||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2012)|
|Stephen Edred Flowers|
|Born||Stephen Edred Flowers
5 May 1953
Bonham, Texas, United States
|Other names||Edred Thorsson, Darban-i-Den|
|Alma mater||University of Texas at Austin|
|Employer||Austin Community College|
|Known for||Runology, Runosophy, Germanic Neopaganism, Odianism, Mazdaism|
|Spouse(s)||Crystal Dawn Flowers (b. October 29, 1960)|
Stephen Edred Flowers (born May 5, 1953), commonly known as Stephen E. Flowers, and also by the pen-names Edred Thorsson, and Darban-i-Den, is a former American professor, scholar, runologist, runosophist, goði and proponent of occultism, Odianism, esoteric runosophy, Germanic mysticism, Asatru, and Mazdaism, being instrumental in the early establishment of the Germanic Neopagan movement in North America and has also been very 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. Flowers advocates "Esoteric Runology and runosophy" and "Odianism" (occultist aspects of Germanic Neopaganism).
The Bonham, Texas-born scholar was the only son of Betty Jane Eden, daughter of Edred Cosgrove Eden (1888-1945) who is said to belong to the same house as Lord Avon, Anthony Eden, and was a Mason and knight of the KKK. In 1960 his family moved to Dallas. In September 1971 he left for Germany, where his first two months were spent at the Goethe Institut in Prien am Chiemsee, and travelling around central Europe. At the Institut he became involved in the Sadean world of the Chateau Society (Burggesellschaft) and in the Order of the Trapezoid (Triskelenorden), and was sworn to secrecy regarding these matters for 18 years. Returning to Dallas, he attended the Bryan Adams High School (class of 1971 (September 1972-May 1973)). He joined the Church of Satan in 1972 though he reportedly never became involved with the organization beyond receiving their newsletter, The Cloven Hoof. In the summer of 1974 he 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 1973-1984. In 1978 he joined the Asatru Free Assembly (old AFA) where he was one of the earliest members, with membership number 072. In May 1979 he received an M.A. degree with a thesis entitled “Rebirth and Rites of Transformation in the Saga of Sigurðr Sigmundarson”, (This was 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), and also 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. Flowers currently is the executive officer, or Yrmin-Drighten, of the Rune-Gild. In 1981-1982 he studied the history of occultism and academic runology at the University of Göttingen, Germany under Klaus Düwel. Sometime during late 1981 and 1983 he became associated with the Armanen Orden, attending their gatherings at an ancient castle in central Germany, but was never formally or ritually initiated in any of their rites. Contact was again made with the Burggesellschaft. 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. He received his Ph.D. in Germanic Languages and Medieval Studies in 1984 with a dissertation entitled Runes and Magic: Magical Formulaic Elements in the Elder Tradition, and began his career as a university lecturer. From 1984-1989 he was a lecturer in the departments of English and Germanic Languages at the University of Texas. 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 Meek and others began a hate campaign again 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. In the Summer of 1990 he was recognized to the Fifth Degree of the Temple of Set. The O.S.T. served as a segue into his involvement with the Temple of Set, an organization in which he currently holds the degree of Ipsissimus VI°. Within the Temple of Set he served as Grand Master of the Order of the Trapezoid from January 1987 until June 1996. In 1990 he met his soon to be future wife, Crystal Dawn. 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 Thorssons 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 with from any involvement with the Ring of Troth. In August 1995 he and Dawn travelled to Iceland and England to strengthen the work of the 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. After issues surrounding and damage done to Rûna-Raven Press in 2011, Flowers being sued by friend and business partner Waldo Thompson, which resulted in closing operations on September 20, 2012, Flowers later established Lodestar, "a project growing to ever expanding levels of communication for the ideas and practices of the Indo-European, Germanic, Mazdan and Left Hand Path traditions" and being the "legitimate inheritors of the mission of Runa-Raven Press." registering the website on May 31, 2014 by registrant, Edward Flowers. As reported in February 2015, the Woodharrow Institute is still in operation, but as a “subsidiary of the Occidental Temple of the Wise Lord and has expanded its mission to the study of all Indo-European traditions, with an emphasis on the Germanic, Celtic, and Iranian.” Flowers has also developed a temple, Occidental Temple of the Wise Lord, for the establishment of a restored Indo-European religion. This is based on the prophetic insight of the ancient priest Zarathustra who lived in Central Asia almost four thousand years ago. It "is completely universal in its appeal. This is the mission of our most ancient ancestors to the whole wide world." Flowers, as Darban I Den, has also written the foundational book for the religious organization known as the Occidental Temple of the Wise Lord. February 2015 also saw the announcement that prisoners will no longer be able to actively participate in the Rune-Gild, due to the institutions reformation in that the system “is based on personal, face-to-face interaction and communication, as well as the establishment of local Halls.” To fill the need of incarcerated Runers, Thorsson generated a new organization called the Runic Brotherhood.
