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Sidus and Worldview of Sáuilaþiudōs Haírþō
This section is but an early formulation of my ideas on Hearth Cult as Sáuilaþiudōs Haírþō (formerly Sunnōniz Fulka Herþaz or Sunfolk Hearth) practices it. A term with a “*” before it is almost always a reconstructed Gothic word. Some of the reconstructed words are my own work, some I found in Himma Daga‘s Gothic Edda poems and the rest I borrowed from Gutiska Haiþnis Galaubeins. The terms between “#” are intended to be translated into Gothic as soon as possible.
Last Update: 16th July 2017.
- Our Heathenry
Basically Heathenry, according to the practice of our *hairþō (hearth), is based over what was transmitted to us through several historical documents of many Germanic peoples. I decided to use this broad, but not so broad, approach to a more vivid practice. As time passed, I realized that many customs were more common than peculiar to each tribe, even though they were cited only in accounts of Franks, Saxons, Anglo-Saxons, or Norse peoples. I realized that, with great care and insight, I could take much of the accounts of these peoples, and even draw inspiration from the Aldsido of the Franks, and the Fyrnsidu from the Anglo-Saxons, or Firne Sitte from the West Germans. However, I discovered that something really turned to my own Ancestors, if not mainly blood, but cultural was also possible. Among these Ancestors, the following Germanic peoples provide an Ancestral focus for those who live in lands with Portuguese or Spanish culture: Suebi, Visigoths and Vandals. Thus Alþeis Sidus (from Gothic, meaning “Old Customs”) is the way I call the form of Heathenry that Sáuilaþiudōs Haírþō practices.
Alþeis Sidus is a heathen religion because it moves away from the urban, individualistic, racist, or what kind of modern ‘ism’ we recognize and kick out from our thought patterns and ways of acting. We are a religion based in culture and worldview rather than faith. Alþeis Sidus is thus a reconstructionist and mainly tribal, orthopratic and heathen religion and set of customs, as well as a way to relate to the human and other-than-human community.
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- What Sidus (Customs) do we recreate?
A quick discussion about these peoples is needed. The Suebi are often confused with the Alamanni, and with several other West Germanic tribes. Although there is a region in Germany that is still called Swabia (Schwaben) that speaks the German dialect Schwäbisch, I believe that the name “Suebi” was used by several different tribes, and does not necessarily refer to the same tribal group: it seems that the tribes themselves already had this sense of return to the old, and that several tribes assumed “dead” denominations such as “Suebi” to revive a kind of tribal identity. At some points, however, the denomination “Suebi” became a synonym of “Germanic” or “Teutonic”, in the wide sense, comprising all Germanic tribes.
The Suebi as a confederation of West Germanic tribes was formed, at least during some time, by the Alamanni, the Angles, the Aviones, the Bucinobantes, the Buri, the Eudoses, the Gotini, the Gutones, the Jutes, the Juthungi, the Marcomanni, the Marsigni, the Nuitones, the Onsi, the Quadi, the Reudgni, the Rugii, the Sedusii, the Semnones, the Sithones, the Suardones, the Suarini and the Suiones. These tribes weren’t together all the time; rather, they joined and quitted the tribal alliance when it was necessary to them, and the denomination in its latter times was somewhat fluid. But I do believe, due to my current state of research, that the Suebi where firstly a single people that had its ethnogenesis in Swabia, and their descendendants, after dispersed in many newer tribes, gathered themselves together again due to the preservation of some cultural, ethnic and linguistic resemblances and joined some allies and revived the Suebi in a similar manner we aim to do in the present day. During Caesar’s time, a group of Germanic peoples that settled in the area from the Central German Uplands and towards the Baltic Sea was called the “Suebi”. Many Germanic tribes like the Chatti, Cherusci, Marcomanni and Hermuduri were seen as Suebic people by the Romans and they were both famous and feared for their fighting skills in Caesar’s day. It seems that some of the last peoples to take the denomination crossed through the Rhine, the Gaul (todays France), Hispania, finally settling mainly in the westernmost part of the Iberian Peninsula, between Hispania, Galicia and Lusitania, with the Vandals and the non-Germanic Alans. The Kingdom of the Suebi lasted in the Northwest for near 200 years, created in 409 of the Common Era, and our initial focus was a purely Suebian Heathenry, mainly by the fact that *Harimanrih (Hermeric, died 441) was still heathen when he established his kingdom. However, linguistic, religious, and cultural records of the Suebi were practically lost, and there is not much more than a few tatters of the presence of the Suebi in that region.
As time passes, the Suebi expanded and dominated neighboring peoples, possessing much of the Iberian Peninsula. After the departure of Alans and Vandals to Africa, I believe that the second group has not been completely vanished in the areas neighbouring the Kingdom of the Suebi, then I believe it is important to remember them in my practices. If the Suebi dominated the Northwest of the Peninsula (Galicia), the Vandals were mainly in the Southwest (Lusitania, which comprises most of present-day Portugal).
However, the Kingdom of the Suevi was conquered in 585 of the Common Era by other Germanic people: the Visigoths. The Visigoths began the process of conversion to Christianity by crossing the Danube River (in 376 of the Common Era) and they were admitted as refugees in the Roman Empire, expelled from their land by the Huns. Although we can trace (with some uncertainties) a common genesis to Goths (who later divided into Visigoths and Ostrogoths), Jutes and Geats (all names have strong etymological links beyond geographical proximity) to the island of Gotland in Scandinavia, remnants of their heathen traditions are almost completely lost, except for the mention of *Gáuts, the tribal God of the Goths, from whom a connection can be made with the Proto-Germanic *Wōdanaz, which gave rise to the many variants of the god Odin among the various Germanic tribes. However, concerning the Visigoths, we can appeal to Origin and Deeds of the Goths by Jordannes, which, although late, and demanding much care in its use, can serve us for historical purposes.
Thus, what is the present day Portugal has this triple Germanic influence: Suebian, Vandalic and Visigothic. As none of the peoples we seek have their identity preserved, in Sáuilaþiudōs Haírþō I chose to consult the Bronze Age and the Nordic Iron Age, adding to it comparisons with the records of the other Germanic tribes. Our goal may change over time; however, we try to recreate parts of the culture and worship of these three peoples in order to create a tradition that, although hypothetical, fulfills the needs of the ancestral seek of the Germanic cultural origins of the Brazilian (and Portuguese/Galician) Heathens.
At first glance this seems rather paradoxical. Nevertheless, we consider some factors to reach such decisions: (1) the Suebi had two heathen kings who founded one of the first Germanic kingdoms in the Romanized West; (2) the Vandals probably dissolved among Suebi and not only among the Alans; (3) the Visigoths, although they are the last Germanic to settle in Iberian Peninsula, they already do so after centuries of Christianity, both Aryan and Catholic Roman. Thus, we do not believe that there is a Germanic “single heathen identity” to appeal to — mainly because it is impossible to determine for us older and colonized Brazilians from which of these peoples comes the greater “quantum” of influence, whether cultural, or biological. And, indeed, we have even discovered that this is of little relevance. We do not have enough records of any of these peoples to reconstruct one in a peculiarly different way from the other in their culture/customs (sidus). Also, from a tribalist perspective, we focus in the cultural not only in the genetic heritage.
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- Observations in the Reconstructionist method usage
When we say that the Suebi and Visigoths haven’t enough sources to provide a reconstruction of them, it is not to say that they haven’t any attestations at all. There are some works covering the remains of Suebic Kingdom (toponyms in most of cases), and a plenty more of the Visigoths from Scandinavia, through Eastern Europe, to Iberian Peninsula. But they cannot, alone, provide enough data to rebuilt a culture.
We have then two options: (a) work alone with the scarce remains, using our worldview, which is, of course, Western and Christianized, or else (b) we can put together all those remains, like an archeologist gathering the few old bones he found, which are incomplete, looking towards the rest of the so-called Germanic peoples and assuming that Suebi and Visigoths were also indeed one of them, and then sharing several characteristics, to organize the bones, and looking to each part of the data we found, adding external data found in Germanic or tribal peoples as well as some other ethnic religions in order to dechristianize our sidus and worldview, replacing it with a reconstructed heathen one.
It is worthy to note that we have no choice. If we haven’t filled those gaps with heathen and tribal data, it would be automatically filled with the Western ideas we are already familiar.
We haven’t added data from other peoples in a random manner. We haven’t considered but the similarities, but firstly the differences between the peoples we used for comparison. That’s why our sources varied so much: if we compare a people of Germanic culture to another which is not Indo-European, probably they’ll have only one or two things worthy enough to provide help in understanding the culture of the Suebi and Visigoths.
Thus, the principles used in the reconstructions are the following:
(1) Gather information from Suebi and Visigoths. Remove the strictly Christian influence as much as possible. Suebi and Visigothic data is the most important source and can be never contradicted by the compared data used in the next steps;
At this point we have some deities, heroes and History and a festival. It wasn’t enough to revive a practice.
(2) Compare that data to general attested Germanic peoples, being sure to left alone the Christian influence in those sources as much as possible. Fill the primary gaps with those informations;
(3) Compare that data to proto-Germanic reconstructed data. Then proceed an analysis of what in that culture is still relevant in Gothic and Suebic or Allamanic culture;
At this point we have the whole pantheon, and the whole foundation to build up our home practices walls. What we gathered outside here was nothing but data useful to better interpret and deepen the meanings of the gods and practices we have found.
(4) Compare that data to Proto-Indo-European reconstructed data. Then proceed with an analysis of what in that culture is still relevant in Gothic and Suebic or Allamanic culture;
At this point, we detailed the functions of our gods, we tied all the data with the PIE thread, we developed our practice almost fully. Thus we already have a body about 60% reconstructed. Everything that came outside this was but a ‘tribalization’ and ‘ethnization’ (be sure you understood we are not referring to the racist definition of ethnicity) of our sidus.
(5) Using the already gathered data, we then researched how living or later tribal cultures or ethnic religions understood some concepts that were basic in Germanic worldview but didn’t survived in a detailed way through the written sources and can’t be recovered through archeology in order to clean the mindset as much as possible from the Christian framework;
At this point, having developed the core of our worldview, practices and the religious aspects, concepts like ‘animism’ and ‘Ancestors’ worship’ were deepened, and they reshaped our worldview and sidus. It could seems somewhat odd to other reconstructionists gathering so many external sources. But we used them between the strict limits imposed by the Germanic sources.
(6) Compare the body of practices and worldview to other reconstructed forms of current Germanic Heathenry like Fyrnsidu, Firne Sitte and Aldsido and Proto-Indo-European reconstructionism;
At this point we already have more than 90% of the sidus, worldview and deities reconstructed. We then developed some points, and aligned others. This was like painting the new house made to function and be like the old one, not only to look like her.
(7) Add your local data.
At this point we had built an European Alþeis Sidus. But Sáuilaþiudōs Hairþō is a Brazilian, a South American hearth. Even if we were Europeans, we would have to gather local information. There is nothing wrong with that. All the regional and familiar data we’ve added to the worldview of our *hairþō is strictly necessary, since it (a) doesn’t change the core of the old heathen practice and (b) it stressess the localism and living aspect of our sidus.
As we aim the reconstruction of the essence of the sidus the external comparison was inevitable. If we haven’t did this, we then would have accepted our own Western and Christian mindset as the basis to unconsciously fill the gaps we haven’t seen in the Suebo-Visigothic mindset.
So, everywhere you find a mention to another culture: be sure, we are not a doing mix-and-match religion. This is the way we find that Alþeis Sidus would be as similar as possible to the religions and cultures developed by Suebi and Visigoths in their heathen times. If a Suebic or Visigothic person was alive he or she certainly would point to some errors. But our intention is not to build a ‘personal’ wiccan-like religion, neither a UPG-based religion. However, it doesn’t mean that there is no place to develop the practice, where it is needed. We haven’t added anything in our sidus in a randomic manner.
An academic and philosophical problem concerning the use of comparison
Once we’ve decided that comparing was a fundamental part of our reconstruction, we have to decide how we can use the compared data. The esoteric way of using compared data is by pleasantness. You gather and mix together everything you find ‘cool’. In most of cases it is but related to pantheons. We are not saying that one cannot proceed that way; we are just saying that this is not our way to proceed.
Everywhere we used compared data, it was supported by anthropological and historic data concerning the Germanic tribes as a whole — thus we gathered informations to deepen our knowledge of attested Suebic, Visigothic or Germanic attested ideas. However, many points we covered weren’t treated before in a so deep way by reconstructionists simply because Germanic sources doesn’t cover them so deeply.
In Alþeis Sidus we can’t become satisfied by saying that “we worship our Ancestors by practicing their religion”. It is not to say that our way is the only way. But we really had the desire of understand and practice that tribal customs in a far more close way to what our heathen Ancestors probably did, instead of judging such practices as odd (through Western and christianized lens!!). In every place where we can’t replace a Western or Christian concept with a Suebic, Visigothic or Germanic one, we haven’t hesitated to use a tribal one instead. In our understanding, this is better than keeping Christian prejudices and thought patterns.
- Fundamentals and our worldview
Our idea, however, is to recover and reconstruct the identities of Suebi, Vandals and Visigoths as much as possible. From Proto-Indo-European, Proto-Germanic and anthropological studies we got our guiding informations. However, rather than reconstruction, reviving the paganism of such peoples is a recreation, as it is the fusion of a triple identity which was not united in Heathen times.
