The Hidden Pathways of Germanic Mythology: On the Neglected, Demonized, Repulsed and Repressed Archetypical Representations of Original Germanic Culture

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In the context of the Indo-European cultures, this book by Paul Wassmann offers an overview of the hidden pathways of Germanic Mythology, focusing upon the Germanic Word View, the creation of the world, the Dawn of Gods and the psychological role of some of the most significant gods and goddesses.

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In the context of the Indo-European cultures, this book offers an overview of the hidden pathways of Germanic Mythology, focusing upon the Germanic Word View, the creation of the world, the Dawn of Gods and the psychological role of some of the most significant gods and goddesses.

The center of gravity is given to the relationship between the Germanic mythology, Christianity and humanistic education. It is revealed that the Germanic universe had a balanced worldview between patriarchal and matricentric gods and that the Norse people developed and cultivated some of today’s most highly held values such as democracy and individual and female rights.

The book points at the considerable consequences of neglecting, demonizing, repulsing and repressing archetypical representations of the original Germanic culture, which was and still is considered barbarous and primitive. This creates momentous daggers for the resilience, diversity and wellbeing of our societies. It is shown that Odin’s fundamental act of divination, his voluntary hanging on the Word Tree, provided humanity with access to the collective unconsciousness and ego autonomization.   Odin is thus the archetype of the therapist of the psychodynamic tradition.

The book ends with a plea that advocates for increased archetypal literacy, looked at as roadmap to peace.

“Paul Wassmann has written an important work of cultural reclamation and reconstruction. He brings the story of Germanic myth alive against a vividly described historical background. One might say this is a project of redeeming the gods of the Germanic peoples. Very intelligently written and with a strong sense of meaning for the contemporary world.”

-Murray Stein, Ph.D.

“Wassmann’s project is to bring forward the Germanic mythology, which appears, by and large, at best marginalized, but for the most repressed and neglected—or misused. Jungian analysts need to know about this to be able to recognize motives, as they turns up in dreams.”                                

-Pia Skogemann, Jungian analyst, supervisor, teacher at the C. G. Jung Institute Copenhagen, author of several books, in English including Where the Shadows Lie 

Table of Contents

Preface 9

Acknowledgements 17

  1. Prologue 21

1.1 On the significance of Germanic mythology 24

1.2 Mythological and archetypical lobotomy? 27

1.3 Mythology and psychology in a Jungian perspective 28

1.4 Structure and goal 31

  1. The Indo‑European Invasion, the Germanic Tribes and Barbarism 35

2.1 Indo‐European languages 36

2.2 The Indo‐European invasions and the subjugation of old European cultures 39

2.3 The movement of the Germanic tribes 44

2.4 Rome, the barbarian invasions, and nation states 46

2.5 Barbarism, the primitive, and civilization 49

2.6 Conclusion 51

  1. The Knowledge Base of Germanic Mythology 53

3.1 Latin texts 54

3.2 Early Christian texts 56

3.3 Norse and Anglo‐Saxon texts 58

3.4 East‐Germanic text 65

3.5 Central‐European texts 67

3.6 Non‐European texts 70

3.7 Scientific investigations of Germanic Mythology 71

3.8 Conclusion 72

  1. Old Germanic Literature and Poetry 75

4.1 Runes 76

4.2 Alliterative verse, heiti, and kennings 81

4.3 Germanic poetry 84

4.4 Conclusion 86

  1. Are all Elements of Germanic Mythology Lost in Central Europe? 89

5.1 Federal state structures and independent citizens 90

5.2 Six days in a week 95

5.3 Place names throughout Europe reflect Germanic gods 95

5.4 Symbols, tradition and words 96

5.5 Subterranean creatures 101

5.6 The Wild Hunt and other wild pursuit manifestations 102

5.7 Symbols and Festivals 104

5.8 Fantasy literature and movies 105

5.9 Freemasonry and Germanic Mythology 106

5.10 Conclusion 107

  1. Elements of Germanic Mythology 109

6.1 The creation of the world 111

6.2 Cosmography and the World Tree Yggdrasil 115

6.3 Female beings associated with fate 119

6.4 Giants and dwarfs 122

6.5 Asgard and the Norse gods 124

6.5.1 Odin/Wotan 126

6.5.2 Freyja 136

6.5.3 Thor 139

6.5.4 Idun 142

6.5.5 Loki 144

6.5.6 Balder 147

6.5.7 Mimir 150

6.5.8 Frigg 153

6.6 Germanic gods of central Europe 154

6.6.1 Tyr/Ziu/Tiw 155

6.6.2 Nerthus 156

6.6.3 Ostara 157

6.6.4 Matres and Matronae 157

6.7 Ragnarök and the end of time 159

6.8 The New Earth after Ragnarök 164

6.9 Conclusion 166

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