A Few Words About Edred Thorsson...
There are as many opinions about Edred Thorsson as there are readers of his books, and there are plenty of those. Rather than take up space in the reading list proper presenting these diverse and often conflicting viewpoints, I thought it best to banish the debate to it's own page.
There is no doubt that Edred Thorsson is one of the most prolific and widely-read authors on the subject of the runes. Thorsson is one of the few authors you will find listed in both the academic and mystical sections of this bibliography - his academic books are written under his real name, Stephen E. Flowers. Many academics seem unaware of this fact, condemning him under one name and citing him under the other. His academic credentials are considerable (he holds a Ph.D.), and his facts are generally accurate. It's his theories and opinions that tend to both inspire and infuriate.
My own personal opinion (for what it's worth) is that Thorsson's work is too heavily influenced by Eastern philosophies, ceremonial magic and the Armanan magicians (note that I have removed the offending 'N' word) to be of much use to anyone trying to reconstruct the ancient Norse Pagan traditions. I sincerely doubt that the Norse ever perceived their World-tree as a Qaballistic Tree of Life-type schematic, or conducted rituals resembling the Lesser Pentagram Banishing ritual to the extent that Thorsson's 'Hammer Rite' does.
But that's only my opinion.
Here are a few things that have been said about Edred Thorsson:
- "Thorsson synthesizes solid academic research with intuitive insight and a strong emphasis on the practice of rune magic. His Master's thesis dealt with Sigurd and Initiation while his Ph.D. dissertation was on Runes and Magic. He is perhaps the only contemporary rune magician and author with the capacity to synthesize both hard-core academic research with a mastery of the esoteric tradition. The numerous citations to his work by other authors are an indication of the great influence and a sometimes grudging respect he has gained."
- "Reputable rune scholars would walk out of a lecture if the lecturer referred to Edred Thorsson as a source. Thorsson apparently begins with the Nazi-New-Age rune stuff and is seriously unreliable for meanings and history."
- "It seems that quite a few people share your opinion of Edred Thorssons work. Of the actual few people that I know who have an opinion on Edred Thorsson, most seem to think that he has become to prolific and his head has swelled because of it.
I am partial to Thorsson because he is one of the very few people whos opinions and theories seem to reflect my own. On the other hand, I don't agree with certain applications of such theories.
Despite the fact that in my opinion, Thorsson is the most trustworthy Rune-author, he is not allways the best one to go to for the person looking for a book that is "purely" Runic. Such a purist though, is like the guy that says he will only marry pure-German. It doesn't take much thought to realize that this line of thinking ultimately ends in in-breeding and sterility. "
- "Thorsson is OK if NOT seen from a strictly antiquarian view. 'The times they are aīchanging.' And how would it be possible to RECONSTRUCT the WHOLE of the matter? Iīm quite pragmatic myself and donīt trust REVIVALS because they are IMPOSSIBLE!"
- "Thorsson is very enlightened on the sujects he writes about. He,
however, seems to think he is the ONLY athourity on the runes. This I
find disturbing and shallow. His books can lend a lot to the return of
the Old Ways, but his opinions can help close the door forever."
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