Alexander Dugin – “Counter-Initiation: Critical Remarks on Some Aspects of the Doctrine of René Guénon” (1998)

Author: Alexander Dugin

Translated by Eurasianist Internet Archive

Originally published in the journal Mily Angel #3 – Konets Sveta (‘Sweet Angel: The End of the World’, Moscow: Arktogeia, 1998). Subsequently republished as an appendix to the second edition of the book Puti Absoliuta (“The Ways of the Absolute”) in the Absoliutnaia Rodina trilogy (“Absolute Homeland”, Moscow: Arktogeia, 1999).

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Preliminary remarks: the necessity of correcting Traditionalism

The question of “counter-initiation” is the most shrouded and ambiguous in all of Traditionalist thought. Perhaps this is a consequence of the very reality which Traditionalists, following Guénon, denote with the term “counter-initiation.”

The meaning of counter-initiation is set out by René Guénon in his book The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times. In brief, we can say that Guénon understands counter-initiation to be the sum of secret organizations which, although in possession of initiatic and esoteric data, nonetheless direct their activities and efforts towards a goal which is the direct opposite of normal initiation. In other words, instead of striving towards the absolute, they head towards fatal disappearance and dissolution amidst the “reign of quantity” in its external twilight. In line with Islamic esotericism, Guénon called the hierarchs of counter-initiation Awliya es-Shaytan, that is to say the “saints of Satan.” In Guénon’s point of view, representatives of counter- initiation stand behind all the negative tendencies of modern civilization and are secretly administering the course of affairs down the path of degradation, materialization, and spiritual perversion.

According to Tradition, the logic of the cyclical process inevitably boils down to a trajectory of degradation, from the Golden Age to the Iron Age. As follows, there should be various conscious forces contributing to this process just as, conversely, the forces of true initiation and genuine esotericism try to impede this fatal decline by all means. This historical dualism of Guénon’s in no way affects the metaphysical unity of the Principle, insofar as it belongs to the sphere of manifestation, where the main law is that of duality. This duality at the very heart of manifestation is overcome only upon going beyond the manifest into the sphere of the transcendental. We cannot discard the dualism within the world. Thus, the role of counter- initiation is partly justified insofar as it is rooted not in arbitrariness, but in the very providential necessity tied to the laws of the universe.

 

This purely theoretical aspect of the doctrine of counter-initiation is completely flawless from a logical point of view and is confirmed by all the various doctrines of sacred traditions dealing with “demons”, “the devil”, “evil spirits”, the “Antichrist”, etc. But everything becomes much more complicated when we attempt to move from theory to practice and name specific organizations or secret societies as examples of counter-initiation. This is only part of the problem. Before we can clarify this subtle question, it is necessary to attentively examine what René Guénon meant by “initiation” and “esotericism.”

According to Guénon, the historical variance of sacred forms – religions, traditions, etc. – is a consequence of the differing qualities of the human and historical environments into which the rays of the One Non-Human Truth are projected. In other words, for Guénon, all traditions, as one approaches their center, transcend confessional differences and almost always merge into something unified. Guénon called this the “Primordial Tradition” (la Tradition Primordiale). It is this Tradition, according to Guénon, that constitutes the secret essence of all religions. In a certain sense, this is true. Any careful study of the symbolism of Tradition, its rituals and doctrines, leads one to the idea that all sacred teachings have some kind of common element or paradigm which is somewhat lost sight of when one arrives at more narrow dogmatic aspects and matters of detail. The thesis of the “unity of Tradition” is particularly convincing in current circumstances, as the modern world has built a civilization whose basis strikingly contrasts everything that might be called Tradition(al). In other words, Integral Traditionalism and the appeal to the One Tradition are reliable to the extent to that they contrast the modern world to all those civilizational forms that are founded on sacred elements. Indeed, there are many more similarities than differences between the various traditions and religions when compared to the contrasting backdrop of modern, completely de-sacralized civilization. This postulate is obvious. The question is: to what extent is this convergence in the face of a common enemy a consequence of esoteric unity?

In other words, is the difference between the most sacred traditions merely the result of faults in the cosmic environment at certain moments in the cycle? Are there not some deeper reasons behind this?

One glaring example of the relevance of such doubt can be seen in Guénon’s hesitation as to whether Buddhism should be counted an authentic tradition or not. Guénon initially relegated Buddhism to the category of antinomian heresies, but later recognized it to be a genuine tradition. The question at hand is not even that of Buddhism, but the fact that Guénon’s very own uncertainty exhibits a certain conditionality of his method whenever the matter at hand concerns concrete historical traditions and their dogmatic principles. If even Guénon could be mistaken on the question of Buddhism – which remained for him largely an abstraction, for the analysis of which Guénon relied on the opinions of his Hindu informants who, like all Hindu Traditionalists, are distinguished by their acutely anti-Buddhist orientations – then it cannot be excluded that such errors may occur in the case of other religions as well.

 

Our own studies have led us to the conclusion that Guénon was not quite right in his analysis in two other cases. Firstly, when Guénon denied the Christian Church an initiatic dimension – and he dated the loss of this dimension, present in early Christianity, to the era of the first Ecumenical Councils – he was clearly relying exclusively on the history and historiosophy of the Catholic branch (with the later deviation of Protestantism). Guénon clearly ignored the metaphysical and initiatic reality of Orthodoxy, which differs from Western Christianity sharply and on the most fundamental positions. Guénon equated Christianity with Catholicism and inappropriately projected the proportions of the Catholic organization, including the mystical nature of its rituals and theological specifics, onto Christianity as a whole. This rendered his views on the matter completely incorrect. [1]

Secondly, Guénon was quick to recognize Jewish Kabbalah to bear the quality of genuine esotericism which, in his opinion, is distinguished by universalism and is beyond any particularisms. But in fact, Kabbalah insists on the ethnic specialness of Jews, the uniqueness of their fate, and their metaphysical opposition to all other peoples and religions no less (if not more) than the Talmud and exoteric Judaism. This clearly contradicts Guénon’s definition of esotericism, according to which principles of universal unity and the merging of all spiritual and religious forms into a common concept should predominate. Even in its most transcendental aspects, Kabbalah affirms not unity, but a radical and indelible metaphysical-ethnic dualism.

Moreover, on a more general plane, Guénon’s assessments of certain peoples – such as the Ancient Greeks, the Japanese, the Germans, Anglo-Saxons, and Slavs – were at times so subjective and arbitrary that Guénon’s striving to base some of his conclusions as to the orthodoxy or non-orthodoxy of various traditional forms on these appraisals calls into question everything in Traditionalism related to the application of theoretical considerations to the practical sphere.

The absence of universal counter-initiation

The differences between religious forms can constitute far more of a profound factor than the conditions of exotericism, and can be rooted in metaphysics itself. If, by virtue of the specificity of their traditions, synthesis can be accomplished rather easily with Hinduism and Islamic esotericism (while all other traditions are interpreted in terms exclusively peculiar to them), then the matter stands somewhat differently with other religions. Hinduism and Islam allowed Guénon to construct a logical and non-contradictory picture, but one which becomes less apparent when we try to apply it to different religions and their specific approaches to metaphysics.

For Guénon and the Traditionalists who follow him, the situation is thus: the One Metaphysical Tradition, which constitutes the essence of universal esotericism, is the inner kernel of all orthodox traditions. Dogmatic religions and other forms of exoteric traditions are external shells covering in diverse ways this unity of content (esotericism and initiation). On the pole opposite of universal esotericism is “counter-initiation”, which entails not simply the rejection of this or that religious or exoteric form, but universalism itself. Thus, the very notion of “counter- initiation” is inseparable from the postulation of the esoteric unity of all traditions.

 

However, outside of esoteric Islamic and Hindu contexts, such logic cannot be accepted unequivocally, as the metaphysics of other traditions do not recognize any esoteric solidarity with other religious forms. In fact, the universalism of Sufism and Hinduism is not so obvious as it may seem at first glance. The price of recognizing the orthodoxy of other religious forms is affirming that they are “distorted”, and treating their dogma in the spirit and letter of the specific esotericism peculiar to Hinduism and Sufism. For example, the Hindu approach to Christology practically equates Christ with an avatar, which, in a purely Christian dogmatic framework, is equivalent to the “monophysite” view. Islam, on the contrary, proceeding from a strict monotheism, adheres to a “Nestorian” (“Arian”) Christological scheme. In both cases, the Orthodox Christian formula which ultimately leads to its own, altogether different metaphysical perspective is denied [2]. Thus, the universalism proclaimed by Traditionalists turns out to be not so total and unambiguous as one would like.

Furthermore, Hinduism bases its tradition on a formula that is inverse to that of the Iranian tradition, despite deriving from the same source. As is well known, even in the very names for gods and demons, there is an inverse analogy between Zoroastrianism and Hinduism. Moreover, Hinduism considers Buddhism to be a heterodoxy (a view to which Guénon himself adhered for quite a long time). As follows, these three Eastern Indo-European traditions cannot reach agreement with one another and seamlessly establish esoteric unity. Indeed, it is quite difficult to recognize any “esoteric rightness” on the part of those who call one’s gods “demons” and vice versa (the Devas and Asura in Hinduism and Zoroastrianism are of directly contradictory elements), or who radically deny the authority of the main sacred source (as Buddhists reject the Vedas, castes, and all the foundational doctrines of Hinduism).

The situation is even more severe in the Abrahamic context. If Islam recognizes some kind of legitimacy among the traditions of the “peoples of the Book” (Judaism and Christianity) and believes Muhammad’s mission to be the last word of “Abrahamism” which corrected all previous errors, then neither Christians nor Jews recognize even the slightest authenticity of other versions of Abrahamism, which are considered heresies, lies, and evil.[3] The example of the Zohar, the highest authority of Kabbalah, easily lends towards the conviction that hostility towards Islam and Christianity is not only the case on the metaphysical and esoteric level, but here it attains the highest metaphysical tension. Accordingly, Orthodox esotericism relates to Judaism (both exoteric and esoteric) just as harshly, seeing it not only as an Otherness of external religious form, but as the embodiment of metaphysical evil and the “tradition” of the Antichrist.

Thus, beyond Sufism and Hinduism (whose universalism is also not unlimited), there is no common esotericism. This means that traditions understand “counter-initiation” to be those sacred forms which openly contradict their own metaphysics. If the exoteric evil in this case is represented by the negative points stemming from the ethical-dogmatic specifics of a given religion, then the esoteric evil (counter-initiation) would be the metaphysics of a tradition that contradicts such. All of this incredibly complicates the question of counter-initiation, which ceases to be so obvious and transparent, and in fact becomes extremely confusing.

 

From the point of view of Orthodox esotericism, Judaism and Kabbalah are undoubtedly counter-initiatic.[4] From the Zohar’s point of view, the esotericism of the Goyim, especially the “descendants of Ishmael and Esau” (Muslims and Christians), is “the false teaching of the demon Samael” who “leaps on the serpent Lilith.” From the point of view of Hindu esotericism, Iranian dualism is rooted in the fact that Zoroastrians worship demons, the Asura, (Iranian Ahura), whom they (Hindus) call “gods.” Buddhist esotericists, meanwhile, are convinced that the initiatic doctrines of Hinduism are the ultimate evil, insofar as they only increase the attachment of beings to Samsara – after all, the higher divine worlds are distinguished in the Buddhist perspective by an even greater illusory quality than the worlds of humans, as the absence of suffering only alienates the prospect of achieving Nirvana. In Islamic civilization, the most radical representatives of manifestationist esotericism – such as al-Hallaj, Suhrawardi, etc. – were executed as malicious heretics.

How, in such a situation, can one discern any universal counter-initiation, trace its origins, and recognize the forces and organizations serving as its cover? If the universality of esotericism (in the very least, in our cyclical situation) is not obvious and proven, then how can we speak of any universality of “counter-initiation” being the inverse projection of such?

Inter- and intra-religious contradictions

On the one hand, there exist deep contradictions between traditional religious systems which pertain to the higher realms of metaphysics. On the other hand, these traditional forms are not immutable, but are subject to cyclical laws. Traditions pass through difficult periods of historical embodiment, among which, besides the natural stages of rise and fall, there exist even more paradoxical moments entailing the amendment of internal nature, alienation, and transformation into something essentially different while maintaining external attributes.

More often than not, these disturbing moments cannot be reduced to some “triumph of negative tendencies” as seen by the exoteric tradition and morality derived from the letter of sacred forms. For example, the Islamic tradition can degenerate without its authorities publicly denying the principle of monotheism or the mission of Muhammad, and Christians by no means need to worship other gods (or Satan) in order to break with the source and spirit of the Church. If everything were so simple, history would be an elementary, mechanical device with predictable functioning and an easily foreseen future. In fact, this is how many things are seen by those people distinguished by a naive (if not to say idiotic) view of the world, no matter whether they are “conservatives” or “progressives.” Only a deep understanding of the internal kernel of tradition, the real realization of its higher levels, allows us to isolate and grasp what is foremost and most essential, and that means accurately discriminating between the true axis of orthodoxy and alienation, deviation, simulation, and degeneration. There are no purely external criteria to this question. One should not overestimate the “devil” – if he were as simple as moralists think, he would hardly have been able to participate in human history so actively, for so long, and, most importantly, so unrecognizably.

