Saturday, December 16, 2017

What are the Features of Indo-European culture?

What makes up Indo-European culture? In the last post, we had a long list of books and authors for anyone who wants to learn the basic history and nature of Indo-European culture across its many manifestations, which is very useful for understanding the correct spirit in which to practice the Runes for maximum resonance.

But given that we're dealing with fallible human beings here, not every author is going to be totally on-point with their analysis. And inevitably those books and authors will contain some amount of personal interpretation and hypothesis, and disagree with each other on some points. So lets distill it to the basics; just what are the essential elements and features of Indo-European culture?



First, there is the overarching worldview of Indo-European cultures. This worldview is remarkably consistent across all of them - Celtic, Germanic, Slavic, Iranian, Tocharian, north Indian, Hittite, and many others. It can generally be broken down into nine elements, which follow in no particular order:


1. We do not know everything there is to know, nor do we presume to have all the answers, though we do have many helpful ones; the answers to everything are not all contained in a book or a scroll; the Lore is a general guide, not a dogma; exploration is encouraged and valued. This is the Odinic ethic of curiosity. Alain de Benoist calls it the “Faustian spark” or “Promethean spark”.

2. Time has cycles, rather than an absolute beginning and end. Much of what happens, now, has happened in recurring cycles before; people merely forget, or grow detached from theor blood-memory. There is no damnation for beliefs; deeds are far more important. Indo-European culture has always accepted time cycles and reincarnation as realities. That said, reincarnation is not a universal destiny. And it is definitely not a punishment.

3. The concept of “fate” is malleable. While a person cannot completely undo their spiritual nature and tendencies (Orlog), they can master it to influence their Karma or Wyrd by learning how to use the strengths and mitigate the blind spots in their Orlog to make better decisions.

4. Nature is integral to Indo-European culture as we are part of nature, not something artificial. There is no treating nature as a mere resource to be exploited, no devaluing of the non-human life. Indo-European culture only consumes as much as is necessary, and makes every effort to replace what it consumes. It is frugal, not merely sustainable.

5. Freedom is essential to Indo-European culture. Slavery is an aberration borrowed from hunter or herder cultures, or imposed by them; primordial Ur-Aryan culture had no need for it. However, care must be taken to distinguish true freedom from “liberty”. True freedom is not in deceptive carrots of “liberties” but rather in the active and uncoerced fulfillment of duties toward folk and land.

6. The bonds of oath and gift are sacred; Freedom does not mean disregarding duties and oaths, but rather, picking them carefully and honoring them once taken. Oaths are not taken lightly. Northern Indo-Europeans said “my word is my bond” and Southern Indo-Europeans said “nothing is so foul as to tell a lie, or owe a debt, for debtors lie”. In both cases, the message is the same. If you are more accountable to debts than to oaths, you are a vile worm and fallen foul of the ethics. The reciprocal principle also stems from this; a gift requires a gift in return, whether we are talking about gifting physical presents, healing, offerings, advice, or knowledge. That which is asked for, must be repaid. That which is showered freely upon all, is valued truly by none.

7. The bonds of blood are also sacred. Betraying one's family is one of the worst treasons. That said, if one's family members are engaged in ignoble or abusive activities, you should not join in, but unless they are forcing you, cutting off ties with family is highly despised. The destruction of the family, the atomization of folk, is anathema to everything that Indo-European culture stands for.

8. The Solar-Agricultural Principle is active in all Indo-European cultures: we encourage what can only be called Sun-like behavior – that is, to aim for excellence in all things, strength and speech included, so that your very essence is the radiant Sun in microcosm. Solar people do not rely on others for strength or validation; they produce their own. Solar people have absolute conviction in the honor of their actions, and despise dishonorable ones; to shine like the Sun, you must first burn like it – and give light and warmth to those around you, as the Sun gives life to the Land and the plants. We do not own land so much as we own title to its stewardship; hence good land is cultivated and not despoiled. Likewise, we do not own people, but rather guide them. The ancient Indo-Europeans were not plunderers or herders, nor "fishers of men" but rather builders of noble civilizations – both frugal and advanced at the same time. Consider the Abgallu who took Sumer from barren fishing villages to lush garden cities and the heights of the sciences – or the Yamnaya, who did much the same for Europe. Think of Atlantis, of Thule, of Agartha. People who plant crops think one or two seasons ahead; people who plant people think centuries ahead. Be farmers, not herders.

9. Thinking is Lateral, not Critical; For all ideas and axioms in Indo-European culture, there is a nuance to the understanding. Things are almost never “black and white”. To reach the truth, what is needed is often the ability to think laterally, in terms of many alternate possibilities for any given problem or data set. This enables you to avoid being sucked into the herder trap of critical “thinking” taught in most state schools today, which reduces all thought processes to a crude (and often) false dichotomy of two misleading choices (critical dialectic), rather than allowing as many choices as the situation/data itself reasonably indicates exist (true lateral thinking). Only in the expanded realm of Lateral Thinking, can you hit the noble truth with the sharpness of Odin's spear.




If this wasn't enough, lets distill it down a bit more. The worldview of ancient Indo-Europeans may strike people in this “modern world” as strange, so we must often peel back the commonly used labels of today to reveal the original meanings of apparently simple words.

First we have the Nine Noble Virtues (Die Neun Ehrenheilkraften or Noh Arya-Kara). These are often seen as only being unique to Asatru or Germanic Heathenry, but they are just as applicable to other Indo-European cultures, as the values in the Lore are the same.

These Nine Virtues are closely related to Yggdrasil's first metaphysical root; that of Arising. These are generally lessons learned from the Past that are vital to the formation of a noble Indo-European society from its beginnings, so that the beginning is not perverted or stunted by coercive nifling herd-dogmas. And Yggdrasil itself is also not limited to Germanic spirituality; all Indo-European cultures recognize it in some form as a living universal structure. In Greater Iran it was known as Harvisptokhm (the seed-tree of the Highest, eternal tree, or the tree of all seeds), in India as Akshaya Vata (tree of the Eternal Wind) or Ashvattha (the ever-remaining), and Baltic cultures knew it as Austras koks (tree of eternal dawn).



THE NINE NOBLE VIRTUES

Courage: We must be courageous in our endeavor! We must have inner strength that to face any task at hand- the courage to stand by our folk and to keep holy Rita and principles. These are the foundations for the furtherance of our ideals; be unflinching in your courage to evolution, the material evolution serving the spiritual, not hindering it: the very sustenance of our Being.

Truth: Courage fosters truth, and truth furthers courage- we must be incessant in striving for what we know to be true. Truth is the underlying principle of holy improvement, and ultimately that which steels us in our courage! Without truth, we have no grouding, no consciousness on any level, nor courage to achieve and evolve, relegating our Being to a farcical play.

Honor: Our honor is our worth, without worth, we are nothing. Without honor, we are doomed to the darkest corner of Helheim; without worth, we do not further our Folk, kin, or ourselves, but instead hold back that evolution for which Indo-European culture strives. Our deeds, both foul and fair outlive us, and carry the burden or glory of our Beings- we cannot allow ourselves to accrue the baggage of failure or disgrace that our children and their children would subsequently bear!

Fidelity: In this 'modern era', loyalty is the first thing to falter - loyalty is what holds our kin and friends to us, what holds them true and keeps those bonds strong. Our oaths serve as the conduit where the power of our folk-essence travels, the very web that weaves together the tapestry of our spiritual paths. We must be unfailing in our loyalties- to our Gods, Ancestors, Rita (cosmic law), and our fellow traveler. Any breach of loyalty is a tear upon the fabric of the weave, and so threatens the unmaking of the Whole overall. We as a folk cannot suffer to permit a betrayal on any level!

Discipline: We grasp and shape our own Orlog (luck) and Wyrd (result/consequence). This carries forth from our own personal sphere to that of the Indo-European megafolk overall. We must have the discipline that keeps us true to our principles and virtues, and allows us to master our resolve and focus. We must remain free of dependencies and self-destructive habits that are the nemesis of evolution: which sow the seeds of our own demise.

Hospitality: We rely on the strengths of loyalty and love that are forged by our mutual Oath...what good are such things when we think only of self and can't be bothered otherwise? We must be ready and willing to lend help and assistance where we can, to folk of noble heart, when it is needed - what good are we to those to whom we are bound if we cannot depend on one another?

Industriousness: We are worthless if we cannot work to advance our families, to provide better for them in providing the best we can for our Folk...in reaching high goals, in striving for perfection in all areas of life, we lay that example for our children, as they will for their own. Laziness is unacceptable and a true disservice to them. We must build our community and work to further our standing in society, which also strengthens it! We cannot simply 'settle' for the mediocre, nor be satisfied in simply surviving - this does nothing to inspire our children to to achieve or evolve!

Self-reliance: Freedom is the essence of all joyous life! To need reliance on others, or to be bound in thralldom to servitude, is worse than death! We cannot be satisfied to let others think for us, nor can we be satisfied to let others do our work. Freedom is duty and self-reliance, not laziness or profligacy, for those only lead to need and slavery. Only freedom can strengthen our love for life, and we cannot allow ourselves to be enthralled by need or want, which in turn enthralls our children and descendants, and thus the future of our ancestors... Only freedom furthers freedom!

Perseverance: Perseverance is inherently dynamic in nature, and is essential to Natural Order. We must actively persevere and preserve our Immanence, our wisdom and our folk. We must persevere to achieve, and must remain stalwart in our works and commitments. Only through our dynamic achievement can we truly foster the developments and evolutionary gains of the Indo-European Ancestors - furthering the gains of our Fathers and those of our own generation, while laying firm foundations upon which our children (and the countless generations of our lines who will follow) can build and grow.




Although these are already plenty, it can be said that there are two further sets of nine values relating to Indo-European culture, having some overlap with the Virtues in wording, though with different operation, based on looking to the present or future. The second set, the Nine Noble Charges, deals with the present case; Yggdrasils's root of Being. These principles deal with evaluating current situations and mastering the “here and now” conditions for improvement, and were found in some shape or form in all Indo-European cultures at their root. Like it or not, all Indo-European societies practiced or recognized these principles in their halcyon days to some degree:


THE NINE NOBLE CHARGES


1. Asha: Becoming like the Aesir – walking in their Tru – is achieved by upward evolution (Asha) through nobility

2. Arya: Nobility (Arya) is the defiance of all shackles and slave creeds, the rejection of both material and spiritual slavery

3. Heritage: Nobility has a biologically heritable influence, though not dependent on arbitrary modern “identity” labels.

4. Effort: Nobility also has a spiritually autonomous influence, not dependent on heritage.

5. Sigr: Victory. Any individual has the theoretical ability and the ethical duty to pursue nobility by compensating for the shortcomings of heritage using effort, and thus overcome them.

6. Statistics: In a large population, for every overachiever there is an underachiever. For every new genius born, there are a hundred new fools. Therefore Sigr based on effort alone is not scaleable in the long run, and relying on effort alone to ennoble mankind is, in the long-term, completely useless.

7. Aryanism: The most reliable way to ennoble mankind is to form a noble-spirited (Aryan) Folk through which to consciously and repeatably ennoble and revive heritage, with compensatory effort to follow where necessary.

8. Supernatural Selection: Though respect for Nature is essential, we do not view our place in it complacently. Heritage cannot be ennobled so long as Nature is permitted to eliminate the noblest in favor of the fittest, and quality in favor of quantity (the fittest are NEVER the noblest, as avoiding death by accepting slavery is the essence of survival at any cost, and hence 'fitness'). Thus we must not be dependent on Nature alone to “sort us out”. It is our home and trust, not our herder.

9. Folk-Evolution: An environment must be established by the Folk, such that survival of the 'fittest' and greatest number is replaced by survival of the noblest and rarest number, so that such number may be increased and the prevalance of nobility encouraged. Guidance of family formation and reproduction by guardians of the culture must be the central feature of such an environment.





Finally we have the Nine Noble Journeys, pertaining to Yggdrasil's Root of Passing On towards New Arising – that is, creating the conditions and mindsets for a better generation to follow. This is where Indo-European cultures often manifested some of their most starkly transformative ideas, which were often communicated in Runes or other angular symbols. These were usually taught to initiates in the form of contrasts between the Noble and the Ignoble culture. Though not absolute dichotomies, for that would violate Lateral Thinking, these are general axioms that guide towards an upward path of improvement and away from the downward spiral of passivity and addiction that destroys peoples.


