Interview with Varg Vikernes
"Aorta" Magazine (#20, 1995), by Kadmon

Aorta Oskorei Magazine 1995Why did you choose the name Greifi Grishnackh?

I used it as a nom de guerre, but as my real name is known to everybody there's no point in using it anymore. The point was to stay unknown, while this fantasy figure Count Grishnackh should be known.

It failed so there's no point in continuing to use the name. My legal name is Varg Vikernes, my nom de guerre is Hofding Vargr, and my nom de plume is Vargr Víkarnes Lárusson. Hofding Vargr means Häuptling Warg, and the latter of the three names is the old version of my legal name, it is like how my name would be like a thousand years ago. All Graf, Greifi, Count and Grev before Grishnackh mean Count in different Germanic languages. Comtes in Latin means companion, and I chose the title because I view myself as the companion to all of the Germanic Volk. Also I have Norwegian blue-blood, so it was not a major misuse of that noble title. I got tired of the name as well, I am a man of many names, and I like that. It is a Norse tradition to give names to people as they suit them, as you view them. Thus we all have many names. Odinn as an example has 149 different names in the Edda poems alone.

Do you see yourself in the tradition of the Skalds?

Not through Burzum, but the Norwegian lyrics I wrote for Darkthrone were very much written in the old Skaldic way. They were written as rimes and with a lot of kennings - kenning is another way of saying a word to make it more poetic and to make it suit better in the rime. Like sea horse is it kenning for ship. So, aye, I see myself in the Skaldic tradition or in Skáldskaprinn as we say.

In the magazine "Filosofem" you are not only referring to Nordic mythology but also to alchemy, you are mentioning the work of C.G. Jung too.

I refer to Al-Khemi or alchemy as most know it and other more or less - for us Norsemen - alien sciences to show similarities between them and our own sciences, our own Heidindómr, heathendom. Al-Khemi is an Egyptian science originally, still the quintessence is identical to the quintessence of our Schöpfungsbericht. When I reiterate the analogy between the different sciences those who listen will understand how important it is to study all of them. Study of one science only will leave you one-dimensional. Still I can tell that even though studying alien sciences it is to help me understand my own science. I watch the wyrd through a blue heathen eye, and that should be an answer to your question.

In "Filosofem" there is an illustration of runes related to parts of the human body - this system reminds of the Kabbalistic tree of life, and you also used the names of some Kabbalistic spheres/Sephiroth. Do you know the books on runes by Freya Aswynn and Edred Thorsson?

The Kabbala is not the only tree of life. We have the Yggdrasill as our tree of life, the Fins have their tree of life, the Indians have their Asvattha tree, the Jews have their QBLH and so on. Instead of viewing my essay as one with names from the Kabbala you should view it as an essay about mankind. I used some of the names of the Sephiroth simply because they are the names for that particular area of the body. The Kabbala is a system built on Egyptian mysticism, and as the ancient Egyptians were Aryans that explains why there are some similarities. The Kabbala is one big misinterpretation of Egyptian magic. Our system hasn't anything to do with the Kabbala, the only thing similar are the names of some bodily functions. An ear is an ear in all cultures, we all use it to hear with - still the music we make for our ears is very different from the music in other cultures. I have heard of this Aswynn but never read any of her books, well I got some of her work but it was all, in my eyes, womanish romantic fiction, so I did not pay much attention to it. My experience with non-Norsemen who write about the Norse traditions is very bad. The non-Norsemen seems to get it all wrong. So I chose to ignore the books on the subject written in English. In German there are many good books though, but of course the best books are the ones in Norwegian/lcelandic/Swedish/Danish, Norraena - all the original records about Norse Mythology. We used the runes, the Futhark, as official script in Norway for as long as until about 1400 when it was replaced by the Latin alfabeta. We learn both the older and the younger rune-rows in the Norwegian elementary school. Tradition is strong in the Nordic countries, especially on Iceland and in Western Norway. My work with runes, which again is in connection to Al-Khemi, has been mostly with weapons. I seldomly use runes for divination, l prefer reading the Virdr, English wyrd. When crafting weapons I have always carved strengthening runes and such on them.

