Bronze Age Rigveda
Peasants' world is much the same all over the world and in a sense timeless. The nobility carried the culture and introduced the novelties by trade to the entire Old World. That is why we see so many similarities and can search even in India for European roots
Rigveda,Thor, treadmill, Sun poetry, Sun chariot, World Egg, Rain Dragon, advices in Kalevala, Aryan, trading Erils, Celtic hero, Pushan, Agni
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Thor opened the land and made the tools
Thor opened the land and made the tools. However pure evidence about this we have not but many sagas.
Maybe only a few read Snorre's prologue to the Edda. Still, it tells about the origin of Thor and Odin. Thor was a son of Mennon and Priamos´ daughter Troan. He grew up to be a giant that could lift ten bearskins and once he killed his foster parents in Thrace.
Thor forgot his hammer in Austria in a copper mine ca 1000 BC
However Thrace became too hot or maybe small and he travelled the world around making the hero's deeds. Siv, the fortune-teller caught him and he was tied up with the veipa, the wedding cloth. After that Snorre count 22 generations to Odin.
Maybe Athens became too hot when he tethered Hera to the throne. Observe the short shaft on the hammer. The Greeks called him Hephaistos, the smith.
Odin did not feel comfortable in the South so he gathered his people and their cattle and they travelled northwards. They founded Saxony and his sons took over other folklands around like Franchland. We may especially mention that the northern Balder got Westphalia.
Still his feets were itching and he went northwards to Jutland and after a while let her son Shield take over the Daneland. Then he went for Svitjod where king Gylfe had heard the rumours about the mighty leader and at once he was on his knees. In that way Odin became founder and father of the northern kingdoms. A point is that the fact that he is buried in several places along his journey.
For our way of thinking there is no logic in the story made by Snorre. It should perhaps be read like a saga about heroes. If we are serious we can analyse the fact that he wrote the sags about 2400 years after king Priamos, which is the Homerian hero of Troja and might be a virtual figure too.
We know from the finds in Hoby, Lolland Denmark that some chief got as Roman present a silver service with figures from the Troja theme about 9 AD. Those kinds of sagas were perhaps for an upper class.
On this picture the hero is in Madrid on a frieze around a well. The axe seems useable for lumberman. Everywhere in Europe there was need for that kind of tool besides the fire as the hot axe.
Maybe Snorre had some version of the Homerian hymns. If the grandfather Priamos lived about 1200 BC, then Odin was born about 500 BC. According to normal three generations in hundred years.
If we take Snorre seriously are his heroes ordinary people becoming heroes and idols for the upper class. He was of course a man of his era. Christianity brought the saints to people's mind. The beginning feudalism made the family clans important as base for the owning. It was only a natural parallel that the world of sags became filled with heroes and fights for property. We can also compare with the Celtic tradition filled with heroes and beings somewhere between saga and reality.
The Celtic Otherworld was a natural part of their mental world. Surely it has changed with Christianity and we cannot be sure it was as we nowadays read it. It is not possible to reconstruct what it might have been. We can only try to give some hints about what it might have been.
We can also ask if the tales of Snorre and other poets have influenced early historians to believe in them. In my youth the theory about the wandering and conquering Indo-European was very alive.
However the Great Migration and the Huns did not bring much of new culture to Scandinavia. Maybe the remains of the hill forts are the only manifestos about how people prepared themselves. Still, we do not know against whom they prepared. The Slaves on the south coasts was a new element, but it seems they partly adapted the old culture.
The earlier Scythian migration has left less influence and is much like in other great cultures that only some tribes adapt new culture and then it is assimilated to manifold Single finds of Scythian wagons is not evidence enough to talk about invasion. We have to look at the culture as a whole afterwards.
The Celtic culture continued until after the Great Migration when the Danes threw out the feudal system carried by the trading Erils. One part of them made money by being legionaries in Rome and other traded with Rome until the empire vanished. However the main part of that nobility only moved to the less populated wilderness in eastern Sweden. A smaller part stayed in Yugoslavia and was assimilated to that world.
In about hundred year's time a new nobility grew up in Eastern Sweden known as the Vendel culture and the trading isles of Öland and Gotland had only a minor decrease under the shaky centuries. We have always to remember that there were no nations and we know nothing about smaller folklands alternatively a trading class after the Erils.