THE NINE NOBLE JOURNEYS


1. Immanence, not Tradition
Indo-European culture is constructed around an immanent ideal (Arya or higher nobility) that supersedes a specific identity or tradition. Unlike identitarian herder philosophies, Indo-European culture is never self-referential and does not use circular logic or arbitrary values to justify its existence. It exists to improve people, not just circumstances. The archetypes and rituals of Indo-European “tradition” in any given era and land gradually evolved into what they are because they have proven effective for this end – improvement of folk – over millennia, NOT because of blind devotion to Tradition for its own sake. Likewise with its choice of Gods – the Aesir or Asuras – who themselves represent constant improvement.

2. Rationalism, not Empiricism
Indo-European culture is based on understanding the universe (or multiverse) through the clarity of rationalism, with axioms of Natural Law (Orlog) that are demonstrably true across deep time, and cannot be twisted or spun – as opposed to herder culture's fanatical reliance on either dogmas, or on fallible empiricism which only builds data sets based on Boolean dichotomies – data sets that are now ever more prone to bias, manipulation, and non-repeatability based on who controls the funding. While experimentation has its place, both in material science and spiritual science, it can never nullify rationalism, any more than rocket engines nullify gravity.

3. Nobility, not Slavery
Indo-European culture is based on striving towards strength nobility (Ehrenschaft or Arya), which consists of spiritual invincibility and a refusal to tolerate any form of slavery or thralldom, whether temporal or spiritual. Thus, the emergence of thralldom among Vikings and other early Medieval societies was actually due to the decline of Indo-European values, not its true manifestation. For the Indo-European culture, slavery and humiliation is a fate worse than death, as there is honor in a dead man's deeds, but never in the deeds of the slave, master, or bystander.

4. Freedom, not Liberty
Nobility always strives for Freedom – a price many have paid in blood. Freedom however is not the same as liberty. A truly free person can never be enslaved with any offer of liberty or conditional “carrots”. Liberties are carrots on a slavemaster's terms, in exchange for servile behavior, including debt-slavery, whereas Freedom is self-reliance, even on a folk level, and the active and proud fulfillment of one's karmic duties towards the future of oneself and one's folk. Liberty is trading in one's freedom and duties to a herder system for a few temporary perks and far more restrictions. Freedom is rejection of the entire system of slavery - it is not "Liberty" but defiance.

5. Folkism, not Tribalism
Indo-European culture is an authentically Folkish and Universalist culture at once, though this is not what most people imagine these terms to be; this means it prioritizes the interests of Folk over non-Folk, but does not use superficial labels of tribe or modern ethnicity as excuses to exclude one from the Folk. A tribe, you are born into. A Folk, you join and build. Our Folk is all those who claim (and uphold) an Indo-European legacy and blood-memory, whether from one ancestor or a hundred, and manifest that noble spark in their actions as well as values, not merely appearances; who come from a place of craving wisdom and improvement, not arrogance, and who desire nobility, not merely survival or nepotism. This was the same in the ancient model. In ancient times the Folk was about improvement of its stock, not "identitarian" stagnation. The aim is a consciously formed Folk, not a static tribe of mediocre averages. Only then can the God-men be resurrected.

6. Childcare, not child-rearing
Indo-European culture strives for care of children with respect to their real-time interests as children, and support in all their best aspirations and self-willed endeavors. We reject ignoble and coercive “child-rearing” whether it's in the form of manipulative “safe space” coddling or openly coercive “tiger parenting”, both of which only consider breaking and manipulating children's behavior to the interests of the sheepish adults that herder society expects them to become. The children of Indo-European culture should be allowed to grow into Arhats, not beaten into sheep.

7. Martialism, not Survivalism
Indo-European culture is always directed by a martial level of loyalty to achieving the misson at hand. Indo-European culture is not survivalism, as its purpose it not its own mere self-perpetuation, or the mere self-perpetuation of any group or individual. Indo-European culture looks far beyond that, to the improvement of people (not just their circumstances) as well as the resurgence of noble Asa-nature in Midgard. Survival and replication is only valuable as a baseline means to this end. For both Sigurd and Rustam, victory over the forces of Nidh and Druj was infinitely more important than survival.

8. Compassion, not Altruism
Indo-European culture is based on universal compassion, though this is not what most people imagine it to be; it is not blind tolerance of all people and things as 'equally' good, as absolute equality simply does not exist in any conceivable category. True compassion what is best for the planet as whole, even when it is unpopular or “politically incorrect”. Indeed, compassion also includes putting a swift end to ignoble behaviors and, if need be, their chronic perpetrators. This is in opposition to both egoism and altruism, as altruism is merely reciprocal egoism, a means of endebting others, or aiding them for the purpose of extracting either an ego boost or favors from them, regardless of the net effect on Midgard. In addition, altruism may often not be truly compassionate when it makes people perpetually dependent, and robs them of the opportunity to fight their own battles and refine their karma. Compassion includes aiding the noble who have truly been struck with disaster, but it also recognizes a noble man's need to self-actualize, which altruism never does.

9. Radicalism, not Conservatism or Liberalism
Indo-European culture and spirituality was all-encompassing, and therefore also encompasses social aspects; as a social paradigm, Indo-European culture contained many aspects which would seem fairly radical today. It is neither conservative nor liberal but radical, in the sense that it only ever aims for the root (radix) of a problem rather than wasting time denying the problem or attacking the messenger (conservatism), or covering it up with relativistic band-aids and half-measures (liberalism). That said, there are thousands of “radical” ideas that have nothing to do with Indo-European culture, and are in fact antithetical to it, so obviously “radicalism” on its own is neither here nor there. Whereas radical herder ideologies/social engineering (of which there are many in the modern world; we need not mention them all here) are radical slavery and reactivity, Indo-European culture is radical freedom and evolution.



Sunday, December 10, 2017

Recommended Reading on Indo-European Culture

As you may know, I put together a list of recommended books on Runes a while back, though in the meantime there have been many new works written.

However for a really strong esoteric understanding of Runes, it is also important to have a working knowledge of the themes behind Indo-European cultures in general, so you can see the overall cultural context of Runology and Rune Magick at least similarly to the way that the great Rune-Masters of the past saw them. People who fail to understand Indo-European cultural phenomena, usually end up using or interpreting Runes in ways totally contrary to their authentic meanings - especially many of the more eclectic New Age authors. This is why you see so many people who want to be "pagans" eventually getting confused and giving up - because pseudo-pagan New Age authors have no standards - they copy from piles of unrelated, non-Indo-European traditions, stick completely off-the-wall meanings onto Runes, and invent fake rituals - when in fact there is plenty of writing on real Indo-European rituals and cultural mythos by people like Guido von List, Peryt Shou, Georges Dumézil and even more accessible authors like Edred Thorsson.

If you have at least a basic grounding in Indo-European concepts of time, karma, the supernatural, the hero's journey, the tri-phase reincarnation cycle, the concepts of perpetual improvement (Asha), blood-memory and farmer-cultural ethics, then you will be far less likely to make silly mistakes or "stumble around in the dark" to paraphrase Master Egil.

Sometimes I will quote from these books and authors, to give a gist of the general flavor of Indo-European Ur-culture and its archetypes and ethics that underpin all true Rune-Magick, especially of the Armanen variety, but just as applicable to the other runic systems if you are so inclined. But if you want your Rune-Magick to be truly effective in real life, at least a few of these books are must-read items.

Keep in mind that many of the books on this list, I do not see eye-to-eye with. These are for background material on various Indo-European cultures, which tend to overlap in areas relating to the primordial Ur-culture of the proto-Aryans. Many of these authors have different viewpoints, with some of the authors' theories and side commentaries even being antithetical to true Indo-European cultural archetypes. So it is important to read multiple authors to get a balanced view of things. Some of the rarer German books have not been translated so at least a basic understanding of German is required for those.

Of course the best sources for Indo-European cultures are ancient Lore-texts of these cultures. Find a good translation, and start digging!  

THE CORE LORE OF INDO-EUROPEANS
  • The Poetic and Prose Eddas
  • The Avesta (including the Vendidad)
  • The Bundahishn
  • The Vedas (preferably the Jain versions, which are hard to find; take the common Hindu Vedas with a HUGE pinch of salt)
  • The Mahabharata (again, grain of salt with all the Daeva archetypes - this epic got Turanized)
  • Beowulf
  • The Volsunga Saga and the Nibelunglied
  • The Viking-age Sagas (not all are of equal quality, but the major sagas at least like Egil, Ragnar, Ragnar's sons, the Jomsvikings, the Vatnsdalers, etc.)


POSTWAR EXOTERIC WORKS:

David W. Anthony: a recent rising star in Indo-European academic studies.

*The Horse, the Wheel and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World, Princeton University Press, 2007.
*The Lost World Of Old Europe: The Danube Valley, 5000 - 3500 BC, (2009)
*A Bronze Age Landscape in the Russian Steppes: The Samara Valley Project (2016, co-editor)

Georges Dumézil (probably the biggest author on Indo-European studies):

*The Fate of a King. Trans. Alf Hiltebeitel. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1973
*The Fate of the Warrior. Trans. Alf Hiltebeitel. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1970
*Mitra-Varuna. Trans. Derek Coltman. New York: Zone Books, 1988.
*The Stakes of the Warrior. Ed. Jaan Puhvel and David Weeks. Berkeley and Los Angeles, UC Press, 1983. [Mythe et épopée II.1]
*The Plight of the Sorcerer. Trans. David Weeks. Berkeley and Los Angeles, UC Press, 1986. [Mythe et épopée II.2]


Marija Gimbutas: a major author in Indo-European archaeology and culture, generally her later works on paleolithic European “Goddess culture” got a bit worse and more personal speculation rather than solid cultural grounding, but these basic ones on Indo-European (neolithic and later) culture are fairly solid.

*Bronze Age cultures in Central and Eastern Europe. The Hague/London: Mouton,1965.
*The Gods and Goddesses of Old Europe, 7000 to 3500 BC: Myths, Legends and Cult Images. London: Thames and Hudson, 1974.
*Die Ethnogenese der europäischen Indogermanen. Innsbruck: Institut für Sprachwissenschaft der Universität Innsbruck, Innsbrucker Beiträge zur Sprachwissenschaft, Vorträge und kleinere Schriften 54, 1992.
*Das Ende Alteuropas. Der Einfall von Steppennomaden aus Südrussland und die Indogermanisierung Mitteleuropas. Innsbruck: Institut für Sprachwissenschaft, 1994.


J.P. Mallory: a solid author and researcher on Indo-European cultures, though I disagree with his putting the Urheimat in Anatolia... otherwise, a pretty informative source on the subject.

*In Search of the Indo-Europeans: Language, Archaeology and Myth. London: Thames & Hudson,1989.
*Mallory, J.P.; T.E. McNeill. The Archaeology of Ulster. Belfast: Dufour Editions,1991.
*Mallory, J.P.;Victor H. Mair. The Tarim Mummies: Ancient China and the Mystery of the Earliest Peoples from the West. London: Thames & Hudson, 2000.
*Mallory, J.P.; Adams, D.Q. The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-Europeans and the Proto-Indo-European World. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.
*Mallory, J.P. (2013).The Origins of the Irish. London–New York: Thames & Hudson.

Jens Elmegård Rasmussen: a less well-known author, focuses on the ancient interactions between Indo-European and Finno-Ugric peoples and cultures.

*Studien zur Morphophonemik der Indogermanischen Grundsprache. Innsbruck: Innsbrucker Beiträge zur Sprachwissenschaft,1989.
*Selected Papers on Indo-European Linguistics. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 1999.


Martin L. West: mainly a Hellenic expert and mythologist.

*Indo-European Poetry and Myth. Oxford: Oxford University Press 2007


Albert T. Olmstead: expert on Persian culture

*History of the Persian Empire. Achaemenid Period. Hrsg. George G. Cameron. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Ill. 1948,


Richard Frye: general expert on ancient Iranian cultures, though he also writes about the Rus.

*The Heritage of Persia: The pre-Islamic History of One of the World's Great Civilizations, World Publishing Company, New York, 1963.
*Greater Iran, Mazda Publishers, 2005,
*Ibn Fadlan's Journey To Russia, Markus Wiener Publishers, 2005.



OLDER EXOTERIC WORKS:

Vilhelm Grönbech:

*The culture of the Teutons (1909) – public domain.