Relational personality — Instead of the ideia of single and totally unrelated individual relatives in the human community, we place heavy importance in strenghtening the links between our family and friends, building up a communal soul, a relational personality, instead of an individual one. We understand that each one of us are just a part in the whole tribe, and that even those parts can be spiritually divided in various semi-autonomous beings, culminating in a ‘dividual’ perception of the existence, based in the co-dependence of every single member of each tribe/*innagards and the waíhtōs around them.
Animism — We assume animism as the basic and initial premise of our worship. At the basis of our worldview is the idea that every single material being (stones, trees, natural events, clouds, etc.) is inhabited by a waíhts (wight), which gives it life and personality. This idea causes the need to respect all the things around us and relate with them in their terms, through offerings (do ut des), in order to keep the *freiþs (from Old Norse friðr) of our enviroment. Alþeis Sidus, however, is a non dualistic religion, what we call ‘spirit’ through this text is not what Western society commonly understand as a spirit, but, more properly, a principle of animation, that is common to every single being, not only what Westerns recognize as living.
#Cofgods# — We believe that Sáuilaþiudōs Haírþō itself is inhabited by a spirit, as the genius loci of our *hairþō, our *Gardawaíhts (from Old Norse húsvættr, from modern Scandinavian folklore tomte). Yes, we know that it should foremost be a motherly deity as *Fraujō but I felt a strong connection with *Saksnōt as a protective god of one’s fadreins (family, ethnic identity, lineage, akin to Old Norse ætt), and *Zisa, as a goddess called upon as a kind of guardian by Swabian tribes. Our #cofgods# manifest themselves through the ritual fire in the center of our rites and home. It is our desire to keep a permanent fire near the stove, thus manifesting the life of our #cofgods#, as well as bringing shelter to the friendly waíhtōs.
Ancestor Worship — We honor our dead Airizans (Ancestors), those ones who came before us and brought us to Midjungards. We keep the link between us and them alive, because they are alive within us, they worked in and shaped the land we live. They fed our parents, they have cared for their children when they became diseased, we couldn’t even be here without our Ancestors. Happy Ancestors that are regarded by Their descendants in rightful way could also ensure the plenty of their relatives. Also, the very importance that Suebi, Visigoths and Vandals have in our *hairþō is due precisely to the fact that we place Ancestors worship as an essential point of our set of customs. We worship our closest ancestors, our directly blood family, and the collective spirit of ancient tribes. We know that the Amali dynasty deified their ancestors, the Ansis (Æsir), and that the Tervingi opened battle with songs of praise for their ancestors.
Heroes Worship — It was genuinely a part of Ancestors worship in the religion of the Elder Germanic Heathens. But in Alþeis Sidus we developed it a bit more to accomodate the need of receiving external examples from people considered worthy of honor, not only the traditional cult of those ones considered (semi-)legendary heroes and tribal leaders and warriors such as *Mannaz, *Harimanrih, *Aþanareiks, *Alareiks, Irmin, Ariovistus, Háma, Vidigoia and so on.
*Innagards and *ūtagards — We consider our family (both heathen and non-heathen members of it) as the main part of our *innagards. Added to it are all those who help us, who are mainly heathen. It is the ‘we-ness’ or identity concept. This is not racial but relational. In the *ūtagards we understand all those who oppose us or those who do not play any positive role with us. This is the concept of otherness. The former (*innagards) we honor and protect as our own, the latter (*ūtagards) are not part of our scope of concerns. They are not good and evil, but rather a fellowship spirit based on law and mutual respect that is shared within the *innagards but not safely recognized outside the group (*ūtagards).
Gifting Cycle — For both gods and (land or house) waíhtōs, Ancestors, as well for the living, we try to maintain a cycle of mutual help and reciprocity in order to protect the spirit of our kin. The gifting cycle provides the exchange of mahts and then it can strenghten bounds and the people or beings linked by them.
#Hamr# — According to Alþeis Sidus each human possesses various spiritual beings inhabiting his physical body in an almost indepent way. Each part of what Western individuals calls “soul” today is composed of separated personal entities in their own right rather than parts of an “unified” soul, as people used to think when looking to Germanic concept of “soul”. The belief in the enduring presence of our Ancestors as animated and active spirits is rooted in a belief in a soul that survives after their deaths. Alþeis Sidus features a pluralistic soul, which means that the soul is seen to represent several spirits and spiritual entities. This concept can be simplified into a duality, consisting of the ‘breath souls’ (also called the body souls) and the ‘free souls’ (or the dream souls). The breath souls are seen to leave the body at the time of death (‘with the last breath’). The free souls, on the other hand, are believed to stay until the corpse has ‘collapsed completely’, e.g. through decomposition or cremation. After this has taken place, the free souls can begin their new life. These souls are thought to represent the dead in the next life. During life, the free souls are active in the various states of the unconscious mind, such as dreams and trances. As long as a person is conscious, these souls are passive. When a person enters a state of unconsciousness, the free souls become active and leave the body, and when they return, the person wakes up. There is no safe source on how many soul entities each human had. Some of them, in the body souls are *hugs (thought), *muns (memory), the free souls comprise #önd# the breath of life, given to humans by *Wodans, galaista (from Old Norse fylgja) or fetch, the follower animal and #óðr# the ecstatic soul, but there are also collective parts that each individual shared with his or her own family: #hamingja# the inherited luck of an individual and #ættarfylgja# one or more Ancestral mother/s that accompany and protect their descendants until their death. All those parts together form what we call #hamr#, that is, ‘shape’ or ‘hide’.
The continuity of the soul — Death occurs because some of the entities of the #hamr# split up from the other ones. We do not live thinking in afterlife punishments or remunerations. Death is not a rupture, it is a continuation. What now lives was then dead, what is now dead, will live in the future. But we do not believe in individual reincarnation, since we do not believe in an individual spirit itself. Although some soul parts which inhabited someone can find a new human body, not all of them do it so, and it is quite unlikely that the various parts of what we call “self” in modern society could then be found in a new human, moreover if the most individual of them stay in the body until it is totally disintegrated in the Earth. If you live in a honored manner, keeping good relationships with your own kin, you’ll probably have a good and peaceful life in the underground as an Ancestor after your death. If you died in a violent manner, and your body was destroyed or burnt, some parts of your body may go to *Walahalla, the hall of *Wodans. If you were a diligent worker, you could also end up in #Bilskirnir#, the palace of *Þunrs. Evil people or an incorrectly honored Ancestor could become an angry #draugr#, a living dead, and haunt the living community. On the other hand, a kinsman really worthy of honor due to his or her caring deeds to the whole family, specially to its weaker members, could become an *albs, an elf.
Waíhtōs — the kind of beings around us could be very wide. Although, under the umbrella concept of *landwaíhtōs (from Old Norse landvættir) there are some most commonly portrayed: the *albeis that could be both landspirits, bound to a given place, land, mound, rock or tree and commonly ruling collectively in a delimited range, being responsible for the plenty and fertility of the land itself, as well as the spirit of the honored Ancestors that reached this condition; the *dwaírgeis (dwarfs), inhabitants of the underworld, cunning and greed craftsmen; the *þauriseis (giants) most commonly inhabiting a large mountain or a wider landscape, as well as a volcano, and a lot of *landwaíhtōs that even peaceful, may or may not be helpful to the human community, inhabiting the landscape around us, or particular elements within it. Humans can develop relationships with these beings in order to keep or to establish the harmony and well being of the inhabinting human community of a given place. Note that the term ‘waíhts’ appears in Wright’s glossary as “thing”, “affair” and we take this word and maybe ressignify it both for being cognate to Old High German and Old English wiht and the Old Norse vættr, as well as for it may imply a relationship similar to anthropology of contemporary animist peoples which see persons outside the human category of beings (the “other-than-human persons”).
The World Tree and Nine Lands or Worlds — The whole universe is uphold and interconnected by a tree called “Horse of *Wodans” (#Yggdrasill#). The strongest beings, *Ansjus, *Wana and *albeis have their dwellings at the top of that tree, the dead Ancestors and the weavers of waúrþans (akin to Old English wyrd) in its roots, the mankind in Midjungards, the middle land between both, and the *þauriseis a bit deeper. This tree is the axis mundi and it can be used to reach the realms through magical or trance techniques. In Alþeis Sidus we do not believe in transcendental worlds. We, as a strongly world-accepting and non-dualistic religion and set of customs, see the nine realms of the Northern Germanic traditions as parts of this material land, although their inhabitants could be more spirit-like in their essence. We do not believe, in the wrong way, if compared to most of other heathens, that the nine worlds are separated realities or dimensions, as spiritual or material universes existing beyond our own. It seems a bit anachronistic to us to assume that the Elder Heathens viewed the cosmos in this way, when analyzing the residual evidence. Our gods and *albeis can be seen shining in the sky, and the *dwaírgeis are excavating the land beneath our feets.
Sidus — Our pagan customs, which are being developed, encompassing all what we have mentioned above, as well as our worship of divinities, our worldview as a whole and our set of ethics/law. Recreate and mantain a collective sidus of our *innagards is the most basic aim of Alþeis Sidus both as a philosophy of life, a worldview as well as a religion. According to Bosworth-Toller’s dictionary, sidu (cognate of the Gothic word sidus) in Old English refers to “a custom, use, manner, habit, practice” and “good conduct, morality, modesty”. As an othopraxic religion, it is the center of our activity.
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- Honored beings: gods, spirits and Ancestors
In the almost total absence of a pantheon to be recreated, we proceeded thus, until then:
(1) We appeal to the oldest deities of the Germanic tribes in the Bronze Age: the Spear God (*Wōdanaz?), the Hammer/Axe God (*þunraz?), the Swine/Sword God (*Ingwaz?), The Sun God/dess (*Sunnǭ?). We observed which of them could appear, adapted or modified, more frequently in the attested sources. So, we assume the reconstructed Gothic deities *Wodans, *Þunrs, *Iggws–Fráuja and Sáuil.
(2) we have consulted to the main reconstructed proto-Germanic forms, observing the frequency with which they appeared by diverse peoples and tribes;
(3) we assume the tribal God of the Goths, *Gáuts (Gothic version of *Wōdanaz?) as an independent deity;
(4) we assume the tribal god of the Saxons, Seaxnēat, as *Saksnōt firstly by the understanding that he was possibly also adopted by the Vandals, now because he is already incorporated in our set of practices;
(5) We assume Ēostre/*Ostara as a goddess possibly worshiped by the Suevi (we will use the reconstructed Gothic name *Áustrō);
(6) We concluded that *Tiwaz is the transition of the Proto-Indo-European *Dyḗus Ptḗr, as Sky Father, the Heavenly God, who probably was thus worshiped by the three groups. So we assume *Teiws;
(7) We assume Nerthus as a West Germanic Earth goddess, who was possibly adopted by the Suevi. We assumed the theory that Earth was always worshiped as a local deity, thus, we can make a syncretism of all the Germanic Earth goddesses and understand her in her multiple sides;
(8) The Excerptum ex Gallica Historia of Ursberg (ca. 1135) records a dea Ciza as the patron goddess of Augsburg. According to this account, Cisaria was founded by Swabian tribes as a defence against Roman incursions. This deity would be the female consort of Ziu, as Dione was of Zeus in Greek Mythology. We will adopt her as *Zisa, and consider that she is the same deity as the ‘Isis of the Suebi’ mentioned by Tacitus in his Germania.
(9) As *Pria was a major Proto-Indo-European deity and her descendent *Frawjjō in proto-Germanic culture was also an important one, giving rise to the cults of Frigg and Freyja and their several variations through the attested Germanic peoples and tribes, and as the Gothic and Suebian Heathenism was also closer to the proto-Germanic one instead of that of the Old Norse sources where we find Frigg and Freyja more clearly separated (their names and the names of their consorts are still cognates though). Hence, we assume *Fraujō as a single deity.
(10) We assume the Alcis as *Alkeis through the Vandals. They are interpreted in sincretism with the Proto-Indo-European *Diwós Sunú, and bear any semblance of the Anglo-Saxon Hengist and Horsa.
(11) We assume that the Goths worshiped the spirit of the Danube river as *Donaws.
(12) We assume that Garmangabis as a Suebian goddess.
What follows is an interpretation of the deities as Sáuilaþiudōs Haírþō conceives them. This is not their only or strictly “right” view. This is based on personal experience, though our experience, as Reconstructionist Heathens, is firmly based on the written sources of the lore, whenever is possible. We don’t view the gods as purely holy, in an incomprehensible way. They are respected because they can be felt in the wind, in the waters, through fire, rain, or by touching the earth. Every being has its own mahts (mæġen in Old English), his own might, strenght, force or power, both in a physical as well as in a spiritual sense, and the gods (or spiritual/higher-than-human chieftains) have large amounts of it. Mahts can be exchanged through gifts and deeds and can be used in widely known and unknown ways. We not only worship our gods, we honor them through actions, as well as our Ancestors and tribal heroes, and we rather relate in a ‘dividual’ manner with them.