Flowers is currently director of the Woodharrow Institute of Germanic Studies and former owner and operator of Rûna-Raven Press, which he states, "The mission of Rûna-Raven goes beyond mere “book-selling”— the purpose of Rûna-Raven is transformative. Transformation occurs when knowledge is put into action. But for the changes to be strong and true, the knowledge must be accurate. Therefore, we constantly attempt to bring increasing amounts of the highest quality scholarship — exoteric and esoteric — to you. Rûna-Raven to provide a knowledgeable reading public with the best material and most reliable service in a variety of “cutting edge” fields— with a concentration in the areas of Germanic lore and magic as well as left-hand path studies. Rûna-Raven's mission is to publish deeper level works in the Germanic tradition that larger and more commercial houses will not print."
In addition to being a prolific writer, Flowers is known for translating obscure texts and manuscripts written in Icelandic, Old Norse and German into English, making many of them available to a wider range of readers.
In 1989, Flowers was expelled from the Odinic Rite (OR) following his Open Letter to the Leadership of the Asatru/Odinist/Troth Movement wherein he detailed his involvement with the Temple of Set. Thorsson later responded in full to this condemnation by the OR.
Sweyn Plowright, a former member of the Rune Gild who resigned from the organization in 2000, has referred to the philosophy of Flowers as being "neo-Satanic" and antinomian. As with others, he has propagated the belief that Flowers writings on Runes and Germanic Native Faith (Asatru/Odinism) is polluted with Setian/Satanic philosophy and ideals. Flowers has responded to these accusations, as have others. Flowers has also stated that he is "... not a Satanist but may be characterized as a practitioner of the left-hand path based on purely indigenous Indo-European models."
As of September 20, 2012, Flowers' publishing house, Rûna-Raven Press, ceased operations due to "damage done to the business in 2011." Flowers was sued by friend and business partner, Waldo Thompson.
- A Primer of Rune Magic, 1975 (unpublished)
- Rebirth and Rites of Transformation in the Saga of Sigurðr Sigmundarson (M.A. degree thesis, 1979). This was later released on a limited basis within the Rune-Gild under the title Sigurðr, Rebirth and Initiation in the 1980s. It was later republished as Sigurðr: Rebirth and the Rites of Transformation, Lodestar, copyright 2015 (preface refers to "2011" edition and written January 13 2011. Not published until 2015 due to the destruction of Rûna-Raven Press).
- Runes and Magic: Magical Formulaic Elements in the Elder Runic Tradition, May 1984 (Flowers' Ph.D doctoral dissertation paper). Republished in hardback by Peter Lang Publishing, December 31, 1986, ISBN 0-8204-0333-4 (250 copies of this work were printed in a prohibitively expensive edition). Revised and expanded in a third edition on May 1, 2011 (Amazon details), by Lodestar, but preface is "to the Second Edition, dated February 2009, and copyright 2014. Maybe not published until 2014 due to the destruction of Rûna-Raven Press. ISBN 1-8859-7232-6.
