Laukar, Time and Flow
The culture of Golden Age carried the old ritual from 4000 BC. We have to understand that they saw Time and Flow as space-time. We have to expect that they used other names for their deities and Laur or Laukar seem to have been the life-giving Sun
Laukar, Laur, Swedish Government, brainstorming, synthetcial analysis, theory of relativity, barbarian, Faculty of Religion, preconceived ideas, weekday names, the Stag, the Raven, culture carriers, Serpent Pit, Underworld, Isis
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Blow out the preconceived ideas!
Is this something we recognise and can compare with something we know?
First something about the present time and especially about Swedish science in the field I have been working. This essay is going to have some polimizing here and there. I have to clear my back and this is the result of discussion with some youngsters that believe they are scientists and know better than I know. Generally they first look at my feet and then at my teeth and get their opinion. They have not read my books. They do not realise that an old man knows more than a youngster does.
My interest here is mainly the fact that the Swedish Government pays these youngsters and that means my tax money goes to such opinions. I cannot say much about them since they have not published anything to speak of. One of them said that the questions I work with are too difficult so better let them be. I think that attitude has caused that the real knowledge and science about this age and about the rock-carvings is less than ZERO.
I am not going to polemize with such people ever. But we have a lot of others that have given me the small bits of information I can use in these totally new fields. It is obvious that in a new field we have to ask if we can use the same methods as in established fields. I think it is a good thing that I come from a profession where we are used to have the demand for being effective and with no preconceived ideas.
I speak about commercial promotion and brainstorming in this case. In brainstorming there are no rules but "an open mind". If needed rules are created when there is enough stuff to conclude from. Those hanging on formalities will be far behind. We are not allowed to have any restrictions when solving problems. That is why there are many kinds of pioneering.
Firstly the academic style is too slow. That is obvious when we for instance look at the golden bracts where only a few have made the first step of documentation and identification. I am grateful to Karl Hauck and Mogens Mackeprang since without their documentation my work would not have been possible.
Unfortunately none else has gone into the deep of the symbolism and the question of the culture carrying class of the Golden Age. It is much like the rock-carvings that much documentation has been done but no real synthetical analyses. None has been looking "between the lines" seeing the small symbols that tell much about the society. Generally the fault is wrong attitude and preconceived ideas. My grandpa would not tell about all times if he felt that I laugh at him. The academic method set up the frames and a try to fit reality into them and that is not useful when we do not know the relativity system of the past.
In fact the theory of relativity tells us that every relativity field/ system has its own frames. That means we should seek the frames from the field and not from the theories.
Academics are too much interested in the history of the particular discipline and use much time to tell about what has been done before and of course about the persons involved. They write for their own little club of mutual admiration and not for the public. But what if nothing has been done or much has been done but nothing of value. If the field is new they cannot use the method of referring to others or polemize with others.
Both my disciplines have the same structure. Too many academics have set up the frames that people of those times were primitive, barbarians, shamans and practised cult. They complete the faulty attitude by using the frames of the Edda myths to draw their conclusions. I think my ancestors deserve better than being categorised as barbarians and other invectives many historians use. Ancestors deserve also to have freedom of religion. They deserve to be compared with real references in the same way as we in every technical discipline use known and stable references that could be applied on our time too ... I think we should ask, "who were and are the real barbarians?"
They do not ask if they find real evidence of the frames. I understand that they are angry at me when I do not use such frames but let the evidence speak. I try to comment from knowledge about the time and farther back in history since these cultures had their prehistory.
Another thing is that the academics become too specialised. I prefer to have the background clear and set the topic into the whole of the time. Synthesising analysis is something else than studying specialities and I think mixing politics and present religion to those days should be forbidden if we are objective and stringent. Our ancestor's worldview was "space-time" meaning that they included the whole in their view. Then it is not so good to break it into bits and analyse the easiest parts and in worst case fantasise about the unknown.
