Discussion:
Happy Ostara's Feast!
(too old to reply)
Heidi Graw
2005-03-27 08:25:22 UTC
Permalink
http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/ostara.html

May the gnome Austri leave sweet little tidbits for you to enjoy! He's
Ostara's little helper in case you're wondering. ;-)

Heidi
Heidi Graw
2005-03-27 08:31:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Heidi Graw
http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/ostara.html
May the gnome Austri leave sweet little tidbits for you to enjoy! He's
Ostara's little helper in case you're wondering. ;-)
Heidi
Btw...the German word for Easter is Ostern. Ost is East, Stern is Star.
Ost-Stern...Ostern...Eastern Star.

Heidi
Attuarii
2005-03-27 08:59:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Heidi Graw
Post by Heidi Graw
http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/ostara.html
May the gnome Austri leave sweet little tidbits for you to enjoy! He's
Ostara's little helper in case you're wondering. ;-)
Heidi
Btw...the German word for Easter is Ostern. Ost is East, Stern is Star.
Ost-Stern...Ostern...Eastern Star.
Heidi
Rorix is going to have you excommunicated for speaking truth.

Loading Image...
--
"It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses
or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not
change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people."
Giordano Bruno
Heidi Graw
2005-03-27 10:18:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Attuarii
Post by Heidi Graw
Post by Heidi Graw
http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/ostara.html
May the gnome Austri leave sweet little tidbits for you to enjoy! He's
Ostara's little helper in case you're wondering. ;-)
Heidi
Btw...the German word for Easter is Ostern. Ost is East, Stern is Star.
Ost-Stern...Ostern...Eastern Star.
Heidi
Rorix is going to have you excommunicated for speaking truth.
http://baldur.globalsymmetry.com/gs-home/images/oesanimated.gif
Do you want to know who are the heroines of the Eastern Star?

First star point: Adah. Her father slaughtered her to appease Jehovah.
Second star point: Ruth. Scavaging the fields to pluck up left over wheat
stalks.
Third star point: Esther. An impoverished exile who f*cked a king to
become a queen and thereby saved her people.
Fourth star point: Martha. A servant grovelling at the feet of Jesus.
Fifth star point: Electra. A Christian martyr who got nailed to the cross.

http://www.bcgrandchapter.com/ourheroines.htm

The 5 virtues...obedience, poverty, prostitution, servility and
martyrdom...well... I dunno...Somehow I can't see Ostara valuing any of
those. What you refered to is *not* the TRUE Eastern Star!

So, who is Ostara? She's generous, wealthy, fertile and voluptuous. She is
strong and courageous! She shines brightly! She's one heluva WOMAN! ;-)
Her five points should be: generosity, health, wealth, strength and
fecundity. These are all life affirming and life promoting aspects perfect
for Springtime.

The Christian version spells death. Ostara is not a death star! No wonder
the Eastern Star Grand Chapter claims their origins are shrouded in mystery.
They're shrouded because they've been wrapped in a pack of lies.

Heidi
Attuarii
2005-03-27 11:09:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Heidi Graw
Post by Attuarii
Post by Heidi Graw
Post by Heidi Graw
http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/ostara.html
May the gnome Austri leave sweet little tidbits for you to enjoy! He's
Ostara's little helper in case you're wondering. ;-)
Heidi
Btw...the German word for Easter is Ostern. Ost is East, Stern is Star.
Ost-Stern...Ostern...Eastern Star.
Heidi
Rorix is going to have you excommunicated for speaking truth.
http://baldur.globalsymmetry.com/gs-home/images/oesanimated.gif
Do you want to know who are the heroines of the Eastern Star?
First star point: Adah. Her father slaughtered her to appease Jehovah.
Second star point: Ruth. Scavaging the fields to pluck up left over
wheat stalks.
Third star point: Esther. An impoverished exile who f*cked a king to
become a queen and thereby saved her people.
Fourth star point: Martha. A servant grovelling at the feet of Jesus.
Fifth star point: Electra. A Christian martyr who got nailed to the cross.
http://www.bcgrandchapter.com/ourheroines.htm
The 5 virtues...obedience, poverty, prostitution, servility and
martyrdom...well... I dunno...Somehow I can't see Ostara valuing any of
those. What you refered to is *not* the TRUE Eastern Star!
So, who is Ostara? She's generous, wealthy, fertile and voluptuous. She is
strong and courageous! She shines brightly! She's one heluva WOMAN! ;-)
Her five points should be: generosity, health, wealth, strength and
fecundity. These are all life affirming and life promoting aspects
perfect for Springtime.
The Christian version spells death. Ostara is not a death star! No
wonder the Eastern Star Grand Chapter claims their origins are shrouded in
mystery. They're shrouded because they've been wrapped in a pack of lies.
Heidi
You sure know a lot about the Eastern Star stuff. It's funny that you sound
like an anti-anti-Mason, which is not identical with being a Mason. Of
course, I'm not going to say what I believe about it all.

Loading Image...
--
"It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses
or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not
change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people."
Giordano Bruno
robert bowman
2005-03-27 15:16:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Attuarii
You sure know a lot about the Eastern Star stuff. It's funny that you
sound like an anti-anti-Mason, which is not identical with being a Mason.
Of course, I'm not going to say what I believe about it all.
Perhaps it is like my anti-anti-Catholic rants. If the Christianization of
the Germanic people was bad, their re-fragmentation into a number of
nations engaged in bloody warfare against themselves was worse. At least
the Catholics had the common sense to point their young warriors at
Jerusalem and the surrounding territories where they could work off their
energy fighting with an actual enemy instead of their brothers (and
sisters, Heidi).

I am not sure I see the Masons in as positive a light. What did Voltaire
have in mind when he said "Ecrasez l'infame!"? In the long run, was it
Western civilization?


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Attuarii
2005-03-27 20:14:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by robert bowman
Post by Attuarii
You sure know a lot about the Eastern Star stuff. It's funny that you
sound like an anti-anti-Mason, which is not identical with being a Mason.
Of course, I'm not going to say what I believe about it all.
Perhaps it is like my anti-anti-Catholic rants.
Not quite what I had in mind. Most 'assaults' on Masons tend to come in the
form of accusations of Paganism from 'Christians'. In Heidi's case she is
attacking them form the other side (more, or less), but using very similar
language. So the first 'anti' was in the sense of anti-symmetry. The
second in the sense of 'condemnation'.
Post by robert bowman
If the Christianization of
the Germanic people was bad, their re-fragmentation into a number of
nations engaged in bloody warfare against themselves was worse. At least
the Catholics had the common sense to point their young warriors at
Jerusalem and the surrounding territories where they could work off their
energy fighting with an actual enemy instead of their brothers (and
sisters, Heidi).
There are a few little issues such as the Albigensian Crusade. The Reich
never was all that stable. It even splintered in the first generation after
Charlemagne into (roughly) France, Germany and Austria. It's unfortunate
that a people such as the Germani, who clearly have some degree of unifying
ethnic origin have not preserved a 'founding tradition'.
Post by robert bowman
I am not sure I see the Masons in as positive a light. What did Voltaire
have in mind when he said "Ecrasez l'infame!"? In the long run, was it
Western civilization?
It's hard to judge. I believe in the principles of Enlightenment, but find
more and more that we live in a world governed by untruth and ruled by the
enemies of truth. I've seen that some Masons are more than willing to
baldly lie to obfuscate their true beliefs and intentions. There are times
when that may be necessary, but "Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first
we practise to deceive!" [Sir Walter Scott]

There are fools, and there are liars. It can be difficult to tell one from
the other. I tolerate the former, but disdain the latter.
--
"It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses
or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not
change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people."
Giordano Bruno
robert bowman
2005-03-28 00:20:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Attuarii
There are a few little issues such as the Albigensian Crusade.
Is there a difference of kind in the Moslem capture of Toulouse in 732, the
Albigensian movement around 1200, and the current situation? Southwest
France and al-Andalus had a long history, not unlike the southwest US and
Mexico. Perhaps the ghost of Mani did an end run through North Africa and
Spain? It goes back to the eternal question: for one reason or the other a
segment of the population has a culture that is at odds with the rest; what
do you do with them? Dirk might say kill them for the greater glory of
whatever, which I can not agree with. Still, hwat the hell do you do with
them?
Post by Attuarii
It's hard to judge. I believe in the principles of Enlightenment, but
find more and more that we live in a world governed by untruth and ruled
by the enemies of truth.
I'm as rational as anyone (I think) but I also recognize my irrationality.
Some parts of it aren't too appealing, while others include a sense of awe
and wonder at being in the world. To the extent that the Enlightenment
maintains man is strictly rational, I believe it denies human nature and we
are paying the price. It's a social experiment that will be judged in 500
or 1000 years, with the usual disclaimer about the existence of a human
historian in 3000 CE.



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Attuarii
2005-03-28 00:43:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by robert bowman
Post by Attuarii
There are a few little issues such as the Albigensian Crusade.
Is there a difference of kind in the Moslem capture of Toulouse in 732,
the Albigensian movement around 1200, and the current situation? Southwest
France and al-Andalus had a long history, not unlike the southwest US and
Mexico. Perhaps the ghost of Mani did an end run through North Africa and
Spain?
I would really like to know more about the ???????(Cathar) origins and
beliefs. I have some reason to believe they may not have been that distant
from Óðinnists in the original sense. Perhaps they were among the
uninvited guests at the Mainz New Year feast in 407 CE? They also seem to
have had ties with English Royalty.
Post by robert bowman
It goes back to the eternal question: for one reason or the other a
segment of the population has a culture that is at odds with the rest;
what do you do with them? Dirk might say kill them for the greater glory
of whatever, which I can not agree with. Still, hwat the hell do you do
with them?
Well the formal solution was "Kill 'em all, and let God sort 'em out".
Post by robert bowman
Post by Attuarii
It's hard to judge. I believe in the principles of Enlightenment, but
find more and more that we live in a world governed by untruth and ruled
by the enemies of truth.
I'm as rational as anyone (I think) but I also recognize my irrationality.
Some parts of it aren't too appealing, while others include a sense of awe
and wonder at being in the world. To the extent that the Enlightenment
maintains man is strictly rational,
I guess that is one way to view what is meant by Enlightenment. I have
never taken it to be that exclusive of other aspects of human nature.
Post by robert bowman
I believe it denies human nature and
we are paying the price. It's a social experiment that will be judged in
500 or 1000 years, with the usual disclaimer about the existence of a
human historian in 3000 CE.
I guess I don't see a great disconnect between Enlightenment and primate
ethology. This is far from a new topic. I find it in, among other places,
Buddhism and Aristotle (from which it seems to have entered the NT).
--
"It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses
or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not
change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people."
Giordano Bruno
Attuarii
2005-03-28 01:46:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Attuarii
Post by robert bowman
Post by Attuarii
There are a few little issues such as the Albigensian Crusade.
Is there a difference of kind in the Moslem capture of Toulouse in 732,
the Albigensian movement around 1200, and the current situation?
Southwest France and al-Andalus had a long history, not unlike the
southwest US and Mexico. Perhaps the ghost of Mani did an end run through
North Africa and Spain?
I would really like to know more about the ???????(Cathar) origins and
beliefs. I have some reason to believe they may not have been that distant
from Óðinnists in the original sense. Perhaps they were among the
uninvited guests at the Mainz New Year feast in 407 CE? They also seem to
have had ties with English Royalty.
Post by robert bowman
It goes back to the eternal question: for one reason or the other a
segment of the population has a culture that is at odds with the rest;
what do you do with them? Dirk might say kill them for the greater glory
of whatever, which I can not agree with. Still, hwat the hell do you do
with them?
Well the formal solution was "Kill 'em all, and let God sort 'em out".
I'll add that the Albegensian crusade(1209-1229) took place during the life
of Snorri Sturluson(1179-1241). Just to give some concept of time frame.
--
"It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses
or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not
change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people."
Giordano Bruno
robert bowman
2005-03-27 15:19:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Heidi Graw
http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/ostara.html
"The following views, advanced by Jacob Grimm in his Deutsche Mythologie
(1835), are generally held by Germanic scholars:

* April, in Anglo Saxon, Old High German, and some modern German
dialects, is called "Ostara's month."

