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einhverfr  einhverfr is offline
Join Date: 29 Nov 2005
Location: Chelan, WA
Posts: 253

Man was largely a term used to denote human among the Germanic peoples. Old English used the terms wer and wif to distinguish between the sexes. The Germanic root *Mannaz therefore seems to refer to humans in particular. This likely comes from the Indo-European base *man- and may be related to *men- ("To Think") though this is somewhat controversial. If accepted, humans would literally be "The Thinking Ones."

The Rune Poems speak of joy from social contact and sorrow from the parting of death. The Old English Rune Poem is perhaps the most clear in this regard. The OIRP is a bit more complex in that you have three images: Joy at social connection, sorrow at death, and the war band representing both at once. Finally the ONRR seems to take a more pessimistic role, connecting with the latter two aspects of the OIRP: Death and the predatory nature of the swooping hawk (i.e. viking band?).

A quick summation would be that this seems to represent the mysteries of what it means to be human. THis includes the consciousness gifts given to us by the Aesir, but also the totality of our social interaction.
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