*Wodans — probably by the time of the Suebi and Visigoths *Wodans wasn’t a widely known deity. This one eyed god was probably worshiped by the higher classes and mainly by the tribal chieftains and the warrior comitati assembled around them, as a god of kingship and the art of war. He was known as a wind god by seafarers, and his Memory and Thought traveled through the wind of the nine worlds as ravens to gather informations and keep him always a step ahead in any matter. He was also the embodiment of the ecstasis, fury and madness. He was probably authentically a powerful psychocomp deity that come from the East through shaman-like religions. Death and madness are his two faces, and they combine themselves in several different ways and levels, hence his many sides could arise. Through the Nordic Bronze age he was probably worshiped as a Spear in itself, and the magic spear #Gungnir# became both his preferred weapon and symbol. This weapon itself used to be the first one to be thrown against the enemies in the battlefield, as both an invocation of *Wodans’ power and fury, as well as a death curse against the enemies. A spear was the key symbol of death, and *Wodans could be seen as both the bringer of death and the guide of the dead through their world. The spear was also probably so important to the ancient tribes that the Romans when met them, called them “the men with spears”, or “spear in hand” (Germani). He is also a god of poetry and inspiration, as side effects of his madness. As a psychopomp, he is also a deity linked to the dream spirit’s travels, as a shaman-like deity, and a disguiser, both within the world of the dead and that of the living. He travelled trough the #Yggdrasill# tree riding his eight legged horse #Sleipnir#, often summoning the dead to get their wisdom. *Wodans brought the breath spirit to mankind, and part of his essence is probably contained in alcohol as well as any other substance with trance powers. He was specially worshiped by Northern warrior classes known as Úlfhednar and Berserkers, the former being wolf-like and the latter bear-like warriors. Wolfs are also associated to *Wodans, and he, as a god of war, could then control the perils and famine caused by them.
*Teiws — The origins of this deity reach back the Proto-Indo-European Ancestors of the Germanic tribes. He was then the Sky-Father and the soul of the sky itself. He was a god of law, order and healthy development. In the Old Norse sources, he’s attested as Týr, a god of the warrior’s courage in the battlefield, the keeper of *freiþs during the þings and every gathering of people. He is a protector of *uslag (ørlög), and *Teiws acts according to it, as we can see in his Norse myth, where he gives his own hand as a sacrifice to keep the course of waúrþans in the way it should happen. *Teiws is also the father of *Tiwisko (Tuisto) “a god, born of the earth” (deum terra editum), and it may be assumed that he is or was married to #Nerthus# at any moment. His son *Twisko is the father of *Mannaz (Mannus), one of the honored legendary Ancestors of tribes near the ocean, the Ingvaeones, those in the middle, the Herminones, and the rest of Istvaeones. But, according Tacitus, Marsi, Gambrivii, Vandilii as well the Suebi could have seen themselves as descendants of *Mannaz. *Teiws is also the god of justice, one who ensures that each one reaps what they have sowed in the lays of waúrþans.
*Gáuts — He is the ethnic deity of the Goths. His name (attested as Gaut or Gaptr, in Old Norse sources) can be traced back to the proto-Germanic *Gautaz, which itself comes from *geutaną, i. e., “to pour”. Then we assume that he was the embodiment of the wandering rush spirit, the will of protection through renovation. His name may also have some other complementar interpretations. *Gáuts itself could means “god”, as well be linked with “Goth”, being thus also the Goth god for excellence, as the embodiment of the folk spirit of the Goths. It could be also linked with *Wōdanaz with some uncertanty, and, among the Anglo-Saxons, Nennius lists Wōden (*Wodans) as son of Geat (Iat), a name also cognate to *Gáuts. Note also the resemblance of *Gáuts and the words for “giant” through the several old and new Germanic languages, what could also allude to this deity’s might. *Aþanareiks is probably one of his more beloved reiks, once he struggled valiantly to keep the sidus of the Goths against the Christian religion during the 4th century CE. *Gáuts is the god of sidus and *þaws themselves, the keeper of the customs and the tribal essence of the Gothic culture. He is thus also a god of ancestry and the Ancestors.
*Fráujō — She is an intricate figure. The Proto-Indo-European root *priHxeHa which give birth to her name means “beloved, friend”. She was the wife of *Wodans, the keeper of the keys of the home, the childbirth’s assistant, the whole mankind’s Ancestral Mothers (*Deisōs, and Matronæ) chief deity. She is a spinner goddess, creating the thread that must be woven by the #Nornir# as the waúrþans. Her assistants through any family give the *uslag to their descendants, enclosing the limits within they should live, from the moment they get a name, to the end point of their lives. They also provide the #hamingja# of each one of them. *Fráujō is the goddess who carries ahead the heritage of one’s family. Then, she is a goddess of plenty, wealth, the fertility of the land, and cattle, as it is remembered in the rune for the “F” sound (ᚠ) through the several ancient Germanic languages. She weeps golden tears when his husband go wandering outside. She was also a witch goddess, a soothsayer, and the one who could, in a certain manner, shape people’s waúrþans. She, as any mother, acts in a hard way to ensure the wealth of her protected humans and relatives, as we can see when she appeared in Nothern myth as Gullveig, a greed witch who caused strife among the gods in order to enrich her kin. As a war goddess and a chief goddess of all kinds of *Deisōs (from Old Norse dísir), she is also the leader of the *walakusjōns (valkyrjur), the choosers of the slain in the battlefield. *Fraujō chooses the first half of the dead warriors to accompany her in her palace, and the rest are left to his husband *Wodans. She also taught *saíþs (seiðr) to *Wodans, and gave him the wisdom over the *uslag of every being in the whole cosmos. *Fraujō is also associated to boars and cats; the former as givers of plenty, the latter as supernatural clairvoyants.
*Þunrs — In the Snorri Sturluson’s Northern myth his cognate Þórr appears as a fool, hungry and drunky son of Óðinn (*Wodans). Nevertheless, *Þunrs is a mighty god, a protector of mankind, a god of storms and rain, walking through the sky in his goat-chariot. He is then, as side effect, a god of fruitfulness. He is the son of #Nerthus#, whom he protects kindly. When he faces fire or ice giants, in order to protect her mother, his hammer strikes so starkly that light sparks almost split the sky. *Þunrs is also a smith-god, and sometimes his work raises clouds of water and soundly strikes of his hammer. He is a very simple god, and feel pleasure with makind. *Þunrs could be seen as a protector of one’s *innagards, and a powerful warrior when it is necessary. He is a workers’ god, known as red *Þunrs due to the color of his hair and beard. He is also the discipliner of #Jormungandr#, the serpent that inhabits the deep oceans, confining the waters with its body. Their battle could be seen as the battle of the Nature itself in order to keep its harmony and balance. He was also possible the same deity as the Axe/Hammer God of the Bronze Age Germanic cultures.
*Iggws-Fráuja — He is certainly one of the oldest deities of the Germanic tribes. If we look to the Bronze Age, we will find the petroglyphs showing a figure associated to both the sword and the swine/boar. This association seems to be far more than a random accident. In the later Norse Mythology of Iceland, Freyr is regarded as brother of Freyja (*Fraujō ) and a god of fruitfulness, who governs the Sun (Sáuil) and is the chief god of the *albeis (elves). He, also became passionate for a giant of the Earth, and gave his own magic sword to marry her. He, under the name of Yngvi, was regarded as an ancestral of royal families. According to Snorri Sturluson’s legends and myths, Yngwine or Yngve-Frej was a son of Njord and father of Fjǫlnir, both as a god or else as a king. *Fráuja is first and foremost a god of harmony, wealth, welfare, peace and the rightful development of the life of the tribes who worship him. He is then a god of *freiþs. His animal was the swine or boar, as a symbol of good luck in the hunting. He was also probably worshiped by seafarers, as his ship is the most incredible of all. His primary simbols are the sword and the erected phallus. Then, he is a deity commonly regarded for their associations with pleasure, sex and fertility.
Sáuil — This goddess is the Sun itself. We can see her journey in her chariot through the sky, we can feel her power at any moment of the day. Among the Nordic Bronze Age Germanic cultures, she was one of the most worshiped deities, and often portraied as a bright sun disc. Her cult is one of the most ancient forms of religion which we can find attestations. Sun discs, swastikas, spirals, wheels, four partitioned wheels, etc. all of them could represent her. The worship of Sun is the worship of life itself. The eternal dance of Sáuil, during the day, and Ména (moon) during the night is the event that make the (cyclical) time and the life itself possible. Her cycles still counting our years and the cycles of Ména still counting our months, even in a society guided by the progressive linear perception of time. One of Sáuil’s most prominent and ancient symbols is the four partitioned wheel, representing the four seasons of each year and the endless repetition of these cycles. Under Sáuil’s hegemony, History wasn’t a sucession of single events, regarded as independent from the rest. It was like the growing of the crops, having it’s birth, it’s development and it’s death, but leaving the seeds for the next time the cycle restarts. Sáuil and Ména are the agents of time, they are those ones which turn the wheel of events in which we can play our part in accordance to natural laws as well as to what was doomed to us. Sáuil and Ména are the gods of time. But Sáuil is also strongly linked to fruitfulness, once her light is responsible for making the crops grow and was strictly necessary to several human daytime activities. Sáuil is the wheel of the *albeis (Albiliuhadei), the most shining star of the sky. She is an ancient and always young goddess.
*Saksnōt — From the Old English Seaxnēat. He is the god of the East Saxons (Essex) and is, as Saxnōte, mentioned in the Old Saxon baptismal vow along with Þunaer and Uuōden; it seems thus that is not wrong to assume that he was so important than they. *Saksnōt is “the sword friend” or “the companion of the Saxons”. Today’s Essex flag features the Three Seaxes (heraldically stylised as three scimitars) as a symbolic reference to *Saksnōt the sword friend. *Saksnōt is thus like an ancient dagger in the old times. He is made of sharp and hard iron, forged by fire and strong blows. *Saksnōt is the weapon at hand borne within a ship or a forest, through the sea or the unknown lands. *Saksnōt isn’t viewed as a strange deity in Alþeis Sidus. In the same way that the brother Germanic peoples exchanged many cultural traces in the past, that happens today. *Saksnōt thus was an esteemed god that we adopted in Sáuilaþiudōs Haírþō from the Saxons and Anglo-Saxons because of his importance among them and the influence they had in the reconstruction process of Alþeis Sidus. He is seen as a protective god, akin to *Teiws in this function, but is understood in a more “survivalist”, instinctive way than *Teiws, who is linked to the war discipline of the warriors. *Saksnōt is seen as the hero in the Beowulf poem: an honored warrior, challenging the death; instead of using all the weapons and armor available to him, he chooses the way in which he can earn as glory as possible, laying all his hope of victory under the doom of waúrþans. He is a warrior and a chieftain, and he lives under the tribal code of the comitatus: Glory or Death. *Saksnōt is also a god of the fellowship in hard times, and therefore a god of loyalty and oaths.
*Áustrō — She is the goddess of the dawn, of the reawakening and of the transition from shade to light. As Sauil comes at morning, bringing back her life over Midjungards, *Áustrō reachs both the sky and the land; she is like the seed sleeping under the snow waiting to live again, even if it is not really dead. *Áustrō is the embodiment of progression, evolution and change. Everything bears within itself its *uslag, its doom, its seeds of starting, growing and dying. When the light refuses to become shadow again, it turns itself in death instead of life. If darkness never allows the light penetrate within it, the life never awakes. The dawn is thus a bit relative to the situations at issue, and not necessarily only associated to light, but more precisely to the necessary change in the order of things. We commonly associate it to the period of the dawn of the day and specially to that of the year because it is when we perceive more clearly a transition. *Áustrō is the goddess of the possibility or chance. But she is not a goddess of the random chance, but rather the goddess of the better choice in the better moment. It seems self evident, but you don’t crop when you need to reap nor reap when you need to crop. There are the most appropriate moments to do the stuffs; each one of our decisions being simultaneously the end of a cycle and the start of another as the dawn of the year is. *Áustrō is thus the goddess of the renovation, of the birth of the new from the entrails of the old.
Nerthus — Tacitus call her “Mother Earth”. Certainly she is the allmother, the earthly womb from which everything had its birth. She is known by many names, each one of them being the face each tribe saw her. The land is not the same everywhere, although it cannot be said from the Sky. Maybe this is why all sky fathers or chief male deities look for marrying the Earth. As the womb of choice, as the potential mother of all and everything, she was then both the void, the black hole that can be impregnated with the desire, and one of the most sacred known and worshiped beings due to her power of keep the act of birth of all beings, their nourishment, as well as for being the place where life have its counterpart: the death. The dead ones live in the Earth, within the Earth and their life there also make the Earth sacred. The land supports everything, makes everything alive, counscious and connected; the land keep the lives of the living, over her, and of the dead, under her. The dead and the living are exchanging mahts through Nerthus every single moment. The soil is the blood of the Ancestors, their flesh and bones, the ground has many layers, the more deeper, the more older. Those layers are in some way like our waúrþans and *uslag, being both ground over which we live in, as well as the hidden past that brought us here. The human being and the Earth are one, they are not unrelated beings. Nerthus was then worshiped in a respectful manner, enclosuring all weapons when the time of her feasts had place. A chariot guided by cows borne her idol, where the spirit of the goddess itself inhabited for a while.
