What follows now is my initial translation of an essay by Rune Magician and founder (or rediscoverer) Friedrich Bernard Marby (1882-1966) of the spiritual discipline of Runengymnastik or Rune Yoga as it is known in the English-speaking world. We owe a debt of gratitude to both Marby and Siegfried Adolf Kummer (1899-1977?) both of whom were harshly treated during the Third Reich. Most of my readers will be aware that the völkisch awakening which occured during the late 19th and early 20th centuries in German-speaking lands was in part responsible for the rise of National Socialism but it is unfortunate that many völkisch thinkers, writers and workers in the esoteric realms fell foul of the new regime which sadly provided an opportunity for personal scores to be settled and for innocent people such as Marby and Kummer to be falsely accused and subsequently to be incarerated on dubious grounds. In Marby's case he was imprisoned from 1936-1945. What we do know is that Karl Maria Willigut (Weisthor) wrote a letter to Heinrich Himmler denouncing Marby in 1934:
"Both Kummer and Marby were censured by Wiligut in his capacity as Himmler's counsellor on magical and religious subjects for bringing the holy Aryan heritage into disrepute and ridicule and this criticism may have led to Marby's harsh treatment in the Third Reich." (The Occult Roots of Nazism. Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology, Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, 1985)
The evidence for the aforementioned accusation by Dr Goodrick-Clarke is to be found in the Bundesarchiv, Koblenz in a letter from Weisthor to Himmler, dated 2/5/34, (Nachlass 19, Himmler). If anyone can provide me with a digital copy of this letter I would be grateful but otherwise I have no reason whatsoever to doubt Dr Goodrick-Clarke's word on this. It is believed that the reason for this friction and hostility by Weisthor has its origins in Weisthor's 'Irmininic Kristianity' which he set in opposition to the Wotanism of Marby who put into practice and applied the teachings of the original Master, Guido von List. Weisthor was the favoured (and protected) occultist of the National Socialist Reich and made some interesting contributions but his teachings are extremely far fetched and it is a matter of historical record that he did have his own 'demons' to combat with and he too fell out of favour eventually with Himmler. One must understand that any open association between the regime and völkisch occultism would have caused problems with the largely christianised masses and so many occultists were either imprisoned or silenced. The flight of Rudolf Hess in 1941 made this situation even worse.
The following translation of Aufrassungs-Plätze. Am Tor zum Runen-Garten. Der „Thing-Platz“ und was er ist is important because it illustrates Marby's view of the ancient Thingsteads or to use the Listian term Halgadome and how they were used originally for esoteric purposes. Indeed this vindicates the work of Odinists and Wodenists today in England who are seeking to identify and reclaim our ancient sacred sites. Woden's Folk is at the forefront of this activity.
My readers must bear in mind that Armanist writings are difficult to translate. First of all the Gothic script is used which does not facilitate easy reading but secondly many of the Listian terms are not merely archaic in language terms but represent words and phrases which are not recognised and do not exist in German or German-English dictionaries. An example of this is Aufrassung which I have translated as 'racial improvement' for want of a better term but is nonetheless clumsy. Much of the sentence construction is also stilted and repetitive. Thus the translator has to walk a tightrope of providing a meaningful translation that is as faithful as possible to the original source but not enslaved by it!
Here is the translation:
"Every animal prefers an environment, open grounds that guarantee it nourishment, reproduction and development. The question of security arises, where man proves himself to be a deadly enemy of the species.
"The special relationships and conditions of a landscape favour the life, reproduction and development of certain species of animals. The next step is the conscious suitable change of a landscape by a species of animal living there. Thus termites among other things change the landscape of their living sphere, and likewise the beaver, in order to achieve the most favourable result for the continued existence, reproduction and development of the species.
"Humanity has always strived for the same thing. However the ultimate goal changed. Today the payment of interest has robbed the folk of the value of their investments, the payment of interest of loans forced on people provided the motive which has much more disfigured the landscape, the residential and living areas formed by humanity.
"The highest goal: The development of the racial consciousness of the folk, in approximately the last 6,000 years fell into oblivion or became aware of the world leadership of the animal-men who they fought against in the living areas of the Germanic race. So called religions and so called economic teachings were forced upon the peoples which made them obligated to pay tax. Racial peoples never remain willing to pay tax for ever. Therefore the former ultimate goal of humanity: racialness, is supposed to disappear before the eyes of the peoples.
