Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth

In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.

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Tree with Suns

Check out this early 5th-century gilded silver pendant from West Gotland in Sweden.

If Stockholm University's Anders Andrén is right, this is an image of the ancestral universe.

According to Andrén, what at first looks like an abstract design—known to art historians as a pelta (“shield”) or mushroom-shaped design—is actually the World Tree (Andrén 140).

(Andrén does not say why it is that, if so, the World Tree's branching volutes should end in animal [=serpent?] heads, although the design has parallels in other contemporary art from Gotland [Andrén 141]. My own eisigesis [=”reading in”] would be that here we see the Tree of Life resolving into animal life.)

At the top, we see the long-rayed zenith Sun, flanked by the short-rayed Suns of Sunrise and Sunset.

At the bottom, we see the Night Sun as it travels through the roots of the Tree in the underworld [Andrén 141].

Life, Death, Time and Space.

Think of that as, through the coming tide, you contemplate the mysteries of the Yule Tree.

 

Anders Andrén (2014) Tracing Old Norse Cosmology: The World Tree, Middle Earth, and the Sun from Archaeological Perspectives. Lund: Nordic Academic Press

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.

Comments

  • Tyger
    Tyger Wednesday, 12 December 2018

    What a beautiful way of looking at the world!

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