Wotanism: Toward an Existentialist View

Source: Else Christensen’s “The Odinist” periodical 1989, Issue #123. Author: P.W.


Existentialism is the term given to the spiritual and intellectual rebellion arising over the last 150 years or so amongst European thinkers against established Judeo-Christian religion and systems of philosophy which have failed to offer a satisfactory explanation of Man and his place in the universe. More specifically, the existentialists have sought to transcend theologies and metaphysics to understand the concrete reality of the human situation, the plight of the existing individual.

There is no body of doctrine common to all existentialists, but rather a matrix of shared concerns or themes: the significance of human existence, man’s alienation from himself, from his fellows, and from the world in general, and the extent of individual freedom and responsibility.

The analytical method of many existentialists is phenomenology, the perception and description of the various aspects of “Isness” (existing things and processesPespecially of consciousness, without conceptual prejudice or evaluative intent.

Perhaps the most constructive and influential of the existentialists is Martin Heidegger (1889-1976). Heidegger did not accept the label “existentialist’, but considered himself an “ontologist” (one who studies Being). Nevertheless, Heidegger’s profound explorations into what it means to be a human in interaction with Reality not only fully qualify him as an existential philosopher, but mark him as possibly the greatest.

Heathen man, as best exemplified by the pre-Socratic Greeks, lived in a state of intimate connection with and deep awareness of Being, maintains Heidegger. This “Being”, he explains, is not merely Nature, but also the ground, basis, of Nature; it is the very power of things to emerge and endure. Heidegger refers to man’s creativity arising out of conscious connectedness with Being as spirit.

The source of man’s uneasiness with his own existence, his failure to be all he could be, is his enervated spirit, his “falling out of being”, his ever-growing preoccupation with the object of his environment, with things, with “Beings” rather than with the totality of Being, Heidegger terms this “forfeiture”.

European man’s estrangement from Being was given a specious respectability by Plato’s philosophy of dualistic idealism, which claimed that ‘real’ Reality was somewhere ‘up there’, away from the physical universe which was only an imperfect reflection of that ultimately true ‘Ideal’.

This schizophrenic dualism reached its epitome in organized Judeo-Christianity, whose centuries of mind-warping other-worldliness lingers on to confound us.

Yet another form of dualism, the subject/object dichotomy popularized by Descartes, strongly influenced the scientific method and formed the basis of the secular ideologies of “progress” and technology worship, capitalist and Marxist alike.

Thus, according to Heidegger, even as man advances materially he leads an evermore “inauthentic” existence, wallowing in his obsession with trivia, stifling his potential by yielding to mindless conformity. With technical prowess actually undermining, instead of enhancing, man’s spirit, the “darkening of the world” accelerates, by which Heidegger means “the flight of the gods, the destruction of the Earth, the standardization of man, the preeminence of the mediocre… emasculation of the spirit, the disintegration, wasting away, repression and misinterpretation of the spirit.”

Man must re-forge his primal linkage with Being, he must become a “shepherd and watcher of Being”, overcoming all deceptive dualisms to understand not just cerebrally but in his very guts his total interdependence with the world, physically and temporally as well – remembering the past, in tune with the present, and mindful of the future. But this man can do only by fearlessly confronting his existential situation, and that entails acknowledging the awful reality of death, the looming spectre of Nothingness.

For Heidegger, Nothingness is not simply a vacuum, some final negation of Being; rather Nothingness is ingrained in Being; Nothingness is the dynamo of Being; Being and Nothingness are locked together in an inescapable dialectic. Man achieves authenticity when this dialectical truth takes roots in his soul.

Forgetfulness of death, of Nothingness, means forgetfulness of Being; and it is precisely this forgetfulness which modern thought-systems seek to instigate, whether as theologies which promise eternal afterlife or as justifications for materialism which fool man into seeing himself in some commodity.

In other words, man must not hide from his historic and existential responsibilities, he must not seek a dubious comfort in intellectual narcotics, be they religious or political; he must not forget himself in the cozy anonymity of the crowd; he must not fritter away his life in the pursuit and possession of materialist tinsel. To be truly alive, man must face up to the fact of his finitude, his inevitable appointment with oblivion, and construct his life on that realization. Only in this way can man truly appreciate Being, and thereby truly appreciate himself.

