What is a Rune? & Other Essays

WhatIsARuneCropMedium2Collin Cleary

What is a Rune? & Other Essays
Edited by Greg Johnson
San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2015
256 pages

Hardcover: $35


Paperback: $20 


In these nine remarkable essays, Collin Cleary expands upon the ideas of his path-breaking book Summoning the Gods and ventures into entirely new territory:

  • “What is a Rune?” explores the nature of mytho-poetic thought and the problem of recovering the mysteries of runa.
  • “The Fourfold” uses Martin Heidegger’s phenomenology of “dwelling” as a means of approaching our ancestors’ way of being in the world.
  • “The Ninefold” offers a philosophical interpretation of the nine worlds of Germanic myth.
  • “The Gifts of Odin and his Brothers” unveils the inner meaning of the account of human origins found in the Eddas.
  • “The Stones Cry Out” advances the revolutionary thesis that “openness to Being” explains the sudden appearance of art in Europe 40,000 years ago.
  • Cleary’s controversial essay “Ásatrú and the Political” argues that Ásatrú is inseparable from White Nationalism.
  • “Are We Free?” skewers the false conception of freedom to which Westerners are in thrall.
  • “Heidegger: An Introduction for Anti-Modernists” offers readers the best English-language introduction to the most important philosopher of the last century.
  • The Prisoner and Ibsen’s Brand” is a sequel to Cleary’s popular essay on The Prisoner from Summoning the Gods, exploring this enigmatic television series in the light of Henrik Ibsen’s classic play about implacable moralism.


Introduction by Greg Johnson: The Philosophy of Collin Cleary

Author’s Preface

1. What is a Rune?
2. The Fourfold
3. The Ninefold
4. The Gifts of Odin & His Brothers
5. The Stones Cry Out: Cave Art & the Origin
of the Human Spirit
6. Ásatrú & the Political
7. Are We Free?
8. Heidegger: An Introduction for Anti-Modernists
9. “All or Nothing”: The Prisoner & Ibsen’s Brand

Index (Print edition only)

Praise for Collin Cleary

“The writings of Collin Cleary are an excellent example of the way in which old European paganism continues to question our contemporaries in a thought-provoking way. Written with elegance, his work abounds in original points of view.”

—Alain de Benoist, author of On Being a Pagan

“In What is a Rune? and Other Essays, Collin Cleary delves headlong into the world of Mystery in a way that brings clarity and light. An inspired mind linked to the vehicle of rational thought and profound memory for the mythic past leads the reader to deep insight. Cleary has done his homework on all levels, and with this book gives us a port of entry into a fascinating world of ideas.”

—Edred Thorsson, author of Runelore 

“With his second book, What is a Rune?, Collin Cleary makes another powerful contribution to the intellectual foundations of modern Heathenry. Cleary approaches a wide range of topics, from the theological to the political, through his well-developed and cogently argued Heideggerian brand of Radical Traditionalism. Given the depth of Cleary’s penetrating analysis of so many topics relevant to modern Heathenry, What is a Rune? belongs in the library of every thinking Heathen.”

—Christopher Plaisance, editor of The Journal of Contemporary Heathen Thought

Collin Cleary, Ph.D. is an independent scholar living in Sandpoint, Idaho. He is the author of Summoning the Gods: Essays on Paganism in a God-Forsaken World (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2011). Cleary is one of the founders of TYR: Myth-Culture-Tradition, the first volume of which he co-edited. His essays have appeared in TYR, Rûna, and at Counter-Currents/North American New Right. A Master in the Rune-Gild, his work has been translated into Czech, Danish, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Swedish.

Hardcover: $35


Paperback: $20 



    Kindle Subscription
  • Our Titles

    You Asked For It

    More Artists of the Right

    Extremists: Studies in Metapolitics


    The Importance of James Bond

    In Defense of Prejudice

    Confessions of a Reluctant Hater (2nd ed.)

    The Hypocrisies of Heaven

    Waking Up from the American Dream

    Green Nazis in Space!

    Truth, Justice, and a Nice White Country

    Heidegger in Chicago

    The End of an Era

    Sexual Utopia in Power

    What is a Rune? & Other Essays

    Son of Trevor Lynch's White Nationalist Guide to the Movies

    The Lightning & the Sun

    The Eldritch Evola

    Western Civilization Bites Back

    New Right vs. Old Right

    Lost Violent Souls

    Journey Late at Night: Poems and Translations

    The Non-Hindu Indians & Indian Unity

    Baader Meinhof ceramic pistol, Charles Kraaft 2013

    Jonathan Bowden as Dirty Harry

    The Lost Philosopher, Second Expanded Edition

    Trevor Lynch's A White Nationalist Guide to the Movies

    And Time Rolls On

    The Homo & the Negro

    Artists of the Right

    North American New Right, Vol. 1

    Forever and Ever

    Some Thoughts on Hitler

    Tikkun Olam and Other Poems

    Under the Nihil

    Summoning the Gods

    Hold Back This Day

    The Columbine Pilgrim

    Confessions of a Reluctant Hater

    Taking Our Own Side

    Toward the White Republic

    Distributed Titles

    Tyr, Vol. 4


    The Node

    A Sky Without Eagles

    The Way of Men

    The New Austerities

    Morning Crafts

    The Passing of a Profit & Other Forgotten Stories

    Asatru: A Native European Spirituality

    The Prison Notes



    The Lost Philosopher

    Impeachment of Man

    Gold in the Furnace