Bal Gangadhar Tilak: Indian mathematician, mytho-archaeologist, major leader of the Indian Independence movement, and early Arcto-Aryanist:

*The Arctic Home in the Vedas (1903) – public domain


Rudolf Much:

*Die Germania des Tacitus, erläutert von Rudolf Much; Winter, Heidelberg 1937, 3. Auflage unter Bearbeitung durch Wolfgang Lange und Herbert Jankuhn, 1967.
*Der Name Germanen. Hölder, Wien 1920.
*Deutsche Stammeskunde. Göschen, Leipzig, Berlin (u.a.) 1900.
*Der germanische Himmelsgott. Niemeyer, Halle a. S. 1898.
*Deutsche Stammsitze − ein Beitrag zur ältesten Geschichte Deutschlands. Niemeyer, Halle a. S. 1892.



ESOTERIC WORKS:

Guido von List: the Master himself! You may be surprised to know how many books on ancient Germanic culture he wrote. In addition he went beyond just Germanic Lore and placed the Runes and their associated symbols in a primal Pan-Aryan context. Even his rune books, cover far more than just the Runic symbols. A lot of the cultural and mystical insights in his works are things that the pure academics are just beginning to uncover.

1888 Carnuntum. Historischer Roman aus dem 4. Jahr-hundert (two volumes) Berlin
1891 Deutsch-Mythologische Landschaftsbilder Berlin
1892 Tauf-, Hochzeits- und Bestattungs-Gebräuche und deren Ursprung Salzburg
1893 Litteraria sodalitas Danubiana Vienna
1894 Jung Diether's Heimkehr. Eine Sonnwend-Geschichte aus dem Jahre 488 n. Chr. Brno
1894 Der Wala Erweckung Vienna
1895 Walküren-Weihe. Epische Dichtung Brno
1895 Pipara. Die Germanin im Cäsarenpurpur (two volumes) Leipzig
1898 Niederösterreichisches Winzerbüchlein Vienna
1898 Der Unbesiegbare. Ein Grundzug germanischer Weltanschaaung Vienna
1899 König Vannius. Ein deutsches Königsdrama Brno
1900 Der Wiederaufbau von Carnuntum Vienna
1901 Sommer-Sonnwend-Feuerzauber. Skaldisches Weihespiel Vienna
1903 Alraunen-Mären. Kulturhistorische Novellen und Dichtungen aus germanischer Vorzeit Vienna
1903 Das Goldstück. Ein Liebesdrama in fünf Aufzügen Vienna
1908 Das Geheimnis der Runen Gross-Lichterfelde
1908 Die Armanenschaft der Ario-Germanen Leipzig and Vienna
1908 Die Rita der Ario-Germanen Leipzig and Vienna
1909 Die Namen der Völkerstämme Germaniens und deren Deutung Leipzig and Vienna
1909/10 Die Religion der Ario-Germanen im ihrer Esoterik und Exoterik Zurich
1910 Der Bilderschrift der Ario-Germanen (Ario-Germanische Hieroglyphik) Leipzig and Vienna
1911 Die Armanenschaft der Ario-Germanen. Zweiter Teil Leipzig and Vienna
1911 Der Übergang vom Wuotanstum zum Christensum Zurich
1913 Die Armanenschaft der Ario-Germanen. Erster Teil (second edition) Vienna
1913 Deutsch-Mythologische Landschaftsbilder (second edition) Vienna
1914 Die Ursprache der Ario-Germanen und ihre Mysteriensprache



Rudolf Gorsleben: one of the most influential but least remembered Armanists

*Hoch-Zeit der Menschheit


Peryt Shou: another very influential though largely forgotten Armanist; he was a great expett in Indo-European esoteric Lore and many lost occult Aryan traditions. He is believed to have been part of a secret family Runic tradition, like his contemporary Tarnhari (Ernst Lauterer). All his books are out of print, though a few have been reprinted. If you can find any of them past the first two, you are fortunate.

*The Edda as Keys to the Coming Age
*The Mystery of the Central Sun: from the Scientific and Metaphysical Viewpoints
*Zeiten-Wende: Not, Transformation und Erwachen
*Der Hüter am Tor: Uranisches Zeitalter und Ur-Religion
*Atlantis - Das Schicksal der Menschheit
*Die Geisteswaffe des Nordischen Menschen


Robert Sepehr: an interesting new author on esoteric history and archaeology, he explores many metaphysical and paranormal topics in Aryan history that have been considered “too fringe to touch” by the mainstream. While I don't agree with all of his conclusions (especially his statements confusing Cro-Magnons with Aryans), he does fascinating work on worldwide Aryan Diffusion theory and the re-dating of Indo-European cultures to far earlier than mainstream consensus preaches.

He also makes some pretty informative videos, and also does research into the historical antagonists of Indo-European culture.

*Species with Amnesia: Our Forgotten History. Atlantean Gardens, 2015
*Gods with Amnesia: Subterranean Worlds of Inner Earth. Atlantean Gardens, 2006
*The Occult Secrets of Vril. Atlantean Gardens, 2015
*1666: Redemption Through Sin. Atlantean Gardens, 2015


Edred Thorsson/Stephen Flowers: Like him or hate him, a very important author in the Runic Revival - he is famous for his rune books, less famous for his cultural books (see below), and infamous for his messing around with Setianism. That said, if you can ignore his occasional hermetic babblings, he can be a very useful author. He has also recently focused on the Iranian (more specifically, Mazdean) branch of Indo-European cultures and spirituality.

*An Introduction to the Germanic Tradition, Rûna-Raven Press, 1994
*The Northern Dawn - A History of the Reawakening of the Germanic Spirit, Volume 1: From the Twilight of the Gods to the Sun at Midnight, Rûna-Raven Press, 2006 (preface 2003). Second edition, Arcana Europa Media LLC, October 30, 2017.
*The Mysteries of the Goths, Rûna-Raven Press, 2007
*The Good Religion: The Occidental Temple of the Wise Lord, Lodestar, March 20, 2014
*The Mazdan Way: Essays on the Good Religion for the West, Lodestar , October 14, 2017
*Original Magic: The Rituals and Initiations of the Persian Magi, Inner Traditions, November 16, 2017


Alain de Benoist: a French philosopher usually associated with the practical revival of Indo-European consciousness and values in a western context.

*On Being a Pagan. Albin Michel, 1981


Collin Cleary: pretty much any of his books are informative on Indo-European metaphysics. Typically focuses on Germanic context, including a Heideggerian analysis of the Lore. The thing I like about this author is his view of the Germanic Lore goes extremely deep, in many directions. His tone is generally volkisch without being disrespectful of Indo-European cultures outside Europe.

*Summoning the Gods
*What is a Rune?


Ernst Radusch: a long-forgotten and obscure author on esoteric Runology in both a Germanic and pan-Aryan context. Good luck if you can find a copy of his sole surviving book:

*Ich las eine Rune. Ein Ruf an das junge Deutschland. Breslau, F. Hirt, 1933.


Monday, December 4, 2017

The Esoteric Praxis of Bind-Runes, Part 2


Last time we covered the esoteric deconstruction of Bind-Rune risting methods and overlay variations, and how the overall ethics of the Indo-European cultural mindset are invaluable in informing the clean and concise construction of Bind-Runes, so we can avoid obscuring or canceling out energies. This way, the efficacy of one's Bind-Runes actually can work as intended by the ancient Rune-Masters, who largely adhered to the Solar Ethic and the "middle path" of simplicity without confusability.

Now we can dive a bit deeper into the underlying thought processes behind this ethic, to see why is is important that Bind-Runes are constructed one way and not another. Again, this is the Esoteric side of things, what lies behind the symbols, so if you only are interested in surface glitter, you may want to skip this.

Keep in mind that today there are many ways of making Bind-Runes, indeed as previously discussed, the same Bind-Rune can be arranged in multiple ways, however there are clearly some setups that are far more clearly resonant with the actual runic energies than others.

A well-made Bind Rune
An over-complicated and dissonant Bind Rune



So beneath those, there is a deeper Wyrdic language being spoken.

That said, we want to make sure we are not oversimplifying runes to simply "one correct way" as there can often be nuances that allow for multiple valid arrangements of the same set of runes in a Bind-Rune.

However, as these two extremes do show, it is possible to make the resonance of the runes very clear, or very self obscured. A tendency towards excess complexity actually drains one's meginn (might) in magickal affairs, and tends to end up trivializing the whole practice into the whole "who can cause more vertigo with their sigils" sort of mess. Well, these are runes, not "sigils" like one gets in the Hermetic traditions, so we are going to focus on Runic culture and Runic design ethic, which as stated before, tends towards elegant simplicity and dumping whatever is excess frills or unneeded baggage. The intent you project out into Yggdrasil needs to be clear, otherwise your best efforst may accomplish nothing, or worse yet, backfire.

clear intent

Bind-Rune Magick as Lateral thinking (as opposed to "Critical" thinking)

To understand the hidden logic behind the meanings and energy combinations of master-level Bind-Runes, we first need to understand the way that ancient Rune-Masters thought about magick, and the world in general, in the first place.

Today most academic thinking and writing about runes is simply wrong. It's not a matter of being "either right or wrong" in a dichotomous sense, but rather, of there being multiple "right" ways of interpreting the runes and Rune-Lore depending on the class one belonged to and also to some extent the tribal context - and of "mainstream" academia being so dead-wrong that it doesn't match up with any of them in the slightest. When you understand that most state-funded universities in western countries no longer have Germanic studies departments or are in the process of shutting them down while spending ever more taxpayer money on culturally dead and purely materialistic law schools and identity politics programs - then you begin to understand why modern mainstream academia is so detached and often times adversarial to honest discussion about the real Runes, and about real Indo-European culture in general. To them, Bind-runes are seen as "just another primitive superstition of a foul and oppressive people". This sort of attitude against Indo-European cultures seems very in vogue these days. Academia per se is not necessarily to blame; but it is riven with fault lines and has become far too politicized, in a very negative and anti-cultural way.

In my university days (which were not that long ago), I often felt abused and cheated by this system. Indeed, I stayed far away from the few European literature and mythology classes that my university had left, because I had seen the sorry state of its professors and what they were more or less forced to teach. "Impotent" is the kindest work one could use to describe the content of their program. The entire Edda was being interpreted in a way that only someone with either a Nicean Christian, post-Christian materialist, or even Jewish mindset, would even dream of interpreting it. There was nothing whatsoever about the Germanic (and the essentially identical Indo-European) view of the cosmos, the cycles, Deep Time, psychic energies, soul journeys, transmigration of souls, arising reincarnation, or the concepts of Alfar and Disir (who also appear in other Indo-European cultures, only with different names) being the re-incarnations and ancestor-trustees of a Folk's consciousness.

"We are Disir in training..."

"... and so are we (though we use the Avestan term izhan)."

Instead of this natural and beautiful synergy of Lore and Culture, everything in academia was laid out piecemeal as "disjointed" and "random" bits of poetry with no relation to one another - always to be taken literally with no hint at metaphor, as if one were a bible-thumping preacher. The usual false tropes about Germanic "barbarians" and especially the Vikings, were milked for all they were worth (which isn't very much). The people of the Runes and the Edda were portrayed as ignorant, stupid, primitive people, the Runes were painted as primitive pictographs or crude copies of Greek and Latin letters, with no deeper meaning. The Edda itself was cast as "irrelevant" and the "fantasies of mushroom stoned patriarchal savages" who doubtless were to be denied any respect in death as they did not have the benefit of "gender studies" indoctrination in Marxist intersectionality rhetoric (*puke puke*). In addition, the mythic cycles of the Eddas were mutilated into a purely linear, Biblical (i.e. Tanakhic)-style narrative, with a literal "young earth" creation, a literal "devil" and a literal "armageddon". A few of them even claimed that "Bind-Runes" are for "binding the Devil" or chaining demons, which makes no sense at all in a Germanic context (and instead reeks of reckless plagiarism from Hermetic or Kabbalistic sorcery); any native Icelander or Swede could tell you that the term bindenrunar refers to runes that are "bound" or "woven" into other runes, just as "nalbinding" refers to weaving or knitting (-binding) with needles (nal). It has nothing whatsoever to do with shackling or imprisoning anyone or anything.

Germanic.
NOT Germanic.

Any idiot who reads even a half-decent Elder Edda translation will see that there is no "armageddon" or "devil" anywhere in Norse/Germanic mythology... much less any sort of spiritual slavery in the Runes - but such is the drivel being pushed in state schools. No wonder few people have a real interest in Norse mythology or Runic culture; the interpretation of it being pushed by ivory-tower academics is so ugly and ridiculous, as to drive away any but those with the strongest stomach.

