Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Nodens - Germanic God?

Noden's is said to be a Celtic God associated with Lydney in Gloucestershire and in Gaul, but I am going to follow another thread here started by Steve Pollington in his excellent book - The Elder Gods. Here Mr Pollington mentions a figure called Fornet whom he traces from an Old English work Bald's Leechbook where a plant called fornetes folm is mentioned. The name Fornete's Folm' may mean 'Fornet's Hand' which is the clue he takes up. He links this to Nuada of the Silver Hand (Irish) and to Lludd of the Silver Hand (Welsh) - to the Irish Nuada who lost a hand which was replaced by a 'Silver Hand' and to Lludd whose legend suggests the same. 

These are linked to Noden's whose name can be 'Nodens', 'Nudens' or 'Nodons' and who can be found at a place called Lydney in Gloucestershire, and to a place in Gaul (now in Germany). What we have to consider is that the tribes of Gaul were certainly not all Celtic since I have shown before how coins depicting Woden being swallowed by the Fenris Wolf can be found there. It is important to reject this idea that the Germanic Folk were 'late-comers' to these areas and supplanted the earlier 'indigenous' peoples. This is a distortion if not a downright lie!

Pollington links the name Fornet to the Norse Fornjotr who is the ancestor of a 'family of mythological beings' in the Orkneyingasaga, amongst whom is Hler  and AEgir. The name Njotr is one of the by-names of Odin. He then equates this to an OE cognate *neot (nor recorded) and the verb neotan meaning 'make use of', 'enjoy'. J.R.R. Tolkien suggests that the name Nodens is related to the Germanic Root *neut meaning 'acquire', 'have use of' which was earleir 'catch' or 'entrap (as in hunting). These all come from the Proto-Germanic *neute meaning 'to make use of', 'to enjoy' and *nauta meaning 'to benefit', 'to profit from', 'possession', 'livestock', 'cattle'. Nodens is linked to Mars in some of the Roman inscriptions from Lydney. He is also associated with the Roman God named Silvanus, a God of the Woods and of Hunting. 

So, we have here a 'Celtic' god with a Germanic name, a God of Hunting, and a God with One Hand, just like Tiw, associated with the war-god, Mars. We have a composite of Woden-Tiw here. We also have the Welsh God named Gwydion, obviously Woden, and his son Llew who hangs upon a tree, both aspects of Germanic Mythology. Then we have the Welsh Gwyn (Wyn), Son of Nudd - 'Gwyn - Son of the Mist', whose name may have once derived from the same Germanic Root *neut. Let us put this together now -

Nodens - Nuada - Nudd - Llew - Lludd - For-net - Njotr (Odin) - Njord (Father of Frey-Freya) - Nerthus (Tacitus).

There are associations with - dogs, the forests, hunting, water, healing, all of which are also associated with Woden, especially since the aspect of the One-Eyed Hunter-God bearing a Bow and Arrows is one that is specifically known to the English Tribes and almost lost in Norse Mythology (Arrow-Od seems an obvious remnant of this figure). This is made obvious in that the legendary Robin Hood is obviously based upon Woden. Can it really be a coincidence that the same legendary god-form was known here in England before the Romans came? 

There is yet another strange thing here, and that is we find the name Nudd linked to Gwyn, and Gwyn-Gwydion seem to have the same roots. Gwydion is the 'Son of Don' who is the Goddess Danu of the Tuatha de Danaan. There is a complex interconnection here, and it would appear that the roots lie in the ancient Legend of the Tribe of Dana or 'Tuatha de Danaan', which appears also here in England through the 'Dane Hills' in Leicestershire dedicated to Dana or 'Black Annis' as she became to the Christian distorters. What we seem to have here is a Germano-Celtic Legend of peoples that came to these islands in ancient times, people from the North and closely linked to the English, and also maybe speaking a tongue linked to West Germanic.

Wotan's Krieger has also made the link between Gwydion and the Belgae (a Germanic people) who occupied Southern England and the area just across the waters now known as 'Belgium' (named after them). The Belgae, it has also been suggested, could also have been linked to the ancient Fir Bolg of Irish Legend. Despite the obvious links between the nations of these islands, modern scholars still refuse to accept these and to split us into 'parts' rather than seeing the picture of the 'whole' (the role of the Joten, of course). 

There is one more link, and perhaps the most important one; AEngus is the son of The Dagda of the Tuatha de Danaan, so we find a clear link between these figures and to Ingwe - the Divine Ancestor of the English. We do have the name 'Dana' or 'Annis'/'Anna' found in Leicester, so we do know that there is an ancient memory of this goddess here in England. This is where the 'Dane Hills' comes from, and not from the Viking 'Danes'. 

In regard to the 'hand' which seems to be the key to all this, when Tiw lost his Right-Hand (Solar Symbol) he thus took the 'Left Hand Path' (as Woden), and this comes through to us in Irish-Welsh Mythology where his Left-Hand is the 'Silver Hand' used of Nuada-Nudd (Lunar Symbol). The name 'Nudd' becomes 'Lludd' in Welsh for some reason, but Nudd is found as the father of Gwyn/Wyn. There is some mix-up here, or letter-change from 'Nudd' to 'Lludd' which may hint that the original meanings were already lost. (The name 'Nudd' is pronounced 'Neath' as in the town in South Wales, a fact that seems to further underline the meaning related to the Proto-Germanic *neute.) 

The word folm is a 'poetic word' according to Mr Pollington derived from the PIE *plm from which we get the Latin palma giving us the word 'palm'. But there is good reason to believe that the name Fornet links to a One-Handed God like Tiw, Nuada or Nudd. It is interesting to note that the name would be rendered as 'For-Net' or 'For-Neut' with the prefix 'for' stemming from the IE Root *per which means 'forward', 'through' and other senses of 'early', 'first', chief', and 'in front of'. This appears to denote something that is ancient or indeed primal in form. 

The above also suggests that putting Njord into the sequence may well prove right since the name Njord and Nerthus (if connected as they seem) would be near to the original pronunciation of 'Nudd' and 'Nuada'. Njord is definitely connected to the sea, as is Nodens - we seem merely to have variations of the same god here. Somewhere the legends surrounding Nodens has been distorted somewhat, since the obvious connection is with Tiw, but again we have to consider that these ancient god-names were used in many different ways for different gods. If Tiw was not 'usurped' by Woden, then Tiw (God of Balance) became Woden having to use the 'Left-Hand Path' as suggested by the Tiw-Rune and its connection to the Lagu-Rune. 

This is a short post and one which needs far more study to work out where the truth lies. But it does once more suggest that Germanic Tribes akin to the English (i.e. Inglinga or 'Sons of Ing') were here before the Romans came. We do know that the Romans did not (like Judaeo-Christianity) suppress the worship of local gods but incorporated them into their own 'pantheon', and on many occasions gave clues to their nature through association with certain gods. 

Coin from Gaul showing Woden & Fenris Wolf

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