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Author Topic: Witch Goddess  (Read 6719 times)

Holdasown

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Re: Witch Goddess
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2012, 11:04:48 am »
Quote from: Haugatysja;54053
Do you mean that the author is making things up?
I haven't read the whole article yet and I can't really say anything about it's authenticity.


You can read 50 different interpretations but eventually you will have to come up with something that feels right to you. For whatever reason I experience Holda as a distinct entity different from Freya and Hela. I would never put Hela and Freya together. There are too many stories of them being different beings.
 
As far as Hela being or not being a goddess, she certainly rules the land of Helheim and protects the dead. Most of the females of the Norse pantheon seem of with Lady as a title. The only reason I can see for her not being one is she is Jotun. I tend to error on the safe side and treat her as one.

Juniperberry

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Re: Witch Goddess
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2012, 11:27:28 am »
Quote from: Haugatysja;54052
Ok, then there is evidence for Hel and Kolyo having things in common. Kolyo was just seen as death in PIE religion (or the reconstruction of it). "The Coverer" and "halja" etc seem have similar meanings.



 I can't find any information on a Koylo goddess other than a few neopagan sites and De Vries' book.

Quote
Well, this is going to be fun :). In Hedge-Rider, Eric de Vries writes: "Sometimes Frau Holle appears as a woman with half a black and half white face"

I'm not sure that this is entirely correct. Where else, besides De Vries, does it say this about Frau Holle?

 
Quote
(De Vries 2008: 46-47). This makes me think of He since she is often descibedl as half human half skeleton. And: "From the root "kol", meaning hollow, the words hill, hall, hole, hollow, Hell and the name Hel are derived.[...] Also the name Holda/Holle is derived from the root "kol", basically stating that Holda/Holle means exactly the same as Hel" (De Vries 2008: 49).

Hulda/Holda most likely relates back to the Norse word for loyal, and not to hel.

Quote
And further on: "Not only does She bring fertility in the sense of children, she also is the Matron of Marriage and governs the more sensual aspects also attributed to Freya. In fact Freya and Holda are in several ways one and the same" ( De Vries 2008: 53). To me this means Hel is Holda, is Holle, is Freya, and it does not make sense.

I haven't ever seen any mention of Hulda/Holle/Perchta/Berchta/ governing sexuality. Ever. The only real connection to children in the lore that Hulda takes custody of unbaptized children.

Quote
In Light from the Shadows: A Mythos of Modern Traditional Witchcraft Gwyn writes: " Holda is both a "Hag goddess of winter, and a vibrant queen of sexuality who is the bestower of gifts"[...]" (Gwyn 1999:47). A couple of pages further on Gwyn states: "Holda in fact shares many attributes with the Norse Goddess Freya [...]" (Gwyn 1999: 49). Gwyn does not mention Hel, she does mention the Norns though.

Again, I've never come across anything that connects Hulda with sexuality. Maybe it exists, but I need more than these two examples.

Quote
Nigel Aldcroft Jackson writes in Call of the Horned Piper "[...] Frau Holda is the archaic underworld earth Mother, mistress of death, initiation and rebirth, who rules over the chthonic realm of Hel or Annwyn. In Scandinavia she is known as Hela, [...] of whom is related that half of her is fair and half black with decay. This signifies her bright and dark aspects as Freya/Holda mistress of life and death" (Jackson 1994: 17).

Annwyn?

There are theories that Hulda was the source for a goddess Hel. And there is a connection with Freyja and death. But there isn't anything that would suggest that these female deities are all one in the same and a confusion of an older deity.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2012, 11:28:37 am by Juniperberry »
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Haugatysja

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Re: Witch Goddess
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2012, 03:02:21 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;54074
Well here's part of the problem:

"Overview Hedgerider: Witches and the Underworld is a re-interpretation of (Hedge-)Witchery. Drawing from an extensive historical, folkloric and mythological body it re-attributes and re-defines Witchery as a Heathen Cult centred around the journey to the Underworld and contact with the Unseen."

Don't have a lot of time right now to address the rest.


