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Paganism: Part II - The Holy Grail
The myth about the holy grail is often linked to Jesus and Christianity, but like almost all other religious myths in Europe (and in the world populated by people from Europe) this is a myth with European roots - id est Pagan roots.
The ancients worshiped the Sun, that in Scandinavia (in Antiquity) was called Sōwilō and Sunnōn, and the Moon, Mēnan, as the most important deities of our world. They also worshiped the Sky God, TīwaR, and the Mother Goddess, Erþō. All the other gods and goddesses are basically just masculine or feminine emanations of these primordial deities.
The most important of the three main faces of the Sky God is the king of the gods, WōðanaR. He is the personified power of the celestial bodies - whether it was the day's Sun or the night's Moon - and he was responsible for bringing the best men and women back home to the realm of the gods when they died. ÞunraR was the personified gravity that amongst other things brought the rain back to Earth. All the humidity gathering in the clouds always came back down, because of gravity, enabling the people to grow their crops. ÞunraR was in other words an agricultural god. FraujaR, also known as Weiha, was both a Sun god and the fertility god responsible for sowing and harvesting the crops.
Sōwilō (the Sun) was not a male deity, but actually female, and Mēnan (the Moon) was not a female deity, but actually male. However, both WōðanaR and FraujaR, but first and foremost BalðraR, represented the masculine side of the solar deity, and the feminine side of the lunar deity is best known as Skaðō. In other words, the two main celestial bodies were both male and female. Our forefathers recognized that all forces in nature are both male and female, and therefore all the gods had their female counterparts. Although the weekdays are known, from Sunday to Saturday, as the day of Sōwilō/Sunnōn (female), Mēnan (male), TīwaR (male), WōðanaR (male), ÞunraR (male), FraujaR (male) and HaimaþellaR (male), they were also the days of BalðraR (male), Skaðō (female), Erþō (female), Frijjō (female), Sibjō (female), Fraujō (female) and Fergunjō (female) respectively. Although most of the days are best known by their masculine names, the first and most important and holy day of the week was named after the feminine side of the Sun.
The ancient European symbols we know as being the most holy are the hooked cross and the Trojan fortress, the circles and the palms of the Sky God, and other symbols of the Sun and/or the Moon and other celestial objects. The most feminine of the ancient symbols is a bit different. From the accounts of the Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus we know that people living in Northern Europe (Denmark) in the Ist century worshipped a deity known as NerþuR (or Nerthus), by holy sources. This mysterious NerþuR is the spouse of Skaðō. Skaðō and NerþuR were the deities of the holy sources, rivers and lakes. Tacitus described NerþuR as a goddess, but the female deity of this couple is actually Skaðō. The confusion might be a result of the fact that in the ceremonies both these deities appeared together; some times the male deity as the procession leader and some times the female deity as the procession leader.
Skaðō's name translates as "harm", "shadow" and "source" (from the Germanic root skaþ). She was also called Anduradīs, because the waxing and waning Moon looks like the small skies known in ancient Scandinavia as anduraR. As we know the Moonlight can indeed be harmful (skaþ), to weak souls exposed to it, it is the Earth's shadow (skaþ) that makes the Moon look like a sky and the Moon was worshipped by holy sources (skaþ). Her husband, NerþuR, was therefore also called AnduragoðaR.
This lunar cult was a mysterious and secretive cult of women (priestesses), and their male companion was the priest (one for each "coven" of priestesses). The holy sources were seen as the womb of Mother Earth. Also, the goddesses, called dísir (pluralis), had their name from another role served in this cult. The word dís (sinfularis) translates as "breast feed" and "mother's milk", from Indo-European dhû or dheu, although it came to mean "goddess" and "respectable woman". In addition to the Moon ceremonies by the holy sources they held their Sun ceremonies on mountaintops or hilltops near a "high" (hence the term "high festival", that we still use today), that was also often shaped like a woman's breast.
The holy sources were used in the mysteries, to purify the body, and like we all know Fraujō is reborn every year as she emerges from the holy water (on the summer solstice), with the many fires burning along the coast as her "necklace of fire" (Brísingamen). Only the innocent were allowed to even touch the holy water, and we are told by the Scandinavian mythology that all those who touched the holy water became "white". The holy sources were also used to execute criminals, by drowning them, and they were therefore "made white" again, as death purifies us all - just like the water in life removes the filth from our bodies. Both the fire (Sun) and the water (Moon) can give life and purify us, but it can also take our lives.
