Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Guido von List: Part 19

I think that I will wrap this series up for now, but I will add a part 20 to review another work that I'm looking at of which there is a copyright issue. I just wanted to clarify a few items. Regarding when I wrote that Wiccans didn't have any interest in von List, I should point out that it would not be an exaggeration to say that elements of "Celtic Wicca" have some overlap with some elements of those who call themselves specifically "Asatru"; and it may tie into aspects of "Norse witchcraft. I would think that von List would have approved of part of this direction.

Curiously, List isn't mentioned nearly as much as one would think among many Odinist concerns; and that may be because he focused on many magical aspects of heathen reconstructionism, of which they don't want to bother delving into. Part of the reason may be the perception of "political correctness." I say perception because, in this case, it isn't based on fact.

Often I think that I wasn't doing justice to 'The Secret of the Runes', but there's no way to really go "halfway" with it. There was an entire section at the end which went into the German baking tradition. It was very complex, and I wasn't able to really review it. I have noticed that most of those concerns who--despite clear evidence to the contrary--continue to demonize Guido von List, are either "single-issue zealots" or are what I would call "spiritual neuters." Their mythology is of the utmost importance; while all others are "demonic." They may even want to attack him as a "heathen," and not for anything else, but using other dishonest reasoning. Even beyond that, I have also noticed among religious extremists that they're actually afraid to criticize the other major religions, but attack the little ones.

It may be safer to turn a blind eye to the demonization of Guido von List. However, our very own ancestors in the Camunian Valley, only a few centuries ago, were demonized as well. Some were put to death as a result. Now isn't that worth at least considering first?

2-19-13 ADDITION: I had typed out some text from 'Secret of the Runes', which I misplaced. I wanted to add it here to shore this posting up, since it was a bit lacking compared to the others in the series.

Guido von List regarding the symbology of the fiddle:

This is the old skaldic magical instrument of awakening which introduced the song, and since “song” (bar) also means “life,” the fiddle was one of the many ideographs (hieroglyphs, symbols) of rebirth, and it is for this reason that it is often found in graves as a sacred gift. Therefore it is not necessarily so that the dead man in whose grave a fiddle is found was a fiddle player. “flutes and fiddles” enticed people to dance, to the excitement of its ascetic temperament—because they served as magical instruments to arouse the human fyr (fire) of awakening with the Christian symbol of awakening “the trumpet of judgement.”

Further clarification from Wotanist blogger Wotans Krieger on his posting regarding the Gibor rune: 

"Flutes and fiddles" enticed people to dance, to the excitement of love, and was therefore banned by the Church-with its ascetic temperament-because they served as magical instruments to arouse the human fyr[fire] of love.

So the Church replaced the Wotanic symbol of awakening with the Christian symbol of awakening "the trumpet of judgement".


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Guido von List: Part 18

Apparently, according to von List, the “German building lodges” have faded away. I would like to know if there is any history of them which has ever been conducted; whether in book form or documentary? One form of Wotanic occultism, which I will not be able to go into depth here, is in the various ways in which ancient Wotanist symbology was hidden inside of the accepted symbols of the day. For example, inside of various Christian crosses, or which at least had a Christian style to them. This was, after all, during the “burning times”; when those accused of “sorcery” (virtually anything non-Christian, or even the wrong kind of Christianity) were put to death in many places. These actions were not only committed by the Catholic Church, but also by some of the Protestant denominations.

As mentioned before, the Vehme-Star Rose (Pentagram) is mentioned throughout ‘The Secret of the Runes’, but I can’t seem to find any strong evidence of its usage in the Middle Ages. That is unless one looks into small secret pagan communities of the time. This sometimes makes me believe that Guido von List was as much into the hexological/magical heathen tradition, as he was interested in Wotanism. I guess he saw all of this as “one thing.” It's noteworthy that modern Wiccans seem to have no interest in List at all. The following quote from pages 86 and 87 continues to puzzle me:

The five-angled star, the Vehme-Star, the Truthenfuss (truh = turn, fuss = foot) is the hieroglyph of “revolving or turning generation,” of “rebirth”—one of the most important articles of faith in the Aryan religion. In its exoteric interpretation this sign simply says: “return,” and was therefore a favorite sign used at hostels and inns, in order to convey the meaning: “whoever is a guest here should come again.”

