The War of Foundation which is a prevalent theme in the mythologies of the Aryan peoples has been discussed before on these blogs. In the Germanic world this was represented by the war between the Aesir and the Vanir which resulted in their amalgamation and the formation of modern Germanic man. However what is little spoken of is the ancient war between the first and second castes in Aryan societies. I have discussed before on this blog and on my Celto-Germanic Culture, Myth and History blog about a tension between the first caste of priests and the second caste of nobles/kings and warriors. It is these two castes rather than the third caste of producers and farmers which are genuinely originally Aryan.
We need to remind ourselves that the Aryans were a warlike and dominant elite who formed the upper echelons of the societies which they conquered and dominated. The further away these societies were from the Ur-Heimat of the Aryans the more likely it was that only the first two castes were predominately Nordic. This is because it is the first and second castes who would have been involved directly in the conquest and subjugation of foreign peoples. Back in their Ur-Heimat there was less distinction between the three castes as they all stemmed from the same genetic root. Indeed it is only outside and away from this original homeland do we see an entrenched historical caste system. In the conquered lands the people they enslaved became the third caste who did all the hard manual work for them. They had no need to bring their own farmers and producers with them. This is why one can see today racial differences between the various European societies. The caste system unfortunately has not survived in Europe. Only in India can we find a broken remnant of it. What we have today in Europe is instead a degenerate class system which is based on money and nothing else. Even the Upper Class which in England and Europe is the nobility (different from the American concept of an Upper Class which is purely monetary based) has become debased due to its prostitution to lower, baser and alien elements in order to maintain their lives of privilege, their own money having long dwindled away.
The reason why we see a very strong caste system in India is because of the vast racial differences between the invading Nordic Aryans and the conquered negroid and Dravidian peoples. It has survived today because of this stark racial contrast. In Europe the differences were not so great so it did not last as long. The caste system was imposed upon the conquered lands to preserve the racial difference between Aryan and non-Aryan. Money has and is breaking down these barriers: the lust for material wealth and worldly power is particularly epitomised in the USA which has become a racial cesspit. These American 'western' anti-values are poisoning Europe also. This is why a racial awakening is needed but this can only occur after a folkish spiritual awakening as Europe turns back to its old Gods, who have never gone away but are waiting for us to come back to them. We therefore do not convert to heathenism: we return to it!
The purpose of this article is to explore further one aspect of the historical tension between the first and second caste. The Germanic caste system has its mythological basis in the Rigsthula of the Elder Edda.
"Once walked, 'tis said, the green ways along, mighty and ancient, a god most glorious; strong and vigorous, striding, Rig.
Ever on he went in the middle of the way, till he came to a house with door unclosed. He entered straight; there was fire on the floor and a hoary couple sitting by the hearth, Great-grandfather and mother in ancient guise.
Well knew Rig how to give them counsel, he sat him down in the middle of the floor, with the home-folk twain upon either side.
Great-grandmother fetched a coarse-baked loaf, all heavy and thick and crammed with husk: she bore it forth in the middle of the dish, with broth in a bowl, and laid the board.
Thence Rig uprose, prepared to rest; -- well he knew how to give them counsel -- he laid him down in the middle of the bed and the home-folk twain upon either side. Thus he tarried three nights together, then on he strode in the middle of the road while thrice three moons were gliding by.
Great-grandmother bore a swarthy boy; with water they sprinkled him, called him Thrall. Forthwith he grew and well he throve, Bur tough were his hands with wrinkled skin, with knuckles knotty and fingers thick; his face was ugly, his back was humpy, his heels were long. Straightway 'gan he to prove his strength, with bast a-binding loads a-making, he bore home faggots the livelong day.
There came to the dwellings a wandering maid, with wayworn feet, and sunburned arms, with down-bent nose,- the Bond-maid named.
She sat her down in the middle of the floor; beside her sat the son of the house: they chatted and whispered, their bed preparing -- Thrall and Bond-maid -- the long day through.
Joyous lived they and reared their children. Thus they called them: Brawler, Cowherd, Boor and Horsefly, Lewd and Lustful, Stout and Stumpy, Sluggard, Swarthy, Lout and Leggy. They fashioned fences, they dunged the meadows, swine they herded, goats they tended and turf they dug.
Daughters were there, -- Loggy and Cloggy, Lumpy-leggy, and Eagle-nose, Whiner, Bondwoman, Oaken-peggy, Tatter-coat and the Crane-shanked maid. Thence ate come the generations of thralls.The Birth of Churl
Ever on went Rig the straight roads along till he came to a dwelling with door unclosed; he entered straight; there was fire in the floor; Grandfather and Grandmother owned the house.
The home-folk sat there hard a-working; by them stood on the floor a box; hewed the husband wood for a warp-beam; trim his beard and the locks o'er his brow, but mean and scanty the shirt he wore.
The wife sat by him plying her distaff, swaying her arms to weave the cloth, with snood on her head and smock on her breast, studs on her shoulders, and scarf on her neck.
Well knew Rig how to give them counsel; he sat him down in the middle of the floor, and the home-folk twain upon either side.
Grandmother set forth plenteous dishes; cooked was the calf, of dainties best. Thence Rig uprose prepared to rest. -- Well he knew how to give them counsel -- he laid him down in the middle of the bed and the home-folk twain upon either side.
Thus he tarried three nights together, then on he strode in the middle of the road while thrice three moons were gliding by.
A child had Grandmother, Churl they called him, and sprinkled with water and swathed in linen, rosy and ruddy, with sparkling eyes. He grew and throve, and forthwith 'gan he to break in oxen, to shape the harrow, to build him houses and barns to raise him, to fashion carts and follow the plough.
