Andy Sydell: A Traveller’s Musing

Happy birthday to anyone, who might have birthday today! Here is another poem by Andy Syddell. Feel its power and the Wode be raised to Asgard!

Painting by David J. Jones

A journey begins, the price is paid, destination unknown the plans are laid

How far shall I travel no Wight portends, what will I find on this road without end?

First comes the Fee, bright coins glowing

Sheep in the fold, cattle lowing.

Concealed in my pocket I carry my wealth

From those that would have it and trouble my health.

Men become dragons, treasures are hidden,

Jealously hoarding a sparkling midden.

Have just enough that your kin want for nought,

Value the worth of the things that it bought.

Too much of anything brings anger and strife

But a man’s modest wealth is a boon to his life.

Mighty the ox, a fierce shaggy beast

Descended of the primordial licker of yeast.

Indomitable spirit, untameable heart,

Inscrutable life force in cave dwellers art.

My soul will soar and my own heart will race

As the herds hooves thundering strike up the pace.

Snorted breath steaming, sweat covered hides,

Foemen and illness swept clear aside.

Coming to rest the fury is ended,

Benevolent beast, wildness befriended.

Next are the brambles, tangled and ruined.

The Coney’s delight and the hunter’s undoing.

Sweet fruits are borne to those who show care,

But not to the hasty whose skin it will tear.

When handled with grace a reverser of curses,

Not so for the churlish, a portal for thurses!

At home in the wildwood, the heath and the hall

A help for the farmer, the girl and a thrall.

The maidens delight, the roses adorn,

Protector of beauty, the bloodthirsty thorn.

An intake of breath, a chilling sensation,

Hyperborean wind, divine inspiration.

Giver of poetry, constantly seeking,

Behind the tree bole one eye peeking.

The giant in the well, the breeze in my hair,

Ancestral father I know where you stare.

Fill me with wordcraft and know that I speak

Of things for the worthy and not for the meek.

My mind is catching your Wode like a sail,

As I stand by the Eormensyl, Allfather Hail!

The riding is pleasure for me on my horse

The beast of burden stays true to his course.

Fair weather aids progress, the miles they pass by,

But storm clouds can easily blot out the sky.

The man on the road oft times has it worse,

Wind, snow, mud, rain, his journey will curse.

The fireside explorer seldom hungry or cold,

Adventures aplenty in his armchair so bold!

But he’ll never know the thrill of it all,

The riding that happens away from the hall.

Bring me my torch and light my way,

My eyes break the dark, come what may.

Guiding the way, the tallow sizzles,

Steadfast comfort through mist and drizzle.

But a torch will burn you if you act without care,

So be mindful if this boon you bear.

But it for the wise dark secrets reveals,

As nights thick blanket back it peels.

But never a word of praise be uttered,

Until your torch has burned and guttered.

A wanderer sometimes a gift will find,

But be sure to meet its like in kind.

Joyful things despite their worth

Break the waters of friendships birth.

A poor man’s bread or a rich man’s gold,

Are of equal standing the truth be told.

Be wary of baubles from flatterers and cheats,

For in their glitter lies deceit.

But these foul givings must be matched,

And ill plots killed before they’re hatched.

Joy to the journeyman can be many things,

From a wildflowers’ scent to when a bird sings.

Food in the belly, a fellow well met,

A stick for the walking, a fish in the net.

The dew in the morning, the kiss of a maiden,

The sun on my face, a burden unladen.

Joy’s not yours alone; it belongs to us all,

To the fellow downtrodden, the beast in the stall.

So take as you find it and give when you may,

And happiness often will walk down your way.

Whitest of crystals, coldest of seeds,

Worker of misery and wintry deeds.

Exposed on the hillside the thrall yelps in pain,

A cry from the farmer as it thrashes his grain.

As the barley is battered the grains are well strewn

With the sun’s warmth and bounty crops grow anew.

One single ray from the shield of Sól’s daughter,

Destroy the cold hail and return it to water.

A blocker, a blinder, a mystical force,

A breaker of bonds when stuck on your course.