The style of Snorre is like a very short Celtic saga normally with a flowering language. The Northern hero was supposed to be tough with very few words in his normal speech. In his oral manner he should show that he could bear glowing iron or walk on glowing charcoal without an expression. In many of the sagas Celtic and Northern as well should contend a hidden advice or wisdom.
It seems that the Edda heroes are too Christian. That means that either they are very unwanted like Loke or heroes like Thor. Loke became the Devil himself in Christianity. Yet he was surely only an icon for the innovative mind. In the 12th centuries the fundamentalism of Christianity developed. Neither the feudal nobility wanted ordinary people to think by themselves. That should be a monopoly for higher priests and the king and his hird.
He assisted Zeus in hard thinking and handicraft when Athens needed a goddess and the thought jumped out of Zeus´ head. And the shapes of the smiths hand.
Only Odin carries a lot of the hidden magic in old heroes. Our time like to call it shamanism, however no one know about that in reality. The real shaman was and is as far as we know a gentle medicine man and carrying also for the soul. His methods seems odd, but they works otherwise he would not practise them. Political power is not in his interest, since he only serves his tribe in the area where humankind has very little.
The Celtic hero is more humanlike than Christian saints and Northern heroes. Sometimes he is good and sometimes he is bad. Sometimes he tries magic, but as we know usually there is not direct success. However sometimes it may loosen and open some doors to the unconscious mind and get solutions from there.
If we compare early Celtic stories to the Old Testament there is no great difference. For some reason old sagas and today's movies should be about fighting men. Also in Greece the last millennium BC may be called the Heroes' Age. However the Hebrews were fighting for land and sovereignty. One of the means was in creating the new god, however the leaders met much opposition especially from the women.
We know that by themselves they became "a chosen tribe", which they want the rest of the world to believe. It is almost a contradiction that everyone should belong to their tribe, but how is that possible if they demand that others be born in their tribe? Anyhow it is a question of a historical process to reach the insight that non-aggression is the best method for progress for every nation.
The aggressive ideology/religion does not correspond to a peaceful world we can see in old Indo-European philosophy about treaties as a mean. It is also against the UN policy giving every single human the right to peace. But as we know many countries practice the old fashion of making "lebensraum". In our carvings I se no aggression, however they knew to be prepared for struggle and showed they had weapons if needed. Threat is a cheap defence.
Our heritage in Rigveda.
The Aryans were reality for my generation of the world. My world was of course little in the peaceful countryside at west Zealand, Denmark 1942 - 45. We sensed the big world when the black cars with the Gestapo now and then passed our farm with garden to the road. They were not a big threat but still everyone wondered what is happening now.
The Aryan rule by the Germans became more evident when they made their own telephone line along the road. They did not call them slaves, but they were imprisoned and forced to work. In fact they were Slaves of the Polish and Czech kind. They were the faces of modern Aryans. These people were chosen to be slaves, while those in the cars and the German soldier were the noble chosen people.
The odd reason was supposed to be that for more than 4000 years ago the Aryans took power from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic. The chosen tribe saw it as their mission to enslave or root out all those not belonging to their own tribe. One contradiction was that already at that time the linguist classed slaves as Indo-Europeans and belonging to the original "Aryans". However the quest was of course only for supremacy of the German people ... This spring the West faces another emperor in Yugoslavia. It never ends and must be something in the human. He is not fit to live in large populations.
Some will blame Hitler for the mess and he formulated of course the ideology. However you need not to be a supporter. Still they were many also in the occupied Denmark. We learned to be careful when dealing with those farmers in high boots. It is a normal weakness of man that some of us love to be the master of others as a meaning of life.
All world rulers use the syndrome "chosen tribe" whether they are worldly or religious. Those born out of Christianity and the brother Islam seem to be the most aggressive in their search for dominance. Maybe it is because it is near us and we know it well. There is a big difference between the more natural feeling of belonging to a clan, tribe or nation and aggressive missions or forces demanding people to either be within or die.
These sentences have to be written before we go to Rigveda. Nowadays I believe that most scientist agree with me when I say that Aryans was those living in the ancient Aryana. They call it Afghanistan with the neighbours Pakistan and farther Rajasthan. The Indus culture started in Pakistan as far as we know and then it was natural that there might be some struggles with their neighbours, the Aryans. Especially when they perhaps earlier than the neighbours got the new weapon the horse driven car.