You hate Christianity - what do you think about the wooden churches of Norway that show many Nordic symbols and ornaments?

Aye, some of the churches are built in the unique Northern style, stave churches, but even though the architecture is Northern it does not make them worth the heathen soil they are built on. The stave churches were built in the period from around 1000 up to 1349 when the Black Death attacked Norway, a period where the heathendom, although officially dead, still was strong in Norway. The problem are the places these stave churches are built on. They are built right on the very top of the ruins of our heathen temples and holy sites. When they put big stone crosses on top of my forefathers' Horgar - a heap of stones serving as an altar - and build Judeo-Christian churches on the ruins of my forefathers' temples ruined by the same Christians who build the churches, I cannot say the nice style of the building makes me want to keep it there. All churches, no matter how they may look, are Judeo- Christian, and therefore we shall not tolerate that they rest on our heathen soil. As simple as that.

Can you tell me obout your musical project "Hliðskjálf"?

I think it is better to let you find out for yourself how it will be like when the debut is out. "Tomhet/Leere" on "Hvis Lyset Tar Oss" is a good but primitive example of "Hliðskjálf", but still it is different in many ways. It is 100% Germanic music, no Negro instruments or style, like all metal music.

A Burzum symbol is an eye in a swastika. Is this eye the sacrified eye of Odin?

It is not the sacrified eye of Odinn, it is the one remaining eye the one he has left. We used Das Auge as a symbol of Odinn.

Why did you decide to use after Burzum the name "Hliðskjálf"?

"Hliðskjálf" is the throne of Odin, it is the highest throne of all, as I see it, the throne above all thrones, the highest seat of the king of kings! To avoid any misconceptions like I had with Burzum, I decided to be more obvious and less cryptic in the name of the band. "Hliðskjálf" is nothing but 100% pure Germanic music, so it needed a 100% pure Norse-Germanic name.

Did you read works by Friedrich Nietzsche? In one of his books he claimed to be a Hyperborean.

I have read "Jenseits von Gut und Böse" and parts of "Antichrist" but I have not read other books by Nietzsche. As for his claims to be one of the Hyperborean - well, in "Havamål" it says that if you do not know the subject being discussed well, you be better of if you shut up and let the others speak. So this I do here. What I do know however, is that Hyperborea is an ancient Greek name for Scandinavia, meaning the uttermost North, just like the ancient Roman name for Scandinavia which is Ultima Thule. The Hyperboreans are the ancient Scandinavians.

Do you consider life as determinism or as an area of complete freedom? Do you think that Odin's sacrifice is of Nordic origin or rather a Christian influence or Celtic influence (Anfortas)?

I think it is universal. We have our Odinnic sacrifice, the Fins have a similar myth, everybody has similar myths worldwide, even without being influence by any other cultures. We create all these same myths and theories. The spear is a symbol of the male characteristics, just like the cup is for females, in all cultures. It is so simple to explain why as to give an example of a common thing for all mankind- all men have a penis (spear) and all women have a vagina (cup). It is not anymore weird that we have similar myths as the fact that we all penetrate the vagina with our penis, no matter what culture we live in. The Gungnir wounding Odin with his own spear, representing his own male force wounding him. Jesus was wounded by a Roman spear, so there is a difference here. Also Odin hang himself while Jesus was hanged by others, Odin was hanged with a rope around his neck, while Jesus was nailed to a stake - not a cross, that is a falsification by historians to make the Mediterranean pagan holy symbol, the cross, a Christian symbol, thus being more influential on the Christianization of the pagans. The cross is a pagan symbol of a man standing with his arms out praising mother earth for all the gifts she gives to her human children. - So there is a major difference between these myths, we have a sacrifice and a self-sacrifice, also Jesus died, but Odin only partially died. He hang for nine days, Jesus only one. Nine is a holy number for the Norsemen. Odin hangs nine days and nine nights, and that is to acknowledge all the powers and forces of nature, both the destructive and the constructive. There are also nine Valkyries because of the sacredness of this number, the ultimate number, as nine is the last number, the end, Ragnarokkrr. As Jesus only hanged one day, I guess this is the symbology for the beginning instead of Odins self-sacrifice which is a symbol of the end. One is the first number, thus the number of a beginning. And that it was, but that era is nearing its end now, making room for a new beginning, as I mentioned, the pendulum is swinging from left to right, and back again forever. Wotan kehrt zurück!

