24 July 2011

Irminenschaft Not Related to Wotanism

Here at the Irminen-Gesellschaft we have recently seen a small number of communications suggesting one sort of comparison or another to the Wotansvolk movement. While the differences between Irminenschaft and Wotanism seem obvious to us, apparently these differences are not as obvious to certain parties. So let's consider some of the major ways the two traditions differ...

  • Irminen use the name “Wodan” because it is an attested OHG name and for no other reason. Wotanism was originally seen as a strain within Odinism but coined the new name to differentiate itself from Odinists that lack Wotanism's racialist bent. Wotanism uses the MHG form of “Wotan” as a modern English amalgam meaning “Will Of The Aryan Nation”.
  • Wotanism espouses a viking-inspired warrior creed (the “creed of iron”); Irminenschaft lacks any sort of warrior aspect.
  • Wotanists believe that in the afterlife a Heathen chooses to either (A) go to Asgard to be merged with the “cosmic mind” or (B) go to Valhalla to later be reincarnated to struggle in the world of men. Non-Heathens are believed to go the Hel where their souls “dissolve into an energy chaos without form or thought”. Irminen believe that after death our soul-parts are separated so that parts of us may be reincarnated within the family line while others attend one of the godly abodes (to be determined at the divine thingstead).
  • The slogan of Wotansvolk, known as the “14 Words” is We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children - a highly charged political battle cry. The slogan of the Irminen-Gesellschaft is triuwa enti êra (OHG “fidelity and honour”) representing more a code of conduct. While the IG encourages our membership to be politically active the organization takes no particular stances regarding any specific issues or candidates.
  • Wotanism perceives itself as a religion for white people. Irminenschaft perceives itself as a religion for German-descended people.
  • Wotanists do not see themselves as being patriotic because of their belief in various conspiracy theories as regards the governments of nations. Irminen see ourselves as being extremely patriotic, thanking our ancestors for spreading our families to the lands in which we now reside.
  • The rites of Wotansim are based on Icelandic sources; the rites of Irminenschaft are based on German sources.
  • Wotanists see the gods as archetypes. Irminen see the gods as living divinities.

~~Steve Anthonijsz

    18 July 2011

    Secrets of the Runes

    Guido von List's Secrets of the Runes is available in English translation online at http://www.scribd.com/doc/17602889/Secret-of-the-Runes

    13 July 2011

    Zeitgeist #17 is in the mail!

    In this issue: New English Prose Translation of the Nibelungenlied by Karen Carlson; Why are Weekdays Named After Heathen Gods? By Radböd Artisson; plus Martial Arts and Combat Sports and The Earth Mother by yours truly!

    ~~Steve Anthonijsz IG

    11 July 2011

    Blood quantum influences Native American identity

    While this is not a specifically Irminic entry I thought the topic might prove of interest to our own Volk. Amerindians are now looking at ways to redefine who they include in their own Volk which is very reminiscent of what Germanen were doing in the early 1900s through the völkisch and pan-German movements. Since it is sometimes enlightening to view how other peoples cope with their issues...

    ~~Steve Anthonijsz IG

    10 July 2011

    Théodsmen & Ásatrúar Distinctly Recognized by NE Penitentiary

    See full article, Prison Inmates Settle with State Over Religion at State Pen, in the JournalStar (online edition) at: 


    04 July 2011

    Independence Day

    As German-Americans, we Irminen tend to talk a lot about our German-ness. That “thing” that we have inherited through our bloodlines and our family traditions means something to us although it cannot be described in mere words. This is made even more special by finding others through the Irminen-Gesellschaft who share similar thoughts and feelings, who have come to know similar traditions, and who see the world much as we do.
    What we can often overlook in this, though, is that we are Americans as well; and that our American-ness is just as important to us. Perhaps this can be more easily overlooked because we tend to take the American side of our lives for granted. Today, though, is independence Day, arguably the most significant day of remembrance in American culture. On days like this we cannot forget the American side of our cultural heritage.

