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Slaughtz



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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Thu May 05, 2016 12:18 am

Facedown Burials Widely Used to Humiliate the Dead

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Burying the dead facedown in ancient times didn't mean RIP, according to new research that says the practice was both deliberate and widespread.

Experts have assumed such burials were either unusual or accidental.

But the first global study on the facedown burials suggests that it was a custom used across societies to disrespect or humiliate the dead.



The archaeologist highlights religious and cultural conflict as another potential factor.

The highest frequency of facedown burials in Sweden, for instance, dates to the period of the Viking age when Christianity arrived in the region, Arcini said.

Pagan Vikings may not have accepted those who converted to Christianity and may have buried the bodies in a way that reflected their dislike, she explained.


Rule-breaking nuns and convicted witches were also buried in prone positions, she added.
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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Thu May 05, 2016 5:50 am

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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Sun May 08, 2016 5:19 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Sun May 08, 2016 7:03 pm

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Lecouteux wrote:
"But what is to be said about all these little spirits of the land that in antiquity were labeled fauns, sylvan creatures, satyrs, and so forth, and which in the Middle Ages were called sprites, dwarves, incubi, and succubi? The interpretations of Lactantius and Saint Augustine combine to form a belief attested to by Martianus Capella in the fifth century:

"The places inaccessible to men are inhabited by a host of very ancient creatures who haunt woods, glades, and groves, and lakes and springs, and brooks; whose names are Pans, Fauns, Fontes, Satyrs, Sylvans, Nymphs, Fatui or Fantuae, or even Fanae."

In 658 the Synod of Nantes spoke of sacred trees and indicated that no one dared cut a branch or even a shoot, and the people, deceived by the devil, “worshipped the stones in ruinous places and in the forests.” A Carolingian sermon mentions “the sacred trees of Jupiter and Mercury,” a description that of course conceals other deities with only an extremely remote connection with the Roman gods whose names are being used here. However, Roman and Christian interpretation was omnipresent and covered up the indigenous traditions. The eighth-century Homilia de sacrilegiis (Homily on the Sacrileges) informs us that Christians observed the Neptunalia (July 23) near fountains, rivers, and the sea. The list of sites is completed by the Vita S. Eligii (Life of Saint Eligius), written in the seventh century by Audoin, who added the boundaries, borders, and crossroads where candles are lit and offerings made, something already indicated by Pirmin of Reichenau in an eloquent passage:

"Do not worship idols, stones, trees, remote places, wells, or the intersections of roads. Do not put yourself in the hands of enchanters, sorcerers, magicians, haruspices, seers, magicians, and spellcasters. Do not believe in the magical significance of sneezes, nor the superstitions connected with small birds, nor diabolical charms. Other than diabolical worship, what could such things mean as celebrating the Vulcanalia, the calends, plaiting laurel wreaths, paying attention to the position of the feet, splaying your hand on tree trunks, casting bread and wine into springs. . . . Do not hang at crossroads or in trees wooden replicas of human limbs. . . . No Christian shall sing songs in church, at home, or at the intersections of roads."

The Synod of Szabolcs (Hungary) in 1092 noted the existence of sacrifices to wells, and the treatise Ratio de cathecizandis rudibus (Reason to Catechize the Peasantry; written ca. 800 about the means of teaching the gospel to pagans) refers twice to sacrifices made in remote places (ad angulos). We also know that these ceremonies were accompanied by sacrificial meals. The Homily on the Sacrileges mentions the sacrifice of animals whose flesh was then eaten. These took place “on ancient altars and in sacred groves.” Charlemagne’s Capitulatio de Partibus Saxoniae (Capitulary for the Saxon Regions) from around 785 banned these banquets given “in the honor of demons.” We should take special care to avoid thinking that it was the object—the spring, tree, stone, and so forth—that was worshipped. This is a much too common error. No, it was the power dwelling within the object—the numen, spirit, demon—that was addressed. The Council of Agde expressly states that men believed a numinous being was residing in such places.

We should also avoid becoming bogged down in another error that is regularly repeated. Many scholars believe that the testimony of the ecclesiastical literature is not valid because it attributes a Roman paganism to the peoples of the medieval West and, moreover, that the content of the sermons and penitentials, the acts of councils and synods, in no way reflects reality because they are the product of a self-contained tradition that repeats the same things over and over. Each text is merely a copy of an earlier one and serves as the source from which the clerics in other lands draw their knowledge.

This is partially true, but if we compare these traditions with the accounts from the vernacular literature—which many historians often forget to do, rejecting such texts on the pretext that they are only unrealistic fantasies—we shall find that the catechetical texts are, like the narrative literature, a mirror, albeit a more or less distorted one, of reality. No cleric or writer ventured too far astray from reality; it fed their writings, for just as is the case today, no one invents what one does not know. Analyzing a passage from Pirmin of Reichenau’s Liber scarapsus, which I cited earlier, Philippe Walter has quite rightly drawn attention to this point:

"Contemporary reality is expressed here under the veil of an ancient culture that contributes to the blurring of certain specific features in order to dissolve them into an obsessional fantasy of universal paganism. It is, however, self-evident that certain practices condemned here must also have been actually observed by the abbot. When reading such a text we must therefore keep in mind that a screen of humanist culture and a topical condemnation was inevitably interposed between what is possible to see and the observer, whose concern was in no way parallel to the relative objectivity of the modern ethnologist."

The lives of the saints exalting Christianity’s victories over paganism (among other things) provide complementary information. The sacred trees fell to the axes of the men of God. Sulpicius Severus, bishop of Bourges (584–591), writes about how Saint Martin had a pine or pear tree near a sanctuary chopped down, “because it was dedicated to the devil.” Saint Barbatus (died 682), who  lived in Benevento under the rule of the kings Grimoald and Romuald, toppled the sacred tree where the Lombards hung the hides of slain animals, meat, and so forth. Saint Amateur (died 418), bishop of Auxerre, uprooted a pine tree on the branches of which the future Saint Germain had hung the heads of the wild animals he had killed hunting. In 725 Saint Boniface chopped down the sacred oak the Hessians worshipped in Geismar and in 772 Charlemagne destroyed the Saxon’s Irminsul. In Adam of Bremen’s Gesta ecclesiae Hammaburgensis pontificum (History of the Archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen), written around 1070, he provides a report about the pagan sanctuary of Uppsala:

"Near this temple stands a very large tree with wide-spreading branches, always green both winter and summer. What kind it is nobody knows. There is also a spring at which the pagans are accustomed to make their sacrifices, and into it they plunge a live man. And if he is not found, the people’s wish will be granted."

The waters also had their devotees. In the sixth century, Gregory of Tours described the worship dedicated to Lake Saint-Andéol in the Massif Central region of France:

"At a fixed time a crowd of rustics went there and, as if offering libations to the lake, threw [into it] linen cloths and garments that served men as clothing. Some [threw] pelts of wool, many [threw] models of cheese and wax and bread as well as various [other] objects, each according to his own means, that I think would take too long to enumerate. They came with their wagons, they brought food and drink, sacrificed animals, and feasted for three days. But before they were due to leave on the fourth day, a violent storm approached them with thunder and lightning. The heavy rainfall and hailstones fell with such force that each person thought he would not escape. Every year this happened this way, but these foolish people were bound up in their mistake."

Such examples are legion and can even be found into more recent times—coins were still tossed into Lake Saint-Andéol in the nineteenth century—even when heavily Christianized. So what were the pagans trying to accomplish through their sacrifices and prayers? At Lake Saint-Andéol, it was rain; elsewhere it was healing, as clearly stated by a Carolingian capitulary. Even if the texts generally remain quite discreet, it is relatively easy to see that the primary considerations were food and health. The hope was to have enough—enough water for the crops and enough sun for them to grow. They also wanted wild game to be plentiful. Neutrality or kindness was desired from the local spirits. People wanted the spirits to leave them alone, which is to say they did not want the spirits to send any illness with their invisible arrows, nor to pester the livestock.

Let us take a look at the Icelandic Landnámabók (Book of Settlements)—one version of which, the Sturlubók, was written by Sturla Thórðarson (1214–1284)—as it offers us a view of a still living paganism and its information matches that found in the clerical literature. Here is Thórir Snepill of Lundr: “He worshipped a grove of trees” (S 237). Here is Eyvind, the settler of Flateyardal: “He paid worship to the Stones-of-Gunnr” (S 241). Thorstein Red-Nose worshipped the waterfall near his home; on the night he died, all his sheep fell into the waterfall (S 255). There is a monster in one version of the Saint Óláf ’s Saga that is half-woman and half-whale; “The natives offer her sacrifices and regard her as a good protector of the land.”

The Christian laws (Kristenret) of the Gulaþing assembly in Norway condemn the pagans for “believing in the land spirits (landvættir) whether found in groves or mounds or waterfalls.” This is an extremely important observation because it tells us that worship was not addressed to the high gods of the Germanic pantheon, but to the numinous forces closer to man, which therefore held a greater significance for his daily life. The Gutalagen, the early lawcode of Gotland, scolds those who say prayers at the groves, tumuli, idols, and places surrounded by a fence (loca palis circumsepta). It also provides us with two interesting expressions: trúa á hult (“to believe in the hills”) and trúa á hauga (“to believe in the mounds”).

This also brings to mind what Tacitus said in his Germania about the ancient Germanic tribes:

“They consecrate woods and groves, and the mystery that they see only in their awe they call by the names of the gods.” And: “From their sacred groves they remove certain images and symbols that they carry into battle.”

In the Pharsalia, Lucan describes a sacred grove near Marseille that Caesar had destroyed as follows:

"A grove there was, untouched by men’s hands from ancient times, whose interlacing boughs enclosed a space of darkness and cold shade, and banished the sunlight from above. . . . On those boughs—if antiquity, reverential of the gods, deserves any credit —birds feared to perch; in these coverts wild beasts would not lie down; no wind ever bore down upon that wood, nor thunderbolt hurled from the black clouds; the trees, even when they spread their leaves to no breeze, rustled of themselves. Water, also, fell there in abundance from dark springs. The images of the gods, grim and rude, were uncouth blocks formed of felled tree trunks."

Adam of Bremen provides a similar description (I, 7) and he adds: “they even regarded with reverence leafy trees and springs.” The pagans, he says a little further on, “they prohibit only, to this very day indeed, access to their groves and springs which, they aver, are polluted by the entry of Christians” (IV, 18).  Around 1220, Oliver of Paderborn noted that the Pruthenes (ancient Prussians) worshipped the nymphs of forests and rivers, and, in the middle of the fifteenth century, Jerome of Prague stated they “worshipped trees sacred to demons,” especially oaks of great age. The Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks (Saga of Hervör and Heidrek) mentions the existence of a tree of sacrifices. Alcuin’s Vita Sancti Willibrordi (Life of Saint Willibrord) indicates that on the island where the Frisians worshipped the god Fo(r) site, “none of the natives would venture to meddle with any of the cattle that fed there nor with anything else, nor dare they draw water from the spring that bubbled up there except in complete silence.”  Among the Celts, the Ross Yew, the Mughna Oak, and the Uisnedr Ash attest to similar beliefs, and in France, until quite recently, processions were still made to the oak of Saint Quirin.

Several texts confirm the beliefs we have already encountered in the Mediterranean basin, Great Britain, and Germany. These texts are important because they cannot be relegated to the list of wonders and fantasies that were so abundant in the Middle Ages. One of the oldest accounts, that of Ari the Wise (Ari Thorgilsson; 1067–1148) to whom we owe the Íslendingabók, cites the Laws of Úlfljót, which stated:

"No ships adorned with wooden images of heads should be used on the open seas; however, if this rule was not followed, the image was at least to be removed before the ship made landfall so that it would not sail up to the shore with gaping head and beak and thus frighten the guardian spirits of the country."

The Book of Settlements says the same thing (H 268) and other texts—such as the Þórðar saga hreðu (Saga of Thord the Red) and Þorsteins þáttr Uxafóts (Tale of Thorstein Oxfoot)— corroborate this clear and specific testimony: every country has its spirits. When Egil Skallagrímsson attacks King Eirik Bloodaxe, he performs a magical operation intended to remove the protection of the local spirits from his victim:

Egil went ashore onto the island, picked up a branch of hazel and went to a certain cliff that faced the mainland. Then he took a horse head, set it up on the pole and spoke these formal words (formáli): “Here I set a pole of insult (níðstöng) against King Eirik and Queen Gunnhild”—then, turning the horse head towards the mainland—“and I direct this insult against the guardian spirits (landvættir) of this land, so that every one of them shall go astray, neither to figure nor find their dwelling places until they have driven King Eirik and Queen Gunnhild from this country. Next he jammed the pole into a cleft in the rock and left it standing there with the horse head facing towards the mainland, and cut runes on the pole declaiming the words of his formal speech (formáli). The spell was successful and King Eirik and his wife were soon forced to leave the country.

For those familiar with Norse traditions, it is obvious that the island is inhabited by local land spirits (landvættir) who can assume animal shape, a detail given copious illustration here and of major importance for comprehension of more recent folk beliefs and traditions in which quite often the local spirit is zoomorphic. This is the case, for example, with the Icelandic Vatnahestur, the Water Horse, a spirit that tends to lakes. But this vision of things can also be found elsewhere, and the Scottish kelpie is an exact equivalent of the Vatnahestur.

The multiplicity of forms assumed by land spirits clearly shows that they are primarily natural forces, numens that can incarnate in any creature or even any object they choose, either dwelling within it or possessing it. When this force wishes to show itself to human beings, it seems that it may be obliged to assume the appearance of a locally known creature, but its behavior or color clearly indicate that it is a supernatural being. Moreover, it suggests the paganism of ancient times: in the Þiðranda þáttr ok Þórhalls (Story of Thidrand and Thorhall), shortly before Iceland adopted Christianity, the seer Thorhall has a vision: “he sees how many graves have opened and leaving from them is all that lived there, large and small.” The underlying meaning is that these are land spirits (landvættir).

It is quite difficult to know today how various idols—whether German, Roman, or Celtic—discussed in the texts were represented, even if they were to be found everywhere. And there are some we need not consider, such as the Saxon Irminsul, which is a depiction of the cosmic tree (Yggdrasill in Scandinavian mythology) and thereore does not fall under the category of an idol since it primarily represents an axis mundi. The same probably holds true for many sacred trees, despite the fact that missionaries may have claimed such trees were sacred to a “great god.” The testimonies on this point are scarcely reliable and the fact that the “great god” in question is never named suggests that actually some other idol was being worshipped. It is also fairly difficult to know if the idols represented gods or land spirits. What do the twelve satellite stones of the Irish idol, Cromm Cruaich, which form a cromlech on the field of Mag Slecht, actually mean? The central idol Cromm Cruaich “gave peace and power to each of the provinces. . . . The brave Goidels worshipped it and asked it for good weather. . . . For it, without glory, they slew their first-born children. . . . They asked of it milk and wheat in return for their infants.”

It is certainly possible that land spirits and gods were associated with one another, at least this is what is suggested by the text preserved for us on an ex-voto. An inscription found in Mainz and dated 211 AD is addressed to the “Aufaniae goddesses and the protectors of the site” (et tutelae loci; CIL 13: 6665). Another inscription, dating from the second century, is dedicated “to great Jupiter and the spirit of the place (et genio loci; CIL 13: 7789). Siegfried Gutenbrunner’s precise, meticulous study of the inscriptions found in the German regions has shown that many gods or goddesses were inextricably connected with a specific place, and thus were originally land spirits. The goddesses Ahueccaniae, Aveha, and Helliseva were probably those of springs; the matrons Textumeihae and Mediotoutehae were the guardians of Pagus Textumis and Pagus Mediotoutus; the name Nemetocenna, associated with a city in Belgian Gaul, is derived from nemeton, meaning “sacred grove.”

Martin of Braga expressly says that the Neptunes of the sea, the Lamia of the rivers, the Nymphs of the fountains, and the Dianas of the forest are all “demons and evil spirits” (maligni daemones et spiritus). Burchard of Worms supplies one additional detail: these spirits that haunt houses, and to whom he gives the Roman names of satyrs and hairy ones, were the recipients of offerings intended to earn prosperity and wealth from them.

