View Full Version : Ingui

Monday, July 4th, 2005, 07:49 PM
By Weohstan Gebedere

Ingui is a God that is most concerned with the things of society, the fertility of cultivated fields and of domestic and wild animals. Also amongst His concerns seem to be Sacral Kingship, the maintenance of Frith and Grith, the protection of the folk’s boarders and protection in battle. All of these worthy goals seem rather simple, but they are far from it.

Ingui is often not seen as being as morally complex as Gods like Woden and Tiw, nor as spiritually pure as Thunor. These perceptions are rather simplistic and misleading, however, and often stem from a simplistic reading of the lore. From every indication Ingui seems to be one of the oldest Gods (from the fact that the Ingaevones are mentioned in some of the oldest texts referring to the Germanic Gods) and holds a place with Ancient Tiw, the Sky father. It is difficult to believe that such an ancient God is so simple as He is painted by modern Heathen. (Although, I would say that NONE of our Gods or Goddesses are as simple as they are painted by most modern Heathen.)

For the Anglo-Saxons Ing is a difficult God to attest as far as the lore goes. There are only two references to Him in the Anglo-Saxon Cannon, One in the Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem and an obscure reference to “Ingui” in the Royal lineage of Dacia (?). However, as far as the pre-Christian Gods of the Ancient English go, this is more than most other deities that are more widely proclaimed. The Old English Rune Poem says of Ing…

Ing wæs ærst mid east Danum
gesewan secgum oþ he siððan est
ofer weg gewæt wane æfter ran
þus heardingas þone halle nemdon.

Ing was first amongst the east-Danes
seen by men until he departed east
over the wet-way, his wagon following
Thus (for this reason) the Heardings, named Him a hero.

It is not much, but it tells us something of what Ingui did. From the verse, we see that He traveled to the East Danes from the sea, from the East…one might presume that since where the East Danes lived was the part of Denmark called “Sjaelland” and was once considered part of Sweden (that part of Sweden that Gefjon’s four bovine sons plowed from the Swedish coastline) one might consider that when He “siððan est” He went to Sweden. Sweden has long been associated with the worship of Yngvi-Freyr (a cognate in Old Norse for Ingui and Frea). This strophe also seems to hearken back to Cornelius Tacitus’ account of the Anglii (an Ingvaevonic tribe on the North Sea that contributed to the folk that later made up the English) and the wagon procession of their “Mater Deum”, whose boar badge wearing votaries lead Her procession around the country during certain times of years when the Anglii were celebrating their high holy days. Tacitus also mentions a few other things that can be seen as parallels to the cult of Ingui/Yngvi, in his account. The account states…

Germania XL.
“…et Anglii…fluminibus aout silvis muniuntur. nec quiquam notabile in singulis, nisi quod in commune Nerthum, it est Terram Matrem, colunt eamque intervenire rebus hominum, invehi populis arbitrantur. est in insula Oceani castum nemus, dicatumque in eo vehiculum, veste contectum; attingere uni sacerdoti consessum. is adesse penetrali deam intellegit vectamque bubus feminus multa ***** veneratione prosequitur. laeti tunc dies, fest loca, quaecumque adventu hospitioque dignatur. non bella ineaunt, non arma sumunt; clausum omne ferrum; pax et quies tunc tantum nota, tunc tantum amata, donec idem sacerdos satiatam conversatione mortalium deam templo reddat..