Is it April already, or are you equating the 17th of Nisan with Ostara?

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Heidi Graw
2005-03-27 20:21:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by robert bowman
Post by Heidi Graw
http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/ostara.html
"The following views, advanced by Jacob Grimm in his Deutsche Mythologie
* April, in Anglo Saxon, Old High German, and some modern German
dialects, is called "Ostara's month."
Is it April already, or are you equating the 17th of Nisan with Ostara?
I suppose it depends on what calendar one is using...

http://www.hermetic.ch/cal_stud/lunarcal/types.htm

I find this issue too confusing, so I'm just going along with whatever is
popular in the way of Christmas/Yule, Easter/Ostara and Canadian
Thanksgiving/Harvest. I find co-ordinating these three major celebrations
more convenient. As for the other minor ones, no big deal...celebrate as
they come up and as they hold special meanings for the observer. If you
find there are not enough celebrations throughout the year, invent a few
additional ones!
;-)

Heidi
robert bowman
2005-03-28 00:31:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Heidi Graw
I suppose it depends on what calendar one is using...
Can be a problem, like when King Oswy was eating the Easter ham and his
queen was still in Lent.

Sometimes it can be beneficial. When I was in high school, the Hanukah,
Christmas, and Orthodox Christmas sequence pretty much shot the hell out of
full attendance and serious work for three weeks or so. The more holidays,
the better -- now if I could just get my employer to agree.


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Heidi Graw
2005-03-28 07:27:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by robert bowman
Post by Heidi Graw
I suppose it depends on what calendar one is using...
Can be a problem, like when King Oswy was eating the Easter ham and his
queen was still in Lent.
LOL...
Post by robert bowman
Sometimes it can be beneficial. When I was in high school, the Hanukah,
Christmas, and Orthodox Christmas sequence pretty much shot the hell out of
full attendance and serious work for three weeks or so. The more holidays,
the better -- now if I could just get my employer to agree.
I know what you mean. At my son's school they have a "multicultural club."
The students organize all sorts of multicultural activities throughout the
year. There's a party going on every week at that school! I never know
what the principal will look like one week to the next. He could be wearing
a turban, a yamulka, a stetson, a feathered cap or one with a shamrock! The
cafeteria chef and his students are constantly cooking up one ethnic meal or
another. The school band plays assorted music from around the world during
lunch-time.

We've got one Scottish student who loves to show off his bagpipe skills.
He'll wear a kilt to school when it's "Scottish Day." Then they have a
haggis eating contest in the cafeteria.

The only students not participating are the Native Indians. They insist
they be "special", seperate and distinct. Anything they do they reserve a
special evening out somewhere else in the community. They refuse to put on
a school-based program or allow the chef to prepare bannock and smoked
salmon as an ethnic luncheon. I don't know why this is. They're constantly
complaining about "discrimination" and yet when they are invited to showcase
their culture, they refuse!

Back in my "office" days, us girls used to take turns meeting at each others
houses for ethnic meals. Our little group consisted of two East Indians,
one Chinese, one Filipino, one English, one Scottish, and two Germans. We
were all hyphenated Canadians. ;-) My employer also allowed me time off
early for December 24th 'cause it was known that I celebrate that evening
rather than on the 25th. That half day without pay was worth it to me! ;-)
Even my first employer, a Jewish woman, never scheduled me in to work on
Dec. 24th.

I've always found that the bosses were quite accommodating when it came to
scheduling time off for various people so they could observe their various
celebrations and/or holy days. With a multicultural workforce you can
pretty much operate all year round while retaining the needed staff to keep
things going.

Heidi
robert bowman
2005-03-28 14:28:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Heidi Graw
I know what you mean. At my son's school they have a "multicultural
club." The students organize all sorts of multicultural activities
throughout the year.
There is a small difference. There were a lot of Jewish kids and not a few
Jewish teachers in the the school, particularly in the advanced placement
program. We knew vaguely about Hanukah, dreidls, and Hanukah gelt and
certainly could ask one of our friends if we were interested. In the same
way, we knew the Ukranian and Russian kids operated on their own calendar.
It was before Kwanza was invented, and I can't recall knowing an Asian
before college, so those were terra incognita. However, there wasn't an
authorized program to increase our multicultural sensitivities, nor was
there any suppression of religious expression. There were cliques, the
ethnic groups tended to hang out together, and so forth like any high
school.
Post by Heidi Graw
Back in my "office" days, us girls used to take turns meeting at each
others houses for ethnic meals.
The is a Vietnamese guy who often brings in candies when he gets a care
package from home, but we are at a low level of female diversity and guys
just don't get into home cooked specialties. One woman would come begging
food when she got the munchies and pay me back in dried squid, but she got
a decent job in another town. I should email her and find out where she was
getting the squid; they were better than jerky.


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Dirk Bruere at Neopax
2005-03-30 13:47:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Heidi Graw
The only students not participating are the Native Indians. They insist
they be "special", seperate and distinct. Anything they do they reserve a
special evening out somewhere else in the community. They refuse to put on
a school-based program or allow the chef to prepare bannock and smoked
salmon as an ethnic luncheon. I don't know why this is. They're constantly
complaining about "discrimination" and yet when they are invited to showcase
their culture, they refuse!
Of course they do.
It would put them on a par with all the rest of the conquerors and immigrants
who have dispossessed their people.

FFF
Dirk

The Consensus:-
The political party for the new millenium
http://www.theconsensus.org
Ingeborg S. Nordén
2005-03-28 02:06:00 UTC
Permalink
Personally, being a Norse-based Heathen (not continental like Heidi, or
Saxon like some other Heathens here)...I do not celebrate Ostara even in a
pagan-friendly form. There is no evidence for Scandinavians having a
goddess-centered fertility festival with eggs and rabbits in pre-Christian
times; even the secular Easter customs in modern Sweden are German imports.

Not that I intend to ruin the holiday for those of you who do celebrate, of
course....
--
----
Ingeborg S. Nordén
(***@chorus.net)
Ek Ingwibergô stabaz fahiðô
robert bowman
2005-03-28 03:05:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
There is no evidence for Scandinavians having a
goddess-centered fertility festival with eggs and rabbits in pre-Christian
times; even the secular Easter customs in modern Sweden are German imports.
As far as I know, only English and German retain Ostara in the name for the
Christian celebration, while other languages derive from Pesach. Since
Easter is the one Christian season that can not be arbitrarily moved to
offset a Heathen celebration, I wonder if the areas when Pesach survived
had no corresponding traditional spring customs?

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Heidi Graw
2005-03-28 07:37:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
Personally, being a Norse-based Heathen (not continental like Heidi, or
Saxon like some other Heathens here)...I do not celebrate Ostara even in a
pagan-friendly form. There is no evidence for Scandinavians having a
goddess-centered fertility festival with eggs and rabbits in pre-Christian
times; even the secular Easter customs in modern Sweden are German imports.
Not that I intend to ruin the holiday for those of you who do celebrate,
of course....
No offense taken! ;-)

Just curious about the tradition with respect to Nerthus: I understand she
came "out" once every nine years. Did she arrive in Spring and leave in
Winter? Was peace declared for a whole year or for a much shorter period of
time, ie...a few days? Do you, Ingeborg, observe the arrival and departure
of Nerthus? If so, do you observe this once every nine years? If so, how
do you know which is the correct ninth year? Is this tracked in Sweden (or
somehwere)? I'd like to know a little more about this custom and whether or
not Asatru adherents of today observe
the Nerthus peace year (although perhaps not including drowning those who
"see" her).

Heidi
Ingeborg S. Nordén
2005-03-28 08:42:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Heidi Graw
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
Personally, being a Norse-based Heathen (not continental like Heidi, or
Saxon like some other Heathens here)...I do not celebrate Ostara even in
a pagan-friendly form. There is no evidence for Scandinavians having a
goddess-centered fertility festival with eggs and rabbits in
pre-Christian times; even the secular Easter customs in modern Sweden are
German imports.
Not that I intend to ruin the holiday for those of you who do celebrate,
of course....
No offense taken! ;-)
Just curious about the tradition with respect to Nerthus: I understand
she came "out" once every nine years. Did she arrive in Spring and leave
in Winter? Was peace declared for a whole year or for a much shorter
period of time, ie...a few days? Do you, Ingeborg, observe the arrival
and departure of Nerthus? If so, do you observe this once every nine
years? If so, how do you know which is the correct ninth year? Is this
tracked in Sweden (or somehwere)? I'd like to know a little more about
this custom and whether or not Asatru adherents of today observe
the Nerthus peace year (although perhaps not including drowning those who
"see" her).
Heidi
First Nerthus, then Swedish tradition...

(1) No evidence exists for Nerthus being anything more than a local earth
deity in whichever area Tacitus heard about second-hand. Odds are fairly
high that this area was not Scandinavia, or the _Germania_ text would not
have described details like the aurochs being a local animal. Being
strictly Norse-centered, I consider any discussion of her purely
academic--not part of my own Heathenry.

