Welcome to Everything you want to know about The Celts

Hello there! We are a modern day Northern European Style tribe called Maers Khohias. We are of both Norse and Celtic decent here. Come sit. Warm yourself by our fire!! We want you to feel at home as we share some of our Celtic tribe's hospitality. Come. Join in our sitting circle, round the central cauldron and have something to eat, in our Celtic round house. Once fed, sit back, relax, read and listen to some of our stories. Here you will find great information, taking you back in time to meet the ancestors.

If you have the opportunity to come in person to Crawford Bay, BC and take in our courses taught at our school, you'll hear more information, on the Celts and the Vikings, not shared here, as well as live music. We'd love to hear your stories too!!

In no time, you'll be dancing, sharing some good mead or ale and adding to the rooms boasts and toasts.
We Northern European Celts and Vikings are waiting for you.

Having and event? We offer lots of props to choose from as well as great musicians and entertainers. This will be the icing for your Celtic or Viking medieval style event. Need some costumes or warrior gear? We shall help you there too. ... Or Maybe you are the studious type and want to study Celtic ritual, dance, music and beliefs, or have a you have a gift. If so you might want to take a course from our Druid/Bard schools. See here.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Who Invented the Runes - Germanic, Anglo-Saxon or Norse Tribes? What are they?

Is there really Differences between Germanic and Norse
& their Claim on the Invention of Runes

by Laurie-Lee Mills

The fight over the Runes, being mostly claimed by either Norse or Germans, is just plain silly. There are some people who believe that Norse and German are separate people and others believe the Germans are Norse. It gets so complicated because these seekers tend to look at the area on the map today and totally overlook migration dates nor do they realize there were no such borders in ancient times. In actuality, all the tribes of Europe are one people who spread out to different areas and slowly DNA changed to suit their surroundings and life style. This has been proven by one of the worlds leading DNA experts Brian Sykes. Check my DNA story.  Besides the fact is there is no such thing as a pure race then and especially today, that is a whole other issue and not the topic. Today, we are trying to find the truth about Runic origin BUT in order to do so we have to discuss the differences of these peoples.

It is a dire fact, that before the formation of independent national identities, there was no divergence in each region's cultural traditions, as there is proof globally. Every bloody culture in the world have the four directions, gods each representing the same things (tribes had different names but similar stories), and all had similar beliefs and traditions. This too is argued about by many people who only study one culture.  if they study them all they would discover this and we  can see that there is no reason for argument.  We are all one.  Each tribe developed their own clothing style and so on so but there is no exactness or an umbrella sameness with a culture.  Whether you study African beliefs, Celtic beliefs, Norse or Scandinavian culture - there is no set of beliefs for it.  Why?  Every single tribe had their own Gods they believed they descended from. In other words every single tribe is different yet similar.  Check the 1st Nations people and see for yourself.  There is no North American Indian belif system.  Each and every tribe has their own and would be insulted if you expected Pawnee for example, to be the same as Cree. So quit arguing people. Lets have the world focus on the similarities like we do in Maers Khohias. In Maers Khohias, we focus on similarities and embrace the world as a whole.  Come join us, our ancestors are calling.   Although I wrote another article on this it is important to this topic to briefly skim again.

So we've established that each Germanic tribe, was separate and unique forming their own commonalities but it is the similarities of religion, language, and culture which is the same as the Ancient Greek, Celts, Romans and Scandinavian cultures. Yet somehow this pan-Germanic faith is what modern day 'Heathens' have now called Asatru which is a Norse religion. Yet ancient Germanic people were not at all Norse. Early Germanic peoples came up from Spain after the ice age and had already created powerful empires in Spain, Carthage, France, England, and Italy before they stayed in what is now thought to be German territory.  They were Celtic as that is exactly the place the Celtic cultures were at an earlier time. Now check out the waves of migration - The Germanic people are also called Teutonic which were Gothic styled persons and they were Celts. The Franks are a mix of Germanic peoples who moved down into the area now known as France and mixed with those called the Gauls, also Celts. They mixed blood with the Salians. Frisians are ancestors of modern day Dutch.  The Alemanni, Burgundians, Franks, Lombards (ancestors of Northern Italians), Visigoths (from Spain and Portugese) Spain is where Celts back came from after iceage - proven from DNA now), Angles, Jutes and Saxons (all mixed and became Anglo-Saxons (later the English).  All branches from the same tree, speaking similar languages. Are whites a pure race?  I think not.  There were no borders of today either.

Moving along to the 6th century until the 11th.  Some of the Germanic tribes, Angles, Jutes and Saxons (but not the Franks), decided to conquer the eastern British Isles. In this move they subjugated those the British Celts (Bretons, Iceni and more) and thus created the English speaking Kingdom.  These groups of people overtime became Anglo-Saxons. By the 10th century, the early foundations of the Danish, Norwegian (Norway), and Swedish nations began changing their pagan (nature beliefs) beliefs to the spread of Christianity (man made beliefs).  They were all to converted by the 12th century.