For example, the schism of the Christian world into the Eastern and Western Churches was far from a purely exoteric event. Behind the schism lurk the most profound metaphysical reasons. The same is true for the Islamic world and the division into Shiites and Sunnis. The Sunni tradition (especially Wahhabism) believes in the high authority of Sultan Yazid, who killed Ali, i.e., Muhammad’s cousin who is the spiritual pole (qutb) for Shiites, the first Imam. Behind this contradiction lie much deeper discrepancies of a purely metaphysical nature. [5]

In a certain sense, things are no smoother in the case of Hinduism, in which Vishnuism and Shaivism are not so harmonious with relation to one another as might appear to be the case at first glance. For example, the traces of such a dualism can be seen in the Mahabharata, whose editing was, without a doubt, the work of Vishnuist circles. The Kauravas, the enemies of the Pandavas and the inveterate villains, are portrayed as inspired by Shiva and his retinue to the point that Shiva is considered to be a “subtle essence” in contrast to the metaphysical and purely spiritual nature of Krishna, the avatar of Vishnu. The parallel with the “devil” begs itself in this case, especially if we take into consideration Guénon’s indication that the “devil” belongs to the “subtle plane.”[6]

 

If we apply the Traditionalist approach to other sacred forms beyond Hinduism and Sufism, we find ourselves in a situation in which it becomes impossible to speak of counter-initiation as something universal and opposed to universal esotericism without falling into mythomania or moralistic dualism which, theoretically, should have been overcome insofar as we are considering the sphere of esotericism. In other words, every sacred form endowed with metaphysical uniqueness formulates in its own way its own theory of what “counter-initiation” is for it (and not only for it). At the same time, the positions of different traditions can coincide in some aspects, while in others they may diverge. Thus, we arrive at the affirmation of an absence of any one counter-initiatic doctrine or organization. Everything that is habitually included in the notion of “counter-initiation” turns out to be a plural, complex, and multipolar reality. The definition of the nature and form of a counter-initiatic doctrine thus derives from the metaphysical particularity of each concrete tradition.

There is no denying the fact that, in recent centuries, there has been a glaringly overarching, broad process which undoubtedly represents a clearly pronounced tendency towards the construction of an anti-traditional society based on principles which are radically opposed to the sum of those which constitute the basis of any tradition.

But there is one exception here: Judaism. In the religious and metaphysical perspective of Judaism, the last centuries, starting in 1240 and especially since 1300, are seen as the prelude to messianic triumph. The fall of Christian civilization and the political liberation of Jewry (not to mention the contemporary successes of political Zionism and the establishment of the State of Israel) are seen as none other than the greatest metaphysical progress. Thus, on a matter over which the majority of traditions fully concur with one another, there is the exception of Judaism.

The external revival of confessional religions in recent years, following several centuries of active processes of de-sacralization and secularization, also fits poorly into Traditionalist logic. Although this [renewed] interest in religion is not as easily exposable of a parody as Neo- spiritualism and “New Age”, it is clearly not a true spiritual rebirth.

 

In short, the problem of the “deviation of esotericism”, or counter-initiation, is complicated not only by inter-confessional contradictions, whose origins can be traced back to metaphysics, but also internal transformations within these traditions relative to the stages of their history.

On top of all of this, there exist anomalous cases (Judaism, the new interest in religions in the West, etc.) which seemingly contradict the quite obvious tendency of progressive secularization on the basis of which Guénon attempted to substantiate his theory of counter-initiation and the latter’s planetary plan to prepare the “reign of the Antichrist.”

Counter-initiation and initiation are in solidarity with one another up to a certain point

Guénon’s concept of counter-initiation is based on a scheme to which he adhered in relation to more general questions pertaining to the structure of Tradition. Guénon constantly bore in mind the following tripartite model:

[Принцип-Периферия]

 

1. Principle

2. Intermediary space

3. Periphery

In the center of the circle (or at the top of the anthropological and cosmic hierarchy, the vertical) is initiation, authentic esotericism, the Primordial Tradition, the one metaphysics. This is the inner sphere, the sphere of the initiated beyond confessional differences – the sphere of those who are to be found beyond the threshold of genuine esoteric organizations.

On the periphery (the horizontal plane) are the profane and the un-initiated. For them, the oneness of truth is hidden behind a variety of forms and labyrinths of moral and ethical standards. These are ordinary people who are not conscious of the true nature of things and events.

Finally, lying beyond the periphery, at the lower point of the vertical axis, is a kind of “anti-center.” This is counter-initiation, the place of the “saints of Satan.” Counter-initiation unites various tendencies not in a light synthesis, but in a dark mixture of infernal parody.

This model is obviously transparent and convincing. But the first difficulties with it arise when we attempt to explain the historical and geographical localization of counter-initiatic centers. At this point, it turns out, it is quite difficult to distinguish such centers from properly initiatic societies and orders. Determining on which side of the periphery – the inner or outer, the upper or lower – can be found this or that initiatic organization reveals itself to be extremely difficult (if not altogether impossible), and all external criteria can easily be simulated. Guénon specified that true esotericism is always metaphysically oriented, while counter-initiation remains on the level of cosmology or the “subtle world.” However, an enormous distance separates the profane world and the world of metaphysical principles. In the early stages, it is absolutely impossible to predict for sure whether an initiate will reach the end of this path to the actual metaphysical levels, or whether they will get stuck in the intermediary spheres. And if they “get stuck”, then how do they then differ from those who represent “counter-initiation”?

In other words, up to a certain point, and rather far from the sphere of the competence of the profane, the paths of initiation and counter-initiation are not only parallel, but essentially one. With respect to the orientations of “above” and “below” (which at first might seem to be convincing criteria) it should be noted that they are not indicative in direct initiatic experience, since ascent in the borderline sphere between the worldly and otherworldly is often accomplished by means of descent, a departure which leads straight into the abyss.[7]

If one makes it to the end of this path, the adept attains effective metaphysical realization. If one goes astray, all the attributes of counter-initiation will be glaring.

 

In other words, out of this simple tripartite scheme arises a more complex and less edifying picture, in which the main emphasis is put not on the orientation of movement, but on the reality of the achieved result. Thus, the problem of counter-initiation boils down to an incomplete and imperfect esoteric realization, not some kind of primordially and strictly “Satanic-oriented” secret society aiming to create and strengthen an anti-sacral civilization. The anti-sacral civilization which indeed has been built and is being built today, should be seen as the result of the overlapping of many incomplete realizations, first and foremost of an esoteric nature, the solidarity of which is obvious to all those who have been left half-satisfied with incomplete tendencies in their own sacred form.

The preponderance of profanism, fed by overall degeneration, is only a consequence of the degeneration of initiatic organizations themselves which, contradicting their primordial orientation, are now content with intermediate surrogates and unrealized potencies instead of unceasingly and heroically striving towards the center of metaphysics. At the same time, that very “demonizing” force commonly referred to as “devilish” and “satanic” can hardly be held responsible for participating in this entire process. In fact, the most terrible and formidable results of perversion and de-sacralization are those achieved by people who have the best intentions and are convinced that they are orthodox bearers of the most obvious good. Every initiate who treats their spiritual path with affection, every cleric who considers his tradition and its dogma to be an ethical or moral convention, and every Traditionalist who settles down with reciting the phrases of their master, which are in appearance correct but rendered meaningless by the mental laziness of their followers – all of these types little by little build the structures of counter-initiation and sever the metaphysical apex from the pyramid of initiatic realization.

Those whom it is easiest to single-out as being “representatives of counter-initiation” on the basis of purely external criteria – e.g., open “Luciferians” or “Satanists” – sometimes exhibit tragedy, pain, non-conformism, and the ability to stare the terrible truth of apocalyptic reality straight in the eyes. Hence why they cannot fulfill the role of the main “scapegoats” for Traditionalists. Of course, some of them may be in solidarity with processes of de-sacralization, but this is more of an exception. More often than not, at least among those who take the matter seriously, the point is that, on the contrary, these types are still about rising up against de- sacralization; they stand against conformism with the degenerate world – a world to which many representatives of “orthodox” traditions, oddly enough, easily adapt and in which they manage to perfectly comfortably arrange themselves. More often than not, religious non-conformists (“heretics”, “Satanists”, etc.) are seeking the totality of sacral experience which the representatives of orthodoxy cannot offer them. This is not their fault, but their misfortune, and the true fault lies with those who have allowed authentic tradition to be turned into a flat facade behind which there is simply nothing. Perhaps it is none other than these “dubious” forces and groups who are grimly, desperately, perplexedly, stubbornly, yet heroically pursuing esotericism and initiation deep within reality, while the profane and the moralizing conformists who remain on the periphery of initiation are the ones hindering this path by all means.

 

If initiation and counter-initiation can be distinguished only in terms of the concrete experience of spiritual realization, then no external criteria can help on this matter. This conclusion begs itself especially if we recognize the universality of esotericism, a point on which Guénon insisted. This conclusion remains valid when we apply it to the esotericism of one sacred form taken individually. When we take into consideration the metaphysical contradictions which exist between different forms, then the matter becomes even more complicated.

From the Red Donkey to the Roman Pope

The main examples of counter-initiation to which Guénon pointed included the cult of the Egyptian god Set, whose remnants have survived since the most ancient times along with multiple snake cults in the Middle East. In Guénon’s perspective, the mysterious brotherhood of the Red Donkey (or Red Dragon) exists to this day and is secretly directing the main processes of civilization in an infernal vein. If we digress from the “detective” flavor of this conceptualization, another consideration presents itself: How could an esoteric group of people engaged in the sacred – albeit in such an infernal, serpentine, and possibly fragmentary dimension – have provoked the modern world’s complete ignorance of the sacred, and contributed to the widespread assertion of the primacy of quantity and the radically anti-initiatic approach characteristic of the modern way of life?

Compared to the maniacal system of global lies which we see in the modern mass media, secular utilitarian culture, and everyday lifestyles, any “snake-worshippers” would be an exotic and quite sympathetic group of romantic marginals. There must be a reality behind the anti-sacral aggression of the modern world which is much more formidable and much more thorough than the machinations of some exotic “black magicians.” It is hardly likely that the scraps of ancient cults, even the most sinister ones, could be responsible for the anti-sacral collapse of the modern world. It is hardly likely that a dark and obviously minute sect wields such universality to the point that, in theory, it is capable of effectively influencing the most important events of world history and, most importantly, shaping the prevailing intellectual climate. If something of this sort really has taken place, then such an organization could not possibly have remained unnoticed, and there would be in circulation certain information about it which, although distorted, approximate, and amiss, would nonetheless be extensive.

It is still another matter if we take the bearers of some kind of metaphysical tradition that is radically opposite to the dominant religious culture to claim the role of counter-initiation. For example, an altogether respectable and pious Pars (Zoroastrian) could end up in India and, in one way or another, gain access to influence over the most important spheres.[8] In the context of Hinduism, he would fulfill an openly counter-initiatic function, insofar as Zoroastrian metaphysics is founded on the principle of Dvaita, whereas the metaphysical axis of Hinduism is Advaita. Such metaphysical subversion would be much more destructive than, say, the antinomies posed by radical Shaivist sects who, while being ethically questionable for their ritual devouring of people, sinister necromantic practices in wastelands and cemeteries, their Tantric orgies, etc., do not call into doubt the main metaphysical line of Advaita-Vedanta – on the contrary, they strengthen, affirm, and defend it.

The activities of a Kabbalist Jew within, say, the Islamic tradition or a Christian country, would bear the same counter-initiatic character, and the (negative) efficiency of such would be higher in relation to the depth and sophistication with which the Kabbalist understands the metaphysics of his own tradition (and vice versa).[9] Strictly speaking, an Orthodox metaphysician who is perfectly conscious of all the metaphysical implications of the dogma of the Trinity and who understands the whole depth of the contradictions between the Christian Gospel and the alienated creationism of Judaism and Islam, would by the will of fate become involved in the most important cultural-religious questions in the countries and cultures associated with the strict Abrahamic tradition, and could all together deal irreparable damage to their official ideology (and its limits in culture and politics) – naturally, this would be “damage” from the point of view of the stability and preservation of Abrahamic creativity in its older form. In practice, the presence of such overt or covert religious (and esoteric) groups in different states is an obvious fact, while the “snake-worshipers” are either completely unknown or are extravagant marginal oddities.

Now let us turn to Western civilization, which is the cradle of anti-sacral tendencies. In the West, the counter-initiatic tendencies which produced the monstrous result that we see today developed in several stages. The first stage, associated with Orthodox eschatology, was neglected by Guénon, who had a clearly inadequate opinion of the Christian tradition. This first stage consisted of the fall of Rome from Orthodoxy, the changing of the Symbol of Faith by Charlemagne, and the transition from the Orthodox and eschatological concept of the “symphony of powers” (associated with the metaphysics of the “withholder”, the Katechon) to the Papist (Guelphian) model, against which stood the Ghibelline Emperors of the Hohenstaufen who were just as dear to Guénon as they are to us. [10] Thus, the main sources of counter-initiation in the West should be sought in Catholic Scholasticism and the Vatican.