(2) As for the spring processions which *were* known in early Sweden,
they were dedicated to a goddess at all--quite the opposite! The dominant
cult in Sweden focused on Freyr and the sacral kingship; although the
presence of a woman in fertility processions makes sense, surviving lore
implies that Freyr's "partner" was a human priestess rather than a deity in
her own right. Whether the Svear had any ritual customs similar to those of
the Nerthus-worshipers whom Tacitus describes--again, we have no direct
evidence. (It's unlikely that their culture practiced sacrifice by
drowning, or some lore/folk customs from further north than Tacitus'
subjects would have alluded to it. The ban on weapons, on the other hand,
does seem just as logical for the worship of a "peace-king" like Freyr as it
does for Nerthus' cult.)
--
----
Ingeborg S. Nordén
(***@chorus.net)
Ek Ingwibergô stabaz fahiðô
Attuarii
2005-03-28 15:15:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
First Nerthus, then Swedish tradition...
(1) No evidence exists for Nerthus being anything more than a local
earth deity in whichever area Tacitus heard about second-hand.
Tacitus describes the Nerthus festival as being regional. The understanding
I have is that this took place mostly in Jutland and the adjacent areas.
So, by that reading of Tacitus, it was almost strictly a Scandinavian
(Denmark) practice. But who was where at the time of Tacitus is quite an
open question.
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
Odds are fairly
high that this area was not Scandinavia, or the _Germania_ text would not
have described details like the aurochs being a local animal. Being
strictly Norse-centered, I consider any discussion of her purely
academic--not part of my own Heathenry.
If we are to use Tacitus as any indication, I would tend to belive Freya (or
such like - "Mother of the God", IIRC) was most highly venerated in what is
now Sweden at the time of his writing.
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
(2) As for the spring processions which *were* known in early Sweden,
they were dedicated to a goddess at all--quite the opposite! The dominant
cult in Sweden focused on Freyr and the sacral kingship; although the
presence of a woman in fertility processions makes sense, surviving lore
implies that Freyr's "partner" was a human priestess rather than a deity
in her own right.
Care to provide citations?
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
Whether the Svear had any ritual customs similar to those
of the Nerthus-worshipers whom Tacitus describes--again, we have no direct
evidence. (It's unlikely that their culture practiced sacrifice by
drowning, or some lore/folk customs from further north than Tacitus'
subjects would have alluded to it. The ban on weapons, on the other hand,
does seem just as logical for the worship of a "peace-king" like Freyr as
it does for Nerthus' cult.)
It seems hazardous to assume an unbroken, invariant continuity between the
people and practices Tacitus describes in the Germania, and those found in
the surviving lore.
--
"It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses
or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not
change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people."
Giordano Bruno
Ingeborg S. Nord?n
2005-03-28 20:13:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Attuarii
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
First Nerthus, then Swedish tradition...
(1) No evidence exists for Nerthus being anything more than a local
earth deity in whichever area Tacitus heard about second-hand.
Tacitus describes the Nerthus festival as being regional. The understanding
I have is that this took place mostly in Jutland and the adjacent areas.
So, by that reading of Tacitus, it was almost strictly a Scandinavian
(Denmark) practice. But who was where at the time of Tacitus is quite an
open question.
Ummm, there is still that little matter of the aurochs and its hunting
being mentioned as important to the tribe Tacitus names. If the tribe
in question lived in present-day Denmark, certainly we'd find at least
a few artifacts and/or bones preserved that showed the animal being
indigneous to Jutland at the time. (The older Danish bog bodies and
the Gundestrup cauldron, among other things, date from a similar
period--but nothing aurochs-related has been discovered there so far,
to the best of my knowledge.)
Post by Attuarii
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
Odds are fairly
high that this area was not Scandinavia, or the _Germania_ text would not
have described details like the aurochs being a local animal. Being
strictly Norse-centered, I consider any discussion of her purely
academic--not part of my own Heathenry.
If we are to use Tacitus as any indication, I would tend to belive Freya (or
such like - "Mother of the God", IIRC) was most highly venerated in what is
now Sweden at the time of his writing.
"Mother of the god" does not describe Freyja as known in surviving
Scandinavian texts: her only recorded children are female (Hnoss and
Gersimi). For that matter, the only Norse goddess known *mainly* for
her son seems to be Jord/Fjorgynn; her son is Thor, who has no known
connection either to the Nerthus cult in _Germania_ or to the Swedish
fertility processions mentioned in later lore.
Post by Attuarii
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
(2) As for the spring processions which *were* known in early Sweden,
they were dedicated to a goddess at all--quite the opposite! The dominant
cult in Sweden focused on Freyr and the sacral kingship; although the
presence of a woman in fertility processions makes sense, surviving lore
implies that Freyr's "partner" was a human priestess rather than a deity
in her own right.
Care to provide citations?
First-- _The Tale of Gunnar Helming_ in _Flateyjarbók_ (This is
admittedly a parody, but a parody which made some cultural
assumptions: The idea that the Swedes saw nothing unusual in Freyr's
impregnating a local woman--and the description of Freyr's statue
being carted around the countryside--imply that HE, not an earth
goddess, was the object of worship in local spring processions.)

Second--the stanza for the Ing-rune in the Old English rune poem
(which I discuss more thoroughly at my web site--
http://www.geocities.com/ingwibergo/whyfreyr2.html).

Third--the reference to Freyr as _blótgoð Svía_ ("sacrifice-deity of
the Swedes") in _Olaf Tryggvasons saga_. The word _goð_ is
grammatically neuter in Old Norse; it has been used to discuss female
deities (Skadhi and Sol) as well as male ones (Freyr and Ullr). Under
the circumstances, if a female fertility cult had predominated in
Sweden--then the goddess of that cult, not Freyr, would have earned
the title _blótgoð Svía_.

Finally--_Ynglingasaga_ in _Heimskringla_ (more cultural assumptions
despite the political agenda: Freyr and not a goddess being at the
center of the Swedish fertility cult). It doesn't mention the Freyr
procession that the other sources support, but the lack of any
goddess-centered rite for fertilty in Sweden is still fairly
conspicuous IMO.
Post by Attuarii
It seems hazardous to assume an unbroken, invariant continuity between the
people and practices Tacitus describes in the Germania, and those found in
the surviving lore.
Perhaps so; but you take a pan-Indo-European approach to Heathenry and
I take a regional (Swedish) one. You use an earlier era as a starting
point and I use a later one. It seems logical enough that those
different starting points would lead to different theologies and
practices.


---

Ingeborg S. Nordén
(***@chorus.net)
Ek Ingwibergô stabaz fahiðô
Attuarii
2005-03-28 21:04:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ingeborg S. Nord?n
Post by Attuarii
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
First Nerthus, then Swedish tradition...
(1) No evidence exists for Nerthus being anything more than a local
earth deity in whichever area Tacitus heard about second-hand.
Tacitus describes the Nerthus festival as being regional. The
understanding I have is that this took place mostly in Jutland and the
adjacent areas. So, by that reading of Tacitus, it was almost strictly a
Scandinavian
(Denmark) practice. But who was where at the time of Tacitus is quite an
open question.
Ummm, there is still that little matter of the aurochs and its hunting
being mentioned as important to the tribe Tacitus names. If the tribe
in question lived in present-day Denmark, certainly we'd find at least
a few artifacts and/or bones preserved that showed the animal being
indigneous to Jutland at the time. (The older Danish bog bodies and
the Gundestrup cauldron, among other things, date from a similar
period--but nothing aurochs-related has been discovered there so far,
to the best of my knowledge.)
What are you translating as "aurochs" in this?

<quote book="Germania"
author="Cornelious Tacitus"
chapter="40">
Contra Langobardos paucitas nobilitat: plurimis ac valentissimis nationibus
cincti non per obsequium, sed proeliis ac periclitando tuti sunt. Reudigni
deinde et Aviones et Anglii et Varini et Eudoses et Suardones et Nuithones
fluminibus aut silvis muniuntur. Nec quicquam notabile in singulis, nisi
quod in commune Nerthum, id est Terram matrem, colunt eamque intervenire
rebus hominum, invehi populis arbitrantur. Est in insula Oceani castum
nemus, dicatumque in eo vehiculum, veste contectum; attingere uni sacerdoti
concessum. Is adesse penetrali deam intellegit vectamque bubus feminis
multa cum veneratione prosequitur. Laeti tunc dies, festa loca, quaecumque
adventu hospitioque dignatur. Non bella ineunt, non arma sumunt; clausum
omne ferrum; pax et quies tunc tantum nota, tunc tantum amata, donec idem
sacerdos satiatam conversatione mortalium deam templo reddat. Mox vehiculum
et vestes et, si credere velis, numen ipsum secreto lacu abluitur. Servi
ministrant, quos statim idem lacus haurit. Arcanus hinc terror sanctaque
ignorantia, quid sit illud, quod tantum perituri vident.
</quote>
Post by Ingeborg S. Nord?n
Post by Attuarii
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
Odds are fairly
high that this area was not Scandinavia, or the _Germania_ text would not
have described details like the aurochs being a local animal. Being
strictly Norse-centered, I consider any discussion of her purely
academic--not part of my own Heathenry.
If we are to use Tacitus as any indication, I would tend to belive Freya
(or such like - "Mother of the God", IIRC) was most highly venerated in
what is now Sweden at the time of his writing.
"Mother of the god" does not describe Freyja as known in surviving
Scandinavian texts: her only recorded children are female (Hnoss and
Gersimi). For that matter, the only Norse goddess known *mainly* for
her son seems to be Jord/Fjorgynn; her son is Thor, who has no known
connection either to the Nerthus cult in _Germania_
If you are suggesting that Germania did not include Sweden, I will have to
disagree. Tacitus certainly didn't give much information about the most
northern extent of Germania, but it is clear that his description reaches
the arctic circle.
Post by Ingeborg S. Nord?n
or to the Swedish fertility processions mentioned in later lore.
This is what Tacitus tells us of the most Northern people of the region.

<quote book="Germania"
author="Cornelious Tacitus"
chapter="45"
Beyond the Suiones is another sea, one very heavy and almost void of
agitation; and by it the whole globe is thought to be bounded and
environed, for that the reflection of the sun, after his setting, continues
till his rising, so bright as to darken the stars. To this, popular opinion
has added, that the tumult also of his emerging from the sea is heard, that
forms divine are then seen, as likewise the rays about his head. Only thus
far extend the limits of nature, if what fame says be true. Upon the right
of the Suevian Sea the Aestyan nations reside, who use the same customs and
attire with the Suevians; their language more resembles that of Britain.
They worship the Mother of the Gods. As the characteristic of their
national superstition, they wear the images of wild boars. This alone
serves them for arms, this is the safeguard of all, and by this every
worshipper of the Goddess is secured even amidst his foes. Rare amongst
them is the use of weapons of iron, but frequent that of clubs. In
producing of grain and the other fruits of the earth, they labour with more
assiduity and patience than is suitable to the usual laziness of Germans.
Nay, they even search the deep, and of all the rest are the only people who
gather amber. They call it glasing, and find it amongst the shallows and
upon the very shore. But, according to the ordinary incuriosity and
ignorance of Barbarians, they have neither learnt, nor do they inquire,
what is its nature, or from what cause it is produced. In truth it lay long
neglected amongst the other gross discharges of the sea; till from our
luxury, it gained a name and value. To themselves it is of no use: they
gather it rough, they expose it in pieces coarse and unpolished, and for it
receive a price with wonder. You would however conceive it to be a liquor
issuing from trees, for that in the transparent substance are often seen
birds and other animals, such as at first stuck in the soft gum, and by it,
as it hardened, became quite enclosed. I am apt to believe that, as in the
recesses of the East are found woods and groves dropping frankincense and
balms, so in the isles and continent of the West such gums are extracted by
the force and proximity of the sun; at first liquid and flowing into the
next sea, then thrown by winds and waves upon the opposite shore. If you
try the nature of amber by the application of fire, it kindles like a
torch; and feeds a thick and unctuous flame very high scented, and
presently becomes glutinous like pitch or rosin.

