The genius of Guido von List was that he clearly understood the methods by which the ancient Germanic Peoples used Root-Sounds as the basis for their Word-Hoard. By this I mean that the ancient Aryan Peoples used one Root-Sound for a varied amount of words, and when one Root-Word was used it would awaken in the mind the varied other words which stemmed from the basic Root-Sound. We shall look at one set of Indo-European Roots which are given different meanings and separated in form -
wel (1) - To see.
wel (2) - To wish, to will.
wel (3) - to turn, coil, roll.
wel (4) - to tear, pull.
Since the Root-Sound wel- is the same for all of these, then it is logical to see that they are subtly connected. Sri Aurobindo, in The Secret of the Vedas, unravels the Mysteries of the Vedas through an understanding of this concept of the Root-Sound. This, he tells us, was the way by which the Ancient Seers (Rishis) wrote down the Vedas, hence why, without a knowledge of this Esoteric Secret, many have misunderstood these writings.
Now let us take the Germanic word warg which is said to mean 'wolf', but whose original meaning was 'to tear'. Through an understanding of the Root-Sound warg we can see how the Fenris Wolf is seen as the 'Tearer' or 'Destroyer';in the binding of Fenris he rips or tears off the hand of Tiw. There is an IE Root *wergaz- meaning 'to strangle', and this also gives rise to the word warg/varg. The figure of the Roggenwolf (Rye-Wolf) is a Wolf-Spirit of the cornfield which lives in the last sheaf of corn and strangles its victims - hence the 'strangler'. Very often the fungus ergot infests rye and this is very poisonous, causing symptoms like strangulation in larger doses.
In Persia, where the Haoma (Soma) was the sacred drink, there were Wolf-Warriors called Haumavarga; the name 'Beowulf' can mean 'Barley-Wolf', although it is also said to mean 'Bee-Wolf', i.e. the Wolf of the Bee, the Bear. So the term warg would conjure up many different ideas from the same Root-Sound. Let us now turn to the Root-Sounds of Germania - the Runes.
The Rad-Rune has many different meanings, some of which I am going to list below-
Road, path, track.
Journey, quest, knight (ridder/ritter).
Raid, plunder, pillage.
Wagon, chariot, journey on horseback.
Rita - The Truth, right, right order.
Ritual, Blot (sacrifice), Rites.
Rod of Authority, Rood - the Gallows Tree.
Red, to blood, the zig-zag (blood) running down the Sacred Stone (I).
Rad, radix - root, radical - roots, race.
Rad-io, rad-iation, etc. i.e. 'waves', sound-waves, harmony.
Rot, to decay, degenerate - the 'Rat' that 'leaves the falling house'. Destructive Force.
The Root-Sound 'Rit' or 'Rad' thus invokes all of the above meanings and more when it is used.
The I.E Root *ghai- means 'yawn', 'gape' and gives rise to the Old English gina, ginian, geonian meaning ' to yawn'. The Old Norse gap means 'a chasm', and this the term Ginnungagap means 'yawning chasm' or 'yawning gap'. The IE Root *gheu- also means 'to yawn', 'to gape', giving rise to the Old English goma meaning 'palate', 'jaw'. Clearly, though the etymological dictionary classifies these under different roots they are the same Root-Sound. The IE Root *gheu(a) means 'to call' or 'to invoke' and gives rise to the word 'god' and to the Old English gydig/gidig meaning 'possessed by a god'. The Greek chaos also comes from the same roots as these. The IE Root *gheu- means 'to pour', such as an offering to the gods. It would seem that the Greeks saw 'to pour' as that of 'pouring earth' upon a burial mound. Here etymologists will argue that it could come from ione or the other root, but it seems more likely, given the concept of the Root-Sound or 'Ur-Sound', that all of these concepts are interconnected. The last root is in fact also connected to 'gust of wind', connected to 'air', and thus to 'spirit'.
What seems to be the interconnecting link here is that we have not only a 'Gaping Chasm' but words linked to the open mouth specifically - 'yawning gap' - which suggests the intake of air or the exhaling of air - thus 'call' or 'gealdor'. The Sacrifice in the Vedas consists of -
1. The Lighting of the Need-Fire.
2. The Offering.
3. The Word or 'Calling'.
The Old English god means 'good' and derives from the Germanic *godaz- itself from the IE Root *ghedh- meaning 'to unite', 'to join', 'to fit together'. I am not an etymologist but common sense tells me that this root could also be related to 'god', and maybe also 'Goth' meaning 'The Good One' (related to 'God'). The Root AR means 'to fit together, the role of the Arya, as opposed to the Dasyu (from *da- meaning 'to divide'. The role of the Arya and the Aryan Gods is to 'fit together' and 'to unite' that which has been divided and broken by the Dark Powers.
Every one of the above meanings is again interconnected, and when one arises in the mind the rest should follow. This is the technique used in symbolism and the use of the right-brain, since this does not work with logic (1 + 1 = 2) but through equating one thing with another (A = B = C). In fact, language itself could be derived from symbolism, when in very ancient times man thought with 'pictures' rather than 'words'. This may be why the very ancient 'letters' were not of an 'alphabet' but were symbols. It was only later that they developed into letters of an alphabet.
The Old English witan came to mean 'wise men', but this being so it also meant 'seers' which is an even more important concept since the 'seer' was the one who had direct contact with the Divine. Originally, the Germanic Kings would have had a Council of Seers to advise them, hence the mythical nature of Merlin the Magician (and seer) being the advisor to King Arthur. This can also be applied to Gandalf and Aragorn (King and Priest-Magician-Seer).
In regard to the concept of an 'Avatar', although we have these roles in separate forms, these can unite in one individual, and in some cases as the three-fold nature of Lawmaker-Priest-King. It may be a mistake to 'categorise' our gods too much, since they have interacting roles and overlapping roles. Just as an 'Avatar' can have overlapping roles, so may the gods too.
The sound is the symbol - this is easily proven when we consider the result of sound on sand, where the sand is moved into various patterns, dependant on the vibration-levels of the sound. This also applies to the breaking of a glass which can be done by sound-waves. Words also have an effect upon the human mind, and thus the human body; place the tongue at the top (palate) of the month and sound the Letter 'N'. The effect is found around the centre of the eyebrows - the Third Eye. This is where the 'Christian' word 'Amen' and the Egyptian 'Amun' relate to the AUM(N) of the Hindus. Sounding I-ng-we in the same way has the same effect. The Letter 'N', of course, was an ancient glyph of the Serpent.
Each of the runes is a Root-Sound, and in a sense when we put a set of runes together we form a Root-Word. Were the runes used as individual letters - yes. But it is also possible that certain Root-Words, formed from individual runes, had hidden meanings related to each individual rune, the order of the runes, and each affecting the meaning of the next. A-L-U gives us 'ALE', thus associated with intoxication and mind-altering, but using the rune-meanings we could get - Ancestors-Lake-Origins, or various other meanings, depending on how we interpret the runes.
To recap quickly, the ancient seers, when writing down the Sacred Texts, used words each of which had a great number of meanings, and each individual meaning was invoked through the Root-Sound. We find the gods given different names, and in the Vedas it is clear that some gods overlap others, and are sometimes referred to in the form of another god. The Norse Myths are thus rather confusing in that different names can refer to the same god, and this often leads not only to this confusion but to arguments as to which god is which. To add to this confusion, different clans and tribes have different names for the same god, for instance Woden, Godan, Gaut, Geat etc. But they are all one and the same god, and this applies also to the Root-Words that derive from Root-Sounds, the meaning of each one being important.