View Full Version : A new word for celestials: "ons(es)" and "onsess(es)"
15 April 2011, 04:54 PM
I seek to propose a word that can describe such celestial beings (in any religion or culture) whose roles are very much like devas. The use of "deva" in English refers to such beings within Hinduism.
Specifically, I am proposing an alternative to the use of "god(s)" "goddess(s)" for celestials like Hermes, Athena, Isis, Thoth, Enki, Shamash, Thor, etc.
Old English "os" originally referred to the Anglo-Saxon celestials. It fell out of use during Christianization. Today it is just used as prefix for names today (e.g. Oscar, Oswin, Osborne) and its old plural form ēse” is just not appealing. Nor is making "os" plural as "osses." Additionally, another use of os in Modern English comes from a Latin root referring to bones (e.g. ossify, osteoporosis).“Aesir” only refers to the Nordic celestials. Also, “aesir" is the plural form. Singular form is "áss."
Then I looked at the Old High German & Gothic cognate, "ans" (Gothic plural form is “anses” while the Old Higher German plural form is “anseis”). Ans, aesir, and Old English os also share the same root with “asura” and “ahura.” See etymology & cognates of “aesir” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aesir (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aesir)
Moreover, Gothic "ans" and “anses” sounded good. So my proposed word is “ons.” I go with this spelling due to the fact that Modern English “ans” is actually the plural form of the “an” article.
Ons" (one syllable) is pronounced as ONS, like "on" with the addition of an "s" ("ons" is said in just one syallable). The plural form “onses” is pronounced as ON-siz. The feminine singular form “onsess” shall be pronounced as ON-sess (plural form “onsesses” pronounced as On-ses-siz).
The only difference between "ons" and "deva" would be the usage. "Onses" are beings similiar or equivalent to devas in any religion or culture, while "deva(s)" refers to onses within Hinduism.
16 April 2011, 01:34 AM
I even posted about it recently:
It seems like this shift from deva to asura worship indeed was a process in Kali Yuga.
Originally, Asura, in the earliest hymns of the Rig Veda, meant any supernatural spirit, both good and bad. Since the /s/ of the Indic linguistic branch is cognate with the /h/ of the Early Iranian languages, the word Asura, representing a category of celestial beings, became the word Ahura (Mazda), the Supreme God of the monotheistic Zoroastrians.
Also look at this:
In Hinduism, the Asura (Sanskrit: असुर) are a group of power-seeking deities, sometimes considered sinful and materialistic. They were opposed to the Devas. Both groups are children of Kasyapa. However, in early Vedic religion Asuras and Devas both were deities who constantly compete with each other, some bearing both designations at the same time. Asura is cognate to Ahura—indeed, the Oxford English Dictionary recognizes the use of the term in reference to Zoroastrianism, where "Ahura" would perhaps be more appropriate—and Old Norse "Æsir", which implies a common Proto-Indo-European origin for the Asura and the Æsir. In entry 48 of his Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch, Julius Pokorny reconstructs this common origin as *ansu-.
It's also nice to look at the symbology of this asura/deva dichotomy, because we live this everyday, fighting our animal instincts (asura) while pursuing transcendence (deva). Asuras and devas are right here on our brains.
Regarding this deva/asura transition and a transition from dharmic to abrahamic, I guess I'll draw some timelines and graphs and present some questions on other threads.
Expanding on the asura/deva dichotomy: devas and asuras as of today carry very different meanings, however the text says it wasn't always so. Asuras (as power seeking) represent the earthly/instintictive power of man, while devas (as divine, pure) represent our will of transcendence. This evolution of the myth from peaceful relation between asuras and devas to a declared war bears an important symbology. It means that in the beginning (perhaps satya yuga) both forces in men were at peace, a balance between the two. But now, as we grow weaker psychologically, these forces begin to battle, and that's where men suffer, with two forces greater than him battling in his kshetra.
I also theorize that the devas from every culture are in fact the vedic devas through different cultural layers.
Take this for example:
If one looks, a person can find reminders of the ancient Vedic culture in numerous places, even where you least expect. Here for example is an image that is very much like the Vedic Lord Shiva. It is said to be the Roman God Neptune, found in Bologna, Italy on a public fountain. Notice the trident on this statue of Neptune, typical of Shiva. The trident was always an emblem of Lord Shiva. Neptune is also seen here standing on an entity in which case Shiva is also seen at times standing on the being of ignorance, illusion, or maya, showing that he is not affected by the power of the illusory energy. Shiva's foot that presses down symbolizes tirobhava, or the veiling effect; and the uplifted foot means blessings (anugraha), especially toward seeing through the veil of illusion caused by ego, whichh is personified by the entity under Shiva's foot. Also here, Neptune's hand is raised in a calming gesture, and when Shiva's hand is raised it signifies abhaya or giving blessings and represents sthiti, or preservation and protection. Thus, anyone familiar with Vedic culture will realize that he is styled in a similar way to Lord Shiva. This shows how the impressions of Vedic culture and its gods came from India, though styles and names may have changed as it traveled west. Images resembling Ganesh, Shiva, Rama and Krishna have been found in many archeological excavations throughout Italy, although not publicized by Christians.
So, if sanskrit and vedic culture were the origin of all of this (as I perceive from the evidence) why not use the original sanskrit therms?
16 April 2011, 11:24 PM
The Germanic cognates for aesir also have another meaning to them as "pole," "staff," or mountain-ridge. The anses were thought to be the pillars that held up the heavens. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aesir#Etymology
Proto-Indo-European ansu has also been defined as meaning either "god", "life", "air" or "breath"
The word "divinity" (plural "divinities"), which shares the same etymology as "devil;" "deus;" and "deva," is sometimes used to refer to celestials though it does not have gender forms as does "god(s)" "goddess(es)." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_(word)
The use of "god" and "goddess" when translating "deva" and "devi" sometimes causes people from an Abrahamic background to associate it with polytheism, yet Hinduism is not that.
I was aiming for a Germanic word for use in Modern English that any person who might not be a Hindu yet holds a similiar type of view on celestials as Hinduism does. For instance, a monist, monotheist, pantheist, or panentheist may hold a particular reverance when using "God/Goddess" when referring to the formless Godhead or a personal form like Saguna Brahman and may be reluctant to use "god(s)" when refering to celestials, whose nature and roles are like devas, of any religion or culture.
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