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2011 06 07

            In the ancient language, God as a proper name was never used; Old Teutonic gudo is neuter and means to invoke, or to offer sacrifice, thus an object of worship. The Edda recounts little of god, it speaks in more mysterious words and reserves for the highest conception the term tiva ~ as the Sanskrit dayaus: the transcendent light and the inward love. It is that which the Skalds "dare not name", That which has no name: the unknowing darkness of the closed eye becoming (the proto-teutonic) Teiwaz, the first manifestation of light. Early studies expressed the idea of Woden dethroning Teiwaz. Although now discredited, the theory showed the Teiwaz concept with Woden as avatar replaced by Woden as god in the likeness of man. Avatar is a manifestation in human form; in Vedic mythology, the descent of a deity to the earth in carnate form. Blavatsky wrote of the "Records of the Thirty-five Buddhas of Confession" that relate of the great Mahatmas who "may just as well be called Rishis, or Avatars, etc; . . . they are historical sages ~ at any rate, for all . . . who believe in such a hierarchy of Sages, the existence of which has been proved to them by the learned ones of the Fraternity. Odin, or the god Woden, . . . is one of these thirty-five Buddhas; one of the earliest, indeed, for the continent to which he and his race belonged, is also one of the earliest. So early, in truth, that in the days when tropical nature was to be found, where now lie eternal unthawing snows, one could cross almost by dry land from Norway via Iceland and Greenland, to the lands that at present surround Hudson's Bay." As in the Vedic tradition, the true knowledge became concealed by the ErilaR initiates. The solar mythology that was postulated in the early studies arises from the Teiwaz concept of the shining inner light. But this dethroning is a legitimate part of the tradition and only misleads those ignorant of the more lofty concept. The essence of the Teutonic world view does not lie in the concept of Woden as god, for the idea of such a god is not compatible with the ideals of a personal religion and personal liberty.
            The Volva called Woden "foremost among bonded", bound ~ as are we all ~ to the sphere of the manifested universe. He represents male energy as Freija and the Volva do female. Coming forth from man's testes is a bodily imperative to lust, to seed, to thrust, to impose, to rule. Freija's Volva is woman; Woden's priestly Son of the Prime Generation is man. "In the hymns of the Aryans assigned to about 2,000 B.C. there are indications of a formulation of doctrines which have come to be considered Sufic in the sense of the carrying out of certain practices of sublimation and development," Idries Shah wrote. The Sufi illuminate, he maintained, is "the herdsman" who possesses a "certitude" the essence and expression of which "is the ‘retrieving of the very marrow, the shepherding of others, the exercising of the commanding authority and endowment usually invested in what is called a priest in mechanical religion.' . . . This, to the Sufi, is the meaning of a priest ~ that he should have arrived at some sort of certitude that places him in contact with the greater dimension, not that he should be mechanically created by order or study. A priest is the result of a development. No such priest exists in familiar religion." According to traditional conceptions, the function of a master is not limited to the teaching of doctrines, but implies an actual incarnation of knowledge, thanks to which he can awaken other men, and help them in their search simply by his presence. He is there to create conditions for an experience through which knowledge can be lived as fully as possible. In such a sense is Woden the highest of the aesir's priests and masters.

            Woden was head of the aesir's home, where (as Sturluson told in his Ynglingasaga):

