Book Review: Western Paganism And Hermeticism



Western Paganism And Hermeticism:
Myatt And The Renaissance of Western Culture

Rachael Stirling (Editor)
44 pages. CreateSpace, 2017. ISBN 978-1986027809
BISAC: Philosophy / Metaphysics

The book is comprised of nine essays by various authors which deal with or which review David Myatt’s translations of Hermetic texts and his two recent books Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos and Tu Es Diaboli Ianua; plus – as an appendix – a reprint of Myatt’s relevant article Concerning ἀγαθός and νοῦς in the Corpus Hermeticum.

In her Preface, the editor – authoress of one of the essays in the book – succinctly expresses the raison d’etre of those Myatt books and translations of Hermetic texts, and also of the included essays, writing that

“Myatt’s thesis […] is that Western paganism is essentially the classical paganism of Ancient Greece and Rome and represents the ethos of the culture of the West, which ethos the Hebraic religion of Christianity supplanted. It is our view that those translations, the associated commentaries, and such books enable an insight into, and thus the evolution of, Western culture.”

She also quotes from one of those essays – Re-discovering Western Paganism – whose authors wrote that Myatt’s translations of classical and hermetic texts “when studied together enable us to appreciate and understand the classical, pagan, ethos and thence the ethos of the West itself.”

Collectively the essays present a decidedly new view of Western paganism which is contrary to that of Western neopagan revivals (sometimes described as contemporary Western paganism) and which neopagan revivals mostly devolve around ancient named gods and goddesses, such as those of Viking or Germanic mythology or those associated with Celtic legends of ancient Britain and Ireland. In addition, such modern revivals often involve romanticized rituals and ceremonies such as those now associated with the self-described Druids at Stonehenge during Summer Solstice sunrise at Stonehenge.

As the authoress of the eighth essay – A New Pagan Metaphysics – explains, referencing Myatt’s books Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos and Tu Es Diaboli Ianua as well as his essay From Mythoi To Empathy, this new view of Western paganism is an evolution, a move away from perceiving paganism in terms of mythology and legends to a modern philosophical, ethical, and rational understanding of it. This understanding is of καλὸς κἀγαθός – of nobility of personal character – and which Ancient Greek expression, according to Myatt, represents the ethos of not only Greco-Roman culture but also the non-Christian West. As Myatt notes in his Tu Es Diaboli Ianua, it involves

“an awareness and acceptance of one’s civic duties and responsibilities undertaken not because of any personal benefit (omni utilitate) that may result or be expected, and not because an omnipotent deity has, via some written texts, commanded it and will punish a refusal, but because it is the noble, the honourable – the gentlemanly, the lady-like, the human – thing to do.”

The book therefore takes us on a journey to a different – and for many of us to a new – world, far away from the religious attitudes of the old world as evoked, not only by Christianity, but also by neopaganism with its rituals, mythologies, polytheism and – in some manifestations – ‘magical’ spells, charms, and beliefs.

This new world is, as the authoress of the seventh essay – Suffering, Honour, And The Culture Of The West – makes clear, one where personal honour reigns manifesting as it does what is ethical and noble and ineluctably Western.

The book is highly recommended, despite its mere 44 pages, although given its large size of 8.5″ x 11″ (21.59 x 27.94 cm) – perhaps in homage to Myatt whose printed books are all a similar size – the page count in terms of a regular paperback is around 65 pages.

Kerri Scott
March 2018


Myatt’s Translation of Sappho

Sappho, depicted on Attic red-figure kalathos, c. 470 BCE. Provenance: Akragas (Sicily) and currently in Staatliche Antikensammlungen, Munich


Myatt – or rather, his translation of some of the fragments of the poetry of Sappho as recorded by Mr Richard Moult et al under the titles Sappho: Poetic Fragments I, II, III – gets a mention in a chapter of the book Orienting Feminism: Media, Activism and Cultural Representation published by the academic press Palgrave Macmillan in 2018. The chapter in question (pp.137-153) is by Siobhan Hodge and titled Sappho in Cyberspace.

For the curious, here is a copy of David Myatt’s translation of Sappho:

For the even more curious, the recordings by Moult et al are available (as of March 2018) at (i) and (ii) and (iii)

Image credit:
Sappho, depicted on Attic red-figure kalathos, c. 470 BCE.
Provenance: Akragas (Sicily) and currently in Staatliche Antikensammlungen, Munich

Myatt And The Renaissance of Western Culture



Western Paganism And Hermeticism:
Myatt And The Renaissance of Western Culture

A printed version of the Third Edition of this 2018 work, edited by Rachael Stirling, is now available: ISBN-13: 978-1986027809.

