Monday, March 17, 2008

Recommended Reading List For Study Runes

Recommended Reading List For Study Runes Image

Beginner Level:

Stephen Pollington. Rudiments of Runelore. Anglo-Saxon Books, 3rd edition, 2008.
Single best book to start with if you're not familiar with the Runes and an excellent reference overall. Pollington provides a summary of all the evidence about the runes and allows the reader to draw their own conclusions. The book contains all of the rune poems, plus other rune-related verse. The book is particularly noteworthy for the attention Pollington gives to the phonology of the runes.

Leon D. Wild. The Runes Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Learning the Wisdom of the Staves. Thunder Bay Press, San Diego. 2004.
The other 'single' best book to start with if you're not familiar with the Runes and still a good resource if you're already studying the Runes. Covers the history and meanings of the Runes succinctly yet thoroughly and offers a clear method for studying the Runes on your own.

Nigel Pennick. The Complete Illustrated Guide to Runes. Barnes & Noble Books, New York. 1999.
Although I refer to this as my "Runic coffee table book", it is an excellent overview of all espects of the Runes over time. Pennick covers the entire breadth of topics relevant to the Runes, from ancient history to the different kinds of Runes to contemporary magical and divinatory practice.

Sweyn Plowright. The Rune Primer: A Down-to-Earth Guilde to the Runes. 2nd Edition. Rune-Net 2006. [Available online for as little as $4:]
The other single best book to start with once you're somewhat familiar with the Runes (eg. have read Wild's book, or one or more of the others on this list). Written for the novice and readily accessible, The Rune Primer takes a middle-of-the-road revisionist approach to both esoteric authors (like Wild, Thorsson, etc.) and academic authors (like Elliot, Page, etc.). Sweyn says it best early in the Primer: "Somewhere between the extremes is a position where we can find reasonably solid ground on which to build. This position can be found by looking at the sources, and casting a critical eye over the way these have been interpreted by the more relevant writers. In this way we can see what remains of the ancient tradition, and help to build upon modern convention in order to harmonise our use of the Runes with both the old Germanic culture and modern Asatru."


Diana L. Paxson. Taking Up the Runes: A Complete Guide to Using the Runes in Spells, Rituals, Divination, and Magic. Weiser Books, Boston. 2005.
My other favorite book on the Runes alongside Wild's. Paxson thoroughly covers the original cultural context as contemporary understandings of the Runes, summarizing prior authors' writings (including Thorsson, Gundarsson, and Aswynn) about the Runes in the process. For each Rune she suggests ways of working with it magically, in addition to its interpretation in divination. The second half of the book is devoted to an in-depth series of rituals working with the Runes a pair at a time.

Edred Thorsson. Runelore. Weiser Books, Boston. 1987.
One of the classic works on Runes for use in divination and magic. Thorsson can be regarded as the originator of the contemporary revival of interest in the Runes as understood in their original Germanic cultural context and adapted for contemporary magico-religious use. Thorsson's perspective on the Runes comes from: earning a doctoral in Germanic Languages and Medieval Studies; studying extensively the Icelandic, German, and Swedish works on the Runes from the Medieval Period up to the present day; and being a practioner of occult arts in the Western magical tradition.

Kveldulf Gundarsson. Teutonic Magic. Llewellyn Publications, Inc., St. Paul, 1994. [Note: This edition is out of print. An eBook version can purchased for $12 at Freya Aswynn's website]
Another classic work on the Runes. Gundarsson, drawing on Thorsson's work, provides an understanding of the Runes rooted in Germanic folklore and describes Runic magic in terms of original Germanic and Nordic folk practice.

Freya Aswynn. Northern Mysteries and Magick: Runes, Gods, and Feminine Powers. Revised Edition of the Classic Leaves of Yggdrasil. Llewellyn Publications, Inc., St. Paul, 1998.
The other primary classic on Runes, in addition to Gundarsson's and Thorsson's works. Aswynn's perspective is feminist, shamanic, and derived from intense personal experience. While some of Aswynn's ideas may have no clear precedent in Runic lore, many of them have rung true for modern readers and become accepted into contemporary Runic tradition.

