Rune Thurisaz, Frost Giants, and the severe cosmic winter in Zoroastrianism

In the runic alphabet of the ancient Germanic tribes of Northern Europe there is a rune called *þurisaz/thurisaz “frost giant.”

Thurisaz is a protective rune that is depicted as the hammer of THOR. The rune symbolizes “striking powerful blows, delivering heavy defeat” against the “frost giants/anti-Gods, monsters, and demons of chaos and freezing cold.”

All mythologies have their anti-Gods. In the Zoroastrian and Germanic lore, Anti Gods/devils are frost monsters representing “bleakness, freezing cold, and lack of energy/intensity of passion.”

While in most religious traditions Hell is a “fiery abyss,” in the Zoroastrian faith, hell is a “frozen, nauseating wasteland, devoid of life-force/energy.”

Thurisaz “frost giants” of the Germanic lore come from the Old Norse þurs Old English þyrs: Gothic Þaúrnus Old High German durs, Old English þorn “thorn” (See Didier Calin.)

Thurisaz *þurisaz thus means something like “thorny, injurious, sore.” The ancient Indo Iranian term for “spikey/green leaves, grass, thorny bushes,” like Khotian Punjabi tarra is a cognate. Likewise, Finnish tarna “sedge, grass” is a borrowing from the early Indo Iranian.

On the symbolism of THORNS, we read in the Zoroastrian sacred texts that: “On nature of plants it says in daæná (Luminous spiritual vision,) that before the coming of the evil spirit, vegetation had no thorn about it; and, afterwards, when the lord of all flaws enetered, it became covered with thorns.”

The term used for “thorn” in the Zoroastrian text is Xár literally “sore,” referring to “ache, injury and poisonous conditions.”

Concerning FREEZING COLD/WINTER, we read in the first chapter of the Avestan book of “laws/formulas against diabolic forces/demons” vî-dæv-dátá:

“The first of the good lands and countries that I, Ahûrá Mazdá created, was the Airyana Vaæja “Cradle of the Airyá, the Noble Ones” by the Vaηûhi Daitya “the good, bountiful” river.

Thereupon came angra mainyu “evil, decayed spirit/mind” who is “pôuruu-mahrkö” full of death,” and he counter-created the serpent in the river and zyãm “WINTER,” a formation of the demon-gods daævö-dátem.

Ten are the winter months in Airyana Vaæja, two the summer months, and in winter there the waters are freezing, the earth is freezing, and the plants are freezing.”

Airyana Vaæja “cradle of the Noble Ones,” is the holy land of Zoroastrianism. It is the birthplace of the ancient poet/prophet Zarathustra, and the original homeland of proto Indo Europeans.

In the ancient Avestan texts the theme of the “final battle and splendid renewal of the worlds” is an integral component, a subject that is distinctively and uniquely shared with the ancient Norse Scandinavia.

The motif of the severe cosmic winter, as immediate prelude to the “titanic final battle” in Zoroastrianism, and Yima’s underground var, the underground shelter in Airyana Vaæja where the pristine seeds of all the living will be safeguarded, also can closely be compared with the Norse fimbulvetr/fimbulwinter.


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