by Farwerck

Farwerck on initiation

Here I present you a text that was published in Bouwsteenen 1/2 (first issue of second year), 1926. It gives a nice idea of how Farwerck approaches spirituality (to use a vague term). He refers to a range of different authors and seems to refer to his own spiritual development. As before, translation is not too easy. Farwwerck’s Dutch is cluttered with many sentences within sentences. The English gives an idea of his writing style.

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Some remarks

Here is an example of Farwerck as Masonic historian. Farwerck published texts in a periodical called Bouwsteenen which was made available by two of his Masonic brothers. Later the subtitle was changed and another editor turned the periodical in a much less Masonic publication. Farwerck contributed but one text to this second version, a reaction to a text written by the new editor himself. Farwerck shows himself a well-read and critical writer.

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Kabbalah and Freemasonry

This is the second oldest text of Farwerck that I know. It was published in an internal publication of the Dutch federation of Le Droit Humain in 1922. I only have photos of the text. I tried ‘to OCR’ them online and then threw the text through Google translator. Of course I have made some corrections, but the text won’t be a perfect translation of a century old Dutch text.

Farwerck used quite a few abbreviations. Instead of translating them to English abbreviations I just gave the English terms for most of them. Terms such as “lesser lights” or “Sr. Warden” aren’t that exciting anymore I think.

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The three pillars

Here is a chapter from the book Noord-Europa, Een der bronnen van de Maçonnieke symboliek. It gives a fair idea of how Farwerck presents his ideas. The translation was done by Google with a few corrections of myself. Images are below.

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Concluding remarks

It therefor appears, that with masonic usages there is a large number, that have a striking resemblance with those of Heathen-cultic societies, and also with the, to the latter related world-view and practices. Considering each separately the proof for coherence with the past for several correspondences are weak and also debatable, but taken in its entirety, it is likely, that also these cases of doubt can be connected to the Heathen past. For a large number of points of masonic symbolism no references could be found, but this is the result of the earlier mentioned reasons (later additions of building symbolism, Christian-Jewish symbols and hermetic, kabbalistic, alchemical symbolism, etc.).

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The ancient North had its mysteries, like the more famous mysteries in the Middle East. Farwerck has collected many details based on which he sketches the possible rites. An element of the “Männerbünde” is the dressing in animal skin. Names such as Berserkr (‘bear skin wearers’) and Ulfhednar (‘wolf skin wearers’) say as much. Or what about deer skin? There is a famous drawing from the 1920’ies by Henri Breuil. A sketch he made of a rock carving from 13.000 BCE that he found in Arièges, France. The drawing is not undisputed. Some people say that the antlers sprang from the man’s imagination. Did the toes and fingers too? The image is called “the sorcerer” by some, which suggests that this is actually a man in disguise. Farwerck was of the same opinion and used this drawing as proof of early animal skin wearing. (Other investigators see the image as an animal spirit by the way).

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Franz Farwerck on remnants of Männerbünde

I wrote this article in 2013/4 for an upcoming issue of Northern Traditions that I doubt will ever appear after all these years, so I decided to publish it here.

When the Christianisation, at least the external, of the German tribes was completed, the proceedings of the men-bonds were initially continued. They could be divided into two groups, rites of initiation, which were more or less secret and the public proceedings, which sprang from views that were grounded in the initiations. Of these initiations, […] we find only  traces in later periods, enough though to determine their existence. We mostly know the public proceedings because of ecclesiastic prohibitions, but also from many remnants that have survived in folkways. (2)

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