- File Size: 985 KB
- Print Length: 217 pages
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- Publisher: Counter-Currents Publishing (July 15, 2011)
- Publication Date: July 15, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B006H5BIBW
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Summoning the Gods Kindle Edition
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To achieve this, Cleary, through his extensive reading in the original source material, and more extensive contemplation of the tradition writ large, explains how we can begin to recover this worldview in a way that involves neither pretending to hold overly literal beliefs, nor attempting to distill some purely secular or "philosophic" meaning from the myths that would satisfy the modern need to "explain" the religion without truly feeling it and would in fact sterilize or defuse its power. Instead, Cleary’s essays (and they are essays very much in the Montaignian sense: "attempts") are an initial experiment in recovering the numinous, the spiritual in our daily lives, and in guiding more people to this way of thinking.
One of the appealing aspects of this book is Cleary’s humility and – again very Montaingian – self-consciousness of his own grappling with the problem: Cleary does not present himself as a guru, or a holier-than-thou possessor of some arcane knowledge that you must acquire from him. In fact, his learning in this field is prodigious, but he wears it with a sense of wonder and awe that is the very antithesis of the “guru” type.
A number of the essays – in particular “”Paganism Without Gods”, “What God Did Odin Worship?” and “The Missing Man in Norse Cosmogony” – present ideas and make connections between seemingly disparate traditions that only someone exceptionally steeped in the original literature could achieve.
Cleary's essays on more modern topics such as the cult television series The Prisoner are excellent explications of precisely how we have become blinded to the existence of mythic truth in our presence. These is a very palpable “archeofuturist” tendency in these essays in that Cleary does not want either a literal return to the past (which he knows is impossible and not even desirable) or deny the present: rather, the future, our future, can involve myth as a living tradition if we discover and feel its spirit and figure out how to “make it new” (as Pound would say), how to channel its truth. Cleary does not himself have a fully articulated answer in this collection, but his essays show that he is closer to it that just about anyone else writing today.
Collin Cleary, Ph.D, renowned scholar of the Indo-european heritage and active in the Rune-Guild. If you are reading this, the name is probably already familiar to you from the excellent Tyr-journals that so far have been published in three issues: TYR: Myth - Culture - Tradition, Vol. 1,TYR Myth, Culture, Tradition Vol. 2 (v. 2) and TYR Myth-Culture-Tradition Vol. 3 (we're all still waiting for the fourth issue). He was editor and heavyweight contributor to that journal, and the bulk of the essays in the present book have already been published in the pages of that journal, although there are several other articles included as well. His style and content is also quite similar to that found in The Initiate 2: Journal of Traditional Studies, if you for some weird reason are a stranger to his writings. After the excellent introduction by Greg Johnson, Ph.D, editor-in-chief at Counter-Currents and the publisher of the book, we learn of the contents divided into three sections: "Neo-Paganism", "Nordic Paganism" and "Among the Ruins". The red herring running consistently throughout the book is Cleary's emphasis on our modern lack of "openness" to what is bigger than man, and what limits us. What does this mean, precisely? Well, for natural reasons, he can't really pinpoint it down to some kind of "heathenism for dummies" (although that would have been nice, of course), but Cleary has a lot of advice to offer, still.
The first part, "Neo-Paganism", contains the two major essays of the book content-wise: "Knowing the Gods" and "Summoning the Gods: The Phenomenology of Divine Presence". Here, he makes a strong case for the fact that no matter what the aspirations of would-be heathens are, they must first open up to the fact that they need to make a "clearing" in their inner being that gives room for the higher beings and forces in the Universe. If modern man is marked by a desire to conquer earth and go beyond the limits set by nature, described by René Guenón in his obligatory The Crisis of the Modern World, then Traditional man was marked by a desire to access the Heavens and go beyond the limits set by our own all-too human natures. In order to succeed in this, we MUST, according to Cleary, open our souls, and he gives sound advice for how to achieve this in these classic essays. The third chapter in the first part is a fine review of Alain De Benoist's On Being a Pagan, also edited by Greg Johnson, as it happens.
Cleary dashes along from his classic introductory essays into brazen essays focusing on the specific religiosity of our Nordic forefathers (yet always with a pan-European focus) with his strikingly original four essays named "What God did Odin worship?", "Philosophical Notes on the Runes", "The Missing Man in Norse Cosmogony" and "Karl Maria Wiligut's Commandments of Gôt". Throughout these essays, he shows his prodigiously level of knowledge on these matters, as easily drawing on The Hermetic Tradition: Symbols and Teachings of the Royal Art by baron Julius Evola as the The Elder Eddas of Saemund Sigfusson, and the Younger Eddas of Snorre Sturleson themselves! I found myself saying throughout the book that each of the essays included are of such a quality that they would warrant a purchase of the book by themselves! I'm glad someone at least has tried to understand Wiligut's ramblings available here The Secret King: Karl Maria Wiligut, Himmler's Lord of the Runes, for I must admit they made very little sense to me at all, no matter how hard I tried before letting my mind drift away.
Finishing up the book is the long (and as it would be, definitive) essay on Patrick McGoohan's classic series The Prisoner: The Complete Series [Blu-ray] (which I will have to see after reading this essay) and of course Cleary's review of The Spiritual Journey of Alejandro Jodorowsky: The Creator of El Topo. I had no knowledge on these subjects beforehand, but it did give me a sufficiently evocative taste to warrant a desire for more. All told, this book is, definitively, one of the better books in my rather vast library and a true gem. Five stars for a job well done to all those involved with this excellent tome.
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"The writings of Collin Cleary are an excellent example of the way in which old European paganism continues to question our...On Being a PaganThe Northern DawnTYR Myth-Culture-TraditionThe Journal of Contemporary Heathen ThoughtRead more