The Norns of Nurnberg

The minute I first stepped off the train in 1989 at the jewellike town of Nurnberg, I realized that in all the books I’d already read about Nazi Germany in my research for The Magic Circle–everything from serious historical treatments to woo-woo occult fantasy–nobody had ever raised one question. Why did Adolf Hitler base his personality-centered cult, so important to the myth of Aryan supremacy, off the beaten path, in this obscure little German town?

Nurnberg had been the site of Hitler’s famous outdoor rallies where his architect, Albert Speer, had designed what he called a Cathedral of Light in the night sky, and a stadium complete with parade ground and Zeppelin field that was patterned after the temple of Diana at Ephesus and the amphitheater where St. Paul once spoke out against the goddess. Hitler often said that if Berlin was the head of the Third Reich, Nurnberg was its heart.

Norns Weaving Fate by Arthur Rackham

The original name of Nurnberg was Nornenberg–Norns’ Mountain–where, in the ancient Teutonic myths, the three female fates called the Norns sat in a cave within the mountain, like judges, spinning, weaving and cutting the fate of every man. Nurnberg was also chosen by the Allies after World War II for the Judgment at Nurnberg, where Nazi war criminals were tried and sentenced.

In 1992, I went to the Nurnberg parade grounds with a group of friends and a director of the German Society of Dowsers–water diviners who trace natural sources of power beneath the earth. As a young person in Idaho I’d learned to locate water and missing objects using tree branch rods. At Nurnberg, with professional dowsing rods, we dowsed the Zeppelin field and the stadium as the German director filled us in on the history of Hitler’s involvement with this particular piece of turf.

According to our informant, Hitler had kept an official college of dowsers with sixty-four members who marched in pararde in a block across the chessboard squares that are still visible as you enter the Nurnberg parade grounds. These officials dowsed in advance the terrain Hitler’s car would traverse in parades, and each balcony from which he delivered speeches. They found the energies wrong at the Nurnberg site, so Speer had to move the stadium, requiring him to drain a lake and reroute the existing railroad. The most interesting part of our experience was that the fog had closed in on the parade ground. When we climbed the steps to the platform from which Hitler delivered his speeches, we were surrounded by black fog. But his platform itself was clear. It was bitterly cold everywhere else, but Hitler’s podium was warm and cozy. There were seven of us in all, and our dowsing rods on the platform pointed in three directions forming the six-pointed star of the Hail Rune, Hitler’s runic initial and secret symbol. The German Society of Dowsers is on record certifying that three major power sources crossing Europe meet at this precise point: the Grail Line, the Siegfried Line, and the line of Fate.