Upon the Suiones, border the people Sitones; and, agreeing with them in all
other things, differ from them in one, that here the sovereignty is
exercised by a woman. So notoriously do they degenerate not only from a
state of liberty, but even below a state of bondage.
</quote>
Post by Ingeborg S. Nord?n
Post by Attuarii
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
(2) As for the spring processions which *were* known in early Sweden,
they were dedicated to a goddess at all--quite the opposite! The
dominant cult in Sweden focused on Freyr and the sacral kingship;
although the presence of a woman in fertility processions makes sense,
surviving lore implies that Freyr's "partner" was a human priestess
rather than a deity in her own right.
Care to provide citations?
First-- _The Tale of Gunnar Helming_ in _Flateyjarbók_ (This is
admittedly a parody, but a parody which made some cultural
assumptions: The idea that the Swedes saw nothing unusual in Freyr's
impregnating a local woman--and the description of Freyr's statue
being carted around the countryside--imply that HE, not an earth
goddess, was the object of worship in local spring processions.)
Second--the stanza for the Ing-rune in the Old English rune poem
(which I discuss more thoroughly at my web site--
http://www.geocities.com/ingwibergo/whyfreyr2.html).
Third--the reference to Freyr as _blótgoð Svía_ ("sacrifice-deity of
the Swedes") in _Olaf Tryggvasons saga_. The word _goð_ is
grammatically neuter in Old Norse; it has been used to discuss female
deities (Skadhi and Sol) as well as male ones (Freyr and Ullr). Under
the circumstances, if a female fertility cult had predominated in
Sweden--then the goddess of that cult, not Freyr, would have earned
the title _blótgoð Svía_.
Finally--_Ynglingasaga_ in _Heimskringla_ (more cultural assumptions
despite the political agenda: Freyr and not a goddess being at the
center of the Swedish fertility cult). It doesn't mention the Freyr
procession that the other sources support, but the lack of any
goddess-centered rite for fertilty in Sweden is still fairly
conspicuous IMO.
Post by Attuarii
It seems hazardous to assume an unbroken, invariant continuity between
the people and practices Tacitus describes in the Germania, and those
found in the surviving lore.
Perhaps so; but you take a pan-Indo-European approach to Heathenry and
I take a regional (Swedish) one. You use an earlier era as a starting
point and I use a later one. It seems logical enough that those
different starting points would lead to different theologies and
practices.
My views have chanced considerably in the past year. I've come to believe
there is a significant non-Indo-European component in Germanic heritage.
--
"It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses
or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not
change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people."
Giordano Bruno
Heidi Graw
2005-03-28 22:49:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Attuarii
Post by Ingeborg S. Nord?n
Post by Attuarii
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
First Nerthus, then Swedish tradition...
(1) No evidence exists for Nerthus being anything more than a local
earth deity in whichever area Tacitus heard about second-hand.
Tacitus describes the Nerthus festival as being regional.
...at the very least 7 tribes (or nations) are named to be those Nerthus
worshippers.
Post by Attuarii
Post by Ingeborg S. Nord?n
Post by Attuarii
The
understanding I have is that this took place mostly in Jutland and the
adjacent areas. So, by that reading of Tacitus, it was almost strictly a
Scandinavian
(Denmark) practice. But who was where at the time of Tacitus is quite an
open question.
Ummm, there is still that little matter of the aurochs and its hunting
being mentioned as important to the tribe Tacitus names.
I scoured the "Germania" and couldn't find one word about aurochs or one
tribe being affilitated with auroch hunting. I do, however, know that
aurochs were common in central and south Europe, Asia and Africa. Tacitus,
does however speak of cows, oxen, and cattle. I'm assuming these are
domesticated animals and not wild ones. It is said cows pull the cart
containing Nerthus.
Post by Attuarii
Post by Ingeborg S. Nord?n
If the tribe
in question lived in present-day Denmark, certainly we'd find at least
a few artifacts and/or bones preserved that showed the animal being
indigneous to Jutland at the time. (The older Danish bog bodies and
the Gundestrup cauldron, among other things, date from a similar
period--but nothing aurochs-related has been discovered there so far,
to the best of my knowledge.)
What are you translating as "aurochs" in this?
<quote book="Germania"
author="Cornelious Tacitus"
chapter="40">
Contra Langobardos paucitas nobilitat: plurimis ac valentissimis nationibus
cincti non per obsequium, sed proeliis ac periclitando tuti sunt. Reudigni
deinde et Aviones et Anglii et Varini et Eudoses et Suardones et Nuithones
fluminibus aut silvis muniuntur. Nec quicquam notabile in singulis, nisi
quod in commune Nerthum, id est Terram matrem, colunt eamque intervenire
rebus hominum, invehi populis arbitrantur. Est in insula Oceani castum
nemus, dicatumque in eo vehiculum, veste contectum; attingere uni sacerdoti
concessum. Is adesse penetrali deam intellegit vectamque bubus feminis
multa cum veneratione prosequitur.
Somewhere in the previous sentence should be a reference to "yoked cows."
Are those the "bubus feminis?" Since they are yoked, they've got to be
domestic animals. There is no mention about a tribe hunting aurochs and
using those cows to hitch to the cart of Nerthus. I don't think those wild
animals would co-operate all too well. ;-)

Perhaps Ingeborg is rembering something else? I'd be interested to know
which tribe is known to be those auroch hunters? Afaik, more than just one
tribe would have been hunting for them. The last auroch died in the 17th
century in Poland.

But, here's an interesting thing: if aurochs were not known in Sweden (it's
true these animals didn't venture that far north...probably too chilly),
Ingeborg must be relating the Uruz rune in another way. For example: Edred
Thorsson gives 4 interpretations: GMC: aurochs; GO: aurochs; OE: ox,
bison; ON: drizzle, rain. Aurochs are associated with "the primal forming
force" (vital strength), whereas the rain is associated with "the primal
fertilizing essence." (virility). I don't think these mean the same at all,
although they can be paired. For example: you can be strong without being
virile. You can be virile without being strong. Yet you can be strong and
virile at the same time!
Post by Attuarii
Laeti tunc dies, festa loca, quaecumque
adventu hospitioque dignatur. Non bella ineunt, non arma sumunt; clausum
omne ferrum; pax et quies tunc tantum nota, tunc tantum amata, donec idem
sacerdos satiatam conversatione mortalium deam templo reddat. Mox vehiculum
et vestes et, si credere velis, numen ipsum secreto lacu abluitur. Servi
ministrant, quos statim idem lacus haurit. Arcanus hinc terror sanctaque
ignorantia, quid sit illud, quod tantum perituri vident.
</quote>
Post by Ingeborg S. Nord?n
Post by Attuarii
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
Odds are fairly
high that this area was not Scandinavia, or the _Germania_ text would not
have described details like the aurochs being a local animal. Being
strictly Norse-centered, I consider any discussion of her purely
academic--not part of my own Heathenry.
If we are to use Tacitus as any indication, I would tend to belive Freya
(or such like - "Mother of the God", IIRC) was most highly venerated in
what is now Sweden at the time of his writing.
"Mother of the god" does not describe Freyja as known in surviving
Scandinavian texts: her only recorded children are female (Hnoss and
Gersimi). For that matter, the only Norse goddess known *mainly* for
her son seems to be Jord/Fjorgynn; her son is Thor, who has no known
connection either to the Nerthus cult in _Germania_
If you are suggesting that Germania did not include Sweden, I will have to
disagree. Tacitus certainly didn't give much information about the most
northern extent of Germania, but it is clear that his description reaches
the arctic circle.
Post by Ingeborg S. Nord?n
or to the Swedish fertility processions mentioned in later lore.
This is what Tacitus tells us of the most Northern people of the region.
<quote book="Germania"
author="Cornelious Tacitus"
chapter="45"
Beyond the Suiones is another sea, one very heavy and almost void of
agitation; and by it the whole globe is thought to be bounded and
environed,
First-century Tacitus seems to have known the world was round. I find it
curious that Christians insisted on a flat-earth for the longest time!
Surely the scholars would have been familiar with Tacitus' writings? The
Christian priests came from Rome! They were literate and educated men!
Tacitus would have been part of the curriculum. He was a Roman historian!
Oh well....just further evidence of the boys not paying attention in school!
;-)

Heidi
Ingeborg S. Nordén
2005-03-28 23:14:50 UTC
Permalink
For the record, Tacitus does describe the aurochs as important to the
particular Germanic tribe he's writing about in _Germania_...not in
conjunction with the Nerthus processions, but in another part of the text.
(I seem to recall a passage in there about an animal "...the size of an
elephant, with the shape and coloration of a bull.") Putting the evidence
from *that* passage together with the *lack* of evidence for such huge
cattle ever living in Sweden...I can safely conclude that the tribe which
observed these Nerthus rituals was not the Svear and not a local forerunner
of the Svear.
--
----
Ingeborg S. Nordén
(***@chorus.net)
Ek Ingwibergô stabaz fahiðô
Heidi Graw
2005-03-29 00:58:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
For the record, Tacitus does describe the aurochs as important to the
particular Germanic tribe he's writing about in _Germania_
Try as I might, I can't find anything written about aurochs or animals "the
size of an elephant, with the shape and coloration of a bull" in the
"Germania." Tacitus does, however, comment on the *undersized* domestic
cattle which don't look very noble. What Tacitus does talk about is German
infatuation with white horses. They use these to read omens from their
neighing and snorting. These horses are not used for labour but are hitched
to "sacred cars" and are accompanied either by priest, king or chief.
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
...not in conjunction with the Nerthus processions, but in another part of
the text. (I seem to recall a passage in there about an animal "...the size
of an elephant, with the shape and coloration of a bull.")
You must have read about this somewhere else. I would love to know from
where!
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
Putting the evidence from *that* passage together with the *lack* of
evidence for such huge cattle ever living in Sweden...
From what I've read about aurochs they did not roam that far north. Tacitus
also does not mention Nerthus' cart being pulled by aurochs, but rather
"yoked cows" which would be those undersized homely looking cattle.
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
I can safely conclude that the tribe which observed these Nerthus rituals
was not the Svear and not a local forerunner of the Svear.
Do you believe the Danes and the Swedes are not in anyway related? Would
these two peoples not have had a cultural exchange, trade, raids, visits,
intermarriages, etc. between each other?

Heidi
Ingeborg S. Nordén
2005-03-29 01:38:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Heidi Graw
Try as I might, I can't find anything written about aurochs or animals
"the size of an elephant, with the shape and coloration of a bull" in the
"Germania."
It was *some* Latin text on the Germanic peoples, quoted in one of
Thorsson's or Gundarsson's rune books as evidence that the animal was known
in that part of the world since ancient times. Now, I may have been wrong
that _Germania_ was the text they quoted; but I am also sure that the modern
author did not just invent that quote from nothing. I'll post the quotation
on the Germanic-L list, and see whether anyone else can track the real
source down...

I was aware of the sacred-horse passage in _Germania_, but to me that looks
like still more evidence that the tribe in question was not the Svear. If
it were, we'd see at least a few Swedish folk practices or superstitions
related to white horses...which I have yet to discover anywhere. Besides,
oxen (not horses) were the usual Scandinavian draft animal by the time the
Svear are first named in local lore; horses were used for riding, but not
for pulling wagons, in their territory. At most, the only sacred-horse
taboo mentioned in Scandinavian sources relates to Freyfaxi, the horse whom
Hrafnkell had forbidden others to ride...
Post by Heidi Graw
Do you believe the Danes and the Swedes are not in anyway related? Would
these two peoples not have had a cultural exchange, trade, raids, visits,
intermarriages, etc. between each other?
I'm not THAT provincial, for the gods' sake; it's just that some details
described in Tacitus (and my other unknown Latin source, LOL) are
inconsistent with this Germanic tribe being Scandinavian.
--
----
Ingeborg S. Nordén
(***@chorus.net)
Ek Ingwibergô stabaz fahiðô
robert bowman
2005-03-29 03:53:55 UTC
Permalink
It was some Latin text on the Germanic peoples,
"Tertium est genus eorum, qui uri appellantur. Hi sunt magnitudine paulo
infra elephantos, specie et colore et figura tauri. Magna vis eorum est et
magna velocitas; neque homini neque ferae, quam conspexerunt, parcunt.. Hos
studiose foveis captos interficiunt: hoc se labore durant adulescentes
atque hoc genere venationis exercent, et qui plurimos ex his interfecerunt,
relatis in publicum cornibus quae sint testimonio, magnam ferunt laudem.
Sed adsuescere ad homines et mansuefieri ne parvuli quidem excepti possunt.
Amplitudo cornuum et figura et species multum ab nostrorum boum cornibus
differt. Haec studiose conqnisita ab labris argento eircumcludunt atque in
amplissimis epulis pro poculis utuntur."

Julius Caesar

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Heidi Graw
2005-03-29 07:05:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by robert bowman
It was some Latin text on the Germanic peoples,
"Tertium est genus eorum, qui uri appellantur. Hi sunt magnitudine paulo
infra elephantos, specie et colore et figura tauri. Magna vis eorum est et
magna velocitas; neque homini neque ferae, quam conspexerunt, parcunt.. Hos
studiose foveis captos interficiunt: hoc se labore durant adulescentes
atque hoc genere venationis exercent, et qui plurimos ex his
interfecerunt,
relatis in publicum cornibus quae sint testimonio, magnam ferunt laudem.
Sed adsuescere ad homines et mansuefieri ne parvuli quidem excepti possunt.
Amplitudo cornuum et figura et species multum ab nostrorum boum cornibus
differt. Haec studiose conqnisita ab labris argento eircumcludunt atque in
amplissimis epulis pro poculis utuntur."
Julius Caesar
From Julius Caesar Gallic Wars book Chapter 28

There is a third kind, consisting of those animals which are called uri.
These are a little below the elephant in size, and of the appearance, color,
and shape of a bull. Their strength and speed are extraordinary; they spare
neither man nor wild beast which they have espied. These the Germans take
with much pains in pits and kill them. The young men harden themselves with
this exercise, and practice themselves in this kind of hunting, and those
who have slain the greatest number of them, having produced the horns in
public, to serve as evidence, receive great praise. But not even when taken
very young can they be rendered familiar to men and tamed. The size, shape,
and appearance of their horns differ much from the horns of our oxen. These
they anxiously seek after, and bind at the tips with silver, and use as cups
at their most sumptuous entertainments.