A gratis Open Access pdf file of the Third Edition is also available:

Western Paganism And Hermeticism

The following “politically incorrect” quotation, from the chapter titled Re-discovering Western Paganism by R. Parker, sets the context for the contents of the book.

“While laudable, the attempt in recent times by some Europeans to rediscover the pagan ethos of their ancestors – exemplified in certain (but not all) neopagan groups and weltanschauungen – and thus distance themselves from Hebraic spirituality, is not and never can be, in our view, effective in reconnecting us to the ethos of the West for two reasons. First, because such attempts (at least so far) do not exemplify, do not manifest, the spiritual ethos of the West, founded as that is on the culture and spirituality of ancient Greece and Rome. Second, because they generally do not take into account how the ethos of the West has itself been distorted by a Hebraicism that is not only spiritual but is now, and has been for over a century, cultural.

This cultural Hebraicism is a mode of thinking and action in which Hebrews – ancient and modern – and their beliefs, and those of their followers and disciples, are taken as the type, the moral ideal, to be aspired to and lauded. In the case of ancient Hebrews and their beliefs, the type, the ideal is evident in the Bible (both Old and New Testaments), and in latter-day interpretations of the Bible. In the case of modern Hebrews and their disciples, the type, the ideal, derives from (a) the dogma of ‘equality of races’ – ultimately derived from Marxism, sociology, and what has been termed ‘social anthropology’, with the belief being that all ethnicities have the same abilities, intelligence, potential, and human character – and from (b) the religious-like remembrance of and compulsory teaching regarding the Shoah, together with a hypocritical championing of ethnic awareness and ancestral traditions for all ethnicities except native European (‘White’) peoples, which ethnic awareness of, and its promotion among, native European peoples is considered ‘hatred’, ‘racist’, ‘extremist’ and is increasing censored and outlawed in the lands of the West with the Hebraic reasoning being that such ethnic awareness of, and its promotion among, native European peoples gave rise to colonialism, to fascism and National Socialism and thus to the Shoah – which must “never be forgotten” – with no Western country ever allowed to again make ancestral European beliefs, and the Western ethos, the raison d’être of a nation-State.

In respect of rediscovering the pagan spirituality of the West a fundamental problem has been a lack of knowledge among those interested in what, exactly, that spirituality is. A problem exacerbated by pre-existing translations of some of the ancient works knowledge of which is necessary in order to understand that spirituality. Works such as the Oedipus Tyrannus and the Antigone by Sophocles, the Agamemnon by Aeschylus, and the mystical texts of the Corpus Hermeticism.”


Re-discovering Western Paganism.
An Insight Into Pagan Mysticism.
Regarding Myatt’s Hermetica.
The Divine Pymander.
Myatt’s Monas – A New Translation of Corpus Hermeticum IV.
On Native Egyptian Influence In The Corpus Hermeticum.
Suffering, Honour, And The Culture Of The West.
A New Pagan Metaphysics.
Appendix I – Concerning ἀγαθός and νοῦς in the Corpus Hermeticum.
Appendix II – A Review Of Myatt’s ‘Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos’.

A Different Perspective


The essays which make up the document titled Regarding Western Paganism And Hermeticism {1} seem to me to point to a truth which is both relevant and controversial.

The document is relevant because of how our Western culture is mis-understood even by many native Europeans, and also because that culture is under attack by those – now often government supported – advocates of a ‘multi-cultural society’ with public advocacy of one’s own native culture being (if, that is, one is of European descent) frowned upon and even in some European lands outlawed because deemed by certain governments to be “hate speech”.

The document is controversial because it describes a culture which most modern political advocates of Western culture – of Western ‘civilization’ – will be unfamiliar with, fixated as so many of such political advocates seem to be with the mistaken belief that Christianity is the embodiment of that culture.

However, as described in that document – and in the texts referenced therein – Western culture is essentially pagan and derived from the culture of ancient Greece and Rome with Christianity thus understood as a Hebraic intrusion.

