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Irminenschaft (or, Irminism, Irminenreligion) is a current of Ariosophy based on a Germanic deity Irmin which is supposedly reconstructed from literaric, linguistic and onomastic sources. Among other sources the Prefix "Irmin" is well documented in the from Irminsul "great pillar that supports all"/"Columna Universalis Sustenans Omni", as described in Einhards 'Vita Karoli Magni', and informed by Tacitus (~1st century) via a mentioned Germanic tribe name of Hermiones; The Old Saxon adjective irmin being synonymous to "great, strong". As such it may also have been an epithet of later deities like Ziu (Týr) or Wodan (Odin)). Purported evidence also stems from the occurrence of the word "Irmingot", found in the Old High German "Hildebrandslied". Notably the Nazi occultist Karl Maria Wiligut claimed a historical Irminism, established in 12,500 BC, later ousted by Wotanism.
Wiligut, aka Weisthor, claimed that the Bible had originally been written in Germanic, and testified to an "Irminic" religion (Irminenreligion) that contrasted with Wotanism. Wiliguts was influenced by Ernst Bethas "Die Erde und unsere Ahnen", which wrote of a Kristgermanentum with reoccurring crucifixions of some Germanic Baldur Chrestos at Goslar. He claimed to worship a Germanic god "Krist", which Christianity was supposed to have later bootlegged as their own saviour Christ. Germanic culture and history according to Wiligut would reach back to 228,000 BC. At this time, there would have been three suns, and Earth would have been inhabited by giants, dwarfs and other mythical creatures. By 12,500 BC, The Irminic religion of Krist was revealed and from that time became the religion of all Germanic peoples, until the schismatic adherents of Wotanism gained the upper hand. In 1200 BC, the Wotanists succeeded in destroying the Irminic religious center at Goslar, following which the Irminists erected a new temple at the Externsteine, which was in turn appropriated by the Wotanists in AD 460. Wiligut's own ancestors are protagonists in this setting: the Wiligotis were Ueiskunings ("Wise kings") descended from a union of Aesir and Vanir. They founded the city of Vilna as the center of their Germanic empire and always remained true to their Irminic faith. Wiligut's convictions assumed a paranoid trait in the 1920s, as he became convinced that his family was the victim of a continuing persecution of Irminists, at present conducted by the Catholic Church, the Jews, and the Freemasons, on which groups he also blamed the loss in World War I and the downfall of the Habsburg Empire.
Irminism as a holistic philosophy and syncretistic religion was extensively discussed in correspondences between participants of the Edda Gesellschaft and published in Hagal, Nordische Welt, as well as in early Odal publications. The most comprehensive collection of documents concerning Irminism can be found in the literary estate (Nachlass) of:
b) Werner von Bülow of the Edda Gesellschaft.
The latter contains the Edda Gesellschaft's correspondence with Weisthor Wiligut, Else Baltrusch, Gabriele Dechend, Karl Nüse, Richard Anders, Emil Rüdiger and many others. As the whereabouts of this Nachlass are unclear this information has to be taken with care. The last owner of the literary legacy of Werner von Bülow was Ekkehard Hieronimus, who investigated these beliefs in the 1980s for the Christian church to take countermeasures against uprising pagan belief-systems.
During the 1920s, Wiligut had written down 38 (out of a number claimed to exceed 1000) verses or sayings, the so-called Halgarita Sprüche, that Wiligut said he had memorized as a child, taught by his father. Wiligut had his own Runic style, frequently applying binding-runes "runic alphabet" for this purpose.
Verse number 27, according to Willigut, is a "solar blessing" aged 20,000 years:
- Sunur saga santur toe Syntir peri fuir sprueh Wilugoti haga tharn Halga fuir santur toe
Werner von Bülow translates
- "Legend tells, that two Suns, two wholesome in change-rule UR and SUN, alike to the hourglass which turned upside down ever gives one of these the victory / The meaning of the divine errant wandering way / dross star in fire's sphere became in fire-tongue revealed to the Earth-I-course of the race of Paradise / godwilling leaders lead to the weal through their care in universal course, what is visible and soon hidden, whence they led the imagination of mankind / polar in change-play, from UR to SUN in sacrificial service of waxing and waning, in holy fire Santur is ambiguously spent in sparks, but turns victorious to blessing"
Santur is interpreted as a burnt-out Sun that was still visible at the time of Homer. Rüdiger speculates that this was the center of the solar system hundreds of millennia ago, and he imagines a fight between the new and the old Suns that was decided 330,000 years ago. Santur is seen as the source of power of the Hyperboreans.
Wiligut's beliefs were embraced by Nazi Heinrich Himmler. Wiligut was eventually brought into Himmler's personal staff, and was known to attend SS rituals at Wewelsburg Castle. He designed the Totenkopfring, which Himmler personally awarded to prestigious SS officers.
In some esoteric currents of Neo-Nazism, Neofolk, National Socialist Black Metal and Nazi paganism, Wiligut's writings enjoyed a renewal of interest in the 1990s, when this research topic was made public by the emerging Internet as an uncontrolled mass medium, as well as opened archives and Hans Jürgen Langes Biography on Wiligut, which extends an earlier Wiligut Biography written by Rudolf Mund, the last prior of the 'Neutemplerorden' (ONT).
- Goodrick-Clarke (1985), p. 181 Missing or empty
- Wiligut, Karl Maria (2001). The Secret King: Karl Maria Wiligut, Himmler's Lord of the Runes. Dominion. ISBN 1-885972-21-0.
- Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas (2003). The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and Their Influence on Nazi Ideology. Gardners Books. ISBN 1-86064-973-4.; originally published as Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas (1992). The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and Their Influence on Nazi Ideology; The Ariosophists of Austria and Germany, 1890-1935. New York University Press. ISBN 0-8147-3060-4.
- Mund, Rudolf. 1982. Der Rasputin Himmlers: Die Wiligut Saga.
- Lange, Hans-Jürgen. 1998. Karl Maria Wiligut - Himmlers Rasputin und seine Erben.