My comment: Hardly the kind of animals that could be hitched to Nerthus'
cart. ;-)
Post by robert bowman
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Heidi Graw
2005-03-29 07:07:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Heidi Graw
Post by robert bowman
It was some Latin text on the Germanic peoples,
"Tertium est genus eorum, qui uri appellantur. Hi sunt magnitudine paulo
infra elephantos, specie et colore et figura tauri. Magna vis eorum est et
magna velocitas; neque homini neque ferae, quam conspexerunt, parcunt.. Hos
studiose foveis captos interficiunt: hoc se labore durant adulescentes
atque hoc genere venationis exercent, et qui plurimos ex his
interfecerunt,
relatis in publicum cornibus quae sint testimonio, magnam ferunt laudem.
Sed adsuescere ad homines et mansuefieri ne parvuli quidem excepti possunt.
Amplitudo cornuum et figura et species multum ab nostrorum boum cornibus
differt. Haec studiose conqnisita ab labris argento eircumcludunt atque in
amplissimis epulis pro poculis utuntur."
Julius Caesar
From Julius Caesar Gallic Wars book Chapter 28
that's Book 6 Chapter 28
Post by Heidi Graw
There is a third kind, consisting of those animals which are called uri.
These are a little below the elephant in size, and of the appearance,
color, and shape of a bull. Their strength and speed are extraordinary;
they spare neither man nor wild beast which they have espied. These the
Germans take with much pains in pits and kill them. The young men harden
themselves with this exercise, and practice themselves in this kind of
hunting, and those who have slain the greatest number of them, having
produced the horns in public, to serve as evidence, receive great praise.
But not even when taken very young can they be rendered familiar to men
and tamed. The size, shape, and appearance of their horns differ much from
the horns of our oxen. These they anxiously seek after, and bind at the
tips with silver, and use as cups at their most sumptuous entertainments.
My comment: Hardly the kind of animals that could be hitched to Nerthus'
cart. ;-)
Post by robert bowman
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Ingeborg S. Nordén
2005-03-29 07:46:34 UTC
Permalink
First--thank you for finding the text with the aurochs description. I could
have sworn it was in _Germania_ because of the subject matter and original
language--but I was wrong. (It seems reasonable that both texts covered the
same or at least neighboring tribes, though that also might be jumping to
conclusions!)

Second--regarding the difference between Nerthus' and Freyr's processions,
you made some valid points there. The fact remains, though, that Freyr too
has his "peace-bringer" aspects; I would not be surprised if a similar ban
on weapons applied to his public rituals.
--
----
Ingeborg S. Nordén
(***@chorus.net)
Ek Ingwibergô stabaz fahiðô
robert bowman
2005-03-29 14:21:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
(It seems reasonable that both texts covered the
same or at least neighboring tribes, though that also might be jumping to
conclusions!)
You have to remember that, in a pinch, classical authors copied materials
from each others websites to fill in lacunae. Unfortuantely, snopes.com was
not up at the time, so some it is more up the line of speculative fiction.

Caesar, in particular, was a propagandist. The Gallic campaign was an
opportunity for career advancement, so he shaded his report a bit not
unlike some modern leaders. Some parts are excellent eye witness accounts,
some a hearsay, and some are justification for not taking more agressive
action against the Germanic tribes. "Nope, ain't nothing over there but
swamps, dirt poor savages, and frigging cows that could eat a centurion for
breakfast. The real money is on this side of the Rhein."




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Heidi Graw
2005-03-29 07:46:47 UTC
Permalink
(snip)
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
Post by Heidi Graw
Do you believe the Danes and the Swedes are not in anyway related? Would
these two peoples not have had a cultural exchange, trade, raids, visits,
intermarriages, etc. between each other?
I'm not THAT provincial, for the gods' sake;
<chuckle> ;-)
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
it's just that some details described in Tacitus (and my other unknown
Latin source, LOL) are inconsistent with this Germanic tribe being
Scandinavian.
I'm thinking there were regional differences...all of them Germanic. So,
while the Swedes and Norwegians may not have been familiar with aurochs, the
Germans and Gauls certainly were. If Freyr was carted around in Sweden,
Nerthus was in Denmark and neighbouring areas. If the Swedes didn't
recognize Nerthus, others did.

The assorted tribes also had different fighting styles. Some went berserk,
others were those assassins by stealth at night, and yet more fought in
broad daylight man to man. Some fought on horseback, some of foot. All had
their preferred weapons of choice.

Both Tacitus and Caesar did make some general comments as well as tribal
specific. What may have been true for some, may not have been true for
others. Trying to sort all this out just gives me one great big headache!
What is perfectly clear to me is that they're no point even attempting to
come up with *one true* path to Heathenry! It just doesn't exist and never
had! ;-)

I did have to chuckle at an observation Tacitus made in "Germania." He
wrote a blurp about the Aryans. These guys coloured themselves black and
attacked at night to gouge out the eyes of their enemies. So, now consider
those neo-Nazis wanting to lay claim to being Aryan Nation White
Supremacists. They have to colour themselves black in order to be those
people! And they won't fight man to man, but rather like cowardly assassins
sneaking up on defenseless sleeping people to blind them so those people
can't even fight back! IMHO there is *no* honour in that! The Aryans
were jerks back then, and they're jerks to this day! I dub them an "outlaw"
gang. I can think of a great number of other Germanic tribes who can
actually be considered honourable and decent folk. Saxons are cool. ;-)

Heidi
robert bowman
2005-03-29 14:24:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Heidi Graw
I did have to chuckle at an observation Tacitus made in "Germania." He
wrote a blurp about the Aryans. These guys coloured themselves black and
attacked at night to gouge out the eyes of their enemies.
Germanic Ninja! Neat!

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Attuarii
2005-03-29 14:37:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by robert bowman
Post by Heidi Graw
I did have to chuckle at an observation Tacitus made in "Germania." He
wrote a blurp about the Aryans. These guys coloured themselves black and
attacked at night to gouge out the eyes of their enemies.
Germanic Ninja! Neat!
Other than the fact that Tacitus didn't really write that. What he wrote (I
paraphrase) "victory starts with the eyes". Meaning their appearance was
intended to strike fear into the heart of the enemy.
--
"It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses
or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not
change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people."
Giordano Bruno
robert bowman
2005-03-29 14:56:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Attuarii
Other than the fact that Tacitus didn't really write that. What he wrote (I
paraphrase) "victory starts with the eyes". Meaning their appearance was
intended to strike fear into the heart of the enemy.
Works well. The cisalpine Celts with their punked out 'dos and penchant for
collecting heads kept the fledgling Romans in their place for a while. But
let's not quibble about translations. As long as some Latin guy whose name
slips my mind wrote something, I think, that supports my political agenda,
it's good enough. The Christians have been doing it for centuries; we must
learn from them.


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Heidi Graw
2005-03-29 19:48:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Attuarii
Post by robert bowman
Post by Heidi Graw
I did have to chuckle at an observation Tacitus made in "Germania." He
wrote a blurp about the Aryans. These guys coloured themselves black and
attacked at night to gouge out the eyes of their enemies.
Germanic Ninja! Neat!
LOL...
Post by Attuarii
Other than the fact that Tacitus didn't really write that. What he wrote (I
paraphrase) "victory starts with the eyes". Meaning their appearance was
intended to strike fear into the heart of the enemy.
Here's what is written in the copy I have:

"Now the Aryans, besides their forces, in which they surpass in several
nations just recounted, are in their persons stern and truculent; and even
humour and improve their natural grimness and ferocity by art and time.
They wear black shields, their bodies are painted black, they choose dark
nights for engaging in battle; and by the very awe and ghastly hue of their
army, strike the enemy with dread, as none can bear this their aspect so
surprising and as it were quite infernal. For, in all battles the eyes are
vanquished first."

So, not only do they strike fear into the heart by their appearance, they
also vanquish the eyes first! And as a battle strategy that makes sense.
Put out the eyes and your enemy can't see where you are! The Aryans don't
want to be seen...they colour themselves black and attack at night! Putting
out the eyes of their enemies would be a natural and logical strategy for
them to use.

In any case, the above is nothing to brag about. There's nothing heroic
about covert attacks on sleeping and defenceless people. They're nothing
but damned cowardly terrorists!

Heidi
Attuarii
2005-03-29 19:58:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Heidi Graw
Post by Attuarii
Post by robert bowman
Post by Heidi Graw
I did have to chuckle at an observation Tacitus made in "Germania." He
wrote a blurp about the Aryans. These guys coloured themselves black and
attacked at night to gouge out the eyes of their enemies.
Germanic Ninja! Neat!
LOL...
Post by Attuarii
Other than the fact that Tacitus didn't really write that. What he wrote (I
paraphrase) "victory starts with the eyes". Meaning their appearance was
intended to strike fear into the heart of the enemy.
"Now the Aryans, besides their forces, in which they surpass in several
nations just recounted, are in their persons stern and truculent; and even
humour and improve their natural grimness and ferocity by art and time.
They wear black shields, their bodies are painted black, they choose dark
nights for engaging in battle; and by the very awe and ghastly hue of
their army, strike the enemy with dread, as none can bear this their
aspect so
surprising and as it were quite infernal. For, in all battles the eyes
are vanquished first."
So, not only do they strike fear into the heart by their appearance, they
also vanquish the eyes first! And as a battle strategy that makes sense.
Put out the eyes and your enemy can't see where you are! The Aryans don't
want to be seen...they colour themselves black and attack at night!
Putting out the eyes of their enemies would be a natural and logical
strategy for them to use.
In any case, the above is nothing to brag about. There's nothing heroic
about covert attacks on sleeping and defenceless people. They're nothing
but damned cowardly terrorists!
Heidi
Nothing like taking 2000 year old propaganda verbatim, eh? ;-)

I will note that you have gone from rejecting Tacitus as worthless to
quoting him at length. It's certainly hard to know what to make of it all.
Some of it is probably dead on, and some of it pure rubbish.
--
"It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses
or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not
change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people."
Giordano Bruno
Heidi Graw
2005-03-29 20:12:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Attuarii
Post by Heidi Graw
Post by Attuarii
Post by robert bowman
Post by Heidi Graw
I did have to chuckle at an observation Tacitus made in "Germania."
He
wrote a blurp about the Aryans. These guys coloured themselves black and
attacked at night to gouge out the eyes of their enemies.
Germanic Ninja! Neat!
LOL...
Post by Attuarii
Other than the fact that Tacitus didn't really write that. What he
(I
paraphrase) "victory starts with the eyes". Meaning their appearance was
intended to strike fear into the heart of the enemy.
"Now the Aryans, besides their forces, in which they surpass in several
nations just recounted, are in their persons stern and truculent; and even
humour and improve their natural grimness and ferocity by art and time.
They wear black shields, their bodies are painted black, they choose dark
nights for engaging in battle; and by the very awe and ghastly hue of
their army, strike the enemy with dread, as none can bear this their
aspect so
surprising and as it were quite infernal. For, in all battles the eyes
are vanquished first."
So, not only do they strike fear into the heart by their appearance, they
also vanquish the eyes first! And as a battle strategy that makes sense.
Put out the eyes and your enemy can't see where you are! The Aryans don't
want to be seen...they colour themselves black and attack at night!
Putting out the eyes of their enemies would be a natural and logical
strategy for them to use.
In any case, the above is nothing to brag about. There's nothing heroic
about covert attacks on sleeping and defenceless people. They're nothing
but damned cowardly terrorists!
Heidi
Nothing like taking 2000 year old propaganda verbatim, eh? ;-)
What I'm trying to bear in mind is that when men record history, they focus
almost exclusively on battles fought. On occasion they'll write the odd
thing or two about cultural and social activities. So, when Tacitus and/or
Caesar wrote about Germanic battle strategies and weapons and tactics used,
these could be considered rather reliable accounts. This is the sort of
stuff men are interested in. As for cultural, religious and social norms,
those accounts we could take with a grain of salt. The potential for
exaggerating those particular topics is greater.