Swain Wodening. Hammer of the Gods: Anglo-Saxon Paganism in Modern Times. Angleseaxisce Ealdriht, Little Elm, 2003.
Although devoted to the more general topic of Anglo-Saxon Heathenry (or Paganism), Swain Wodening's book contains a worthwhile section (Chapter XVII) on the Anglo-Saxon Runes, understood specifically within the context of Anglo-Saxon culture. For those interested in the Anglo-Saxon Runes but less interested in Anglo-Saxon Heathenry, Swain Wodening's ideas are also presented online, via the Miercinga ?eod's web page on Anglo-Saxon Galdors, Runes, Sei?r, Sp?: A related online source for information about the Anglo-Saxon Runes is Eric Wodening's Rune Pages.

Advanced Topics:

Stephen E. Flowers. The Rune-Poems, Volume I: Introduction, Texts, Translations and Glossary. Runa-Raven Press, Smithville, 2002.
Best book in print on the three Rune Poems (Old English, Norwegian, and Icelandic) plus a few related topics. Includes an (almost) complete glossary of all the words in each poem, to enable to reader to understand the poems more fully in the context of alternate meanings and interpretations. (Note: 'Edred Thorsson' is Stephen Flowers' nom-de-plume when writing less academic works.)

Stephen E. Flowers. The Galdrabok: An Icelandic Book of Magic. 2nd, Revised Edition. Runa-Raven Press, Smithville. 2005.
A translation of the 16th/17th century Icelandic grimoire, The Galdrabok, a tome of magic blending native Runic traditions with Western/Mediterranean magical practices. Includes a presentation of the history and background of the text.

R.W.V. Elliot. Runes: An Introduction. 2nd edition. St. Martins Press. 1989.
Scholarly text on the Runes, introductory level.

R.I. Page. An Introduction to English Runes. Boydell Press, Woodbridge. 2nd edition, 1999.
Scholarly text on the Runes, introductory level; specific to Anglo-Saxon Runes.

Jantina Helena Looijenga. Runes around the North Sea and on the Continent AD 150-700. PhD. dissertation. Groningen. 1997.
Scholarly text on Elder Futhark inscriptions on the Continent (i.e., not including Sweden and Norway); includes an extensive catalogue of Runic inscriptions.

Elmer H. Antonsen. Runes and Germanic Linguistics. (Trends in linguistics studies and monographs 140.) Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin. 2002.
Scholarly text on the Runes, focusing on the Elder period and addressing inscriptions and topics in runology from a linguistic perspective.

Richard L. Morris. Runic and Mediterranean Epigraphy. (Nowele ; Suppl. Vol 4.) Coronet Books, Inc., 1988.
Scholarly text studying the origin of the Runes and seeking the Mediterranean source alphabet for the Runes. Morris proposes a pre-500 BC date for the origin of the Runes based on his investigations comparing Elder Runic inscriptions with both pre-Classical and Classical Mediterranean alphabets.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

How To Begin Practicing Asatru

How To Begin Practicing Asatru Cover Suppose you have decided that you are ready to begin practicing Asatru. How can you start?

First of all, you don't have to get anyone's permission, or join any organization. Nor do you have to be an expert in the traditional lore of the Germanic Peoples at this point in your Development. Academic knowledge is important, but it can come later. You can start following our ancestral Spirituality right now, today.
How? Here are some suggestions:

Begin living by the moral code of our ancestors. You'll find a list of appropriate virtues listed elsewhere on this site, in the article titled "Twelve Traits." Memorize them, or copy them and put them where you will see them every day. Compare your deeds to the standards of the Germanic Way and begin shaping your life along a nobler path!

Honor the Holy Powers. Walk outside, and somewhere where you have privacy, raise your arms in greeting, look skyward, and say something like:

"I salute you, the Holy Powers of my people! Not as a slave or servant, but as a freeborn member of the Folk and as your younger kin. Nor do I come to you on my knees, but standing proud and tall. Speak to my soul, that I may grow in wisdom. Be my inspiration as I strive to grow wiser, stronger, and larger of spirit. May my feet walk the way of my noble ancestors, as I continue my journey!"
Later you will want to honor the deities in a more individual way, but a simple declaration like the one above will get you started.

Honor the ancestors. Make a simple shrine for them in your house - on a small table, or your night stand, or on a shelf, for example. On it, place photos of your forefathers and foremothers and perhaps items that belonged to them. Remember them daily, talk to them, share your life with them. Placing flowers on this shrine every now and then would be a nice touch. Recall them on their birthdays.

Bless your meals. You can say something like -

"In the names of the Holy Powers may this food be blessed, and may it bless us who partake of it. May it connect us with the Earth and Sky from which it came, to the Holy Powers, and to each other. Let it help us to live, to grow, and to work our will in the world!"
All these things are simple, but they are things you can do right now, today. In the following section we will consider some of your next steps.

