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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

13 Crazy Things you will see when studying Runes

There are some very good and reasonable people and groups I have met through my Rune studies, as well as some extremely wise people, and some rather mediocre (but still kind and honorable) people.

But that has nothing to do with what this post is about! (If only that were the limit of it). When you are dealing with a subject where so much of the Lore and practices have been either destroyed or driven underground as with Runes, and has been misrepresented so often in cheesy movies and books, inevitably you get a vast array of posers, fakes, and downright crazies coming out of the woodwork to troll you without rest, as soon as you start asking questions in forums, and definitely when you've learned a few things, shared a few things, and your blog or site gets more than a few hundred views... well in my case, it happened well before I even started blogging.

I've seen many of these types over the years. Be prepared for a deluge of utter pointless arm-waving, and don't expect to convince these crowds of anything through rational debate. They'll make you want to tear your hair out or even give up pursuing this journey - but make no mistake, they are not part of it - they are only the proverbial roadblocks and tourist traps trying to draw you away from the Odinic consciousness of the Runes. If you're thinking of establishing a study group of kindred, it's best to weed these trolls out from the start. Debating them is futile and will only make you ill and bring down your own reputation. As we read in the Hávamál:

I advise you, Loddfáfnir,
that you take advice;
You would benefit, if you took it,
to you will come good, if you get it:
Three words, even,
should you not [dispute] with a worse man;
Oft the better one fails,
when the worse one rails.

- Hávamál, Verse 125

So here are 10 absolutely crazy phenomena to watch out for, and you WILL see at least a few of them, whether in real life or on internet/social media groups claiming to be Runic, if you are pursuing the Runic paths for any real length of time. I call them like I see them, so if you're "offended" then you obviously didn't read the Disclaimer, so please either do that and cool your jets, or see yourself out.

1. Ego-Mania. This is a common occurrence with people who have just discovered Runes, or who just heard a little bit about Heathenry, Odin, or Asgard, and suddenly think they know everything. They are a genius and you are an idiot, just because they read a comic book or saw a movie... that was NOT made by Indo-European people or even people remotely interested in respecting the Old Ways. Typically this crowd also loves to take selfies and post them all over their social media, literally several times per day. Sure, everyone's ego is sometimes huge... but not that huge.

"Naaa-naaaa I'm a better Runer than you cuz I saw "Thor: Ragnarok", so...
... I'm a genius who knows exactly what will happen! My blank-rune cast confirmed it!"

2. Dogma-nuts. This is a common problem you get when folks who have just come out of Christianity looking for something a bit more European... who suddenly discover the Eddas and the Runes, but instead of re-learning the culture, start treating the Eddas like some sort of Bible... seeing commandments where there are none, inventing a pedantic orthodoxy around the Aesir and Vanir despite the fact that the Eddas point out no god is infallible, and calling people who don't toe their line “nithlings”, left and right, without any clue how severe of a label that is. The Dogma-nuts generally also find some sort of modern Runic practice, pretend it's "more ancient and authentic", and latch onto it. They typically have no clue that most popular books on Runes contain a lot of speculation, and that many of the things they have read were "ancient" are in fact modern ideas based loosely (if that) on ancient Lore. To the dogma-nut, Odin simply becomes a replacement for “Jehovah”, the Aesir are just Biblical angels with a bit more character, and the Runes are seen as just a convenient stand-in for the Hebrew tetragrammaton. In other words, these people have read a ton, and still learned nothing.

"Yo! We're gonna burn some nithlings at the stake at tonight's bonfire...
wait, what's that Shoemaker? We don't actually do that in Asatru?
What's that, nithling doesn't mean "heretic" either? Aww scheiss."

3. The “Runes are the work of the Devil”(TM) crowd. Sort of the foil to #3. Your typical inevitable Christian-fundamentalist trolls who join Rune forums only to bash Runes as evil “satanic” images. You will come across them at some point. Usually they are sheepish cowards who feel more comfortable attacking in groups. Expect a pile of Gish gallops and attempts to waste your time. There are, of course, hundreds if not thousands of evangelical churches out there, many of them having pamphlets attacking every form of “pagan” symbolism all in one go, including Runes. But what most people getting into Runes may not be aware of, is how pervasive such evangelists are in misrepresenting their real agenda and sneaking into online Runic or Heathen study groups, only to pester and annoy people who are actually trying to learn.


