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Younger Futhark and the 18 Spells 
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I have always used the younger futhark because (after finding the runes) Odin discusses 18 spells. Since 18 is close to the number of the younger futhark, there seems to be a mystical connection.

Any comments on this subject?

Here, by the way, is the section in the Poetic Edda:

[147] The songs I know | that king's wives know not,
Nor men that are sons of men;
The first is called help, | and help it can bring thee
In sorrow and pain and sickness.
[148] A second I know, | that men shall need
Who leechcraft long to use;
-lacuna-
-lacuna-
[149] A third I know, | if great is my need
Of fetters to hold my foe;
Blunt do I make | mine enemy's blade,
Nor bites his sword or staff.
[150] A fourth I know, | if men shall fasten
Bonds on my bended legs;
So great is the charm | that forth I may go,
The fetters spring from my feet,
Broken the bonds from my hands.
[152] A fifth I know, | if I see from afar
An arrow fly 'gainst the folk;
It flies not so swift | that I stop it not,
If ever my eyes behold it.
[152] A sixth I know, | if harm one seeks
With a sapling's roots to send me;
The hero himself | who wreaks his hate
Shall taste the ill ere I.
[153] A seventh I know, | if I see in flames
The hall o'er my comrades' heads;
It burns not so wide | that I will not quench it,
I know that song to sing.
[154] An eighth I know, | that is to all
Of greatest good to learn;
When hatred grows | among heroes' sons,
I soon can set it right.
[155] A ninth I know, | if need there comes
To shelter my ship on the flood;
The wind I calm | upon the waves,
And the sea I put to sleep.
[156] A tenth I know, | what time I see
House-riders flying on high;
So can I work | that wildly they go,
Showing their true shapes,
Hence to their own homes.
[157] An eleventh I know, | if needs I must lead
To the fight my long-loved friends;
I sing in the shields, | and in strength they go
Whole to the field of fight,
Whole from the field of fight,
And whole they come thence home.
[158] A twelfth I know, | if high on a tree
I see a hanged man swing;
So do I write | and color the runes
That forth he fares,
And to me talks.
[159] A thirteenth I know, | if a thane full young
With water I sprinkle well;
He shall not fall, | though he fares mid the host,
Nor sink beneath the swords.
[160] A fourteenth I know, | if fain I would name
To men the mighty gods;
All know I well | of the gods and elves,
Few be the fools know this.
[161] A fifteenth I know, | that before the doors
Of Delling sang Thjothrörir the dwarf;
Might he sang for the gods, | and glory for elves,
And wisdom for Hroptatyr wise.
[162] A sixteenth I know, | if I seek delight
To win from a maiden wise;
The mind I turn | of the white-armed maid,
And thus change all her thoughts.
[163] A seventeenth I know, | so that seldom shall go
A maiden young from me;
-lacuna-
-lacuna-
[164] Long these songs | thou shalt, Loddfafnir,
Seek in vain to sing;
Yet good it were | if thou mightest get them,
Well, if thou wouldst them learn,
Help, if thou hadst them.
[165] An eighteenth I know, | that ne'er will I tell
To maiden or wife of man,--
The best is what none | but one's self doth know,
So comes the end of the songs,--
Save only to her | in whose arms I lie,
Or who else my sister is.


Last edited by OdinBrotherhood on Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:46 pm
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Hail,

What I have on this topic can be found in Freya Aswynn's Book "Northern Mysteries" (She breaks these down and presents some Elder Futhark Explanations for these readings. I can not vouch for her interprutation, but it is intriguing.) She also presents a reading of this and Galdors them on her CD the Leaves of Yggdrasil.


Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:34 pm
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The 18 spells, charms or Galdor songs in the Havamal may also be perceived as Rune bindings. Note that in the poem “Skirnismal,” Frey’s companion Skirnir threatened to use such bindings or “spells” on Gerdr when she first refused to marry Frey. Even still, there is a give and take to the use of such practices; Frey had to relinquish control of his sword as a form of sacrifice or “gift” to the bride. I believe the “law” of cause and effect comes into play here. In order to bring about “change” one must first possess the “WILL” and then, based on what one wishes to “change,” must also possess the necessary “tools,” “words,” appropriate sacrifice and most important, an UNDERSTANDING of what you are doing as well as what you want to accomplish. Unfortunately for us, we are not given “concrete” examples of how rune bindings were actually constructed, forcing us to experiment in order to rediscover, so to speak, of that which is currently hidden from us.


Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:11 am
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I know that a lot of esoteric Ronologists tend to take the view that the 18 songs represent the 16 Yunger Futhark runes plus Ehwaz and Mannaz from the Elder system (this is also the basis of the Armanen Futhorc), but I differ.

If you look closely at the Elder corpus (cataloged in Flowers' "Runes and Magic") and cross-reference the formulas with Sigdrifumal, a different pattern emerges. Some correspondences are obvious (Laukaz to "Cast a leek in your cup") while some appear to be a little more distant (Linu -> Limrunar). The Sigdrifumal charms appear to correspond in part with the 18 songs in Havamal, so I would argue that they too represent 18 charms or formulae rather than staves per se. Ths is also hinted at the general progression:

"From Bolthorn, Bestla's Father, I learned 9 mighty songs
A drink I got of the dearest mead from Odhroerir

Then I began to grow and gain and also wax in wisdom.
Word followed word seeking the word
Work followed work seeking the work"

In essence the 9 mighty songs from Bolthorn are doubled to make 18.