I'm inclined to believe the account Tacitus gave about those black Aryan
Ninjas. Word about their battle strategies would have been passed around
because they spell "life and death" situations for *men.*

Heidi
robert bowman
2005-03-30 02:12:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Heidi Graw
In any case, the above is nothing to brag about. There's nothing heroic
about covert attacks on sleeping and defenceless people. They're nothing
but damned cowardly terrorists!
I can't figure out if you are engaging in a postmodern deconstruction of the
text, or if you are merely unable to comprehend the text.


"by the very awe and ghastly hue of their
army, strike the enemy with dread,"

If the poor defenceless people are dreaming the dreams of the just, why are
they demoralized by the appearance?

"For, in all battles the eyes are
vanquished first."

What a tortured reading you give to this. Are you sure you aren't hanging
out with fundies? Visual and aural impact have always been used in
strategy. Do you think the horsehair plumes, helmets with spikes, war
paint, and so forth came about when one of Busby Berkeley's set designers
got a job with the military? Do you think the drums, chants, lurs, and
shouts were just to provide a pleasing sound track? You scare the shit out
of the enemy if you can, you demoralize him by providing an audiovisual
spectacle, a feast for his eyes.

As far as attacking at night, 3AM is a great time to go calling. Most
people, even if they are awake, are at their lowest level of ego strength.
They are already hearing horrible creatures bumping around in the dark; you
just give them something real to worry about.



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Heidi Graw
2005-03-30 04:22:37 UTC
Permalink
(snip)
Post by robert bowman
Post by Heidi Graw
In any case, the above is nothing to brag about. There's nothing heroic
about covert attacks on sleeping and defenceless people. They're nothing
but damned cowardly terrorists!
I can't figure out if you are engaging in a postmodern deconstruction of the
text, or if you are merely unable to comprehend the text.
No, I understand the text all right.
Post by robert bowman
"by the very awe and ghastly hue of their
army, strike the enemy with dread,"
If the poor defenceless people are dreaming the dreams of the just, why are
they demoralized by the appearance?
"For, in all battles the eyes are
vanquished first."
What a tortured reading you give to this.
This is the text I'm refering to:

" They wear black shields, their bodies are painted black, they choose dark
nights for engaging in battle; and by the very awe and ghastly hue of
their army, strike the enemy with dread, as none can bear this their
aspect so surprising and as it were quite infernal. For, in all battles
the eyes
are vanquished first."

They do surprise attacks at night! They don't meet out in the open battle
field in broad daylight to engage their enemies. They do it at night while
the enemy is sleeping! I find this to be a *cowardly* thing to do. This
tactic is, however, effective...no doubt about that at all.
Post by robert bowman
Are you sure you aren't hanging
out with fundies? Visual and aural impact have always been used in
strategy. Do you think the horsehair plumes, helmets with spikes, war
paint, and so forth came about when one of Busby Berkeley's set designers
got a job with the military? Do you think the drums, chants, lurs, and
shouts were just to provide a pleasing sound track? You scare the shit out
of the enemy if you can, you demoralize him by providing an audiovisual
spectacle, a feast for his eyes.
I know all that. But, if I had to give out honour and courage badges to
warriors, I'd be giving those to warriors who will fight an armed enemy in
daylight, rather than to those who assassinate the unarmed who are least
able to defend themselves.
Post by robert bowman
As far as attacking at night, 3AM is a great time to go calling. Most
people, even if they are awake, are at their lowest level of ego strength.
Attacking by stealth in the dead of night may give the assassins an
advantage over their targets. You don't need quite so many to kill off a
lot. Such a thing may be a *winning* strategy, but I don't classify such as
a brave and noble strategy.
Post by robert bowman
They are already hearing horrible creatures bumping around in the dark; you
just give them something real to worry about.
It's plain and simple terrorism. At least when a battle is planned and
arranged for in an open field, both sides have an equal opportunity. Skill
and valour can be assessed for either side. To me this just seems a more
honorable way of fighting one's enemy.

Heidi
Attuarii
2005-03-30 04:39:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Heidi Graw
" They wear black shields, their bodies are painted black, they choose dark
nights for engaging in battle; and by the very awe and ghastly hue of
their army, strike the enemy with dread, as none can bear this their
aspect so surprising and as it were quite infernal. For, in all battles
the eyes
are vanquished first."
They do surprise attacks at night! They don't meet out in the open battle
field in broad daylight to engage their enemies. They do it at night
while the enemy is sleeping! I find this to be a *cowardly* thing to do.
This tactic is, however, effective...no doubt about that at all.
Warfare is primarily about victory, not courage.
--
"It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses
or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not
change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people."
Giordano Bruno
Heidi Graw
2005-03-30 05:24:03 UTC
Permalink
(snip)
Post by Attuarii
Warfare is primarily about victory, not courage.
Yes, I know. But regardless, there is still value placed on who and how to
fight. In Harbard's Song Odin teased Thor about fighting women, didn't he?
<chuckle>

And then there is that demand, "Come on out and fight like a man!"

So while the object may be to come out winning, there is more than just that
to consider. If one is to engage in warfare then one ought to at least
fight "like a man" and not "like a wussy!"

Heidi
robert bowman
2005-03-30 13:10:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Heidi Graw
So while the object may be to come out winning, there is more than just that
to consider. If one is to engage in warfare then one ought to at least
fight "like a man" and not "like a wussy!"
Men win. Wusses lose. After your previous insistence on affirmative action
in the armed forces, it's a wonder it isn't 'fight like a womyn'.

"Infiltration push reserves
Encircle the front llines
Supreme art of strategy
Playing on the minds
Bombard till submission
Take all to their graves
Indication of triumph
The number that are dead

Sport the war, war support
The sport is war, total war
When victory's a massacre
The final swing is not a drill
It's how many people I can kill"

Slayer


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robert bowman
2005-03-29 03:46:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Heidi Graw
First-century Tacitus seems to have known the world was round. I find it
curious that Christians insisted on a flat-earth for the longest time!
Do a little research on that.

http://www.earlychurch.org.uk/creation_flatearth.html is a good start.

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Heidi Graw
2005-03-28 23:10:38 UTC
Permalink
(snip)
Post by Ingeborg S. Nord?n
Second--the stanza for the Ing-rune in the Old English rune poem
(which I discuss more thoroughly at my web site--
http://www.geocities.com/ingwibergo/whyfreyr2.html).
Your own translation gives the following:

"Ing was first, among the East-Danes, seen by men
until he went back over the wet way (=the ocean);
the wagon followed behind him;
that is what the stern men called the hero."


It claims the wagon followed *behind* him. Who was in the wagon? Did Ing
(Freyr) act as the consort to Nerthus? Some claim he is the son of Nerthus
and Njord.

Heidi
Ingeborg S. Nordén
2005-03-28 23:41:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Heidi Graw
"Ing was first, among the East-Danes, seen by men
until he went back over the wet way (=the ocean);
the wagon followed behind him;
that is what the stern men called the hero."
It claims the wagon followed *behind* him. Who was in the wagon?
That is a mystery, a gap in the lore that I find it hard to fill; but it's
unlikely that Nerthus or a local equivalent was in that wagon, given the
other evidence I cited (and am about to cite).
Post by Heidi Graw
Did Ing (Freyr) act as the consort to Nerthus? Some claim he is the son
of Nerthus and Njord.
The only divine partners that Scandinavian sources mention Freyr having, are
Gerd (by marriage) and Freyja (by incest). If Tacitus is right about
Nerthus' title "Mother of the God", neither of Freyr's partners could be
local equivalents to her: Freyja's children are both female, Gerd's
children (mentioned only in the _Ynglingasaga_) are all human. I conclude
that if the "local woman impregnated by the god" scenario in Gunnar
Helming's story reflected what the Swedes expected at those rituals...it was
probably *Gerd's* union with Freyr that was being honored.

As for Freyr's parents: It's true that Skadhi isn't Freyr's biological
mother, since she came to Asgard after he was born. It's also true that
Loki accuses Njord of getting his own sister pregnant with Freyr--and that
no sources record this sister's name. I can see why some Heathens conclude
that she must be Nerthus (comparative mythology and linguistics are on their
side)...but if Freyr sleeping with his own sister (the way Njord allegedly
did) is taboo enough, Freyr participating in a fertility ceremony with his
mother makes him look even more perverted.
--
----
Ingeborg S. Nordén
(***@chorus.net)
Ek Ingwibergô stabaz fahiðô
Heidi Graw
2005-03-29 01:23:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
Post by Heidi Graw
"Ing was first, among the East-Danes, seen by men
until he went back over the wet way (=the ocean);
the wagon followed behind him;
that is what the stern men called the hero."
It claims the wagon followed *behind* him. Who was in the wagon?
That is a mystery, a gap in the lore that I find it hard to fill; but it's
unlikely that Nerthus or a local equivalent was in that wagon, given the
other evidence I cited (and am about to cite).
Post by Heidi Graw
Did Ing (Freyr) act as the consort to Nerthus? Some claim he is the son
of Nerthus and Njord.
Ingeborg wrote: The only divine partners that Scandinavian sources mention
Freyr having, are Gerd (by marriage) and Freyja (by incest). If Tacitus is
right about Nerthus' title "Mother of the God",
Tacitus claims Nerthus is "Mother of the Gods"...plural.
No. If Njord and Nerthus are father and mother of Freyr and Freya they'd be
a family.
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
Freyja's children are both female,
Yes, they'd be the granddaughters of Nerthus and Njord.
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
Gerd's children (mentioned only in the _Ynglingasaga_) are all human.
So Freyr's divinity was not passed along his children. His wife's humanness
prevailed. I thought Gerd is a giantess.
What the Ynglingasaga basically says is that the God Freyr married the
Giantess Gerd and ended up with human offspring.
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
I conclude that if the "local woman impregnated by the god" scenario in
Gunnar Helming's story reflected what the Swedes expected at those
rituals...it was probably *Gerd's* union with Freyr that was being honored.
That could be. However, the Freyr/Gerd union has nothing to do with Nerthus
being carted around by a priest.
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
As for Freyr's parents: It's true that Skadhi isn't Freyr's biological
mother, since she came to Asgard after he was born. It's also true that
Loki accuses Njord of getting his own sister pregnant with Freyr--and that
no sources record this sister's name. I can see why some Heathens
conclude that she must be Nerthus (comparative mythology and linguistics
are on their side)...
Yes, it makes sense that Nerthus and Njord were married at some point and
became the parents of Freyr and Freya.
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
but if Freyr sleeping with his own sister (the way Njord allegedly did) is
taboo enough,
No-one is claiming that. Freyr married Gerd and Freya married Odur.
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
Freyr participating in a fertility ceremony with his mother makes him look
even more perverted.
Why? Maybe in the rune poem Freyr is the son who is walking in front of the
cart that is carrying Nerthus. The priest could be walking behind the cart.
Tacitus plays up the fact that arms are laid down and *peace* prevails for
the duration of her visit. It's party time. The Nerthus visit may have
more to do with a peace festival rather than a fertility rite. By this time
Nerthus is already a grandmother! She's a wise old sage bearing peace and
goodwill. She is an ancient Mother Goddess! She has done all the
fertilizing she's ever going to do. It's Freya's and Freyr's turn to take
over that function. ;-) Freyr with his hard-on and Freya like a "she-goat
in heat." ;-)