It was not lost on me that most of these same ewigelich apologetische professors are ungrateful, at the very least. Most of them are of northern European descent, and would not even have been born if it were not for those "barbaric patriarchal savages" they malign so much. But then again valuing the contributions of one's ancestors has never been very high on the agenda of postmodernist atomization that state-funded globalists push. It pained me to see what these people were reduced to; perhaps a few of them did not want to push this dogma, but were under orders against their better will.  As a child I was fortunate enough to be raised in a family where our own ancestors were respected, the Achemenid, Parthian and Sassanid kings. Their salutes were not condemned as "evil", their Aryan fire-whisk Gardune-mehr was not censored as a "hate symbol". Most everyone has had some great ancestors and a few bad ones. I don't deny that the bad ones existed here and there. But I cannot respect a person who does not at least honor or acknowledge their great ones.

... much like it's impossible to respect delusional herder converts who pretend to call themselves "Norse pagans"
while at the same time spitting in the face of all the Indo-European values real pagans of the Old Times held dear. 

Oddly, the same sort of disparaging rhetoric was never used in Native American studies classes (where we know for a fact that some of these people did use hallucinatory mushrooms), or for that matter African studies classes (where the mythology really is disjointed and non-applicable beyond a small tribal radius of usually a few miles, anywhere on that continent). However, I do not think that this is simply because the Runes and the Edda were written by white men - it's more than that. For the corruptors of media, church and state do not hate all "white" culture - they are perfectly fine with any "white" culture that is materialist, consumerist, self-loathing, neurotic, snarky, dependent, unmanly, and devoid of immanent spirituality - in other words they are fine with anything that is a copy of the Tanakhic worldview. Emo-ism, beatle-ism, and hipster-ism are all their financial darlings, in fact.

"I'm fashion forward, tri-sexual, 5th-wave,
Buzzfeednik, listen to Dubstep, eat nothing but soy,
a pre-programmed and *safe* white boy - and I also work for the NSA."

No, dear reader, the real crime is not one's color or modern nationality (consider for a moment that the Ashkenazim who control most media and public education in the USA, UK and EU, actually insist on their own "whiteness", but somehow feel exempt from any of the ancestor-hating rhetoric). What truly worries the ignoble-global lobbies has nothing to do with your skin color; Germanic culture is not being punished for that - it is punished because it is Indo-European; because its Weltanschauung is a successor culture to the Aryan solar folk that is still beloved in ancestral memory south of the Caspian, like it once was north of it; and just maybe, because your skull shape happens to offend them. Were it not Indo-European, but purely Cro-Magnon and tribal for example, they would hardly give it a thought. But it is far deeper - the Aesir/Asura path is meta-folkist and meta-ethical. It is more than a mere tribal tradition, it is a folk-forming immanence that inspires the improvement of a people, not merely survival and replication - this same value was as sacred in the South as it was in the North; as holy in the Avesta as in the Edda. Most people probably would not label me as "white" at first glance, though I find that my embrace and revival of Solar Immanence and Indo-European cultural values does tend to ruffle many feathers this side of the Dead Sea, regardless. Certain bind-runes, even very late-medieval and watered-down ones, also seem to offend the herder lobbies, for what can only be seen as occult reasons.

Perhaps the reason my Vegvísir post was attacked and removed under false charges,
was that there's more to the symbol itself (and my exploration of its esoteric meanings)
than immediately meets the eye? Or perhaps it's something else.

What the social engineers of identity politics and herder "mass-culture" actually find so shocking - so Odious in fact - about Runic/Old Germanic culture is that it is essentially Indo-European and believes in the improvability of people, rather than merely hoping for their "salvation" (i.e. a divine bailout from man-made circumstances). Herder creeds tend to focus obsessively on circumstances, whether it be Keynesian capitalism, faux-Utopian communism, or Popperian empiricism. They either focus maniacally on "what is to be done" to change current circumstances (or in the case of mainstream Christianity, they give up on this life altogether, surrendering to circumstance and hoping to be "saved" by surrendering your will to a flesh-and-blood man who could not even save himself). But they have no consideration at all for improving the nature of people; by contrast, the Indo-European worldview is that for circumstances to improve permanently, or for "truth" to be achieved, the quality of people has to improve first. This means not just their education, but also their heritable behaviors and other traits. If your nature is ignoble, who are you to demand perfect circumstances? That is self-victimhood, not improvement. And most modern societies have sadly taken this path of victimhood, and suppressed the teaching of Indo-European values, even in classes about Indo-European cultures (which are often denigrated, distorted, or outright mutilated in the academic setting).

It is the same reason that northern Indian history is being perverted in both India and the West, taught as either an "Aryan invasion" or an "indigenous" Dravidian proto-Marxism, instead of the reality of a largely peaceful Aryan cultivation of the Indus valley, followed by a Turanid invasion and imposition of "chosen" and "non-chosen" tribalist castes. Iranian culture is likewise suppressed, mocked, or even outright "sambo-ized" in Hollywood movies whose directors make no secret of their own tribal proclivities. It is the same reason supposedly secular colleges quote the Tanakh when describing Darius the Great, instead of authentic sources like Darius' own Ganjnameh carved stone inscription (which is almost too Volkisch to be printable in "mainstream" cultural Marxist academia, except if his use of "Aryan lineage" is purposely mistranslated as merely a petty aristocratic class-slogan).

"What part of lineage don't you people understand? Everyone knows I come from a well-off family;
I wouldn't add the word Aryan, or "noble" in a blood-folk sense, just to be redundant about my material wealth!"

On the mountain of Harband, now known as Alvand, Darius and his son Xerxes ordered these inscriptions engraved,
which both repeated "I am an Aryan, of Aryan lineage". Many mainstream universities refuse to publish this wording.

The sort of puppet "scholars" of Iranian and Indo-European culture promoted by UK and EU universities - serial liars like fetish-pornographer Jona Lendering, and dot-com crash scammer Robin Lane Fox - even take to demonizing the great architecture and eternal sculpture of the Achamenids, this first and greatest of historically attested Solar Empires, as "so much nothing" and deliberately drive a wedge of resentment between North and South Arya-shenasi / Arierschaft to make it all a jumble of confusion. The average western politician sees my own blood as "people of color" (though we will never be extended an ethnic quota or affirmative action handout so long as the sun shines) yet the same casual ancestor-belittlement that Germanic folk face, strikes us just as hard - because the hidden hand of the demiurge knows we are still mainly an Indo-European nation, no matter what sort of tan our latitude selected for, or how many herder invasions targeted us for slavery, at the behest of conveniently placed "Rebbe Ka'b ul-Ahbars" agitating for suppressive war in Arab and Turkic courts. It is not "whiteness" the politicians and their masters fear. It is the Indo-European worldview, whose immanent blood-memory also runs in some darker strains. The politicians do not fear "whiteness" without the spirit of Asha and Arya (for example, liberal, conservative, or Paulian-Church "whiteness" that only pays attention to material circumstances) - indeed they promote this sort.

It is then no secret why this ilk is so opposed to any kind of mystical Runology or any real-life Rune-magick practice. They ignore or discourage all talk of ancient Rune-magick, pretending letter-Runes were only an alphabet, and that Bind-Runes were only primitive literalist pictographs. They only want us to know a mealy-mouthed fairytale version of Runelore, one they can easily mock and dismiss. Thus we hear blatant falsehoods such as "there being no rhyme or reason to the construction of Bind-Runes". Well since there were only a handful of attested Rune-Masters in ancient Heathenry, at least in the sources that survive, and all of them were held in unusually high regard (such as Egil) then obviously Bind-Runes, a more advanced level of Rune-magick than basic letter-Runes, were a practice that clearly required real skill and had real methods to it. These Bind-Rune methods were themselves integrally bound in (binden) with the ethos and mythos of Indo-European culture (such as the middle-way simplicity ethic we discussed in the last article). It doesn't matter what the consensus of postmodern materialist academia wants to believe about Germanic Runes - for a serious student of Runes and mythology, all that matters is what ancient Germanic peoples themselves believed about Runes and about their own myths and culture. They didn't need some preachy "doctor of political correctness" telling them what to think about the Gods and Runes they could feel.

The Runes called to me, not the other way around; indeed they had done so in various forms for most of my life; yet for years I ignorantly resisted; but even once my resistance was spent, I did not find many honest or reliable experts on actual Runic practices (or even Lore accounts of them) within conventional academic realms. The mainstream establishment absolutely refused to answer any questions I had about the Odinic Rune-magick rituals of the Old Norse, or any other related people. Below are the sort of sad excuses for academics you have to "learn" Indo-European history from if you go to a state-funded Western university these days. Then again, I suppose I have these pathetic professional slander-spreaders to thank for forcing me to do my own research and exploration of Indo-European esoteric history and culture, if I were to ever find out any meaningful truths about it.

Robin Lane Fox, professional liar, militant materialist
and honorary gentile zionist, at a Financial Times convention;
author of many fraudulent and anti-Aryan books on Greek history

Jona Lendering - professional liar,
cuckold porn-peddler and zion-supremacist hack,
author of many fraudulent and anti-Aryan books on Persian history

Carol Clover - professional liar,
extreme feminist film critic, and zion-supremacist hack-turned-chair
 of UC Berkeley's department of Scandinavian Studies

What they truly cannot tolerate is the re-awakening of Indo-European peoples of all shades, to the ancestral Ur-Aryan solar worldview and ethics. It doesn't matter whether you call this "Asatru" or "Asha-Daru" or "Vyashe-Tropa" or "Asura-Dharma". It is all intolerable to them. This is the real reason they censor certain runic symbols or solar symbols; the occult principle behind them is the real target of the censorship, not a 20th century political movement. And thus I would not be surprised if this very blog soon gets trolled by a programmed mob. Pretty soon you may see them remark that since I do not swallow the lies of "special snowflake politics" programming being pushed in the mainstream media, that automatically that makes me a racist, a colonialist, a "white supremacist", etc. when such things could not be further from the truth (indeed I doubt any real "white supremacists" would ever give me the time of day). But these thought-police care nothing for reality; only rhetoric.

Here we come to the real exposition; the people in charge of the media outlets and the major parties, do not wish to allow diversity of opinions; they hate nuance; they hate genuine free speech; they hate choices. You are either a compliant globalist or a damnable inbred racist in their eyes; they do not see anything else (ironically they are fine with real inbred racists; so long as it's the Hasidic variety bankrupting the western taxpayer to fund a new holodomor in Palestine, of course). This is why they despise the Solar Ethic and the true Runic culture (Indo-European to its core) so much - it does not fit comfortably into their herder-and-sheep dogma, and unmasks the lie of their "black and white" Kabbalist-Dialectical re-framing of the world. So it is no wonder that their comrades in academia lie about Bind-Runes too.

So just what is so unnerving to the herderist programmers about the Esoteric Indo-European worldview, and how does it relate to Runes and Bind-Runes?

The Indo-European understanding of the universe often was not dichotomous, but multi-chotomous. In other words, it was not controllable by herders - it could not be penned up. Indeed it was beyond the capacity of most modern academicians to even understand. The ancient Aryans and their successor cultures, both east and west, generally did not view the world in terms of purely the Critical Thinking concept of "thesis and antithesis" (which ironically is accepted very uncritically or rather unquestioningly by almost anyone raised in the modern materialist culture). All "critical thinking" really means is only recognizing two possible answers to any problem - the term may sound intelligent and discerning, and state-funded schools in most western countries have drilled this connotation into our heads, but in reality "critical thinking" is a tunnel-vision thinking of "black or white" dogmatism, blind to all nuances. This is a purely materialist and herder mindset aimed at turning us into mentally reactive sheep, and not how our Indo-European ancestors saw the world around them.

Instead, they viewed the world with lateral thinking, as a multiplicity of possibilities, identities, and truths. For example, instead of asking "which one, A or B" the Aryan would typically question outside the box, and ask "why not X, Y, or Z?" In other words, data and observations would actually be categorized into sets based on their relevant basal characteristics, the correlations of the data itself, rather than a strict "either-or" approach build on already pre-planned parameters. Since lateral thinking requires an active search for natural patterns among the data-set, as there are more than just two possible outcomes, it is a proactive (rather than reactive) process. We are thus inspired to test each likely possibility on its own merits, rather than on the merits of the falsity of just one alternative. If faced with a situation where one seemed to have only two choices, a Noble Being would look for all alternatives to consider. Instead of answering "chicken" or "Aurochs" he or she might say "why resort to hunting at all? Why not farm and support yourself independent of the deaths of wild birds and beasts?"


This does not imply advocating veganism, but simply more responsible attitudes towards the environment. Humans still need protein, and no, not the kind that pumps you full of artificial hormones.

