Krttika – The Six Swords of the Stars

An asterism of Bindrunes – ‘Krittika’. Which I’ve constructed from ᚲ ᚱ ᛏ ᛏ ᚲ ᚨ (Kaunan, Raidho, Tiwaz Tiwaz, Kaunan, Ansuz); and which, well, it represents something rather important. Particularly for a certain ‘Sword’ of ‘Divine Design’ out there.

‘Krttika’ in Sanskrit means ‘The Cutter’ – and The Krttikas (plural) refer to the Pleiades. The way I’ve designed this asterism is deliberately to give voice to what’s associated with the constellation in Hindu mythic and astrological terms.

Now, strictly speaking, it’s often regarded as somewhat poor form to simply ‘spell out’ words when constructing bindrunes. This is presumably doubly so when the spelling in question is done in a language other than the one the runic script being utilized is actually connected to (i.e. Proto-Norse for the Elder Futhark, Old Norse for the Younger, Old English etc. for the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc). Instead, the idea with bindrunes is to both express and empower a concept via utilizing the ideogrammatic and metaphysical properties of the relevant runes – creating a depiction which emanates and immanentizes (and anchors!) the desired concept out into the world of its inscriber.

However, with what I’ve sought to do here – I’d argue that I’ve in fact managed to do both things at once. The set of six Runes can be read quite conventionally as ‘KRTTKA’ – and yet shall also, by examining the actual shape and styling of the combinations I’ve created, convey particular pointed of the essence-tial energies of the Heavenly asterism as well for which it stands. And in that regard, even afore we consider the nature of Sanskrit as the ‘Empowered Speech’ – it represents a multilayered and interwoven potency.

But what are these energies? And what is Their purpose?

In a sense, I suppose we may think of the Krittikas as being ‘Fire-Blades’. They connote both ‘destruction’ and ‘illumination’ (which we can also phrase as ‘Purification’ – ‘Hallowing’) – and, most especially, both at once. The one via necessity precedes the other. Aptly for this purpose, They are presided over by Lord Agni as the Deific – a situation which also resonates with the mythological presentation, as we have covered in some detail elsewhere (and fully intend to revisit more in the future). We have also undertaken to represent an additional element to the Indo-European mythology around the constellation via the fact that there are Six Runes here – for Six Sisters, Six Star-Maids. In both Hellenic and Hindu reckoning there were archaically Seven of These – with one, Amba (to use the Vedic), having mysteriously dimmed and disappeared. However, particularly given the overt resemblance of ‘Amba’ to … a certain figure of this name … I have my enduring belief as to where (and, most especially, Who) it is that She eventually Returns To.

Iconographically, we often find Krttika likewise represented with ‘cutting’ elements – a knife or a spear, or occasionally even an axe; or with a burning torch.

Now, straightaway you can see why particular of these Runes, especially in these relevant Bindrune formulations, were a resonant choice to represent ‘Krttika’.

Each of the three Bindrunes is built around a Tiwaz – in the case of the middle pairing, it is quite straightforward because they are literally already Tiwaz, so doubling them is the only addition made. For an increase in force.

However, in the case of the first and the last ligature it is the result of a Kaunaz (Kaunan) in combination with Raidho or Ansuz respectively. Thus, for all Six – we have a Blade.