Need on the road can take many a form,

A horn and some bread, a fire to keep warm.

Toil provides means, a meal and a bed,

A hearth for your feet, a pillow your head.

A stick and a stone are the breakers of bones,

But can also make fire for the needy alone.

For want of need, where would we be?

No cart for the highway, no ship for the sea.

To the idle it’s scornful, a burden to move,

For the wise it’s a reason to strive and improve.

Cat ice in the margins and frost on the ground,

A killer that creeps without any sound.

Binding, constricting, the roof of the lake,

Takes you sleepy to its’ breast, never to wake.

A floor of gemstones in countenance fair,

The traveller on unsteady pathways beware!

But impassable rivers are crossed now with ease,

The ice brings respite to fever’s disease.

Mud, mire and bog, in treacherous marsh,

Can safely be traversed in its grip so harsh.

Harvest is come, fruits of our labours borne,

The onion, the apple, Sir John Barleycorn!

Days at their longest and weather so fair,

Nights full of promise and joy in the air.

We reap our rewards at this time of the year,

Hard work is repaid in bread cheese and beer.

For the fellow that failed his soil to tend,

His kinfolk go hungry and he’ll have his end.

But the wise man toiling with ploughshare and beast,

Will surely be blessed with a bountiful feast!

I pass by a village with a Yew tree so tall,

A mighty sky pillar beloved of all.

Tip high in the sky roots deep in the earth,

All of us know this ancient tree’s worth.

In springtime around, the dancers may go,

In autumn a gift to the hunter, a bow.

Keeper of secrets, always in green,

Wisest of forest folk, calm and serene.

Sentinel tree round which all things revolve

Twigs speak of mysteries, riddles to solve.

A seat in the hall, warm by the hearth,

Watch the girls dancing, hear gamblers laugh.

The Lotbox is shaken the dice they are cast,

Three sisters look on and future is past.

Fate is like ripples, rings on a pool,

From the drop of a pebble from wise man or fool.

None can escape it but our chance we can take,

Choose our own pathway, our story to make.

None outrun death but there’s one thing I’ve learned,

Immortal the wordfame of a good man well earned.

The Elk in the wood, staunch firm and fast,

Antlers raised high, defiant to the last.

Avenger, protector, his enclosure he’ll keep,

Safe from all harm that his kinfolk may sleep.

None shall defy him, proud stag so alert,

He roars out his challenge to all that bear hurt.

But those that would hail the great beast as a friend,

Will ever know that he lives to defend,

From words or weapons, all are the same,

Raise arms to the sky and bellow his name!

Daughter of Sól, bearing your shield,

Shining your rays over hilltop and field.

Sister of Máni, sweet Golden Sow,

Life giving sun on the land that we plough.

Killer of Hail and the Ice Maiden’s end

Truly you’re known as the Seafarer’s friend.

Breaker of barriers, victorious sigil,

Ere chased by Skóll in your endless vigil.

Warmth on my face, I bask in your light,

Till your brother rises to herald the night.

Bringer of victory, three Tyrs on my blade,

Right, truth and justice, a sacrifice made.

Leavings of the Wolf, noblest of gods,

To you we call to even the odds.

The gift of a hand with no hope of gain,

But to make fast the fetters, the price being pain.

The straw dead will serve in the Legions of Hel,

But with a timely cut Tyr I can enter Valhöll.

Prince of the Temple, unfailing king,

Be my companion when I ride to the Thing.

Sacred the Birch tree in springtime so green,

Your youth and your beauty a sight to be seen.

Slender your branches, no fruits do you bear,

Come little Birch tree, your secrets please share.

Under your canopy the woods fruits do thrive,

Magical shrub, you keep them alive.

Combined with need’s spark you kindle a fire,

That burns hot and bright, fanning desire.

Skin white as snow, your treasures reveal,

You give those who know the power to heal.

Noblest of beasts, the warrior’s friend,

Beloved of Princes, steadfast to the end.

A traveller’s joy and the hill’s decoration,

Brothers of the steed founded a nation.

