By Stephen Edred Flowers
Arcana Europa, 188 pages, ISBN 978-0-9720292-7-8
“In the northern sky, the realm of the pole, there shines a mysterious light. It is the aurora borealis—the northern dawn—which bathes the land of Thule with its darkly glowing luminescence. There is no more fitting symbol than this for the subject of this book: the reawakening of the Germanic spirit through the ages.”—from the Introduction
“The Northern Dawn is a valuable historical overview of Germanic spiritual culture, from the earliest times in southern Scandinavia and northern Germany, through its spread further and its interaction with Christian influences. Predicated on the principle ‘From the North comes the light,’ this book details various aspects of the traditional Germanic worldview, demonstrating the endurance of the traditions through time. It is a useful summary of the gods and aesthetics of Germanic tradition and their unbroken continuity through to the present day.”
—Nigel Pennick, author of A History of Pagan Europe
Throughout the United States and Europe, a revival of interest in all things Germanic is taking place. This can be seen in the growth of pre-Christian religious movements, and in the much wider popularity of movies, novels, and television shows about the Viking Age. Just as other ethnicities show a healthy desire to reconnect with their indigenous past, the revival of Germanic culture appeals to people of European descent who feel cut off from their deepest ancestral roots.
But as Stephen Flowers argues in the pages of his far-reaching book, this is only the latest phase in a larger reawakening with a rich, if troubled, history. He defines what constitutes the Germanic Tradition, and explains how this tradition was fragmented and submerged with the coming of Christianity to the Goths, the Franks, the Anglo-Saxons, and the Scandinavians. More importantly, he shows how the northern spirit survived in myriad and sometimes surprising places: from literary works such as Beowulf and the Nibelungenlied, to the teachings of Christian mystics like Meister Eckhart, and in the religious, political, and legal institutions of medieval England, Iceland, and Scandinavia.
The first volume of a trilogy, The Northern Dawn series will chronicle the ways in which the Germanic Tradition has shaped our history, how it still speaks to us today, and how it may yet help to forge a meaningful and promising future in the midst of an increasingly aimless and atomized world.
Stephen E. Flowers (who also writes as Edred Thorsson) received his Ph.D. in Germanic Languages and Medieval Studies in 1984. He is the world’s foremost expert on esoteric, or radical, runology, and the founder of the Rune-Gild. His recent books include ALU: An Advanced Guide to Operative Runology (Weiser, 2012) and Icelandic Magic: Practical Secrets of the Northern Grimoires (Inner Traditions, 2016). He lives outside Austin, Texas with his wife, Crystal.