It is questionable whether we should take literally commands by clerics such as “You should not worship idols,” for that is a way of saying “do not be idolatrous,” meaning “do not practice any pagan worship.” A passage by Pirmin of Reichenau speaks in favor of this interpretation: “You must not worship the idols”—I underscore this term, which means, in fact, “false gods”—“nor on the stones, the trees, the nooks, and the wells.” Compare this tirade to that of a penitential: “If you come upon these places . . . namely, fountains, stones, trees, or crossroads.” What emerges from all this is the fact we must avoid the notion of idol that is the fruit of Christian interpretation, all the more so as we know, at least for the Germanic peoples, that the pagans did not depict their gods. It was the numinous powers of the place that were worshipped, and one penitential says that these practices occurred “for the veneration of the place” (pro veneratione loci)! Much earlier, Pliny the Elder wrote in his Natural History:

Once upon a time trees were the temples of the deities, and in conformity with primitive ritual, simple country places even now dedicate a tree of exceptional height to a god.

According to Tacitus (Germania, chap. IX), the ancient Germans “judge it not in accord with the greatness of the gods to confine them with walls or to liken them in appearance to any human countenance. They consecrate woods and groves.”

There are a great many parallels in classical antiquity. The Pelaspians worshipped numinous powers in the forest of Dodona. Numerous Greek temples had their own sacred grove and, we are told by Claudius Aelianus, the person who cut down even the smallest tree therein would be condemned to death. The Romans had their sacred service tree surrounded by a wall at the foot of the Palatine Hill. Not far from Rome, the Laurentians worshipped a wild olive tree that Virgil dubbed with a revealing name: “Faun of the Laurentians.” Cato the Elder tells us that before cutting trees, it is necessary to make a sacrifice and say a prayer beginning with: “If you are god or goddess . . .” This immediately brings to mind the verse by Ronsard:

Stay, woodsman, stay thy hand awhile, and hark—
It is not trees that thou art laying low!
Dost thou not see the dripping life-blood flow
From Nymphs that lived beneath the rigid bark?
Unholy murderer of our Goddesses.
If for some petty theft a varlet hangs,
What deaths hast thou deserved, what bitter pangs,
What brandings, burnings, tortures, dire distress!

The indeterminacy of the phrase recorded by Cato shows that it was a supernatural power, an as-yet-nameless entity that was being addressed. According to Thietmar of Merseburg, the pagan temple of Radegost (Rethra) was surrounded by a “vast forest, intact and venerable.” Around 1008, Wigbert destroyed the sanctuary of Zutibure (svetibor means “sacred wood”) and built a church on its site. The Venerable Bede tells how Coifi, the pagan priest of King Edwin of Northumbria, destroyed the local sanctuary. “He commanded his companions to destroy the temple with all its hedges” (destruere fanum cum omnibus septis). This site next took the name of Godmundingham, “home of the protectors of God.”

Today we assume these autochthonous “idols” were probably made in imitation. It has been long maintained that the ancient Germans were reluctant to depict their gods, and trees or posts, sometimes carved with a human head, served as images of the higher powers.* Incidentally, I would like to point out that Irminsul, the cosmic tree or pillar (axis mundi), is glossed in Latin texts as fanum and idolum, “sanctuary” and “idol,” which is hardly precise. I will note that these deities
are directly linked to the local land, and so intimately that if we rely on the epigraphy and research cited earlier by Siegfried Gutenbrunner, we can quite easily see in them individualized local spirits, numens given a name and who have a connection with the place they are protecting.

An inscription found near Xanten tells us that Septimus Flavius Severus founded a temple with trees for the Matres Quadruburgenses and the genius loci.  According to another inscription, Caius Tauricius Verus fulfilled his oath “to all the gods and all the goddesses, to the deae Vapthiae and to the genius loci”:

"In h. d. d. deab(us)q. omnib(us) Matribus Vapthiabus et Genio loco sacrum
C. Tauricius Verus bf. Cos. Pro se et suis v.s.l.m. posuit et dedi(cavit)."

On many inscriptions we find the spirits combined with gods, like to the Matrae Suleis (CIL 13, 31171), to Silvanus and Diana (CIL 13, 8492), and to the Ambiomarc(i)ae (CIL 13, 7789)."

Elsewhere we see names that could be those of female land spirits. The Alaferhuiae are designated as  “nymphs” (CIL 13, 7862), and Lobbo is called genius on stone tablets found in Utrecht. Other gods would seem to fall into the category of household spirits rather than that of land spirits. This is the case with the Matres Aufaniae (CIL 13, 8021), who, on an ex-voto of L. Maiorus Cogitatus, are combined with the guardian land spirits, tutelae loci (CIL 13, 6665), although the fania element of the name is assumed to have the meaning “swamp” (as in English “fen”). Some inscriptions reflect elements of the landscape, such as Sulevia with regard to the mountain (CIL 3, 1601 and 2, 1181), and the Junoniae (CIL 13, 8612) became, as we know, fairies in the Middle Ages, as did the Campestres (CIL 7, 1084). A more extensive investigation would undoubtedly turn up further confirmations.

It is, of course, quite difficult to form a more definitive judgment because the information is too laconic and rare, but I believe what we are faced with here is an amalgam, one all the easier to achieve in that time as first the Romans and then the Church used their own terms and concepts to describe and absorb the indigenous beliefs.

Moreover, the borders are blurred between natural creatures, the small spirits of folk mythology, and—since the major pagan gods were no longer actively worshipped—those beings that are hidden behind the names of Jupiter (Thor, Donar), Mercury (Odin), and Neptune. We do not know if what we see involves the elevation of a spirit to the rank of a god or the downgrading of a god into a demon (in the Greek sense of the word), or again the individualization of the hypostasis of a member of the pagan pantheon. The convergence between mother-goddesses and local land spirits could quite simply be the result of the syncretism of different forms of one and the same belief. The study of place-names can add some elements to help us evaluate all these facts.

The whole of the medieval West is teeming with theophoric names. Here are a few examples:

Lugdunum (France, Lyon) from Lugh, the well-known Celtic god; Odensakr (Norway) “Odin’s Field”; Froyle (England), constructed from Fro/Freyr, Germanic god of the third function (fertility/fecundity); Narvik (Norway), “Njord’s Bay,” named after the god who is the father of Freya and Freyr. In short, we can find as many names of this sort as we can find places today named after Saint Martin, Saint Dennis, or Saint Michael. Thanks to philology, we now know that Oslo means “Sacred grove of the Aesir” (Aslundr), and that Lugdunum means “Hill of the god Lugh.” But some names do not reflect the physical geography, nor high mythology, nor Christianity. They do not derive from family names, nor do they commemorate some event. Here is where things start to become interesting.

In order to narrow the focus, I have chosen German place-names as references. Alongside names that are self-explantory such as Heilighberc (“Sacred Mountain,” attested in 816), Heiligbrunno (“Sacred Spring/Fountain,” attested 823), Heiligenforst (“Sacred Forest,” ca. 1065), or Sacrum nemus (“Sacred Grove,” eleventh century), we find others in which a physical element is connected with a spirit or demon. Although less numerous, names like this include Scratinpach (eighth century) and Scratinberge (1120), which mean “Schrat’s Stream” and “Schrat’s Mountain,” respectively (the Schrat is a creature that has been made into a dwarf but is comparable, all in all, to the Weeper of the Jura region). A Thurse is a giant of Germanic mythology and we similarly find Thursinruth, the “Clearing of the Thurse,” and Turssental (1131) and Tursinberch (1158), the “Vale” and the “Mount” of the T(h)urse, respectively. There is Wihtungen that can be translated as “the Dwarves,” with the understanding that wiht is an all-purpose word used to designate supernatural creatures whose name one dares not speak aloud. The devotion given to stones is attested by the place-name Wihestaine (twelfth century), the “sacred” or “consecrated stones”; and likewise for forests with Wihinloh (901), streams and rivers with Wigbeke (1007), and the mountains with Wihenberc (in all these place-names, the first element wih/wig means “to make sacred, to sanctify”). From a name like Wichtlisperc (1111) we can infer that the mountain in question was reputedly inhabited by creatures related to dwarves, a wihtlîn (little wight) being synonymous with a zwerc (dwarf).

In the British Isles we find the place-names Puclan cyrce (946), “Pucel’s Church”; Pokin Tuna (1201), “Puck’s Yard”; and Pokerich (1314), “Puck’s Stream.” Puck, diminutive form Pucel (the Norse puki and the German puk), can refer to a revenant as well as a demon and a dwarf, but its meaning stabilized around the eleventh century and became consistent with that of “dwarf.” Shakespeare features a certain Puck by the side of Oberon in his A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In Scandinavia, a close look at the sagas gives us place-names like Tröllaskogr, “Forest of the Trolls”; Trollahals, “Troll Ridge”; Trollaskeid, “Path of the Trolls”; and in the Shetland Isles we find Thursasker, “Reef of the Thurse.” In France, the toponymy of the Franche-Comté region carries traces of Guyon, the name of an evil spirit connected with boulders who may be identical with the Celtic Gwyllion.

Although they may not be as common, it is readily apparent that these names are quite comparable to those found in French localities that reveal dracs, fairies, and ladies, especially near springs and fountains. Local land spirits have left many traces, such as in Belgium where the most common representatives are the Lutôn and the Duhôn, which can be traced back to an ancient Gallic divine entity named Dusios. The Breton spirit called a tuz, diminutive form tuzik, is also related to Dusios.

The evidence from ancient names is quite scarce for three reasons: the Romans rebaptized local spirits with names coming from their culture; the Church often substituted the names of the saints for the older names; and the studies of place-names are essentially devoted to finding the names of gods and therefore don’t focus attention on the place-names that refer to other creatures. We will now leave the Germanic-Scandinavian area for the Roman world, and to do so, let us consider the case of Silvanus, who was Christianized as Saint Silvanus (Sylvain in French).

Silvanus is regarded as the spirit of the fields and flocks, forests and plantations (Silvanus agrestis), as well as the guardian of boundaries (Silvanus orientalis) and homes (Silvanus domesticus). According to the fragments of a Roman surveyor’s journal, the Silvanus orientalis was placed at the edge of the fields, in a sacred grove (in confinio lucus positus). He was given the title “salutary” (salutaris) because he was considered a benefactor. Etymologically speaking, he is a spirit of the forests (silva) and even, probably, their numen, as the Indo-European suffix -no, which is part of the name, implies sovereignty.*

First and foremost, then, Silvanus means “Master of the Forest.” This is what Stacius and Servius claim. According to Horace, offerings of milk and fruit were given to him. Today it is accepted that Silvanus was a spirit of the wooded land bordering on clearings. We know he had a temple on the Aventine Hill in Rome, and another near the Viminal Hill. A great number of altars dedicated to him have been discovered, but his true sanctuary is the forest and the devotion surrounding him came entirely from the common folk.

The variety of his functions are evident in the epithets that are attached to his name. While “holy,” “unvanquished,” “happy,” “heavenly,” “father,” and “guardian” are all rather general, the compounds ending in -fer are eloquent. Pecudifer, lactifer, glandifer, poncifer, cannabifer, linifer mean, respectively, “He who encourages the reproduction of the flocks,” “He who produces milk,” “He who produces acorns, “He who produces fruits,” “He who makes the hemp grow,” and “He who makes the trees grow.” This is an agrarian deity or spirit, and Isidore of Seville named him rusticorum deus, “god of the peasants” (Etymologiae, VIII, 11, 81). Lavedan, who provides a rich iconography of this figure, thinks that “the primitive kind of Sylvain was probably a tree or stump. Pliny informs us that this was the case with the image of the god erected beneath a fig tree in front of the Temple of Saturn.”

Silvanus followed the Roman army in its conquests and by virtue of his wild (or rustic and silvicultural) nature he assimilated the local spirits and even the gods. We know, for example, that he was integrated with Sucellus, the god of the mallet. He did not banish the indigenous deities but coexisted with them, which is often indicated in the label affixed to him and which connects him to a specific place. We find a Silvanus Poeninus in Tirnovo (Bulgaria), a Silvanus Cocidius near Hadrian’s Wall in Britain, and a Silvanus Sinquatis in Géromont (Belgium). In Spain we see a Silvanus Caldouelicos who guards hot springs.

The spread of Silvanus’s popularity in the following period is attested by Christian anthroponomastics. According to the Benedictines of Paris, who compiled lives of the saints, there were nineteen named Sylvain (Silvain) and four named Sylvester, whose commemoration corresponded with carnival-related times of the year (February, May, August, November, and year’s end). The feast day of Saint Sylvester falls on December 31. Is it mere coincidence that this date was once one on which men disguised themselves in costume as wild animals, which was violently condemned by preachers?

In turn, the saints gave their names to human settlements, a process that may have been encouraged by the local presence of a spirit that had already been merged with Silvanus. In France this gives us Saint-Silvain in the Calvados, Corrèze, Creuse, and Maine-et-Loire regions; a Saint-Sauvant in Charente-Inférieur; a Saint-Sauvent in Vienne; a Saint-Sauves in Puy-de-Dôme; a Souvignardes (Silvinianicus) in the Gard; and a Sauvagnon (Sylvanius) in the lower Pyrenees. Thus when we encounter names like silvanus, faunus, pilosus, and so on in medieval Latin texts, it is essential to remember that most of the time these are concealing local spirits. Below are some examples. Here is what Burchard of Worms wrote in his Decretum around 1010:

"Hast thou made little child’s bows and child’s shoes, and hast thou cast them into thy storeroom or thy barn, so that satyrs and fauns [my italics] might play with them in this very place in order that they might bring to thee the goods of others so that thou shouldst be made rich?"

Notker the Stammerer speaks of a Hairy One (pilosus) that haunts a forge, but he also calls it a Larva. At the beginning of the thirteenth century, Gervase of Tilbury wrote:

"Many are those who, in their own experience, have seen Silvains, that are called incubi and which the French call Duses (Dusii), and Pans."

What we have seen regarding Silvanus can be extended to other rustic female creatures who are simply called agrestes foeminae, sylvaticae, and Matres Campestres, a definition encompassing nymphs, dryads, Diana, and Dictynne, as well as indigenous spirits. In Germany, sylvatica is regularly translated as “woman of the wood” (holzwîp), and dryad by “weeper of the wood” (holzmuowa). Diana and Dictynne were grouped together under the generic term of agrestes foeminae, which corresponds to the locution “wild women” in Middle High German. Glosses and translations indicate that in many cases indigenous elements matched those that came from the Roman world.

In fact, all the information strongly points to a single truth: regardless of the people and the time period in question, the world is peopled by creatures that bear many different names. In short, the great god Pan is not as dead as has been claimed!" [Demons and Spirits of the Land]

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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Sun May 08, 2016 7:10 pm

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Lecouteux wrote:
"In the Germanic-Scandinavian realm, local land spirits are called landvættir (plural), but they are often commingled with elves (álfar), giants (thurses and trolls), and even with the dead as well as with the Dísir, ancient deities of the third function. In recent times in Iceland it was still believed that the “Stones of the Land Dísir” (Landdísarsteinar) were the home of the genii loci.

These land spirits were merged with elves since the latter had also been confused with dwarves and therefore lost, long before the year 1000, their nature as helpful beings. It should not be forgotten that elves were worshipped. Prayers and sacrifices were offered to them in exactly the same way as to local spirits. The Church demonized elves for this reason by making them into malevolent and deadly dwarves and emanations of Satan, as I have shown before. They are confused with the giants who live in wild areas, and with the dead who spend their lives beyond the grave inside the mountains.

The “dweller in the mountain” (bergbúi) is for this reason sometimes a dead soul and sometimes a giant. All of these beings were commingled in a process of collective anathematization and became demons. A runic staff from Bergen (Norway), which could date from 1200, offers evidence of these depreciations:

I carve the runes of remedy,
I carve the runes of protection,
Once against the elves,
Twice against the trolls,
Thrice against the thurses.