 

Unlike Orthodoxy, Catholicism lost its esoteric component, and this unleashed a whole spectrum of initiatic organizations of various stripes (Hermetic, proto-Masonic, etc.). Given that these initiatic organizations stemmed from an extra-Christian context (from pre-Christian cults and the Islamic and Jewish traditions), any alliance with the exoteric church was founded not on synthesis and organic unity, but on conformism and conventions. This Catholic civilization was so inorganic and unstable that even in its better periods (such as the Middle Ages), it harbored a number of dubious and at times openly counter-initiatic elements.

This unsustainable compromise was ultimately shaken, and both components of the Western tradition came into open contradiction. Catholicism rejected non-Christian esotericism and finally descended to the level of contradictory, secularized Judeo-Christian morality. Autonomous esotericism, in the form of Freemasonry, became a destructive, rationalistic apparatus in essence anti-Christian and anti-esoteric. These halves of the disintegrating ensemble were marked by counter-initiatic features: in the very least, in the majority of cases the spiritual path towards metaphysical realization could not be stopped at the first stages, but it was simulated, forged, alienated, and turned into its opposite. The very first and most significant chord of such degeneration was the rejection of the completeness of Orthodox metaphysics. This was the most decisive step in the direction of counter-initiation within the Christian world.

 

After having remained for quite some time within the realm of fully-fledged, unified (at once Orthodox and Catholic) Christianity, which had preserved the fullness of its authentic metaphysics and initiation, the peoples and states of the West eventually, in one catastrophic moment, severed this chain. This was enshrined in the introduction of the dogma of the Filioque and in the sacredly-unauthorized conferment of the status of “Emperor” to the Frankish kings before their kind – this destroyed the symphony of powers in the West. Catholic (and later altogether secularized-Protestant) moralism, plus the anti-clerical, bureaucratic, philanthrophic- demagogic rationalism of Masonry – all of this was much more counter-initiatic from the standpoint of fully-fledged Orthodox metaphysics than any splashes of anti-Church, pagan, or even “Luciferian” cults in the West, which perhaps represented but paroxysms of nostalgia for the complete and total Tradition, not even a hint of which had remained in the West since time immemorial.

This combination of Western anti-metaphysical Christianity (Catholicism and especially Anglo-Saxon Protestantism) with rationalistic Masonry (with the active participation of the Jewish factor, which played a significant conceptual role in the degradation of the West – after all, the fall of Edom, the “Christian world”, is the condition of the triumph of Judaic messianism [11]) is what lies at the heart of the poisonous paradigm of the modern world. The role of “Satanists” or “representatives of the Order of Set” in all of this is not only negligible, but generally naught, especially since the very fact of such an order’s existence is presumptive and based on extremely dubious evidence. Guénon cited the illustration of an artist from Cairo depicting a strange monster, the statue of which he allegedly saw in a secret sanctuary.[12] What would Guénon have said about the paintings of Dali, Ernst, or thousands of other avant-garde artists who depicted monstrous creatures on their canvases and told thousands of hallucinatory and narcotic tales?

Very telling in this regard is the story of Léo Taxil, the scandalous author of the late 19th century who was behind the forged revelations of the machinations of “Satanists.” For the Catholics, Leo Taxil described the secrets of “Satanic Freemasonry”, while for Masons he exposed the “perversions” and “black book magic” of the Catholic clergy. In fact, beyond his clearly adventurous personal aims, Taxil quite cleverly showed how representatives of both Western organizations (one embodying exotericism, the other esotericism) were not so much “devil- worshipers” as gullible fools. This grotesque idiocy on the part of both conservatives and progressives is perhaps the most expressive sign of the parody which Guénon himself called the easily recognizable “seal of the devil.”

In fact, Traditionalists and Guénon’s followers have not been able to avoid the same fate, as they uncritically repeat various (and often frankly disputable) maxims of the master and have reached the very same “scholastic parody”, the signs of which were clearly noticed by the much wiser and non-conformist, although no less controversial Baron Julius Evola.

 

The absence of counter-initiatic symbolism in the Primordial Tradition

Now a few words about the Primordial Tradition. From our point of view, the contours of this Tradition were outlined with amazing clarity in the works of the German Professor Herman Wirth, a review of whose book Guénon published in Études traditionnelles.[13] According to Wirth, all existing mythological plots, symbols, religious dogma and rituals, and moreover all human languages and alphabets, evolved from a single calendric proto-form: the Sacred Circle, accompanied by an arrangement of proto-runic signs.[14] This proto-form was a description of the natural phenomena observed by humanity at the North Pole on the ancient disappeared continent of Hyperborea (or Arktogaa). Thus, out of an abstract concept, the Primordial Tradition became a tangible and concrete reality of a paradigm whose main contours were extremely convincingly and voluminously revealed by Herman Wirth.[15]

What interests us in the Hyperborean calendric proto-form is that realm which is associated with the dark, nocturnal sectors, corresponding to the Polar Night and its related symbolism. This is the period of the winter solstice, or Great Yule, the main festival, symbolic and ritual center of the whole structure of the Primordial Tradition. Counter-initiation, according to Guénon’s definition, is related to the negative aspects of universal symbolism and, as follows, in the Hyperborean complex corresponds to those realities describing the state of the Polar Night, the decline of the sun, and other symbolic analogues of this event. The snake and wolf often function as such symbols, frequently imagined as swallowing the sun in the polar winter. This darkness is also identifiable with Mother Earth, from which all living beings come and whither all return to be reborn again.

This primordial picture, which is strictly cyclical and harmonious, preceded the division of this symbolic complex into positive and negative elements. The snake, the wolf, darkness, the underground realms (where the sun descends), death, and night do not have strictly negative significations. All aspects of the cycle are equally important and necessary – the sunset is just as sacred as the sunrise, and without the sun’s “dying” there can be no spring, no rebirth in the New Year. Therefore, the same symbols have both negative and positive aspects. This is an essential point: at hand is not an artificial theological concept seeking to consciously identify positive in negative and negative in positive (like the famous Chinese symbol of Yin-Yang), but rather a special state of consciousness which, in principle, does not know the very idea of negative.[16] It is precisely by virtue of this state that Tradition is indeed Primordial and Integral, that is, preceding any particular interpretation. The possibility for different interpretations of this primordial symbolism is embedded in the overall picture, and such interpretations are what constitute the content (and background) of historical religions and mythologies which evolved into stable symbolical and doctrinal complexes at the cost of metaphysically and ethically emphasizing only certain aspects of the one Hyperborean proto-form to the detriment of others.

 

It can be said that the “Hyperborean Tradition” was simultaneously dual and non-dual, trinitarian and unitary, monotheistic and polytheistic, matriarchal and patriarchal, sedentary and nomadic. Only later did it split into several branches separated from and opposed to one another.

The Primordial Tradition does not annul the metaphysical differences between traditions, since it is in this regard strictly neutral. It provides a general context; it employs a system of correspondences and symbolic series which allow one to explain the most mysterious and darkest aspects of symbolism, mythologies, religious doctrines, and sacred tropes. With regards to metaphysics, this Primordial Tradition is limited to being a mere statement of fact. The metaphysical question attains its real intensity in completely different conditions, those removed as far as possible from the Golden Age of the polar civilization. This, in fact, is why it is impossible to agree with Guénon on the esoteric unity of traditions, since they are not unified on a metaphysical level, but rather unified in the sense of descending from a single sacred cult-symbological complex, a universal language, the basic element at the origins of all the varieties of human culture and human religion. The use of this language can serve to express the most diverse theological and metaphysical constructs, but they all concern one and the same archetypal structure, which they merely interpret and whose metaphysical accents they re- arrange in different ways.

As follows, the symbolic complex which would be associated with counter-initiation, in its most universal aspect, should be that relating to the Hyperborean mystery of Yule. Strictly negatively interpreting this complex might lead to grotesque distortions, to the point that the most important and sacred aspects are treated as “counter-initiatic.” This, according to Herman Wirth, is what happened with the Christian tradition when it equated various “solar-thresholding” Hyperborean tropes with demonic realities, even though their symbolisms are strikingly reminiscent of the calendric history of the birth of the Son of God (the winter solstice). For instance, the demon’s tail was a vestige of the solar-solstice rune connoting the lower part of the polar year and the roots of the world tree. The cauldrons in which the demons cooked sinners were derived from the trope of the winter cauldron (or vessel) of the gods – the cauldron of the Celtic god Dagda which never runs empty. This is a typical winter-solstice motif (and the New Year rune itself was still called Dagda in the Normans’ time, and was depicted as a bowl or cauldron). The horns of the “devil” are a symbol of the spring Resurrection of the sun, as they are the symbolic analogue of the two raised hands – the spring rune “Ka.”[17] And so on.

These considerations show that it is impossible to judge the counter-initiatic character of one or another symbol or symbological complex on purely formal grounds, since in Hyperborean symbolism, which lies at the heart of all sacred symbolism, there are no such symbols.

Conclusion

Summating our brief analysis, it should be clear that it is necessary to radically reconsider Guénon’s theory of counter-initiation and carefully consider the various standpoints involved in this matter. This problem is closely connected to other theses of Guénon’s which, upon attentive study and application to concrete historical religions and initiatic schools, turn out to be too rough, inaccurate, or frankly erroneous. At the same time, this revision in no way tarnishes the high authority of René Guénon. Without his works and most important theses and interpretive models, the whole picture of esotericism and metaphysics would be hopelessly confused today. The point is not to debunk the master, as some of his ungrateful students, such as Frithjof Schuon, have sought to do. On the contrary, it is necessary to refine and hone the great intuitions of this genius human being in order to cleanse his teachings of all that has turned out wrong, and in order to make shine with new strength and freshness those aspects which are expressions of the purest truth. Guénon bequeathed to us an invaluable tool, an excellent methodology for studying Tradition. Thanks to him, we can determine the common denominators of the enormous materials of theology, the history of religions, initiation, etc., with which we have to deal, and which would otherwise remain hopelessly contradictory fragments defying any systematization (not to mention neo-Spiritualist reconstructions or the theories of profane historians and ethnologists).

 

Guénon remains the main and key author. But if, following serious reflections and the results of careful research, we arrive at conclusions which do not concur with his views but correct them, then it is pointless to try to hide and pretend that everything remains unchanged. The question of counter-initiation is highly important and extremely relevant. So is the question of the existence (or non-existence) of a real metaphysical unity of traditions. This text is merely an introduction to this problem, but as an outline for further research it is of colossal significance. We hope to develop this topic in subsequent works.

In the meanwhile, let us remark that an adequate view of counter-initiation, a clarification of its nature, essence, and “localization”, will lead us to the most horrifying secrets which, while hidden behind the dubious myth of the modern world, are ready to find their nightmarish, chilling incarnation in front of a hopelessly slumbering humanity drowsily wandering towards slaughter. Contrary to the naive stories of the “Order of the Red Donkey” and exotic and relatively harmless “Luciferians”, the true mission of counter-initiation is dizzyingly large-scale, effective, and ubiquitous. It is preparing a terrible fate for all peoples and civilizations. But in order to recognize this approaching catastrophe, it is necessary to look at things soberly and intently beyond the romantic haze of residual occultism and the “detective plot” of cheap horror novels.

Nothing rejoices the “enemy of humankind” more than the deafening stupidity of those who hastily decide to embark on the path of struggle against him without seriously weighing all the circumstances and assessing the whole volume of that unfathomable and terrible problem which St. Paul the Apostle called the “mystery of iniquity.”

 

Footnotes:

[1] We addressed this topic in detail in: Alexander Dugin, Metafizika Blagoi Vesti. Pravoslavny ezoterizm (The Metaphysics of the Gospel: Orthodox Esotericism, Moscow: Arktogeia, 1996). This work contains a detailed scrutiny of Guénon’s Christological views arising from his confessional belonging to Islam, not from any correspondences between their “univocal esoteric truth.” Generally speaking, despite the fact that Guénon wrote very little about the Islamic tradition, the majority of his theses on the esoteric question arose precisely out of his Islamic views on things. Hindu Advaita-Vedanta and Sufi Islam were most dear to Guénon. The specific approaches to esotericism proper to these two traditions considerably shaped Guénon’s preferences and analyses in the sphere of historical religions and their dogmas. Regardless of how logical or harmonic these two systems might be, they still far from exhaust all the possible variations of esoteric and initiatic doctrines.

 

[2] See: Dugin, Metafizika Blagoi Vesti.

[3] Christianity is counted among the Abrahamic traditions only in the Islamic perspective and some Judeo-Christian currents. Orthodoxy cannot recognize such a title insofar as it is clearly conscious of its internal spiritual nature as a Melchizedekian, pre-Abrahamic, and supra- Abrahamic tradition.

[4] Dugin, Metafizika Blagoi Vesti, chapter 41. [5] Ibid. `

[6] Is this too really the case? The logic of our analysis suggests that the matter is somewhat more complex.

[7] We can recall the case of Dante’s initiatic journey where, at the very bottom of the crater of hell, he began to descend down Satan’s body even lower, ultimately reaching not the center of the abyss, but the surface of the earth near Purgatory and the hill of earthly paradise. This category also contains a number of symbols which situate paradise under the earth, demons at the tops of the mountains, etc.