Would you like to talk about your time in prison?

There is not much to talk about really, all days are the same and nothing happens here. I am in a security section where we have a suicide committed by a stranger once every half year on the average - they are not used to isolation the way we are. But we don't know before they tell us. The prison yard is a concrete silo, the sun doesn't shine in because of the extravagant high walls. I only get some of the mail that come to the prison for me. I am not allowed to read books about Norse-Germanic mythology because it can have "a bad influence" on me and besides it is "nazism", they say - at the same time I have both James Mason's "Siege" book and Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" in my cell. If these books are not "nazism" then I wonder what is - mythology is not anyway. Very little happens really, some screamlike protests from other inmates from time to time, but little else. I spend 22-24 hours a day in my cell, and the time outside is spent one hour a week in the visiting room and an hour every day in the weight lifting room. Physically it is okay, in terms of food and what we can have in our cells, like TV, CD and cassette player and a computer if we study, like I am doing. We get the same food every second week or so, the diet is very monotonous and I am getting very tired of it now. Actually we get milk soup very often and there is a work duty on the better sections, so "Arbeit macht frei" can with right be written on the frontgate here as well. They served milk soup in the concentration camps too, you know... A major difference though is that we are not allowed to socialize with the other inmates more than one hour in the yard each day. So there are no others to rely on than yourself, no one to talk with, only yourself. This I don't mind, as I am unsocial anyway, but I can tell most of the others get really frustrated after a month or two. Especially the ones from cultures where they are used to this close family-link where their family back them up when they need it - there is nobody to back them up in here, so they are having a harder time than us Norwegians. We are not used to seek comfort in a family anyway, the Norwegian culture is a individualist culture, we rely on our own individual strength and might, no one elses'. Physically this is one of the best prisons in the world I would guess, but mentally it is severe terror, one of the worst mentally. An ex-friend of mine who turned Christian said to me that she could not believe in Odin, because he did not answer her calls, but "God" did. This is very representative for the Norse culture, the southern God answers the calls for help from the worshippers, but Odin doesn't - for Odin wants us to be strong and able to rely on our own strength and might, not any others'. If I need help and I am not able to survive on my own strength and might I won't be good enough for Odin. He is a god for the strong, and the Norwegian culture is influenced by this, as are our prisons. The foreigners crack and sometimes commit suicide - after first having spurned us for being wimps living in such a "luxurious" prison. Fools. Life in prison is what you make of it. I study and see it as some sort of existence in a monastery, although I get female visits almost weekly. I can take the psychic terror, so it is fine for me to be here, although I would have rather been somewhere else. When I get out of here I will be very well educated, in great physical form and with my good old childish will to power.

There are still many rumours about the reasons for your fight... Was the reason that you wanted to have back your master tapes?

I would have gotten back the master tapes anyway as he did not have a contract with me for any of the albums he released. This is one of the reasons why he got so damned desperate as he feared I would stop his Burzum releases and release them on my own label. The one and only reason I killed him is the fact that he attacked me. He planned to kill me by first knocking me out with a electro-shock pistol and then torturing me to death in a desolate place. I found this out because a guy he believed was his friend told me. So I got pissed and went to his place to make him calm down. When I showed up he panicked and attacked me as there was no way he could run away. So I smashed him and chased him when he tried to run away for help, calling the doorbell of the neighbour and screaming like a fucking woman. I could have let him live, but why should I? He would just have tried to kill me again later anyway, in an even more cowardish way than by attacking me without a warning like he did. So I struck him in his head with the knife, ending his life in a moment. I don't see why people can't realize that he intended to kill me, and that that was my only reason to kill him. He was a nothing, a failure, and he even failed when he tried to kill me.

Author: Kadmon (© 1995 "Aorta" Magazine Austria)

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