Saturday, 25 February 2017

The Mask of the Terrible One - Part One

The above is called by the name AEgishjalma and is known as the Helm of Awe or the Helm of Dread. It is sometimes equated with the Tarncapp associated with Sigurd the Wolsunga, the helm or mask taken from the dragon Fafnir when slain by Sigurd-Siegfried. It us usually seen as a symbol of protection, a very powerful symbol used in this way.

We have an English form of this which in Old English is egesgrima which breaks into -

eges - 'terror',

grima - 'mask'.

The meaning of egesgrima is thus 'Terror Mask', which, as we can see here, is the same as aegishjalma meaning 'Terror Helm'. Since this is said to bring terror to one's enemies then the symbol is not merely a protective symbol but a symbol of active protection, but not used to attack, merely to ward off attack and send the power back to the attacker.

The Old English eges reminds me of the ancient name of Woden - Ygg or Igg, which is the name given to him in association with the World Tree - Yggdrasil or Iggdrasil. It is also very close to one of the ancient names of Rudra - Ugr. Rudra has much in common with Woden, and became Shiva in later times, a god of the destruction of one's enemies.

We have another clue here to the meaning of this symbol, for it is not merely to protect but, as with Thunor's Hammer, it is a symbol used to destroy the enemies of Gods and Men, to destroy by sending back the force of an attack. But in this case it is Woden/Rudra rather than Thunor/Thor.

It can be guessed from these points that this is the Helm of The Terrible One or the Mask of the Terrible One. This is the Mask of Woden as 'The Terrible One', the god who evokes terror in his enemies. We have looked at this aspect of Woden many times before, and the links to the ancient Germanic Mannerbunde with its terrifying symbols and cultic-warrior initiations.

This symbol is the Ashtanga Yantra featured in Hinduism; the symbol is so similar to the AEgishjalma that they must originally have stemmed from the same Aryan roots.

We should now look at this symbolism closely; it is based upon the Sacred Number 3 and the Sacred Number 8. There are 8 'spokes' each ending with a 'Trident' - the 'Trident of Shiva' ('Trident of Rudra'). Of course, we can find a picture of Odin holding a double-trident from Icelandic sources, so Odin was also connected to the symbolism. Both the Trident and the 'staves' on the 'spokes' use the Sacred Number 3. From this we can suggest -

  • 8 x 3 = 24, the number of runes in the Common Germanic Futhark, which suggests that this symbol uses the whole Futhark as a magical talisman.
  • There are three runes to each of the 8 spokes. There are also 3 sections to the 'tridents', thus giving us 8 x 4 = 32. This could suggest a link to the 33-rune row, using the 32 runes plus the central point as the 'Sacred Centre'.
  • The Ashtanga Yantra uses an obvious symbolism of the Trident of Shiva, as the ends of the spokes suggest. It also has a central circle, though some versions of the AEgishjalma also feature this.

The Tarncapp of Siegfried gives to the wearer the power of invisibility, but also the power to shape-shift into another guise. It is thus significant that Woden is a shape-shifter who wears a 'mask', hence his by-name Grim. In a dream from my early Odinist days Woden appeared in a Frog-Mask and he had pulsating red eyes which pierced through the mask. Not being so used to such an appearance makes the dream quite frightening. In the dream his mask changed from a frog to a stag and then to a wolf - all of which can be associated with Woden in some way. It is not usual to equate Woden with the frog, but frogs are symbolic of a transformation since they change from a newt to a frog, and they move on water and on land too.

The Mask of the Terrible One is used to bring terror into the ranks of an enemy; it is the symbol used to destroy the enemies of the Gods and of Men. This is the role of Woden as the Wild Hunter-God whose role is destruction-to-regeneration. Like Rudra-Shiva he is seen as being a God of Dark Powers, though his destructive role is that of the destruction of his enemies. Rudra-Shiva is associated with his 'Dance of Destruction'.

Woden's 'Wild Ride' contains an army of the Souls of the Dead, with horses and dogs (wolves) following the train. This 'Wild Army' has been seen and recorded throughout history, and despite the materialists trying to see in it some form of physical explanation it should be seen as being an 'Otherworld Phenomena'. The above is Der Wilde Jagd, a painting by Franz von Schuck, painted in 1889; it should not be mixed up with another he did the year after, since the 1889 painting shows a different set of features for the Wild Hunter-God, significant features.

