Monday, June 27, 2011

Basque culture, a similar heritage to ours

Learning about cultural groups, usually of a similar background (Europeans), is often a good way to understand your own heritage. The history of the Basques shows many similarities to the Camunians or Lombardian Alpines; however, not much to southern Lombardy.

For one thing, the Basque Country is located within the rugged Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France, which is similar to our Alpine heritage. Also, the Basques derived partly from the Gallic Celtiberians, which is similar to our Gallic past. They have a distinct language, just like the Camunians or East Lombardians had their own language. Not surprisingly, considering these facts, there seemed to have been a somewhat of a hard road from Gallic paganism to Roman Catholicism. One other similarity is Basque and Camunian history leads us absolutely straight back to prehistoric times. In other words, being partly descended from proto-European peoples.

The Basque diaspora is also somewhat similar to Lombardian migration in general; although many more Basques live on this side of the ocean than do in the Basque Country itself. What I find incredible about Basque communities around the world, seems to be their very strong folkish connection to one another. That is one big difference, as the Risorgimento shattered Lombardian nationhood. Only small out-of-the-way regions, like the Camonica Valley, kept a genuinely distinct identity. We'll get back to this issue later.

Basques migrated very heavily, especially considering that the Basque Country is not particularly large, to Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Brazil. Of course, we know that Lombardians migrated to South America, especially to "the Cone of South America," but not really to Mexico in any large numbers. All of this is really quite remarkable in comparison. In a larger sense, it could be said that the Basque Country is similar to the Val Camonica, the Ticino, Friuli, the Ladins, and other close-knit mountain communities in the Alps. Amazingly, Basques make up 10% of the population of Argentina.

The United States apparently has only about 57,000 Basque-Americans, less than even Columbia. According to the Basque-Americans Wikipedia page, "The states with the largest Basque-American populations are California (20,868), Idaho (6,637), Nevada (6,096), Washington (2,665) and Oregon (2,627)." However, despite their small numbers, they seem to have made an impact all over the country. Although I have been astounded by the accomplishments of Lombardians in the United States, also in very small numbers (with historically perhaps twice as many Lombardian immigrants) and spread far and wide, I was even more impressed with the strength and folkishness of the Basque communities, also spread very far and wide and thin.

I recall that there was a very small but close-knit Basque community in San Francisco. There are about fifty Basque clubs in the United States. One apparently is in San Francisco. I recall the Basque Hotel in San Francisco, which apparently is the hub of the community here. Boise, Idaho boasts 15,000 Basque-Americans, making it the largest concentration of Basque-Americans. I was going to only make a short entry here, but this is surely an area that I wish to read more about. The more I learn, the more I realize that there is to learn.


7-2-11 ADDITION: A few times in the last several days, I couldn't help after writing this entry, I thought that even further than the similarities here, there is an even closer tie-in between California Basques and California Ticinese. If we look at the culture and terrain of the Basque Country and Ticino, and also of the similarity of their migration and settlement in California (both north and south), the cultural tie-ins are just so similar. The only big difference is that Ticinese are lost between Swiss and Italian identity, while the Basques are not lost between Spanish and French identity.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Three simple long-range goals of the Camonica Club

We have posted our goals here in the past, but perhaps they were not entirely clear. Our goals are very multi-faceted, so there is no definite answer to what our goals are when they are laid out in paragraphs.

For example, we may be interested in looking into the Ambrosian Rite of Catholicism, as it is Lombardian in origin, and certainly a part of our culture. However, that would really belong in the greater scheme of looking into all things Lombardian, and not because we all need to become Ambrosians.

Our chief goals could be herded into three parts. Within each part, there is more of a maze of smaller items that we may want to look into at some point. However, the following are our three main long-term goals.

