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Huldra – The Seductive Forest Lady

A Huldra is a dangerous seductive forest creature found in Scandinavian folklore. She is a member of a family of a very ancient beings that inhabit the forest, but remain hidden from humankind.

In Scandinavian folklore, the Huldra (Norwegian, derived from a root meaning “covered,” “hidden,” or “secret”) is a very elusive and seductive creature of the forest. The huld-rå being is a rå, which is a keeper or warden of a particular location or land-form. The different species of rå are sometimes distinguished according to the different spheres of nature with which they were connected, such as Skogsrå or Huldra (forest), Sjörå (freshwater) or Havsrå (saltwater), and Bergsrå (mountains).

Other names include: Huldra, huldrå, Hylda, Skogsrå or Skogsfru/Skogfru (meaning ‘lady (ruler) of the forest’ or ‘forest wife/woman/spirit’) and Tallemaja (‘Pine Tree Mary’). They are often referred to as Ulda by the Sámi.

As a whole, they are known as Huldrefolk or Huldufólk. They are hidden folk of the forest. Her name suggests that she is originally the same being as the Völva Huld and the German Holda. “In Scandinavian mythology, Huld is only referenced by Völva or Seiðkona, which is a woman who practiced the Seiðr. She is mentioned in Icelandic tales and sagas, such as the Ynglinga saga, Sturlunga saga and a late medieval Icelandic tale. One source states that she is Odin’s mistress and the mother of the demi-goddesses Þorgerðr Hölgabrúðr and Irpa. As her name suggests, Huld may be in origin the same being as the Huldra and the German Holda.” <Nordisk familjebok (1909)>

The males are called Huldrekall (hulder man), Huldu, or Huldrekarl are often said to be hideous in appearance and have grotesquely long noses.

A Swedish forest spirit visiting a charcoal burner. Illustration by Per Daniel Holm, from Svenska folksägner, Herman Hofberg (1882), Public Domain.

The Huldra (forest woman)

Huldra/skogsrå, The Scandinavian Goddesses

Skogsrået

Huldra – Norse Forest Lady

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Cernunnos – The Celtic Horned God

The Celtic God Cernunnos is a god I feel is somewhat neglected and even misunderstood in modern times by many even though he is a very important and powerful God of the Celtic pantheon. Also I have a few friends who work closely with the Horned God and I myself have studied much about him as well as created things dedicated to him. So with that said I felt it was important to put together this post regarding Cernunnos.

Cernnunos Sleeps

The Old God sleeps

down in the dark, moist,

odorous underfoot,

Waiting for us

To put down our roots.

Cernnunos Sleeps by C. Hue Bumgarner-Kirby

At the Sacred Centre, in the Grove of all Worlds, He sits with legs crossed beneath an ancient Oak. Entranced, connecting the three worlds Earth, Sea, and Sky, and the worlds behind the worlds, the god and the Great Tree are One, His immense limbs widespread, stretching into distant sky and starry space.

His massive trunk, spine of the Middleworld, is the heart of the Ancient Forest around which all Life, all worlds turn; His limitless root web growing deep into secret earth and Underworld; above him the great turning circles of Sun, Moon, and Stars. All around Him subtle movements of the leaves in melodious, singing air; everywhere the pulsing, gleaming Green awash in drifts of gold and shimmering mist; beneath Him soft moss creeping over the dark, deep, moist of spawning earth. At His feet is the great Cauldron from which the Five Rivers Flow.

Through the forest stillness they come, whispering wings and secret glide, rustling leaves, and silent step, the first Ancestors, the Oldest Animals, to gather around Him: Blackbird, Keeper of the Gate; Stag of Seven Tines, Master of Time; Ancient Owl, Crone of the Night; Eagle, Lord of the Air, Eye of the Sun; and Salmon, Oldest of the Old, Wisest of the Wise leaping from the juncture of the Five Springs. He welcomes them and blesses them, and they honour Him, Cernnunos of the nut brown skin and lustrous curling hair; the god whose eyes flash star-fire, whose flesh is a reservoir of ancient waters, His cells alive with Mystery, original primeval essence. Naked, phallus erect, He wears a crown of antlers limned in green fire and twined with ivy. In his right hand the Torq of gold, testament of his nobility and his sacred pledge; in his left hand the horned serpent symbol of his sexual power sacred to the Goddess. Cernnunos in His Ancient Forest, His Sacred Temple, His Holy Grove, Cernnunos and His children dream the Worlds. Continue reading HERE.

