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Nordic Magic Healing:
runes, charms, incantations, and galdr

 

Anglo-Saxon Charms

for other charms....
Runic charms; The Magical Healing Charms of Hildegard von Bingen; Lithuanian Charms; Anglo-Saxon Charms; Charms from the Scottish Highlands; Charms from the Kalevala; Baltic Healing Charms; Charmes Baltiques pour la guérison


For removing various skin diseases

This charm has a structure that is very similar to the one for removing styes from the Scottish charms.

For kernels: Nine were node's sisters; then the nine became eight, and the eight seven, and the seven six, and the six five, and the five four, and the four three, and the three two, and the two one, and the one none. May this be a medicine to you for kernel and for scrofula and for worm and for every kind of evil; sing Benedicite nine times.


Charm against a sudden pain in the body
:against a sudden stitch ("Wið foerstice")

Feverfew and the red nettle that grows in through the corn and plantain, boil in butter.

Loud were they, yea loud, when they rode over the hill [grave mound],
were of one mind [fierce] when they rode over the land.
Shield thou now thyself, that thou mayest survive this attack [affliction].
Out, little spear, if thou be herein.
[I] stood under linden, under a light shield,
where the mighty women made ready their powers,
and spears yelling they sent.
I will send another hack to them, a flying arrow in opposition to them.
Out, little spear, if it he herein.
A smith sat, forged a knife;
small the iron, mighty the wound.
Out, little spear, if it he herein.
Six smiths sat, wrought battle-spears.
Out, spear, not in, spear.
If herein be a hit of iron, work of witches, it shall melt.
If thou wert shot in skin, or wert shot in flesh,
or wert shot in blood, or wert shot in limb,
never would thy life be smitten.
If it were shot of gods, or if it were shot of elves,
or if it were shot of witches, now I shall help thee.
This be to thee as a remedy for shot of gods,
this be to thee as a remedy for shot of elves,
this be to thee as a remedy for shot of witches; I will help thee.
Fled there on the mountain top.
Be thou healthy; may the Lord help thee.

Then take the knife, apply the liquid.


A charm for gathering herbs

This is a very famous charm often called "the nine herbs charm" because it hallows the gathering of nine different herbs. It is very long and so I haven't cited it entirely. I have however includeed some of its verses that I find specifically relevant.:

A serpent went crawling, it wounded no one.
Then Woden took nine glorious twigs,
Struck then that adder so that she flew apart in nine pieces.
There apple and poison made an end
That she never should dwell in a house.

Woden is nothing but the West-Germanic word for North-Germanic Odin. The allusion to Odin in an Anglo-Saxon charm shows how important this God was in the pre-christian European civilization. The end of the charm is particularly poetic:

Now the nine herbs have power against the nine fled from glory,
Against nine poison and against nine infections,
Against the red poison, against the foul poison,
Against the white poison, against the purple poison,
Against the yellow poison, against the green poison,
Against the lurid poison, against the purple poison,
Against the brown poison, against the blue poison,
Against serpent blister, against water blister,
Against thorn blister, against thistle blister.


 
A charm against fever ("dweorh")

The word dweorh usually means dwarf, but in a medical context, it seems to mean fever since there are Anglo-Saxon translations of a Latin medical text that translate fever by dweorh.

The charm begins with the building of an amulet made of wafers, but I have left it out because of its christian origin. When hanging the amulet, you must sing a charm, first in the left ear, then in the right ear, then over the top of the head.

Here came stalking in a ... creature,
Had his bridle in his hand
Said that you were his steed.
He laid for thee his bond on the neck.
They began to move from the land.
As soon as they came from the land
Then his limbs began to cool.
Then came stalking in the fever's sister.
Then she made an end and swore oaths
That never this should do harm to the sick one
Nor to the one who might get this galdor
Or who knew how to sing this galdor. Amen, Fiat.


Against the watery Elf-disease ("woeteroelfadl")

The charm describes a medicine made of many herbs, mixed together with holy water. Then one must

"sing this galdor three times:
I have bound the wounds with the best of war-bands,
that the wounds neither burn nor burst,
nor spread, nor go bad,
nor throb; nor the injuries increase,
nor the sores deepen; but the health balance is restored,
nor will it hurt thee more than
eare hurts earth.

Sing this many times: "May the earth destroy thee with all her might and main. These galdor can be sung on a wound."


Against a Wen ("Wið wennum")

Wen, wen, little wen
("Wenne, wenne, wenchichenne [
chicken of a wen]")
here thou shalt not build, nor have any abode,
but thou shalt fare north to the hill hard by,
where thou hast a brother in misery.
He shall lay a leaf at thy head.
Under
uolmes foot, under eagle's wing,
under eagle's claw, ever mayest thou fade.
Shrivel as coal on the hearth,
shrink as dung on a wall,
waste away as water in a pail.
Become as little as a linseed grain,
and much less also than a hand-worm's hipbone, and also become so little that thou become naught.

Note:
A wen is a cyst usually occurring on the scalp.

 

more charms....

Runic charms; The Magical Healing Charms of Hildegard von Bingen; Lithuanian Charms; Anglo-Saxon Charms; Charms from the Scottish Highlands; Charms from the Kalevala

Baltic Healing Charms; Charmes Baltiques pour la guérison

 

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