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

Πρωτεύουσες καρτέλες

[The foreword to Signs of the Great North: The Hyperborean Theory (Moscow, Veche: 2008)]

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. Rene Guenon and Julius Evola spoke of the Primordial Tradition and the polar paradise, and there 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”, 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 national 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 Rene Guenon, 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 (Thulle, Sarahi) 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, “Aufgangder 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 at 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 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 Sumeria, 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 made 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 Dumezil, Eliade, Levi-Strauss, Kerenyi, 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 organized 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 Guenon and Guido da Giorgio), and despite the fact that Guenon himself dedicated his 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.

Translator: Jafe Arnold