We believe that Wotanism can fill the prescription offered by Heidegger to reconnect us with Being, to reverse the ‘flight of the gods’ and bring these primordial forces, the avatars of Being, back into our consciousness.

Wotanism has the power to restore the ruptured bonds of the past, to recall our pre-Christian, pre-dualistic state of existential purity and reveal its relevance to our contemporary circumstances.

An examination of the Nine Principles of the Wotanist Fellowship in the light of the insights of Heidegger and other existentialists may be useful in establishing Wotanism as a durable ontology:

(1) We acknowledge Wotan as the All-Father, the Ultimate Reality, the Force of the Universe.

“Wotan” is the personification of cosmic power as perceived by our Norse ancestors. Etymologically, “Wotan” is synonymous with power, movement, source of movement, fury, rage and inspiration.

Just as the Indo-Aryans’ god Brahma was based on their earlier perception of an impersonal Absolute they termed Brahman, so also was the Wotanic Being mythologized as the “All-Father”; and among His other titles are Smiter, Destroyer, Protector, All-Knowing and Fulfiller of Wishes.

Wotan was a relative late-comer to the Indo-European pantheon. He displaced as Sky-Father the god Tyr, who in turn descended from Tiwas, a variation of the Aryan “Dyes” meaning “Shining One”, a reference to the sun.

As a mythic figure Wotan himself was subject to the inexorable laws of the cosmos, as related in our Folk’s epic cycle of creation and destruction. But as the embodiment of Energy/Universal Law, as an emanation of what we call the “God-Force”, Wotan is that very Absolute immemorial.

Wotan can be justly described as the Existential God, because to the Norse He represented the implacability of Reality, the dark side of Life in a ruthless age. For Wotan was the God of war, the god of the dead, a fickle, untrustworthy deity who promised no earthly rewards.

Yet He was also the god of wisdom, and wisdom it was – and is – to recognize what the existentialists came to call the “contingency of human existence”: the fact that the universe can get along perfectly well without man, be he individual or species – a truth our forebears knew in their bones when they deified Annihilation.

But the complete truth is to be seen in the Heideggerian unity of Annihilation and Creation, Being and Nothingness. Wotan is this Divine Dynamic, evident in the furies of Nature and in the turbulent vigor of man wherein raging passions and inspired insightfulness coexist. And Mimir whispers to us that all these things are One!

Thus, Wotan’s ‘good news’ is not ‘pie in the sky when you die’, but “Life is All and Life is Struggle!”

(2) Man advances individually and collectively only by living in harmony with the Natural Order.

How is it possible for man, as much a part of Nature as any rock, tree or bird, not to be in harmony with Natural Order? How could man, a manifestation of Being, ‘fall out of being”?

Western man has frequently gazed with envy at the lifestyles of primitive peoples, those ‘noble savages’ who clearly live in deeper rapport with the rhythms of Nature; yet, with some justification he feels superior to such peoples whose vulnerability and powerlessness in the face of Nature’s immoderation and History’s onslaught he considers the mark of man’s ‘underdeveloped’ mind – this contradiction gnaws at the soul of the Aryan even as his left-brain dominance / rationalist supremacy fosters a runaway industrialism that gnaws at the heart of the organic world and poisons its bloodstream.

Forfeiture has been institutionalized. Social dogmas and political ideologies rationalize the greedy stupidity of power elites which manipulate the befuddled individuals of mass society and promote, indeed profit from, in-authenticity, from Everyman’s false consciousness.

At the root of it all, some suggest, is Euro-man’s ‘overspecialized mind’, a mind which came more into predominance as the European sought to gain greater mastery over and ‘improve’ upon his natural surroundings by means of the techniques of civilization, thereby cutting the umbilical cord to Being and weakening, at least to some extent, that sense of oneness with the organic world that was fashioned during his formative years on the plains of the Pleistocene.

