Who was Mrs. Farwerck?

In “Farwerck by his writings” I say:

The publishing house is “Thule” which, in his biography, I list as his own publishing house. That is quite obvious, because Thule has Farwerck’s home address, but at one time another address on the other end of Hilversum, the place where he used to live, is mentioned. I also noticed an advertorial for one of these books, saying that the book can be obtained from the publisher, using the feminine version of the word! So why, and to whom, did he temporarily move his publishing house? That is something I have not yet figured out.

Here is what I figured out so far.

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The Nehalennia editors

The first issue of Nehalennia (April 1956) names the following editors:

Mr. L. Boer, Dr. F.C. Bursch, Ir. F. de Fremery, Dr. F.S. Sixma Baron van Heemstra and Dr. F. Wiersma-Verschaffelt. From the second issue, another name was added: Jkvr. Henriette van Lennep.
This group remains the same for all six years of publication.

Since Farwerck was probably the main editor (his address is the initial editors address) and the publishing house used his address, let us call them ‘his team’. What can we find out about them?

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Sammlung Thule

From his two 1953 books (see bibliography) Farwerck started to refer to “Sammlung Thule”. When I first encountered these references I tried to look up what this “Thule Collection” may be, but I couldn’t find much. This became much easier.

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Website news

In order to not put this information in the biography or the startpage, perhaps it is an idea of some ‘blog-like’ overview of when and how I run into new information. This first post will be a bit of an overview, later on these posts will be shorter.

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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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Jos. Raemaekers

I am always on the hunt for new leads on Farwerck and so I once again bumped into the name “Jos. Raemaekers”. I connect the name to a writer with similar subjects as Farwerck (from folklore to esotericism), but never really looked into the man. Then I was rereading Bouwsteenen a Masonic periodical that also published texts by Farwerck and my eye fell on two texts of Raemaekers in a volume from 1928. One is called “Kinderspelen” (‘children’s games’), the other “Citroen” (‘lemon’). Especially the first is quite Farwerck-like. Many, many details, going from folklore to mythology and he even mentions guilds. Could Raemaekers be a/the inspiration for Farwerck?

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