Þunor

Meaning of Name:  His name is identical to the Old English word meaning ‘thunder’, which in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *thunraz.

Pronunciation: The “Þ” makes a “th” sound, the ‘u’ is pronounced as the ‘u’ in the word ‘fun’ and the the ‘o’ is pronounced as in the word ‘for’. “Thunn-orr”

Function: Þunor’s commonality in place-names, the early incidence (supported by later Germanic) of protective talismans, and fylfot symbol found on burial urns (associated with Þunor) all show His pervasive importance to society.

Þunor, as God of the People, is also the God of the Thing, like Tiw.  Unlike Tiw, who represents a higher authority in the Thing, Þunor’s will is the people’s will. He is the God of the Commons, the deity that protects them and impacts them directly in His role of Thunderer and Bringer of Rain, with the relevant fertility associations. Given the later depictions of Him as protector of sailors and boatmen, it’s entirely plausible that this was an association He shared.

To me he represents might and strength of arms in all things, protector and warrior as well as standing up for the common man. In keeping friþ within the hearth, I look to him as a means of remaining strong under pressure.

Iconography: 5th century (long handle) hammer pendants found in Kent are thought to be connected with His cult, and are some of the earliest representations of the hammer with Þunor.  The oak tree is also typically associated with Him, along with the thunderbolt, an axe, goats, and in later (non-AS) lore, ships.

Our modern Thursday, which descends from OE ‘Þursdæg’, is also named after the Anglo-Saxon thunder god.

Contemporary Bīnaman: Corngrowere (Crop-Grower), Gumfrēond (Man-Friend), Feorhhyrde (Life-Protector), Rynegæst (Lightning), Ēotencwellere (Ettin-Queller)

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