WR the missing rune?
There is no rune that I can find for this concept. If we translate wr- runically it is WYN-RAD. That would be a bind rune composed of the rad rune and wyn which is joy, harmony, and the “balance or mid-point between opposites which is necessary for a sane (healthy) and happy existence”. There is also a strong sense of activity when WYN (w) appears. I looked in a selection of English dictionaries for a selection of the common themes that accompany words beginning with /w/ and found quite a bit of wood, humans, action and action words, including win, wind, wing, will, would, working and wh- questioning.
The reason that I suspect this is a missing rune is that ‘wer’ is the word for man, that is man the male as differs from woman, the female. The AS. word for worker is ‘wyrhta’. There is another rune for man but that means human, both male and female. The word ‘wer’ is rarely heard other than in werwolf. Many words use this runic element: weird, wyrd (fate), word, work, with the ‘w’ and ‘r’ separated by a vowel sound. Others use the letters like a bind-rune, ‘wr-‘. We have heard the saying that a man is no better than his word is. The concept or image contained in a bind rune of wyn-rad is practically a picture of mankind. The words beginning with wr- are all expressions of the kind of energy depicted in this bindrune. These words cannot be written ‘phonetically’ with just an ‘R’ and still maintain the same sense that is conveyed with wr-.
“A combination occuring initially in many words implying twisting or distortion…”
“Word derives from I.E. werdh – a word from I.E. wer to speak, a word being primarily that which is spoken…” ‘One who or that which speaks’ sounds like a description. Add the idea of scratching, engraving, twisting, distorting and there is enough evidence for a conviction. That is mankind, MAN as in male and female. I find it is interesting that I have spent some time looking for, and expecting to find, a special and separate rune for the male. It seems that our ancestors did not make as much of an issue over this matter. Even the seemingly male dominated tribes have both female warriors and female teachers of warriors.
The Anglo Saxon word for a man ‘wer’ probably came from Indo-European, which is a hypothetical language posited when a scholarly judge in British-ruled India noticed unmistakable similarities among sounds in several different languages. While there is an “Indo-European Dictionary”, the language is still hypothetical. However, neither English nor Anglo-Saxon is hypothetical, neither are runes, and the connections among them are established facts, according to several sources and to the naked eye.
What is not known is the system of organization used to encode our language. That being the case, we will proceed with the facts that we do have and learn what they have to teach us. In this case the lesson appears to be that WYN-RAD is another force of nature which expresses itself through human nature. I find this encouraging no matter how I struggled against the facts. It is possible that interpreting ‘wer’ as the word for man (the male) was the result of imposing the bias of one culture upon the world view of another culture. George Bernard Shaw made the astute observation that humans often “mistake the customs of their own culture for universal law”. I have noticed that that mistake obtains with particular ferocity to customs regarding sex and gender.
So, what is the difference, and what difference does that make?
I can find no evidence that our ancestors made the great issue over differences between the ‘sexes’ that many other cultures and languages do. Many other languages, specifically those with Latin influences, insist on imposing gender even on inanimate objects. I will leave the rest of that to the linguists and moralists, and will return to English language .
The words Saxon and ‘saxe’, the sword after which the tribe is named, and the word ‘sex’ all have the sense of ‘separator’. It appears that the distinctions which were made by our ancestors all had practical purpose. In those thousands of years that the Teutonic patriarchies and Celtic matriarchies shared territories, they appear to have come to some practical accomodations between them. But, I can find no indication, in the English language, of masculine and feminine words, word elements, suffixes, etc., other than in the word that man most fights about:
The other great difference, the ‘Word’ that we fight about more than gender/sex.
Odylic forces pertain to many things in nature, including gender distinction. The expression of these formations takes place in the rune of ODAL, and appears in language with the sense element of ‘-od’. The AS. word for the great energy or force that is over all, is “God”. This is the element ‘-od’ prefaced by /g/ which represents GYFU, the gracious giver. With the capitol ‘G’, it refers to the one great unifying force over all creation. The lower case /g/ refers to the emanations of divinity, all of the divine sparks.
All of these ‘gods’, masculine and feminine, express the qualities and traits with which different people and peoples can identify. These numinous beings are so varied because they arise from the differences that we find in humanity and in other life forms. If we do not fit in one tribe, group or category, there is another for us. This is the way in which the AS. language bespeaks these complicated matters. There still is no ‘name of god’ to fight over; but, rather a word with which to speak of it. Please note that ‘it ‘ does not specify any gender or lack of gender. See ‘it’ in several places, including the rune of IS. Each rune is identified.
I am not proselytizing. What I am doing is stipulating that there is something bigger and greater and smarter than I am or than I can even imagine. And, the English language does give us a way of not-fighting about it, if we really do value peace on EArth.