1) Lombardian-American Society: To develop an association, voice, and organizational structure for those of Lombardian heritage in the United States. The number of people of Lombardian origin in this country is significant enough to justify a "Lombardian-American" cultural identity. There should be a headquarters of some type. A cultural center, probably located somewhere in the Great Lakes region, which would have at least several paid positions. A simple radio studio would be a must, as the opportunity for a community podcast over the internet is a possibility which cannot be passed up. A book and media library in order to conduct research into our heritage, especially our history on this continent, would be a must as well. There is a Tuscan-American Association, which has entirely beaten us to the punch in this area. Naturally we would look to develop local associations in different states as part of this plan. This is a goal even more important than our Camunian plan below.

2) Camonica Club of North America: With the number of people of Camunian ancestry being much smaller than the already small number of people of Lombardian ancestry, it would only make sense to combine all of us who live anywhere on this continent. Camunian heritage means something a little different than the Lombardian whole. In this way, it is almost like an extended family concept. One goal would be just simply to promote our heritage to our kindred. A longer range goal would be to form some type of milieu in every state and province. That could be just one person to start with. In other words, a "Camonica Club of Michigan," a "Camonica Club of Washington," or a "Camonica Club of Ontario." Perhaps one of those "Italians working abroad," who may live in Mexico City or someplace, could be a representative there. We don't have to think of ourselves as being limited by distance. Kindred who live in Alaska or Panama could see each other as distant family.

3) Temple of Cern: This is one area which definitely needs definition. The Camonica Valley has, for a long time, been considered very Catholic. Of that, there is no question. Our Camunian families who migrated to this continent would very likely have been strongly Roman Catholic. However, Greek-Americans are very solidly Orthodox Christians, but have no problem with their pagan past. That pagan past is not brushed under the rug. And remember, the pagan period of Greece was a very long time ago; while our pagan past flourished up to roughly four centuries ago. I mean, lets face it, the entire Italian peninsula was solidly Catholic.... except us! THINK ABOUT THAT!! Our ancestors were not merely a different denomination of Christianity, therefore subject to persecution, but many were pagans. Yes, it's true. There must be something a little different about us, perhaps something in our collective conscience. I think it is our cultural imperative to revive at least an interest in our old Cernic tradition.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Camp as a Spiritual Experience

I thought that this fit into the pagan concepts that are discussed on this blog. Many times people underplay the significance of a youth summer camp, almost making fun of it in their wording. They will make statements like "oh, singing by the campfire at summer camp." I would disagree. It is a very memorable experience, and one that someone will not likely ever forget. I can even remember the words to songs that were sung when I went to summer camp. In fact, in a truly spiritual nation, it would/should be considered an essential youth experience.

It's the first experience away from home for many kids. For those from urban areas, which would more-or-less be the vast majority, the environment is completely different in every way, especially for me. I went to camp only once at age twelve. Although, in theory, adults could benefit from this experience too, it's not the same as when you a kid and everyone is not so serious or complicated as adults so often are. I can't imagine as to why most people would think that a professional sport game would be soo important, but a life-changing experience like summer camp is... not so special. 99.5% of all those "important games" are completely forgotten from one's memory, while camp is not something that you're likely to ever forget.

I attended through my grammar school. We left by bus on a Friday, probably early, and returned either the following Friday or Sunday. I forgot exactly, but it felt like three weeks! I won't go through every whistle and bell, but it was an hour drive at the most. The camp was run by the YMCA, and the name was/is "Camp Jones Gulch," which has been around since 1934. Upon arriving, the schedule was very fast-paced. The staff included regulars and volunteers. I can truly say that they were all very friendly and positive. We were broken up into boys and girls, and placed in small groups. One group for each cabin, and a volunteer councilor for each cabin.

The camp was located in the northern Santa Cruz Mountains, in an area not all that far from civilization, but it was plenty "away from it all." Anyone familiar with the Santa Cruz Mountains further south can attest to it's remoteness, but this area was significantly far enough from the lights of urban life to allow one to view a dark sky which was entirely full of stars at night. The camp itself was located in tiny La Honda, California, but in a remote area, apparently within the city limits, although it hardly felt like it as there were no houses anywhere, and there was only one main road cutting through the area. It was almost totally mountain forests, which in some places were so thick that even on the hottest days it was dark and cool in the shade. In some places it was actually dark, despite a clear sky and the sun beating down.

