Monday, 16 December 2019

How Anglo-Saxon are the English people?

Sites from which samples were extracted

This paper, Schiffels et al (2016), was a revealing study in ancient Anglo-Saxon DNA. It looked at DNA from 10 skeletons from 3 sites in East England: Hinxton, Oakington and Linton dating from before and after the Anglo-Saxon invasions. This study is better at estimating the genetic impact of Anglo-Saxons on England than other studies which only compare modern British people to modern populations on the continent.
"we estimate that on average the contemporary East English population derives 38% of its ancestry from Anglo-Saxon migrations."
They reach the 38% figure by looking at the unique Dutch-like DNA that was not present in early Iron Age samples from Hinton but appears in post AS invasion England. We can say that 38% of the DNA of modern people in East England comes from the invading Anglo-Saxons, but this figure somewhat obscures the reality of what Anglo-Saxons were.
"The middle Anglo-Saxon samples from Hinxton (HS1, HS2 and HS3) share relatively more rare variants with modern Dutch than the Iron Age samples from Hinxton (HI1 and HI2) and Linton (L). The early Anglo-Saxon samples from Oakington are more diverse with O1 and O2 being closer to the middle Anglo-Saxon samples, O4 exhibiting the same pattern as the Iron Age samples, and O3 showing an intermediate level of allele sharing, suggesting mixed ancestry."
In other words, Anglo-Saxons mixed with the Celtic Britons very quickly but there were also subsequent arrivals of more Germanic people from the continent. Geneticists using the term Anglo-Saxon in relation to the 38% figure are specifically referring to the newcomers. But when historians refer to the Anglo-Saxons, they don't just mean the Germanic people who arrived in the Migration era, they are referring to a full 600 years of English history!
If you were to ask the question of how much DNA we have from an average Anglo-Saxon, ranging from the mixed woman labelled O3, who lived in the early AS era around 500 AD, to any Anglo-Saxons living in the 7th, 8th or 9th century, then the % would be MUCH higher than 38%! The fact is that the DNA of Anglo-Saxon England from was for most of the AS period the same as that of modern ethnically English people ie: a mix of continental Germanic and Iron Age British Celtic.

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Where did Celts come from? Who were the Druids?

Celts are known for tartan, faeries, druids, bagpipes and the British Isles - but the origins of the Celtic culture lie in the Unetice culture of Bronze age central Europe and it spread out with the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures. In this history documentary, I look at the genetic evidence for the spread of Celts into Britain and Ireland in the Iron Age, as well as the Galatian Celts into Anatolia. Then I examine some Celtic archaeological artefacts such as the Gundestrup cauldron and the Marlborough bucket and I introduce the viewer to some of the basic aspects of Druidry and the Indo-European religion of the ancient Celts.

Celtic chariot warrrior art by Alex Cristi

Aristocratic Iron age Gaul and Caledonian Death Lord art by Christian Sloan Hall

T-shirts with the Gaul design are available here...

Friday, 22 November 2019

Christmas Origins and pagan themes with Smile Titans

Monday, 11 November 2019

The Genetic Impact of Christianity on Ethnocentrism

A new paper (LINK) has caused quite a stir! Schulz et al 2019 relies on the observation that Europeans are more trusting of outsiders and less nepotistic. I recall a study on the reactions of diverse babies left in the care of people that were markedly different genetically from the baby, with the result that most babies got very upset. The baby that was least upset by this was one from Saxony. Despite the evidence, any study that asserts that Europeans are distinguishable from any other population is likely to raise eyebrows and hair among those in the Humanities (especially a study like this that implies the differences are actually culturally advantageous or superior).

The study attributes this European tendency to the Western Church:

"they focus on how the Church broke down extended kin-based institutions and encouraged a nuclear family structure. To do this, the authors developed measures of historical Church exposure and kin-based institutions across populations."

It argues that the rise of agriculture in the Neolithic favoured kinship based societies in which forms of cousin marriage (not just 1st cousins which would be genetically problematic, but also 3rd and 4th cousins which pose no genetic threat), but that "The Church’s family policies meant that by 1500 CE, and likely centuries earlier in some regions, Europe lacked strong kin-based institutions and was instead dominated by relatively independent and isolated nuclear or stem families."

