Book Review-Occult Germany: Old Gods, Mystics and Magicians by Christopher McIntosh

Occult Germany: Old Gods, Mystics and Magicians by Christopher McIntosh, published by Inner Traditions Publishing is a 241 page paperback detailing the mystical and occult in Germany. McIntosh explores Germany’s ancient pagan roots, and thoroughly hops around different subjects chapter-to-chapter. The book isn’t in chronological order, but instead each chapter contains a subject that goes through different eras of Deutschland’s history. Germany has a long history of mysticism and the occult, with famous Occultists and Alchemists hailing from Germanic lands, such as Paracelsus, Agrippa, and others. McIntosh delicately discusses the Nazi regime’s impact on the occult in Germany, and also their appropriation and misuse of Germanic and Nordic pagan beliefs, practices and magic. This isn’t a book of practical instruction, but rather a tour-de-force of Germany’s hidden history, and its impacts through movements like Rosicrucianism and the Fraternitas Saturni, as well as  various figures who influenced the Occult in general (all coming from Germany or Germanic Lands, of course). Occult Germany is an excellent book for those interested in Occult History, Germanic History, and those who may be of Germanic heritage, such as myself, looking to explore their ancestral roots through Germany’s well storied occult and mystical background.

Personal Thoughts on Occult Germany 

I personally found Occult Germany to be a fascinating examination of a subject that quickly raises concerns dealing with Nazism, a force we unfortunately still deal with today. McIntosh gracefully discussed this subject in his introduction, and stated that most of what we’ve heard, such as the Thule Society, and SS occult rituals dealing with Germanic and Norse Gods, tends to be over-exaggerated and/or taken out of context. Yes, the Thule Society was real, but it was shut down, more or less, by the Nazis early on in the regime’s rule. Yes, Himmler did have a fascination with the occult, and did form a division of his SS for those purposes, but again, material evidence is vague and most of it has disappeared since the fall of the regime. That said, the Nazi era isn’t the only subject McIntosh covers; instead, as someone who has lived in Germany for quite some time, he embraces the other, beautiful history of mystical and occult Germany. McIntosh artfully weaves past and present together, showing a complete picture of the Germany of modern day, and how beliefs in the occult, etc., are still shown disdain because of the Nazi era’s fascination with it. It seems there is hope, however; Paganism and mystical beliefs are on the rise in Germany, as in the US and other parts of the world. McIntosh seems to only hope that we can unify, and thus make progress on inter-religious discussion and tolerance. First, we have to learn to tolerate ourselves. On a scale of 1-5, I give Occult Germany a 5; it’s an excellent read, and kept me engaged the whole time. Not only did I find Occult Germany interesting , but I found nuggets of wisdom, and a deeper connection with my Germanic ancestry than ever before. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to do the same, or simply interested in the historical end of the subject. Well done, Mr. McIntosh. As a last note, I want to include an interesting tidbit that McIntosh pointed out: in German, a language I speak, Germany is Deutschland. McIntosh suggests that “Deut”, having close relation to the word Teutonic could possibly reference a sky-god, either known as Teut, Thor, and later Donnar. So, under this line of thought, Deutschland could possibly mean “Sky God Land”. Something to ponder for those interested.

Christoper McIntosh is a British born historian who writes on many subjects. He has lived in Germany for over 30 years, and has a Doctorate in History, and degrees in the German Language, as well as the Russian Language. He is the author of many other books, including Occult Russia. He lives in Lower Saxony, North Germany.


About the Author:

Hello there! I’m the Modern Merlin, and I’ve been a Polytheist Pagan, Witch, Sorcerer, Wizard, Druid, Mystic, Ceremonial Magician and Soothsayer for 15 years, worshipping and casting magick with deities and spirits from many cultures, including Ancient Greece, Rome, Norse & Germanic, Celtic, Egyptian, Sumerian, as well as many Faeries, Nymphs, Dryads and other nature and land spirits. I study and practice Astrology as well as Tarot and other forms of divination. I give readings and spiritual services on my Facebook Page, The Modern Merlin, as well other free informational posts for everyone to see!