The first Rune in the series is Kaunaz – and at this point it is necessary to note that there is some .. debate as to what it would have meant in Proto-Germanic terms. For our purposes, we’ll be presuming something akin to what shows up in the Old English for ‘Cen’ – that is to say, “Torch”. This likely derives from Proto-West-Germanic *Kirn, which refers to wood of a resinous nature that shall burn well; although *may* be cognate with Old Norse ‘Kynda’ (‘to kindle’ a fire – which is from the same PIE root (*(S)Kand- – referring to bright heat and light) that gives us Sanskrit ‘Chandra’ (i.e. ‘Moon’), as a point of interest). Eminently apt, we should have to say, for what is connoted via the Krittikas and Their Patron Lord. [Of course, it is also important to note that there is *another* possibility for the Proto-Germanic form of the Rune – wherein the Icelandic version is taken as apt and some sort of ‘wound’ like a boil is meant; however I would not be surprised if ultimately this is not unrelated to the ‘burning’ understanding aforementioned – indeed, the idea of a blister caused by flame exposure as the ‘unifying’ explanation has been proposed by at least one scholar. Another point to mention is that upon occasion we find the Old English Rune being utilized for ‘Cene’ – that is to say, ‘Keen’ , as in a ‘keen edge’ or a forthright enthusiasm … from Proto-Germanic *Koniz and *Kunnana – terms to refer to ‘Knowing’, being skillful and adroit. This is relevant to the purpose of the constellation’s invocation as we shall see in due course.]

Kaunaz is, here, in combination with Raido – Journey – because the Krittikas, in the more archaic Vedic Jyotisha texts, is the first Nakshatra : the first ‘house’ or constellation of the Zodiac. Kaunaz in combination with Raidho, therefore, is the ‘spark’ that incepts the Journey through the Heavens, the processional of the Nakshatras. Something which also fits rather well with the Tiwaz shape given to the Runic asterism – as we actually find in the Old English rune poem the ‘Tir’ rune (as they knew it) being hailed as, well, a star or constellation … and, tellingly, is itself on a ‘journey’ (færyld) over the Night’s dark myst(eries). This particular combination is, therefore, a rather excellent ‘inception’ to what we are endeavouring to do here.

As applies the middle pairing – the twin Tiwaz – partially we have addressed this earlier. Tiwaz is often identified with a ‘point’ – whether of a spear according to some, or a sword in the more dominant opinion (a situation particularly helped by the Valkyrie, Sigrdrifa, instructing the hero Sigurd to inscribe ‘runes of victory’ upon his sword whilst invoking Tyr – which has lead to the understandable belief that ‘sword runes’ in shape is what the ‘T’ is intended to be). The etymology itself stems from the same PIE *Deywos which gives us ‘Deus’ in Latin and ‘Deva’ in Sanskrit. The essential sense is ‘Shining One’. And whilst it is ordinarily the ‘Daylit Sky’ that is somewhat implicit when speaking of these Deifics – if ‘Tir’ is turning up to mean a Star or collection thereof, then it is possible that it had come to mean the distant twinkling lights of the sky even by night as well. After all, across the Indo-European sphere we so often find Gods represented amongst the Stars – Their Myths played out once more in the turning, wheeling panoply of the Night’s dark-skinned beauty.

We should note, of course, that ‘Tiwaz’ / ‘Tyr’ – whilst it does inform the specific theonym for that particular God known as Tyr, is a generalized term for a deific also (as seen with the breadth of Odin theonymics which have a “-Tyr” in them, the at least one Thor designation built from the same particle, and “Tivar” to mean “The Gods” in plural). Indeed, there is some arguable precedency for this (contingent upon reconstructive interpretation) for Ansuz being invoked multiple times in a carving to stand for multiple Gods – rather than the one very particular God most associated with that Rune. So, as applies the arrow Tyr rune: even though it does occur in the Icelandic and Norwegian Rune Poems with especial reference to that Tyr particularly – we have reasonable grounds for its application in a somewhat broader sense.

This is especially the case given a lesser-known element of rune-lore: namely, that the word utilized in the Old English Rune Poem, ‘Tir’, is actually quite likely from a different root and with different meaning to ‘Tyr’. It means ‘Glory’, ‘Fame’, ‘Honour’, ‘Renown’; from Proto-Germanic *Tiraz or *Tera- (which also supplies Old Norse ‘Tirr’). This same Proto-Germanic term is carried forward into modern German via the somewhat archaic ‘Zier’ – ‘Beauty’ or ‘Splendour’ – which is ‘operationalized’ in ‘Zieren’ to mean ‘To Adorn’ or ‘Decorate’, and ‘Zierde’ to mean ‘[having the quality of] beauty’, ‘an adornment’ or ‘decoration’. [As a point of perhaps rather more than comparative interest – the actual Proto-Indo-European particle this ostensibly derives ultimately from … is, in fact, the same one that gives us ‘Tyr’ etc.; it’s just that the ‘Day-light’ sense has been more directly continued to give us the terms for beauty, radiancy, renown, etc.]