It is almost a law that once new technique within the war machine is invented it should be set on trial at once. It is the natural mind of man. My generation has read about the invention of the atomic bomb. The scientists got frightened when they saw their newborn child, but the warrior wanted to try it at once.
We always learn by watching others and are borrowing from our surroundings. Those speaking about genetic heritage as the only source should watch the beings on a reef. There we see the adaptation of the beings to their surroundings. I think the beings evaluate their camouflage up to the surroundings. That cannot be a development from the individual genes. It is a question about what comes first the genes or new surroundings?
We may say that a certain surrounding demands for a certain suit and behaviour. Life is not generated only from genes but as a symbiosis with surrounding nature. Individually there is a lot of learning to be an adult creature. Then it is obvious that the Indian culture was evaluated in India and not by invaders. The same counts for Scandinavian culture that it is local with influence from other cultures.
The North Europeans have no old written history and then it is maybe natural to search outside. The stories about Aryans was just what many wanted to hear and Christianity learned that every tribe should be chosen. The idea of Aryans demanded for large thought about world rulers and to finish what was just a happening during Alexander the Great's thirteen years of rule.
In the seventies some archaeologist went farther to the primitive wild to learn something about ancestors. The Roman methods in agriculture did not work north of the Alps so why should Hawaiian methods work in Scandinavia? Maybe they learned where not to seek.
The picture is from Arendal Bohuslaen and in the left corner we maybe see the idea of a fire offer.
On our carvings we see some pictures we may associate to offer and then maybe reflecting the practice of using fire in taming nature. Our fires at Valborg first of May is maybe the ritual fire while the original practice was to burn grass and twigs and spread the ashes as fertiliser.
We see also "birdmen" at our rocks and some classify them "primitive". They might be symbol for the sunbird, moonbird, timebird or the Eagle in stars.
Nevertheless I write here a short section about if not heritage then likeness in culture at the time of the Rigveda epos. Let us forget the silly ideas of some in the past generation.
The early Sumerian, Babylonian, Egyptian and Hittitian texts give us insight in the time before Northern Bronze Age. Indian Rigveda was written 1200 to 900 BC during the same Heroic Age we see in the Middle East and elsewhere in Europe. There are 1028 hymns and many on equivalent themes. We can parallel some themes with the Bronze Age carvings in Scandinavia.
In the epos the name Aryan occur only in few cases and may mean a god, a fellow and then perhaps the neighbours alternatively a rising class of warriors. Earlier interpreters wanted to se Aryans behind some metaphors but it is more like believing in Nostradamus. I prefer direct speech as proof in cases like this. I think the name is more like the world German meaning "our brothers".
Maybe the origin of the birdmen is in the "high culture" in Greece. There it was not primitive to make the "bird-dance". Nowadays they dance it on Mallorca in summer.
If we look closely at their message or ideology it is of the same kind as we see in Sumer before the supposed Greta Migration of Indo-Europeans about 2000 BC. We have to add if there was any?
The great Sargon disturbed the balance in Mesopotamian and Levant about 2300 BC. Nearly at the same time there was trouble in Egypt. Maybe that is why we in inland Scandinavia see trials in agriculture caused by immigrants. The rock-carvings in Evenstorp and some of the places in Haugsbyn seem to be from that time. Even small tribes of immigrants could affect the sparsely populated Scandinavian world. There need not be many tribes to look as migration.
The later Age of Wanderers ca 1200 BC indicated by the Sea-people in the inner Mediterranean and the spreading of the war chariot may have meant invaders in some places.
However where were people enough to conquer the entire India and also Europe? And what should they conquer? The rich delta in Egypt or the wilderness in Europe? It is maybe difficult to see the difference if we find originally bought artefacts indicating influence from other places one hand. On the other the genetic belonging we can only find by studying the genetics. Earlier it was easy to speculate when it could not be proved. Modern methods will alter many earlier theories. Nowadays we can build on facts as better evidence.
The new class Brahmins needed not write about Indo-European invaders more than thousand years earlier. They refer to an earlier culture where the Sages were the "ruling" wise men. They wanted to be new rulers like we know from Greece that the philosophers meant that they should rule the society. Still as ever the men with arms were the real rulers. The Vedic poems are not concerning the entire life of the Indian. Their concern were only their own class and the warriors and landlords.
