View Full Version : Seaxnot

Monday, July 4th, 2005, 07:39 PM
Tiw and Seaxnot one and the same?

Seaxneat/Seaxnot is a God ostensibly unique to the Saxon people, though on the balance of probability he was most likely Tiw/Tiwaz whom the Saxons had taken as their patron God (thus "Companion" or "Friend" of the Seax people) almost a kenning if you will (though there are also those who feel that he was a unique Saxon deity) This seems in keeping with the known status of Tyr being the chief God in Scandinavia until usurped by Odin, much as with Seaxnot and Woden. It would be interesting to know whether the Saxons viewed him as being one-armed, and the connection with Irminsul intrigues me greatly also...


Seaxneat - Friend of the People of the Knife

Seaxneat seems to have been a god unique to the Saxons, although he has been compared to Tiw/Tyr. His name is said to mean either sword god or friend of the Saxons. The problem with interpreting his name, is that the Saxons themselves, took their name from the word meaning sword, Sax or Seax. So it's not too sure if the Seax- element, in the name Seaxneat, means just sword or is a reference to the actual Saxon folk.

A Seax etched with Futhorc

Seaxneat is recorded amongst the continental Saxon as Saxnot, where he is mentioned as a god who has to be denounced during their conversion to Christianity. In England where he was also worshipped, he was also seen as the Anglo-Saxons ancestor as recorded in the genealogies of Essex, and no doubt he was considered the ancestor of the continental Saxons also. The other Saxon kingdoms of England,
Wessex and Sussex, don't record Seaxneat in their genealogies, but it seems reasonable to assume that at one time he was considered the ancestor of all the Saxon folk. The reason for his absence amongst the Saxons of Wessex and Sussex could be that he was eventually replaced by Woden who, as mentioned elsewhere, eventually became the chief god amongst the Anglo-Saxons in England. But in Essex for reasons unknown the Saxons there felt it necessary to remain loyal to him. If the name Seaxneat does mean sword companion, then his symbol in ancient days may have been that of a sword. In continental Germania dances are recorded amongst Germanic folk, that involved the use of swords. No doubt these dances or similar ones were performed in England too, as images have been found showing men performing such
dances/rituals. It seems likely that Seaxneat eventually fell out of favour with the Anglo-Saxons, possibly as mentioned due to the rise of Woden, but as on the continent his cult was more than likely killed of by the rise of another god, the Christian one.
source (http://www.englishheathenism.homestead.com/seaxneat.html)
another snippet...

As one might infer from his name, Seaxnot is a god of the Saxons. The last part presumably derives from the word for "companion" (Anglo-Saxon "geneat"); the first may be either the long knife or short sword, the sax or seax, or the people named for it. He is mentioned in two places. One of the genealogies of Anglo-Saxon kings goes back to Seaxnat or Saxnat rather than to Woden as the others do (in a later version Woden has been added as his father). And on the continent, the baptismal oath eighth-century Saxons swore includes abjuring three gods: Thunaer (Thor/Thunor), Uuden (inn/Woden), and Saxnt. Both of these indicate he was an important god. Partly because of the "sword" part of his name, scholars have identified him with T'yr/Tiw, but there is really no reason to suspect he is just another god by a different name; after all, the Anglo-Saxons knew Tiw, as the day-name "Tuesday" proves. So he is a god who has been forgotten in the Scandinavian lore. His name suggests he is a warrior, but then practically all our gods are. Since the Saxons also revered the world tree Yggdrasill under the name Irminsul, it's possible he was also associated with it. If as has been suggested the Irminsul that Charlemagne destroyed was not a tree but a column modeled on the Roman Jupiter columns, he may have been portrayed atop it, as Celtic gods were on columns in Celtic areas.
Marion.and one more....

Seaxneat (Saxnot)
The god known as Seaxneat was the patron-ancestor god of the aetheling house of the East Saxons (i.e. Essex, England). He was also one of three gods, the others being Thunor and Woden, specifically mentioned in the baptismal denunciation the Old Saxons were forced to spew in the 8th century C.E., thus indicating that he was a god of no small stature amongst the Saxons. His name is thought to mean either "companion of the sword" or "friend of the Saxons", though a double-meaning may have been what was intended. Looking at the name itself, the "sword" could refer directly to the ancestral sword of a kindred's earthly lord, who is of course both the "companion of the sword" and the "friend of the Saxons" - that is, the friend of his kindred of Saxons - not to mention a descendent of Seaxneat according to the East Saxon lore! On a more profound level, the "companion of the sword" is clearly the orlaeg of the folk in question, their laws and history, which wrap themselves around the blade and which get passed on to each successive leader along with it.