Tuesday, 1 January 2013

A Band Apart: Wulf Grimsson’s Loki’s Way

Wulf Grimsson
Second Edition
Lulu.com, 2011

Loki’s Way is a unique take on Sorcery for the 21st Century. It is the result of over 30 years of research and practise focusing the process of Godmaking. This book lays bare the workings of this tradition including practical techniques. It is controversial and does not hold back offering the esoteric technology to awaken our essence and become more than who we are. From Egyptian magick to Thelema, from Runic Sorcery to Shamanism, Shape shifting, Tantra and internal alchemy, Loki’s Way covers it all. An unusual feature is a complete study of the secret of the Androphile traditions of the Mannerbund. . This work alsoexplores such authors as Aleister Crowley, Julius Evola, Schwaller de Lubicz, Guido von List, Madame Blavatsky, P.D. Ouspensky, G.I. Gurdjieff and many others. Totally updated, rewritten with new research and new chapters including The Crisis of Modern Magic, The Mind of a Sorcerer and Myth and the Imagination, the new edition includes even more information on the Path of the Sorcerer.

A few weeks ago I was privileged to receive this unsolicited manuscript, “the result of over 30 years of research, study and practice,” by Wulf Grimsson. I’ve been trying to read, and then review, the contents ever since, but found it difficult. Not because of the writing — Wulf is admirably clear and free of both “scholarly” stodginess and “occult” rigmarole — but precisely because of its dense content of interesting and important ideas. Almost every page gives one something to think about, a source to look up and perhaps reconsider, a inspiration to a new connection made for one’s self.

Why I should have been selected for this privilege is plain from the contents. Loki’s Waycovers the whole range of topics we’ve explored on this blog, outside of the more pedestrian political and economic ones, from the Männerbund to mystery traditions to runes, from Nietzsche to Evola to Colin Wilson. I am above all grateful for Wulf’s freeing me from the mild guilt I have felt about all the topics I haven’t done to adequate length, as well as my regret that the late Alisdair Clarke did not live to produce a similar treatise from his path breaking blog, Aryan Futurism. Constant Readers of this blog will find Loki’s Wayto be essential reading.

But first let Wulf define his subject:

Loki’s Way is an adaptation of the Left Hand Path or sorcery for the Kali Yuga. This tradition has taken many forms throughout the centuries, in the modern age it must be updated to deal with new discoveries in science and psychology. [62]

The last part there also brings up another reason I’ve had trouble writing about this book. I have grave reservations about much of the material in the first third, and thus, as Wulf expresses it here, in a sense his whole project. I would prefer that he take Guénon’s advice and forget about “reconciling” science and Tradition and especially “updating“ the latter by the former. Not only should the process be reversed, judging Science by the timeless principles of Tradition, but the process is necessarily unending, as Science by contrast is the realm of the amorphous and ever-changing, requiring the “synthesis” (really, as Guénon would point out, syncretism) to be redone over and over — although I’m sure the publishers appreciate that!

In particular, I think that Wulf’s claim that “the esoteric is the physiological,” i.e. the “discovery” that what esoteric Tradition has been talking about in guarded language can “now be revealed” (as the New Age publishers would shout) as being techniques for manipulating the endocrine and other bodily systems, is really just a misreading of what Evola among others has described as the starting point that remains when all dogmas and theories have been tested and abandoned, in the alchemical abyss:

But then the individual finds himself confronting his body, which is the fundamental nexus of all the conditions of his state. The consideration of the connection between the ego principle in its double form of thought and deed and corporeality . . . and the transformation of said connection by means of well-defined, practical, and necessary acts, even though they are essentially interior, constitutes the essential core of the Royal Art of the hermetic masters.

Evola adds:

The latter will be directed first of all to the conquest of the principle of immortality, and then to the total stable nature, no longer transitory or deteriorating . . . by which the human manifestation is established within the realm of becoming. (The Hermetic Tradition, pp. 98-99)

Immortality! Yes, indeed:

Loki’s Way gives us the opportunity for individual immortality. It means using the very structures that are in place to satisfy the replicators and which sustain collective immortality for our own benefit. We are literally making a u-turn; the very things that sustain the immortality of the collective must be used against the norm to achieve a permanent, discrete and individual self.
This, of course, is extremely difficult and confronting and accordingly the path to immortality is one that only a few will attempt and less will achieve. It is hard to conceptualize just how radical such a process must be. The best way is to seriously consider that absolutely everything you believe, feel and think could be wrong. Your tastes, choices, preferences, likes and dislikes are all conditioned. Nothing about your life is authentically real. It is as though you were conditioned as a government agent and everything you believe to be true about yourself, your life, your career even your family is simply brainwashing. The truth about the human condition is really that terrifying. Most will find such a scenario so frightening and so personally confronting that it is easier to look away and find fault with this book than to wake up and smell the coffee. (p. 58)