This ‘overspecialized’ mind tends to perceive in terms of a subject/object duality which is psychologically isolating. Disconnectedness from Nature, from kinsman, and from self ensues. Being is misperceived through a haze of abstract rationality and a fog of distorting emotions. Language itself has come to reinforce this dualistic obfuscation, as Heidegger points out.

This problem was dealt with thousands of years ago by our Indo-Aryan ancestors who in their religious traditions called it “avidya”, ignorance, the failure to use the “no-thought mind” of intuitive knowing – “Pleistocene mind”. If we credit adaptive evolution with having given Aryan man a ‘technological’ brain, then we must also see evolution as the molder of that brain’s ‘overspecialized’ mind.

Overspecialization is a perfectly natural byproduct of a perfectly natural developmental process that is without aim or design. Aryan man’s ‘overspecialized’ mind is no more an anomaly than the Dimetrodon’s sail-like back fin, the sabre-toothed tiger’s long curved fangs, or the giraffe’s elongated neck. The cosmos abounds with such ‘aberrations’, from the planet Uranus rotating on its side to entire galaxies colliding; and if man cannot grow out of his particular ‘aberration’ of juvenile dualism, then extinction will surely be his fate – an unremarkable fate, not even a burp in the universe.

Thus, man’s apparent disharmonies appear in perspective as part of a greater overall harmony.

Man has an edge in participating in that harmony, an advantage over every other species: ‘overspecialized’ mind notwithstanding, he has the ability to become conscious of his delusive tendencies and transcend them, provided he can muster the resolve to do so.

History will pass judgment on Euro-man’s collective biological mind, as to whether it is truly overspecialized, over-adapted, and effectively self-destructive, or whether it is simply in some tantrum of immaturity prior to a more lucid equilibrium. But individually speaking, Indo-Aryan wisdom teaches that the harmonious mind is ever-present within us; we need only realize it.

To be in Being, or not to be – that is the question!

(3) Life with all its joys, struggles and ambiguities is to be embraced and lived to the fullest.

Heidegger says that living human experience is the pathway to Being – which echoes a truth taught for centuries by the Zen masters. An ancient saying puts it another way: the unexamined life is not worth living.

To know Being through life, we need to live mindfully, in a state of openness and awareness, becoming skillful at what’s been called the art of living.

Honing those skills is essential, because this life is all that we can really be sure we have: this relatively brief process of becoming, flashing out of nothingness and fading back into nothingness, with only some meager physical creations, a scattering of genes and the memory of our deeds left behind.

Swallowing promises of eternal after-life, impossible to verify, only cheapens real life; while blindly following mind-numbing ideologies that promise heaven on earth burns up the one chance we have to know ourselves and fully develop our potentials.

As noted previously, life is struggle: your very existence is due only to the fact that your ancestors killed, out-fought their enemies and persevered through every hardship – a fact which the preachers of indiscriminate ‘love’ and ‘nonviolence’ would do well to contemplate.

Of course, it’s not all battle axes and bloodshed; a hearty laugh is always in order, especially when some other-worldly wimp tells us that life’s pleasures, the joys of the flesh, are ‘sins’.

All the barriers to a full life must be torn down. Suffering in its various forms is inherent in life, but there is also an accretion of ‘surprise suffering’, unnecessary misery caused by outmoded beliefs and obsolete social and political systems. The struggle against these is not just altruism in action, it is the will to achieve that fuller life.

(4) The racialist and cultural heritage of our folk is our most sacred possession and must be satisfied.

A significant portion of man’s current state of alienation stems from his loss of identity; man doesn’t know who, what or why he is.

The pre-packaged answers being peddled today just don’t suffice: Judeo-Christianity incites man to war against his instincts and common sense; the cult of the consumer leaves man bored, empty and yearning for something more; ideologies of compulsory collectivism stifle his individuality; philosophies of egoism violate his We-feeling; “New Age” spiritualisms outrage his rationality.

Where can he turn?

He can turn to the primary fact of his own material existence and see the organic truth that he is an individual spawn from a collectivity, one link in a racial chain extending back into the past.

