I have long been drawn to rivers for some hitherto inexplicable reason. It is only recently with my return to my native County Durham that I have begun to understand this attachment. The traditional county of Durham is bordered by the rivers Tyne in the north, which separates it from Northumberland and the Tees in the south which separates it from Yorkshire. I am by the way referring to the real and traditional English counties which date back to Anglo-Saxon times not their modern bastardised local authority administrative units. This is a subject which I will return to in a future article.
Of course between these two rivers we have another significant river, the Wear. There are of course many other rivers which act as tributaries into these three main rivers such as the river Skerne which runs throughout Darlington and feeds into the Tees, which Darlington's boundaries reach.
Rivers acted as natural territorial boundaries to our ancestors and were often defended to the death. When I compare how jealously our ancestors defended their tribal lands from invading enemies I am forced to compare these valiant heroes with the traitors who govern sacred England today and instead of repelling those who break into our land with force they agonise over 'quotas' as to how many more of these unwanted flotsam and jetsam that they let in (to our cost). The Church of England by the way is one of the prime agitators for yet more unwanted immigration. This demonstrates that only an indigenous and racial religion, Wodenism can provide our people with the necessary Weltanschauung to fight against our genocide as a folc. A folk which is proud of its ancestry and identity would and should never permit such a state of affairs to continue.
Many of England's and Germania's rivers were guarded by a Goddess. Indeed the Goddess came to personify the river. It is interesting that the deity which guards the river is always female. I know of no exceptions to this rule. An interesting secondary scource is Gardenstone's Gods of the Germanic Peoples. From Roman Times to the Viking Age which appears in two volumes. They contain a wealth of information about fairly obscure deities, many of whom are river guardian Goddesses. Some of these Goddesses have a shared Celto-Germanic origin, being honoured by both the Teutons and Gauls. It is possible that some of these deities hearken back to a time when the Teutons and Gauls existed as a common folk after their separation from the Proto-Indo-Europeans (Aryans). An example of such a Goddess is Ambiamarca. Ambe meaning 'river' or 'stream' which is Celtic in origin and mark meaning 'borderland' which is clearly Germanic. Not only rivers but also fords had their protecting Goddess such as the Aumenahena from Köln in Germany.
Regarding the river Tees there is a water sprite, Peg Powler who is said to inhabit the river and has green skin, long hair and sharp teeth and is said to grab the ankles of those who walk too closely by the water's edge and drown them, especially naughty children! No doubt this is a later corruption of the original guardian Goddess. This type of water sprite is common throughout the Germanic, Celtic and Slavic lands.
Anne Ross in Pagan Celtic Britain states:
"Rivers are important in themselves, being associated in Celtic tradition with fertility and with deities such as the divine mothers and the sacred bulls, concerned with the fundamental aspect of life.
"Gaul provides numerous examples of the association of divine beings with streams and rivers and with the springs at their source,
"The Celtic mother-goddesses, who frequently also function in the role of war-goddesses and prognosticators, have a widespread association with water."
She quotes the example of the river Marne "taking its name from that of the Gaulish Matrona, 'Divine Mother'. No doubt there was at one time a cult legend in circulation associating the Mother with the river, which became the physical personification of the goddess, mirroring her own supernatural forces-strength, the powers of desruction, fertility."
In addition to rivers, stream and lakes being presided over by a guardian Goddess we know that wells and springs also have similar associations.
The amateur historian Alistair Moffat writing in his Arthur and the Lost Kingdoms makes the interesting observation that the oldest river names in Britain tend to begin with the letter 'T', eg the Thames, Tees, Tyne, Tweed and Tay. He explains that "this is because they were named by people who walked across the North Sea to Britain" and "Each time a band of these people came to a large river they called it the same thing: tavas is a Sanskrit root which means 'to surge'. All the names of the 'T' rivers come from the same word." He also makes reference to Tacitus calling the river Tay 'Tanaus' or 'Taus' which he believes is a "much clearer echo of the Sanskrit".
The inescapable conclusion which the author and we must come to is that "after the last Ice Age Britain was first populated by a people who spoke an Indo-European language but were not yet Celts". This is also a realisation that I came to a few years ago when reasearching the Indo-European (but not 'Celtic') origins of Phases II and III of Stonehenge.
The river Goddess is not only a protectress of our tribal lands but also acts a divine mother for her folc. We have an example of this in the Goddess Nerthus. (See Germania 40). The Angles were noted for their veneration of Nerthus, Mother Earth:
"Then come the Reudigni, the Aviones, the Anglii, the Varini, the Eudoses, the Suarines, and the Nuitones, defended by rivers or woods. There is nothing noteworthy about them individually, except that collectively they worship Nerthus, or Mother Earth, and believe that she takes part in human affairs and rides among the peoples." (Rives)
"After them come the Reudigni, Aviones, Anglii, Varini, Eudoses, Suarines, and Nuitones, all of them safe behind ramparts of rivers and woods. There is nothing noteworthy about these tribes individually, but they share a common worship of Nerthus, or Mother Earth. They believe that she takes part in human affairs, riding in a chariot among her people." (Mattingley, Handford)
The significance of rivers is that they are part of a vast circulatory system, not unlike the human body with its veins and arteries except they pump water around not blood, for the benefit of us all. However blood is often likened unto water spiritually and both are needful to us. This circulation of the waters reminds me of the great Eternal Return and the waters of the rivers flow out to the seas to return to us again.