In my restless quest for knowledge…
I am currently working my way through Crowley’s Book 4, Levi’s Transcendental Magic and Nietzsche’s Will to Power.
I’ve also taken the step to purchase a tarot deck. After my first experience with tarot in the Autumn of 2013, I have finally decided to learn the mysteries of tarot- we must ever seek out new mysteries. Choosing a deck was fun and I couldn’t find anything that resonated until my wife mentioned she tried to find something for me this Yule- a Norse Tarot deck. Stop- don’t all scream at once about the tarot having nothing to do with Asatru! It doesn’t, but I am no closed book. Pick up a tarot deck- any one will do. Anyone with a sound knowledge of the runic mysteries will instinctively know and understand the cards. There is an underlying current behind both mysteries that are now used for divination. If you can read the runes, you will read the tarot.
I found the deck that my wife was unable to purchase- the artist is still making them, but the publisher is no longer selling them and so you have to purchase direct from The Green Man and the Gatekeeper in the Forest of Dean. Beautiful art and instinctively natural associations between the Norse mythology and the tarot. A great set and I am already pleased with the ‘gut’ readings that I have done.
Check out the artist: at www.greenmangatekeeper.com
In the last week, I have taken some big steps- committed to joining a number of non-folkish Heathen groups, began the path of education that may one day lead to me be a gothi or priest and have considered changing my legal name.
Why change my name?
Well, firstly let me clarify that I am proud of my family and heritage. My name is derived of my ancestors- from the town of Rostherne which is an Old Norse/Saxon name meaning either red-thorn or is derived from cross-therne (holy cross) where there is an ancient mere (lake) that is the only one in the country where saltwater fish have be known to appear…with local superstition suggesting an underground stream/estuary into the sea. See more about that in my post on the town of Rostherne.
So what would I change my name to?
Well, I have a great name, but defined by hundreds of years of Christianity.
David means ‘beloved’ and the old Norse version would be ÄsruÞr. For the surname which is a legal requirement, I would use my fathers first name- and add ‘son’. Done.
I’ve registered it. I can’t find anyone else with it. It has As as the root of the name linking it to the Gods.
This weekend I paid a visit to my ancestral home- Rostherne in Cheshire where the Doomsday book records my ancestors as being the local lords. The family name has had a few evolutions over the last 1000 years, but retains a strong presence in the area in the name of the town, mere (lake) and local pubs.
Of major interest to myself was the local scarecrow festival taking place on the day of our visit (4th June) and also- the ancient carved stone head that is present in the town.
As you see in the picture that follow- the head has been retained (it may have been moved from its original siting in the town) and is now within the small wall that separates the old church from the graveyard. Now, we all realise that the church often built its sites on those that were once ancient pagan worship sites as a way to encourage the locals to adopt the new religion. Similar to the catholic church built on the worship site for Odin in Wednesbury (Odin’s-brough), I suspect this church that sits atop the hill over looking the forest and the huge mere (lake) was also located for this reason and the head retained to appease the locals.
So who is the figure depicted on the head? Cernnuros- hence what looks like horns at the side of the head? To me, it appeared that the face only had one eye- suggesting Odin, with the items at the side of the head being his winged war helmet. All of this is just conjecture. The head could just as easily be Thor. Rostherne is an Old Norse derived name of Rosser- Thorne (Red-Thorne). Now, Thorn is the Rune of Thor and Thor was known as having Red hair! Or, the alternative thesis on the origin of the name for the village is that it was called Cross-therne by the Saxon’s (meaning lake of the holy cross- which I would make to be a Suncross and therefore Odin’s lake…). So my ancestry is derived from a place named after either Odin or Thor and that my family name is of Old-Norse or Saxon origin. Kind of fitting as my religious beliefs are aligned with those of my ancestors in England and beyond then.
The bottom line is- it felt special, felt like home, was in the countryside, has a mere and an ancient god figure on top of the hill overlooking the town. This is my town and one day I shall live there again.
Recently I’ve had some success with research into my family past. My birth name hails from Lancashire, England. Now, this has always been an uncommon surname.
Until now, there has been little information on the names origins…the internet allows the sharing of information between people like never before…and the one thing all people with my name have in common is a need to understand where that name came from!
I have researched and found the followingÆ
-Old Norse in origin
-deriving from Rostherne near Knutsford, Cheshire, England.
-the name is derived from ‘Rauthr’ as a reference to red hair and thorn as is thorn bush in the local vicinity.
-name first recorded in 1246 as Richard de Routhesthorn in the ‘Assize Court rolls of Lancashire’.
-another suggestion is that it is norse ‘Ravos’ and ‘thorne’.
-another is that it was ‘cross’ ‘therne’ relating to the ‘therne’ as ‘lake’ and the holy cross. A sacred mere, the only one in the UK where salt water fish have been found thanks to an unknown link to the sea seeping into the freshwater lake…maybe it was deemed a sacred well?
I have my own take.
Rauthr for red hair
Thorn for thorn (as runic terms)
Thorn/Thurisaz is a rune for something evil/giant or Thor himself- so, could the name be Red Giant?/Ravos Giant? Now- this is only my thoughts on this. Also, add to this that if you take the birth dates of my wife, daughter and myself- each one of us is a fire sign under numerological analysis. Fire signs are coded as being Red…
Makes me wonder…
Of course, you could always read it as Rostherne=Red Thorne as in Red and Thorne being a rune associated with Thor (Thor has red hair) and suddenly you have a place that maybe named after an Aesir and a chance I could be a decendant?
This journey keeps surprising me more and more.
Recently started chatting to other Pagans on various websites about beliefs and I guess some of them pointed out something I pretty much knew anyway- my beliefs are more Asatru than Wicca.
Do I worship the Moon as Goddess and Sun as God?- No.
Do I worship Odin & Frigga as my primary God and Goddess? Yes
Do I also call other Gods of the Aesir and Vanir as needed? Yes
Do I have an unexplained attraction to the ‘Norse Gods’ since childhood? Yes
Do I place faith in the Runes and what they divine? Yes
MMMmmmm….Yes, I may well be more Asatru than Wiccan.
I wasn’t sure what this meant- most of the Asatru groups I have seen are about group worship and little inclusion of magick. Spellcraft forms a central tenet of my relationship with my Gods and Goddesses. Where did this leave me?
And then I picked up a book I had purchased and has been on my pile to read for a short while…Northern Magic- Rune Mysteries and Shamanism by Edred Thorrson. Yes, this book knows me! It’s like it was sat there waiting to answer my questions!
So as I embrace the Troth and learn from my ancestors, I know now that I am on the path of a vitki (wise one) which actually isn’t too far from the original meaning of the word ‘Wicca’.
I now feel able to continue, without label, on my own path as a vitki who is exploring my Troth and what magick I find along the way. I belong to no group as such and seek no companion on my journey as it is mine and mine alone as I endeavour to be closer to Odin.