- Futhark: A Handbook of Rune Magic, 1984 ISBN 0-87728-548-9
- Runelore: A Handbook of Esoteric Runology, 1987 ISBN 0-87728-667-1
- At The Well of Wyrd 1988; reprinted and re-titled Runecaster’s Handbook: The Well of Wyrd, 1999 ISBN 1-57863-136-X
- The Truth about Teutonic Magic, 1989 ISBN 0-87542-779-0
- Rune Might: Secret Practices of the German Rune Magicians, 1989, 1990 ISBN 0-87542-778-2
- A Book of Troth, 1989, 1992, Rûna-Raven Yrmin-Edition 2003 ISBN 0-87542-777-4
- The Galdrabók: An Icelandic Grimoire, Red Wheel Weiser, September 1989, ISBN 0-87728-685-X; Revised translation by Rûna-Raven Press, 2005 as "Galdrabók: An Icelandic Book of Magic", ISBN 1885972431 (this second edition includes a completely revised translation and the explanatory notes have been doubled. The text consists of a substantial topical introduction that covers the history, theory and practice if magic in Iceland in the medieval and early modern periods. This is followed by the translation of the Galdrabók itself with copious explanatory notes. There are also a number of appendices which contains magical material from other Icelandic books of magic (galdrabækur) as well as spells from other Germanic areas. This is the hardcore traditional bedrock upon which the 2016 book "Icelandic Magic: The Mystery and Power of the Galdrabók Grimoire" by Flowers and published by Inner Traditions is based.)
- Fire and Ice: Magical Teachings of Germany's Greatest Secret Occult Order, 1990 ISBN 0-87542-776-6 reprinted & retitled The Fraternitas Saturni – or Brotherhood of Saturn: An Introduction to its History, Philosophy, and Rituals, Rûna-Raven Press, March 3, 2011
- The Nine Doors of Midgard, 1991 ISBN 0-87542-781-2 reprinted & retitled The Nine Doors of Midgard: A Curriculum of Rune-Work, 2003 ISBN 1-885972-23-7
- Northern Magic: Mysteries of the Norse, Germans & English,1992 reprinted & retitled Northern Magic: Rune Mysteries and Shamanism, 1998 ISBN 1-56718-709-9
- Green Rûna - The Runemaster's Notebook: Shorter Works of Edred Thorsson Volume I (1978-1985)", 1993, second improved and expanded edition 1996. ISBN 1-885972-03-2
- Rune-Song Book & CD, Rûna-Raven Press, 1993, 1994, 1998
- An Introduction to the Germanic Tradition, Rûna-Raven Press, 1994
- Book of Ogham: The Celtic Tree Oracle, 1994 ISBN 0-9754278-4-9
- Black Rûna - Being the Shorter Works of Stephen Edred Flowers: Produced for the Order of the Trapezoid of the Temple of Set (1985-1989)", 1995
- Carnal Alchemy: A Sado-Magical Exploration of Pleasure, Pain and Self-Transformation, Rûna-Raven Press, 1995, 2001. Republished in 2013 by Inner Traditions as Carnal Alchemy: Sado-Magical Techniques for Pleasure, Pain and Self-Transformation.