4. The "Satanists who dabble in Runes" crowd. I mean actual, literal Satanists... not merely random non-Christian people that category #3 casually insult as "satanists". No, I mean the real deal.. no joke. Black masses, inverted pentagrams, edgy self-cutting "rebels", people who openly call themselves Satanists (or even "theistic Satanists") without any hint of irony - and then they claim to know everything about Runes or Runic practices (but in reality are simply regurgitating the hermetic/kabbalistic ideas of Crowley and sticking Runic symbols on top of them). I can't figure it out for the life of me why anyone who essentially ascribes to a belief in a Hebrew egregor, even if it's the one the Tanakh ostensibly condemns, thinks that's in any way compatible with Indo-European symbols like Runes - but there are nonetheless some self-admitted Satanists out there who try (and fail miserably) to link runes with their practice, invent false meanings, and play right into the hands of the 3# crowd.

I'd venture to guess that at least some of these people are useful idiots planted by Churches to discredit Runes and Heathenry, while others are more clever users of disinformation trying to recruit people into their cabals by copying the symbols of more popular spiritual paths with a bit more romantic of a history. Not that I much care whether the #3 crazies think of us as “devil worshippers” (their tiny minds are already made up regardless)... but this kind of anti-cultural disinformation also serves to confuse the genuine seeker as to what our true cognizancies are, and what sort of culture Runes are all about. Runes have their own culture, their own independent meta-folk archetype... and it has absolutely nothing to do with "Yahweh's cloven-hoofed loyal opposition".

"Just add goat head and skull goblet and burn exactly 5.5 drams of Asphodel under the first full moon after Halloween, and Satan-Azazel himself will offer you a 100% kosher Sanhedrin-approved purple glass "Rune-Set" in place of the full refund you demanded on the wish-fulfillment compensation for that not-so-pagan soul you didn't actually sell to him".

5. The “You're a Nazi for liking Runes!”(TM) crowd. Following on the heels of the lunar-reflective Satanists who try to combine Runes with Solomonic demons and kabbalah to make them more kosher, are the self-despising political correctness junkies (usually Anglo-American, urban, and extremely spoiled) who wish to actually censor if not criminalize Runes for not being kosher enough. These lemmings are typically either closet Marxists or Zionists, or simply brainwashed college debt-slaves with thin skins and weak minds, who watched a few History Channel shows on "Nazi Occultism", and suddenly they think they know everything about the Third Reich as well as Runes - and they seem incapable of belching out even a short paragraph without feverishly connecting the two. To them, Runes are "symbols of hate and nothing more", and the only good Heathenry in their mind is one without any Runes or symbols of its own. Additionally they often seem to be the type to hate everything German as inherently and innately 'devilish', while praising everything Scandinavian as innately 'angelic' due to a very coddled watering-down of the Eddas (reality check, Scandinavians and Germans are not all that different ancestry-wise). But for all their alleged political correctness expertise, they often can't even name which Futhark the Runes used by the Third Reich came from (trick question; they came from K.M. Wiligut's personal rune row, which ripped off ALL the major Futharks as well as the Greek alphabet). Despite the fact that the majority of these agitators are neither Jewish nor Romani, and are in fact often of Northern European descent themselves, they seem to have no problem whatsoever with throwing thousands of years of Runic history, Eddas, Sagas, carved monuments, great heroes, and Nordic culture – their own ancestral heritage in many cases - into the garbage. Because of what the Hysteria Channel says about a dead and buried regime that their own 'democratic' governments blockaded and bombed into rubble after a mere 12 years in power. Let that sink in for a minute.

"We're still too privileged, we need to feel more guilt and give up more symbols, until racism finally ends...
... and isn't it HORRIBLE that Eisenhower didn't bomb more German babies in Dresden?" 

6. The “Let's reclaim everything but refuse to wear it” (TM) crowd. A foil to #5. This is an increasingly shrill mishmash of people who claim to be Rune-workers, but simply come across as soy-latte misery mongers. They make a huge stink about “Nazis” who “stole our symbols” (as if anyone ever legally “owned” Runes in the first place), then insist “we have to reclaim the Fylfot, Odal Rune, etc.” But then they refuse to to wear said symbols with the excuse that Fylfot and Runes are “tainted” despite making a big stink about “reclaiming” them. There is no taint, unless you want to believe in one – there is only programming. Over 100 million people have been killed by Communism in the past century - a far higher body count than anyone has ever pinned on the Third Reich- but do these buffoons ascribe any forbidding "taint" to the hammer-and-sickle? No? That's programming. Either you refuse to fall for it and wear holy Runic symbols openly (can you imagine Christians refusing to wear crosses out of guilt for the Inquisition?) or you cower like a lemming and eat your own words. These wankers usually take the latter approach. All talk, no walk – which makes you wonder what their purpose in starting the whole “reclaiming” conversation even was! They also tend to spread all sorts of disgusting lies and slander against the Armanen masters, despite never having read any of their work and having no clue about the reality of their fate during WW2. Interestingly, you never see these “reclaimer” poltroons urging Muslims not to wear scimitar pendants on account of a “taint” from the Waffen SS-division Handschar!

