Guido Von List

                  Guido Von List

Guido Karl Anton List was born in Vienna in the Austrian Empire to Karl Anton List, a prosperous middle class leather goods dealer, and Maria List (née Killian). His father was a prosperous dealer in leather goods. He grew up in the Leopoldstadt bezirke of Vienna. Like the majority of his fellow Austrians at that time, his family was Roman Catholic, and he was christened as an infant in St Peter's Church in Vienna. In 1862 a visit to the catacombs beneath the Cathedral of Saint Stephan made a deep impression, and List regarded the catacombs as a pagan shrine. As an adult he claimed he had then sworn to build a temple to Wotan when he grew up.

On June 24, 1875 he was camping with four friends near the ruins of Carnuntum. As the 1500th anniversary of the Germanic tribes defeat over this Roman garrison in 375, the evening carried a lot of weight for List. Carnuntum became the title of List's first full-length novel, published in two volumes in 1888.


Guido Karl Anton List (October 5, 1848 - May 17, 1919)

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Ruins of Carnuntum

After its success, it was followed by two more books set in tribal Germany; Jung Diether's Heimkehr (Young Diether's Homecoming, 1894) and Pipara (1895). These books led to List being celebrated by the pan-German movement. Around the turn of the century, he continued with several plays. Between 1903 and 1907 he began using the noble title von on occasion, before finally settling on it permanently in 1907. As this was only permitted for members of the aristocracy, he was put before an official enquiry. Here he produced spurious evidence supporting his tenuous claim, which was accepted by the officials heading the inquiry. However, there is no extant evidence demonstrating independently verifiable proof of direct lineal descent from a noble family for the Lists.

The ruin of the Heidentor (Pagan gate) in Carnuntum

During the final stages of World War I the naval blockade of the Central Powers created food shortages in Vienna. This caused poor health in the now seventy year old von List. In the spring of 1919 he set off to recuperate in Brandenburg, Germany, but his health deteriorated quickly and he died of pneumonia in Berlin on May 17th within a few months after the end of WW1 whilst on a visit to his followers in Berlin. He was cremated in Leipzig and his urn then buried in Vienna Central Cemetery, Zentralfriedhof, on the 8th of October 1919 in the gravesite KNLH 413 - Vienna's largest and most famous cemetery (including the graves of Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert and Strauss.) in Vienna's 11th district of Simmering. Philipp Stauff wrote an obituary which appeared in the Münchener Beobachter.

Das Geheimnis der Runen was originally first published in 1908 and the Guido von list society was founded chiefly by the Wannieck family.

The secrets of the runes is a unique work by the German Ariosophist and Volkish rune magician Guido (von) List. Guido von List was an important figure among occultists and Pan Germanic nationalists who borrowed from the Theosophy of Madame H. P. Blavatsky as well as ancient Aryan (Teutonic and Indian) legend to create a unique system of rune magic. From his childhood days, Guido List was prone to mystical fantasy, and at a young age visited the catacombs under the Saint Stephen's Cathedral in his native Vienna and declared that he would build a Temple to Wotan there. Taking his inspiration from early Germanic religion (Wotanism, or Wuotanism) including references from Tacitus and the Eddas, neoromanticism, and later incorporating elements from Theosophy, Guido List developed a system of Armanenism which was supposedly the earliest belief system of the Germanic (Aryan) tribes.

Völkisch" is a German adjective derived from the noun "Volk". The closest translation of the noun would be "people", making the adjectival version "popular" as in "of the people", but the German encompasses far more. "Völkisch" indicates a desire for the native and traditional local habits and customs. The "Völkisch Movement" worked actively to instill Germanic traits and aggressively eliminate all foreign, contaminating influences. It started in the 1870's and reached a high point following the First World War. Hitler built on many of the themes and subsumed all Völkisch groups into the Nazi party in 1933.

In this latter day book translated in 1987 by Stephen Flowers aka Edred Thorsson, Guido List explains the role of the runes in uncovering early Germanic belief. An important substructure underlying von List's conceptions is his baptism into Roman Catholicism, which he believes serves as a cover for more ancient pagan beliefs which have been subsumed by Christianity. List shows the importance of the runes and the unique meaning of each of the runic elements. Subsequently he shows how the runes were incorporated into such systems as heraldry, freemasonry, folk tradition and belief, and even into baked goods and pastries, as well as holidays. List notes that early Germanic (Aryan) society consisted of individuals who served as farmers with three principal classes (castes), that of the peasantry, the military, and the nobility/intellegentsia (Armanen).