Just in the same way, the results of bind-runes would have many different effects based on their context and arrangement. Unlike cultures of the hunter archetype, it was not always a matter of "we win, they lose". Rather, "winning" or any other activity is merely a finite means to the improvement of people towards Asa-nature, not an infinite, open-ended commitment on its own. Realistically, while one must win and triumph over the ignorant and the ignoble, it is folly to apply this dynamic to everything. Eventually if you see life as competition for dominance and nothing else, and win over all things enough times (including those things that never fought you), you end up consuming and destroying the entire planet, to hoard fortunes that are ultimately transitory at best. To succeed in improving a significant part of mankind, Aryan cultures long ago believed they must win battles, physical as well as cultural and spiritual; but winning was always the means, not the end.

The endgame of nonstop consumption. Would you, if given the power, do this to Yggdrasil?

Ultimately, one must realize that viewing the worlds - whether we speak of nature, animals, humans, spirituality, Gods, Runes, Vaettir, or any part of existence, as mere commodities, is a pathway to complete annihilation. The ancient Runers, as well as their Arman and Hvushmand counterparts across Eurasia, did not look upon the rest of the world with envy, but with a well-tempered understanding that an addiction to pure material gain at the expense of destructive actions, whether sustainable or unsustainable, will end up slowly devouring the very soul of a people, as it equally mercilessly devours the surrounding nations, tribes, forests, rivers, and the very planet itself.

Likewise, excess was to be avoided in Bind-Runes, which more than almost any other form of Germanic magick, integrated the people into the land itself. The land was for them a living thing, indeed the Rune-Poems spoke of man being "the augmentation of soil" and of course soil is part of Erde or Jord; the goddess Earth, mother of Thor. Thus excess crowding in Bind-Runes tends to be psychically associated with a sense of excess and over-use in other things as well; you can usually tell a corrup or dishonest runer (or just a very irresponsible one) by the never-ending obsession with over-complication and linear sprawl present in their messy Bind-Runes. It's a metaphysical communication of their soul-memory's desire to slash and burn Midgard until nothing is left - which is not all that different from the "nature is man's commodity" dogma pushed in the Churches.

Ill-gotten wealth extorted through guilt-tripping herder rackets and imposed
pastoral dogmas only aids you for so long; you can't eat or drink it.

This is ultimately what sets the Aryan (farmer-archetype) mentality apart from those of Cro-Magnon hunter cultures, as well as herder cultures such as the Turanids, Enkians, and those that followed them. The cosmology of the Norse - which is at its heart a survivor of the primal Aryan cosmology that was once common from Iceland to India - places great emphasis on the ultimate balance achieved between consciousness and nature, Aesir and Vanir, Man and Wild - without this balance being reached, the two sides would have both been destroyed. But to reach this balance requires an understanding of nuance, of multiple energies and factors in nature as well as in spirit - you cannot achieve it by being stuck in a herder-centric worldview of false dichotomies. This sacred mythos is also preserved (though less completely) in other places, including the war of the Asuras (Aesir) and Vanaras (Vanir) in the Hindu epic Ramayana, where originally both the Asuras and Vanaras were shown as having noble qualities, though also some flaws and distrust that led to a tragic and often costly war between them - though in the current Ramayana, it is heavily diluted and intermingled with Turanid (herder) and Dravidian (hunter) insertions such as Shiva, Rama, the infamous retconning of the Asuras as "demons" (Rakshasa, akin to Norse 'Rokskolli') rather than Gods (Jainism takes a more noble Asatru-like view of them), and the exaggerated animalistic depictions of the Vanaras themselves. Nonetheless, we can take several vital lessons from this epic, such as the need to put an end to all the pointless "brother wars" that are exploited by herder cultures to divide us.

The contrast between how the Aryans of the Asura tradition depicted the Holy Powers, and the way that Turanids saw their own Daevas, is striking. The contrast is most easily observable in ancient cave paintings of Khotan in western China, which witnessed aspects of both cultures - it was founded by the Aryan Saka (Scythians), and attacked by the Turanid Brahmins. The deities of both were depicted side-by-side, evidencing radically different worldviews.

Aryan ethics: the Asura, creating culture
(observe what the hands are holding - reed pen, fine cup, drinking horn, ceremonial spear-tip)
Turanid coercion: the Daeva, devouring worlds
(observe the globe and crescent in the hands, being fed to the other heads)

Keep in mind that the Daevic or Turanid ideologies were not so much sadistic as merely arbitrary - all that counted to the tribes of Turan (and their Brahmin successors) was serving the power of the Daeva, regardless of ethics. Contrary to the image of the generous Asura of the Aryans (most likely Fravar/Freyr, who was actually a Vanara by birth, but an Asura by adoption and oath), who freely gives man the shining implements of kingship, learning and prosperity, the painting of Rudra-Shiva shows a destroyer of worlds, colored a bizarre, sickly and unnatural cobalt hue, swallowing hapless planets whole like fruits, devouring and punishing the people regardless of innocence or guilt, with little regard for culture or ethics; he embodies poverty and penury, wearing skins and demanded burnt sacrifice of cattle (note the blood on them, and the fire on his loincloth) - giving nothing and only taking. It was only much later that he was sanitized by Brahmins in the post-Ashoka era, desperate to give Hinduism relevance in the face of the one-time Buddhist challenge to their supremacy - only then did Shiva become "Destroyer [of False Concepts]", a mere philosophical destroyer, a theory starkly at odds with the Turanids' original doctrine - and only then did the Brahmins ban blood sacrifice and make beef taboo. Such rare ancient paintings expose their original beliefs, with which they conquered India, and imposed the castes to enslave Aryan and non-Aryan alike. This perhaps seems a controversial way to view India's past, but the chronology of pantheon alterations to the Vedas and the gradual changing and revision of their early rites bears it out.

Where the Asura teaches wisdom without compulsion, the Daeva preaches fanatical devotion, regardless of the timeline or the doctrine (for theirs changed, often). The Asura teaches a gradation of fair and foul karma, whereas to the Daeva's ancient devotees, all that was not of their way was "Dasyu" - the Other - to be destroyed, consumed, or beaten into submission.

Ultimately then, instead of a black-and-white cosmology of a dualistic conflict (which has hampered the spiritual understanding of both post-Vedic Hinduism and post-Avestan Zoroastrianism) what we get in the most ancient Indo-European systems is many nuanced intermediate grays of perception, which again depending on context (Wyrd) can result in fair or foul actions to various degrees. The Germanic mythos and ethos essentially follow this same Aryan template, as did the Iranian religions during the time of Zaal and Rustam. Again, as Runers we do not claim absolute good or evil exist in reality - we strive for what is essentially noble, just and ethical. We do not claim that ethical perfection can exist beyond theory, though we are always pursuing it, as the ideal of Asha, and its vehicle, Arya. It means disabling or quarantining an ignoble foe rather than annihilating everything they have built - there is no self-righteous backward rationalizing of ignoble behavior, because there is no tolerance for essentially ignoble behavior. It also means avoiding the trap of the so-called "Boromir Syndrome" - the attempt to justify ignoble behavior by claiming that it is "no longer bad" if done for your own side's benefit. Yet as we know, the Ring corrupted all who used it, both in Tolkien and in the Volsunga Saga that inspired Wagner. All that was done with it turned foul, even if then intentions seemed good to the materially motivated masses (symbolized by Tolkien's myopic character Boromir) at the time. In this sense, in improving the energies of our surroundings as well as those in ourselves, bind-runes also must fit the dynamic of learning from and augmenting the best of nature, rather than "exploitation because we can" or "it can't be bad if it benefits me here and now".

But who cares if it was made to enslave us; can't we try to use its power for good?

The important thing to understand here is that bind-runes embody the multiplicity of options when dealing with complex real-life situations. Which runes to include, how to orient them, which parts of the staves overlap and which do not, these are all important aspects of the energy you are putting into this rune. Combinations matter. It is not all "light and dark", even if one is speaking of positive and negative meanings. The same rune combined with two others can impart an entirely different meaning and energy depending on the identity and position, as well as conjunction/overlap level of those two. Some orderings or arrangements will work better than others, they are not all equally helpful, and some may actually be unhelpful - they are not all equal, nor should we fool ourselves that they ever were. While there is rarely if ever just one "right" way to build Bind-Runes, it's not as if there are "no" wrong ways - there are many bad Bind-Runes out there, just like there are badly carved Rune-spells, and Egil Skallagrimsson gave us some warning of their harm. This doesn't mean we "hate" certain Bind-Runes - merely that we see them for what they are, some work well and some just don't, and some are actually counterproductive. How you construct them, with what sort of design ethic in mind, can make just as much difference as the meditation or chant you use.

A great example of Elder Futhark Bind-Runes done well.
They are simple, bold, and clear in meanings and resonance.

This then is the understanding of the multiplicity of variables, and that it is downright unnatural (and intellectually dishonest) to claim that every problem can be reduced to simply two options between whom one may "criticize". Instead, real rune-masters must learn to lateralize, thus understanding all the meaningful interactions of these variables and all the alternate ways the data can be organized and understood. And take the most natural probability, which may be one of ten, or hundreds - not a hyper-legalistic and forced herder-mentality "dichotomy" of "it must be this or that". This is what makes true Rune-masters rare indeed, and what makes it far harder in our modern consumerist societies, full of dichotomous funnel-herding marketing and similar tricks in the "education" industry, to truly get a holistic and spiritual understanding of the world free from dogma and pretense.

BAD Bind Runes! Not only overly complicated, but also a complete lack of alignments or co-resonance of diagonals.
The energies here are colliding and dissonant. Instead of taking into account the multiple layers of meaning in a few runes, these structures mash more runes together assuming that there is only "one true meaning" to each.

Bad Bind-Runes operate off the dogmatic assumption that each rune has only one valid meaning or level of meaning, and hence to combine energies for a specific purpose, a poorly trained runer may end up mashing large numbers of them together without any shared staves or diagonals, in an attempt to make them as detailed as possible. Unfortunately, this ends up creating a meaningless jumble of dissonant staves, and also confuses the heck out of anyone trying to understand what these runes are supposed to do. Excessive complexity and random degrees of tilt in diagonals are praised in Hermtica and Kabbalah as necessary to bind summoned demons in a spider's web or metaphysical chains, for force them to "do your bidding". But in Rune-magick, we are risting runes and Bind-runes to welcome already-flowing forces into our lives and manifest them in our actions in a synergy - we are not slave drivers, we do not summon "demons", nor do we believe in any form of spiritual coercion, whether of humans or of otherworldly energies. We do not create the mystical equivalent of razor wire, slave-pens, or spider webs when communing with the Gods, the Vaettir, or any sort of beings. Such a practice is despicable and reeks of cowardice to the true Runer. Leave it for the herders.

"Seal of Solomon": the original spiritual "Slave Pen".
Included for reference only; we do not endorse this!

Practicing coercive "ceremonial magick" of the Hermetic or Kabbalistic sort simply requires a blind slavish copying of overly complicated and pedantic formulas, commandments and grimoires; tedious, but doable by even a total cretin with no creativity or spiritual sight whatsoever. And any spirit or entity that submits to servitude under such a system, you can be sure, will exact a high toll in return; you may not see it at first, but the price to be paid for the use of such coercive systems is often the loss of one's own mind; take a lesson from what became of Aleister Crowley or John Dee.

Practicing Rune-magick on the other hand, actually takes a deep understanding of the forces of nature and supra-nature behind the symbols, to understand how the Runic tendencies interact with each other in more than just pairs or triples. It is required to have a living "knowledge of the natures of things", the natures of the Powers that are already active, as Odin says regarding the Laf-rune. A knowledge in other words, of at least how to make an approach unto comprehending even a mere fraction of "strength like the Aesir, skill like the Elves, and wisdom like Odin who utters". And knowing how to project, channel, select from, and fuse these energies into a focused action (karma or Garma) at a moment's notice, on instinct. There is no coercion with Rune-magick - only pure manifestation.

This, on the other hand, is the light of true freedom!
The Sun-wheel or Sonnenrad, with Odin's 18 holy runes "for the benefit of mankind!". 

As a Runenmeister you do not "do" magick, you become magick. You manifest the Runes, you don't just "do" runes. This is the same reason that the greatest rune-masters eventually were capable of a runic meditation whose Galdr did not require viewing or carving runes at all, and they would still manifest the energy into their surroundings every bit as powerfully. Their every action, every movement and response to events would be in line with the energy of that rune/runes. And their mastery over themselves and their handling of life would massively improve, and some would even be retained across later lives, were they to reincarnate further down their family line (as many Armanen and Vitkar are believed to have done).


