When a good friend of mine instant messaged with me a link to the announcement on the Rûna-Raven site of its imminent demise, it hit me like a punch to the stomach.
I started my relationship with Rûna-Raven as a reader in 1996, buying the first of many of their titles from Hellhouse of Hollywood, run by Zeena Schreck (the estranged daughter of Anton Szandor Lavey) and her husband Nikolas. I happened upon Rûna-Raven titles there rather unexpectedly, but when I did, I was elated. I finally got the copy of Rune-Song that I’d wanted for many years, purchased a numbered copy of Black Runa (#181), and a copy of Lords of the Left Hand Path. Once I’d joined the Rune-Gild the following year, I started ordering directly from Rûna-Raven, which is owned & operated by the Gild’s Yrmin-Drighten, Edred Thorsson.
In 2000, I became the Webmaster for Rûna-Raven Press as well as the Rune-Gild followng a rather messed up chain of events that left them without web presences. I was able to recover the Gild’s site from its former webmaster, but Rûna-Raven was going to require a new one: I built a new Rûna-Raven website from scratch, including graphics; as I didn’t have a scanner with OCR, I transcribed the entire Rûna-Raven catalog. I did this without Edred asking me to, because not only did I deeply admire Edred at the time, but I also believed in the mission of Rûna-Raven. I remained Rûna-Raven’s webmaster until I resigned from the Rune-Gild in early 2003 over matters that I don’t care to discuss in public anymore. On my way out the door, I left something nasty on the Gild’s main page, but I left the Rûna-Raven site untouched, because while I may have been disillusioned with the Gild, I still felt that Rûna-Raven Press served a useful purpose that was more far-reaching than anything that the Rune-Gild was doing.
Despite my falling out with the Rune-Gild, I continued to recommend Rûna-Raven Press to others. To this day, I consider some of their texts to be invaluable study material, and even mentioned “A Source-Book of Seið” to somebody within the last two weeks. While I know that some will greet the demise of Rûna-Raven with glee, saying that the owner got what he deserved, I will look upon its demise with a bit of sadness, because some of its books made a considerable impact on me and others. Further, I was, in my own way, a vital part of it at one time, and I put some measure of my heart into it when I built & maintained its website: I got to be the first person outside Smithville, Texas to see every single change that the company went through over the two+ years I ran their site, from new offerings, to the removal of titles from their catalog, like a living thing changing as it aged…from that perspective, it is sad to see it die.
While I’m saddened at Rûna-Raven’s demise, I hold hope that there are others out there who will fill the void in producing such texts that mainstream occult publishers will not touch. The world needs those kinds of books much more than it needs another book on Wicca written at the 6th Grade reading level, or a book that may have once had promise before an editor dissected it into something “tame & benign.”
Reyn til Rúna!