On the Indo-European Etymology of Indra

Often it seems that the interpretation and the 'accepted wisdom' on various more archaic Indo-European mythic figures is effectively an exercise in agenda-pushing and confirmation bias. One deific seemingly singled out for far more than His fair share of such torturous misperception is, of course, Lord Indra. Otherwise known as the Vedic facing of the Indo-European … Continue reading On the Indo-European Etymology of Indra

On Triptolemus And Demeter, Soma And The Sacral Rites Of Life And Land

A foundational principle of Indo-European ritual is succinctly expressed in the Latin maxim - 'Do Ut Des' : "I Give So That You Might Give". The Tale of Triptolemus might be thought to similarly simply express the truth of this utterance - although upon closer examination, its resonancies are anything but "simple", especially when considered in … Continue reading On Triptolemus And Demeter, Soma And The Sacral Rites Of Life And Land

On The Etymology Of Airavata – The Elephant Of Indra

Airavata is the Vahana ['Steed/Mount/Vehicle'] of Lord Indra; and with a rather apt etymology to connect it to the Thunderer. It effectively works out as 'Rain-bearing Cloud' ; which is rather apt, given that a stormcloud is, of course, large, grey, and may make a thunderous noise ['Garja'] … like an Elephant (indeed, गर्ज can … Continue reading On The Etymology Of Airavata – The Elephant Of Indra

Against Spurious “Pre-Indo-European-Ization” Of Indo-European Elements

This happens remarkably frequently - both in terms of the linguistics, but also in terms of the mythology and theology. There's quite a number of spaces wherein some academic or other commentator with a personal theory (or, worse, an agenda) has latched on to something and gone "well this seems like it shouldn't be Indo-European … Continue reading Against Spurious “Pre-Indo-European-Ization” Of Indo-European Elements

The Heavy Illumination Of Etymology And Folk Etymology Comparatively Considered

Something I have just been thinking about is the etymology of 'Guru'. From PIE 'Gwrehus' ['Heavy'], same place as Latin 'Gravis', English 'Gravitas' [or 'Grave' in the sense of serious] Effectively, therefore, "One Whose Words Have Weight" Although it should also be noted that 'Guru' has a general sense in Sanskrit to refer not only … Continue reading The Heavy Illumination Of Etymology And Folk Etymology Comparatively Considered

The Place Of Worship – The Temple – The Home And Healing Whole Of The Community

Something I love about the Indo-European etymology - is that manner in which the roots of terms resonate with their descendants. And, in so doing, significantly broaden our understanding of just what they actually are - how we are to relate to them. A good example of this is the Ancient Greek ναός - 'Naos' … Continue reading The Place Of Worship – The Temple – The Home And Healing Whole Of The Community

The Indo-European Man – Sons of the Sun [Part II]: Yama And Manu – Firstborn of the Indo-Aryans

So, with that in mind - let us take a brief look at probably the oldest Indo-European origin myth that has come down to us: the Vedic understanding, which is to my mind also the 'cleanest' and easiest to directly understand. Both due to its age, and the strong presence of pretty much all the … Continue reading The Indo-European Man – Sons of the Sun [Part II]: Yama And Manu – Firstborn of the Indo-Aryans

Soma Kvasir – The Eddic-Vedic Myth Of The Meath of Poetry

Every so often, we happen across some element that is clearly the same thing across two (or more) Indo-European cultures; and which, regardless of the otherwise impressive span of distance between them (whether distance of time, or mere geography), even a lay-person can immediately grasp that we are talking about the same concept.  Unfortunately, this … Continue reading Soma Kvasir – The Eddic-Vedic Myth Of The Meath of Poetry

Aesir-Vanir, Asura-Deva, but also A’Sura, Daeva

There's a few comparative mythographic ideas out there that are simple, intuitive, comfortable, persistent ... and downright wrong. One of these is the thorny thicket of presumptions which have grown up around three not-unrelated sets of terminology from the Vedic, Eddic, and Zoroastrian corpuses. The core of which is basically that as there was an Aesir-Vanir … Continue reading Aesir-Vanir, Asura-Deva, but also A’Sura, Daeva