I would like to see examples, both ancient and modern, of this. An exact google search of “Vehme-Star Rose” comes back with very few results, and only two images. The following webpage has the symbol key from the book. The “concealed fyrfos” shows one simple example of how other symbols were concealed. Just to state the obvious, in the Middle Ages, they were concealed because the church condemned them. They were forced to become “occultic.” Some Christians find great meaning in stories of people in Communist countries where Christianity was banned, and a family had one single page from the bible (which itself was illegal apparently), and they treasured the one page.  I think you know where I’m going with this….

Symbols were also concealed on swords and weaponry; following a long tradition of which symbolism was proudly and openly displayed on swords, shields, etc. The builders’ guilds also influenced which of the various esoteric symbols would be associated with the various components of society. For example, the ruoth-cross (the solar cross) became the symbol of the court. The color red became associated with justice. That’s just tip of the iceberg in term of symbology just in the area of law; let alone in all of the other facets of society. I just can’t go into all of the symbology; you would need to buy the book.

The early Wotanist-underground placed a marker on every holy spot from the pre-Christian period. For example, red crosses were placed in remote forests where irminsuls had once existed before Charlemagne’s forces destroyed them. I suspect that the underground skalds took some of them down themselves. In fact, the recent discovery of an Asatru holy place in Scandinavia, was not destroyed; but was buried with care, perhaps in the hopes that it could one day be brought back into their everyday lives. Modern society rewarded their effort by demolishing it.

Just to backtrack for a moment, the Vehme-Star Rose may have referred to any five-pointed symbol, and not necessarily a Pentagram. I recall one symbol which had five arms coming from its center, like an asterisk or a starfish, but I don’t recall the name. It’s something to look into. The English translation of 'The Secret of the Runes' did not define this important point.

All “red courts” were constructed on spots which were once Wotanic holy places. For example, the red court in the eighth parish of Vienna.  Somehow it was a way to get the last laugh so to speak, but it’s clear that they attached deep symbolism to this. I’m just mentioning a few aspects to it. As List wrote: “these hieroglyphs are easily carried over into the highest theosophical and metaphysical realms of ideal conception.” As far as I can see, there is no practical reason that “Wotanism” couldn’t have been used in place of the Freemasonic and Kabbalistic spiritual traditions of the east within what I guess could be coined “mainstream Western occultism.” Wotanist spirituality includes a "tree of life" which developed separately, and displays a system which is every bit as complex as the ones from the east. The mainstream media completely ignores Wotanism, Odinism, Asatru—or whatever you want to call this—although there have been movies made about certain aspects of Norse mythology in recent years. As stated earlier, “the West” has drank out of every spiritual well but its own.

I wanted to take a moment, while I’m on this subject, to mention some of the names of Wotanism. It has been said that this religion had no name. I use Wotanism for my own reasons, stated earlier. Other names include the following: Odinism, Asatru, Wuotanism, Nordism, Irminism, Armanism, Troth, and Vanatru. The Langobards called Wotan “Godan,” and I’m sure there are many other regional names for Wotan and other aspects of the religion. I suppose that one could use other gods and goddesses for reference, such as "Thorism" or "Freyaism." Although von List mentioned “Wuotan” and “Wuotanism” often, I think he saw the quickening of the religion as “Armanism.” I think he wanted to include all aspects of what, in this case, could fairly be called “Northern European” spiritual traditions, including magical ones.

An excerpt, from pages 95 and 96, regarding symbols: A further condition for the correct understanding of these “holy signs,” “runes,” “symbols,” and “hieroglyphs”—and one which may never be ignored—lies in the clear comprehension of pre-Christian ethics, as well as pre-Christian morals. One can never forget that Wuotanism grew out of the intuitive recognition of evolutionary laws in natural life, out of the “primal laws of nature,” and that Wihinei (exoteric religious system) formed by Wuotanism spread a teaching and conducted a mode of living based on the laws of evolution.