This church-led social change is thus, they argue, the reason for higher rates of openness to strangers, individualism and independence among Europeans. I have no doubt there is some truth to this but I can see a major flaw, which I will get to later. First let's see how other people reacted. The left wing historians threw their toys out of the pram, of course. Here'e one guy who has blocked me even though I don't know who he is:

He says the scientists should have consulted historians (they obviously did though).
Geneticists seem somewhat bewildered by the reaction of historians...
However, I must say this historian below makes some good points in her counter argument against the geneticists. She throws up numerous obfuscations, which, although a frustrating left wing technique for clouding an argument, actually includes some valid points in this case.
My area is the conversion of the Germanic peoples and I can give the example of how the church banned, as incestuous, the custom among the Norse whereby sons would inherit their step-mothers. That shows a concern with breaking up kinship ties, but it isn't at all related to biological incest. In fact the prohibition against incest was not introduced to the Germanics by the church at all. Although incest occurs in mythological contexts, such as the gods Freya and Frey, or the incestuous relationships among the Volsung clan which were intended to create a supernatural semi-divine being by distilling the blood of Odin through incest. In both cases, the incest is quite a shocking and unusual element and associated with taboos that even gods aren't supposed to break (Loki shames the divine twins Frey and Freya for the alleged incest).

I do not recall any discussion of consanguineous sexual relationships in any of the papers on Viking or Anglo-Saxon DNA I have read. This could easily be determined from existing samples. I doubt incest was at all common even before Christianity arrived. One Germanic region where people have been marrying third or fourth cousins for centuries is Iceland - this occurred out of necessity due to isolation and a small population. 

Icelandic researchers reporting in a 2008 issue of Science, found that marriages between third or fourth cousins in Iceland tended to produce more children and grandchildren than those between completely unrelated individuals. The researchers suggested that marrying third and fourth cousins may be optimal for reproduction because this degree of genetic similarity may produce the best gene pool. Really close relations like siblings and first-cousins would have detrimental inbreeding mutations, whereas couples genetically far-removed from each other could have genetic incompatibilities. Third- and fourth-cousin couples, though, are the goldilocks middle ground genetically, tending to be more genetically compatible while having no serious inbreeding problems.

Iceland not only produces more published authors per capita than anywhere else, but also more of the world's strongest men! Their breeding practices have certainly not hurt them, in fact they seem to have been beneficial and if these marriages result in more children, then those who favour them will outcompete those who don't in terms of number of children. That suggests selective pressure FOR consanguineous marriages, at least in Iceland...and the church did not break them up.

I am sure some right wing pagans would like to use this study as evidence for how the church destroys ethnic identities and prepares the world for globalism but I am not sure that this has been proven. I believe these prohibitions against close inbreeding were always there in many places in Northern Europe, that third cousin marriages still occurred long after conversion and that kinship networks were not maintained by third cousin marriages anyway, but by complicated rituals of gift exchange, and feasting.

It may surprise the reader to learn I dislike Western chauvinism, particularly arguments for the uniqueness of Western civilisation based on our supposedly more progressive outlook. But if we accept this premise, we must also conclude that the aforementioned tendencies of openness, individualism and independence, are higher in the North than the South of Europe, despite the North being the last place to receive the Christian doctrine. Clearly the argument falls flat. I personally consider such traits to be socially disadvantageous (in the current environment) mutations that actually emerged long before Christianity arrived in Europe, and which are more likely adaptations for small populations distributed over large areas in harsh regions of Northern Europe, where there was a selective pressure favouring those willing to cooperate with whoever they came across and also for more independent and individualistic people who would find long periods of isolation more tolerable.


Friday, 8 November 2019

Ancient Roman DNA

New Ancient Roman/Italy Paper Summary:

A new paper has been published which finally confirms what many have thought about the genetics of Ancient Rome (however it is behind a paywall so I am going only on the preview supplementary data and what geneticists have said publicly about it). The following summary is based not only on what the paper itself says, but rather what it SHOWS but not does not say.
  •  Neolithic Italy had no steppe DNA - people were genetically like Sardinians/Etruscans
  • 11 pre-Imperial Roman samples plot as more Northern than modern Italians or Neolithic ones - They resemble people from Southern France - which means a significantly more Northern shifted (than modern french people) population entered the Italian peninsula, mixed over the Iron Age with natives and redefined the ethnic character of the region throughout the Roman Republic.
  • The paper doesn't specify the most likely sources of this northerly population which is the Bell Beaker and/or Urnfield cultures. In the supplementary info they mention 99%  of Bell Beaker folk carried R1b M269 paternal haplogroup (present in Italy too). Instead of saying how Bell Beaker DNA entered Italy they just say "Steppe-related" people went to Italy in the Bronze age. This is misleading since they had left the steppe some 1000 years earlier and were now ethnically Central Europeans.
  • The chronology of genetic change indicates the Urnfield expansion into Italy may mark arrival of Italic languages rather than the earlier Bell Beakers - they are related anyway so its likely two waves into Italy.
  • Imperial Roman samples show a major shift toward MENA populations like Egyptians/ Carthaginians/ Syrians etc. The Roman Empire certainly made Italian people less European by attracting Middle Eastern migrants. People have said this for centuries.
  • Italy became more European again after the Roman Empire. The paper suggests that the resurgence of European ancestry and reduction of Near Eastern admixture starting in Late antiquity and ending in the Middle Ages is due to migration into Italy from Central Europe (Celtic and Germanic invasions for eg?)

