Interview Hagalaz' Runedance : Maelstrom Lightning, April 2001

1 - First of all, I would like to ask you about the meaning of the Hagalaz rune, from which you take the name of you project. Why did you choose it?

Hagalaz is a rune meaning hail, which also on a deeper level represents the mysterious side of femininity and is thus connected to Hel, the underworld of the North, the subconscious. It is the rune of the Volva, the sooth-sayer and witch of the North, who explores the unknown in soul-journeys in order to bring wisdom into our world. Thus to me Hagalaz' Runedance represents the dance in-between worlds.

2 - Your book "The Ancient Fires of Midgard" is finally out. Could you present it briefly, please? Which sources did you use to write it? What´s the aim of this book and which kind of people do you think or do you hope will read it?

My book “The Ancient Fires of Midgard” is dealing with Northern  spirituality and the Pagan understanding of life, about the modern society, the  damage caused by the monotheistic patriarchal religions, Northern myths and magic, the feminine mysteries, ancient traditions, seasonal rites, the sacredness of trees, herbs, self-development and natural childbirth. The book is,  as all my creations, based very much on my own experiences, observances, studies and personal thoughts. I hope to inspire searching individuals to seek out the wisdom of their Pagan ancestors, to understand the mysteries of Nature and to find themselves…
3 - What is your opinion about the so-called "neofolk scene"? There´s a lot of bands using Runes as logos, singing about ancient German myths and talking about European culture, but most of them just seem to feel being part of some kind of fashion, and nothing more. Aren´t you afraid that Hagalaz´Runedance might be confused with all this?

For some individuals it might just be a “modern trend”, but others  surely will take it further. I don’t think the revival of Paganism is a trend,  but a sign that the old wisdom has never died in the first place. Now that the Church has lost their control over people’s minds, many individuals  seem to remember their own nature. The influence will last and give the new generation a more open perception of live, I think. I don’t think  Hagalaz’ Runedance would be ‘confused’ with being a ‘fashion’. My music and my writings are usually taken pretty seriously, or at least it should be  rather obvious that my work is true to me.

4 - Unfortunately those days most people associate runes and ancient German culture with radical right groups or simply with neonazis. Some time ago the whole Futhark alphabet was indicated as "hate symbols". What is your attitude towards this, and what do you think of the use the Nazis did of their ancestors´ culture?

A Pagan's concern is to keep the spiritual awareness of his or her  ancient Pagan ancestors alive, to learn from the ancient wisdom, to respect  nature and wild animals and to create a personal link between himself/herself  and nature. Doing so is every human being's right. It also means to  acknowledge the feminine, which has a strong influence particularly in the Germanic Pagan tradition. Paganism has nothing to do with politics and certainly  not with political dictatorship. The ones that claim otherwise are ignorant
And discriminating. The ones that go so far to accuse and ban Pagan artists and musicians, for example, are the real fascists and disbelievers of  freedom of speech!


5 - I guess that Hagalaz´ Runedance is your main activity. Why did you choose music to spread your message? Do you think it is the best way to reach the most people? And, if yes, is this the reason why you write your lyrics in English and not, for example, in your mother tongue?

It came natural for me to express myself with music. Music comes from within. I also have something to say and to me it is important that  people understand what I am trying to say. To sing in German would be  meaningless for me as I do not just want to reach German people. But also English  has become the language I feel most comfortable with and with which I can express myself fully.

6 - Do you think it could be possible to build a true "Pagan Nation"? I mean, is the idea of Pagan Religion as State Religion possible? Would it really be good?

First of all I don’t think any religion should be “State-religion”. But the Pagan traditions are in no way comparable to the patriarchal
Monotheistic religions such as Christianity or Islam. These patriarchal religions  have damaged our natural way of thinking, separated us from our animal inside and destroyed the feminine wisdom, thus created an imbalance. From the Pagan myths we can learn a great deal about ourselves, our strengths and weaknesses and the ways of Nature. They enhance our natural  possibilities,
give more opportunities and expand the mind – not close it. Pagan  beliefs are free of written dogmas, and the individual can develop his or her potential. In fact, the ancient religions worldwide unite us by the universal worship of Mother Nature and the forces that give us life. The Pagan traditions also make us aware of the need for diversity, as we learn to appreciate all the different things nature has created.

7 - Do you see Religion as an individual path, or should it be something to share between us all?

Answered above. Religion or Spirituality is a personal experience and a person should be free to believe or not to believe, to worship in a  group or to experience the forces of Nature alone.
8 - About the music, there a quite a few remixes of    Hagalaz´Runedance which mix ancient folk music with  modern electronic techno sounds. What is the reason  behind them? A will to create a point of contact  between our ancestors´ and our world, or what else?

Well, I like Folk music and I also like Techno, Industrial, Gothic... I create my own music. The Pagan Spirituality is not bound to the past.

9 - One of the things I´ll never understand in  pathriarcal religions is the repression of sexuality.  Total madness to me....I suppose the Pagan vision is  different.

The Pagans had a natural relationship towards the opposite sex and thus towards sexuality. It was something positive and not at all shameful.  The creation of life was sacred, not a "sin" like the patriarchal religions see it.

10 - What do you think about the work of some other  female "colleagues" of yours, whose work deals more or  less with the same themes you´re interested in, such  as Freya Aswynn or Amodali?

I knew Freya Aswynn personally when I lived in London and I am very inspired by her. I also know and like the work of Amodali. Unfortunately I have  not had the chance to meet her yet.

11 - When you talk about finding our origins and going back to our ancestors´ world, you refer to the  northern pagan world. So, theoretically this deals just with north European people, but what about all  the other populations? Is the pagan message suitable for everybody.

Even though dedicated to the northern traditions, Hagalaz' Runedance encourages the revival of the ancient wisdom and respect for Mother  Nature in general and hopes to inspire open-minded individuals to seek their roots and rekindle the ways of their own pagan ancestors. Even though natural religions all over the world have different customs and worship different gods, they all are united in the worship of Mother Nature. I am fascinated by earth religions and ancient cultures in general. I have learned about  the Celtic tradition, the spiritual world of the Egyptians and the Incas for example. I am very fascinated by Voodoo and I am interested in the culture of the Native Americans.

© Heimdallr webzine and Hagalaz' Runedance, 2001