Saturday, November 02, 2013

Thunar as an Archetype

My readers will already be familiar with the concept of Wotan as an archetype as most famously posited in Jung`s essay Wotan[1936]. We know that *Wodanaz is part of the inner life of the German and Germanic peoples. What tends to be ignored are the parts played by other primary Germanic Gods in our inner life, in particular* Tiwaz and *Thunaraz. These names-*Wodanaz, *Thunaraz and* Tiwaz are the reconstructed Proto-Germanic terms for our most ancient deities and thus the earliest forms used by our Germanic ancestors. 

To me Wodan represents intellect and the never ending quest for knowledge and wisdom in Germanic man. Tiw represents a transcendental and aloof quality, duty, honour and self-sacrifice whilst Thunar is the embodiment of strength, power and force. All three have the quality of courage. The Eddas often portray our Gods in groups of three when embarking upon adventures in other realms, eg

.Wodan , Wili and We

. Wodan, Hoenir and Lodur.

.Wodan, Loki and Hoenir

.Thunar, Loki and Thialfi.

It is my intention to make a detailed study of the occurrence of triple God or Goddess groupings in a future article but suffice it to say that it is a common feature of Germanic and Celtic mythology. In the folkish revival of the 19th century Thunar enjoyed a great deal of prominence. It is interesting that Heinrich Heine, a xtianised Jew living in Germany had this to say about Thunar in his The History of Religion and Philosophy in Germany:

" Christianity - and that is its greatest merit - has somewhat mitigated that brutal Germanic love of war, but it could not destroy it. Should that subduing talisman, the cross, be shattered, the frenzied madness of the ancient warriors, that insane Berserk rage of which Nordic bards have spoken and sung so often, will once more burst into flame. This talisman is fragile, and the day will come when it will collapse miserably. Then the ancient stony gods will rise from the forgotten debris and rub the dust of a thousand years from their eyes, and finally Thor with his giant hammer will jump up and smash the Gothic cathedrals.

" Do not smile at my advice -- the advice of a dreamer who warns you against Kantians, Fichteans, and philosophers of nature. Do not smile at the visionary who anticipates the same revolution in the realm of the visible as has taken place in the spiritual. Thought precedes action as lightning precedes thunder. German thunder is of true Germanic character; it is not very nimble, but rumbles along ponderously. Yet, it will come and when you hear a crashing such as never before has been heard in the world's history, then you know that the German thunderbolt has fallen at last. At that uproar the eagles of the air will drop dead, and lions in the remotest deserts of Africa will hide in their royal dens. A play will be performed in Germany which will make the French Revolution look like an innocent idyll."

It is significant that not only does Heine make an association between German character and Thor but also in the above quoted book he predicts the coming of the Third Reich in 1835, 98 years before it happened!
Thus it is important that when we study the spiritual stirrings in 1930s Germany we take into account not only Wodan but Thunar as an archetype as well. Thunar brought order in Germany after His battle against the forces of chaos were won and it is this destruction of the forces of chaos which forms Thunar`s primary function.

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