A curse that is recounted in the Bósa saga ok Herrauðs (Saga of Bósi and Herraud), which probably dates from earlier than the twelfth cen tury, says:

May trolls and elves
and wizard-norns,
the dwellers [of holes, rocks, and so on]
and the giants of the mountains (bergrisar)
burn your hall.
May the frost thurses rend you!

These two texts provide a good glimpse of the individuals haunting the world of this period. In the third verse, the plural “dwellers” (búar) is a collective noun designating all the spirits (Norse vættir; Middle High German wihte) inhabiting nature. Moreover, the Bergen amulet and the saga are useful in showing us the merger that took place between different creatures that the Church simply designated with the cover term troll, which came to mean “demon” and “devil.”

The historical Icelandic Book of Settlements provides the following information:

"Because of his popularity, sacrifices were offered to Grim once he was dead and he was nicknamed kambann. (H 19)"

One detail reveals that a man venerated in this way was not an ordinary deceased individual:

“Einar lived in Laugarbrekka; he was buried beneath a tumulus . . . and his mound is always green, in winter and summer alike(S 75)."

Thanks to the Gísla saga Súrssonar (Saga of Gisli Súrsson), we learn what this means. Thorgrim’s tumulus remains green: “The people thought that their offerings had attracted the good graces of the god Freyr who did not want him to be cold”. In the Ketils saga hængs (Saga of Ketil Hængr) sacrifices are mentioned being made to a mound that the snow never covers.

The good dead individual therefore becomes, among other things, a conduit between the living and the higher powers. Such deification is a theme that can be found in the first chapter of the Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks (Saga of Hervör and Heidrek) and in the Bárðar saga Snæfellsáss (Saga of Bárðr Snæfellsáss). The details given in the latter text make it quite interesting; when Bard vanished, it was believed he had gone into the Mountain of the Snows—the inside of mountains is one form of the beyond—and prayers were made to him as if he were a god (heitguð). He was called “mountain spirit” (bjargvættr) and is nicknamed the “God of the Snaefell” (Snaefellsáss). It should be noted that a figure deified in this manner is intrinsically linked to a specific place.

It is undeniably clear that the dead individual becomes a tutelary spirit of a specific location. In the Celtic sphere, the Triads in the medieval Welsh manuscript Llyfr Coch Hergest (Red Book of Hergest) say that the head of Llyr’s son, Bran the Blessed, was hidden in the White Hill of London with its head turned facing France. As long as it remained in that position, the Saxons could not oppress the island. The remains of Gwerthefyr (Guorthemir) the Blessed were hidden in the principal ports of this island and so long as they remained concealed there was no fear the Saxons would invade the country. Pomponius Mela tells how the Philaeni brothers had themselves buried beneath a dune to ensure Carthage took possession of a contested territory and, certainly, in order to become tutelary spirits. The place took the name of Arae Philaenorum.

It is safe to say that after a certain stretch of time nothing remains of the good dead individual except his aspect as a spirit. Time eventually banishes his name and deeds from memory. Later there occurs a merging between local spirits and the deceased. This type of merger is still detectable in Scandinavian folk beliefs collected in the nineteenth century. One legend records the following: a peasant gave offense to a genius loci (gardvord, literally a “guardian of the estate”) and the narrator of the tale remarks:

“He should not have done so because the gardvord is the soul (or the spirit or ghost: attrgangaren) of the man that cleared that land where the house stands, so he should be honored and respected.”

This amalgam came about on two levels, in my opinion: 1) the local spirits and the dead worthy of offerings were merged with elves by virtue of the latter’s beneficial nature and their habitat; 2) all were the object of agrarian and/or domestic worship, and they were therefore demonized by the Church and merged with the dwarves, creatures reputedly malevolent and dreadful. Since these creatures also lived in the natural wild, it was easy for churchmen toiling for the greater glory of God (ad maioram Dei Gloriam!) to incorporate them with spirits, if only by virtue of the Augustinian principle according to which pagans worshipped demons. This shift in meaning—which was a brilliant move because it played upon an already existing opposition among the indigenous people between spirits/the dead/beneficial elves, and malefic dwarves—was quite prominent in the national lexicons of the Middle Ages, especially in the Germanic lands where the scribes were indifferent in their use of the names corresponding to elf, dwarf, and spirit. An example of this drift is provided by alp (elf), which became the name of the nightmare, a substitution that speaks for itself.

Although the evidence for it is much more sparse, it is not impermissible to think that these mergers were also facilitated by the lumping together of the dangerous dead and evil spirits (meinvættir). If the good deceased became a good spirit, why couldn’t the evil deceased—someone whose death took place under strange circumstances, or who had been a wizard, seer, or who had been a terror to his neighbors because of his asocial and brutal nature—become a demon? A passage from the Icelandic Book of Settlements deserves our attention:

"Ölvir, son of Eysteinn, took the land east of the Grimsá. No one had dared settle this area because of the land spirits since the time Hjörleif had been slain. (S 330)"

It so happens that Hjörleif had been treacherously murdered by his slaves, which means, according to the thinking of the ancient Scandinavians, that he had the right to avenge himself and thus return from the grave. Another hypothesis is conceivable: he had made an alliance with the land spirits of the area in which he settled, and they would not accept intruders. A second clue corroborates the fact that the evil dead are dangerous. People got rid of their corpses by burying them in remote locations, far from the passage of men and livestock. This is what was done with the body of Thorolf Halt-Foot in the Eyrbyggja Saga, and the danger that such corpses pose is often indicated in the place-name. The place where Olaf Tryggvason had sorcerers drowned was called Skrattasker, “Sorcerers’ Reef,” but skratti, which we encountered above in its German form schrat, also designates malevolent spirits that live in the wild. The place where Hallbjörn Whetstone-Eye was buried is called Skrattavardi, “Sorcerers’ Cairn.”

It should not be forgotten that the deceased are never truly dead and can take action from their graves. Saxo Grammaticus tells of the setbacks suffered by those who tried to violate Baldr’s tumulus. The guardian spirits of the site struck them with terror and sent them fleeing. When they finally managed to open the tomb, a torrent of water gushed out. In his analysis of this passage, Paul Hermann pointed out that the deceased was behaving both as a spirit and a mound-dweller (haugbúi).

Even at the beginning of the twentieth century, the Swedish Lapps (Sámi) avoided erecting their tents over spots where death had occurred for fear of disturbing the sleep of the dead or prompting their vengeance, as the spirits of the dead were believed to settle in these spots. This precaution was all the more justified as the dead had long been buried on mountains and in forests, even though cemeteries had come into general use since around 1641.

In fifteenth-century Germany, dangerous areas were called unsteten (singular: unstete), which were described as being “places of uncertainty” (loca incerta). “When someone who walks there is struck by a sudden illness or feel pains in his limbs, the ignorant say: ‘He has gone over an unstete.’” It is claimed that the land spirit has punished him for having violated its sanctity (et quia is sanctus sit, genius loci illum punisse)." [Spirits of the Land]

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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Sun May 08, 2016 7:29 pm

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Lecouteux wrote:
"In classical antiquity as well as in the Middle Ages, the virgin spaces that people wished to settle upon prompted prudence. Every colonization, settlement, and addition of a place to the civilized domain was therefore accompanied by rites that conferred a different sanctity to the space being appropriated and gave its owner legitimacy. If these rites were not heeded, the inhabitants of the place in question would treat the newcomers as intruders and threaten their livelihood, their mental health, and even their lives. Furthermore, the conquest was never definitive and whenever a farm, hamlet, temple, chapel, or castle was abandoned, it fell back into the power of the local land spirits.

In hagiographic texts, the local land spirits most often take the form of monsters, but some details make it possible to see what they are disguising. Demonized, they turn into those dragons that the saints vanquish or drive away. A highly symbolic beast, the dragon represents paganism by virtue of something the Bible says—all that crawls is unclean (Leviticus 11:42)—but it is also the materialization of natural forces. When Krakow in Poland was founded, Graccus, the civilizing hero, had to slay a dragon that haunted Wawel Hill, and to do so he resorted to a ruse once used by Alexander the Great: he placed a bull full of poisonous substances near the beast’s lair. Sometimes the monster lives at the border of the town and receives a sacrifice of men or animals every year until some holy man comes to put a stop to it.

The expulsion of the dragon is a civilizing act and not only a Christian one. The threat it poses to humans is eliminated.

Local land spirits are only driven away by a sacred force that is superior to the powers they have at their disposal. In the romances and in the less Christianized Norse texts, rites persist in which the heroes act as civilizing figures who expand the boundaries of cultivated land and cause the virgin, wild spaces to recede. These wild spaces are truly the last refuge of the spirits.

It is in the Germanic-Scandinavian countries that the rites accompanying the taking possession of a piece of land are most clear.

Initially, the colonists who travelled to Iceland entrusted the god they worshipped with the task of indicating the site of their future settlement. As they neared the shore, they threw the posts of the high-seat, which they had brought with them from their former home, overboard. The high-seat was the seat of honor reserved for the use of the master of the house, and it was often carved with the image of a god. As an example, we may take a look at what Ingolf did. He began by consulting the auguries after having performed a sacrifice and learned that he needed to move to Iceland. He fitted out his ship and set sail. “When he spied land, he threw the posts of his high-seat into the water ‘for luck’ (til heilla) and said that he would live wherever they came ashore. He claimed the land at this spot, which was now called Ingólfshöfði” (S 8 ).

The gods are not the only ones who can decide where humans can settle; the dead can do so as well. Before dying on the boat carrying him to Iceland, Kveldulf (whose name means “Evening Wolf ”) asked that his coffin be tossed into the sea and for his son to build his house a short distance from the place where his body came ashore. As we saw earlier, the dead become a conduit between men and the supernatural powers. Continuing to live in their graves, they can help the living and foil the plots of their enemies. It is not rare to come across remarks like the following in the Laxdæla Saga:

“I wish to be buried in Skáneyjarfjall,” said Odd as he died, “from there I can see the entire region.”

The underlying meaning is that “there I will be able to keep an eye on my family’s doings.” Once the home site has been chosen, it is time for the rite of taking possession of the soil, and there are several rituals for this purpose. We may look at the example of Ævarr. He goes back up the Blandá, and when he reaches the place called Mobergsbrekkur, he sticks a large staff into the ground and declares that this is where his son Véfröd will build his house. This is a common action and can be seen in the place-names. Thórolf Mostrarskegg claims the land between the Stafá (River of the Staff) and the Thórsá (Thor’s River). Rodrek, Hrosskell’s slave, takes possession of the land by “sticking in the ground his staff that has been freshly stripped of bark,” which is called landkönnud, meaning “settlement mark” (S 194). One might also be satisfied, like Náttfari, to make marks on the trees (S 247), but since this individual is later expelled from his lands, we can deduce that this approach is not truly according to ritual. As Jacob Grimm points out elsewhere, however, the marking of trees sets the boundaries for a sacred space. It is possible that the use of wood refers to tree worship.

Sæmund follows another rite. He takes possession of his lands by “carrying fire around his land-claim” (S 189). This mysterious turn of phrase is illuminated thanks to another passage from the Book of Settlements: “Önund shot a flaming arrow over the river and thereby consecrated the land to the west and lived between the rivers” (S 198). The Víga-Glúms saga says the same thing.

Helgi the Lean colonized all the Eyjafjord between Sigluness and Reynisness, and made a large fire at the spot where the lake spilled into the sea every year, “thereby consecrating the entire fjord between the capes” (H 184).

Fire allegedly drives away land spirits because it is connected to the sun, which is the enemy of chthonic creatures. It petrifies dwarves, for example, and is the absolute master of natural forces. Two common sayings express this fact: fara með eldi at fornum sið ok nema sér land (to go with fire according to the ancient custom and take the land), and fara (um) land eldi (walk the circumference of the land with fire). King Harald Fairhair may have been the one who codified the rites called eldvigning, “consecration by fire,” but they preexisted him. The Book of Settlements (H 294) states:

"The king stipulated that none should take land that he could not travel across in one day with fire and his equipage. The fire had to be kindled when the sun was in the east; it was necessary to build fires from place to place so that the last could be seen from the next, and the fires that were made when the sun was in the east had to burn until nightfall. Next they had to walk to where the sun hung in the west and make more fires."

The act of taking possession of land therefore took from sunrise to sunset. In this regard, Régis Boyer notes that the worship of fire in the northern regions was paralleled by a worship of light, which dispersed spirits of all kinds. This point is made strikingly clear in the Guta saga (Saga of the Gotlanders):

"Gotland was first discovered by a man named Thjelvar. At this time, Gotland was an enchanted island (elvist, “elfen”) that sank during the day beneath the waves and surfaced at night. This man was the first one to bring fire to the island and it has not sunk since that time."

Jean-Marie Maillefer remarks that “it is tempting to compare the name of Gotland’s first colonist, Thjelvar, which is rare and only attested in Swedish anthroponymy by a runic inscription of Östergötland (Ostrogothia), with the name Thjalvi, servant of the god Thor, whose characteristic natural element is fire and whose traditional role is to fight against the forces that are foreign to the human world.” In the Saga of Víga-Glúm.

There are simpler ways to appropriate the land than the one just described. In numerous charters, the most important passages of which Jacob Grimm collected in his Deutsche Rechtsalterthümer (German Legal Antiquities), taking possession of land could also be achieved by throwing a hammer, which, as we know, is the attribute of the god Thor. This was the case in 1360 in the archbishopric of Mainz. On the boundaries defined this way, the sign of the hammer would be carved according to the Saga of Haakon the Good. An axe can also be used when it involves setting the boundary of a forest or a body of water, a rite attested in 1121 and 1306. Many centuries earlier, the legal code of the Bavarii, Lex Baiuwariorum, mentioned a great axe in the following rite. If a farm is not enclosed (cinctus), someone contesting the boundary shall toss a great axe at noon toward the east and toward the west. It is forbidden to do this toward the north: no hedge can be placed there; the shadow will mark the border (XI, 6, 2).

I will remind the reader in passing that in the legend of Romulus, possession of the land was established by a spear toss on the Palatine Hill. In the legend of Saint Gonçalo of Amarante, the choice of the building site was chosen by the play of the saint’s staff, and in a rite of Terminatio perpetuated in Catalonia by Miguel de Iranzo in 1407, the setting of the boundaries (limites) was decided by casting a spear. Casting spears or hammers is a means of intimidating the spirits, equivalent to a declaration of war—or at the very least it is a manifestation of the will of the colonist who, strengthened by his own gods or by his own “luck,” as the ancient Scandinavians termed it, has no doubts about achieving his ends.

A flaming arrow (Old Icelandic tindrör) could be shot over coveted territory. It was also possible to combine several means of taking possession. The Book of Settlements describes a group of these that has no equivalent elsewhere in the text:

"Einar and his two brothers, Vestmad and Vémund, buried an axe in the Reistargnúp, which was consequently renamed Ax Fjord. They placed an eagle on high in the West and called this spot Eagle’s Tuft; at a third spot they placed a cross, and called this place Cross Ridge. In this way they consecrated the entire Ax Fjord."

Other passages in the Book of Settlements emphasize the duration of the operation: it takes two to three days. It seems that this difference is explained by the then existing legislation that decreed a difference between men and women. According to the directives of King Harald Fairhair, a woman marked off the boundaries of her future domain by leading a two-year old heifer, which implies a slow pace. It so happens that in the Book of Settlements, one passage implies the land can be circumscribed by riding a mare. Vébjörn marks off his plot from Horse Fjord to a piece of land called Folafótr (“Foal’s Foot”), which would confirm the legend of Saint Andreas.

In every case, there are two sacred forces that opposed each other: the original sacred power, represented by the land spirits, and the sacred power of the colonist. It cannot be doubted that all these acts involved the application of a sacred ritual, as the recurrence of the verb “to consecrate” (heilla) clearly indicates. The individual is therefore seeking in fact to substitute one sacred power (for example, that of the god who guides the colonist’s steps) for another (that of the unsettled lands ruled by their masters, the land spirit masters). The rite of possessing a piece of land seeks to drive the spirits outside the marked off space. The landvættir are thereby obliged to tolerate the colonist’s presence on their lands; their power has been dispelled but, as we shall see, that does not mean they have vanished. They even retain some power as they can bring prosperity and become household spirits, but they regain all their destructive capabilities if the rites are no longer respected.

