Sunday, May 31, 2009

Soma, the Drink of the Gods

Present in the mythologies of various Aryan peoples are tales of a mythical drink which regenerates and bestows youth and even immortality on the Gods.
This drink is called soma by the Hindus and haoma by the Iranians. The similarity between the two terms is no doubt due to the earlier shared culture of the Aryan Iranians and Aryan Indians.
The drink is bestowed by a God of the same name Soma, no doubt a personification of the plant which has been identified by the Hindus as Asclepia acida or Sarcostemma viminale which contains a milky juice of a sweetish subacid flavour. When mixed with honey along with other ingredients it became the very first liquor known to them. The Rig Veda is full of references to this divine drink and its use in sacrifices to the Gods.
Among the myths of various Indo-European peoples there is a connection between the bestowing of this drink by the Gods on to their peoples, the descent of fire and the soul of man.
The drink was also known as methu by the Greeks and meodu by the Anglo-Saxons from the ancient Germanic medu. This is now known to us of course as mead.
Soma also known as amrita by the Hindus has its own tribe of demi-God custodians, the Gandharves also known by the Greeks as Kentaurs, half equine and half human mythical beings.
Whilst the haoma drink of the Iranians is identical linguistically and by type with the soma of the Hindus it comes from a plant which grows like a vine and its leaves are like those of the jessamine.
The Iranians identified two different types of haoma, white and yellow. The yellow grows on mountains and is reserved for religious rites. It was known to Plutarch.
The white haoma is more of a mythical plant which ` grows in heaven`.
The evil Iranian deity known as Ahriman is bent on the plants` destruction. In both Iranian and Hindu mythology the haoma and soma grow very near a sacred and mighty `world tree`. One immediately thinks of the Germanic world tree Yggdrasil which has three roots which each extend to a sacred fountain. These are known as Urdhrbrunnr, Mimirbrunnr and Hvergelmir.
The `water` of Mimir`s well[Mimirbrunnr] is mead. Water from the heavenly Urdbrunnr falls as honey dew. Honey of course is the principal ingredient of mead.
Soma, haoma and mead although having different physical origins are nevertheless mythologically identical and no doubt point back to an earlier Aryan age when the various Aryan peoples resided together as one people before their dispersal throughout Eurasia.
There are tales within both the Vedas and Eddas which tell of a time when the Soma, mead or the Norse apples of life was witheld or stolen by evil forces from the Gods and/or men and everyone grew old.
In various Aryan legends the drink of the Gods was conceived to be a product of a storm and so the boiling or brewing of the earthly soma must have its mythical counterpart in the brewing of the heavenly soma. The storm represents this process and according to Walter Keating Kelly in his Curiosities of Indo-European Tradition and Folk-lore this is the origin of the saying "It`s brewing a storm."
The Vedas refer to the Bhrigus who were an ancient clan of fire priests and associated with the lightning as the yielders of the soma.
Linked with the drink of the Gods are tales of magical cauldrons found in many Aryan mythologies, especially in the Germanic, Celtic and Hindu which were able to impart wisdom, inspiration, supernatural knowledge and immortality. No doubt the later folk-tales of witches and their cauldrons are a remnant of this ancient Aryan idea. Again like the drink or apples of the gods the cauldrons often feature in tales where they are the object of theft or acquisition.
In Valhalla the fallen heroes, the Einheriar are served mead by Valkyries and this mead which is given by the goat Heidrun grants immortality and regeneration to them.
Over the next few months I intend to focus on specific tales that centre upon the theft of the mead, soma, apples or cauldrons to demonstrate a mythological unity in the concept which is found in the surviving mythologies of all the Aryan peoples.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Why a Folk Needs its Gods and Why the Gods Need their Folk