Four legs a hunter, eight for the Slider

Like Bagri Maro’s and six with a rider.

His hooves beat a rhythm, he snorts and he whickers,

Sing his name and slip twixt the worlds in a flicker.

When the going is heavy, the travelling long,

See wind in his mane and he’ll carry you along.

I met a man as I travelled along,

We shared a meal, a drink and a song.

We spoke of places far and wide;

We told our tales, we laughed, we cried.

When at last we came to rest,

And spoke of things we loved the best,

Gold it dulls, fine ships can leak,

Byrnies rust, blades become weak.

But share an alehorn and food in a pan,

I’d say every man rejoices in man.

A sea to cross, waves are boiling,

Beneath the bowsprit brine is roiling.

Rán’s daughters dance and seek a mate,

To drag below to a watery fate.

A name to call, to still and calm,

And save my ship from certain harm.

And when my fields are bare and dry,

No crops will grow, its’ name I’ll cry

Until the clouds burst pouring rain,

The soil is fertile once again.

Fertile loins and wholesome soil,

Just rewards for honest toil.

A life inside, the growing seed,

A thought, a child, a worthy deed.

Home and hearth, where lies the heart,

A place to rest and then restart.

End of strife, free from worry,

A course to set, no need to hurry.

But keep alert and best beware

Of endless labours with no fruit to bear.

My eyes are open, a new day breaks,

Dark night has passed now as I wake.

Murk is banished, all is clear,

Answers to riddles now appear.

A time for plans, new ventures start,

The will to change, indomitable heart.

We meet in the middle, a balance, a scale,

Hopes and happiness hearty and hale.

So wisely use the dawn’s new light,

Before returns the cloak of night.

O for home! We return at last,

The lot inherited, ancestral past.

Rewards that come from the toil of the clan,

We inherit ourselves, become more than man.

Deeds of the folk are mine now to claim,

I’ll live in a manner to bring them no shame.

Walls of Ásgarð, ramparts of my mind,

Defend and protect, transcend and align.

When men become gods and gods become men,

Destiny mine, we are free once again.

Painting by David J. Jones

Andy Syddell: Wellspring

by David J. Jones


by Andy Syddell

In the early part of the last third of the last century, a curious thing came to pass. Like the sap rising in a tree in the springtime of the seasons, the Old Gods felt the same rising as need fire amongst the folk, on all sides of the Atlantic Ocean and all at the very same time, seeking the mysteries of their ancestral heritage.

And so it was once again that a great Wellspring came into being, and from this Wellspring issued forth many more streams. Now this ground was frozen and they found it was very hard, cold and restrictive, almost impenetrable and strewn with rocks, stones, and all manner of hindrance and obstruction.

Some of the streams found hollows and depressions, and settled in them happily and lazily, forming pools. But these shallow pools soon became cut off from the Wellspring and became foul and stagnant, revelling in their own entropy.

Some of the streams were chaotic; they were enthusiastic, boisterous and noisy. They skipped and splashed against the rocks and stones, making a great show of themselves but barely moving the obstacles in their paths, slowing all the while in their progress until in the heat of the day they became tired, bored and simply evaporated away.

Some of the streams pushed on quietly, working a little harder they travelled long and hard and found their way to a Rivers cut, and joined it trusting to luck. But the Rivers all had their own very different path from that which the stream should have taken but nevertheless once the merging was made then too difficult was it to change course so the streams became a part of something else entirely and too were lost to the Wellspring of the Gods.

Some of the streams were more determined and pushed yet harder still with great energy and might, diligently finding cracks in the hard ground and harried and worried away the rocks and stones in their paths, some joining one another in their purpose and course and yet others continued alone, but each becoming their own rivers and flowing with grace on their own course set them by the Wellsprings.

