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Sunday, 12 February 2012

Irminsul

"The burning one is Eros in his form as a flame. It shines and it devours. The
growing one is the Tree of Life; it grows, and it accumulates living matter while
it grows. Eros flames up and then dies away; the Tree of Life, however, grows
slowly and reaches stately stature throughout countless ages."
.....................from The Gnostic Jung, (The Fourth Sermon)

The eponymic hero, to whom the Saxons sacrificed after their victory over the Thuringians was the ancient patriarchal god known as Hirmin, Irmin or Irminus. The Teutonic Irmin god held the chief seat of worship among the Saxon tribes. Giant wooden pillars carved in beautiful design were raised in his honor. These pillars over time became further stylized into symbolic form that our ancient ancestors dubbed as the holy Irminsul pillar. Irminsul is the name given to the column of the universe, upholding all things (cosmic axis); it is highly likely that Irmin was another name for the sky god Tyr among the Saxons. The rune associated with Tyr, the "Tiwaz" (^) which is an upward pointing arrow signifying the North Star or the Guiding Star, the top of the World Axis, Irminsul, the straight line that keeps the cosmic forces in polarized order.
The Roman historian Tacitus states that the name of Mars was Hermin. Further, he writes, "In some parts of Germany Wotan was considered to be identical with the Saxon god Irmin. Irmin was said to possess a ponderous brazen chariot in which he rode across the sky along the path which we know as the Milky Way, but which the Germans of olden days designated as "Irmins Way". This chariot whose rumbling sound occasionally became perceptible to mortal ears as thunder, never left the sky, where it can still be seen in the constellation of the Great Bear which is, also known in the North as (Wotan's Wain)". Wotan is also known as a God of Thunder. With his eight legged mare, 'Sleipnir', each year, he would ride across the sky throughout the night in what was known as "The Wild Hunt". With wolves howling and Sleipnir's hooves thundering and flashing in a roaring din, the townsfolk would gather up their children and bolt the doors and windows as Wotan rode his night mare. It was from this wild hunt ride of Wotan where the name Nightmare was derived.
Tacitus, Pliny and Pytheas all made mention of a tripartition of Germanic society, which according to their documents consisted of the three tribes; the Ingaevons, the Irminions, and the Istaevons. According to Tacitus, the Earth-born god "Tuisco" (Tyr, Zio, the generator) had a son "Mannus" who generated three sons, namely "Ingvo", "Irmin", and "Istvo". The name Irmin is an Old High German form related to or drawn from an older Gothic airmana, which itself derives from the proto-Germanic ermuna or ermana, and is related to Latvian (e) rms: marvelous apparition, The Greek opuevos, rushing furiously.... interestingly, these terms are quite reminiscent of traits or characteristics typically attributed or known as Wotan: opuevos brings our attention to Wotan as Daupis Drauhtis=The Lord of the Dead, and leader of the Wild or furious host that rushes forth on the winter winds, the "Wild Hunt". The Latvian (e)rms calls to mind the shining Armangot, the true manifestation of Artor (Ar-tor) himself. From the same proto Germanic root (Ermanna) is drawn the Germanic stem word ermen (found in both Middle and Low German (Ermenrik) and Middle High German (Ermenrich) Old English, Eormen (a name of Wotan) and Old Icelantic Jormunr, (another name of Wotan).
The tribal name "Irminons", means: (1) the ones who came forth out of the ancestral origins of the solar man. (2) the wandering governors, solar judges, semanes, and (3) conclusion of opinion by turn of fate "Irmionen" means children of the sun. Much of this may in all likelyhood have origins with our long distant Hyperborean ancsetors.
Northern Aryan pagans erected huge Irminsul pillars which served as highly symbolic and spiritual shrines. The greatest of the Irminsul pillars in Obermarsberg had a temple built around it and was considered the holiest of shrines for the widely scattered and nomadic Saxon tribes. It was heavily laden with rich sacrificial offerings of wealth.
Symbolic as the great column that supported the universe, the Irminsul pillar also represented the pivot around which the Earth itself turned and likewise accounted for the changes in the position of the stars at different times of the day and night. There were mythical stories to explain the origin of this---it had been built by a prodigiously clever smith and had to be kept in a good state of repair otherwise the universe might collapse and the firmament fall and crush the surface of the Earth. The pole-star was presumed to be the top of the sacred column; the sky revolved around this star. It is generally assumed that the grand holy Irminsul was constructed out of ash wood. The Irminsul in Northern Europe was often reffered to as the "Pillar of Heaven". Irminsul in
Latin means, "The Universal Column".
Around 12,500 B.C.E. the Irminist religion of Krist was proclaimed to be emerging as the universal faith of the Teutons. A climax occured in the continuous wars between the Irminists around 9,600 B.C.E. The World Tree was a very common symbol spiritually invoked by volkish Germans as a reference to Wotan and his sacred groves. Likewise, it was a contrasting alternative to the Semetic Christian "symbolic tree" (crucifix) of Jesus. The Christian intruder to Northern Europe, Charlemagne, had the Irminsul destroyed during the war against the Saxons at Eresburg in 772 C.E., when he earned the deepest and unfailing hatred and opposition from all Aryan pagan tribes.
The Arab merchant Ahmad Ibn Fadlan, who traded among the Vikings in the Northland provides an early account in which a Varangian (Russ) merchant offers sacrifice to a god for successful trading. The image of the god is carved or placed upon a beam, which is then set firm in the ground like a pillar or column. While Fadlan does not specifically state to which god the Norse merchant is sacrificing/praying, we do know that Wotan was given reverence among our pagan ancestors as "Cargo-Tyr", i.e. God of Trade and (merchant) exchange. A similar scenario is given in the 12th century, Kaiserchronik, which names the beam as "yrmensul" and the image of the merchant-god as Mercury the Roman equivalent of Wotan.

