Thursday, 29 March 2007
Ge, gi, gifa, gibor, gift, giver, god, gea, geo, earth, gigur, death, etc:
"Gibor-Altar"-God the All-Begetter!-God is the giver, and the Earth receives his gifts. But the earth is not only the receiver, she is also in turn a giver. The primal word is "gi", or "ge"; in it lies the idea of "arising"[to give], but it also indicates "being" in the idea of the gift, and "passing away to new arising" in the idea of go-ing. This primal word "gi" or "ge" can now be connected to other primal and root words, a few examples of which follow.
In connection with the primal word "fa" as: gifa, gefa, gea, geo, it indicates the "gift-begetting" earth, and with "bar" or "bor"[burn, spring], the "gift-burn" God.
As "gi-ge-ur"[the gift goes back to "Ur"[primal existence], in "Gigur", the "gift-destroying" frost-giant, who becomes a personification of death and later of the devil, appears to be named.
By the idea word "gigas"[gi-ge-as: the gift goes out of the mouth[as], out of the source the fiddle[Geige] is understood. 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 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".
The personal names "Gereon" and "Geretrut"[Gertrud] are rooted in the primal word "ge", meaning rebirth, and the hieroglyph of this, the "Head of Gereon", appears as an equilateral triangle made of three human profiles. But this Gereon is, in turn, the god incarnate in the All as the All-,World-, or Human-spirit. And for this reason the meaning of the "ge-rune" is closest to that of the "fyrfos". The difference between the two interpretations lies in the fact that the idea of the "ge" or "gibor"-rune seeks esoterically to approach the comprehension of the idea of the divine from below upward-in a certain sense from the level of humanity outward-while the explanation of the fyrfos seeks knowledge of God esoterically in the innermost level of man himself-and finds it. Thus it is known, as the spirit of humanity, to be unified with God from the standpoint of the "bifidic-biune dyad", and it will attain certain knowledge from inside out, as well as toward the inside from the outside. Here again the exoteric and the esoteric are clearly distinguished, and the fyrfos is recognised as an esoteric secret sign of high holiness which is represented exoterically by the "ge-rune". So, while the exoteric doctrine teaches that "man emerged from God and will return to God", the esoteric doctrine knows the "invisible cohesion of man and divinity as the `bifidic-biune dyad` "-and so it can be consciously said: "Man-be One with God!"
The eighteenth I will eternally never
tell to a woman or maid;
it forms the best end to the lays-
which only One of All knows,
except for the lady who embraces me in marriage
or one who is also a sister to me.
In this eighteenth song, the skald again recedes from view; he lets Wuotan sing and speak in order to indicate that this highest knowledge of the primal generation of the All can be known and comprehended uniquely and alone by the nuptually bound divinities of the biune-bifidic dyad of united spiritual and physical power, and that only these, uniquely and alone, understand the thrice-high-holy secret of constant generation, constant life, and uninterrupted recurrence, and are able to perceive the mysterious[eighteenth] rune of these.
However, certainly worthy of note is the fact that the eighteenth rune which is actually present is a-doubtless intentionally incomplete- fyrfos, and that it hearkens back to this sign in both name and meaning-without, nevertheless, exhausting it. In this the intention of the skalds to guard vigilantly the fyrfos as their exclusive innermost secret, and as the sigil of that secret, can be seen. Only after yielding to certain pressures did they reveal another sign which partially replaced the fyrfos.
This sign, which can to a certain extent be seen as a "substitute" eighteenth rune, is:
Eh, marriage,[Ehe], law, horse, court, etc.
A seventeenth helps me with a lovely maid,
so that she will never be able to leave me.
The seventeenth, or "eh-rune" plays off against the sixteenth. While that one warns against frivilous transitory love affairs, the "marriage[Ehe]- rune" confirms the concept of lasting love on the basis of marriage as the legal bond between man and woman.
This is symbolically indicated by a later "eh-rune" in that the "laf-rune" is doubled in it, therefore symbolically saying: "two bound together by the primal law of life!"
Marriage[Ehe] is the basis of the folk, and therefore "eh" is again the concept of law, for according to an ancient legal formula marriage is the "raw-root"[Rauwurzel], that is, the law-root of the continuence of Teutondom. Therefore: "Marriage is the raw-root of the Aryans!"
Between the seventeenth and eighteenth rune the skald included the following verse:
These songs will be, to you, Loddfafnir,
for a long time well-nigh unlearnable,
rejoice, if you experience them;
take note, if you learn them,
use it, if you understand them.
After this interlude-strophe, he begins with the mysterious eighteenth rune which follows as he again lets Wuotan speak:
Yr, eur, iris, bow, rain-bow, yew-wood, yew-wood bow, error, anger, etc.
A sixteenth I speak to a coy maiden
to get me goodness and luck:
that changes and turns the wishes and mind
of the swan-white armed beauty.
The "yr-rune" is the inverted "man-rune", and as it designates the bow, so too does it present the waxing and waning moon in contrast to the full moon of the "man-rune", and so in the first instance it refers to the mutability of the moon, in the second instance as the "error-rune"-referring to the lunarlike mutability of the feminine essence, portrayed in later verses of the "Havamal" [Rules of Life] in the following way:
Do not trust the true words of a maid,
do not trust the woman`s true words,
her heart was shaped on a spinning wheel
the feminine heart is the home of fickleness.
