Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Cweord - the rune of Sigurd and of the Broken Sword.

I am indebted to Wulf for this article as many of the ideas here stem from his work. I recall many years ago reading one of the WF magazines (either the Sword of Wayland or Spear of Woden - I forget now which one) where Wulf breaks down the word 'Sword' to mean S-Word. 

There was a comment left on the Ar-Kan Rune-Lag blog (comment below - article here) by OPersephone which I certainly agree with. The Anglo-Saxon word for Sword was Sweord and this connects with the cwoerd rune - as we will see.

Regarding the association of the sword with the Northumbrian rune "cweorth"... as the word "cweorth" is unattested in Anglo-Saxon outside the Northumbrian runes, it is my belief that this is a case of an ancient transcription error. The Anglo-Saxon word for "sword" was "sweord". "D" and "TH" were often used interchangably during the Anglo-Saxon period, due to the loss of the unique alphabetical character representing a hard "th" sound. As a result, this sound was sometimes represented by "th", and sometimes by "d". If we assume that some ancient scribe mistakenly wrote "cweorth" instead of "sweorth", then what we are left with is simply an alternative spelling of the Anglo-Saxon word for "sword".

Whilst researching the etymology of the word Sword, I found that the West Saxon word for sword was in fact Swyrd, which if we use Wulf's anology would be S-Wyrd thus Sig-Wyrd. This is the root of the name Sigurd. 

If we look at the Ar-Kan Rune-Lag the Sweord (Cweord) rune is this - 


The rune resembles the Ear rune of the common rune rows, but this is the Ar-Kan rune for Cweord. Since speaking to Wulf recently about the word Sweord and Swyrd I've been meditating on the name and rune and today I envisioned the  rune being the handle of a broken sword - thus the rune fits with the legend of Sigmund (Sigurd's father) whose own sword is broken. A similar tale is retold in the Lord of the Rings. The sword was reforged and later used by Sigurd to kill the dragon Fafnir.

Now- there is a more to this story and I will certainly continue with the meditation upon this rune as there is a lot still to discover. At the moment though all thoughts on Sigurd led me to visions of Hitler. I dare say that the idea has crossed my mind before that Hitler was reliving the myth of Sigurd. It was even rumoured many times that Hitler  had a relationship with the British National Socialist Unity Mitford - whose middle name was Valkyrie!! Whether this is all connected to the runic meditations on the Cweord rune or is simply another idea I'm mixing up - I'm not sure. 

For anyone interested in the Ar-Kan runes here is a link to a downloadable Ar-Kan rune guide.