Friday, June 6, 2014

Wisdom for the Wolf-Age: Part 1

'Wisdom for the Wolf-Age: A Conversation With Dr. Stephen Flowers' 

By David Jones - New Dawn Magazine - March 21, 2003 (Portions of this interview with Dr. Flowers have previously appeared in the British journal 'Rûna: Exploring Northern European Myth, Mystery and Magic')

This is an excellent interview from a decade ago, with one of the important figures in Germanic Heathen studies, and the Germanic Heathen movement, Dr. Stephen Flowers

In case you may not be aware, there is an excellent text-to-voice site which can read back large blocks of text for you. If you want to read a long article.. but are not really in the mood to sit and read it, you ought to try it. It is:
If it is slow to respond, just back-click and try it again. I usually have no problems. Also, you may save it as an audio file if you wish.

Stephen Flowers is an academic, and his main area of interest is Germanic/Heathen studies... basically Odinism and the spiritual/occultic end of it. Also, he's an expert on Hermeticism, Western ceremonial magic, occult studies, and the "left-hand path"... which appears to be Satanic if I'm not mistaken. I think I could accept someone who dabbles into Satanism before I could tolerate the supremely intellectually and spiritually dishonest people who are anti-folkish regarding things which are clearly folkish in nature. The "right-hand path is based "white magic."

Of course, Dr. Flowers translated 'Secret of the Runes' into English, and as I found out... he apparently was the owner of Runa-Raven Publishing (now defunct). He translated 'History of the Aryo-Germanic Folk' which I purchased from that company. I also was not aware that he was one of the founding members of the Asatru Free Assembly in the 70s, later the Asatru Folk Assembly. He is the author of many books, articles, lectures, etc., and founded the Woodharrow Institute, which seeks to promote Germanic scholarship within mainstream education.. where forces have long been pushing it out. If I understand it correctly, to promote educational materials on the pre-Christian culture and spirituality of the Germanic cultures. Also it appears to be a focus on Indo-European studies in general.

There are many excellent points made in this interview. I would like to enter just one of the questions here. The interview as conducted by Michael Moynihan, the North American editor of 'Rûna: Exploring Northern European Myth, Mystery and Magic'.

Michael: Why is the notion of a scholar of pre-Christian religion who actually adheres to the spiritual ideas that he also studies such a radical one? Is this simply a byproduct of the situation in the West where any religious path outside of the “mainstream” monotheistic faiths is painted as cultic and marginal?

Stephen: I think this attitude stems almost entirely from two sources: 1) the antagonism of the materialist worldview toward the traditional spiritual one, and 2) the opportunity the adherents to the materialistic worldview have taken to attack the spiritual view based on historical events surrounding World War II. This materialist worldview is “monotheistic” in the sense that it allows for only one set of orthodox values. In this way it is really a secularised form of monotheistic religion. The Judeo-Christian system of thought has lent itself very well to being secularised in such a way that it can be turned into a model for modern political and economic theories. As a side-note, Islam has been much more stubborn in its adherence to its original values, which has caused it to be very much “out of step” with its monotheistic cousins.

Judaism and Christianity can be tolerated by the establishment scholarly world because they can be viewed as theoretical prototypes of the materialistic and positivistic model that now dominates thought in the West. Earlier traditional models are seen not so much as a threat to religion as they are seen as a threat to the monolithic political and economic order. The pre-Christian, traditional philosophies are too divergent and multivalent to be coerced into one single “market” of ideas. This points to the fatal hypocrisy of the current crop of modernistic “thinkers,” who spout off about “multiculturalism” and tolerance, but who exclusively support monolithic socio-economic models that enact the opposite of what they publicly espouse. Surely the ancient, traditional and pre-Christian world is more in line with what really sounds best to most people. Are not ancient, pre-Christian Athens or Alexandria more ideal models for the future over medieval Rome or Constantinople?

Clearly the animosity to those who see value in pre-Christian models stems

not from the religious side of the debate, but rather from the secular challenge traditionalism poses to the current political order. What is needed is a campaign for the re-education of the academic world to show that the idealised future is one that is more likely to be based on the mosaic of pre-Christian traditions than it is to be based on the monolithic Christian model.

Scholars of pre-Christian tradition must indeed be sympathetic and even empathetic to the paradigms they are studying. If they do not have a subjective link to the paradigm they are seeking to understand, then they have categorically placed an insurmountable barrier between themselves and the “object” they seek to understand. Hence they have in fact disqualified themselves from ever being able to really understand the patterns of thought in question.

Dr. Stephen Edred Flowers (from the Woodharrow Institute)

Dr. Flowers (b. 1953 in Bonham, Texas) is recognized as an expert in the field of early Germanic history and runology. He has authored over two dozen books and hundreds of papers on a wide range of subjects. Dr. Flowers did his graduate work in Germanic and Celtic philology under Professor Edgar Polomé at the University of Texas at Austin from 1973-1984. In 1981-1982 he studied both runology and the history of occultism at the University of Göttingen, Germany.  He received his Ph.D. in 1984 with a dissertation entitled Runes and Magic: Magical Formulaic Elements in the Elder Tradition. From 1984-1989 he was a lecturer in the Departments of English and Germanic Languages|at the University of Texas at Austin. Over the last quarter-century he has also written a number of well-received books on esoteric subjects under the pen-name Edred Thorsson. In addition to being a prolific writer, Dr. Flowers has translated a number of rare Icelandic, Old Norse and German texts and manuscripts into English, making them available to a wide range of readers for the first time. Dr. Flowers is currently the director of the Woodharrow Institute of Germanic Studies.


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