Etymological Musing

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Notice: This article will most likely be an ever-growing project.

Trying to undust the etymological roots of certain terms used in the O9A mythos is not easy at all. This task truly requires the patience of a dedicated scholar which, I admit, I do not always have. On the other hand, it is certainly something that I adore doing, for the mythos and the tradition are admirably rich and varied. Other scholars and occultists leaped into the same task, sharing amazing interpretations such as these ones:

“One of the defining features of the Order of Nine Angles is its unique pantheon of sinister entities with which the mystic is expected to work. The Dark Gods are unique to the ONA, in that their names and sigils are not found in other contemporary or historical systems of hermetic or pagan tradition […] Kthunae is likely from χθυνα (underworldly) in Greek; the sigil of Nemicu appears to be Semitic or Proto-Arabian in origin, especially given moon and star symbol. The
body of the sigil appears to be adapted from the Carthaginian Tanit glyph.” Professor Monette

I personally began with the word “Rounwtyha” which led me to some formidable discoveries that I wanted to share;

What is a Rounwytha? According to the aural tradition, we can start off with this simple description: “This aural tradition is of ‘pagan things and pagan ways’ and was primarily a tradition of women-folk who were for the most part either reclusive individuals or who lived in small cottages or on small farms with their ‘extended’ families.”

At first glance, it is tempting to separate the word in half and maybe rightly so, translate it to something like this as some other niners suggested;

Roun Wytha –

Rune: The word entered Middle English as roun and by normal evolution would have become Modern English rown, but it died out mid-15c.

Wytha: Most likely an adaptation of Wicca or Wicca from old english.

But, this is somewhat unlikely since the way of the Rounwytha is primarily but not ostensively muliebral in its tradition and Wicca is employed for a masculous practitioner. Thus, I came to another conclusion;

The word Hag presents a very interesting history in relation to the subject of our analysis;

early 13c. ”repulsive old woman” (rare before 16c.), probably from Old English hægtes, hægtesse ”witch, sorceress, enchantress, fury”. Old Norse had tunriða and Old High German zunritha, both literally “hedge-rider,” used for witches and ghosts.”

Now, the remarkable similarity of the two words could lead us to this more plausible conclusion. Another scholar, defined the word Hedgewitch which led again, to some surprising revelations;

“The word “Hedgewitch” may come from the Saxon word for Witch, haegtessa, which translates to “hedge-rider”. The Old Norse lay Havamal refers to “hedge-riders, witching aloft. In the old days, the wise woman or Hedgewitch lived on the edges of the community, often on the other side of the town’s boundary hedge. They scratched out a living through herbalism, understanding nature, prophecy and divination as well as magick and healing. Hedgewitchery is loosely based on the old wise woman (and man) Tradition. The wise woman Tradition is, quite possibly, the oldest eclectic magickal tradition. If you think “wise woman” and picture the strange old lady who sold herbs and magickal charms, acted as midwife and healer in the ancient times, you are not far off.” -Unknown scholar

It is my current opinion that the way of the Rounwytha, is in fact the way of the traditional “Hedgewitch” and that the word “Zunritha” is not only similar in pronunciation but also more considerate when it comes to the importance of the muliebral aspect of this pagan tradition. My conclusions are certainly incomplete and juvenile in nature but I consider them worth sharing.

There is also the very interesting conclusions of Connell R Monette who studied the tradition seriously:

The Rounwytha tradition encourages the development of strong female leaders, as well as challenging the patriarchal norms that are often indicative of esoteric or religio-political groups. The term itself is almost certainly derived from Old English rūnwita, meaning ‘one who understands’ or perhaps ‘one who knows secrets’…

Rounwytha skills and abilities were evident, for example and in varying degrees, in the Oracle at Delphi, in the Vestales of Rome; in the wise, the cunning, women of British folklore and legend; in myths about Morgan Le Fey, Mistress Mab, and μαζόνες; and in historical figures such as Cleopatra, Lucrezia Borgia, and Boudicca –MYSTICISM IN THE 21ST CENTURY – 2nd Ed. 2014.11.15

A collected opinion; An excellent friend and disciplined scholar writing under the pen name Aulwynd Caeleth shared with me his fascinating conclusions. According to him, Rounwytha would be an intelligent mixture of old english and celtic;

Roun: Mystery or to whisper.

Wytha: Worker, weaver. ( According to Aulwynd, the conclusion here is intuitive in nature. It does relate to the old english word Wicce)

We then have two mystical possibilities; Mystery worker or Whisper weaver.

My sincere gratitude to Mr Aulwynd Caeleth for sharing his knowledge.

All the translations come from; Etymonline.

-For more collected informations concerning The way of the Rounwytha;

-Beldam 128 yf

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