Ilmarinen the Eternal Hammerer

This article is about the Inventor Archetype, the Maker. In all mythologies of the world we see this character. A God or mortal who makes things at his forge. This is related to technology and humans’ gained ability to work with metals.

Power belts, magic rings, swords that never miss… Magic helmets, chains that never break and even melting down a whole mountain… This is the power of the Maker.

Ilmarinen is a god in the Finnish epic Kalevala. Kalevala is the oral folklore and mythology tradition of the Fins. It is the great tale of the heroes of Kalevala against the evil forces from Pohjola. It also tells us about the creation of the world.

In Kalevala, among many characters today we will focus on Ilmarinen. He is the blacksmith, the maker, the inventor. He allies the metals at his forge with an essence of magic and this magic is his intuition. He even makes wife of gold for himself.

It is interesting that in Greek Mythology, Hephaestus’ wife is sometimes called “Golden Aphrodite”. Hephaestus is also the blacksmith, the inventor. His symbols are hammer, anvil and thongs. Hephaestus is the god of technology, he is the tool maker.

Greek word “techne” means “small boat.” Thus techne-logia is knowledge of small boat. It is the knowledge of how to make a tool or item. It is the knowledge of invention and invention relies on intuition. Technology is the sum of skills, craft and practical tricks that pass from the master to the apprentice for generations.

What is the inventor archetype ?

The inventor creates things of endurable value. I met a few people with strong inventor instinct when I worked at a computer company. You will find them were technology is. It is always fascinating to see how an archetype manifests itself through people in countless ways. People who come up with solutions, people who just can’t ignore a broken item and make sure they fix it, people who create and enhance the use of tools… The inventor archetype is also manifest in artists for it is about creating.

Intuition is what makes us invent the new. Without intuition and imagination we would only be repeating what we already have, as the mass-producing modern economy entails. The inventor is a very powerful archetype for it enables us to create technology. It is the primary urge within us to invent tools. Until the nineteenth century, the Inventor more or less worked for humanity’s survival. Today we have a great threat by him for the tools we use are no longer helping us to survive but putting us slowly but surely in danger.

When guided with love and wisdom, the Inventor creates wonders. He is our card to play if we want to be free of the bonds that bind us. To allow more creativity into your life, you need to find and nurture your Inner Maker Give him some tools, give him some raw material. This raw material can also be your self. Let him use his hammer with great artistry and create a masterpiece out of you and your life.

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