I missed a couple of issues. Well, five actually. With the “Wende”s coming out twice a year, that makes a 2,5-year gap. Fortunately I ran into a couple of members last weekend who brought the latest issue and this latest issue certainly makes a good read.
The highlight of issue 15, to me, is the 23 paged (A4 format!) investigation of the Freyr/Gerd myth by Luc Cielen. Cielen compares some well-known Germanic stories to reconstruct and interpret the myth in which Freyr falls in love with Gerd, but has his servant sent out to win her for him. The story from the Skírnismá is laid aside the Skáldskaparmál, the Sturlaugs saga starfsanna, Völsungasaga, Fjölsvinnsmál, parts of the Gesta Danorum and elements of other myths and stories. It makes an interesting read. Even though I find the conclusion not too convincing, the way to it gives a very nice piece of comparative myth.
Another relatively large text is a report of a visit of three Hagal members to the European Congress of Ethnic Religions (ECER) in Vilnius, Lithuania, last spring.
There is an interview with Dutch investigators of language and shorter texts, all in all spanning 55 pages.
Get in contact with Hagal by clicking on the cover. The magazine is in Dutch of course.
2014 Werkgroep Hagal, issn 2034-3361
I think I have more issues than the three that are new reviewed, but it has always been hard to keep up with “Rûna”. I do not know how to learn of new issues and so far ordering went through email and with a lot of patience. A while ago I ran into Arktos Media that sells “Rûna” and who have a descent webshop. I think #24 is the last issue, so I got my one of them. In my head “Rûna” is a nice Asatru magazine with links to the Rune-Gild, an organisation that has an ‘alternative’ approach to the Northern path. Reading back my two reviews it seems that I am not always totally happy with “Rûna”. Actually, this also goes for #24… “Exploring Northern European myth, mystery and magic” the cover always says. There is a lot of stress on the “magic” part this time. After a nice, but not groundbreaking essay about “Luck, Fate and Heroes” we have a very uninteresting article of Thomas Karlsson about “Dark Initiatory Witchcraft”. Thomas also returns interviewed about his Dragon Rouge order with its LHP (“left hand path”) magical approach and there is also an article about “Dragon Runes” which also smells of Dragon Rouge. Not that I have anything against that order and certainly not against Thomas who did some excellent work investigating Johannes Bureus, but just to stress the stress on the “magic” part. Further there is yet another interview with Stephen Flowers (of the Rune-Gild), an article about Northern gematria of Wulfila, Robert Taylor tells his history as a heathen and the highlight is kept for the end, Annabel Lee investigates medicine in the grail legends and compares the references to Hildegard von Bingen and some other medieval sources. Actually I only like Annabel’s text… Perhaps in another issue the focus will lay more on the Northern way again. We will see.
Click on the cover to go to Arktos Media where you can get a copy as long as they have them.
Just after the autumn solstice, the midsummer edition of “Wende” falls into my mailbox. Again on A4 format with a colour cover and counting 56 pages. As always there is a variety of articles available. After a forword, there is a short article of Aat van Gilst about St. Peter and St. Oswald as christianised Wodan. “The Loki stone” is a nice article about a stone clearly depicting the bound Loki. The stone can be seen in Kirkby Stephen, UK. Where last issue had an article about Ymir, Jan de Cooman this time investigates the God(s) Hymir and Gymir and related mythological characters and themes. As always there is something about contemporary heathenry. “Vegetarianism within a heathen worldview” in which Dennie Grondelaers argues that a life without (or with less) meat is a realistic and logical choice for a contemporary heathen. Also he wants the discussion to deepen somewhat. In the series of symbolism, frontman Wolf Pyck investigates “piping swines”. In churches, worldly building and books (as miniatures) you can find depictions of swines playing a bagpipe. Pyck raises some suggestions, but does not really come to a conclusion. They surely have to have a heathen background, since if the origin would be Jewish, the impure swine would never have found its way into a church. Hagal introduces two foreign heathen groups, the Greek group Thyrsos with an interview and the South-African Asatru group Heimdal with a short article in South-African. As I have said several times, Werkgroep Hagal has an obvious polital edge, yet in the article about regional identity Nick Krekelbergh writes about the subject from a slightly different angle. Also he is very clear about the fact that it is hard to form an identity from a history in which borders changes and peoples moved around. More symbolism of mr. Pyck is about the six-spoken wheel that Hagal uses as logo. He explains how the spokes refer to the course of the sun and why the symbol is typical for the Low Countries. Alexander Demoor continues his previous article about the Wild Hunter somewhat and further there are the usual poems, ‘Odalistic pickings’, new-items of interest to the “Odalist” and two bookreviews. As always a nice read. Get in contact with Werkgroep Hagal to get your copy by clicking on the cover.
