Recently, we had a brief interaction on twitter pertaining to the notion of ‘Ansuz’ as a ‘Spear’. My interlocutor, a Scandinavian by the name of Sindri (@DrinksStupid), had asserted that the Tiwaz rune seemed much closer – and the Ansuz not at all.
So, here’s a slightly edited run-through of my remarks there upon the subject:
I don’t disagree that the primary sense of Ansuz isn’t ‘Spear’ ; however it does appear to be part of the broader meaning-field for same. We can demonstrate this quite easily. The Rune ᚫ … in Anglo-Saxon, Aesc, continues the shape & part of other saliencies.
What does ᚫ mean there? Ash[tree], and Spear. As we should expect. As is also the case in Ancient Greek [viz. μελίᾱ ], words for Spear and words for the wood one makes a good spear from, are functionally coterminous.
We also point to the earlier remark viz. ‘Aescling’ in relation to incoming Nordic population. Which, sure, you could read in the other way as being descended of Askr (‘Ash[-tree]’) – except I do not think that is mutually exclusive [c.f again, the Ancient Greek mythic situation mentioned in my earlier ‘On The Indo-European Symbolism Of The Ash Tree – And The Ensuing Origins Of The Spear-Race Of Man’ … effectively, the ‘Bronze Age’ race of Man being produced from the Meliae – the ‘Ash-Nymphs’, and being appropriately warlike in disposition in fairly direct consequential result]
Now, the logical point to raise here is that Ansuz didn’t just turn into Aesc in Anglo-Saxon – but also into several other runes. These include ᚩ (Os) and ᚪ (Ak – ‘Oak’).
The rune-poem makes for interesting reading viz. Os – because it situates it exactly as we should expect … eloquency and wisdom. The Mouth, Speech. We may say: an Odinic competency.
Now, of course, at this point it is logical to again – bring up that the Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem, such as it is, is a post-Christianization development. Wherein the pre-Christian elements have … been somewhat obscurated.
This is not incorrect.
The thing is, all Rune Poems that have come down to us are similarly impaired. Some more overtly than others. And the Anglo-Saxon one, rightly or wrongly, is several hundred years earlier than, say, the Icelandic.
There’s also some very intriguing evidence to suggest the possibility that the Anglo-Saxon rune poem and its associated conceptions may have influenced the later Icelandic – particularly viz. ‘Tir’ … but uh .. more on that some other time.
Point is, the cluster of concepts found with the Anglo-Saxon ‘Ansuz’ descendant cluster of Runes are quite clearly Odinic. What does this mean for our purposes ?
Odin is Geirtyr. Spear-God. This is a remarkably ancient Indo-European conception. We see it in my own native Hindusphere also – Shiva is Shulapani [‘Shula’ – Spear, so ‘Spear-in-His-Hand’], etc. We see it with the Greek understanding for the Weapon(s) of the Sky Father deific (c.f my World-Spear piece linked above).
So. The ANSUZ rune is, demonstrably, a very Odinic rune indeed. It directly pertains to Him and His competencies, capacities, associations.
One of these, per the Anglo-Saxon rune; and also the theology, is the Spear.
Personally, I also think that the shape of the rune is similarly uncoincidental – it has long looked to me like a war-head upon a stave; but that may be me seeing things … and it is interesting to note that Odin also has a Sword association, too.
Now, as a final point … something I have been pondering is the famed Kragehul I inscription – in particular the triple ‘Gebo-Ansuz’ bindrune set found carved into the shaft of the Spear in question.
There are a few interpretations – and for what it is worth, i think that the conventional one has validity [that being of ‘Gebo-Ansuz’ as in ‘Gift to the Divine’ [i.e. ‘sacrificial offering’]; and/or ‘Divine Gift’ … which may be the other way around] :
HOWEVER, it also occurred to me one day, aptly enough when I was engaged in the processes of runecarving – that another possibility might bear probative value.
Namely, that ‘GA’ .. was suspiciously close to ‘Gar’ – as in ‘Spear’.
But, as I say – speculative on my part, and just mentioned for the sake of interest.