The document thus provides an entirely new – perhaps even a heretical – perspective on Western culture as well as referencing texts, such as David Myatt’s Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos and his Tu Es Diaboli Ianuas which, with their focus on such things as καλὸς κἀγαθός, metaphysically evolve Western paganism beyond “mythoi and anthropomorphic deities (theos and theoi) to an appreciation of the numinous sans denotatum and sans religion.” {2}

There is a cultural revolution in the truths embedded in Regarding Western Paganism And Hermeticism and in the texts referenced therein. But whether such truths can replace the prevalent and mistaken belief that Christianity is somehow the embodiment of Western culture remains to be seen.

June Boyle
2018 ev

{1} The work is available here: Western Paganism And Hermeticism (pdf).

{2} David Myatt (2018). From Mythoi To Empathy. The essay is included in

This work is issued under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-ND 4.0) license
and can be freely copied and distributed, under the terms of that license.

Western Paganism And Hermeticism, Third Edition

De Vita Coelitus Comparanda


The third edition of the compilation Regarding Western Paganism And Hermeticism is now available. It includes two additional articles On Native Egyptian Influence In The Corpus Hermeticum, and A New Pagan Metaphysics.

The compilation is of recent articles about Western paganism and hermeticism, indebted as those articles are to Myatt’s translations of texts from the ancient Corpus Hermeticism and his post-2013 writings such as his book Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos. Myatt’s thesis in that book is that Western paganism is essentially the classical paganism of Ancient Greece and Rome and represents the ethos of the culture of the West, which ethos the Hebraic religion of Christianity supplanted. It is our view that those translations, the associated commentaries, and such books enable an insight into, and thus the evolution, of Western culture.

Regarding Western Paganism And Hermeticism



° Preface
° Re-discovering Western Paganism
° An Insight Into Pagan Mysticism
° Regarding Myatt’s Hermetica
° The Divine Pymander
° Myatt’s Monas – A New Translation of Corpus Hermeticum IV
° On Native Egyptian Influence In The Corpus Hermeticum.
° Suffering, Honour, And The Culture Of The West
° A New Pagan Metaphysics

Appendix I – Concerning ἀγαθός and νοῦς in the Corpus Hermeticum
Appendix II – A Review Of Myatt’s ‘Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos’


All the articles included in the book were issued under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license, which license allows for both commercial and non-commercial republication under the terms of that license.

Image credit:

The beginning of the twenty-sixth chapter of the book De Vita Coelitus Comparanda by Marsilii Ficini published in 1489 CE. Quomodo per inferiora superioribus exposita deducantur superiora, et per mundanas materias mundana potissimum dona. [How, when what is lower is touched by what is higher, the higher is cosmically presenced therein and thus gifted because cosmically aligned.]

A Review of Tu Es Diaboli Ianua

De Vita Coelitus Comparanda

The 39 page essay which is spectacularly titled Tu Es Diaboli Ianua {1} is David Myatt’s latest philosophical offering. In his Exordium – a preface by any other name – he outlines the questions which he answers in the essay. The questions are

“is Christianity a suitable presencing of the numinous… If it is not, then could that religion be reformed, by developing a Johannine Weltanschauung…Would such a reformation be a suitable presencing of the numinous, and if not, then what non-Christian alternatives – such as a paganus metaphysics – exist, and what is the foundation of such an alternative.”

He writes that the essay compliments his book Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos.

While his answers are somewhat convoluted and decidedly scholarly and thus other-worldly – given the copious quotations in ancient and Hellenic Greek and his own translations – he raises many interesting issues relevant to the “real world” which most of us inhabit. For he writes that

“the problem is – or so it seems to me – in impersonal written texts. Or, more precisely, in denotatum, and thus in assigning terms – in using words – to describe an apprehension of the numinous. Which leads us to the fundamental difference between a religious apprehension of the numinous – based on received and venerated texts, on exegesis – and the paganus apprehension of the numinous as manifest in Greco-Roman culture.”

And also that

[Greco-Roman] “paganism will be examined for two reasons. Firstly, because it is manifest in a multiplicity of primary sources – from Homer to Hesiod to Cicero and beyond – and secondly because Greco-Roman culture is inextricably bound to the culture of the West and formed the basis for the European Renaissance that emerged in the 14th century, one aspect of which was a widespread appreciation of classical Art, of classical literature, and of texts such as the Corpus Hermeticum.”