I think these objections are due to Scandinavian culture and stony tradition in these fields. The science is not old in these aspects. The way they work they conserve the old view on our ancestors. It is heavily coloured by the fact that study of religion and ideas have until 1981 been a matter for the Faculty of Religion. That is like setting the Buck to be gardener. We cannot use frames of Christianity and late Edda mythology on times earlier than Christianity that from the beginning was Catholic and condemned every other religion. Science should be objective.
I do not know much about how other cultures look at these questions since like all other Scandinavians I am born out of my culture. It has been hard work to achieve something like neutral objective worldview. I have touched these questions several times before. But in the psychology of learning I learnt that we should blow out preconceived ideas before we go into a new field with open eyes. This section is by nature different from this short international view on pioneering in an unknown "Snake Pit" of ideas.
To say that above golden bract is primitive shamanism would be easy if we are bound to what we have learnt in school in Scandinavia. I am 64 and my generation learnt about primitive Stone Age people. It is not longer than a few years ago Swedish TV told in a programme that before Christianity (829 AD) in Scandinavia wild chieftains were at continuous war and killed each other once a week. There was no order at all so Christianity told them how to be human. … I really hope that my book can alter those ridiculous opinions.
A Norse rider from Sletner Austfold
This is the only true rider I have found among the golden bracts. All others are composed using something like a horse and often horned. On that they have put a head and often with Celtic flying hair. I regret that they gave the name "rider bract" and I regret that earlier scientist did not use their eyes so that they could see this. Now I have to tell them … and some of them will get angry when I criticise them
Still it is the fact that they have not really looked at this art and that is the same about rock-carvings. Instead they see some of the significant details that fit their theories and use them. Then they make fast conclusions and put on some "labels". Next generation repeat the wrong solution and the lie is established.
Normally they pick some samples and draw conclusions from them and try to find some that correspond to the saga literature. I have used two good documentations and over and over again listed all the details and proportions and make my survey from that. They have no excuse because for instance Mackeprangs book was publicised in 1952.
The books of Karl Hauck 1985 are somewhat better because of the big pictures and the gathered analysis of the texts. He tells the present stage of interpreting texts on the bracts. To that I add my studies in ancient syllable script that still was valid at this time. I have drawn my own conclusion and I see no reason why I should discuss clear conclusions. My addition to the knowledge comes from my deep knowledge about the ages before the Golden Age in Scandinavia.
Anyway I would not take anything from youngsters that cannot go into detail and discus them rather than about my person and whatever without reading all my writing about this. Now another question about reasonable answers.My humble wisdom is...very traditional
Where is the onion?
LATHU LAUKAR ::: GAKAR ALU
One of my teachers in mathematics told us to always check if we have a reasonable answer before we leave the examination. That advice is good in every connection. Here they interpret LAUKAR = onion, but not a single onion on nearly 1000 golden bracts. There are 450 motifs that are at least a little different and we can list around 60 single small symbols and no onion.
LAUKAR and GAKAR sounds like proper names and KAR is the old Germanic word for for "old man" and it is still in use in Scandinavia in the form "karl". GAKAR = "Go-man" = Sun with some similar expressions in old languages. LAUKAR occurs 9 times on bracts and even in the short form LAUR = "flow out". There are a few place names with that root.
Most important is that we have it in Scandinavian Laurdag = Saturday. The weekday names were taken to use in Roman Empire around 300 AD. That means Heruli / Erils surely were the founders of these days … the folk etymology will get it to be "wash day" but that sounds too childish together with the other weekday names being so-called god names.
Here we must remember that in Roman time Saturnus was the god of agriculture. That fits the symbolism of the idol we see on the golden bracts with signs of agriculture. So we should not let later times colour those days. I vote for that the gods of fertility Frey, Satur, Sun and Moon (rain) gave name to those four days. Ti was the old Bullgod for the cattlers, Wednes/ Wodan was the sea god for traders and Thurs was the tri-head god of World Order but that later was misunderstood as Thor the god of agreement.