Heidi
Attuarii
2005-03-29 02:20:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Heidi Graw
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
Post by Heidi Graw
"Ing was first, among the East-Danes, seen by men
until he went back over the wet way (=the ocean);
the wagon followed behind him;
that is what the stern men called the hero."
It claims the wagon followed *behind* him. Who was in the wagon?
That is a mystery, a gap in the lore that I find it hard to fill; but
it's unlikely that Nerthus or a local equivalent was in that wagon, given
the other evidence I cited (and am about to cite).
Post by Heidi Graw
Did Ing (Freyr) act as the consort to Nerthus? Some claim he is the son
of Nerthus and Njord.
Ingeborg wrote: The only divine partners that Scandinavian sources mention
Freyr having, are Gerd (by marriage) and Freyja (by incest). If Tacitus
is right about Nerthus' title "Mother of the God",
Tacitus claims Nerthus is "Mother of the Gods"...plural.
It's a blessed typo!
Post by Heidi Graw
No. If Njord and Nerthus are father and mother of Freyr and Freya they'd
be a family.
Uh, there is some question about a lot of incest in that family, but I don't
know what original sources are behind that.
Post by Heidi Graw
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
Freyja's children are both female,
Yes, they'd be the granddaughters of Nerthus and Njord.
I was thinking more in terms of "the Mother among the Gods". That is the
God(dess) of mothers. She was identified with Venus by iterpriti-Romani.
Post by Heidi Graw
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
Gerd's children (mentioned only in the _Ynglingasaga_) are all human.
So Freyr's divinity was not passed along his children. His wife's humanness
prevailed. I thought Gerd is a giantess.
What the Ynglingasaga basically says is that the God Freyr married the
Giantess Gerd and ended up with human offspring.
But the Ynglingasaga treats the Gods as humans.
Post by Heidi Graw
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
I conclude that if the "local woman impregnated by the god" scenario in
Gunnar Helming's story reflected what the Swedes expected at those
rituals...it was probably *Gerd's* union with Freyr that was being honored.
That could be. However, the Freyr/Gerd union has nothing to do with
Nerthus being carted around by a priest.
Ironically, the idea of Freyr (male) being central to a fertility percession
seems rather Egyptian. But I don't want to draw (nor suggest) any undue
inferences.
Post by Heidi Graw
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
As for Freyr's parents: It's true that Skadhi isn't Freyr's biological
mother, since she came to Asgard after he was born. It's also true that
Loki accuses Njord of getting his own sister pregnant with Freyr--and that
no sources record this sister's name. I can see why some Heathens
conclude that she must be Nerthus (comparative mythology and linguistics
are on their side)...
Ah...Thanks for the reminder.
Post by Heidi Graw
Yes, it makes sense that Nerthus and Njord were married at some point and
became the parents of Freyr and Freya.
Rummor control!
Post by Heidi Graw
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
but if Freyr sleeping with his own sister (the way Njord allegedly did) is
taboo enough,
No-one is claiming that. Freyr married Gerd and Freya married Odur.
It's been rummored.
Post by Heidi Graw
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
Freyr participating in a fertility ceremony with his mother makes him look
even more perverted.
Why? Maybe in the rune poem Freyr is the son who is walking in front of the
cart that is carrying Nerthus. The priest could be walking behind the
cart. Tacitus plays up the fact that arms are laid down and *peace*
prevails for
the duration of her visit. It's party time. The Nerthus visit may have
more to do with a peace festival rather than a fertility rite. By this time
Nerthus is already a grandmother! She's a wise old sage bearing peace and
goodwill. She is an ancient Mother Goddess! She has done all the
fertilizing she's ever going to do. It's Freya's and Freyr's turn to take
over that function. ;-) Freyr with his hard-on and Freya like a
"she-goat in heat." ;-)
Isn't Freya associated with a sow? That is not necessarily disparaging. I
think of goats having to do with Þorr.
--
"It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses
or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not
change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people."
Giordano Bruno
Heidi Graw
2005-03-29 04:22:03 UTC
Permalink
(snip)
Post by Attuarii
Post by Heidi Graw
If Njord and Nerthus are father and mother of Freyr and Freya they'd
be a family.
Uh, there is some question about a lot of incest in that family, but I don't
know what original sources are behind that.
The rumour mill has it that the Vanir were tolerant of incest, while the
Aesir were not.
Post by Attuarii
Post by Heidi Graw
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
Freyja's children are both female,
Yes, they'd be the granddaughters of Nerthus and Njord.
I was thinking more in terms of "the Mother among the Gods". That is the
God(dess) of mothers. She was identified with Venus by iterpriti-Romani.
Do you know what the name Nerthus means? Where did it come from? Are there
smaller words that had been combined to create the name Nerthus?

At first looking at the name, I'm thinking: Nert...hus. Ert possibly
meaning earth as in ground, with the "N" being short for
nether...netherground...netherearth. Hus, of course, meaning house.
Nether-earth-house. But then I began to look at the word "ert" and found
"erta" which apparently means "lookout, high tower." Confused yet, or what?
;-)
Post by Attuarii
Post by Heidi Graw
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
Gerd's children (mentioned only in the _Ynglingasaga_) are all human.
So Freyr's divinity was not passed along his children. His wife's humanness
prevailed. I thought Gerd is a giantess.
What the Ynglingasaga basically says is that the God Freyr married the
Giantess Gerd and ended up with human offspring.
But the Ynglingasaga treats the Gods as humans.
Sounds to me the Swedes considered themselves divine! ;-) As Ingeborg
pointed out: Gerd's children are only mentioned in the Ynglingasaga. They
don't exist in any other written records that mention Gerd and Freyr.

(snip)
Post by Attuarii
Ironically, the idea of Freyr (male) being central to a fertility percession
seems rather Egyptian. But I don't want to draw (nor suggest) any undue
inferences.
What I'm having trouble with is this notion of a Germanic God sitting in a
cart to travel around with a priestess walking with him. It seems a wussy
thing to be doing. We know Freya sat in a wagon once in a while. Nerthus
certainly, too. The men all seem to walk or ride on horses or bristle
boars.

Those weak and effeminate pharaohs were carted and carried around like
women, as were assorted brain damaged caesars, but a Germanic leader? I
can't imagine it. Would a virile and horny Freyr allow himself to be
carried or driven around in a cart? If the Swedish people are carting Freyr
around, then maybe they ought to stop doing it. As it is that rune poem
Ingebord mentioned has Freyr positioned in front of a cart (not necessarily
he himself being harnessed to it.). I can imagine him riding his bristle
boar which is hitched to a cart in which Freya or Gerd may be sitting. That
is a Freyr procession I can accept and find suitable for a strong and virile
God.

(snip)
Post by Attuarii
Post by Heidi Graw
The Nerthus visit may have
more to do with a peace festival rather than a fertility rite. By this time
Nerthus is already a grandmother! She's a wise old sage bearing peace and
goodwill. She is an ancient Mother Goddess! She has done all the
fertilizing she's ever going to do. It's Freya's and Freyr's turn to take
over that function. ;-) Freyr with his hard-on and Freya like a
"she-goat in heat." ;-)
Isn't Freya associated with a sow?
Boars and cats.
Post by Attuarii
That is not necessarily disparaging. I
think of goats having to do with Þorr.
Yes, but Hyndla accused Freya of being _like a_ she-goat in heat.

Heidi
robert bowman
2005-03-29 04:45:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Heidi Graw
Sounds to me the Swedes considered themselves divine! ;-)
They let Jordanes' phantasies go to their heads...

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Ingeborg S. Nordén
2005-03-29 17:14:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Heidi Graw
Do you know what the name Nerthus means? Where did it come from? Are
there smaller words that had been combined to create the name Nerthus?
The exact origin and meaning of the name is debatable...but the existence of
a masculine counterpart in Old Norse (remember Njord?) does give us at least
some clue to the original *form* of the name. It appears NOT to have been a
compound, for one thing...that -th- was a single sound, and no
word -thus/-thuz existed in Primitive Germanic to the best of my knowledge.

For another, an etymological link with either the "nether" or "earth" word
is historically impossible. Again, keep in mind that Njord/Nerthus had
different forms of the same name:

(1) If a "nether" connection existed, then Njord would have an extra -d-
in his name...and the vowel would not have undergone a shift e > ea > ja >
jo.

(2) Although Njord's name and the Norse "earth" word followed the same
vowel-change rule I just described, we would still have to account for the
N- being there...and no Germanic language uses a simple n-sound as a prefix.
At best, I could see a mistake in word division causing that (like the one
that turned Middle English "ekename" into Modern English "nickname"). And
though an "earth" connection makes *semantic* sense for Nerthus as Tacitus
describes her, that still doesn't explain what her male and ocean-centered
counterpart is doing with a form of the same name.
--
----
Ingeborg S. Nordén
(***@chorus.net)
Ek Ingwibergô stabaz fahiðô
Ingeborg S. Nordén
2005-03-29 02:23:21 UTC
Permalink
[I wrote:]: The only divine partners that Scandinavian sources mention
Freyr having, are Gerd (by marriage) and Freyja (by incest). If Tacitus
is right about Nerthus' title "Mother of the God",
[You wrote:] Tacitus claims Nerthus is "Mother of the Gods"...plural.
OK...any goddess with more than one child (or generation of children) could
fit that description though. If the Svear had an equivalent of Nerthus (her
name certainly isn't attested in Old Norse), we don't know who she is.
[I wrote:]...neither of Freyr's partners could be local equivalents to
[You wrote:] No. If Njord and Nerthus are father and mother of Freyr and
Freya they'd be a family.
That's one of the points I was making before...
[I wrote:] Freyja's children are both female,
[You wrote:] Yes, they'd be the granddaughters of Nerthus and Njord.
Correct again...that would support the idea of her as mother of several
generations of gods.
What the Ynglingasaga basically says is that the God Freyr married the
Giantess Gerd and ended up with human offspring.
The Ynglingasaga doesn't specifically call her a giantess as the Eddas do,
but for the sake of consistency I'd agree there.
I conclude that if the "local woman impregnated by the god" scenario in
Gunnar Helming's story reflected what the Swedes expected at those
rituals...it was probably *Gerd's* union with Freyr that was being honored.
That could be. However, the Freyr/Gerd union has nothing to do with
Nerthus being carted around by a priest.
That was *EXACTLY* the point of my original response: that the Swedish
version of the spring procession apparently centered *NOT* on Nerthus, but
on Freyr! I cited passages related to his local cult, and to his unions
with other goddesses, to prove that Swedish tradition and the tradition of
that other tribe described in _Germania_ were two different things.
but if Freyr sleeping with his own sister (the way Njord allegedly did) is
taboo enough,
No-one is claiming that. Freyr married Gerd and Freya married Odur.
Yes, but Loki still accuses Freyja saying "we all caught you in bed with
your brother"; sorry I did not make my source clearer there.
Maybe in the rune poem Freyr is the son who is walking in front of the
cart that is carrying Nerthus. The priest could be walking behind the
cart. Tacitus plays up the fact that arms are laid down and *peace*
prevails for the duration of her visit. It's party time. The Nerthus
visit may have more to do with a peace festival rather than a fertility
rite. By this time Nerthus is already a grandmother! She's a wise old
sage bearing peace and goodwill. She is an ancient Mother Goddess! She
has done all the fertilizing she's ever going to do. It's Freya's and
Freyr's turn to take over that function. ;-) Freyr with his hard-on and
Freya like a "she-goat in heat." ;-)
You do make a pretty good case there...the fact remains that I still base my
Heathenry in Swedish tradition, though, and that the focus of the
processions had at least shifted from her to him at one point.
--
----
Ingeborg S. Nordén
(***@chorus.net)
Ek Ingwibergô stabaz fahiðô
Heidi Graw
2005-03-29 04:48:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
Post by Heidi Graw
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
The only divine partners that Scandinavian sources mention Freyr having,
are Gerd (by marriage) and Freyja (by incest). If Tacitus is right about
Nerthus' title "Mother of the God",
acitus claims Nerthus is "Mother of the Gods"...plural.
OK...any goddess with more than one child (or generation of children)
could fit that description though. If the Svear had an equivalent of
Nerthus (her name certainly isn't attested in Old Norse), we don't know
who she is.
Yes, but you did say this in an earlier post:

"It's also true that Loki accuses Njord of getting his own sister pregnant
with Freyr--and that
no sources record this sister's name. I can see why some Heathens conclude
that she must be Nerthus (comparative mythology and linguistics are on their
side)..."