[8] For example, the husband of Indira Gandhi was a Pars (Zoroastrian).

[9] This is the case with the Dönmeh, the followers of the Jewish pseudo-messiah Sabbatai Zevi, who outwardly followed their leader in adopting Islam, but who, when heading the Turkish state in the 20th century, immediately abolished Islam as the state religion and proclaimed the creation of a “civilization of the Western type” in Turkey. Even though they were absolutely traditional with regards to their esoteric Kabbalist community and loyal to the general context of the Jewish Diaspora, the Dönmeh carried out what is from a purely Islamic perspective an anti-Islamic, profane mission.

[10] See Dugin, Metafizika Blagoi Vesti.

 

[11] See the article “The Messianism of Kabbalah: The Metaphysics of the Nation, the Messiah, and the End Times in the Zohar” in Mily Angel 3 (1998).

[12] Here is a fragment from Guénon’s letter to a certain Hillel in 1930 which describes this history: “Here behind al-Azhar (a university in Cairo) there is an old gentleman who strikingly resembles the portraits of Ancient Greek philosophers and produces strange paintings. He once showed us a drawing of a dragon with the head of a bearded man in a 16th century hat with six small heads from various animals protruding from his beard. It is especially curious that this figure clearly resembles an image found in Revue internationale des sociétés secrètes as an illustration of the book L’élue du dragon. This illustration is supposed to have been taken from some ancient book…But the real gem is that this gentleman claims to have seen this head elsewhere and painted it exactly like the original!”

[13] See: Mily Angel 1 (1991).

[14] See: Herman Wirth, “Das Heilige Jahr” in Der Aufgang der Menschheit (Jena: Eugen Diedrichs, 1928). Translated into Russian by Alexander Dugin as “Sviashchennyi God” and published in Mily Angel 3 (1998). See also Alexander Dugin, “Kosmicheskii Spasitel’” (“The Cosmic Savior”) in the same number.

[15] See Alexander Dugin, Giperboreiskaiia teoriia (“The Hyperborean Theory”, Moscow: Arktogeia, 1993).

[16] Contemporary linguistics divides types of thinking into two main varieties – “digital” and “analog.” “Digital” thinking precisely corresponds to profanism and materialism, operates with the abstract categories of “there is” and “there is not”, and functions according to the laws of formal logic (the law of the excluded third, the law of identity, etc.). Philosophers call this “classical rationality.” Analog thinking became a scientific category over the course of the study of archaic “primitive” peoples, cultures, and mythologies. Analog thinking corresponds to the world of Tradition and retains connection with traces of the Hyperborean tradition. It knows no “pure negation.” “Not” therefore means “another yes.” Pure absence is unimaginable, as the very concept of “absence” immediately evokes the image of “another presence.” Analog thinking first affirms the whole image, and only then deconstructs it into categories of “presence”, “absence”, “positive”, “negative”, and even “male”, “female”, “big”, and “small.” In analog thinking, there is no strict distinction between the subject of action and the object of action, between the substance and the attribute, the action and the substantive. Thus, in our example, the sun, its disappearance, and its absence act as something whole and integral. The affirmation of the sun already contains its negation (setting in winter), and the negation of the sun (winter darkness) is an affirmation which testifies to the meaning of the sun. On the basis of this logic, the primordial symbolism in principle was not subject to moral interpretation. It was a system of interrelated, integral, sacred elements, none of which is endowed with a value-priority. Everything in it was an expression of the one sacred Being, the Light of the World, at different stages of its cyclical pulse.

 

[17] See Dugin, “Kosmicheskii Spasitel’”, op cit.

Herman Wirth’s Theory of Civilization

Author: Alexander Dugin

Translator: Jafe Arnold

Chapter 22 of Part 2, “Theories of Civilizations: Criteria, Concepts, and Correspondences”, of Noomakhia: Geosophy – Horizons and Civilizations (Moscow, Akademicheskii Proekt, 2017).

***

The Cultural Circle of Thule

Bachofen’s idea of primordial matriarchy and his theory of “cultural circles” were developed by another historian, archaeologist, and specialist in paleo-epigraphy, Herman Wirth (1885-1981).

Wirth’s theories are based on the hypothesis borrowed from the Indian author Bala Gandhara Tilak (1856-1920) [1], that the original Proto-Indo-European civilization was formed in the late Paleolithic (the Aurignacian culture) in the lands of the Northern polar circle. This hypothesis was based on the interpretation of the data of Indian astrology, Vedic texts, and the myths of the Hindus, Iranians, and Greeks which speak of the existence in remote antiquity of a populated country lying in the Far North (Hyperborea). This continent was described in the Vedas as the “land of the white boar”, Varahi, and the “island of light”, or Sweta Dvipa. The Zoroastrian tradition speaks of the ancient abode of the first man, the city of Vara, located in the Far North, from which he was forced to descend southwards as the dark deity Angra Mainyu, the enemy of the god of light, Ahura-Mazda, unleashed a “great cold” across these lands. Tilak argues for the existence of this “Nordic” proto-civilization on the basis of Indian astrology, the symbolism of which, according to Tilak, becomes clear only if we accept that the constellations were originally observed in the circumpolar regions, where the day of the gods is equal to the year of men.

Wirth adopted this hypothesis and constructed his own theory upon it, the “Hyperborean theory” [2] or theory of the “cultural circle of Thule” [3], which represents the Greek name for the mythical city lying in the country of the Hyperboreans. According to this theory, before the latest wave of global cooling, the circumpolar zone in the North Atlantic Ocean was home to inhabitable lands whose inhabitants were the creators of a primordial cultural code. This culture was formed under conditions when the natural environment of the Arctic was not yet so harsh, and when its climate was similar to the modern temperate Central European climate. There were present all the annual and atmospheric phenomena which can be observed in the Arctic today: the Arctic day and Arctic night. The yearly solar and lunar cycles of the Arctic are structured differently than their counterparts in middle-range latitudes. Thus, the symbolic fixations of the calendar, the trajectory of the sun, the moon, and the constellations of the zodiac necessarily had a different form and different patterns.

On the basis of an enormous swathe of archaeological, paleo-epigraphical (cave paintings, Paleolithic symbols, ancient carvings, etc.), mythological, and philological material, Herman Wirth undertook an attempt to reconstruct the primordial system of this Arctic proto-civilization’s cultural code. At its heart he put the reconstructed proto-calendar, the last traces of which Wirth believed are constituted by the Scandinavian runes, which he attributed to remote antiquity. Wirth proposed to examine this calendar, which records the key moments of the Arctic year, as the key to all later versions of mythological, religious, ritualistic, artistic, and philosophical heritages which continued and developed this primordial algorithm over the course of the wave-like migrations of the bearers of “Thulean culture” into the southern regions. When applied to other climatic conditions, however, many of the symbolic patterns of this calendar, otherwise crystal clear in the Arctic, lost their meaning and rationale. They were partially transferred to new realities, partially frozen as relics, and partially lost their meanings or acquired new ones.

First and foremost, this change entailed a fundamentally new understanding of the basic unit of time: instead of the Hyperborean day, equal to a year, the daily circle, which is much more clearly defined in the regions south of the polar circle, became the measure of events of human life. What is more, the localizing points of the spring and autumn equinoxes changed in relation to southward movement. All of this gradually confused the crystal clarity and simplicity of the primordial matrix.

Wirth believed that his reconstruction of the sacred complex of the culture of Thule lay at the heart of all historical types of writing and language, as well as musical tones, the symbolism of colors, ritual gestures, burials, religious complexes, etc.

Studying this culture formed the basis of Wirth’s attempts at reconstructing what he called the “proto-writing” or “proto-script” of humanity. Wirth published the results of his studies in two monumental works, Der Aufgang der Menschheit (The Emergence of Mankind) [4] and Die Heilige Urschrift der Menschheit (The Sacred Proto-Script of Mankind) [5], both equipped with an enormous lot of synoptic tables, comparative illustrations of archaeological excavations, writing systems, etc.

Nordic matriarchy

Wirth embraced Bachofen’s notion of primordial matriarchy and attributed to the “Thule culture” a matriarchal form of civilization. He suggested that the belief that the female gender is inclined towards materiality, corporeality, chthonicity, and empirical specifics is purely a product of patriarchal censorship, and that matriarchy could be no less, indeed even more of a spiritual phenomenon than patriarchy. Wirth believed that societies dominated by women and female priesthoods, religions, and cults represented the more advanced types of Hyperborean culture, which he termed the “culture of White Ladies” (weisse Frauen).

Wirth thus presented an altogether peculiar view on the relationship between matriarchy and patriarchy in the archaic culture of the Mediterranean region. In his point of view, the most ancient forms of culture in the Mediterranean were those established by bearers of the Hyperborean matriarchy, who in several stages descended from the circumpolar regions, from the North Atlantic, by sea (and that ships with shamrocks on the stern were characteristic of them). These were the people mentioned in ancient Near Eastern artifacts as the “sea-peoples”, or am-uru, hence the ethnic name of the Amorites. The name Mo-uru, according to Wirth, once belonged to the very main center of the Hyperboreans, but was transmitted along with the natives of the North in their migration waves to new sacred centers. It is to these waves that we owe the Sumerian, Akkadian, Egyptian (whose pre-dynastic writing was linear), Hittite-Hurrian, Minoan, Mycenaean, and Pelasgian cultures. All of these Hyperborean strata were structured around the figure of the White Priestess.

Patriarchy, according to Wirth, was brought by immigrants from Asia, from the steppe zones of Turan, who distorted the primordial Hyperborean tradition and imposed upon the Mediterranean cultures quite different – rude, violent, aggressive, and utilitarian -values which contrasted (for worse) the pure spiritual forms of the Nordic matriarchy.

Thus, in Wirth we have the following reconstruction: the Hyperborean cultural circle’s primordial, spiritual and highly-developed type of matriarchal culture spread from a circumpolar center, mainly be sea, penetrating the Mediterranean, scraping Africa, and even reaching the southern coast of Asia all the way down to Polynesia, where the Maori culture still retains traces of the ancient Arctic tradition. Another offshoot of the center of Mo-uru in the North Atlantic migrated to North America, where it laid the foundations of the cultural code of many tribes. One of Wirth’s undertakings was to demonstrate a homology between these two branches that dispersed out of the culture of Thule – the European, Mediterranean, and further African and Pacific on the one hand, and the North-American on the other.[6]

Meanwhile, in continental Asia there formed a cultural pole which represented the embryo of proto-patriarchy. Wirth associated this culture with crude naturalism, phallic cults, and a martial, aggressive, and utilitarian type of culture, which Wirth believed to be lower and Asian. We have devoted a whole separate volume to a more detailed outline of Herman Wirth’s views.[7]

The significance of Wirth’s ideas to geosophy

Many aspects of Herman Wirth’s unjustly forgotten works deserve attention in the study of plural anthropology. First of all, his extremely fertile hypothesis of the cultural circle of Thule, which is usually discarded from the outset without any careful analysis of his argumentation, is so rich that it deserves serious attention in itself. If such an hypothesis allows for the resolution of such numerous historical and archaeological problems associated with the history of symbols, signs, myths, rituals, hieroglyphs, the calendar, writing, and the most ancient views of the structure of space and time, then this alone is enough to warrant thorough inquiry. Even though Wirth’s works contain many claims which seem either unequivocally wrong or highly controversial, we can set them aside and try to understand the essence of his theory which, in our opinion, is an extraordinarily constructive version that expands our understanding of the archaic epochs of the ancient history of mankind. The theory of the cultural circle of Thule need not be unconditionally accepted, but an assessment of its interpretive potential is necessary.

Secondly, Wirth’s positive appraisal of matriarchy is extremely interesting and adds weight to sympathy for Bachofen. Indeed, we are dealing with an interpretation of a conditionally reconstructed matriarchal civilization from the position of what is the, in the very least nominal, patriarchy to which our society has become accustomed. Wirth proposes an alternative interpretation of the female Logos, an attempt to view the Logos of the Great Mother through different eyes. This is also an extremely unconventional and fertile proposal.

Thirdly, in Wirth’s theories we can see clear analogues to the reconstructions of both Spengler and Frobenius. If Frobenius and especially Spengler took the side of Indo-European (Turanian, Eurasian) culture, i.e., the side of patriarchy as they interpreted it, then Wirth proposes to look at things from the standpoint of the civilization of the White Ladies, i.e., from the position of the primordial Mediterranean culture that preceded the invasion of the “people on war chariots.”

Footnotes:

[1] Tilak, B.G., Arkticheskaiia rodina v Vedakh (Moscow: FAIR-PRESS, 2001). In English: Tilak, B.G., The Arctic Home in the Vedas: Being Also a New Key to the Interpretation of Many Vedic Texts and Legends (Poona City: Tilak Bros, 1903). 

[2] Dugin, A.G., Znaki Velikogo Norda: Giperboreiskaiia Teoriia (Moscow: Veche, 2008). English translation of introduction available here

[3] Wirth, H., Khronika Ura-Linda. Drevneishaiia istoriia Evropy (Moscow: Veche, 2007). In German: Wirth, Herman. Die Ura-Linda Chronik (Leipzig: Koehler & Amelang, 1933).