"They worship as their divinity, Mercury in particular, and have many images
of him and regard him as the inventor of all arts, they consider him the guide
of their journeys and marches, and believe him to have great influence over
the acquisition of gain and mercantile transactions."
.......................Julius Caesar (The Gallic War)

Wotan and Frigga named one of their sons Hermod (Irmin). Hermod welcomed the heroes to Valhalla and otherwise acted as the equivalent of the Greek god version of Hermes. Hermod's most spectacular errand was to descend to Hel in an effort to recover Hermod's brother, the god of light, Baldur who was beloved by all. The Teutonic lore of Wotanism is mainly "father-kin" in character, while the Celtic is mainly "mother-kin". The deities of the Teutons are controlled by a Great Father, and their elves by a king. The deities of the Celts are children of a Great Mother, and their fairies are ruled over by a queen.
One will notice strong similarities between the Irminsul and the Yggdrasill (World Tree), both of which are deeply rooted in antiquity. It must be reminded that the Tree of Life and the World Tree are not one and the same. In the old folk tale of Cinderella, the name "Cinderella" translates to (Child of the Ash) in relation to the (ash) World Tree. Jack in the Beanstalk also ties in with the World Tree (Yggdrasill) which the beanstalk represented. Jack had to climb the stalk that led him into the realm of the upper and outerworld of the giants. The giants being of divine blood are in that realm between man and the gods. Just as man, whose existence bridges the upper and lower realms as displayed on the Yggdrasill tree. Yggdrasill's roots and its branches extend in three directions, likewise three great paths diverge from the Irminsul pillar. The three divisions of the World Tree are its roots in the underworld, its trunk in Midgard (Earth) and its branches extending into the outerworlds.
The three in one paths of the Irminsul can be described in this order: (1) The First Tree stands at the Boundary of the Human and Natural Worlds. (2) The Second Tree stands at the Boundary of the Natural World and the Underworld. (3) The Third is Universal, and links the Underworld and the Overworld/Universe.
The Earth plain of man is the low conscious level of matter. Likewise, evil has always ruled upon the Earth. It is that way because it must be that way. Since the very beginning the earthly world where we now find ourselves has experienced continual pain, suffering and torture. No savior will change this 'Earth state' and none can never nor will ever do so. Everyone since the beginning times has wished for better days
on Earth. It is difficult for man to accept his earthly state reality and for many at least, religion and various forms of spiritual awareness help man to cope with this ongoing tragic living life experience, however fleeting it may be. For mankind on Earth, it is not always a quick jump to the higher levels of being. Some human souls it has been said in the ancient mysteries, incarnate as much as 800 times on this planet alone! Edgar Cayce was of the belief that most of the people now living in this cycle of history particularly in North America, had once lived previous lives in Atlantis and are about to experience the great destruction once again. In ancient Teutonic folkelore the "other-world" was called, Odainsaker, "the acre of the not-dead", and Jord lifanda manna, "the earth of living men".
In spiritual ritual the acting priest or gothi at times raise their arms in a vee formation; they are in fact symbolizing the World Tree and the raising of the Axis Mundi. This also represents the incarnating Cosmic Axis fixed in the navel of the Earth or center of the world, and touching the heavens. The Elhaz life rune is a representation of the World Tree as well. The Irminsul is clearly the Pillar of Wotan, the World Tree that stands at the Center of the All, that point from which all roads both originate and hence return! It is the conduit of Runic form and force, the embodiment of the ordering of the multiverse (the working of Wotan, Willo, and Wih), the beam upon which Wotan hung in sacrifice to himself....It is the mighty column by which our gods and ancestors past and present hold Thing- that very stead (Sleipnir) at which their dooms are set and judgments made..... The Irminsul is the symbol of the enduring All, the enduring Spirit and Power of our noble folk, our blood, and of the ultimate source of that blood and progenitor of our race: Irmin---Wotan!

"O great and holy Irminsul!----thou art the basis of life, and as such, even with thy
asperities, even with thy awesome symbolic grandness, thou attractest from the
most humble to the most inspired heroic minds and through them is cast your
ancient mystic force and powers. It is already sufficient to meet thee at every
step in this our present life, and we feel the surge of your strength within the
blood and spirit of our folk. May we continue to unfold the deepest mysteries of
your eternal knowledge moving and growing within us. Yes! thou too hast need
at all times of being ever observed, renewed and respected... to be refreshed in
some way through that vital spark and unbroken Golden Chain of your people.
Eternal thou art...symbolic, profound in essence, so perfect, so animated, yet
artfully delicate, that thine image becomes like a creation and magic of its own
----a marvelous spiritual profoundness that penetrates and enlightens from your
awesome might and granduer which breathes and shines in stunning detail,
angelic and devine! In three simple words "Thou Art Holy!". Human as we are,
we carry your image within our hearts and spirit in an ever undying remembrance
of our gods, our ancestors and heroes of legend yet to be! Within your image we
behold our highest potential, our vision unity and purpose.... and therein lies the
great triumph as thou equally hast vital need of us as well. We honor thee, and
will ever rectify thee, devoid of any shade of falseness or dishonor. By our holy
Troth, your powers will never wane upon this earth! To thee we give as much soul as thou canst possess without ceasing to be natural. More luminous to ordinary life thou art and remain a defining immortal symbol of our highest ideal!"

"THE TREE OF LIFE"

"O King of the Tree of Life, The blossoms of the branches are your people, The
singing birds are your angels, The whispering breeze is your spirit. O King of the
Tree of Life, May the blossoms bring forth its sweetest fruit, May the birds sing
out the highest praise, May your spirit cover all with his gentle breath."
................from Celtic Fire
Ron McVan

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