Now, the reason why this is incredibly relevant to us here is because there are good grounds to presume that not only is the Old English poem literally older than the Icelandic iteration that has come down to us (with major versions of it being post-Christianization) – but that it is also, in various respects, more ‘conservative’, with the Icelandic effort being ‘templated’ after the older and more southerly efforts in some particulars … and not coincidentally, changing some details along the way (indeed, some of the Icelandic Rune Poem iterations have … elements found nowhere else when talking about the God Tyr, to put it politely; and we also see entire runes that have dropped out in the Younger Futhark preserved with reasonable felicity in the Anglo-Saxon Runic Rows). It should not seem improbable that, in a similar fashion, what was once ‘Tir’ became displaced by ‘Tyr’ – and therefore, correspondingly, something was lost. Something ‘Celestial’ – ‘pointing’, we may in-fer, towards a Star.

Handily, this would also fit rather well with the speculation of Tiwaz being the rune-shape applied to the sword of Sigurd as ‘Victory Runes’ – as this sense of ‘adornment’ fits strongly within the adjacent definitional ambit for the continental Germanic ‘Tir’ expression. The Rune which is Beauty, Glory, Victory, Renown – is applied to the Blade to render the weapon itself Beautiful, Glorious (and Glory-giving), Victorious (and Victory-bestowing), Renowned (along with its bearer). The Sword is made ‘radiant’ via the investiture of the arka-ning runic energy – becoming empowered with the beauteous forces of (day)light and order. A Sword of the Sun – a Sword of Starlight. Eminently apt, in this circumstance, for six Metaphysical Blades which form the ‘Cutters’ asterism.

The final pairing is of Kaun and Ansuz – the Kaunan we have already discussed, although it gains some rather remarkable conceptual saliency in confederation with Ansuz. Now, Ansuz is another ‘complex’ rune – where seeming divergence in fact conceals underlying coterminity. In the Old Norse, the Icelandic Rune Poem and Younger Futhark, the shape of the Rune has slightly shifted – although the ‘Oss’ for which it stands is recognizably the same general concept. There, it is said to stand for Odin – the Lord of Valhalla, Chieftain of Asgard, and ‘Oddviti’ Jupiter. I have discussed the various Old Norse terms used in my recent ‘On Odin As Jupiter In The Icelandic Rune Poem’; which, as applies ‘Oddviti’ is rather relevant due to the manner in which the term itself brings together ‘Odd(r)’ (as in ‘Blade’, ‘Weapon-Point’) and ‘Viti’ – which means ‘Beacon(fire)’. The term effectively means ‘War-Leader’, and forms a perhaps surprisingly close resonancy with the Anikavat utilized to hail Agni as the ‘Tip of the Spear’ and Commander of the Army of the Gods in Vedic utilization.

Meanwhile, in the Anglo-Saxon sphere, we have two semi-coterminous runes occurring: ᚩ (Os) and ᚫ (Aesc) – meaning ‘God’ and ‘Ash’ respectively. I have discussed the latter at length elsewhere, but suffice to say that amidst both Germanic and Greek culturo-linguistic spheres we frequently find Ash used as a shorthand for Spear – precisely because it is the Ash Tree that produces the wood of the great spear. We also tend to find, at least in the Greek (and less directly yet still traceable in the Germanic) an association of the Ash Tree with what we can identify as the fundaments of the Indo-European Empowering Elixir – witness the ‘Meli-‘ terms for Honey in the case of the former. And, furthermore, the intriguing association of the Ash Tree and its Spears (and, we may presume, Honey) with the Ash-Nymphs that form a female retinue for the Spear God in question – but more upon that elsewhere, I feel. They really do deserve Their Own (A)Arti-cle in light of recent observances pertaining to the RudraGanikas !