From what we have seen, it is clear that taking possession of a piece of land often included a circumambulation, which is first and foremost a circumscription. In other words, this means that the notion of the circle, whether a perfect one or not, is of the highest importance.

The rites of circumambulation need to be read on two levels. They involve the protection of the circumscribed space against external forces—the land spirits whose ownership of the land predates that of the human settler—and also confirm the unique sacredness of a piece of land. This sacredness can be based on the presence of a god or, as was the case for Christians, the presence of a saint or a holy relic. It can also be based on the presence of a tamed spirit or that of a dead individual —often the first colonist, who has returned as a guardian spirit. The circumambulation is one of the oldest forms of establishing ownership of a piece of land and has a value equivalent to that of a legal writ. We keep in mind, however, that in this older period law and religion were inseparable.

Some of the oldest evidence we have concerns the history of the founding of Rome. Romulus and Remus followed the omens, in this case the flight of the vultures. Then, when they decided upon the Palatine Hill, which was held by Romulus, he drew the outer boundaries of the future city with a plow harnessed to two oxen. We know what happened next. Remus scoffed at this enclosure, an easily crossed ditch, leapt over it, and Romulus slew him for this sacrilege. In fact, this ancient Italic rite was a consecration ritual. According to other traditions, the plow had to be pulled by a white bull and a white cow. Titus Livy (II, 5) tells us that Horatius Cocles was given ownership of the fields that he surrounded with a furrow in one day (uno die circumararit). It so happens that this furrow, the mundus, formed the meeting point between the lower realms and the earthly world, as Mircea Eliade saw so clearly. “When the mundus is open it is as if the gates of the gloomy infernal gods were open,” says Varro (cited by Macrobius, Saturnalia I, 16, 18)."

François Delpech notes that during the nineteenth century in Catalonia a similar rite existed to the one used in the founding of Rome. The text on which he bases his claim states:

"In Gelida, until the last half of the last century, when it was necessary to build a house, the perimeter it required was marked out by a furrow drawn by a plow. The furrow was not one continuous line; the plow would be lifted up at the places where the doors would go. It was believed that if this was not done, the house would collapse."

Catalan traditions also say that the town of Villareal was founded by King James I of Aragon, “who personally used a plow to mark out the contours of the city and its streets with furrows.” There is another rite from this same province that is worth noting:

"In Cardadeu, there was a family whose heir, on the afternoon of Carnival Sunday, plowed the square to indicate his ancient claim of ownership over the village."

This is no less than a renewal of a rite for taking ownership of a land.

Furthermore, every sacred building was laid out according to a specific rite. A team of oxen opened furrows at the four points of a square starting at the southern side and working their way around it in a carefully defined order and direction. Moreover, the priests who read the auspices and auguries, after having divided up the celestial region (regions caeli) with the help of a curved staff, “freed and declared empty” the future building site. “What is then inaugurated is put in communication, in an effective symmetry, with the heavens . . . ; what is not inaugurated remains essentially earthbound,” notes Georges Dumézil. “The Italic temple,” says Eliade, “was the zone where the upper (divine), terrestrial, and subterranean worlds intersected.”

Snorri Sturluson twice tells the story of Gefjon who, in mytho logical times, took possession of the land that today forms the Danish island of Seeland:

"As reward for the entertainment she had given him, Gylfi, king of Sweden, granted a woman named Gefjon “as much farm land in his kingdom that four oxen can plow in one day and night. . . . She went to Jötunheimr [Giant-land] in the north for four oxen— which were her own sons conceived with a giant—and yoked them to a plow. They went forward so powerfully and dug so deeply, that an entire piece of land became detached. The oxen dragged it west toward the sea. . . . There Gefjon anchored the land and gave it a name: she called it Seeland. (Gylfaginning, chap. 1)"

In the Saga of the Ynglings, Snorri indicates that Odin sent Gefjon in search of new lands.

“She came to King Gylfi, and he gave her a ploughland. Then she went to Giant-land and there bore four sons to some giant. She transformed them into oxen and attached them to the plough and drew the land westward into the sea, opposite Óðin’s Island [Odense], and that is [now] called Selund [Seeland], and that is where she dwelled afterwards.”

Many texts that are of a strictly legal nature describe the appropriation of land by similar actions.

We can probably compare this measure to another rite denounced by Caesarius of Arles. This rite involved walking around houses disguised as a stag, cow, or some other portentous animal. The Arles council banned it in 578. Unfortunately, the texts do not tell us the purpose of these actions, but more recent examples, collected by ethnologists in Central Europe in the 1950s, suggest that wearing this disguise refers to some minor deity.

The sacred nature of a site can also be restored through a circumambulation. In Snorri’s recounting of Saint Óláf ’s Saga, King Olaf ’s men have trampled a field and spoiled the harvest. The peasant comes to Olaf to complain and the king decides to right this wrong: “the king rode up to the field and saw that the whole field had been flattened. He rode around it and then said, ‘I do expect, my man, that God will repair the damage done you, and I believe this field of yours will be restored in a week’s time.’ And indeed the field recovered excellently, as the king had said.” Only the detail I italicized makes it possible to see that a rite of sanctification had been performed. According to Gregory of Tours (History of the Franks, IV, 14), the first task of the new king was to make the tour around his kingdom on horseback, which is a measure for taking possession.

Count Comorre granted Gouesnou as much land for his monastery as he could enclose with ditches in a single day. He agreed to a day and a time, before which the holy man would have had to finish his circuit (assignata est dies qua sanctus debuit terram circuire). Our man then headed north, with a pitchfork dragging on the ground behind him—“and as he dragged this rude fork, a strange thing happened, the dirt rose up on either side and formed a large ditch.” He walked for a stade, then turned east and went straight ahead to a place called “Caput nemoris,” which is today Penhoat (“Wooden Head”). From there he turned right and headed south, and having walked in a straight line for around four stades, then turned westward and walked another four stades toward the north, whereupon he finally turned east to return to his starting point. It so happens that this method is the exact counterpart to the way the sacred square is drawn by the Romans and Indo-Europeans, as Georges Dumézil showed in his study of the demarcation of the āhavanīya, the fire over which offerings are passed on to the gods.

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There are rites for claiming ownership of a plot of ground, even though they may seem more like figments of legend, which at one time or another corresponded with existing realities before they lost their sacred character and were devalued more or less to the status of simple motifs for fables. Such is the case for the legend of Carthage’s founding by Dido. A bull hide cut into thin strips was used to mark off the territory of the city; in other words, to form an enclosed space (whether round or square does not matter). The same method was used to establish the boundaries of the future city of London (if we can believe the Saga of Ragnar Loðbrók), and even those of York. There is also the case of the Melusine legend, as told by Jean d’Arras at the end of the fourteenth century. The fairy advises Raymondin of Poitiers:

"Ask of young Count Bertrand . . . as much land as you can enclose within a deer hide. He should give you full franchise to this land. . . . On the next day, you shall meet a man carrying a sack of deer hides tanned in alum. Buy them from him . . . then have them cut into a single strip that is as thin as it can possibly be. Next, go back to your place, where you shall find the boundaries all drawn and prepared in accordance with my plans and desires. And at the moment you prepare to join the two ends of the strip, if the strip grows, take it down into the valley, and know that the water of the spring there, by flowing through it, shall form a small river that will be of great use in this place."

Thanks to this strategy, Raymondin becomes the owner of a vast land, whose site was selected by the fairy—she is the counterpart of the gods or dead ancestors in the texts cited above—and she provided the means of appropriating it. At the predicted time, Raymondin encountered two strangers:

"They made a skein of the leather strip and carried it into the valley, as close as possible to the rock cliff. They planted a solid stake to which they attached one end of the strip. . . . They then completed a circuit around the whole mountain and when they returned to their starting point, they found a long length of leather was left over, which they pulled down along the length of the valley. . . . A stream gushed out at this spot."

Coudrette, who independently of Jean d’Arras tells the same story, says:

"It was then two strangers appeared who took the deerskin lace and wound it into an enormous ball. They buried a stake in the ground at one spot and attached the lace to it, then surrounded, including the mountain and spring described above, a vast expanse of the plain below as far as the stream that flowed there.
Count Bertrand’s reaction is eloquent. “This is indeed quite strange. It looks like fairy work to me.”

The choice of where humans should settle is entrusted to supernatural beings, to God, or to gods, or in liaison with them (saints, the dead, fairies). Behind the various rites—demarcation by fire, furrow, a strip, or by riding—there is an essential element of the operation that stands out: the creation of an enclosed space, a cultivated space in all the meanings of the word, which will stand in opposition to the savagery of untamed nature, which is always associated with primordial chaos. As noted by Mircea Eliade, these chaotic expanses “still participate in the undifferentiated, formless modality of pre-Creation. This is why, when possession is taken of a territory—that is, when its exploitation begins—rites are performed that symbolically repeat the act of Creation: the uncultivated area is first ‘cosmicized,’ then inhabited.”

Through the rituals of taking possession of land, chaos is transformed into cosmos through imitating the gods.
This transformation takes place by the “neutralization” of natural forces, manifestations of original chaos represented by the local land spirits.

The study of the boundaries of colonized territories is difficult because we lack details about the ancient eras. Yet the entries for subjects like “Hedge,” “Boundary,” and “Frontier” in the Dictionary of German Superstitions furnish an enormous amount of data for more recent times, which can be neither new nor the result of chance, but must have its roots in much older beliefs. We have already seen that certain forms of establishing boundaries—furrows, hedges—can be understood as the materialization of religious borders since sanctuaries were encircled by low stone walls and bushes when the natural space—a clearing or island, for example—did not clearly mark a border. There is a group of legends common to all of Europe that is worth considering in this regard. We find everywhere the legend of the dishonest surveyor who has stolen land from its legitimate owner by establishing false boundaries, and similarly widespread are the stories about greedy peasants who move border markers to their neighbors’ detriment. In both cases the punishment is the same: they are condemned to wander endlessly after death carrying the illegally relocated boundary marker on their backs and asking everyone they meet: “Where should I put this?” They are only freed from their torment on the day someone answers: “Back where you took it from!” The considerable number of accounts of this legend clearly shows that boundary markers have an ancient and profound significance—one which we shall attempt to discover.

The boundary markers of Roman fields (termini) were placed under the aegis of the god Terminus, in whose honor the Terminalia festival was celebrated. This took place in February and was marked with the sacrifice of a lamb; it therefore had a pronounced sacred character. The Silvanus orientalis was also responsible for watching over borders and he was placed in a lucus at the edge of the field. During the Middle Ages, there were different methods for marking property lines. Borders were indicated by boundary markers, or by a furrow for which the dirt pile on the side formed the simulacrum of an encircling wall, or by hedges. The inner space could be marked off by low stonewalls, especially within the proximity of buildings. Trees were marked in forest domains. According to a German charter from 1155, boundary markers bore the sign of the moon in the Rhineland.

In Rhetia, the boundary sign was put on vertical boulders. In ancient Swedish law, it required at least two boundary markers or stakes called ra (staka ok sten ma ra kalla). To demarcate a path and a field, three were called for. An estate (tompt) required five arranged in such a way that one was in the center and the other four encircled it. Jacob Grimm notes that in Iceland and Norway these stones are called lýrittar (also spelled lírittar, lærittar) and considered sacred. It was next to them, for example, that oaths were sworn (lýrittar eiðr). Trees were frequently marked with a cross and rocks were arranged alongside them (ubi cruces in arbore et lapides subtus infigere jussimus). This mark is called lah in Old High German (vulgo lachus appellatur sive divisio) as is shown by documents dating from 770.

The fixation of borders was a solemn act in which the elders and the optimates took part, and it was designated by the verbs circumducere, peragrare, and cavallicare (Old German pireisa, lantleita, underganc, umbeganc), which indicated it was accompanied by a circumambulation. The boundary line of the estate being established was followed on foot or horseback. Such trees and stones were sacred and not to be touched. No one had the right, for example, to cut the smallest branch from a marked tree, nor to move the boundary stones of the fields when plowing them. Whoever committed such an impious act would have their head cut off with a plow blade after being buried in the ground up to the neck. Near Hagelsberga in Västmanland (central Sweden) there stands a hill topped by a stone surrounded by a low wall that is called the Chamber of the Nisse (Tomtenissens stuga). A spirit could be seen there at night, but it always vanished at daybreak when it heard the bells of Odensvi.

In Lithuania, borders seem to have been placed under the protection of the deity Veliona, also called Ezagulis, the “God who lives at the border of the cultivated fields” (ežia being the word for a furrow bordering a field). Several traditions also make Perkūnas the guardian of various borders and boundaries. Paul Sébillot points out that the megaliths in France have played the role of boundary markers and have been cited as such in documents. He mentions the Petra quae vertitur (Stone that turns) in Berry (thirteenth century) and notes that this name refers to a folk belief. He also mentions the duo lapides erecti (two upright stones) that served as the boundaries of the kingdom of Arles and thinks they could be identical to the standing stones of Simandre, France (IV, 1). Stones like this were objects of worship and were even sometimes given offerings and prayers.

In medieval romances, the areas by boundary markers—sometimes replaced by crosses— were always hazardous areas and signals of peril; they were loca incerta, meaning that belief in the presence of supernatural beings survived there. I will take three examples attesting to the recuperation of these realities. In Chrétien’s Perceval, the Story of the Grail, Gawain is lost and meets a wounded knight who tells him to go no further on that road: because that’s the boundary of Galvoie

That knights cannot pass
And ever return again. (6602–4)

The boundary marker therefore signifies, to some extent, the beginning of a journey of no return. In the Second Continuation of the Story of the Grail, a “pillar” appears that causes death by a melancholic illness in whoever dares approach too near, one means of indicating that to do this is a sacrilege (31583ff). A Christianized standing stone is also mentioned: on Mount Dolorous there stands a pillar—the word denotes a standing stone—that Merlin placed there at an earlier time. It is surrounded by fifteen crosses, and an anemi, meaning a demon, is imprisoned inside it. If anyone asks it: “Who is there?” he will lose his memory and go mad, no matter how wise and shrewd he was before (963ff).

An unmistakable sign indicating the sacred character of a place is the fact that it is enclosed, even if this enclosure is strictly symbolic. The Romans made sure that a spot struck by lightning would be surrounded by a wall, and none were allowed to walk there. The sacred groves or woods of the ancient Germans formed a closed spaced, and Thietmar of Merseberg seems to consider “the large, intact, and venerable forest” that surrounds the pagan temple of Riedegost a frontier, an enclosure.
The Gotland laws (Gutalagen) prohibit: “sacrifices of all kinds, as well as all the old pagan customs. May no one invoke groves, mounds, pagan gods, sanctuaries, or enclosed spaces . . . with food or drink” (§4). The Christian laws of the Gulathing make the same proscription. In the Saga of the Gotlanders it is written that “Before this time and subsequently long after, men worshipped woods and mounds, sanctuaries, and enclosed spaces.”

If we refer to the mythology of the ancient Scandinavians—or more specifically, to their cosmogony—we see that the earth consists of three self-contained zones: Asgard, home of the gods; Midgard, the world of men; and Utgard, the dwelling place of the giants, which is to say that of the hostile forces of chaos. Extending all around the world is the ocean in which the Midgard Serpent (Miðgarðsormr) lives. The coherence of the whole edifice is ensured vertically, by Yggdrasill, the cosmic tree, and horizontally by the Midgard Serpent, sometimes called the “bond of the earth.” The apocalypse (Ragnarök) occurs when all these bonds vanish and the forces of chaos, no longer hindered by any barrier, set off to attack the world of the gods.

