THE THIRD AETT (GROUP OF EIGHT) OF THE ELDER FUTHARK
by Francis Tokarski
[!!!NOTE: The views and interpretations expressed here are in no way intended to be authoritative. They come from the author's mind - or maybe some other place... but that is all a matter of OPINION.]
The Third AEtt is “bracketed off” by the sky (TEIWAZ) and the land (OTHALA). In that way the first and last of the Third AEtt’s runes are complimentarily connected. Also complimentary are its first and second runes: “Sky Father” deity of the Indo-Europeans (TEIWAZ) and “Mother Earth” deity of the Old Europeans (BERKANO). Thus, the same Sky vs. Earth duality is presented in the first and last runes, as is presented in the first and second runes.
Incidentally, the first and second runes of the First AEtt are also complimentarily connected, and in the same way of the first being of the Indo-Europeans (these nomads’ domesticated cattle/FEHU) and the next being of the Old Europeans (the wild bovines/URUZ of ancient Europe). Furthermore, the fist and last runes of EACH AEtt - NOT just the Third Eight - are complimentary: First AEtt’s first rune’s FEHU/cattle dwell in its last rune’s WUNJO/pasturelands; Second AEtt’s first rune’s HAGALAZ/chunk of ice (hailstone) melts under the last rune’s SOWILO/sunshine.
So... As we have said, the Third AEtt is “bracketed off” - or CAPPED and GROUNDED - by TEIWAZ and OTHALA. The TEIWAZ stave is a line holding up the sky; the OTHALA stave is a two-legged stand (bipod instead of tripod) propping up a patch of land (the askew box). OTHALA’s bipod is an arrow shape; TEIWAZ’s sky/heaven is the same arrow shape - and the second rune BERKANO has this arrow shape, but it is pointing not up but to the right… Indeed, there are two such right-pointing arrows, like a bosom; and this fertility beckons us to go further (and grow further) into the next of the series…
EHWAZ comes next - that is, the animal the Indo-Europeans domesticated and rode (RAIDHO is related to Old English ‘rad’ [journey on horseback]). In contrast, the Old Europeans, like the Native Americans originally, did not ride horses. Then comes MANNAZ - which is a name for the god also known as Mannus or Heimdall or Rig in the Rigsthula of the Elder/Poetic Edda - the “Progenitor of Humankind”, i.e, that deity who taught the Old Europeans to structure their society in accordance with the ways of the Indo-Europeans: a tripartite caste system, like in India (see “Gods of the Ancient Northmen” by Dumezil, as well as Rigsthula, and “The Laws of Manu”).
But with LAGUZ we return to the feminine (i.e, non-Indo-European), which pairs nicely with the fourth rune of the First Eight - in this sense of Genesis: “The spirit/ANSUZ of God hovered/moved over the waters/LAGUZ..” ANSUZ (the fourth rune) and LAGUZ (the fourth to last rune) are in opposed sequential ordering. Also in opposed sequential ordering are the third rune THURISAZ and the third to last INGUZ. INGUZ is the scrotum or sack in which the testes are brewing their seed; THURISAZ is that actual phallus to deliver that seed. INGUZ (male, but passive, unlike THURISAZ being male but active) comes after LAGUZ (also passive, as a swamp or wet and worm hidden/occult area with things grow and fester unto livingness…
DAGAZ is second to last - and like the second to last of the FIRST AEtt, presents us again with the X shape. But DAGAZ’s X is bracketed off by two columns. The giving is contained, for it is a process, a cycle, like night and day… Day is the container of the giving of light to the cold. This X can also be viewed in the last rune stave, OTHALA. In addition to our previous interpretation of it as a bipod holding up a patch of land, we can load this rune with yet more meaning by simultaneously seeing in it an X with TEIWAZ’s sky-arrow. TEIWAZ holds up the sky in stasis, i.e, with ISA; but OTHALA holds up the sky through the power of give and take (GEBO). Thus, one difference between TEIWAZ ad OTHALA is that TEIWAZ represents heaven (sky) as a stabile thing, whereas OTHALA represent heaven (sky) as a process. The heaven of OTHALA is land, though - and not sky. For their to be heaven on earth, we all must be involved in a sharing/caring process of givetake. And so, in the end, OTHALA can be re-named GENEROSITY. This is how to carry out the duty of Tyr/TEIWAZ duty on Earth. Tyr, after all, sacrificed/gave/GEBO his sword hand in exchange/GEBO for peace...