The Cycles of Decadence and the Heroic Cycle (RATMW 28)


Chapter 28

The Cycles of Decadence and the Heroic Cycle

We finally arrive at one of the larger chapters in which Julius Evola makes a brief recap while revealing the grander scheme of everything he has been speaking until that point. The cycles of decadence refer to the stages that took place after that legendary Golden Age when man and culture, at least that of the Hyperborean, was complete, unified and transcendent. A wordless apprehension of the cosmos and a will to action that only in later ages became abstracted and codified in myths and elaborations made in order to maintain what did not come naturally anymore.

“Fate or the twilight (rok) of the gods takes place with the collapse of the Bitfrost bridge that connects Heaven and earth.”

In Foot Note: “bridge collapses when the sons of Muspell step on it. The lord of Muspell is Surtr, who comes from the south to battle the Aesir.”

Furthermore, as the primordial traditions branch out, change through time and mix with Southern traditions, its symbols see transpositions and meanings are twisted or perceived differently. For instance, the transition of the Light Wolf to the Dark Wolf, so to call them, reflects the degeneration of an older cult —or perhaps a myth evolving to suit the times.

“The wolf was associated with Apollo and with the light (lykos, lyke), not only among the Hellens, but also among the Celts.”

“The wolf — in the Nordic tradition — that was related to the primordial warrior element takes on a negative meaning when this element loses control and becomes unleashed.”

—Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World, p. 221

While the Golden Age is said to be the only age when true regality took place (perhaps that warrior-philosopher / guardian Plato described in The Republic), and the Silver Age is then defined by the usurpation of the priestly case of some of the ruling powers of the divine kingship, pushing the latter aside, leaving them with only the more mundage tasks and in a somewhat subservient role. The Bronze Age then sees the revolt of the warrior caste rising by the power of raw strength.

This third age sees the rise of several different types of civilizations arise and coexist within a certain time period. Evola provides us with an outline of the civilizations that developed after the Primordial one from the first age (of “virile spirituality”, as the author tells us). Part of this degeneration in the third age degrades both the masculine and the feminine to their more brute and sexual aspects, instead of their original, more comprehensive origins and understanding.

The six types of civilizations and tradition that came after the primordial one (the Golden Age). These are:

  1. Demetrian: representing the pure Southern Light (the Silver Age, Atlantic cycle societies ruled by a priestly caste).
  2. Aphroditism: as a degenerated version of the Demetrian. [frequent associations between Aphrodistic goddesses and violent and brutally warlike divine figures.]
  3. Amazonism: which was a deviated attempt at lunar restoration. [The Amazons, who had usurped the Hyperborean battle-axe, came to the rescue of Venus’ city, Troy, against the Acheans; they were eventually exterminated by another hero, Heracles, the rescuer of Prometheus. Heracles grabbed from their queen the symbolic belt of Ares-Mars and the axe (λαβρύς) that was the symbole of the supreme power of the Lydian dynasty of the Heraclideans.]
  4. Titanism: in a different, almost Luciferian context, which was a degeneration of the Northern Light —the Bronze Age, age of warriors and giants. [male without divine element —the Nephilim — materialistic and violent. Cain?]
  5. Dionysism: as a deviated and emasculated masculine spirituality generation passive and promiscuous forms of ecstasis. [p. 224 Footnote: the highest possibility of Dionysian principle was upheld in the Indo-Aryan myth of the soma, a heavenly and lunar principle that induces a divine intoxication (mada) and that is related to the regal animal, the eagle, and with a struggle against female demons.]
  6. Heroism: as the restoration of the Olympian-solar spirituality and the overcoming of both the Mother and the Titan figures. [Hesiod called this lineage the race of ‘heroes’ to whom it is given the possibility of attaining immortality and partaking, despite all, in a state similar to that of the primordial age.]

 It is interesting that Evola mentions a passage from the Bible in which a time of “heroes and giants” dominated. He explains that the essence of both of these is the same, but that their triumph or failure to transcend is what defines them as one or the other.

“not all ‘heroes’ become immortal by escaping Hades; this is the fate of only some of them (…) The heroes who become immortal are those whose adventure succeeds; in other words, they correspond to those who are really capable of overcoming, thanks to an inner impulse towards transcendence.” —pp. 224-225

“Lordship over the origins; not to be the original force but to possess it; the quality of the αύτοϕυής [to be a light unto oneself] and of the αύτοτέλεστος [to have oneself as an end], in which the Hellas was often associated with the heroic ideal.”

About Ravana and Empathy


One of the most remarkable aspects of the most ancient Aryan philosophies is the way in which antagonists and enemies are recognized as eminent and respectable in their very own way. Such a mentality contrasts in no small manner with the modern tendency to propagate a false conception of the adversary. in what translates as a reflection of an unconscious awareness of the unworthiness of the war at hand. For to fight a great and admirable foe with his demise in mind, the reasons to engage in battle must be urgent; the situation deemed irredeemable through other means.