So the holy source was seen as life-giving (as Mother Earth's womb), but also purifying (as a place where the "white" maidens washed their bodies) and life-taking (as a place of execution). The holy sources could be lakes, rivers and waterfalls, but also bogs and manmade wells, or they could be symbolized by holy cauldrons. An example of such a holy cauldron is the Halstatt Wagon, with wheels, warriors and a giant holding up a cauldron. It dates from around year 700 before our time of reckoning, and was found in Halstatt (in Austria, as far as I remember). That is the origin of the myth about the holy grail. It brought "salvation" (purification through death) and "eternal life" (the women's womb giving us rebirth) to those who possessed it. It elevated man to AnsgarðaR, the home of the gods.
However, the ancient mysteries enabled men and women to become elevated to the gods in life too. The initiate traveled down to Haljō, the realm of the Moon, and up to AnsgarðaR, the realm of the Sun, through the three holy wells under the roots of the holy ash tree. They hanged themselves in the tree and left their bodies behind. Only the "white" would return to life after this initiation process, though, as only the "white" can travel across the rainbow bridge to Heaven unscathed, and survive the triple burning in the divine fire of WōðanaR. The impure will be burned to ashes and remain dead.
In AnsgarðaR the initiate met the prince or princess, BalðraR or Īþund, like Cinderella did in the fairy tale, and was united with him or her in a divine wedding, called eskatogami by the ancient Greeks. The runes (secrets) are written on BalðraR's and Īþund's tongue, and therefore we say the secrets - the salvation if You like - are learnt as the initiate kiss the deity. This is the unio mystica; the moment when the initiate feels she or he has become one with the deity.
Nothing impure can exist in the heavenly realm, and only those of Jarl's kin (id est the fair-eyed, fair haired and fair-skinned Europeans) are welcome and can learn the secrets. Only Jarl's kin can be elevated to the gods, by the help of the ancient mysteries and the holy source. By the help of our ancient European religion.
So, the Judeo-Christians are right after all: the holy grail brings salvation and healing, but not to them... and we have not only already found the holy grail; we have possessed its powers for at least 7.000 years already; since the Stone Age, about 5.000 years before Jesus was even born.
Since this is a Russian website, I can point at the fact that there is nothing in this myth that is in conflict with the Slavonic mythology. If You exchange the Scandinavian names with the Slavonic names, You will see that the Slavonic mythology is the same as the Scandinavian mythology. The Scandinavian Paganism is the same as the Slavonic Paganism, because we are simply different tribes of the same race: Jarl's kin. TīwaR is the same as Svarog ("to create" or "sky"); WōðanaR, ÞunraR and FraujaR is the same as Triglaf ("three faces"), the three most important faces of Svarog, the Sky God, and therefore WōðanaR too is the same as Svarog (the most important face of Svarog, the king of the gods); ÞunraR is the same as Perun; FraujaR is the same as Veles. FraujaR is also known as Weiha and Veles is also known as Svjatevit (Svantevit), and both names translates as "holy". BalðraR and HaimaþellaR is the same as Belobog, Dazhbog, Kolada and Ovsen. As we know, HaimaþellaR ("Santa Claus") is also known as "the white god" (Belo-bog), and his throne is said to be on the North Pole. Further, Frijjō is the same as Lada and Velikaja Mater; Fraujō is the same as Lelja; Haljō the same as Hela; AnsgarðaR is the same as Svarga; and so forth.
Whether Roman, Greek, Baltic, Gaelic, Ugric, Slavonic or Scandinavian, it doesn't matter, or at least not in a religious context. The closer we get to Scandinavia ("the isles of the Skaðō") and the Baltic Sea, the more racially pure the Europeans are, but naturally it is irrelevant where you live or what tribes you come from: all the "white" individuals of the fair European race (Jarl's kin) are welcome in AnsgarðaR (Svarga, Troja, Ilion, Olympus, or whatever we call it). They can all, like Cinderella did, become one with the deity (id est become complete).
Varg "The Heretic" Vikernes
The names of the Scandinavian deities mentioned in this article
In hoc signo vinces!
(By this sign you conquer!)