"Nice raven, don't bite me pleeeeease!
I promise to wear a Fylfot when it's safe, just not today, pleeeease!"

7. The Wiccatru Fluffbunnies. Every Rune means whatever they want it to mean... unicorns, lollipops, “social justice”, abnormal paraphilias... until you show them verses from the Hávamáor the Rune Poems that clearly prove otherwise. Alas, within less than five minutes they are back to their old habits... making up nonsense meanings not based on any Lore, mixing up Runes with Tarot cards, Feng Shui, Lenormand, “books of shadows”, sephiroth, and who knows what else. Quite a few of them even have youtube channels where they purport to lecture on how to “properly” use Runes in divination – almost always they act as if “proper use” somehow involves colored glass, amethysts, Ouija boards, potions, or “blank runes” - and inevitably a bit of irresponsible usage of spells supposedly taken from Voudou or Santeria thrown in for good measure. They copy bits and pieces from everything but are true to nothing. Some of the more unhinged ones insist you have “no right” to criticize them for misrepresenting the Runes and their meanings, or for their refusal to respect the standalone nature of Runic magick. But they somehow have “every right” to morph into #5 and censor/slander you for not doing things their way. Then comes the letscombineeveryrandomthingidontlikeshitstorm: “You're an evil Nazi Christian Babylonian Pharaoh Transphobic Cis Tradcon Klingon Sith Borg Dark-side Patriarch for even daring to dissent from the rainbow utopia. You're welcome!” Then they go right back to (mis)using Runes.

"we love everyone without judgment!"
"all straight white males are evil!"

8. The Red-Herring Regurgitators. There are plenty of misconceptions about Runes and Runic cultures. Everything from “you're not a real Rune-master until you bleed on your Rune set or your Mjolnir pendant for 9 days and 9 nights” (did they ever try that personally and live?) to “only a real Viking warrior who trains with axes can use Runes” (even though Runes were not exclusive to warriors, and long predate the Viking age, which is, by the way, over). And these people repeat these red herring misconceptions nonstop. They think they know what every Rune means... but usually have not read any of the historical Rune poems or the Hávamál. A lot of "Elder Futhark-only" purists also fall in this category... imagining that simply because the Gothic or Elder Futhark is old, that it is the most "authentic" rune row and all the others suck and are unworthy of study or use, even though it's the one with the LEAST documentation of its meanings - no direct documentation, in fact! Here you end up with such  self-imagined experts claiming to be "doing everything more correct than anyone" according to the Sagas... and yet they are often getting tattoos of things like a Vegvísir surrounded by Elder Futhark Runes (the two symbolisms come from completely different eras and regions and were never used together; combining them is historically meaningless). And of course, they treat listening to Amon Amarth like a holy obligation, because, "why not, bro?"

"Yo, better back up buddy! I'm a Rune-master AND a Berserker now.
Ya hear that? Yeeeeah I bled all over that sonofabitch for 9 days!"

9. The “UPG Police”. These are a contrasting foil to #7 and #8. As opposed to those types and their tendency to play fast-and-loose with history and culture, the UPG Police are constantly patrolling for anything they see as 'unorthodox' (even though Runology and Germanic culture is generally about orthopraxy, not orthodoxy). They are typically obsessed with reconstructing the Viking Age, and are often fully kitted out in the most expensive re-enactment gear from Grimfrost or VikingMerch - not realizing that ancient Heathenry and Rune-magick went through many considerably longer and greater eras before the Viking Age, or that your deeds are far more important in Runic and Heathen paths than what you wear. Though not as openly ridiculous and ignorant as the Dogma-nuts, they do nonetheless invent some odd dogmas and catechisms of their own, which take the Viking Age as some sort of gospel. They refer to anything they can't immediately connect to an Edda or Saga verse, or to Viking Age artifacts, as UPG or “Unverified Personal Gnosis”. Not only is this term misleading, as it treats fantasies of “I dreamed I saw Odin riding a motorcycle to Burger King” as equal with enlightened meditative visions of the Indo-European connections of various Rune-meanings after years of practice and study - but also, the term is out of place. There is a certain regard that language, terms, and even abbreviations have in the Immanence of Runic paths – after all, to speak a word repeatedly, you end up giving it a certain power. And the sound of “UPG” meaning what it does, is completely postmodern and disjointed, a deformed aberration in the midst of the elegant vocabulary of a traditional and Immanent Heathen or Runic practice. It sounds like you are literally playing an RPG – like D&D.