The same motif has been found in two more samples from Skaane. The style of these alters a little in the headgear compared with Anglia from Elbe to Ribe. Another from Lellinge Kohave Zealand has the text SALUS ALU where SALUS is Latin wish for "health and progress " but could have been a little different those days. Then it is easy to think that ALU = "alere" in Latin and that fits as imperative in the cases ALU occurs. The style of the bracts show that the goldsmiths had much to do with Roman friends and that perhaps affected the language too
… many has suggested that it mean "beer" but I cannot see it fits into the occurrences. We know about the Mars-brew from medieval time of course. However in this case it should also be synonym to for instance "LATHU". It would also be odd to places the text "beer" on a tombstone. A wish for health in the grave I buy since they thought about rebirth. The last wish of dear Old Socrates was that he asked a friend to offer a cock to the God Of Healing. He was a good optimist that dear Old Man.
It would be natural to see LAUKAR as the proper name of an idol that is similar as the better known Tyr and his myth in which he put his in his hand in the gap of the Fenriswolf. The other giants tie it with things that not exist so this is naturally only a myth with abstract images. On the sample above he has not his hand in the gap but near his own mouth. But on the Skrydstrup bract in the same style he has the hand in the gap.
On this bract from Skrydstrup S. Jutland the same figure has the hand in the gap. This is the centre of the bract. There have been three borders with geometric pattern and at the ear there is triangle filled with double spirals.
The text LAUKAR ALU occurs on the bract from Skrydstrup South Jutland where LAUKAR has more symbols from the very old ritual calendar as for instance the entwined serpents. The Stag is in stead of the Pegasus-horse and was fashion in Frisia, Anglia and some other places. There are some coins from Viking Age Dorestad and Lund with the Stag.
We cannot immediately see Tyr and Laukar as equals. Even when Danish Tis / Tyr maybe means flow but other normal late saga's attributes and story tell about a warrior. Laukar has the Sun Eagle as headgear and generally he belongs to the normal peasants' year, spring equinox and Ramadan. Here he has the Raven in front of him that is originally icon for midsummer.
In science we have to be stringent and stand close to images and facts … in folklore and saga they maybe can be careless and alter things to fit the general story. Compared with the more clearTyr-bracts we get the impression of ritual year, fertility and farmers year from these Laukar motifs. We can not set this equal with the known Tyr myth that is far from reality and fit as children's saga.
Those small things create our attitude to those times. On this bract he seems to have a hand very near the gap and the step from this bract to the Tyr myth is not long but here we see the connection to the old ritual calendar. It is the same with what I call "Balder bracts" that there are small details as for instance the mistletoe that connects the bracts to the known myth, however still it is different on the bracts. In the Edda texts there is not much that could associate to real life and work
On these two bracts there is only the hair ribbons on the Skaane sample that show influence from Rome. Still when we have the whole picture we can see the bonds to the Heruli that brought the cold and cultural influences. But at home they stuck to old traditions and that culture was rural even among the nobility of Erils. The Heruli were the specialised class of warriors while the Erils represented the full scale of culture carriers in whole Scandinavia down to Elbe and even Rhineland.
All this is far from the myths in the Edda and the known gods Odin, Thor and Loke that was written down as late as 13th century with few texts spared older than that. Most of it is "second hand rumours".
From the same place we have the bract fromAars there is a bract were "Longleg" is warrior with Roman helmet with very long crest and he has the battle axe in his hand. That axe became fashion among Nordic wapentake warriors and is even known from the Anglo Saxons. Wapentake meant that some percent for instance 1 : 10 male was taken for defence if needed. We have to connect this to the fact that the Cimbri furnished Rome with a legion of foot soldiers. But still the long leg of the warrior puzzles?
