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Silver Wind
Aud Mon Ra
Silver Wind

Posts : 1525
Join date : 2007-07-18
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PostSubject: Ingui   Ingui Icon_minitimeThu Aug 16, 2007 1:41 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.

http://www.homestead.com/englishheathenism/ingui.html

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