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It should be noted, in passing, that the three enclosures of the world are compound words including garðr, a word that means fence and is indicative of the sacred. It so happens that garðr (Gart in German) goes back to the Indo-European root gherdh that means “to weave, to bind.” The garðr is therefore the concrete and simultaneously religious bond that maintains the cohesion of the domain and the family seat, the center of judicial and cult activities. The Dísablót sacrifice to the female spirits (dísir) was performed in the home, as was the álfablót, the sacrifice addressed to the elves. It was an act of sacrilege to attack the garðr—one capable of sparking an act of vengeance in response, as occurs in the Saga of Víga Glúm. The universe was therefore organized around a series of concentric circles—enclosures—whose center is the family hearth.

It is especially important to avoid falling into the belief that this vision of the world was restricted to the ancient Germans. Fabienne Cardot has shown that space in Carolingian Austrasia was sometimes perceived as a series of concentric spheres, the smallest consisting of the villa, the pagus, and the civitas, which, with the vicus and the castrum, were the fundamental frameworks of everyday space. The loca pagana were found on the margins of this space.

The ancient Anglo-Saxon laws say that every sanctuary was surrounded by a friþgeard. A garðr was constructed around all ancient Germanic places that were considered sacred, such as a spring, tree, or fields. These places were designated as hörgr in Norse and harug in Old High German, meaning “sanctuary, place of worship.” According to Jonas of Bobbio, the Lombards had a wooden temple (fanum) near Tortona surrounded by trees (Vita Columbani, bk. 2, chap. 25).

What was the first thing to occur once one had settled in a space? A fence called a skíðgarðr or stafgarðr would be built, which by its very nature indicated the sacred nature of the enclosed space, a sanctity that was most likely extended to the occupants of the space. In fact, the proscription of a man sought to expel him from his domain, thereby stripping him of his sacred nature (mannhelgi), which means to make him óheilagr, “devoid of sacred nature.”

The fact that this sacred nature stems from his bonds with the land and with his home clearly emerges from the story of Örn. According to the Book of Settlements, “He was condemned in such way that he lost all inviolability at the hands of the sons of Örnund if they found him anywhere outside Vælugerði or within a bowshot of his property” (S 348). It can therefore be seen that the sacred nature of the property marked off by a garðr extended to within a bowshot of that boundary, something the Norse designated by the term örskotshelgi, a compound of örskot, “arrow-shot,” and helgi, “sacred.”

Archaeology has revealed that sites of worship in the medieval West—Old English ealh/alh, baro, hearg; Norse lundr, vé; and Old High German baro, harug, loh—are enclosed spaces, and when it involves a forest, it is also an enclosed space or clearing that is only entered on certain occasions. Recall what Tacitus said in his Germania about the worship of Nerthus taking place within a holy grove situated on an island (chap. 40, 3) and the sacred grove of the Semnones, which “no one enters unless bound by a shackle, as an inferior who makes manifest the might of the divine” (chap. 39, 2). The island in the river or the sea is an identical twin of the forest clearing. The Lex Ripuaria (Legal Code of the Ripuarian Franks) stipulates that oaths must be sworn “in the hazel grove” (in araho jurare), and in Old German the word forst (“forest, wood”) designates the spot where the tribunal convenes. Hincmar of Reims mentions oaks in 877; the legal texts say “beneath the linden or next to it” (in 1258 and 1261), and it should not be forgotten that the gods of the Scandinavian pantheon gathered beneath the ash tree, Yggdrasill—the cosmic tree.

According to the ninth-century German poem Muspilli, the placement of the tribunal (mahalstat) had to be marked off (kimarchôt), and the same was true for the ancient Scandinavians who called this spot dómhringr, the “judgment circle.” This location was described as a “most sacred place” (helgistaðr mikill), because it is demarcated by “sacred bonds” (vébönd, singular véband). The Thing, the assembly of free men where lawsuits are judged, is surrounded by hazel stakes, between which a rope is strung (Egil’s Saga, chap. 56). It so happens that vé means “sanctuary”—it is cognate with the Old Saxon word wîh, “temple”—and bönd means both “bonds” and “deities” (because gods are seen as “binding ones”). The stakes, connected by a rope to form an enclosed area, were called septa judicalia in 1283 and rihtepale in Middle High German, meaning “legal stakes.”

For duels (holmgangr), which originally took place on a small island (holmi or holmr)—and are also a frequent element in medieval romances—a space would be marked off with hazel staffs and an animal sacrifice to the gods would be made before the combat (Gisla saga, chap. 2). Sometimes the sacrifice (blótnaut) took place after the combat (Heiðarvíga saga, chap. 4). The stakes marking off the space are called tjösnur, singular tjasna (Kormáks saga, chap. 10 and 23), and the sacrifice was sometimes made to them as indicated by the word tjösnublót, “sacrifice to the stakes, to the boundary markers.” In the Middle High German poem the Nibelungenlied, oaths are still sworn within a circle.

The preceding should leave no doubt about the sacred nature of all spaces that have been enclosed or given some kind of boundary. We could add to these examples those of the otherworldly castles surrounded by a magical barrier. I am thinking in particular of the enchanter Malduk’s castle in Ulrich von Zatzikhoven’s Lanzelet, which is bordered by a malefic marsh. In the same text, the home of the “water nymph” who kidnapped Lanzelet as a child is a round crystal island. In the work of Chrétien de Troyes, we have the adventure of the Joy of the Court (in Erec et Enide), which suggests the same theme. It is an orchard enclosed by a wall of clouds (or air), where lives a very simplified sort of fairy and a knight, Mabonagrain, who possesses all the characteristics of a giant."

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[Spirits of the Land]


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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Fri May 13, 2016 5:58 pm
















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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Mon May 16, 2016 4:10 am

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"Below the thunders of the upper deep;
Far far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth; faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides; above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumber'd and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green…

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There hath he lain for ages, and will lie
Battening upon huge seaworms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die."

- Alfred Tennyson, 1830

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Lcouteux wrote:
"Once the domain has been marked out, it remains to build the living quarters and farm buildings, but one can never be entirely certain that all the local spirits have been dispersed, nor even certain that the sanctification and the patronage of the gods one worships is going to be more powerful than the powers wielded by these spirits. Cohabitation will therefore be arranged and a tacit contract with these spirits shall be drawn up. Depending on the nature of the space, the country, and the kinds of constructions, this contract can take a variety of forms.

Almost everywhere until fairly recent times, we find confirmation of the existence of the rite of sacrificing a living being in order to be able to erect a building. Folklorists and ethnologists have long interpreted this rite as a sacrifice addressed to the local land spirits so they will not oppose the construction. In fact, this sacrifice appears like a payment of damages for the land being occupied. The individual pays his due to the land spirit in order to be able to establish the hegemony of agriculture over wild nature.

We are poorly informed about ancient times, and with the Greeks and Romans, for example, the authors are revealingly terse and only mention the rites.1 Herodotus speaks this way about the founding of a city by Darius, who did so without respecting the rites and consulting the oracles. Herodotus considers this an impious action. Vitruvius, when mentioning something under construction, speaks of the “respect for traditions.” A Roman legend tells how a crack appeared in the walls of the Forum Romanum and could not be closed until after Curtius was rushed there with his horse. A Greek legend informs us that a yong girl was immured within the foundation of Antiochia and another was treated the same way during the construction of the city’s large theater. Moreover, archaeologists have found skeletons in the walls of buildings built between 2500 and 2000 BCE. Among the ancient Egyptians, the sacrifice of young men and women, and prisoners, appears to have been common practice when the first stone of a public building was laid. What is at work here involves the exploitation of the theme of sacrificing a human being to appease a genius loci that often adopted the form of a serpent, dragon, or lizard.

Matthäus Prätorius (sixteenth century) gives us a glimpse of how the “specialists,” pagan priests called Kaukuczones or Barztukkones, were capable of enchanting the Barstucci/erdmenlin (chthonic creatures) to settle in this place or that. This is a good example of taming local land spirits and transforming them into household spirits.

A tree often stands right next to the main house in the Scandinavian countries. This tree is frequently a birch and is reputedly the home of the land spirit. The most common name for this spirit is gardvord, formed from gard, meaning “wall, boundary,” and later “estate”; and vord, meaning “guardian.” The tree is called boträ (bosträd), vårdträd (the “vord-tree”), as well as tomteträd and tuntré. This tree can be an oak, birch, elder, or elm and is considered to be the totem tree on which the family fortunes depend (Sweden), and the dwelling place of the tomtegubbe, another name for the land spirit. Offerings of food were placed at its feet and its roots were sometimes watered with milk.

To facilitate understanding of this presentation, I would like to briefly recall the names of the spirits connected with farms in the Scandinavian countries:

Denmark: Nisse, Lille Niels, Nis, Nis Puge, Puge, gaardbo, gaardbonisse, gaardbuk (the “dweller in the estate”).

Norway: Tuss(e), Bokke, Tomtegubbe, Tuftefolk (-bonde, -gubbe, -kall), Tunkall, Tunvord (the “guardian of the garden”), gardvord (“guardian of the estate”), gardsbonde (“dweller in the estate”), haugbonde (“mound dweller”).

Sweden: Vätte, Yomtegubbe (-bise) (the “dweller in the estate”), Tomtkall (the “Old Man of the Estate”), Niss, Goanisse (the “Good Nisse”).

There is an oak in Bö, Norway, at whose foot the haugbonde (dweller of the mound or hill) is propitiated with gruel on Christmas Day. If the plate was found empty the next day, good fortune was certain for the farmer’s cows and horses. We should note, incidentally, that similar offerings can be found almost everywhere. In the Telemark region of Norway offerings were made to the Vätter (spirits) on hills called Vättehauge. In West Bothnia (Västerbotten) coins were offered to the Vitra; in Funen, the fishermen do the same for the water spirits (sjörå), and when fording a river a coin is tossed to the undine (Aamand, meaning “river person”).

It is therefore easy to see that the obvious purpose of all these rites is to neutralize or attract the favors of local spirits so they may be transformed into guardian powers. The farm and its inhabitants’ prosperity in fact depends on the moods of said spirits, so it is sometimes necessary to renew the signs of esteem or worship at regular intervals, most often once a year at Christmas. This date, which marks the time of omens and thereby heralds the coming year, was certainly not chosen at random. The Cycle of Twelve Days (from Christmas to Epiphany) corresponds to the famous Epagomenal Days, a period that does not belong to either the year that is ending or the coming year. It is a “no man’s time” that represents a moment when the Other World is open and when the spirits can roam freely over the earth and are therefore particularly dreadful. It should also be kept in mind that before the conversion to Christianity in Iceland, the ancient pagan Yule festivities also had associations with the “sacrifice to the elves” (álfablót).

The offerings are also a kind of compensation given to the spirits whose lands have been taken. People must live in symbiosis with them if they wish to prosper, and it is even necessary to avoid adopting Christianity because it drives them away. Many legends have as their theme the departure of the “dwarves,” the “silent people,” the local land spirits, who cannot stand the noise of the bells of the recently built churches.

I should also say a word about the building legends in which men are compelled to turn to a supernatural being (giant, devil) in order to erect a bridge over a fast-moving river. The wondrous assistant always demands as payment the life or soul of the first living thing to cross the bridge, which is nothing more nor less than a sacrifice a posteriori. In fact, the devil, the most frequent form this assistant takes, shows himself to be stronger than the spirit of the waters and manages to build the bridge. However, he is always foiled, since the humans always release a cat or rooster as a true substitute for the sacrifice expected by the builder.

Once the estate has been marked out and the house and farm buildings built, the need to protect them still remains, and then one would set off conquering space that is yet unclaimed. Enclosures are established, first that of the tún, the garden, directly adjacent to the main house. This is a primal sacred space where the tree of the spirit (túntré) stands and where a sacred animal—often a pig—is raised. It will be sacrificed on Jól (Christmas) to the god Freyr (third function). The act of colonizing, which takes place under the aegis of an antagonistic sacred power, can only be achieved through acknowledgment of the genius loci, a recognition marked by a sanctuary and worship. It transforms the spirit into a guardian power. Once this has been achieved, the colonization of the space has also been completed.

We ought to also discuss the home as a sacred space in which the threshold, the hearth, and the main roof beam play an important role. During the thirteenth century when moving into a new home, the residents would bury at the four corners of the house a pot holding a variety of things for the household spirits. In more recent times, four consecrated branches would be buried at the four corners of the future house before construction began.

The colonization of the surrounding area was mounted from the home and the farmed land. Its principal characteristic seems to be a particular structuring of the space, which was realized in stages. First, more or less temporary installations were created, surrounded by a hedge or some other kind of fence, and this concerned not only pieces of land but also trees and springs. An enclosed space of this type is called a hörgr in Old Norse, which can be loosely translated as “worship place, sanctuary,” a name that suggests these are spots from which the local land spirits have been expelled. They are a kind of refuge offering safety and protection from the spirits and from other human beings. As a general rule, Christians initially set up crosses at these spots, replacing one form of the sacred with another. Since the fields were often far from the farm, it was necessary when visiting them to cross through “unsure territories” in which it would be necessary to establish some safe havens. It was also necessary to protect these pastures and meadows against intrusion by any untamed land spirits.* These spots were thus placed under the patronage and protection of a deity. Jan de Vries has drawn up a fairly long list of theophoric names in which the gods Odin, Ullr, Frey, Thor, and Njord are combined with nouns like field, meadow, or island, not to mention the place-names that indicate the presence of a sanctuary, such as Oslunda, Frölunda (sacred grove of Odin, or of Freyr, respectively), or even Närtuna (Njord’s enclosure).

If we do not just focus on the place-names that simply describe a morphogeographical feature of the landscape (such as Hvitá, “white river,” or Ljósavatn, “clear lake”) and provide reference points on the paths leading from one point to another, place-names more importantly invest the space with a human presence and expel its natural “wildness.” The functions of place-names can be therefore outlined as follows:

1. They establish the boundaries of estates and properties.
2. They serve as the foundation for family or clan identity, given the fact that most often the farm carries the name of its first owner.
3. They indicate which god protects the region.
4. They sometimes refer to the duty of the person living in the space, for example, Spákonufell, “Mount of the Seeress.”
5. They are part of human memory, as they preserve remembrance of specific events. For example, after Thord’s ship was lost with all hands, the place where the keel of his boat was found was named Kjalarey, “Keel Island,” and the place where the drowned sailors were buried was named Haugsnes, “Cape of the Mound.”
6. They indicate places with a reputation for being dangerous; for example, Tröllaskogr, “Troll Forest.”

The places that escape human control are quite stereotypical and essentially correspond to lands that are difficult to live in and to cultivate. This therefore causes a new natural distribution of spirits and places based on the inaccessibility of these spaces. So it is perfectly normal that the loca incerta, the dangerous places, would be forests, moors, mountains, as well as marshes and—as we shall see—bodies of water in general.

This is something that the medieval romances have preserved best. When knights-errant left the civilized space and plunged into the unknown after crossing through the marches of cultivated lands, they always stumble onto either a bewitching space (locus amoenus) where they meet fairies or a place of fear and horror (locus terribilus) where they encounter monsters of all kinds: giants, dragons, devils, sirens, women of the wood, and so on. It is almost a certainty that these alarming, monstrous creatures are the fictionalized vision of land spirits who have been here completely transposed into the sphere of the marvelous. I can therefore state that the marvelous rehabilitates and adapts local beliefs, and then, as the literature congeals and fixes such encounters into stereotypes, they are disengaged from their sources to become, in short, nothing more than recreational entertainment and compensatory dreams. But the local land spirits continued to live on in their “new clothes.”

the forest is the great lair or refuge of land spirits. It is a haunted place, an outlying space full of violence; a site of exclusion; a refuge of outcasts and exiles as well as pagan beliefs; a place of marvels and perils; a savage, marginal, dreadful space; as well as a focal point of peasant memory.

