Publicada por Arith Härger / 8:13 PM /
It is of common knowledge that the days of the week are so named after gods and goddesses. But how and why did that happen? Why were such names chosen and what each of them tells us about the deities?
Well... first of all, let's start at the beginning. The concept of week itself probably developed in ancient Babylon in the region of mesopotamia (nowadays Iraq and parts of Syria), where a month was divided into more or less four seven-day periods to match the four phases of the moon. This didn't exactly work out as some weeks were longer than others but by the time of ancient Greece, the seven-day cycle was firmly established and each day of the week had a common name.
To the greeks, the days of the week were so named:
Monday: "hemera selenes" - meaning “day of the moon”
Tuesday: "hemera Areo"- meaning “day of Ares” (the Greek God of War)
Wednesday: "hemera Hermu" - “day of Hermes” (the Greek God of commerce and travel)
Thursday: "hemera Dios" - “day of Zeus” (supreme Greek God of the heavens, commonly known as the god of thunders)
Friday: "hemera Aphrodites" - “day of Aphrodite” (Greek Goddess of love and beauty)
Saturday: "hemera Khronu" - “day of Cronus” (supreme Greek God of the universe before Zeus)
Sunday: "hemera heliou" - “day of the sun”
The romans, on the other hand, used the roman equivalent of the greek gods:
Monday: "dies lunae" - “day of the moon”
Tuesday: "dies Martis" - “day of Mars” (the Roman God of War)
Wednesday: "dies Mercurii" - “day of Mercury” (the Roman God of commerce and travel)
Thursday: "dies Jovis" - “day of Jupiter” (supreme Roman God of the heavens)
Friday: "dies Veneris" - “day of Venus” (Roman Goddess of love and beauty)
Saturday: "dies Saturni" - “day of Saturn” (Roman God believed to have ruled in an earlier age)
Sunday: "dies solis" - “day of the sun”
The Welsh for instance, follow the Latin pattern entirely, as do many of the Romance languages throughout Europe. However, the English case is different; it doesn’t follow either Latin or Greek names. Instead, it follows the day names first given by the Anglo-Saxons, and these appear completely different from those of Greek or Latin deities.
Monday: "Mōnandæg" - “day of the moon”
Tuesday: "Tīwesdæg" - “day of Tiw” (the Anglo-Saxon God of war)
Wednesday: "Wōdnesdæg" - “day of Woden” (the chief Anglo-Saxon God equivalent to the Scandinavian Odin)
Thursday: "Þunresdæg" - “day of Thunor/Donar” (the Anglo-Saxon God of thunder, represented as riding a chariot, the equivalent of the Scandinavian Thor). Strictly, the day means “day of Thunder” after Thunor.
Friday: "dies Frīgedæg" - “day of Freya/Freyja or Frigg” (the Anglo-Saxon Goddesses of love and beauty)
Saturday: "Sæternesdæg" - “day of Saturn” (no equivalent Anglo-Saxon God so the Roman God is reused in this case)
Sunday: "Sunnandæg" - “day of the sun” (dæg is pronounced “day” and Sunna/Sol is the goddess of the sun)
It appears that the attributes of each deity are identical (except for Wednesday and Thursday). The Anglo-Saxons clearly did not invent their own terms for each day of the week, but followed Roman practice, turning the Roman deity names into their own. It also tells us how Anglo-Saxons thought about their Gods and which they most closely linked with the Roman equivalent. However, the early Anglo-Saxons saw Thunor (in ancient Norse -Thor) as having qualities shared by Mercury, which indicates that firstly Thor had different attributes to the Norse/Germanic peoples, and wasn't yet the god of Thunder and giant slayer. It is possible that Thor used his chariot for commerce and not just riding to battle. In much of the Western world, the day names are very similar, either taken directly from Latin, or, as we have seen with the English case, taken from the equivalent of the Anglo-Saxon deities.
Publicada por Arith Härger / 4:49 PM /
Rune binding is the creation of a unic magical symbol with a specific "power" to it, and one of the most famous symbols is the Aegishjalmur. Also written Ægishjálmur and commonly known as the "The Helm of Awe",this symbol is an ancient protective talisman of the Norse cultures. In Icelandic sagas it can be found to confer power and dominance in conflict and also to instill fear in one's enemies and to conquer fear in one's own mind. While its literal translation is "Terror Helm", it is believed that it was never actually a helm, but rather something worn impressed or imprinted upon the forehead. However, there are also some reports of painting this symbol in one's shield to strike fear upon the enemy.
This powerful symbol contains two numerical patterns, 3 and 8, that were sacred to the Northern tradition. Multiplying such numbers, gives us the number 24, the number of runes in the runic alphabet (elder futhark). But its most prominent feature is the rune Algiz/Elhaz. This rune can be used by itself for protection of a person, place or an object. It can create a sacred space or can be employed more aggressively to scatter negative energy into a person or a group of people. In the Aegishjalmur, the rune is also contained 8 times not only at the ends of each spoke, but 8 times hidden in the spokes themselves. This shows that the main purpose of this symbol is really to defend the wearer of evil.
Supposedly, Algiz protects whatever and wherever we place this symbol onto, by connecting a circuit of positive energies to the spiritual resources of the living thing or place. The symbol has many visual interpretations,such as its shape being like someone with outstretched hands to the heavens. Adopting this posture one can touch and develop a feel for its streams of influence as if summoning its power as if it was a song.