            "There were great places of sacrifice. It was tradition there that twelve court-chiefs were adored; they must counsel before sacrifice and render judgement between people; they were called priests or masters. Them must all the folk grant service and reverence.
            "When Asa-Woden came to the Northlands with his priests, it is said on good evidence, that they raised and taught their arts by which tradition people have long since fared. Woden was most honored of all, and from him took they all their arts, for he understood them not only first but best. But it is said that the reason he was thus much exalted was because he bore this lot: His likeness was so fair and glorious, that when he sat with his friends, laughter came to the minds of all. But when he was with an army, his appearance was grim to his enemies; and this he bore too, that he knew those arts by which he shifted likeness and body according to each emotion, as he willed it. His workings were such that he told so eloquent and smooth, that all who heard it thought it was the only truth. He spoke all in rhyme, just the same as that still quoted by those called skalds. He and the court- chiefs are called songsmiths, because that art was raised from them in the Northlands. Woden can do such, that in battle his enemies become blind or deaf or fearful, and their weapons bite not like swords but wands, but his people fared without chainmail and yelled like dogs or wolves, bit on their shields, and were stronger than bearsows or young cattle. They slaughtered the people's folk, but neither fire nor iron worked on them; that is called going berserker.
            "Woden shifted skins. His body laid then as if sleeping or dead, but he was then bird or beast, fish or worm and fared in an instant to faraway lands on his own errands or other people's. What he could do too is with words only slake fire and calm seas and turn winds, ordered however he willed it. . . . Betimes he woke up dead people out of the earth or sat under the hanged; because of this was he called ghost-master or hanged-master. He owned two ravens, whom he had tamed by speech; they flew wide about the lands and said to him many tidings. From these lots he became a great lorester. All these arts he knew by their runes and songs that are called enchant-ments. For this were Aesir called enchantment-smiths. Woden knew that art from which the greatest power follows and by which he furthered himself, which is called seidr, and from this force he knew the peoples' yore-law and their unuttered lots, and thus could make people's bane or misfortune or sickness, or could take from people their wit and vigor and give these to others. But this fullkenning, when furthered, is followed by so mighty a lust that it was thought noble- men could not fare without shame, therefor were female chiefs taught this art. . . . Most of these arts he taught his sacrifice-chiefs, for they were nearest to him in all knowledge and fullkenning. But many others also took this knowledge, and have thereby dispersed full-kenning widely and kept it long. Woden and the twelve court-heads were worshiped by people who called them their gods and entrusted this to a long tradition."

            The Icelander Snorri Sturluson wrote early in the thirteenth century. The author of many different kinds of literature was raised from childhood at Oddi where many scholars labored and imparted their lessons to the boy who would early win a reputation. His Snorra Edda was designed as a handbook for poets who used the old Skaldic forms. Throughout the work Sturluson quoted what he considered were the most trustworthy of sources: the ancient lays that reflect tenets based on the knowledge of the accumulated wisdom and secret teachings concealed within the rituals, allegories, and mysteries of the ages.
            "Woden," he wrote in the ‘Prologus', "had prophecy and so did his wife, and from their wisdom they found their names held in high repute in the northern half of the homes and honored beyond other kings. Soon this caused desire to begin their journey from Turkland and they had with them a great host of company, young people and old, men and women, and carried also great many costly treasures. Wherever they traveled over land, there was much glory added to their legend, such that they were thought of like gods more than as people. They stayed not their travels, until they came to that northern land that is now called Saxland. There dwelled Woden a longer while and widely possessed that land.
            "After that he fared north to what is now called Swede-nation. There was a king named Gylfi. When he tracked the journey of these Asia-people, as the aesir were called, he traveled through the night to offer Woden any such power as he wished to wield in his reign. And as time followed their journey, in whatever lands they had delayed there were fruitful seasons and peace. Then believed all, and so were they counseled, and thus it seemed to the common people, that they were unlike other people, for theirs was the highest beauty and intelligence. Woden considered his fair and valued land and chose here a certain town-site. . . . He created there cantons, . . . and set twelve head-people in steads to judge the laws of the land, and thus created he justice for all. . . . After that he fared north, where he beheld the sea, that is said to lay around all land. . . ."

            In the Edda's second lay, ‘Havamal', High-one's Speech, the words of Woden are twined:

Guest Strands
            "Gates all, before going through, viewed must be, espied must be, because it's uncertain to know, where strangers sit in front of the flats.
            "Givers hail. Guests who come in, where must they sit? Unseemly the haste, of who at the hearth must further one's own effort.
            "Fire is needful, to them who've come in and are cold at the knees; food and clothing is people's need, them who over the fells have fared.
            "Water is needful, to them who to the meal come, towels and a nation's-invite, good for the disposition, if these get meted, words and attentive-hearing.
            "Wit is needful, to them who widely travel; used to being away from home. Wool pulled over their eyes, get they who nothing ken and with the clever sit.
            "Of their beliefs humans must not boastful be, rather tend to the senses. Then who wise and silent to the homestead come, seldom wield sharp wits, because to disturb a friend brings humans never to great consciousness.
            "The wary guest, who to the meal has come, is little heeded at first, then let the ears harken, and eyes view; thus news is ever learned first.
            "They are happy, who guess about praise and mercy-signs. Uneasy who denies it, are humans who must own what's in others' breasts.
            "They are happy, who of themself have praise and wit, during life; because ill counsel humans often get out of others' breasts.
            "No burden better to bear on the human road than great consciousness. When better fortunes seem in unknown stead; that engenders who wretched be.
            "No burden better to bear on the human road than great consciousness; no worse provisions to take on the way than over-drinking ale.
            "It's not so good when good quotes the ale in generations' sons, because know that who ferries more drink, there too goes the sense of men.
            "The herons-of-forgetfulness are named who over the drinking party tarry; they steal the senses of men. These birds of feathers are the fettered wolf in Gunladar's garden.
            "Ales i avoided, avoided drunkenness when at learned Fjalar's. Because ale is best, when after the homeward turn men each have their senses.
            "Silent and mindful must nations' children be and boldly daring; gladsome and cheerful must each man be, until his bane abides.
            "Slow humans believe life shall last forever, if they avoid the fight; but old age gives them no peace, though they gave up spears.
            "Oafs stare, when come to acquaintance, their murmurs within them tarry. All in good time, if soon they get their swill, rises then the mood of men.
            "That only know, who widely travel and have fared manifold, ever senses steer each man, them who knowingly use wits.
            "Hold not humans to the beaker, drink but in moderation mead, speeches need or silence; none of humanity will come to woe, if you go early to sleep.
            "Greedy heroes, take senses as signal, eat themselves life-long-grief; often fear ridicule, who with the wise come, people with homely stomachs.
            "The herds know when to home they must return, and when to go from grass; but unswift humans know nothing but the speech of their maw.
            "Bereft humans and ill creatures harken to everything. It doesn't hit them to know, that their wits are needed, as they are not lacking in faults.
            "Unswift humans lie awake all night to worry over everything; then they are moody, when morning has come, and are all in misery.
            "Unwise humans believe all who smile upon them are friends. Revealed they find, these thoughts glean fear, when they with the clever sit.
            "Unwise humans believe all who smile upon them are friends; then it's found, when to the meeting come, that to the forespeaker they're fetched.
            "Unwise humans seem all witty, when they are in their own surroundings. Revealed they know, what they must wrongly quote, when they're tested by travelers.
            "Unwise humans, who with elders come, it is best, they be silent. No-one will know, that they nothing ken, and take what they say too highly; know-not humans, they who weightless know, though they speak too much.
            "Learned they seem, who understand questioning and sayings do befit. Nought's concealed to sons of the prime generation, who thus go about men.
            "Enough speech, he who's never silent, are groundless statements; quick-spoken tongues, when not taken hold, often yell their own undoing.
            "Humans must not pull the wool over the eyes of others, when to acquaintance come; many then seem learned, if they ask nothing and care to keep their noses clean.
            "Learned seem, who take flight, when guest mocks guest; one knows not clearly, who defend with a grin, though they with grimness growl.
            "Many men are wholesome and good, except when the mealtime's shared; since ages strive shall ever there be, when guest disagrees with guest.
            "Early meal must humans often fetch, when to acquaintance come: else they'll sit and snuffle, their manner greedy, and the questions few.
            "Turn away much from ill friends, though at the road abide, but to good friends lies the straight and narrow, though to them it's far faring.
            "Going must, must not guests be ever in one's place; beloved becomes loathed, if long they sit in others' flats.
            "The farm is better, though little it be, each is a hero at home; though but two goats and a thatch-roofed chamber, that is yet better than begging.
            "The farm is better, though little it be, each is a hero at home; bleeding's the heart, of them who must bid with their speech for each bit of food.
            "From their weapons humans must not choose to step away, because it's uncertain to know, when near draws the outbound way and spears be the need of men.
            "Never found i mild people and thus good food, that was not received forthwith, with possessions they were thus not stingy, which leads to its reward, if accepted.
