Thursday, October 7, 2010

Runes, Time, Planets, Stars pt 2

In exploring the connection between runes and the planets, it seems that it was included as an after thought. Most of his writing about this area again focuses on cycles, mainly cycles of the Sun and Moon, also know the Great Cycle, when the two great lights re-align and repeat their patterns every 19 years. His inclusion of the outer planets, all the way out to “planet x” and he talks about another equally puzzling numerical series that somehow he relates to the runes, and days of the calendar. I think he actually spends al of 10 pages talking about the planets, before he turns back to this endless discussion of numerical sequences, and his odd alignments with runes. His treatment of the planets are of the most interest here though.

As I imagine, most of my readers are aware, the 7 classical planets are preserved in most cultures days of the week. Monday is the day of the Moon, Tuesday is the day of Mars, Wednesday is the day of Mercury, etc… In Germanic languages, many of the days are named after Germanic gods who were paralled with Greco-roman gods. Tuesday means the day of Tyr or Tiw, Wednesday is the day of Wodan/Odhinn, Thursday is the day of Thor, and Friday is the day of Freya/Frigga, with this pattern continuing with Sunday and Monday, as the words for the Sun and Moon are taken from Germanic languages, not latin. Sunna and Mani are the gods of the Sun and Moon, Sunna being the Goddess of the Sun (in contrast to the Greco-roman Helios and Apollo, who were male) and Mani, who is a God of the Moon (in contrast to Selene, Artemis and other Goddesses from southern Europe). Their name survive in Sunday (the day of Sunna) and Monday (the day of Mani. Saturday is a direct adapation of the Day of Saturn, as it seems there was no equivalent to in the Germanic gods for such a being. This is where things get odd, as the book states that Sunday is named for the Goddess Sol, whose sister is Mani, and Saturday is for Saeter, a by name of Loki. Yet, there is no evidence of this. One of the alternate names for Saturday that appears in Germanic languages is Laugardag, which means “washing day” as this was the day that people would bath, and clean. He presents this name as also a by name of Loki. This naming is different then most southern European cultures who either named it for Saturn, or adapted from the jewish practice of calling it Shabbat (which is where names like Samedi, Sabado, and the current german name Samstag, although other Germanic countries preserve the Greco-roman name in Zaterdag, which is Dutch).

The outright invention of making an equivalent like that, and presenting it in a factual manner just really bothers me. Through all of this, there is no connection made between the runes and the planets at all, which I find to be the most curious thing, as in traditional astrology, it was the planets that were of major interest and influence, and to ignore a relationship between the planets and the runes, seem to neglect a significant aspect of what a Runic astrology would be about.
The most difficult thing again is in the creation of a runic horoscope, where the runes are aligned again with the houses, signs, and directions. Nigel Pennick’s alignment of the runes onto the 12 house dividsion seems to again create problems, as the attributions and values just don’t seem to line up correctly between the runes, the seasons, and houses. His alignment breaks from the traditional lay out of the astrological chart, placing the vernal equinox at the midheaven, and moving Aries to that location as well, so that Berkana can align with Aries, and the solstices now fall on the ascendant and descendant with Dagaz and Jera. It really seems to defy the logic of the Elder Futhark and it’s meanings, and the layout of the house chart, where aries is located in the east, with the ascendant, and the first hour, which places it with the equinox, at least in the tropical zodiac. His alignment again, is also off centered, with 3 runes occuping the space over each sign, with only one sign in full, with the two others only taking up half of the degrees of the beginning and ending of other signs. Why he does just assign two runes to each zodiac, I am not really entirely sure, as the combination of such, while maybe imperfect, would not create this inelegant attribution where things don’t line up. In most Astrology as I know it, that seems to be determining factor, is the creation of an elegant system that describes spiritual verities and helps to communicate them to earth, through stars, planets, and equal numerical division. It seems that the Runic Astrology proposed so far, is anything but those qualities.

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