In fact, based on my experience, most of the people who chuck terms like "UPG" about so casually against authors they have never read personally, are hypocrites who themselves take a very “Dungeons and Dragons” fantasy approach to Runic practices. Case in point: wishy-washy "experts" who falsely accuse Guido von List or Rudolf Gorsleben of “UPG” (a concept which didn't even exist in their time) without having read any of their Rune books (which are in fact heavily grounded in Germanic culture), while yet at the same time recommending that everyone read Diane Paxson (who rips off Voudou and Tarot and calls it “Runic” or “Seidhr”) or Jan Fries (who copies Mongolian shamanism and calls it “Runic”). Much like the Ego-bots and the Dogma-nuts, these people just don't know when to keep quiet and learn.

"I can't believe you wear only three Norse bead necklaces instead of nine!
And you call yourself a Runer? You're diluting the Old Ways. UPG! UPG! You're banished!"

10. The “I'm from Iceland so I know everything” (TM) crowd. These types usually only show up in social media channels, rather than conventional blogs, forums or website guestbooks - which may have something to do with the fact that they nearly always tend to be Millennials. But it's truly bizarre how many of these “know-it-alls” claim to be from Iceland, and thus (obviously) unchallengeable by anyone outside Iceland when it comes to Runic lore. At least, that is the attitude. Maybe some of them really are from Iceland, but what does this prove? Did Runes originate in Iceland? No. Are Icelandic Runes (a late regional variant of the Younger Futhark) conclusively superior in power and application to all other varieties? No. Are Icelanders scientifically proven to be naturally stronger in magickal ability or even in Indo-European blood memory than Germans, Swedes, Danes, etc? No. Did Iceland preserve an unbroken chain of undiluted Heathen Runic practices, above and beyond anywhere else in Europe? Judging by the fact that Ásatrú in Iceland had to be “re-established” by Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson in the 1970s with a mere handful of followers, I'd pretty confidently say no. Icelanders are rightfully proud of their past and culture, and should be – and admittedly, most of them do not have this arrogant attitude. But those that do, have failed to realize that it's not the only Runic culture there ever was, and Rune Magick did not survive completely intact in Iceland, despite the Church being weaker there than almost anywhere else in Europe.

Another interesting point about this “I'm from Iceland so I know everything” crowd, is that based on their behavior, they actually seem to be Iceland's dropouts, its least intelligent individuals... the kind that don't even bother to read the sagas their ancestors wrote. They say “The Eddas and Sagas are in my blood!” but mysteriously make all sorts of “post-structuralist” claims that sound a heck of a lot more like Focault or Derrida than the Hávamál, and they often can't even quote a verse from it. In a very real sense, these "nu-norse" pseudo-intellectuals are almost a carbon copy of the wiccatru fluffbunnies, only they don't need to copy Wicca, because the red wedge in the modern Althing gives them all the social victimhood ideology and pet trigger-causes they need to feel justified in utterly wasting their lives and their parents' money. They also take whatever they have heard about the Lore far too literally, to the extent of treating Surtur like the Christian devil, or treating Baldur like a sort of Christ figure. Suffice it to say, none of these individuals, to my knowledge, are actually practicing Heathens or members of the Ásatrúarfélagið, Iceland's only recognized Heathen organization. Rather, they typically appear to be atheist/anarchist dilettantes with little or no loyalty to any faith or way of life, but plenty of "I own the Gods" arrogance. 

"Sources? Who the fuck needs sources when I'm from Iceland?
I know the Eddas without even reading them!
I'm practically Snorri's great-great-great-grand-nephew.
Why do you need proof, you a fascist Kvitkrist worshipper or something?"

They typically also don't realize that Snorri was not some infallible "Heathen Pope" (a Christian concept which has no credence in Heathenry anyway), but a Christian bishop with his own personal and ideological limitations to research, and not some sort of infallible being when it came to geography, history, or the exact beliefs or cognizancies of ancient Heathens regarding the Gods.

This fallacy is especially glaring in the “Turkland obsessives”, a very bizarre subset of “Icelandic or bust” internet warriors who claim that just because they heard from a state-funded teacher that Snorri referred to Anatolia, Troy, or the Hittite kingdom as “Turkland” based on who had occupied it in his own time, that this somehow means the Aesir – whom he 'humanized' and linked to that region to avoid Church censure – were Turkish! They often assume the same thing about Runes, trying to connect them however tenuously with Turkic Orkhon script – even though Orkhon evolved largely in isolation in Mongolia, and was abandoned by the Turks for Arabic script when they converted to Islam in Central Asia, centuries before they occupied Anatolia - and Anatolia, regardless of whether it has links with the Aesir or Runes, wasn't “Turkish” until being invaded by the Seljuq Turks only about 1,000 years ago (prior to that, it had been almost entirely Indo-European, both racially and culturally, ever since the Stone Age). Disagree with them about the Turkish angle, and be prepared to get called a "white supremacist" or a "white Christ worshipper" who "hates diversity" regardless of your color or background, because, reasons. It never occurs to these deluded loons that their own beliefs about Snorri and the Eddas are extremely Christian in attitude, or that there's nothing racist about pointing out the basic historical fact that the land known today as "Turkey" wasn't the least bit Turkish in the pre-monotheist times when the Aesir (according to Snorri and no-one else) supposedly lived there. A state-funded teacher made a claim, a lazy textbook-snoozer assumed more into it than there was... and none of it was gleaned "from their blood". Evidently personal curiosity and logical analysis of ancient texts aren't strong suits in these individuals, who both claim that ancestry is "irrelevant" and has no importance, and at the same time, without any sense of irony, that their ancestry exempts them from needing to use any logic.