Even if it's just a re-interpretation, I'd like to know where all this comes from. It's not that I don't believe it might have been made up, I do. I'm just very interrested in traditional witchcraft, and even if I'm not a traditional witch, a lot of things seem to resonate with me. I also like to do my research, if there is no basis in mythology or folklore for Freya/Holda/Hel parallels that's fine with me, as long as I know one way or the other. I thought this forum might be a good place to start.

Haugatysja

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Re: Witch Goddess
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2012, 03:12:09 pm »
Quote from: Ula;54078
You can read 50 different interpretations but eventually you will have to come up with something that feels right to you. For whatever reason I experience Holda as a distinct entity different from Freya and Hela. I would never put Hela and Freya together. There are too many stories of them being different beings.
 
As far as Hela being or not being a goddess, she certainly rules the land of Helheim and protects the dead. Most of the females of the Norse pantheon seem of with Lady as a title. The only reason I can see for her not being one is she is Jotun. I tend to error on the safe side and treat her as one.

 
I have trouble with Freya/Hel aswell, and I have always seen them as two different beeings. I do think of Hel as a goddess, even if she Jotun, Hel just seems more "raw" than other dieties, maybe because she is Jotun, on the other hand she seems very unmovable and confined to the underworld.

Haugatysja

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Re: Witch Goddess
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2012, 03:36:18 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;54081
I can't find any information on a Koylo goddess other than a few neopagan sites and De Vries' book.


There is some on this page (not much), it looks neopagan, but it also seems well researched and the references look good.

http://www.ceisiwrserith.com/pier/deities.htm#18


Quote from: Juniperberry;54081
I'm not sure that this is entirely correct. Where else, besides De Vries, does it say this about Frau Holle?


Quote from: Juniperberry;54081
Again, I've never come across anything that connects Hulda with sexuality. Maybe it exists, but I need more than these two examples.


Just in his book, but Gwyn calls Holda the "White Lady" and writes that she is associated with fertility, but that she can transform into a hag when she gets upset, and that she is associated with winter in that form. She also writes that Holda is both bright and dark. (Gwyn 1999: 48).

 
Quote from: Juniperberry;54081
There are theories that Hulda was the source for a goddess Hel. And there is a connection with Freyja and death. But there isn't anything that would suggest that these female deities are all one in the same and a confusion of an older deity.


I appreciate all the answers on this topic. Sometimes witchcraft books are written as an unbending truth and I find it difficult to know what to actually believe. It's good to know what others think, it makes me question things even more, which I believe is only healthy :)

Juniperberry

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Re: Witch Goddess
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2012, 05:14:40 pm »
Quote from: Haugatysja;54095
There is some on this page (not much), it looks neopagan, but it also seems well researched and the references look good.

http://www.ceisiwrserith.com/pier/deities.htm#18


Ok, I skimmed the reference she uses. Just because a word is derived from another doesn't mean that it's the same thing. Hell is clearly derived from hel, but they mean two separate things in the culture. They are not the same- at all.



Quote
Just in his book, but Gwyn calls Holda the "White Lady" and writes that she is associated with fertility, but that she can transform into a hag when she gets upset, and that she is associated with winter in that form. She also writes that Holda is both bright and dark. (Gwyn 1999: 48).


The winter goddesses are far more complex than what's being asked about here. First of all, they're from the continent, which tended to be much more female aligned then Scandinavia. Holda, Perchta et all are more than just a "goddess of" something. They are complicated entities that dealt with the household, the season, deaths, fertility, children, and rites and rituals.

There *is* a beautiful aspect, when caught bathing. But there are also the White Ladies, who are sometimes witnessed brushing their hair next to the water. Occasionally, one of these goddesses will appear to someone as young and in need of assistance, or old and in need of the same. But they are most often older, wild, grotesque (long nose, swan's foot, bucked teeth), and unmated.

Basically, they were powerful and respected forces of the people in many aspects of their lives, and not just the personification of some attribute. And, just as Hel and Hell mean two entirely different things to two different worldviews, so do the Winter Goddesses. You can't just say that they are all versions of a PIE witch.