The days went by so fast because we were so busy. There was an outdoor eating area with a roof, and the rest of the time we were either hiking, learning how to make a shelter, taking night walks under the very stary sky, singing, sitting by the campfire, getting short lectures about nature. I can laugh now, but at the time I wasn't very crazy about the "open bathrooms." In other words, the cabin bathrooms had not stalls, with everything right out in the open, and the showers were like "group showers."

I don't really recall seeing many animals, outside of a few hawks or squirrels. I do know that there is a lot of wildlife up there though, including mountain lions. One time nature caught up with us, with one girl from my school getting stung by bees during a hike. Sometimes "nature" sounds almost like a passive word. Nothing could be further from the truth. People should sometimes ponder as to what they would do if they were lost and had to survive in a remote wilderness of any type.

When taking a hike at night, we did stop to gaze at the stary sky. Sometimes I think about how that sky is the same sky that our ancestors observed thousands of years ago. There were complex observatories in Val Camonica, near the villiage of Cevo. The god Cernunnos and other aspects of Camunian culture are based on astronomy. So on that night long ago, at age twelve, in the Santa Cruz Mountains, I observed the same sky that one of my distant forefathers or foremothers observed, at the same age, probably on the the exact same date, possibly eight or ten thousand years ago in the Alpine Mountains.

We don't usually think of it, but every living creature has within it, a "historical memory." I recently purchased an imitation owl to serve as a scare crow against birds who were leaving their droppings on a certain railing. I read where certain birds, like seagulls I think, are not afraid of the owl because they have no historical memory of them. Whereas most do have that memory and will avoid the statue. Foxes are being domesticated now, and it takes several generations to tame them for the same basic reason. That sky is part of my own historical memory.

Most of the children there were from Santa Cruz County. At that time, so many of them were blonde and Nordic-looking. Seeing them within this mountain-forest environment was almost like a historical memory. As the Langobards derived from the Winnili people of ancient Scandinavia, there were many generations who lived in the mountainous forests of central Europe. Perhaps I was having a flashback from the "ancestral memory" from that part of myself.

People could benefit from this type of experience at any point in their lives, but it wouldn't be the same if you could, hypothetically, go to a camp with random people from society, and you were with someone who couldn't wait to get online to check their stocks. I remember the 1993 movie 'Indian Summer', where some adults in their early thirties, had a "summer camp reunion" organized by the longtime facilitator of the camp who was either retiring or closing down the camp, which was located in the northwoods. I don't really think something like that would really happen in that way, but it was a great concept for a movie. What IF people could have types of obscure reunions like that? It's fun to ponder. If you haven't seen that movie, you should.

I was also a cub scout, and later a webelo, as a youth. It would have been interesting to have continued as a boy scout, but boys rarely continue in high school as it's a commitment of time, and with so many activities, it's hard to fit it in. It would be nice if scouting would make a comeback. I know that the woman who is the head ranger in the county I live in was a former girl scout in the area, and from probably about the same time as me, which is interesting.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cernism: The Social Remaking of Wicca

There are a lot of ideas that need to be incorporated in this post, so I will just enter them in no particular order to speak of. To start with, "Cernism" is a pagan tradition that probably ties more of Indo-European cultures together than does Odinism. Celto-Gallic peoples lived in ancient France, Germany, the all of the British Isles, Iberia, the Italian peninsula, Scandinavia (Gotland Island), and even the Slavic countries (ex. Poland) and Greece (the "Keltoi). Any European-descended person could lay claim to being an heir to the Cernic tradition. It seems to be at least a stronger cultural-geographical bond than is Odinism. Although the name of the male stag god "Cernunnos" may have existed primarily in central Europe and down to Cisalpine Gaul, expressions of it were clearly found elsewhere.