As applies Anglo-Saxon ‘Os’ – here we have something further intriguing. ‘Christianization’ may indeed have potentially erased the overt and overtly specific identification of the Rune with Odin – yet the Anglo-Saxons nevertheless pointedly maintained the linkage with one key attribute of that God. Namely, Language (and Wisdom).

To quote the relevant verse:

“The mouth is the source of all language,
a pillar of wisdom and a comfort to wise men,
a blessing and a joy to every knight.”

Or, in an alternate translation:

“The mouth is the beginning of all speech,
a support to wisdom and a comfort to the wise,
and a prosperity and trust to every earl.”

That word, ‘Eorla’, is, of course, rather intriguingly resonant for the circumstances given its utilization to refer to a Runecarver, a Priest, in more archaic Runic inscriptions – as we covered in my recent ‘On Erilaz – Runecarver ?’

In any case, the combination of Kaunan and Ansuz represents an eloquent (literally – Flame-Speech, Fire-Tongue; and yes, this is an intended resonancy with the archaic Vedic attestation for the Tongues of Agni / Brihaspati – also numbering Seven) combination.
It provides us, once again, with a ‘Fire-Blade’ – in this case, the tip of a spear (and as we are ending on a ‘spear’ it is perhaps intriguing to note that a spear with three points, three blades, is exactly what the TriKanda weapon of MahaDev in the Vedas that is today identified as the Trishula and as Orion’s Belt (the Arrow of Rudra in Vedic terms) may signify). It also speaks toward the ‘ignition’ and ‘flame’ which both conjures (invokes) and embodies the God; and the Wisdom over which He Presides.

It is, in short, Empowerment.

This, then, is the ‘core theme’ running through the Six Runes in Three Pairings that I have carved here. The provision of Empowerment , of facilitation with Communication, Illumination (Inspiration and Insight), and of course that fierce ‘weaponized’ energy which can bring (deliverance through) Destruction as well.

However, having devoted so much significant attention to the Nordic / Germanic expression of the Vedic concept we have been ‘grasped’ by here – it is now necessary to turn back to the Vedic sphere to more properly express the essence of what we have sought to both empower and to convey.

The Krttika asterism is spoken of as the ‘Mouth’ of the processional. Eminently apt for the ‘First’ of the 27 divisions of the Heavens – although there is more to it than (just) that. The Krittikas are linked to Agni – Agni, a lord of eloquence and Priest of the Gods is, Himself, something of a ‘Mouth’. Indeed, when we are making sacrificial oblations into the sacred Fire in the course of our activities of piety .. we are ‘feeding’ Agni. Flame is, here, linked to ‘digestion’ in Vedic terms – and also to the expressive illumination of speech. As applies the former, we have these ‘Blades’ acting almost in the manner of ‘Teeth’. They can break down things so that the inner ‘essence’ which we are after might be usefully utilized and absorbed. Something which Fire also does – it is the Hallower. We might similarly apply this typology to knowledge – albeit noting also that in addition to ‘digesting’ information in the manner of more material sustenance, we also find the ‘other direction’ to the flow of such consumables to the Heavens via Agni to be invoked. That is to say – we have Insight, Inspiration, Divine Guidance ‘coming down’ to us from On High.

Another understanding concerns the application of fire for ‘cooking’ – some might suggest ‘perfecting’ (there is a suite of Sanskrit conceptry wherein the same word effectively means both – a process, after all, wherein strenuous effort and ‘intervention’ is deployed to bring about an improved outcome. One where the implicit essence has become explicit, ‘tastes’ realized and/or baked in (imparted, communicated), the thing rendered actually-consumable and fit-for-purpose … you get the idea). Purification, meanwhile, refers to the removal of that which is obscuring and unnecessary / contaminating – to leave what is pure and righteous and worthy in its wake.