The most interesting thing from my perspective is what the paper doesn't discuss, which is which population from North of the Alps brought Indo-European languages to Italy.

Somebody made this which is interesting - they map the genetic shifts in Italy to the religious shifts - showing that the rise of near eastern cults like that of Cybele corresponds with a rise in Near Eastern admixture. What is labelled here as "European" should properly be labelled "Indo-European"

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

In Search of the Earth-Mother of Anatolia

"In Search of the Earth-Mother of Anatolia" A documentary which looks at the root of the Earth Mother goddess common to European pagan religions; call her Cybele, Rhea, Ceres, or whatever - she comes from Anatolia and spread out in various forms from the Neolithic to the Iron Age. One late form was Artemis of Ephesus, an Anatolian version of a Greek goddess who was then sent back to Europe in her new form. This film focuses mainly on the Lycians, who were an early Indo-European people in Anatolia who seem to have preserved more of the pre-Indo-European Anatolian religion and culture than most.

'Leto transforms the Lycian peasants to frogs' painting by Alex Cristi


Monday, 28 October 2019

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Riddles in the Dark Ages

Written by Tom Rowsell in 2015 for 

One of the most memorable scenes from Tolkien’s The Hobbit is called “Riddles in the Dark”. I remember the nerdish cheers echoing through the darkness of the cinema as the scene opened in Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of the famous novel. The scene’s popularity is rather surprising when you consider that there are no great battles or speeches, nor busty maidens and dragons, just a little hobbit and a strange subterranean creature engaged in a battle of wits.
Gollum, as the creature is named, challenges Bilbo Baggins to a game of riddles, on which Bilbo’s life is at stake. Gollum’s cryptic riddles are as enchanting and compelling as any other of Tolkien’s Middle Earth creations. Here is one of my favourites.
Voiceless it cries,Wingless flutters,Toothless bites,Mouthless mutters. 
The answer, as Bilbo well knows, is wind. One might think that riddles about weather are rather out of place in medieval fantasy novels of this kind, and that Tolkien merely added it as a frivolous diversion, but that is a mistake. Tolkien was twice Professor of Anglo-Saxon (Old English) at the University of Oxford, and the riders of Rohan from Lord of the Rings were clearly based on the Anglo-Saxons. Rohan itself was based on the country and great hall of Hrothgar from the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf. What many do not realise is that the Anglo-Saxons, as well as being macho war-like ale gulpers, also loved riddles. See this Old English example:
Hwylc is hæleþa     þæs horsc  þæs hygecræftig þæt mæge asecgan     hwa mec on sið wræceþōn ic astige     strong stundū reþeþrymful þunie     þragum wræcefere geond foldan     folcsalo bærneræced reafige     recas stigaðhaswe ofer hrofū     hlǐn bið on eorþanwælcwealm wera     þōn Ic wudu hrerebearwas bledhwate     beamas fylleholme gehrefed     heanū meahtumwrecan on waþe     wide sendedhæbbe me on hrycge    ær hadas wreahfoldbuendra     flæsc gæstassomod on sunde     saga hwa mec þecceoþþe hu ic hatte     þe þa hlæst bere What good man is     so learned and so cleverthat he can say who drives me     forth on my way?When I rise up strong     at times furious,I thunder mightily     and again with havocI sweep over the land,     burn the great hall,ravage the buildings.     Smoke mounts on highdark over the rooftops.     Clamour is everywhere,sudden death among men.     When I shake the forest,the trees proud in their fruit,     I fell the boles.With my roof of water,     by the powers aboveI am driven far and wide     on my avenging path.I bear on my back     what once covered the formsof the earth-dwellers,     their body and soultogether in the waters.     Say what covers meor what I am called     who bears this burden.

