|"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!"
|"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."
|Y'ALL NEED CHEESES!|
REPENT, SINNERS, IN THE NAME OF THE SON OF GOUDA!
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".
|"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?"
|"Nice raven, don't bite me pleeeeease!|
I promise to wear a Fylfot when it's safe, just not today, pleeeease!"
|"we love everyone without judgment!"|
"all straight white males are evil!"
|"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!"
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?"
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.
|"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.
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.
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.|
|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.
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 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.