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Varg Vikernes
Thulean Perspective
The Ancient Mystery Cults

We know of several mystery cults from the Classical world; the most famous being the Eleusian Mysteries and Mithraism. What was common to them all was that they all included an initiation using sacred objects and a mystery chamber. Another thing they had in common was that they all appeared in the civilized parts of the world.

Here I will explain what they were all about, why they appeared where and when they did, and also what the "barbarian" equivalent was and also what the roots to all these cults were. I will also show examples of cults deriving from this that still exist today.

The first thing we need to understand in order to comprehend anything in this context, is that all the ancients believed in reincarnation, and that this was the focus of their traditions. This was the purpose of their religious efforts. When we see caves from tens of thousands of years ago, here in Europe, with petroglyphs and the footprints of 7 year-old children in the sand, we need to understand that this is the Stone Age equivalent of a mystery chamber! Inside you would find a priestess or a priest, a gate keeper, whose purpose was to test you. Not just in the "are you worthy" sense, but also in the "is it really you" sense.

The sacred objects, presented to you in this mystery chamber, had a twofold meaning: "Can you recognize the right sacred object?" (to prove it is really you!), and "Find back to yourself!" (if it is truly you, and you identify the right object). You would enter the chamber, be presented several objects, and only if you identified the right one, you would be allowed to proceed to the next chamber. A priestess or a priest would also ask you a question, that you would need to answer correctly. The ultimate question would be a sacred password, that only "the right one" would know. And yes, that password would be... your own name. You true secret name, that you possessed in a previous life, and that you told to the priestess or priest, for her or him to keep it secret until you returned.

The sacred objects would be the items you had been buried with, mixed up with several other similar items, to ensure that no "trespassers" would enter and claim your spirit. If it was really you, only you would be able to identify them correctly! Imposters would not be able to do that!

In our own day and age, a part of this ancient tradition is still partly in existence in Hinduism and Buddhism: the Dalai Lama and the Kumari are both found using this tradition.

Like I said, this tradition stems from the Stone Age. The origin lies in our Neanderthal forebears. We see clear archaeological evidence that they did the exact same, as our forebears did in pre-Christian historical Europe. Not just in Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome, but all over Europe.


A Druid - a Celtic midwife of the mind - with his sacred objects

A Druid, a Celtic "midwife of the mind", with his sacred objects

We even have some of the riddles presented to the reincarnating dead, in the Eddas, in "Alvíssmál" as well as "Hárbarðsljóð". In fact, it is likely that most of the Edda poems were actually such riddles, but these two are absolutely obviously that. The dwarf in "Alvíssmál" wants to marry Thórs daughter (i.e. a mythological way of saying you want to be reborn), and has to win in a knowledge contest, but fails. Then in "Hárbarðsljóð" we have Thór himself who wants to cross a river (i.e. a mythological way of saying you either die or want to be re-born), and faces a ferryman challenging him to a wisdom contest.

This is how it was done: you would enter the mystery chamber, be presented with one true and several false sacred object, and if you picked the right one, you would be presented with some riddles, that you needed to solve in order to continue to the next chamber. Then you would be presented with more items, and again you had to pick the right one, and answer more riddles, before you could continue. You would only be reincarnated and be able to claim all the sacred objects as your own if you picked only the right items every time and also were able to solve all the riddles, as well as know the ultimate secret password at the end: your true name, that only the priestess or priest would know!

This was done at the age of 7, and the victorious child would ultimately leave the burial mound with all the sacred objects as well as the skull and femur of the dead, lying in the ultimate chamber.

And yes, we have actual physical evidence to support what I say here: all the way back to the Stone Age, and the Neanderthals, and all the way up into historical times, we find burial sites with remains lacking both the skulls and the femur (or they have been replaced with bear skulls and the femurs of a bear). We also find the burial sites "plundered" which of course means simply that the person in the grave had returned to re-collect the sacred objects that were rightfully his own! He had been reincarnated!


70 000 year old Neanderthal remains, from Le Regordou, in France, with the head and femur missing

70.000 (!) year old Neanderthal remains, from Le Regordou, in France, with the head and femur missing

5500-year-old burial mound in Tiarp, near Falköping, in Sweden, with 12 bodies

5500-year-old burial mound in Tiarp, near Falköping, in Sweden, with 12 bodies. "By chance" all missing their skulls. Naturally, the "scholars" think they have been "beheaded". Sigh.

The image of a greedy and bearded, and rather ugly, dwarf stems from this too: the little child greedily sought his precious sacred items (often made of gold, in order to last in a grave), and then left the burial mound holding much golden items and the (often bearded, and always kind of grotesque) head of his former body victoriously above his head. As I have explained in other books, "dwarf" means "opening in the ground" too. That is, whence the child comes when he is reborn.

