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Stephen Edred Flowers
Stephen Edred Flowers
Bonham, Texas, US
|Other names||Edred Thorsson, Darban-i-Den|
|Known for||Neo-Germanic paganism, Odinism, Runology|
|Alma mater||University of Texas at Austin|
|Institutions||University of Texas at Austin, Austin Community College|
Stephen Edred Flowers, commonly known as Stephen E. Flowers, and also by the pen-names Edred Thorsson, and Darban-i-Den, is an American runologist, university lecturer, and proponent of occultism, especially of Neo-Germanic paganism and Odinism. He helped establish the Germanic Neopagan movement in North America and has also been active in left-hand path occult organizations. He has over three dozen published books and hundreds of published papers and translations on a disparate range of subjects.
Early life and education
Stephen Edred Flowers was born in Bonham, Texas, the only son of Betty Jane Eden, daughter of Edred Cosgrove Eden (1888-1945). In 1960 his family moved to Dallas. Flowers attended the Bryan Adams High School (class of 1971).
In the summer of 1974 Flowers moved to Austin and did his graduate work in Germanic and Celtic philology under professor and scholar Edgar Polomé at the University of Texas at Austin from 1973 to 1984.
In May 1979 he received an M.A. degree with a thesis entitled "Rebirth and Rites of Transformation in the Saga of Sigurðr Sigmundarson" (later released on a limited basis within the Rune-Gild under the title "Sigurðr, Rebirth and Initiation, and republished as “Sigurðr: Rebirth and the Rites of Transformation" in 2015).
Flowers began his career as a university lecturer. From 1984 to 1989 he was a lecturer in the departments of English and Germanic Languages at the University of Texas. Flowers was last known to be teaching classes in the Humanities at Austin Community College.
In June 1974, while riding in the backseat of a car from Houston to Austin, Flowers says that he heard the sound roonah. He said that the experience was the first milestone in his journey. In 1978 Flowers joined the Asatru Free Assembly (old AFA) where he was one of the earliest members, with membership number 072.
In May 1979 he founded the Austin "skeppslag" (later kindred) of the AFA. In 1980 he was initiated as a goði by Stephen A. McNallen. In Yule-Tide 1979/80 Flowers founded the Rune-Gild, an initiatory order focused on "the revival of the elder Runic" tradition, advocating runic magic.
On November 11, 1983, he founded a small group to explore what he saw as the dark, futuristic undercurrent of Odinism called The Order of Shining Trapezohedron or "O.S.T." (Order of the Shining Trapezoid) which closed on January 13, 1984.
In February 1984 he became a member of the Temple of Set, being recognized to the Second Degree of Adept and to the Priesthood (III°) on October 7, 1984. On November 14, 1986, he was recognized as a Magister Templi (IV°). In November 1987 the AFA (old AFA) collapsed, and on December 20, Thorsson founded the Ring of Troth.
The leadership fell to James Allen Chisholm, with Thorsson remaining as a spiritual advisor. In 1989 a man named Robert Meek and others began a campaign against Thorsson, “exposing” him of practicing dark arts and being a member of the Temple of Set, although this was well known within the Asatru community and was never a secret. It was also during this time that the 18-year ban on manifestation of the Order of the Triskelion (Triskelenorden) was lifted - an organization for the practice of operant Sadeanism and Carnal Alchemy, founded in early 1991 by Thorsson and Dawn.
In March 1992 the administrative power of the Ring of Troth was handed over to Prudence Priest and a full contingency of Rede members by Chisholm, which gave Thorsson the ability to spend most of his time to matters pertaining to the Rune-Gild. In 1993 Thorsson and Dawn bought 30 acres of wilderness east of Austin and adjacent to Buescher State Park, named Woodharrow, on which the future history of the Gild and of the many of Thorsson's many other undertakings would be written. At the end of 1993 they moved to Woodharrow and over the next two years built up the physical facilities on the land where a meeting hall was erected and completed in 1996.
