While you’re waiting for my own book on northern magic, be sure to check out The Book of Seiðr: The Native English and Northern European Shamanic Tradition, by Runic John. Very little has been written on the subject of northern magic, and most of that has been almost entirely theory with very little practice. In The Book of Seiðr, Runic John shares his years of experience to help the reader explore the northern shamanic tradition on a practical level.
When I first read this book I was a little disappointed by the use of Norse terminology and cosmology, but I think this is because I’m an American. Over the years I have noticed that those of us on this side of the ocean often feel a need to assert our “English-ness”. I would have liked more Anglo-Saxon terms, but that is really a very small criticism for such a groundbreaking work.
The book opens with a chapter sharing passages of lore from the Norse Eddas and sagas. Then, in the very next chapter, Runic John gives the reader exercises to help open his mind to visions and sensations beyond the ordinary. This sets the tone for the rest of the book. Runic John doesn’t leave the reader behind as a passive observer, he brings you into the experience with meditations, instruction and exercises. By chapter six, a chapter appropriately titled “Learning to Walk”, an ambitious reader will be able to take his first, brief shamanic journey.
In later chapters the reader will be introduced to various spirits he or she may encounter on his journeys. Runic John also discusses shamanic techniques of healing and divination. The final chapter discusses the various tools that a practitioner may want to acquire.
The Book of Seiðr is an excellent resource for anyone seriously interested in the arts of faring forth. And Runic John sent me an email just the other day to say that he would be happy to answer any emails if you don’t understand something in the book or have some question. So be sure to get a copy of The Book of Seiðr, and send your questions to RunicJohn@hotmail.com. His book is published by Capall Bann (ISBN 1861632290).