*Zisa — She is a #cofgoddess# in Sáuilaþiudōs Haírþō. She could be worshiped as the Red Goddess, and as a Matron Goddess, as she is mentioned in manuscripts from the 12th to 14th centuries which reference a victory against the Roman Empire attributed to *Zisa. This battle happened in the 1st century of the Common Era, a day before the *Zisa Feast, and the Romans then found the best Suebic warriors gathered together, having thus no chance of success. The anniversary of this victory was celebrated on the festival day of September 28 and involved games and merrymaking. *Zisa is seen as the founder and protector of the city of Augsburg in modern Bavaria. Augsburg was known earlier as Zizarim. Fraa Zisa was reported under various names (including Isis perhaps due to language confusion). She could thus be, as a consort or relative of *Teiws (continental Germanic Ziw), and could then be reconstructed with some semblance to him: she is a goddess of victory, but rather than a martial goddess like *Teiws, she is a maternal one, a protectress of her people. Both men and women often engange in a conflict in order to defend their sons or relatives; the difference is in how they achieve victory in their fight: usually, the men by violence, the women by diplomacy. Though she was thanked for that war victory it seems unlikely that she is herself a warrior goddess but rather a supportive goddess. Following the tracks left by Tacitus about the “Isis” of the Suebi, we can add Liburnian longships as her emblem, and from modern Pennsylvanian Urglaawe, she is seen associated to the pine cone, as a symbol of protection, regeneration and continuity. It seems that the 3rd day of the week in Augsburg was renamed from “Zistag” (as Day of Zisa instead of Ziu) to “Aftermontag” due to her worship. The Christian Mary undoer-of-knots is seen in Urglaawe as a Christian continuity of her worship. Also, the Egyptian Isis is seen carrying maternal functions, a goddess of the children, as well as a Throne Goddess, mother of Horus, who is associated to Kingship. Isis was worshipped as the ideal mother and wife as well as the patroness of nature and magic. She was the friend of slaves, sinners, artisans and the downtrodden, but she also listened to the prayers of the wealthy, maidens, aristocrats and rulers. All those Isis’ functions doesn’t appear to be in contradiction to what *Zisa could represent as the founder goddess of Zizarim (It doesn’t mean that all Isis functions are the same as those of *Zisa).
*Alkeis — They are the twin young brothers, albeit they are some of the oldest deities that walked through the time within the Indo-European cults. They originally could be the sons of *Teiws Ancestor in Pro-Indo-European religion, and then one of them could be *Twisko. Their name, however, is linked to the PIE root *alk- as if it could make the same associations as the rune *Elhaz or *Algiz (ᛉ): elk and protection. They could thus be understood as agricultural deities, maybe patrilineal ones. Through the PIE *Diwós Sunú, they also carry horse-like associations, and can be seen as older reflexes of the Anglo-Saxon Hengist and Horsa, the two brothers with horse-like names who guided the Germanic peoples through the sea to England. All these associations with other twins, both older and newer, among the closely related cultures can offer a more understandable portrait of the *Alkeis. They even bear characteristics assigned to manly functions, like (paternal) protection, the leading of chariots, strenght, vigour, war, riding, raiding and conquering. The two brothers are lovers of their kinsmen, and they do everything that is needed to keep them safe and in harmony. They can be worshiped also as gods of the youth our those of the young people.
*Donaws — He is the Great Water. Although he is indeed an essencial and sacred god, as the river Danube itself was for the Gothic peoples, he also bears within him the perils of outsiders and the benefits of trades and exchanges. *Donaws is himself the necessity and the threat, the provider of life, the merchant and the outsider warrior. *Donaws can also be seen in modern Alþeis Sidus as a point of connection between us and the mythic generations of our forefathers, as they are no longer here, but he still is. But he is, like *Áustrō, a god of renovation. His course is still flowing, and carrying away from us what is needed to leave. But also he is bringing to us what it is necessary. The Danube is the second-longest river of Europe, showing us all its importance even today.
Garmangabis — In Lanchester, County Durham, southwards of the ancient location of Handrian’s Wall in England, a votive stone was found in the year 1893. It was dated about the 3rd century of the Common Era. A reconstructed version of the inscription is as follows: “Deae Garmangabi et Numini Gordiani Augusti nostri pro salute vexillationis Sueborum Longovicianorum Gordianae votum solverunt merito“, or “To the Goddess Garmangabi and the divine spirit of Gordianus our Lord, for the health of the Detachment of Suebi in Gordian’s Lingones, (who) deservedly fulfilled their vow”. In Alþeis Sidus she is then understood as a giver, a provisional goddess. She could be a goddess brought by that vexillatio of the Suebi, as well as a war-ration feeder of the Suebic troops.
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Note that the worship of the heroes of our *hairþō is heavily based not only in mythic Germanic tribal heroes, but also legendary Chieftains that lived in Brazil, as our *hairþō is located here.
*Harimanrih — Hermeric. From the Old High German hariman (“man of war, warrior”) + rîhhi (“powerful”, “ruler”). This was the first Suebian king in Galicia. He guided the Suebi beyond the Rhine alongside the Vandals and the Alans. *Harimanrih born and died as a Heathen, and was a Romans’ severe enemy. He established the Kingdom of the Suebi in 409 CE and reigned between thirty two and fourteen years dying in the year 441 of the Common Era. He fought both the Visigoths and the Vandals, and his warlord *Harimangēr (Heremigarius) also went to Vandalic Lusitania to plunder it. In Alþeis Sidus, *Harimamrih is regarded as a powerful Ancestor willing to work for his people, crossing the limits of the horizon, and establishing a new way of living, as he already did, when it is necessary.
*Aþanareiks — Athanaric. From the Gothic, presumably from aþni “(year”) and (reiks) “chieftain”, died 381. He ruled over several tribes of the Thervingian Goths for at least two decades in the 4th century CE. He fought the betrayer Fritigern, who converted to the Roman religion and brought it to the Goths. *Aþanareiks did what was possible to keep the sidus of his people, albeit the Goths between both the Romans and the Huns haven’t many choices at that time. He was forced to get away from his people, probably as a consequence of Fritigern’s trickeries, but received by Theodosius in Constantinople with great honor. He was also buried in a no less honored way. *Aþanareiks is the reiks who loves the sidus of his people. He is the keeper of the old ways, and the point of connection of his people. He is a strong warrior, but also a peacemaker. We worship *Aþanareiks as a protector leader, as a great negotiator, and a strong Ancestor, tied to the customs he was growth in, passed to him through many generations.
*Twisko — He is a son of a chief deity, and probably *Teiws, as Sky Father and Nerthus, as the goddess of the Earth. Through the Indo-European religions the motif of primordial brothers, one killing the other, is a bit common. So, *Twisko can be seen also as the winner of the twins, representing the battle itself against the death, his inseparable half. He is also the father of one of the oldest Ancestors of the mankind, *Mannaz.
*Mannaz — Attested as Mannus in Tacitus’ work, he is son of *Twisko, he is also one of the oldest Ancestors of the Germanic tribes such as the Suebi. His name means nothing but “man”.
*Alareiks — Alaric (the All-chieftain) the Bold or *Alareiks Balþas was born in circa 370 CE in Peuce Island, Danube, todays Romania. He was a skilled chieftain of the Visigoths, though he wasn’t Heathen, he still carried the old worldview within his mind, and pulled the Visigoths out of the dark times they were living as a second class people in Roman Empire due to the persecution of the Huns. He attempted to build a good relationship with the Romans, but it became almost impossible: in fact, the Visigoths didn’t get much advantages beyond the (not so) slow death as sacrificial lambs in the battlefield to protect the Roman civilization from its enemies. *Alareiks thus plundered Greece and Rome, proving the strenght of the Visigoths and their inflexibility when facing their own doom. He then died on 25 august 410, in the early age of 36-44 winters old, in Cozenza, Calabria, Italy, and was buried near Cosenza in the bed of the Busento River. *Alareiks in his time and we in ours face some similar problems. But we also still carrying his courage and might; as *Alareiks, who was the first to sack Rome in near 800 years, we have our own enemies today to protect our relatives, and, why not think so, a new Heathen people inspired by the courage of Suevi and Visigoths. It is up to us to face what was laid down by the #nornir# and to act according to the situation, as *Alareiks did. We worship him as a great conqueror, strategist and tribal chieftain, a protector and grantor of victory under hard situations.
*Irmina — or Irmin, Arminius, Hermann. His name means ‘all-encompassing’ or ‘big’. *Ermino-merus, another reconstruction of his name, points towards the meaning “word-famous”. He was born in 17 or 18 BCE and was a chieftain of the Cherusci tribes. He was a son of the chieftain Segimerus, who was forced to give his son as a hostage to the Roman Empire after being defeated by their legions. Being educated in the civilization, it was expected that he could ease up the colonial domination of the Romans detrimentally his own people though. Nevertheless, in the autumn of 9 CE, the 25-year-old *Irmina, under the Latinized name Arminius, brought to the Roman general Varus a fake report of rebellion in northern Germany, and persuaded him to divert the three legions under his command from the march to winter quarters to suppress the rebellion. Varus and his legions marched right into the trap that Irrmina had set for them near Kalkriese, the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. *Irmina’s tribe, the Cherusci, and their allies the Marsi, Chatti, Bructeri, Chauci, and Sicambri (five out of at least fifty Germanic tribes at the time) ambushed and annihilated Varus’s entire army, totaling over 20,000 men. Thus, the Germanic tribes became more free from the yoke of the civilization, and the things happened in a different way since then. He died in 21 CE. *Irmina is remembered in Alþeis Sidus due to his loyalty to the old ways, his people, and his deeds of courage that we need repeat even today to free our worldviews from the Roman-like way of thinking, an return to the tribal worldview.
Ariovistus — the original forms and meanings of his name remain uncertain. He was a tribal chieftain of the Suebi alongside their allies during the 1st century of the Common Era. His date of birth is unknown, but he died in 54 BCE. Caesar described him as rex Germanorum, a king of the Germanic peoples. The Celtic tribes were fighting against each other, and to resist the Aedui, the Sequani and Arverni allied themselves with the Germanic duke Ariovistus. In 71 BC he then led an army of more than 15,000 fighters and retinue, consisting of Suebi and other tribes, across the Rhine river. In the years that followed, Sequani, Arverni and Suebi successfully fought against the Aedui and finally crushed their army in the Battle of Magetobriga in 61 BC. The Celts asked then for Roman help, once the Suebi established themselves in Gallia. When Caesar intervened, and called the chieftain of the Suebi, Ariovistus recognized his own rights as victorious and demanded that the Romans come to him. When Caesar shown his terms, Ariovistus then faced his doom and said that he couldn’t be lowered by the civilization. The battle was unavoidable. The Suebi lost the battle and were withdrawn from Gallia through the Rhine, but they didin’t accepted overwhelmed by the Roman threats. Thus, Alþeis Sidus keeps the memory of Ariovistus alive as an honored chieftain that resisted agains the ways of the Empire and was loyal to the tribal code of doom (waúrþans), in the same way we need act, today, even if the victory is uncertain.
Háma — or Hāma. Known as a brave hero, sometimes associated to the Nothern god Heimdallr. He has a versatile life as warrior and monk, and even by being ‘retribalized’, pillaging and burning monasteries. He also fought giants and dragons through the several poorly related sources in which he is portrayed. He is often associated with Vidigoia. He is also associated with the homonymous Gothic hero. Háma is honored in Alþeis Sidus as a warrior, as well as an example of adaptation and self development.
Vidigoia — or Wudga. He is sometimes described as son of Wayland, the powerful and dangerous smith. From him, he is said to have been gifted with the sword Mimung as well as hir horse. He also has a fine horse called Schimming. Vidigoia is also associated with Gothic heroes and chieftains, and he is said to have decided becoming a warrior at the age of twelve years old. Vidigoia is an impetuous warrior, that refuses to decline when offended or threatened. We worship him in Alþeis Sidus as a proud warrior, that faces any situation without resignation and without lefting an insult unpaid.
*Bairika — or Berig, “little bear”. According to Jordanes, this legendary king was liable for crossing in three ships through Scandinavia to the European continent. There, he fought and defeated the previous inhabitants, and is regarded in Alþeis Sidus as an undaunted chieftain who once brought well being to his people.
Ajuricaba — Ajuri — “reunion” or “gathering” and caba “marimbondo”, a type of wasp. Under Brazil’s Portuguese colonization, the Native Indigenous peoples were captured and sold to work in their own land in the cacao crops as slaves. But many indigenous rebellions had taken place during the years between 1705 and 1750, like that one leaded by Ajuricaba and his Manaos people, between the Negro and Branco rivers in Amazônia. The revolt was fed by the Portuguese pression, that forced the native inhabitants to become closer to the urban centers in order to fulfill the needs of the colonizers. Ajuricaba thus gathered slowly thousands of tribal warriors in order to resist against the destruction of their customs and Ancestral lands. Between 1723 and 1727 Ajuricaba as the chieftain of his people started a war of resistance, which culminated in his death. Even after the slaying of his son in battle he continued fighting in a brave and honored way, but he ended captured and shackled. But he still didn’t admit defeat, and launched himself in the waters of the Negro river and incited a revolt of the captured natives against the troops, while was he was being driven to Belém to be judged by the colonizers.