Cernunnos from the Pillar of the Boatmen, in the Museum of the Middle Ages, Paris, France

Cernnunos Chant

‘Cern-nu-noh-oh-oh-oh-os

Stag Horned Hunter, Hunted One

Join Us Now

Cer-nu-noh-oh-oh-oh-os

Greenwood Lord of Life and Death

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Cern-nu-noh-oh-oh-oh-os

Herne and Pan and Every Man

Join Us Now’

Who is the Horned God?

Cernunnos – Celtic god of forests, wild animals, vegetation, virility, and fertility

Cernunnos Celtic God: 8 Ways to Work with the Horned God

Faces of the Horned God: Cernunnos

ΚΑΡΝΟΝΟΥ: to CARNONOS

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Norse Talk: My First Episode

Last week I joined as a guest for the first time on a live Tiktok known as Norse_Talk and the discussion was the Havamal stanza’s 19-22. After that we had an open Q & A with the viewers and it really went great! They have a Youtube channel which the lives are uploaded and are filled with great people I know. I definitely plan to be on more episodes in the future.

Havamal resources

Hávamál
The High One’s Words
A STUDY GUIDE

The Hávamál

Hávamál – The Sayings of Hár

Norse_Talk Youtube Channel

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Landvættir: Spirits of the Land

The Landvættir also known as Wights or Spirits of the land are spiritual beings that have always fascinated me and even have had my own experiences with them ever since I was a child. Much like the Vantavættir (Water spirits) or Hafvættir (Sea spirits) which I also have had experiences with, the Landvættir hold great importance for those who know of them in Norse and Germanic Lore and yes I do believe these Beings do indeed exist. So I felt the urge to share with you all some really great sources that are worth taking the time to have a look at.

Landvættir are Land-Spirits who are the guardians of particular places or countries. Landnámabók, The Book of Settlements, states that dragon-prows of ships must be removed close to land in fear of disturbing or offending these spirits. Egil Skallagrimsson left a niðstöng, a scorn-pole topped by a horse’s head and inscribed with threatening or offensive runes, in Norway in order to upset these land-spirits so badly that they would drive Eirik Bloodaxe from his kingdom; within a year Eirik was gone, deposed by his brother Hakon. Clearly, these are beings to be reckoned with.” – Somerville and McDonald, The Viking Age: A Reader (Readings in Medieval Civilizations and Cultures: XIV, 2010), pp. 104-105.

Landvaettir-land wights

Land Spirits

Supernatural Beings in Norse Society

Landvaettir

Landvaettir the Land Wights

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Ogham: The Mysterious Ancient Irish Script

As much as known by modern scholars, academics and others regarding the ancient Irish script called Ogham, much of it is still shrouded in mystery including a definitive origin. I have been fascinated and studied Ogham for years and still learn more regarding it the more I dig into books and websites I find. I eventually became confident enough with Ogham to not only make divination sets but to actually write in Ogham. So I felt a post about Ogham was definitely needed and I hope you enjoy this one.

Origin Theories

There are four popular theories discussing the origin of Ogham. The differing theories are unsurprising considering that the script has similarities to ciphers in Germanic runes, Latin, elder futhark and the Greek alphabet.

The first theory is based on the work of scholars such as Carney and MacNeill who suggest that Ogham was first created as a cryptic alphabet designed by the Irish. They assert that the Irish designed it in response to political, military and/or religious reasons so that those with knowledge of just Latin could not read it.

The second theory is held by McManus who argues that Ogham was invented by the first Christians in early Ireland in a quest for uniqueness. The argument maintains that the sounds of the primitive Irish language were too difficult to transcribe into Latin.