It has been said that race is the outward expression of soul; and while this aphorism may have the aroma of metaphysics, it is a poetic way of saying that race (or more accurately, our total genetic inheritance) is the essence which in-forms our existence.

So, Jean-Paul Sartre, the French existentialist, didn’t quite hit the mark when he proclaimed “Existence precedes essence”, by which he meant that, as there is no fixed human nature, man has the freedom and the responsibility to shape that nature. This can only be true in a limited sense, for, man’s existence, along with the self-creative capacity Sartre speaks of, is substantially conditioned by biology, by race.

Anthropologist Carlton Coon’s research into racial origins reveals that racial characteristics had emerged among our primate ancestors even before they – meaning we – evolved into Homo sapiens.

We therefore suggest the formula “Ethnos precedes existence, existence precedes essence”.

Although every race and ethnic group is threatened by cosmopolitanism and homogenization, our chief concern must be for our own folk, an endangered minority. We support the awakening of racial consciousness for all peoples as a bulwark against assimilation.

Mixed race people can take pride in their diverse origins and form themselves into a new composite ‘folk’, or simply regard themselves as generic human beings if they so desire. As Wotanists we have no interest in impugning their human dignity. We do insist on our own inviolable right to racial integrity, and will respect all who respect us.

This is not ‘hatred’ or ‘prejudice’, nor an attempt to justify the oppression or exploitation of one race by another; it is a plea to preserve absolutely unique, non-repeatable living phenomena, it is a call to maintain the genetic diversity of the human family; it is a demand for racial ecology.

Culture is the totality of a race’s achievements, the expression of the racial soul, the sum of a people’s past persisting into the present and into the future. Heidegger notes how man’s losing touch with his past has contributed to the “darkening of the world”; and every day huge chunks of our Aryan cultural heritage disappear down the dark, materialistic maw of ‘me-now’ modernity.

Consumerism corrupts culture, crushes folkways and corrodes man right down to his instinctual core, his last legacy from the past, those primeval urges and blood-born impulses rooted in his mammal-hood, now subjected to the titillations and manipulations of Madison Ave., but also more and more frequently erupting into the animal protests we call ‘crime’ and ‘mental illness’.

But man is not a mere consumer, nor simply a raging beast; he is a creator, and to create now and in the future he must know what he has created in the past, and how he felt, thought and lived in the past.

Wotanism seeks the re-appropriation of our past, of what is of and for us as the ever-sprouting seed of our becoming.

Man’s racial heritage tells him who he is, his cultural heritage tells him what he is, it is then up to him to work out his own way.

(5) A community of, by and for the folk is our paramount objective.

Is any kind of real community even possible in the tumultuous conditions of the modern world? Can man overcome what seems to be a kind of entropy rampant at all social levels, disintegrating the bonds of friendship, family, community and nation?

Sartre thought not, declaring that “We” is an illusion. He saw human interaction as leading either to exploitation, with the dominated party reduced to an object, or to the stalemated confrontation of two mutually incomprehensible human monads.

Fortunately, history and social praxis repudiate Sartre’s subjective pessimism, but at the same time delineate formidable obstacles to community.

Man is a social animal: he joins with his kinsmen in social organizations strongly resembling those of his relatives, the baboons and chimpanzees, and for the same reasons: co-operative behavior is programmed into his genes. Man as individual only becomes whole and complete, only becomes an authentic personality, within the context of community, as part of a natural social order.

But man has evolved to the point where his ‘rational’ mind largely supersedes or at least tempers his instincts; genetic predisposition creates a tendency allowing for wide latitudes, rather than a rigid imperative, as in the lower creatures. Man must therefore contrive various structures and devices to help maintain social cohesion.

Blood is the organic basis for community, and shared beliefs – specifically, religion – is the social basis. “Religion” actually means “to bind together”, and this is, or should be, its function: to bind man to Being, to Nature, and to his kinfolk.

Every folk generates its own religious vision; undeniably, common themes are shared by all these visions; nevertheless, each one is unique, featuring nuances of perception and variations of morality peculiar to each folk. Thus, the imposition of one people’s religion upon another can have grave, disruptive consequences.