Guido-von-List-Gesellschaft (Guido von List Society), circa 1905, reveals that List had a following of some very prestigious people and shows that the man, his ideology and his influence had widespread and significant support, including eminent public figures in Austria and Germany. It is little wonder that List decided to include the self imposed aristocrat title of VON to his namesake in order to gain acceptance in such high circles. Amongst the 50 signatories which endorsed the foundation of the List Society were:

1) Industrialist Friedrich Wanniek, the president of the "Verein Deutsches Haus at Brno and chairman of the "Prague Iron Company" and the "First Brno Engineering Company" - major producers of capital goods in the Habsburg empire)

2) Friedrich son Oskar Wanniek

3) Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels

4) Karl Lueger (mayor of Vienna)

5) Ludwig von Bernuth (health organisation chairman)

6) Ferdinand Khull (Committee member of the German Language Club)

5) Adolf Harpf (editor of Marburger Zeitung)

7) Hermann Pfister-Schwaighusen (lecturer in linguistics at Darmstadt University)

8) Baron Wilhelm von Pickl-Scharfenstein

9) Amand Freiherr von Schweiger-Lerchenfeld (editor of the popular magazine "Stein der Weisen" and a distinguished army officer)

10) Aurelius Polzer (newspaper editor at Horn and Graz)

11) Ernst Wachler (author and founder of an open-air Germanic theatre in the Harz Mountains)

12) Wilhelm Rohmeder (educator at Munich)

13) Arthur Schulz (editor of a Berlin periodical for educational reform)

14) Friedrich Wiegerhaus (chairman of the Elberfeld branch of the powerful "Deutschnationaler Handlungsgehilfen-Verband" DVH (German Nationalist Commercial Employee's Association)

15) Franz Winterstein (committee member of the "German Social Party" DSP at Kassel).

16) Hugo Goring (Occultist and editor of theosophical literature at Weimar)

17) Harald Arjuna Gravell van Jostenoode (theosophical author at Heidelberg)

18) Max Seling (esoteric pamphleteer and popular philosopher in Munich)

19) Paul Zillmann (editor of the Metaphysische Rundschau and master of an occult lodge in Berlin.)

List defines an occult doctrine in which he outlines what Flowers translates as the "biune-bifidic-dyad", the "triune-trifidic-triad", and the "multifidic multiune-multiplicity". List shows how each of these relates to God and the need for man to conform his will (his ego) to that of God. List also presents a system of reincarnation in which Aryan individuals fallen in battle are taken up into Walhalla. In fact, List himself was to write another important novel named _Carnuntum_ dealing with the Germans under the Roman empire as well as encounter an individual named Tarnhari who was a supposed reincarnation of an Aryan chieftain. List incorporated racial notions of Aryan supremacy into his writings and of course was politically aligned with Pan German nationalists who wanted to see Austria united with the other Germanies. List's ideas were used to found a Masonic society, which later was to embrace National Socialism. Subsequently, many indidividuals associated with National Socialism and the NSDAP were to examine List's ideas and writings and find them interesting in furthering their own political agendas.

Armanen Runes

Guido's Armanen Futharkh

Guido’s self created row of 18 so-called "Armanen Runes" then became what we know today as the "Armanen Futharkh". His followers claim that a secret vision came to List during an 11 month state of temporary blindness after a cataract operation on both eyes in 1902. This miraculous vision in 1902 allegedly opened what List referred to as his "inner eye", via which he claimed the "Secret of the Runes" was revealed to him. List claimed that his Armanen Futharkh were encrypted in the Hávamál Poetic Edda, specifically in stanzas 147 through 165 reported as being the 'song' of the 18 runes. It must be pointed out that Guido's claim has no historical basis?

However it is not too hard to see where he borrowed the idea from as the mythic lay, Runatals-thattr-Odhins" of Wuotan's Runic Wisdom knows of 18 rune charms:

147. The songs I know that king's wives know not,
Nor men that are sons of men;
The first is called help, and help it can bring thee
In sorrow and pain and sickness.

148. A second I know, that men shall need
Who leechcraft long to use;

149. A third I know, if great is my need
Of fetters to hold my foe;
Blunt do I make mine enemy's blade,
Nor bites his sword or staff.

150. A fourth I know, if men shall fasten
Bonds on my bended legs;
So great is the charm that forth I may go,
The fetters spring from my feet,
Broken the bonds from my hands.

152. A fifth I know, if I see from afar
An arrow fly 'gainst the folk;
It flies not so swift that I stop it not,
If ever my eyes behold it.

152. A sixth I know, if harm one seeks
With a sapling's roots to send me;
The hero himself who wreaks his hate
Shall taste the ill ere I.

153. A seventh I know, if I see in flames
The hall o'er my comrades' heads;
It burns not so wide that I will not quench it,
I know that song to sing.

154. An eighth I know, that is to all
Of greatest good to learn;
When hatred grows among heroes' sons,
I soon can set it right.

155. A ninth I know, if need there comes
To shelter my ship on the flood;
The wind I calm upon the waves,

And the sea I put to sleep.

156. A tenth I know, what time I see
House-riders flying on high;
So can I work that wildly they go,
Showing their true shapes,
Hence to their own homes.

157. An eleventh I know, if needs I must lead
To the fight my long-loved friends;
I sing in the shields, and in strength they go
Whole to the field of fight,
Whole from the field of fight,
And whole they come thence home.

158. A twelfth I know, if high on a tree
I see a hanged man swing;

159. A thirteenth I know, if a thane full young
With water I sprinkle well;
He shall not fall, though he fares mid the host,
Nor sink beneath the swords.

160. A fourteenth I know, if fain I would name
To men the mighty gods;
All know I well of the gods and elves,
Few be the fools know this.