How Bind-Runes relate to the Armanen system and the 'Holy 18'

Traditionally most recent bind-rune magick has been done with the "Elder" and "Younger" futharks as runic elements, as was most epigraphically attested bind-rune evidence. However on a primal esoteric level, the Armanen Futharkh have the potential to form some of the most powerful and yet user-friendly bind-runes of all. Although there has not been a great deal of literature on Armanen bind-runes, given that the basic 18 Armanen runes themselves are often used to manifest energies in place of bind-runes, they are doable and the same principles of bind-rune construction generally apply as in other systems. Of all runic systems, the Armanen most resembles the "Younger" futhark of the Viking Age, which makes sense as both were attempts to purify the runes back to their original and simple Odinic forms corresponding with the 18 rune-verses of the Hávamál, despite the increasing complexity of Germanic phonetics - with the "Younger" futhark being short by two runes likely because of doubts and disagreements among various skaldic factions over the identity of the last two rune verses. Therefore Armanen bind-runes will typically resemble those made from "Younger" futhark, and indeed can have many of the same common exoteric meanings.



The Armanen Futharkh, properly understood as the Odinic Futharkh by its dedicated practitioners, was reconstructed by Guido von List in the early 1900s based on the esoteric meanings of the 18 runes of Odin described in the last portion of the Hávamál.

Other authors, unable to understand the ecoteric connections in the meanings of these runes, assumed that the 18 rune verses in the Hávamál must instead refer to bind-runes. As a result "mainstream" academic runology (*translation* : ivory tower curio-ism) tended to attack List and the Armanen system as heresy and unscientific, when in fact most academic "rune experts" do not even believe in the efficacy of rune-magick let alone practice it in their everyday lives. In other words they are pontificating on a subject without direct experience in it. Yes, this is how most liberal-arts "humanities" departments in modern universities are set up. All "orthodox" theory, little actual praxis.

The reality about the "Armanen runes vs. Bind-runes" debate among Hávamál interpretations is that there should not be a debate at all. The whole point of an esoteric system is to encapsulate multiple layers of meaning and energies within a symbolic language. Thus the Armanen Futharkh themselves have at least three sorts of meanings (exoteric, esoteric, and inverse or negative meaning). Similarly, if one goes on the Armanist praxis, that Armanism is essentially the esoteric side of Odinism (or Wotanism for List's German-speaking audience), then logically one reaches the conclusion that the Armanen runes are the original Odinic runes, and thus simplified symbolic encapsulations of more complex truths and powers in the creative essence of the universe, which are described in the 18 rune-verses in the Hávamál.


Indeed it is not all that strange for the Arman to understand the 18 Holy Runes of Odin as basically compact, simplified forms of the bind-runes which could represent all the meanings and uses described in the Hávamál rune spells. If Odin's 18 rune-spells were indeed bind-runes at first, the Armanen runes can be seen as Odin's refinement of them into more stable and easily practicable forms usable throughout the Nine Realms including here in Midgard. And indeed, the focus I have seen from Armanen practitioners in Midgard in all observable aspects of rune-magick is far greater and clearer than that I have seen from "Elder" Futhark-only "purists" who rely on ever more complicated bind-runes with ever more jumbled meanings to essentially reach a goal of ... they are often not even sure. Thus it is not an issue of "modern Armanen runes versus Odinic bind-runes" but rather one of Armanen runes being reconstructed ancient Odinic runes, condensing the energies of pre-Odinic bind-runes discovered by Allfather himself in the dark and grim depths of Yggdrasil.

Thus Armanen runes are essentially Odinic runes. They are not the only runes in existence, but they are those that Odin would have taught to Loddfafnir and perhaps others, to serve as his greatest gift of wisdom to mankind. Thus they do not negate the possibility of the 18 rune verses also referring to spells written in bind-runes - indeed, if so, they are the concise, distilled versions of those bind-runes. There is no war or conflict between Armanen runes and basic bind-runes - rather, one complements the other. There is something incredibly powerful about a simple letter-rune containing all the powers of perhaps several bind-runes, depending on its usage and context. Of course this does not mean that the academics' assumption of the 18 rune-spells of the Hávamál being bind-runes necessarily correct. They may have been simple letter runes like the Armanen Futharkh, and nothing more. But it does mean that the two scenarios are not mutually exclusive, and seeing the Armanen runes as essentially a condensed all-weather version of many more niche-prone bindrunes is indeed a paragon of the elegant simplicity embodied in all ancient Aryan culture - an ethic of whose practicality and wisdom Odin, Wotan, Vayu-Vata, or whatever name he is known by, would indeed be intimately proud.

Odin as Irmin or Arman, sacrificing himself on the Irminsul, Yggdrasil's esoteric form. On the (solar) circle are the 18 Armanen runes. The Irminsul also represents the spinal column and Raden (chakras) of the awakened Arman.

Achamenid Persian icon of Vayu-Vata, the radiant Wind, as Arman incarnate, with the Irminsul merged into his spine and its branches crowning his head; contained within are the triple consciousnesses of Allfather: Vairim, Vayu, and Vata (Vili-Ve-Wotan). These are the same as Har, Jafnhar, and Thridi. The two ravens have taken on a serpent-like form.

However in an Armanic sense, not all Bind-Runes are created equal, nor are they all on the same level as those that may have been the expanded forms of the 18 Odinic/Armanen runes. Indeed the aesthetic underlying bind-rune creation can often indicate as much about the ethics and mental state of the rister or designer of the bind-runes as about the spells embodied in the bind-runes themselves. In the Hávamál as well as in all Odinic lore, the underlying message being emanated often seems to be wit, wisdom, and simplicity - breaking down difficult problems into smaller and more basic ones, and outsmarting the forces of Chaos with often rather simple solutions that the short-sighted and arrogant would overlook. Indeed if one also looks at the most ancient Indo-European farming cultures all over Eurasia, one sees that the pottery and furniture of these cultures was elegant, simple, symmetric, frugal with materials, and did not contain an excess of extravagant ornamentation - a culture of noble consciousness. Paint decoration was simple and represented fundamental natural and esoteric principles. By contrast, hunter and herder cultures (i.e. non-Aryan) of all continents and colors, generally contain an abundance of heavily ornamented (and even asymmetric) pottery and furniture. A huge amount of labor was spent on household items, not to make them more useful, but to make them more flashy, cluttered, and indicative of opulence, with no clear symbolism but plenty of flash for flash's sake alone - in other words, the products of a culture of arrogance.

Aryan pottery
non-Aryan pottery
                                       
Aside from cultural archetypes and values present in art, the main ideal behind the Runic path is the transformation of the self, and the shedding of all psycho-spiritual clutter that makes improvement difficult to obtain - frugality with distraction leads to a less cluttered mind. While this ethic may not necessitate a particular style of living or decor, it does often lead to one. And it is also reflected in the fact that Armanen runes are indeed simple but powerful, with clear meanings and operations rather than clutter and uncertainty. Indeed in the Hávamál there is mention made of Odin learning other "spells" besides the 18 runes, including some from the Jotnar, whose characters and behaviors are a good esoteric analogy to the reactive and often arbitrary behavior patterns of the Cro-Magnon hunter cultures with which the early Aryans arriving in Europe interacted.

These spells, written in full, would have basically been complex bind-runes or sigils. Jotun spells and Jotun magick of any sort may be potent, but they are also chaotic, deceptive, and potentially entrapping for the practitioner, and often served rather different ends from what they appeared to be convenient for - as the Poetic Edda indicates in the tales of Odin's journeys in Jotunheim. Odin clearly learned of them, and yet wisely taught man the self-empowering Futharkh instead of immersing him in the chaotic and confusing Jotun-sigils, which are ultimately shackles and spiritual debt-devices, powerful though they may at first be. Thus one reaches the conclusion that effective bind-runes, to truly ennoble the practitioner and be Odinic - or Armanic - or Aryan by nature, noble and seeking ascension to Asa-nature - must be as simple and concise as possible, and not confuse or delude the user themselves with endless ornamentation or unnecessary flairs of ambiguous energies.

Aryan drinking cup
non-Aryan drinking cup

Of course if one wants to construct excessively complex bind-runes against a foe or problem, and knows full well the meanings and interactions of all their elements, the inclusion of so many elements indicates a desire to put a very large number of parameters around the Wyrd of the Bind-Rune's intended target or audience - something that reeks of a desire for herding and micro-managing far more than any sort of noble defense, counterattack, or attempt to inspire guidance. The construction of a "control everything" Bind-Rune exudes values, not of the Aryan rune-master working for the benefit of the planet and the improvement of mankind and his consciously oathed folk, but of the exceedingly overweening Kabbalistic herder, operating through summoning and shackling spells to subdue otherworldly energies for greed and instant gratification of himself and his born tribe.


The complexity approach, of course, theoretically may be resorted to in situations where other options are not easily forthcoming, but it is in many ways the "dark side" of rune-magick and causes more harm than benefit to the magus, taxing both Wyrd and hamingja and ultimately corrupting one mentally into a herder of others rather than a cultivator of oneself. Generally the more complex and convoluted the spell, runic or not, the more it corrupts the practitioner into a slave-master mentality, and ultimately mutates into his own prison of countless mental roadblocks, more and more akin to what Hermetic magick became. This addictive, coercive form of magick was likely what Tolkien was alluding to when he described the One Ring with its complex engraved spell of squiggly letters entirely covering both sides, "to rule them all".

One Prison to Rule them all...

Excess complexity may appeal to those whose minds are stuck in the material realm but fail to appreciate its interaction with the spiritual - thus they assume that more of something is always better, and only appreciate extravagance, but this is literally missing the forest for the trees. Rune-magick simple does not work that way. One may think their Bind-Rune magick is more powerful because they can stuff more rune staves down its throat, but in reality they have just been outfoxed.


Thus the true Indo-European Odinic ethic with regards to bind-runes is that they be simple and clear, whether they are "minimal", "expanded" or "radial", without excessive ornamentation or too many runes thrown in. (Yes, even "expanded"-form bind runes without much overlap between elements can still be simple and clear - you just need to limit the number of runes used). The fact that runes themselves were originally all composed of straight lines, testifies to the emphasis on simplicity. Thus excessive complexity in bind-runes may actually interfere with their directness and mar the normal Wyrd-flow through their activation. Thus the simplicity ethic should carry over even here: if necessary, one can construct several simpler bind-runes to achieve multiple desired effects instead of one massively ornate one. This also helps you concentrate far better on whether some of these spells are things you actually want to be doing to someone's Wyrd (including their changed Wyrd's potential impact on yours).

Armanen Bind-Runes


Excessively complex Bind-Runes
       
Also notice how so many of the more bizarre and complex Bind-Runes we find on the web sites of dilettantes, often have some of their component runes being rotated "reversed" or "murk-stave", thus imparting negative energies to the entire symbol! One really feels a burning desire to ask some of these people, why in the entirety of Midgard would you put murk-staves in your Bind-Runes unless you wanted to curse someone? Upside-down runes generally are elements of curse-staves. No wonder some amateur runers complain that their Bind-Runes didn't work or actually made things worse!

And then if you ask them "where did you get the information that told you to create Bind-Runes with so many negative rune-flows?" they will inevitably tell you they found it in "some book in a magick shop" or "some website online" which is almost certainly run by an ignorant person completely unqualified to teach the Runes. Usually they turn out to be an amateur "witch" or "hermetic" with no grounding in Runic ethics, Rune-Lore, or any Indo-European cultures. It is sad how people just give up on runes altogether due to this misinformation by bad authors looking to make a fast buck, who haven't a clue what they are evoking or casting.

Thus it becomes evident how a simple bind-rune could be further simplified into an Armanen rune and retain its original meanings in far more clarity, than if one attempted to decipher a huge bind-rune. Indeed some of the Armanen runes (such as Hagal and Gibor, but also RitBar, and Eh) can be understood as simple bind-runes constructed from yet simpler members of the Armanen rune row.



The Solar ethic of Bind-rune simplicity is in the Odinic runes themselves:

Some Odinic or Armanen runes are in fact also viewable as Bind-runes of yet simpler runes. This sounds incredible because the Armanen runes in general are already fairly simple signs, but they do involve some repeating elements. Indeed it may be said that Hagal, rather than some complicated hundred-line bind-rune or galdr-stave, is the true "all-rune" or Alraun, as its lines and angles, hitting all six points of the runic hexagon (representative of  all six spatial directions) form the basis of constructing all other runes. Gibor, the final rune, can be seen as the recombination of the energies of all the branching (reaching) runes, being alternatively interpretable as the bind-rune of two inverted Os runes or two inverted Fa runes, or of a binding of a tilted Eh and double-inverted Laf, or of a tilted construct of KaAr, and double Laf - all symbolizing curiosity, exploration, wisdom-seeking, and ultimately cosmic union - Odinic values one and all, and very appropriate for Gibor being the penultimate Odinic symbol, of the wisdom-giving father, inasmuch as Hagal symbolizes the protective and guarding mother (i.e. Frigg).