I probably should inject, as the issue has come up many times in this series, that Guido von List used the term “Aryan” more-or-less for Indo-Europeans. Therefore, he referred to the “Aryans of Greece” or the “Aryans of Rome.” Words like “Teutonic” or “Germanic”—although somewhat vague—were used for Scandinavian and German-speaking peoples, and probably most of the cultural groupings of the British Isles. I can’t say the latter with absolute certainly. Although Austria (Österreich) in many ways seems different than say Norway, the “Germanic idenitity“ was very strong. The concept was, in some ways, seemingly “Nordicist“; although the Nordic Scandinavians haven’t had anything close to the tradition of science and technology, during the last last six centuries, that the Alpine-Nordic Germans have had. Germans are basically an Alpine people with Nordic traits. The “Alpine“ component, not the Nordic one, may account for the historically deep folkishness of Germans; in sharp contrast with the English or Scandinavians, who have little Alpine genetic influence.

I don’t wish to end this entry on a negative, but there is one issue I wanted to raise. It’s not really a criticism; but merely a suggestion for more research, or at least more definition. I have a large degree of respect for the Odinic Rite, and I think they have done some great things; however, there is one item which I respectfully disagree with. According to one of their flyers, it states: “The natural religion of Northern Europeans is Odinism.“ As we have gone over before, it was very likely the Alpine race which was at least the first widesprad culture in Europe, and they were not “Odinists.“ Nobody lived in Northern Europe during the peak of the last ice age 25,000 years ago. Gaul, for example, wasn’t “Odinist“; although there are many links. All this is covered during the last two months, but I just wanted to challenge anyone involved in this subject to at least define this further. The denial of the important Alpine race, especially in the area of spirituality, is no longer acceptable.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Guido von List: Part 17

German Builders' Guild

As we were looking at earlier, with the involuntary advance of Christianity, a new "underground Wotanic rite" emerged. Over time, the strongest expression of this was within the highest initiates of certain "builders guilds." Therefore, Wotanist symbolism was incorporated into architecture. It probably should be noted that some of the origins of this symbolism could be traced back to earlier ancient Celtic traditions.

I just wanted to raise one question here, which may sound like a negative, and may not be popular; but I at least wanted to raise it as an objective question, and maybe even an intellectual challenge. That being, doesn't it seem at least somewhat strange that Freemasons--of basically Northern European ancestry--seem to have absolutely no interest in Odinist tradition? They only focus on "the East," and maybe they attach some small degree of importance to the little that we know about the Druidic tradtion. They latched onto the magical traditions for a period during the last century, which resulted in the foundation of "Wicca," which they botched up and then just walked away. The whole thing regarding them in relation to ancestral spiritual traditions just does not add up at all. Some of these builders guilds did remind me of some aspects of Freemasonry. I happen to agree with Steve McNallen that some people are compelled to drink out of everyone else's well... except their own.

Just for the record, List names the major building lodges as follows: The Minnesinger Order, the Heraldic Guild, the German Builders' Guild, and the Vehme. Symbolic, architectural, and word symbolism were developed in a very complex way; often with several layers of meaning of what List referred to as the "hidden Wuotanism." It's more than I wanted to try to interpret here, so you will just have to buy the book if you want to look deeper into this. Even just as individuals or private businesses, I think that we should place related symbolism into the things which we get involved in. Someone once told me that he admired Jewish businessmen for using their own surnames and other types of religious and heraldric symbols in their businesses. I recall once listening to Len Horowitz speak at a conference, and he was responding to one Globalist pundit who had said something like "religion is dead" or "culture is dead." He said that he was a direct descendant of the "Levi clan/tribe" and that they were "not dead." Within that same train of thought, I could say that I am a direct descendant of the "Camunni clan/tribe."

