Saturday, 3 October 2015

The Sixfooted Sunwheel

The Germanic Sunwheel takes many forms. One example is Der Sechsfuss (The Sixfooted Sunwheel). Walter Blachetta has this to say in his Das Buch der Deutschen Sinnzeichen:

"Der Sechsfuss ist das Bild der- fortschreitenden Entwicklung-,die dem Menschen in seiner Zeugungs-und Schöpferkraft durch Gott verliehen ist. Die hagal-Rune hat hier die Form der Bewegung erhalten. Besonders auf Geräten der germanischen Bronzezeit wurde oft der Sechsfuss angebracht."


"The Sixfoot is the image of progressive development-, which is bestowed on men by God in their creativity and creative power. The Hagal rune has here been given the form of movement. In particular the Sixfoot was often added to utensils in the Germanic Bronze Age."
It is interesting that Blachetta should make this link with the Hagal rune but I am sure that this symbol does predate the rune. The rune rows that we know today are survivals of a much larger and broader corpus of Germanic and Aryan symbols which indeed predate the Bronze Age and are part of the culture of the Neolithic period. It is also indicative of the ancient sun worship referred to by Caesar in his de bello gallica:

"The only things which they count as gods are things they can see and which clearly benefit them, for example, the Sun, Vulcan, and the Moon."(Book 6.21)

Of course we know that Caesar was wild off the mark here but Sun worship clearly was an aspect of early Germanic religion (as of many other peoples). Tacitus writing in the following century in his Germania gives us a more accurate and more uptodate pictures of Germanic religion. The Sun was personified as female in Northern Europe and She is referred to in Old Norse sources as Sol but in Old High German as Sunna. She is named in the 10th century Second Merseburg Charm:

Phol and Wodan were riding to the woods,
and the foot of Balder's foal was sprained
So Sinthgunt, Sunna's sister, conjured it.
and Frija, Volla's sister, conjured it.
and Wodan conjured it, as well he could:
Like bone-sprain, so blood-sprain,
so joint-sprain:
Bone to bone, blood to blood,
joints to joints, so may they be mended.