We can compare the development with Kalevala where the old wise man is the icon as leader of his tribe. In English it is an epos about "Land of heroes" and maybe telling about the origin in Bronze Age. But heroes are few and practical and the wise man the smith Ilmarinen are the most important idols. However the heroes are not of the same kind as in India, Greece, among the Celts or in Edda. It was written for smaller tribes in a sparsely populated wilderness.
Nature and man generated fast a population in India with the means and possibilities to create several classes in society. As ever the culture we see is mostly made by or for the upper classes. Money and means is needed in making culture. Only traders or/and a feudal class can gather the means from the surrounding land or from trade. It is a natural logic that richness builds on profiting from others. The Brahmins became the promoters of the upper classes.
The war chariot became immediately fashion about the upper class in the entire Indo-European sphere from India to Western Europe and Scandinavia. In Rigveda we can read about the macho man on the agenda.
Much of the original rural problems have vanished in Rigveda. They have rationalised the struggle for food to the Soma-press. Soma is "eau de vie" or the sap of life. We can compare the soma-press with Sampo in Kalevala and Grottekvarnen i.e. treadmill in Edda.
The Ritual Calendar has to be understood behind. They use terms from it as if everybody knew what it is about. That makes it difficult for us to clearly understand what it is about. But perhaps some with spiritual mind want it that way. The priests definitely want to make it a mystery, so that they have to interpret it for us.
From "the Hymn to the Frogs" we may decide that the soma-priests, Adhvaryus managed the ritual calendar. Rural people in general surely had their old men to keep time and work in order. Feast during the year carried the rituals and much of it was in the hymns everybody knew.
It is only natural that we find many contradictory themes in a collection from different ages. The same is case with all other "national epos" with length, in spite of interpreters telling us that there were only on true story. I think the best advice is to see Rigveda as poetry and the same counts for what we see in our rock-carvings. That gives us the right attitude when we meet imaginative pictures and wordiness.
In one version there are a couple of hymns about the Sunbird difficult to understand. In the aristocratic version there is seven horses drawing the sun wagon. There also hymns to the Sunhorse. In the following version it is a normal racing wagon with two draft-animals and the driver Pushan.
You are a flood of goods, a bunch of richness.
Ah, you Burning with goats as horses,
a friend of this singer
Let the goats with the steady feet
Draw the wagon with Pushan to us.
It carries the god, the shine for the people.
The goat was symbol and attribute to Pushan and in the hymns the goat keep company with the competition stallion, the Sun ... still in our days we meet the goat together with the stallion. When humanising the driver is sometimes headless and sometimes a dwarf. Servants do not need a head since they have no hat.
The virtues of the sun merge in the stallion as a fiction ... however in reality it is a merging of sun and earth. There is an offer hymn to the stallion describing the ceremony in details. They rose a pole with a crossbar ... the midsummer pole? With the goat in front followed the stallion, Tvastr, the charger and other idols made three turns around the pole before slaughter.
After that followed the sacrifice ... in Nordic "blot", when the horse was cooked in the kettle. It was very important how the slaughter used his tools and parted the flesh. The kettle was a ritual symbol also when brewing and drinking bear at harvest, I think. In the temple peoples offer was a way of feeding the priests. They knew exactly how sacrifice should be done. The one who takes the oral word become easily the spiritual and worldly leader.
We easily think about magic rites when we hear the word "blot" associating to blood. However I think that in normal families it was just like ""dip in the pot" at Christmas. They steak the pig flesh in the own in a pan. Everything is poured into a terrine. Around the table everyone dips bread in the terrine and takes pieces of flesh to the plate. I have made my dips in the Karelian way and in same style in Vaestergautland. Some people just keep alive the tradition from the time of big cauldrons.
We may compare it with the rituals in church, however the real flesh is mostly transformed in stages to symbols. The worldly banquettes for the upper class have also many ceremonial moments. Ordinary people seldom got horseflesh since the horse was just luxury until Middle Age when they began to breed horses that could be used as draft-animals. Otherwise the horse was for the rich farmers aiming at knighthood.
In another hymn Pushan have swans before his carriage. Boats were also used and perhaps sometimes on sledges with draft-animals as we see in Egyptian wall paintings. In our language we sometimes say "heavenly ocean" like they did those days.