- Hermetic Magic: The Postmodern Magical Papyrus of Abaris, 1995 ISBN 0-87728-828-3
- Rúnarmál I - The Runa Talks: Summer 1991ev, Rûna-Raven Press, 1996
- Lords of the Left-Hand Path: A History of Spiritual Dissent", Rûna-Raven Press, 1997. Republished as "Lords of the Left-Hand Path: Forbidden Practices & Spiritual Heresies - From the Cult of Set to the Church of Satan", Inner Traditions, 2012
- Johannes Bureus and Adalruna: Being a Study Toward the Delineation of the Historical Movement Toward the Northern Dawn Vol. 1, Rûna-Raven Press, 1998
- Ibn Fadlan's Travel Report As it Concerns the Scandinavian Rûs: Introduction and Commentary, Rûna-Raven Press, 1998
- Witchdom of the True: A Study of the Vana-Troth and the Practice of Seidr, Rûna-Raven Press, 1998
- A Concise Edition of Old English Runic Inscriptions, Rûna-Raven Press; Reprint edition, 1999
- Wendish Mythology: Divinities and Religious Practices of the Western Slavs, Rûna-Raven Press, 1999. Republished by Lodestar, May 5, 2015.
- Studia Germanica Volume I, Rûna-Raven Press, 2000
- Blue Rûna: Edred's Shorter Works Vol. III (1988-1994), Rûna-Raven Press, 2001
- Red Rûna: Shorter Works Vol. IV (1987-2001), Rûna-Raven Press, 2001
- A Source-Book of Seid (with James Chisholm), 2002
- History of the Rune-Gild, Volume III: The Reawakening of the Gild (1980-2005), Smithville, Texas: Rune-Gild, 2007
- The Mysteries of the Goths, Rûna-Raven Press, 2007 (Limited numbered and signed first edition of 500. Bound in purple with silver ink).
- Freemasonry and the Germanic Tradition, Rûna-Raven Press, 2008
- True Brothers: A Guide to the Practice of Asatru in Prison, Rûna-Raven Press, 2010. Lodestar, 2015.
- ALU, An Advanced Guide to Operative Runology, Red Wheel Weiser, Dec 19, 2012
- The Good Religion: The Occidental Temple of the Wise Lord, Lodestar, March 20, 2014
- Rúnarmál II : Essays Out of Time, Lodestar, September 20, 2014
- The Magian Tarok: The Key Linking the Mithraic, Greek, Roman Hebrew and Runic Traditions with that of the Tarot, Lodestar, May 5, 2015
- Icelandic Magic: The Mystery and Power of the Galdrabók Grimoire, Inner Traditions, January 22, 2016
- The Secret of the Runes by Guido von List, 1990 (trans.) ISBN 0-89281-207-9
- Rune-Magic by Siegfried Adolf Kummer, 1993 (trans.) ISBN 1-885972-00-8
- The Secret King: Karl Maria Wiligut -- Himmler’s Lord of the Runes, 2001 (trans. and introduced) ISBN 1-885972-21-0
- The Rune-Poems Vol I, 2002 ISBN 1-885972-19-9
- The Practice of the Ancient Turkish Freemasons by Rudolf von Sebottendorf. Rûna-Raven Press, March 3, 2011. Republished and retitled as Secret Practices of the Sufi Freemasons: The Islamic Teachings at the Heart of Alchemy, Inner Traditions, January 17, 2013.
- Strange Tales by Hanns Heinz Ewers (trans.)
- The Religion of the Aryo-Germanic Folk: Esoteric and Exoteric (trans.)
- The Invincible by Guido von List (trans.)
- The EDDA as Key to the Coming Age (trans.)
Other published works
- Rûna Journal: Exploring Northern European Myth, Mystery and Magic, Rune-Gild, London. Edited by Ian Read
- Tyr: Myth-Culture-Tradition Volume I: The Idea of Integral Culture: A model for a Revolt Against the Modern World, 2002 ISBN 0-9720292-0-6
- Tyr: Myth-Culture-Tradition Volume II: The First Northern Renaissance: The Reawakening of the Germanic Spirit in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries in Germany, Sweden and England, 2004 ISBN 0-9720292-1-4
- Tyr: Myth-Culture-Tradition Volume III: The Spear of Destiny, 2007 ISBN 0-9720292-3-0
- FringeWare Review Magazine Issue #3: The Secret of the Gothick God of Darkness
- Utgard Magazine of Northern Traditions, Issue #3, September 1998, published by Skergard. The Secret of the Gothick God of Darkness. (alternative link)
- Chisholm, James Allen; Appendix A, The Awakening of a Runemaster: The Life of Edred Thorsson, 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.
