Prompted in part by a listing at The Witches’ Voice, several members of the Celtic Reconstructionist and Druidic communities* have been examining the dubious claims of a new book by Steven Akins. The self-published book, “The Lebor Feasa Runda: A Druidic Grammar of Celtic Lore and Magic”, claims to be an English translation of a German translation of a before-now undiscovered book of ancient Druid lore.
“In his highly anticipated English translation of the ancient Irish text known as the Lebor Feasa Runda (Book of Secret Knowledge), Celtic scholar and historian, Steven L. Akins, has at last made available to readers the wealth of pre-Christian teachings espoused by the Druids in this seminal work of pagan religious literature. Basing his translation on the only extant transcription of the now lost Black Book of Loughcrew, the actual doctrines of the Celtic priesthood are finally brought to light in this timeless rendering of these sacred scriptures.”
There are several problems with his claims of finding this book, not least of which is the fact that it hasn’t been submitted for peer review to any Universities or reputable Celtic scholars. A strange move for a find that would completely revolutionize the field of Celtic Studies (especially Celtic Studies scholars in Germany, who would most likely be eager to verify the validity of a German translation of an ancient Gaelic text) if proven true. Further complicating the reputation of Akins is his involvement in a bribery scandal to attain the rights to a Scottish coat of arms.
“Steven Akins, styled himself as Steven L. Akins of that Ilk, Hereditary Chief of the name and arms of the Clan Akins … created a clan badge, crest and tartan for his clan and petitioned the Lord Lyon King of Arms to claim the right to use a coat of arms of an alleged ancestor and legitimize his clan. On April 15, 2001 an article in the Sunday Mail, a Scottish newspaper, stated that Steven Akins allegedly attempted to bribe a Glasgow man in aiding him in his bid to be recognized as chief of Clan Akins. Akins allegedly wished to plant a forged tombstone with a coat of arms inscription, accompanied with forged genealogical records to prove his family was based in Lanarkshire in the 1700s. Steven Akins’ petition was ultimately rejected because of fraudulent information.”
As if these factors weren’t enough to raise doubts about the “Lebor Feasa Runda”, it also seems to have gained quite a bit of popularity (warning: link to racist site) with the virulent racists at Stormfront. One entry at the hate-site reproduces the entire author’s preface (again, warning, racist site link) which makes clear exactly why racist Pagans would enjoy Akin’s book.
“The disciples of this völkisch esoteric organization [Thule Gesellschaft] saw evidence for an Atlantean origin of the Aryan race in the lore contained within the Lebor Feasa Rúnda, specifically in the legends relating to the ancient gods of the pagan Celts having come from a mysterious island in the North Atlantic, bringing with them the four hallowed treasures of the Tuatha Dé Danann. The fact that the Lebor Feasa Rúnda apparently corroborated the Thule doctrine of Aryan racial origins led to Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler ordering its siezure by the S.S. following Adolf Hitler’s rise to power … At face value, the Lebor Feasa Rúnda, fulfills the same role in pagan Celtic spirituality as the Bible, the Torah, or the Koran do in the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic religions.”
Akins himself, at the OBOD message boards, has referred to himself as “protective” and “restrictive” in regards to his (white) race (and lists Adolf Hitler as a “hero” on his MySpace page). While that is surely his personal prerogative, the fact that racial “Druidic” teachings that “corroborate” the Thule Society** should suddenly appear from Akins casts further doubt that this book is anything other than his own invention. I would caution anyone interested in this Celtic “bible” to consider the source before spending your money. Further, modern practitioners of Celtic and Celtic-derived Pagan spiritualities reject any notions of “Celtic blood” being a prerequisite to participate in living Celtic cultures or reconstructed Celtic religions.
ADDENDUM: Celticist Dr. Phillip A. Bernhardt-House has done a examination of material posted online concerning this book, and posted an academic (p)review of his findings.
** Aside from the Nazis, the book is also credited with inspiring everything from the Templars to the OTO, and was allegedly in the hands of people like Roger Bacon and John Dee. That before-now unpublished book sure did get around!