A headquarters for strange phenomena that represent all sorts of theophanies, the forest is omnipresent in medieval literature. The Lancelot-Grail refers to the forest with evocative names such as the Adventurous, the Strange, the Lost, the Perilous, the Desvoiable (unmanageable), and the Misadventurous Forest. All the texts emphasize its disturbing nature with adjectives that recur repeatedly: oscure (obscure), sostaine (remote), tenebreuse (dark), estrange (strange), salvage (wild). Moreover, the forest is almost always long and wide (longue, lee) and extremely old (des tens ancienor). The romance of Claris et Laris says of one of them:

Too fierce and large is the forest
and full of far too many great marvels. . . . (3292)
The fairies have there their stage
In one of the beautiful trees. . . . (3317)
The Anglo-Norman poet Wace writes in the Roman de Rou of Brocéliande forest:
There is where the fairies come
that the Bretons tell us can be seen
as well as many other marvels. (6387)

In short, the forest is a veritable conservatory of paganism and this is why a thousand supernatural creatures frolic here where they have found refuge after being driven from their territories by the advance of man. Moreover, throughout the Germanic realm, the forest often extends over the foothills of the mountains, thereby combining the mythical nature of both places.
The major problem encountered by the researcher is the following: to what extent are the dwarves, giants, dragons, and wild men found there the fictionalized vision of former land spirits? To answer this question, we must rely on the permanent features we have noted from other sites: a figure jealously keeping watch over his land and forbidding anyone from entering or killing game there, an individual (monstrous or not, or even replaced by a monster) demanding a tribute from his human neighbors, and a pronounced paganism.

The son of a demon incubus, a devil given an angelic cast, and a protector of chivalry, Merlin is a complex and syncretic figure. Despite the many studies devoted to him, he remains a shadowy figure in various respects. From his father he inherited his abilities of being everywhere at once, metamorphosis, and knowledge of the past, but he received his gift of prophecy from God. According to the romance Perlesvaus, when Merlin died it was impossible to bury him in the chapel and his coffin was empty because his body disappeared when it was placed inside, carried away either by God or by the enemy. He was covered with hair at birth and once grown up he was large, strong, thin, brown, and hairy. Geoffrey of Monmouth depicts him as demented and living like a wild man who is constantly returning to the forests after being torn from their midst (Vita Merlini; 1–112). He shows him riding through the forest on a stag and leading a herd of bucks, deer, and wild goats (451ff), as he knows how to compel the obedience of animals like the churl in Chrétien’s Yvain. In the Vulgate Merlin, he is called the “wild man” and uses this term when referring to himself. He also sometimes assumes the appearance of a white stag. In Le Livre d’Artus (The Book of Arthur), Merlin appears as the master of the fountain of storms, he dwells in a hollow oak, and states: “I want you to know that my habit is such that I like to remain in the woods by the nature of the one who engendered me."
Geoffrey of Monmouth tells us that when King Aurele sent emissaries in search of Merlin, he was found in the corner of the mysterious forest near the fountain of Galabes, in the land of the Gewisséens. Robert de Boron’s Merlin also emphasizes the close bond connecting him with the forest: Je voil que vos sachiez qu’ il me convient par fine force de nature estres par foies eschis de la gent.

By means of the widespread belief in incubi from the twelfth century on, the figure of Merlin was integrated into the human universe and the world of the romances, and the only clues that still connect him to his true origin are those cited above. Edmond Faral cites a thirteenth-century poem, Le Dit de Merlin Merlot (The Tale of Merlin Merlot), which depicts Merlin as a kind of wood spirit, and remarks:

“The woodland figure that appears here, so different from the type depicted by the French romances of the Arthurian cycle, perhaps answers to some ancient superstitions, independent of traditions that would be, strictly speaking, Breton.” Faral’s intuition is remarkable because he did not have at his disposal the studies made since that show that two different figures were melded together to create the fictional character known throughout the world. If we now turn our eyes to Oberon, who appears in Huon de Bordeaux (ca. 1220), the deductions made about Merlin find confirmation because we again discover many elements in common. Oberon, depicted as a dwarf because his small size is due to the curse of a fairy at his birth, dwells in “a very vast and dreadful forest. . . . None who enter this wood can ever escape it if he speak to him, if he even spend but a moment in his presence he can never again leave the wood for the rest of his life.” This amounts to imprisonment inside the Other World.

Oberon possesses great powers; when he is angry he causes wind and rain and can even break the trees. He is a master of spells and charms, and can even cause a wide river to appear. One final detail of great importance for our study concerns the mastery of animals. “All the birds, beasts, or wild boars, wild and ferocious as they might be, come to me willingly once I beckon to them with my hand.” In an earlier study of the superimposed strata found in this figure, I showed— fairly convincingly, I believe—that Oberon was an elf rather than a dwarf, but this does not exclude his being a woodland spirit because in the Middle Ages all these creatures were conflated, and their attributes and nature were blended together for literary needs.

With the romance of Perceforest, we see the appearance of another extraordinary character, Zephyr, who is depicted as a malicious and mischievous sprite.

He generally assumes the appearance of an old man clad in a homespun cloak, which brings to mind the “hooded spirits” (genii cucullati). The substance of his body appears to be air, the gust of wind from which he takes his name: “You have no more power against my vengeance,” he tells Estonné, “than you would have against a strong wind that hurled you into a ditch” (II, 96v°).
Moreover, he goes wherever his whims lead him. He renders great service to his protégé and other knights, and, when the Romans sought to invade Great Britain, he tormented them and prevented them from disembarking, an action that likens him precisely to a genius loci, a landvættr. The commonalities and differences between the three figures we have just met are quite revealing.

In short, even when tamed he remains an ambiguous and disturbing being that retains a hint of deviltry: Zephyr loves to play tricks, Merlin loves to mystify those he serves, and Oberon is easily angered and will do his worst when thwarted unless one of his vassals is found to calm him down. Outside of their literary transformation, equivalent to that of all the fairies, these figures are evidence of the persistence of ancient beliefs, even if the romances have a tendency to make them a kind of literary deus ex machina or a burlesque element." [Spirits of the Land]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Thu May 19, 2016 7:13 am

Hagal - Part I.

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Quote :
"Hail is the whitest of grain
Whirled from heaven's height,
The wind hurls it in showers
Into water then it turns."

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"May the hurricane protect you
stirred up by the whirling, dancing arms
of the terrible god magnificent
in his twilight dance.
By force of its commotion
the serried ranks of mountains fly from earth again
and Indra looks anew upon his thunderbolt.

May the god of tangled locks protect you,
at whose dance of madness in the fullmoon twilight
the golden mountain sways with leaping woods,
as sway the sun and moon, to the rhythmic motion;
as if the earth, of head resplendent,
with hair and earrings flying,
did nod in admiration."

Siva dances to destroy the fetters that bind the soul; the burning ground that is his stage represents the state where illusion and deeds are burnt away. Siva dances souls into action…
He dances all alone, and it is a dance of aggression and danger…" [Doniger, The dance of Siva in poetry and myth]

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GvL. wrote:
"Hagal=the All-hedge, to enclose; hail, to destroy.

A seventh I know, if I see a fire
high around the housing of men
however wildly it may burn,
I will bring it to rest
with taming magical songs.

Hagal!-Introspective awareness, the consciousness to bear his God with all his qualities within himself, produces a high self-confidence in the power of the personal spirit which bestows magical power, a magical power which dwells within all persons, and a power which can persuade a strong spirit to believe in it without any doubt.
Wuotan-said:"Verily, verily, I say to you, if someone were to say to this stone:
move yourself away!-and he believes in it-then this stone would lift itself away and fly into the sea."
Borne by this doubt-less consciousness, the chosen one controls the physical and spiritual realms, which he contains comprehensively, and thereby he feels himself to be all-powerful.

Therefore: "Harbour the All in yourself, and you will control the All!" [Secret of the Runes]

Quote :
"The Hagal Armanen rune was widely used in the SS for its symbolic representation of "unshakeable faith" in Nazi philosophy, as Himmler put it. It was used in SS weddings as well as on the SS-Ehrenring (death's head ring) worn by members of the SS. It is roughly similar to the ᚼ or Haglaz rune of the Younger Futhark, which stood for "hail", but it was modified by von List for his Armanen runes."

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"All the rune poems equate Hagal with the hailstone. Hail is the whitest of grains; Hail is the coldest of grains. The Old English word Haegl, Danish Hagl and the German Hagel all mean ‘hailstone’. But this is just one aspect of the rune. Hail is also a greeting, a salute to the gods and ancestors. Hail and Hallow: Heil and Heilige! Holy and Halo share the same root as Hale, a variant of Hail – and Hagal is certainly a holy rune! The Greek word Hagios, meaning ‘something sacred’ relates with both ‘Hagal’ and the ‘Hag’. Hagal is the Halo – the aura of light which appears around the crown of the divine.

Perhaps the connection lies in the fact that the Germanic words for Savior stems from the Heil root – Heliand in Old Saxon and Dutch, Hælend in Old English and Heiland in modern German.  The rays of light which circum the heads of the enlightened sometimes appear in Hagal form. The Saxon god Krodo holds his up high, in the form of a Sunwheel with six spokes or the Hagal rune.

the Sun shines in the form of the Hagal rune. Indeed this really is a Holy rune and Sun rune. The Welsh word for the Sun is itself Haul – which is pronounced as ‘Heil’.

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As a rune, Hagal certainly has healing qualities. We find one aspect of Hagal stemming from the proto-Germanic root *Hailijana (Hail) meaning to Heal. This is the heath enhancing side of the rune, the side to balance the destructive hailstone aspect. The Anglo Saxon phrase ‘Was Thu Hal’ meaning ‘be thou whole’ is itself an invocation of the Hagal rune, as Hal shares the same root. The wholeness is the holistic unity of body and mind. More infamous was the German National Socialist ‘Sieg Heil’ or Hail Victory rallying cry! This invocation was certainly a rune chant. We find in Viking history a very similar greeting – Heil og Sæl meaning be ‘healthy and happy’. Folkish Wodenists use the Anglo Saxon Hael und Sige in the same manner – as a greeting and invocation of wholeness, healthiness and happiness. As a symbol of health and wellbeing, Hagal still survives as the blue star sign on the side of ambulances – this symbol being called the ‘Star of Life’.

Hal (wholeness) is a root word meaning ‘to breath’. Inhale – exhale. In-Hail – Ex-Hail.

‘Hag All’ is a compound word meaning ‘All Protecting’.  Perhaps this is why many of our Germanic heroes had the Hagal runes adorned upon their shields. Sigurd, Barbarossa and Widukind have all been depicted with Hagal rune inscribed shields. Hagal is related to the old English word ‘Haga’ which was a protective enclosure. The ‘Hedge’ we plant around our properties to protect our boundaries is the same – the hedge is a physical boundary, the hecg – (hex or hecs) a spiritual one. One feature of Hagal is of course its SIX arms. This is the HEX rune. Hex magic centers around hex symbolism, which has the Hagal rune as its bases.  Of course there was a name for the practitioners of magic, the Hag! Meant as an insult – Hag seems a very fitting name.
Hagal represents this transition from Man to God Man – the Hallowed, the Haloed and the Holy!
This is the rune of the Crowned and Conquering sun...

Now we see hints at the symbol of the Sacred Mountain. The initiation the Sun-Man makes is to descend to the top of the Sacred Mountain. The mountain has often been seen as the home of the gods. Shiva (whose figure is symbolised in the six armed rune) dances his mantra of destruction.
Hail rains down its destructive hailstorms – which is the purpose of Shiva’s dance. To destroy so that Brahma can create. We must remember that the destructive Hailstone is frozen water and when ice forms, it does so in the six armed ice crystal.

the name ‘Helen’ is associated with Hel, the goddess of the underworld. The Old Norse ‘Hèla’ is the Hailstone and the Frost. So Hel is also associated with Hagal."

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Quote :
"he h-Rune, Hagal, Hag-All. All-Hag, God-All, Walhalla, World-All, Man-All; hedge, enclose, hem in, to hide within one's self, to include everything, the key to all rowning-Runes, to the great and holy All. The Hagal-Rune is the World Rune, the World-Tree, around the midpoint of which the whole spiritual and physical world revolves."

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Quote :
"Hagal represents a dramatic event or trauma which comes from outside your own immediate perceptions. It represents a deep reshaping. The rune is deeply integrated into the mysteries of renewal through destruction, the shaman who, like Odin, loses all in order to find his or her own personal power.
It is a crystaline form, one that is sharp and hard, yet clear and possibly deadly. It is one of the runes that can not be reversed nor turned upside down.

Magically, Hagal is the rune of the bridge of the cosmos, the dangerous path between worlds or experiences which can bring transformation or destruction. It was used in weather magic to ward off hail."

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Quote :
"Hagalaz signals a major shift of energies as the Elder Futhark begins its second row of aetts. Hagalaz is the rune of objective confrontation with past patterns. It will uncover the vast flow of energies around and through human energy systems. Its nature is completely impersonal and it represents power generally beyond human ability to harness.

Hail shocks you with stinging hardness (confrontation) then it melts into water which creates germination of seeds (transformation). The ancients describe hail as a grain rather than as ice, thus creating a metaphor for a deeper truth of life. It contains the seed of all the other runic energies and this can be seen in its other form, a six-fold snowflake. Spiritual awakening often comes from times of deep crisis.
Nine signals completion of a perfect pattern. Nine months is one of nature’s most regular human cycles, that of the gestation period. In this sense it is a protective rune, and assists us in acceptance of the unalterable, the seeking of shelter and patience while things blow over.

Hagalaz can be used as a force of repulsion or banishment. It is used in work to process and dispel the effects of subconscious baggage and ‘shadow elements’ so that your life pattern can carry itself forward in its pure form. Hagalaz has the magical energy of a ‘spring cleaning’. It reveals the personal past, past lives and early environmental factors in childhood development.
It is a dark, feminine power and can been associated with witchcraft and destructive female magic."

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Quote :
"The weather is a significant factor. Insure against damage from storm, flood or lightning. Prepare for disruptive influences. A third party interferes with relationships.

Hagalaz represents hail and it’s portent may be likened to an unexpected hailstorm, an elemental disruption of your life.
A hailstorm is daunting, but if you catch a hailstone you will see that it is only water, nothing to be feared. So it is with challenges."

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"Less is More".

The aphoristic power that shakes off the unwanted, leaving the true residual core.

When storms and uncontrollable external phenomena rattle and try to sweep you off the ground, pull the ground beneath you, it is the core and core value(s) we wind around.
The dance of frenzy cools poisonous fevers - we convulse out vomit, the undigestible excess, the accumulated useless, and shake loose the shadows, and re-new a new core. Like a good home, swept clean.
The SS Runologists called it the "unshakeable faith".
The aphorism from Joyful Wisdom on keeping to your path with single-minded focus, such that the useless and the unwanted fall off on their own, applies here.
To go against the grain, is to weather the storm by drawing from the past and keeping steady. The path of maximum resistance is from deter-mination.
The hagal like two snakes wound around a pole as in the rod of Asclepius points to healing, and the chaos of the torrential drives at the bottom of our spine - the kundalini, the matrix of all patterns.

Hail storms are like giant elephant trunks or water-divining rods drawing out water from distant sources and harshly irrigating wherever they go. Nano-technology of the future is re-sourcing energy into smaller and smaller power-chips, much like tons of water into small ice-stones.

At the same time, its also a phenomena that captures the cost of procrastination.
Water begins demanding our attention when the unattended slowly crystallizes into a hard structure, and pelts us harshly. Kidney stones, gall bladder stones are all results of irregular and inadequate circulation of water in the body, that begins to collect itself into small "stones", that "Disrupt" everything. From psychic "disturbances" to physical.
A small stone suddenly thwarts the most basic of activities we take for granted.
We turn into victims. From hale to hell.

In the active sense, some of us are also storm-brewers.
The Poet is a sacrificer who breathes - ex/hails/ex/hales life into inanimate things.
Like the shaman connects outer and inner phenomena, the Poet's creative storm, his turbulent torrent of words can raise to heights all that is fallen in his way, and knock at your core.
Hence, hale and ale.
The Poet gives His life into things.
He gives truths that twirl from the whirl-pool of his "current" self.
Harsh truths, heart/hard-core grains that can beat your senses and beat at your senses.
Like pools of eyes/ice that can talk a storm and take your breath away…

Now these were funeral flowers,
now these are garlands of words and metres adorning great deities.
The Poet gives all his dignity, capturing the entire matrix of a butterfly here to the butterfly effect there.