 


Quote
I appreciate all the answers on this topic. Sometimes witchcraft books are written as an unbending truth and I find it difficult to know what to actually believe. It's good to know what others think, it makes me question things even more, which I believe is only healthy :)

 
It's my favorite subject so I appreciate your questions. :)
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

Aster Breo

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Witch Goddess
« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2012, 05:49:52 pm »
Quote from: Haugatysja;54095
There is some on this page (not much), it looks neopagan, but it also seems well researched and the references look good.

http://www.ceisiwrserith.com/pier/deities.htm#18



For what it's worth, Serith is pretty well respected, in terms of his research and theories, although he's dealing with theories that go so far back in time that I don't think we'll ever have definitive answers for many of these questions.

I have his book on PIE religion, _Deep Ancestors_, and just looked at the section on Kolyos, which is very short. Might not be any more than on his website, but I can't check that right now.  Anyway, in the book (page 75) he says:

Kolyos:  "The Coverer" -- the goddess of death. Her name survived into the Norse Hel, Greek Calypso, and Hindi Sarva [citing Bruce Lincoln, _Death, War, and Sacrifice_, 1991, which is also a well respected work].  Kolyos..is death itself, who drags people down into death with a noose or a snare.  She is not a goddess to be friends with, then, but not one to make an enemy of either.  Sacrifices to the dead involve a separation, while at the same time honoring; this sort of ritual is definitely appropriate for Kolyos. She is best offered a pig, which is not shared with her worshipers.


That's pretty much it.

Don't know if that's helpful, but thought I'd toss it out there, since I have the book handy.

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SunflowerP

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Re: Witch Goddess
« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2012, 04:02:34 am »
Quote from: Haugatysja;54053
Do you mean that the author is making things up?
I haven't read the whole article yet and I can't really say anything about it's authenticity.

 
I mean that the site as a whole is a proponent of the pseudohistory popular with a certain subset of feminists in the '70s and '80s, much of which is unsupported by, or in outright contradiction to, available evidence.  While it's very useful as a source of the mythic history that inspires the Women's Spirituality movement, it is not factual history.

I have no issue with the mythic presented as mythic, and many of the developments in the (factual) history of the modern neoPagan movement are incomprehensible without an understanding of the mythic histories (this one, and others) that influenced it.  But I strenuously object when the mythic is conflated with the factual, as that site does.

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Haugatysja

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Re: Witch Goddess
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2012, 04:32:04 am »
Quote from: Juniperberry;54103
Ok, I skimmed the reference she uses. Just because a word is derived from another doesn't mean that it's the same thing. Hell is clearly derived from hel, but they mean two separate things in the culture. They are not the same- at all.



I agree with you, but aren't place names different than names of beings?


Quote from: Juniperberry;54103
The winter goddesses are far more complex than what's being asked about here. First of all, they're from the continent, which tended to be much more female aligned then Scandinavia. Holda, Perchta et all are more than just a "goddess of" something. They are complicated entities that dealt with the household, the season, deaths, fertility, children, and rites and rituals.

There *is* a beautiful aspect, when caught bathing. But there are also the White Ladies, who are sometimes witnessed brushing their hair next to the water. Occasionally, one of these goddesses will appear to someone as young and in need of assistance, or old and in need of the same. But they are most often older, wild, grotesque (long nose, swan's foot, bucked teeth), and unmated.


Of course, Holda and or Holle seem to encompass much more than Hel, who seems to be responsible for the realm of the dead and not much else. So there are clear differences between the goddesses. I just have easier to imagine Hel and Holda coming from the same goddess than Hel and Freya. Also Holda and Freya share attributes but Freya and Hel don't share many at all except for taking care of the dead. When it comes to UPG I definitely feel like Freya and Hel are completely different personalities.

Quote from: Juniperberry;54103
Basically, they were powerful and respected forces of the people in many aspects of their lives, and not just the personification of some attribute. And, just as Hel and Hell mean two entirely different things to two different worldviews, so do the Winter Goddesses. You can't just say that they are all versions of a PIE witch.