There always going to be exceptions from the mainstream. I can explain two categories on one page, but I need a book to explain the exceptions. The Sunrider is on 45 % and the Snake Pit on 32 % of the bracts. The rest has a small part of exceptions that can help us understand different aspect of their society. Still we have to see their society as peaceful and the nobility got their wealth from trade. The legionaries and Heruli was only a little fraction of their business at home so to speak.
May a Sunrider and Hero look like this?
This is from "Another World" Obermöllern, Naumburg near Leipzig. Long ago I read some text that out ancestors used the expression when they went up stream Elbe. W Gautland was also "Another World" … and they were naturally right. As soon as we leave our own landscape everything look different.
I know this should be a horse because the same head is on some other bract. But did they mean the real horse or what they saw in sky from the Pegasus constellation? And who knows what gods look like? Anyhow these people carried a tradition with around 4500 years of age. We do not have much of that kind … and some of us despise these ancestors?
There are the symbols for sun year division and moon year feasts maybe and the bullhorns so we get the normal message
"Gunnar in Serpent Pit"
This bract is from Nebenstedt Niedersachsen downstream Elbe from Naumburg. It could be Raven and Sun Eagle at his arm but is it? Looks like a serpent around his body. Who knows what it looks like down in Underworld. The picture shows the personal Ragnarauk we meet if we are buried. But it is also the place from where new life grows and if we are using human personifications we must picture it down there too.
This image we find at several places as for instance picture stones at Gotland and the Gosforth Cross Lancashire, England. The expression "Gunnar in Serpent Pit" comes from the late heroic literature in the suite "Valands family" and in the parallel Niebelungslied in which Gunnar Gjuke is called Burgundian. In some version the one in the pit says as last words "Grunt will the pigs when they hear this"… they tell it is something about revenge and that the swine phalanx will go into action.
They think this saga cycle was born in Rhineland during several hundred years. That includes naturally that we know the Herulian presence there since beginning of that millennium. The metaphor "Snake Pit" we see in 4000 year's old rock carvings as place for marriage in Underworld".
Even in this half dissoluted stage we see the word ALU
This bract is from Heide Schleswig Holstein. It seems to be the forerunner for dissolution we see in bracts as well as well as in buckles and jewellery. We can not know if it was practical or some other reason, but it made the composition freer when they could place the parts as they wished. This hairstyle seems to be seen mostly in southwest. That is my feeling without making statistics.
Under the ear there is a spiral that goes into the picture that seems to be the Underworld. Then it is the sun or the warmth of it. Observe the birds eagle and raven that seems misplaced. But they were originally time markers so it is quite possible to see them as part of the message about the living underworld … Later mythology made it two ravens of Odin, but in this early symbolism they are clearly two different birds. The same is case in a plate with Odin maybe from Vendel 7th century and two different birds flying with him.
On many bracts they placed the Eagle in the end of the hair curls. There is a series with 16 bracts where the eagle head is in Phrygian or Parthian style in front as headgear. We know that Zeus and Jupiter usually have an eagle as attribute. Maybe it symbolised the lightening as we see in Sumerian symbolism.
The Raven or the Crow we find also in astro symbolism and originally it was symbol for picking the soil before sowing. We see it in the rock-carvings too. We have also the "Crow Moon" or Mars that was just time of beginning the work on the fields here in North.
Worm-man from Uppland
This motif we have in four samples from Uppland and from Gotland. One of them from Ulvsunda Uppland is of the luxurious kind with diameter 9 cm and four borders made like beams.
The being is maybe meant to be "Father Earth"" and we can compare with Geb in Egypt. It is too easy to be isolationist and stay at home and believe that only Scandinavians practised odd symbolism. Very often we find the same kind in the big cultures in south
Here we get associations to growth not only for what comes out of the mouth but also the vegetative symbols at his right leg and the body of course. Compare it with the figures on the bracts fromKongsvad. And what about the "rubber legs". In soil no legs are needed.