Cunhambebe — his name come from the Tupi name kunhãmbeba, meaning “woman with little breast”, and was possibly an allusion to the strenght of this chieftain. He was a Tupinambá and the supreme authority of the Tamoios’ Confederation, in the Southeast of todays Brazil. It is said that Cunhambebe and his tribesmen had eaten around sixty Portuguese colonizers.
Zumbi dos Palmares — He was the last king of Quilombo dos Palmares, a settlement of runaway African and Afro-Brazilian slaves in the present-day state of Alagoas in Brazil. His mother was Sabina, sister of Ganga Zumba, who was the son of princess Aqualtune, daughter of an unknown king of Kongo. He born free in the Quilombo of Palmares, and believed to be descendand of Imbala warriors of Angola. He was then captured, and a priest taught him Portuguese and Latin, but he escaped in 1670. Zumbi became known for his physical prowess and cunning in battle and he was a respected military strategist by the time he was in his early twenties. He resisted as a king against the Portuguese slavery with his people, but was betrayed, captured and beheaded in 1695.
Lampião — Virgulino Ferreira da Silva (1897-1938), popularly known among the inhabitants of Northeast of Brazil as Lampião (‘Oil Lamp’), was a very controversial figure. He was certainly a Christian, but is largely known as a leader of banditry in earlier 20th century, being a dreaded ‘chieftain’ of the moust renowned group of cangaceiros in the Northeast of Brazil. But the folk legends also record him as beneificient towards the poor, and implacable against the rich Coronéis, the fact that attracted hate against him and put the police and army in a bloody porsuit against him. His consort was Maria Bonita, who was no less feared than him, or even more, for her cruelty.
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*Deisōs — singular *deis (from the Old Norse dís, dísir). They are the collective Ancestral Mothers of a fadreins or kuni. They are one of the most important spiritual beings that directly affects one’s life. They are *Fráujō’s servants, or rather *Fráujō is the higher chieftain of the *Deisōs, since she is also called the *Deis of the Wana. The *Deisōs help during the childbirth, and give an *uslag thread to the children when it get a name from its parents. Ancestral Mothers also can be seen as a part of the #hamr# of every human, each one of them being more or less lucky also depending on how many of these follower guardians a person has. They could be helpful or dangerous, and it depends on how they are or they aren’t honored. They are often seen as shadowy and rarely can be individually known, carrying a spinning staff akin to those of the #völur#. In Alþeis Sidus they could be seen in a widely range of ways: as rock dwellers, the *Deisōs of the landstones, where the children aren’t allowed to play in order to not disturb them, as the already said guardian mothers attached to one’s spirit, as the largely known *walakusjōns or choosers of the slain in the battlefield, gathering warriors to *Fráujō and *Wodans, as well as #nornir# or fate weavers, those who determine the doom of man. Their cult in Alþeis Sidus is sincretized with the evidences of worship of the Matronæ in the Celto-Germanic Gallia and regions near the Rhine river, where three female beings were worshiped, and the often varying names and inscriptions suggests that theirs was a private of family cult rather than a cult of ethinic or popular deities.
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We assume the idea that waúrþans was woven by the #Nornir# in the way that the *uslag determined them.
It is a simple postulate, but not so easy to understand in its deeper meanings. Waúrþans (literally “what that happened”, cognate to the Old English wyrd and the Old Norse urðr) is a web connecting each individual to the choices he can do during his life. This web was woven by the #Nornir#. They are three sisters who live in the roots of the world tree #Yggdrasill#. They are “That which became or happened” (waúrþans), “What that is”, and “What should be”, the payment of our debts.
Thus, *uslag (from Old Norse ørlög) is a law that echoes through the universe, result of the way the things exist in itself. If you pour water in a square glass, it will not assume a round form. It will acommodate itself to the square format. This glass is *uslag; it is the primal laws, the primal layers above which or within the wheel of time develops and unceasingly turns. But *uslag was also understood in a more strict sense as the limits within any living being can develop their own lives, or their fate or doom. In this sense, *uslag is a luck and predestination given to us by our Ancestral Mothers.
This has some implications. Our choices are not totally free. We can choose what we want, within the available choices. I can’t decide to give someone an amount X of money if I haven’t earned it somewhere in the past. I can’t decide to reap what I haven’t sow previously. I can’t choose in the present what I haven’t make possible in the past. I can’t get from waúrþans what I haven’t stocked there.
But *uslag is also a doom. You can’t choose not to die if you were already doomed. You can’t choose to leave a situation that was already doomed by *uslag. Your free will is then delimited for what must happen, for the debt, both as a result of your actions stocked in the layers of waúrþans, as well as that which was doomed to you by your Ancestral Mothers. You can always choose the most honored way to accept your doom though. As well as you have the free will to choose facing the waúrþans with shame.
Waúrþans is the strongest. There is no god that can change or reshape what was doomed. There is no single being that can escape from the results of its own actions and doom. Every single thing was born in a given moment, lives and evolves after this, and will finally die. Then, those beings will compound the layers of the waúrþans in which their descendants will develop themselves the seeds that their Ancestors have left in this world. Death and life, good and evil, free will and predetermination, they are just two parts of a single process that can’t stop its own development, no matter how one tries do to so.
It is also important to note the relationship of the idea of luck and *uslag and waúrþans among the ancient heathens. Luck is both innate and inherited. It depends on what your Ancestral mothers had woven and given to you at birth. It was, through the Scandinavian world (and thus maybe we can presume through the whole body of Germanic tribes), the most important characteristic of a chieftain. There were kings who could change the weather only with their presence, as well as grant victory in the battlefield, but luck could also means one’s ability or capacity to make profitable business, grant good crops, or gain advantage in any affair of human life. Luck could be somewhat improved when one stocked the right actions in the lays of waúrþans, but it can’t be essentially changed quickly. Luck and mahts are also interwoven, as they are with fame or good reputation. Good reputation earns mahts and luck, as well as luck earns mahts and good reputation. Luck is also essential to the tribe, as individuals that have plenty of luck can make the *freiþs of the tribe be earned easily. In the Germanic way of thinking luck has nothing to do with randomness, in the sense of the Latin fortuna. The world of the heathen tribesmen was guided by rigidly defined laws that weren’t easily changed, instead of it, they must be respected and understood. You don’t have a “random” luck, whether you are lucky, you can’t unlucky most of time.
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Within Alþeis Sidus each *hairþō has its own sidus (customs), guided by a quite similar worldview. But an important part of these customs is the witōþ or the law. Our law, however, doesn’t has its function only as negative statements. The Alþeis Sidus is better understood in conjuction to ethics, values, and can’t be separated from the ritual actions, law (witōþ) itself, duties and rights, codes of indivual attitude and what is expected from a practioner of Alþeis Sidus (akin to what is transmitted through the Anglo-Saxon term þēaw). All these words are expressed in Alþeis Sidus as one, simply as sidus. Witōþ is actually the core of Alþeis Sidus. Its simplicity of expressing and clear form shouldn’t be misunderstood as unimportant. The compliance of witōþ and the whole body of sidus, including *þaws, should be ensured by the gardawaldands in the *hairþō and by the reiks in the wider heathen community or kuni.
Hearth Cult and Human Community (*innagards)
The main part of the ritual side of Alþeis Sidus is developed within one’s *haírþō. This is due to the importance of the fire among the ancient Indo-European religious practices, and the way the humans gathered together around it. Even today our lives can’t be so easy without fire, and we can’t perceive that because of centuries of dessacralization of our domestic lives. Our stoves are still cooking our food, and there is where the whole family goes certainly more than one time every day. The fire lost its importance most due to the television. The magic box stole from the family the right to talk and established the silence and an outsider as source of information, social interaction and worldview. What TV fiction does, the people repeat. The ideology of the television is the ideology of the masses.
But reconstructing the old customs demands to gather the family around the fire of the *haírþō again, and share their experiences with each other. Within a tribal hearth cult our *haírþō aims to reconstruct a dividual personality and thus approach the divine/spiritual as the ancient Suebi and Visigoths did, in order to get the most powerful results as possible from the religious or ritual practices.
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Hearth Cult and Other-than-human Community
As soon as we have found out that the tribal identity is collective, we have noticed that the concept of person was quite large for the Heathens of the old times than it is in our Western societies today. The heathen landscapes are inhabited by many beings, the waíhtōs, and they can be our Ancestral spirits, old human inhabitants of the land, as well as non-human spirits such as *albeis, *dwaírgeis, *þauriseis or the gods themselves. They inhabit stones, trees, wells, rivers, mountains, lakes, or even a whole landscape. We can affect their lives and they can do it to ours. Not all waíhtōs are friendly, nor they all can be interested in a relationship with us. However, it is up to us to work with those helpful waíhtōs through the basic same ways as that are available to our human community. Even if a given waíhts is not friendly, it is better to respect it from a safe distance than attack it. They were here a lot of time before of us, and they will be here even after us. The waíhtōs are essentialy members of the *ūtagards and they deserve that caution. Although they can accept our offerings and thus fit themselves in the gifting cycle of a *innagards.
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It is worthy to note that the Suebi and Visigoths haven’t left tons of records of their religious practices, as they haven’t left almost none about their gods. Thus, in Sáuilaþiudōs Haírþō we think it is open to each *haírþō to develop its own practices, but it is not of much help to say if one doesn’t know how to start. So, first of all, we needed a small space. The polytheistic practices in the old days were developed from two basic points within a family’s home: the place that most often people are gathered in a house, or else a place where fire is often lit. If both are the same, in a heathen house today, well then their inhabitants are surely very lucky. Then, after choosing the place, we have built an altar.
Altars can vary in form and elements, and there is no single way to make them. However, some elements are basic, like: fire (a candle would fit good, if one hasn’t a hearth), a water vessel, incense to ward off the evil spirits and an offering bowl or vessel. Statues of the gods, both major as well as #cofgods#, are well known elements of an altar. It should be worthy to emphasize that we place very true importance in honoring our Ancestors in the altar, placing objects that belonged to them, their pictures, or anything else that helps us to remember them easily and open a good mental connection to them, as a spirit tablet. It is also useful to have a statue made to represent the*gardawaíhts of a *haírþō. You can also find a place for depictions of honored heroes. It is important that the altar could be seen easily and maintain the feeling of communion with the divine.
Each one has his own Ancestors. Build a sacred place to connect them is a powerful practice. The Ancestors could be pleased in many ways and are in no way less important — and are even more important — than the gods in the heathen daily life. A lock of their hair, a clock or watch that was theirs, pictures, jewelry, anything that they had when alive or that keeps a connection between a Heathen and his Ancestors could be placed in the altar of the *haírþō. We also find helpful to open and main this connection using a spirit tablet, as an influence of Chinese Ancestor worship. There, the name of the Ancestors are written upon a ware or wooden tablet, and in our *haírþō we do a similar process, creating bindrunes using the names of our Ancestors, and placing them in our altar. There are no single objects that will conect two different persons, from different families, to their ancestors.
A *gardawaíhts could be pleased also by having a decorative house where it can inhabit in the living room. Again, fire would be good to keep him, as well as an offering vessel. It does not need to be an altar, the idea is to offer a safe place where the *gardawaíhts will feel that he is welcomed, as well as receive offerings for its work. Specific artifacts can be left there as gifts, like souvenirs or anything else that would please the *gardawaíhts. If offerings can’t be left there, at least a decorative house won’t draw too much attention and can be accepted as a good gift for the rest of the family. Littler dwarfish statues are also common and discrete, and can represent one *gardawaíhts very well.
It is also possible to practice a heathen cult in a *haírþō without an altar. Depending on the family of a Heathen, having an altar could be a trouble and things get even worst if it were placed in a central part of the house, being seen for everyone. In this case, one could choose to practice a more ancient, although equally strong form of cult. If idols and depictings of gods, Ancestors and heroes can’t be used, it will be necessary using but candle or another fiery object and a vessel of water, as well as a bowl to pour the offerings.
It is also important to note the function of a guþ (heathen idol) within a*haírþō. The guþ is an object used to channel the attention of a waíhts no matter how powerful it may be, if it is a *gardawaíhts, a *landwaíhts or a god. It then became numinous, acquire some of the qualities of the powers that are being summoned through it, and could suit the humans’ needs. But a respectful relashionship should then be developed, as the guþ owns a part of the conscience that is being summoned through it. It is where the summoned conscience is received in the *haírþō, and must be kept in a respectful and regarded as a living being, as it already became. The guþ could be used to represent and be the object of manifestation of both major deities like *Wodans or *Gáuts, as well as #cofgods# as well as *haírþō‘s or familiar house deities.
Then, we need to understand the heathen relationship towards the divine and the spiritual, once it is not the same we are familiar to in Western religions. The first point to consider is: ‘religion’ comes from Latin re-ligare, therefore the word supposes a human lost in the Earth looking for the divine connection he has lost (did you remember the Christian creation myth in Genesis?). Thenceforth, we have oratio, a form of supplication that concerns fides (faith). The relationship with the divine then presupposes an allmight god, who is perfect and whole and doesn’t need anything from us. Faith is the only thing that ensure that this kind of god will be lenient and hear what we asked him. He must also be good, if he is a bad guy, we are very unlucky and he won’t hear us. All major forms of religion developed in the West after the christianization follow the basic lines of this process, with one or more little changes.