[4] Wirth, H., Der Aufgang der Menschheit. Forschungen zur Geschichte der Religion, Symbolik und Schrift der atlantisch-nordischen Rasse (Jena: Diederichs, 1928).

[5] Wirth, H., Die Heilige Urschrift der Menschheit. Symbolgeschichtliche Untersuchungen diesseits und jenseits des Nordatlantik (Leipzig: Koehler & Amelang, 1936).

[6] The full title of Wirth’s Die Heilige Urschrift der Menschheit specifies “on both sides of the North Atlantic.” See footnote 5. 

[7] See footnote 2. 

Herman Wirth and the Sacred Proto-Language of Humanity: In Search of the Holy Grail of Meanings – Part 1

Author: Alexander Dugin

Translator: Jafe Arnold 

From “Lecture 4” in Filosofiia traditsionalizma (Moscow, Arktogaia, 2002), originally delivered as a lecture at New University in 1998. 

 

The existence of a single proto-language derives from the very logic of Tradition – attempts at reconstruction

The existence of a single proto-language of humanity derives from the very logic of Traditionalism. If there is a single Primordial Tradition, then the language of this Tradition must have a particular expression. This is obvious to any conscientious reader of Guénon and his followers. In addition, intuition suggests that the languages which modern humanity speaks harbor some strange commonality. When we engage in strict linguistic analysis, this commonality continues to elude us, but some kind of inner conviction does not allow us to cease searching.

Attempts at reconstructing this most ancient language have been constantly undertaken. There are many models of a proto-language which try to reduce existing linguistic and symbolic systems. There is the theory (developed in the Middle Ages) that Ancient Hebrew was the primordial language, and Kabbalistic schools existed which seriously attempted to deduce all other languages (including sacred and non-sacred ones, i.e., historical languages) out of Ancient Hebrew. We also have the “Egyptian theory” put forth in the 20th century by Schwaller de Lubicz and Les Veilleurs. Similar theses had been expressed before by numerous European mystics, such as Heinrich Khunrath, “Egyptian masonry”, etc. All of them tried to restore the proto-language and proto-symbolism on the basis of the Egyptian tradition. There is the famous book by the abbot Johannes Trithemius, Steganographia, which compiled mystical signs as symbols of an angelic language. Trithemius’ disciple, Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim, produced a whole series of angelic alphabets in his works. Also available are the reconstructions of circular “Atlantic” signs by Paul Le Cour, who published the journal Atlantis. There are also Guido von List’s runic tables which were also claimed to offer an interpretation of all languages through the Ancient Germanic and modern German languages. Baron von Sebottendorf explored the magic of the Arabic language and wrote an interesting pamphlet on the rituals of old Turkish masonry.  The idea that all languages descend from Ancient Hebrew was also promoted by Fabre d’Olivet. There are also the only recently published commentaries by young Guénon on Saint Yves d’Alveydre’s Archeometry. The latter was an attempt at creating a universal alphabet that could explain the origin of all languages, traditions, and religious models. Saint Yves d’Alveydre spoke of the existence of a first, primordial language of Vattan in the underground country of Agharta.

There also exists the Brahmanic art of Nirukta (a theologized form of folk etymology), and the cabale phonétique was appealed to by Fulcanelli and the mysterious Grace d’Orsay, one of those astonishing authors who necessitates a separate, detailed discussion.

From the point of view of Tradition, everything necessarily converges to a single formula, a single model. If the world ends (and the end of the world, from the standpoint of Traditionalism, arises out of the infiniteness of its Principle), then finite knowledge about this world should exist. This means that it is possible to know everything all together at once (or almost at once) and forever, to know to the point that nothing in manifested reality is left out of sight. In some sense, absolute knowledge is therefore knowledge of absolute language. The search for such a single, absolute model was particularly actively pursued in the Middle Ages when the holistic approach to reality was widespread among mystics despite the creationist dogmas of official religion. People all at once engaged in mineralogy, theology, medicine, treated peoples and animals, and wrote treatises full of practical advice on smallpox, the names of angels, and the structure of grindstones. All of this comprised a search for integral knowledge, a single formula, a unified model.

The Bible also teaches of a common language of humanity, claiming that one language existed up until the Babylonian dispersion. Christianity also knows of the return to the proto-language, as when the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles and they spoke in all existing languages at once. The Holy Spirit gave them the special blessing of knowing the original proto-language.

The search for the proto-language in modern linguistics

The idea of reconstructing the proto-language has always excited the minds of the most different people. Many have tried to express their specific views on this matter, but few have managed to forge more or less reliable systems. In fact, such quests have been undertaken by profane Western science as well. Besides the classical line of linguistics which is restricted to the study of language in already existing, historical forms, there also exists in modern linguistics another trend (whose founder was the Italian scholar Trombetti) which proceeds from the assumption of the existence of a single proto-language. Trombetti proved this on the level of positivist facts and believed that the proto-language could be restored. For this he was earnestly criticized. Trombetti’s line was continued by Bopp, the Russian scholar Potebnja, the Soviet linguist and academician Marr (who was harshly criticized by another great linguist, Joseph Stalin) and particularly by the outstanding Serbian scholar Illich-Svitych. The latter founded the Nostratic concept which accounted for the criticisms of Trombetti and Bopp’s models. Illich-Svitych therein developed the thesis that languages are reducible to four or six roots. He distinguished the Eurasian group (including Semitic, Hamitic, Indo-European, and Kartvelian languages), the languages of the North American Indians, and the Sino-Tibetan and Paleo-African groups as the four main meta-clusters. Curiously enough, these four groups correspond to the four corners of the world. The far from mystical Illich-Svitych arrived at these conclusions on the basis of an entirely scientific approach, the path of classical, conventional linguistic analysis. This theory was very popular among Soviet linguistics, but remained unknown in the West. This line has since been discontinued, just as science has frozen altogether. This is a pity, as developing this line could have yielded colossal results. It is one of the most promising trends in linguistics.

Individual (unsuccessful) attempts at constructing a proto-language

In the early 1980’s, I myself actively tried to arrive at this language in imitating the (as a rule, unsuccessful) endeavors of predecessors. After all, the necessity of a proto-language’s existence follows from the Guénonian vision of the Primordial Tradition! Admittedly, I made little progress. I know several languages, including several ancient ones (on a rudimentary level). I tried to somehow systematize the roots and phonetic constructs which seemed to me to be similar. In fact, the Russian scholar Potebnja subjected the Russian language to a similar procedure. To this day, I have a mountain of materials devoted to these experiences. There one can find attempts at reconstructing the proto-language through both mystical alphabets and wholly scholarly linguistic theories. All of this was extremely interesting, took up a lot of my time, but the result was, frankly speaking, pathetic. The ends did not meet. One needs to know much more than I did. Some of the models which I tried to use (including those traceable back to Agrippa Nettesheim [2]) did not stand the test of reliable scientific data.

The revelation of Herman Wirth

And then, suddenly everything changed. I encountered the works of a man who is practically unknown – Herman Wirth. No one knows him in our country, nor do the Traditionalists of the West know him. He is the “great unknown”, le grand inconnu. His works were taken from Berlin by the Soviet Army and for years lay in a storage room where they ended up wet and covered with mold. Nobody had touched them since 1945. I tried unsuccessfully to find Wirth’s works in the libraries of several European capitals. Only once, in the Alain de Benoist’s underground library bunker did I see one of Herman Wirth’s books on a shelf. The owner, however, had paid no special attention to it, which is no surprise, as there was such a volume of books that their owner simply had not yet made his way to Wirth.

I spent two years studying Wirth. For two years I was glued to his works, trying to understand at least something. His works are huge volumes including maps. The text is not structured, everything begins in the middle and stops mid-sentence. I think no one really read it. To do so, one would have to be a fanatic. Interestingly enough, Julius Evola, who is extremely popular among European Traditionalists, called Wirth one of his three main teachers (alongside Guénon and Guido de Giorgio) in his autobiographical work, The Path of Cinnabar. But even after the publication of this book, still no one paid attention to Wirth. Such a strange author. As Guénon wrote, “certain things protect themselves.” There are some items that are laying in the middle of the room in plain sight, but we are incapable of finding them. Modern occultists have even evoked the notion of “black holes” existing everywhere. In fact, everything is more complex and subtle. 

As was Herman Wirth. Guénon devoted a very important review to him. Nevertheless, Wirth is unknown, and this despite the fact that even the most insignificant authors mentioned by Guénon or Evola have been devoted in the very least separate studies by Western Traditionalists. But no one in these circles has heard of Wirth. 

“We are in search of the stone with runic or prerunic inscriptions”

What comprises Wirth’s ideas, his message? Wirth deciphered the very proto-language which we have been talking about. He did this in a reliable manner without occultist exaggerations and positivist skepticism. No more nor less. His work is maximally close to this language. No one has done more reliable metaphysical, historical, linguistic, or conceptual (if you will) studies of the language of the Primordial Tradition. In my opinion, Wirth did not know Guénon, and I found no citations of him in his works. He read Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the famous Hindu Traditionalist, and cited him. However, Wirth himself was not a Traditionalist. Rather, he was an idealist, a scrupulous scholar and a German patriot. The fact that he did not share the numerous prejudices of occultists who hurry to discredit serious research, only enhances the significance of his works. Looking at Wirth through the eyes of Guénon, we see all that Guénon did not say, but which undoubtedly follows from what he did. Wirth adds an essential part to Guénon’s Traditionalism [5]. Even Evola did not add anything in particular to Guénon. Evola was original, daring, and active, but this rather aesthetic and existential component brought to Traditionalism in fact contains little substance.

What Wirth brought is a startling revelation – sudden, extremely complex, and demanding tremendous attention. This figure so much changed the picture of modern Traditionalism that ignoring him is simply impossible. It is intriguing that although we live on the outskirts of the Traditionalist world, in the bear corner, we are one of the first to approach such important things. In his time, the mysterious author Otto Rahn wrote a book entitled The Crusade against the Grail [6] and advanced the following hypothesis: perhaps the Grail was not a chalic, but a stone with certain prerunic inscriptions that are a universal key to all religious models, and all knowledge in general. Guénon himself wrote (if I’m not mistaken, in The King of the World [7]) that there indeed exists a view that the Grail is simultaneously a chalice, a book, and a stone. When Guénon studied the Canterbury megaliths, he said that it is possible that the Grail ought to be understood as a concrete object covered in signs, and that these signs probably represent primordial hieroglyphs. In some sense, Herman Wirth’s reconstruction reveals something very similar. In the volumes of research of this German scholar, there is something of a Holy Grail, a Holy Grail of meanings. 

Arctida – the cradle of humanity

As a kind of prelude to studying the primordial language, Herman Wirth presents an historical-geographical reconstruction of the first ages of mankind. As a positivist scholar, he draws out a long table of monkeys with different species of animals and geological shifts, but we can disregard this. The most interesting begins at 20,000 B.C. Here Wirth switches over to serious, correct language. He adheres to the ideas of the geologist Wegener.

The modern contours of continents emerged only recently. Continents are not dormant and are not constant masses. They slide along the shelf, and thus the look of the earth was once completely different. There once existed two continents: a Northern one, Arctogaia (Arctida) and a Southern one, Gondwana.  Wegener’s chronology, which Wirth partially appropriates, is based on the positivist methods of calculating time and transposing modern physical processes onto ancient times, a method which is rather incorrect. Guénon himself has written much [9] about shifts in the cosmic environment in correlation to the unfolding of the cyclical process. But this is not the point.

Wirth argues that Arctida was the cradle of mankind. This is the starting point in Wirth’s model. He claims that man originated at the North Pole, i.e., humanity is essentially a polar phenomenon. Hence Nordism as a method, as a vision of the particularities of the primordial language, primordial knowledge, and primordial religion. This is not the North Pole as an abstract concept (such as the mountain Meru), but a real pole where the continent of Arcotgaia lay and on which lived amazing people – the Hyperboreans. Contemplating the surrounding world, they developed the proto-language which lies at the heart of the complex of ideas which we have now, many thousands of years later.

This model of Wirth’s perfectly corresponds with Guénon’s holistic views on humanity’s polar origins and the primordial Golden Age. Thus, Wirth’s formally positivist research led him to the Nordic theory of man’s origin which is classic for Traditionalism. But if Guénon limits himself to merely asserting this as fact, then Wirth draws conclusions therein of enormous importance. He reasons that we cannot decipher ancient languages and ancient culture, cannot piece together an adequate view of ancient peoples, nor can we find some, so to say, “antediluvian” remnants simply because we do not accept the notion of the northern origin of humanity, do not take into account the fact that the climate in this northern, polar continent was no harsher than the south of modern France. The North Pole was the point from which the rays of civilization spread South.

Affirming this concept, Wirth with ease explains the hang-ups of paleo-anthropology and ancient history. He explains why there are no remains of Nordic man: firstly, because burial forms for Nordic people were different (as was the very quality of their lives), and the lands which they inhabited either shifted or sank. Wirth conducted very interesting research on the shallows of Dogger between Holland and England, where he sought the remains of Arctida which, from his point of view, existed as centers of civilization up to historical times. These explorations yielded colossal results, most of which are, alas, beyond our scope.