The third theory states that the Ogham script from invented in West Wales in the fourth century BCE to intertwine the Latin alphabet with the Irish language in response to the intermarriage between the Romans and the Romanized Britons. This would account for the fact that some of the Ogham inscriptions are bilingual; spelling out Irish and Brythonic-Latin.

The fourth theory is supported by MacAlister and used to be popular before other theories began to overtake it. It states that Ogham was invented in Cisalpine Gaul around 600 BCE by Gaulish Druids who created it as a hand signal and oral language. MacAliser suggests that it was transmitted orally until it was finally put into writing in early Christian Ireland. He argues that the lines incorporated into Ogham represent the hand by being based on four groups of five letters with a sequence of strokes from one to five. However, there is no evidence for MacAlisters theory that Ogham’s language and system originated in Gaul.

Mythical theories for the origin of Ogham also appear in texts from the eleventh to fifteenth centuries. The eleventh century Lebor Gabala Erenn tells that Ogham was invented soon after the fall of the tower of Babel, as does the fifteenth century Auraicept na n-eces text. The Book of Ballymote also includes ninty-two recorded secret modes of writing Ogham written in 1390-91 CE. Source

Ogham also is used for divination much like the use of the Elder Futhark Runes with of course their own unique meanings and purpose. This is a source I use and refer to quite often. Ogham Divination

The Ogham Alphabet

The Mysterious Ogham

The Ogham writing system

What is Ogham? A look at the ancient Irish alphabet

Ogham writing

Book Recommendations

Two books I have in my library I highly recommend are below with links to get yourself a copy.

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Sinthgunt: The Mysterious Cosmic Goddess

Sinthgunt is a Norse Goddess shrouded in mystery and very little is known of her which leaves open to some modern ideas regarding who she is. Some for me make complete sense regarding her lineage as a daughter of Mundilfari and a sibling of Sunna and Máni.

She is mentioned only once in the surviving lore, in the Merseburg Charm, an Old High German incantation dating from the 9th or 10th Century C.E. There She is referenced as a healer, but many of us today have had a far difference experience of Her presence. Of all of Mundilfari’s children, She is the most like Her father. She is a Goddess of the flow of time, of the unfolding of the cosmos, of the power of black holes, and of shifting threads of power. She is a Magician and the effective wielding of power is Her core competency. Her presence is like the chaos that rests in the center of a star. She is immense, contained power and terrifying. I always feel a pull to her that is so strong I even created a Galdrastafur in one of my Galdrabóks for doing rituals and dedications to her.

Honoring Sinthgunt by Galina Krasskova

Symbols: hour glass, compass, images of the galaxy and cosmos, stars, images of the Milky Way, abacus (also appropriate for Mani), mathematical equations

Colors: purple, silver, midnight blue, black

Stones: lapis, labradorite, lepidolite, herkimer

Food and Drink: good vodka, sweets, peppermint, good single malt whiskey

Things not to do: Call upon Her lightly, show disrespect for Her kin, waste time that you have promised to any other endeavor

Praising Sinthgunt

Merseburg Incantations

The Merseburg Incantations

Sunne, sister of Sinthgunt

Lunar Mani

Norse Goddess Sól

The Merseburg Charms

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The Celtic Goddess Morrígan

The Celtic Goddess Morrígan; The Raven Queen; Shapeshifting Goddess; Goddess of War, Life and Death, is a Goddess I have always been fascinated with and I think specifically because of my time in the military and experiencing death on an intimate level. She is a Goddess many fear yet respect and others embrace and love. I feel she is an extremely important Goddess to not only understand but perhaps work with in rituals. I have made many items dedicated to her and continue to do so. With that said I put together this post to allow you the best resources to dive into the amazing world of the Morrígan.

The Morrigan (also known as the Morrigu) was the shape-shifting Celtic Goddess of War, Fate and Death. She also presided over rivers, lakes and fresh water, in addition to being the patroness of revenge, night, magic, prophecy, priestesses and witches.