In 1993 the publishing company Rûna-Raven Press formerly began and continued to develop over the years. In the Spring of 1995, due to inner turmoil, Thorsson withdrew from any involvement with the Ring of Troth. In August 1995 he and Dawn traveled to Iceland and England to strengthen the work of the Rune-Gild. In April 1996 Thorsson retired from his position as Grand Master of the Order of the Trapezoid in order to focus more intently on Rune-Gild matters.
- Flowers, Stephen E. (1984). Futhark: A Handbook of Rune Magic. Samuel Weiser. ISBN 978-0877285489.
- Flowers, Stephen E. (1986). Runes and Magic: Magical Formulaic Elements in the Older Runic Tradition. Germany: P. Lang. ISBN 978-0820403335.
- Flowers, Stephen E. (1989). The Galdrabók: An Icelandic Grimoire. S. Weiser. ISBN 9780877286851.
- Flowers, Stephen E. (1990). Fire and Ice: Magical Teachings of Germany's Greatest Secret Occult Order. Llewellyn. ISBN 978-0875427768.
- Flowers, Stephen E. (1997). Lords of the Left-hand Path: A History of Spiritual Dissent. Rûna-Raven Press. ISBN 978-1885972088.
- Flowers, Stephen E. (2005). The Galdrabók: An Icelandic Book of Magic. Rûna-Raven Press. ISBN 978-1885972439.
- Flowers, Stephen E. (2012). Lords of the Left-Hand Path: Forbidden Practices and Spiritual Heresies. Inner Traditions/Bear. ISBN 978-1594774676.
- Flowers, Stephen E. (2014). The Good Religion. Runa-Raven Press. ISBN 978-1885972996.
- Flowers, Stephen Edred (2014). Runarmal II. Runa-Raven Press. ISBN 978-1885972989.
- Flowers, Stephen Edred (2015). Sigurdr. Runa-Raven Press. ISBN 978-1885972958.
- Flowers, Stephen Edred (2015). Wendish Mythology. Runa-Raven Press. ISBN 978-1885972132.
- Flowers, Stephen E. (2016). Icelandic Magic: Practical Secrets of the Northern Grimoires. Inner Traditions/Bear. ISBN 978-1620554050.
- Flowers, Stephen E. (2017). The Mazdan Way: Essays on the Good Religion for the West. Lodestar. ISBN 978-1885972453.
- Flowers, Stephen Edred (2017). The Northern Dawn: A History of the Reawakening of the Germanic Spirit: From the Twilight of the Gods to the Sun at Midnight. Arcana Europa Media LLC. ISBN 978-0972029285.
- Flowers, Stephen E. (2017). Original Magic: The Rituals and Initiations of the Persian Magi. Inner Traditions/Bear. ISBN 978-1620556443.
- Flowers, Stephen Edred (2017). Runarmal I: The Runa-Talks: Summer 1991ev. Lodestar. ISBN 978-1885972620.
- Flowers, Stephen E. (2018). The Fraternitas Saturni: History, Doctrine, and Rituals of the Magical Order of the Brotherhood of Saturn. Inner Traditions/Bear. ISBN 978-1620557211.
- Flowers, Stephen Edred (2019). Dark Rûna: Containing the Complete Essays Originally Published in Black Rûna (1995). Lodestar. ISBN 978-1885972507.
- Flowers, Stephen E. (2019). The Magian Tarok: The Origins of the Tarot in the Mithraic and Hermetic Traditions. Inner Traditions/Bear. ISBN 978-1620558690.
- Flowers, Stephen E. (2019). Studia Germanica. Lodestar. ISBN 978-1885972309.
- Flowers, Stephen E. (2021). Revival of the Runes: The Modern Rediscovery and Reinvention of the Germanic Runes. Inner Traditions/Bear. ISBN 978-1644111789.
- Flowers, Stephen E. (2022). The Occult in National Socialism: The Symbolic, Scientific, and Magical Influences on the Third Reich. Inner Traditions/Bear. ISBN 978-1644115749.
- Flowers, Stephen E. (2022). The Occult Roots of Bolshevism. Lodestar Books. ISBN 978-1885972873.
