Mythology Around Runes: Mannaz



Although any myth that relates to the doings of humankind can be said to be relevant to this rune, the acts of Heimdall, the “god who stands between”, are notable. During one of his periods of wandering on the earth, Heimdall, in the guise of Rigr, stayed overnight with three different married couples. In each case he slept with his host’s wife before moving on. In the fullness of time, three sons were born to these women. The first was named Thrall, the second was called Karl, and the third Jarl or Earl. These tree men were regarded as being the ancestors of the three classes of Nordic society, Earl being the first of the nobles, Karl of the warriors and Thrall the progenitor of the peasants. Thus Heimdall, or Rigr, became the ancestor of humankind and was the first god to pass on the knowledge of the runes to his mortal offsping. Furthering this story slightly, Jarl was said to have been the father of Konur, the first king of Denmark.


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