2011 Werkgroep Hagal, issn 20343361
Well over three years ago I heard about the first “The Initiate”. However my review is quite critical, my memories about the journal are positive. I did not hear about a second issue and especially when the website became defunct and later also the publisher Integral Tradition, I no longer expected a new issue. I do not know what I was looking for a few months back, but I ran into Arktos where I noticed the second “The Initiate” on their list. The second volume has Evola on the cover (at least, I think it is Evola) and Arktos sells Varg Vikernes, Alain de Benoist, a range of radical political titles and the covers often raise an eyebrow. Where issue 1 already had quite some politics in it, my first thought about volume 2 was it might be some sort of “Radical Tradition“. Ordering the journal (together with Rûna! I finally found an easy way to get that journal) had some difficulties, but paging through it when I finally got it, dropped most of my prejudices. “The Initiate” appears to be a real and serious Traditionalistic journal. No xenophobic focus on Germanic traditions, but Hindus and Sufis and other Traditionalists that take heed of the real Tradition and not just the anti-modernistic and new-right-political tendensies of modern “traditionalism”. The opening article with its “revolt against the arm-chair Traditionalist” is one to my heart. The (too) lengthy Sufi article comparing Frithjof Schuon and Javad Nurbakhsh is interesting and thought-provoking. I am less interested in the articles about Wicca, Evola’s tiny article about witchcraft and the article about “music and magic”, but Troy Southgate’s lengthy reply to an article that featured him in the first issue and another critical letter make this second volume nicely complete. Of course I should not forget to mention music reviews (no neofolk or related for a change) and the closing “War Protocols” which manages to be both thought-provoking and very annoying. “The Initiate” #2 is a good initiative counterbalance against the growing number of pseudo-Traditionalism (however interesting in itself), that seems to be on a continuous rise. Many of the images used would benefit with better printing though.
2010 Arktos Media, isbn 9781907166051
The “half-yearly Odalistic periodical” continues to grow, literally this time, because where “Wende” used to be an A5 booklet, the size is now A4, while there are still 56 pages. Also the layout changed a little which is already clear from the cover. After the opening, the first article is for Aat van Gilst of whom two books are reviewed in the last part of the magazine. Van Gilst’s article is about the second so-called “Merseburg incantation” (or “spell”) in which he compares the text to similar texts in other sources. The concerning spell is the famous spell to heal a broken horses foot and Van Gilst investigates the characters that are mentioned and quotes Dutch and German folklore, Anglo-Saxon poety and even Vedas to show that such healing spells where common in Indo-European religions. Next up with an interview with the French Asatru group “Les Fils d’Odin” (“sons of Odin”) which works nationwide, even into the warm south of the country. The next article is “thoughs on Ymir and the kosmogonic myth”. This article is very speculative and quite unconvincing, but of course, when nobody dares to leave the known paths, new insights will never come. The other cross-references our own texts, does etymological investigations (suggestions) and tends to find moon-symbolism all over the myth. Another long article is about “ecology and Odalism” which is an in depth text about a different way of looking at ecology than the traditional antropocentric or commercial (exploiting) views on nature. The article is well-written and gives some nice food for thought. In the previous issue the first part of a trilogy about the Wild Hunt was started, this time the author looks at Eastern-Dutch folklore and concludes that the Wild Hunt is not necessarily lead by Odin, but can also be lead by Freyr. “People Of The Night” is the title of an article about nightly creatures such as (night)mares, ‘white vixens’, alves, dwares, goblins, etc. There are a few shorter texts, book reviews and poetry to make another varried read. What I missed was the ‘ethno-botanical corner’, but I am sure a new article will be ready for the next issue, right? Click on the cover to go to the website of Werkgroep Hagal to get your copy of this magazine in the Dutch language.
With some delay the midsummer edition of “Wende” is available. Articles this time include a practical guide for modern heathens in a concrete surrounding; an article about animal and human sacrifice; an interview with Aat van Gilst; a text about dualism; some misconceptions about modern heathenry; the South-African game of Jukskei and shorter writings. As always a nice “Odalistic” read. Click on the cover to go the the Hagal website. The magazine is in Flemish of course.
The sixth volume of the Flemish “Odalist” group Werkgroep Hagal (click on cover) periodical contains about 80 pages and 17 articles (including poems and songs) with a variety of subjects. From the always interesting “etnobotanical corner” to an article about blood and “Alvermannen” to the tower as bridge between our world and the world above, an article against the use of drugs and a critical article about living in a city. Werkgroep Hagal goes from practical heathenry to critique on modern living. This small and cheap publication is always a nice read for those who read Dutch, so I suggest you contact Hagal if you can.
The Flemish Asatrú group Werkgroep Traditie just spread its 3rd electronic newsletter that comes in place of the quarterly publication. It is written in Dutch, contains a few lengthy articles and can be read here.
With some delay Wende 5 (the midsummer edition) of the Flemish “Odalist” “Werkgroep Hagal” is available. About 60 pages in an A5 booklet with a nice variety of subjects. An introduction to “Odalism”, early 19th century decoration on a roof tile that the author found on his roof, a text by Jan de Vries, European martial arts, an interview with formerTraditie chairman Stefaan and much more. Wende always makes a nice read (but where is the “ethnobotanic corner”?) with a different angle of approach than my own. Click on the cover to go to the website of Werkgroep Hagal for more information.
I expected a short word of our chairman, since this is the last issue of this publication, but beside a short note in the inside of the cover, there is nothing. For several reasons (stated in earlier annoucements), the magazine will cease to be, but nothing is mentioned. Perhaps the opening article is telling. The articles of Herman Vanhove are usually humerous, this one is about someone who passed on. Further there are a couple of articles by Benny Vangelder about the World Tree/Christmastree, man made from wood and the ‘nephew’ peoples of the Oeral region. Other articles are about another “sibbe” involved in our movement, the original version of the “Little Red Riding Hood” tale, Indo-European mythology (by the Belgian scholar Koenraad Elst) and a story about mistle toes and witches wisdom.
Also this magazine is written in Dutch, get in contact with Werkgroep Traditie if you are interested.