Galdr & Seiðr How-To's, Historical Magic

Composing Galdr (Norse Magic Spells) in the Meter of Galdralag

seid-viking-age-magic
A Vǫlva’s Distaff by Svein Skare / University Museum of Bergen

A while ago I wrote a post on what galdr is, and I’ve also posted some of my own galdr, along with a photo of my own distaff. This post is on how to compose galdr using specifically the “meter of magic spells,” called galdralag. It’s entirely possible that galdr does not need to be written using this meter, but I personally find that the structure helps.

Before you can begin composing “real” galdr, you must first decide whether or not to employ galdralag and a tune in your poetry and its vocalization. Due to the uncertainty of the nature of the use of galdralag and the uncertainty as to whether melodic chanting was used at all, I cannot tell you whether you should use these things or not, as that is a decision that will vary from person to person depending on their conceptions of risk versus reward, ease of use, and aesthetics, among other things that don’t really need to be listed here. I can tell you though that you might want to compose a few practice spells, some employing galdralag and some not, and then similarly chant them using a tune sometimes, and other times not, so that you can get a feel for the meter and musicality yourself and make it easier for you to decide on your methods.

Continue reading “Composing Galdr (Norse Magic Spells) in the Meter of Galdralag”

Historical Magic, Runic Divination

The Ūruz Rune: A Runic Divination Resource

Disclaimer: Runic divination as we know it now is an esoteric practice with not many historical attestations to point to (though it is described briefly in Tacitus’ Germania), which essentially means that the section on divinatory meanings can be changed as you see fit.

Uruz

Here it is: the second rune post in the Elder Fuþark (Futhark) series I promised. Today’s rune is ūruz, which was equated with the Latin letter U in the original heathen era.

Ūruz is:

  • The second rune in the first ætt (Freyr’s ætt),
  • represented numerically as “1:2,”
  • pronounced like OO-rooz,
  • and translates to “aurochs,” which is a type of (now extinct) wild cattle, or possibly “storm” or “slag.”

In my experience, though ūruz is defined by specific divinatory meanings, what those defining characteristics are actually saying depends entirely on the question you ask. Unlike fehu, whose appearance in a rune cast almost always tells of an excellent outcome to the task you’re asking about because its overarching theme is “good luck,” ūruz is about overwhelming power. It could be another person’s power directed towards you or your own power directed towards another, or it could even be one person’s power directed at themself, for better or worse.

The way to tell which outcome is the most likely is by getting clarification from the other runes in your cast, or by casting again. In my post about the Fehu rune, I warned that it’s probably that not every divinatory meaning listed above is going to be relevant to the best interpretation you can make. A rune cast is a three-way conversation; the runes that turn up complement and inform each other, which should, in turn, make the more specific meanings of your rune cast clearer to you. You may find it helpful to create a linear, forward-moving thought process by writing down your gut feelings on the cast and refining that interpretation as you get those educated guesses down on paper.

Continue reading “The Ūruz Rune: A Runic Divination Resource”

Historical Magic, Runic Divination

The Fehu Rune: A Runic Divination Resource

Disclaimer: Runic divination as we know it now is an esoteric practice with not many historical attestations to point to (though it is described briefly in Tacitus’ Germania), which essentially means that the section on divinatory meanings can be changed as you see fit.

By now I’ve made posts on achieving a good frame of mind for divination, what galdr is, and examples of my own galdr, but I have yet to post anything on the runes themselves. So today’s post is brought to you by (what amounts to roughly, kind-of-but-not-really) the letter F. It is the first of many individual rune posts in a category that will eventually include references on each of the 24 runes in the Elder Fuþark (Futhark), among other topics.

Screenshot (3).png

The rune fehu looks sort of like the Latin letter F, and it was equated with that letter way back in the time of the original heathens. Fehu is:

  • The first rune in the first ætt (Freyr’s ætt),
  • represented numerically as “1:1,”
  • pronounced like FEH-hoo,
  • and translates to “fee,” or “cattle.”

In divination, it’s a rune I’m always happy to see. It betokens luck, relief, and the acquisition of many a desirable thing or outcome. My notes on fehu’s divinatory meanings look like this:

Continue reading “The Fehu Rune: A Runic Divination Resource”

Bragiteilen's Galdr, Historical Magic

The First Two Bits of Galdr I’ve Written: To Sink a Far Off Ship, and to Endure and Thrive

The first was intended to be an example for my Galdr-Book, but I think I’ll end up using the second one for that because the alliterating staves are more clear in that one. Anyway…

The Very First Attempt: Galdr to Sink a Far-Off Ship
Monday, February 19, 2018

Windborne boat, you now will sink
When you hear my baneful song
Calling storm and squall.
Rains will pour and flood your decks,
Your passengers the sea will drive
Betwixt its teeming teeth.
Bones the sea will take into
Its watery sands, and there it shall make tombs that time forgets.

My Struggles Grant Me Strength: Galdr to Endure and Thrive
Thursday, February 22, 2018

My form obeys my wants,
My mind obeys my will.
Hear me now and listen, my steeling soul.
I see my destination;
A path, I design.
For this task, my own strength will suffice.
Within my chest, my lungs strain and struggle, But they breathe the air in the highest, thinnest skies—they struggle, and I grow stronger.

© Alixander F. D. Bragiteilen and Bragiteilen.com, 2018. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Alixander F. D. Bragiteilen and Bragiteilen.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.