    Of course we all know what is being celebrated on Independence Day. 4 July 1776 was the day that the Declaration of Independence was officially adopted by the Continental Congress which not only stated in no uncertain terms that the colonies intended to secede from England; but also described the rational behind our American conception of liberty. But it might also be healthy to consider some of the elements of American Independence Day from an Irminic perspective.

    The American conception of inalienable rights (first described as the freedom to pursue life, liberty and property, these rights were later broken down and enumerated in the Constitution) was and still is unique in the world. These concepts are so deeply embedded in the American psyche that it would not be amiss to describe these values are “religious principles”. Having added these principles to our triuwa, Irminen may very well approach our Heathenry different from those in other countries-- including those in the Fatherland. The nation-state of Germany (formerly the loose confederation of Germania), despite its various political changes over the centuries, never experienced anything like the liberty movements that have always existed as a matter-of-course in America. Thus, these notions are simply not part of the native German Weltanschauung like they are here.

    Similarly Americans have come to embrace the doctrine that “all men are created equal”. Every Heathen knows that not all men are equal. Some have more werd than others. The founding fathers of our country understood this as well. “All men are created equal” did not deny the fact that there are 25% men, 78% men, and maybe even a few heroes. What it did deny was the idea any legitimate form of government could be based on an individual's birthright. This is fully explained in pamphlets such as Common Sense by Thomas Paine. Few modern Heathens would disagree.

    Just as Germans in different regions may know different customs, so the thau of German-American Heathens is unique to us. A federal holiday such as Independence Day includes its own customs such as family/community barbecues, flag-waving, drinking and fireworks, that know no parallel in other parts of worldwide Heathendom. This does not, however, mean that it is distinct from our Heathenry, as every aspect of our lives is (or ought to be) perceived through a Heathen lens. The origins of these traditions is generally well known, and a quick internet search will inform people who have forgotten the lessons of history class, so none of that will be repeated here. The significant thing to understand is that the fireworks and all the rest are part of our thau-- that is, it is our “custom” and, as such, is “right action”.

    It is significant to note at this juncture, that before the coming of universalist, soteriological cults, that one's triuwa and one's nationality were one in the same. If someone were to ask an ancient Heathen what his religion was he would likely look confused and say something like, “I am a Burgundian” or “I am Saxon”. This, of course, was not unique to the Germans, but is echoed across all the Aryan cultures. A Roman citizen would see no difference between the words “pious” and “patriotic”.
    Only the divisive nature of universalist cults caused notions such as 'freedom of religion' and 'the separation of Church and State' to bear the significance that they have in America. These assumptions are foreign to Heathenry. Yet we live in a culture that is predominantly christian--so how do we reconcile this? When we recognize that in our feast days, our ethics, and many of our traditions that Heathenry and christianism really are not all that different as they have come down to us (despite some dramatic differences in symbolism and theology) it does not take much to realize that we Irminen ought to be approaching our civic life exactly the same way as our christian neighbours. Perhaps we might be a little more zealous than they are, though, because we know that the world we make today will be the world we are born into tomorrow whereas they wait for a pie-in-the-sky afterlife. While the Irminen-Gesellschaft does not take any official stances on political issues or endorse any political candidates we do encourage our members to be politically active. Our civic duties go beyond politics, though. Activity in the PTA and other such organizations can prove to be just as significant.
    When Hurricane Katrina ravaged much of the South the Irminen-Gesellschaft was there distributing bottled water to emergency workers. This was not in the least bit a political activity; it represented the civic-mindedness of Irminen who would take the time to help our fellow Americans when it could be done.

    Getting back to our topic, we would encourage all our members and friends to embrace and celebrate the American part of our cultural heritage. Despite all the problems that we bicker about in this country we have much to be grateful for and much to be proud of. So tonight have a few drinks and shoot off some fireworks (being safe in both) and as the fireworks reach a crescendo raise a toast to the altmâgâ who brought the family line to this, our home.