MISSION & PURPOSE

Runekenhof, Temple of the Northern Mystery Tradition, Inc.,

Runekenhof, Temple of the Northern Mystery Tradition, Inc., is an incorporated, non-profit, religious, charitable, educational and scientific organization established to serve those with an Esoteric- or Christian-Gnostic background and belief system who also recognize, appreciate and celebrate the spiritual lineage and mystical tradition passed on through history and realized by the ancient Melchizedek priesthood, typified by the Temple of Solomon, codified in early Hinduism, shadowed in the Norse myths, ritualized by the Celtic Priesthood, expressed in the Mithraic Mysteries, ligitimized by the Knights Templar, romanticized in the Arthurian legends, and symbolized in Western esotericism.

Runekenhof, Temple of the Northern Mystery Tradition, Inc., moves to manifest its mission and purpose by functioning as a philosophical, educational, and spiritual congregation of Christian mystics who study, practice and teach the spiritual sciences and metaphysical laws which maintain heath, balance, order and wholeness throughout the cosmos, depicted vividly and specifically in the symbolism of the Norse world tree Yggdrasil. and the Uthark rune set inscribed on the Swedish Runestone discovered at Kylver, Gotland in 1903 A.D. The significance of these Nordic symbols and their influence as part of the original Templar order is no where more prominently emphasized than in Rosslyn Chapel's Apprentice Pillar, which itself is said to represent Yggdrasil in its imagery.


