Wotans Day Wonderings

“I know that I hung on a windy tree nine long nights,

wounded with a spear, dedicated to Odin, myself to myself;

On that tree which no man knows from where its roots run.

No bread did they give me nor drink from a horn, downwards i peered;

I took up the runes, screaming i took them; then i fell back from there.”

Taken from the song, Runatal; Havamal (Sayings of the High One)

This instance of poetic verse describes in almost exact detail, the Christian belief in the self sacrifice of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. However, the verse concerns Odin, or Wotan; cheif god of the pre-Christian, Germanic peoples. The Havamal (pronounced HOW-ve-mowl, in its original Icelandic tongue) dates to the 12th century, leading many historical commentators and authors to suppose it to be a transcription from the much older documented Judeo-Christian tale of Jesus.

However, we must take their words with a grain of salt as the saying goes. The ancient, and enduring Germanic god Wotan has been worshipped for much longer than the personification of the Christian God, in the incarnate form of Jesus.

Although the island of Iceland had been technically converted to Christianity by the year 999-1000, due to the tumultuous ruling of Thorgeir Ljosvetninggagodi Thorkelsson, the islands inhabitants would’ve mostly continued to worship in the traditional Norse ways…as shown in a work of similar era and timeframe, the Islendingabok…written by the 12th century Icelandic priest, Ari Thorgilsson.

It seems strange that a christian priest would write about the staunch opposition to the islands conversion, while a historically Icelandic tale passed down of the sayings of Odin, or Wotan, would be apt in attempting to forge a shared imagery with the waring christian kings of Norway.

Fortunately, we have documented renderings of the Ancient stories in the monumental work known as the Codex Regius, or Kings Book; although the surviving copy is dated to be from around the 1270’s. This is amazing considering the documented history of Christian missionaries, or mercenaries at this point in history (if you will), didn’t find this copy in their attempt to burn away the history of pre-christian Europe. This is even more apparent when you read about the Codex Regius disappearing after it’s creation and only reappearing in 1643 in the libraries of the Catholic Bishop of Skalholt, Brynjolfur Sveinsson.

As Wotan states in the Epic poem of the Runes, ‘no man knows from were its roots run.’ This i feel is a fitting air of mystery in a book as mysterious as The Codex Regius, from a song as stirring and magical, concerning the mystical runes,…of which I’ll speak on this next weeks Wodens Day.


Tyr’s (or Tīw’s) Day Tyranny

Tyr (or Tīw, in Old English), the Germanic god of heroism, law & order. Some might even call it tyranny that his status as the chief god of the original, proto-Germanic, pantheon has been usurped by Odin/Wotan!

Originally known by the proto-Germanic cognate that still symbolizes him in the Futhark (Runic alphabet), Tīwaz. Tyr has a long and glorius history in the Germanic/Norse religion of our ancient forebearers. He was the god least afraid to offer up himself to the giant wolf, Fenrir, so that he could be reshackled by the unbreakable dwarven chain called Gleipnir, “the open one”.

It is almost tyranny that the pantheon shifted from one god of war, to another; yet fitting as Odin proved to be the wisest and most capable to rule. It is yet tyranny, that evil is allowed to roam rampant today; as it once was in the personage of the giant, evil wolf. On this Tyrs Day, if you will (or Tiws Day), be not afraid to face down all the forces of evil that causeth tyranny in our peoples lands. Do not even hesitate to offer up part of yourself as a sacrifice, in order that evil be restrained and not allowed to roam free.

Look to Tyr as an example of how to act in todays world; an era where evil lurks seemedly around every corner. Live your life in honor of the ancestors, the gods, and the old ways; and i assure you that you’ll have the strength to face down the evils of our age, when the time comes. Just as the god Tyr has done for us in generations past.

Skal my Germanic/Norse brethern. Drink a toast to Tyr, to law and order, and to glory. And know that we are children of the gods!220px-Týr_by_Frølich

Freys Day Wealth:

Wealth, the stuff of dreams and legends. Freyr_by_Johannes_Gehrts

Wealth has long been sought after by the Western cultures of the world, even unto the point of warfare and marauding raider parties of the Vikings. Men have killed and died for it, lied, cheated, and stolen. But a more ancient, practical wealth has always existed alongside mankind throughout the ages…that of the agrarian, farming societies of the European Caucus steppes to the middle Eastern Fertile Crescent.

In Asatru, the god Frey, or Freyr, was the chief god of farming, fertility, and wealth. He was depicted muscled and toned (as all men of the ancient world would’ve traditionally been, obviously, from working to plow their fields and fighting wars amongst their regional tribes), astride a giant boar, Gullenbursti (meaning golden brushed, in Old Norse/Proto-Germanic).

The god represented, and stood for Kingship, the Proto-Norse cognate Frawjaz meaning ‘Lord’, or ‘King’. Freyr, is known to have been one of the progenators of the Swedish Royal lineage, and went by the name Yngvi-Freyr, which appears to be cognate of the Proto-Germanic, Ingwaz…the central European name for the god Frey.

As ancient kings would, Frey would’ve been synonymous with wealth and success. Therefore, if you seek to increase in these attributes…you would do well to turn to the god Frey, Freyr, or Ingwaz; Call him what you will, the god of Kingship, wealth, sunshine and fair weather, the harvest, and fertility will surely answer.


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Wodens Day Musings:

The Song of The Ent and Ent Wife: An Excerpt from Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, by J.R.R. Tolkien


When spring unfolds the beechen-leaf and sap is in the bough,
When light is on the wild-wood stream, and wind is on the brow,
When stride is long, and breath is deep, and keen the mountain air,
Come back to me! Come back to me, and say my land is fair!


When Spring is come to garth and field, and corn is in the blade,
When blossom like a shining snow is on the orchard laid,
When sun and shower upon the earth with fragrance fill the air,
I’ll linger here, and will not come, because my land is fair!


When Summer lies upon the world, and in a noon of gold
Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold,
When woodland halls are green and cool, and wind is in the West,
Come back to me! Come back to me, and say my land is best!


When Summer warms the hanging fruit and burns the berry brown;
When straw is gold, and ear is white, and harvest comes to town;
When honey spills, and apple swells, though wind be in the West,
I’ll linger here beneath the Sun, because my land is best!


When Winter comes, the winter wild that hill and wood shall slay;
When trees shall fall and starless night devour the sunless day;
When wind is in the deadly East, then in the bitter rain
I’ll look for thee, and call to thee; I’ll come to thee again!


When Winter comes, and singing ends; when darkness falls at last;
When broken is the barren bough, and light and labour past;
I’ll look for thee, and wait for thee, until we meet again:
Together we will tkae the road beneath the bitter rain!


Together we will take the road that leads into the West,
And far away will find a land where both our hearts may rest.