Obtaining and maintaining a connection with the Gods of one`s Folk is a vital prerequisite for the biological survival of that Folk. A Folk who have lost that connection or whose connection has been weakened will suffer racial deterioration and finally extinction as a biological, genetic and cultural entity.
As long as a Folk`s Gods continue to be honoured and remembered the Folk will survive and eventually will flourish. In a very real sense the survival of the Folk is dependant on the survival of its Gods and the survival of a Folk`s Gods is dependant upon the survival of their Folk.
The pre-christian Germanic sacred writings, especially the Eddas make it clear that our Gods were never considered immortal in the sense that we consider the term. They were subject to injury and maiming[the loss of Tyr`s arm, Odin`s eye, Hodur`s blindness and the lodging of the fragment of a stone axe in Thor`s head]. They were also subject to ageing as indicated by the story of the theft of the Goddess Idun`s apples which maintained the youthfullness of the Gods.
The Gods can also die as many of them will in Ragnarok and as some already have such as Baldur, Hodur and Nanna.
The Gods differ from mortals in the sense that they have greater strength, wisdom, might, power, beauty and longevity but they are still subject to the same forces as we are.
We are in a very real sense the children of the Gods as evidenced in not only the Germanic creation myths but in the Lay of Rig[Heimdall] who fathered the three Germanic castes.
Germanic kings used to trace their lineage to the God Odin/Woden/Wotan as any examination of writings such as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles will confirm.
There are some[usually those of the christian persuasion] who criticise attempts at reviving the religion and spirituality of the Aryan peoples, belittling such attempts by referring to it as reconstructionism. However this criticism is unjust. The christian churches embarked on a wholscale cristianisation of the Germanic peoples and attempted to obliterate any trace of our Gods and religion. However they were only partially successful. Many christian monks and scribes from whatever motives they had did us a service by committing many of our myths and legends to parchment and it is from these myths, Eddas, legends and sagas that we are able to get a glimpse at the spiritual and religious practices of our forefathers.
However our religion is not fossilised into a `Religion of the Book` as the the religions of the jews, christians and muslims: it is a vital and evolving religion which at the same time is both rooted in our ancient past but looks towards the future. A religion must be dynamic not static else it will die.
A good example of such a religion or an interpretation of it is the Cult of Woden or Woden`s Folk.
The Gods have not gone away but for centuries they have been slumbering, awaiting the time that they should once again be revealed to the Folk in all their glory.
Jung in his 1936 essay Wotan likens the Gods to psychic forces or archetypes:
"Archetypes are like riverbeds which dry up when the water deserts them, but which it can find again at any time. An archetype is like an old watercourse along which the water of life has flowed for centuries, digging a deep channel for itself. The longer it has flowed in this channel the more likely it is that sooner or later the water will return to its old bed."
And also: "There are people in the German Faith Movement who are intelligent enough not only to believe but to know that the god of the Germans is Wotan and not the Christian God."
Robert Blumetti simplifies this idea very well in Vrilology The Secret Science of the Ancient Aryans: "The Gods and Goddesses are asleep within our very DNA. They are waiting to be called back and once again forge a new bond between mortal and immortal."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

In Memoriam

In Memoriam-my brother Robert 1950-2009, aged 58 years.

Lo, there do I see my father
Lo, there do I see my mother
and my sisters and my brothers

Lo, there do I see the line of my people
back to the beginning

Lo,they do call to me
They bid me take place among them
in the Halls of Valhalla
where the brave may live forever

Aryan Secret Societies-The Odin Brotherhood

Since the introduction of christianity in the Aryan world within the first and second millenia CE secret sects have flourished with the aim of preserving Aryan lore which would otherwise be lost due to the suppression carried out by the christian churches and their temporal royal lackies.
Most notable ones include the Armanenschaft, the Rosicrucians, Free Masons, The Order of the New Templars, The Germanenorden, The Thulegesellschaft, The Edda Society and many others.
One group which came to my attention recently is the Odin Brotherhood which allegedly has been in existence since 1421 when it was formed by the three children of a widow who in 1418 was cruelly executed by a christian priest. The widow had been caught honouring the old gods in a remote grotto. She refused the lustful advances of the priest and this sealed her doom.
After her murder her children summoned her spirit through an ancient necromantic rite and the slain woman instructed her children to save the ancient religion by taking the movement underground. They were instructed to form a secret society–a "conspiracy of equals"--dedicated to the old gods. They pledged to "honor the gods with clandestine rites in deserted places," and they promised to "share their knowledge" with "the few" they trusted before they died.
The brotherhood refuse to give any details that identify the woman or the village she came from.
This mysterious society is the subject of a book by the same name, The Odin Brotherhood by Dr Mark Mirabello. Dr Mirabello first encounters a representative of this secret order in a bookshop in Leith, Scotland. This silver haired eastern European holding a peculiar cane adorned with images of an ass and a serpent approached Dr Mirabello as he was browsing through a book by Arthur Edward White, The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross. The stranger referred to himself as "Lodur`s friend". Lodur is one of the Asa gods referred to in the Voluspa from the Poetic Edda who along with Odin and Hoenir created the first humans.
This introduction was the beginning of a series of contacts, some apparently coincidental, some arranged in which he met other enigmatic strangers who often spoke of the Odin Brotherhood and their philosophy.
People do not join the brotherhood in the conventional sense but the brotherhood make themselves known to suitable candidates.
The late date for the formation of the Odin Brotherhood is not so unrealistic when one considers that heathenism was still openly practiced in the far north in Lithuania and the country was not christianized until the late 13th and early 14th century CE.
The Odin Brotherhood is `Called an "occult religion" for adepts, a "creed of iron" for warriors, and a "secret society" for higher men and women who value "knowledge, freedom and power", the Odin Brotherhood honours the gods and godesses of the Norse pantheon.`