By James Allen Chisholm
This is a practical manual of self-transformation. It takes the form of a working edition of the mythologicalpoems of the ancient Norse Poetic Edda for modern “pagans” who practice the magic and religion of the North.The poems of the Poetic Edda form the most complete and authentic body of surviving pre-Christian Germanicreligious and magical lore. The mythological poems of the Elder Edda hold the keys to the understanding andpractice of the pre-Christian religion of the Germanic peoples. This book enables the reader to fathom themysteries of the Eddic poems so that the elder Troth of the Gods of Europe may again be rightly hailed in holygroves, and the hidden wisdom of the rune-masters rediscovered. This book is especially practical for those whowish follow the authentic pre-Christian religion and magic of the English and other Teutonic folk.
A new translation of the mythological poems of the Edda is the main component of this work. The religiouscontent is revealed with accuracy and clarity. Earlier renditions have been artful paraphrases by scholars whovalued the poems as literary monuments, but disregarded the religious and mythic content as the nonsensical butamusing folklore of a more primitive world. None of them ever imagined that their audiences would includepractitioners of the Eddic religion. The inaccuracies of such translations have led many modern pagans astray.This is the truest translation for purposes of understanding the religious content of the Poetic Edda.
The original Old Norse text is included in its entirety on the facing pages of the English version so that the readercan easily compare the two. Notes to each poem, a glossary of religious terminology, in depth discussions, andillustrations are included to illuminate and help in the exploration of the deeper levels of the religious andmagical content. These also to provide the keys by which this understanding may be applied in ritual blessingsto the Gods and in magical workings.
The poems of the Poetic Edda were probably compiled by Saemundr Sigfusson in the 12th century in Iceland.None of the poems can be dated with any certainty, but it is clear that many of the heroic poems go back to thelore of the 6th and 7th centuries. It is generally believed that none of the poems were actually composed in theirpresent form before the 9th century.
For the rune-magicians, poetry was a powerful form of magic. The Eddas hold the wisdom of the Erulian Rune-Magicians, and many of these poems may be fathomed to incredible depths and heights, by those who know howto ask. This book is about asking. These poems provide sufficient material for an accurate reconstruction andrevivification of the Odian religious and magical philosophies. These poems hold spells, invocations, and lorefrom which rituals, sacred dramas, and initiatory rites can be reconstructed or authentically created, as well asthe keys to understanding the soul and the nine worlds of Yggdrasil - the world tree of the ancient North. Manyof the keys are provided also for unlocking the secrets of mysteries of the cults of Thor, Tyr and the Vanir, thoughmuch of this lore is filtered through an Odian lens.
The Eddic poems are spells, in which the mysteries of the old lore are encoded by word, rhythm, alliteration,idea, and rune. The words of a given stanza are not juxtaposed merely because the resulting rhythms and wordplays are pleasing, but because of there are deep magical resonances among such words. The impact of thesemagical stanzas perhaps may not be registered consciously, but the magic of Eddic lines reaches far below theshallow waters of mundane conscious understanding into the depths of the collective unconscious, into therealms where our souls mingle with the realms of the Gods. The power of the Eddic verses can be used for invocations and magical operations. It is the task of the modern elders (priests) and vitkis (magicians) to gain a conscious knowledge of the meanings and powers of these combinations of word, meter and rune. The stanzasof the Eddic poems hold the secrets of our Gods. It is the task of this book to provide the modern seeker with thekeys to understanding deeper levels of meaning and to encode these into modern English for fashioning invoca-tions to the Gods and for shaping powerful poetic staves in magic.
(This document is shared as an educational aid under fair use.)
Notes from original post.
Hi Loclynn. I really appreciate you linking to this resource. However, I disagree with absolute statements like 'This is truest translation'. I'm not convinced by the evidence that it is, nor that the Eddas were created with the intent to be a religious text.
The Codex Regius, which housed the Eddas, was thought to have been written in 1270 CE or so. Nothing is known about its whereabouts until 1643.
In contrast, the oldest runic inscription we've found is from a comb: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vimose_inscriptions dated to 160.
That means there is over one thousand years, ten centuries difference between the Elder Futhark (what Rune Secrets is concerned with primarily) and the Eddas.
From my perspective, it is a frequent mistake to associate the Eddas with the Elder Futhark, or rely too heavily upon them. I realize that the Asatru and other religious orders do prefer the Eddas, but I do not believe them to necessarily 'hold the wisdom of the Erulian Rune-Magicians'.
That firmly stated -- I have read and enjoyed the Eddas for a long time, and encourage making yourselves acquainted with them. Just please be mindful of the facts, and do not violate the Rune Secrets Charter by focusing too heavily on personal religious views. Thanks!! :)
One more clarification:
As much as it might upset some visitors, I am not affiliated with the Rune-Gild, Thorsson, Ragnar or any other group, religious or otherwise. The Rune-Gild uses the Eddas as a central text. This practice is taken for granted amongst the rune revival, but being in the habit of questioning everything, I just can't make sense of relying on it to the degree that the Rune-Gild does.
However, I am open to perhaps making a group here specifically for study of the Eddas. What do you think of that Loclynn?
Yes Ty I agree with you, I would go as far as to say the Edda's are shadowed with early Christian overtones as well. I am a bit of an expert in Christian theology and there are some tell tell sings, now it is also so possible that it was transcribed by monks and these sings were just the product of their art.
Going farther I would say that the value of the Edda is their mythic quality. If we just make up our own ideas about the runes, then they lose their cohesiveness. The mythic element is what gives depth to the runic meanings, What is Ihwaz without Yggdrasil ? or berkano without the Birch tree ? You are correct in that nobody knows anything with certainty, but from these fragments we extrapolate a kind of somethingness. Like the mind itself fiction and fact are merged in the art of life.
Personally I find the Eddas dry but as a template they bring the runes to life, but my reason for putting this here was that members had asked for it. I am not sure how best to do this, but wen we first talked about the site I had thought that we would have a link library to source material like the Eddas.
PS I could care less about the rune gild :) Such affiliations are in some ways bridges to religion. IMO When you get to much structure the Spirit of the medium is lost.
Well spoken. And the resource is appropriate. A community like this needs some knowledge of the Eddas in order to speak about the mythology. I would just hate things to get lost in abstractions. Too often we are tempted to speak about metaphors and in relying on tradition and myth there is much clarity lost. This is because myths are more like dreams -- they're not coherent, and they make a fool of us when we try too hard to rationalize and systematize them.
Straight talk will always rule the day: the Heruli tribe, (Erulian/Erilaz) are the likely suspects when it comes to the Elder Futhark's origins and usage and they were warriors through and through. Like the Vikings, I wager the candidness of the
it could have been my copy past but I thought I had it all.... Hum character limit would be a bad thing.
anyway in this case it matters not :) I just wanted to get this into the right place. I would not want anyone to get booted from the site. so putting it here were there is a clear warning I think is best.
BTW Tyriel I hope you know that I respect you and was not trying to trap you on the rune origins. I do think we can build this site into a real market place of ideas.