Other Authors Who Have Influenced Modern Runology

Modern Germanic Runology and the “Kala”

Over the next 20+ years (from the 1910s to the 1930s) many other authors, besides Guido Von List, emerge and discuss their perspective regarding the Runes.

In the 1920s and 1930s, we see the public teaching of Runic body postures (imitating the shape of the Runes) which are given the name of “Runic Yoga” or “Runic Gymnastics”.

Guido von List’s combination of Consonant & Vowels (his ‘Seed-Words’) are now united with the Runic postures in order to create a mantra (or series of mantras) that are sung or chanted while holding the corresponding posture. Thus, by singing, chanting or vocalizing the associated mantra(s) from List’s Kala , one activated the associated esoteric qualities and principles (see Tables 3 and 4 from the previous class).

Although List was extremely influential, let’s take a look at some other influential authors we’ll be reading from during this course:


Peryt Shou

The first modern author to publish Runic Exercises was Albert Christian Georg Schultz (also known as Albert Schultz and Jörg Schultz). He published his books under the name Peryt Shou (or Schou) and in 1910 came out with one of his first books or booklets (which was 70 pages), called Sexual Mysteries in Religion [Sexual-Mysterien in der Religion] .

It seems that Arnoldo Krumm-Heller was one of many Occultists who were influenced by his writings and apparently even helped publish some of Shou’s works a few years later (immediately following WWI).

In 1920, Shou published The ‘Edda’ as Key to the Coming Age! [Die “Edda” als Schlussel des kommenden Weltalters! ] and this was the first text to give specific exercises associated with the Runes.

Some say that the book has a very particular flavor of Volkisch Esotericism. In it, Shou tries to highlight some similarities between Christianity and Germanic Mythology (although he seems to look down upon Christianity), explaining that the Germanic approach is basically ‘better’.

In a section of this book entitled ‘Essence of the Edda’s God-Concept [Wesen der eddischen Gottes-Idee] ‘, he implies that we are an Antenna that can receive messages from the Cosmos and that we, unfortunately, do not ‘hear’ these messages:

“Everything God-like is something that is also telepathically Spiritual. Within us there is an unfolded Antenna -a stretched-out Cross, like the Cross of Christ, where we hang as if dead, because we do not answer the call of the one universal Spiritual-Wavelength.

But whenever we awaken on this Cross, then we come to understand the language of the one spirit! Dead, the Person hangs on this Cross like Christ and Wuotan, but the Ninth Night draws near, in which he shall awaken.

This is the Technique itself which (approaching Divine-Knowledge) conveys the Secret, the Spirit submerged in Nature, which becomes free and breathes upward toward the Universal-Spirit. Lucifer’s Deliverance!

Nature is divine! …Paradise is here and now if we know the Harp of the Power-of-Nature…”

Read more about Peryt Shou’s Esoteric Principles


Ernst Tristan Kurtzahn

E. Tristan Kurtzahn (1879-1939) was a naval architect, teacher, Freemason, author, Kabbalist and Tarot researcher.

In 1915, Kurtzahn became interested in the Tarot, but found no substantial German-language literature on it. Five years later, he published a book on the subject called The Tarot, the Kabbalistic Method of Future Research as a Key to Occultism [Der Tarot, die kabbalistische Methode der Zukunftsforschung als Schlüssel zum Okkultismus ] in 1920. It was the first German-language book on the esoteric aspect of the Tarot.

In 1920, he also published another book, entitled The Rosicrucians [Die Rosenkreuzer] . A few years later, he published The Runes as Salvation-Signs and for Unbinding-Fate [Die Runen als Heilszeichen und Schicksalslose] in 1924. In this book he says:

“It is really a great Joy to see what wisdom is hidden behind the Runic-Signs which seem so simple in their structure.

We Germans could come to such a fullness of Knowledge (Gnosis) through them that we could quietly refrain more than before from oral Mysticism of any kind, especially since the latter is basically alien to our nature and species.

Then we would have the old much abused Latin saying:  

Ex Oriente Lux
[Light comes From the East]

It is also more correctly understood in the way it should actually be understood, namely: From the East of one’s own interior, i.e. from the Heart, comes the Light.

Everything Esoteric always comes from inside, never from outside!”

The following year, in 1925, he published The Gnostics or the Invisible Church [Die Gnostiker oder die unsichtbare Kirche]   where he describes the “gnostic Marriage [gnostischen Ehe] ” as the practice of White Tantra:

“With this there can be under no circumstances any ejaculatio seminis [seminal ejaculation], rather it is a case of a safe immissio membri virilis in vaginam [penetration of the virile member into the vagina], but only in a calm manner and under the complete control of both partners.”


Dr. Friedrich Teltscher

Dr. Teltscher was a doctor of engineering who taught at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. He published a monthly magazine on Runic subjects, named Hag-All=All-Hag.

Although we cannot find any specific Runic practices that he gave, his ideas and concepts of the Runes certainly influenced many other Runic Occultists.

In his magazine, he wrote the following:

“…let’s state a preliminary working hypothesis of a third basic energy besides light and weight/mass (gravity), which are streams of subtle energy…

A possibility to explain the Runes could perhaps be in their characteristic as symbols for compounds of streams of subtle energies, not unlike chemical compounds.”