Her name is interpreted in various forms…”Great Queen,” “Phantom Queen” or “Queen of Demons.” She was said to hover over battlefields in the form of a raven or hooded crow and frequently foretold or influenced the outcome of the fray. The Morrigan was often depicted as a triune goddess whose other aspects were manifested in the Goddess Badb (meaning “Vulture” or “Venomous”) and the Goddess Nemain (meaning “Frenzy” or “Fury”). The Morrigan was one of the Tuatha De Danaan (“People of the Goddess Danu”) and she aided in the defeat of the Firbolgs at the First Battle of Magh Tuireadh and the Fomorii at the Second Battle of Mag Tured.

The Celts believed that, as they engaged in warfare, the Morrigan flew shrieking overhead in the form of a raven or carrion crow, summoning a host of slain soldiers to a macabre spectral bane. When the battle had ended, the warriors would leave the field until dawn in order that the Morrigan could claim the trophies of heads, euphemistically known as “the Morrigan’s acorn crop.” Continue reading HERE.

The Morrígan online shrine

The Morrígan, Celtic Goddess of War

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Bindrunes and the Ægishgjálmr

A practical bindrune may combine two or more runes to form a single design representing the runic powers of the included runes. The purpose of the bindrune is to enable a controlled release of those runic energies for the benefit of the user, or someone he or she wants to help or influence.

Bindrunes can only be used to help people, not to harm them. Any attempt to place a curse, prevent a person doing something, or to make something nasty happen to them will inevitably backfire on the user. However there are some Galdrastafurs that exist with the sole purpose of causing damage to others or things but unless you are a skilled practitioner of Norse magick I highly suggest you do not attempt to use them.

Although a bindrune is a blending of runic characters, each rune included in the design has to retain its own individuality, it has to be visible as an entity within the whole. I find it is best to limit the design to no more than four, or maybe five characters at the most, so that it can still be symmetrical, balanced and pleasing to the eye.

There are exceptions to this rule, however. Some very ancient and highly effective bindrunes incorporate 6, 7 or even 8 different runes. But generally speaking, the simpler the design, then the more effective the bindrune will be.

Bindrunes are devised for specific purposes. They can generate mental activity such as memory, logic, emotion, enlightenment, strength of will, courage, fairness, clarity of thought. They can aid physical actions too, such as health, strength, speed, endurance, and all the 5 senses.

Bindrunes can produce a runic field of energy to protect your person, your home or possessions, your job or your business good-will, and they can enhance relationships by encouraging harmony, partnership, love or sexual attraction.

You could easily draw a bindrune on a piece of paper, wood, stone or anything and carry it with you hoping that it will have some effect. But the un-empowered bindrune will be so weak that you would probably not notice any difference. For a bindrune to work effectively it must be empowered in the correct way which for me really involves your intentions because intentions and even your mood and emotions have energy which can unintentionally be woven into the bindrune and that potentially will cause it to have the wrong effect.

The purpose of this Icelandic magic stave (galdrastafur) is “að fá bón sína”, meaning “to get your wish”. This scan is from an original early 19th century manuscript, copied most probably from mid to late 1600s

The Helm of Awe

Norse Bindrunes

Galdrastafir: Icelandic Magical Staves

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The Northern Feminine Podcast

Recently I appeared for the first time on a Podcast where we discussed much but the focus of the topics were the feminine side of Norse Paganism as well as the importance of the Lesser Known Goddesses of the Þursar tribe of the Norse Pantheon. It was a great show indeed and I already told the ladies who run the Podcast I am happy to be a guest again in the future. So please do have a listen to it and the other episodes they have already.

The Northern Feminine

Follow them on Instagram HERE

They have a Twitter as well.

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Norse Magic: A Great Beginner’s Book

Norse Magic by D.J. Conway in my opinion is a great little book for not only beginners in practicing Norse magick but even for those who have been for years as a book of reference and review. It is one I keep in my library I refer to others quite often.

Norse Magic is an informative guide for both beginners and intermediates in the field of Norse magic. Even for those who simply have an interest in Norse culture, folklore as well as history and a book I highly recommend.