Such an imposition is the source of much of our Folk’s persistent spiritual confusion. Organized Christianity’s religious imperialism effectively destroyed our folk religion and our folk communities. Of course, the Folk has nobody to blame for this but itself. Any people is collectively responsible before history for its own ongoing weakness, disorganization and resultant vulnerability.

Our historic victimization must end. We must go from being a folk in itself to a Folk for itself, and the self-conscious folk community is the vehicle for this process.

The folk community is bonded by blood and belief; each by itself is inadequate to cement the community together.

Current events testify to this truth. Japanese society is extremely homogeneous racially, yet it displays all the alienating afflictions of modern materialistic industrialism (although perhaps to a somewhat lesser degree than the ‘pluralist’ societies of the West), despite a strong tradition of folk religion. Cosmopolitan capitalism as a secular pseudo-religion will supplant or co-opt genuine religion unless genuine religion aggressively counterattacks (as has Islamic Fundamentalism).

Religion alone, however cannot guarantee social unity, nor for long suppress or overpower differences of blood. Blood proved thicker than religion in the recent Iran-Iraq war, when the majority Arab Shias of Iraq failed to unite with their antagonistic Persian co-religionists, choosing instead national-ethnic solidarity with their Sunni Arab ruling stratum. And in the US increasing numbers of Black Catholics are opting for a distinctly African-American style of worship at the risk of schism with the official, predominantly White, church.

Encouragingly, the up and coming trend in the world today is precisely towards this union of blood and belief, a form of neo-tribalism. The Druze of Lebanon, the militant Sikhs of India, the Moro rebels of the Philippines, Islamic radicals throughout Central Asia, the Black Muslims, even nationalist Jewish orthodox extremists, among others, are all facets of this world-wide phenomenon.

So, self-determination and the preservation of ethnic and religious identity rightly constitute our paramount objective, as they should for every people, because the alternative is genocide, which is accomplished just as thoroughly and finally by means of assimilation as it is by ‘killing fields’.

In fact, these separatist principles, far from generating hatred and strife, are a guarantee for peace and mutual respect amongst the peoples, nations and faiths of the world, because they are aspirations shared by all humanity.

The Folk community is not some utopian goal for the distant future. It is an institution attainable here and now, provided we summon the courage and wisdom to build it. We can draw on the West’s communalist heritage, from the medieval guilds to anarchist collectives to hippie communes, more so as regards the experience of religious communities, such as the Amish and the Hutterites; we could even learn something from the Hasidic Jews and the kibbutz movement.

However we do it, the Folk community must arise if the people and religion of Wotan are to survive. It is a formidable task: the folk community entails ways of living – thinking, working, relating – so different from what we are used to in our privatizing ‘consumer’ society as to be positively revolutionary, perhaps also a bit disquieting, but only because it would mean a return to long-absent, psycho-social health after a lengthy disease.

Sartre’s dismal picture of human interaction is not what we have been or must be; it is what we often are and may very well be our consummation unless we assert ourselves for community.

Another French existentialist, Gabriel Marcel, has a view more positive than Sartre’s, insisting that our relationship with other persons is prerequisite for the growth of freedom, the becoming of what we are. Marcel, striking a Heideggerian chord, says further that living enmeshes us in a web of interdependence with others, with all of Being, a condition which we become aware of when we deeply and fearlessly reflect upon existence, when we resolve “to be”, surpassing the trivial desire “to have”.

The folk community will create the material and psychological conditions conducive to this quest for existential enlightenment.

(6) In the improvement of our racial quality lies our brightest future.

Man’s animal nature, implying his subordination to the laws of evolution, was the Damnable Fact of the nineteenth century, denied and cursed by the obscurantists and reactionaries of the day, whose bigoted offspring vex us still. Man’s racial nature is the Damnable Fact of the twentieth century, anathematized by a new generation of ignorance-mongers.

Unfortunately, any discussion of race quickly shifts to the “Nazi” issue and to “Nazi” atrocities, real and imagined, committed in the name of racial improvement.

