POLEMOS: The Dawn of Pagan Traditionalism

By Askr Svarte (Evgeny Nechkasov)

polemos cover front

Translated and Edited by Jafe Arnold

With a Foreword by Richard Rudgley

402 pp. Released July 2020. Available in hardcover, paperback, and ebook.

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What is paganism? What does it mean to be a pagan in today’s world? What do the Gods, the Sacred and Myths of pagan traditions tell us about what has transpired over past millennia, and how do the developments of recent centuries affect our understanding of them? Polemos: The Dawn of Pagan Traditionalism takes up these and other penetrating questions in a conceptual tour de force, exploring a worldview long thought lost under the weight of monotheistic conversions, the science and technology of Western Modernity, and the deconstructions and simulacra of Postmodernism. In this wide-ranging study and compelling manifesto, Askr Svarte illustrates how, far from a fragmentary relic of the past, paganism is very much alive and wields a critical analysis of the past, present, and future with the potential to return to the forefront of consciousness.

Polemos: The Dawn of Pagan Traditionalism, the first book of the two-volume work published in Russian in 2016, sets out not only to rediscover and redefine the pagan legacy, but to orient paganism’s understanding of the paradigms which have confronted it. Titled after the ancient Greeks’ divine representation of war, which the philosopher Heraclitus deemed “the father and king of all”, Polemos maps paganism’s positions on the battlefield of ideas between paradigms, polemics, and trends. From ancient rites and myths to contemporary technologies and socio-cultural dynamics, few stones are left unturned in this extensive articulation of the pagan worldview in the twenty-first century.

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Table of Contents

From the Translator and Publisher

Foreword by Richard Rudgley

Author’s Preface to the English Edition

I: Prolegomena

Dawn?

Paganism: Doctrines, Names, and Symbols

Traditionalism

II: Time and Initiation

Cyclical Time

Linear Time

The Golden Age

The Silver and Bronze Ages

The Profane

The Heroes

The Iron Age

The Ontology of Estates

Pagan Initiation

Initiation as Death

Initiation as a Social Phenomenon

Initiation as Education

The Historical Heritage

The Horizontal and the Vertical

Language and Thinking

Two Languages

Translation and Rite

Vertical Initiation

Aspects of Initiations in Contemporary Paganism

The Problem of Counter-Initiation

The Triumph of the Titans

III: Paganism, Modernity, and Postmodernity

Dharma and the Due

Dharma in the Kali-Yuga

Modernity and Estates

The Constructs of Modernity

The Human

Humanism

The Material View on Traditional Societies

Reflection

Reality

Primitiveness

Gnoseological Racism

Technology

Freedom

Postmodernity

Post-Ontology and Post-Gnoseology

The Post-Human

Post-Society

The Consumer Society

Revolt, Anomie, and Death in the Consumer Society

The Rhizome

Post-Space

Post-Time

Post-War

An Intermediate Summary

The Horizons of Counter-Initiation

Post-Religion

The Fate of Europe – The Destiny of the World?

The Place and Time of Postmodernity

The Potential of Russia

IV: The Contemporary Pagan Experience

The Authentic and the Foreign

A Typology of Pagans

Subcultural Infiltrations

The Contemporary Experience

Personalities

Critical Remarks on Practice

Simulacra and Sects

The West

Russia and the Post-Soviet Space

The East and Asia

Compromises

Epilogue

Bibliography

Excerpt I – Banned on Facebook 

Excerpt II – Prometheus and Modern Man 

Excerpt III – ‘Primitive’ Life vs. Modern ‘Development’

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Askr Svarte (Evgeny Nechkasov, b. 1991) is a Russian Traditionalist philosopher and pagan activist, the founding head of the Svarte Aske community and since 2019 an editor of the Foundation for Traditional Religions media resource. Descended from Bessarabian Germans exiled to Siberia in the early 20th century, since 2009 he has been a practicing pagan in the Germanic-Scandinavian tradition and an active voice in the rebirth of paganism in Russia and Europe. Nechkasov is the founding editor of the journal Warha and the author of multiple books, such as Polemos: Pagan Traditionalism, the first volume of which is presented here in English for the first time, Gap: At the Left Hand of Odin (Fall of Man Press, 2019), Forthcoming and Encirclement: Thoughts on the Germanic Logos, Tradition, and Nothingness (Gnosis, 2020), and Pagan Identity in the Twenty-First Century (Veligor, 2020). Since 2017, Nechkasov has been a featured guest in Russian print and TV media as an expert and defender of paganism and has delivered numerous public and academic lectures. He lives in Novosibirsk, West Siberia, Russia.

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