The yr- or error-rune[Irr rune], which causes confusion, whether through the excitement of the passions in love, in play, in drink[ intoxication], or through pretexts of speech[ sophistry] or by whatever other means, will perhaps conquer resistance through confusion.
But the success of a victory gained by such means is just as illusory as the victory itself-for it brings anger, wild rage, and ultimately madness.
The "yr" or "error-rune" therefore also contrasts with the "os-rune", since it tries to force the conquest of an opponent with mere pretext instead of with real reasons. Therefore, it teaches: "Think about the end!"
Wednesday, 28 March 2007
Man, mon, moon[ma=to mother], to increase; empty or dead].
A fifteenth I tell, which Folk-rast the dwarf
sang before the Doors of Day
to the Ases[Aesir] for strength, to the Elves for might,
to myself to clear my mind.
In another sense, as in that of the well-known folk-tale, "the Man in the Moon" reveals himself in the fifteenth rune as a sanctified sign of the propagation of the human race. The primal word "ma" is the hall-mark of feminine generation-"mothering"-just as the primal word "fa" is that of the masculine. Therefore, we have here "ma-ter"[mother] just as there we have "fa-ter"[father]. The moon mythico-mystically serves as the magical ring Draupnir[Dripper], from which every ninth night an equally heavy ring drips[seperates itself], and which was burned with Baldr; that is, Nanna, the mother of his children, was burned at the same time as Baldr. According to mythico-mystical rules, however, nights always means months, and to the "nine nights" mentioned above indicate the time of pregnancy. While the concepts of man, maiden, mother, husband[Gemahl], wife[Gemaehlin], marriage, menstruation, etc, etc. are rooted in the primal word "ma"[just like the concept "moon", with which they are all internally connected conceptually], they nevertheless symbolize individual concepts reconnected into an apparent unity according to the principle of the multiune-multifidic multiplicity. So too is the conceptual word for this unity rooted in the primal word "ma" and expressed "man-ask" or "menisk", that is: man[Mensch]. Therefore-as a concept of unification-the word "man" is only of one gender[masculine], while the derogatory concept belongs to the third stage as a neuter, to which we will return later. The fifteenth rune encompasses both the exoteric and esoteric concept of the high mystery of humanity and reaches its zenith in the warning: "Be a man!"
Laf, lagu, loegr, primal-law, sea, life, downfall[defeat].
A fourteenth I sing to the gathered folk
by naming the divine names
for all of the Ase[Aesir] and Elven kind
I know as well as any.
The intuitive knowledge of the organic essence of the All, and therefore of the laws of nature, forms the unshakeable foundation of Aryan sacred teachings, or Wihinei[religion], which was able to encompass and comprehend the All and therefore also the individual in its arising, working, and passing away to new arising. Such esoteric knowledge was communicated to the folk in symbolically formulated myths, for the naive popular eye, unaccustomed to such deep vision and clairvoyance, could no more see the primal law than the physical eye can see the whole ocean, or the unschooled inner, spiritual eye the endlessness of life in the All. Therefore the fourteenth rune says: "First learn to steer, then dare the sea-journey!"
Bar, beork, biork, birth, song[bar=song], bier, etc.
A thirteenth I name, I sprinkle the son
of a noble in the first bath[pre-Christian baptism]
when he goes into battle, he cannot fall,
no sword may strike him to the ground.
In the bar-rune the spiritual life in the All, the eternal life in which human life between birth and death means but one day, stands in contrast to this day-in-the-life in human form, which goes from bar[birth] through bar[life as a song] to bar[bier, death], and which is sanctified and charmed by the "water of life" in the baptism. This[day-in-the-] life is bounded by birth and death, and even if destiny has not at once appointed a sword-death for the bairn-he is still exposed to this and many another danger. For in spite of the determination and dispensation of destiny, dark chance rules, based in the free will of men, and it is against such a maleficent decree of chance that the sacred blessing is supposed to work. The Germanic people did not recognise any "blind fate". They did believe in a predestination in the greatest sense, but they intuitively saw that many restrictions[chance accidents!] stand in the way of the completion and fulfillment of predestination in order to fulfill and steel personal power. Without these accidents, for example, every pine tree would have to be strictly symetrical in all its parts; one would have to be the same as the next, while in fact no two can be found that are exactly alike, and so too it would have to be in human life; all without difference, uniform and equal. For this reason the newborn should be consecrated with the "water of life" against impending accidents. Therefore: "Thy life stands in the hand of God; trust it in you."
Tyr, tar, tur, animal[Tier], etc.[Tyr, the sun-and sword-god; Tiu, Zio, Ziu, Zeus; "tar"-=to generate, to turn, to conceal; thus Tarnkappe[cap of concealment], etc.
A twelfth I have: if on a tree there hangs
a man throttled up on high;
then I write some runes
and the man climbs down and talks to me.
The reborn Wuotan, i.e., the renewed Wuotan who has climbed down from the world-tree after his self-sacrifice, as well as the renewed "fanisk"[phoenix], which flies up out of the ashes, is personified in the young sun-and sword-god Tyr.