- Runelore: A Handbook of Esoteric Runology (1987), p. 172.
- 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.
- “The Runic Brotherhood is an initiatory school of Runic Knowledge based on the Viking Age lore of the Younger Futhark. It stems from the same esoteric stream as the Rune-Gild, but is distinct and separate from it. It is open to prisoners and is tailored to their needs. The Brotherhood will begin operations on April 30, 2015. To enter into the Brotherhood send a letter of petition stating your background and interests along with your first year’s dues of $30.00. Dues will be payable every new year. You will first get a Lore-Book to study which contains unique runelore based on the Viking system. After you have reported on this, you will receive the Work-Book which contains a curriculum of initiatory study. Upon completion of the course, you will be named a vitki of the Brotherhood and receive a certificate. To register as a member, send your first year’s dues to: LODESTAR at P.O. Box 16, Bastrop, Texas 78602.“ - Lodestar IV (February 2015) – Newsletter of the emerging enterprise, Lodestar.
- Odinic Rite Briefing No.86, 14 July 1989
- Thorsson, Edred; “Appendix 15: - ORBriefing: Condemnation of Thorsson” from History of the Rune-Gild, Volume III: The Reawakening of the Gild (1980-2005), Smithville, Texas: Rune-Gild, 2007.
- Thorsson, Edred; “Appendix 16 – Response to OR’s Condemnation” from History of the Rune-Gild, Volume III: The Reawakening of the Gild (1980-2005), Smithville, Texas: Rune-Gild, 2007.
- According to Sweyn's Authorsden.com profile here
- Plowright, Sweyn (2006). The Rune Primer. LuLu. p. 103. ISBN 1-84728-246-6.
- Plowright, Sweyn (2006). The Rune Primer. LuLu. pp. 98–103. ISBN 1-84728-246-6.
- Flowers, Stephen Edred; Rúnarmál II: Essays Out of Time, Lodestar, September 20, 2014. Chapter IX: Antinomianism?, pp. 53-58.
- Thorsson, Edred; “The Dark Side” from History of the Rune-Gild, Volume III: The Reawakening of the Gild (1980-2005), Smithville, Texas: Rune-Gild, 2007.
- Thorsson, Edred; "Contra Templum", from Red Rûna: Shorter Works Vol. IV (1987-2001)", Rûna-Raven Press, 2001. pp. 33-45.
- Flowers, Stephen E.; Introduction, from Lords of the Left-Hand Path: A History of Spiritual Dissent, Rûna-Raven Press, 1997. Republished as Lords of the Left-Hand Path: Forbidden Practices & Spiritual Heresies - From the Cult of Set to the Church of Satan, Inner Traditions, 2012. p. 2.
- Official website
- Woodharrow Institute of Germanic Studies
- New Official Rune Gild website
- New Dawn Magazine Wisdom for the Wolf-Age: A Conversation With Dr. Stephen Flowers - magazine interview
- The Awakening of a Runemaster: The Life of Edred Thorsson by James Allen Chisholm
- Lords of the Left-Hand Path - a conversation with Dr Stephen E. Flowers, Ph.D. - an interview with Dr. Flowers, Witchtalk Radio, June 2012
- Rûna and Initiation - Dr. Stephen E. Flowers, Ph.D - a 2009 talk given at the Conclave (ToS) held in Austin, Texas by Dr. Stephen E. Flowers, Ph.D. (Edred Thorsson) on the concept of Rûna and how it applies to ones initiation.
- Old Edred.net website, available via Way Back Machine
- Old RuneGild webite, available via Way Back Machine
- Old Rûna Raven Press website, available through the Way Back Machine
- Temple of Set
- Order of the Trapezoid