By Stephen E. Flowers/Edred Thorsson
The following paper was generated from a talk delivered to the Pagan Student Alliance of the University of Texas at Austin, November 22, 1991 and is dedicated to the memory of Edwin Wade, Óðinsgoði, who died on this date in 1989.
The above article is very interesting, but rather long. It's a little too long to post here. Again, I would suggest using FromTextToSpeech.com for anyone who may find long articles to be a bit tedious. Then you can just sit back with a cup of coffee and enjoy! Stephen Flowers is a great thinker and academic, who appears to have alienated some with his Temple of Set/Michael Aquino associations. Personally, especially in this modern socio/political/everything climate, unless someone is directly opposing your interests... then I believe differences like this should be overlooked.
While listening, and as interesting as it is, I found it difficult to pick out aspects of it that really stood out for mention here. There were two that I found especially curious though. One was that he briefly went into how Indo-European spiritual elements found there way down into India. There is a definite link there, already covered here numerous times. Also, Dr. Flowers spoke of the ancient schools of metaphysical knowledge in ancient Greece... which were taught openly in universities of that day, and certainly a big part of ancient Greek culture... and Pagan in nature! However, wasn't Greece the chief forerunner of "Western Civilization?" Can you see the potential greater implications of this on Western society today?
There clearly appears to have been "mystery schools" in the ancient world. They weren't specifically "secret." but were a generally open study of the metaphysical world and its energies. In other words.. "magic." I do have serious doubts that the Druids were part of the mystery schools of Egypt, Greece, and other places. I see ancient Druidism as a fusion of the proto-European magical tradition with incoming Teutonic spirituality. Some overzealous Christian researchers try to tie Druidism to Indian spirituality as part of the same "mystery school network." I think we should stay open-minded about that, but I doubt it. Teutonic spiritual concepts found there way to India via "the Aryans" who were partly Teutonic in ancestry and culture; while those same spiritual concepts found their way to into northwestern Europe. That seems the likely link there, albeit in hybrid forms.
Stephen Edred Flowers (born 1953) also known by the pen-name Edred Thorsson, is an American Runologist and proponent of occultism and Germanic mysticism. He has over two dozen published books and hundreds of published papers on a disparate range of subjects. Flowers advocates "Esoteric Runology" or "Odianism", an occultist version of Germanic Neopaganism.
The Bonham, Texas-born author did his graduate work in Germanic and Celtic philology under professor and scholar Edgar Polomé at the University of Texas at Austin from 1973-1984. In 1981-1982 he studied the history of occultism at the University of Göttingen, Germany. He received his Ph.D. in Germanic Languages and Medieval Studies 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 and was last known to be teaching Classical Philology at Austin Community College.
Flowers was instrumental in the early establishment of the Germanic Neopagan movement in North America. and has also been very active in Left-Hand Path occult organizations.
Flowers joined the Church of Satan in 1972 though he reportedly never became involved with the organization beyond receiving their newsletter, The Cloven Hoof. On November 11, 1983 he founded a small group to explore what he saw as the dark, futuristic undercurrent of Odinism called The Order of Shining Trapezohedron or "O.S.T." which closed on January 13, 1984. The O.S.T. served as a segue into his involvement with the Temple of Set, an organization in which he currently holds the degree of Ipsissimus VI°. Within the Temple of Set he served as Grand Master of the Order of the Trapezoid from January 1987 until June 1996.
Flowers was one of the original members of the Asatru Free Assembly. In 1979 Flowers founded the Rune-Gild, an initiatory order focused on "the revival of the elder Runic" tradition, advocating runic magic.Flowers currently is the executive officer, or Yrmin Drighten, of the Rune-Gild. As a project of the Rune-Gild, Flowers founded the Ásatrú organization the Ring of Troth in 1987 (which is now simply called the Troth). Flowers is no longer affiliated with the Troth. Flowers has also had contact with the Armanen-Orden, the Order of the Triskelion and other occult orders.
Flowers is currently director of the Woodharrow Institute of Germanic Studies and the owner and operator of Runa-Raven Press.
In addition to being a prolific writer, Flowers is known for translating obscure texts and manuscripts written in Icelandic, Old Norse and German into English, making many of them available to a wider range of readers.
In 1989, Flowers was expelled from the Odinic Rite following his Open Letter to the Leadership of the Asatru/Odinist/Troth Movement wherein he detailed his involvement with the Temple of Set.
Sweyn Plowright, a former member of the Rune Gild who resigned from the organization in 2000, has referred to the philosophy of Flowers as being "neo-Satanic" and antinomian.
For a list of Dr. Flowers' written works, see the link above. It seems rather clear that Dr. Flowers has one foot in the Odinic camp.. and one "cloven hoof" in the Satanic camp.. and others, of which I could do another play on words. I don't know anything about "Esoteric Runology or Odianism" to give any opinion on it. One curious thing is that Flowers' "Rûna" symbol has been the subject of at least five of his books, always associated with a color (black, green, red, and blue). I have no real idea of either the meaning or the origin of this symbol. I thought that he has said that it represents the separation of at least some aspects of nature from the metaphysical... using my own words, not his. Either the circle or the pentagram represented "nature." Possibly it means blocking physical nature from the spiritual; as it at least appears to be only the "spirit" that protrudes from the box and connects with the circle of nature.. if you look at the symbol.
Dr. Flowers always mentions that he is a linguist, with focus on ancient Germanic/Norse languages. I know the rich history of words just through the hours that I have poured over the Camunian-Italian online translator. In fact, I have even found a few mistakes in Mauro Fiora's work, although we are indebted to him. Dr. Flowers was involved with both the Asatru Free Assembly and the Odinic Rite, as well as "the Armanen-Orden, the Order of the Triskelion and other occult orders."