According to the rule of mysticism, every magical belief moves parallel to mythology, in that the mythic pattern is adopted in analogies to human-earthly processes, in order to reach results similar to those given in the myths.
While esotericism on the basis of the well-known bifidic-biune dyad recognises the mystic One in the mystic Many-and therein it sees the fate of All and hence of every individual-in eternal change from passing away to rebirth. As Wuotan returned after his self-sacrifice-which is to be understood not merely as his death, but rather as his whole life-in a renewed body, so also does every single person return after every life in human form with a renewed body through a rebirth-which is equally a self-sacrifice.
For this reason, "tar" means to generate, to live, and to pass away-and therefore Tyr is the reborn young sun. So too is the twelfth rune at the same time a "victory-rune", and hence it is carved into sword blades and speaheads as a sign to give victory. It shall be said: "Fear not death-it cannot kill you!"
Sol, sal, sul, sig, sigi, sun, sal-vation, victory[Sieg], column[Sauele], school, etc.
An eleventh still I also know in the fight,
when I lead the dear one:
I sing it into the shield and he is victorious in battle
he fares hale hither and hale home again
he remains hale everywhere.
"Sal and sig!"-sal-vation and victory-[Heil und Sieg].
This millenia-old Aryan greeting and battle-cry is also again found in a variant form in the wide-spread call of inspiration: "alaf sal fena!" This has become symbolised by the eleventh sign of the futharkh as the sig-rune[victory-rune]: "The creative spirit must conquer!"
Ar, sun, primal fire, ar-yans, nobles, etc.
I use the tenth, when through the air
ghostly riding-women fly:
when I begin that magic, they will fare
confused in form and effort.
The "ar", the "urfyr"[primal fire, god], the "sun", the "light" will destroy spiritual as well as physical darkness, doubt, and uncertainty. In the sign of the Ar the Aryans-the sons of the sun-founded their law[Rita], the primal law of the Aryans, of which the earn, or eagle[Aar] is the hieroglyph. It sacrifices itself, as it consecrates itself in a flaming death, in order to be reborn. For this reason it was called the "fanisk" and later "phoenix".
Therefore it is read as a symbolic hieroglyph when an eagle is laid on the funeral pyre of a celebrated hero to indicate that the dead hero rejuvinatingly prepares himself in death for rebirth in order to strive for a still more glorious future life in human form in spite of all the restrictions of the powers of darkness-all of which crumble before the "ar": "Respect the primal fire!"
Is, ire, iron[Eisen].
A ninth I grasp, when for me need arises
to protect my ship on the ocean:
then I will still the storm on the rising sea
and calm the swell of the waves.
Through the "doubt-less consciousness of personal spiritual power" the waves abound-"made to freeze"-they stiffen as if ice. But not only the waves[Wellen] [symbolic of the will[Wille]], all of life is obedient to the compelling will. Countless examples of the "ag-is-shield" of Wuotan, such as the "Gorgon`s Head" of the Athenians, the "Ag-is-helm"," all the way down to the hunting lore and practice of causing an animal to "freeze", and modern hypnosis, are all based on the hypnotic power of the forceful will of the spirit symbolised by this ninth rune.
Therefore: "Win power over yourself and you will have power over everything in the spiritual and physical worlds that strives against you."
Nauth, noth[need], Norn, compulsion of fate.
An eighth I have, surely for all
most needful to use:
wherever discord grows among heroes,
since I know how to settle it quickly.
"The need-rune blooms on the nail of the Norn!"
This is not "need"[distress] in the modern sense of the word, but rather the "compulsion of fate"-that the Norns fix according to primal laws. With this, the organic causality of all phenomena is to be understood. Whoever is able to grasp the primal cause of a phenomenon, and whoever gains knowledge of organically lawful evolution and the phenomena arising from it, is also able to judge their consequences just as they are beginning to ferment.
Therefore, he commands knowledge of the future and also understands how to settle all strife through "the constraint of the clearly recognised way of fate." Therefore: "Use your fate, do not strive against it!"
Hagal=the All-hedge, to enclose; hail, to destroy.
A seventh I know, if I see a fire
high around the housing of men
however wildly it may burn, I will bring it to rest
with taming magical songs.
Hagal!-Introspective awareness, the consciousness to bear his God with all his qualities within himself, produces a high self-confidence in the power of the personal spirit which bestows magical power, a magical power which dwells within all persons, and a power which can persuade a strong spirit to believe in it without any doubt. Christ, who was one of those rare persons-as was Wuotan-said:"Verily, verily, I say to you, if someone were to say to this stone:
move yourself away!-and he believes in it-then this stone would lift itself away and fly into the sea."
Borne by this doubt-less consciousness, the chosen one controls the physical and spiritual realms, which he contains comprehensively, and thereby he feels himself to be all-powerful. Therefore: "Harbour the All in yourself, and you will control the All!"
Ka, kaun, kan, kuna, kien, kiel, kon, kuehn[bold],kein[none], etc.
A sixth is mine, if a man hurts me
with the root of a strange tree;
the ruin he threatened me with
does not hurt me but consumes him.
