Friday, 14 July 2017

The Unknown History of Wodenism in England

Woden's Folk claims that we revived Folkish Wodenism back in 1998, but strictly speaking this is not true. I have received some information from a very old friend from Odinism whom I have not seen for many years but who contacted me through email the other day. I will refer to him as 'Bill'.

Bill has informed me that there was a small Wodenist group set up over 40 years ago, a group calling itself the Anglo-Saxon Church of Woden (ASCOW). This was founded by a man called John Cook and operated in the London area I believe. Their logo was an Elhaz-Rune in a diamond-shape. I am afraid that little is known of this group and it may have folded with the death of its founder. 

Basically, Wodenism was thus revived some 40 years ago here in England by John Cook, and this short article is designed to ensure that this becomes known outside the small circle that must remember this man. Admittedly, this was only a small group and not a national movement (and beyond) but in truth it should be recognised for what it did some 40 years ago in starting the revival of Wodenism here in England. 

There was also another group which based its work around Wodenism and that was Saxnot organised by Jack and Leigh Taylor. This worked from South London and they had a small-circulation photocopied magazine called Saxnot. This group was merged into the Odinic Rite where Jack and Leigh became members of the Court of Gothar. I knew the late Jack Taylor and his son Leigh and felt that they too should be credited with their work in the revival of Wodenism. 

WF can still lay claim to being the first national movement based around Folkish Wodenism, but it is only fair to credit both the Anglo-Saxon Church of Woden and Saxnot for their work in the revival of Wodenism. Saxnot was a group that studied the esoteric arts and in particular the Ancient Runes. Jack Taylor was a brilliant man, an artist and a carver of runes in wood; his son Leigh is a brilliant rune-worker but I have not seen Leigh for many years now.

For the record John Cook was a nationalist too, and the ASCOW was, like Saxnot, a Folkish group in the sense of being race-conscious and fully aware of our struggle here in England. So, we can say in truth that Wodenism was first revived in a Folkish nature, and that WF took up the torch of Folkish Wodenism around 20 years after this, but spread the movement nation-wide and even further afield today. Today Folkish Wodenism is well known in England, Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, and in other places. From small beginnings our Ur-Religion is spreading amongst the Folk. 

Since Saxnot was merged into the Odinic Rite this group became part of the Odinist history but their name is taken from the Saxon God so they can be seen as part of the Wodenist revival too. Their magazine was excellent and I have read copies of this in the past, though I do not know how long it went on for. 

The name 'Anglo-Saxon Church of Woden' is interesting in that it shows how Wodenism and Odinism emerged from the dying Christian Church, using Christian terms such as 'church' and clothing very much based upon Christian ideas. Since then things have changed drastically and Heathenism has moved away from these ideas, trying to move towards a truly heathen world-view. This was also true of the Folkish Movement in Germany which mixed Heathen and Christian ideas. Saxnot was a truly Heathen group, and not knowing about the ASCOW I do not know whether this embraced a wholly heathen view or not. But whatever the case Wodenism was reborn as a 'seed' which is today growing into a Mighty Oak. 

1 comment:

  1. I don't know if this helps but I found out a little bit more about ASCOW. URL http://www.troth.org.uk/history.htm "The Anglo-Saxon Church of Woden  was formed in about 1972 by  'Haki'.The base for it's activities was a restaurant at Enfield Lock, in Middlesex which after business hours doubled as a Temple of Woden. The A.S.C.W seems to have disbanded around 1974¹."

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