Where the ancients showed honor and invest their own struggle with a higher meaning by acknowledging the enemy for who they truly were, thereby reaffirming the pressing nature of the military enterprise against them in light of deep-seated incongruences between the parties, what we witness in our era is a disgusting arrogance devoid of self-awareness and a projection of inner complexes to those considered enemies. The schism is a clear contrast between the Aryan spirit on the one hand, and the spirit of the Kali Yuga on the other which imbues the monotheistic desert religions.

A clear picture of the realist and holistic mentality of Aryan philosophy can be found in the classic epic of the Ramayana, where Ravana, the king of raksasas who seeks to bring down and submit the devas to his will, is said to have come into great power through discipline, self-sacrifice and devotion. The struggle against him, then, is not one against a petty and inept coward who came to exert great influence through deceit and sheer luck, but a formidable opponent who is only faced in arms to preserve the honor of both parties, thus exalting the spirit of the whole race in an eternal ideal.

The Civilization of the Mother (RATMW 27)


Chapter 27

The Civilization of the Mother


As if answering to my own doubts and questions, the next chapter in Julius Evola’s Revolt Against the Modern Wold deals with further details of what he terms “The Civilization of the Mother”. Such a type of civilization is seen as the mark of the second cycle, the Silver Age, and is characterized by the preponderance of the feminine seen as the generative principle of all reality. In this view, every single manifested and differentiated entity and object is a son or daughter of the Great Mother of All.

The description itself is an umbrella term to refer to a particular aspect of civilizations. Moreover, Evola considers it a decisive aspect that determines much of the character of the society and spirit that arises from it. Most people will probably not see through this esoteric conceptualization too clearly because it requires an analysis that sees in several dimensions rather than being restricted to linear modes of thinking or reliant on the pseudo science of trying to explain culture and civilization through simplistic mathematical formulas.

It is of paramount importance to point out that this Civilization of the Mother, which is closely linked to Atlantic civilization and Southern tendencies, is of a higher quality and thinking than the gross naturalistic cults with which we are acquainted today and we hear talked about when academics refer to the matriarchies of prehistory.

“Indeed, the general symbol of the Silver Age and of the Atlantic cycle was not a demonically telluric or a coarsely naturalistic symbol (as in the case of the cycle of the coarse prehistoric feminine idols), but one in which the feminine principle was elevated to a higher form, almost like in the ancient symbol of the Moon as a purified or heavenly Earth (ούράνιη αιθερίη λη)1, and as such, ruling over anything terrestrial; a spiritual or moral authority was therefore bestowed upon feminity over purely material and physical virile instincts and qualities”

—Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World, Chapter 27: ‘The Civilization of the Mother’

The cults and myths alluded to include all of those with a strict relation to fertility, which later became mixed up and which we have received in confusion with older solar-Hyperborean concepts of warrior-like striving. The Southern tends towards the chthonic, the underground and the unconscious and contrasts with the ascendence to higher levels of super-human consciousness and instead seeks a reconnection with an unknown and more primitive side of human nature.

“The Mothers presided over the subterranean world and the occult, conceived of in terms of the night and darkness and in opposition to coelum2, which also suggests the generic idea of the invisible, though in its higher, luminous, and heavenly aspect.”

—Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World, Chapter 27: ‘The Civilization of the Mother’

There is, furthermore, a marked connection between the nature of the Mother civilizations and the idea of equality and communism. Realizing it puts Julius Evola’s description and critique of modern secular civilization and society into context so that we understand that he is not simply being misogynistic when he speaks abhorrently of the effeminate character of the now globalized tendencies towards social justice and promiscuity of deeper values. But he does make clear that here is also a great loss of meaning that progressively gets worse from the ancient Silver Age to our current Dark Age of materialism in its worse manifestation.

While the old Civilization of the Mother could not be said to be pacifist and was indeed very martial despite its preponderance of feminine symbols and it represented and elevation of woman to a divine status, later manifestations of decadence tended towards the lazy and cowardly pacifism accompanied by promiscuity as gross interpretations of what where previously symbols and metaphors. This tendency was, however, already present in and seems to be a general characteristic of Southern, Mother Nature worship systems.

“Effective forms of gynaecocracy developed in those places where the symbol became reality.”

—Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World, Chapter 27: ‘The Civilization of the Mother’

1 Greek: ‘Heavenly-Ethereal/Empyreal States’.

2 Latin: ‘Heaven’ .

Amongst the Ruins —A review of Nihilism

brett_stevens_-_nihilism_a_philosophy_based_in_nothingness_and_eternity-600x900Nihilism: A philosophy based on nothingness and eternity, Brett Stevens’ new book, opens the door to the author’s mind by giving us a picture of childhood in suburban America in a well-to-do, middle-class family. This is the typical family that would be considered privileged and fortunate by all standards of modern society. Despite this, signs of internal turmoil, dissatisfaction and desperation are evident all over the place under the thin veneer of smiles and good intentions.

