To use the sense of ‘thorn’ we must first grasp what it is. Declined runically, it is a definitive statement (TH) about a transformative exchange that is a need. (orn). The word itself contains the image, so we find the various ways that element is used in our language by finding it in other words. In the instance of ‘thorn’ the element is -orn. We then visualize that common denominator of sense as it appears in the various words. We also look at the other words and elements of sense which are closely related, e.g. or, ore, orm, ort -and so forth. This is a different way of thinking. Actually, we do it all the time, just not deliberately unless you write poetry or music.
The website contains this visualization for Oak, Ash and El (the Olive or oil tree) under ‘Tabular Illustrations’. The idea-image we are trying to discover is shown by words which use the sense element -orn. This is the third tree which is supposed to complete an image of Mankind; it is the third part which completes an image of Man’s (human) wholeness. The idea of a ‘thorn tree’ or Hawthorn completing humanity -is a bit disquieting. However, I am not at liberty to change things… If it is, it is and will be -despite my disquietude.
As I reflect on all the reading I’ve done regarding language, ‘horn, Thor, thorn’ images are ever present from ink horns to the horns on hats, helmets, insignia mythic figures, including the crown of thorns of Jesus, the horns of the ‘Devil’ and Cernunnos and the horns of Moses representing this unspecified power. And now it appears that various thorn trees and shrubs are being somehow demonized. Thorn-less roses and blackberries are also being promoted. I could expand this observation to include the proliferation of pointless speech. That, unfortunately, is more than a bad joke. That is called social conversation since making a point is making a place for disagreement to take root.
Rather than make a tabular illustration at this time, I’m going to list some -orn words for this posting and make an initial suggestion about the course of this topic. acorn, adorn, born, corn, cornice, corner, fornicate, fornix (arch or vault), horn, horney, hornet, -lorn (ruined, undone, forsaken), morning, Norns (the Fates of the Northern tradition), ornate, ornament, ornery, ornis & ornith (Gr, pertaining to birds), pornography, pornographic, shorn “alternative past participle of shear”, torn, worn…
As I went through the list of words with the element -orn, I kept getting an image of a strong resilient shell-like covering, at times specific as a bird’s skull or an oyster’s upper shell covering. Then there was the ‘shorn’ which suggests the removal of a spiritual layer or covering like that of Sampson,,,,,, a layer that resonates with Norns and -lorn. I keep visualizing the ‘Celtic weave’ a third version of our electrical aura -for want of a better description. I fairly recently read about this descriptive term in a book on the body’s energy fields. It struck me singularly because I have read about this fluctuating field and the way it is said to distort body boundaries during battle. As far as I know, to date, the only English term for this is the Autonomic Nervous System.
I find this of compelling interest since the words containing -orn are the first reference to what contemporary English refers to as ‘sex’. I also find no reference in English sense elements to all the things we lump under the word ‘gender’. The image of -orn is also the first to resonate with our sense element in the word we use to refer to ‘love’ -ove, a variant of -ova for the image of ‘egg’ which represents almost a synonym of -orn were it not for the compelling idea of ‘need’ expressed by the grammatical Nyd (need).
This sense element -orn is found very seldom yet, the initial and terminal th-, -th are so ubiquitous as to earn the place of the third-tree symbol for Man, a rune which also has a grammatical Nyd (need). Another mention of ‘thorn tree’, I consider necessary to mention though with no intention to further pursue, is that of ‘Acacia’. I have frequently come across the Species of Acacia as a ‘thorn tree” and the religious title of ‘Acacians’. This occurs in what appears to be Slavic and Semitic ‘Peoples’ languages’. I read about this in my book on ‘Slavs in European History’. There was mention that they also had met with “Irish Pilgrims”. I mention this by way of clarifying that the method of writing the ‘peoples’ languages’ took place in communion with many peoples of diverse origins yet had a Spirit which they shared in common, a Spirit devoted to writing complete languages so that literacy was available to the common man of many and diverse tribes. Saint Cyrill and Methodius spread Christianity and translated Holy Scriptures into the language that became known as Old Church Slavonic. They also wrote and spread Cyrillic alphabets “based on a combination of Greek and Hebrew characters” throughout Eastern Europe. They started their mission in or around 863 A.D.[ref]This bit of information about their mission and the date at which it began, is something I got from a cookbook, ” by Linda Joyce Forristal pp.138-40 “Bulgarian Rhapsody”[/ref]The celebration of their receiving the alphabet continued even under Communist rule.
This digression is one of many which will make clear just how far-reaching and determined was the effort to spread ‘peoples languages, complete with the required vowels, to the many tribes of the world. The coõperative efforts of the many and diverse tribes was no happy accident. It took place at the same basic time period in history, across several geographic territories. The admixture of words from many languages may have had some historical input from that hypothetical Indo-European language; but, it definitely and nevertheless, had great effort and input from the many and varied tribes throughout the entire First Millennium, including the much maligned barbarians. I have found evidence that references this writing of peoples’ languages in many different countries. Many used thorn trees of different varieties, as well as differing sounds, vowels and alphabets.
I will return to the peoples’ languages of the British Isles and the far-reaching effects of the Thorn and Thorn Trees on the sense of our languages. The observations about the effects of the element -orn though, in no way changes the effects of the initial and terminal TH on our English languages.08-02-2016JOH
- Judith has written (and re-written) the pages below, initially for a book and now for this website. These files are still under revision, and should not be treated as stable documents.