Norsemen were the Danes, Norwegian and Sweden only thus Asatru is not Germanic at all. A must know for all Asatru people is this - The Pan-German movement was stated by a German named Alldeutscher Verband who was an extreme nationalist and started a political interest organization officially founded in 1891. It was done because of the Anglo-German Agreement. A Treaty signed the year before on the 1st of July 1890. It was an agreement between the UK and the German Empire concerning mainly territorial interests. I do not think the “modern “Heathen faiths” realize that implication as 95% of newbies are not traditionally trained anymore.  So Asatru should stay far clear from that. Sadly, most of these uneducated groups, started after pushing away from the new eclectic style Wiccan groups in the 1990's.  We see all of a sudden heretical or fam trads, and fairy faiths and a whole bunch of other nonsense.  Claiming a heretical line is so far fetched as we all come from Europe and not one family has proved yet, that they had any tradition intact from ancient times.  This is because somebody started the allowance of non-traditional making it okay to skip proper procedures and start “Self-Initiations. So in the 2000's modern day Scandinavian & Celtic reconstructional groups began popping up. 

The Norsemen spoke Old Norse, which they even called dönsk tunga (the Danish tongue) not German. If you are interested in this stuff, please direct your attention to a wonderful URL – http://euroheritage.net/eddaintro.shtml. Here you can see clearly the mix of Celts and Viking cultures.  Now that we have that settled, lets get on to the 'claiming of the Runes;

Runes who claims to have Invented them?
Now during the period from 550-750 AD, rapid linguistic changes occurred, as it seems there was a split in the Danes related to Swedish tribes. Some went south and west. During this time their language was no barrier in communicating with tribes across the lands; from Greenland to the Baltic, nearly the same language was spoken throughout, yet each tribe's homeland could be identified by his accent. Then a significant difference changed between the Norse (Sweden and Denmark) and West tribes (Norway and the Atlantic settlements such as Iceland).

Runes were finally replaced by the Latin alphabet by the 11th century everywhere on the continent. Runic language survived along with the Odinic religion in the isolated princedoms of Iceland by Canada until the 16th century. Even their Skalds, (Norse equivalent for a Celtic Bard - poets), immortalized and codified their heritage and myths in the Nordic Eðða from the 13th-15th centuries. Snorri Sturlusson (1178-1241), is the person who documented this belief system in a text book to learn about Priestly poetry. The writings offer the main source for modern Odinists today. 

The Norse might be the people who created the Runic Alphabet but no one knows for sure.  Obviously one man in a tribe created them but which area they actually came from. We will NEVER know.  We do know that Runes were used for centuries since Christianity became popular in about the 500's, especially in the Sweden area.  

Odinic remains can also be found in landmark churches called “The Stavkirke” (Stave-Church) found all throughout Scandinavia areas where Pre-Christian religious beliefs lasted longer than other areas of Europe. Some more Primitive ones have been found in Russia, Ukraine, and Germany, unfortunately Christianity destroyed most in their wake of trying to destroy any trace of previous knowledge and to control the people and keep them ignorant of their crimes.  In fact, Christianity, has done more killing and crime than any other religion throughout history, including sacrifices and rituals.  Yet people are scared of pagans...funny.

Still the Runic alphabet, although used the longest in Sweden and Odinic areas, cannot be claimed as their own.  Why?  Well just as many inscriptions have been found all over Europe in Celtic areas as well, Runes are found carved into historical buildings and statuary and not just in northern Europe, clearly showing the extent of mixed blood and roaming of peoples over Europe.

The evidence of the runes symbols origin is forever shrouded in mystery.  Having read above, and now knowing that no one is of pure race, no one can really 'claim' them.  But we do know, obviously, that the inventor was a Priest like person whose creativity was inspired by the Divine Gods and their lessons of scholarly coded poetry, learning different metres and kinds that we see in the Eddas.

The Runic alphabet, the Runes' meanings, and spiritual significance (divination):
Much of the religiosity in Europe in both in what is called Celtic area & Scandinavia area centered around fertility cults. It must be remembered that fertility in ancient societies referred to crops, childbirth, rebirth and tribal growth with healthy families as opposed to the sexual and lustful perversion association that it has acquired today from Ignorant Christians who have not educated themselves in this study.  In their defense, persons do tend to see this from their own religions view, instead of seeing it through another's eyes which the information is intended to be viewed with. It can be assumed that Runes were likely used for fertility and placed on personal altars, shrines and graveyards to maximize chances of conception and rebirth a soul.  Intercourse of people and animals were considered normal and not shameful and this mating rites of spring would enhance the intentions of the spells (prayers).

