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 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.)


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.


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.


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.


  1. Thank you for the list - much gratitude! I'm looking to get those books in the future.

  2. PS. About the Jain Vedas: where have you, yourself, encountered them?

    1. I used to live near a city that had a local Jain center, one days I was curious and went for a visit. I admit they are not easy to get a hold of. Most of the other Jain scriptures are later, monastic traditions, basically rule-books more than cultural epics. Still, anything they point out about the Tirkantharas and their cosmology is more Aryan, closer to the Asura solar archetype, than what you get in Hindu texts.

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  4. Thank you so much, always a pleasure to partake of your lessons!
    What I don't understand is, how come you are not a published author? Even just a sample of short essays from this blog would be good and profound reading, although I am sure you can write a perfect and scholarly study on each of those subjects. Your works would make for an unique reading material and, I believe, contain that special, additional dimension, call it art, call it magic - it is Poesis.
    I like and appreciate Mr. Sepehr, but he seems to prefer to "take no risks" as an author, as if he just collected topics in a Mercurial manner instead of engaging the reader in a more passionate, "political" manner. Personally speaking, this makes all the difference. He, however, remains important for the sheer volume of his investigations; I am not saying he is shallow or not courageous, to the contrary, he is a brave pioneer, I am just missing that moment where he identifies the "antagonists of the Indo-European tradition" without mincing words.

    1. All those points depend... have you read his books? Or just seen the videos?

      As for my work, I do plan to publish at some point. I can self-publish, and I know you and others would spread the word. But I find flow and steady is best. If I write a bit at a time, instead of long breaks and then days of rush, it builds up fast. There are a few books I plan to write; one on Armanen rune-yoga, another on more general rune-magick, and another on Esoteric Indo-European history. But these are long term projects at this point. But you make a good point, some of this blog material may turn into books at a later date.

  5. I like being useful but.. spread the word? As it is, I live in spirit-breaking & near-suicidal isolation & only have (rather formal) infrequent contacts with one more person. I may as well be a Jotun.

    1. Jotun? You could just do what you're already doing now (commenting on rune blogs, recommending books, etc.) and that would already be plenty.

  6. If such be the case, I am truly content, thank you; but I always feel haunted by this odd feeling of being a lazy person.
    I am not! I worry all the time, I swear. Even during the short spells of sleep that my kidneys allow.

    Reading your text on the English Futhorc, on the last four, or Northumbrian, runes, I'd read that Frau Holda used to eat children, Njord drown ships... there was/is even a Vanir divinity whose rites were especially bloody. What does this mean? Is such behaviour always a potentiality with them?
    And yet, even as I am asking the question, I already feel I am missing the point. As if I were to ask: "are humans still prone to descend into cannibalism?" Of course they are.
    Stalingrad was a nightmare in this very respect!
    Hörbinger's meteorologic office having predicted a mild Winter, no particular trouble was taken to pack the winter gear, alas.
    Mild Winter for whom? For the gods, perhaps. But for the human "element" it was hell, a frozen hell.
    P.S. Didn't read Sepher's books (yet), just saw his videos, you can say I was bluffing - and you'd be right. I'm sorry. I tend to pretend to be more clever than I really am. Fuck that.

    1. The Vanir, at least in later times, were associated with some of these bloody rites. Many of them have traditionally been seen as earth-deities or "chthonic" rather than solar or sky-deities.

      But it's actually deeper than that. The Aesir are gods of consciousness, while the Vanir are gods of the cycles. If the seasons were especially harsh, some individuals may have thought the Vanir were displeased.

      That said, these appear to be late Bronze-age and later developments. The Vanir do appear to be of Indo-European origin like the Aesir, not borrowed from another pantheon. In their original form, it is unlikely they had rites of human sacrifice, but in later times, as more of the wisdom of the proto-Aryans was gradually lost, climactic changes often led people to drastic measures which fell back on the hunter-archetype substrate of Cro-Magnon Europe - this regression continued into the Viking age, encompassing not just human sacrifice but also slavery and plunder, though part of this was also due to the political climate of the times, and nonetheless many aspects of Indo-European culture still remained in effect. A similar thing happened in the Bacrian culture, where, before Zarathustra, certain cults practices human sacrifice and claimed that the Asuras and Vanaras demanded it.

      Sepehr's books are interesting, but like everything else on this list, are not the be-all end-all. Since all of these books contain a mix of facts, theories, and opinions, it's good to read multiple sources before having a judgment on them.

  7. Could you send me pictures of what the Jain Vedas look like - so I know what to look for, when I do decide to search them (don’t know of a Jain store, where I live)? My email is:

  8. The runes have a seductive power, that's why people, me included, tend to get so enthused about them. The problem is, or has been, there were no (good) mentors willing to teach the runelore, although you somehow managed to be(come) the exception in this instance and, obviously, find some, a case of virtuous Wyrd/Orlog, I guess, unless your knowledge is innate. In any case: Hail the Givers!
    But your list is truly long. Almost disappointingly so. A test in itself. It entails at least a college course/degree, 4 to 5 years of study. Which shouldn't be problem, not really, as long as the student understands just what the deal is - and the books are available.
    Who knows if we as a "civilization" have that much time? Maybe we should ask the runes?
    I noticed you write the word rune(s) without the use of capital R, while some write Rune(s). I always thought this was a case of it being a personal name for the generalised stave(s). Besides, I tend to think of a word that's written with a capital letter as if it were a Symbol, and it somehow seemed appropriate.
    But if it only means 'sign' - then there is no need for it.