Using WYN-RAD for speaking of our joyfully transformative activities:
Not all related words have to begin with wr-. Having ‘w’ and ‘r’ in the same sense element, separated by one or two letters, will suffice. That gives us work, word, world, war, ward, warden, warrior, and quite a few compound words: workman, workhorse, warhorse, warlord, wardance, cold war, holy war, war on drugs, war on…., etc. We do keep the resonance, the sound, of this runic image with us in ‘we are’ (we’re), were (past tense of to-be, coincidentally), and weird (the substantive for weir ‘fate’). Werman and woman, these seemed like omissions. The former is seldom referred to and the latter has one word with no definition. Why have we dropped the referrent images for man and woman. WYN-OS-MAN (woman) The rune OS in the word ‘woman’ distinguishes her as signifying the creative power of words and thus wisdom itself. Os is the mouth from which the primal vibration of existence, the divine sound, emanates. Add that to WYN, the joy, harmony and balance between opposites, woman sounds pretty impressive. Now, what happened to the male’s sobriquet? It is probably recorded in the land of Myth. As noted a few paragraphs back, it is probably among the divine emanations of ‘-od’.
Then I read a story about the Teutonic Odysseus, Siegfried. When Siegfried finally met his son and was getting to know him, they both put on their “wolf skins”. They contended with one another and Siegfried nearly killed his son. They both decided to never again put on their wolf skins. This is the transformation that takes place when man puts on the ‘skin’ of his totem animal and becomes a werwolf or other man-beast. Is this the transformative process which is signaled by the rad (r)? Yes, at some times it is.
Interesting little tale; but, why should we bother with it?
Working with anything begins with knowing that it does exist; we acknowledge it in our daily speech.
The stories of human nature and human behavior are written in myths, legends, and children’s fairy tales. By learning that certain traits are a natural and normal part of ourselves, and not some affliction imposed by an outside evil spirit, we set ourselves to the task of managing these traits and figuring how to use them to our advantage and to society’s benefit.
When King Ælfred was formimg his unified tribe and his government, one of the things that he did, quite deliberately, was get to know the tribes of people that he was governing so that he could make use of their particular strengths. When some historians say that he went into hiding from the invaders, they missed what he was doing. Winston Churchill caught on and he tells the story.The book “Gregory’s Pastoral Care” goes into great detail about how to manage the different types and personalities of the varied peoples. In a Democratic form of governance, how much more important that we all learn something of the varieties of human nature. While reading can be fun and very entertaining, it is of even greater value when we learn about ourselves and others. Our language reflects who we are and all books teach us something about ourselves and others.
May you always have work for your hands to do; may your purse always hold a coin or two.
There is a popular new myth these days. The idea is that people do not want to work and have to be bribed, rewarded, and otherwise cajoled to get them to work. All of our language and literature give the lie to this idea. When you consider the ‘Ten Commandments’ of our “Old Testament”, there is a command to keep the Sabbath holy. There are detailed rules for not-working, with a possible death sentence for disobeying this law. It is not necessary to pass a law to prevent people doing something which they have neither desire, nor inclination, to do. The stories and language of our ancestors make it quite clear that ‘working’ is a human drive, a source of joy, that ‘war’ is a variety of work and that when people do not have work to do, they find work or they make it.
WR- Why not simplify the spelling phonetically to R-?
The reason that we should not simplify the WR- spelling phonetically is that it does not ‘simplify’ anything, rather it misrepresents the known facts. WR- expresses the sense of the words so that we can be honest with ourselves and others. Among our joyfully transformative activities are some with which we need to use restraint as well as forthright action. War, for example, should never be undertaken rashly, dishonestly, or half-heartedly. It should not be treated like a game, a business or a bluff. When the necessary job is done, injured parties should be cared for. That includes the warriors who always need to ‘stand down’ and again adapt to the way of peace.
American Indians have ritual cleansings for this. It appears that King Ælfred had a peace ritual also. When the fighting was over, he baptized the defeated warriors. The King was a Christian; but, according to what I have read, the Northern tribes used baptism as a way of welcoming someone into the family. On one occasion, the king stood godfather to the children of a ‘defeated’ enemy. It is not just that the king was a pacifist, he had difficulty getting many of his people to fight. The Danes, however, were willing and able warriors so he was willing to give ‘land for peace’ to men who were willing and enthusiastic about defending their new homeland. There is a time for joyful battle. This is what I learned from this bindrune.
“Oxford Etymological Dictionary” edited Onions, C.T.
“Origins, A Short Etymological Dictionary of English” , Partridge, Eric E.
“Webster’s New Universal Dictionary of the English Language” p.1240 “odylic [Gr.; arbitrary formation] a theoretical force formerly supposed by some to exist in nature and manifest itself in such phenomena as hypnotism, magnetism, light, etc.; also called odyl, odyle” Od, Odd “a euphemism for God”
In grammar, a substantive shows or expresses existence, as in the verb ‘to be’.
Webster’s…p.1722 sobriquet [Fr., from sous, ander, and briquet brisket; of Celtic origin; lit., a chuck under the chin, a mock or flout, a nick-name.]
Odysseus is mythic and probably representative of ‘man as an odylic force’ JOH
“A History of the English Speaking People” Churchill, Winston S. approx. pp. 83-89
“Gregory’s Pastoral Care”, “King Ælfred’s West Saxon Version” Elibron Classics This book, written by Pope Gregory I and translated by King Ælfred into West Saxon, was a book he valued greatly. It was a guide for learning governance and teaching it to his heirs. It stressed the importance of knowing how to treat the people whom one is ruling, how to use their strengths, and how to work with them to mutual advantage.
Old Irish blessing.
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