The first hieroglyph – the Nordic Year

Now about the primordial language. In Wirth’s view, the main key to understanding this language, and all existing languages and traditions, is the year. The year and man, the year and God, the year and nature, the year and time, the year and space are, in Wirth’s view, synonymous concepts. Man is the embodiment of condensed time. Time in and of itself is a divine manifestation.

The northern, polar cycle is the highest knowledge and, as follows, everything else is to be explained through the calendar. Special attention should be paid to the natural features of the North Pole. We know that a day there lasts not 24 hours, but six months, as does a night. For example, such a notion as the “midnight sun”, which is addressed in many of the Dionysian mysteries and is a generally important element in multiple sacred theories, acquires an entirely natural sense in Arctida – natural-magical meaning. This is the sun that shines at midnight at the North Pole during the summer solstice. Indeed, there is sun, and there is midnight. The memory of this midnight sun, like the memory of the primordial homeland of our ancestors, has been preserved in traditional models and been passed down from generation to generation in the form of legends and stories.

There is a fundamental difference between the daily and yearly cycles. We, living south of the polar latitude (22 degrees North), imagine the year as divided into days. But the man of polar origin saw the year differently. The day of the gods was equal to a year of people, which means that the difference between the divine and human was erased. There was no difference to be distinguished between the created and uncreated; there was no difference between subject and object or divine and natural revelation. Nature was a fact of the Divine, and the Divine was an inner dimension of nature. There existed a kind of “polar-paradisal worldview” in which the spirit was to be found at both the center and the periphery.

Wirth employed the structure of the polar year, or the year as a set of natural phenomenon characteristic of the northern, polar regions, as a universal instrument for interpreting all other elements. The first people were not comical, semi-finished products from classical evolutionary textbooks, and they did not see the world as primitive and flat. This was something completely different. The most diverse concepts, objects, creatures, situations, scenarios, and rituals boil down to a single paradigm. For Wirth, such a method of explaining everything through the paradigm of the year – the polar year – was the starting point of his ambitious studies.

The first calendar model

This is the basic model of the annual polar cycle. It might seem that there is nothing special here. The only particularity is that the South is identified strictly with winter, the East with spring, the North with summer, and fall with the West. In the annual circle, the sun goes in a different direction than in the daily one.

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Figure 1: “N – summer, E – spring, S – Winter, W – autumn”;  Figure 2: “N – day, E – morning, S – night, W – evening”

In this, in Wirth’s view, is contained great historical and historic-gnoseological drama.

Ancient humanity, according to Wirth and Tilak, moved south for a number of reasons. For example, in the Bundahishn (the sacred Zoroastrian book), it is said that “the red serpent of Ahriman sent cold to the blessed country of the Aryans and the city of Vara where the primordial white people lived, and they were forced to leave their homes.” So what happened then?

The polar cycles’ yearly phenomenon stop below the 22 degrees northern latitude. Man no longer plainly sees evidence of the primordial calendar-topographical model and does not understand the direct meaning of what was so obvious before. He loses the key to interpreting certain signs and schemes in which movement towards summer and movement upwards mean movement northwards.

Everything is inverted in the ordinary daily cycle, and all the phenomena that lie at the heart of the primordial language and the primordial proto-religion are obscured. Accordingly, mythological elements, and language itself, are now interpreted differently. There is an overlap between at least two cycles. In one – the annual, global, Nordic cycle – movement is counter-clockwise, whereas in the other – the daily one – movement is clockwise. It is by virtue of this that these two sacred paradigms (the daily and yearly) change places and (pay attention to how serious this is!) there is a transition from God to man and from the day of gods to the day of people.

As follows, the symbolic details of the primordial code, the primordial language and paradigm of religious knowledge change places. We lose the key to understanding them. This, according to Herman Wirth, is the Babylonian dispersal of languages. We lost the ciphers of the Nordic worldview, and the miasma of the southern seas begin to penetrate our consciousness. We increasingly become mere people to the point that we reach today’s dismal, critical state. There is probably no lower.

Also important is the hieroglyph of the Celtic cross, the circle with four orientations, which is the first calendar.

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Figure 3: “N – summer, E – spring, S – Winter, W – autumn”

 

The very notion of a calendar is a very sacred thing. A calendar is a visual model which condenses and clearly displays two concepts: time and space. In a calendar, time is displayed synchronously and simultaneously. What man is given in progressive development is given in a calendar, and only in a calendar, as a possibility of simultaneous setting. Thus, contemplating over the Nordic calendar, meditating on it is one of the most direct ways of making contact with Eternity. When man looks at the calendar, he grasps all time together as his internal quality, and the nature of perceiving the most simple objects changes. He sees a circle, how time turns into space, and how space, thanks to time, acquires orientation. This is very important, because space itself has no orientation without such a calendar; it is insufficient. The cross which establishes these orientations can thus be depicted anywhere.

Thanks to this calendric perception of the world, what happens in this space undergoes some kind of relativization. In the first lecture, we spoke of the transition from qualitative (sacred) space to quantitative (non-sacred, profane) space. Sacred space, furnished with qualitatively meaningful orientations, arises out of the most complex Nordic operation of bringing time into space (“spatializing time”, so to speak).

The main compass of these sacred, qualitative orientations is the calendar.

The point of the North is one, the South point is another, the point of East the third, and the point of the West the fourth. Each of these points of space corresponds to a certain, strictly fixed sign. If we impose the circle of time onto this space, then it shows all possible mutations of space as if grasping the eternal movement of the four directions in one fixed picture.

Interestingly enough, the problem of squaring the circle and perpetuum mobile (“perpetual motor”) which recently completely puzzled the best men of science, is in fact a distant echo of this Nordic knowledge expressed in this simple figure.

Today football fans wear the Celtic cross on their scarves without knowing what colossal meaning this symbol has. It is also depicted on targets for shooting. In the 1960’s, the Belgian Jean Thiriart made the Celtic cross the emblem of his Young Europe (his pan-European national movement) which was later adopted by football fans and skinheads, since which he has been constantly present in their symbols.

Take another look at the Celtic cross.

The sequence is built into the cycle. The line becomes the circle. Eternal movement is provided by the representation of all time at once. It cannot end and cannot be stopped. It cannot disappear. It is some kind of absolute paradigm, the essence of being, expressed graphically.

Such was Herman Wirth’s first step towards revealing the structure of the proto-language.

Already at this stage we can arrive at numerous conclusions of incredible value. Can every situation, every event, and every mythological tale or everyday scenario be dissected using this model?

How do we act, how do we live? Under the sign of the North? Or under the sign of the West? Under the sign of the East? Or under the sign of the South? Along the downward arc or the rising one? Towards what are things gravitating? Towards the sky and summer or towards winter and earth?

Upon applying this paradigm to the most complex cults and theological constructions, we will always find whole layers of meanings, the existence of which we knew nothing of before. Even if Wirth had stopped here, this alone would have already been very serious and very much, as we would be given a clue. But he went further…

Part two coming soon…

Footnotes:

[1] R.Guénon, “Le Roi du Monde”, Paris, 1993, “Le Regne de la Quantite et les Signes des Temps”, Paris, 1995, “Formes traditionnelles et cycles cosmiques”, Paris, 1995.

[2] H.C.Agrippa, “La philosophie occulte”, Paris, 1981.

[3] J.Evola, “Il camino del cinabro”, Milano, 1972

 

© Jafe Arnold – All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without expressed permission. 

Herman Wirth: Runes, Great Yule, and the Arctic Homeland

Author: Alexander Dugin

Translator: Jafe Arnold

[The foreword to Signs of the Great North: The Hyperborean Theory (Moscow, Veche: 2008); originally an episode of Dugin’s “Historico-Magical Meditative Radio Show” FINIS MUNDI]

***

There exists no greater mystery in human existence than the mystery of life and death, dying and becoming. For man, the Year is the supreme Revelation of divine action in the Universe. The Year is the expression of God’s providential cosmic law, in accordance with which occurs the becoming of the world in the infinite and everlasting return. The most magical and profound phenomenon before us in nature is the Year of God. A number of days makes up the Year, and in each of these days is opened the image of the Year: the birth of the Light from which comes all life, its climb to the highest peak, and its descent, death, and sinking, only to rise again. The morning, noon, evening, and night in a day correspond to spring, summer, autumn, and winter in the Year.

In spring, the “Light of the World” once again awakens all life, rectifies, and develops until it reaches its full deployment and limit of growth at the noon-summer time, then to once again begin the path to night and winter, preparing for death, after which inevitably follows new birth. The Nordic man beheld the image of his existence daily and yearly: early in the morning was his childhood, later his youth, then at noon and in the summer was his maturing, full maturity, and then the decay of life and old age leading to the winter of death, and through this to new life, to the rebirth and new becoming embodied in offspring. The cycle of the day reflects in its permanent and uninterrupted repetition the yearly cycle, as the Year is the circle of human life. The cycle, circular motion, and rotation itself is the supreme cosmic law of God, the ethical Foundation of the Universe of all beings. On this principle rests every consideration of God and every sense of justice. The law of eternal rotation, whose expressions are space and time, especially realized in the Year, were recognized by the Atlanto-Nordic race in the symbol of the Year and World Tree, the Tree of Life.

These words are from the book of the great Dutch scholar, Herman Wirth. His name can be mentioned to few modern men, even highly educated people, and his works cannot be found in modern university libraries, but the reason for this will be understood later. Nevertheless, Herman Wirth was one of those people who in our century, in this dark period of the Iron Age, the Kali Yuga, did an astonishing amount for the restoration of the Great Tradition from the time of the Golden Age and the mysterious region of Hyperborea – the magical, Apollonian land lying in the Far North. René Guénon and Julius Evola spoke of the Primordial Tradition and the polar paradise, and their names are known to all Traditionalists. But very few know of Herman Wirth even though this tall, thin professor, modest and passionate like any genuine scholar, discovered the secret of secrets of this Primordial Tradition, reconstructed its language, revealed the secrets of the ancient runes, and deciphered the message of the Golden Age.

This may seem incredible, but it is a fact. Herman Wirth did no more and no less than recreate the “Sacred Proto-Language of Humanity”, Die Heilige Urschrift der Menschheit, the very name of one of his thick, astounding, fundamental books.

Herman Wirth was born in 1885 in Utrecht, the Netherlands. His family descended from a line of ancient Frisians, the inhabitants of the northern regions of Holland differing to this day in their unusual height and classical Indo-European facial features. From his childhood, Wirth was interested in the history of his country and his people. He collected tales and legends, and attentively studied the signs and symbols which decorated the homes of ordinary Dutch peasants.

Wirth explored his entire country far and wide. In 1910, he defended his thesis entitled The Degradation of Dutch Folk Song and already in this first work surprised others with his incredible erudition, which subjected to analysis practically all available material relating to Dutch folklore. Moreover, he attempted to construct a general model, a kind of proto-mythology that stood behind all folk art and which could help one better understand the holistic worldview of the ancient ancestors. Proceeding from the symbols and elements of Dutch antiquity, Wirth expanded the range of his ethnographic, cultural, symbolical searches first to all the Germanic lands, and then broader to Europe, Eurasia, and, finally, to the regions most distant from Europe itself: America, Oceania, Africa, and so on. In search of a formula that could generalize the worldview of the ancient Aryan ancestors, Wirth moved in a spiral, clarifying, correcting, extending, or re-considering all the information hitherto gathered by linguists, archaeologists, historians of religion and art, anthropologists, etc. His endeavor was one of incredible intensity.

Herman Wirth mastered a few hundred – just imagine, a few hundred! – ancient languages, seeking to find in them some kind of common patterns dating back to forgotten times. The models that Wirth developed anticipated the “Nostratic theory” of Illich-Svitych which appeared only much later, according to which the populations of Europe, Asia, and Africa spoke the same language at the dawn of humanity.

But Herman Wirth was unique by virtue of more than just his dazzling intellect. Unlike the positivist scientific community, he categorically disagreed with confining oneself to small spaces and spending one’s entire life clarifying and and double-checking minor details, as was accepted practice among scholarly circles in the “critical,” pessimistic century. Wirth, like the scholars of the Middle Ages, strove to cover an enormous field of knowledge at one time. His approach was not analytical, but synthetic. Therefore, for a fundamental historical hypothesis he appeals not to chaotic and isolated fragments of modern anthropologists’ studies which idolize fact, but to ancient myths, Tradition, and sacred sources. Like René Guénon, Wirth understood that the modern world is an anomaly, regression, and degeneration, and that truth is to be sought in myths, symbols, legends, religions, cults, rites, and folklore.