When Gerald Gardner and company started "Wicca," they set out to create a universalist faith which mixed Celtic spiritual traditions with traditions outside of Europe (ex. Egyptian goddess "Isis" as an idol). It probably should be pointed out that the pentagram had been adopted into Euro-pagan circles for a few centuries. To add insult to injury, many modern Wiccans have used their religion as a political front to what they see as male-dominated, conservative Christianity. To quickly sum all that up, there has been a large amount of deliberate unfairness and slander from both sides and on many levels.

We could just ignore all of that and do our own thing, but the one strong blowback from all of this is the real or perceived rivalry between Christians and pagans. Greek communities are overwhelmingly of the Greek Orthodox denomination of Christianity. However, as folkish people they have no problem honoring their pagan ancestral path. That is a model which we should follow. Even if a person was of Celto-Gallic descent, and was a strong Catholic, why would they have any problem merely partaking in a ceremony which honors the tradition of their ancestors? They wouldn't need to take any oath, or "worship" anything. There can be a distinction between a "religion" and a "spiritual tradition." Of course there will be those who will take it much more seriously, and that could be the one difference between the modern incarnations of the Cernic tradition and the gods of ancient Greece. I don't know of anyone who considers themselves a believer of the ancient Greek gods, although "Gaia" is often floated around by the global elite/universalist crowd as part of a political agenda.

The following is a book review from user "templar357" regarding the book 'Wicca for Men' (Drew; 2000). Some of the latter part doesn't support our emerging position very well, from either our Christian or pagan ideal consensus, but it does bring up a lot of food for thought, and it accurately describes the current status quo:

I find myself trying to break away from the unforgiving, intolerant religion of my fathers, only to be shunned by the largest, fastest growing pagan religion in the U.S. It seems that after several millennia of abuse from the "patriarchal" religions, women have taken the only religion that does not oppress them or make them look like Jezebels and tried to make it their own. Thing is, they made it almost exclusively their own, projecting the same attitude toward men as has been shown to them for so long. Well, this book sets the record straight by pointing out that there is a room a plenty at Gods (esses) table. This book embraces all that is male (The Horned God) and introduces HOW TO EMBRACE THE GODESS AS WELL. This book is a true reconciliation between the two sexes. I started reading this book to affirm my place in the Wiccan religion. Only to find out it had already been done, and now know the real difference between a REAL witch, and these scissor-happy, man hating, neo-feminist "earth mothers" I always seem to run into. This book not only points out the incorrect way many Wiccan covens practice this religion, but also assures the curious and spiritually destitute man that Wicca, in fact, means MALE WITCH. (Sorry, ladies) However, this book takes it one-step further. I now realize the true beauty in seeing a gender duality in divinity because I found out that the Goddess (portion of Divinity seen as female) has never hated me nearly as much as I feared her.

Guys, I am happy to report that SHE IS NOT A THREAT and will welcome you with arms open, not closed. She loves and cares for our father and the reverse is true. THEY ARE THE SAME. I feel the Gods rage in this book as he explains through the author the hurt and outrage he feels to this day when it came to be that man had forsaken his wife, his partner. His best friend, his soul mate. OUR MOTHER.

Now that I have digested and assimilated this new philosophy and religion, I see God and myself in a very different light. In doing so, certain things have happened almost literally overnight.

I have come to know a peace I have never known before and it is through tears of joy that I can now release a lifetime of bigotry, sexism, rage, hate and pain. Simply put:

The Goddess has helped me heal.

Now I understand the conceptual philosophy of gender duality attributed to all things divine and profane, I feel that I know now who my mother is.

And she is so...very...beautiful.