The fact that National Socialists may have pursued a certain policy in the Third Reich over sixty years ago does not automatically make that policy “pro-Nazi” here and now. National Socialist Germany, for example, inaugurated certain ecological measures: does that make ecology a “Nazi” idea? Surely not. Abuses that may have been perpetrated by German Hitlerites in their eugenic program no more invalidate the concept of eugenics than the abuses of the Stalinists in their campaign at ‘building socialism’ invalidate the socialist ideal.

(We cannot discuss the “Nazi” question at length here; suffice it to say that no concept should be rejected even if it was endorsed by National Socialists – or by fascists, Marxists, anarchists, Zionists, or any other – ists. Ideas stand or fall on their own merits.)

Existentialists of the Sartre school declare that man has the freedom, nay the responsibility, to determine his own essence. If this is accepted, then none can deny the right, the duty, of a people to determine their biological essence, their racial essence.

The right of racial improvement is an integral part of the overall right to self determination – ‘rights’ which of course are never handed over, only seized and defended. Behind these rights there is no intent whatsoever to impose any eugenic program on peoples who do not want it or to victimize others in the process of implementing eugenics ourselves.

While the social environment plays an extremely important role in the development of individuals and to human betterment, no ‘system’ concocted and tinkered together by man will lead to utopia. The real road to utopia – and we realize that this road never ends – is the road leading directly to the improvement of man himself, the biological roar, built upon the bedrock reality of man’s basic physical stuff.

A people whose social order cannot meet their material and psychological needs can rectify the situation through reform or revolution; a people refusing to take their biological destiny into their own hands face a degredation from which there is no recovery.

(7) The seeking of wisdom is the highest virtue.

Western man is rightly termed “Faustian” because of his irrepressible drive to obtain knowledge. His native religious orientation has always been in the direction of knowing self, Nature and the God-Force, never towards guilt, submissiveness or heavenly rewards.

Wisdom seeking is an attribute of the High One Himself; Wotan sacrificed an eye in pursuit of sagacity. This philosophical application of ‘no pain, no gain’ has been adopted by the existentialists who have the individual confronting the brutal facts of Life in a purposeless universe.

Two types of wisdom may be discussed: external and internal.

External wisdom is that which comes from without us, from the great thinkers and sages of humanity.

Wotanists draw particular inspiration from the ancient legends, folklore, and tales of all the Indo-European peoples, with special emphasis on the Norse and other Teutonics.

Internal wisdom is that which we seek from within. It is the voice of Being, which speaks to us once we quiet the discursive mind and just listen, as the eminent masters of meditation have for so long instructed us. This leads to the most profound wisdom of all. Knowledge of the self – which is no-self!

Wisdom of all kinds is not just its own reward, it also has an evolutionary function, a survival value, enshrined in that timeless epigram “Knowledge is Power!”

(8) Love of truth, honor, courage and loyalty are the hallmarks of the noble soul.

Yesteryear’s Aryans, the “noble ones”, took these values seriously; not only a ready code of conduct for the individual, they constituted the enduring, ever-pure, ethical lifeblood of the tribe and the community generation after generation: a moral guide for this world, with no supernumerary threats of post mortem hell-fire – the stench of ignobility was considered hellish enough. The cynicism with which these values are regarded in the West today, their consignment to the status of “goody-goody” cliches, indicate the true nature of our much touted “progress”. We may be the most technologically advanced society in the world, but we are also un-mistakenly the most backward ethically. It could hardly be otherwise in the wake of centuries of moral confusion spawned by the “religion of love” imposed upon us through fear and guilt. Modern secular society’s ethos of egoism is merely the backlash corollary to Christianity’s neurosis-inducing slave morality.

History doesn’t stand still; in moving on it will sweep away the false standards which at present seem so immutable. The values of Blood, as Oswald Spengler has predicted based on his panoramic surveys of the past, will inexorably banish the non-values of Money. Our task is to ensure that that Blood is Aryan.

To that end we proudly embrace those ‘antiquated’ ideals of our forefathers:

Love of truth – to joyously gaze upon the naked face of Being and spurn all comforting delusions.

