Icelandic Magic

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2016-01-30
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions

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A practical guide to the magical systems of pre-Christian Iceland

• Reveals spells and workings drawn directly from surviving magical books from the 16th to 20th century preserved at the National Library in Reykjavík

• Explores the history of magic in Iceland through original translations of Icelandic folktales about famous magicians and about legendary grimoires, such as the Galdrabók, the oldest and most complete book of its kind

• Explains how to personalize the spells through the creation of unique signs and symbols based on the mythic names of Odin and Icelandic magical alphabets

During the Christianization of Europe in the Middle Ages, many books of magic were lost as the ancient pagan traditions were suppressed. But in Iceland the practice of recording magical spells in books continued in secret for centuries, on a scale not seen elsewhere. Now housed in the National Library in Reykjavík, these surviving grimoires, which represent only a hundredth of what was lost, reveal a rich magical tradition that continued to evolve into the 20th century.

Drawing directly from the actual surviving Icelandic books of magic, Stephen Flowers presents a complete system of magic based on Icelandic lore and magical practices from the 16th century onward. He explores the history of magic in Iceland in pagan and early Christian times and reveals specific practical techniques and ritual templates that readers can adapt to their unique purposes. Illustrating traditional Icelandic magical practices and the Icelanders’ attitudes toward them, he shares original translations of Icelandic folktales about famous magicians, such as the legend of Gray-Skin, and about legendary grimoires, such as the Galdrabók, the oldest and most complete book of its kind.

After initiating the reader into the grammar and symbols of Icelandic magic through history and lore, Flowers then presents an extensive catalog of actual spells and magical workings from the historical Icelandic books of magic. These examples provide ready-made forms for practical experimentation as well as an exemplary guide on how to create signs and symbols for more personalized magical work. The author also includes guidance on creating unique magical signs from the 100 mythic names of Odin, which he translates and interprets magically, and from Icelandic magical alphabets, symbols that connect Icelandic magic to the ancient runic tradition.

Author Biography

Stephen E. Flowers, Ph.D., received his doctorate in Germanic languages and medieval studies from the University of Texas at Austin and studied the history of occultism at the University of Göttingen, Germany. The author of more than 24 books, including Lords of the Left-Hand Path, he is the director of the Woodharrow Institute for Germanic and Runic Studies. He lives near Austin, Texas.

Table of Contents

Notes to the Reader on Abbreviations, Orthography, and Foreign Words

Foreword: Magic Manuals and Sorcerous Staves

by Michael Moynihan xi


Introduction: A Magical Text

Part One

Historical Background and Basics of Magical Practice

1    Historical Context

2    History of Magic in Iceland

The Pre-Christian Age

Catholic Period

Protestant Period

3    Icelandic Books of Magic

Legendary Black Books

The Galdrabók

Other Collections of Magic

The Two Traditions in the North

4    The Gods of Magic: Æsir, Demons, and Christ

The Pagan Gods and Goddesses

Christian Demons

5    Runes and Magical Signs

6    The Theory and Practice of Galdor-Sign Magic

7    The Legends and Lore of Iceland’s Magicians

Sæmundur the Wise

Gottskálk the Cruel

Eiríkur of Vogsósar


8    Preparation and Inner Work

9    Ritual and the Grammar of Signs



Basic Ritual Format

Guide to Special Instructions

Inner Nature of Galdor

Aims of Galdor

Interpretation and Construction of Signs




Part Two


Introduction to the Workings

I     Wisdom

1.    To Awaken Yourself to a Sense of Mystery and Wonder

2.    For Insight into Things beyond the Earthly Realm

3.    To Link Yourself with the Power and Knowledge of Your Soul

4.    To Know the Unknown

5.    Discovering the Unknown

6.    Concealment

7.    For Gaining Inspiration

8.    Wayfinder


10.    Sitting-Out Stave

II     Power 90

1.    Winning Struggles of All Kinds

2.    Victory

3.    To Win a Debate

4.    Herzlustafir (Strengthening Staves)

III  Protection

1.    Return to Sender

   Protection from Embarrassment

   A Washing Verse: To Wash Away Ill Will and Negativity

4.    Sorcery Prevention

5.    Against Foreboding When You Go into the Darkness

6.    Against All Witchery

IV     Control

1.    To Calm Anger

2.    To Gain the Favor of Powerful Persons

3.    To Cause Fear in an Enemy

4.    Against the Ill Will of Powerful Persons

5.    To Calm the Anger of an Enemy

6.    To Have Success in a Meeting

7.    Dúnfaxi (= Down Mane)--To Win a Law Case

8.    The Silencer

V     Prosperity

1.    Deal-Closer (= Kaupaloki)

2.    To Have Success in Business

3.    Another Kaupaloki

VI     Love

1.    Luck in Love

2.    To Enchant a Woman and Win Her Love

3.    To Win the Love of a Person

VII    Reception of Luck and Release of Blessings

1.    The Luck Knot

2.    Lukkustafir (= Luck Staves)

3.    To Get Your Wish

4.    Release

5.    To Get Things to Turn Out as You Wish

6.    Good Luck

7.    To Acquire the Object You Crave

8.    To Get Back What Was Stolen

VIII     Sleep Magic

1.    Lucid Dreaming--Dream Stave I

2.    Dream Sendings--Dream Stave II

3.    Against Headache and Insomnia

Appendix A    Runes and Magical Letters

Appendix B    Names of Óðinn

Appendix C    Magical Letters and Rune Kennings

Appendix D    The “Our Father” Prayer in Latin



Your Personal Magical Workings

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