If we want to understand the heathen relationship towards the divine, we can then start looking at the Proto-Indo-European culture. That words for “pray” and “pour (a libation)” were derived, in different languages, from the same root, *ǵheu-. This root is also in the word for the ‘gods’ itself, derived from the PIE term *ghutom, or, more literally “those to whom libations are poured”. The word “spirit” used to mean also alcohol. The exchange of gifts, or, more accurately, the offerings of alcoholic sacred drinks to the gods then carried the role that faith does in modern religions. If the gods aren’t perfect and immortal, although they are really powerful, having a plenty of mahts, they could be really nice guys to deal with. That is our heathen point of view.
Nevertheless, many new heathens have a problem to deal with this idea of exchanging-reciprocity as the core of a religion (based in orthopraxy rather than orthodoxy). However this is the way that we in our *haírþō understood as the closest to that of our Suebi and Visigothic heathen Ancestors. And that is the way we feel we should practice Alþeis Sidus. Let’s take a look, for example, at an excerpt of Ibn Fadlan’s account on the Rus:
“The moment their ships arrive at this whart, every one of them disembarks, taking with him bread, meat, onions, milk, and nabidh, until he arrives at a long wooden post fixed in the ground which has a face resembling that of a man. Around it are small figures, behind which are long stakes fixed in the ground. He approaches the large figure, prostrates himself before it and says: “O lord, I have come from a far land. With me there are such and such a number of slave girls and such and such a number of sable skins,” until he has enumerated all the articles of commerce that he has. He then says: “And I am come to you with this offering.” And he leaves what he has with him in front of the wooden post. [He then adds]: “I wish you to provide me with a merchant possessing many dinars and dirhams, one that will buy from me all that I desire, and who will not disagree with what I say.” He then departs.
If sale [of the merchandise] proves to be difficult, and the days of his sojourn are prolonged, he returns with a second and third offering. If [after this] what he wants proves to be difficult of attainment, he carries a gift to each one of the small figures and asks for their intercession, saying: “These are the wives of our lord, his daughters and his sons.” He continues to appeal to one figure after another, imploring their intercession and humbling himself before them. Perhaps the sale of his merchandise is facilitated and he sells it. He then says: “My lord has answered my need, and I must repay him.” He then takes a number of sheep or cattle and slaughters them, giving away a portion of the meat as alms, and carrying the remainder and placing it in front of the large wooden figure as well as in front of the small ones around it. He hangs the heads of the cattle or the sheep on the wooden stakes fixed in the ground. When night sets in, dogs come and eat everything. He who has made the offering says: “My lord is pleased with me and has eaten my gift”.”
Here we find an account (and by a non-Christian, although being Islamic) of the whole technique of a way to achieve some objective through divine or spiritual aid. The god is pleased with the consumable offerings, and helps the man, who gives another offering as a way of thanks. Here we can see here three basic steps: the invocation, the petition and the offering of the gift to the waíhts or god.
Invocation — If one offers something, it is made to someone. It can be done in front of the guþ of a god/dess, the picture of an Ancestor, a fire/candle, of a tree or a stone, it all depends on who we are invoking. If we are worshiping the waíhts that inhabit a tree or a rock, it can be less formal in any sense. We call it by its name, and then tell some friendly words. The same could be said when we invoke an Ancestral spirit. If we are invoking a god or goddess, then we can also list the names and titles he or she has and concerns to the reason you we calling that deity there. Ex: “*Wodans, God of the Dead, Guide of the Dead through their path…”
Petition — Once invoked, then the being invoked should be informed why it was done. You can ask for help in a given situation or anything else. By doing so you may also tell the Ancestor/deity/waíhts why you are doing it, to grant the effectiveness of the act. You can recount your or your Ancestors past deeds, as a way to show your mahts acquired through renown or fame. Ex.: “We called you here to help person x to find her way to their relatives through the underworld of the dead”.
Offering — Then we gift the Ancestor/god/waíhts that was invoked, leaving an offering. It is idealy a material offering like food, an alcoholic beverage, a ring or any kind of things that would please the invoked being. It is worthy to note that material gifts in the heathen times were almost even broken when offered, as a way of releasing the mahts of the gift and disable it for human usage. Food was left to any kind of savage or domestic animals eat as a signal of the acceptance of the offering, and liquid offerings were poured in the ground or fire (if it wasn’t extinguished for doing so).
Then, this is the basic technique of a heathen prayer. It can be developed when practiced, but the basic steps would be always rooted in it. It is up to the practioner to know which kind of being and who among the would be the most appropriate to be invoked in each situation. In Sáuilaþiudōs Haírþō we place the higher importance in Ancestor’s Worship, and we try to solve the things firstly through our own actions, then calling upon an Ancestral spirit, but, if the task is worthy of a god, then the offering should be equivalent. If the question is more local, concerned to the people of our family or immediate *innagards, calling upon the #cofgods# or *gardawaíhts as well as neighbouring *landwaíhtōs from a tree (it may be a stone or a mountain, if we have any of them here) is always pondered. That’s the way we in Sáuilaþiudōs Haírþō relate to the godly/spiritual beings, and are in no way the unique approach.
To these basic actions at least three can be added: the banishment, the purification and a farewell.
Banishment — Its purpose is to ward off harmful *waíhtōs that could intervene during the process, then it should be done before all the role prayer. The gardawaldands or can focuse his/her whole mahts through the thought, and then draw an *Algiz (ᛉ) rune, focusing in the idea of protection, building a spiritual barrier using the fingers, a candle or an incense stick, first in the East, then facing the South, then the West, and then the North, repeating the gesture in each one of these directions. One can do so also invoking his/her Ancestral spirits, and preferably then pouring beverage to them. Note: Yes, we know that is most unlikely that the ancient Suebi or Visigoths had made use of this rune for this purpose, as widely illiterate peoples, but the original rites are also definetely lost. Thus we created this type of use based in the meaning of the symbol.
Purification — It is up to the practioner to choose the complexity of this part of the process. In Sáuilaþiudōs Haírþō we find useful to make a less formal purification when doing an offering to lesser *waíhtōs and the *gardawaíhts, as well as a minor offering to our Ancestors, collectivelly or to a specific one, and the whole process when invoking a #cofgod#, an Ancestor or a god to a more formal purpose.
The simple purification can be done by washing the face and the hands focusing the whole thought in this act, maybe calling upon *Donaws, as a watery deity, to take the uncleanliness from the body and the soul, and restore purity again.
The complex process of purification can involve an almost entirely separate rite in itself. For more sacred purposes Sáuilaþiudōs Haírþō advises the use of a bowl of water and a focus of fire, like a candle. It is also advisable that any member who will join the ritual take a shower before it.
The practioner (if not alone, then being the gardawaldands) dips his hands in the bowl, and say:
“*Donaws, purify my hands,
So they can clean us
May my hands be the contact point
Between us and the Wise Ones“.
Then he or she puts all his mahts in this act, focusing the attention and channeling all what is unclean in the water. Then the practioner says as follows:
“*Donaws, purify my spirit, so I can cross
Through the river through the Rainbow Bridge.
May my intentions and my desire be pure,
May my relationships be healthy with anyone,
May I be true, may my kuni have honor
And be welcomed in the land of the Wise Ones“.
Then he or she puts all his mahts in the desire of spiritual cleanliness, and channels it through him or herself (as well as visualize it through the community, if he or she is not alone) while touching his or her forehead. Then the gardawaldands dips his hands in the water again and says, while touching his mouth:
“*Donaws, purify my intentions and my words
May they be sacred, may our oaths be object of our inner will,
May everything that come out from my mouth be sacred
And valorous and worthy of acceptance by the Wise Ones”.
Then the rite can go to the invokation.
Farewell — this is all about respect and is a bit less formal. The gardawaldands or the lonely practioner then thanks for the presence of all beings involved in the ritual and let them go, saying goodbye and calling the names of the most prominent beings evoked. If he or she have done a banishment, then it should be dismissed, in the four directions, starting then from the North, anticlockwise, until reach the East again. You can mentally erase the runes you have drawn, as well as visualizing the walls you created being broken down.
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After discussing the basic techniques of a ritual, that can be complemented in more complex events with prefaces, lectures or fore speechs, singing, hallowing, and end speechs, that can be developed by each gardawaldands in the manner he or she sees fitting better to the given rite, we will quickly discuss some particular ways of offering.
Offerings to the *gardawaíhts — This waíhts is one of the closest (or the closest) spirit or being of a *haírþō. Then the offerings can be done in a less formal manner (Invocation-Offering, or Invocation-Petition-Offering). It is advisable to make regular weekly or daily offerings as a way of keeping him closer, happy and helpful. In Scandinavia, it is said that the tomte of a farmstead likes bread and butter. It is advisable to left the butter upon the bread, to avoid problems. Milk, sometimes alcoholic beverage, rice with beans, cooked manioc, and sweet potato can be good offerings also. If a practioner lives in an apartment, then it is advisable to find a good tree in a park and become acquainted with its waíhts, and after a 24 hour period take the offerings to this place. We place our offerings first before our altar and then we discard then. Be sure that they will not polute the place where you are discarding it to the *ūtagards’ *landwaíhtōs and thus avoiding to make them angry with you. We in our *haírþō also intent to make the offerings in a regular period of time, like Sunday’s morning, as the start of a new week.
Offerings to the *landwaíhtōs — We do not see them generally as our friends in Sáuilaþiudōs Haírþō. However, working with them is a taming attitude towards the spiritual *ūtagards around the physical and spiritual community of a Heathen. Develop and befriend some of them and adjust them in our *innagards is the objective of this practice. Those that accept to join the gift cycle of our *haírþō by taking our offerings then became part of our tribal identity, and we then relate in a dividuate manner with them, although the relationship with them is a bit less direct. We then offer cooked manioc, sweet potato, rice and beans, couscous, guava and other fruits, mango, a beverage, specially pinga, as our *landwaíhtōs are native, and we leave these offerings at a little stone gathered for this purpose, placed near a lemon tree, and cover them with dry straw of bean trees in order to not draw attention. We often follow the Invocation-Offering format, and less commonly we also make a Petition. There are two more sacred trees in our household is a hog plum (Spondias mombim) taken from the lands of my mother’s family and planted here, as well as a mango tree that was taken from there, from an old tree that saw many of my Ancestors living. Offers to them are also of presence and care, and we carry more intimacy when relating to them.
Offerings to the Ancestors — Well, this part is complex. Each person has its own preferred gifts. And they die. What was appreciated by someone when living was will be also a good offering to that people after his or her death. Yam, couscous, cassava flour, cooked manioc, jerked beef, sweet potato are some of the most characteristic foods. Pinga and alcoholic beverages are somewhat avoided to our Ancestors, as none of them liked it too much while living, but tobacco was very appreciated among them. Fruits like guava, mango and other characteristic types are also good offerings in our *haírþō to our Ancestors. They are left, in normal occasions, at our altar, and after an around 24 hour period, we discard them at the same stone we customary left the offerings to the *landwaíhtōs. We follow most of time a Simple Purification-Invocatin-Petition-Oferring format when relating to them.
#Blót# and #Sumbl# —
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The following dates are adapted to follow the seasonal events of the Southern Hemisphere. This section contains some reconstructed words and ideas from Gutiska Haiþnis Galaubeins. The names here still may contain some grammatical errors.
*Aíƕablōtan — (*Aíƕasáuþs), literally “horse sacrifice” (from both the Old Norse Freyfaxi and the Haustablót) is held in 22nd March in the Southern Hemisphere, during the Autumn Equinox. In the past the Germanic heathen peoples sacrificed a horse in honour of *Fráuja to grant good harvest. Today minor practices may be done, such as food offerings.
*Wintrunáhtōs — the winter nights (30th April). It is the beginning of the Wild Hunt, when *Gwodans rides through the sky with the spirits of the dead. It is wise to do offerings of alcohol to him and his companions to make sure they won’t mess with you. The Wild Hunt is also a good time to stay closer to your own *innagards, as well as dedicate yourself to your spiritual side(s).
*Midjunwintrublōta — the sacrifices or offerings due to the beginning of the winter and the winter solstice are held in 21st June.
*Juleis — (21st or 23rd June). The end af the Wild Hunt and the cycle of time. A perfect time for feasts gathering the whole *innagards, and #symbel# to ensure the strenghtening of the community’s bounds.
*Þunrablōtan — on 14th July offerings of goat flesh and ale to *Þunrs as a way to ask for his protection during the winter.
*Blótan to *Deisós and *Albeis — in 31st July generous sacrifices and offerings are left to the strongest Ancestors of one’s kuni to ensure prosperity and wellfare.
*Áustrō — Spring equinox. In 23rd September are held the rituals of renovation. Fruits and juices can be offered as gifts to de goddess *Áustrō. Cerimonial fire is also lit through the fire of the *haírþō as an offering to Sáuil in thankfulness for her arrival.
*Zisa festival — in 28th day of September, games and feasts take place as a way to honour *Zisa.
*Airizanadaga — in 2nd November, as a traditional holyday, we can deepen it’s meaning, and make sure that good offerings are made to our personal ancestors, and that we will make the possible to visit them and keep straight bounds.