Then home they drove with a key-hung maiden in goat-skin kirtle, named Daughter-in-Law. They wed her to Churl in her bridal linen: the twain jade ready, their wealth a-sharing, kept house together, and joyous lived.
Children reared they thus they called them: Youth and Hero, Thane, Smith, Yeoman, Broad-limb, Peasant, Sheaf-beard, Neighbour, Farmer, Speaker and Stubbly-beard.
By other names were the daughters called: Dame, Bride, Lady, Gay, and Gaudy, Maid, Wife, Woman, Bashful, Slender. Thence are come the kindreds of churls.The Birth of Earl
Still on went Rig the straight roads along till he came to a hall whose gates looked south. Pushed was the door to, a ring in the post set: he forthwith entered the rush-strewn room. Each other eyeing, the home-folk sat there -- Father and Mother, -- twirling their fingers. There was the husband, string a-twining, shafting arrows and shaping bows: and there was the wife o'er her fair arms wondering, smoothing her linen, stretching her sleeves. A high-peaked coif and a breast-brooch wore she, trailing robes and a blue-tinged sark. Her brow was brighter, her breast was fairer, her throat was whiter than driven snow.
Well knew Rig how to give them counsel; he sat him down in the middle of the floor, and the home-folk twain upon either side.
Then took Mother a figured cloth, white, of linen, and covered the board; thereafter took she a fine-baked loaf, white of wheat and covered the cloth: next she brought forth plenteous dishes, set with silver, and spread the board with brown-fried bacon and roasted birds. There was wine in a vessel and rich-wrought goblets; they drank and revelled while day went by.
Well knew Rig how to give them counsel; he rose ere long and prepared his couch: he laid him down in the middle of the bed, and the home-folk twain upon either side.
Thus he tarried three nights together; then on he strode in the middle of the road while thrice three moons were gliding by.
Then a boy had Mother; she swathed him in silk, and with water sprinkled him; called him Earl. Light were his locks, and fair his cheeks, flashing his eyes like a serpent's shone.
Grew Earl forthwith in the halls and 'gan to swing the shield, to fit the string, to bend the bow, to shaft the arrow, to hurl the dart, to shake the spear, to ride the horse, to loose the hounds, to draw the sword, and to swim the stream.
Forth from the thicket came Rig a-striding, Rig a-striding, and taught him runes, his own name gave him, -- as son he claimed him, and bade him hold the ancestral fields, -- the ancestral fields -- and the ancient home.
Then on rode Earl through the murky wood, through the rimy fells till he reached a hall. His shaft he shook, his shield he brandished, his steed he galloped, his sword he drew; war he wakened, the field he reddened, the doomed he slew, and won him lands -- till alone he ruled over eighteen halls. Gold he scattered and gave to all men treasures and trinkets and slender-ribbed horses; wealth he strewed and sundered rings.
Along dewy roads his messengers drive till the hall they reached where Ruler dwelt. A daughter owned he, dainty fingered, fair and skilful, Erna called.
They wooed her and brought her home a-driving; to Earl they wed her in veil fine-woven: husband and wife lived happy together, their children waxed and life enjoyed.The Birth of King
Heir was the eldest, Bairn the second, Babe, Successor, Inheritor, Boy, Descendent, Offspring, Son, Youth, Kinsman; Kon the kingly was youngest born.
Forthwith grew up the sons of Earl; games they learned, and sports and swimming, taming horses, round shields bending, war shafts smoothing, ash spears shaking; but King the youngest alone knew runes, runes eternal and runes of life. Yet more he knew, -- how to shelter men, to blunt the sword-edge and calm the sea: he learnt bird language, to quench the fire flame, heal all sorrows and soothe the heart; strength and might of eight he owned.
Then he strove in runes with Rig, the Earl, crafty wiles he used and won, so gained his heritage, held the right thus Rig to be called and runes to know.
Young King rode once through thicket and wood, shooting arrows and slaying birds, till spake a crow, perched lone on a bough: "Why wilt thou thus kill birds, young King? 'Twould fit thee rather to ride on horses, to draw the sword and to slay the foe.
"Dan and Damp have dwellings goodlier, homesteads fairer than ye do hold; and well they know the keel to ride, the sword to prove and wounds to strike."
Amongst the Germanic peoples by the time that the Rigsthula had been composed there no longer was a separate priestly caste. Instead the functions of the priest were amalgamated with the warrior caste and the king was viewed in essence as the incarnation of divinity and to a lesser extent so were the nobles. However this is a distortion of the original Aryan caste system and is not to be found amongst other non-Germanic Aryan societies. No doubt this was due to the conclusion of a conflict between these two castes for supremacy. In essence the struggle never really went away. We find in the Middle Ages ongoing conflict between the king and the church and between emperor and pope. In fact by xtian times the clerics probably had greater power than the nobles.
The Aryan caste system is reflected in the tripartite functions of the Gods. We still see in the Germanic mythology the survival of the priest, warrior and farmer caste system of the Aryans. The Rigsthula is out of step with the cosmogony. The Rigsthula knows a noble/warrior, farmer and thrall tripartite division, the latter caste being non-Nordic whilst the cosmogony sticks to the original priest, noble/warrior and farmer system. The thrall was essentially the non-Aryan and non-Germanic slave of the conquered territories. The Rigsthula is thus a distortion and a reflection of later Germanic society. In the Germanic cosmogony we still have the Gods of the three functions of sovereignity, war and production represented at the temple of Old Uppsala as Wodan, Thor and Fricco according to Adam of Bremen, writing in the late 11th century CE.
I originally intended that this article should be about the significance of the serpent in Aryan mythology but it would seem that this time (like many times before) the Gods had other ideas! However what I have to say about the serpent cult has a direct connection with this article and should be read in conjunction with it.