Karl Hans Welz and The Knights of Runes - The Rise of Contemporary Scientific Runology and the Re-Emergence of the Rune-Gild

Revival of the Runes: The Modern Rediscovery and Reinvention of the Germanic Runes - Stephen E. Flowers Ph.D. 2021

Karl Hans Welz and The Knights of Runes
The Rise of Contemporary Scientific Runology and the Re-Emergence of the Rune-Gild

Back in the United States, many others began to follow in the wake of the success of the Blum phenomenon. Among these was an Austrian named Karl Hans Welz, who says he studied runes in Berlin. In 1984, Welz organized the Knights of Runes (KOR) based on the Armanen system. Welz took pains, as Spiesberger had done, to rid the Armanen tradition of its völkisch elements. Following much in the footsteps of Spiesberger, who also lived in Berlin in the 1980s, Welz sees the runes in terms of energy fields and forces. Clearly, this sort of view was also heavily developed and promoted by Marby, who must be seen as the true father of runes interpreted as quasi-physical forces: orgone, odic force, and so on. Welz has invented and markets machines and devices meant to generate and manipulate this sort of vital energy. Welz describes himself in KOR literature from the 1980s in the following way:

KARL HANS WELZ was born in Innsbruck, Austria. He attended the University of Innsbruck and obtained his bachelor’s degree at the age of nineteen. He went on to study theology, and later psychology and mathematics there in graduate study.

Karl Hans Welz was interested in metaphysics from the age of fourteen. During the course of time and during his extensive traveling, he explored and practiced nearly all fields of metaphysics.

Karl Hans Welz became a Rune Master as a member of the Sacred Brotherhood of the Golden Ray, West Germany.

He is the author of several books and essays on the spiritual and occult sciences, and he has appeared on many TV shows. He considers the Runic system to be one of the most powerful spiritual tools known to mankind and that it can bring about rapid advancement in and mastership of psychic skills.

It is unfortunate but true that there is no book in English which describes the symbolism of the 18 Sacred Futhork Runes, even though the Runic system was extensively used in the Anglo-Saxon, Nordic, and Keltic countries before it was mercilessly exterminated by the followers of the Christian religion in the eleventh century CE.


Fig. 10.1. The emblem of the Knights of Runes

Karl Hans Welz sees it as his mission to make this powerful Runic system accessible to as many people as possible and to train more Rune Masters in this country.

It will be well worth your effort to practice Runes until your initiation as Knight of Runes, after four months, and Rune Master, after approximately one year of practice.

Welz apparently taught bodily and manual rune postures in the tradition of Marby and Kummer as ways to channel runic forces.

In brief, he presents his Armanen runology as follows:

Image Fa (to help)

Image Ar (to reframe)

Image Ur (to heal)

ᛋ Sig (to win)

Image Thorn (to project)

ᛏ Tyr (to sacrifice)

Image Os (to accept)

ᛒ Bar (to rest)

ᚱ Rit (ceremonial)

ᛚ Laf (comic law)

Image Ka (capability)

ᛉ Man (spirituality)

ᛡ Hagal (universe)

ᛣ Yr (roots)

ᚾ Nod (karma)

ᛅ Eh (cosmic union)

ᛁ Is (true ego)

Image Gibor (self, oneness)

These values can be compared to those of Guido von List given in table 7.1 (see here).

In 2000, Welz relinquished the charter of the KOR for a period of time to a man named Larry Camp (Dietrich) of Sandusky, Ohio. Camp tried to return the Armanen tradition to a more Listian mythic vision. This did not always sit well with Herr Welz, who secretly dissolved the KOR about 2008 and then reconstituted his own version of the KOR as an almost rival organization called the Great Timeless Brotherhood of Runemasters. Both organizations became moribund in the ensuing years, but periodically efforts to reactivate this school in a unified form have surfaced.