“…And the Anglii…Those tribes are protected by rivers and forests. There is nothing of note about any of them on their own, except that they hold in common, the worship of Nerthus, that is to say the Mother of Earth and consider her to intervene in human affairs, and riding in procession through the villages the people. On an island in the ocean there is a holy grove, and in it is a holy wagon covered with a vestment. Only one priest is allowed to touch the wagon. He senses the presence of the goddess in her shrine and follows with a profound veneration as she rides along drawn by cows. Then come the days of festival, and all places celebrate, as many as she things are worthy to have her. They do not war nor do they take up arms, for every iron (weapon) is put away. Peace and quite reign then, and only then, is (peace) known and loved, until the goddess is returned to her temple, when she has had enough of the conversation of mortals…” (Runokivi 2003)

In this account we see a number of things that coincide with what we know of the Cult of Freyr, and in fact the cults of many of the other “Vanir”. First and most noticeably are the procession and wagon. Both of these remind one not only of the Ing Strophe contained in the Old English Rune Poem, but also of the segment of Olafs Saga Halga from the Heimskrengla, where the escaped Norwegian criminal hitches a ride with Freyr’s wagon procession and poses as the God by dressing in His clothing. Less obvious is the practice of putting away weapons and discontinuing conflict. These both conjure to mind the idea that, in Freyr’s temples were not welcome ground for outlaws nor for weapons and the prohibition we see placed upon Heathen English priest against the bearing of weapons. These are all fitting practices for the votaries of the God of Frith.

The other inference to Ingui in the Old English Cannon comes to us care of the Beowulf poet, when he refers to Hrothgar as “Frea Ingwinas” (Lord of the Ingwines/Friends of Ingui). This is a scant reference to be sure, but it does conjure to mind one of the names that Tacitus gives as one of the three primary tribal groupings in Germania (Ingaevones) and the name of the royal line of Sweden (Ynglings). Regardless of the paucity of reference, these two occurrences can hardly be coincidental.

Iconographically Ingui and Freyr share many symbols. The most obvious one is the Boar. In the Eddic account, Freyr rides a golden Boar named “Goldenbristles”. This boar can run over land, through the air and over the waves and the same speed as a regular horse. It is also said that his golden bristles light up the darkest night and that he was made for the God at the same time as His own ship, Skidbladir and other important divine treasures such as Mjolnir, Gungnir, Draupnir, and Sif’s golden hair. Archaeologically, boar’s figures loom rather large amongst English material culture. Most often they are seen in military regalia such as boar crests for helmets, standards, and in the case of Sutton Hoo, an elaborate jeweled cloak clasp. It seems that the boar, for our ancient antecedents, had some kind of apotropic quality. The ferocity of the boar, it seems, lent its protection to the warrior who wore it. This concept is borne out time and time again in Beowulf, but especially in verses 303 to 306.

Eofor-lic scionen
ofer hleor-bergen: gehroden golde
fah ond fyr-heard, ferh-wearde heold.
Guđ-mod grummen…
(Beowulf 303b-306a)

Boar-bodies shone
over cheek-guards, craftily gilt
agleam and fire hardened, keeping guard over life.
The war-hearted grew fierce…

Here, the Beowulf poet comes right out and tells us what these boar symbols are and explains their purpose. Another, more recent, archaeologic connexion can be drawn from the discovery of an amulet in England. The amulet depicts a man in a pointy cap (of the Phrygian style) holding his beard with one hand whilst the other arm is at a right angle with the hand on the elbow of the opposite arm. The man is also unabashedly phallic, which might be more a function telling us that he is a God (not unlike the Finglesham Woden). The posture of the amuletic man is standing, but the attitude of his arms and his beard and cap suggest a resemblance to the Rallinge Freyr statue (the famous statue of Freyr where He is sitting cross-legged with one hand on his beard and the other gripping his elbow). Once again, it could be a coincidence, but the similarities are certainly worth investigation into the iconographical language of Early Germanic Tribes.

