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What is a Rune? & Other Essays

Collin Cleary
What is a Rune? & Other Essays
Edited by Greg Johnson
San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2015
256 pages

There are three formats for What is a Rune?

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About What is a Rune?

In these nine remarkable essays, Collin Cleary expands upon the ideas of his path-breaking book Summoning the Gods and ventures into entirely new territory:

  • “What is a Rune?” explores the nature of mytho-poetic thought and the problem of recovering the mysteries of runa.
  • “The Fourfold” uses Martin Heidegger’s phenomenology of “dwelling” as a means of approaching our ancestors’ way of being in the world.
  • “The Ninefold” offers a philosophical interpretation of the nine worlds of Germanic myth.
  • “The Gifts of Odin and his Brothers” unveils the inner meaning of the account of human origins found in the Eddas.
  • “The Stones Cry Out” advances the revolutionary thesis that “openness to Being” explains the sudden appearance of art in Europe 40,000 years ago.
  • Cleary’s controversial essay “Ásatrú and the Political” argues that Ásatrú is inseparable from White Nationalism.
  • “Are We Free?” skewers the false conception of freedom to which Westerners are in thrall.
  • “Heidegger: An Introduction for Anti-Modernists” offers readers the best English-language introduction to the most important philosopher of the last century.
  • The Prisoner and Ibsen’s Brand” is a sequel to Cleary’s popular essay on The Prisoner from Summoning the Gods, exploring this enigmatic television series in the light of Henrik Ibsen’s classic play about implacable moralism.


Introduction by Greg Johnson: The Philosophy of Collin Cleary

Author’s Preface

1. What is a Rune?
2. The Fourfold
3. The Ninefold
4. The Gifts of Odin & His Brothers
5. The Stones Cry Out: Cave Art & the Origin
of the Human Spirit
6. Ásatrú & the Political
7. Are We Free?
8. Heidegger: An Introduction for Anti-Modernists
9. “All or Nothing”: The Prisoner & Ibsen’s Brand

Index (Print edition only)

Praise for Collin Cleary:

“The writings of Collin Cleary are an excellent example of the way in which old European paganism continues to question our contemporaries in a thought-provoking way. Written with elegance, his work abounds in original points of view.”

—Alain de Benoist, author of On Being a Pagan

“In What is a Rune? and Other Essays, Collin Cleary delves headlong into the world of Mystery in a way that brings clarity and light. An inspired mind linked to the vehicle of rational thought and profound memory for the mythic past leads the reader to deep insight. Cleary has done his homework on all levels, and with this book gives us a port of entry into a fascinating world of ideas.”

—Edred Thorsson, author of Runelore

“With his second book, What is a Rune?, Collin Cleary makes another powerful contribution to the intellectual foundations of modern Heathenry. Cleary approaches a wide range of topics, from the theological to the political, through his well-developed and cogently argued Heideggerian brand of Radical Traditionalism. Given the depth of Cleary’s penetrating analysis of so many topics relevant to modern Heathenry, What is a Rune? belongs in the library of every thinking Heathen.”

—Christopher Plaisance, editor of The Journal of Contemporary Heathen Thought

About the Author

Collin Cleary, Ph.D. is an independent scholar living in Sandpoint, Idaho. He is the author of Summoning the Gods: Essays on Paganism in a God-Forsaken World (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2011). Cleary is one of the founders of TYR: Myth-Culture-Tradition, the first volume of which he co-edited. His essays have appeared in TYR, Rûna, and at Counter-Currents/North American New Right. A Master in the Rune-Gild, his work has been translated into Czech, Danish, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Swedish.


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One Comment

  1. PlaceholderNameHere
    Posted October 29, 2020 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    The chapter on the runes, in Cleary’s other book “Summoning The Gods” was very good.

    I have not read this one yet.

    Carolyn Emerick (A.K.A. Oakwise Becoming on BitChute and YouTube) has just released a very limited edition rune deck. (think: tarot cards, but with runes).

    So if you’re into runes or rune-casting, and reading this ATM, go ahead and get it. Only available on her Ebay account, and only for a very limited amount of time. Says there’re only 10 left. Although, she may decide to order another batch to sell if lots of orders come in.

    I recall Greg Johnson doing an interview with her that I liked years ago as apart of her “Volk-lore” series of podcasts– you two should do another. Try to get her on your Counter-Currents DLive for an interview or chit-chat.

    Although I don’t agree with all her views, nor am I Nordic, its overall pretty legit, and a great collecters’ item.

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