*Miþasans — Summer solstice (21st December). The beginning of the summer. Bonfires are lit in honor of the powerful goddess Sáuil. This day can held public celebrations and dances. It is a moment of happiness, pleasure and to thanks for the year that passed.
* * *
This is one of the most complex themes of our practice in Alþeis Sidus. As we already said, Ancestors worship is one of the main focuses of our practices. However, it is not clearly distinguished of the whole body of our sidus. It overpasses our heroes’ worship, our praxis of reciprocity through the gifting cycle, our festivals and has no less importance than the gods’ worship.
To reconstruct the Ancestors Worship we recurred to its remnants through the North Germanic written sources, as well as the Chinese and African Ancestors Worship, as they are still alive and are far more documented.
In Alþeis Sidus, as in Chinese folk religion, a person is thought to have multiple souls, there categorized as hun and po, and as body and dream soul to us. Upon death, separate. Generally, in Chinese Religion, the former ascends into heaven and latter descends into the earth and/or resides within a spirit tablet; however, in China beliefs concerning the number and nature of souls vary. In Alþeis Sidus some of the souls of a deceased then stay in the body (*hugs, *muns), and some of them are guided by *Wodans to the underworld of de dead. In accordance with these traditional beliefs, various practices have arisen to address the perceived needs of the deceased. As no one in our *hairþō died since we started to develop the reconstruction of Alþeis Sidus, the following ideas on the treatment of a person in mourning, funeral and burial are still speculative.
In Chinese folk religions, the mourning of a loved one usually involves elaborate rituals, which vary according to region and sect. The intensity of the mourning is thought to reflect the quality of relationship one had with the deceased. From the time of Confucius until the 20th century, a three-year mourning period was often prescribed, mirroring the first three years in a child’s life when they are utterly dependent upon and loved unconditionally by their parents. These mourning practices would often include wearing sackcloth or simple garb, leaving hair unkempt, eating a restricted diet of congee two times a day, living in a mourning shack placed beside the house, and moaning in pain at certain intervals of the day. It is said that after the death of Confucius his followers engaged in this three-year mourning period to symbolize their commitment to his teachings.
In Chinese folk religions, funerals are considered to be a part of the normal process of family life, serving as a cornerstone in inter-generational traditions. The primary goals, regardless of religious beliefs, are to demonstrate obeisance and provide comfort for the deceased. Other goals include: to protect the descents of the deceased from malevolent spirits and to ensure the proper separation and direction of the deceased’s soul into the afterlife.
Some common elements of Chinese funerals include the expression of grief through prolonged, often exaggerated wailing; the wearing of white mortuary clothes by the family of the deceased; a ritual washing of the corpse, followed by its attiring in grave clothes; the transfer of symbolic goods such as money and food from the living to the dead; the preparation and installation of a spirit tablet or the use of a personator (shi), often symbolic. Sometimes, ritual specialists such as Taoist priests or Buddhist monks would be hired to perform specific rites, often accompanied by the playing of music or chanting of scripture to drive away evil spirits.
Among the Germanic heathens of the old times, it was very common to bury them in a single mound, generation after generation, and these mounds are viewed as sacred, as the home of the Ancestors, as well as a gate to their land. Warriors or noble persons could be burnt, and is not rare to found burials that or are ships themselves, or stones placed in the format of a ship. There are no living detailed attestations on how the burial of the dead in Norse or other Germanic peoples could happen.
Burial is often delayed according to wealth in Chinese ethinic religions; the coffin would remain in the main room of the family home until it has been properly prepared for burial. More traditionally, this delay is pre-determined according to social status: the corpse of a king or emperor would be held in abeyance for seven months; magnates, five; other officers, three; commoners, one.
In Chinese Folk religions, some instances, a “lucky burial” can take place several years after the burial. The bones are dug up, washed, dried, and stored in an earthenware jar. After a period of storage, the contents are then interred in their final resting place in a location selected by an augur to optimize the flow of qi. A bad qi flow could result in a disgruntled spirit who could possibly haunt their descendants. Among the Germanic heathens, sometimes a dead spirit could haunt the living community, and could be decaptated and even burnt after the burial to bring peace back to the community. In Alþeis Sidus we understand that the correct rites towards the dead ones can ensure and maximize the mahts (akin to Chinese qi) of a kuni, family or tribe.
Among the living Chinese peoples the deceased would often be buried with sacrifices, typically things one was thought to be in need of in the afterlife. This was done as a symbolic demonstration of filial piety or grandeur. For the wealthy and powerful, bronze vessels, oracle bones, and human or animal sacrifices often accompanied the deceased into the grave. More common sacrifices included candles and incense, as well as offerings of wine and food. In the Germanic heathen burials we also can find several goods buried with a person, weapons, food, objects, money, or even more complicated artifacts, depending on their importance and wealth.
Among the Germanic peoples, the burial of the kings and chieftains often had human or animal sacrifices associated to their deaths; and it is said that the king Frey had gold and silver offerings placed in his burial mound even three years after his death, and that the king Halfdan the Black had his body divided in four parts, each of which being carried to a region of his kingdom, to ensure the luck of the inhabitants.
After the funeral, Chinese families often install an ancestral tablet at a household altar alongside other deceased ancestors. This act symbolically unifies the Ancestors and honors the family lineage. Incense is lit before the altar daily, significant announcements are made before them, and offerings such as favorite foods, beverages, and spirit money are given bi-monthly and on special occasions, such as Qingming Festival and Ghost Festival. In Alþeis Sidus we maintain tablets with bindrunes that represent each of our most remembered and important Ancestors.
Prayer was usually performed at the household altar in a separate room containing the po of their ancestors, among the Chinese. The eldest male would speak to the altar on a regular basis. In some belief systems where special powers are ascribed to the deceased, he may supplicate the spirit to bless the family.
* * *
Behavioural sidus (or ethics): *þaws
This part of the sidus is a bit hard to distinguish. If all our religion is cointained within sidus, it is contained within *þaws. Our *þaws is the guide of our witōþ (law) and *þaws guides sidus, while our sidus also guides our *þaws. Sidus is the application of our *þaws. Sidus can develop faster than *þaws, once it is delimited by it, but *þaws also also adjust to the sidus, from time to time, as witōþ also is modified to accompany the guidelines of *þaws. *Þaws is roughly what is called in Western societies as “ethics”. In a sense, *þaws is very similar to orþanc, the tribal heritage, although orþanc also carries a genetic sense.
We reconstruct *þaws through the Suebi. The Old Saxon word thau and the Old High German *dou may provide enough evidence that the Suebi understood “Sitte” (sidus) as somewhat different from thau. Then we will use the reconstructed Gothic word *þaws as a cognate of the Old English word þēaw. It is sure that or the Suebi or else the Visigoths (and maybe both) had this concept, once the Suebi were West Germanic and the Visigothic were also continental Germanic. However, as the attestions of þēaw in Anglo-Saxon are somwhat poor (excepting the Beowulf poem), we consulted also the Chinese concept of Li (禮) in Confucianism, as a living source for comparation.
Let’s start with the point that is already familiar to us. Þēaw and Li are both related to the Greek concept of ἦθος, “ethos” (“habit”, “custom”), which gave birth to both our concepts of “ethics” and “aesthetics”. Ethics refers to the best way for people to live and the actions that are right or wrong in particular circumstances. In practice, ethics seeks to resolve questions of human morality by defining concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime. Ethics, through the Roman colonizations, become the way that Westerns understood these concepts even in the present day. It is also linked in Germanic languages to words for “heathen”, in the sense of the norms or customs of a people.
Þēaw in Anglo-Saxon sources is “habit”, “customs”, and its plural þēawas means “customs”, “virtue”. According to Bosworth-Toller’s dictionary, it means “a custom, usage, general practice of a community”, “mode of conduct, custom, manner, practice, way, usage of a class or kind”, then referring to humans, animals as well as “inanimate” beings and all created things, “practice of religion, method of belief, way of thinking, legal usage” and “a custom, habit, manner, mode of conduct of an individual; the pl. often may be rendered by conduct, behaviour”. This Anglo-Saxon word is hardly distinguishable from sidu, and the difference may be more in the usage than a matter of understanding.
Li encompasses a constellation of related meanings, including “ritual action,” “propriety,” “customs,” “etiquette,” “morals,” and “rules of proper behavior”. According to the scholar Wing-tsit Chan, li originally meant “a religious sacrifice but has come to mean ceremony, ritual, decorum, rules of propriety, good form, good custom, etc., and has even been equated with Natural Law”. In all cases, the term li refers to a range of human activities (from ancestor worship to dinner-table etiquette) and the attitudes of propriety that stimulate and reinforce them. The general Confucian perspective is that the cultivation of these activities and attitudes promotes peace, harmony, and proper governance within society. Li is the mechanism by which all of life is ritualized and declared “sacred” in a sense. Through it, life is properly ordered and harmony is established. Although the concept of li existed in ancient ritualized ancestor worship in a limited and narrowly religious form, Confucius broadened it to apply to all activities in life so that all of life takes on the air of religiousness or seriousness. Bowing in greeting to someone, wearing certain colors of clothing on certain days, behaving in certain ways around those older than you, observing proper manners at a meal or meeting, and so much more – all these are examples of li in everyday life. However, it is not a mechanical behaviour, it must be done, according to Confucius own words, in a true way, putting the inner personal emotion in the act.
In the Beowulf poem þēaw appears a couple of times, being the most prominent when the poet narrates that
“Sometimes at pagan shrines they (the people) vowed
offerings to idols, swore oaths
that the killers of souls might come to their aid
and save the people. That was their way (þēaw)
their heathenish hope; deep in their hearts
they remembered hell”.
Beowulf, lines 175-180.
But the conception of þēaw is not delimited by religious practices. It is also mentioned that the king Hrothgar gifted the hero Beowulf after he has killed the monster Grendel, according to their þēaw. Meanwhile in China, the rites of li are not rites in the Western conception of religious custom. Rather, li embodies the entire spectrum of interaction with humans, nature, and even material objects.
So, although the difference between sidus and and *þaws be almost confusing, it does exist. Sidus is the way the customs happens, and *þaws why they should happen in that way. Sidus is the custom in action, *þaws is the customary way of think about the reality. So, sidus simply is. We worship our Ancestors today because it was a custom (sidus) in the past, but also because this is a noble attitude or custom (*þaws) towards our Ancestors. Witōþ (law) emanates from *þaws, and is a natural consequence of it, as it is the legal form of the consented *þaws of a folk. It is legal to punish someone through the law if he didn’t respect the *þaws.
Thus *þaws is the correct pattern of behaviour, the honorable way of acting according to what is recognized as right and worthy by the kuni or tribe, *þaws is the right action, no matter if it is an ethic behaviour towards the humans, the nature or the divine, *þaws is the spirit and soul of the kuni that is transmited though the relationality between the older members to the newers of a kuni and sometimes chaged to fit in the evolution of the community. It is conservative by its own nature, but not conservative in the sense that Western politics understand it: *þaws is guided by the sense of preservation of a set of ideas, but also to protect the persons and the communty that carries it. The reiks and the gardawaldands are the liable persons to keep the *þaws of a *haírþō or kuni.
*Þaws itself can be manifested also in a myriad of values. They are not commandments, nor inspired, nor they have nothing to do with the nine noble virtues of other Norse Pagan communities. We will cover some of them quickly (and this list will probably grow):
Ancestral piety — Our Ancestors are the holiest part of our *innagards. They are not far from us, they are within us, with us, they are the past we refuse to let die in our minds, once they are alive still alive, even after death, as we can’t see it as a break, rather as a change in the way of being. Keep their memories, worship them, respect them and honour them through actions. Our devotion to our Ancestors are result of the love we have for them, their ways, and their lives.
Localism — Helping your kuni, tribe, community, family or immediate environment, developing good relationships and reciprocity is better than encompass the whole world. Your immediate local community, your *innagards ir worthier of care than the chaotic outside world. Practice all values within your community always, and outside it whenever is possible — but withiut trying to absorb it. However, what is not your *innagards or community is not worst or non-human, it simply isn’t your community.
Honour — It seems to be obvious, eh? It isn’t. Honour is a very complex idea, if compared to our Western concept of honour. It is not individual. In our Western society honour is something that you recognize in yourself and no one can take it from you. Well, this was not the case in the heathen times. Honour could be easily taken and then a bloody feud to recover the honour of the offendend had begun. Honour and revenge were two faces of the same idea. While honour was appreciated, and given to and individual by the community, if someone else don’t recognize and attacks it, well, you had to protect it by any means necessary. Today, the honour could be seen as a royalty of spirit, once our law doesn’t allow blood feuds. Honour is what compels a member of a tribe to take revenge for another injured member. Honour is a collective characteristic, given or denied externally. The honour of someone was the honour of his or her tribe, if he was an honoured person, then he wasn’t able to be considered in this way if his tribe was known as oath-breaker, or dishonoured.
