Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Harahus or Holy Grove

Fairy List is a resource being developed for Writers, Artists and those looking to better understand old traditions.

The Harahus or place of judgment was originally a grove of trees, or a holy place in the woods where a sacred numen like beings dwell. Jacob Grimm said that; “There in dwells the deity, veiling his form in rustling foliage of the boughs; there is the spot where the hunter has to present to him the game he has killed, and the herdsmen his horses and oxen and rams... For the human mind must have been roused to a higher devotion by the sight of lofty trees under an open sky, than it could feel inside the stunted structures reared by unskillful hands. Gods than dwelled in groves of trees, no images, are mentioned by name and no temples reared but vessels and alters stand in the forest and heads of animals hang from trees. “There divine worship is performed and sacrifice offered, there is the folk-mote and the assize, everywhere a sacred awe and reminiscence of antiquity"

A wolf on seeing offerings of animals heads in the trees states;
I See a fruit hainging, 
That it has hair or bristles; 
 In any holy forest-goddess 
Of Thuringia nor of Saxony 
There could not grow Better fruit on a Bough

In addition to the heads of animals, cloth might be hung from holy trees. It all cases such trees were held with an intense amount of awe such that no unconsecrated person was allowed to even set food within the trees, and certainly no tree was to be cut down or animal slain within the sacred groves.