- Flowers, Stephen E.; Moynihan, Michael (2007). The Secret King: The Myth and Reality of Nazi Occultism. Feral House. ISBN 978-1932595253.
- Flowers, Stephen E.; Flowers, Crystal Dawn (2013). Carnal Alchemy: Sado-Magical Techniques for Pleasure, Pain, and Self-Transformation. Inner Traditions/Bear. ISBN 978-1620551097.
- Flowers, Stephen Edred; Von List, Guido (2015). Freemasonry and the Germanic Tradition. Rûna-Raven Press. ISBN 978-1885972927.
- Flowers, Stephen Edred; Chisholm, James (2015). Source Book of Seid. Runa-Raven Press. ISBN 978-1885972972.
- Flowers, Stephen (1995). Hermetic Magic: The Postmodern Magical Papyrus of Abaris. Red Wheel Weiser. ISBN 978-0877288282.
- "The drive home to Austin was a silent one. I sat in the back seat, dozing. Then, audibly, in my ear I Heard the sound (roonah), which is the Word, RÛNA. At once I knew what the word referred to: the Germanic writing system of pre-Christian times...[I] went to the library of the University of Texas at Austin...I checked out a wide variety of books on the subject of runes...This volatile mixture of books, most of which had not been opened or read for years, was the first milestone of my journey. The way was opened when the Word signifying the ultimate Mystery was whispered in my ear, as it resonated over the eternal cycle of Ages." Stephen Edred Flowers, RÛNARMÂL I: The Runa-Talks: Summer 1991ev, Lodestar, 2017, p. 13.
- “Mother Night refers to the first twelve nights of the Yule celebration...The ceremony itself was a simple one. Only Thorsson and Chisholm were present at the ceremonial site, a stone altar behind Thorsson’s house in Austin. Thorsson ‘invested’ Chisholm with the steersmanship of the RoT by transferring to him with “appropriate words” several symbols of the foundation of the religion: a Thor’s hammer which Thorsson had worn to the first Ásatrú Free Assembly Althing in 1979, a stone from the Assembly Rock in Iceland, and a twig from an ash tree taken from the site of the last functioning temple of the Old religion at Uppsala, Sweden. This ended with “the declaration that the Ring of Troth was hereby founded with the aim of reestablishing the ancestral faith of the Germanic peoples” (interview with Thorsson, 15 April 1993). James R. Lewis, Magical Religion and Modern Witchcraft, Syracuse University Press, 1996. p.231, n. 41.
- Chisholm, James Allen; Appendix A, The Awakening of a Runemaster: The Life of Edred Thorsson Archived 2018-05-06 at the Wayback Machine, from Thorsson, Edred; Green Rûna - The Runemaster's Notebook: Shorter Works of Edred Thorsson Volume I (1978-1985)", 1993, second improved and expanded edition 1996.
- Lodestar IV (February 2015) – Newsletter of the emerging enterprise, Lodestar[permanent dead link].
- Flowers, Stephen Edred; Freemasonry and the Germanic Tradition, Rûna-Raven Press, 2008, p. 11
- Flowers, Stephen (1995). Black Rûna: Being the Shorter Works of Stephen Edred Flowers Produced for the Order of the Trapezoid of the Temple of Set (1985-1989). p. 11.
- "Runes: The Journal of the Order of the Trapezoid" Vol XIV Number 2
- Kaplan, Jeffrey; Radical Religion in America: Millenarian Movements from the Far Right to the Children of Noah, Syracuse University Press, 1997. pp. 21-29, 159-160.
- Gardell, Mattias; Gods of the Blood: The Pagan Revival and White Separatism, Duke University Press, 2003. pp. 19, 162-164, 284, 286, 321-323.
- Lewis, James R.; Magical Religion and Modern Witchcraft, State University of New York Press, 1996. pp. 197, 210, 213-224.
- Betty A. Dobratz, Stephanie L. Shanks-Meile; “White Power, White Price!” The White Separatist Movement in the United States, Twayne Publishers, 1997. pp. 138, 142.
- Official home page, archive of 28 July 2021