Well, that's pretty much what two of the authors I have mentioned are saying. Jackson says it most clearly: "The Indo- European original of this Witch Goddess is *KOLYO, "the coverer"- the funeral Otherworld Queen of the Indo- Europeans peoples from figures as diverse as the Celtic Cailleach and the Greek nymph Calypso are descended" (Jackson 1994: 18).

I remembered I have a book that Ceisiwr Serith refers to on his page, Death, War and Sacrifice: Studies in Ideology and Practice by Bruce Lincoln. He writes that the Indo- Europeans "saw death as a goddess" (Lincoln 1991:78). To me, this is a lot different from a goddess of death, and definitely does not have anything to do with a witch goddess. But then again, we are talking 3000-5000 BC. A lot of the goddess names we have discussed can derive from *KOLYO, it does not have to mean that the meaning of the word stays the same, languages change all the time. Now, I don't have complete references on this, but I believe Serith wrote on his page that: PIE goddess were associated with natural phenomena and that when PIE groups moved, they adopted new local goddesses and gave them an PIE touch.

In this way it seems only natural that new goddesses were created and that they had some similarities with earlier goddesses but also new aspects to them. So, I guess that both Hel and Holda might derive from *KOLYO, but it does not make them the same as *KOLYO. I still don't know about Freya in all of this, she doesn't really fit. In the end even if Holda, Hel, Holle, Kalypso, Nicnevin, Cailleach etc derive from *KOLYO, it doesn't make *KOLYO the original Witch Goddess, since she was the goddess of death and dying. To me Hel is the goddess that is closest to *KOLYO, and I don't associate Hel with witchcraft.

hlewagastir

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Re: Witch Goddess
« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2012, 06:19:41 pm »
Quote from: Haugatysja;54161

Of course, Holda and or Holle seem to encompass much more than Hel, who seems to be responsible for the realm of the dead and not much else. So there are clear differences between the goddesses. I just have easier to imagine Hel and Holda coming from the same goddess than Hel and Freya. Also Holda and Freya share attributes but Freya and Hel don't share many at all except for taking care of the dead. When it comes to UPG I definitely feel like Freya and Hel are completely different personalities.



Hel is a late mythological figure. Freya was a well known and worshipped deity in heathen times.

All our detailed descriptions of the goddess "Hel" are from late and often heavily Christianized literature.

To quote Simek:
"It is the realm of the goddess Hel who is a literary personification of the realm of the dead." - p. 137 (under "Hel (1)")

"The goddess of the underworld, probably a very late poetic personification of the underworld Hel. (...) On the whole nothing speaks in favour of there being a belief in a goddess Hel in pre-Christian times." - p. 138 (under "Hel (2)")

Simek, Rudolf: Dictionary of Northern Mythology. D. S. Brewer, Cambridge 1993.

As Simek I consider the goddess Hel a late (Christianized) invention... Much more is the connection between Freya and the Matronae.

I talked with Fyrfos (Asatrulore.org) a few months ago and he pointed out how there seem to be a connection between futility and death. Such as Freya who is connected with half of the fallen warriors, and the Matronae who have skulls in their symbolic repertoire...

I don´t really know much about Frau Holle and the continental futility deities, so I can´t be of much help in that regard.


Quote

Well, that's pretty much what two of the authors I have mentioned are saying. Jackson says it most clearly: "The Indo- European original of this Witch Goddess is *KOLYO, "the coverer"- the funeral Otherworld Queen of the Indo- Europeans peoples from figures as diverse as the Celtic Cailleach and the Greek nymph Calypso are descended" (Jackson 1994: 18).



Just skimmed through some of Jacksons book and some of Eric de Vries´... Are these people actual scholars? I don´t say you have to be a scholar and have a degree to write a book on something as complicated as PIE culture. I just expect the writers to have long bibliographies with good academic secondary sources and correctly described primary sources.