Disruptions break monotony.
Break rituals crystallized into empty absolutes, dead codes, dead habits, the hum-drum of sacraments.

But Interruptions also meddle, fiddle, breach gaps, to spit out branches, split and splinter.
They can confound our memory, hinder the continuity of our meditations, the holding together and linking of worlds, words, cor-res-pond-ences.

Logistical log-jams are noise.
"Sun, the singing thunder."

Old roots, old routes
new highs, new eyes.

Jinx and cat- a - strophes.

De-terminations.

hocus-pocus
mumbo-jumbo
hoodoo-voodoo
abracadabra

Hedges and hem-lines
Hexes and hoaxes
con-spire and con-found
plots and plans.

Catch a storm
hatch a form
Hagal, tempestuous temp-tress braid
plaits tied tight.

Long-distant love,
elephant-memories
old re-sources and piggy banks
"wild roses never fade"…

Cat nap

Bitch slap

Zen snap

Thunder clap

"Pretty eyebrows, put your arm like this and take your posture so.
Stretch not too high, but bend your toes. See? Just look at me."
Thus Sambhu teaches Parvati
With voice-drum sweet as thunder.
May what he adds for rhythm of her dance,
The clapping of his hands, protect you."

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*


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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Thu May 19, 2016 12:01 pm

Hagal - Part II.

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Quote :
"as·ter·isk  (ăs′tə-rĭsk′)

A star-shaped figure (*) used chiefly to indicate an omission, a reference to a footnote, or an unattested word, sound, or affix."

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Quote :
"Historical Linguistics. the figure of a star (*) used to mark a hypothetical or reconstructed form that is not attested in a text or inscription."

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Quote :
"A pair of asterisks may be used to anchor a footnote, or a trio to divide a text into sections, while in some European countries a ‘*’ is used to indicate the year of a person’s birth—“Christopher Hitchens (*1949),” for instance—with a dagger (“†2011”) denoting the year of death. For the most part, though, the traditional asterisk is a singularly underemployed mark. This is entirely apt to the circumstances of its birth: the asterisk (along with its partner in crime, the dagger) was among the first proof-reading marks, created out of necessity when a scholar at the ancient library of Alexandria set out to edit Homer’s epic poetry.
Following in the footsteps of comic strips such as Li’l Abner and Peanuts, whose characters *gulped* and *sighed* to convey non-verbal actions, the asterisk now assumes the role of online stage direction."

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Quote :
"Asterisk

1. Bolding or emphasizing a word where font types are unavailable.

2. A way of setting off a word that gives what you're writing a "tone" without actually leading the reader to believe that you're saying the word.

3. Making a correction to a previous mistake.
In order of the definitions of asterisk:

1. I *really* want to come over and rotate your tires.
2. *grin* If you gt what I mean.
3. *get (or get*)"

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Quote :
"When toning down expletives, asterisks are often used to replace letters. For example, the word 'fuck' might become 'f**k', 'f*ck' or even  '****'. "

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Daniel Roazen wrote:
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[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] [Echolalias]


Follow the star.

Asterisks show the way like Ariadne's thread, maintaining structural integrity, a continuity in between disruptions that simultaneously need attention. They mark clear exits and entries in conceptual labyrinths.
They are extra re-sources we dive into for depth.

In the artistic sense, they mark the most irreducible roots we place as scaffolds, to wind around our intuitive hypotheses. Our "unshakeable faith", our "premonitions".
We "pull out of thin air" those logical hunches around which we slowly build our castles.

The Proto-Indo-European language system is a creating of root-stems from the less-is-more idea.
Its a working backwards, trimming down word-banks to the most plausible minimal root-matrix.
Formulating probable roots from comparative data, the irreducible simplicity from which we presume all words and languages branched off.
It is through the mode of such "proto-forms" that are assumptions, artistic licenses, we proclaim the presence of a common I.E linguistic edifice, a part of our cultural identity...

Hagal then, is a rebuilding of history, of lost and disrupted continuities healed and held together by asterisks...

Proto-forms are brain-storms - applied imagination to structuring simultaneous disconnected inputs pooled from diverse sources, the breaking out of stale thinking patterns.
In such sense, they are ghost-forms, that do not really exist on the surface, do not show up on the radar, but stealth forms that show their faces under masks, roots that show up only as flowers.

Archaeological models and reconstructions of ruins blown away by time, these demand Our confidence, Our inte-grit-y to come alive, to flourish as a probable part of a puzzle to our vague and distant blood memories. Our thirst to encapsulate more, grow, extend, a primal and primal body.
Hagal is that confidence.

It is an aste-risk.

We re-create our past, and history continues to germinate, like a seed ever-unfolding…


***

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Fri May 27, 2016 4:11 pm

OhFortunae wrote:



The will to earth is strong with the Russians.



As the man travels this song takes on several languages, including a lovely bit in Dutch.
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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Wed Jun 01, 2016 12:42 pm

Dagaz.

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Quote :
"Dæg byþ drihtnes sond,
deore mannum, mære metodes leoht,
myrgþ and tohiht eadgum and earmum,
eallum brice."

"An estate is very dear to every man,
if he can enjoy there in his house
whatever is right and proper
in constant prosperity."

Rig Veda wrote:
"Parents of Gods, who aid with favour,
Both mid the Gods, with Day and Night alternate.
Protect us, Heaven and Earth, from fearful danger." [1.185]

Quote :
"It is the rune of breakthrough, transformation, and the day.

The ‘point of poise’ entails balancing polarities. Dagaz can be used to gain absolute stillness. It is invisible transforming power. The vibrational patterns of the self, or an object can be dampened so that the perception of material things to the human eye grow faint. Finding this point of poise takes great skill and practice with Dagaz but mastery of this rune of enlightenment leads down the path of disappearance. Mastery of invisibility leads to the understanding of existence through its opposite: non-existence.

It represents time and space, and the weaving movement of the loom of life. Dagaz may be used to summon clarity, or to reveal the hidden motivations and actions of an enemy. It may further be invoked to set aside past "bad blood" and begin with a clean slate. A fresh start from scratch."

Satyr wrote:
"1/0 is based on the on/off cellular activity.

On = neural pulse going through neural cluster or a neural cluster of cells, stimulating them into activity. (1)
Off = no pulse going through neural cluster (0)
Human metabolic rates, and cellular activities.
Systolic/Diastolic.

The emergence of binary reasoning, as the simplest form, and so the first, easiest - path-of-least-resistance.
Math being the most abstract language using 1/0.
These two data streams converge in the brain where they are processed, and feedback occurs - reaction.
Processing involves simplification/generalization of fluidity into simpler forms....we call this abstracting, and noumena.

Metabolic rates are the basis for our experience of time/space.

All technologies and techniques are extensions of organic processes. Man translates genetic code (pattern) into numerical code and then builds versions of his physical processes externally, or applies organic processes externally;

Genetic code = memory, nature/past sum of all past nurturing
Memetic code = memory/knowledge, cultural traditions, morals, rituals, behaviors passed on as linguistic code, and numerical code."


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The black and white of the Tabla provide the basis of two opposites: Ta Tee Tin : Dha Dhee Dhin
Permutations upon these alternations of day and night, slowly build into a rhythm, into a season, into a cycle, into a year…
Some myths attribute the garland of alphabets to have fallen off from the basic alternation of two primal sounds, the closing and the opening of the eye of Shiva, day and night alternates, and much like the 1/0 of the Pythagorean tetractys.

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The Iching too is an expansion from two sets of complete lines __ , and broken lines _ _ - the yin and yang, expanding into their metaphysical/astrological system.

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Wendy Donniger wrote:
"The carrion-eater dances:
he produces day and night by successive opening and closing of his eyes.
he covers heaven with his quill-like hair that flies in all directions from
the openings of the skull he holds within his hands.
He breaks our eardrums with his mighty roar" [The Dance of Siva]

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:08 am

apaosha wrote:
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Good site.

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:10 am

Lyssa wrote:
apaosha wrote:
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Good site.

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Thanks.

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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Wed Jun 29, 2016 4:27 pm

Something positive from Sweden, that's rare


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Too beautiful


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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:37 pm

Jarno wrote:
Something positive from Sweden, that's rare




The gathering of the senses...
Beautiful, and beautiful find; thanks!


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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:37 am

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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:05 am

Jarno wrote:
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Sigh...Nordic peeps are doomed,lol
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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:53 pm

"Eagle and Piling Up of the Altar"


Both the Greco-Germanics and the Indics have a phrase called the "piling up of the altar" associated with the mead myth and the eagle as an emblem of victory, for the altar was thought to re-Create - "pile up" the cosmos and keep the worlds connected. The eagle flew closest to the sun, and in the spread of its wings, the world "spread out" was piled back up and "put back together". The sun/kosmos was re-Stored from attrition, from "spreading out thin" into the world.
Later the phrase was transferred with the same semantics to the "piling up of the breaths", with the self as the altar, re-Storing the primal man/cosmic giant, and the pile connecting the self and the Self together.

The pile as the pole.

In the Vedic rites, the layout of the eagle was like a matrix corresponding to all the "joints" of day and night, of seasons and minutes that make up the Year - the Kosmos.

Only obscure metaphorical passages remain.


Gabriel Turville-Petre wrote:
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Modern day altar table.


"The names Ermanaric and (H)erminiones must have meant something more than 'the great king', 'the great people'.
Evidence of the sacral significance of irmin- is found especially in the Saxon records about the Irminsul. It is plain that the Irminsul was a place or an object held in veneration by the pagan Saxons, but it is described in rather varying terms.'

According to the Prankish Annals, Charles the Great burned down the chief seat of Saxon heathendom near Heresburg in Westphalia in A.D. 772, and this was called Irminsul or Erminsul. It is stated in another text that Charles destroyed the temple {fanum) of the Saxons, quod vocatur Irminsul. Elsewhere the Irminsul is described as a famous grove (lucum famosum).

From these quotations, it is evident that the Irminsul was thought of as a temple, a holy grove, and an idol, but Rudolph of Fulda goes into closer detail when he describes it. The Saxons used to worship leafy trees and wells, but, Rudolph goes on to say, they particularly worshipped truncum quoque ligni non parvae magnitudinis in altum erectum. In the Saxon language this was called Irminsul, quod Latine dicitur universalis columna, quasi sustinens omnia.

From this last passage it appears that the Irminsul was a column or sacred pillar, believed to uphold the universe. This is borne out by an obscure passage written by the monk Widukind about 968. About the year 831, the Saxons had won a victory over the Thuringians at Scheidungen, on the Unstrut. In the morning they placed their eagle at the eastern gate, and piled up an altar of victory according to their traditional superstition, imitating by the name of Mars the Pillar of Hercules.

The word Irminsul also appears in various forms in the Old High German glosses; it is said to mean colossus, altissima columna. The plural irminsuliis also glossed as pyramides. If we are not yet able to explain the first element of the compound, the second is plain enough. It is related to the Old English syl (pillar, column) which, in the phrase Ercoles syla in the Old English Orosius is applied to the Pillars of Hercules {Herculis columnae). It is, therefore, of the same origin as Old Norse sul, siila, meaning 'pillar'.

The Old Norse compound ondvegisstila (generally in pl. ondvegissulur) has a strong sacral significance. It is often translated as 'pillars of the high seat', although this translation is misleading. The origin of the word gndvegi is disputed, but its first element probably means 'opposite', and the second may derive from vegr, 'way'.

However that may be, the gndvegi was the central place in the main room or hall, where the master of the house would sit with chosen companions. It is most fully described by the author of the Fagrskinna, when speaking of royal residences in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. These buildings had a doorway at each end, and the king's seat was on the middle of the long bench or dais, facing the sun. Opposite it was the lower or second ondvegi (hit oedra, annat ondvegi), occupied in this case by the king's counsellor, or by the most distinguished guests. The farther their seat from the central place on each side, the less was the honour shown to its occupants. The ondvegi was not a single seat, for we sometimes read of several sitting in it together. It is told of Haraldr Finehair that he esteemed his poets most of all his retainers, and they occupied the second gndvegi.

The ondvegi, as it seems, was marked off from the rest of the hall by the gndvegissulur, the main supporting pillars, of which there were probably four, two on each side. These were venerated because they supported the house, as the Irminsul supported the universe.

The deep veneration in which the ondvegissulur were held is emphasized in a great number of stories about men who settled in Iceland in the ninth and tenth centuries, showing that these pillars were regarded as the abode of tutelary gods, who would guide the settler to his new home. In Iceland it was particularly the god I'orr who guided the supporting pillars, as is shown in many sources.

For the settlers of Iceland, I'orr was the chief god who upheld their houses, as he upheld their law and their traditional religion. On these lines we may understand the significance of Thurstable, or Thunor's Pillar, in Essex. We may suppose that it was the site of a pillar sacred to the god Thunor. This pillar was probably believed to support the sky and thus the world, Irmin and I'orr resembled Hercules in that all three were gods of supporting pillars. While the Irminsul supported the world of the Saxons, I'orr, with his gndvegissulur, upheld the house of the Icelandic farmer, and with his stapol he assured the security of the Essex hundred.

In Greek myth, as is well known, it was the task of Atlas to hold up the celestial globe. But on one occasion, when he went to fetch the apples of the Hesperides, Herakles (Hercules) relieved Atlas of his painful burden.

Thorr, Irmin, Herakles, and Atlas were not the only gods whose task was to uphold the house, the sky, the universe. It was also the task of Indra, filled with soma, as I'orr was filled with mead. In R.T.H.Griffith's noble rendering of the Rigveda:

High heaven in unsupported space he stablished: he filled the two worlds and the air's mid-region."

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"Around the year 850, Rudolf of Fulda described Irminsûl as Universalis columna, quasi sustinens omnia. The pillar upheld the world and prevented the sky from falling.
Our name for Irminsûl was Veraldarsûla, which is "The World Pillar". We know little about what Irminsûl looked like. It was either a large tree or a large pillar. The Scandinavian pillars, on the other hand, we know more about. They were cut out with faces on top of the pillars – a face for each pillar. When the Norwegians colonized Iceland, they threw the pillars overboard, and allowed them to decide where they would settle down. Where the pillars hit land, they would settle down.

The Scandinavian pillars were also adorned with nails; so called Reginnaglar (god-nails). Other names for these nails were Regingaddi (god-thorn) and Veraldarnagli (world-nail). These nails sat thorn-like on top of the pillars and pointed towards the sky. The pillars that stood by themselves symbolized the thunder-god, Þórr (Thor). For the Germanics, the oldest known name for Þórr is actually IrminiaR. The name means "the great" and "the strong" and refers to Þórr enormous physical strength and willpower."

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"Tacitus (Germ., 2) says that the Germans classified their race in three great divisions, Inguæones, Herminones, and Istæuones, according to their descent from the three sons of Mannus. It seems likely therefore that worship was once paid to these brothers. Perhaps the cult of lrmin may be traced. When the elder Drusus was on his expedition to the Elbe in B.C. 9, he heard that there were ‘pillars of Hercules’ in existence, but was prevented from obtaining more precise information by the difficulty of crossing the sea. From Tacitus’ account (Germ., 34) it would seem that these pillars were rumoured to be in the direction of Holstein. Now this was, in the second century, the country occupied by the Saxons. In the time of Karl the Great, that is to say some centuries after the westward migration of the Saxons, the chief object of their worship was a lofty wooden pillar in the neighbourhood of Eresburg. This pillar, which was called Irminsul (quod latine dicitur uniuersalis columna), was destroyed by Karl in the year 772.