Having criticized Christianity, he also declaims that an important aspect of Greco-Roman paganism is a respect for ancestral custom, writing in the last section of the last chapter that the new ‘numinous metaphysics’ he proposes includes “a spiritual and interior (and thus not political) understanding and appreciation of our own Ancestral Culture.”

Which statement about Western ancestral culture is profoundly “politically incorrect” and will be music to the ears of those few intellectuals who still champion the culture of the West.

That said, the essay is not without its problems. One is that given the copious quotations in ancient and Hellenic Greek it is, as with his book Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos, difficult to classify and difficult to discern who the intended audience is. As we wrote in our review of that book, “many of those interested in Western paganism as a new way of life or as a modern, non-Christian, spirituality may find [this essay] too academic or too boring; while those academically interested in such matters will doubtless turn to other authors given Myatt’s experiential Faustian quests, his iconoclasm, his often underserved reputation, and thus his exclusion from academia.”

Personally, we think Myatt is simply making publicly available the result of his metaphysical questioning while also, as with his Classical Paganism And The Christian Ethos, intending this new essay for those few Western individuals who, interested in re-discovering their Western pagan heritage, having been looking for the intellectual foundations of that pagan culture.

A second problem is that his conclusion – his description of his new pagan metaphysics – is brief to the point of almost being obscure, occupying as it does a short statement in the final paragraph, with no explanations provided.

But perhaps, given Myatt’s criticism of denotatum (words, and naming, by any other name) and his statement that “the culture of pathei-mathos has moved us, or can move us, beyond anthropomorphic deities, whether male or female; beyond myths and legends; beyond reliance on texts regarded as sacred and/or as divinely inspired; and even beyond the need for denotatum and religion” then this short statement that such “is the numinous” is all that is required.

R.S & K.S
December, 2017

{1} A copy of Myatt’s essay is available here:

Image credit: The beginning of the twenty-sixth chapter of the book De Vita Coelitus Comparanda by Marsilii Ficini published in 1489 CE

Regarding The Term Numinous

David Myatt

David Myatt

A Note Regarding The Term Numinous

As a chapter of a book by Christopher Pankhurst – Numinous Machines, published in December 2017 by the ‘right-wing’ San Francisco based Counter-Currents organization – is titled Nexus of Life: David Myatt & the Acausal, it is fitting that we examine the origin of the term ‘numinous’ and what Myatt himself means by the term, especially as the blurb for the book on the publishers website repeats the common but mistaken belief that “Rudolf Otto coined the term numinous to refer to the primal experience of the holy.”

A mistaken belief since as a certain “Anton Long” pointed out in his text Alchemical Seasons and The Fluxions of Time published in 123 yfayen (2011 ce) that

“despite the now common belief that the use of the word ‘numinous’ is fairly recent, deriving from the writings of Rudolf Otto, its first occurrence in English – so far discovered – is in a religious tract published in London in 1647 ce, entitled The simple cobler of Aggawam in America. Willing to help mend his native country. The author, Nathaniel Ward – a scholar at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, an English clergyman, and a Puritan supporter – emigrated to Massachusetts in 1634 ce.”

The meaning of the term numinous in that book, and in later books such as The Quest of the Sangraal by Robert Stephen Hawker published in 1864 (where it is spelt numynous), is “of or relating to a god or a divinity, revealing or indicating the presence of a divinity; divine, spiritual,” derived as it is from the classical Latin ‘numen’, which Latin word implied a deity, a divinity, a reverence for what is divine.

In his 2013 book The Numinous Way Of Pathei-Mathos Myatt described how he then philosophically used and understood the term:

“The numinous is what manifests or can manifest or remind us of (what can reveal) the natural balance of ψυχή; a balance which ὕβρις upsets. This natural balance – our being as human beings – is or can be manifest to us in or by what is harmonious, or what reminds us of what is harmonious and beautiful. In a practical way, it is what we regard or come to appreciate as ‘sacred’ and dignified; what expresses our developed humanity and thus places us, as individuals, in our correct relation to ψυχή, and which relation is that we are but one mortal emanation of ψυχή.”