These connexions have led many modern Heathen to assume that Ingui and Yngvi are one and the same God. However, it has not been a compelling reason for “secular” scholars such as R.I. Page to agree. Who is correct? We should be willing to err on the side of Prof. Tolkien on this one, if error it is. In his work, the Silmarillion, Prof. Tolkien tells us that “Ingwë” (a modern English cognate with Ingui) is the Lord of all the Elves of “Middle Earth”. Here Prof. Tolkien not only relates Ingwë with the Ingui of the Old English Rune Poem by using His name, but to the Yngvi-Freyr of the Old Norse Eddas who received Alfheim as a gift upon cutting his first tooth. This being the case, Ingui is the only God that Tolkien mentions by name in his “Myth for the English People”. Not even Woden is mentioned by His own name, but is sublimated by the character of Gandalf. From this it is clear what such “old fashioned minds” such as J.R.R. Tolkien thought about Ingui. That He was important enough to mention by name!

source (http://fyrnsede.org/)

Monday, July 4th, 2005, 08:17 PM
Sounds like my name comes from this God. ;)

Wednesday, December 7th, 2005, 02:50 PM

Ing or Ingui is a rather obscure name of a god in Anglo-Saxon Heathen tradition, but if as many believe he is one and the same as the Norse god Freyr, then Ingui's social standing as a god amongst the Heathens could have been one of great veneration. Evidence that connects the Anglo-Saxon Ingui to the Norse Freyr is that another name for Freyr is Yngvi or Yngvi-Freyr, the Yngvi element is phonetically cognate with the Anglo-Saxon Ingui.

So it's possible that the Anglo-Saxon Yngvi-Freyr may have been called Ingui-Frea, Frea being the Anglo-Saxon cognate of Freyr. Before looking at evidence of Ingui in literature, we must first look at some recently found archaeological evidence that may show us Ingui himself. This archaeological evidence can be seen in a small 7th century amulet that was found within an Anglo-Saxon Heathens grave.

The amulet is in the shape of a bearded 'man' bearing an exposed phallus. His face design is very similar to those bearded faces found carved upon the Sutton Hoo sceptre, whilst the exposure of his phallus resembles that of the dancing man image found upon the Finglesham belt buckle.

Although some have said that the amulet could be that of the god Woden, the sexual nature of the design points more to that of Ingui. We have already read that the Anglo-Saxon Ingui is cognate with the Norse Yngvi-Freyr in name, but it also seems so in image too. This is because images of Yngvi-Freyr in Sweden are said to have been constructed with him bearing an exposed phallus, pointing to his role as a ferility god, and as the amulet also bears such a design, it could very well be that the amulet is an Anglo-Saxon representation of Ingui, their own god of fertility.

There are some interesting mentions of a god or hero called either Ingui or Ing in Old English literature. In the Bernician royal genealogies we find the names Ingibrand, Inguec and Ingui. The Anglo-Saxons of the Northumbrian kingdom of Bernicia were Angles, or as the Roman historian Tacitus calls them Angli, and as mentioned elsewhere were participators in the Nerthus/Earth Mother cult of continental Germania in the first century c.e.

The importance of this connection to Nerthus is that Tacitus referred to these Nerthus worshippers as being Ingaevones, which gives us a connection between the Anglo-Saxon Bernician Ingui, and the Ing element in the name Ingaevones. So it's possible that before the rise to the top of genealogy lists by Woden, Ingui may have been considered the 'true' ancestor god of the Angles in England and on continental Germania.

What also adds strength to this argument is that the Swedish royal family were descended from Yngvi-Freyr, which as mentioned above is the same as the Anglo-Saxon Ingui. So it's reasonable to believe that Yngvi and Ingui are from a common source, which both Angle and Swedish royalty claimed descent from. Another mention of Ingui is found in the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf, where the Danish king is called Frea Ingwina, which means Lord (of the) Friends of Ing.

The term Ingwina (friends of Ing), is possibly cognate with the 'Ingaevones' of Tacitus, as many believe 'Ingaevones' to mean either friends of Ing or those of Ing. The Anglo-Saxon poem Exodus, which describes the Israelites departure from Egypt, contains the word Ingefolc, which means people of Ing.

The theory has been put forward that the Israelites in the poem may symbollicaly represent the Anglo-Saxons, and the Egyptians and Egypt the land and people of Germania that the Anglo-Saxons left behind in their departure to England. It's the people that are left behind who are referred to as being Ingefolc by the Christian poet, which could suggest that the poet was trying to get across the idea that when the Anglo-Saxons left these 'Ingefolc' behind, they were also leaving behind their own worship of Ing/Ingui, thus becoming cleansed of all Heathenism, and eventually becoming good Christian people.