I can´t find it in Jacksons book or in de Vries book. Then again, I only have the pieces I was able to find online; so maybe you can cite their sources on the quotes you gave (I might be able to find some of their sources online)?

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Re: Witch Goddess
« Reply #25 on: May 15, 2012, 12:04:31 am »
Quote from: hlewagastir;54585
I talked with Fyrfos (Asatrulore.org) a few months ago and he pointed out how there seem to be a connection between futility and death. Such as Freya who is connected with half of the fallen warriors, and the Matronae who have skulls in their symbolic repertoire...

I don´t really know much about Frau Holle and the continental futility deities, so I can´t be of much help in that regard.

 
I think your autocorrect is living its own life.  I'm guessing you meant fertility.

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hlewagastir

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Re: Witch Goddess
« Reply #26 on: May 15, 2012, 05:10:48 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;54639
I think your autocorrect is living its own life.  I'm guessing you meant fertility.

Sunflower

 
Lol yes... Right after I posted it my internet threw me off. I did not manage to get back in within the first 10-15 minutes where you can edit your post.

Haugatysja

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Re: Witch Goddess
« Reply #27 on: June 03, 2012, 04:52:50 pm »
Quote from: hlewagastir;54585


Just skimmed through some of Jacksons book and some of Eric de Vries´... Are these people actual scholars? I don´t say you have to be a scholar and have a degree to write a book on something as complicated as PIE culture. I just expect the writers to have long bibliographies with good academic secondary sources and correctly described primary sources.

I can´t find it in Jacksons book or in de Vries book. Then again, I only have the pieces I was able to find online; so maybe you can cite their sources on the quotes you gave (I might be able to find some of their sources online)?


Back from living with my nose in a book for a couple of weeks, exams :(. As for your questions; they aren't scholars and they don't have bibliographies or sources of any kind in their books. I guess you could expect as much. I still find the concept they write about interesting and I thought I'd check if there are any historical sources for it or if someone on here knows more. If nothing else, it's nice to read what others think about the subject.
In the book Death, War, and Sacrifice: Stuides in Ideology and Practice by Bruce Lincoln there's some written about the goddess *Kolyo and how she drags people down to her realm with a nose. It also says that the name *Kolyo is "preserved in the name of the old Norse Goddess Hel" (Lincoln 1991:78). His sources are; Hermann Güntert, Kundry and Herman Güntert Kalypso, both books are written in published in the 1920's and written in German. That's all I have found about the relationship between Hel and *Kolyo.

hlewagastir

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Re: Witch Goddess
« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2012, 07:51:20 pm »
Quote from: Haugatysja;58234

In the book Death, War, and Sacrifice: Stuides in Ideology and Practice by Bruce Lincoln there's some written about the goddess *Kolyo and how she drags people down to her realm with a nose. It also says that the name *Kolyo is "preserved in the name of the old Norse Goddess Hel" (Lincoln 1991:78). His sources are; Hermann Güntert, Kundry and Herman Güntert Kalypso, both books are written in published in the 1920's and written in German. That's all I have found about the relationship between Hel and *Kolyo.



Thank you for your answer. I do not have the book, and can only access fractions of it online, so it would be a great help if you would sum up Lincoln´s case for his etymological comparison between Hel and Kolyo (if that is what he does)? Also, does he use any other primary sources than Gylfaginning when discussing Hel (the goddess)?

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Re: Witch Goddess
« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2012, 01:57:07 am »
Quote from: hlewagastir;58695
Thank you for your answer. I do not have the book, and can only access fractions of it online, so it would be a great help if you would sum up Lincoln´s case for his etymological comparison between Hel and Kolyo (if that is what he does)? Also, does he use any other primary sources than Gylfaginning when discussing Hel (the goddess)?

 
There's not much. Lincoln refers to Hermann Güntert who apparently has reconstructed the name *Kolyo, which means "the coverer" and is preserved in the Norse goddess Hel, Greek Kalypso and Indian god Sárva. She drags people who are supposed to die down to the underground with a noose (Lincoln 1991:78)

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