Yima – the First Man – acted on the advice of Ahura Mazda and built the city of Vara in the Far North surrounded by a wall and brought there the seeds of all the best from people, animals, and plants to preserve them from the fatal winter, the punishment of the spirit of evil, Angra Mainyu, descending upon the sacred land of happiness. Yima built the city of the golden arrow and made the gates luminescent and others into lights. And Spitama Zarathustra asked Ahura Mazda: ‘O creator of the material world, worthy decreer of the Aryans and builder of Asha! What are these lights in the city built by Yima?’ And Ahura Mazda replied: ‘These lights are both eternal and transient. Only once a year do they rise and descend in the city of Vara, the Stars, Moon, and the Sun. The city’s inhabitants believe the whole year to be one Day.

This fragment from the Bundahishn, the sacred book of the Zoroastrians, can be interpreted in different ways, as can many of Tradition’s other indications that in the Far North in forgotten times there existed an amazing country of paradise, Hyperborea (Thule, Varahi) where the joyful ancestors of the golden-haired, blue-eyed Aryans lived, the divine race of kings and heroes. Herman Wirth treated Tradition’s message literally, and this allowed him to create a unique theory of the origin of mankind, “Der Aufgang der Menschheit,” decipher ancient signs, explain the secret, unfathomable sides of archaic symbols, cults, and rituals, grasp the meaning of sacred rites, and restore the long-lost alphabet of the humanity of paradise. This may seem impossible. Why has such a fantastic discovery remained unnoticed by the general public? How can such stunning, breathtaking revelations be passed over? Why are both ordinary people and the scientific community not told of such a scholar’s name? Alas, once again, political incorrectness. Herman Wirth had the temerity to join at a young age the patriotic national movement of Holland, and later Germany. Wirth was the inspiration behind the Dutch youth movement, Dietske Trekvogels, an analogue of the German Wandervogel. This was a broad youth organization whose members visited rural areas, collected national folklore, and invested the typical revolutionary enthusiasm of youth into a paradoxical interest in the archaic. They hated the modern world, the commercial spirit of cities and stock exchanges, and the cynical attitude of the corrupt cosmopolitan hell into which Europe had inexorably slipped by the beginning of the 20th century. The anarchism of the Wandervogel was coupled with love for their people, the customs of their ancestors, and Tradition. By the 1930’s, this tendency could not but become a component part of another political movement whose name alone draws feelings of terror among today’s well-intentioned citizens. The ideas and works of Herman Wirth, the great restorer and discoverer of the most ancient proto-language of humanity, became unfortunately associated with a political regime that became extremely unpopular after the mid 1940’s. In the end, the North and its light, its people, its Tradition, and its symbols henceforth became politically incorrect.

Herman Wirth formulated the foundations of his theory in 1928 in his work Der Aufgang der Menschheit (“The Ascent of Mankind”). He believed that all the mentions of the ancient continent lying at the North Pole are not myths or fantasies, but historical fact. To confirm this hypothesis, he referred to the writings of modern geologists, in particular Wegener, according to whom continents are not in constant rest, but are constantly sliding along the shelf and can therefore move around the globe over fairly large intervals of time. Once upon a time, in the North Pole there existed a continent where different atmospheric conditions reigned. Memory of this continent was preserved in ancient legends, myths, and tales, etc. It is from this continent that the spiritual culture of humanity united in a common formula began to spread.

The basis of this culture, this Hyperborean cult, was not simply the Year, but the Year beheld in polar conditions in which a month lasts six months and six months a night. According to Herman Wirth, descriptions of the Polar Year lay at the heart of all sacred texts and cults, symbols, and signs from the cave paintings and first markings on mammoth bones to the most refined and sophisticated theological and mystical constructs. This fact, which other modern historians of religion and anthropologists had not considered, can be explained very simply. If we merely apply calendric cult circles to the primordial conditions of the lands on which we encounter the remains of ancient cultures, such as Sumer, India, Eurasia, the Pyrenees, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, etc., then it is impossible to trace genuine correspondences since only part of the hieroglyphs remain unchanged since Hyperborean, polar times, while a portion were constructed under new, non-polar and non-arctic circumstances. The real key to interpreting ancient symbols is given only by accepting the hypothesis of a polar, nordic origin of civilization. But this hypothesis had never been seriously considered by anyone.

“A Day of the Gods equals one human year” – this assertion can be found in the Rig Veda, the Avesta, Ancient Greek myths, the Germanic sagas, Sumerian epics, and in archaic fragments of the Bible. The German Professor Herman Wirth took this literally and thus proceeded to make an incredible, unheard of discovery.

The first people were not Neanderthaloid idiots huddling in caves and poking each other with sticks as Darwinists, Marxists, and other profane thinkers assert. They were fully-fledged human beings with a refined, simple, yet ultimately spiritual worldview. They were the bearers of the Supreme Religion of Light, Purity, and the Spirit. They did not know of a detached Creator God acting on humanity and nature as if on something external. The whole world was permeated  with divine energies, and people themselves were seen as children of the Sun, descendants of Gods, as angelic, supreme beings professing a particular world view, a God-worldview, or Gottesweltanschauung. They did not need morality or laws insofar as moral and religious law was in them. These were tall, blond-haired and blue-eyed beings for whom ill thoughts, the spirit of greed, lust for power, and other subhuman defects were alien. Interestingly enough, Wirth was for some time close to the Dutch Communists, in whose plans he saw a return to the primordial, supreme, Nordic system. Of course, the Nordic-Aryan communism of Professor Wirth somewhat differed from the Marxian utopia. Wirth put forth the theory of a polar “proto-monotheism,” a “proto-God.” All elements of this most ancient ritual were in strict accordance with the harmony of cosmic Nature. There were no strict barriers between the human, natural, social, religious, and temporal.

Dualism was unknown. Thought and matter, spirit and substance, the particular and the whole, the natural and the social, and the divine and non-divine all existed in total harmony and determined a single formula, knowledge of which can be deciphered by not only linguistic and symbolic figures – products of artificial human origin – but the language of nature, the voices of animals, plants, rocks, and mountains. Here Wirth ultimately transcends the materialism generally accepted at the time in scholarly circles. He believed that the great sacred formula lying at the heart of polar civilization was not simply a description of the external world, but magical thought itself given flesh. “God creates thinking”, Wirth quotes the famous phrase of an Icelandic runic song. Knowledge is Being, both coinciding and each having no right to eminency. Therefore, to understand and to create are one and the same. Tradition is not an aggregate simply describing historical facts, but an absolutely living thing that is outside time and space. He who is able to reveal its secrets, changes not simply in the sense of broadening his knowledge, but is transformed within. Such an approach might be understood by believers, but not highbrowed and snobby professors with crooked mouths and short brains accustomed to believing poisonous doubt and selfish skepticism to be the scientific norm.

Germany’s scientific community ganged up on Herman Wirth. His ideas were regarded as extravagant and too radical. Essentially no objections were brought forth to seriously converse with this great erudite scholar, as all that was necessary was possessing qualities that opponents simply do not have. The main criticisms leveled concerned the “idealistic” approach and excessive trust which Wirth supposedly put in sacred sources. But today, after the research of Dumézil, Eliade, Lévi-Strauss, Kerényi, Jung, etc., scholars’ doubts back then seem to be completely unfounded. But the positivist approach still dominated then. Nevertheless, Wirth paid little attention to the attacks by his colleagues and continued to explore the Nordic Tradition and ascertain the secret formula, knowledge of which, in his opinion is, like Archimedes’ lever, capable of changing the world.

In studying the proto-language of humanity, Herman Wirth reached the astonishing conclusion that runic writing and especially the runic calendric circles discovered in Northern Europe are the remnants of Hyperborean proto-writing. They are not distorted Latin or a degenerate variant of the Mediterranean Phoenician alphabet. On the contrary, they are traces of the great symbolic circle out of which other historical alphabets developed much later, including the Phoenician one, which boasts no supremacy over other types of writing. But runes and their meaning can be understood only by accepting the hypothesis of the existence of the Polar Continent, Hyperborea, as their meaning, name, and distribution on calendric circles reveal their sense only in relation to the natural phenomenon that take place in the Arctic. Scholars have therefore been incapable of putting the pieces of this historical puzzle together and weave together the different details of archaeological and anthropological glimpses. Of course, primordial runes greatly differed from those known today. But they can be restored. In the thousands of pages he authored, Herman Wirth examined thousands of illustrations, ancient symbols, rock carvings, patterns on ancient household items, pottery, various tools, etc. All of this brings us closer to the much sought secret, the original runic circle.

The center of this circle is the winter solstice. The Great Yule is the main celebration of the Hyperborean Year. In it is the secret of the runes and the Primordial Tradition. In Hyperborea, Yule was celebrated on December 22nd. On December 22nd every year, the true New Year arrived, the moment of the birth of the runes, the moment of the Eternal Return, the second in which Hyperborea stood outside of time and space, pulled away from the cycles of the dark age, the confusion in the South, false theories, and miserable neglect of Supreme Magical Purity…Vara, Varahi, Ultima Thule…

Herman Wirth argued that the secrets of the runes were originally kept not by male priests, but priestesses. White Ladies. Weise Frau – Weisse Frau. The words “wisdom”, “woman,” and “white” are indeed closely related in many languages. Pallas is the Goddess of Wisdom, and the Sophia of the Gnostics is also an embodiment of knowledge and the feminine element in the Divine. The Russian word mudrost’ (wisdom) is similar to the German Made, Madchen or Maiden, Girl. Hence the ancient cult of the vestal virgins, the keepers of the sacred fire in Rome. Here we should also include the practice of the female priesthood in the early Christian church, and the Old Believers’ theory of “salvation through one’s wife.” Following Bachofen, Herman Wirth claimed that the Primordial Tradition was none other than matriarchal. It was the realm of the White Lady, the Pure Virgin. The primordial Nordic Pantheon was headed by a Goddess – not female in our patriarchal understanding of a capricious, stupid, cruel, and demanding being – but as the special, Most Pure Creation, a kind of Androgyne standing beyond dualism, its spiritual intuition penetrating the essence of things. The Polar Paradise, the Aryan race, the Primordial Tradition, the domination of the White Lady, the guardians of the runic cults and priestess of the dolmens and menhirs – for Wirth these are synonyms. Wirth thus insists on the primordial matriarchy of the polar Tradition.

In practice, this manifested itself in him professing a particular form of “Germanic Aryan Feminism.” The following picture of sacred archetypes in history is developed in Wirth’s work: Primordial matriarchy is deemed intrinsic to the northern peoples, the first bearers of culture. The other tribes of the earth received from them the foundations of cults, language, ritual, and myth. But as a result of mixing with the peoples of the South, the messengers of the North gradually lost Tradition’s proportions, forgot the meaning of the runes, and tweaked their religious-calendric rituals under new natural conditions. With this arose the new institute of priesthood in which the main role is henceforth played by men. The Germanic peoples, and especially the ancestors of the Dutch and the Frisians, were the last upholders of Aryan matriarchy, although other Indo-European peoples who adopted the practice of determining their identity through the mother’s line did belong to this category. These are the legendary Tuatha Dé Danann, the “tribes  of the goddess Danu” from the Irish sagas, the Frisians as the “children of Freya”, etc. Gradually mixed cultural forms thus yielded patriarchy, which came to be perfected among Middle Eastern ethnoi, especially the Semitic peoples.

Indo-European civilizations themselves came to be subjected to the influence of these new cults. The Ancient Hyperborean priestess institutions were abolished, demonized, or reduced to vestigial forms.

These ideas cost Herman Wirth very much. In the 1920’s, when he began presenting and widely promoting his Aryan-feminist views, he found himself an implacable enemy in the face of an immigrant from Russia’s Baltic lands, a certain Alfred Rosenberg who, on the contrary, believed patriarchy to be an indigenous Aryan institution. Unlike Wirth, Rosenberg was a pedant, a mediocrity, and aggressive plagiarist. But it was not even about his ideas…Herman Wirth was the archetype of a passionate scholar, a visionary, and seer. Rosenberg was a pathetic doctrinaire who regurgitated undigested fragments of knowledge and pretentiously arranged these scraps in his rash and meaningless book The Myth of the Twentieth Century. Unfortunately, it was this Baltic official embroiled in ressentiment who happened to determine the cultural police of the National Socialists who won in 1933. It is no wonder that afterwards the best intellectual and spiritual forces of the German Conservative Revolution – such people as Junger, Heidegger, Hielscher, and Wirth himself – were finally pushed into the opposition camp.

In 1932, German Wirth founded a society for the study of ancient cultures under the name Ancestors’ Heritage, or Ahnenerbe. In 1933, this organization came under the control of Heinrich Himmler, who was Rosenberg’s main opponent and rival among the Nazi leadership. For all this time, Herman Wirth continued his intense research into elucidating the secrets of the origin of mankind, language, ancient cultures, and primordial cults. The Ahnenerbe organized unique expeditions to the North Sea where, Wirth presumed, the traces of the ancient civilizations of the Hyperboreans were supposed to remain – such as in Dogger Bank or Dogger Shallows, the lands flooded relatively recently, altogether some 12,000 years ago. According to Wirth’s reconstruction, these are the lands of Ponseti or Forseti, Forsetiland, a remnant of the even more ancient continent of Mo-Uru. The expeditions acquired unique findings. In parallel, Wirth directed Schaeffer’s expedition to Tibet to check his hypothesis on the preservation of remains of Hyperborean culture in the Gobi desert and Western Tibet, in the mountainous land of Shan, the homeland of the Bon religion.

