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Summoning the Gods


By Colin Cleary

Neo-paganism is the attempt to revive the polytheistic religions of old Europe. But how? Can one just invent or reinvent an authentic, living faith? Or are modern neo-pagans just engaged in elaborate role-playing games?

In Summoning the Gods, Collin Cleary argues that the gods have not died or forsaken us so much as we have died to or forsaken them. Modern civilization—including much of modern neo-paganism—springs from a mindset that closes man off to the divine and traps us in a world of our own creations. Drawing upon sources from Taoism to Heidegger, Collin Cleary describes how we can attain an attitude of openness that may allow the gods to return.

In these nine wide-ranging essays, Collin Cleary also explores the Nordic pagan tradition, Tantrism, the writings of Alain de Benoist, Karl Maria Wiligut, and Alejandro Jodorowsky, and Patrick McGoohan’s classic television series The Prisoner. Cleary’s essays are models of how to combine clarity and wit with spiritual depth and intellectual sophistication.

Summoning the Gods establishes Collin Cleary as one of the leading intellectual lights of contemporary neo-paganism.

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COLLIN CLEARY, Ph.D. is an independent scholar living in Sandpoint, Idaho. He is one of the founders of TYR: Myth—Culture—Tradition, the first volume of which he co-edited. A fellow of the Rune-Gild, his writings have appeared in TYR and Rûna. This is his first book.

The writings of Collin Cleary are an excellent example of the way in which old European paganism continues to question our contemporaries in a thought-provoking way. Written with elegance, his work abounds in original points of view.


Jung compared the absence of the gods to a dry riverbed: their shapes remain, but devoid of the energy and substance that would make them live among us as they used to. What we await is the energy and substance to flow once more into the forms. The words of Collin Cleary, his thoughts and ideas, constitute the kind of fresh and vital energy that is needed to effect the renewal of the gods in our contemporary world.”


Collin Cleary’s Summoning the Gods is one of the most important books in its field. Unlike those who would speak for the gods, he shows us how to bring the gods into our lives by letting Them speak for themselves. Perhaps most importantly, Cleary has given serious followers of pagan religions the philosophical tools to defend their beliefs against the most erudite critics.”


Collin Cleary is a rare breed: a scholar of the mystical, and at the same time a mystic whose probing visions are informed by rigorous study. These are more than just eloquent and thought-provoking essays on myth, religion, or art; at their best, they resonate with the august and ancient tradition of the philosophical dialogue. Time and again, Cleary offers insights that powerfully orient the reader toward archaic ways of thinking, knowing, and seeing vividly—as if through newly opened eyes.”