Usually we have no key or programme to the old hymns. They sang them accompanying ceremonies and processions in the way we still see sometimes in some places today. We have either knowledge about the sequences in their ceremonies. However since we know that they were about the journey of the sun in a day or a year respectively about the moon, we may think that they followed the pattern we know.
For instance dawn is personified by the word Usas. It means just dawn and nothing else. Once we write it like a name, we expect it to be some goddess that can fix at least the dawn. When the rising sun is pictured in a poem we need more words like Tvastr, the charger, Pushan, the driver, Asvins the draft-animals and so on up till the imagination of the poet and singer.
By necessity the pantheon changed in pace with changing population, technology and cultural development. We just get a glimpse of the older wise men or gods asuras lead by Varuna master of RTA, the world and time order. Varuna does of course not disappear, but many of the asuras turn to be a demon. The world of Hinduism is not the same as the Veda. Some of the names used here may be of late origin. Varuna was very used in the beginning when their world order was not stable, but became more in the background when other important things took power in the world of nobility.
From the begining there were a long row of deities belonging to sun and time. Some of them were Agni, Mitra, Asvins, Pushan, Savitr. Surya, Vivasvan, Usas, Vena or Sunbird, Visnu, Rahu, Krsanu, and their incarnations such as swan, goat, horse, and eagle. The bull and horse were naturally attributes and symbols of male power and strength. They rode of course the horse, but how it was with the bull we do not know.
Indra was mostly associated to the creation and the earliest myth may be of the Sumerian kind. That is when Enlil separated heaven and earth and that type is the most common myth on earth. He became even the "first lower", who raped Ninlil and they got Sin, the moon ... understood to be the rising corn.
The Maories on New Zeeland have the longest and loveliest myth. They are known to be good storytellers. The creation myth is on the theme with an understood egg and the "chicken" separating the halves. The earth, Rangi and the heaven, Papatua were tight together and gave birth to children between them. The space became crowded and the clever son Tane pries apart the parents.
It is possible that this very old carving from the Laussel cave is on that theme with the twin-being still together. In the same cave we find the Naked with the Moon Horn symbol of rain and fertility.
Of course we have seen how an embryo is created when fertilised and then divides in two and so on. It is pure logic in the organic world that two components create the third. Then it starts to grow in jumps by dividing the cells. Our ancestors were clever analysers and they figured out the steps that must be if it should work.
In Rigveda we usually find several variants. Another myth we perhaps can compare with Ying and Yang and those were the twins Yama and Yami children of Sun. They were perhaps the origin of the dualism which flowered from about 2400 BC to the Veda Age ca 1200 BC. Manu another son of Sun was father of the first human in one myth. In Rigveda the hymn is maybe a warning against incest. Yama became later the god of death.
The meaning in the poems is seldom clear. But some characteristic we may give. Agni was the fire and warmth of the sun. Mitra was the intimate merging and transfer of sun power to nature. The Asvins were donkeys and were physicist and helpers ... maybe to be compared with Askepleios and his helper the healing power of the sun ... our sunbathers still use that old Might.
From our rock-carvings we may decide that the ritual vehicle usually was a two-wheeled chariot. Used for rituals but also as battle chariot in some places. It was drawn by two horses and could be taken apart and transported in bad terrain. That is why we always see two men on the chariot.
Still we are using the poetic language and talking about the high ride of the sun. In my youth they did not understand the poems and believed our ancestors were dumb and primitive. But as one scientist told, we westerners use only one brain half and do not really understand metaphors.
Savitr, the charger of course lit the sun in the morning but also the black sun in the evening. Surya and Vivasvan were names for the day sun. Surya gave life in marriage with Soma, the moon. Krsanu was guard of the moon "he bends the bow" ... and maybe Archer in the sky. In Rigveda Soma, part is the male part and can be compared with Sumerian Nergal, the moon city god in some places. Inanna, the new moon became most known and was surely a later stage in developing myths. Her mate was the cowboy Dumuzi.
How do you answer when a little one ask "Where do the sun go in the evening and where is the moon when we do not see it?"
It is a picture from arctic Russia and it is easy to believe it is something "primitive". In the "high" culture Egypt they symbolise the going moon year with the crocodile eating the moons. The hippopotamus Taweret made the change to a new at Ramadan. At left we see a man and it fits the picture, since it is Hercules or the big man used in symbolism from the very beginning. So we may say the picture belongs to the astro-culture in The Old World.