The answer, which refers to the biblical flood, is a storm of wind, rain, thunder, and lightning on land. Although longer, this riddle from the 10th century Exeter book is not at all dissimilar to Gollum’s one. But there are some Anglo-Saxon riddles which a conservative Catholic like Tolkien would never dream of including in a children’s novel.
Hyse cwom gangan,   þær he hie wisse
stondan in wincsele,   stop feorran to,
hror hægstealdmon,   hof his agen
hrægl hondum up,   hrand under gyrdels
hyre stondendre   stiþes nathwæt,
worhte his willan;   wagedan buta.
Þegn onnette,   wæs þragum nyt
tillic esne,   teorode hwæþre
æt stunda gehwam   strong ær þon hio,
werig þæs weorces.   Hyre weaxan ongon
under gyrdelse…
A young man came walking
he knew she was waiting there in the corner.
Marching to her from afar,
that bold bachelor heaved up his garment with his hands
and thrust something stiff
under her girdle as she stood there.
And then he had his pleasure.
Both of them shook.
The man moved quickly,
and that good servant was useful for awhile,
but, although previously stronger than she,
he grew tired and weary from his work.
Under her girdle, something began to grow…
Pretty raunchy huh? No it is not! Get your mind out of the gutter; the riddle probably just refers to a man churning milk with a stiff plunger so that it grows into butter. We will never know for sure, as the answers aren’t included in the manuscript. There are many Anglo-Saxon riddles of this sort, all evoking something rude while referring to something innocent.
Anglo-Saxons favoured alliteration to rhyme, so Tolkien’s riddles do not resemble them in this sense. Latin riddles were popular in medieval Europe but it is clear from the nature of the riddles themselves that Tolkien’s were influenced more by those of Anglo-Saxon England. Latin riddles depended on knowledge of a specific subject in order to be deciphered, while English riddles were often about common things like the weather.
Archer Taylor identifies five different types of riddle in the Exeter book, one of which is the “neck riddle”, so named because it is used to save one’s neck. Neck riddles are unfair because there is no way for the person guessing the riddle to know the answer. Bilbo’s final question is a neck riddle, “what have I got in my pocket?”
But Tolkien’s use of a neck riddle is just as likely to be the result of Viking influence as Anglo-Saxon.  He seems to have used several Old Norse sources for “Riddles in the Dark”. In the Vafþrúðnismál from the Elder Edda and in the Saga of King Heidrek the Wise, the god Odin adopts a disguise before entering into a riddle contest. His final riddle is “What did Odin whisper in Baldr’s ear before Baldr was burned on the funeral pyre?” No one except Odin himself can know this, so it’s just as unfair as Bilbo’s riddle. In each Viking tale, the answerer finally realises that the riddler is Odin himself; Tolkien combines the reactions of Vafþrúðnir, who concedes defeat and Heidrek, who attacks Odin, making Gollum acquiesce at first but then attack Bilbo later.
Another possible Norse influence on the scene can be found in Gollum’s final riddle, which Bilbo only solves by accident.
This thing all things devours;Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;Gnaws iron, bites steel;Grinds hard stones to meal;Slays king, ruins town,And beats mountain down.
The answer is time, which is depicted here as a physical force, one which slays kings and bites steel. In one scene from the 13th century Icelandic text Gylfaginning, Thor and his pals are in the hall of a giant king named Utgard-Loki who presents them with a number of impossible challenges. After being defeated in a drinking challenge, Thor is eager to prove himself in a test of strength. Utgard-Loki asks him to wrestle an old woman named Elli. This should have been easy, but the harder Thor gripped her, the faster she stood and it wasn’t long before he was defeated. It is then revealed that the withered woman was “Old Age” personified, and that neither man nor god can ever defeat time.
Tolkien was as enamoured with Norse mythology as he was with Anglo-Saxon poetry, and it is fascinating to see how each have influenced his works. If you enjoyed the Hobbit or the Lord of the Rings, then I must urge you to investigate Old English and Icelandic literature, as they are equally enthralling 

