Wednesday, 11 April 2012

G is for Galdr- Heathen Magic

Galdr is an Old Norse term meaning 'sung spell' or 'magic chant' which employ sound vibrations or 'sonics', said to derive from ancient Sanskrit mantra and before that probably Indo-European language groups. The word may derive from the term 'gala', to crow and 'gala', mad or obsessed.

Galdrs are sung and chanted, often crafted poetically or simply repetition of runes sing over and over again to create a trance-like state, in order to create magic. They are used to set in motion the magical powers which the person in question wants to bring into reality on this plane either fir his/her own use or for the service of someone else.

Underlying these is the concept of shamanism (Seidr) being used to in OKE the presence of the gods, ancestors or other spirit beings or animals. Some Seidr workers actually assume a god form, as by 'becoming' the god/spirit they can avail themselves of the power.

Whence comes the galdr? In the Ynglinga Saga Snorri writes that Odin brought the magical power with him when he came to the north lands.

"When Odin/Asa came to the north lands, and with him Lady Diar, it was truly said that they practised and taught arts which human beings have used since. Odin was the noblest of them all and from him they learned all arts, as he first knew them all and the most... he could change shape and appearance as he willed... He always spoke in verse, as is done today and this is called the Art of the Skalds. He and his priests are often called 'song-smiths', as from them the art spread through the north lands.

Odin could make that in battle his enemies became blind, deaf and terrified and that their weapons cut no more than twigs....Odin could change his shape; his body would rest as in sleep or death but he became bird or beast, fish or worm, to travel instantly to far countries ,in his own or other people's interest.

With simple words he could do this: extinguish fire, calm the sea, and turn the wind however he willed... Through these things he became very knowing. He taught all these arts through runes and songs, which are called 'Galdrar', and this is why the Aesir are called 'Galdrar-Smidir' (sorcery-smiths)."

The great Ginnungagap ( the eternal yawning void from the beginning of time) is the place or space into which the Galdr are pushed.

You can carry out galdr or your own or in a group. When our group gathers for galdr we often use them as part of or a culmination of a shamanic journey, where we journey to one of the nine worlds for a specific purpose. We draw the runes in the other world and bring them back to manifest in this world. We then chant the runes, usually in groups of three, creating harmonies (or just spoken for those who don't want to sing!).

For example, to manifest some abundance into your life we would use Fehu for the material abundance, Isa to fix it onto the earth plane and Uruz to ground it here, each one chanted or sung three times. You might even want to draw them into the air or the space around you onto the walls. You can draw them over a person you are doing the magic or healing for
(Runic Reiki!).

There is also Stadr Galdr where you make the shapes of the runes with your body, so you become the rune on the outside while bringing it inside yourself through the chanting.

Galdr is very very powerful spell working and magic. Try it. It won't let you down!

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