Read more about Dr. Teltscher’s Runic Theories


Friedrich Bernhard Marby

After writing a number of articles on the Runes in the late 1920s, F.B. Marby (a Dutchman who immigrated to Germany) began publishing a multi-volume work: Runic-Writing, Runic-Words, Runic-Gymnastics [Runenschrift, Runenwort, Runengymnastik ]. This was eventually published (starting in 1931) and detailed some complex theories around the Runes and Runic Exercises.

In the first volume, Marby gives his Runic Philosophy, which is based on: Sacred Writing, Sacred Speech, and Sacred Action [Die heilige Schrift, Die heilige Sprache, und Die heilige Tat ].

“Sacred Writing arranges Salvation-Conceptualizing [Heil-Denken ].

Sacred Speech translates the Concepts into (Power or) Force [Kraft ].

Sacred Action shapes the Force and sends it out through the corresponding Body-Positions in the Rune-Exercise.

He regarded the human being as a receiver and transmitter of cosmic waves & rays that animate the entire universe. His theories for how to practice “Rune-Gymnastics” were based on gathering Runic energy from “The Lodge of World-Space [Die Loge der Welt-Räume ]”, which had 5 parts, levels or aspects:

1) Cosmic Space
2) Planetary & Starry Space
3) The Atmosphere of the Earth
4) Earth Itself
5) Interior of the Earth

According to information provided in his own records, Marby began to use the Runes in an esoteric fashion in 1907 (right about the same time Guido von List published his famous article The Mystery/Secret of the Runes ).

Marby is often cited as the first to develop and use Runic Body Postures or “Rune-Gymnastics” [Runengymnastik] as a means of gathering Runic energy. However, this does not appear to be the case, since Peryt Shou published a single Runic Body Posture in 1920 and also gave similar theories about receiving cosmic messages or energy.

In his writings, Marby emphasized the health benefits gained from meditating on the Runes. He says that the first effect of practicing “Runic-gymnastics” should be the transformation and healing of the individual. If a group of people (or folk) are engaged in the practice of the Runes as a body, then that whole body will be gradually purified and strengthened.

Read more about Marby’s Runic Philosophy


Rudolf John Gorsleben

R.J. Gorsleben created a synthesis of many Rune Occultists, Esotericists, and Theosophists of the time (including Von List). His over 700 page book The Peak-Time of Humanity [Die Hoch-Zeit der Menschheit ] was published the year of his death (1930) and was apparently something he had been working on for over 20 years.

Although he does not give many rune-gymnastics or rune-yoga practices, he does hint at them in his book, where he also says:

“The Runes have a Life-of-their-Own [Eigenleben ], they are true Magic-Characters [Zauberzeichen ], from which we can draw the Spirit to Advise and the Courage to Act.”

According to Gorsleben’s vision, the peak of the Aryan race’s power was to be remanifested through a combination of eugenics (improving the genetic quality of a human population) and the systematic reawakening of occult powers and abilities (and he saw the runes as the key to this reawakening).

The runes were seen by Gorsleben the same way others saw them: as tools for the reception and transmission of subtle forces in the universe. It is through them that the ‘people of the runes’ and the ultimate powers in the universe may be joined together.

“The aryan Pictographic-Script [arische Bilderschrift ] and its mode of use are Kala [Kahla ] and they are employed for the Purpose of keeping its Communications secret from the Unqualified and from Abuse, a Practice strictly observed in all Mystery-Schools…”

Read more about Gorsleben’s Runic Theories


Siegfried Adolf Kummer

S.A. Kummer (1899-1977) was another Volkisch Runologist who also worked to advance similar developments in what he referred to as “Rune-Yoga” [Runenyoga ]. He founded a runic school called “Runa ” in 1927 where runic exercises, along with runic dancing and runic songs were taught. Runa also concentrated on the practice of ritual magic, including the drawing of magic circles containing the names of the Germanic gods and the use of traditional magical tools such as a candelabra and censers. During these rituals, the names of runes were called out and rune shapes were traced in the air as an aid to the magical process.

In his book Holy Runic-Power [Heilige Runenmacht ] (1932), Kummer taught a basic system for practicing individual rune postures (his “Rune-Yoga”) in a certain order. According to Kummer’s curriculum, this regimen will result in profound runic initiatory experiences. The practitioner should be able to do each exercise for about ten minutes, but is urged to practice as often as possible. Then, in 1933, Kummer published another book Rune Magic [Runen-Magie], where he gave Runic Hand Postures (or Mudras) which could be used just like the body postures.

Kummer (like Shou and Marby) felt that the absorption of certain cosmic ‘waves’ could be achieved through runic practices. However, Kummer claimed that this was only possible for Germanic folk, saying:

“Just as one can now pick up various Waves in the Radio-Apparatus, so the Teuton [or Germanic folk] can likewise regulate the Influx of invisible, subtle All-Waves through Runic-Exercises and Dances. He who considers this impossible will never be able to receive Thought-Waves, for he vibrates in Disharmony with the cosmic All, [and] is burdened by foreign-racial Blood.”

Despite his racist views, he was still criticized (along with Marby) in a report given to Heinrich Himmler (by Himmler’s chief esoteric runologist Karl M. Wiligut) for “bringing the holy Aryan heritage into disrepute and ridicule”. Both he and Marby were imprisoned by the Nazi regime for being unauthorized occultists.



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