Now, translations of the relevant Vedic texts into English are rather few and far between, but I have nevertheless managed to source several which help to elucidate what it is that I’m about here. Here’s the Nealy rendition for several relevant sections of the Taittiriya Brahmana:

Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa: Aṣṭaka 1, Prapāṭhaka 1, Anuvāka 2
“1 One should offer to Agni among the Kṛttikās. Indeed, that is the nakṣatra of Agni. Indeed who, having offered to the Kṛttikās and him [Agni] among one’s own deity becomes eminent in sacred knowledge. That is indeed the foremost of the nakṣatras, which are the Kṛttikās. The one who offers to Agni among the Kṛttikās, indeed becomes the foremost.”

Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa: Aṣṭaka 3, Prapāṭhaka 1, Anuvākas 1 and 2
“1 May Agni protect the Kṛttikās for us.This nakṣatra has a distinct deity and power of those [Kṛttikās]. Having come into possession of an oblation, may you sacrifice.
2 The rays of light of whom and the comets of whom shine and the divine Agni of whom dwells in all those places and creatures with the Kṛttikās, he should bestow upon us the good path.”

And, to give another sense of that latter pair of verses – the Dumont rendition:

“(1.a) Let Agni protect us, (let) the Krttikas, the Naksatra (of Agni), the divine manly power (protect us).
Pour (O priests) this radiant oblation into their mouth.
(1.b) Let him, whose rays, whose banners, shine, to whom all these beings, all, belong, who wraps himself in the Krttikas, – let god Agni establish us in welfare.”

As we can see, this sense of bestowing to the worshipper the correct ‘insight’ – the guidance to great and powerful (often secret) knowledge – has Vedic precedency. As, of course, does the notion of being Guided upon the path – the Pathway of the Stars.

As Leonard Cohen put it in ‘First We Take Manhattan’: “I’m Guided by a Signal in the Heavens / I’m Guided by this Birthmark on my skin. / I’m Guided by the Beauty of Our Weapons … “

Further occurrences for the Krittikas of saliency for us here are to be found in the actual main text (Sanhita) of the Taittiriya Yajurveda:

IV 4 10
“[line a] (Thou art) Krttikas, the Naksatra, Agni, the deity; Ye are the radiances of Agni, of Prajapati, of the Creator, of Soma; to the Re Thee, to Radiance Thee, to the Shining Thee, to the Blaze Thee, to the Light Thee”

For the second half of the line, the actual text is interesting. In the Sanskrit: “Rce Tva Ruce Tva Dyute Tva Bhase Tva Jyotise Tva”. ‘Tva’ is, of course, ‘[To] Thee’ (like ‘Tu’ etc. in Latin, French – or, for that matter, ‘Thee’ itself is a direct cognate); but these ‘operative phrases’: ‘Rce’, ‘Ruce’, ‘Dyute’, ‘Bhase’, and ‘Jyotise’ … two of these are reasonably straightforward (if understated in the translation) terms. ‘Dyute’ and ‘Jyotise’ (which, again, rather interestingly, are actually two forms of the same root – with the latter deriving from the former after having been ‘re-absorbed’ into the Sanskrit corpus from a Prakrit sojourn, allegedly) refer to Celestial Radiancy – ‘Dyu’ as in ‘Shining Heaven’, (like ‘Day’-light – which also comes from the same PIE root; or, of course, Dyaus Pitar – Our Father Who Art Heaven), and ‘Jyotis’, which means ‘Celestial Light’ in another way, and often refers to the illumination of particular heavenly bodies such as stars (hence ‘Jyotisha’ as the Hindu star-science).

