Werewolfs, Berzerkers, Svinfolk, Zoomorphism
Music composed & performed by DANHEIM, that honors the Ulfhednar or "Werewolf" warrior caste; as well as DANHEIM's song "Berserker" (from which we derive the modern term berserk)...
These songs celebrate those two warrior class renown specifically for their ability to go into a focussed trance causing them to enter a state called "Berzerkergang" (Berzerk-Frenzy) in which they would rage like wolves or bears, rendering them fearless, ferocious, and indomitable in combat.
The third song "Svinfylking" by Herkungr celebrates the Warrior Cult of the Wild Boar (which was the totem animal of the Vanir God Frey). Their famed battle formation was known as the "Boar-Spear"; a group of warriors would form the shape of a triangular "wedge" and charge the enemies center formation. Additionally, the Warriors within the "Boar-Spear" wedge were extremely well protected by another famous maneuver they deployed: the "Shield Wall"... This made the Boar-Spear an effectively davasting to and greatly feared by their enemies...
CULT OF ODIN:
and Suplantation of
the Werewolf Warrior Cult
RIG VEDA 4.26.2—SOMA
and INDRA and the EAGLE:
“I gave to Earth the Aryan1”
Early in the development of the societies related to Proto-Indo-European warrior cults, was that of the “Ulfhednar,” or Werewolf (man-wolf)2 warrior caste. This specialized class of warrior has a lineage evident as far back as the prominently featured artwork of the Upper Paleolithic the caves of Europe (30,000+ BCE), and enduring—thousands-of-years—evidence of such found in the societal regions of “Old Europe” and it’s Pontic steppes ( as early as 3,000+ BCE)… These wolf-cults existed, nearly unbroken, until the dawn of the primal Warrior-Cult of “Man-God” or the “super-human-warrior” Cult of Wotan/Odin (similarly Zeus/Lugh/Indra)…
The “Ulfhednar” warrior-cult (remnants of which survived in many forms—even until that of the Viking-age “Berzerkers,” bear-warrior; and Celtic-age “Cuchulainn,” Hound-Warrior) was centered around the paradigm of the wolf-man, whose totem embraced a anthrozoomorphic bond with the animistic, vicious, and ferocious pack-raiding features ascribed to the wolf throughout Indo-European mythos (e.g., the Roman parable of it’s human founders being suckled and raised by wolves).
Anthropological historical corroboration delineates a Proto-Indo-European raiding ritual that sent their young initiates out on livestock raids (pre-dating 3000 BCE). This was the institution of the “Männerbűnde,” “Korios,” or “Panis”: the warrior brotherhood of young men that were bound by oath to one another, or to ancestors, during a ritually prescribed raid, has been anthropologically reconstructed as a central part of such Proto-Indo-European initiation rituals. These same rituals survived for thousands-of-years, evinced by extant historical records that specifically pertain to rituals practiced by Galatians, Thracians, Skythians, Teutons, Vedic, and other ancient Indo-European peoples; well into the early centuries of the Common Era.
The most significant material trait linked to these ceremonies was the wolf (or hound); these young initiates were “possessed” by the wolf (or hound) spirit, and customarily wore the skins of their totem during their initiation. Canine-tooth-necklaces were worn as pendants, and often found in PIE (e.g., Yamnaya culture) graves in the western Pontic steppes (as discovered in the Ingul Valley, a known region of these migrations [about 3000 BCE]).
A second material trait linked to the Korios [Panis3], was the “Ulfhednar” belt, or girdle. Korios raiders wore little more than these belts (similar to much later warrior-figures in Celtic & Germanic occurrence, i.e., the Anglo-Saxon Fingelsham belt buckle). Initiates on raids often wore two belts: the leader of the raid wore a single belt, signifying his being bound by a single oath to an early war-god (likely a variant of Tyr/Tuiw/Zues) or to tribal ancestors, whereas the initiates following the leader wore two belts, showing they were double-bound to their war-god/ancestors and to their leaders. Stone anthropomorphic stelae (resembling similarly themed paintings found in the Chauvet & Lascaux caves of Southwest France and Altamira caves in Northern Spain4) were erected over hundreds of Yamnaya graves between the Ingul and South Bug valleys (and sometimes as far west as modern Bulgaria & Hungary); the same region where canine pendants were widespread. The most common clothing element carved upon these stelae, was a belt; often with an axe or pair of sandals attached to the belt. Typically, it was a single belt—most likely symbolizing a leader of the raid.
