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Wolfsangel

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The Wolfsangel (German for "wolf's hook") is a symbol originating in Germany. It is also known as the Wolf's Hook or Doppelhaken. The upright variant is also known as "thunderbolt" (Donnerkeil) and the horizontal variant as "werewolf".

Historically, the symbol possibly originated as a mason's mark and was used as a heraldic symbol in coats of arms. Today, the symbol appears in numerous city coats of arms. Due to its use by Nazi Germany, along with continuing use by Neo-Nazi organizations, the symbol is sometimes associated with Nazism as are many of the old folk symbols of the Germanic peoples, most notably the swastika.

OriginsEdit

This mark has been used as a strong rune-magic mark at Viking era in Danmark and Norway. The wolf's hook or the 13th rune; Eihwaz. Identify Eihwaz with Yggdrasil, the Norse World Tree or Cosmic Axis. The name of this Rune simply means "yew (tree)" in the various Germanic languages, hence Eihwaz or Iwaz in reconstructed Common Germanic later became Yr in Old Norse, Eoh in Anglo-Saxon (which became "Yew" in Modern English), and Aihus in Gothic. The sound represented is said to be variously "e," "i," "ei," some sound between "e" and "i" that has not survived in modern Germanic languages; for Anglo-Saxon, "ch," which probably is the "Ach-Laut" in "Bach" and "loch"; and for the Younger Futhark, "y" and "z." In any case, be sure to pronounce "Eihwaz" differently from Ehwaz, the "Horse-Rune."

File:Armoiries de Stein 2.svg
File:Wappen Mannheim.svg

HeraldryEdit

The term Wolfsangel is often used to describe three distinct heraldic charges. Incorrectly for the cramp or cramp iron (ger. Mauerhaken or Doppelhaken) as well as for two variants of the actual wolftrap (ger. respectively Wolfsanker and Wolfshaken).

The name Wolfsangel appears in a 1714 heraldic handbook, Wapenkunst, associated with a different symbol:

Wolffs-Angel, frantz. hamecon, lat. uncus quo lupi capiuntur, ist die Form eines halben Mondes und hat inwendig in der Mitte einen Ring.
"Wolffs-Angel, French hamecon, Latin uncus quo lupi capiuntur ("hook with which wolves are caught"), is the shape of a crescent moon with a ring inside, at mid-height"

The above quote, although, written for the Wolfsangel is obviouly referring to the Anchor (see below) for the Wolfsangel and not the Wolfsangel or “Wolf’s-hook” proper[1]

The modern residents of Wolfach in the middle of the Black Forest, whose town arms feature the Wolfsangel, are clearly under the impression that the sign was adopted by the mediaeval Lords of Wolfach to betoken their efforts to colonize the Black Forest and tame its wildness.[2]

Wolf TrapEdit

It is likely that the Wolfsangel was originally a hunting or rather trapping tool used to capture wolves[3]. There are two parts to a Wolfsangel; the first part is the anchor and can be seen in the Arms of the von Stein family, the anchor was used to attach the trap to a tree; the other part is the hook which is the traditional "Z" shaped symbol, it was suspended from the anchor by a long chain, on to which meat was placed for the wolf to eat and capture itself on the sharp hook[4].

Mason's MarksEdit

Many people believe the sign originated as a mason's mark as seen in 13th to 16th century stonework.[citation needed] More likely, the cramp iron which is commonly confused with the Wolfshaken, might have originated as a building tool.

Alleged Runic OriginsEdit

While the symbol itself bears a parallel to the Eihwaz rune, none of the modern symbols now called the Wolfsangel are historically part of any runic alphabet.

The earliest documented claim that the shape is runic in origin can be traced to Guido von List's alleged mental vision of 18 "Armanen runes" in 1902—which is to say that it is without historical basis. The figure he calls the "Gibor rune" has a similar shape, and he attributes to it a g sound. However, it should be noted that the shape of Gibor was 'altered' in the 1930s to more closely fit with the idea that the Wolfsangel IS the same as Gibor, when in fact the form of the Gibor rune, as originally envisaged by von List is somewhat different. According to List, it is the 18th and final member of the alleged original rune row (the Younger Futhark has 16 runes). Due to this, the Wolfsangel sometimes appears listed as the 34th rune in Armanen row-influenced esoteric contexts [5], but the Futhorc actually only has 33 runes.

LiteratureEdit

FictionEdit

In 1910, Hermann Löns published a classic fiction book titled Der Wehrwolf (later published as Harm Wulf, a peasant chronicle and The Warwolf in English) set in a 17th-century German farming community during the Thirty Years' War. The main character of the book, Harm Wulf, adopts the wolfsangel as a badge against the occupying forces of the ruling princes. Some printings of this book, such as the 1940 edition, showcase a very visible wolfsangel on the book cover.

Modern UseEdit

Religious UseEdit

The Church of Satan has incorporated the symbol as, "a talisman of power representing nature in perfect balance." Along with the Black Sun it is used on various merchandise in their official emporium of jewellery and ritual accessories.[6]

Church of Satan Warlock A.S.P. also offers a wide range of clothing and accessories bearing the Wolfsangel on his ASP Apparel store.[7]

The symbol of Aryan Nations (a Christian Identity church) incorporates the Wolfsangel along with a sword, cross, crown, shield, and four rays of blue on a red background.

Third Reich UseEdit

In Nazi Germany, the Wolfsangel was used by:

Neo-Nazi UseEdit

After World War II, the symbol was used by the following Neo-Nazi organizations:

Public exhibition of the symbol is illegal in Germany if a connection with one of these groups is apparent. In Italy, the neofascist organization Terza Posizione used a modifed wolfsangel as their symbol.

MusicEdit

The wolfsangel is sometimes used by artists working in various forms of media, most notably musical. Various neofolk & martial musicians, related artists and fans have used the symbol for aesthetical approach. The symbol was once used extensively by Boyd Rice and Death In June. The wolfsangel has also appeared in use by Ulver and Neurosis. There are two bands called Wolfsangel, one is a Russian Folk Metal band, the other is a French white power band.

A stylized variant of the wolfsangel symbol appears on the cover sleeve to the Electric Light Orchestra 1977 hit single "Turn to Stone". The Uriah Heep 1980 album Conquest uses a similar symbol. The intent in both cases is unclear and neither is in an extremist context.

Modern Rock MusicEdit

EVANESCENCE often use a symbol that looks very simlar to the wolfshook (wolfsangel).

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

it:Wolfsangel nl:Wolfsangel pl:Wolfsangel ru:Вольфсангель sv:Varghaken uk:Вольфсангель

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