If this is true, it could also be seen as an admission by the Christian poet that before the Anglo-Saxon 'conversion' to Christianity, they were in fact worshipers of Ing/Ingui in England and in continental Germania also. Probably the most quoted reference to Ing or Ingui is that contained in the Anglo-Saxon rune poem, where the section accompanying the Ingwaz rune says:

'Ing at first among the East-Danes
was seen by men. Then he went eastwards
across the sea, The wagon sped after,
thus the Heardings have named the hero.'

(Translation from 'The Lost Gods of England'
by Richard Branston)

The mention of a wagon, and what seems to be a kind of procession, may connect this poem and Ingui again with the Ingaevones and the Nerthus/Earth Mother cult of the first century. It's been mentioned, as in the Nerthus section, that if Nerthus in the procession was male and not female as Tacitus believed, then it's possible that the 'Ing' in the poem is the same as, or evolved from Nerthus, and the wagon that follows 'Ing' as mentioned in the rune poem, could contain the image of the Earth Mother.

The poem which was written down late in the Anglo-Saxon period may also be evidence that a procession featuring Ing or Nerthus along with the Earth Mother, continued long enough in England for it to be recorded in the rune poem. Evidence to support a procession of Ingui is that Ingui's Swedish counterpart, Yngvi, was also paraded around by the Swedes in a similar procession to that of Nerthus.

During the Nerthus procession it is said that all weapons were put away, and that nobody goes to war, which is interesting because Bede recites a tale about an Anglo-Saxon Heathen priest, which has some interesting similarities. The Heathen priest, whom Bede calls 'Coifi', is said to desecrate a Heathen temple by fire, but first he profanes it by thrusting a spear into it.

Bede says that the Heathen priests in England, or at the very least in Northumbria, were not allowed to carry weapons of any kind, which tends to lend weight to the theory connecting the Nerthus procession in Germania, and an Ingui/Nerthus cult in England, of which Coifi was probably a high priest of.

Sacred to Nerthus, Yngvi and Ingui is the boar, a belief surrounding the boar is that it was a symbol of protection. Soldiers in Beowulf are described as wearing boar crested helmets, which gave the wearer the protection of the boar. And to give concrete evidence to this belief, helmets with figures of boars on the top of them have been found in graves from the Anglo-Saxon period.

A surviving custom involving the veneration of the boar, is the bringing in of the Yule-boar during the season of Yule. So if the boar, as mentioned earlier, is a symbol sacred to Ingui and also to the celebration of Yule, then a connection can be found between Ingui and Yule, thus maybe showing that a celebration of Yule is also a celebration of the god Ingui.

Source (http://www.englishheathenism.homestead.com/textingui.html)

Saturday, December 17th, 2005, 04:59 AM
I Have Heard It Said , Dont Know If It Is True ,that Yule Was The Birthday Of Freyr In Scandinavia, As I Say I Have No Idea If This Is True , But It Is Worth Remembering That Freyr Had Solar Associations ,As Does Yule ,And Also Freyr Was Amongst Other things A God Of Peace And Prosperity, Which Again Fits Yule , Also As Sigurd Has Said Both Freyr And Yule Have Boar Associations.one More Point, Do You Have A Picture Of This Recently Discoverd Anglo Saxon Artefact, I Would Love To See It, After All I Am An Angli-ingaevone,, Welga... :valkyrie :suttonhoo :norsehelm Heil freyr-ing,ancestor and God of our folk... Something which has just occured to me is, lets say that tacitus did get the gender of Nerthus wrong, as i think sigurd surgested then she, would be a he, and of course Njord is the exact old norse male equivalent linguistically i mean, of Nerthus, so that would link in with Ing, since Njord is the father of Freyr/Ing.