Sunday, 15 September 2019

The Pre-Indo-European Anatolian Mother Goddess of Agriculture

Thicc Anatolian Neolithic goddess

People always ask me about Neolithic, pre-Indo-European European religion, and how much survived. I usually say that it is not possible to know much about the pre-literate Neolithic Europeans and hard to distinguish what elements of subsequent IE religion were carried on from before. However we can learn a lot by looking at Anatolia.
10,300 years ago, hunter gatherers in Anatolia started farming. This figure (above) of a seated Anatolian goddess dates to about 8000 years ago. 8,500 years ago Anatolians spread across Europe, replacing most of the people (Western Hunter-Gatherers) who were there before and bringing their agriculturally oriented religion which was heavily conscious of seasons and when to plant. To talk about pre-IE religion in Europe, is the same as talking about Near-Eastern religion since it all originates in Anatolia just as Neolithic Europeans did. Indo-Europeans invaded Anatolia and Europe over the 3rd millennium BC - the ones in Anatolia spoke languages (the Anatolian language family) ancestral to Hittite and Luwian. DNA shows that genetically, Anatolians were not altered much by the IE invasion, especially compared to Northern Europe. It is interesting therefore that their religion was so different to other Indo-European religions. For example, Hittite temples were built according to the same celestial principles as Stonehenge (aligned for solstices) and other Neolithic solar monuments.

Also worthy of note is the fact that some Anatolian peoples, such as Lycians, practiced matronymics, and a tradition of legitimacy and inheritance denoted by the maternal rather than paternal line. Lycian women were able to marry foreigners and have legitimate children but Lycian men, even aristocrats, could not. This is very unlike any other Indo-European culture and almost certainly derives from earlier customs of the Near-East!
The goddess Cybele was Anatolian in origin; an earth mother credited with inventing agriculture. She is seems to be a pre-IE goddess and as her cult spread across the Mediterranean, she was associated and combined with other agricultural mother goddesses who were obviously derived from the same original Neolithic Anatolian figure. eg. Artemis of Ephesus was a regional cult in which the Greek hunter goddess was transformed into the Anatolian mother goddess. This cult was influential on the later cult of the Virgin Mary. The Roman goddess Ceres, whose name is cognate with cereal, was seen as equivalent to Greek Demeter (the Mother) - and her cult survived for awhile in Rome alongside the imported Anatolian cult of Cybele, who they called Magna Mater. The Romans also associated the Greek mother goddess Rhea (here seated much like Cybele or the prehistoric Anatolian goddess statue) with the Magna Mater.
Artemis of Ephesus


Just as there is more Anatolian farmer DNA in Southern than Northern Europe, we see more clear evidence of the endurance of the Neolithic agricultural mother goddess in the South, and most of all among the Anatolians living in the region where her cult originated. If you want to know what religion in pre-IE Britain or Europe might have been like, then take a look at the castrated transgender priests and orgiastic cults of Cybele or other Near-Eastern semi-matriarchal cults.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

The Post Human Ideal and Transhumanism

“It is also possible to suppose that mechanical inventions, developed even further and further, may reach a point where they will seem so dangerous that men will feel impelled to renounce them, either from the terror gradually aroused by some of their consequences, or else following on a cataclysm which everyone is at liberty to picture as he pleases.” ‘Intro to the Study of the Hindu Doctrines’ - Guenon

Guenon’s theory that horrifying technological advances could be a catalyst, signifying the high water mark for the cult of progress before the West turns instead to a more Traditionally oriented civilisational mode, is represented in popular science fiction as "reactionary technophobia".

Specifically where post human ideals are represented, we find frequent examples of a mania for the dissolution of the organic human in favour of a new “higher”, mechanised version. While there were many films and novels of this genre (beginning perhaps with Shelley’s Frankenstein 1818) which serve as warnings of the dangers of the post-human or post-organic ideal; The Glass Bees, The Terminator, Demon Seed, Colossus: The Forbin Project, etc. In more recent years the trend is to portray post-humanism in a positive light, with sympathy for the cyborgs, augmented humans and artificial intelligences.

Fritz Lang’s Metropolis 1927, foreshadowed much of what was to come in post-human sci-fi. It was remade as an anime in 2001 Metropolis (2001 film), in which the proletariat revolution against machines was preserved, but combined with a separate reaction from a privately funded “Fascist” organisation called the Marduks. Due to the Shinto religion’s belief that a kami (spirit) can occupy a robot, the sympathy for AI in Japanese cinema is more nuanced than the purely progressive representations in the West.

Another anime, Ghost in the Shell, while generally uncritical of the processes that lead to post-human conditions, is not altogether without merit. That being said the spin off series Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex features a typically anti-traditional plot-line in which the cybernetic police must battle an anti-refugee terrorist group named Individual Eleven, whose inspiration, a fictional political theorist named Patrick Sylvester, was based on Yukio Mishima and the essays the group disseminates are based on Mishima's "Kindai Nohgaku Shu (Modern Noh Collection)". However, the depiction of Sylvester is not entirely unsympathetic….

