Wednesday, 19 September 2012
Hidden Within the Norse Gods - Part II
This is the second part of "Hidden Within the Norse Gods" series. This subject will be divided into four parts. I will write about the gods and goddesses of Germanic/Norse myth and what lies within their names, similarities with gods of other Indo-European cultures and how they could be linked.
Tyr: This is the war god of law and order, son of Odin in the Eddic version. He lost his hand during a conflict with Fenris the wolf. Unusual as it seems, Tyr was also considered to be an earlier type of god, who was a prehistoric All Father. His other names are Tiwaz, Tio, Tiw and Cyo. Tuesday, day of the week, took his name, as in Tyr's Day or Tiw's Day upon dies Martis or Mars' Day. The name Tyr is Old Norse for Tivar or "the gods". The PIE version of Tyr becomes "Tiwos" then "Deiwoz" further back in time. This meant "Celestial man" or "celestial god", otherwise "Man of the sky". The Welsh cousin name of Tyr is "Dwy" meaning Day in English. Sanskrit is "Deva" or deity. Here the words Day and Deity have a close connection through the god Tyr. All this creates the modern English word divine. Tyr is basically a Deva (male deity of day) and part of an earlier establishment of gods from PIE words that say "Father Sky". "Man of the Sky", "Father of the sky", "God of the sky", "The day god", "One of the sky devas" = Tyr.
Heimdall: The golden child of the gods, who had nine mothers, owner of a magical horn named Gjallerhorn, and a gold horse. He's considered one who illuminates. He has three other names, Gullintanni (gold toothed) and "Vindler" (protects against the wind) and "Rig" (ruler). He's the Watcher and guardian at Bifrost the rainbow bridge between Midgard and Asgard. He's a difficult god to research because there is much unknown origins about his name Heimdall or Heimdallr. He is simply the guard, watcher and sentinel. However this brings me to discuss the next divinity. It's also believed that Heimdall is the Norse counterpart of the Roman god Janus. Janus or Lanus is the god of gates, the guardian of doors and entrances to other worlds, the past as well as the future. His name is rooted in the PIE word Yana or ya (wheel).Heimdall also represents the beginning, the past and the future. "Guard of Valhalla", "god of light", "he who waits," "master of the worlds" = Heimdall.
Bifrost: A rainbow bridge? Why would I include that for, you may ask. Well the word Bifrost means "bow", "shine", "shimmer", "glow" and "lights". Bifrost is a popular name for girls in Norway. It comes from the Icelandic name "Bifa" meaning to "shake" and "Rost" meaning "pathway". Some people in academia theorise that Bifrost is not actually a rainbow but the Milky Way. Bifrost is a spiritual connection between the physical and astral. The word Rainbow itself is Regbogi in Icelandic, with regn (rain) added before older words bogo and bogi (bow). It's therefore quite a different meaning as the latter suggests an object while the word Bifrost suggests something else. I also found that the Greek Goddess of the rainbow named Iris because her name means "rainbow". Is it possible that Bifrost was itself not just a bridge or pathway but a goddess like the goddess Iris also? Was Heimdall her guardian? The Norse myths that we know of have a lot of missing pieces because certain elements don't add up and have lost tales, unknown meanings and confused names. I think there are missing gods and goddesses also. They were not all written down and the myths were once passed around orally. Bifrost itself, or she and maybe they also, a group of goddesses that might be the same as The Northern Lights, the Valkyries. "Rainbow bridge and spiritual quest", "a journey of life", "destiny", "the sparkling bridge of magic", "passage from here to there" = Bifrost.
The Valkyries: Female elemental beings or goddesses that collected souls of dead warriors. Plural Valkyries and singular Valkyrie. Also spelt walkyr, valkyr and valkyria. It's original is Old Norse valkyrja. Val, means "war dead" or to have slain in warfare. Kyrja means Chooser. It's the root Kjosa and PIE Guese or Gus. It's the same as the meaning for taste. Gust and gusto, to choose and taste or eat. To devour. The Celtic is Cosen and German is kusten. A sense of taste is guste in Old English. Val-kyrja is chooser of the war dead AND devourers of the dead!
The Valkyries are considered the Northern Lights in poetry, and earlier as choosers of the slain. Earlier oral traditions of the Valkyries made them out to be like sinister female ghosts. Later on Valkyries were portrayed as friendly and angelic with romances written about them. They've been called various titles from battle maids, choosers of the slain, girls of Odin, swan maidens and crow maidens.
In Greek myth, are the Harpies or Keres who were female demons. These winged women appeared to those who were brutally killed in battle. They ate dead bodies. Originally the Norse Valkyries were considered quite demonic but these were full of influences. According to Hesiod though, the harpies were beautiful blonde maidens with wings who took souls to the afterlife. In my personal view, which is possibly how the actual myths of the valkyries appeared, they were a magical type of goddess. The valkyries were benign celestial nymphs, such as the Aurai and Pleiades girls, instead of demonic creatures. They are associated with stars and the Aurora Borealis. The Pleiades were also called the Seven Sisters. Among them is the famous star nymph Electra. They were either daughters of titans or daughters of gods and Amazon queens. Also the Greek goddess of victory Nike was winged and had certain battle traits with valkyries. So the "choosers of the slain", "battle maidens", "northern lights", "girls of Odin", "celestial girls" and "nymphs of the north" = Valkyries.
More will continue in part three.