So, it seems to me that the Swedes chose not to remember Njord's sister's
name. And instead of carting Nerthus around in a procession, they do it for
Freyr instead. The main focus of the Nerthus procession seems to be as a
kind of "peace train" effort, whereas as the Freyr procession is focussed on
fertility rites. Two processions, different deities, different purposes.
These processions could also have taken place at different times of the
year, too.

We don't seem to have any references to the Continentals carting Freyr
around displaying his pride. I would have thought that custom would have
been taken abroad as the Germanics emigrated to different parts of the
continent. At least there doesn't seem to be death involved for any taking
part in the Freyr procession! Nerthus' face is to die for, whereas as
Freyr's woody is to pat and enjoy! ;-) Are modern Asatru women passing
Freyr around amongst themselves? ;-)

Heidi
Dirk Bruere at Neopax
2005-03-30 13:50:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ingeborg S. Nord?n
Post by Attuarii
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
First Nerthus, then Swedish tradition...
(1) No evidence exists for Nerthus being anything more than a local
earth deity in whichever area Tacitus heard about second-hand.
Tacitus describes the Nerthus festival as being regional. The understanding
I have is that this took place mostly in Jutland and the adjacent areas.
So, by that reading of Tacitus, it was almost strictly a Scandinavian
(Denmark) practice. But who was where at the time of Tacitus is quite an
open question.
Ummm, there is still that little matter of the aurochs and its hunting
being mentioned as important to the tribe Tacitus names. If the tribe
in question lived in present-day Denmark, certainly we'd find at least
a few artifacts and/or bones preserved that showed the animal being
indigneous to Jutland at the time. (The older Danish bog bodies and
the Gundestrup cauldron, among other things, date from a similar
period--but nothing aurochs-related has been discovered there so far,
to the best of my knowledge.)
Post by Attuarii
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
Odds are fairly
high that this area was not Scandinavia, or the _Germania_ text would not
have described details like the aurochs being a local animal. Being
strictly Norse-centered, I consider any discussion of her purely
academic--not part of my own Heathenry.
If we are to use Tacitus as any indication, I would tend to belive Freya (or
such like - "Mother of the God", IIRC) was most highly venerated in what is
now Sweden at the time of his writing.
"Mother of the god" does not describe Freyja as known in surviving
Scandinavian texts: her only recorded children are female (Hnoss and
Gersimi). For that matter, the only Norse goddess known *mainly* for
her son seems to be Jord/Fjorgynn; her son is Thor, who has no known
connection either to the Nerthus cult in _Germania_ or to the Swedish
fertility processions mentioned in later lore.
Post by Attuarii
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
(2) As for the spring processions which *were* known in early Sweden,
they were dedicated to a goddess at all--quite the opposite! The dominant
cult in Sweden focused on Freyr and the sacral kingship; although the
presence of a woman in fertility processions makes sense, surviving lore
implies that Freyr's "partner" was a human priestess rather than a deity
in her own right.
Care to provide citations?
First-- _The Tale of Gunnar Helming_ in _Flateyjarbók_ (This is
admittedly a parody, but a parody which made some cultural
assumptions: The idea that the Swedes saw nothing unusual in Freyr's
impregnating a local woman--and the description of Freyr's statue
being carted around the countryside--imply that HE, not an earth
goddess, was the object of worship in local spring processions.)
Second--the stanza for the Ing-rune in the Old English rune poem
(which I discuss more thoroughly at my web site--
http://www.geocities.com/ingwibergo/whyfreyr2.html).
Third--the reference to Freyr as _blótgoð Svía_ ("sacrifice-deity of
the Swedes") in _Olaf Tryggvasons saga_. The word _goð_ is
grammatically neuter in Old Norse; it has been used to discuss female
deities (Skadhi and Sol) as well as male ones (Freyr and Ullr). Under
the circumstances, if a female fertility cult had predominated in
Sweden--then the goddess of that cult, not Freyr, would have earned
the title _blótgoð Svía_.
Finally--_Ynglingasaga_ in _Heimskringla_ (more cultural assumptions
despite the political agenda: Freyr and not a goddess being at the
center of the Swedish fertility cult). It doesn't mention the Freyr
procession that the other sources support, but the lack of any
goddess-centered rite for fertilty in Sweden is still fairly
conspicuous IMO.
Post by Attuarii
It seems hazardous to assume an unbroken, invariant continuity between the
people and practices Tacitus describes in the Germania, and those found in
the surviving lore.
Perhaps so; but you take a pan-Indo-European approach to Heathenry and
I take a regional (Swedish) one. You use an earlier era as a starting
point and I use a later one. It seems logical enough that those
different starting points would lead to different theologies and
practices.
What references exist for either Eostre or Ostara?

FFF
Dirk

The Consensus:-
The political party for the new millenium
http://www.theconsensus.org
robert bowman
2005-03-30 14:24:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dirk Bruere at Neopax
What references exist for either Eostre or Ostara?
Bede, 'The Reckoning of Time', and the Brothers Grimm' 'German Mythology'.
Neither have any information other than the association of Ostara with
spring. In other words, 'not much'.



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Ingeborg S. Nordén
2005-03-28 08:52:19 UTC
Permalink
Oooops, accidentally left out a word in my last response:

"As for the spring processions which *were* known in early Sweden, they were
NOT dedicated to a goddess at all--quite the opposite!"
--
----
Ingeborg S. Nordén
(***@chorus.net)
Ek Ingwibergô stabaz fahiðô
Sevenhundred Elves
2005-03-29 10:49:42 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 28 Mar 2005 07:37:22 GMT,
Post by Heidi Graw
Post by Ingeborg S. Nordén
Personally, being a Norse-based Heathen (not continental like Heidi, or
Saxon like some other Heathens here)...I do not celebrate Ostara even in a
pagan-friendly form. There is no evidence for Scandinavians having a
goddess-centered fertility festival with eggs and rabbits in pre-Christian
times; even the secular Easter customs in modern Sweden are German imports.
Not that I intend to ruin the holiday for those of you who do celebrate,
of course....
No offense taken! ;-)
Just curious about the tradition with respect to Nerthus: I understand she
came "out" once every nine years. Did she arrive in Spring and leave in
Winter? Was peace declared for a whole year or for a much shorter period of
time, ie...a few days? Do you, Ingeborg, observe the arrival and departure
of Nerthus? If so, do you observe this once every nine years? If so, how
do you know which is the correct ninth year? Is this tracked in Sweden (or
somehwere)? I'd like to know a little more about this custom and whether or
not Asatru adherents of today observe
the Nerthus peace year (although perhaps not including drowning those who
"see" her).
Heidi
I don't know much about Nerthus, but there is an astronomical/calendaric
periodicity of 18 years: You can reuse an 18 year old calendar, and the
phases of the moon will fall on the same dates as back then, or close
enough to make no practical difference.

Anyway, 18 is a multiple of nine, so our ancestors could have decided
when there was a half moon, either waxing or waning, close enough to
midwinter night (which is a good night for observing the skies, because
it's so long), as will happen every ninth year, that it was the right
year for the Nerthus thing you mention, or for the great blot at
Uppsala, for that matter.

I think that what I said sounds a bit obscure, but if you only knew how
to use a runestaff calendar (those were often used in Sweden way into
the 19th century, but have now gone out of fashion), what I'm saying
here would be obvious to you. Perhaps you can look it up in some book
about ancient calendars.

On the other hand, without written source material from that time, it's
hard to say what observation, if any, was used to determine when the
time was right. Perhaps they just kept count.

S.
Attuarii
2005-03-28 06:55:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Heidi Graw
Post by robert bowman
Post by Heidi Graw
http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/ostara.html
"The following views, advanced by Jacob Grimm in his Deutsche Mythologie
* April, in Anglo Saxon, Old High German, and some modern German
dialects, is called "Ostara's month."
Is it April already, or are you equating the 17th of Nisan with Ostara?
I suppose it depends on what calendar one is using...
http://www.hermetic.ch/cal_stud/lunarcal/types.htm
I find this issue too confusing, so I'm just going along with whatever is
popular in the way of Christmas/Yule, Easter/Ostara and Canadian
Thanksgiving/Harvest. I find co-ordinating these three major celebrations
more convenient. As for the other minor ones, no big deal...celebrate as
they come up and as they hold special meanings for the observer. If you
find there are not enough celebrations throughout the year, invent a few
additional ones!
;-)
Heidi
I am inclined to believe Ostara is from the Non-Indo-European substrate of
the Germani. I really do need to take the time to study this topic more
closely. If my hunch is correct, this traces very far back into European
pre-history. Well before it would be meaningful to talk about
Proto-Germanic, or Celtic.
--
"It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses
or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not
change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people."
Giordano Bruno
Heidi Graw
2005-03-28 07:49:26 UTC
Permalink
(snip)
Post by Attuarii
I am inclined to believe Ostara is from the Non-Indo-European substrate of
the Germani. I really do need to take the time to study this topic more
closely. If my hunch is correct, this traces very far back into European
pre-history. Well before it would be meaningful to talk about
Proto-Germanic, or Celtic.
Yet, how would you go about collected evidence for the existence of Ostara
worship? We know she is associated with eggs and hares. What do cave
drawings show? What do pottery and jewellery ornamentations show? Stone
carvings? Perhaps some preserved peat-bog implements? Petrified wood
carvings? Have you got a "sleuth" plan in mind? It could turn out to be an
interesting excercise. Why don't we do that? I'm game. Give me a starting
point. What does your hunch tell you?

Heidi
Attuarii
2005-03-28 15:45:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Heidi Graw
(snip)
Post by Attuarii
I am inclined to believe Ostara is from the Non-Indo-European substrate of
the Germani. I really do need to take the time to study this topic more
closely. If my hunch is correct, this traces very far back into European
pre-history. Well before it would be meaningful to talk about
Proto-Germanic, or Celtic.
Yet, how would you go about collected evidence for the existence of Ostara
worship? We know she is associated with eggs and hares. What do cave
drawings show? What do pottery and jewellery ornamentations show? Stone
carvings? Perhaps some preserved peat-bog implements? Petrified wood
carvings? Have you got a "sleuth" plan in mind? It could turn out to be an
interesting excercise. Why don't we do that? I'm game. Give me a starting
point. What does your hunch tell you?
Heidi
I'd follow the rivers. But what's in a name anyhow?
--
"It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses
or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not
change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people."
Giordano Bruno
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