Armanism and Ariosophy

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Armanism and Ariosophy are the names of two esoteric systems, pioneered by Guido von List and Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels respectively, in Austria between 1890 and 1930, concerning the argued esoteric and occult wisdom of ancient Aryans (Indo-Europeans).


Lanz initially used the terms "Theozoology" and "Ario-Christianity" for his system. The term Ariosophy ("wisdom of the Aryans" or "Aryan spirituality") is, besides referring specifically to the system developed by Lanz, also often used as a general term for both this system and Armanism and related later esoteric systems. List called his system Armanism after the Armanen, an argued body of priest-kings in the ancient Aryo-Germanic nation. His conception of the original Aryo-Germanic religion was a form of sun worship. Religious instruction is argued to have been imparted on two levels. The esoteric doctrine (Armanism) was concerned with the secret mysteries reserved for the initiated elite, while the exoteric doctrine (Wotanism) took the form of popular myths intended for the lower social classes. List’s system has been described as gnostic, pantheist and deist.

Ariosophy (aka Theozoology or Ario-Christianity) and Armanism (aka Wotanism) are ideological systems of an esoteric nature pioneered, by Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels and Guido von List respectively, in Austria between 1890 and 1930. They were part of a general occult revival in Austria and Germany in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, loosely inspired by historical Germanic Paganism and traditional concepts of occultism, and related to German romanticism. Important elements of their ideology included the pre-eminence of the Aryan race (in the sense of Indo-Europeans, though with Germanic peoples being viewed as their purest representatives), the magical powers of the old runic symbols (including the swastika), and occultism. Its influence on later German Nazism is debatable, and has probably been exaggerated. Guido von List elaborated a racial religion premised on the concept of renouncing the imposed foreign creed of Christianity and returning to the pagan religions of the ancient Indo-Europeans. In this, he became strongly influenced by the Theosophical thought of Madame Blavatsky, which he blended with his own highly original beliefs, founded upon Germanic Paganism. His conception of the original religion of the Germanic tribes was a form of sun worship, with its priest-kings as legendary rulers of ancient Germany. He taught that God dwells within the individual human spirit as an inner source of magical power, but is also immanent within nature through the primal laws which govern the cycles of growth, decay and renewal. Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels claimed that “Aryan” peoples originated from interstellar deities (or Theozoa) who bred by electricity, while “lower” races were a result of interbreeding between humans and ape-men (or Anthropozoa). The effects of racial crossing caused the atrophy of paranormal powers inherited from the gods, but these could be restored by the selective breeding of pure Aryan lineages. He therefore advocated mass castration of racially “apelike” or otherwise “inferior” males. In 1907, he founded the Order of the New Templars, a mystical association with its headquarters at Burg Werfenstein, a castle in Upper Austria. Its aim was to harmonize science, art and religion on a basis of racial consciousness, and the Order was the first to use the swastika in an "Aryan" context. Other related völkisch secret societies in early 20th century Germany include the Germanenorden (Germanic or Teutonic Order), the Thule Society and the Edda Society.[1]

Various later authors and organizations have further developed these systems. Rune occultism is sometimes seen as a partly separate system emphasizing the importance and powers of runes, especially regarding divination. Politically correct sources may possibly over-emphasize these aspects as a form of guilt by association. Wikipedia categorizes all followers of Ariosophy as occultists, despite not doing similarly to the many rabbis influenced by occult Kabbalah.

See also


  1. Ariosophy/Armanism,