Pairhood and Age of Wanax
Especially in Skaane we see the early kidney-shaped axe and then in pair or pair of pair. The shape is the same as the labrys from Crete except that it have only one blade. Often it is on a long shaft and was meant for ceremony. Pairhood was the main idea of fellowship too
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We see the "loving" snakes on many runic stone and symbolise surely the life as a struggle between two forces but also as fellowship. On many stones the heads are of different kind. The normal symbolic is of a bear and a wolf as counterparts in the fight.
This rock-carving from Braecke Bohuslaen may show Egyptian influence.
The symbol above the boat in the middle is like the Sumerian and Egyptian symbol for Gemini or twins. The spiral is normally a sign of ingoing as that in the spring crown of Egypt. In the other direction the spiral may sometimes stand for outgoing.
In this detail from the Meadow Haugsbyn on the boat in the left corner is a symbol of Gemini.
It is also in the figure near the little boat at left and it pictures perhaps the ongoing life in the soil. In the Sumerian Inanna-ritual were a pair symbolising watering and fertilising.
The better half of the carving at Haegvide Gotland is the only known bigger on the island. However, the grind groves from several places tell about ritual culture from 3150 BC onwards. The grind groves cover about 1000 years.
The other half contains different cupmarks and axes of the same kind. The cutlass may be of same kind as a few other known in Scandinavia and date the carving to early Bronze Age ca 1700 BC. Otherwise the carvings are typical for the period except the shepherd, which is the only known. It looks like a ceremonial gesture and we see the crook maybe in the astro-ritual symbolism. Observe that we seldom see carvings showing working with agriculture. What we see that everywhere are rituals of the year and symbols connected to the growing season.
The double axe as guard of seasons
When generalising about the ceremonial axes, saying that we see them usually in pair is easy.
That is true and not true. On the carving Simris 27 we probably see the true configuration which corresponds to that from the Minoan culture where four axes are directed as the compass. These are from the beginning of the balta-era and expose the Inanna-myth. We may suggest that they ritually cut out a living space for the community. The curve or bow is also the earth, which may be cut out downwards as we have seen. This is a parallel to the Minoan culture and the axes might be of bronze perhaps from Unetice culture.
The elk-staff of the north is of course on the same theme when they symbolised their seasons with the elk year.
This type of axe is typical only for Skaane and Simris 19 and 27.
The circle-like figures are typical for the astro-period of Time law. We see one axe connected to a little empty boat as start of the spring quarter. Here two axes, one is the actual and the other on the orbit. Hard to say if the animal is a horse. We see the same kind on another nearby kidney-shaped carving figuring the year. We may date it to about 1700 BC. Two-cupmarks in that position are overall Ramadan.
The depot find from Stockhult Skaane is typical for the spiral era from 1300 BC onwards.
Some pieces may be from Unetice and shields and collars may have the form from the south. Egyptian ladies wore broad collars and ritually it symbolises the fields. Even the Inanna-myth has the lunula symbol of new moons and the field. The small shields have perhaps been for the women belts. It is hard to say if they were meant to keep a distance. We know that a young girl should be careful with men. In the era are also seen bigger belt boxes and they may in fact have been used as a bag.
Of special interest are the small figurines, which may have had arms too, as there are holes for these. The pointed hat is of the same model as seen on figurines in Greece and the myths tell that the cow-thief Hermes wore that hat. However even the Phoenician trader Cadmus was known for his hat ... at the same time the proto-Jude wore bowler hat perhaps.
On this picture the elegant trader arrives to Laufaasen Bohuslaen.
The stars of Capricorn were Hermes and the northern Loke corresponds to these. Perhaps they established a society of bronze traders during Bronze Age. A society consists of fellowship and we may suggest that many were fellows as pairs in different places. Thus they could travel from fellow to fellow keeping the cost low and have a rest place. We see the system during Viking Age for instance between Vaestergautland and Jutland.
On Simris 4:3 we se four axes in a clear astro-ritual configuration and the fifth axe perhaps show continuity.
The lower axe is marked with the spring boat and cupmark. A leader symbol IP marks the other axe of summer and is associated with Leo. Presumably the Hittite symbol for sun-god and leader may have influenced the one-stroked foot. In Mycenae they called the great-kings Wanax and his symbol was of course the double axe.
This greeting scene from Aspeberget shows the quarters as figures with bird-head.
The lower axe is marked with the spring boat and cupmark. A leader symbol IP marks the other axe of summer and is associated with Leo. Presumably the Hittite symbol for sun-god and leader may have influenced the one-stroked foot. In Mycenae they called the great-kings Wanaxand his symbol was of course the double axe.
