WOTAN: THE ARCHETYPE OF THE AWAKENED ARYAN MAN
Wotan/Woden/Odin represents the archetype of the questing and awakened Aryan man, in particular the questing and awakened Germanic man.
Whilst it is clear from our studies of Germanic mythology that Wotan was not the original primary God of the Germanic pantheon – that honour rests with Tiw/Tyr/Ziu – nevertheless, Wotan represents that questing and awakened part of the Aryo-Germanic soul more than any other deity.
In this article I wish to focus in particular on Wotan’s sacrifice of his eye and the way in which he has been presented as a wandering and questing God, especially in the Wagner’s music dramas contained within Wagner’s magnum opus, Der Ring des Nibelungen. Wotan appears in only the first three of these music dramas: Das Rheingold, Die Walkuere and Siegfried. He is conspicuous by his absence from Goetterdaemmerung. In Das Rheingold and Die Walkuere he is known by His primary name of Wotan, but in Siegfried, where the emphasis switches to the God-man Siegfried and the world of Middle Earth, He appears in His guise as Der Wanderer – the Wanderer.
It is in this human guise that he interacts with the world of men. Der Wanderer makes his appearance in Act One, Scene One and is described by Wagner as follows: “The Wanderer [Wotan] enters from the forest through the door at the back of the cave. He is wearing a long, dark-blue cloak; he carries a spear as a staff. On his head he wears a hat with a broad, round brim, which hangs down over his face.”
Clearly Wagner is drawing an association with Wotan as the Wild Huntsman who emerges from the forest. It is in the forest that we as His followers may more effectively communicate with Him. He is known in other forms and in particular in England as Herne the Hunter. His purpose as the Wanderer is two-fold: to obtain wisdom and to impart it.
“Much I’ve fathomed,
much made out:
matters of moment
I’ve made known to many
and many I’ve saved
from whatever irked them,
cares that gnawed at their hearts.”
[Stewart Spencer translation].
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