Of course such brainwashed clowns who always claim to “know everything about Runes” without needing to read anything, merely because their ancestor was a Viking, are probably common in other places besides Iceland too. But in terms of how many of them I see online and on social media trying to start pointless arguments (usually based on their early indoctrination into failed political ideologies that did not arise spontaneously from their blood)... Iceland is mysteriously over-represented, which I honestly can say I wouldn't have expected from a country with the reputation of being both less entitled and culturally neurotic than the EU states, and being the world's most literate and well-read nation. I have always had a great deal of respect for Iceland's rich and brave Heathen past, and all those Icelanders who honor it without shame - so it is indeed painful to both hear someone claiming to be Icelandic, and yet acting in the pitiful ergi manner of the individuals described above. If you are from Iceland and you're sick of these individuals too, I empathize wholeheartedly.

11. The Cultural Supremacists. These are the people who claim that Runes were merely a "primitive alphabet", and "probably something that Germanic peoples copied" from non-Germanic and partially pastoralized Pelasgian cultures (instead of something they inherited from Indo-European ancestors). Typically this group includes a large number of Hellenocentric or Romanocentric academics who overall dismiss any spiritual dimension to the Runes, and still buy into the orthodox view imposed by the Roman historians, that the "barbarian tribes" had little or nothing in the way of intelligence or culture. These people typically don't even like Runes, or have much interest in them, but to the extent that an aspiring Runenmeister will run in to them, it will usually be in the form of internet trolls who show up somewhere simply to talk trash, toot their academic horn, and then disappear. "The barbarians had nothing of of culture, they owed everything to Greece and Rome!" this crowd will say.

"The barbarians had nothing!!!" *snicker snicker*

The real irony here is, that Runes are a simpler and more concise "alphabet", if one really insists on calling them only that, than the Greek and Roman alphabets - and usually in the history of languages, it is the later ones that have the more complex and large scripts, as they come into contact with new peoples, invent or absorb new sounds that need new letters, etc. Another irony is that some Scythian inscriptions are extremely Rune-like, despite never having had contact with Rome, and very little contact with Greece, indicating that it is more likely a northern Indo-European Runic script (which gave rise to both the Scythian and Germanic ones) evolved from tree-like forms, independently of the Latin and Greek scripts, and in fact probably influenced them (not the other way around) through the geographic and cultural intermediaries of Dacian and Thracian scripts.

Scythian runes.

By the way, this mentality that Greek and Roman culture are "superior" to 'barbarians" was actually one of the many factors that damaged and destroyed Indo-European cultures in general during the Axial Age. The Greek and Roman conquest of much of the known world at that time, was not compassionate to their Indo-European cousins in Europe and Asia, and resulted in millions of needless deaths after the conquests through engineered starvation, slave raids, and the often arbitrary power of Macedonian and Roman governors. The end result was that about half of the known Indo-European cultures and languages of the time were destroyed or forcibly assimilated into the empires of Alexander and the Caesars, which not only weakened the folk systems that were already in place, but also made Germans, Gauls, Norians, Dacians, Thracians, Illyrians, Phrygians, Cappadocians, Persians, Medes, Parthians and Bactrians into urbanized plebeians, ripped from their lands and forced into cramped tenements in big cities - dispossessed, enslaved through debt if not through physical chains, and even when free, often unable to find work in their own homelands, and thus dangerously dependent on the infrastructures and distant governments Hellenistic or Roman empires for every daily need, whereas previously they had been self-sufficient and able to handle their own issues locally.

Civilizing the barbarians? Or imposing a cruel slave-state that ended Indo-European freedom
and opened the way for herder creeds to infiltrate and achieve supremacy?