The ritual axes which may be of bronze as well as of polished stone up to our finds. The first quarter is marked with a circle and marked beginning. The second is marked with the one -stroked foot and the little figure is the coming year.
Up to my knowledge only Gladsaxe in the rock-carvings of Skaane has axes with the shaft in S-shape.
Otherwise we see the model in Austergautland as this from Skaelv where we see them often in pair. The little figure in lower left corner is perhaps a sickle of bronze and it is saying, "harvest time".
On this picture is the eight-stroked time-wheels as well as the axes in pair and they are approximately early Bronze Age. The figure in the left corner may be interpreted "field".
This labrys in gold have been a votive offer to Potinia the Lady of the labyrinth.
In Skogstorp Saudermanland these were found in pair. There are other finds as in Vejle Denmark. This was for sure a ritual axe as it is of bronze caste on a core of clay.
Three axes from the Middle Bronze Age and those of stone have surely been for ceremonial use.
Dualism in the Kivik grave
In the Kivik grave Skaane is a lot of pairhood in symbols. It is from about 1300 BC and we see a clear influence from a mix of Babylon, Egypt and Ionia.
Eight demon guises of the underworld were forerunners for the crying women at funerals. The altar is of a Mediterranean type and its origin was the horns of Taurus. A supposed whale figure fits as time mark since the Kaitos was actual at spring equinoxes the time. Kaitos was a wild Bull in south but a whale among Phoenician and in some places in Scandinavia. The chariot is of Ionian model and the lures are the early short type.
A saw-teeth border symbolises flow or water and the two crossed circles are then the winter half-year, while the ritual axes and crossed circles are the summer quarters. Two men and a drill in the urn associate to the Egyptian ideogram of unification.
This cut from Finntorp Bohuslaen shows a typical carving from the province.
We see a lively scene of idols in action, although we do not know for sure if all the figures belong to the same agenda. We see no clear organisation in the picture, but we may define many figures and get a clue that it is about the Time law.
On this section we also see many pairs as ritual figures. One central figure is a shepherd's crook and the body as a double circle and the inner crossed. He stays in front of a ritual boat with a May twig on board. From Dal we know they set up a little rowan after they had let out the cattle for the first time in May. We see also a man with a ritual axe with the main moments of the seasons. From the Edda we know that farmer-Tor was master of ceremonies.
The other season man has a straight staff and the quarters marked as circles. The staff may be a guiding staff as well as dividing and guarding staff. The crops had to be guarded against the animals. Nearby is a ritual boat and below it Water-snake symbol for growers.
In upper left corner is a couple with a little girl or is it a dog? It is sometimes difficult to see for sure. The same is case with the man who seem to mutilate himself. The theme associates to the myth of Cybele and Attis in Greece, which is an animation of what they do to the wine bushes.
Perhaps they knew the goddess with breasts with names of the earthy kind, such as "She, with diddies" and alike. I believe that the academic language is misplaced overall when talking about myths and manner in those days.
When it comes to the words in the bedroom, it is of course a secret place, however we may guess that there were no taboos in speech then. Up to what we know about the Greek Pantheon their gods had what we today see as bad manners at least among the intelligentsia.
One of few agriculture pictures
More action from Finntorp on this lively picture.
It is one of few carvings with real agriculture. We see ploughing and the Sumerian principle of "three furrows in Tor" in Old Norse. That means that the grower had to break three locks of the earth. The first was the surface, the second to break up the soil, the third to reach the wet soil. These are universal advices and so was that to plough crosswise as we see in old fields from Iron Age. Not much has changed until our days.
We see also the "Big Man" or Heracles in sky and myths. His heroic achievements were of course farming told in a poetic way. Normal people like heroes only in wartime. However, when they demand for payment and to be better than everybody it does not fit in an equal assemble.
The heroic tales were for children and long nights. In reality they told them in different ways in Argolis, Thessalia, Hellas and so on. Many motives are wandering tales and widely spread. Those with some humour and sex are of course easily remembered and stored everywhere.
Tumblers and other entertainers were the spice in life, but they vanished when men become owners and had workers who should give good profit. At same rates the myths faded away because too long rituals took the workers from the fields. Getting most out of employers is natural for those with capital.
Thor with his hammer followed the farming fellows. He was ceremony master and defender of farmers' village. The hammer was star of Gemini as we remember it disappear sometimes or Thor himself was in east hunting trolls ... probably until the stars appeared again. The ship Skidbladner one could fold together and be so small that it fit in a pocket. Perhaps it was the ship Argos in sky or a small picture drawn on a piece of birch-bark.
On this carving from Utby Bohuslaen we see the pair ruling the quarters. We recognise some astro-symbols as the full-cut foots, the empty boat and two bigger cupmarks.