One or other of the young rivers however found that the only way forward was to go down and away from the daylight, separated from but ever guided by the force and love of the Wellspring. Burrowing and wearing a way through the realm of Dwarves, the gloom breached by wisdom, all the way collecting up fragments of sacred lore and mystery until one day the burrowing led up, up to the surface into the sun’s light as a breaching took place; the hidden current emerging once more not as a River, but all at once reunited with the Wellspring as the same. And so shall it continue until all the Wellsprings and all the Rivers run freely widely, strongly with justice, joy as gift, nourishment and inspiration for the Folk that long for such refreshment and blessing from the High Ones and truly seek the mysteries of the Lady Runa.

by David J. Jones

David J. Jones: From Nothing to Nothing return

By David J. Jones

On Boxing Day we publish David J. Jones’ song-poem exploring the mysteries of the mystical Not or No-thing, shunyata to the Buddhist, Ain to the Jew, Chaos to the chaos magician, the Dragon Eye in Michael Kelly’s system and draconian traditions of the Vama Marga, Ginnung in our tradition. “These things are all ginnung unfolding,… the universe exploring and expressing itself via a multiplicity of forms in a constant state of flux and transformation,” as David Jones put it to me personally. Or as another Master said: “The Guru is saying that there is no you. There is only it. It itself is the seeker who is seeking Itself.” There is no way of speaking about this Ultimate Mystery, called Rûna in our tradition, except speaking in contradictions and dagazian paradoxes. Here is David J. Jones’ take on it:

by David J. Jones

Old Holy St. Crowley had something to say
From nothing to nothing return
He said to know freedom then die every day
From nothing to nothing return
Eternal yet fleeting as the blood in your veins
From nothing to nothing return
Nothing is bornless and nothing remains
From nothing to nothing return

by David J. Jones

From nothing to nothing return
Nothing is bornless and nothing remains
From nothing to nothing return

Hail! Hail! To the most sacred space
The womb we all spring from
The grave we all face
Hail! Hail! To the most sacred space
Ginnungagap begin and ginn again
Begin again
Ginnungagap begin and ginn again

by David J. Jones

Ragnarök’s not just where the Gods meet their death
From nothing to nothing return
It comes in each minute, it comes with each breath
From nothing to nothing return
Some say that time is a linear trip
From nothing to nothing return
But the void she spins worlds on a Möbius strip
From nothing to nothing return

by David J. Jones

From nothing to nothing return
Nothing is bornless and nothing remains
From nothing to nothing return

When they deal you no bread, when they deal you no mead
From nothing to nothing return
Then ginnung’s the teat on which you’ll choose to feed
From nothing to nothing return
Urð is a mystery and skuld is all chance
From nothing to nothing return
So the wise know verdandi is where they must dance
From nothing to nothing return

From nothing to nothing return
Nothing is bornless and nothing remains
From nothing to nothing return

by David J. Jones


Photo taken by Alexander E. at the Matronae temple in Nettersheim, Germany

Mōdraniht was an Anglo-Saxon celebration that took place during Yule. There are no specific details in existence on the holiday, however, the 8th-century historian Bede indicates that the Anglo-Saxon pagans who took part in this celebration stayed up through the night making sacrifices while feasting. Many scholars such as Rudolf Simek believe that the mothers revered on this night may have links to the Valkyries, the Norns, Dísir, and the Matronae.

With the advent of Mōdraniht I ask you to join us and meditate on our various female ancestral spirits (and ancestors in general) who guide us through the coils of time. This can be done tonight at dusk (or any time you feel to be liminal) or over the next 12 days.

Photo taken by Alexander E. at the Roman-Germanic Museum in Cologne
Photo taken by Alexander E. at the Matronae temple in Nettersheim, Germany

Dave Lee`s Waterfall Galdor

Today we are happy to present some practical galdor work from Master Dave Lee. Dave has been engaged in self-transformation and using techniques that include meditation, magic, psychedelics, and energy work since the 1980s with various groups such as the I.O.T. and the Rune Gild. If you would like to hear more about his interesting and exciting story, please check out his most recent interview with Adventures in Woo Woo.

Before getting into the practice we would like to mention that Dave has recently created an online school of magic! There are currently two classes available, the magical self-care class is for free and can be found here. The second class will provide the student with instruction in eight powerful breathwork techniques and can be found here.