What Evola calls alchemy or The Royal Art Wulf calls . . . sorcery:

What is sorcery? Sorcery is a means by which an individual is able to wretch control of the evolutionary processes to become individually aware and immortal. He or she becomes a discrete, isolate intelligence which exists beyond the confines of the collective processes of eternal re-occurrence. . . . Within Loki’s Way this change is the transformation of human to post human through the focusing of the Will. (p. 61)

The bit about the Will reminds us that Evola was compelled to treat Crowley with some respect, despite his deplorable life and personality, as someone who Knew Things. Wulf goes Evola one better and brings in Crowley explicitly.

Another thing he brings in explicitly, and much to my heart, is the Männerbund, which Evola only relatively briefly discusses. Wulf connects the dots between the historicalMännerbund and the esoteric path to individual immortality followed by the elite — in contrast to the common fate in store for the followers of the Vedic “path of the fathers,” Evola’s realm of society beneath the State, my own contrast of Family Values and Wild Boys. For Wulf it’s replicators versus Sorcerers.

The Männerbund or Warrior Band is the origin of the esoteric path, because the latter is,au fond, a battle; which Wulf explains, typically, in equal parts Sufism and Dawkins:

Memetic eugenics is the process whereby we weed out unworthy memes and replace them with memes which will help us evolve. This is what Loki’s Way is all about. We dissolve conditioning and replace it with memes which are conducive to our own process of godmaking. This book is a meme, bringing esoteric traditions in line with science and hopefully awakening the small number of people with the potential to become more than what they are.
Sorcery is found in many ancient traditions. In the Norse we can see that the warrior ethic was an expression of the battle against the flawed aspects of the emotions and psyche to achieve a true Self which would enter Valhalla. The berserker or warrior is a great “type” of the seeker for the Overman. An even more intriguing example is in Sufism where the concept of Jihad is interpreted in a unique way. The outer form of Jihad is a just war but the inner form of Jihad, the more significant, is against the false and flawed aspects of the personality. This model of the internal battle where we wage a sacred war against genes, memes and frames to achieve a Self is an expressive and poetic way to represent our sacred quest. (p. 66)

So, paradoxically, only the Warrior Band, the Group, can provide the context for true individuation:

This is one of the reasons cell, unit or Männerbund work is so significant, it keeps you grounded and stops the fragments of the ego from influencing your worldview. A good group of fellow working sorcerers can bring you to earth quicksmart! (p. 95)

This warrior elite, devoted to realizing a higher principle, is the origin of the Traditional Aryan State, which is oriented to a transcendent principle, in contrast to the common herd and its promiscuous “wants” and “needs” (think: peasant frivolity vs. the Templars) and thus also the social stratification characteristic of Aryan society (p. 72):

The sorcerer and warrior both have the potential to become Overman via different means or by combining paths. Loki’s Way is the modern equivalent of [Georges Dumézil‘s] first function combined with a warrior ethic. It can be applied via the mode of the lone wolf, with a blood brother or in a Männerbund. The teaching level of the sorcerer and warrior is esoteric and left hand path. (p. 74)

At this point, the story takes a turn that may give the average reader a turn himself, but not our Constant Readers:

As organic and social memes are dissolved new forms of sexuality and emotional bonding needs to be created. Every man has androphilic potential, it just has to be activated and directed. Since the transition to the Overman is unnatural and works against the normal evolutionary process which favours reproduction then the focus must be on same-sex bonding. (p. 112)
I am not suggesting that every screaming queen or muscle-mary is a spiritual warrior or engaged in Platonic love. I am suggesting that to cultivate a unique form of androphile friendship based on esoteric ideas is the highest form of relationship and for the Overman naught else will do. (p. 109)

Which leads to chapters discussing both historical traditions from India to the Norsemen, and modern theorists from Edward Carpenter to Hans Blüher to Jack Malebranche. Especially important are his careful dissection of the various “models” of homosexuality that have gone into creating the modern notions of “homosexual” and “gay,” and analyzing their usefulness for the Left Hand Path.