Hagal and Gibor interpreted:

Hagal is considered the Mother-Rune, because it is formed from all radii of the vertical hexagon understood as the intersection of the three spatial planes and the nine realms or foci of Yggdrasil. Understanding this quartz-like hexagonal structure as three-dimensional, with the six corners and the centerpoint being foci, and two additional ones above and below the centerpoint, we get a total of nine for the nine realms. Hagal represents Yggdrasil in a compact sense, as the All-Hedge, or All-Encompassing tree of life. Many unrelated traditions speak of a "tree of life" but this crystalline structure is its true core form, as understood by the ancient Aryans before the ending of the Ice Age.

Hagal, however, also represents other phenomena, hence it is called the Mother Rune, as it is considered the mother of all runes, as they all stem from parts of its radial structure. It is the central Rad-Uz (radix or root) from which the other runes derive - it was thus also called "All-Rune" or Alraun - a word which today refers to the Mandrake Root, whose branching "arms" and "legs" sometimes resemble Hagal. Metaphysically it is aligned with Frigg, wife of Odin and archetype of the Protective Mother energy. The term Hagal, while ostensibly referring to hail and freezing rain, which can devastate crops, also has additional layers of meaning, the most significant of which for esoteric runers is that of Hag-All, meaning the Hag or protective mother, in the All.

Hag, in the old Germanic sense, was never a bad word. It originally did not refer to an evil, decrepit or deformed woman, but rather to any mother or matronly figure - much like the word "Crone" used to mean a woman who is "crowned" (Kronefrau) with silver hairs, indicating experience and years of wisdom - rather than bad-tempered or malevolent. Although the Germanic Lore is not matriarchal, there is nonetheless a strong current of the mother archetype being a vital part of the functioning of the Folk, and even the fiercest warrior has a mother, and eventually from time to time, need of her protection or help. Hag-All can also be rendered as All-Hag or All-Hedge - the symbol being of a giant hedge bush or the crossed beams of a roof "hedging" the people beneath against the elements. This hedge, symbolizes Yggdrasil in microcosm, acting as a spiritual structure in the energy flow of the Runer, and a hedge against spiritual volatility and turbulence. A person lacking in the energy of Hagal, can best be described as hot-headed and unstable.

The other major layer of meaning of Hagal is as a Bind-Rune. Not only can Hagal be used as the central focus of larger and more complex Bind-Runes, but its own shape can be thought of as a Bind-Rune composed of two more basic runes.

Hagal can be separated out into the runes Man and Yr, the male and female magickal energies. In this understanding, Hagal is not strictly a "mother rune" but also a rune of union, of the male and female principles in the universe. It is thus the compact form of the so-called Wendehorn used in many esoteric Rune-circles today.


Hagal can also be seen as the combination of the Not and Eh runes, reflecting the balancing of need and dependence on past actions with a sacred union, a spiritual marriage of resonating souls, resulting in a new and less volatile direction in life. This too ties in with Hagal's Eddic meaning, as a rune of protection against calamities, an All-Hedge. Keep in mind that this refers only to a "sacred marriage" and not marriage in general, especially in the modern world. Very few marriages in today's materialist, atomized world, where people are socially programmed from an early age to view one another as little more than commodities, have any element of sacred alignment to them, and as a result many of them quickly degenerate into bitterness and divorce. A Runic marriage was designed to avoid such ulterior-incentivized mismatches, and Runic culture itself discourages any sort of envy-based or resentment-based thinking as a form of virulent soul-poverty, which in turn impoverishes others around you, and renders them weak against calamities.


Thus yet again can we see that Hagal is a rune to protect, in Odin's words, "the Great Hall, high over the bench-mates a-blazing" - that is, Hagal is the primal protective energy, in this case, to protect the family and home against the destructive fire of conflict and marital strife, paranoid jealousy, mistrust, vindictive divorces and greed-motivated property disputes. All this, Hag-All or Frigg is opposed to, regardless of what disagreements may happen. Disrespect the solidity of family, and the Hag-All's protection will be withdrawn. Those who initiate bitter divorces, rarely enjoy their ill-gotten wealth for long. Hagal was often used alongside the "Elder" rune Odal (meaning "homestead" or "inheritance") in traditionalist Heathen circles for this very reason. Hagal guards Odal from disaster. If the members of a family fail to equally uphold the Hagal principle, Odal will also soon desert them, to the ruin of all.


Yours no longer...

Gibor is another extremely powerful, but misunderstood rune. Here we shall only look at the Bind-Rune aspects of it. Gibor is actually both a letter-rune and a Bind-Rune, much like Hagal. However usually only its letter-rune usage is addressed in Armanen texts.

If Hagal is the Mother-Rune, Gibor can in some ways be seen as All-Father's rune. Now we know that Odin is traditionally associated with the Os or Ansuz rune, the rune of God-speech, persuasion and charisma. Odin has also been associated with the "Elder" Futhark rune Odal, which pertains to the Homestead and inheritance, as well as one's blood and ancestry. Although there isn't necessarily anything to connect Odal specifically with Odin, moreso than any other Gods, he has been associated with Odal almost unconsciously due to mnemonic reasons. However, Odhala or Odal does seem to include the root-word (wurzelwort) of Od, the Nordic term for "cosmic wind" or "The Force" which permeates the universe - which is also the root of the name Odin (alternatively, the continental Germanic Wod is the root for the name Wotan, or the Avestan Vaad for Vayu-Vata). Thus there is a connection there, but we would be amiss to think that Os and Odal are the only runes associated with Odin.

Gibor, too, is associated with him, in his highest sense as Allfather and Hroptatyr, Master of the Sacred Mysteries. Gibor is the fatherly counterpart to Hagal, as both runes touch all six outer points of the Yggdrasil hedge-hexagon, as well as the central focus.Thus they are the two "largest" runes in the sense of overall area covered. Gibor also has a significance as not just the final of the 18 runes, but as a starting point for a new cycle, being the concealed form of the swastika or fylfot, also known as Fyrfos or "Fire-Whisk" symbolizing the creation of man, and the visible universe from base matter (the remains of Ymir) by the blowing of Odin and the fire of Freyr. Thus did both early Germanen and even far more ancient Primal Aryans of the Urheimat, see the symbolism of fire as not just death, but rebirth. Gibor can be seen as a Bind-Rune composed of a tilted Os-rune, and a reversed copy of Os, resembling Fa (primal fire), which is a key to the Gibor as concealed Fyrfos.


On yet a deeper level, since Gibor is a rune of giving and new life, it is also symbolic of the deepest cosmic mysteries, of union of human and divine, and even of the activation of trans-dimensional awakening through the ecstasy of sacred sexuality. Whereas Hagal may symbolize the union of Man and Yr as primal reproductive forces for new growth, thus represented by Mother Frigg, Gibor represents the union of a masculine and feminine Os-form or God-consciousness, and thus the raising of both human runers, however fleetingly at first, then more permanently, to a God-like status of consciousness, with the sexual act used as a mentally and spiritually transformative, rather than reproductive, endeavor. Gibor's tertiary and highest esoteric form, is a rite of sacred sex-magick for the apotheosis of both partners. If Hagal is a Bind-Rune symbolizing the merger of Odin and Frigg, then Gibor is the passionate embrace and exchange of Odin and Freyja, Sigurd and Brynhild, giver and receiver.

If one separates Gibor into two spiraling Os runes, one can also rearrange them together (by flipping one of them) to form the Odal rune, which is thus both a symbolic manifestation of Allfather as guardian of inheritance and legacy, and an alternate form of both Os and Gibor.


So Odal actually does have a close relation to Gibor and Odin's very nature, though mainly in an esoteric sense through their common element of Os, and even though it is not "officially" an Armanen rune. More recent applications of the Armanen system (post-Spiesberger) actually do use Odal, in its more squat "Armanen hexagon" form, as an alternative form of the Os-rune, for indeed it is composed of two mirrored, overlapping Os-runes. However, it must be remembered that Odal is not actually an identical substitute for Os, but in fact its doubling and augmentation. For one's Odal or estate to be preserved, the exoteric Os or smooth communication, spiritual and physical, must also be active in a family, without any saboteurs. If Os is compromised in any of the homestead's members, home falls apart - Odal cannot stand divided. Gibor, on the other hand, is fueled by Os in its deeper, more sensual and suggestive esoteric level. Odal stands stationary like a tent or roof, whereas Gibor spirals and spins without restraints.

In the Hávamál, Odin mentions regarding Gibor, the final rune, that it is a spell whose secrets he will not reveal to any girl or woman, save alone his sister (traditionally believed to be Frigg herself) or his passionate lover who "holds me fast in her arms" (which most likely refers to Freyja, but may also refer to any or all of a plethora of goddesses, noble giantesses, and earthly women who have been Odin's lovers). Thus it can be understood that the highest meaning of this rune can only be realized through the mutual orgasms of a man and woman both well-versed in Runes, or at least aspects the Runic culture and worldview. It is said that Gibor as the intertwining of Odin and Freyja, also symbolizes the exchange of wisdom through this passionate embrace, with Odin imparting to Freyja and knowledge of the Runes, and Freyja giving Odin the gift of Seidhr. Although this is not a reproductive rite, as no children from Odin and Freyja's trysts are mentioned in the Lore (though Sigurd and Brynhild did produce a child through a similar rite), it was recognized by the Armanen as a valid (though private) form of Rune-magick, one which did not constitute oath-breaking or lack or marital loyalty.




Keep in mind, however, that Ingvonen and Ostivanen generally did not practice such advanced esoteric forms of Rune-magick, which require absolute trust and confidence between partners, to share all their deepest desires. This was a sacred sexuality; it was never commercialized or reduced to a commodity. Nor did these largely non-magickal classes appear to attach esoteric meanings to most of their runes the way the Armanen did, and certainly not to Gebo, the common counterpart of Gibor. Yet we know its intimate esoteric rites existed, for accounts of similar rituals are in the Eddas and Sagas. Among Armanen, mutual trust and discretion with esoteric secrets was paramount. Break that trust, expose those secrets, and the ritual is null and void. Thus Odin taught "Such secrets are best when known to but one". And it is for this same reason that ancient Armanen tended to live near one another and did not lock their chests; for theft or spying were unknown among their class, so strong was their trust of their fellow adepts; and breaking that trust was not only a crime against the folk, but also an instant death sentence - a law that carried over into the Vehmic courts of the Middle Ages, which served to mitigate and slow the Church's intrusion into everyone's private lives and esoteric practices.



Other Armanen runes can also be interpreted as Bind-Runes, for example, Eh being a combination of Ar and Ka, symbolizing a synthesis of the Arising man and the Cunning woman as sacred partnership.  Tyr can be seen as a Bind-Rune of two mirrored Laf-runes, symbolizing the death and rebirth of one with experience of navigation and wisdom in both the physical and spiritual realms.

Indeed the most important thing to take away here is that bind-runes can actually be constructed (or in an Odinic sense, reverse-engineered) from Armanen runes, to approximate all the meanings of the poems as well as the most ancient esoteric meanings used by practitioners of later "historical" systems and reaffirmed by Guido von List. The Armanen runes themselves (most of then in any case) can even be interpreted as Bind-Runes themselves, made of simpler Armanen Rune-forms, with symbolic meanings corresponding to the original Hávamál meanings. So for those who claim that the Armanen system misreads the Hávamál , or that the Hávamál's 18 rune-spells refer not to individual letter-runes but to Bind-Runes, the message could not be more clear - the Armanen runes themselves can and do function as Bind-runes, and are in fact the shorthand contraction of the spells mentioned by Odin in the Hávamál.


To truly master the abilities of Odin would take several reincarnations worth of mastery of first the Armanen/Odinic rune forms, and then their expanded esoteric meanings ad multi-faceted spells. However, the basic Rune-Might and energies of the 18 Armanen runes, are already available to us mere mortals in the uses described by Guido von List, as distilled from the Lore of the Eddas and Sagas, and matching Armanen family traditions like those of Tarnhari, Peryt Shou, and the like. On one level, the 18 rune-songs of the Hávamál do refer to more complex Bind-rune spells, though again the "middle way" Aryan principle would have been observed, by Odin foremost before all others; but on another level, all the energies and resonances of those Rune-Song spells are fully concentrated and active in a compressed and simplified form, in the basic Armanen Runes themselves.