Rudra-Shiva is seen in a pose that can be equated with the Cweorth-Rune which is the rune of the Fire of Cremation and is the Fire-Twirl. Here we see Shiva doing his 'Dance of Destruction', holding a drum and fire in the hands that make up the Cweorth-Rune shape. His headdress has serpents, and he wears the Belt of Initiation - the belt being symbolic of the Cultic-Warrior Leader. Around him is the Ring of Fire, and he dances upon a dwarf which is symbolic of the enemies of the Gods and the Arya. It has been suggested (by Hamasson) that if the symbol is revolved it would form a moving Fylfot-Swastika, which is not improbable. The figure bears four arms, these being symbolic and there to show continual movement since this is a dance. This is much like the Dancing Warriors on the Sutton-Hoo Mask.

The Mask of The Terrible One is thus much more than the usual interpretation of a symbol of protection. It is a powerful symbol that can be used against our enemies - indeed is being used against our enemies. It can be used as a symbol placed on clothing, on a hat or cap, or on certain ritual objects, carved or burned into wood, or etched into metal. It is a powerful tattoo, especially if the knowledge of what it means is known, and meditated upon when having the tattoo put on.

The name 'Rudra' derives from a root meaning 'wild', and we can see in him a clear link to Woden as Ygg - 'The Terrible One' - whose role of the Wild Hunter-God tells us that the force comes from the 'wildness' of Nature, the chaotic, destructive side that destroys in order to recreate. Here again we see the links to the Cultic Warrior Brotherhoods - the Mannerbunde. In this role the symbols of are -

  • The wearing of a Black Uniform.
  • The Symbol of the Death's Head.
  • The Weapon of the 'Club' is symbolic of the God of the Mannerbunde, though this developed into a Trident or Spear in later times. The 'Club' is obviously a very 'crude' weapon, and takes us back to a very early age.
  • The wearing of a Cultic Belt by the members of the Cultic Brotherhood, with the leader wearing Twin-Belts, one to signify the group, the other his leadership over the group.
  • The wearing of Wolf's Skins, Bear Skins or Boar Skins which transformed the Cultic Warriors into 'wild animals', making them ferocious in battle.
  • The Black Flag as symbolic of the 'Army of the Dead'.

The Mask of the Terrible One throws the magical force of the trident-thunderbolt in the eight directions of the compass, hence the use of the eight 'spokes'. This force is projected outwards from the Sacred Centre, the tridents also being symbolic of the Eolhs Secg Rune which is generally seen as the 'Rune of Life' but which has a far wider meaning. The Old English Rune-Poem tells us that this rune 'grimly wounds' which suggests to me that here we have a hidden link to the 'Helm of Terror' symbol, which evokes terror in the foe. The Eolhs Secg Rune is the rune of the Trident-Thunderbolt, weapon of Woden and Shiva.

The Eolhs Secg or Elhaz Rune is thus again not simply a 'rune of protection', though it does ward off the 'evil eye' (we are told) but is also a rune of 'counter-attack', a powerful rune of destruction, of the destruction of the enemies of Gods and Men. This power lies in the trident-symbol, but also in the later form of the 'pitchfork' which was used in the 'Raising of the Stang'. This was a symbol used to raise the people in revolt against a corrupt and oppressive ruler-ship, against those who suppressed the Folk. In this it represented a symbol of justice, of just revolt brought on by repression and corruption of the ruling strata.

We can see the same transformation of Ygg the Terrible into Woden in a far less terrifying role as we do in the transformation of Rudra-Ugr into the Shiva of later times - the 'Terrible One' became somewhat 'tamed'. But this was a 'veneer' that would easily scratch off, and 'The Terrible One' returns with a vengeance when the need arises, when the enemies of Gods and Men begin to overwhelm.

The One-Eyed God laughs, mounts his eight-legged steed and rides once more in the Soul of the Germanic Folk. In a sense he is a Trickster-God or a Cosmic Joker whose laughter brings s-laughter; his wolves and ravens feed from the dead slain in battle. His 'chosen warriors' are taken by the Valkyries to Valhalla, where they train and feast, die and are resurrected, until the time comes to march out of Valhalla, led by Woden and Ragnar Lodbrok, march out to fight the Last Battle against the Joten Armies. Our people shall awaken when the Wild Hunt rides once more and The Terrible One arises in the Germanic Folk.

The Ashtanga Yantra is mentioned in the Shastra Yantra Chintamani - 'This is the yantra that detains the word in the mouth of the enemy.' It is, like the Helm of Terror, a shield of protection, a shield used to deflect an attack, and in this case to send back the force of attack to the attacker. As we see above, its use can be widened to attacks through verbal or written sources. The 'shield' bounces back the attack.

This is a very powerful symbol that can be used to our advantage today; we face overwhelming odds and thus to attack our opponents would be futile, but to defend ourselves through throwing back what they give is another thing - active defence. The Mask of the Terrible One can be used effectively against our enemies when they make attacks upon us.

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