The [Uranian] model was popularised by both Ulrichs and Hirschfeld and ultimately proves wanting. It confuses intersex and transgenderism with homosexuality. While this is not surprising due to the early period of their work it is still a view popular today. It seems an ongoing slur in a culture which devalues women and sees them as “less than men” to associate men who take the passive sexual role as female. It could be argued that this identification has its roots in misogyny and was later fed by Judeo Christian thinking. Many also believe that the idea of seeing a homosexual as a woman in a man’s body led to the medicalization of homosexuality which continued right through to the 1960s.
The Intermediate Sex model [Carpenter] is significant as the shaman, priest and androphile warrior existing outside the normal structures of the society. At the same time I think we need to be careful using the term third or intermediate sex as it infers a state which is not quite one or the other, rather than as one which is both. The masculinist model of Brand and others (it is also found represented in the work of Jack Malebranche today, Androphilia) is appealing and certainly relevant.
Personally I we think we need to develop a new model for our sexuality hence terms like Androphilia and the Männerbund need to be understood in a new way. This is especially significant since we are talking about same-sex relations in terms of a unique goal not as an everyday preference. For the Männerbund androphilia is a special form of “sacred” bond which is expressed between warriors; it is also initiatory.
All comrades have a male and female side and clearly since they are working to transcend human restrictions would have no problems exploring passive or active sex roles. The genders within us, so to speak, represent a great source of power and we may use cross dressing or passive techniques for Seidr work but also have no issue with being warriors for Galdr (active runic sorcery) or even in battle. (p. 129)

I think Wulf is on to something important here. All of the existing ‘scientific’ and especially “historical” models seem skewed against the correct understanding of the telos of esotericism being to transcend by uniting male and female, active and passive, etc.

[P]rohibitions against same-sex relations hence the fear of homosexuality comes from an alien desert religion and has little to do with our traditions. . . . Many of these same phobias were passed down into Christianity and Islam. Many traditions had a very different attitude to same-sex relations prior to their infection by Christianity. Japanese Buddhism had a strong homoerotic element as did the Samurai, it was only Christian missionaries that did away with such traditions. Sadly many of the Eddic references to same-sex relations are negative but that is to be expected considering they have come down through the hands of Christian scribes! (p. 219)

One could add here Daniélou’s similar comments on the importation of Victorian and modernist prejudices into Hinduism, as we have frequently quoted on our own blog.

A careful reading of Guénon would lead one to infer that all “Traditions” are products of the Kali Yuga, early, to be sure, but still of the Dark Age. Therefore one might well find some misunderstandings of the wisdom that was being recompiled after the chaos of the last cyclical turn. Combined with the necessarily elite and secret nature of the esoteric path, it should be no surprise that there should be no adequate understanding of male bonding publicly available even in Traditional sources. Here, at least, we find ourselves agreeing with Wulf’s project to “make anew” Tradition.

Each form of the modern world represents a degeneration of the Perennial Tradition . . . (p. 168)

And quoting Crowley:

Behold! the rituals of the old time are black. Let the evil ones be cast away; let the good ones be purged by the prophet! Then shall this Knowledge go aright. —Liber AL vel Legis II:5

     In this verse we are given clear instructions about how to deal with the old schools of magic, esotericism and their formulae. The “old time” are the Older Aeons. These rituals are black, that is they should not be used until reassessed by New Aeon formula. Since most are based on the sacrificial image of the Dying God they must be purified and cleansed.

     Those which cannot be changed will be disposed of, those that can be purified can be adapted. As discussed throughout this book, Traditional forms of spirituality must be radically re-examined both in terms of Loki’s Way. Old age fertility rites must be cast away, let the blood brotherhood of Set and Horus Reign!

A close reading of the passages in Evola’s Hermetic Tradition mentioning ‘androgyne’ would show that the process involves the male becoming and then dominating, becoming so as to dominate, the feminine energies, a process he gives the provocative name “philosophical incest.”

Also useful would be a reading of the essay from UR, “Serpentine Wisdom” reprinted in his Introduction to Magic in which Evola, under a pseudonym, mocks those with a “muscle-bound” understanding of power, and advising them to take on the “power of the feminine” (yes, Evola!).

Later chapters feature a fascinating discussion, new to me, of occult warfare via Aeonic Magick and Time Sorcery and the attempts of Evola, Crowley, and even H. P. Lovecraft to tap into eternal principles in order to literally re-create the conditions of the primordial state in our modern age.

The reader may find himself feeling a bit overwhelmed with all this somewhat theoretical discussion. The last third of the book balances this out with several chapters of “Sorcery in Practice,” the “many forms of sorcery and many models for recognizing the associations between our own inner world and that which is beyond” (p. 205) ranging from runes to sexual sorcery.

The reader must have realized by now that no mere blog review could do justice to the contents of this rich and important book. I hope they will have also realized that the solution is to get their hands on this book for themselves. It is essential reading for those in the modern world who would “decide whether to be a nithing or coward or nothing, a member of the herd or crowd or a hero, a warrior, a comrade of the Männerbund” (p. 240).

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