Books in PDF format to read:

Vovim Baghie - The Grand Satanic Ritual
Stephen Mcnallen - What Is Asatru
John Dee - The Practice Of Enochian Evocation
Anonymous - Wicca Beliefs And Practices
Anonymous - Odinism And Asatru

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Cathy Hayes Irishcentral Com Staff Writer

Cathy Hayes Irishcentral Com Staff Writer Image


By CATHY HAYES, Staff Writer

The first gay couple in New York state to marry including many different faiths in their ceremony including the ancient Celtic tradition of handfasting.Kitty Lambert and Cheryle Rudd, who were married at Niagara Falls at midnight on July 25, had Baptist, Jewish and Episcopalian clergy over see their wedding vows. Their ceremony was capped by a Celtic handfasting ceremony followed by dancing on the lawn to Lady Gaga's "The Edge of Glory".Handfasting originally was a ceremony carried out to mark the trial marriage of a couple or engagement. It was a public ceremony where the couple would make known their intention to marry in one year and a day from the date of the ceremony. The ritual died off when Celtic Christianity was abandoned for the Catholic Church. The ceremony has recently regain popularity among non-Pagans and especially among those who have distant ancestors in distant Celtic lands.The local couple, Lambert and Rudd, had the honor of being the first gay couple married in New York state. They exchanged rings, completed the handfasting ceremony, sent out wishes to the 44 states that don't recognize same-sex marriage ceremony and then danced on the lawns next to the waterfalls.Lambert (54) said "We're so proud of everybody who crawled up this hill with us. This wasn't done with just the two of us. Every single person here played a part in getting this law passed."Lambert, wore a light blue dress, another tradition which is carried on from the Celts.The couple, who have been together for 12 years, started the advocacy group OUTspoken together. Their fight for marriage equality has been difficult. During the last 12 years Rudd has battled cervical and thyroid cancer and Lambert has suffered three heart attacks.Lambert pointed out to the Buffalo News "By law, because I had my last heart attack in Arizona, if I had died, they wouldn't have notified her, they couldn't have notified her. And those are critical issues, those are critical things that people have to consider."At this exact moment in time, New Yorkers still stand without any protection," Lambert told reporters as the sun came down Saturday on Goat Island. "But when that bell tolls with us at midnight tonight, and a new day dawns, literally a new day will dawn in New York. In not just the physical sense, but in that grand romantic sense that things are changing and life is good."

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Saturday, March 1, 2008

Tree Cults In Northern Magic

Tree Cults In Northern Magic Cover

Book: Tree Cults In Northern Magic by Tommie Eriksson

From the earliest times, trees have been the focus of religious life for many peoples around the world. As the largest plant on earth, the tree has been a major source of stimulation to the mythic imagination. Trees have been invested in all cultures with a dignity unique to their own nature, and Tree Cults, in which a single tree or a grove of trees is worshipped, have flourished at different times almost everywhere. Even today there are sacred woods in India and Japan, just as there were in pre-Christian Europe. An elaborate mythology of trees exists across a broad range of ancient cultures.

According to the Roman authors Lucan and Pomponius Mela, the Celts of Gaul worshipped in groves of trees, a practice which Tacitus and Dio Cassius say was also found among the Celts in Britain. The Romans used the Celtic word nemeton for these sacred groves. A sacred oak grove in Galatia (Asia Minor), for example, was called Drunemeton (Strabo, Geographica, XII, 5, 1). The word was also incorporated into many of the names of towns and forts, such as Vernemeton near Leicester in England.

The names of certain Celtic tribes in Gaul reflect the veneration of trees, such as Euburones (the Yew tribe), and the Lemovices (the people of the elm). A tree trunk or a whole tree was Frequently included among the votive offerings placed in ritual pits or shafts dug into the ground. Others shafts had a wooden pole placed at the bottom. The Celts believed trees to be sources of sacred wisdom, and the hazel in particular was associated with wisdom by the Druids.

Download Tommie Eriksson's eBook: Tree Cults In Northern Magic

Books in PDF format to read:

Tom Peete Cross - Witchcraft In North Carolina
Simon - The Complete Simon Necronomicon
Emilie Kip Baker - Stories From Northern Myths
Tommie Eriksson - Tree Cults In Northern Magic