I have been shown that to accept my mother DOES NOT MEAN I MUST FORSAKE MY FATHER. It is the piece missing from the myriad of one-side confusion myself and others have been raised to believe. I now see women in a completely different light as a result of seeing myself differently the product of seeing The Almighty differently. This book IS NOT MEANT as an affirmation for men to reassure them that their conception of divinity must be REPLACED, but EXPANDED. Things began to click with me instantly while Ishtar smiled. All she wanted was for me to know who she was. Moreover, to know that although I may have never known WHO or WHAT she was, she has never forgotten who I AM. More is the pity. Better late than never I suppose.

This book is a calling to all male pagans Wiccan and non-Wiccan alike, to now join our sisters in reuniting the planet as a family and not strangers. Though I would venture to say that a reference to the Goddess as the "consort" to the God would be met with equal disdain from the True Wiccan Woman and earth-mother alike, it also serves to show them how equally distasteful it is to us to have the God referred to by the same title. Unless of course, you mean consort as "partner," that is.

That IS what you meant, right?

THIS BOOK IS FOR MEN AND WOMEN BOTH. To enlighten the man about the Ways of the Wood, while setting the record straight with our fairer counterparts as to equality and "practice what you preach." Ladies, I love you all. Please know that we (men) are coming from the same battle torn, madhouse that is modern religion and we are just as bruised, bloody and hurting as you were when you left. We are glad you have capitalized on a little known secret and exposing it to the world, but please remember that those who started this ball rolling in the 20th century meant to re surface something beautiful and a LOT of those pioneers...

WERE MEN. Buckland and Gardener to name but a few. Remember the witch who helped repeal the anti-witchcraft laws of England in 1951? O.K. that, my dearest sisters was a MAN. Quite a few of these guys were in fact, freemasons, like myself. And it is by no means a coincidence that our initiation rituals are so similar. No coincidence at all, ladies. So when you see one of us staggering toward your camp, hungry, beaten and torn, understand that a kind word, a hot meal and a warm bed can do more for a person in that condition (male or female) than a closed door ever could. See what I have come to understand is that the God (or the conception thereof) did not do this to all of us. HIS INSANE FOLLWERS DID. They took off his horns and replaced them with guns. THIS IS NOT THE GOD. This wrongful conception of masculinity must stop and this book subtly points that out. Even if you are a soldier and have been to war, you want to show me how brave you are?

Try changing a diaper tough guy. Lets see how bad you REALLY are.

We are not just soldiers and conquerors. We are husbands, fathers, lovers and protectors. We are the hunter, the farmer and the Holy Man. When did we loose sight of our roles and responsibilities AS MEN?

When did the farmer become the executive, the warrior a soldier? When did the hunter become a poacher, and the father a deadbeat dad? When did the husband become a tyrant and the father become just a picture on somebody's wall. But most importantly:

What about Mom?


When we did that, we kicked out our wives and mothers as well, tossing out the baby with the bathwater, turning our women into slaves and thus begun the Ruination of the World.

Read this book. Because it can change yours.

Blessed Be :-}

In the Cernic tradition, it appears that the female is largely in charge of facilitating spiritual matters on this planet. I don't think that is an innate rule, but the historical record seems pretty clear on that point. As to how this idea merges with Druidic traditions, which were present in ancient Gaul, I have no idea. It's a complete mystery to me. I do seem to get the idea, from reading a bit about Cernism and possible related traditions, that the Cernic tradition strongly influenced other regions in the ancient world, even if those regions were still primarily of a different pagan tradition. For example, within regions which were strongly Wotanist in faith, there seems to be almost like an alternate spirituality which sounds very similar to Cernism; and yes, it seemed to be very female-oriented. There also seemed to be a strong tolerance between different pagan traditions in pre-Christian Europe. This is perhaps because they may have overlapped each other, and many ideas were mixed together. In the book 'Creed of Iron' (McVan; 1997), Ron McVan argues that "Wotanism" was really the main stem of European paganism. I would argue that Cernism, or forms of it, were more widespread in pre-Christian Europe. Even Stregheria shares much in common with Cernism, and like many expressions of Ásatrú, it shares common origins. Cernism is more purely European than "Northern European Wotanism."

