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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