‘If one were to give one’s life as a revolutionary leader, that life would be sublimated into something transcendent. In death, a hero meets his mortal end, but he gains eternity.’ Patrick Sylvester.

Such nuances are entirely absent in modern films such as Lucy (2014), in which a kind of false transcendence is celebrated. The review on Gornahoor puts it perfectly.

“Although Lucy achieves something like the Absolute Self, she is still “other”. Although she provides the world with all knowledge as bits on a flash drive, she does not solve the problem of meaning. What do they do with that knowledge? What does it all mean? Ultimately, nothing.” Cologero –Review of “Lucy” 2014.

The left is determined to undermine all conventional identity structures (nationhood, gender, race etc) in an effort to disorientate the individual, seemingly in preparation for the “new man” a post-human cyborg, entirely dependent on technology of diverse forms. It is therefore pertinent to discuss the subject of post-humanism in popular culture in detail.

This text is taken from a Survive the Jive facebook post from October, 2016.

Monday, 9 September 2019

Monday, 12 August 2019

Horse-healing magic from the steppes

I have long known of the second Merseberg charm, one of two which constitute the only surviving pagan verses in Old High German. As with most Germanic pagan things, we only have it by chance; a cleric at an abbey happened to put it in a liturgical book in the 10th century. We can be sure the charm, a cure for an injured horse, dates to many centuries earlier because it actually invokes seven pagan gods.

Phol ende uuodan uuorun zi holza.
du uuart demo balderes uolon sin uuoz birenkit.
thu biguol en sinthgunt, sunna era suister;
thu biguol en friia, uolla era suister;
thu biguol en uuodan, so he uuola conda:
sose benrenki, sose bluotrenki, sose lidirenki:
ben zi bena, bluot si bluoda,

lid zi geliden, sose gelimida sin!
Phol and Wodan were riding to the woods,
and the foot of Balder's foal was sprained
So Sinthgunt, Sunna's sister, conjured it;
and Frija, Volla's sister, conjured it;
and Wodan conjured it, as well he could:
Like bone-sprain, so blood-sprain, so joint-sprain:
Bone to bone, blood to blood, joints to joints, so may they be glued
Later I discovered that this charm, written in Christian times, did not merely date to the days of Germanic paganism, but far further back. The evidence is in in Book IV/12 of the Atharva-Veda, compiled in India between 1200 BC - 1000 BC.
Rohan! art thou, causing to heal (rohanî), the broken bone thou causest to heal (rohanî): cause this here to heal(rohaya), O arundhatî!
That bone of thine which, injured and burst, exists in thy person, Dhâtar shall kindly knit together again, joint with joint!
Thy marrow shall unite with marrow, and thy joint (unite) with joint; the part of thy flesh that has fallen off, and thy bone shall grow together again!
Thy marrow shall be joined together with marrow, thy skin grow together with skin! Thy blood, thy bone shall grow, thy flesh grow together with flesh!
Fit together hair with hair, and fit together skin with skin! Thy blood, thy bone shall grow: what is cut join thou together, O plant!
Do thou here rise up, go forth, run forth, (as) a chariot with sound wheels, firm feloe, and strong nave; stand upright firmly!
If he has been injured by falling into a pit, or if a stone was cast and hurt him, may he (Dhâtar, the fashioner) fit him together, joint to joint, as the wagoner (Ribhu) the parts of a chariot!
I do not think for a moment that the Germanic charm is derived from the Vedic source. I find it far more likely both derive from a charm belonging to the Yamnaya culture on the Neolithic Eastern European steppes which was originally for horses, as in the case of the Merseberg charm, and that it was adapted in India for human use. It has been established that Yamnaya were late Proto-Indo-European speakers and are responsible for the modern domestic horse, so they were of course the first to develop magic for the aid of horses, and this would have spread with the horses, religion and Indo-European languages.

Today I was made aware of another cognate for the charm; this time from Ireland, an account contributed by a school child in county Cork in 1938.

There was an old woman named Layng that lived near this school and she had cure of the sprain. These are the words of the charm. "Our Lord God went a hunting through moors and through mountains. His foals foot wrested, he sat down and blessed it, saying from bone to bone, from flesh to flesh every sinew in its own place." She used rub the sprain very much while saying these words and she would say the Lords Prayer." She was a protestand. She left the charm to some men around this place. Some of the old people had charms for stopping blood, toothache, rash, St. Anthony's fire, choking and one very old man heard a charm for making rats come out of their holes and cut their necks with a razor.
Now, the fact she was a Protestant, and that as far as I am aware Layng is a name of Scottish origin, brought to Ireland by Scottish immigrants, makes me hesitant to ascribe this to an ancient Irish tradition. I consider three possible explanations.