In Odinic beliefs there is a Odin Rune. This specific Rune had religious significance and evolved into the Runic letter for the sound "O". Thor has his own Rune that evolved into the sound "Th". In the Icelandic alphabet today, the letter is still used for the same sound. This here is the best proof of all of where the Runes came from. Tyr and Thor are arguably the oldest of the Germanic Pantheon, not Norse. Thus it was shared by Celts and Norse alike. Whatever the tribes pantheon was, or is today lol, you can find the similar God or god family and use the rune for them.

Possible Time of the Runic alphabet:
Runic symbols probably existed before the Romans even built a state, written in sand or carved on wood. These symbols were religious in nature, thus carried magic which was the belief at the time. Often warning and bindings were cast on these. Messages for people. Writing written down became truth and powerful. The earliest evidence of Runic dates from the 2nd century CE/AD. It is difficult to know whether these Runes were done for either to its religious meaning or an abbreviation of the engraver's name. The overwhelming majority of Runestones and artifacts with the Runic alphabet are in Scandinavia, especially Sweden. But Germanic tribes seem to have a far greater emphasis on the war gods used. Nonetheless, the religious myths percolated throughout the Germanic regions, and thus could be the reason they appear in northern Sweden. We know Swedish Viking raids happened often. But I think it is safe to assert that the Runic alphabet was created in either Sweden or Denmark, as the two regions frequently exchanged rulers. Equally so, the highest cultural cultivation of the Odinic religion seems to have occurred in Sweden, including elaborate temples and a written script with religious significance for each symbol, and a firm emphasis on intellectual aspects such as wisdom and knowledge (versus the simplicity of war).

The appearance of Odin as the central god of the Germanic pantheon shows nice trading and exchanges of ideas. As They had Woden, which their name for him. It may have been that Odin was an actual historical Swedish king. But in their religion it is Odin who is attributed with creating writing as he learned the secrets of the Runes. Any sacred knowledge given one must sacrifice and give back thus Odin has one eye. As does Uther, Balor and many other Gods across the continent. All based on the same beliefs. This might have come from the Druids or Gothar. We know that they covered one eye and stood in a peculiar way when performing magic of the otherworld seeing.
The Runic alphabet definitely does not come from Roman tribal families. It bears almost no commonality with Latin, and the Romans were never able to conquer the Germanic tribes of Germany, let alone Sweden. Besides, in the first centuries CE, the Germans gradually ate away at the Roman empire but in time Germans became increasingly involved in the Roman army, frequently seizing entire spheres of the empire for themselves (such as the Gallic Empire - Franks).
Now when I looked at the ancient Phoenecians (Semitic peoples from Lebanon in which Hebrew derived from), oddly, the Runic symbols bear a striking resemblance to their symbols. Phoenecians were a major maritime empire, and became defunct with the obliteration of Carthage by Rome in the 3rd century BCE. Celtic & Viking tribes however, were often semi-nomadic, and may have ventured. Another theory is that it derived from the ancient Etruscan script that has yet to be translated. The Etruscans were an ancient Greek-influenced Italian people in northern Italy. They became altogether assimilated into Italian culture in Rome by the 4th century BCE. Another strange phenomenon is the existence of Hungarian Runes. Hungarian tribes migrated from central Russia from the 9th century CE onward into the Slavic realms of Central Europe, and may or may not have originally descended from the Slavs. Their system of writing appears to be strikingly similar. Ttheir king was converted to Catholicism in the 11th century and their Runic alphabet abolished in favor of Latin script. The Fact remains that many of the Runes are literally identical in both Hungarian, Germanic & Norse script cannot be entirely coincidental.

Now the last evidence must be written as well. Central Asian Turkic Runes. 7 CE inscriptions have been found throughout western Mongolia and Siberia with bizarrely familiar symbols that are common to both Norse, Germanic and Hungarian Runes. The Life Rune, the Swastika (the sun power as it moves around the zodiacs path), and the distinct Rune of Odin seem to have been used in Central Asia as well. They belong to the Turkic populations west of Mongolia, and were likely borrowed from the earlier Sodgian alphabet of their Iranian predecessors. It is unusual that the Othala Rune, a very uniquely Viking symbol, would appear in the desolate plains of the east thousands of miles away, but it is likely more than coincidence as proven by the appearance of the Swastika all over the world's ancient cultures. We were all one!!

1 comment:

davedances said...

How intriguing the story of these inter weave of cultures...
so analogously reflected in the interlocking Artwork...

I am struck by the recognizable English letters B,P,K,S,O!din
Come to think of it, the word Rune itself, ancient "Ruins"..
Just as with all the other mixing, obviously there was later Roman influence in both directions. But this "Prehistoric" Rune alphabet is totally free of Roman influence?

I don't envy anyone trying to draw those dividing lines because like we see it's all so inter woven. What's funny is there has often been circles of migrations, not just one linear wave, so who knows what was already mixed in with preRoman in previous mixing long before... there were even formal Runes..
The ArtWork says it best, spiraling round and round we go.. fascinating!