(Esa, Ansis. Old Norse: Æsir, Proto-Germanic: *ansiwiz)
ᚫ ōs byþ ordfruma ǣlere sprǣce
wisdōmes wraþu and witena frōfur
and eorla gehw ām ēadnys and tō hiht
god is the origin of all language
wisdom's foundation and wise man's comfort
and to every hero blessing and hope
-Old English Rune Poem
The sky-bound Ese are the givers and holders of life. In contrast to the Wæne who are conceived as earthbound, cthonic gods and goddesses with fertility and production as their main concerns: the heavenly Ese deal with kingship, the rule of law, magic and warfare.
Earendel - The Dawn Wanderer
éala éarendel engla beorhtast
ofer middangeard monnum sended
and sodfasta sunnan leoma,
tohrt ofer tunglas þu tida gehvane
of sylfum þe symle inlihtes.
Hail Day-Star! Brightest angel
sent to man throughout the earth,
and thou steadfast splendour of the sun,
bright above stars! Ever Thou dost
illumine with Thy light the time of every season.
- Crist I
The Morning Star. The harbinger of the sun in the east and herald of the day to come.
(Ēostre, Ēastre, Ostara, Austra, *Austrō)
"Eostur-monath has a name which is now translated "Paschal month", and which was once called after a goddess of theirs named Eostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month. Now they designate that Paschal season by her name, calling the joys of the new rite by the time-honoured name of the old observance."
- The Venerable Bede: The Reckoning of Time
As a daughter of heaven Eostre is the divinity of the radiant dawn, of up-springing light, a spectacle that brings joy and blessing. As the returning summer she is closely connected to lengthening and brightening days, the vernal equinox, the east and the rising sun. Eostre brings renewal, rebirth from the death of winter, her dawn light is carried by hares which represent spring fecundity, and the love and carnal pleasure that leads to fecundity.
(Herke, Harke, Airkns)
"Erce, Erce, Erce, eorþan modor..."
"Erce, Erce, Erce, mother of earth..."
As the 'mother of earth' Erce is the queen of the heavens, lady of ladies and the primordial child of time. She is bright, shining and resplendent; nature itself, the universal mother and the mistress of all elements.
(Háma , Heime, Heimir, Heimdallr)
Hama dwells at the foot of the world tree. A guardian and vigilant warrior who possess foreknowledge, keen eyesight and can hear all in the world. He is the companion of Wudga.
(Móna, Máni; Māno.)
"There liveth none under the sunne, that knows what to make of the man in the moone."
-John Lyly, Endymion (1591).
Mona the 'man in the moon'; the weekday of Monday (mōnandæg and/or mōndæg) is named for him. Mona is the brother of Sunna, the personified sun and in turn the brother of Sinthgunt as told in the "The Horse Cure" of the Merseburg Incantations: "So Sinthgunt, Sunna's sister, conjured it." It is Mona (the Norse Máni) who pilots the moon disc described as a chariot when full and a ship when a crescent. He travels across the night sky in his silver craft and has the appearance of a richly dressed prince with golden hair.
Mona may be sought for protection (especially at night), the weak white glow of its light both guiding the traveller and illuminating the dark recesses where harmful things may be hidden. The importance of whiteness goes back to Neolithic times when white rocks or white sea shells were crushed and used as 'grog' in pottery. In some Anglo-Saxon graves are found small balls made of a hard chalk, these were almost certainly used as amulets as they were not hard or strong enough to have any apparent practical use. Similarly white quartzite pebbles seem also have been used as amulets, these were not drilled or otherwise worked upon to be worn as beads or jewellery but held as protective amulets in themselves.
ᚢ Ur byþ anmod ond oferhyrned,
felafrecne deor, feohteþ mid hornum
mære morstapa; þæt is modig wuht.
The aurochs is proud and has great horns;
it is a very savage beast and fights with its horns;
a great ranger of the moors, it is a creature of mettle.
-Old English Rune Poem
Seaxneat is a God attested as the ancestor of East Saxon kings in a similar position to Woden, he appears in an old baptismal formula as Saxnot alongside Thunor and Woden. His name is composed of two elements, the first seax meaning knife or sword whilst the second element (ge)neat meaning a companion.
The sword is a symbol of power, protection, authority, strength and courage, its creation bringing together the elements of earth, air, fire and water in its quenching. From the early neolithic votive offerings such as stone axes, swords and coins were placed into pools of water, bogs and lakes - they were passed from this world to another to bring about favour or notice from supernatural forces.
The element neat (nyten) of the name Seaxneat also means cattle and so the God may be associated with cattle, livestock and farmers. As the sword is phallic in form just as its sheath is yonic we may infer he watches over fertility (of cattle) also.
Sinhtgunt - "The Night Walking One"
"The evening star is the most beautiful of all stars"
Sinthgunt is attested solely in the Old High German 9th or 10th century "horse cure" Merseburg Incantation. In the incantation, Sinthgunt is referred to as the sister of the personified sun, Sunna (whose name is alliterative to Sinthgunt). The two sisters are cited as both producing charms to heal Phol's horse, a figure also otherwise unattested. The two are then followed by Friia and Uolla, also alliterative and stated as sisters.
The etymology of Sinthgunt is unclear. Within the original manuscript, Sinthgunt is spelled 'Sinhtgunt' - a direct reading has yielded interpretations such as "the night-walking one". Interpretations from the amended 'Sinthgunt' have resulted in readings such as "the one moving into battle" or "heavenly body, star".
Though Sinthgunt may share aspects of her sister Sunna and brother Mona she is the "night walking one" - the evening star. She marks the end of the day appearing in the west after sunset; a herald and luminous wanderer she is both healer and warrior.
(Sunne, Sigel, Sunno. The Norse Sól, Sanskrit Surya, Brittonic Sulis, Lithuanian Saulė, Latin Sol, and the Slavic Tsar Solnitse.)
Sigel semannum symble biþ on hihte
ðonne hi hine feriaþ ofer fisces beþ
oþ hi brimhengest bringeþ to lande
The sun to seamen is always hope
When they travel over the fish's bath
Until the sea-steed brings them to land
- The Old English Rune Poem
Sunna is the personified Sun. Feminine Sunna is gentle life giving and nurturing; she offers both hope and warmth. Sunna's symbols are carved upon stone as the sun chariot being drawn across the sky by horses or as a spoked wheel (solar cross or solar disc) often associated (as it with in the Old English Rune Poem) with ships and boats. Her ᛋ (ᚴ) sigel rune can be found upon the 'Lindholm Amulet' and the 'Seax of Beagnoth' found in the River Thames in 1857. Sunday (Sunnandæg) is named for her and she may be associated with Litha, the summer months, midsummer bonfires and sun wheels, fertility, flowers and safe voyages across the open sea.
Sunna is the sister of Mona, the personified moon and the sister of Sinthgunt at testified in the "The Horse Cure" of the Merseburg Incantations: "So Sinthgunt, Sunna's sister, conjured it."