About Germans

(from "Revolt Against the Modern World")




[…] As far as the Germans were concerned, since the times of Tacitus they appeared to be very similar to the Achaean, paleo-Iranian, paleo-Roman and Northern-Aryan stocks that had been preserved, in many aspects (including the racial one), in a state of "prehistoric" purity. The Germanic populations just like the Goths, the Longobards, the Burgundians, and the Franks were looked down upon as barbarians by that decadent "civilization" that had been reduced to a juridical administrative structure and that had degenerated into "Aphrodistic" forms of hedonistic urban refinement, intellectualism, aestheticism, and cosmopolitan dissolution. And yet in the coarse and unsophisticated forms of their customs one could find the expression of an existence characterized by the principles of honor, faithfulness, and pride. It was precisely this "barbaric" element that represented a vital force, the lack of which had been one of the main causes of Roman and Byzantine decadence.


The fact that the ancient Germans were "young races" has prevented many scholars from seeing the full picture of earlier antiquity; these races were young only because of the youth typical of that, which still maintains contact with the origins. These races descended from the last offshoots to leave the Arctic seat and that therefore had not suffered the miscegenation and the alterations experienced by similar populations that had abandoned the Arctic seat much earlier, as is the case with the paleo-Indo-European stocks that had settled in the prehistoric Mediterranean.


The Nordic-Germanic people, besides their ethos, carried in their myths the traces of a tradition that derived immediately from the primordial tradition. The fact that during the period in which they appeared as decisive forces on the stage of European history these stocks lost the memory of their origins, and that the primordial tradition was present in those stocks only in the form of fragmentary, often altered, and unrefined residues, did not prevent them from carrying as a deep, inner legacy the possibilities and the acquired weltanschauung from which "heroic" cycles derive.


The myth of the Edda spoke about both the impending doom and the heroic will opposed to it. In the older parts of that myth there remained the memory of a deep freeze that arrested the twelve "streams" originating from the primordial and luminous center of Muspelheim, located at the "far end of the earth"; this center corresponds to the Ariyana Vaego (the Iranian equivalent of the Hyperborean seat), to the radiant Northern Island of the Hindus, and to the other figurations of the seat of the Golden Age. Moreover, the Edda mention a "Green Land" floating on the abyss and surrounded by the ocean; according to some traditions, this was the original location of the "Fall" and of dark and tragic times, since it was here that the warm current of the Muspelheim (in this order of traditional myths, the waters represent the force that gives life to people and to races) met the frigid current of Huergehmir. Just as in the Zend-Avesta the freezing and dark winter that depopulated Ariyana Vaego was conceived as the work of an evil god opposed to the luminous creation, likewise this Eddic myth may allude to the alteration that precipitated the new cycle; this is true especially if we consider that the myth mentions a generation of giants and elemental telluric beings, creatures that were defrosted by the warm current, and against whom the race of the Aesir is going to fight.


In the Edda, the theme of ragna-rok or ragna-rokkr (the "destiny" or the "twilight of the gods") is the equivalent of the traditional teaching concerning the four-stage involutive process; it threatens the struggling world, which is already dominated by dualistic thinking. From an esoteric point of view this "twilight" affects the gods only metaphorically; it also signifies the "dimming" of the gods in human consciousness because mankind loses the gods, that is, the possibility of establishing a contact with them. Such a destiny may be avoided, however, by preserving the purity of the deposit of that primordial and symbolic element -gold- with which the "palace of the heroes," the hall of Odin's twelve thrones, was built in the mythical Asgard. This gold, which could act as a source of good health so long as it was not touched by an elemental or by a human being, eventually fell into the hands of Albericus, the king of the subterranean beings that in the later editing of the myth are called the Nibelungs. This clearly shows the echo of what in other traditions was the advent of the Bronze Age, the cycle of the Titanic-Promethean rebellion, which was probably connected with the magical involution in the inferior sense of previous cults.


Over and against this stands the world of the Aesir, the Nordic-Germanic deities who embody the Uranian principle in its warrior aspect. The god Donnar-Thor was the slayer of Thym and Hymir, the "strongest of all," the "irresistible," the "Lord who rescues from terror," whose fearful weapon, the double hammer Mjolmir, was both a variation of the symbolic, Hyperborean battle-axe and a sign of the thunderbolt force proper to the Uranian gods of the Aryan cycle. The god Woden-Odin was he who granted victory and who had wisdom; he was the master of very powerful formulae that were not to be revealed to any woman, not even to the king's daughter. He was the eagle; he was the host and the father (1) of the dead heroes who were selected by the Valkyries on the battlefields; it was he who bestowed on the noble ones that "spirit that lives on and which does not die when the body is dissolved into the earth"; and he was the deity to whom the royal stocks attributed their origin. The god Tyr-Tiuz was another god of battles, and the god of the day, of the radiant solar sky, who was represented by the rune Y, which recalls the very ancient and Northern-Atlantic sign of the cosmic man with his hands raised.


(1) According to the original Nordic-Germanic view, the only people to enjoy divine immortality were, besides the heroes chosen by the Valkyries, the nobles, by virtue of their nonhuman origin; apparently, only heroes and the nobles were cremated. In the Nordic tradition only this ritual, prescribed by Odin, opened the doors of Valhalla while those who were buried (a Southern ritual) were believed to become slaves of the earth.


One of the motifs of the "heroic" cycles appears in the saga concerning the stock of the Wolsungen, which was generated from the union of a god with a woman. Sigmund, who will one day extract the sword inserted in the divine tree, came from this stock. In this saga the hero Sigurd or Siegfried, after taking possession of the gold that had fallen into the hands of the Nibelungs, kills the dragon Fafnir, which is another form of the serpent Nidhoog. This serpent, in the action of corroding the roots of the divine tree Yggdrasil (its collapse will mark the twilight of the race of the gods), personifies the dark power of decadence. Although Sigurd in the end is killed by treachery and the gold is returned to the waters, he nevertheless remains the heroic type endowed with the tarnkappe (the symbolic power that can transfer a person from the bodily dimension to the invisible), and predestined to possess the divine woman either in the form of a vanquished Amazonian queen (Brynhild, as the queen of the Northern Island) or in the form of a Valkyrie, a warrior virgin who went from an earthly to a divine seat.


The oldest Nordic stocks regarded Gardarike, a land located in the Far North, as their original homeland. This seat, even when it was identified with a Scandinavian region, was associated with the echo of the "polar" function of Mitgard, of the primordial "center"; this was a transposition of memories from the physical to the metaphysical dimension by virtue of which Gardarike was also identified with Asgard. Asgard allegedly was the dwelling place of nonhuman ancestors of the noble Nordic families; in Asgard, Scandinavian sacred kings such as Gilfir, who had gone there to proclaim their power, allegedly received the traditional teaching of the Edda. Asgard was also a sacred land, the land of the Nordic "Olympian" gods and of the Aesir, access to which was precluded to the race of the giants.


These motifs were found in the traditional legacy of Nordic-Germanic populations. As a view of the world, the insight into the outcome of the decline (ragna-rokkr) was associated with ideals and with figurations of gods who were typical of "heroic" cycles. As I have said, in more recent times this was a subconscious legacy; the supernatural element became obscured by secondary and spurious elements of the myth and the saga, as did the universal element contained in the idea of Asgard-Mitgard, the "center of the world." […]





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