Honor – the virtue of virtues: self-respect and righteous conduct under all circumstances, come what may.

Courage – to face all tasks, challenges and dangers fearlessly.

Loyalty – unyielding dedication to every pledge of fidelity.

Paul Tillich, a German-born student of Heidegger and a religious existentialist, reminds us that, as our lives are spun out of the tension between being and non-being, there can never be absolute security; to genuinely live, or live authentically, takes guts – what Tillich calls “the courage to be”.

Our Norse ancestors took this gutsy approach to life under conditions a great deal more precarious than what most of us face now. May we be worthy to carry on their legacy!

(9) Our imperative is to strive constantly to expand our powers of body, mind and spirit.

Colin Wilson, a British writer who has dealt extensively with existentialist topics, has observed that the one clear tendency in the universe even remotely indicative of any sort of discernible ‘purpose’ is the trend toward greater and greater complexity. Science from simple hydrogen to intelligent beings which may be regarded as the universe becoming conscious of itself. Wilson suggests that control of evolution may be a viable goal for humanity, instilling a sense of purpose counteractive to our ongoing drift into alienation and nihilism.

Such a project is consistent with Euro-man’s Faustian will, and has been most dramatically enunciated by one of our mightiest philosophers, the incomparable Nietzsche, who summed up this aspiration with the words, “Man is something which must be surpassed”. Nietzsche’s instruction has always occupied a special niche in the paradigm of modern Wotanism.

Our ability to influence our race’s evolution is obviously questionable at best at this juncture, limited to responsible reproduction; the larger task awaits the flowering of our folk communities. We do have a bit more control over what might be called our ‘personal evolution’, however.

The more we can augment the physical and mental constituents of our individual being, the better will we be able to fully experience our in-dwelling with Being, and thereby enrich our spiritual life. And the more we improve ourselves individually, holistically, the more will we empower the Folk collectively.

These brief comments are hardly a drop in the ocean of possibilities churned up by the convergence of Wotanism and existentialism.

We readily concede in addition that the Nine Principles listed here do not represent any sort of final statement for Wotanism – much less some kind of dogma we would insist be binding on any and all who would pay homage to the High One. They do offer one path for making the Norse religion a vibrant, relevant force, an existential point of reference, for latter-day Aryans.

If Wotan, as previously mentioned, is the Existential God, then Wotanism must be the Existential Religion. And existentialists, for all their differences, seem to agree on one crucial point: you are what you do. Beliefs can be verbally professed long and loud, but beliefs not put into action are empty and lifeless. He who believes without ‘putting creed into deed’ degrades himself and his doctrine.

Whether Wotanism thrives or fades into obscurity depends upon whether or not it is truly lived. Wotanism, like Hinduism, is dynamic and variegated, capable of many formulations; nevertheless, there is a basic set of truths and values which must be incorporated into a consistent lifestyle if Wotanism is to be anything more than a pretense.

As we have hopefully learned by now, there are no guarantees. The fate of the religion of Wotan is in great measure in the hands of those who would call themselves Wotanists: it will become what they make it.

Being a Wotanist in the 20th century is no easy matter. Numerous forces and factors militate against us. Many if not most of us, despite the exhortations here, cannot or will not assert the entirety of our religious convictions, and must bear the anguish of living with one foot in an alien society and the other wrapped in the good intentions of claimed belief. It’s wisdom for the pain, though, because, just as the existentialists tell us, that anguish can be the beginning, the actual motivation, for breaking through all in-authenticity in a genuine thrust for liberation.

Through it all, that flame in our soul always to be kept alight is the fire of spiritual deity-defying daring by our Norse precursors, who had the audacity to voice their distrust of Wotan himself (in the finest existentialist temper!): it has forever been behind the questing, questioning and skepticism that has catapulted our race into world-historical eminence.

Nietzsche called the fighters for spiritual freedom “Hyperboreans. Living amidst the ice and the mountain heights” – how fitting for Folk of the North!

Heidegger’s declaration in this regard will, we hope, always be council for Wotanists:

“A faith that does not perpetually expose itself to the possibility of unfaith is no faith but merely convenience.”

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