This "civilizing" which was in fact, disabling and dependency, proved the downfall of Indo-European cultures centuries later, when Paulian Christianity infiltrated and then conquered Europe from within Roman institutions, and Sunni Islam attacked and conquered Persia and its partners through mercenaries and auxiliaries of questionable ethics, who had helped the Persian kings that succeeded the Hellenic Selucids impose their own brand of inherited post-Alexandrian bureaucracy for decades. These regions were no longer what they had been; now they were Imperial and heavily centralized, and thus extremely easy to conquer once their leaders had been defeated in battle. The diverse and to a large extent "magocratic" rather than autocratic federations of pre-Hellenistic Europe and Greater Iran, were long gone. The mass-conformity and cultural dilution forced by the "great" empires which succeeded Alexander, was in reality a boon to herder orthodoxies and a major blow to the diversity, resiliency, and independence of Indo-European cultures. The Brother Wars of the Greco-Roman centuries were a pointless waste of life that should never be repeated.

12. The Religious Supremacists. This crowd is extremely diverse, and also extremely deluded. Here we are referring to individuals of many different backgrounds, who insist (however misguidedly) that the Runes, the Aesir and Vanir, and every aspect of Runic culture were simply a minor offshoot of their culture, and thus everybody who is practicing the Runes might as well give up and become a Hindu, a Kemetist, a Hellenist, or even a Christian. "Your gods are just names for our gods, so you should just join us and follow our gods instead". Particularly big offenders are some Hindu nationalist types who claim "all gods are Vishnu" or "all Gods are Shiva" so therefore Runers, Odinists, etc. should simply give up their ways and worship Shiva instead - Rudra-Shiva, the originally quasi-Turkic devourer of worlds (NOT "false concepts"), the many-armed and cobalt-colored Daeva of venom and destruction.

But Odin is NOT Shiva, any more than he is Huang Di or Kukulkan. Odin is not "every supreme god" of every ancient religion. Odin is Odin, and beyond that, he was Wotan to the Teutons, Woden to the Saxons, Vodan to the Goths, Vayu-Vata to the Iranians, Armenians, and the Indo-Aryans.... wait a second, yes. If you want to equate Odin to any of the gods once honored in India, it would have to be Vayu-Vata, the great Asura - and not Shiva, Vishnu, or any of the Daevas in the modern Hindu pantheon. The names Wotan and Vayu-Vata come from the same exact Aryan root: Od, Wod, Vod, Vaad - the wind, the fury, the live-force. Vayu-Vata (fully named Vairim-Vayu-Vata) is the same as Vili-Ve-Wotan, rendered in the Avestan and Prakrit tongues. The components of their tripartite names are identical in meaning: The Will (or command), the Holiness/Sanctuary, and the Wind of Fury. Vili-Ve-Wotan. Vairim-Vayu-Vata. This was the real supreme god of the Indo-Aryans, who was honored in both India and Greater Iran at least as far back as the Neolithic, long before the Brahmin/Turanid takeover of India in 1500 BCE. The honoring of Vayu-Vata goes back as far as 7,000 years, for we know that Zarathustra's use of the name Ahura Mazda for the supreme god, was in fact derived from one of Vayu-Vata's many names, the "Asura of Wisdom". In so many words, the Asa of Wisdom. He who is wise among the Asuras, Ansiwiz, or Aesir. If there was ever a connection between Wotan and any of India's ancient gods, this is it. Vili-Ve-Wotan changes forms and has both a bright and a dark side to his personality, though he is never sadistic or capricious - he does not consume worlds or enslave nations into herds; Vayu-Vata is described in exactly the same way; doing anything to gain wisdom, but never robbing man of his freedom. The linguistic connections between Wotan and Vata are abundant, whereas in the case of Rudra-Shiva, the spider-armed cobalt god of animal skins, venomous snakes and topknot-dreadlocks, and beardless Turkic/Mongolian features, they are simply absent.


NOT Indo-European.

Rudra was initially mentioned in the later (Turanid-tainted) layers of the Vedas as a relatively minor storm god, while in Rig-Veda 2.33 he was mentioned in only three of its thousands of hymns, where he was described obscurely as one of many "Rudras", a family of storm-gods (in the Vedic period, as Turanids slowly destroyed Indo-Aryan culture and replaced it with a highly stratified slave society, they first replaced Vayu-Vata with Rama, Vire-Thuragna with Indra, and Priya with Durga, while Rudra was still a marginal figure waiting in the wings for a further wave of religious and political "cleansing" and retconning. "Shiva" was only mentioned in the later Rig-Veda as a title meaning "auspicious", a title which was given to many gods. The name Shiva does not even appear as a proper name until the Shvetashtara Upanishad, composed as late as 200 BCE, when the name and the appearance of a certain Shiva (probably of Dravidian rather than Sanskrit or Prakrit origins) is equated with the Brahmins' Turanid deity Rudra - likely in a Brahmin attempt to turn the Dravidians of southern India against the Sayka and other Aryan tribes of the North, with the offer of caste promotion to Kshatriya or Vaisya as the carrot for military service to the Brahmin caste (the five castes and thousands of sub-castes were purely the invention of slave-trading Brahmins, post-1500 BCE; they did not exist in the society of the old Indo-Aryans, who like their European and Persian kin, had only three co-equal classes). Shiva is not Wotan; Rudra was a minor Turanid storm god, who was only elevated to a high place slightly over 2,000 years ago due to Brahmin tribal politics. Slightly after that point, was Shiva synonymized with Rudra, and only then did a couple other syncretic egregors of postvedic Herder "Hindutva", Brahma and Vishnu become prominent as well, with the first generation of Brahmin/Turanid deities having served their purpose, and new ones now being needed to assimilate the Dravidians of the south into the castes, and their gods into the Brahmin pantheon, and further marginalize the Aryans who had once ruled the North. In other words, the modern Hindu pantheon's three major gods, in their current positions, are no older than Christianity.

