Sunday, 25 August 2013

Germanic Pagan Tattoos


Oftentimes it seems that Germanic Paganism and tattoos go well together. Scholars tell us that the Germanic tribes of the east (eg, first the Goths, then the Rus - both peoples said to have originated in the general region of modern day Sweden) were partial to tattoos.* We know from the mummified remains of Indo-Europeans buried in Siberia in the 5th century BCE that ancient tattoos could be beautifully decorative and detailed.** Thus it is conceivable that some ancient and medieval Germanic Pagans (from the east at least?) looked a bit like this fellow in the picture on the right ->

It seems that these days most Germanic Pagan tattoos are either of Odin, Thor or Mjölnir. In my searches I came across very few tattoos of Germanic Goddesses or of any other Germanic Gods. Fittingly, animals in a Celtic-Viking design seem to be popular (though perhaps not always explicitly Pagan - unless they are ravens in pairs or Sleipnir), as are runic inscriptions and Yggdrasil, the world tree. Here follows the best of what I was able to find after countless hours of sifting through online images of Germanic Pagan tattoos.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Y-DNA Haplogroups of Europe

Child of the Indo-Europeans tribes? Actress Ivana Baquero is from Catalonia
(Spain) where haplogroup R1b is represented by over 80% of men
Last week I discovered what Y-DNA haplogroups are and I was fascinated, for they represent the most reliable analysis of the genetic make up of nations that science has offered to date. Being a child of Europe I was most interested to learn about the ethnic/genetic make up of people from this region (excluding post WW2 immigrants). As I did I was surprised, amused and somewhat discomfited to learn that there really is no such thing as ethnic purity and just about everyone is related to everyone else – and not just in Europe. I also realised that the pride I have felt regarding my Indo-European ancestors (probably represented by haplogroups R1a and R1b) should perhaps be balanced with an acceptance that the Indo-Europeans encroached on lands traditionally belonging to the “native” inhabitants of Europe (represented by haplogroup I) – who did not die out, but interbred with their possible conquerors – and who are also almost certainly my ancestors. Then there is the real possibility that I have some ancestors belonging to various other haplogroups with diverse origins, such as J2 and G2 (west Asian), N1C1 (north Asian) and E1b1b (north African) – which are found across European populations.