"At one time the Teutons shaped the face of the earth, the landscape which they came to in order that with their racially preserving rune exercises they would guarantee the highest success for racial improvement.
"As the southern, racially hostile and tax friendly 'religions' spread more and more and the longer they ruled, the new masters began the deliberate ruining and devaluing of the Germanic landscape and this destruction of the racial landscape was automatically further continued.
"Nevertheless however they did not entirely succeed with the complete destruction of the race-rearing effects of the European landscape. Millions of the former Rune Age purposely situated landscape forms survive to this day almost unchanged, at least in their essential features. It requires no great effort to acquire again the racial improvement of the folk with the guaranteed form of the racial landscape, of the great Teutonic Runegarden.
"Mind you that requires beforehand that one gives room to the simplest view and conclusively lay aside all of the dictated ideas, paths and works of the southern viewpoint.
"Especially many 'Christian', many 'humanist', and many 'idealist' thinking 'academic' circles who as an example praisingly acknowledge and preach the sacrifice of Jesus of Nazareth for humanity or celebrate the sacrifice of blood and life for the national idea, have to sacrifice their power and their class advantages, where it concerns the racial improvement of the folk.
"If they don't want that, then Christianity, humanism, idealism and 'Führertum' is not geunine, but hypocrisy and false leadership (Verführertum-my edit). So long as the privileges of money, of 'education', of 'class', of 'denomination' or of fundamental attitude are allowed and able to still play a role with misleading phrases and brutal force, the world will not experience racial improvement.
"Either we all want racial improvement, or we will all decline.
"In the age in which today's 'culture' was still unknown, in the age in which honesty, openness and capability still had validity, the folk as a whole had the same education and racial improvement techniques, organised by the folk, educated in racial improvement and racial awareness and therein preserved.
"For this pupose life was the only school and the landscape of the garden of racial improvement, of the Rune-Garden.
"We speak here of the Thingsteads for the first time.
"In Germany there are hundreds of thousands of Thingsteads for a great number of these Thingsteads have themselves survived among the folk with the name 'Thingstead'. Opinions about the purpose and significance of the Thingsteads have with time become cloudy or have become devalued or falsified from the times of the southern thinkers.
"Today one hears again of an arrangement of Thingsteads.
"From many ages the Thingstead is referred to as a place of assembly. The Thingstead was once also that. From many ages the Thingstead was referred to as a court and place of execution. There were also some Thingsteads in the age when knowledge of the runes decayed. From many ages the Thingstead was referred to as a folk sport place. Thingsteads were also used for this purpose in a certain age but in a different sense. From many ages the Thingstead is described as a former cult place. That this is what these places once were, it is only to be asked, what one understands as a 'cult'. The Teutons of the racial age knew no cult of gods. From different ages the self-same Thingstead was described as the place at which the Teutons sacrificed people to their gods. However the Teutons have never sacrificed people at religious or other festivities.
"Some think the Thingstead was the place at which the home army assembled before they went on campaign in the 'eternal Sping', which at one time every year a portion of the youth moved into the Teutons' areas of colonisation. The departure point of these campaigns was certainly also the Thingstead in certain courses of time.
"We know that in certain epochs of time the Thingstead was also a place of assembly, a court and place of execution, a folk sport place, a festival ground or a place of worship.
"We know further that assemblies were arranged there and acquired the name 'Thing'. However with the word 'Thing' the reasons for the many types of assemblies in the different epochs of time, which number thousands of years are not recorded.
"It would be easier to accept that because a place has the word 'Thing' an older, more important, holier use is indicated, which one can find support for in the location and form of the place and the word 'Thingstead' remains attached to places, even when no-one knew anymore what the word 'Thing' had actually once meant.
"Now one would think that 'academically educated' philologists would reveal the purpose and meaning of the Thingsteads through the explanation of the word 'Thing'. However one hears nothing valid from the academic camp about the meaning of the word 'Thingstead' and about the original purpose of the Thingstead.
"First question: Why do these people not know how to explain the word 'Thingstead'?