Original Rudra, capricious Turanid devourer of worlds, maimer of cattle, and flayer of tiger skins
(yes, back then the Daevas and their worshippers were anything but vegetarians).
Note the lack of woven clothing and the Turkic/Mongolian features.

Shiva of the Dravidians, with their features.

The post-Vedic syncretism: "Rudra-Shiva", a mix of the Turanid and Dravidian deities,
with matted topknot and modern sanitized expression. He still wears skins though, and now snakes too.

A modern statue of Shiva desperately trying to look more Indo-European.

At the end of the day, the pushing of "Shiva is Odin" or "Shiva is all Gods" by certain 'Hindu Nationalist' types, is merely the logical product of their historical brainwashing and ignorance of their own past and their own changing scriptures. There is hardly anything familiar about Shiva that would match the attributes of Odin - although there is a perfect match in what we still know about Vayu-Vata from the Iranian Avestan texts - of which India has recorded/preserved no equivalent.

Even more extreme and idiotic is the contention of some Christians that the symbols of the Runes, the Solar Cross, and other sharp-edged Heathen symbols were somehow copied from squiggly Hebrew letters, and that everything grew out of Judaism. This form of cultural supremacy is yet another regurgitation of the "Barbarians had nothing" stereotype which religious peddlers Peter and Paul successfully funneled from Roman Imperial ideology into a mix with their own anti-Aryan racism and xenophobia, claiming "apart from Yahweh and before Christ there was nothing", and thus, implying that the Indo-European peoples were stray children who had disobeyed Father Shepherd and needed to have their souls saved - by force if necessary. It is no surprise that their first recruits were criminals and the dregs of society, who only needed to "believe" to be forgiven of all their crimes, in heaven if not on earth, and it is precisely that sort of people with that sort of mentality who are pushing that same theological supremacism today against noble practitioners of the Runes. I am sure they would have a heart attack when it is revealed that the evidently gentile and by all pictorial accounts of ancient times, Iranid (not Semitic) ancestry of this Gnostic and Stoic philosopher speaking "Imperial Aramaic" as merely a legacy of Parthian and Achamenid international trade, was the real reason that only the Parthian Magi ever cared enough to visit this expat "god" that Christians call "Jesus", while all of politically correct "Judea" disowned him and called him a foreigner and a bastard - before its own native sons Peter and Paul hijacked and perverted this man's name and legacy for their own cultural supremacist ends.

More Indo-European than the Paulians will ever know.

13. The Secular Academic Purists (SAPs). Whereas the Dogma-nuts practice a pseudo-heathen theocracy with a barely veiled Christian core, and the UPG Police practice a sort of obsessive fetishism for all things Viking-age (as if it's some kind of be-all, end-all for Heathen history), the Secular Academic Purist is usually not interested in practicing Heathenry or any sort of spiritual path at all. Rather, these people are more interested in lecturing everybody about their own theories on Runes as if they are absolute truth and everyone else is an idiot for ascribing anything spititual to Runes at all. For the average SAP, Runes are nothing more than an alphabet for writing. Full stop.

While there are some people with a secular academic perspective in modern Heathenry, these individuals generally do accept that ancient Heathens did ascribe magickal properties to Runes and used them in rituals and spells of some sort - after all we have some of the preserved, even a few in the Elder Futhark, such as the ALU spell found on some ancient gold bracteates or pendants. They simple claim that "today nobody knows how any of it was supposed to work" (actually, they just don't know. It is arrogant to assume that nobody knows, or that they can ever have credence to speak for all 7 billion people on the planet; this is precisely the sort of pompous and frankly ergi attitude that will keep such individuals permanently out of Armanenschaft or any other "occult" Runic tradition). However this is still a step better than the full-on Secular Academic Purist.