But ‘Rce’, ‘Ruce’, and ‘Bhase’ – I would suggest rather strongly that these are intentional puns. Why? Because each term either is directly one which connotes both Illumination and Communication, or sounds incredibly close to one.

Rc ( ऋच् ), for instance, which is also the actual term being transliterated in the ‘Rig’ of ‘RigVeda’, quite directly can mean both ‘Shining’ and ‘Splendour’ – but also a Hymnal, a Prayer, Worship.

Ruc ( रुच् ), again, directly means radiance – shining, beauty; yet also has additional and frequently encountered meanings of ‘Resolve’, ‘Desire’, or ‘To Be Agreeable’. (Hence – Ruchana : ‘To Be Of Interest’, ‘To Be Agreeable [to one]’)

Bhasa ( भास ) is a case wherein the one term closely resembles another – Bhasa ( भाषा ). It is the former which refers to ‘Light’, and the latter which refers to ‘Speech’. However, despite the subtle difference in pronunciation – both are, it would seem, from a directly coterminous Proto-Indo-European particle: *bʰeh₂ ; and it would seem that there is some saliency for (Empowered, Divine) ‘Language’ and ‘Light’ as ‘radiating’ as an inveterately archaic Indo-European concept as we have discussed elsewhere.

What is being effectively communicated via these three terms in this Vedic context, therefore, is somewhat ‘bidirectional’. It is not only hailing the Radiance of these Krttika Stars (with all that that entails) – but it is also speaking to qualities which are hoped to condition the relationship between the Devotee and the Astra-ism. That of Prayer, for instance (Rc / Rik); that of ‘agreeableness’ (Ruc) as applies the Pleiades and Their Potency (as well as that of Their Lord – Agni) toward one, obtaining That Which Is Desired; and, of course, the ‘Bhasa’ which overtly refers to the illumination of Starlight, yet which seems to suggest, particularly in concert with Rc, that the power over one’s own verbal facility – the power of the Divine Speech , wit wisdom and insight, is also sought via the sacrificial offering to the Krttikas and to Agni as well.

Goes rather well with that Anglo-Saxon understanding of what had become of Ansuz, in that regard. Of course, the ‘KA-‘ combination that I produced there may have some bearing upon the fundamental ‘objective’ of Krttika – which is “Kama”, the finding of Love; which, itself, goes rather well with the ‘Desire’ rendering for ‘Ruc’.

One final point which ought be made is that the Krttika Nakshatra has an indelible association with warfare – and its champions. This ought be obvious via the birth of Kartikeya (one of the prominent Hindu War Gods) to these Six Mothers, as well as the coterminity with what we in the West would think of as Aries in terms of Sun Houses. However, in addition to the often overlooked strong saliency of Agni in warfare (c.f the ‘Anikavat’ understanding aforementioned – and there is quite a suite of RigVedic verses etc. likewise upon a similar theme), we also have an extended mention in the Mahabharat for another august figure ‘born’ under the Krttika Sign: The Asi, the First Sword.

Here we have a most formidable blade indeed – congealed out of the offering-flame of a sacral rite at the apex of dire circumstances during a war against the foul hordes of the demonic. The weapon is described at first as manifesting as a terrific being – “a creature sprang (from the sacrificial fire) scattering the flames around him, and whose splendour equalled that of the Moon himself when he rises in the firmament spangled with stars. His complexion was dark like that of the petals of the blue lotus. His teeth were keen. His stomach was lean. His stature was tall. He seemed to be irresistible and possessed of exceeding energy. Upon the appearance of that being, the earth trembled. The Ocean became agitated with high billows and awful eddies. Meteors foreboding great disasters shot through the sky.”