One day around the turn of the century I was driving down the M1 motorway to a meeting in London. I was listening to Radio 4, and an item came on about church singing on the Hebridean Isle of Lewis, off the west coast of Scotland. They were singing Gaelic psalms, powerful voices weaving together like knot-work, spilling over each other in what the presenter described as ‘waterfall singing.’ One voice would start then others would join in, improvising rich polyphony on a simple basic tune.

The sound was incredible. This music was uplifting, mysterious, scalp-tinglingly visceral. Here is a sample:

At some point it occurred to me that this is how runes should be sung in a group. Who knows, maybe our ancestors sang runes in this way? Or maybe not. But in any event, as soon as I’d made that connection, I couldn’t wait to start.


Over the next few years I introduced the practice to various groups of chaos magicians. In 2005, at the Rune-Gild World Moot in Schleswig, I introduced to technique to other Gilders.

In the winter of 2007 I joined with a larger group, maybe 12 people, in an underground temple in Austria, with a glass roof supported by six wooden beams that formed a Hagal snowflake under the full moon. The acoustics were amazing, and the effects astonishingly intense, one of the best magical sounds I have ever heard.

Back in Sheffield, my chaos magic group WASUME took up the practice with alacrity. One of our number – George Rogers – is a musician and as we developed the technique of working our four voices together, George recorded a good deal of it. We used waterfall galdor for our own magical workings and also started using it in performances.

One of the earliest was in 2012, the launch of my novel The Road To Thule. This was in an upstairs room at the great but since-departed independent bookshop Rare and Racy. This is part of the flyer for the event:

WASUME (pronounced wa-soo-may) consists of four people who sing magic.

WASUME’s singing styles and techniques are developed from ancient European forms that survive today: Gaelic psalm-singing, the beat frequencies captured by drifting microtones, the eerie harmonics of the Sardinian ‘Quintina’.

Our speciality is galdor, the singing of runes, the magical alphabets of the Northern peoples. WASUME sing these spells using cascading harmonies derived from the ‘waterfall singing’ of Gaelic psalms, the last surviving example of a singing style believed to have been heard all over Europe centuries ago.

The galdors WASUME sing are built up from galdors of individual runes. First the individual runes are sung, then the bind-rune, the ‘word’ formed from the runes. The leader introduces the galdor and the other singers follow, using the same notes and sometimes harmonies or microtones around them.  

Our own name, WASUME is a bindrune.’


This recording is by George Rogers and features WASUME singing the bindrune-formula WUALF, designed by Peter Mastin. It’s a formula to transmit higher consciousness, health, wealth and good fortune:


I’ll be offering a Masterclass in Rune-Singing early next year, as a recorded lecture on my Chaotopia School of Magic and also at some stage as a live online event.

I’ll also be offering an introductory course on Rune-Magic and an advanced one on working with the Younger Futhark.

If you wish to stay informed about my events, you can sign up for my newsletter at


For now, here are some instructions for Waterfall Galdor:

  • If you haven’t already, practice singing runes on your own;
  • Find another person or persons, practice with them;
  • Go for the same note, then veer off a semitone and listen for beat frequencies.
  • Listen to what the other person/s are singing.
  • Sing with more people if you can.

Jive Talk: Interview with Ian Read

Tom Rowsell on his YouTube channel “Survive the Jive” interviewed Ian Read today. In the format “Jive Talk” they discuss Ian’s background in reenactment and chaos magick, they talk about folk music and his band Fire + Ice, Indo-Germanic traditions, Northern heathenry, the Rune-Gild, academic runology, the spiritual path, traditionalism and many other interesting topics:

P.D. Brown: A Spell to Dream Lucidly

“Una you are called, oldest of herbs,

Of might against three and thirty”;

The Nine Herbs Charm names your powers

And more has the Mother of Herbs:

To discourage the midge, for menstrual complaints,

Trusty against foot fatigue,

Easer of anxiety, anti-inflammatory,

The list goes on and on.

The soul of your seed-line is sown anew,

A plant of presence stands here.

Can I charm with words a cherished favour

And have leave to take your leaves?