            "Holding possessions, hard won, humans must not endure need; often is spared for those loathed, what was meant for loved ones, much goes worse than foreboded.
            "Weapons and clothes must gladden friends, that is of itself most certain. Those who give-in-return and those who give-again ever be longest friends, if it abides that well it happens.
            "With their friend must humans friends be and yield gift with gift. Laughter with laughter must the landholder take, but treachery with lies.
            "With their friends must humans friend be, to them and their friends; but with a stranger's friends humans must not friendly be.
            "Know this, if you have friends, whom you trust full well, and you will from them goodness get, moods must blend with them and gifts share, fare to those friends often.
            "If you have others, them whom ill you trust, yet will you from them goodness get, fair must you speak to them, but falsely minded and yield treachery with lies.
            "Thus it is with those, whom ill you trust and have suspicions of their thoughts, laugh must with them and about mind speak; alike must yield gifting.
            "Young was i formerly, fared i one alone, then i avoided bewildering ways; fortunate seemed, when i found another, humans are people's pleasure.
            "Mild, brave people live best, seldom sorrow bear; but slow humans have terror of whatever, mourn ever stinginess in gifting.
            "My clothes i elected to give to two tree-people; righteous then thought, who that linen cloaked; shamed are naked heroes.
            "Withering thole, that stands by the hamlet, warms not its bark nor needles. Thus are humans, they whom no-people love. For what must they live long?
            "The fire of peace burns hot with ill friends for five days, but then it slakes, when the sixth comes, and worsens all friendship.
            "Grandly only mustn't people give; often it buys one but little praise; with half a loaf and with tipped beaker fetched i myself fellowship.
            "Little are sands of little seas and little is the sense of men; because all people's weird is not to be even-sighted; half is every age.
            "Middling-clever must people each, never too clever be. Warriors with the fairest life are those who keep their wits.
            "Middling-clever must people each, never too clever be; because clever people's hearts become seldom glad, if they are over-clever, that is so.
            "Middling-clever must people each, never too clever be. Their yore-law no-one knows before, theirs is sorrowless feeling.
            "Brands from burning burn, until burned they are, flames quicken from flame; humans from people by speech become known, but the dull by what they hide.
            "Early must rise, if others' possession or vitality will have. Seldom do lying wolves get the ham nor sleeping humans victory.
            "Early must rise, who has workers to fetch, and has their work to plan. Much is delayed, when the morning is slept away. Half of fortune is made of vigor.
            "Dry kindling and thatching bark, this can humans measure, and this wood, that may withstand time and season.
            "Washed and sated ride humans to the meeting, though their clothing's not too well. Shoes and breeches shamed no human nor steed the hero, though they haven't good ones.
            "Snuffling and stooping, when to the sea came, was the eagle over the watery fruit; thus are humans, who among many come and to the forespeaker are fetched.
            "Ask and say must the learned each, them who will be called wise. One may know but no others must, the nation knows, if three do.
            "Their power must counsel-clever each in moderation hold. Then it is they find, when among the brave come, that none is alone most vigorous.            "Words there are, which humans to others say, that often do yield guesses.
            "Much too early came i in many places, and too late in some. Ale was drunk, else was unmade; but seldom's found loathe in a member.
            "Here and there a home means to beckon me, if needful meal is starved of food, or two hams hang up with faithful friends, there where i had eaten one.
            "Fire is best with generations' sons and the sight of the sun, healthy they, if humans have these near, without fault proceeds then life.
            "No humans are all bereft, though they have ill health. Some are happy from sons, some from relatives, some from possessions honored, some from good works.
            "Better to be alive than un-alive, ever get the quickened cows. I saw fire burn up fortunate people before, but outside the dead were in front of the door.
            "The halting ride horses, the herd driven by who wants hands, the deaf are glorious and doughty. Blind is better than to be burned, no people endure death.
            "Sons are better, though late begot after going about men; seldom stand memorial-stones near the road, for to raise these takes offspring and kin.
            "Two are one's harrier, tongue is head's bane; it's to me a hide wherein hands to expect.
            "Night becomes fair, that is provisioned true, cramped are ships' quarters; shifty the autumn-night; plenty changes weather in five days, but more in a month.
            "They know not, who weightless know, that many become from silver fools. Humans are fortunate, others unfortunate, mustn't then place blame.
            "Cattle die, relatives die, the self dies it seems; but word-renown dies never-an-age, whence one his virtue gets.
            "Cattle die, relatives die, the self dies it seems. I know only, that never-an-age dies: the doom about the dead each.


            "Now is Hava's speech quoted in Hava's halls, all-needed by generations' sons, no-need for giants' sons; hale them, who quote, hale them, who know, useful to them, who take, holy they, who heed."

[About Ragnarok] [In the Beginning] [Futhark] [Name Scroll] [Nine in the Tree] [Runes of Magic and Mystery] [Weird] [Wise Woman Speaks] [Words of Woden] [Works Cited]