It is then, per the words of Brahman, transmuted into the sword-form to be taken up by Rudra Himself – “For the protection of the world and the destruction of the enemies of the gods, I have created him.”
“That being then, abandoning the form he had first assumed, took the shape of a sword of great splendour, highly polished, sharp-edged, risen like the all-destructive Being at the end of the Yuga. Then Brahman made over that sharp weapon to the blue-throated Rudra who has for the device on his banner the foremost of bulls, for enabling him to put down irreligion and sin. At this, the divine Rudra of immeasurable soul, praised by the great Rishis, took up that sword and assumed a different shape. Putting forth four arms, he became so tall that though standing on the earth he touched the very sun with his head. With eyes turned upwards and with every limb extended wide, he began to vomit flames of fire from his mouth. Assuming diverse complexions such as blue and white and red, wearing a black deer-skin studded with stars of gold, he bore on his forehead a third eye that resembled the sun in splendour. His two other eyes, one of which was black and the other tawny, shone very brightly. The divine Mahadeva, the bearer of the Sula, the tearer of Bhaga’s eyes, taking up the sword whose splendour resembled that of the all-destructive Yuga fire, and wielding a large shield with three high bosses which looked like a mass of dark clouds adorned with flashes of lightning, began to perform diverse kinds of evolutions.”

Now, via way of commentary – it is intriguing to note what has happened here. Rudra attains His ‘Cosmic’ From in direct conjunction with His taking up of this most mighty Sword. He becomes, we may say, ‘Ugra’ – here meant also in its more archaic sense of, well, ‘Huge’, ‘Potent’. In the Vedas, Rudra attains this state, we can infer, per RV X 125 5, via the imbuement of Devi – His Wife. We find this echoed quite prominently in subsequent scripture that I shall not quote in detail here. Why do I mention this here ? Because frequently, we find mention of particular potent forms of Devi occurrent … in the form of the Sword. Indeed, there are entire strands of devotional approach of both conventional and more esoteric flavourings within the Hindusphere for worshipping Devi as the Sword, in Sword Form, etc.

The results are swift: “Possessed of great prowess, he began to whirl the sword in the sky, desirous of an encounter. Loud were the roars he uttered, and awful the sound of his laughter. Indeed, O Bharata, the form then assumed by Rudra was exceedingly terrible.”

“The Danava host, however, beholding that foremost of all beings, the indestructible Rudra, swelling with might, became stupefied and began to tremble. Although Rudra was alone and single-handed, yet so quickly did he move on the field of battle with the sword in his arm that the Asuras thought there were a thousand similar Rudras battling with them. Tearing and piercing and afflicting and cutting and lopping off and grinding down, the great god moved with celerity among the thick masses of his foes like forest conflagration amid heaps of dry grass spread around. The mighty Asuras, broken by the god with the whirls of his sword, with arms and thighs and chests cut off and pierced, and with heads severed from their trunks, began to fall down on the earth.”

“During the progress of that dreadful and fierce battle, the earth became miry with flesh and blood and horrible sights presented themselves on every side. Strewn with the fallen bodies of Danavas covered with blood, the earth looked as if overspread with mountain summits overgrown with Kinsukas. Drenched with gore, the earth looked exceedingly beautiful, like a fair-complexioned lady intoxicated with alcohol and attired in crimson robes.”

“The divine Rudra, after this, gave the sword, that protector of religion, dyed with the blood of Danavas,” unto a chain of custodianship culminating with mankind – when it is given unto Manu, it is stated: “Thou art the lord of all men. Protect all creatures with this sword containing religion within its womb.”

And as for why I am eulogizing via scriptural presentation this most majestic of metaphysical blades – in part, it is due to the fact that it is directly stated the Sword was congealed under Krttika. The Sword, in other words, was borne of Sacrifice of the Flame carried out under the Krittika Constellation – as we have discussed earlier. The Brahmanas stating that He who carries out such a rite unto Agni in the context of the Krittikas attaining such formidable potency with the ‘sacred knowledge’ and insight, the Protection of Lord Agni Himself, and the incandescent power of Purification through the Flame.