I ask to call you my ally in spirit,

Grant me your weirdest gift;

Colour my dreams with cobalt skies

And seas of sparkling sapphire,

Emerald greens on growth of all kinds,

Outstanding stained glass trees,

That attract my notice, my attention is roused

And I start to consider my state.

So when I see them, it awakes an inkling;

The penny drops it’s dream-time;

My eyes are opened, an inner kindling,

I’m lucid in the land sublime!

photos by Šárka Sedláková

Andy Syddell: All that I ever was and will be

8th November 2020: Mania / Gwynn up Nudd. “The Roman festival of the Mania commemorates the Manes, spirits of the underworld. A day when the lower worlds are accessible. In Celtic tradition the Gwynn up Nudd (Light, son of Darkness), lord of the faerie kingdom, permits the door to be opened for a day. His abode is Glastonbury Tor, one of the ancient holy mountains of Britain, an entrance to the lower world.” (Nigel Pennick 2001 [1992]: The Pagan Book of Days, p. 126) Today we present a poem by Andy Syddell, a great poet and Skald, who is deeply involved with Northern tradition since three decades. The following poem will be turned into a song on the next Fire + Ice album.

photo art by Šárka Sedláková

All that I ever was and will be

by Andy Syddell

How came I here, to this place, on this night, first of nine?
Rough bark grazes my skin; I reach for the ash pole, shaft of the blood fish.
The wound worm bites, I bleed; my gift to the soil falls as warm rain in this chill
While the rope holds, binds and burns with its need to contain me.
Stripped bare, hanging, moved by the breeze I am all that I ever was and will be.

My up is down, down up; sound and colour blend as I sway in this night become day.
I watch each leaf shake and tremble as they dance to the wind, every colour and hue.
My veins throbbing, heart racing, my head pounding and my mind reeling,
My skin crawling with every creature that stings and gnaws….
Stripped bare, hanging, moved by the breeze, all that I am I give unto myself.

I hear every heartbeat, eery sounds in the night; pounding, pulsing, beating
Flesh becomes bough, bones twist into branches, blood turns to sap.
I am the ebb and flow of all life, stretching onwards, outwards, upwards
Limbs brush the rim of heaven, roots plunge into cold darkness
Stripped bare, hanging, moved by the breeze, seeking, searching, needing!

What of the hunger that gnaws my gut, the thirst that burns me hoarse?
Who would break a loaf to share with this wind burnt offering?
Or spill from the horn a draught to quench this maddening drought?
None would for none there were on this lonely hill, save for us three.
Stripped bare, hanging, moved by the breeze, fading, failing, dying!

Weak and alone I am still all that I ever was but am I really at all?
The warming dawn tumbles into an eighth day, and falls again to shivering night.
The North Star laughs by my feet as I slip away again, under deeper and deeper
As a drowning mariner for whom the reef betrayed and the rock kissed keel shatters.
Stripped bare, hanging, moved by the breeze, passing, sinking, under!

But what is this, what is become of me? My body hangs swaying below yet above me?
No longer swaying, I flow through the veins of that wind blasted tree.
I fill the space with my being, free of the fetters of flesh and rope
Such visions I see that are not of my eyes yet fill the fracture of my sparkling mind.
Stripped bare, hanging, moved by the breeze, flowing, freedom, expanding!

Apparitions swirl before me, my senses flooded, but what can they tell me?
Songs of unknown things fill my being, vibrate, resonate and etch on my soul.
Mysteries present themselves as riddles to be unpicked by my racing thoughts.
The limitless enormity stuns me as the answer to every question is revealed.
Stripped bare, hanging, moved by the breeze, my sacrifice to self whole and complete.

Suddenly I open one eye, and I inhale the night air. Am I truly awake, not yet dead?
As my mind clears I see the once bright glowing runes fading beneath me,
Fading, as red hot iron cools in the breeze; I must have them, I must save the dream!
I reach down, strain every sinew, I seize them in my hands and crying, fall back down!
Stripped bare, hanging, moved by the breeze, my gift repaid in full.