A person can wear this symbol on an article of clothing. You can embody it with a temporary or permanent tattoo. You can wear jewelry with the design.You can also carry an image in your head, pocket, hand, whatever. Most of these rely on a part of the mind knowing this symbol is present and connected to you in some physical, symbolic or image awareness.
It is believed that energies can reach back into a communal reality of consciousness, deeper than the mind of the individual. In this sense, the symbol primes the pump and taps an energy much deeper, older and more powerful than the currents typically at play in our day to day awareness. Its is as if vibrations were pulled through us.
"Ægishjalm eg ber milli bruna mjer"
Publicada por Arith Härger / 7:39 PM /
In the old northern european societies, it was common to use runic symbols and combinations of runes for different magical purposes. Most of the symbols and spells used in the incantations of the bidding of runes, appear to have been for the use of simple daily problems in the life of the common folk. For instance, for catching a thief or to overthrowing an enemy. Others helped heal livestock, whilst others look at cursing the animals of another. It was also common to create charms to help preserve food and ale, staves to bless the bearer with strength or courage, or symbols to help with fishing or prevent death by drowning. The bidding of runes, charms, staves an so on, were also commonly created to protect a person while in battle, to enhance the durability of a shield, the deadly strike of a weapon or the flexibility of a bow.
However, the people in the 17th century in Iceland faced more difficulties in agriculture, herding and hunting and finishing, rather than the troubles of war. With long dark winters, little arable lands for crops, and icy seas, life was unforgiving. Luck seemed to have an important role in that society, and the inhabitants would do what they could to influence their fortunes themselves. In times of famine, neighbours would be tempted to steal from each other, and disputes would often end in violence of course. Reputation and the ability to intimidate seems to have been an important factor in survival, and many staves were created to allow the bearer to do this or cast back negativity upon their perceived attacker. It was a very superstitious time.
As this was an age where Christianity had great influence in the European societies, witchcraft was still used by some but in secrecy, as folk remedies for example. Some practiced these arts more openly, sometimes charging for their services. By using the magical staves, a person felt that they were able to control and influence their predicament without direct confrontation.
The staves appeared to be drawn by using the Norse runes and later mediaeval and renaissance occult symbols. They were at least influenced by later charms used on mainland Europe. Some even appear to be influenced by kabbalistic symbols. During the 17th century in Iceland, it was a time where the christian faith and the old Scandinavian faith was mixed. Icelandic society never forgot their past, their roots and traditions, so some charms that accompany certain staves mention the old Norse gods such as Odin and Thor, whilst others mention Solomon and Christ. The system seems to be an interesting blend of old and new magical beliefs. During the periods of transition between religions, Odin was still appealed to or mentioned, but his role had shifted from being the All-father figure to that of a sorcerer. The Christian God had taken the place of the Father of men on earth, with the Old Gods being pushed into the positions where they were only called upon by the superstitious or "evil magicians".
Between the 14th and 17th Centuries, it was common to hunted down and tried and punish witches for their sorcerous arts. In most cases these practitioners of the old ways were female. Interestingly enough, unlike mainland Europe, the majority of Icelandic witches that were executed were male; punished by being burned at the stake; women were usually drowned. Like so many other examples of hysteria and bitterness that peaked during such times of persecution, accusations of witchcraft seemed to be a powerful tool to be rid of enemies and improve one's own situation. One such tale suggests manic superstition, or possibly a personal vendetta against a family.
There is an interesting account that I would like to state:
In 1656 in the town of Kirkjuból (nowadays known as Ísafjörður), a pastor called Jón Magnússon was suffering from ill health and other misfortunes. He accused two members of his congregation of sorcery against him. The accused were father and son, both named Jón Jónsson, who sang in the church choir. After being interrogated, the father confessed to using magic against the pastor and having a book of magic in his possession. Jón Jónsson junior confessed to making the pastor ill, and of using Fretrúner against a girl. The latter was a stave that caused the subject to fart constantly. Far from being a joke, it was intended to humiliate and cause terrible abdominal discomfort. The pair were found guilty and were burned at the stake. Pastor Jón Magnússon was awarded all of the Jónsson's holdings, but later accused the daughter of Jón Jónsson senior (sister of Jón Jónsson junior) of witchcraft as his ills still continued. Thuridur Jónsdóttir stood trial and was found not guilty. She counter-sued the Pastor and won. As compensation, she was awarded the Pastor's belongings.
This account may have been an attempt for the pastor to get rid of that family and gain their wealth, but his intentions at the end left him with nothing. Unfortunately it led to the death of two innocent; were they really innocent at all? Some truths may never be known.
Well, back to the subject, folk magic went underground and its practices became hidden. Some records that exist of the staves, their uses and other magical practices of the Icelanders, were made by the courts during the trials of supposedly witches. Ironically, it is this act that has preserved some of the old customs to this day. Without being recorded, they would simply have been forgotten or would have died with their practitioners. But how well were they transcribed? It's very likely that the true knowledge of such magics has been completely forgotten.
After so much time in secrecy, these magical practices returned. It was only in the last century that it became safer to explore the practices of folk magic throughout Europe. Whilst still frowned upon as superstition and nonsense, the Icelandic staves have seen a surge in popularity. Many of the staves are used in art and decorative wares, whilst some people have taken to having them tattooed onto their bodies. The Icelandic staves have evolved over the centuries, and while certainly incorporating Norse runes, they cannot be considered exclusively of "Viking" culture as they are influenced by other esoteric practices from mainland Europe and beyond.
Note: You can read it in here, with much more detail on this subject --> [Link]