Tuesday, November 24, 2009

First step into a new aettir

This week I have been working on the fourth aettir of the Anglo-saxon runes. It’s just the beginning, and it already seems hard. I might need to take more time, or increase my efforts. As these are new runes to me, it’s taking some working to really feel their nature kick in when I sing their names, or write their image the first times. The first twenty four runes I have been working with for a long time, and they are pretty familiar to me, and I have long been intimate with them. These last nine represent a unique challenge, in that what I have been doing needs a bit more effort to connect with these runes. I don’t have them tattooed on my body (although now, I want to, any tattoo artists in the So Cal area, please contact me). I have only recently started reading with them, and the information on these runes just is not as ever present as the Elder Futhark is, as the popular focus embraced the Elder Futhark, and so most runes focus on those, although most of their meanings an interpretation are taken from the Anglo-saxon rune poems, and the Norwegian and Icelandic rune poems. Thus, these runes pose a challenge for any dedicated runemal, as entering into their mysteries is a personal challenge, that has very limited resources to work from, and so they require more mystical work to open. Not even the works of Marby go into much detail about all the Anglo-Frisian runes.
Suffice to say, I am up for a challenge, and I will overcome the obstacles as I encounter them, as they are mainly obstacles coming from my own sense of identity. I might choose to focus more time on each one, giving a longer duration and more time to concentrate, sense, and connect with the symbolism, energy, spirit and magic of these last nine runes.

Webby goodness

So, I have to say, one my favorite sites to look at and peruse and try to stay curent with is Elhaz Ablaze.


They recently did a website update, which has a good clean look, but it also excites me a little bit. There are some good articles that three contributors give in thier blogs, written from their personal experience in practice with runes, heathenism and magical spirituality.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Rune Wights and Spirit Work

Recently, I have been reading Secrets of the Magical Grimoires by Aaron Leitch. It was a book I acquired a while ago, and read it through once cover to cover. It’s fairly dense, and the author covers a lot of ground. This re-read had me thinking about Runes, and about the galdrbok, which shows how Northern European magic style became infused with Southern European magic style, as exemplified by the grimoires, and the medieval Christianity cosmology and philosophy. The main point of interest for me is that in relation to theurgy, which is divine magic based upon the working relationship of the sorcerer with the Angels. From this book, the author indicates and argues strongly for his case that it was through the relationship of the Angels, whose aid is gained by mankind’s relationship to God, that other lesser spirits are controlled, compelled and made obedient to the practitioner. The Angels themselves are never compelled, but are more of worked with, and have deals made, and in some cases (like the Abramelin procedure) a special angel is connected with, and in the process these angels instruct you in the procedures and methods and tools of communicating with other angels, and commanding the earthbound and infernal spirits.
This led me to wondering, as the Runes as spirits, represent fairly powerful spiritual entities. Powerful enough that they cannot be compelled or controlled, but not so powerful that they can demand service, like a deity can. In a certain sense, the Rune Wights and the Angels of the grimoires have a lot in common. While their natures are radically different, they could be worked with to the same ends, namely calling up the rune wights, after working with them and entering into a relationship with them, so that they can aid you in mastering lesser spirits and wights. It is, after all, the lesser spirits that can be commanded to fulfill the desires of the practitioner, and put to work.
It is part of Aaron Leitch’s work that explores the “shamanic” nature of the grimoires, with some of their ‘un-Christian” actions (some suggest animal sacrifice). From a spirit-worker stand point, offerings and sacrifices is what is needed to feed the spirits, to draw them, gain their aid, or end their hostilities, such as the kind brought by spirits of disease. In the grimoires, that is often what is sought from the earthbound spirits, gaining their aid, or possibly ending their hostilities (as most of the grimoires were probably penned by lay clergy, who were most likely exorcists, and so it became common practice for them to command spirits, not only to help people, but also to help themselves). The spirit-worker, who works with the runes, would also be able to get their aid in controlling lesser spirits, and also gaining the knowledge needed to draw spirits, gain other spirits aids, and also end hostility brought on by other spirits. It encourages me to search for means of how to do that. From the saga lore, there is already the implication of methods, or that such knowledge was gained. A clear example of the indication of runes being used to control land spirits, is of course the nyth-stav, used to curse a king and queen out of Denmark.
Possible images that could work, in terms of further symbolic pattern, is the Aegishjalmur, mentioned in the galdrbok. Other continental books of magic show increasing complex symbols, while other symbols seem to be more inspired, derived from ecstatic states of mind from a practitioner that have been handed down, or created whole cloth by the writer of the text. You could also adopt more southern methods, including geometrical shapes derived from Pythagorean traditions, like the triangle, or circle, although circles are fairly ubiquitous in most common western pagan practice. In another book a description of a necromantic rite is given, where the practitioner lit a fire, which he surrounded with a square, with the corners of the square pointing in the four directions. On each side of the square, he drew 9 smaller squares on the edges of the large square, and then sat in the larger square before the fire. After a while, the dead appeared, mainly to reveal the cause of death through their appearance, which proved the sole survivors deception (who had killed the other two survivors, to keep the rest of the spoils they had rescued from the floundering ship).
From lore surrounded practitioners of seidh, there is the 9-square platform. From one example I read, a platform would be built on the top of the seidh practitioner’s house. This platform would be made of nine squares, arranged in a square. The practitioners would sit up there, often in the center, practice their art from there. Already there seems to be two examples of nine squares being used, although in two fairly different layouts, but with fairly similar goals (as seidh was often a way of communicating with spiritual entities). As most northern European spiritual types know, nine is one of the more common numbers that are often figured in the sagas, and the cosmology, and is seen as one of the spiritually significant numbers.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Internet Duties and Runic communion

I recently took up being a moderator for a group on Tribe.net called Runestar. I am not sure what happened to the original moderator, but they didn't have one, so I figured, what the hay, why not?

As tribe.net has been sketchy alot over the past year, I think alot of people have stopped checking there. I haven't given up on it yet, but I figure someday it will just disappear. Which will make me sad, as it was a pretty interesting place, for the most part.

In other news, I had a fascinating idea. As a way to ever more develop my connection with the runes, I had this idea. Runic "prayer" beads. I don't necessarily think that they are praying, but using them as a device say, when doing simple chant style galdr or singing rune names as a means to practice connect and develop would be an interesting way to go about that. It could also be useful as magic as well, using repetitions of specific galdr as a means to set forces into action. I think I might have to go out and make one now.