Tuesday, 22 September 2015

In an article -here-  Wotans Krieger uses a painting by Emil Doepler called Wodan Heilt Balders Pferd, or Wodan heals Baldurs horse. I've often wondered about the symbolism in this painting, and especially symbolism around the two goddesses sitting next to each other.

The painting is based on the (second) Merseburg charm, which reads -

Phol ende uuodan uuorun zi holza.
du uuart demo balderes uolon sin uuoz birenkit.
thu biguol en sinthgunt, sunna era suister;
thu biguol en friia, uolla era suister;
thu biguol en uuodan, so he uuola conda:
sose benrenki, sose bluotrenki, sose lidirenki:
ben zi bena, bluot si bluoda,
lid zi geliden, sose gelimida sin!

Phol and Wodan were riding to the woods,
and the foot of Balder's foal was sprained
So Sinthgunt, Sunna's sister, conjured it.
and Frija, Volla's sister, conjured it.
and Wodan conjured it, as well he could:
Like bone-sprain, so blood-sprain,
so joint-sprain:
Bone to bone, blood to blood,
joints to joints, so may they be mended.

The two gods depicted in the painting are Wodan and Phol (another name used by Baldur). The goddesses named are Frija (Volla's sister) and Sinthgunt (Sunna's sister). The painting depicts three goddesses. I believe that Frija is the goddess partially hidden by Wodan's arm, whilst the two goddesses sitting behind the horse are Sunna, the Sun goddess (the golden goddess) and her sister Sinthgunt. There is little information regarding who the goddess Sinthgunt is - she is not named in any other literature. Some people have suggested that as sister to the sun, and with her dark appearance she represents the moon. However we know that the Moon is masculine whilst the Sun is feminine, and that the moon god is called Mani. So that doesn't seem right to me. Whilst researching possible roots as to the origins of her name - two aspects became clear - her name is connected to the shade or shadow and to the Indo-Aryan concept of spinning.  As her sister Sunna is the holy Sun - the golden sun that shines her healing rays and gives us life - I believe the symbolism surrounding Sinthgunt, especially as she seems to hold opposite aspects of Sunna suggests that she is possibly a goddess of the Black Sun?