Brett Stevens attempts, in Nihilism, to go to the root of causes from the human vantage point through a meta-philosophical1 exploration of the factors. Through the author’s tutelage, it becomes obvious that good intentions mean nothing when negative results come about, and that the universal occurrence of perfectly shaped smiles usually betrays emptiness and a lack of clear goals. In this book, we find a rejection of all political and ideological systems in exchange for a return to a search for the wisdom and discernment of the ancients.

Underlying this is the idea that essence and holistic results are more important than temporal form and localised effects, the first of which is but a vehicle while the second has little actual consequence on its own.

§ The situation

One of the greatest paradoxes of the society in which we live in is its supposed avowal of diversity in both thought and way of living. In truth, what we find is far removed from freedom and is rather a passively enforced and very effective system whereby the average citizen is lead to act as a government informant and an agent of one central liberal and “progressive” pseudo culture2. It leads to authentically different ideas (rather than those that appear as new but are little more of the same in a different presentation) being shun outright once they are detected as non-compliant with the central system’s requirements.

It is assumed that because, in contrast to traditional cultures, modern civilization accepts variations in sexual tendencies, race mixing and entertainment, it is somehow more accepting and open-minded. In truth, it is as close-minded as traditional cultures, while the only difference is what it allows and what it does not. What is also overlooked is that we are, in fact, imposing a different order over those who are traditionally minded. How are we to differentiate among them? Isn’t modern civilization, because better informed as a result of technological and scientific advancement, in a better position to judge the way things should be done?

§ A proposition

Brett Stevens advocates nihilism as a gateway to realism and idealism which, hand in hand and dealt with higher intellect, take the mentality of the individual towards transcendentalism. In a summarised manner, it is an extreme acknowledgement of what is without trying to impose human illusion over the tangible and measurable universe, only to then head towards the highest ideals that we can think of in an ever-ascending path. The beneficent effect of this outlook is twofold: first, it bypasses any impulse towards compromise and mediocrity, and second, it forces us to consider the permanent first of all, and the temporal in view of it.

Furthermore, to achieve such a vision, humans are required to put aside their egos, and so any illusions of socially-imposed egalitarianism in favour of a holistic vision of what is good as per ultimate consequences. Unfortunately, some divide this into two black-and-white categories in the common means versus ends dilemma, which is only so for those afflicted with narrow minds and short sightedness. Each question should be evaluated in its own context, not dealt with in prescribed absolutes such as “this is bad/good”, and rather as “what will the effect of this course of action be in this condition?”.

Realistic values, then, are created through the consensus that follows addressing each situation with respect to visionary criteria that does not sacrifice the whole to avoid having to take a hard decision. Values also vary between kinds of people and markedly so between people from different cultures and races. True freedom comes not from an inclusive government that forces its own overarching values over distinct groups that must accommodate to it, but from independent groups that are free to choose their own values within their own terms of existence.

Modern, democratic-liberal imposition is tyranny for those who do not agree with it. The typical, childish response by college-like types accustomed to having their ideas protected so long as they pander to the majority (seeing as democracy is a popularity contest, not a reaching towards actual solutions), is that anyone who does not agree is free to go live far off on a mountain. Even if we were willing to do so and were successful in building outlying posts of a new/different culture, we know that if these became influential and highly successful there are no out-of-bounds regions for modern, globalised governments.

The peace-loving modern West would only consider such communities as breeding centres for outlaws and/or extremists deserving to be imprisoned, tortured and “re-educated”. Just ask any country in the last 120 years that has been successful in escaping the clutches of international banking and corporatism: they have all been summarily “brought to justice for their crimes against humanity” sooner or later. Thus, change will have to be slow and encouraged from within to survive the collapse of the diseased body of a civilisation that has been crumbling for millennia (technological advancements notwithstanding).

§ For those who seek, not for those who wait

These propositions, however, are not aimed at trying to convince anyone by way of sentimental appeals, but rather a presentation of logical and common sense statements that can be taken by someone willing to go through them rationally and make up his or her own mind. The implication that many of subpar intelligence, lacking mental honesty or irreparable egotism will almost surely reject the ideas in this book from the very start without understanding them is a tacit given. This does not mean that there is an attitude of requesting complete compliance, but that the contents require an honesty and wilful consideration that escapes the vast majority of people in a capricious and self-deceiving world afflicted by globalised modernity.

1 Meta-philosophical in the sense that it is not an attempt at creating a full philosophical system, but to use philosophical references to indicate the contours and boundaries of a precise idea that is to serve as starting point for later stages.

2 The compendium of modern secular “values” which reflect centuries of Judeo-Christian indoctrination could be called a pseudo culture instead of an authentic one by virtue of the fact that they are super-imposed on people rather than born naturally from an organic consensus arising through generations of individuals interacting with those within their actual community.