The "world-tree" Yggdrasill serves in the narrower sense as the Aryan tribal tree, beside which the tribal trees of foreign races are seen as "foreign trees". The runic concept "kaun", "kunna"[maid, eg., in [the name] Adelgunde] demonstrates the feminine principle in the All in a purely sexual sense. The tribe, the race, is to be purely preserved; it may not be defiled by the roots of the foreign tree. If it were nevertheless to happen, however, such would be of little use to the "foreign trees", because its "foreign scion" would grow to become its raging foe. Therefore: "Your blood, your highest possession."
Rit, reith, rath, ruoth, rita, rat[rede], roth[red], rad[wheel], rod, rott, Recht[right], etc.
A fifth I heard, if from a happy flight
a shot flies into the host;
however swiftly it flies, I will force it to stop
if I can only catch it with my gaze.
The thrice hallowed "Rita", the solar-wheel, the "Urfyr"[primal fire, God] itself! The exalted introspective awareness[Innerlichkeitsgefuehl] or subjectivity of the Aryans was their consciousness of their own godliness, for "internity" is just "being-with-one`s self", and to be with one`s Self is to be with God. As long as a people possesses unspoiled their entire original "internity" as a "natural people", it also has no cause to worship an external divinity, for an external divine service bound by ceremony is only made obvious when one is not able to find God in one`s own innermost being, and begins to see this outside his "ego" and outside the world-"up there in the starry heaven". The less internal the person is, the more outward his life becomes. The more a people loses its internity, the more pompous and ceremonialized its outward manifestations become-in the character of its government, law, and cult[all of which will begin to emerge as seperate ideas]. But they should remain one in the knowledge: "What I believe, is what I know, and so I also live it out." For this reason, the Aryan divine-internity is also the basis for a proud disdain for death among the Aryans and for their limitless trust in God and in the Self, which expresses itself gloriously in the "Rita",[cosmic order,law] and which has the fifth rune as its symbolic word-sign. Therefore, this rune says: "I am my rod."
Os, as, ask, ast=Ase[i.e., one of the Aesir], mouth, arising, ash, ashes.
A fourth still I know, when someone throws
my arms and legs into fetters:
as soon as I sing it, I can go forth,
from my feet fall the fetters
the hasp falls from my hands.
The mouth, the power of speach! Spiritual power working through speech[power of suggestion] bursts physical fetters and gives freedom, it itself conquers all conquerors, who only gain advantages through physical force, and it destroys all tyranny. Therefore: "Your spiritual force makes you free!"
Thorr, thurs, thorn=Thorr[thunder,thunderbolt,lightning flash], thorn.
A third I know, which is good to me
as a fetter for my enemies
I dull the swords of my opponents
neither weapon nor defense will help him.
The "thorn of death" is that with which Wuotan put the disobedient Valkyrie, Brunhild, into a death-sleep[cf. Sleeping Beauty et al], but in contrast to this it is also the "thorn of life"[phallus], with which death is conquered by rebirth. This threatening sign surely dulls the opposing weapon of the one going to his death, as well as the force of the powers of death, through a constant renewal of life in rebirth. Therefore: "Preserve your ego!"
ur=Ur[i.e., "the primordial"], eternity, primal fire, primal light, primal bull[=primal generation], aurochs, resurrection[life after death].
I learned another, which people use
who want to be doctors.
The basis of all manifestation is the "Ur". Whoever is able to recognise the cause[Ur-Sache="primal or original thing"] of an event, to him the phenomenon itself does not seem to be an insolvable puzzle-be this fortunate or unfortunate-and therefore he is able to banish misfortune or increase luck, but also to recognise false evil and false luck as such. Therefore: "Know yourself, then you will know all!"
There are 18 rune staves in the Armanen futhorc of Guido von List.
fa/feh/feo= fire-generation, fire-borer, livestock[Vieh], property, to grow, to wander, to destroy, to shred[fetzen].
The first promises to help helpfully
in the struggle and in misery and in every difficulty.
The root-word "fa", which is symolized as the "primordial word" in this rune, is the conceptual foundation of "arising", "being"[doing, working, ruling], and of passing away to new arising"-and so of the transitoriness of all existence and therefore of the stability of the "ego" in constant transformation. This rune conceals, therefore, the skaldic solace that true wisdom only lives for the evolution of the future, while only the fool mourns over decay: "Generate your luck and you will have it!"
[Guido von List, The Secret of the Runes]
Tuesday, 27 March 2007
The voelkisch[folkish] movement of the early 20th century owes a great debt to the ideas and research of the Aryan mystic and runologist, Guido von List[1848-1919].
Von List wrote many articles and books on the runes and Germanic pre-Christian religion, most notably `Das Geheimnis der Runen`[The Secret of the Runes], published in 1908.
Das Geheimnis der Runen is generally regarded as his most important work as it is concerned with the introduction of a `new` runic futhorc and the interpretation of the runes which von List received in visions during a period of temporary blindness in 1902.
Von List`s `Armanen Futhorc` has its origins in these visions in which von List is said to have communicated with the Teutonic Volksgeist[folk soul] and received esoteric knowledge from the dead priests of the Germanic peoples, the `Armanen`.
