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