The Lebor Feasa Runda
The Lebor Feasa Runda
A Druidic Grammar of Celtic Lore and Magic
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In his highly anticipated English translation of the ancient Irish text known as the Lebor Feasa Rúnda (Book of Secret Knowledge), Celtic scholar and historian, Steven L. Akins, has at last made available to readers the wealth of pre-Christian teachings espoused by the Druids in this seminal work of pagan religious literature. Basing his translation on the only extant transcription of the now lost Black Book of Loughcrew, the actual doctrines of the Celtic priesthood are finally brought to light in this timeless rendering of these sacred scriptures. Of the 180 Druidic texts mentioned in the historic Yellow Book of Lecan as being destroyed by St. Patrick in his attempt to convert the pagan inhabitants of Ireland to Christianity, the Lebor Feasa Rúnda alone survived as testimony to the spiritual beliefs and practices of the Celts in their original, uncompromised form. First transcribed by the Druid Mogh Ruith from a series of ogham staves long ago discovered in the tomb of Ollamh Fodhla, one of Ireland’s greatest early kings, the Lebor Feasa Runda records the dispensation of a vast store of esoteric knowledge received by Ollamh Fodhla from a messenger of the Celtic gods known as the Tuatha Dé Danann. Perhaps the most remarkable of all ancient Celtic texts, the Lebor Feasa Rúnda contains not only an account of the earliest history of Ireland and the relationship of its inhabitants to the Celtic gods, but it also comprises a full discourse on the Druidic religion, providing a complete account of the sacred rites and ceremonies at the heart of this mysterious faith. Since it was first recorded in the Black Book of Loughcrew, the Lebor Feasa Rúnda miraculously survived for centuries, traveling across Europe and passing through the hands of numerous individuals until it was ultimately acquired by the Ahnenerbe Forschungs-und Lehrgemeinschaf, who commissioned its translation into German in the days leading up to the Second World War. The original volume was found missing on May 10, 1941, the date Rudolf Hess, made his ill-fated flight to Great Britain, lending support to allegations that Hitler’s deputy F hrer had taken the ancient manuscript with the intention of presenting it as a gift to the Duke of Hamilton and Brandon, who Hess planned to meet for the purpose of secretly discussing peace negotiations between Germany and Britain. In the years since its disappearance, the only known transcription of the Lebor Feasa Rúnda, the German translation prepared by Henry Thorenson for the Ahnenerbe, fell into obscurity until 2001 when it was discovered by Akins, who was granted access to Thorenson’s private records, enabling him to complete and publish the first English edition of this remarkable and historic work.
The following text, which I have here translated for the first time in English, was initially brought to my attention through a very interesting conversation I had a number of years ago with a gentleman named John Paterson who, by an unusual set of circumstances, came to be aware of its existence as a young man while living near Glasgow, Scotland, during the Second World War. Mr. Paterson told me that he had briefly caught a glimpse of the book as it was being confiscated from Rudolf Hess, a high-ranking Nazi official who was taken into custody shortly after he parachuted from his unarmed plane after running low on fuel over Renfrewshire, Scotland, around 11 p.m. on the night of May 10, 1941. Touching down at Floors Farm near Eaglesham, south of Glasgow and some ten miles from his intended destination of Dungavel House, the country estate of the Duke of Hamilton and Brandon, Hess had injured his ankle on impact and was quickly apprehended by David McLean, a local farmer armed with a pitchfork. McLean had seen the Messerschmitt Bf 110 go down and took its only occupant by surprise while he was struggling to disengage his parachute harness. Hess insisted that he had come to Scotland in an effort to negotiate a peace treaty between Germany and Great Britain with the Duke of Hamilton, who he believed to be an opponent of Britain’s Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, the man Hess held responsible for the outbreak of the war. Hess proposed that the war between Germany and Britain could be brought to a halt and that all the western European countries defeated by Germany would be turned over to their own national governments subject to German supervision. Germany would have been responsible for the cost of rebuilding those countries in return for Britain’s support of the impending invasion Hitler was about to launch against Soviet Russia. Mr. Paterson, who was present at the time Hess was detained, was of the impression that the ancient text, which was taken from Hess shortly thereafter, was intended as a gift of goodwill to the Duke. It had the appearance of being a very old Gaelic manuscript containing, among other things, a variety of charms and incantations. It was not until several months later that I would discover what the book actually was and how it had come into Hess’ possession. By fortunate coincidence I later met the widow of the late Mr. Henry Thorenson who kindly provided me with a copy of her husband’s German transcription of the volume Rudolf Hess had brought with him to Scotland as an intended gift to the Duke of Hamilton. Mr. Thorenson, an expert on linguistics, was among a team of scholars assigned by the Ahnenerbe Forschungs-und Lehrgemeinschaft to translate this ancient Gaelic