One of the most well-known early examples of the super-human warrior cult unseating and supplanting that of the korios, is exemplified by the northern invading tribes of Mycenaean “Greeks”; earliest of documented pioneers in establishing deities who did not resemble half-animal/half-human (“hybrid” [monster] deities). These early northern “barbarians” instead opted-for, and celebrated gods that resembled themselves (male and female), and embodied those eternal struggles and feelings of the common being.5 These Greco-“super-humans” were epitomized by such deities as Athena, Apollo, Aphrodite, and so-on…
The warnings against induction into the werewolf cult6 are allegorized in the Volsunga Saga, specifically in the parable of Sigmund, and his son Sinfjötli; whereas, by the wearing of enchanted wolf skins, they themselves become werewolves. While in this “Ulfhednar” state, the father, Sigmund, in a “berserker” type rage, mortally wounds his son, Sinfjötli. Soon after this attack of father upon son, Wotan intervenes; who, through his raven, delivers an enchanted leaf that cures Sinfjötli’s lethal wounds. Shortly after, both Sigmund and Sinfjötli shed their wolf skins, transform back into men, curse their use, and consign the werewolf pelts to destruction by fire 6…
Early Eddaic texts reference a struggle between “the Eagle” [a pan-mythic symbol for Odin, Zeus, and Indra, respectively] and the werewolf. An Eddaic allegory specifically prohibits initiates from reaching Odin’s Hall if they are trapped by a werewolf who fishes for men in the river [of purification] surrounding Odin’s Hall… To enter the Hall [and Warrior-Cult] of Odin, the initiate must overcome the bestial-nature of the Werewolf (Grimnismal 9-10)… This Wotanic/Odinist warrior-caste concept is further evinced by the symbol that adorns the entrance to Allfather’s Hall—a bloody Eagle perched atop a Wolf; an unsubtle emblem implying that warriors may enter Allfather’s abode, but not through the warrior cult of “Ulfhednar…”
This transition can certainly be viewed as a vital development in spiritual evolution: a progression from primitive man-animal ethos, to one more in tune with the sanctity of man and man-god…
FOOTNOTES:1 “Super-Human… Man-God,” (exemplified in both Edda & Rig Veda)2. also known as Loupgarou…3 Rig Veda 7.104: “THE DEMONS IN HELL,” called by the thunder-god Indra “DEVOURERS” [Norse “ETINS,” translated as “eaters”]… Verse 20 states “There they go! The Dog-Sorcerers,” [translated in Vedic Sanskrit as a sorcerer who takes the form of a dog; a werewolf]… Indra’s response to their threat was to “crush the demon into powder, as if with a millstone.” So much as did Thor to the Etins with his “millstone” hammer (Mjolnir)…4 the caves of Chauvet, contain zoomorphic/man-animal art over 30,000 years old, and similar art of Lascaux date from as much as 18,000 years ago. Pottery in the form of hounds/wolfs wearing human masks was unearthed in the region of Gorni Pasarel, central-Bulgaria/East Balkan, dating prior to 4000 BCE… Rock-crystal and terra cotta, portraying animal-man faced cult vases, shaped in dog figurines, and were discovered in Cucuteni era sites near the Podei-region of Western Ukraine that dated as early as 5000 BCE… Additional hound/wolf painted vases were prominent in finds of the later Cucuteni finds of nearby Moldavia (circa 4000 BCE)—some of these finds depicted hounds/wolves riding upon the backs of horses, posing in ritualistic raiding style… 5 see the chapter concerning HEATHEN CONCEPT OF BEING…6 the book of Harbarthsljoth, stanza 37, mentions an analogous slaying of “Berserkers…”