In Rigveda the moon dog Rahu eat sun and moon like a cookie-monster . The brahmines are still using old Rahu as symbol. When the astronauts landed on the moon, they said that "Now has Rahu got flea in his fur".
In the dark night in south they waited for the dawn Usas. The sunbird Vena was "longing". Visnu was surely dividing the year, an abstract aspect of the sun. When speaking about the avatar of the Dwarf Visnu take three steps in Universe. Maybe it is division in heaven, earth and underworld or maybe it is dividing the year in three termini. That we know from symbolism and practice. On the drums of Sames there are usually a division in three and it is perhaps the last use of the Old World order in Scandinavia.
The old year counting used the harvest as year mark as for instance the renpet-symbol in Egypt. The same was case in old Nordic tongue. We may note that many god names we can directly translate to a modern word for some quality order or process.
In the early world order it was "all in one" or mankind was one with nature as the feeding half. A nature man from Siberia said once "Everything is man". In their world they had the ideas in heaven with no clear borders. The past, now and future was a continuous flow the mind wandered in. If we only think their way we behave the same way, however we explain it in other words. We use the methods and words of ancestors whenever we need to and it is like ancestors' cult.
When we analyse further their outlook was that the entire Universe is an embryo and also meaning that our personal world begins as an embryo and from the same pattern as Universe. This is the only way to describe a logic that fits in every dimension of Universe. Then everything becomes organic however existing with different individual timetables and dimensions ...
... to me the original pattern and fire is inside us. We get is as two components from our parents. It is very difficult to describe these matters shortly and understandable. To me it has been a good help to study our ancestors' logic and solutions since they make sense.
Dr Franseco d'Errico wrote me with a good kernel "What makes universe so hard to comprehend is that there's nothing to be compared it with". He set his finger directly on the point. We have to start from ourselves and make an Irminsul as reference point when begning to measure Universe.
The above mentioned Siamese twins or couple is a good picture to start with when explaining organic life. The World Egg we have in common with most of the world. In Rigveda the sun is born as the seventh egg and is dead. In Kalevala the sun is yolk. If we have an egg we must of course have a bird. Her name is Ilmatar or Luonotar in the Finish epos and it means "air or nature".
The Egyptians tell about the Big Cackling One and some of us keep our parents awake all the night in the beginning. It is only natural that they said, "In the beginning was the word". The Sumerians began a very little step farther back and said "It begins with the light" or just when we see the light the first time. There are many birds in early symbolism. A good choice since it picture our abstract thinking as flying above us and not in our real world. This is about the poetic version.
More practical earthy versions on the theme tell that the smith, the carpenter, the potter and so on set the humankind on earth. In our Edda it is in one version perhaps a lumberman from our big woods that gave Ask and Embla a place.
In Kalevala the old wise man Vaenaemauinen (hard to write without Nordic letters) was the first man on earth. We can compare it with Sumerian Enki the first on earth. And find some more Sumerian fragments in the epos. It was only natural that in small tribes the aldur i.e. alderman was the leader at least when they left the goddess as a symbol to follow.
I am not sure if we can categorise and say every tribe was lead by the patriarch or a male leader. The find of golden neckrings in Vaestergautland speaks about three cases. The woman leader, the male leader and the leading twins as late as around the Great Migration. I prefer to call them neckrings since "the ring" had a special ritual logic. We have also king Ring and the placename Ringerike. In the big ring of people you are in it or in the middle, if you are on outside you do not belong. Then we have the symbolism with rings around the arm, the foot, the finger and the neck. The leader let his neck to society.
The Celtic world had at least in some places a bigger population. Then it was natural that the "wise men" became men's league of their own. We know them as the druids. It is difficult to speak about big chiefs and druids at the same time. Someone say they were a late invention perhaps because the Roman sources do not mention d them until their time. But the Ionians knew them much earlier. Another tradition was folklands governed by their lawmen and then often in pair.
We have to remember that our knowledge is based on few notes and they can not be generalised. On the other hand there was the manifold. Still, we say at least something when we repeat the notes made by Romans and Greeks.