  1. That this is of West-Germanic origin, like the Merseberg charm, and was brought to Scotland by Anglo-Saxons. 
  2. That this is a North Germanic cognate brought to Scotland by Vikings. 
  3. This is a Scots-Celtic cognate charm from the same Indo-European root as the Germanic and Vedic ones.

The woman invoked "Our Lord God" which is not only a common epithet of the Christian God, but also a name for Odin. I am not aware of a Celtic god who is invoked by this name. There are at least 10 more examples of charms in recorded Irish folklore which follow the same formula.

There is also an example from Sweden written down in 1860 which may be a Northern cognate if it is not derived from the West Germanic one.

Dåve red över vattubro,
Så kom han in i Tive skog;
Hästen snava mot en rot
och vrickade sin ena fot.
Gångande kom Oden:
- Jag skall bota dig för vred,
kött i kött, ben i ben,
jag skall sätta led mot led,
och din fot skall aldrig sveda eller värka mer
Dåve rode over Vattubro, then he came into Tive woods; the horse tripped on a root and sprained one of his feet. Odin came walking: I will cure you for sprain, meat to meat, bone to bone, I will put joint to joint, and your foot shall never sting or hurt again. 

And another from 19th century Sweden which invokes the goddesses:

Fylla red utför berget, hästen vred sin vänstra fot, så mötte hon Freja. – Jag skall bota din häst. Ur vred, ur skred, i led! Jag skall bota dig för stockvred, stenvred, gångvred, ont ur kött, gott i kött, ont ur ben, gott i ben, gott för ont, led för led, aldri mer skall du få vred! Fylla rode down the hill, the horse sprained its left foot, then she met Freja. I will cure your horse. Out sprain, out fall, in joint! I will heal you from log sprain, stone sprain, walk sprain bad out of flesh, good into flesh bad out of bone, good into bone good for bad, joint for joint, never again shall you have sprain! 

In 2013 I read one of my poems in a cafe in London. As you can hear, it was very much influenced by this magic charm...

Friday, 9 August 2019

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Gods of Roman Britain

Monday, 15 July 2019

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

What is Slavic Paganism?

Preserving Germanic English aka Anglish

This article was originally published here in July 2014. 

 It’s common knowledge that languages are fluid things which merge into one another and evolve to become new languages. But the way they change isn’t necessarily natural or arbitrary. The changes that occur to languages are often the result of wars, genocides, mass migrations, political meddling and religious taboos. The point of any language is to make oneself understood and this fact has meant that geography maintains the distinct character of different languages so that they remain intelligible to those inhabiting a certain area.

 Linguistic purism is usually about preserving a language and protecting it from being corrupted by the introduction of foreign words. But Anglish is a bit different from other types of linguistic purism because it isn’t intended to preserve the English language as it is spoken now, nor as it has ever been spoken. Instead Anglish is a form of English stripped clean of the last 1000 years of non-Germanic influence, while also being brought up to date in terms of modern syntax, grammar and spelling.

So words like love, which is derived from the Old English word lufian, remain as they are in Anglish, while words like horticulture, the first part of which is derived from the Latin hortus meaning garden, have to be altered. The Anglish translation of horticulture is wortcraft, which is a compound of wort, meaning plant, and craft, meaning work.

Anglish speakers are a fringe movement of linguistic purists who want to streamline the English language and rid it of words of un-Anglo-Saxon origin. They don’t speak Old English as it was, because they keep the modern versions of words derived from Old English ones, but they replace words derived from French or Latin with what they consider to be the most appropriate Germanic English equivalents.

Anglish speakers haven’t had to invent an entire language as such, because most of the normal English words we use in daily conversation are of Old English origin. But although spoken English is primarily Germanic, the vast majority of words in the English language are of non Germanic origin, and this is where Anglish purists have had to be inventive. The words they have created are quite charming but confusing at times. Fortunately the Anglish Moot have provided an online Anglish Wordbook (wordbook is Anglish for dictionary) to help you learn the lingo.

In many cases you can guess what is meant because Anglish is quite intuitive. “Expand” is replaced by swell while “edit” is replaced by bework. The Anglish movement has roots way back in the late 1800s when Elias Molee advocated an English purged of its Romance components. He made his case in two books; “Pure Saxon English” and “Plea for an American Language, or Germanic-English”. He proposed a language similar to Anglish called Tutonish, which was intended to be a “union tongue” for all the Germanic-language speaking peoples, with a schematised English syntax and a largely German- and Scandinavian-based vocabulary.