"Ásatrú" is another term for Wotanism or Odinism. Some denominations of Ásatrú appear to be following something much closer to Cernism than to Wotanism. Some followers of Ásatrú appear to be following almost like a form of "folkish Wicca," and that leads us to the key to the entire "Cernic Rite movement." The reformation of the very ancient European pagan tradition, which was present all over ancient Europe for tens of thousands of years. I mean more ancient than the Norse or Mediterranean Europeans, of whom many adopted these traditions after their migration eastward many thousands of years ago. What we are really talking about here is a spiritual tradition which goes back forty thousand years or longer.

Lastly, as part of this, and this is the most important point of all, the "Christian vs. pagan" thing needs to finally be put to rest; or at the very least, those unreasonable Christians and Wiccans should be kept away at a safe distance. To be very clear, I am referring specifically to the unreasonable, not to all Christians and Wiccans. In fact, this milieu could be fertile ground to begin this movement. Males and females should be considered as equals, but we need to accept the fact that at least a few exceptional folkish women will be the chief "facilitators" of spiritual matters and ceremonies, as well as the figureheads of small and large groups.

Not to get too far ahead of ourselves, but it would be nice to select a word to be the equivalent of what "hearth" is to Odinism, or to what a "coven" is to Wicca. In other words, a word for a small community of Cernic native believers. I was thinking of perhaps calling it a "bodina," which an ancient Gallic word which seems to mean the same thing as "midgard." Bodina is the origin for the modern French word "borne," which is translated as "milestone" or "landmark," or even "frontier." It almost sounds like a world which could describe the general area that you live in.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Interview With a Gothi

This was an interview with Hengest, the head of the "Court of Gothar," which is the ruling council of the Odinic Rite. I believe that I have posted this link a few times, but I wasn't able to find it. I just wanted to post it here as a separate entry. It's a great interview. It's hard to believe that a mere few thousand people have viewed these on YouTube.

The OR is based in the UK, but is a worldwide organization. I believe that this particular interview was conducted in Alberta, Canada. They have displayed the courage, leadership, and responsibility to speak out on the hard issues of our time which dramatically impact us.

One tiresome question which seems to creep up is "who can be an Odinist?" I don't think that within this folkish concept there is any definite dividing line. According to the OR, the answer more-or-less is a European-descended person who also descends from a region where Odinism once existed. Certainly "Langbard" fits into this category, as there are Cisalpine OR groups. Even the music compilation CD, produced by OR Media, feature musical artists from "Langbard" as they put it. This issue seems to get in the way of more important spiritual pursuits.

From the video description: "An interview with Heimgest, leader of the Odinic Rite. The Odinic Rite is an organization whose aims are to promote all aspects of the ancestral religion today called Odinism, the organic spiritual beliefs and way of life of the indigenous peoples of Northern Europe. The watch-words of the Odinic Rite are "Faith, Folk, Family" and this summarizes their ideals well."

Interview with a Gothi - Part 1

Interview with a Gothi - Part 2

Interview with a Gothi - Part 3

Interview with a Gothi - Part 4


Monday, June 6, 2011

Are Cernunnos and Odin the same god?: Part II

I hadn't intended to make a part two to this, but as I read 'Creed of Iron' I find that more thoughts and questions come to me. They don't follow any real consistent pattern, so I will just ramble them out.

First off, 'Creed of Iron', for the most part, makes an attempt to put all of "European man" under the pagan umbrella of Wotanism. To me, "Wotanism" isn't a new name of a modern incarnation, but the actual proper name of an old spiritual tradition. I mean "proper" in a more-or-less unifying principle, as our Langobard ancestors called this god "Godan." I appreciate the book and it's message, but there are aspects of it so far which are undefined or which somewhat sloppily merge many spiritual traditions into "Wotanism" or of the "Wotan-spirit."