Prior to that ‘Pathei Mathos iteration’ (c.2011 – present) Myatt had frequently used the term ‘numinous’ during his ‘National Socialist iteration’ (1968-1998) writing in his 1990s text The Meaning of National-Socialism, {1} published by George Dietz in his Libery Bell magazine and also circulated by Myatt’s National-Socialist Movement, not only that

“Something is numinous if it has beauty and awe. Something which is divinely-inspired or divinely-representative is numinous. What is numinous is generally what is revered, or regarded as sacred – as spiritual or divine. Nature herself is numinous – a wonderful, awe-inspiring mystery. The numinous is an expression of the acausal – of the Unity behind causal, temporal, appearance,”

but also that

“a folk is not an abstract, easily defined, static, “thing” like the concept of race. It is a living, changing, evolving, being – a unique type of life. What defines a folk is thus far more than a certain set of physical or physiological or genetic characteristics. A folk is a symbiotic being – in symbiosis with the being which is the homeland of that folk, with that community or that collection of folkish communities. All this makes the culture, the Way of Life, the ethos (or soul) of that folk living as well. And it is this living which is numinous, which presences the numinous.”

Since Myatt uses and used the term numinous in specific ways, and always seemed to avoid using the English word ‘holy’ both in reference to that term and in his Greek translations, it is interesting and relevant to mention his commentary on the Greek word ἅγιος in section 5 of the Pymander chapter of the ancient Corpus Hermeticum. {2}

The Holy

In regard to ἅγιος – conventionally translated as ‘holy’ – Myatt, quoting Rilke and providing his own translation of the German, writes that the numinous has two aspects:

{Begin quote}

Numinous is better – more accurate – than ‘holy’ or ‘sacred’, since these latter English words have been much overused in connexion with Christianity and are redolent with meanings supplied from over a thousand years of exegesis; meanings which may or may not be relevant here.

Correctly understood, [the] numinous is the unity beyond our perception of its two apparent aspects; aspects expressed by the Greek usage of ἅγιος which could be understood in a good (light) way as ‘sacred’, revered, of astonishing beauty; and in a bad (dark) way as redolent of the gods/wyrd/the fates/morai in these sense of the retributive or (more often) their balancing power/powers and thus giving rise to mortal ‘awe’ since such a restoration of the natural balance often involved or required the death (and sometimes the ‘sacrifice’) of mortals. It is the numinous – in its apparent duality, and as a manifestation of a restoration of the natural, divine, balance – which is evident in much of Greek tragedy, from the Agamemnon of Aeschylus (and the Orestia in general) to the Antigone and the Oedipus Tyrannus of Sophocles.

The two apparent aspects of the numinous are wonderfully expressed by Rilke:

Wer, wenn ich schrie, hörte mich denn aus der Engel
Ordnungen? und gesetzt selbst, es nähme
einer mich plötzlich ans Herz: ich verginge von seinem
stärkeren Dasein. Denn das Schöne ist nichts
als des Schrecklichen Anfang, den wir noch grade ertragen,
und wir bewundern es so, weil es gelassen verschmäht,
uns zu zerstören. Ein jeder Engel ist schrecklich.

Who, were I to sigh aloud, of those angelic beings might hear me?
And even if one of them deigned to take me to his heart I would dissolve
Into his very existence.
For beauty is nothing if not the genesis of that numen
Which we can only just survive
And which we so admire because it can so calmly disdain to betake us.
Every angel is numinous

wenn ich schrie. ‘Were I to sigh aloud’ is far more poetically expressive, and more in tune with the metaphysical tone of the poem and the stress on schrie, than the simple, bland, ‘if I cried out’. A sighing aloud – not a shout or a scream – of the sometimes involuntary kind sometimes experienced by those engaged in contemplative prayer or in deep, personal, metaphysical musings.

der Engel Ordnungen. The poetic emphasis is on Engel, and the usual translation here of ‘orders’ – or something equally abstract and harsh (such as hierarchies) – does not in my view express the poetic beauty (and the almost supernatural sense of strangeness) of the original; hence my suggestion ‘angelic beings’ – of such a species of beings, so different from we mortals, who by virtue of their numinosity have the ability to both awe us and overpower us.

{End quote}

Myatt thus provides a new – yet ancient, and most certainly pagan – interpretation of the term, so very different from the understanding of that of Christianity, which Christian understanding is “pertaining to God; belonging to God, commissioned by God, or persons devoted to God; conforming to the will of God, entirely devoted to God.”

Three Wyrd Sisters

{1} A copy of Myatt’s text is available here:
{2} David Myatt. Corpus Hermeticum: Eight Tractates. 2017. ISBN-13: 978-1976452369