In Voluspa (Prophecy of the Seeress) there is an interesting piece that is somewhat obscure but which seems to suggest that within Norse Mythology there did exist a pantheon of Elder Gods or Creator Gods. That is, if I understand this piece right, and the translation is right. One thing that does suggest this is that Woden and the Aesir-Gods are slain at Ragnarok, and regenerated through their sons, which means that they do not exist as Immortals through the Cycles of Time. They are subject to death and rebirth, just as Man is subject to the same. They have also to be regenerated by the Apples of Idunn, the Apples of Regeneration.
Then the Regin went to the Doom-Stool (rokstola)
The Ginn Holy Gods (ginnheilog goth) held council
As to whether the Aesir should pay compensation,
Or whether all the gods should have a duty.
This, of course, is about whether compensation should be paid by the Aesir-Gods for starting the war with the Vanir-Gods. The inference here in this piece is that the Elder-Gods sit in council over the Aesir and Vanir; this makes sense since the key word seems to be 'Doom-Stool'. What we think today when the word 'doom' appears is that of 'death', but this was never the original meaning of the word, which meant - 'justice' or 'judgement'. Now, clearly the Aesir and Vanir could not sit in judgement upon themselves, so here we do seem to have the hint of the Elder Gods who sit in judgement. In fact, this is actually borne out when we consider the term Ragnarok (Ragna-Rok) which means Doom of the Regin. Here we could take the term 'regin' as referring to the Aesir-Gods, but it could just as well refer to the Elder Gods setting their 'Doom' - Judgement - over the Aesir-Gods. Again, 'doom' is not just 'fate', it is a judgement and thus the Aryan Gods are judged for their past actions and Ragnarok happens because of this judgement.
It is said that Gap var Ginnunga (Ginnungagap) existed, out of which creation came about. This is usually said to be the Gaping Void which was 'magically-charged'; it would seem easier to say that this 'Gaping Void' was conscious or that it became conscious. Ginn-Unga refers to the 'Offspring of Ginn', which tells us that 'Ginn' existed first, out of which grew 'Ginnung' (Be-Ginn-Ing).
ginn - great/mighty/holy.
ginn - a jester, a juggler, a joker.
ginna - to dupe, to fool, also to intoxicate.
In some sense the word ginn would seem to be somewhat akin to the ALU-ULA Runic Formula, the root *alu- also meaning some sort of 'magical force'. This seems to link to the name ILU-VATER who Tolkien saw as the 'Creator-God', also known as ERU - 'The One'. The Ginn-Holy-Gods would thus be the Elder Gods who existed before the Creation of the Universe. The Aesir & Vanir are our Racial Gods, the Gods of the Aryan Race. This set-up is also found in Egyptian Mythology where the Netr/Netera existed before the Creation, and they were the Elder Gods who gave birth to the Racial Gods of the ruling elite over Egypt.
I mentioned before in a Telegram Post that in the spring of 1997 the force or power behind the mystical experience I had was the Cosmic Joker. It seems that Woden All-Father embodies this concept as a Trickster-God, and it was he, together with Will and Weoh, who slew the Primal Giant to create the Cosmos, so Woden-Will-Weoh existed before this Creation as the 'Sons of Bor' and 'Grandsons of Buri'. Woden-Hoenir-Lodur found the primal material for the creation of Man - Aryan Man.
Ginn - Ginn-Unga Gap - Conflict of Fire & Ice - Ymir/Audhumla - From Ymir descend the Light-Joten (Armpit-Sweatborn) and Dark Joten (Feet), and from Audhumla (Cosmic Cow - Cosmic Mother) springs Buri. Ymir represents the Primal Sound (Aur-gal-mir), and when he is 'dismembered' this represents the Primal Sound YM (OM/AUM) of which The Creation of Matter is formed.
Our English word 'Beginning' is the same as 'Ginn-Unga', the prefix 'be-' being an addition; even so the sense of 'To Be' remains here - 'I AM' or 'THAT WHICH IS'. The Knowable that springs out of the Unknowable; hence the idea of a 'Magically-charged Void', since this is truly unknowable and we can easily be 'fooled' by trying to delve into these realms.
There is also Voluspa 64 -
'Adown cometh to the doom of the world
the great godhead which governs all...
He settles strife, sits in judgement
And lays down laws which shall last alway.'
There is another translation of the first two lines which may make this clearer to understand -
'Then cometh the Mighty One to the Doom of the Gods
The Strong One from Above who rules all...'
Of course, this whole piece is rejected by some academics and scholars because it has a 'Christian' tinge, it suggests that there is a 'Great Godhead' who stands above all. Tolkien seems not to have rejected such an idea, since with the sinking of Atalante (Numenor) it is Illuvater/Eru who intervenes to judge and destroy the lands which had been taken by the Dark Forces. There are hints that All-Father may be a title of this Godhead, also applied to Woden All-Father who works the Will of Allfather here in Middle-Earth. All-Father or Alu-God may also be used for this High God.
The problem in touching upon his subject is the strange inclination to lump all monotheistic religions into one single category. Yet it is hardly logical to treat the Religion of Zarathustra - a Religion of Light and Order - the same as Judaeo-Christianity which upholds the worship of Shaddai-Jahu - the Shadow Lord. Since these Dark Powers never create, merely parody and copy, then it is quite possible that this was copied from Egypt and the Religion of Akhenaten, especially since Moses is an Egyptian name.
"Darkness hidden by darkness in the beginning was this all, an ocean without mental consciousness...out of it The One was born by the greatness of Its energy. It first moved in it as desire which was the first seed of mind. The Masters of Wisdom found out in the non-existent that which builds in the existent...."
Rig Veda - Hymn of Creation X129.
The Wyrd Sisters or Norns set down Orlaug and Wyrd, but they did not exist at the Beginning, since they were the Three Giant-Maidens who appeared in order to set down the Primal Laws and Fate - Destiny.
The Saxon God Irmin or Ermin has the Irminsul as his symbol; his name is not unlike Eru used by Tolkien. One image of him from Germany shows this god with the 'Scales of Justice', and the Irminsul (at one level) could be seen in the same light, the twin 'arms' being the 'scales' or 'balance'. The Saxons called the Milky Way by the name Iring's Way and the name Iring can be rendered 'Son of Ir'.
AR ER IR OR UR
There are other ways of spelling the name 'Irmin' - Earmin, Eormin, Eormun, Ermine, etc. This good is connected to the World Pillar and to the upholding of Cosmic Order. I have mentioned this here because so little is known of Irmin, but he is clearly a god of some importance. His association with 'judgement' and with 'justice' links to what has been said here.