How came I here, back to the world of men on this night, all of nine?
My skin sweat streaked and filthy from my passage, my spirit soars.
The prize I have won, self from self so great it will echo down the ages
Helpful to those that hear them, I shall hail those that know them!
Stripped bare, hanging, moved by the breeze, all that I ever was and will be.

The Wode Filled Art of David Rudziński

October 31st, 2020: Samhain Eve/Halloween/Goddess month of Samhain commences. “The feast of Samhain marks the onset of a darker, more introspective time of year when access to the otherworld is easier than usual. The festival is also known as Halloween when witches rise abroad: Hey ho for Halloween, When all the witches are to be seen: Some in black, and some in green, Hey for Halloween!”  (Nigel Pennick 2001 [1992]: The Pagan Book of Days)

Today we are pleased to share nine artworks from Fellow David Rudziński. You can purchase prints and t-shirts of David`s artwork from Redbubble. If you are interested in purchasing an original piece you can message him directly on Facebook.


Ingrid Fischer (1950 – 2020)

Brandenburg Moot 2018, with Ingrid Fischer in the centre of the first row

Three months ago our friend, teacher and Rune-Master Ingrid Fischer left Midgard on July 16th 2020. We needed time to come to terms with that, but the activity on this blog shall begin again in a regular fashion. Ingrid was the Hall-Master of Eormensyl Hall and passed it on to Dave Lee, who ist the Hall-Master now. This first post after Ingrid’s death shall show the genius of Ingrid’s beautiful mind. She has inspired many of us and her example shall continue to do so. I am glad that I was able to interview Ingrid before she passed away.

It is Ian Read’s and my conviction that Ingrid had a satori experience, when she got the bad news of her terminal illness and that she had a few weeks left to live. Her stoic and heroic way to face death and her last poem (see below), which she wrote down spontaneously after she got the bad news, are testimony to this. Ingrid was prepared to die and knew that her divine spark is immortal. She fully and consciously embraced death as the moment, in which self-liberation or moksha is possible. After decades of practicing magic in its deepest sense, Ingrid focused on meditation and studyied the philosophia perennis or Sanatana Dharma in depth. She will be missed dearly. Her death is a great loss to the Rune-Gild.

Dear Ingrid, what drew you into magic and what system or tradition was the first one you encountered?

When I was not quite 16 years’ old, I looked around me and did not like much of what I saw. So, I took an oath to myself never to be like all these other people. I was studying Nietzsche at the time and deeply entranced by his ideas.

Some wild years later I started learning about Astrology, which did not really provide me with what I was looking for. Whilst living and studying in Graz I met a man who became my lover for quite some time and it was he who introduced me to Franz Bardon. From then on two years of rigorous and daily work with Franz Bardon’s system began, about two to three hours every day.

At the time I was living in Klagenfurt and I got to hear about a Sri Chinmoy group which was trying to recruit. Curious as I was, I contacted them and did several meditation sittings with them. This all seemed a bit fishy to me, but in order to find out more about them I joined them for a weekend retreat – and that was it for me! It smacked of cultism and total submission, which could never be part of my path.

When I spent a year in Linz for extensive psychotherapy training etc., I frequently browsed bookshops and there – hidden behind some heavy books – I found an advertisement for a magickal weekend course in Switzerland by one Frater V.D. (Ralph T). Reading through the leaflet I immediately decided to sign up for it, and off I drove all the way to Switzerland. At this weekend Ralph announced the first ever Chaos Magick seminar in Lockenhaus, a famous castle in Austria. And this is where I met Ian Read in the August of 1987. The rest is history, as they say. 

How did your meeting with Ian impact your views on magic or how did it change the direction of your magical path?

At the above-mentioned Chaos Magick seminar in Lockenhaus Ian introduced us to the Runes. This was a deeply magical session and I am sure that Odhinn spoke through Ian then, because when he asked us to go out into the wild woods surrounding the castle that night and spend 20 minutes on each of the 24 Runes of the Elder Futhark, I could never have not done this. During this night I was sometimes frightened out of my wits because there were all sort of wild animals around; however, the Runes kept me safe. After this initiatory night I finally knew where my roots lay and where I could learn and live my magic. My disciplined efforts with Franz Bardon’s system laid the necessary groundwork for me to enter the realm of our Nordic ancestors and their lore.