Although the futhorc that von List introduced in his book was previously unknown to runic scholars he claimed that it represented the original futhorc and is indeed based upon Odin`s Rune Poem.Odin/Wotan/Woden/Wuotan/Wodanaz gained the knowledge of the runes via a shamanic self-sacrifice and communicated this knowledge to those of the Aryo-Germanic race.
Whilst there are various different versions of the runic futharc or futhorc von List claimed that his Armanen futhorc represented the original 18 runes that All-Father Odin received during his shamanic visions when he hung nine days and nine nights upside down on the world tree.
"I know that I hung on a windy tree
nine long nights,
wounded with a spear, dedicated to Odin,
myself to myself,
on that tree of which no man knows
from where its roots run.
No bread did they give me nor drink from a horn,
downwards I peered;
I took up the runes, screaming I took them,
then I fell back from there."
The poem goes on to explain how the runes may be used to achieve various goals via rune magic.
There are obvious echoes of the Christian crucifixion within the Havamal.However there are clear differences also. Whilst the Christ supposedly died as a sacrifice of a vengeful `god` for the `sins` of mankind Odin sacrificed `himself to himself` and did so to achieve knowledge, in particular the knowledge of the runes. Odin continually goes in search for new knowledge and there are many tales of him walking amongst men, disguised as the `Wanderer` in search of new knowledge, always ready to test his knowledge against men and dwarves alike.
Odin`s search for knowledge can be likened to the Promethean and Faustian quest of Aryan man.
Like the All-Father Himself, we too as spiritually awakened Aryans seek new knowledge and new enlightenment. It is this very sense of restlessness that spurs us on to new goals, new achievements and a thirst for new knowledge and experiences.
Guido von List, like Odin experienced the runes in a visionary state whilst in communion with the racial Collective Unconscious, what Jung called the `land of the dead`.
We will explore these Armanen runes and the significance of the Armanen in a future article.
Tacitus` Germania 2.2 "In ancient lays, their only type of historical tradition, they celebrate Tuisto, a god brought forth from the earth. They attribute to him a son, Mannus, the source and founder of their people, and to Mannus three sons, from whose names those nearest the Ocean are called Ingvaeones, those in the middle Herminones, and the rest Istvaeones."
It has generally been understood that the three original divisions of the Germanic peoples represented divisions based purely on ancestry and geography. However Guido von List makes it clear in his Die Armanenschaft der Ario-Germanen that the three divisions of the Germanic peoples also represent three seperate functions or classes, almost like a caste system.
It is common knowledge that ancient Aryan societies operated variations of a tripartite caste system, normally categorised as producers, warriors and priests.
According to von List the Ingvaeones were the producers or cultivators, the Naehrstand.
The Istvaeones were the warrior caste, the Wehrstand and the Herminones were the Armanenschaft who embodied within themselves the functions of Priest, Teacher and Judge in the same way as the Celtic druidic orders was the Lehrstand.
`In meinem Buche: "Die Namen der Voelkerstaemme Germaniens und deren Deutung" gebe Ich ausfuehrliche Mitteilungen ueber das Entstehen, das Alter und die Ausbreitung der arischen Urrasse, worauf Ich hiermit verweisse, und bringe den Nachweis, das die von Tacitus in der "Germania", Kap. II angefue angeblichen drei Hauptstaemme der Germanen, naemlich die Ingaevonen, die Hermionen und die Istvaeonen, nicht Staemme, sondern Staende bedeuten, dass selbe richtig: "Ing-fonen", "Armanen" und "Ist-fo-onen" zu nennen find, und nichts anderes als "Naehrstand", "Lehrstand" und "Wehrstand" bezeichnen.*`
*Besser gesagt: Entstehungsstand, Waltungsstand und Vergehungsstand zum Neuerstehen.
The role of the Armanen is brought out in this passage, `Die Armanen waren als Pfleger und Wahrer der Rita daher, wie scon eingangs erwaehnt wurde, Lehrer, Priester und Richter in einer Person, wie ja auch die "Rita" Wissenschaft, Religion und Gesetz in einem Begriffe war, ja sie ein allumfassendes Lehrgebaeude hoechster philosophischer Erkenntnis, entsprungen dem intuitivsten Empfinden der Volksseele, bedeute..........`
Is the secret Armanen priesthood , the Armanenschaft to be located in the central German living space? What significance has this for the development of German history?
Could the 1st century CE Prince of the Cheruski, Hermann or Arminius have been an Armanen adept? Could he in fact be part of an illustrious Armanen blood line that continues down to this very day? Indeed was he the originator of the Armanenschaft itself?
Early Years (1848-1869)
Guido Karl Anton List was born in Vienna on 5 October 1848 to Karl August and Maria List (nee Killian). His father was a fairly prosperous dealer in leather goods, and we can assume that Guido's early life was lived in comfortable and nurturing surroundings. The List family was Catholic, and we also presume that Guido was trained in that confession.
From the start of adolescence we have evidence of some of his propensities in life. He was fascinated by the landscape of his native Lower Austria and by the cityscape of his native city, Vienna . His sketchbook - which has drawings from as far back as 1863 (when he would have been fifteen years old) - demonstrates his interest in such sites. Some of these sketches were later used to illustrate the Deutsch-mythologische Landschaftsbilder (German Mythological Landscape Scenes, published 1891.). In conjunction with the romanticising of his environment, young Guido, by his own account, also had developed a strong mysto-magical bent of no orthodox variety.