Is it not likely that the Saxons practised a similar cult in their earlier home, and that this was the source of the story mentioned by Tacitus? This view is especially favoured by a passage of Widukind (i., 12). After describing a legendary victory of the Saxons, he proceeds: “In the morning they planted their eagle at the eastern gate, and piling up an altar of victory, they paid appropriate reverence to the objects of their worship, according to the superstition of their fathers, representing by name Mars, by the likeness of pillars Hercules, by position the Sun, who is called Apollo by the Greeks.” By ‘Mars,’ he means lrmin, as is shown by the next sentence: “hence the view of those who hold that the Saxons are descended from the Greeks, has a certain amount of probability, for Mars is called Hirmin or Hermis in Greek.” In spite of the confusion of native and Græco-Roman mythology, this passage shows that the Irminsul was connected with the cult of a deity or hero named Irmin, and renders it probable that this was the god whom the Romans called ‘Hercules.’ The cult of Hercules was known also to the Cherusci, another tribe of the Irminones, though there is no evidence that the cult here took the same form. Probably the cult of Irmin was known to all the Irminones, but its association with the sacred pillar may have been peculiar to the Saxons." [Munro Chadwick, The Ancient Teutonic Priesthood]


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"Agnicayana: rite of piling the fire altar, included in the soma sacrifices, in 5 layers with bricks. it is represented in  SBr. as a human imitation of the construction of the cosmic world of the Prajapati."

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"The layers of the altar have the following significance: The first layer represents the earth, the third the space, and the fifth the sky. The second layer represents the joining of the earth and space, whereas the fourth layer represents the joining of space and sky. This altar was symbolically represented as a falcon [eagle] or a tortoise as well as other shapes. The Satapatha Br. (12.3.2.5) speaks of the year having 10,800 muhurtas (1 muhu ̄rta = 48 minutes), and the basic Agnicayana altar was to have an area of 108,000 square angulas." [Kak, Asvamedha]

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Thu Jul 14, 2016 5:44 pm

(s: Jarno)

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Tue Aug 02, 2016 4:36 am

The sun-horse and the storm-dragon.

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Sat Aug 06, 2016 12:08 am

Satyr wrote:
Paganism, as it is called in our time, or Aryanism or Indo-European culture, is a relationship,a  love affair.
And like all love affairs it is about power balances - pulling/pushing...one moment it is full of love and the next hate may erupt.  

How man relates to world is agon - love/hate.
Man resist, confronts, separates, from nature, but also accepts, embraces, endures, tolerates.

To man's intuition, the world can be counter-intuitive - to man's, as organism, ordering, world is Flux, producing randomness, to man's morality, caring, world is indifferent, and amoral, to man's subjectivity world is, and is, for man object/objective; to man's need to know, to control, world is unknowable, it is fluctuating, slipping away, falling away.

Paganism is this humble awe before world/nature, but into a capitulation, not a bowing down...as the Greeks believed in their Olympian metaphors of world.  

At its root paganism is the loving, honoring of one's past/nature, through his ancestors, and since the individual is the last ring in that chain, he is the present/presence manifestation of this past/nature, paganism is love of self.
not blind, mad, self-flattering, love.
Not delusional erotic love, but lucid, rational, aware, love = agape.

Eros accentuates agape, as it does between a man and a woman, but it does not replace, or usurp agape, because this would make it a frenzy, an instinctual, and shallow.

Paganism began by believing not in ghosts and spirits, but in one's own dead.
The proto-pagans worshiped their dead, their ancestors, and they prayed to them for guidance, and help - and so essentially they were looking for guidance and help from inside of themselves - taping into their inheritance as it was present in them as genetic code.
Later they universalized their ancestors, and made them into metaphors for natural forces - calling them gods.

Not absolute, infallible, omniscient, omnipotent, one god, but forces.  
Before them man was not a slave, not a submissive nothing, but both benefactor and challenger.
Man fought with and against the gods.  

Practically speaking, pagan man critically listened to those who came before, learning from the experiences passed on.

It seems to me that the advent of Orthodoxy disarmed man of his knowledge, essentially supplying him with a one-size-fits-all handbook. Limited, superficial, vague knowledge consisting a great deal of methods to instill fear of the consequences for not toeing the(ir) line. It relegated him as an object to be called upon. An automaton.

I wonder if the Guardians of Orthodoxy don't deserve a nod of respect for their well played hand, or should I look with disgust on those who so willingly surrendered their arms. At times I do both.

At other times, I feel as though the old ways and the people who practiced them inevitably didn't stand a chance of retaining any significant grasp on the value of individuality what with the acquisition of the very knowledge they were working so hard to accumulate and master. Proximity to controlling external forces has also tightened due to the rise of technology (primarily speed of travel and instantaneous communication), making personal individualism more difficult to maintain. Essentially, the more knowledge that was gained, the easier it became for large groups of people to be controlled by smaller groups.

This takes me back to the OP, about how hippies are deluding paganism. From my perspective, it's inevitable that the hippy-type is the primary character drawn to paganism because they're the ones who seek to unplug from the Network, yet they're incapable of truly, fully escaping it because of the pervasive presence of, in a word, Orthodoxy (not only in the religious sense, but in the political and technological sense). They, the hippies, have no choice but to adopt a pseudo-pagan lifestyle--such as the tarot card reader traveling around in a gas guzzling 8 cylinder van wearing polyester clothing. In modern Western culture, it's ironic that you can't truly revert to a stone age lifestyle without vast sums of money, unless you genuinely have the courage to leave society all together.

Being an outcast from society isn't inherently a pagan virtue. The idea of being solitary, out-in-the-boondocks-nature-loving is most definitely a modern installment to paganism. The old timers didn't aspire to love nature, since they were forced to fend it off on a daily basis--they had no choice but to live as one with it, because if they didn't they were dead.
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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Sun Aug 07, 2016 3:06 am

Acryptical wrote:
I wonder if the Guardians of Orthodoxy don't deserve a nod of respect for their well played hand, or should I look with disgust on those who so willingly surrendered their arms. At times I do both.

Decay and decadence is a natural by-effect of growth, of life.
There is a natural inevitability to dcadence setting in, as a culture advances into a civilization machine, and soon the reasons for particular practices are forgotten, and rituals are so blindly repeated, they appear like superstitious customs. J.Xt. inroads were in a period where decadence had already set in and the argument that Xt. brought reason and logic into barbaric excesses sounds sound only in this light. But one does not forget, such reason in Xt. was the product of world-denial and world-inversion.
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At other times, I feel as though the old ways and the people who practiced them inevitably didn't stand a chance of retaining any significant grasp on the value of individuality what with the acquisition of the very knowledge they were working so hard to accumulate and master. Proximity to controlling external forces has also tightened due to the rise of technology (primarily speed of travel and instantaneous communication), making personal individualism more difficult to maintain. Essentially, the more knowledge that was gained, the easier it became for large groups of people to be controlled by smaller groups.

And your idea of "individualism" is what?

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Sun Aug 07, 2016 3:58 am

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Sun Aug 07, 2016 10:28 am

Lyssa wrote:
And your idea of "individualism" is what?
In a word,... decadence.

More precisely, any practice where the individual's desires are valued more than the collective's needs.

In mystery traditions, VS the "do this" traditions, one is encouraged to make their own decisions in regards to the most fundamental questions of our existence. The quest for answering those questions for one's self becomes a driving force that helps to give one's own meaning (the response to our human ability to ask, "Why?"). It's the psychological side of the argument that new physical frontiers on which we look with wonder and awe are necessary to inspire purpose. The very fact that it, the frontier, is unknown fulfills the external factor of meaning (meaning which is given and absolute, VS meaning which is fabricated/relative/imaginary). But if it (the psychological frontier) is known from the get go, as the people of the book proclaim, then what's the point except doing what you're told, mechanically? The work's been done. The edges of the map's been filled in. No mystery. Apathy.

If we are currently settling into decadence as a culture in the West (and I'm not sure if this was your specific meaning, so it might just be an issue of semantics), it is on a superficial level. Violet upsurges (in various forms, some not necessarily including actual harm of others) come as a result of a lifetime of personal emotional neglect. Lack of fulfillment. Decadence in terms of the material are superficial (the love of wealth, beer, sex, job, or anything tangible), and are distractions to the counterpart: when decadence in terms of something intangible occurs... then I would say we are settling into it. Until then we're just taking a peek (as a society though not as individuals).

Concerning myself on a personal level, individually, I know that I generally feel fed up because of the propaganda that I need to toe the line. In dealing with this, I am on the edge of apathy, and a great hatred wells within me because of it. The hatching of the violent egg. But I still have time before the thing grows and bursts from my chest in a desperate, last-ditch release of unbridled passion, the consequences of which are unproductive in the ultimate sense. But I think I'd rather buy it that way instead of plugging in. For me, there's still a long way to go.
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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:35 pm

Carve Runes in Trees

"In this mediocrity
We will carve runes into a tree
We will ride our destinies
And we will will who we will to be

Our roots run deep, our roots are old
Reaching into worlds unknown
Against this rising tide we'll go
To reclaim our noble souls"





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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:35 pm


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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:37 am

Raidho.


FX wrote:
You need to put more images of corpses and stuff in your posts for the KTSers to come flying over.
See how they all flocked to what I put out to show what they are made of?

It is the conclusion one draws from VO, that people are far more predictable than one thinks, that is shewn here to be correct.

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I missed that other part.

What Fixed is implying is how in times of defense, "friends stick together" and how KT acted proves his VOt, that 'Philosophy is Friendship'  mafia-path.

This is one of the root problems of the dumbed-down situation the world is.

KTS people who defended KTS y'day, did not stick up "for each other",, they stuck up for a truth and a reality that is higher than them in an "open" world that they share together. Its a solidarity united by confronting an open reality.

In the mafia-path, friends sticking up for "each other", rather than what is higher reality, create a closed square; they "square off" and "trim" the world into an epicurean garden. Whatever can fester in such a bonding that puts loyalty before the world may defend a truth, but not promote knowledge.

The muck state of the world we find ourselves in, is because of such mutual nod to get along and 'i cover your back' and 'you cover mine'…
Sticking up for someone even knowing they are wrong may have emotional strength and great love and strong bonds, and whatever else, but what it is not, is doing "Philosophy".


Philosophy is not born of friendships; friendships are born of the highest truths that pull like-minded souls together each in their integrity.

It is the form of our inner-ranking of drives, whether we see ourselves as faithful to our clan, or faithful to an indifferent reality.
Then, sharing the good And bad, the truths And errors, loving And forgiving our kin beyond pleasure/pain annuls the hedonism of the mafia-path.
And walking alone if needs be, trekking the solo path with no solace, no comfort, in pursuit of the highest, left behind by those who cannot keep up with us, beyond pain and pleasure annuls any hedonism of the latter path. Heavy weights that cant climb, keep us down, and we cant look back, if we are to raise them. This is a protracted friendship.

In the former Mafia-path, there is loyalty and sometimes courage is born of it. There is a subjective danger of retardation keeping reality out.

In the latter Phlosophy-path, there is courage, and sometimes loyalties are gained. There is an objective danger of facing those 'indifferent' truths that can no longer distinguish values, life and death, good and bad, noble and ignoble...

This path is not easy. It requires sacrifice of friends, teachers, fathers and brothers and lovers,,, as Nietzsche realized in his parting with Wagner.

And not everyone is meant for it, even if they could trek it alone.

The "warm" joy of many a beautiful friendship will have to be given up if the path one is set on, is that of knowledge.

Just as Neo in the Matrix is able to slow down and dodge a bullet, after Riding Out into the world;

Quote :
Raidho.

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Guido von List wrote:
"A fifth I heard, if from a happy flight a shot flies into the host;
however swiftly it flies, I will force it to stop if I can only catch it with my gaze."

The exalted introspective awareness or subjectivity of the Aryans was their consciousness of their own godliness, for internity is just being with one's self, and to be with one's self is to be with the Nordic God. As long as a people possesses unspoiled their entire original internity as a natural people (the people as a natural people is not being in a savage condition, for uncivilised savages live in the bondage of the most horrible shamanism; the people as a natural people, on the contrary, stipulates a high level of culture, yet free from any kind of false sophistication), it also has no cause to worship an external divinity, for an external divine service bound by ceremony is only made obvious when one is not able to find the Nordic God in one's own innermost being, and begins to see this outside his ego and outside the world -- up there in the starry heaven. The less internal the person is, the more outward his life becomes. The more a people loses its internity, the more pompous and ceremonialised its outward manifestations become -- in the character of its government, law, and cult (all of which will begin to emerge as separate ideas). But they should remain one in the knowledge: What I believe is what I know, and so I also live it out. For this reason, the Aryan divine internity is also the basis for a proud disdain for death among the Aryans and for their limitless trust in the Nordic God and in the self, which expresses itself gloriously in the primal law of the Aryans and which has the fifth rune as its symbolic word sign. Therefore, this rune says: I am my right (rod), this right is indestructible, therefore I am myself indestructible, because I am my right." [The Secret of the Runes]


It is our trust in ourselves, and our passion that urges us forward to make journeys with no support, no friends, no kin to live out what we 'know', with life itself is our travelling companion, our stead, our home-stead.

Those who are firm inside are free to explore the world, quest for knowledge, without making religious necessities of it, turning the world into a sanctuary of love.

Those who have no self-trust, believe in mafia-love. They require external validations, in the manner those who agree with them are "friends", and those who dont, are not. "You are either with me, or you are not" is the motto of one given up on the knowledge path and become "recruiters". The exterior world then becomes a place for creating a one giant family that gives it its confidence and feeling of indestructibility.


Philosophical Friendships are like tributaries and rivers that meander away, and if their pursuit is passionately sincere, meet together in some distant time and place, where a common reality bridges them again.

What cannot unite at a lower plane may unite at some higher one - it needs the Journeying [Raidho].

Nietzsche wrote:
"My dear friend, what is this our life? A boat that swims in the sea, and all one knows for certain about it is that one day it will capsize. Here we are, two good old boats that have been faithful neighbors, and above all your hand has done its best to keep me from "capsizing"! Let us then continue our voyage—each for the other's sake, for a long time yet, a long time! We should miss each other so much! Tolerably calm seas and good winds and above all sun—what I wish for myself, I wish for you, too, and am sorry that my gratitude can find expression only in such a wish and has no influence at all on wind or weather!"

[November 14, 1881: Letter from Friedrich Nietzsche to Franz Overbeck]


Rivers ride on.

The Journey of a thousand miles.

And lost friends shall meet again.

With one mind.

When valleys and mountains rock back and forth,

to collect them collectively together in deep river basins.


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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:52 am

Inter-Subjectivity.

Reality excluded, means the noumenon must find participants in its own delusion, its disconnection form reality - brothers in crime - ideological, theoretical mates.
A clan of abstraction, gathering within a shared delusion.


The phenomenon excluded, makes the noumenon the only source of validation.
How many other minds can you convince, coerce, seduce?
Matrix of containment.
Role playing game.
Unreal, sampling only images, symbols, to fabricate characters/caricatures.

How does a madman validate his madness?
He assimilates other madmen into his insanity.
He normalizes it.

Words connecting minds, not mind to word, but mind to mind - intimate.
Lingo, gestures, secret codes.
With no external reference, they are esoteric.
Shared only by the initiated = cult.

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PostSubject: Re: Paganism and natural order. Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:54 am

That post was beautiful, Lyssa.

Lyssa wrote:
This path is not easy. It requires sacrifice of friends, teachers, fathers and brothers and lovers,,, as Nietzsche realized in his parting with Wagner.

To feel loss when one cuts any sort of tie with another, is a sign of appreciation. Even a noble person feels a sense of sorrowful loss when they have conquered a difficult opponent and they are no longer there to help define them.

Nihilists cry out in pain as they hurt you...They need to show others that they hate that they must attack the healthy as they do. If they did not, then their nihilism might be exposed to everyone who laid witness - for being hypocrites. That is why the hatred against "Nazis" is so intense and visceral.  Every time they call for the elimination of "Nazis",  there's a tinge of "I'm the victim in my own assault against them!"

It is fundamentally a different kind of pain, one from hurting themselves, that they cry about the loss. They sell it as an extreme kind of noble sentiment, an exaggerated one... When it is but the nature of their strategy, in which they hate they have to dirty themselves publicly more than that they performed the dirty act itself.
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