The "problem" with this ancient reincarnation cult though, was that it was not really for everyone. Only a select few would be able to reincarnate this way. Only a select few would even be given a burial mound to begin with! The rest?

Likewise, today, only one individual in Hinduism reincarnates as the Dalai Lama. Only one single individual reincarnates as the Kumari although they "lose" their role as the Kumari when they start to menstruate there, and then a new one needs to be found, so in a sense several women have been the Kumari, but only one at a time.

It is still a custom in Europe though, to name your children after your dead relatives, to put images of them on the mantlepiece (where they in the past put carved wooden figurines of them or their skulls on the mantlepiece), so we should reconsider the claim I make above here. Certainly there was some sort of reincarnation for everyone, but... only some would return as deities.

Yeah, I know: we have "Pagans" today who worship the gods, make sacrifices to them and think they are real physical beings on Earth. They list historical examples of god-worship, and claim this is how you shall do it. But they fail to understand that the gods, the actual and real gods, are deities reincarnated in human beings. That is: human beings reincarnated as gods. These deities were indeed given a special treatment in the past, and were hailed as real physical gods here on Earth. Like the Dalai Lama and the Kumari still is. Yeah, they still give offerings to the Kumari...

Indeed, the Lord of any ancient Germanic society was Freyr. And Lady of any ancient Germanic society was Freyja. The head of any tribe was a god, and his wife was a goddess. They had gone through the ritual reincarnation of the deity, so... they were the deities!

And yeah, we have actual evidence supporting this claim too: even after the Christianization (i.e. the "we pretend to accept your immigrant cult in order to avoid torture and death"), they still practiced this in Scandinavia. The family head of any farmer family still was a deity. When he died his throne would remain unused until one of his sons reincarnated not as him, but as the same deity! In order for this to happen, he would need to first kill the deity, i.e. cut a wooden idol with his sword, and then become the deity himself. We see remains of this in form of traditional "sword dances", but of course also in the Arthurian mythology, where the sword has become stuck in the idol!

You see, when the son cut the idol, he would make a promise, to do something spectacular! This was known in Scandinavia as a "Bragi promise", from the deity "Bragi", meaning "best". If he e.g. promised to "unite all the tribes in England and become king there", then he would have to do that in order to become the deity.

However the deity was in charge here, so if the sword got stuck in the idol, and the next in line could not get it free, he would not become that deity after all! And the next in line would be allowed to try pull it out. If he too failed, then the next in line would try, etc. etc. etc. In the Arthurian myth the idol is a rock, but this is the same, and ultimately the god choses a little boy, Arthur, to become him! The myth suggests that when he manages to pull the sword form the idol, he is destined to become king, but... in reality, the one who pulled the sword from the idol had to perform the act of heroism promised by the one cutting the idol! In the case of Arthur (meaning "bear", btw...), this would be to become king.

I can also add that the symbolism here is that the idol is the placenta, and the sword the umbilical cord, and in order to be reborn, you naturally have to "free the umbilical cord form the placenta". If you do not, when you are born, you will die.

These real gods, these deities reincarnated in man, were given special attention by the others, yes. They were hailed as real gods. They were real gods!

They would transfer divine blessings to others by placing their swords on the shoulders of their subjects, by letting them drink from the cauldron of the lady, etc., but they also had severe restrictions. E.g. They sometimes (as seen with the Kumari) could not touch the ground, and were therefore carried around in thrones or standing on shields (as is best known to us from the French cartoon "Asterix", actually). The goddesses could not bleed (again: as seen with the Kumari), they had to wear clothes in certain colors, etc. It was no easy task, being a deity... You can read more about these "taboos" in Sir James Frazer's "The Golden Bough", btw, if you are interested.

It is still unclear to me, whether only the gods would reincarnate, or if there was a general belief in reincarnation for everyone. Or perhaps if everyone reincarnated, but in order to reincarnate as a god, you would need to go through a special ritual. From what I can tell, the latter is the most likely. I hope I will understand this better, but for now, I will simply present to you what I do know.

It seems though, as if in Classical Antiquity, the mystery cults appeared because something had been lost by the adoption of civilization. Too many ordinary people, too little direct contact with the natural world and of course, a diminished human species.

It was no easy task being worthy of reincarnation. With civilization, more and more failed, until so many were "uninitiated", and so many failed to see the purpose of it all, that they could be lured into universal cults where everyone, the more inferior the better, were accepted and approved of.

Yeah, I am talking about Christianity here...

Varg Vikernes
01.03.2024






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