Stephen Edred Flowers on "The Northern Dawn"
What was the original impulse behind the Northern Dawn project? Do you feel like other scholars have been hesitant to synthesize the Germanic tradition into a coherent historical narrative?
For a long time there have been efforts to “revive” old Germanic cultural and religious material. This effort has generally lacked both the historical context and theoretical basis for the movement to understand its own deep roots. My idea for The Northern Dawn was to provide these things for the movement. It should be understood that the idea of reviving—or what I prefer to call reawakening—these eternal values is something with a long and venerable history. If this history and context is well understood, and the task seen in a clear and complete way, the likelihood of success will increase. In the past, scholars have been unwilling or unable to forge this synthesis due to the idea that such a synthesis would be too revolutionary. The Germanic tradition, because it is deeply connected to our linguistic heritage, and hence our brain-level existence, is the “third rail” of cultural studies.
When you talk about the “Northern Tradition” that runs throughout European history and culture, how does this fit with the idea of Western civilization? Are these two different things, or part of the same continuum? Typically, Western culture is thought to encompass Judeo-Christianity, but the integration of the latter with the Germanic and Indo-European core of European culture that you describe has always created seemingly irreconcilable contradictions.
In this text, I try to delineate a new cultural understanding that is in keeping with an Indo-European center of gravity, rather than a “Western” one. When viewed from a global perspective, what we are a part of is a Northern, not a Western tradition. This Northern branch of human culture has its historical epicenter to the north of the other centers of human civilization. This is our true heritage. The Judeo-Christian incursion into our cultural sphere must be understood as an invasive cultural species. However, it should also be well understood that the form of the Judeo-Christian code itself, by the time and place of its interaction with our ancestors, had become largely Indo-Europeanized, and then Germanized, before it was assimilated to our own culture. Christianity had first been Hellenized, then Romanized, before being Germanized.
A superficial reading of history would suggest that the Germanic tradition “died” when Europe was converted to Christianity, but your view seems to be that things were never really that simple. How much of a break with the past did the conversion really represent?
One of the main messages of this first volume of The Northern Dawn is that the values of the ancient Germanic peoples were, for the most part, just re-encoded into a new set of images—Christian ones. But this re-encoding merely effected a slumber of the full vibrancy of the ideas. The process of “revival” is a misnomer because nothing really died, no roots were chopped off; rather, seen from a higher perspective, our cultural symbols were merely put to sleep. It is much easier to awaken a slumbering symbol that it is to revive a dead one.
The current volume of The Northern Dawn is the first of a trilogy. What can readers expect from the forthcoming volumes?
The second volume will cover the early modern times to the pre-dawn of the twentieth century (really between about 1500 and 1880). These were turbulent times for the tradition as it had slipped away from the collective consciousness of the folk into obscurity. But there are many dramatic and heroic figures in this time period who kept the embers of the flame alive—men such as Bure, Behrisch, and Wagner.
The third volume will cover the first conscious efforts of individuals and groups to organize a reawakening of the Germanic way from the late nineteenth century through to the early twentieth century.
Are there other projects that you’re currently working on that will further elucidate the themes you’ve touched on in The Northern Dawn, perhaps from a different perspective?
I have just finished a manuscript on *Wōðanaz: Our Ancestral Sovereign God of Consciousness, which explores the true nature and character of the god Odin on a deeper level than any that has been attempted to date. Sections of the book deal with the origin and reawakening of this archetype in our culture. Another project in the offing is one of “Nazi Occultism,” which will deal with the neo-Germanic aspects of that period of history, its roots and actual nature. Some aspects of this are also covered in the third volume of The Northern Dawn, but from a different angle, or under a different lens.
Order The Northern Dawn here.