"Answer: Because they know nothing about racial gymnastics, nothing of rune gymnastics and because they don't know, that at one time whereever the Teutons lived, steads for racial improvement gymnastics, steads for rune gymnastics, thus rune exercise steads were set up and that every clan occupied at least one such rune exercise stead, on which they would with the rune exercises and rune dances and rune positions have sung the runes.
"Second question: Then the 'Thingstead' is actually called the 'Singstead'!
"Answer: Yes indeed! And that is linguistically clear. Every person knows that the word 'Thingstead' is written with 'th' and that the 'th' in England today is still pronounced as 'ß' (with the tip of the tongue).
"'Thingstead' is correctly pronounced as 'Singstead'. In borderline cases the pronunciation is always more important than the spelling. (However with different spelling one can detect many dialects and distinguish different peoples).
"Third question: What would have been sung at the 'Thingsteads'?
"Answer: The Thingsteads were (and also in those that remain) rune exercise grounds, which as a result of their construction and arrangement the highest effect of the rune exercises could be achieved. With the racial gymnastic exercises, with the rune exercises the corresponding runes would be sung.
"Fourth question: Would these exercises be done by one person or by more people?
"Answer: The exercises were often done unobserved by one person as applied racial improvement exercises. They were however also joined by others. However: In order to teach the racial improvement exercises to the folk, these exercises of racial gymnastics were shown openly to the entire folk. Thus the Thingsteads were also places of performance, places for teaching.
"The dance play (ballet) as the entire artistic field, that today is included in the theatre is a survival of this training in racial gymnastics, which at one time was developed at the Thingstead or in its environs.
"The Olympic games, the contests which today we see in some arenas, the 'Singers' War on the Wartburg' and all of the many customs and local peculiarities refer back to the former institution of the Thing-Games-Stead, of the Thingsteads as a place of training of the folk, as those important steads, at which at one time the racial improvement of the folk and the race law proceeded from.
The racial improvement and the race law which came from that is the result of the racial gymnastics that developed out of the effects of the rune exercises, which here, in consciously and effectively arranged grounds, were most effective and the desired goal achieved.
"Everything authentic and meaningful in culture, tradition and custom originates in the cultural inheritance of the rune exervise steads. The southern world view and materialist thinking later falsified what came out from these rune exercise steads. One point with reference to that:
"In order to imprint in the memory of the folk those effects which were achieved through certain rune exercises, the performers temporarily wore special masks, in order that the essence and the effect of a particular wave or a particular value of the dynamic forces be produced. At these performances rune words would always then be repeatedly spoken, sung, called out, rune words that corresponded to certain rune stances and rune movements.
"Later in the age of decline due to error and stupidity, the formerly used masks were declared to be 'God', the rune word, which had always belonged to the folk, became the 'name of God' and out of the speaking of this word became the 'invocation of God'.
"Meaningful runic exercise technology became 'ceremony' and later used for the misdirection of religious efforts.
"Fifth question: These Thingsteads or Singsteads were thus originally rune exercise steads! How did it come about, that they became places of judegement?
"Answer: A small number of Thingsteads, or Singsteads (which was indeed the same, as we now know) is indeed also today even recognised as a Thingstead. Almost all of the old church buildings stand on these old Singsteads and also today singing is still done there, although not rune songs. However, unknowingly priests still perform rune exercises, which are today called 'ritualistic ceremonies'. Therefore an (even though unsuitable for rearing of the race) echo is still there. Because the folk did not want to leave their Thingsteads, many of these steads became church grounds, places of judgement, places for amusement, graveyards, theatres, shooting contest grounds, sport places etc.
"If still today in the churches, which stand on the old Thingsteads, there is preaching, agitation and activities against the racial improvement of the folk, so is that not only a dishonouring of the folk, that were so misled, but also a dishonouring of the earth, which once radiated effective well-being to the race, which is the highest religious order.
"Not until the Thingsteads are again genuine Singsteads and places for racial improvement, places at which exercises for racial gymnastics are not only shown but also practised by the folk, will the Thingsteads again be true Thingsteads, hundreds of thousands of places again, at which the folk will become a race!
"The folk will, the time is not far off, again use the runes, will again racially improve themselves, will collectively use the runes in order to seal the turning of all things and conditions, will again use runes under the open sky, all together on the holy earth of their ancestors, but the Thingsteads will again be renewed, the places for the racial improvement in the rune garden of the race."