The ancient Wotanic knowledge was hidden under the guise of "guild secrets" in what sounds like the way that Freemasons kept "sacred geometry" secret. There are some big differences as well. Freemasons no longer work in the building trades that I can see, Wotanism is a native-belief system which was forced underground, and Freemasons are "universalist-believers." Also, the mainstream powers-that-be have shown no interest--even historical interest--in this hidden Wotanist cultural phenomena which occurred over centuries. I mean, List died 94 years ago; so where's the followup research? It can be pretty easily proven that some system has existed. For example, there are many poems from the Middle Ages which don't make a lot of sense until their true coded meaning is deciphered. The three-layered "heimliche Acht" codex followed the pattern of: 1) For the common uninitiated people; 2) The lower symbolism or the exoteric; 3) The higher symbolism or the esoteric.

Much of the "heimliche Acht" was hidden in older dialects not spoken today. Therefore they have been lost, or temporarily lost. I'm sure that many researchers have, and are working on deciphering many of these codes; we just don't hear much about it from the mainstream academic or anthropological communities. You would think that a direct unbroken spiritual/cultural line over thousands of years would be of more historical importance. An excerpt from page 81:

No less often do these symbols find their way into "speaking records," into legal antiquities and pieces of wisdom, into folk customs, folk beliefs and proverbs, then into alchemy and medicine, into astronomy, astrology, and into all disciplines related to the mystical endeavors of antiquity and the Middle Ages--right on up to the present day. That many of these signs were even, so to speak, popularized in the most everyday utilitarian objects and even determined the forms of such things is certainly conceivable with such a widespread tradition. Here, for example, we only have to mention the forms and names of our breads and baked goods. In brief, it is not easy to find an area in the life of the German folk which these hieroglyphs, holy signs, and symbols do not illuminate.

It should be noted that 'The Secret of the Runes' displayed two images which were not really of Germanic or European origin. The pentagram, which he called the Vehme-Star Rose; and the Masonic square and compasses, which he called the Fyroge, the Tapis, or the Tabula quadrata with the three great lights. What I find interesting about that is, A) a Medieval link to the magical traditions, or even to the pentagram itself, and B) a possible Masonic or Templar connection. Could there have been some Hexological-Wotanic overlap? I would say definitely at least some. Could there have been some Masonic-Wotanic overlap? Not likely beyond occasional friendships of individuals.

There are so many facets to this. The Wotanic-tradition of these builders spread over centuries, and they influenced various architectural eras; for example, Gothic architecture. So there is a hidden history of architectural style; layered from what the history books tells us about "Gothic style," to the exoteric, to the esoteric. Another facet is in the area of many sagas, folktales, myths, and poems. After they are fully deciphered, they often tell of the history of a particular region; apparently from the position of this Wotanic-underground.


6-7-12 ADDITION: After writing this entry, I unintentionally came across an available book which actually covers the "Freemasonry and Wotanism puzzle"; and even better, it includes a work on the subject by Guido von List himself. This book is entitled 'Freemasonry and the Germanic Tradition' by Stephen E. Flowers. Flowers was the author who translated 'The Secret of the Runes' into English. From the webpage: 

Here we have a multifaceted study consisting of five essays or articles. The introductory piece is entitled "My Masonic (Mis-)Adventure" and details the author's brief interaction with a local lodge, then follows two articles: "Roots of Masonry in the Scandinavian Gild System" and "Reflections of Germanic Mythic Tradition in Masonic Ritual." These convincingly show the origins of the essence of Masonry not in the "Holy Land," but in Northern Europe. Appended is a translation of Guido von List's "Origin and Symbolism of Freemasonry" (1910). Finally there is a short concluding piece entitled "A Charge to All Worthy Brothers" in which the author calls on individuals to help restore the original spirit and mission of Masonry. 64pp.

As covered earlier, Runa-Raven Press also carries 'The Religion of the Aryo-Germanic Folk' by von List; as well as 'Rune Might: History and Practices of the Early 20th Century German Rune Magicians' by Edred Thorsson, which includes work by von List among others.