Monday, January 3, 2011

Norse Magic Wooden Hofs and Sacred Pillars

The ondvegissulur, or high-seat pillars were considered the most sacred part of the halls or temples, (hofs) of the Norse Pagan era. The wooden pillars supporting the roof of a hallowed building are sacred in their own right, as they correspond to trees of the "Sacred Grove."

The posts, which stood on either side of the high seat, were carved with the Inguz rune (God's Nail), and peppered with consecrated, iron nails hammered in during sacred rituals. 

When Norse settlers emigrated to the then uninhabited island of Iceland, a number of them took their high seat pillars with them. When the ships drew near to Iceland, the high seat pillars were thrown overboard so that where ever they came ashore; this would be the place the settlers would come ashore. 

Among the settlers were Thorolf Mostrarskegg, who had an image of Thor carved on one pillar, Thord Skeggi, Ingolf, Hrollaug and Lodmund. Thorolf Mostrarskeg and Thorhadd the Old both transported entire wooden hoffs from Norway to Iceland, including the hallowed soil on which they had stood. 

Only wood from trees marked out in some special way is suitable for high-seat pillars. Hallstein, son of Thorolf Mostrarskegg, called upon Thor to send him high-seat pillars. Shortly after, a tree was washed ashore from the sea on to his land. It was 63 ells in length (a magic dimension 7 x 9)and two fathoms thick. This was sufficient wood to make high-seat pillars for every farm in the neighborhood. 

It is a universal tradition with sacred wooden architecture that after a period of time, the sacred virtue of the wood is lost, and the temple, or hof must be reconstructed. 

This is still carried out in he Shinto religion of Japan, which has many direct parallels with the Northern tradition of Europe. There, a spiritually out-worn temple is replaced by a new one next to it within the sacred lay lines. The new Shinto temple is identical in design and dimensions with the old one, which is demolished once the new one is complete and consecrated. There are records that the same tradition once existed in Northern Europe. 

Brightest of Blessings,

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