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The Rune Poem

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Archived by Gadamlu Dreamweaver from the poetic Edda stanzas 138-165 of the Havamal Copyright of the god Odin This poem speaks of the magick that was possible with the runes before christianity as well as the origin of them

138. I wot that I hung, on the wind tossed tree, all nights nine, wounded by spear bespoken to Othin(Odin), bespoken myself to myself, upon that tree, of which none telleth, from what roots it doth rise.

139. Neither horn they upheld, nor handed me bread; I looked down below me, aloud I cried, caught up the runes, caught them up wailing, thence to the ground fell again.

140. From the son of Bolthorn, Bestlas father, I mastered mighty songs nine, and a drink I had, of the dearest mead, got from out of Othroerir.

141. Then began I to grow, and gain in insight, to wax eke in wisdom: one verse led on, to another verse, one poem lead on, to another poem.

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142. Runes thou find, and rightly read, of wonderos weight, of mighty magic, which that dyed (by blood), the dread god, which that made by holy hosts, and were etched by Othin,

143. Othin among AEsir, for alfs Dain, Dalvin for the dwarfs, Alsvith among etins, but for earth born men, wrought I some myself.

144. knowest how to write, knowest how to read, knowest how to stain (with blood), how to understand, knowest how to ask, knowest how to offer, knowest how to supplicate, knowest how to sacrifice?

145. Tis better unasked, then offered overmuch, for ay doth a gift look for gain; tis better unasked, then offered overmuch: thus did Othin write, ere the earth began, when up he rose in after time.

146. those spells I know, which the spouses of kings, wot not nor earthly Wight: help one is height, with which holpen thou’lt be in sorrow and care and sickness.

147. That other I know, which all will need, who leaches list to be: on the bark scratch them, of bole in the woods, whose boughs bend to the east.

148. That third I know, if my need be great, to fetter a foeman fell: I can dull the swords, of deadly foes, that nor wiles nor weapons avail.

149. That fourth I know, if foeman have, fettered me hand and foot, I chant a charm, the chains to break, so the fetters will fly of my feet, and off my hands the halter.

150. that fifth I know, if from foemans hand, I see a spear sped into throng, never so fast it flies, but its flight I can stay, once my eye lights on it.(this could be useful)

151. That sixth I know, if me someone wounds, with runes on gnarled root written, or rouses my wrath, by reckless speech: him blights shall blast, not me.

152. That seventh I know, if o’er sleeper’s heads, I behold a hall on fire, however bright the blaze, I can beet it down, that mighty spell I can speak.

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153. That eighth I know, which to all men is, needful, and good to know: when hatred runs high, heroes among, their strife I can settle full soon.

154. That ninth I know, if need there be, to guard a ship in a gale, the wind I calm, and the waves also, and wholly sooth the sea

155. That tenth I know, if night hags sporting, I scan aloft in the sky: I scare them with spells, so they scatter abroad, heedless of their hides (their discuses), heedless of their haunts.

156. That eleventh I know, if I am to lead, old friends to the fray, under buckler I chant, that briskly they fare, hale and whole to battle, hale and whole from battle, hale wherever they are,

157. That twelfth I know, if on tree I see, a hanged one hoisted high: thus I write, and the runes I stain, (with blood) that down he drops, and tells me his tale. (Necromancy perhaps)

158. That thirteenth I know, if a thanes son I shall, wet with holy water (heathen baptism, not Christian), never will he fall, though the fray be hot, nor sink down, wounded by sword.

159. That fourteenth I know, if to folk I shall, sing and say of the gods: AEsir and alfs, know I altogether, of unlearned few have that lore

160. That knows me fifteenth, which thjothroerir sang, the dwarf, before delling’s door: gave to AEsir strength, to alfs victory, by his song, and insight to othin.

161. that sixteenth I know, If I seek me some maid, to work my will with her: the white-armed womanÂ’s, heart I bewitch, and toward me I turn her thoughts.

162. That seventeenth I know, if the slender maids love, I have, and hold her to me: thus I sing to her, that she hardly will, leave me for other manÂ’s love.

163. In this lore wilt thou, loddfafnir, are, unversed forever and ay: they weal were it, if this wisdom thine, ‘tis helpful, if heeded, ‘tis needful, if known.

164. that eighteenth I know, which to none I will tell (some say that this was what othin said to balder as he laid dead), neither maid nor man’s wife, ‘tis best be warded, if but one know it: this I speak last of my spells, but only to her, in whoms arms I lie, or elsts to my sister also.

165. Now are har’s sayings, spoken in hars hall, of help to the sons of men, of harm to the sons of etins; hail to whoever spoke them, hail to whoever knows them! Gain they who grasp them, happy they who heed them.

If you have any questions PM me, Gadamlu

This article was contributed by Council of Earna.
Read their Book of Rituals.
Read their Book of Spells.
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