world tree (Irminsul-YR-MAN-SOL) that we travel to experience new worlds (chakras/wheels) and attain varying states of consciousness and new experiences.

Elizabeth Goldsmith in her Ancient Pagan Symbols likens the Caduceus to the sacred Tau symbol, which as we know is associated with the Hammer of Thunor. Eugene Goblet d' Alviella in his The Migration of Symbols (1894) refers to the presence of this symbol on the monuments of the Aryan Hittites. However the latter writer considers it to be primarily a solar rather than a polar symbol.

Via the pole which connects the earth (Midgard) to Asgard the soul of the Arya travels prior to birth and after death of the physical body. This fact is represented symbolically by the 15th and 16th Runes of the Armanen Futhork, Man and Yr, representing life and death respectively. The fact that one follows the other in the Futhork sequence is significant in this regard.

The Arya chooses the moment of his birth or rebirth and the circumstances surrounding it. It is not by pure chance. One single physical lifetime may not be enough for us to fulfill our task, our mission. The Einheriar understands this and for that reason has no fear of physical death. It holds no terrors for him.

The Man Rune whilst signifying life, the shape of a man with outstretched arms to the Gods (the mode of prayer of Germanic man), is paradoxically more indicative of the soul which has left the physical body and is returning to Asgard, whilst the Yr Rune which signifies death ("Think about the end!")  is yet the soul travelling down from Asgard to the awaiting physical incarnation on Midgard. This teaches us that our physical incarnation in life is really a form of death-"in the midst of life we are in death", whilst our true abode is most definitely in the incorruptible home of the Gods, Asgard.

Here on Midgard we can see things only dimly, as through a veil but in Asgard we shall know and be known! In Virgil's Aenid the dead must drink from the waters of the river of forgetfullness, the river Lethe, in order that they can forget their previous incarnation in order to be reincarnated.Viktor Rydberg found a Germanic parallel to this myth as he writes in Teutonic Mythology Volume 1:

"In Saxo we find an idea related to the antique Lethe myth, according to which the liquids and plants which belong to the lower world produce forgetfulness of the past. Therefore, Thorkil (Thorkillus) warns his companions not to eat or drink any of that which Gudmund offers them. In the Gudrun song (ii. 21, 22), and elsewhere, we meet with the same idea. (Chapter 50)

In Chapter 51 of the aforesaid work Rydberg identifies Mimir as being the same person as Gudmund. 

The Man and Yr Runes are stylistically combined in the Wendhorn Rune. Nigel Pennick in his The Complete Illustrated Guide to Runes states regarding this Rune that:

"Everything goes in cycles, and Wendhorn reminds us that we must experience good and bad alike."

Surely life and death is part of the cycle of continuous Arising-Becoming-Passing Away-New Arising? The Woden Initiate should consciously take this Rune to be a sign of his own eternal becoming. Pennick relates this Rune to the changing phases of the moon and silver is its associated colour. Guido von List in his Das Geimnis der Runen, translated by Dr Stephen Edred Flowers (Edred Thorsson) as The Secret of the Runes refers to Wendhorn:

"The crescent moon as the 'Wendehorn' is, however, also the rune of Freya, who promotes childbirth."

He does not however include the Wendhorn in his Armanen Futhork. The German verb wenden means to turn. One could thus consider it to be a Bindrune of Man and Yr and a most powerful one at that.

1 comment:

Viking Queen said...

Excellent interpretation. I like your clear, concise explanation. Thank you.