So as for whether the 18 rune-verses of the Havamal refer to basic Futhark runes, or Bind-Runes, the Armanen system gives us the answer: It is not just one or the other, it is both. The Armanen Futharkh runes are, at the very least, condensed spiritual shorthand for the full measure of the spells Odin learned on Yggdrasil. We have already seen a few examples of how some Armanen runes, on the esoteric level, are indeed not just visual but also metaphysical syntheses of the energies of more basic Armanen runes. The Armanen Futharkh is in this sense, both the most culturally "pure" and grounded of the Runic systems, while at the same time being the least dogmatic - it accepts the multiple layers of meaning present in Primal Aryan mysticism since the eldest times. We must awaken to the fact that ancient Rune-Masters, whether you call them Armanen, Vitkar, Semanen, Galdrmannen, Galdrgothar, Hvitiverkar, Hvushmandan, or any other name, did not interpret things in a "critical" fashion (A is right, B is wrong) but rather, a lateral one ("even if A and B are wrong, C, D, and E are all valid on different levels"). While this may be a difficult concept for people raised in the modern, materialistic world of "black and white" or "us versus them" false dichotomies to grasp, it is essential psycho-spiritual Ethics 101 for any serious Runer. The Armanen runes thus have multiple layers of both power and meaning, though these layers are all related in mysterious ways. It is not a contradiction, but a contra-distinction - another metaphysical concept which has long been suppressed by orthodox dogmas.

Manifesting more than one of these layers for any given rune, as an operative energy in your life, and controlling the state-switch between them at will, is the primary goal of all Rune-Magick. Without this guiding goal of mastery at the center, the rest quickly falls apart into window-dressing. The purpose of runes isn't to look cute, or to impress curiosity-seekers, or to communicate in code - it is the unlocking of man's hidden abilities, and reactivation of links with the Primal Runes beyond the symbols - that is, the Ur-Allbornkraften, the Primal Creative Energies or Principles of all existence.



Likewise, more elaborate Bind-Runes crafted from Armanen runes generally crystallize into recurring forms, either triple-radial or sextuple-radial, or based around one or three vertical axes. The emphasis on multiples of three is of course apparent to the Armanen rune-practitioner, symbolizing the three phases of life in the Indo-European cosmology, those of:

1. Arising
2. Being
3. Passing Away (towards a new Arising)

This three phases also relate to the triple nature of the Allfather as Odin, Vili, and Ve - or Har, Jafnhar, and Thridi, also known as Odhinn, Hoenir and Lodhurr.

Of course these are not the only sort of bind-runes that can be constructed from Armanen runes. However the results are generally again simple to understand.

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Conclusion:

The many things that these bind-runes can assist with, are ultimately changes (and in some cases habits) which the self-arising man should already be doing. Working on one's Fa, Ur, Thorn and Os tendencies, as one example, is something that the aspiring Runenmeister should already be doing in his or her life, learning thereby that happiness and validation of one's identity come not from a particular outcome, but from his ability to take the actions he desires without fears over the outcome. Feeding on the energy of our own positive efforts or Garma, rather than on the reactions of others, creates an up-spiraling feedback loop which is habit for the expert Runenmeister. We know people like List, Marby, and Spiesberger had hardships and not just easy times - but we also know that they were able to sustain their sense of self through them because they did not depend for it on others' approval. List essentially revived a religion from the ashes despite getting zero approval from mainstream academia, and no guarantees that there would be any interest in it from either base or respectable society (as it turned out, thousands of very wealthy people, industrial barons as well as hereditary ones, showered him with donations). But he had already spent months and years working on his Garma.

Garma is not an entitlement, it has to be seized from the Void, as the Runes were.
Skipping the necessary Garma actions necessary to affect true Runic Manifestation, and assuming you are entitled to its legacy by birth alone, is a shortcut to nothing but misery. This is why most people trapped in the current Eisenzeit, including in traditionally Indo-European nations, get stuck in self-destructive cycles of stagnation and self-imposed victimhood, blaming their own failings on others; we can blame mainstream society's failings on this or that special interest group, but the reality is, they're merely exploiting the open wounds in our own consciousness. Ultimate the decline of all that was beautiful in Indo-European cultures, and its supplanting by ugly, mutilated mass-culture, is the result of people forgetting and devaluing the wisdom of their ancestors. These "savage barbarians" as the globalist-material agenda puts it, were actually far greater than we are. They were actually Great, they were actually Wise. They had wisdom that most of us cannot access in today's world of dead matter and soulless machines. They gave us the Eddas, the Zend-Avesta, the Jain Vedas (not the Turanized Hindu version of the Vedas taught in mainstream colleges) and of course the immanence of the Runes, Ravan-Shajari, Surya-gar, and all related Aryan systems of magick.

It is us who have been misguided, not them! It is our age that is "dark", not theirs! It is us who have forgotten to honor and reinforce what works both socially and spiritually, not them. We wear pendants, some of us tattoo runes, it seems to look "cool" and seems to remind us a bit of the past, but do we really manifest the wisdom behind any of it? Why are so many self-proclaimed "heathens" and "pagans" today simply reeking of their former sheephood, and totally lacking in any of the ethics nad behaviors they claim to be reviving? Why are so many of them still holding the family, the man, and true natural beauty to be of so little value? The Aryans of Yamna, Corded Ware, Scythia, Persia, the Indus Valley, Khotan, Shennongguo and even Yamatai, had a culture that worked, and worked consistently for thousands of years. Sons were not killing fathers. Women were not at men's throats. Families were not broken up in 50 percent of homes. People did not bankrupt each other over the most minor and accidental insult. Building a better folk was the priority, not "saving one's feelings from hurt". People did not degenerate into the slaves of their own emotions and their own tools! The Aryan thought not just of himself or herself, but of the web of Wyrd, of the destiny of their kinfolk in generations yet unborn! What sort of life would they live, and would we even exist today, if the Yamnaya or the Andronovo folk, or even later Aryan peoples, were wreaking the same sort of havoc in their own society that today's average and mediocre "fools leading the fools" are doing in ours?

Would they be proud of what you have become? 

We have forgotten how to manifest Garma and have fallen into inward-turning cycles of fatalist en-karma (regressive or ignoble karma). We have forgotten how to live as noble beings, with a legacy worth preserving and passing on. The next few generations of Indo-European individuals will end up only knowing themselves as individuals, and know naught of their ancestors, how we got here, and whom we really owe it to (and no, it's not to some far-off herder demiurge with no cultural relevance to our Solar Megafolk). Another thing to consider is that folk cultures who did not see their own people as commodities, and who did not worship money above the Gods and the Ancestors (I am speak of worship in a practical action or karmic sense, not a rhetorical or verbal sense) were often immune to the debt-slavery, addictions, and nihilistic musings of self-rue that plague most modern societies today. You can disinfect the wounds of the folk-spirit over and over, but if you do not heal them, the same problems will arise from a different direction, a different tribe of herders, ad different thorn in the side of a Folk. Practicing the Runes means also healing the spiritual wounds of your folk, in whatever way you can. Some may not be ready for the message, but those that are, do not withhold it from them. Forget about hating anyone - we are past that point. We need to fix our own faults at the root (Ur), learn to steer our own ships of destiny (Laf), and arise from our own wreckage together (Ar) so that even the dirty tricks of the blameworthy will not be any match for our Garma. Thus we have to manifest ULA-ALU as an active Runic spell in life, a New Arising, not just a formal ritual.

Reading Egil's saga, most people tend to skip to all the juicy parts, such as Egil's use of rune magick to detect poisons, curse King Eirik Bloodaxe with a Nidhstang, or heal the unfortunate victim of a badly botched runic seduction. What they do not often notice is the introduction, his early years, the descriptions of the many difficult, dangerous, and ultimately very valuable experiences he had as a young man. Egil was a warrior before he became a rune-master, and he already craved adventure before he was a warrior. This does not mean you must be a warrior to master the runes - but a sense of curiosity and worldly adventurousness is vital. If one lacks even the desire or will to explore any of the physical world, even a small part, it makes no sense to suddenly try to explore the metaphysical worlds that intersect with it.  If this is you, then you're not a real Runenmeister so much as a Church altar boy playing Runenmeister. There are no sheltered, cloistered monks on the runic path - every "sage" has seen much of the world.



This is also why bind-runes should be simple and have clear intent. The more complicated you make them, the more you muddle and dull the intent, and the more your mind itself loses focus on the process at hand (notice the term process, as opposed to "goal" - racking your brain with goals incapacitates your ability to habituate the processes and attitudes that will get you there). Runes are primal energies, Bind-Runes are directed energies, i.e. attitudes and ethics. Two Bind-Runes used in tandem can even have energies that contrast with each other, but merging them into a single complex one can easily nullify both just as it confuses anyone looking at it as to which runes and energy flow-lines are actually meant to be delineated and which are accidental artifacts of a slipshod overlay job, perhaps indicating a lack of focus or a sense that one is simply over-complicating things.

There are entire philosophies, religions, and cultures that have evolved around and sustain themselves financially on over-complicating things for mankind and then acting as middlemen or "fixers" to the woes of this same over-complication. Among these, however, are not included genuine Odinism, Armanism, Rune-magick, Rodnovery, Mazdaism, or any other Aryan paths whether north or south.

At the end we realize that the very inherent ethics of the Ansiwiz, the Aesir, the Asuras, are abundant in the runes, and that this is both an extremely authentic and honest form of magick, and at the same time a self-protecting one that guards its secrets against the careless and the naive. The Aesir in the Eddas are not trying to control everything - but they are always seeking to master their own selves in everything - this is paradoxically what makes them so profoundly attractive to humans. The spirit of Asha-wih, of Exaltation through practicing God-nature, is intrinsic to the runes - they simply smooth this path, they do not replace it. This is why "casual" runers rarely end up achieving anything before they get bored and move on. They are not willing to put in the effort to go outside their comfort zone and make mistakes, they are not willing to face "rejection" or setbacks or unclear results in their runic practice. They are not willing to work on areas of their lives other than runes, and simply expect bind-runes, galdr mantras, and runic meditation to make miracles happen for them without any effort.

The runes do not take the place of effort. They only begin to unwrap their true nature with effort. You cannot merely mooch off of their energy - you need to resonate with it to unlock it. No quick fixes.

This is also why people attempting to mix runes with reactive lifestyles are ultimately spinning their wheels. One cannot truly grasp or tap into the power of the runes if they are a drug addict, codependent, or living with an entitlement or "safe space" mentality. Many such people claim to be a "master" of this or that path, but in person they turn out to be the most insecure and miserable poltroons. This does not, however, mean that a person with legitimate physical or social handicaps cannot become an effective rune-practitioner (at least in those runic arts which they are physically capable of practicing) - so long as they have a will of steel and refuse to let their disability define them or weigh down their soul. It is indeed possible to be the "Ivar the Boneless" of rune magick.

On the other hand, the pathetic sort of individual who is always vicariously living out tragedies they have never experienced in order to find vast masses to blame for their own failures, looking for excuses for self-pity and self-fetalization, and typically seeks a "smurfs and unicorns" velvet fantasy in the practices of watered-down postmodern "eclectic paganism", will simply not get anywhere with the runes. They may fool themselves with a few "catch-all" pseudo-divinations using a sparkly mass-produced glass or plastic "Elder" Futhark set and a cheesy watered-down meanings sheet from any of hundreds of interchangeable Llewellyn stencil authors (or the even worse "meanings" fabricated by Tao plagiarist Ralph Blum).

But this is merely a relaxation drug for them, the same way that there are countless horoscope junkies, there are a smaller number of "rune play junkies". The runes themselves are not really revealing anything to these consumers of false, Lore-devoid meaning sheets and play-acting authors. They may get some temporary fuzzy feelings here and there from it, or from a meditation on this or that rune, but their constant victim mentality (and indeed their masochistic addiction to it) will prevent any real delving into the power of the runes. In ignorance they may find a dull and opaque sort of bliss, though in the vast realm of rune-magick they have no idea what they are missing out on.

To truly experience the runes, requires practicing Asha-Wih daily - stepping outside your comfort zone, challenging the inertia and entropy in your life. To truly benefit from the runes' "weal for mankind" which Odin spoke of, requires repeat practice of Odin's and the Aesir's prime virtue - that of exploration and the acceptance of discomfort that initially accompany it. The Runes reward action.

This is why true rune-masters will always be an elite, though their followers may at times be legion (as in the days of the Migration Age, when the Ingvaeons and Istvaeons, following the guidance of Irminons, made Rome itself tremble). Do you have what it takes to join this elite?