'It was in the year 1862 - I was then in my fourteenth year of life - when I, after much asking, received permission from my father to accompany him and his party who were planning to visit the catacombs [under St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna] which were at that time still in their original condition. We climbed down, and everything I saw and felt excited me with a kind of power that today I am no longer able to experience. Then we came - it was, if I remember correctly, in the third or fourth level - to a ruined altar. The guide said that we were now situated beneath the old post office (today the Wohlzeile House No. 8). At that point my excitement was raised to fever pitch, and before this altar I proclaimed out loud this ceremonial vow: "Whenever I get big, I will build a Temple to Wotan!" I was, of course, laughed at, as a few members of the party said that a child did not belong in such a place… I knew nothing more about Wuotan than that which I had read about him in Vollmer's Woterbuch der Mythologie. '
Despite these artistic and mystical leanings, Guido was expected, as the eldest child, to follow in his father's footsteps as a businessman. He appears to have fulfilled his responsibilities in a dutiful manner, but he took any and all opportunities to develop his more intense interests.
The Mystical Wanderer (1870-1877)
The many trips that List was obliged to make for business purposes afforded him the opportunity to indulge himself in his passion for hiking and mountaineering. This activity seems to have provided a matrix for his early mysticism.
Although descriptions of List's early pilgrimages into nature exist, it is unclear what underlying mystical tradition he was familiar with at the time. Two things are obvious, however: he was possessed of the idea of the sacredness of his native land, and he has an "All-Mother." The interest in his native soil was probably spurred by his early passion for Germanic myth and lore.
At one point, one of his mountain adventures almost claimed List's life. As he was climbing a mountain on 8 May 1871 , a mass of ice gave way under his feet and he fell some distance. He was apparently saved only by the fact that he had landed on a soft surface covered by a recent snowfall. In memory of his good luck List had a track equipped with a chain put up. This was opened on 21 June 1871 and was named after him: the Guido-List-Steig.
Apparently List recorded his mystical wanderings in nature in verbal descriptions as well as in sketches. In 1871, his writing talents were given vent as he became a correspondent of the Neue deutsche Al-penzeitung (New German Alpine Newspaper), later called the Salonblatt. He also began to edit the yearbook of the Osterreicher Alpenverein' (Austrian Alpine Association), whose secretary he had become that year.
List often went in the company of others on his journeys into the mountains, which were taken on foot, by wagon, horse, or rowboat; but he would usually strike out on his own at some point to seek the solitude of nature.
Besides gaining general mystical impressions in these outings, List also engaged in active celebratory ritual work. He would perform various rituals that sometimes seemed quite impromptu. The most famous depiction of such an event is his celebration of the summer solstice on 24 June 1875 at the ruins of the Roman City of Carnuntum. For this - as for so much else - we are dependent on List's own somewhat fictionalised account, first published in Vienna in 1881. Basically, the ritual elements of this outing included the arduous task of gaining access to the so-called Heidentor ("Heathen Gate") of the city (which List mystically identified as the gate from which a German army set out to conquer Rome in 375 C.E.), the drinking of ritual toasts to the memory of the local spirit ( genius loci ) and the heroes of the past, the lighting of a solstice fire, and the laying of eight wine bottles in the shape of the "fyrfos" (Swastika) in the glowing embers of the fire. List and his company then awaited the dawn.
These early experiences were sometimes later more completely fictionalised, as, for example, in his visionary tale "Eine Zaubernacht" (A Night of Magic). In this account, the persona (List) succeeds in invoking from the great mound a divine seeress ( Hechsa ) who reveals to him that he is not to be the liberator of the Germans - but that despite this "the German folk has need of the skald."
The Folkish Journalist (1877-1887)
This rather comfortable, if self-divided, period in List's life came to an end after his father died in 1877, when List was twenty-nine years old. Neither he nor his mother appear to have had the elder List's keen sense of business, and as economic times became difficult List quit the business to devout himself fulltime to his writing. At this time his writing continued to be of a journalistic kind. Deprived of his ability to travel and wander as he had before, he wrote articles for newspapers, such as the Neue Welt, Neue deutsche Alpenzeitung, Heimat, and the Deutsche Zeitung, which dealt with his earlier travels and mystical reflections on these Loci. Many of these pieces were anthologised in 1891 in his famous Deutsch-mythologische Landschaftbilder. It was also during this period, in 1878, that he married his first wife, Helene Foster-Peters. However, the marriage was not to last through the difficult years of this period.
Given the Pan-German nationalism of the various groups and papers with which List had been associated throughout his career, it seems certain that from a political standpoint he was firmly in their camp.
However, the nature of his mysticism at this time seems to have been somewhat more original. Before any influence from later Theosophical notions could have been present, he was continuing on the path of mystical Germanic revivalism. Besides his own intuition - which, given his results, must have been his chief source - he must have been familiar with a variety of non-scientific, neo-romantic works on Germanic mythology and religion popular at the time, and was perhaps also aware of at least a portion of the scientific studies. In any event, many of the uniquely Listian notions seem to have been already solidifying in this early period.