Loyalty — This is a natural consequence of the relationality of the personality of the tribe. Loyalty is nothing hard to achieve; in essence absence of loyalty was punishable in the heathen times through death or banishment. The tribe acts, thinks and exists as a body, and all parts must be connected, so it can be safe to all. If the loyalty is broken, one part begins to strife against the others, and everybody ends up being injured. The tribe is only a tribe when all the parts are devoted to each other. Loyalty and honour are also interwoven, since what we should do is act as if we weren’t two persons, but actually one, through various bodies.
Frankness — As a consequence of loyalty and honour is frankness or honesty. We do prefer “frankness” because it comes from Old French franc (“free”), in turn from the name of the early Germanic confederation of the Franks. Be a frank person, then, is to be true to the spirit of our own people, as the franks were to themselves. Be frank is to recognize the common identity and the necessity to keep the truth in our words, oaths and thoughts. Frankness is a purity of spirit and speech that make all the bodies bound in one spirit, as the hands are true to the mouth and the feet. Lying to yourself is harmful, and it is the same when the concept of “self” is applied to a dividual collective identity rather than an individual one. Frankness keep the spirit of the tribe protected and their souls safe, as they know they can trust each other.
Common Sense — This is often remembered through the eddaic poem Hovamol. Common sense is the mind accuracy that can focus ones mind between as well as beyond the extremes, escape from the opinions in the seek for the ‘utilitarian’ truth. It is both the discernment towards the things and events around and withing one’s *innagards as well as in the care of one’s self. It is good to drink, but is not good too much nor a little too much. Common sense was appreciated over the arrogance, extremism and pride, as one can’t act independently from its tribe or kuni, in a way that can harm its *freiþs.
Luck — Luck is not a pattern of behaviour that can be emulated as the rest of these. As said above, it is acquired by birth. Nevertheless, luck was also very appreciated by the members of the kuni once it could help the maintenance of the collective*freiþs and *þaws.
Reciprocity — It is the core of *þaws. Through it emanates the personality, the *freiþs, and the whole worldview of the tribe or kuni. It is expressed through all the values of *þaws and the gifting cycle. Reciprocity is also a consequence of the dividuality of the soul and the need of keep harmony. It is far more than the Christian poor understanding of it that only can see “a tooth for a tooth and an eye for an eye”. It is also the absence of selfishness, the feeling of paying what was given in the proper manner, than exchanging mahts through the *innagards.
*Freiþs — This concept is attested as friðr through Old Norse literature, but it seems to be barely a good understanding of the whole concept translate it simply as “peace”. The Common Germanic root *frī means “love” and comes from the Proto-Indo-European root *prī, which gave birth to the various “beloved” chiefgoddesses like Frigg or Freyja. It is also alive in names like Friedrich or Frederick and its meaning could comprise also concepts of happiness and mainly harmony. Thus *freiþs is the whole concept of well being, welfare and a feeling of security transmitted from one member to another of the tribe. It is the whole aim of the practice of Alþeis Sidus, and only can be achieved under the functioning of every aspect of the worldview in a natural manner in the live of each member of a kuni or tribe. In our *haírþō we also see *freiþs as the consequence of living in harmony with the natural laws, respecting the other-than human environment, and the honored human laws, by carrying out the duties and responsibilities appropriate to one’s position in society. It is a collective achievement of a kuni or tribe, not an individual one.
* * *
Understanding the relationship towards the *innagards and *ūtagards
According to our *haírþō’s view, the ineherent magic of the hearth cult is to bring back importance to the people that are closest us. I know that, like me, today most of people found and practice Heathenry alone. But my *haírþō wants to revive the old customs of our Ancestors, and we understand that the better way to do this is take a tribalist approach to religion rather than an individualistic one. In the past the culture was born and growth as a social interaction among a given community. Today, it can rise from our own individual effort, as a start point. Rather than practicing a ‘personal’ religion, we chose develop a collective set o customs that can be taught to our sons, as well as develop rites that can be done either alone or not, and we have a ‘dividual’ approach to the relationship between one’s self within our *haírþō and the non-human or other-than-human world around us. Our rituals doesn’t happen only as a way of strenghtening a individual connection to gods, rather they aim to reinsert our *haírþō in the cosmic order, that is, the heathen perception of the world, which is inherently natural to makind. It also aims to benefit our family and *innagards for doing so. It is not an easy work, it shouldn’t be. However, what our *haírþō proposes with Alþeis Sidus is that we ‘retribalize’ our minds, and daily lives, take back the tribal way of living, and experience it in the 21st century. What Sáuilaþiudōs Haírþō aims through Alþeis Sidus is that its members create a new ethnicity based in the historical reconstruction of the worldview of the Suebi and Visigoths. Within our *haírþō the established law, custom and worldview is the law of our *innagards. But they should be easily recognizable for other Heathens, as it already happens among the Anglo-Saxon Heathen community. The worldview, due to its collective characteristic, inserts each *haírþō in the same spiritual community. This is why Alþeis Sidus lay so much effort in the collective worldview and reconstructionism: thus we feel that we can really practice a religion as close as its native context as possible, respecting the ways of our Ancestors and really departing from the religions we aim to leave, instead of still thinking and acting under its unconscious laws.
This is why the social aspect of Alþeis Sidus is a hearth-focused religion, and emphasizes the collective approach, the exchange of gifts and mahts, the do ut des relationship with the godly and spiritual world, because ours is in an orthopratic approach, based on right action instead of the right faith, or orthodoxy. This doesn’t means that the beliefs have no place in Alþeis Sidus, and specially as Sáuilaþiudōs Haírþō practices it, rather that the beliefs are a consequence of our rituals, deeds and actions. We believe because we do, we don’t simply do because we believe. Strenghtening the relationship between us and our whole *innagards, our spiritual environment gives back to us tangible and effective results. The old customs are not dead, and they aren’t completely forgot. It is up to us to revive them in our lives today.
It could sound a bit odd for those familiar with revealed religions, but spending time together with your family or those who inhabits the same place as you, no matter if they are heathens, is a true heathen practice. Caring for them, hearing them, talking to them, living with them. I know it is not possible in many cases, but it shouldn’t be an excuse for those who can do it. If one really can’t do that with his family I’m sure that everyone can build an *innagards based in various different types of relationship. We don’t need to heathenize everybody around us nor force our worldview, we just need to avoid that they deheathenize us. We can act like a Native American within the civilization; keep the values we reconstructed and share it with those who want to learn and share them with us. We could certainly teach our sons; they will get a mindset by growing, and we can make sure that it will be a Heathen one. There are nothing wrong with this. The Jews doesn’t addopted the external worldview, rather they adapted their own culture and also the culture around them, as well as their mindset and ethnic religion to the world outside without losing the core of it.
In the Heathen times, *innagards had a very strong local sense. One’s life would be lived almost always with those that shared the same house as you or the people within the boundaries of the farmstead they lived in. The enclosure of a given heathen community was where the life itself should be safe, full of *freiþs and the gifting cycle ensured that the collective mahts was at high levels. Today, for those living in an urban landscape, it should be of great help constructing true, strong and sincere relationships whenever is possible.
If you know that you have a friend and that he is true,
and that you will get good from him,
share your mind with him, exchange gifts,
and visit him often.
(Hovamol, stanza 44)
Sharing one’s mind have many implications. It could refer to the simple act of telling what you feel, but, while doing so, we are strenghtening a bond with others, and it will have many consequences. Today everyone also may have some friends living far, some internet friends, but we also may find good people around you in your work, school, or anywhere we find ourselves. Even if the boundaries of *innagards couldn’t be seen delimited by the land, they will certainly be very clear in our mind. Gifts create presence, and we can put our inner spiritual essence (mahts) in relationships we identified as healthy, and keep them with reciprocity bonds.
Then *innagards and *ūtagards are an eternal game of building and recognizing a common identity or we-ness between us and those we want to keep around us, as well as care for them, and keep those harmful or selfish people outside in the chaos of *ūtagards, the otherness. Within the boundaries of the kuni or fadreis we aim to act in a peaceful and harmonic way; outside it we should protect the collective honor of the close people to us. The heathen tribal identity is thus shared, ‘dividual’, divided between us and our *innagards and not delimited to our own self alone. Keep the reciprocity and the gifting cycle is keep our most inner harmony. As the Eddaic poem Hovamol says (stanzas 41-2):
Friends should share joy in weapons
and clothes that are evident to one another.
Those who share gifts stay the fastest friends,
when things go well.
A man shall ever be a friend to his friends
and give gift for gift,
laughter for laughter,
but give lies for lies.
Develop, create and transmit myths and stories from our hearth (*hairþō) and tribe.
* * *
Witōþ: the Visigothic law
witōþ, n. law | see witan, watch; *witan, to know
Your *innagards is Holy. Live for it or die for it.
Rebuild and apply, as far as possible, the worldview of the Elder Heathens.
Worry about your kin and tribe. *ūtagards is its own responsability. Your reputation is the reputation of his kin and his tribe. Keep it.
* * *
- Magic, Witchcraft and Sorcery
As all the things and beings possess at least one spirit or waíhts, one can manipulate these spirits consciously trough several ways, or using his/her own mahts as a way to shape reality according one’s own will.
Mahts — Reconstructed idea from Old Norse megin and Old English mæġen (and thanks to Sundorwīc). This is a energy, a life force, power, might and can be used for any physical or magical purposes. Mahts can can be earned through renown, through deeds, through gifts, through healthy relationships with the human and natural environment, once every single being, from Sáuil to tree or a stone or any kind of animal, have mahts. It can be lost by bad actions, bad relationships with gods and waíhtōs or used to make rituals, sorcery, magic or witchcraft. It can be used also as a way of strenghtening the bounds of a kuni with other tribes or kuni. Mahts is not only a spiritual power.
*Haljaruna — A heathen Gothic belief in witches is attested with the story of the haliurun(n)ae (c.f. Anglo-Saxon hellrúne) who were expelled from the tribe by king Filimer, after which they mated with evil spirits and gave birth to the Huns, who eventually destroyed the Gothic empire. Wolfram compares the rejection of necromancy or witchcraft by the Goths with the heathen Scandinavian rejection of the seiðr of Finnic sorcerers or shamans. witchcraft – lubjaleisei
* * *
*Hairþō — It is the most basic place where Alþeis Sidus suggest that the religious practices may happen. It is the fire of one’s gards (home), found most likely or in the place where the family stay together most of time, else the stove or the place where the fire makes the food of one’s family. By extension, the gards itself could be known as a *hairþō, once it is where the genius loci and friendly waíhtōs gather themselves together. Around the *hairþō’s fire the Ancestral family, the living family and the spiritual wights that inhabit a given gards can be found together, sharing the flame of life.
Gardawaldands — Master of the household (heiwafráuja, wm. master of a house). He is the most important reconstructionist and keeper of the tradition. He works in order to revive and maintain the heathen worldvision, culture and worship in his or her own *hairþō.
Reiks — He is the tribal chieftain and the local guardian of the ethnic tradition of a kuni. This was expressed starkly in the Gothic persecution of Christians in the 370s, when the reiks Aþanareiks saw their tradition threatened by the Roman religion, responding by the persecution of converted Goths (but not of Christian foreigners). The reiks is the political-religious leader of a kuni, a ruler, judge and prince, bearing any semblance to the Northern jarl.
Kuni — The center of the Heathen cult is the village or clan, and the ritual sacrificial meal held by the villagers under the leadership of the reiks, during the ancient heathen times.
* * *
- Reconstruct and transmit the stories of origin, development, achievements and deeds concerning the Suebi, Vandals and Visigoths (to develop).
- Reconstruct, register and transmit family history (develop).
hēþjō, wf. chamber, room
ahma, wm. spirit
innakunds, aj. of the same household
*ūtakunds, aj. from outside of the household
blōtan, sv. VII, to worship, reverence, honour; akin to OE blōtan, OHG bluozan (to sacrifice)
swēran, to honour | swērei, wf honour | swēriþa, sf honour
weihabagms, sacred tree
brunna, wm. well, spring, fountain, issue
Words needing to be converted into reconstructed Gothic
(please, if you are a linguist or skilled in Gothic language and have any guess on how those words can be brrowed into Gothic, left your comment below)
hearth, heorþ -> *hairþō?
wight, vættr, wiht -> waíhts, pl. waíhtōs
house wight, húsvættir -> *Gardawaíhts
landwights, landwihta, landvættir -> *landwaíhtōs?
cofgods, cofgodas -> *?
friðr -> *freiþs
hugr -> *hugs?
munr -> *muns?
ætt -> fadreins?
tomte -> *?
inner yard, innangarðr, innangeard -> *innagards
outer yard, útangarðr, utangeard -> *ūtagards
weird, wyrd, urðr, *wurdiz -> waúrtans?
*uzlaga, ørlög, orlæg -> *uslag?
blót -> *?
sumbl, symbel, -> *?
Norn -> *?
Norns, Nornir -> *?
mæġen, megin -> mahts?
Secondary names needing translation:
Gungnir -> *?
Yggdrasil -> *?
Sleipnir -> *?
Jormungandr -> *?
Valkyrja -> *walakusjo, pl *walakusjōns
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15th july 2017
- After the major editing I did last weeks, now I’ll slowly add new informations.
- I found some days ago Garmangabis. She is added as a Suebian goddess.
- Tacitus mentions a Isis of the Suebi in Germania. Then, I’ll critically compare it and syncretize some of her characteristics with *Zisa.