Immediately we begin to see parallels to the thought-after meaning attached in the modern day to the Tiwaz Rune – the Sword, Honour, Righteousness. Immediately, also, we begin to see why the Spark, the Torch of Kaunan joined with R (Raido) was congealed by me – leading to this (Double) Sword, and thence to Kaunaz in conjuration with Ansuz. Ansuz, as we know, is the Spear – the Emblematic Weapon of Odin. Odin is Rudra. Rudra, here, has as His Weapon this most awesome fire-sword, indeed.

And, lest somebody accuse me of some sort of blatant if not downright syncretic inaccuracy by implicitly stating Odin to have a Sword (much less a Flaming one) … here is the Skaldskaparmal:

“A sword is Odin’s Fire, as Kormákr sang:
The fight swelled, when the Warrior,
The Wolf’s blithe Feeder, in tumult
Fared with Odin’s [Gaut’s] ringing Fire-Flame;
Urdr came forth from the Well.”

Perhaps more interesting in terms of what this Rune-Row may do, is the additional citation within that text for the Sword as “Odin’s Helm-Fire” – and presented within Úlfr Uggason’s verses as being something associated with the Berserks.
Something which I have tentatively sought to connect to the manifestation of Fire coruscating from the Helms of Achilles and Diomedes in the Iliad .. when these most impressive warriors are under the influence of Athena having bestowed ‘Menos’ potency – something directly cognate with our Vedic ‘Manyu’ state and, it would seem, the ‘Odr’ of the Old Norse. Divine Insight – such that Diomedes gains the ability to see things as they truly are … including the Gods Who have taken to the field. Piercing the ‘veil’ which often suffuses mortal eyes, and doing so in defence of His Dharma.

And so, with all of that in mind, let us h-arken back to some fine verses of the RigVedic eulogisation of Lord Agni [in RV VI 16] – He Who Is The Lord of the Krittikas :

“26 Rich through his wisdom, noblest be the giver serving Thee to-day:
The man hath brought his hymn of praise.
27 These, Agni, these are helped by Thee, who strong and active all their lives,
O’ercome the malice of the foe, fight down the malice of the foe.
28 May Agni with His Pointed Blaze cast down each fierce devouring fiend
May Agni win us wealth by war.
29 O active Jātavedas, bring riches with store of hero sons:
Slay Thou the demons, O Most Wise.
30 Keep us, O Jātavedas, from the troubling of the man of sin:
Guard us Thou Sage who knowest prayer.
31 Whatever sinner, Agni, brings oblations to procure our death,
Save us from woe that he would work.
32 Drive from us with Thy tongue, O God, the man who doeth evil deeds,
The mortal who would strike us dead.”

Grant Us, O Lord – The Tongue Of Fire, The Spear-Tongue And The Elocution Of The Blade
That Most Fiercely Piercing Insight Via Which We Might Attain The Power That Is Both Yours To Command And To Bestow

Augment Our Weapons – Both Physical And Metaphysical – With The Victory-Giving Imprintings Of Mark And Mantra
Cause The Truth To Shine Like Starlight – Revealed In Its Radiant, Beauteous Lustre Even, Especially In Blackest Night

Guide The Pathway Of The Heavens Via Which Darkness, Despair, And Demonic Deceit (Druh) May Become Surely Overcome
And The Flashing Jaws Of Fire Through Which The Omni-Potent Words Of Prayer And Divine Insight May Reach Us

Let Amba Be Restored To Her Rudra
Just As She Of Many Faces Reaches (And Delights) Lord Agni

Svaha!

4 thoughts on “Krttika – The Six Swords of the Stars

  1. Pingback: Krttika – The Six Swords of the Stars – Glyn Hnutu-healh: History, Alchemy, and Me

  2. Pingback: Skandamata for Chaitra Navratri – Mother of The Assault | arya-akasha

  3. Pingback: For Matariki – An Explication Of The Vedic Krttika (Pleiades) Constellation | arya-akasha

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