Monday, 22 July 2013
The Power of Ran
In ancient northern mythology, there is one particular goddess that is powerful. Her name is Ran and She's the goddess of the sea. In Old Norse, the name is Ran, and it's pronounced "ron" or "rha - an". The name is linked to an early Norse word to mean "rob", in characteristics of "robbing the dead at sea". To argue with firm beliefs, the German "Rhine" and Old English "run" (to flow) comes from Old Norse "rinna" and Sanscrit "rinati". Run, rin, ran... all to do with the flow of water!
Some consider Her to be a type of dark goddess as she's associated with death. A beautiful giantess of the sea, wife of the sea god Aegir. Aegir hosts parties and rules the ocean and it's creatures. Interestingly, Aegir's origins seem to belong to an earlier era and He may not be entirely confined to the Scandinavian myths. Ran and Aegir had nine daughters, called the "billow maidens". Each daughter of Ran was named after different types of ocean movements:
"Bara" (Barra) to mean the wave.
"Blodhughadda" (Blodigadda) means bloody red hair.
"Bylgja" (Bilgia) to mean big or choppy waves.
"Dufa" (Dewfa) the pitching or pointy tipped wave.
"Hefring" ( Heffrig) to mean the tide or surge.
"Himinglaeva" (Hemiglaiva) to mean reflecting water.
"Hronn" (Herna) to suggest the surf.
"Kolga" (Kolda) the cold waves.
"Unnr" (Una) the bubbles or foam.
This goddess Ran uses a net to catch men who've fallen into the sea. She claimed the souls of the drowned dead who are sent to Her domain. As a result, sailors keep gold and treasures aboard ships so that if they were to find themselves ship wrecked, Ran would be most pleased with them. She is gifted by sunken ships containing treasure chests. Here is a piece about Her in the Prose Edda:
"To the sky shot up the Deep's Gledes
With fearful might the sea surged
Methinks our stems the clouds cut,
Ran's Road to the moon soared upwards".
Ran is not just a goddess of the sea. She's a Vanir goddess of the storms including hurricanes. She was much feared by the ancient people who ventured out to sea. So they carried some treasure in the hope She would be kind to them. The earliest origins of Ran goddess has scattered and confusing connections with more older European myths and words. Now the name Ran as mentioned before is "rob" and "robbery". This is because of drowned seamen. Yet there is "She" before Ran, as many said "She robs! (at sea)". Sea Ran, or She Robs. There is another word from a different Indo European branch, Σειρήν which is ancient Greek for "Siren" (sei - ren).
There are many different sea goddesses, sea nymphs and sea spirits of myth. It's hard to keep track, or define who might be related to whom or who is the same as another. Maybe they're just not? The more interesting thing is that the sea goddesses tend to exert power so much that they have a following and even temples dedicated to their worship. Fearing the idea of entering a stormy sea would've frightened people into making offerings to the sea gods.
Despite how much She was feared, Ran was considered a sea queen and an aquatic giantess of love and beauty. Her element is Water, and Her special colour is blue. Her gemstone is the pearl. I feel sure that this goddess was around in West and North Europe before the catastrophic event thousands of years ago. Where the North Sea is today, there was once a land mass, connecting the continent of Europe with the British Isles. There are clues. This now sunken place is called "Doggerland" and has been nicknamed "Atlantis" by the press. There are many sunken islands and cities as well as ships.
The mysteries of the sea is unknown. Most have rejected the power of the sea and people don't respect the sea as much as they used to. The sea is teeming with life and it contains inner worlds and secrets. Gods and goddesses of the sea are its rulers. Remember that the sea provides, nourishes and guides, but beware of its dangers. Those who know the sea take superstitions and omens seriously.