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Not an esoteric book, but a doctoral thesis. But since the topic of runes might be of interest to some of you I decided to write a few lines about it here.

This book collects and discusses a wide range of literature, mainly Old Norse and Latin, that mentions the names of the runes in one way or another or alludes to them. This includes of course the rune poems, but also less elaborate lists of rune names, as well as poetry that uses metaphors describing runic characters in order to conceal either their sound value or their meaning. It ranges from the middle ages up until the 18th century.

It is therefore a worthwhile summary of a major part of the traditional associations attached to the runes.
Due to the fact that most of the literary sources available are from Skandinavia, most of it however only concerns the 16 runes found in the younger futhark. For the other 8, later inventions, and even for some of the 16, only very limited information can be found, but that is due to the sources available.

I found most of the author's conclusions and translations to be reasonable and well-thought-out. However, I did find a few smallish mistakes in her translations from Old Norse and Latin, or at least parts that could need further justification.

For example, she always translates grafseiðr (which often appears in metaphors for the fé-rune) as "coalfish", although - as she actually mentions in the beginning I think - it's a kenning meaning "snake". She does so even in her translation of a bilingual (Old Norse/Latin) text where it was rendered "vipera" in the Latin. The kenning can be understood to literally mean something like "burrow-coalfish" (or "burrow-charm", depending on which of the two homonyme words seiðr you take to be meant) but since it's far from clear that the actual species of coalfish was meant there some further elaboration would have been helpful.

Nevertheless, a huge compendium of information, and I think I might consult it from time to time again.

This is scientific literature, but I think it's written in a way that also a general public can understand.

The book can be downloaded for free here:
albeit split into many PDFs (which you could merge using e.g. PDF24).

Reading / Review: Dastur Adam Daniels - First Step Toward Ahriman
« on: October 13, 2017, 11:07:01 am »
Well, if this section is for "favorite books" then this thread might be wrong here. But I suppose I could give some reviews on books I read related to the LHP. And I would be interested in such reviews by other users here so I suppose I'll just start in this fashion.

The last such book I read was "First Step Toward Ahriman" by Adam Daniels, the founder of the Dakhma of Angra Mainyu, a kind of initiatory school combining the philosophy of the western LHP with Zoroastrian mythology and practices derived from Tantra.

That book is the basic text they give to their novices (it's also available for the general public, though, and many of its texts can also be found online).
It's a complilation of three other books of the author. And it's really a mixed bag.
It's about 300 pages long, but with such a big font size that I read it in just 2 days.

It starts with a huge section narrating the Zoroastrian mythology from the perspective of Ahriman.
Nice to read, but well, it's in the nature of mythology, but a lot seems really random. It could need some exegesis, so to speak. Probably the reader is either expected to make up their own interpretations, or to listen to those by the group (some rather interesting ones can be found on their YT-channel). Well, considering the target audience that's nothing I should complain about I guess.

Then there are a few lists on the mythological characters relevant to Ahrimanism. Helpful. Although I don't necessarily agree with all their incorporations of Hindu deities. Yes, Zoroastrianism can be seen as inverse Hinduism in quite some aspects, and Ahrimanism as inverse Zoroastrianims then would of course fit well to Hinduism. Still don't see why I should combine Vedic deity-concepts with tantric practices.

Then follow some excerpts from the Al-Jiwah and later the 19 Enochian Keys. Neither something that I hold much interest in.

Between those there are two more interesting sections: Hymns/Prayers, and Philosophy.
The hymns and prayers are well-written for the most part and shed some further light on several of the many mythological characters listed before. If one was interested in working with a whole pantheon of deities then this would be really helpful.
The philosophy part contains nothing really new for me, but it is well-written and agreeable.

The last part of the book is what I had the highest expectations on - a curriculum on initiatory rituals for the duration of 1 year (not one different ritual for every day, but for example one for night 1-5, then one for night 6-15, etc.).
However, a huge part of the practices there seem to be directed at people coming from a Christian background and still clinging to that morality, as a help for them to get themselves out of that.
I may consider myself a beginner in spiritual matters (or maybe simply blind on my third eye), but nevertheless even I had already done quite a bunch of the practices suggested  before, e.g. simple breathing exercises, masturbating before one's altar, dedicating the different parts of one's body to Ahriman (admittedly, that idea I got from one of their videos I think), visualizations, several self-reflection meditations,...
A major section of these rituals also consists of invocations to Enochian demons, which, as mentioned before, I'm not really interested in.

Nevertheless, I would maybe do at least part of that curriculum as, on one hand, it really is helpful to have clear instructions what to do if just to form a habit of practicing rituals on any regular basis, and on the other hand, there are some practices included that I do see quite some worth in doing and that might profit from being done in something like the order suggested.

However, every ritual is to be begun by reciting one and the same nightly prayer. Not that this would be an issue in and of itself, but it's over 3 pages long and written in a style that I really can't relate to. It's basically an inversion of a prayer taken from the Avesta, but done in such a sloppy manner that I wonder whether it's because English is not my native language or whether actually quite a few sentences don't even make sense grammatically. And some of entities mentioned in it are referred to by a different name that can't be found anywhere else the book with no reason given (e.g. Indar/Indra, Naunghaithyn/Nanshait, I suppose).
You can find the text of that prayer here on page 20-23 in another publication by the author:
I would prefer basically any other hymn or prayer published by them to use instead, and they have some fairly pretty ones indeed.

Also, I rarely read a book with so many typos. Some even changed the meaning in ways that were obviously not intended.

So, not sure what to make of that. Probably I'm just not really the target audience, but well, why not? I'm a devil-worshipper who likes calling his deity Ahriman (among several other names) and who wants to get more spiritual. How doesn't that fit?

Lounge / Hi :)
« on: August 28, 2017, 05:36:28 pm »

I'm new here!

Some of you may know me from where I use the same user name.

In case you don't, some general infos:
I'm a pantheistic Satanist, a transguy, in my mid-twenties, and I live in Germany.

Since I noticed that this forum has become a tad more lifely I thought I might just join the fun!

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