Thursday, June 22, 2006
Guido von List and the Armanen Runes
The voelkisch[folkish] movement of the early 20th century owes a great debt to the ideas and research of the Aryan mystic and runologist, Guido von List[1848-1919].
Von List wrote many articles and books on the runes and Germanic pre-Christian religion, most notably `Das Geheimnis der Runen`[The Secret of the Runes], published in 1908.
Das Geheimnis der Runen is generally regarded as his most important work as it is concerned with the introduction of a `new` runic futhorc and the interpretation of the runes which von List received in visions during a period of temporary blindness in 1902.
Von List`s `Armanen Futhorc` has its origins in these visions in which von List is said to have communicated with the Teutonic Volksgeist[folk soul] and received esoteric knowledge from the dead priests of the Germanic peoples, the `Armanen`.
Although the futhorc that von List introduced in his book was previously unknown to runic scholars he claimed that it represented the original futhorc and is indeed based upon Odin`s Rune Poem.Odin/Wotan/Woden/Wuotan/Wodanaz gained the knowledge of the runes via a shamanic self-sacrifice and communicated this knowledge to those of the Aryo-Germanic race.
Whilst there are various different versions of the runic futharc or futhorc von List claimed that his Armanen futhorc represented the original 18 runes that All-Father Odin received during his shamanic visions when he hung nine days and nine nights upside down on the world tree.
"I know that I hung on a windy tree
nine long nights,
wounded with a spear, dedicated to Odin,
myself to myself,
on that tree of which no man knows
from where its roots run.
No bread did they give me nor drink from a horn,
downwards I peered;
I took up the runes, screaming I took them,
then I fell back from there."
The poem goes on to explain how the runes may be used to achieve various goals via rune magic.
There are obvious echoes of the Christian crucifixion within the Havamal.However there are clear differences also. Whilst the Christ supposedly died as a sacrifice of a vengeful `god` for the `sins` of mankind Odin sacrificed `himself to himself` and did so to achieve knowledge, in particular the knowledge of the runes. Odin continually goes in search for new knowledge and there are many tales of him walking amongst men, disguised as the `Wanderer` in search of new knowledge, always ready to test his knowledge against men and dwarves alike.
Odin`s search for knowledge can be likened to the Promethean and Faustian quest of Aryan man.
Like the All-Father Himself, we too as spiritually awakened Aryans seek new knowledge and new enlightenment. It is this very sense of restlessness that spurs us on to new goals, new achievements and a thirst for new knowledge and experiences.
Guido von List, like Odin experienced the runes in a visionary state whilst in communion with the racial Collective Unconscious, what Jung called the `land of the dead`.
We will explore these Armanen runes and the significance of the Armanen in a future article.