Have you ever seen yourself as a chaos magician during your IOT times? How has chaos magick influenced you in the long run?

One of the bugbears in my life has always been me being too serious and heavy-handed. Chaos Magick has taught me that you will not get anywhere fast by doing your magic in an overly serious and heavy-handed way. Do not get me wrong, your intent has to be serious, but the way you work your magic has to have a light touch and at times even humour.

Yes, whilst learning how to perform and live all these weird and sometimes wicked rituals, I did consider myself a Chaos Magician. When you enter a stream that speaks to you, you have to do this whole-heartedly or you will never succeed. I was the first woman in the IOT to be initiated into the 1st Degree, and believe me, this would not have happened without I gave it my all.

In the long run Chaos Magick has taught me that, while my main dedication will always be the Nordic system and its Soul Lore, I can take a more creative approach, and study and use other wisdoms to frolic magically through flights of imagination.

I sense a strong mystical side in you. If I may ask the question this way: When did you feel or realize that magic (in terms of sorcery and results magic) is not enough and the mystical path became more relevant in your life?

Magic brought me the desired results, however, sometimes the price was too high and at other times I asked myself whether deep down I really had wanted these results. All of these led me to the question, how well did I truly know myself, my motives, my outlook on life. Did this result magic genuinely enrich my life and my soul?

These deliberations mostly started when I had no choice but to sober up and stop drinking alcohol. The ‘Twelve Steps’ of Alcoholics Anonymous were a starting point for me well over 30 years ago.

My impression is that – at least to some extent – you influenced Ian with mystical ideas and/or persons. If this impression is right, how did it happen? Or: In which ways did your mystical path have an impact on Ian?

I cannot say that I influenced Ian with mystical ideas etc., it is rather that in our relationship we talk a lot with each other, discussing our own ideas and what we are studying, each seeking input from the other. At some point I found out about Krishnamurti and started listening to his recordings, also reading his books in earnest, and when I talked to Ian about this, I realised that he had been doing similar things with Alan Watts.

Ian and I have a different approach to mystical matters and the spiritual path; however, this never prevents us from working and studying together.

How does a relationship, in which both partners are dedicated to psycho-spiritual growth, impact one’s development? Do you think that such a relationship is more helpful on the path than walking it alone?

I count myself extremely lucky that both Ian and I walk a similar path and that I can count on Ian to support me wherever he can and, of course, vice versa. Our relationship is deep and solid, we are here to sustain each other, and this has strengthened both our developments.

How has your exploration of Indian spirituality (Yoga, Krishnamurti etc.) or other mystical systems (Gurdjieff, Watts etc) benefitted your spiritual growth?

Yes, Patanjali, the Yoga Vasistha, Krishnamurti’s works and so on have benefitted me no end, because they showed me how our Northern System could possibly have grown in a more practical and spiritual way had not the Christian pestilence put a stop to this.

Now the last one and very heretical: Do you think that an exclusive focus on the Germanic system and runes can limit one’s spiritual development? Would you describe yourself as a universalist?

I think that focussing on the Germanic system and runes exclusively is somewhat limiting because the sources we have are scarce and do not provide us with enough clues on how to reach Valhöll in our benighted times.

Shams of Tabrizi purportedly said: ‘Having roots nowhere, I have everywhere to go’. Now, I do have roots in the Germanic lore, but this does not prevent me from being a Pilgrim.

And no, I am not a universalist, I am deeply rooted in the Germanic worldview.

This is a poem that Ingrid wrote after she received the bad news of her sickness:

The Realm as Yet Unknown

There was never a time to be calm like now
It was always just running around
The loudness, the shrill and unsettledness
Went away with a few words of truth.

Tread the path now into the Unknown
With a curious heart and a spirit unbent
Which will shine forth and up and up
Into the Realm as yet unknown.

Ingrid Fischer, 3rd of June 2020