Through these years, List was also working on his first book-length (two-volume) effort, Carnuntum, a historical novel based on his vision of the Kulturkampf between the Germanic and Roman worlds centred at that location around the year 375 C.E.
The Nationalist Poet (1888-1899)
Carnuntum was published in 1888 and became a huge success, especially among the Pan-German nationalists of Austria and Germany . Its publication brought its author more to the attention of important political and economic leaders of German nationalist movements. In connection with the appearance of Carnuntum, List made the acquaintance of the industrialist Friedrich Wannieck. This association was to prove essential to List's future development.
Throughout this period, List devoted himself to the production of further neo-romanticism prose, such as Jung Diethers Heimkehr (Young Diether's Homecoming) and Pipara, in 1894 and 1895 respectively. The anthology of earlier journalism Deutsch-mythologische Landschaftbilder was published in 1891, and List developed his writing skills in poetic and dramatic genres as well.
List became involved with two important literary associations during these years. In May 1891, the Iduna, bearing the descriptive subtitle "Free German Society for Literature," was founded by a circle of writers around Fritz Lemmermayer. Lemmermayer acted as a sort of "middle man" between an older generation of authors (which included Fercher von Steinwand, Joseph Tandler, Auguste Hyrtl, Ludwig von Mertens, and Josephone von Knorr) and a group of younger writers and thinkers (which included Rudolf Steiner, Marie Eugenie delle Grazie, and Karl Maria Heidt). The name Iduna, which was provided by List himself, is that of a North Germanic goddess of eternal youth and renewal. Within the society were two other authors with specifically neo-Germanic leanings: Richard von Kralik and Joseph Kalasanz Poestion. This literary circle was loosely held together by neo-romantic ideas of German nationalism, a sense of "turning within one's self" ( innerliche Wanderung ), antirealism, and anti-decadence. The society was only able to last until 1893, when the dilettantism of the various interests seems to have become too acute. However, in many ways this does seem to have been the springtime of the neo-Germanic movement. Another neo-romantic literary association, the Literarische Donaugesellschaft (Danubian Literary Society), was founded by List and Fanny Wschiansky the year the Iduna was dissolved.
It is almost certain that List and Rudolf Steiner knew each other in the early 1890's, since both were being influenced by the first wave of Theosophy and occult revivalism in German-speaking countries at that time. However, there is little chance that either one had too much direct influence on the other. Each of them would become more "Theosophical" in the next decade. List also met the young Jorg Lanz von Liebenfels (Adolf Joseph) at this time as well but it would not be until after Lanz had left the Heiligenkreuz monastery in 1899 that any extensive interaction between the two was possible.
By far the most important influence on List's development at this time were those provided by the nationalist and Pan-German cultural and political groups whose attention had been drawn to him by the publication of Carnuntum. These were largely associations of people of German ancestry and language in the multiethnic Austrian Empire, whose aims included the promotion of Germanic culture and language and the eventual political union of Austrian Germans with the greater German Empire to the west, that is, Germany proper.
Of course such notions were common enough at the time, and List was certainly already firmly in this camp before 1891. Even the "sporting” associations in which he had earlier begun to be active had Pan-German political aims. However, this period began a more activist phase for List, who had, up until this time, been fairly exclusively "mystical" in his approach. The new phase brought List into close contact with such leading political figures as Georg von Schonerer, a Pan-German member of the Imperial Parliament, and the powerful publicist and parliamentary deputy Karl Wolf. Both of these men also published newspapers, and List's work appeared in Wolf's Ostdeutsche Rundschau (East German Review) on a regular basis. It might also be speculated that List had as much a "mystifying" effect on the political world as it had a "politicising" effect on his views. This trend would continue with the later advent of the New Templar Jorg Lanz von Liebenfels. But it was List's association with the Wannieck family and their organisation and publishing house, Verein "Deutsche Haus" ("German House" Association), which was to prove most important to List. They published many of his books in this decade and give him a wider outlet for his ideas. In 1892 he delivered a lecture on the ancient Germanic cult of Wuotan to the Verein Deutsche Geschichte (German History Association). Numerous other associations allied with this one proliferated in Austria at this time. Another groupBund der Germanen (Germanic League), sponsored the performance of List's mythological dramatic poem, Der Wala Erweckung (The Wala's Awakening), in 1894. In another performance of this drama in 1895, which was attended by over three thousand people, the part of Wala was read by Anna Wittek, a young actress who later became List's second wife.
Through these years, List became a well-known and respected artist and mystagogue among Austrian German nationalists, and he was to remain a part of the conservative cultural establishment throughout his life.
The Emerging Master (1898-1902)
The time between the publication of Der Unbenesiegbare (1898), List's neo-Germanic catechism, and the year 1902 marked a period of transformation of List from someone known primarily as an artist to an occult investigator, religious leader, and prophet of a coming age.