"Old Man in Underworld" Sletner Austfold Norway
This composition we find in several samples in Viken and Rogaland Norway but also from Odense, Haderslev, East Gautland and Kent England. We find "the man with rubber legs" also on buckles and adornments … seeYahwe in Skandinavia . WE cannot be sure that the biblical myths were al the same 1500 years ago. Some Heruli were perhaps on duty in Antioch since we have solidi coined there. Another thing is that Scandinavian Erils could have visited the Levant.
In Egypt it was not only Geb that symbolised Earth but also the Goose and we have some of them in symbolism too. At that time Isis was popular in Rome and there is some rune text that possibly could contend her name. However the goddess was surely known long before that but it was like "an old new fashion". Another image for the Underworld was of course Osiris that symbolised the sawn corn and Horus his son was the growing corn.
The Sumerian Inanna New Moon myth is much the same since she sent her mate Dumuzi the herd to Underworld and out of that came Sin the Moon. They also mention the helpers water and fertilizer and that there was some "marriage in Underworld". Myths are seldom clear and understandable but we understand that they know all about using the soil for production. We have the "Serpent Pit" on a few rock-carvings of the same age as the Sumerians.
The Snake Pit
The theme on these golden bracts I call the Snake Pit
At right a golden bract from Nebenstedt Hanover and the other from Selvik Rogaland Norway. This type is the second biggest group with more than 160 different shapes. It is hard to see real differences in the motif so we can only give a general definition.
Most of them are like that from Nebenstedt that there is no intelligible order or shape at all. The Norse gives us a clue since we see a snake head that is the sowing point and a symbol we know from the rock-carvings read "have out".
These cuts are from Haugsbyn Dal as examples of the Snake Pit and sowing in the snake and the "marriage in Netherworld
These cuts are a little clearer than many other that show the unknown Netherworld. Who knows what there is and how it looks? Since organised religion there have been many speculations about the Otherworld and more realistic research about controlling the Netherworld when growing plants.
Their rituals were much the same when sowing and at funerals. That is perhaps why we see the golden bracts used as a ticket to the Ferryman on the journey to afterworld. Maybe they offered these sometimes for good journey of the sown crops since some of them are found in bogs.
The chaos in the composition as such shows that they did not know too much about the issue they pictured here.
From left Ringkauping West Jutland … Ribe South Jutland … Aars North Jutland
These they call D-bracts and they are collected to show that on a few of them we can see some details we can recognise such as eyes, beak and tail. However most of the samples of this category contending 145 bracts are not intelligible at all since there are only indefinite lines without pattern. That means there is not much to tell about this type. The two first finds are from former bogs and the last was a hoard with 13 bracts of the kind.
It is possible that they have been used as Charons coins alternatively as offer Significant find conditions is in this case moss, North Jutland Viborg and Himmerland with many finds that does not follow the pattern of the rest of the bracts. Other landscapes with finds are Ribe - Esbjerg, Fyn, Rogaland, Viken Norway, Bohuslaen, West Gautland and Skaane.
Akershus, Norway with symmetrical composition
If we got the problem of picturing the biological wonder in the soil and the entire season I think we should have some difficulties. Especially those that are born in cities with no interest in growing and nature.
Using personification is an old method and even Rome had tens of them. However they were nearly intellectual since the noble people in cities let the peasant do the job in the fields. Some patricians were interested in agriculture but generally it was a matter for rural people. In the symbolism of the golden bracts we have still the old ritual calendar and its myths in symbols and icons.
The dynamic image of the snake was used to express space-time from the very beginning in Stone Age and it continued until the last rune stone in 11th century. The battling and sometimes entwined serpents were a good dynamic picture of life and the building and subversive forces. We would not live a day without that dualism.
It is much better analysis and philosophy than we have got from Christianity and modern science. We have to "take the bad with good" and cannot lure reality by believing we can separate these parts of life without getting problem in future
We should not forget that these golden items surely were for the noble class. As always the majority of people are invisible in history and archaeology. The only evidence is the survival of mankind at least until know.