The secret of the runes is the main work by Guido von List. In this work von List introduces us to the Armanen Futhark, a set of runes he said “revealed themselves” to him. The Amanen runes uncover a complete cosmology and esoteric understanding of the primeval Teutonic peoples, and are the cornerstone of his ideology. The secret of the runes clearly and simply sets forth the full spectrum of von List’s vision of a mystical philosophy based on Germanic principles.
The Armanen runes consist of 18 runes, instead of the 16 runes the younger Futhark has. These 18 runes correspond with the 18 verses about runes in the Hávamál, which is at the core of The secret of the runes. This book can be seen as the modern starting point for runology, and a lot of later works o the subject – like those by Edred Throsson – are based on the foundational work of von List. The name Armanen runes associates the runes with the postulated Armanen, whom von List described as an ancient caste of priest-kings.
The secret of the runes, and Guido von List’s views in general can be seen as part of the wider völkische bewegung (folkish movement). This movement gained prominence in 19th century Europe, mainly in Germany proper. Later on the folkish movement was co-opted by the Nazi’s, who initiated more research on a mythical Germanic past, which was often inline with the work of Guido von List, as well as others like Siegfried Adolf Kummer.
The secret of the runes is really the starting point for modern runology, and is a must-read for all those that wish to study the runes.
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