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THE SECTION BELOW IS BEING REVISED AND EDITED

Our Declaration of ReclamationMany who are interested in cultural templarism today are unfamiliar with the deep levels of instruction contained within the Norse myths and the Elder Futhark. Discouraged because of the abuse of religious authority down through the ages, disenchanted because of blinds and ciphers within esoteric text, or skeptical of occult claims that supersensory development among humans is possible, the existence and practicality of a modern and effective Northern Wisdom Tradition is seldom considered and almost never pursued among Odin’s own. Subsequently, aspirants of initiation in the Odinic Mysteries often find themselves compelled to turn to and undertake the study of Eastern or Western esoteric traditions during their quest for illumination. Unfortunately, seen more-often-than-not as a discouragement, an obstacle and a distraction in their quest, this dilemma is seldom considered by the seeker from the perspective of an “outer chamber” or initial phase in the overall scheme toward a reclamation of their Norse Wisdom Tradition. We often forget to think of modern Christianity, especially the teachings of Esoteric Christianity and the Western Mystery Schools, as a repository for our ancient European spirituality.​Should a European psyche, for instance, be immersed in the studies of the East, especially the esoteric studies of the Sufi, any future or previous studies of Norse myth and runosophy will be complemented by those Eastern studies, as the ancient Norse Traditions find their source in the Proto-Indo-European teachings of India. On the other hand, should a European psyche be immersed in thestudies of the West, especially in the esoteric studies and mysteries,any future or previous studies of Norse myth and runosophy wouldlikewise be complemented, as many of the Christian Mysteries findtheir source in pre-Christian European spirituality. In the first instance, the Norse Wisdom reveals itself by taking formupon the Eastern teachings as their progeny. In the second instance,the Norse Wisdom is revealed and takes form as it surfaces frombeneath the Christian myths as their source and progenitor.​It is from such a perspective and with this understanding in mind that our initiatory program serves as a Declaration of Reclamation in its own right—introducing aspirants to a fully developed, constructed, and functional initiatory and educational program which practically and effectively combines ancient European wisdom school techniques and methods, modern esoteric runosophy, occult philosophy, and current academic principles in adult and religious education, psychology, and pastoral counseling for contemporary students of the Odinic Mysteries.The Runic Ætts—Symbol-System of the North Nature reveals Her secrets through Her laws. Instruction in these laws reveal patterns,principles and formulas which can then be utilized by the initiate in the performance of The Great Work. In the Northern Wisdom Tradition, these principles and formulas are described and represented within the Norse myths andElder Futhark. The Odinic initiate seeks to master these symbols, for they supply the magical formula, template, structure and Pattern upon which all instruction in our Order is given.The esoteric glyph (symbol-system) reflected in the Runes and ætts of the Elder Futhark is a diagram of every force of Nature, every motive of Man, and every thought of the Gods. The Runes form an interactive network which act as an exhaustive database with recall speeds limited only by the cognitive abilities of the initiate. As we develop and expand the correspondences and relations we make between each of the runes the twenty-four runic staves of the Elder Futhark come to represent for us a complete encyclopedic archive of keys for unlocking, understanding and applying science, psychology, philosophy, and theosophy. Within the runic ætts Norse Knights find a diagram of the evolution of the soul and, subsequently, the ancient initiatory path and Way of the Einherjar.History and LineageTwelve centuries ago a fierce wind began to blow through England and Europe from the North that would change the world forever. Initially moving south-east like a cool summer's breeze, men of this North wind traveled along trade routes from Scandinavia to Constantinople for generations, perhaps centuries, engaging in friendly commerce as merchants. The second gust of this North wind, which came in 793 C.E. and began what would become known as theViking Age, was the most violent and devastating, as Scandinavian warriors traveled south-west raiding and plundering the English and European people and their land. Then, early in the tenth century, a third Scandinavian wave of warriors moved through Northern Europe and Britain, these warriors, however, didn't come to plunder and lay waste to the land but to conquer, take dominion and rule as philosopher-kings. After capturing the city of Paris in 911 C.E., Rollo the Walker, also known as Earl Göngu-Hrólfr and Rognvaldsson ofNorway (son of Rognvald "The Wise") in the Icelandic sagas, was given a land grant by Charles III, king of the Franksin West Francia, for the establishment of a Norsemen settlement. This "land of the North men," known today asNormandy, France, proved to be one of the most successful of all the Viking settlements. Within two generations theDuchy of Normandy doubled in size and had become one of the most powerful territories throughout Northern Europe. By the turn of the eleventh century Norman knights had settled in Southern Italy, over powering both Byzantine armies and Swabian mercenaries. In 1066, just a century and a half after Rollo's capture of Paris, William the Conqueror, Rollo's three-times great-grandson, was crowned king of England; and, by the year 1130, a Norsemen by the name of Roger II was crowned king of Sicily. Ultimately, by the beginning of the thirteenth century Norman influence and rule spanned from Scotland and Ireland in the north through Europe to Spain in the west to North Africa in the south and Jerusalem and Antioch in the Middle East. These ambitious Normans, while eager to amass land and wealth, also sought wisdom, knowledge, and spiritual inspiration in their quest for true power and sovereignty. Almost immediately after signing the treaty with Charles III, Rollo began to repair and rebuild the monasteries damaged during his conquest. Rollo, his children, his grandchildren and his descendants generously contributed time, money and resources to the Great Abbey Church of St. Michael in lower Normandy, for instance, and are often associated with the warrior-saint himself. In Southern Italy, Roger II was not only carrying on this Norman legacy of building monumental structures throughout the land, but also caused at least two major literary works to be compiled--The Book of Roger, an almanac of world geography and local sciences, and the translation of Ptolemy's Almagest, a thirteen volume set of the world's most advanced astrological and mathematical information at the time. This particular line of Norwegian blood lived up to and took upon itself its patriarch's title of "The Wise," demonstrating that they were not only accomplished warriors, diplomats and businessmen, but patrons of art, science, mathematics, astronomy, world geography and navigation as well. Reputation and Character As the Normans came to power they found the Roman Catholic Church to be the ideal medium through which they could express their talents, beliefs, and traditions, as it was the growing religious institution in the land. However, this is not to be confused with their