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
5 Years and 10 Wendes. The magazine of the Flemish Asatru group Werkgroep Hagal comes to almost 50 pages this time and contains 12 “Odalistic” articles. The first text after the introduction is an experimental investigation of the small village of Wijnendale (municipality of Torhout) where the author suggests the castle was built on a heathen sanctuary. He admits that his theories are sometimes daring, but he hopes to get a discussion and further investigations in motion. A very short text of Aat van Gilst is about the number 12. Another daring essay is about the Shamanistic techniques used by Julius Civilis (or Civilus), the famous leader of the Batavian uprise against the Romans around the year 70. There is also a text about Männerbünde in the Northern Netherlands, thoughts on the original meanings of folk-dances, the all-seeing eye that spotted an Odal in a Belgian city’s building front wall, a thought-provoking short text about a new addition to UNESCO’s list of immaterial heritage that is not even a hundred years old and has but little to do with heritage. To close off a stand is taken against the moralistic tide of our day. There are a few shorter contributions such as a Norwegian song, information about the Germanic names of Gerik and Gerika and a bookreview in which the latest attempt of Varg Vikerness is slain to the ground. As always slightly provocative, both to the outside world as to similar-minded, Hagal makes a nice read (in Dutch) for people interested in modern Germanic heathenry and ecology alike. Click on the cover to go to the website of Werkgroep Hagal to find information how to get your copy.
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
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.
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.
The fourth issue of the Wende magazine has about 60 pages and 13 articles, poems, etc. After an introduction follows a nice article about the form that souls appear in in Northern mythology and folklore. Next up in an interview with the Flemish Perchten/Krampus group “Hnikar” (Werkgroep Hagal that publishes “Wende” also has a similar group by now). The next article is not very pagan, it uses the book/film “Fight Club” to speak about some ideas of Julius Evola, but also other thinkers are mentioned. A tradition of “Wende” is an “etnobotanical” article, this time about the Pine Tree, so you will learn about the tree, but also its uses, place in myths and stories and so on. Two pages of Hagal founder Pyck speak about rebellious youth and a varriety of texts follow about ancient habbits, history, mythology, etc. For those who can read Dutch, a cheap but nice read.
For more information get in contact with Werkgroep Hagal.
‘The other Flemish Asatru group’ publishes its third magazine, a year after the first. An A5 magazine of modest thickness with an article about bird-like men in ancient drawing and carvings, an interview with “radical ecologist” (or “radical green right”) Guy de Maertelaere, the juniper tree, Sutton Hoo and the game of Hnefatafl. A nice read for a nice price, but of course in Dutch. Get in contact with Werkgroep Hagal for more information.
There was a time that some people were thinking about starting a West-Flemish branch of Werkgroep Traditie. Eventually the larger part of that group went their own path and formed Werkgroep Hagal. Hagal has been around for some years and decided to start a publication that is made available twice a year. Here we have the second issue. The magazine is again an A5 photocopied and stapled publication, but in comparison to the 36 pages of the first issue, considerably thicker: 64 pages. This is mostly due to the opening article De Ingveonen in (West-)Vlaanderen by H. Krekelbergh and A. Demoor that covers about two-thirds of the magazine. The article is about the Ingveonic language, but to come to their point, the writers give a historical, archeological and literary overview of this Germanic people to conclude with linguistics. These two writers also make the start of another difference with the first issue of Wende: while this first issue was almost entirely filled with writings of Wolf Pyck, in the second issue there is a variety of writers. Let us see what more you get for the few euros that this publication costs.
P. van Coillie has interviewed Jozef Breakmans who spent 15 years of his life trying to purify the Icelandic language. As founder of “Háfrónska” (‘high Icelandic’) he is left disillusionated and dropped his life’s work. Next up is Wolf Pyck with an article in which he seems to try to put ‘his’ group under the flag of “Odalism”. I don’t remember having heard of that term before, but it of course comes from the “Odal” rune that refers to heritage. “Odalism” is a nice term for our way of thinking, since it means as much as being proud of ones own heritage, so the term can be used by similar groups who have their focus on their own territorial history and religion. Searching a bit through the internet -though- the term seems to appear mostly in connection with rather radical or (almost) political groups with some kind of ‘Blut und Boden’ philosophy. The term is given a ‘new’ interpretation which has nothing but my consent and however Hagal has a bit more of a ‘political’ edge than Traditie, I can find myself in their ideas. If it is smart to incorporate a term that already seems spoiled, is another thing though (especially with that advertisement below itâ€¦).
In any case, after a song, follows an article about the birch tree. K. Hoornaert writes about the ‘history’ of the tree, the usuage of the leaves, sap, bark, wood, etc. A wonderfull “etnobotanical” twist that I hadn’t seen in similar publications. A nice idea!
J.O. Plasmans writes about the winter solstice, N. Krekelbergh about ancestors, burial mounds and “alven” (and that in my region!), S. Vanhaverbeke reviews the book The lost civilisation of Homo Supersapiens of Jos Rogiers, who suggests that Darwin’s evolution is not linear, but elliptical, so in earlier times there was a superior species. E. v. Dombrowski closes the publication with a poem called Wij moeten bereid zijn (‘We have to be willing’) and so we come to the end of Wende issue 2.
If you are interested in getting a copy of this magazine in Dutch, go to the website of Werkgroep Hagal and click on “vormingsblad Wende” on the top of the right sidebar for more information.