Het Teken van Dood en Herleving en Het Raadsel van het Angelsaksische Runenkistje * Frans Eduard Farwerck (1954 thule)
Frans Eduard Farwerck (1889 – 1978) was a top-notch Freemason and extremely well informed about Northern European folklore and mythology. He was of the opinion that Freemasonry as we know it today has its roots in the Northern European mystery traditions and gives a lot of proof based on sagas, literature, but especially ornaments, building symbolism, etc. He wrote the massive work Noordeuropese Mysteriën en hun sporen tot heden (reviewed when I was much less informed myself) which was published for the last time the year Farwerck died. Northern European mysteries and their traces to the present has reached the status of ‘cult book’ since it digs much much deeper in the symbolism and habbits of folklore and the like and his explanations of myths and sagas (and sheds light on many elements of Freemasonry, however Freemasons deny his claims) so the book becomes pretty expensive to buy these days. Other books by Farwerck do the same. I have Levend Verleden (Living Past which for some reason I didn’t review), which is a book such as Tussen Hamer en Staf of Koenraad Logghe and my Old Symbolism In A Modern City article in the articles section. Recently I ran into The Symbol of Death and Resurrection and the Riddle of the Anglo-Saxon Rune Casket, also for quite a price for such a small book. As the cover of the book shows, this “symbol of death and resurrection” is the elhaz/man/eolc rune and Farwerck gives a magnificent exposé of its forms, its history, meanings and place in texts and images. The second part of the book is about the right side of what is nowadays apparently called the Franks Casket. Farwerck sees in the images and text an example of a death-and-resurrection initiation ritual.
This is a small, but interesting book. Too bad that, like Jan de Vries, Farwerck spoilt his name and fame during WWII which caused him to be so controversial that not only his books are no longer reprinted (or translated, because all are only available in Dutch), but even mentioning such a title (which has nothing political in it whatsoever) is almost a crime. Too bad, since after all these years Farwerck still is the source and inspiration for anyone seriously interested in the esoteric side of the ancient religion of the North. Since many people do see the value of the books, the price of them (as mentioned) raises daily. If you are interested, I suggest you check sites such as Antiqbooks.com or Abebooks.co.uk frequently.