Again, I appreciate many aspects of what the author Ron McVan is trying to do, but I just don't entirely agree. In many ways, the Gaulish gods probably did merge with the Norse gods as the people had close contact over many centuries. Also, much of the ancient knowledge did merge as well, from the Sumerian time to the Viking era. I find myself really wanting to agree with the "historical all-being Wotanist spirit," but some parts of it seem a bit of a stretch. Naturally, different cultures tied the ancient spiritual-knowledge into their own gods and culture; into something that they could relate to.

I recently viewed a video of Ron McVan on YouTube. He was wearing a Germanic warrior outfit as he chanted something about Wotan. He pronounced it, in almost a theatrical manner, as "WOH-TAHN" with emphasis on the two syllables. Somehow I feel closer to the spirit when I pronounce it as "Woh-ten," rather than in an ominous way. Just for the record, I believe that the pronunciation of Cernunnos can only be said in one manner: "KER-new-nos." I think that people should, within reason, put their own spin on things up to a point.

As within the Odinic tradition, one can personally view a great ancestor as a god or goddess. I sometimes see some of the Langobard kings and queens as something like gods or goddesses. One such person is the first queen of what was to become the Langobards, the Winniler Queen Gambara. I see her as a spirit representing "doing what has to be done," even if it's something very difficult and unsettling. I sort've see the later Langobard Queen Theodelinda in the same manner, although with her I feel "the spirit of pragmatism and compromise." Both ideas probably being traits that a successful person would need. King Alboin comes to mind as well, as something of a god-figure representing "masculinity and fearlessness." The warrior spirit, also necessary in some form.

The book goes on to discuss in detail the Runestones, in which they are described as being of unknown origin; although they are, as the book states, "In the Wotanist pantheon the giant Mimir, as the possessor of the well of wisdom, is credited as the inventor and source of the Runes." According to Wikipedia's Runic alphabet page, under Origins, it is stated:

The runes developed centuries after the Old Italic alphabets from which they are historically derived. The debate on the development of the runic script concerns the question which of the Italic alphabets should be taken as their point of origin, and which, if any, signs should be considered original innovations added to the letters found in the Italic scripts. The historical context of the script's origin is the cultural contact between Germanic people, who often served as mercenaries in the Roman army, and the Italic peninsula during the Roman imperial period (1st c. BC to 5th c. AD). The formation of the Elder Futhark was complete by the early 5th century, with the Kylver Stone being the first evidence of the futhark ordering as well as of the p rune.

Specifically, the Raetic alphabet of Bolzano, is often advanced as a candidate for the origin of the runes, with only five Elder Futhark runes (ᛖ e, ᛇ ï, ᛃ j, ᛜ ŋ, ᛈ p) having no counterpart in the Bolzano alphabet (Mees 2000). Scandinavian scholars tend to favor derivation from the Latin alphabet itself over Raetic candidates. A "North Etruscan" thesis is supported by the inscription on the Negau helmet dating to the 2nd century BC. This is in a northern Etruscan alphabet, but features a Germanic name, Harigast.

Common within Odinic circles is the reference of "Northern Europe." However, there seems to have been more Wotanist-influence in regions which were not in what is generally considered "Northern Europe," more so than in some regions which were in Northern Europe. For example, "Langobardic Austria" (Lombardy/Trento/Tri-Venetia), Russia and the Ukraine (the Csars were descendants of the Vikings); as opposed to South France, which was Gaulish, and later became a Greek colony before Roman rule. There may have been more Wotanist-influence in Visigothic Spain than in South France. The book doesn't really define this concept, as it moves around mentioning ancient Sumeria, Egypt, Phoenicia, Greece, and Rome as a source for certain things... then floating back to the "Northern Europe" ideal. I think there was a great cross-pollination of many of the ancient spiritual concepts.