Tyr 4 (journal) (2014)
In 2002 Tyr was announced to be an annual journal. Obviously the editors have chosen quality over quantity, because the journals have been made available in 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2014. (If this continues, we do not have to expect Tyr 5 before 2022!). Issue 4 was worth the wait.
We already got used to 400+ pages with a variety of essays, usually of quite some length. Also the same as before are a range of book reviews towards the end (some quite lenghty too) and a handfull of music reviews. The approach seems to be more contemporary pagan than “radical traditionalist” this time. That is to say, after the too long “What is religion?” of Alain de Benoist, things get ‘more pagan’. Collin Cleary, for example, wonders “What is Odinism?” and this leads to quite a different story than (probably) of many people calling themselves “Odinists”. Cleary goes more in the left hand path direction of Edred Flowers.
Next up is a very nice article about a subject I might have never read about “Traditional time-telling in old England, and modern” from the hand of Nigel Pennick. The first half of the article is the more interesting to me and lives up to the title better than the last part about heathen calendars.
Then follow two articles of the French author Claude Lecouteux who writes about “Garden dwarves and house spirits” and about “…the furious army”. The texts are alright, but I could suggest better non-English texts should the editors want to.
Again an original subject is Steve Harris’ “On barbaric suffering”. A subject that might sound Christian in basis, but Harris shows that the pre-Christians had ideas about this subject too.
A shorter text is “Germanic art in the first millenium”. Stephen Pollington shows his thoughs on Germanic and Celtic weaving pattern and other symbols that might not immediately appear to be such in ancient art.
Michael Moynihan teaches us a thing or two about the artist Rockwell Kent who had some Germanic interests. Moynihan did not get me overly enthousiastic about Kent, but interests are there to differ, right?
Christian Rätsch investigated “The mead of inspiration”. This text is mostly interesting because it breaks with hip contemporary heathen ideas about mead and what is really was and what it was used for. Rather than just a eerily sweet drink made from fermented honey, Rätsch argues that the real mead was more something between beer and what we call mead today.
Then we go psychedelic with Carl Abrahamsson and Joshua Buckly who took a look at Ralph Metzner and his scientific experimentations with psychedelics.
After this we get two lengthy interviews. The first is with Sequentia foreman Benjamin Bagby who tells us about scholarly approaches to ancient music and his own. The other interviews is with Sean Ragon of Cult of Youth (who has a shop in NYC, so next time I am there…!)
A few music reviews follow, more metal this time, but many a page is dedicated to the musical outlets of the recently deceased Jonas Trinkunas (of the Lithuanian heathen movement Romuva) to whom this volume is dedicated.
Joscelyn Godwin is again present in this volume. He made a lengthy review of Evola’s Path of Cinnabar by comparing it to the lives of René Guénon and Carl Gustav Jung. Godwin makes some interesting observations. In the second part of the review Godwin shows that he does not necessarily follow the appraisal of Evola when he reviews a new Italian biography that shows some things about the man that avid followers probably would have rather seen under the carpet.
Other reviewed books are about John Mitchell, Western esotericism (actually by Godwin, Gnosticism, Germanic folklore in America and the like.
As always Tyr makes a good read on a variety of subjects and I can recommend this title to contemporary heathens and “radical traditionalists” alike.