text into German in the late 1930’s, by orders from Reichsf hrer Heinrich Himmler. Thorenson, who served as a German officer during World War II, had been captured by Allied forces in 1943 and was brought to the United States as a prisoner of war. In the years following the end of the war Thorenson was released from custody and continued to live in the United States, having married an American girl and settled down to live a modest life as a school teacher. In the decades which followed, Thorenson went on to complete his German translation of the early Irish manuscript known as the Lebor Feasa Rúnda (Book of Secret Knowledge), and actively sought to be of assistance in efforts to negotiate Rudolf Hess’ release from Spandau prison following the parole of Albert Speer and Baldur von Schirach in 1966. Thorenson died in 1991, never having published his German translation. The text of the Lebor Feasa Rùnda might otherwise have remained in complete obscurity had it not been for the willingness of Evelyn Thorenson, Henry’s widow, to allow me to use her late husband’s work as the basis for my present English translation. The remarkable history which surrounds this text was outlined by Thorenson’s own copious notes which detail how the Lebor Feasa Rúnda had passed from one owner to the next over the centuries. How much of this account is truth and how much may well be conjecture I am not prepared to say more than that my own extensive research into the events surrounding its discovery, and knowledge of Celtic culture and traditions, inclines me to believe that it has a solid foundation of truth. Attributed to the 8th century B.C. Irish king Ollamh Fodhla who (being the recipient of a vast dispensation of esoteric knowledge through a messenger of the ancient Celtic pagan deities) recorded the teachings that had been imparted to him in ogham text on a set of wooden tablets which he later instructed his son, Caibre, to inter alongside his body at the time of his death. These same ogham tablets were later supposedly discovered and translated in the 3rd century A.D. by the Druid Mogh Ruith as the Lebor Feasa Rúnda, a text which had been preserved in manuscript form, carefully transcribed along with other scriptures by monks of the early Christian Church in Ireland, as a treatise on the magical arts known as the Black Book of Loughcrew. Early on, the Book of Loughcrew was apparently among the texts brought to England by Hiberno-Scottish missionaries from Ireland when they re-established a monastery amid the ruins of Glastonbury abbey. By the first half of the 10th century A.D. the book had evidently come into the possession Dunstan, abbot of Glastonbury, who was later appointed Archbishop of Canterbury and was formally canonized as a saint in 1029 A.D; despite the fact that earlier in his career he had been expelled from the court of King Athelstan as a practitioner of sorcery and black magic. In the decades that followed the text of the Lebor Feasa Rúnda may have circulated among the Knights Templars who could have easily adapted its rituals under the guise of a pseudo-biblical attribution to conceal its pagan origin, perhaps inspiring medieval works on magic such as the Key of Solomon. Legends alluding to the Templars’ quest for relics such as the Holy Grail hint at parallels drawn from Celtic mythology in which sacred vessels possessing miraculous attributes feature prominently. Among the allegations brought against the Templars that led to the destruction of their order in the early 1300’s were accusations of their involvement with occult rites and the practice of magic; although rumors suggest that a surviving band of Templars, led by William Sinclair, escaped persecution by fleeing to Scotland. There, under the protection of the excommunicated King Robert the Bruce, their order is said to have continued in secrecy; supposedly leading to the formation of the fraternal order of Freemasons. By the 13th century A.D. the Black Book of Loughcrew had purportedly fallen into the hands of Michael Scott, a famed Scottish occultist whose reputation as a sorcerer had earned him the nickname of “the Wizard of the North.” Scott, who was born in 1175 A.D., had studied at Durham and Oxford before going abroad to further his education in Paris, where he studied theology and was eventually ordained as a priest. Pope Honorius III (said to be practioner of the dark arts and attributed as the author of more than one book on black magic) had written to Cardinal Langton, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1224 for the purpose of obtaining an English benefice for Scott, but he declined that appointment choosing instead to travel to Bologna, Italy, and later to Toledo, Spain, in order to continue his studies. Following Scott’s death in 1232, the book containing the only surviving copy of the Lebor Feasa Rúnda was evidently acquired by the Franciscan Friar, Roger Bacon, whose scholarly interest in the occult accounts for the authorship of at least one medieval textbook on magic, De Nigromancia, being attributed to him. With Bacon’s death in 1294 the Black Book of Loughcrew changed ..hands several times, allegedly finding its way into the possession of such noteworthy personages as Henry .......
Steven L. Akins is a noted Celtic scholar and historian who has researched and written extensively on the magical and spiritual roots of Druidism; dedicating much of his life to unraveling the mystery behind the lore and teachings of ancient Celtic wisdom, enabling others to discover this great spiritual legacy.

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