161. A fifteenth I know, that before the doors
Of Delling sang Thjothrörir the dwarf;
Might he sang for the gods, and glory for elves,
And wisdom for Hroptatyr wise.

162. A sixteenth I know, if I seek delight
To win from a maiden wise;
The mind I turn of the white-armed maid,
And thus change all her thoughts

163. A seventeenth I know, so that seldom shall go
A maiden young from me;

164. Long these songs thou shalt, Loddfafnir,
Seek in vain to sing;
Yet good it were if thou mightest get them,
Well, if thou wouldst them learn,
Help, if thou hadst them.

165. An eighteenth I know, that ne'er will I tell
To maiden or wife of man,--
The best is what none but one's self doth know,
So comes the end of the songs,--
Save only to her in whose arms I lie,
Or who else my sister is.

Havamol, Bellows A


Die Armanenschaft der Ario- Germanen or The Armanism of the Aryro Germanic People GvLB nos. 2a-2b,1908 & 1911

The original is a two volume set written in German by Guido von List and outlines the principles of Armanism taking in its social history as well as organisation. There is also a cosmological doctrine in this work. The second volume goes more in depth into the racial ideologies and nationalism prevalent in the early 19th century.

The Religion of the Aryo-Germanic Folk
Author: Guido Von List

Translated by: Stephen E. Flowers

As a follow-up to the classic and seminal work The Secret of the Runes, Rûna-Raven presents a translation of another of Guido von List’s important volumes: Die Religion der Ario-Germenen in ihrer Esoterik und Exoterik, first published in 1910. This text, next to that of The Secret of the Runes provides an in-depth look at the ideological world of the turn of the century Viennese master. Perhaps no other text so precisely sums up List’s religious world-view. In these pages he describes an esoteric, theosophical, cosmology in terms of Germanic mythology and addresses questions of astrology and the purpose and destiny of the human soul. Those who have made a study of the esoteric world of early 20th century Germany and Austria will welcome this little book which sheds more light on the topic. The text is preceded by an introduction by Dr. Stephen E. Flowers (translator and editor of The Secret of the Runes) in which he addresses the issues of List’s use of folk-etymology, theosophical influence on List’s ideas, and most importantly issues statements on research into the topic of occultism in the Third Reich and the general misuse of the theory of “Nazi occultism”

Die Ursprache der Ario-Germanen und ihre  Mysteriensprache or The Primal Language of the Aryro Germanic People and their Mystery Language GvLB no. 6 1914

This is an encyclopaedia style presentation of Guido Von List's entire linguistic theories based on kala or alraune (a sort of mother rune). This is a sort of folk etymology to the level of an arcane science and can draw on comparisons with Kabalalistic numerology.

Further Reading:

Goodrick-Clarke's book was published several years ago in England, but has begun finding its way into the book trade here. As it represents a substantial research effort, one naturally wonders about the author's inclinations. Little biographical information is furnished, but the acknowledgments do contain a couple of names of interest. The first one thanked is Ellic Howe, a leading personality within the United Grand Lodge of England, reputedly the world's predominant Masonic organization. Howe writes frequently in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, the controlled circulation research journal of the lodge, whose enmity to National Socialism is glaring.


The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and Their Influence on Nazi Ideology : The Ariosophists of Austria and Germany, 1890-1935 (Paperback) by Goodrick-Clarke ISBN 0-85030-402-4
See book review at:

AUTHOR: Stephen Flowers, et al
ISBN: 1885972210
Publish Date: July 12, 2001

There is much speculation about the “occult roots” of National Socialism, yet little concrete documentation has ever been uncovered. Of the materials that do exist, almost nothing has been translated into English--until now. This book, ten years in the making, contains the collected occult writings of Karl Maria Wiligut, the runic initiate and shadowy “Secret King” of Germany. His works were originally published in the rare ariosophical journals Hag All All Hag and Hagal. Heinrich Himmler --the leader of the SS and possibly the most powerful figure in the Third Reich-- commissioned Wiligut to write private reports on Runes, secret Germanic traditions, and prehistory. It was through this position of influence that Wiligut came to be known after his death as “Himmler’s Rasputin.”

Adeptly translated by Stephen E. Flowers and edited by Michael Moynihan, these writings allow a glimpse into the strange magical world that enchanted high-ranking officials of Nazi Germany. For anyone fascinated about the role occultism played in the Third Reich, here is the evidence. Never before have source documents of this nature been made available to the English-speaking world! The Secret King contains: A full-length biographical introduction about Wiligut’s turbulent life and exploring his magical worldview -- Translations of all Wiligut’s major writings -- Wiligut’s mysterious invocations, the “Halgarita-Sayings” -- Translations of private documents Wiligut submitted directly to the Reichsführer-SS, Heinrich Himmler -- Essays on Wiligut’s cosmology and traditions by other ariosophists of the past and present -- Himmler’s own report of an SS name-giving ritual, attended by the inner circle of SS leaders and presided over by Wiligut -- An exclusive interview with Gabriele Winckler-Dechend, Wiligut’s closest colleague from his period of service in the SS.



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