"Runes were primitive writing, nothing more, there is no magick;
Vikings were obviously backward savages because they had no Buzzfeed and no soy"

The SAP is usually a nosy gadfly and a low-T individual with no solid cultural views to speak of (other than what they have been spoonfed by "post-constructionist" academia) and no interest in practicing the spirituality of the Runes. Such an atrophied whelp fanatically argues that Runes were only ever used as a simple alphabet for writing, and that their angular shapes were merely a result of Germanic people adapting Greek or Etruscan letters into an alphabet devoid of curves for carving on wood, as they had no stone or clay to work with in their early history. Except... this is hardly a historically accurate theory.

Apparently, judging by these artifacts of the Neolithic and early Bronze Age, clay and stone were in fact plentiful. And on the second clay pot, angular runes were carved even though you can also carve curved shapes, and indeed any shape, into clay. So clearly Germanic people were not limited in their choice of materials. The Runes were angular for reasons entirely unrelated to being carved in wood.

Not only did Germanic peoples have access to stone and clay, they worked it extensively prior to any contact with Greek or Etruscan cultures. These tribes also had copper and tin, and like the Celts, had already mastered Bronze-working long before Rome's infancy, and their grave goods indicate they had, also like the Celts, established long-distance trade networks all over Europe and substantial parts of western Asia, centuries before they had any contact with Greece or Rome. Their tradesmen would have encountered abundant languages and even scripts along their journeys, from Pictland all the way to Phonecia, and yet the Runes still bear little resemblance to most of these.

How Thor or Thunarr probably looked to the ancient Teutons.

Therefore one can reasonable conclude that the shapes of the Runes have nothing to do with Mediterranean alphabets beyond the generalities of a common Indo-European heritage being retained in a few letters, and nothing to do with a "lack" of non-wooden crafting materials. In addition, they are a simpler "alphabet" (if one insists on treating them that way) than the scripts of the Etruscans, Latins or Greeks. There are no lowercase Runes. There were originally no curved Runes. There are no circular or ovular runes. Nor were there any silent or excessive Runes. And in most of history, with very few deliberate exceptions (i.e. Younger Futhark), it is the older systems that are the simpler ones - a culture that has ripened and is nearing its decline stage, tends to make its art, language and writing more elaborate and ornamented, not less. Thus the elaborate urban and mercantile cultures of Rome and Greece, which had fancified their written scripts, actually tended to mock the Germanic "barbarians" as collectively illiterate, not because they actually were, but because the Runic script they had, was simpler and retained its ancient simplicity and primal magickal resonance, and was not overly flashy or confined to purely secular, material, or utilitarian purposes. The oldest known surviving Runic inscriptions are the writing-out of the entire Futhark, which was itself a sacred act - laying out all the Runes for future generations to meditate on and learn their powers.

The Kylver Stone, a devotional writing-out of the entire Gothic or Elder Futhark, likely as a hallowing of a farm plot.
Sacred glyph of Yggdrasil (Irminsul) Aettir to the right of the Gothic Futhark inscription, also coding for fertility of land.

Some other ancient stones also listed the names of great skalds and Lore-masters, with their deeds having highly spiritual meaning, as channeling the words and Runic powers of Odin himself. Sometimes a swastika or Fyrfos was also included as a signal that this was a Solar-sanctified and sacred inscription, likely carved on the Summer Solstice. Whereas most ancient Etruscan and Greek inscriptions pertain to more mundane things like financial transactions and building inventories, and pre-suppose a familiarity with all their letters.

The Snoldelev Stone. Inscription is blessed with a Fyrfos and the Triple Horns of the Odhrerir, and reads:
"The stone of Gunnvaldr, Hróaldr's son, reciter of Salhaugar" 
(Salhaugar means "gathering on mounds", or more esoterically, "Solar-healing ceremonies", Sal-horg-ar).

The SAPs are, at the end of the day, professional flies in the ointment, and ultimately a stumbling block to any serious spiritual reckoning of the Runes and their natures. For someone who is content merely being a detractor and a poker and prodder against all spirituality, content being an atheist and having no stance of his own other than some artificial modern politics, this attitude is perhaps sufficient. However it is the attitude of a psychological wasteland. And it has nothing whatsoever to do with how ancient Runic cultures understood themselves and the planet, as a living system and moreover, a spiritually aware one loaded with otherworldly powers and now-lost magoscientific technologies, some of which we are just beginning to comprehend. And this is similarly true of all ancient and independent Indo-European cultures, long before any pastoral Pelasgian colonization.

Metallurgists, not mammoth hunters. No Greco-Roman contact necessary.

If you have been researching Runes for any length of time you are likely to see at least a few of these 13 phenomena and the disinformation they spread. If you haven't seen any of them then chances are you haven't been studying Runes long enough; the roadblocks and tourist traps inevitably rear their stinky heads before too long.