A goði or gothi (plural goðar) is the Old Norse term for an invoker of divine powers, a priest and/or a chieftain. The goðar were God-men (goði) and God-women (gyðja.)
The goðar are depicted in the Sagas as the religious and political leaders of their realm or goðorð. The goðar were involved in the administration of the Norse kingdoms and the performance of the religious acts of worship.Kings and chieftains came from the goðar, the invokers of the godly powers and arts. The goðars were the guardian of the divine wisdom and protectors of the land and hearth.
Likewise, in the Vedas, the hótṛ were the reciter of invocations and wisdom poetry. The hótṛ was the invoker of the godly powers, the reciter of mantras or powerful mind formulas. The hótṛ was the leading, invoker/priest who knew the entire sacred hymns (sukta) of the Vedas (the divine wisdom poetry.) The hótṛ had a leading or presiding role in the Vedic society. The hótṛ acted as invoker/priests, wise counsels and advisors to local Aryan kings and Aryan princes.
In the Vedas, Agni, “the divine spark” (latin ignis, Old Church Slavonic ogni, Lithuanian ugnis, “Fire” “to ignite.”) is the foremost invoker of the gods.
Agni is called hótáram (invoker) in Rig Veda 1.1.1. In Rig Veda 1.1.5, Agni is the invoker, the poet, with power to manifest and realize (agnih hótá kávi-kratúh.) In Rig Veda 1.12.1, Agni is hótáram vishva-veda-sam, “the invoker, knower of all.” Also in the same verse the divine spark is called an auspicious doer su-kratúm.
In Rig Veda 1.13.8, the term hótárá/invokers refers to daivyá kaví “divine seers or seers of the divine.” In Rig Veda 1.26.2, the divine spark is the desired or adorable invoker (hótá varenyah,) youthful (yavishtha) with divine or luminous speech/voice (divitmatá vachah.)
In the poetic gathas, the ancient Aryan Prophet Zarathúshtrá calls himself a Zaótá/Zaótar, an invoker of superb, godly powers (See Yasna 33.6, 1st rhymed verse line.)
The term zaótá/zaótar,”invoker” exactly corresponds to the Old Norse goði and Sanskrit hótr. Zaótá/Zaótar like a goði and hótr was well versed in inspired, wisdom poetry and was a seer/invoker.
The Aryan prophet passionately invokes, calls upon arête “excellence, goodness and brilliance” (zaó-zaó-mi literally I/me intensely call upon, invoke, See Yasna 43.10, 1st rhymed verse line.)
Also in Yasna 50.1, 4th rhymed verse line, the ancient Aryan seer/prophet calls upon, invokes (zütá) the most awe-inspiring powers of spirit/mind.
The term zaótá comes from the root zü,/zava “to call, invoke” Compare with Old Church Slavonic zovo “to call, invoke.
Interestingly, the meaning of God, Old Norse guð, Gothic guþ is “that which is invoked” compare with the gathic/Avestan zütá.
Zaótá/Zaótar or züt as “invoker of godly powers” appears in the following places in the Avesta (the book of hidden or unknown wisdom)
Poetic gathas Yasna 33.6, 1st rhymed verse line;
Also in other Yasna (adorations) 3.25, 11.1, 14.1, 59.30, 65.9, 68.12;
Vispa-ratü (all the rites, formulas, counsels) 3.6,7, 5.1, 11.19;
Yasht (adoring hymns) 3.1,2, 4.7, 5.57,123,132, 10.89,120,137-139, 17.6;
Nirangistan (the book of charms) 20, 21, 33, 37, 72, 73, 80, 81;
Ví-daæv-dátá (the laws against demons) 5.57-58;
I would like to conclude by stating that in the ancient Indo-European beliefs, God is not terrible, ferocious and wrathful. But God is Adoring, the luminous, all-wise force we speak to, call upon and invoke in our heartfelt prayers.
Curious, are you working on a book? I hope so 🙂 I’d like to learn more, very compelling information.