Concerning the generation of the manuscript for Der Unbenesiegbare there is a story that perhaps demonstrates the growing - if ambivalent – association between mysticism and politics in these circles. In the summer of 1898, a law prescribing religious instruction in Lower Austria secondary schools was being debated. Dr. Karl Lueger, who was later to become the mayor of Vienna and a member of the Guido von List Society, was for the bill, as were the church officials. When he was questioned on this by representative Karl Wolf, Lueger responded “Gebt uns Besseres und wir warden Euch folgen!” (Give us something better and we shall follow you!). It is said that List was deeply moved by this and wrote Der Unbenesiegbare overnight. List took the manuscript to Wolf's office the next day, but the whole idea was eventually rejected by Wolf, as his interests in religion were “just matters of curriculum.” The catechism was printed in an edition of five thousand copies, marking the beginning of List's more practical religious career.
Perhaps the successes he had had with the poetic drama Der Wala Erwechung spurred List to try his hand at more drama, because in the last phase of his conventional literary career this genre predominated. However, to assume that List intended these dramas as mere entertainment would be a mistake. He saw them more as Weihespiele (sacral plays) which had a liturgical as well as didactic purpose. In 1900, he published a pamphlet, Der Wiederaufbau von Carnuntum (The Reconstruction of Carnuntum), in which he called for the establishment of ritual dramas and legal assemblies based on ancient Germanic models.
In August 1899, List married Anna Wittek von Stecky, who had sung the Wala parting his play in 1895. They were married in a Lutheran church – which is also some indication of the decay of the Catholic establishment and general religious dissatisfaction in Austria at that time.
This period acts more as a sort of bridge between List's long artistic phase and his shorter, but highly intense and influential, mystico-magical phase from 1902 to his death in 1919. It is also most likely that during this period (1898-1902) Theosophical ideas as such became more influential in List's worldview. After all, it was not until 1897-1901 that the German translation of The Secret Doctrine by H.P. Blavatsky appeared. Certainly List would have had Theosophical ideas available to him long before this (perhaps as early as the 1880's), but the evidence of a general lack of Theosophical concepts in Der Unbenesiegbare would indicate that it was of little influence before 1898.
In 1902, by his own accounts, there resulted in his “revelations” concerning the 'Secret of the Runes.'
The Occult Master (1902-1919)
Late in 1902, List had undergone an operation for cataracts. For eleven months his eyes were bandaged, and in this virtual state of blindness and utter darkness List is said to have been enlightened with regard to the “secret of the runes.” At this time, and by whatever means, List's occult vision did seem to undergo a major synthesis. That the main features of his thought were solidified in this period is witnessed by the fact that he produced his first manuscript on Kala and published an article on his interpretation of glyphs (swastika, triskelion, etc.) in 1903.
Between this time and 1908, when Das Geheimnis der Runen was published and the Guido-von-List-Gesellschaft (Guido von List Society) was founded, List's ideas probably underwent their final synthesis. After 1908, it seems “occult wisdom” flowed freely and constantly from the pen of the Master.
It was between 1903 and 1907 that List first began to use the noble title “von” in his name. Legitimate or not, it was important for List to distance himself from his middle-class background as his ideas took on a more aristocratic tone – and began to appeal more and more to the aristocratic establishment.
On 2 March 1908 the Guido von List Society was officially founded to support the work of the Master.
Although chiefly founded by the Wannieck family, it was also supported by many leading figures in Austrian and German politics, publishing, and occultism.
All of List's occult research works that were to be published in his lifetime were originally published between 1908 and 1914. Economic restrictions after that time put an end to the production of original works.
The Guido von List society remained the exoteric outlet for List's ideas, mainly in the form of his multivolume “research findings.” However, his work implied a deeper, more practical level as well. For the expression of this aspect, in the form of a magical order or lodge, the Hoher Armanen-Orden (High Armanic Order), HAO, was founded in midsummer 1911. Thus List had formed exoteric and esoteric circles in his organisation. The activities of the esoteric HAO were indeed mysterious. We know that they conducted pilgrimages to what they considered holy Armanic sites, Saint Stephen's Cathederal in Vienna , Carnuntum , etc. They also had their occasional meetings between 1911 and 1918, but the exact nature of these remains unknown. The HAO never really crystallised in List's lifetime - although it seems possible that he developed a theoretical body of unpublished documents and rituals relevant to the HAO which have only been put into full practice in more recent years.
An odd chapter in Guido von List's story was opened in November 1911 when he received a letter from a mysterious figure in Germany calling himself Tarnhari. This man turned out to be one Ernst Lautner, who claimed to be a descendant of the ancient Nordic tribe of the Wolsungen (Old Norse Volsungar, the tribe to which Sigurd/Siegfried belonged). He also claimed, however, to be a reincarnation of a chieftain of this tribe. Lautner was also to be instrumental in the spread of List's ideas in Germany . Unfortunately, for the Von List’s legacy, Lautner’s close association with such figures as Dietrich Eckart would ultimately lead to von List’s ideas becoming corrupted and absorbed into the extreme right political movements that spring up in Germany, following the end of the First World war. This was not, however, something that von List would live to see
Throughout the years of World War 1, although nothing new was published by the Master, his reputation and fame grew, and his ideas were becoming more popular than ever. But the war took its toll on the health of the now elderly List. Within a few months after the end of the war,
List died while on a visit to his followers in Berlin , on 17 May 1919 . His body was cremated and placed in an urn in his native Vienna . - Victor Ordell L. Kasen