acceptance of and capitulation to Church authority or dogma, as Catholicism was not the only spiritual movement at the time. When requested during the treaty signing to offer the customary expression of submission by kissing Charles III's foot, Rollo is said to have declared that he would never neither bow to another man nor kiss another man's foot; and, while there are conflicting reports, Rollo is recorded as ordering from his death bed that one hundred men be decapitated in honor of his pagan gods. When Rollo's son William Longsword, Duke of Normandy, decided to coin his own money he did so under his own authority, placing his name and not the king's on the coin; and, after the Battle of Hastings and as king, revolts broke out against William the Conqueror, he simply distributed the land to his knights, replacing the entire Anglo-Saxon aristocracy. In the south, Duke of Apulia andCalabria and Count of Sicily Robert Guiscard and over three thousand Norman knights faced Pope Leo IX and his Swabian mercenaries rather than to be removed from their land. And even while land was being taken in the name of the Church during the crusades, Normans like Bohemond I, under his own authority as a Nobleman, established the 'principality of Antioch" and named himself as its prince.​Perhaps the most defiant act against the Church by these Norse knights, commonly known by this time as the Knights Templar, was their refusal to collectively participate in the Church's Albigensian Crusade (1209-1250)--a crusade not intended to protect Europe from the Muslim invaders, but to coerce, compel, and enforce "orthodox" Christianity throughout France while eliminating the Gnostic religion of Manichaeism practiced among the Cathars of Languedoc. Such "pulpit bullying" by the Church had been going on throughout England and Northern Europe since the middle of the first century to combat the influence of the Indo-Aryan Mithraic Mysteries of Persia brought to Britain by Roman soldiers and Celtic Christianitybrought to Britain via Ireland and Scotland. With the success of the crusades and its command of the knights the Church sought to use the knights to enforce Church rule and eliminate the Cathars. This religion of the Cathars, however, is believed to have been practiced by at least two of the founding family members of the Templars,Hugues de Payens and Geoffrey de St. Omer, adhered to by many of the Knights' members, and believed to have been practiced by even some of the Church's clergy. ​​ In 1229, the Church established the Medieval Inquisition headed by St. Dominic and his Dominican Order--not to convert people to Christianity as many believe, but to compel Christians, especially the Cathars and practitioners of Manichaean Gnosticism, to conform to established, authorized and "officially recognized" Christian liturgy and practices. On March 16, 1244, hundreds of Cathars marched en masse into the fires at Chateau de Montsegur in Southwestern France rather than convert to Roman Catholicism. On Friday, October 13, 1307, Templars across France were arrested, tortured, and killed under orders of king Philip IV of France. In 1312, Pope Clement V officially dissolved the Templar Order. And on March 18, 1314, at the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris--despite the fact that in 1308, Pope Clement V absolved Jacques de Molay and the leadership of the Knights Templar of all charges brought against them by the Medieval Inquisition--Jacques de Molay, Grand Master of the Templars, Geoffroi de Charney, Templar Master of the Commandery in Normandy, Godefroi de Gonneville, Master of the Templar Commandery in Aquitaine, and Huges de Peraud were all "roasted" at the stake. Of de Molay and his associates it is recorded that they bore the torment of their death with such dignity and composure that the people considered them true martyrs and even collected their ashes as holy relics.Succession of Tradition Though the Templar arrests in 1307, was supposed to be a surprise, it is estimated that only one-third of the order's members were ever arrested or even caught. Some say that a number of knights took their warrior skills and banking knowledge and escaped east into the region of the Alps which would eventually become Switzerland. Others say that the remaining members went underground and formed secret groups and societies to avoid detection by the Church. Others, including our own Order, hold to the tradition that during the month between the issuance of the arrest orders and their taking effect, Jacques de Molay became aware of or suspected the plot and issued standing orders that should such an event transpire certain knights would simply return to Scotland with the Templar fleet and belongings where the Church had no authority, as Robert the Bruce (a son of both Anglo-Norman and Gaelic nobility), Robert's barons, and all of Scotland had been excommunicated by Pope Clement V just months earlier.What can be said about the Templars with some certainty is that though their Order itself was dissolved and disbanded, its teachings, practices, principles, and purpose have never been completely suppressed by the Church or lost to antiquity. The Templars, it must be remembered, consisted primarily of Normans, and perhaps the last remnant of Normans after the fall of Antioch in 1268. That the Norman-Templar tradition continued through those who escaped Paris in 1307, is evidenced in a mid-fifteenth century scriptorium built by Earl William Sinclair of the Scoto-Norman Sinclair family as the Collegiate Chapel of St. Matthew in Midlothian, Scotland (known today asRosslyn Chapel). The architecture of the chapel is among the finest in all of Scotland and its carvings consist of hundreds of Gnostic, Celtic, Norse, Templar, and Christian symbols. In the east end of the chapel there stand three prominent pillars--The Earl's,The Shekinah, and The Prince's Pillars. Due to the carvings that adorn the south-most Prince's Pillar (also called the Apprentice Pillar) itis believed to be a representation of the Germanic/Norse world tree--Yggdrasil. Not more than a couple short centuries would pass after the founding of Rosslyn Chapel when, like all "energy," the educational, spiritual, and mystical tradition of these Norse Knights would reappear, taking the form of German Gnosticism of the Rosicrucian Orders, the constitutions and degree work of modern Scottish Rite Freemasonry, the British Arthurian and Grail legends, and the work of German, English and French Renaissance Magic of the fifteenth and sixteenth century.Initiatory instruction in our Order is based upon and structured around a Norse Runosophy (literally, a "Northern Secret/Mysterious/Arcanic Wisdom") which has been contained within the Elder Futhark since long before its use as a simple letter system. The three aetts have been considered and accepted as distinct in instructional purpose andpsychoanalytically significance for decades now; accordingly, the aetts are recognized and serve for us as first, second, and third order "levels," or "lodges" of instruction. The nine worlds of Yggdrasil and nine mothers of Heimdall are the foundation and support for our Order's model of nine initiatory grades. Addition-ally, and our pun is intended, the Norse number (9)/letter (24) system constitutes our Order's pattern along an ancient Odinic Path of Return, providing members of our Order with a unique design and outline of thirty-three "runic" degrees of wisdom. Use by our Order of such designations as "lodges, grades," and "degrees" is intentional and meant to emphasize their ancient conceptual origins as well as their esoteric significance within modern fraternal orders and philosophical societies.