In 1989 Poul Anderson wrote a short text about atomic theory in a version of English free from Romance elements. The text entitled “Uncleftish Beholding” is seen as the blueprint for the modern Anglish movement and what it can achieve. These opening paragraphs give you a feel for how Anderson made scientific speech seem more accessible and almost folksy.

“For most of its being, mankind did not know what things are made of, but could only guess. With the growth of worldken, we began to learn, and today we have a beholding of stuff and work that watching bears out, both in the workstead and in daily life. The underlying kinds of stuff are the *firststuffs*, which link together in sundry ways to give rise to the rest. Formerly we knew of ninety-two firststuffs, from waterstuff, the lightest and barest, to ymirstuff, the heaviest. Now we have made more, such as aegirstuff and helstuff.” 

The compound words like ymirstuff and aegirstuff reference figures from Nordic mythology, like the primordial giant of creation Ymir and the God of the sea Aegir, in order to describe the base elements of the universe in a Germanic context. Anderson also borrowed from German words to create “waterstuff” and “sourstuff”, coming from Wasserstoff (hydrogen) and Sauerstoff (oxygen).

It is unlikely that the Anglish dialect being created by linguistic enthusiasts will ever become widespread, but it is not without value. One thing about Anglish words is that they are more consistent and easier to understand if you have never heard them before. This is a great lesson for journalists, poets and authors struggling with vocabulary. Language is, after all, a means of making oneself understood. If we endeavour to express the more complicated concepts of life and science with the most basic Anglo-Saxon language possible, then we may find the language is not only easier to understand but also sounds better.

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Who is Norse God Týr? A Sky-Father?

Video version 

 The Norse god Týr is sometimes called a battle god of minor significance, while others argue. based on etymology that he was once the chief god of the Germanic peoples - a sky father. However, perhaps neither argument is entirely correct. In this video I am joined by Angriff and Dr Boaz and we will discuss Týr and the Proto-Indo-European sky father in the context of Georges Dumézil's theory that he was in fact a secondary sovereign god whose principle attribute was neither paternal nor related to battle, but judicial matters!

Friday, 14 June 2019

The Indo-Europeans: In Search of the Homeland by Alain de Benoist

The Noble Savage in The Valley (Obscured by Clouds)

A review of an important film with insights into the myth of the noble savage.

Big-brained Barbarians! with Dr. Edward Dutton (The Jolly Heretic)

Cognitive evolution and European history.
Modern population genetics shows that enormous genetic replacement occurred in Neolithic Europe which, as well as changing the religions in Europe, surely had an effect on heritable traits like intelligence and behaviour. I am speaking to Dr Edward Dutton aka The Jolly heretic about what the implications of these genetic shifts are in terms of the cognitive evolution of Europeans - can cognitive archeogenetics help us to understand the massive success of the Indo-European cultures over the Bronze Age compared with their Neolithic predecessors? Were the Indo-Europeans really clever chaps? Watch and find out!

Friday, 7 June 2019

Film about the Baltic crusades (Herkus Mantas)

The Teutonic knights invaded the Baltic but were repelled by a pagan rebellion. This film tells the story of Herkus Monte, a Prussian who led his people against the Christian German invaders. It was made in the Soviet Union which explains the anti-German sentiment, but I am surprised they allowed such nationalism to be promoted among Lithuanians. There is also a theme of class conflict among the Prussians, with Monte promoting a serf above a noble, but I am sure this is Soviet influence.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Nordic Pride in New York

Monday, 27 May 2019

Documentary about Aryan Kalash people

KALASHA Core of Culture | Documentary Short Film | 2019

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Ramayana Anime 1992

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Modern Pagan Practice and Belief

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Aryan Invasion of India: Myth or Reality?

DNA evidence has shed new light on the origins of the Indian people, the Hindu religion and the Sanskrit language. Pastoralists of the Andronovo culture from the Bronze age steppe invaded India from the North West and brought Indo-European languages to the Indian subcontinent. These pastoralists were ethnically white people, and they mixed with Indians to create the modern genetic diversity of India. This theory has been developed over 200 years, and has often been attacked as a colonial fable or even as Nazi propaganda, but now genetic science has vindicated the Victorian scholars who said the roots of the Aryans lay in the Corded Ware culture of Europe.