A second important piece to this puzzle is that, with few exceptions, the staves were rarely used alone in ancient finds. There were some bindrunes, and a few single-stave finds, but most were either Futhark formulas or written word (or multi-word) formulas. Indo-European magic was based on the spoken word, and the Futhark (elder or younger) was a vehicle rather than a replacement for that spoken word.

One piece of reading I woudl definitely recommend to those who are interested in Indo-European magical practices generally is "How to Kill a Dragon: Aspects of Indo-European Poetics" by Calvert Watkins. This book mostly analyzes the structure and techniques of magical and liturgical poetry from Old Norse, Old English, Old Irish, Vedic, Old Avestan, Greek, and others. While I disagree with some of Watkin's cosmological conclusions, the technical content of the book is very good.


Fri Nov 02, 2007 7:20 pm
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Excellent thoughts!

The book is new to me. The topic however is not.

Thanks for the suggestion.


Fri Nov 02, 2007 7:43 pm
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I should hae provided the warning that "How to Kill a Dragon" is the most technical book I have ever read (and I work in high-tech fields). It is also the most dense book I have ever come across, and is likely to take years to absorb. But it is also the most important book I have on real Indo-European traditional magical practice.


Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:48 pm
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Hail,

If it is anything like my nine doors of midgard, I will be able to digest it, but I have read the nine doors, but have not worked it all the way through as suggested due to time at this point.

I am an avid (or should I say: RABID) reader :wink: i go throguh volumes and read many books at once usually. Have three I am reading now!


Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:51 pm
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Interesting points!

And I corrected my embarrassing typo in my original post on this subject!


Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:28 pm
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How to Kill A Dragon is fundamentally different from 9 Doors. The book was intended to be a philology textbook covering the techniques of comparative poetics between Indo-European peoples. Hence a part of it is extremely dry theory, and much, much more of it is extremely dense comparisons between litrugical and magical poems in various Indo-European traditions. Because it is of interest mainly to academic curriculums, it is fairly expensive ($80 for the paperback).

I would compare it to "Runes and Magic" by Stephen Flowers before I would compare it to 9 Doors.

The book is extremely important however because it provides an interesting look at many techniwues which other texts ignore. These include poetic techniques, types of formulas which were directly inherited from the Indo-European, What you will get from the book is a large amount of lore and an insight into the poetry, magic, etc. and how the tradition developed. You will not get any direct exercises or cosmology treatises. That is let for you to figure out.

This is one of the few works on the subject ("Runes and Magic" being another, and the works by Polome in this are being a few more) which have lead me to believe that there is a lot to be learned in this field from the academic sources (these sources are not entirely complete but they are nonetheless indispensible).

The book


Sat Nov 03, 2007 2:30 am
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I Recently purchased a pendant from one of my favorite ebay sellers that made reference to the 18 spells (here is a link to the page http://cgi.ebay.com/NORSE-Magic-VIKING- ... m153.l1262) In the brief descrption give and in the card that came with the item it says the 18 spells are called the Armanen rune set and that the ywere developed by Guido Von List, he claimed they came to him in a vision while he was temporarily blind after a cataract operation on both eyes. while i havent done alot of research into this yet i have come across the wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armanen_runes as of yet im not sure if these are the real thing yet but it is a possibility.


Fri Feb 29, 2008 4:36 am
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Thank you for the links, Oreynn.


Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:18 am
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Im just glad i can contribute new information, being as new to odinism as i am.


Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:35 am
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I don’t think that the 18 strophes it the Rúnatals Þáttr Óðins (Wodan’s Rune Poem) relate directly to the 15+1 staves of the Standard Nordic Fuþork as evidenced by the simple fact that the number of the two sets of mysteries don’t match up. The Rúnatals Þáttr Óðins functions for the Armanen row in a fashion similar to the 3½ surviving poems related to the Standard Nordic row (by these, of course, I’m referring to the German Abecedarium Nordmanicum, the Old Norwegian Rune Rhyme, the Old Icelandic Rune Poem, and the partial Old Swedish Rune Poem).

Two much more profound sources I would recommend for anyone studying the 15+1 stave row would include Adalruna ("nobel Runen") by Swedish runologist Johann Bure (1642) and Die “Edda” als Schlüssel des kommenden Weltalters! ("The Edda as Key to the Coming Age") by German author Peryt Shou (1920). Both of these books have been translated into modern English by Stephen E Flowers. Both are slim volumes that are PACKED with thought-provoking information. And both will help to lead the reader from the exoteric interpretations offered in the rune poems to the esoteric mysteries that we know the Runen to be. The works of Ivar Hafskjold and his students aren’t bad—but I would recommend building a firm foundation in Bure and/or Shou before getting too deeply into the stáv approach just so that some “filters” have been built up if you get my drift.


Sun Jun 15, 2008 10:40 pm
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I've also felt a strange connection to the Younger Futhark too, I don't really believe in what the modern 'pagans' say about the Elder Futhark and how to do 'rune readings' It just doesn't seem right.
Most-not all-modern people use the Runes the same way they do horoscopes...
"uruz means you'll win the lotto" "thuruz means you'll get a job promotion"
Some modern pagans read books about the runes, then they play with a set of runes with "made in china" engraved on them to see what little things happen in the future.
In my own view, which alot of people probably disagree on, is that the runes should be consulted in a more sacred manner, and one who wishes to gain knowledge on the runes should
sacrafice themself ' for themself'. Odin for example, he Pierced his foot with Gungnir and held upside down for nine nights and days.


Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:50 pm
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