One of the hymns in Rigveda is a mix between the tale about Ymer out of which much was created and on the other hand Rigstula telling about the classes of people. Nowadays they still practise the casts in India. In Europe we had four caste openly until modern time. Now it is underground and pop up know and then if we want to see it.
In Pre-Vedic time they called the wise men Sager. In Vedic time began the use of Brahmin as the leading class. It is natural that wise men want to be leaders ... we know it also from Greek philosophers. In practise it is seldom that wisdom is genetic heritage. Most of the wisdom has to be learnt by education and practice. The Brahmins was born out of the mouth of the giant of course.
Out with the same draught of air came the wind Vayu and Agni, the fire. It was the basic offer as a mean to gather people. Then they could listen to the words spoken by the interpreting Brahmin. He let the virtual god be responsible for the words as a convenient organisation. Our leaders use the same methods today.
Indra, the king of gods came out of the mouth in the same draught and became idol for worldly kings. In late ages he has normally a hammer or thunderbolt. In early ages he had a double axe that was abstracted from the astro-symbolism. The Minoan king called it wanax and it was also the title of the king. On Crete they made it two axes pointing in the cardinal directions showing that the king defended the people in all directions. The thunderbolt and wanax are all symbolism picturing the organisation of their world.
In Pre-Vedic time the king "turned the wheel" and then the year-wheel was understood and he was Master of Ritual Time. He was also called "world emperor" and then it was understood the land and time-space within the rule and ritual. The year-wheel sat on the world pole pointing at the stars and the round in the sky set the pace and the RTA, world order ... in Edda time they called it Midgaard. With its alderman keeping the local time in order.
The rising feudal class could not make it without "guards". They became "a male league" born out of the giant's arms. Out of the legs came the people and from the feet the servants. The Sun was the eye. The Moon was born out of the thought. That is natural since the moon became symbol of the yearly natural circulation of water and growth and the ritual following it. Still the sun energy and the waters make substance form our basic needs.
All this emanated out of the egg in time.
The wild incarnation of Soma is the Dragon, called limiter. I use the present tense since the symbolism is still in use. That is natural in landscapes where sufficient or regulated rain at right time is a problem. We may smell rainmakers behind the battle between Indra and Dragon and both are of course stars in the sky too. Simultaneously it gave Indra virtual power, since rain come sooner or later and then it gives credit to Indra.
In the astro-symbolism the heavenly Dragon fitted as stars of the rain season at the time. In India and Far East the beast was bad as well as good. The problem was to control it or live in phase with it. In modern Chinese planning they make way for Dragon by leaving space between high buildings so that the rainy skies = Dragon can pass between. Then they avoid getting humidity into the houses. In west Christianity made the Devil out of this uncontrolled fellow.
Those above were the main Mights, but several more symbols were needed in everyday life. They did not know enough about the production in plants and used the animal breeding as animation. Prajapati was creator and engender and Lord of Animals and Perseus in the sky. In our languages we are very near the Sanskrit VR = PR = FR which all are sounds and syllables in fertility and connected areas.
This seal is from the Indus culture before 2000 BC.
As always they were most interested in the start of season and here we have the main features. It is a section on the round from Auriga actual 3000 BC, Perseus about 2000 BC and Aries was at spring equinox in the Age of Rigveda 1200 BC. This ram is of the same type as we see Khnum in Egypt.
The kneeling young man is Perseus, the Engender. The Naked Lady with the new moon as headgear is Auriga. The lotus stalks are mentioned in a hymn as Asvins, symbols of watering and fertilising. Below we see seven Plejades and they were fix-stars for peasants all around the world.
Rajahstan is the neighbouring country to the former Indus culture. Still today they celebrate the feast Gangaur 18 days in March to April. It is nowadays a feast to Siva's wife Devi and mostly for the women. The feast ends in a ritual bath in the river. We can use these late names on the pair above.
Siva is the Engender and the Bull is his attribute. Below the stars of Perseus is Kaitos that was a bull in many places those days ... In other places it was a Whale. Another symbol of Siva is the linga celebrated and offered to in many places. Devi is obviously the former Naked Lady and now called the sakti of Siva, i.e. the power in the heavenly waters.
Hymns to woman are few, but never to forget that Aditi was mother of the gods and a woman was needed for the marriage. At least in the upper class the wife was equal and Lady of House. In the hymns she is the other wheel of two on the chariot. It was like in my childhood that the couple was a pair before the wagon or plough.
