Monday, June 6, 2011

Are Cernunnos and Odin the same god?: Part II

I hadn't intended to make a part two to this, but as I read 'Creed of Iron' I find that more thoughts and questions come to me. They don't follow any real consistent pattern, so I will just ramble them out.

First off, 'Creed of Iron', for the most part, makes an attempt to put all of "European man" under the pagan umbrella of Wotanism. To me, "Wotanism" isn't a new name of a modern incarnation, but the actual proper name of an old spiritual tradition. I mean "proper" in a more-or-less unifying principle, as our Langobard ancestors called this god "Godan." I appreciate the book and it's message, but there are aspects of it so far which are undefined or which somewhat sloppily merge many spiritual traditions into "Wotanism" or of the "Wotan-spirit."

Again, I appreciate many aspects of what the author Ron McVan is trying to do, but I just don't entirely agree. In many ways, the Gaulish gods probably did merge with the Norse gods as the people had close contact over many centuries. Also, much of the ancient knowledge did merge as well, from the Sumerian time to the Viking era. I find myself really wanting to agree with the "historical all-being Wotanist spirit," but some parts of it seem a bit of a stretch. Naturally, different cultures tied the ancient spiritual-knowledge into their own gods and culture; into something that they could relate to.

I recently viewed a video of Ron McVan on YouTube. He was wearing a Germanic warrior outfit as he chanted something about Wotan. He pronounced it, in almost a theatrical manner, as "WOH-TAHN" with emphasis on the two syllables. Somehow I feel closer to the spirit when I pronounce it as "Woh-ten," rather than in an ominous way. Just for the record, I believe that the pronunciation of Cernunnos can only be said in one manner: "KER-new-nos." I think that people should, within reason, put their own spin on things up to a point.

As within the Odinic tradition, one can personally view a great ancestor as a god or goddess. I sometimes see some of the Langobard kings and queens as something like gods or goddesses. One such person is the first queen of what was to become the Langobards, the Winniler Queen Gambara. I see her as a spirit representing "doing what has to be done," even if it's something very difficult and unsettling. I sort've see the later Langobard Queen Theodelinda in the same manner, although with her I feel "the spirit of pragmatism and compromise." Both ideas probably being traits that a successful person would need. King Alboin comes to mind as well, as something of a god-figure representing "masculinity and fearlessness." The warrior spirit, also necessary in some form.

The book goes on to discuss in detail the Runestones, in which they are described as being of unknown origin; although they are, as the book states, "In the Wotanist pantheon the giant Mimir, as the possessor of the well of wisdom, is credited as the inventor and source of the Runes." According to Wikipedia's Runic alphabet page, under Origins, it is stated:

The runes developed centuries after the Old Italic alphabets from which they are historically derived. The debate on the development of the runic script concerns the question which of the Italic alphabets should be taken as their point of origin, and which, if any, signs should be considered original innovations added to the letters found in the Italic scripts. The historical context of the script's origin is the cultural contact between Germanic people, who often served as mercenaries in the Roman army, and the Italic peninsula during the Roman imperial period (1st c. BC to 5th c. AD). The formation of the Elder Futhark was complete by the early 5th century, with the Kylver Stone being the first evidence of the futhark ordering as well as of the p rune.

Specifically, the Raetic alphabet of Bolzano, is often advanced as a candidate for the origin of the runes, with only five Elder Futhark runes (ᛖ e, ᛇ ï, ᛃ j, ᛜ ŋ, ᛈ p) having no counterpart in the Bolzano alphabet (Mees 2000). Scandinavian scholars tend to favor derivation from the Latin alphabet itself over Raetic candidates. A "North Etruscan" thesis is supported by the inscription on the Negau helmet dating to the 2nd century BC. This is in a northern Etruscan alphabet, but features a Germanic name, Harigast.

Common within Odinic circles is the reference of "Northern Europe." However, there seems to have been more Wotanist-influence in regions which were not in what is generally considered "Northern Europe," more so than in some regions which were in Northern Europe. For example, "Langobardic Austria" (Lombardy/Trento/Tri-Venetia), Russia and the Ukraine (the Csars were descendants of the Vikings); as opposed to South France, which was Gaulish, and later became a Greek colony before Roman rule. There may have been more Wotanist-influence in Visigothic Spain than in South France. The book doesn't really define this concept, as it moves around mentioning ancient Sumeria, Egypt, Phoenicia, Greece, and Rome as a source for certain things... then floating back to the "Northern Europe" ideal. I think there was a great cross-pollination of many of the ancient spiritual concepts.


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