The Ahnenerbe juxtaposed enormous amounts of archaeological, paleo-epigraphical, as well as ethnological and linguistic materials at the organization’s disposal. Unique research unprecedented in scale and depth was carried out. Moreover, the majority of the Ahnenerbe’s leaders did not at all share the official regime’s totalitarianism and chauvinism. In the opinion of Wirth and his pupils, the descendants of the Hyperboreans, or pure Aryans, are currently among all of the earth’s peoples regardless of skin color, and Europeans, including Germans, were not vested with any kind of superiority in this regard. All of this inevitably led Wirth into the opposition. Wirth’s pupil and disciple, Wolfram Sievers and Friedrich Hielscher became the heads of an anti-Hitler conspiracy. They helped numerous persecuted people, including Jews, escape and relocate to safe places. Unsurprisingly, while head of the Ahnenerbe in 1938, Herman Wirth, not being a member of the National Socialist German Workers Party, was removed from his office and put under scrupulous surveillance by the Gestapo. His home was searched and many valuable artifacts were taken from his personal collection. His whole endeavor was thus ruined by conformists and idiots. Alas, this repeats itself constantly in history. One only has to demonstrate some kind of unique, lively, creative, fantastic, avant-garde initiative for thick, sullenly stupid, envious, and incompetent scum to grossly ruin the whole thing. Just as in science, thus it is in politics and art. The only true racism would be that directed against aggressive mediocrities and vain but swift empty heads, members of the ubiquitous “conspiracy of mediocrities”, the secret order of those with average capabilities united to constantly and invariably destroy the glorious plans of heroes and geniuses.

And so, Herman Wirth fell into disgrace and came under supervision by the secret police. If not for the intervention of his friend and colleague, a sophisticated mystic and lover of antiquity, Walter Darré, Wirth would not have avoided a concentration camp. But what do you do? Alas, this is the dark age, the triumph of lies and dishonesty. Injustice is the law of the epoch when the wheel of Dharma flies off of its axis…

Herman Wirth explained everything, such as why there exists the custom of putting up a Christmas tree. It turns out that this is a very ancient ritual, in which the tree symbolizes the World Tree, whose origins date back to the point of the winter solstice, the shortest day, and the crown at the top is the summer solstice, June 22nd. The months in a year are the branches and the ornaments are days. The spruce is the eternally green tree, in this respect similar to the Year or the biblical Burning Bush. The year moves, but remains the same just as pine needles do not change their color over the course of the year. The burning bush on Mount Sinai burns, but does not burn out. Wirth traces the Russian name for spruce, yel, back the ancient root ii or ei, referring to Light and the Divine as well as sacred artifacts symbolizing Light. The gifts placed under the Christmas tree are the New Year, the new world, fresh and full of new energy. There also exists the custom of stuffing boots or stockings with gifts. These are meant to not be matching. This symbolizes the fact that Time crosses the magical line of Yule with one foot, the winter solstice, while the other leg is left in the old year. The lights on the tree represent the sun at different stages of its yearly movement. For this very same reason, Ded Moroz’s (or Santa Claus’) red coat depicts a large, solar circle. Ded Moroz himself once represented a Light Deity, the Ancient-in-Days. Later his functions were taken over by Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker whose holiday is celebrated by the Church shortly before the winter solstice. Even the downward-slanted branches of the tree, according to Wirth, have symbolic meaning. This repeats the runic sign Tiu, the man with down-stretched hands. This symbolizes the half of the year over the course of which the polar sun descends downwards spirally to the dark regions of night. According to Wirth, Tiu, Tyr, and Tuisto are not simply the names of ancient deities in German paganism. After all, paganism was a perversion of the ancient proto-monotheism which came along with patriarchal usurpation. The Aryan ancestors never recognized the existence of separate, individualized deities. They worshipped the One World imbued with the presence of the One God whose signs of manifestation changed, unfolding in time and space, but while remaining essentially the same, the Self. Paganism arose out of the crisis of the primordial Nordic matriarchy. The White Lady, the Snow Queen, and our Snegurochka paradoxically turn out to be figures more ancient and more authentic than Ded Moroz. The True Mistress of the Great Yule, the winter solstice, is die Weisse Frau, die Weise Frau. She immaculately gives birth in this fantastic moment to the New Divine Eon, the New Year, the new God. It all fits together. It is no coincidence that Herman Wirth called the primordial Hyperborean tradition the somewhat strange combination of “polar Christianity”.

The New Year. The Great Yule. The rune tiu, i.e., the man with down-stretched hands, descends to the roots of the World Tree. This is the point of death. This is the center of hell. And in the Christian tradition, Satan himself is distinguished by all the features of the symbolic complex describing the signs of the winter solstice. Satan and devils have tails and tridents. Have you ever wondered why? Because the trident pointed downwards is the rune ig, the clear sign of the roots of the World Tree. And this rune is found at the point of the winter solstice. Such is also the meaning of the Greek Neptune’s trident.

The underworld in mythology is associated with being underwater, as in Lithuanian, in which jura means sea. The devils’ tails complement their bipedalism up to the fullness of the sacred sign. In fact, Satan limps for the same reason that a stocking with gifts is put by the Christmas tree for children. And the devils’ tridents, with which they actively stir their sinners in their cauldrons (which in themselves are also symbols of Yule) finally complete the picture. They are black and live underground. The fire of hell is an infernal version of the Christmas Lights, etc. Thanks to Herman Wirth’s formula, one can interpret all ancient and modern folklore and theology, the meaning of rites, and even the message of Nature. And this is embodied in the primordial Hyperborean language whose beginning was God. Gott ist Angang jeglicher Sprache. Martin Heidegger argued something similar when he said that Poetry lies at the basis of language. According to Wirth, language is not an instrument for formulating messages and expressions, but is in itself the higher Message and most important Expression. But modern people are deaf to this reality. They crudely and in a utilitarian manner use what furnishes first decoding, consciousness, understanding and only then – in fact, then you don’t want to tolerate and listen to all of this nonsense to which you’ve become so accustomed and which seems to us to be something familiar and obvious. But this is a propos; let us return again to the devils.

After all, it is known that on New Years night, the forces of hell rise up out of the ground to harass and frighten the two-legged. Everything that Gogol wrote is pure truth, and he even left out a lot that we would regret. And so, devils have horns. But why? Herman Wirth says that this is another rune, the rune ka, the man with raised hands and two upward-angled lines. These luminous horns are depicted on Moses’ brow. Two raised hands are also an Egyptian hieroglyph denoting a resurrecting soul. And in Egyptian it sounds – don’t be surprised – the same as the typical Icelandic rune ka. Thus, Death is tiu, and Resurrection is ka. The sacrificial descent into hell precedes the Great Yule, after which follows the victorious ascent. Before this magical point, God – the Light of the World – the Christmas Tree – Man – Priest – Priestess – the White Lady lower their hands. Tiu. Afterwards, their hands are lifted up. Ka or Kai. The birth of the new.

This is the meaning of initiation – transitioning from the old to the new, from the profane to the enlightened, from the mortal to the immortal, from the material to the spiritual. The Great Yule is the moment of initiation, dedication. Inside the heart, inside the small ventricle of the heart, in the cave, in a manger, in the place of the Brahma is born a new being, homo novus, Sonnenmensch.

Herman Wirth’s work is the metaphysics of the New Year, the reconstruction of the New Language – the unified Language which was spoken before the dispersion of Babel. This is the Nordic glossolalia, systematized and explained. All Kabbalistic designs, not to mention the pathetic attempts of modern occultism, fade before such a picture. Wirth operates with realities much more ancient than the emergence of the Ancient Hebrew or Phoenician writing systems which are in official Mediterranean scholarship considered to be the most culturally ancient. Herman Wirth easily interprets the Bible, every one of its tales, all of its linguistic difficulties, every symbol, and every passage. All the theology of Leviticus collapses before our very eyes. The Old Testament is a detailed narrative of the primordial Tradition and the Hyperborean formula, but not the only and unique one. Rather, it is one equal among other mythological constructs such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Greek, Iranian, Slavic, and Germanic mythologies, and the myths of the Indians, Malays, Africans, and peoples of Oceania. The ritual tattoos of the Maori peoples, the special initiatic language of their wisemen, and the West African alphabet of the Bamun script all suggest a divine reality that is just as clear (and perhaps even clearer) as the amazing and poetic passages of the Torah. In fact, Herman Wirth dedicated his enormous book of more than 1000 pages, Palestinabuch, to this subject. But, alas, no one, no matter how much they desire, can read it. In 1969, it was stolen from the old professor’s home by unknown assailants. Someone really did not want this veritable interpretation of the Old Testament to exist, even in manuscript form.

In 1945, Herman Wirth, after seven years of Gestapo surveillance, was interned in a concentration camp. What was left of his collection by the Gestapo beasts was destroyed by the “civilized” Americans. For two years, Herman Wirth – a sworn enemy of narrow German chauvinism and a member of the anti-Hitler underground – went through tortuous and humiliating de-Nazification. But the victors were not interested in nuances. They were even less concerned about the spiritual proto-language of humanity, the Northern ancestral home, the pre-Babel language, and the secrets of the runes. One side of the winners was not interested in anything more than money and comfort, while the other half was completely absorbed in its own totalitarianism and Engels’ illusory and rather simpleminded constructs. The very fact that Herman Wirth was a “Nordicist” and held to the theory of “cultural circles” (Kulturkreise), which was considered an indicator of “misanthropy”, proved to be sufficient grounds to expunge his name from official scholarship along with Klages, Baeumler, Kossina, Teudt, Horbiger, and others. Wirth was still lucky, however, as his disciple and successor Wolfram Sievers – who was also a leading member of the underground involved in an assassination attempt on Hitler and preparing an assassination attempt on Himmler – was altogether executed as a result of the Nuremberg Trials. But in the era of the Winter Solstice, in the midst of the Polar Night, such an outcome is natural.

Heidegger said: “Modern people are so far removed from the light of Being that they are unaware that they live in darkness. In complete absence of Light, the darkness itself ceases to be darkness for sake of nothing for comparison.” Wirth argued the same point, only he identified Light and Being with understanding the Divine Year, the source of language, thought, symbols, and spiritual teachings. Herman Wirth wrote:

The sacred meaning of the Year is completely unknown to modern, city-dwelling man. For him the year is only an abstract, temporal understanding in no way different from all other intervals of time along which modern “socio-economic” life operates. The year is known to him only on the calendar, in business records, and wardrobe changes. Modern urban man is no longer in step with the rhythm of creation. His encounter with the God Year in nature occurs only sporadically, during vacation or natural disasters. In order to return to the experience of the Year, modern man must “recover” from his civilized existence that is separated from the experience of being. As the pace of work and life is becoming faster, even the gap with the more human Year, with the cycle of man’s Destiny-Life, is increasing. In need of “recovering” are none other than those “social” people who, freed from all the natural laws of the God Year, turn night into day, and day into night, and make “optimal use of time” while they are in fact killing time. The God Year in nature refreshed men, but they can no longer find an inner path to it. If they understood its very meaning, they would have never set off in mad pursuit of Mammon, making money into a goal of life; they would have not started believing that senseless industrialization and the enlargement of cities is inevitable; and they would not be mired in such deep materialism that seals the poverty, weakness, and nothingness of their soul, the soul of ‘modern humanity.” The main reason for all ills is modern men’s fall from the eternal rhythm of the God Year. They themselves do not live, but are lived by something extraneous, something alien. They rot in their bodies and souls and grow old even in youth.

Herman Wirth lived to a very old age and died in 1981. His whole life was struggle, selfless activism, and preparing Spiritual Revolution. Not long before his death, he said in an interview to a small regional German journal, Humus: “Mein Leben ist immer geistige Revolutions-Arbeit gewesen” (“My life has always been working towards Spiritual Revolution”). Like all heroes in dark times, on the external level he was met with defeat, but on the spiritual level with Triumph and Victory. The blacker the night, the closer are the rays of the Golden Dawn, Aurora Consurgens. Among us lived a man who revealed great secrets, the secret cyphers of the Past, a man who reconstructed in its entirety the language of the great Primordial Tradition, but who remains virtually unknown, unnoticed, misunderstood, and unread. Despite the fact that Julius Evola called Herman Wirth one of his three teachers (along with Guénon and Guido de Giorgio), and despite the fact that Guénon himself dedicated a most important review of the cycles and symbolism of human races to Wirth, Traditionalists to this day altogether ignore this great author. This is so strange that it even arouses suspicion. Are even the chosen ones in the shadows and shroud of cosmic midnight? Does their carelessness and desire to at any price hold on to imaginary orthodoxy not expose their own parody and fraud? 

But Herman Wirth’s work has not been lost. The Light of the North beats in our hearts. The Snow Queen has taken our souls and enchanted them with the spells of polar dreams. There, in the Arctic night, in Arctogaia, we, under the initiatic name of Kai – the resurrected, risen, and belonging to the spring half of the Divine Year – piece together out of icicles the magic word, EWIGKEIT, the favorite word of the German professor, Herman Wirth.

© Jafe Arnold – All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without expressed permission.