From Herning, Denmark is this wheel from about 3000 BC.
It is just a reminder that innovations were brought to Scandinavia if not in pace with evolution but some hundreds of years lacking. In Poland they have 350 years older wheels than this.
Marriage of Sun and Moon
The hymn about marriage contends of 47 verses. Surya, the sun and Soma, the moon and water flow were the couple. It was surely the model up to what people could afford. The main theme is of the same kind as we can imagine from what we know about Bronze Age. But also the Lent suite with the Spring Maid in my childhood, the medieval customs on Dal, the peasants wedding in Bengtsfors in the beginning of this century.
The real wedding began in the summer month Agha with the slaughter. In the next month Arjuni they sent for the bride ... in our province laws feasts and such things should be after harvest and threshing. Naturally the bride was in here finest dressing and we can imagine all the preparation ... it is timeless.
Agni,the fire was guiding and maybe some fire ritual with dance was a part of it. Asvins, the twins were pages and Pushan, the driver in the chariot in the bridal train. It began at the brides home where the singing Raibhi and Naramsi, the bridesmaid gave away the bride. Then the bride opened her braids called bonds of Varuna and a symbolic gesture. The gods Aryaman, hospitality and Bhaga, good luck were asked for good journey.
Pushan lead the bride to the chariot and now Asvins were the draft-animals or maybe they rode the horses as seen somewhere. The hymn has not the verses in logic order, but when they came to the bridegrooms house was the first symbolic at the handtake and singing a verse:
I take your hand for good luck,
So that with you as my wife
We will reach maturity
Bhaga, the good fortune
Aryaman, the companion
Savitr, the charger
Purandhi, the generosity
Gave me you as my Lady of House.
In the hymn there is also verses about the first sexual intercourse prepared by several gods. Agni is the symbolic purification by fire ... in other places they maybe made it by bathing like in the spring ritual.
Naturally many wishes are made about the hope for the love to continue until they are old and grey. Shortly some advice to the bride. Indra is invoked to give her eleven sons and as the eleventh the husband himself. It is an expression that the husband lives through his son ... maybe some husband becomes the Lady's boy. The final verse is:
Let all gods and the waters together
Melt our hearts.
Let Matarisvan, messenger of Agni
Together with the creator
And she who show the way merge us.
The first row may tell that bathing was part of ritual. ... we may associate to the Gangaur ritual and the Law rock at Haugsbyn with the naked feet downwards to the lake.
Advices in Kalevala
For those searching for genuine advice to the couple Kalevala is a good source. It fitted in the former farming society where much of the couples had to be able to be responsible for a farm small or big were just the same. The difference was just the number of animals and other things to care about. In the seven songs beginning with the wedding of Ilmarinen, the smith there is something for every part, even the unmarried.
Further there is a song about the feast for the Bear, which was the same as the ceremonial in wedding in Kalevala. My grandma told about her dancing and it is the only i know besides the songs gathered in the woods of Karelia. Then we have the folk memory from Vermland where the bridegroom was "The Bear" to be brought to the wedding.
Back to Rigveda we find also a hymn to "the safe pregnancy". Several male gods are the constructors. Visnu prepared the womb, Tvastr made the shapes, Prajaphati (Siva) poured out the seed and Dhatr placed it in the womb, Asvins assisted by Sinivali and Sarasvati, the flow was the growth.
This intercourse is "the first time". In the poems we find many other and among them strange combinations with human and animal. As always it is a question of poetry and picturing the merging of man and nature. Not to forget the virtual gods making the first symbolic act to show the way. From other sources we know that they had same rules as we about incest, rape and bestiality.
We see the same act on our rocks ... and in daily speech we have our words for abnormality. In the bedroom is the secret language we should leave there. Man has always been the bull, the stallion, the he-goat and so on. My beloved in youth called me "the Bear", "Honeypaw " and other nicknames of the bear.
Many things can be done only in one way and the customs follows the size of society. Still it is amazing how much we have in common with the culture we find in Rigveda. We can also add pure Edda theme to the likeness. Indra and Eagle stole the soma for poets from Tvastr. In Rigveda the everlasting boar is called Curadmir. If we read all the 1028 hymns we may find much more. I have also got about 100 in my hand at this time.