Most helpful positive review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
One of the best books on the subject
on June 29, 2003
This is the fourth printing of "Northern Mysteries and Magick" and if you are into runes or Scandinavian mythology and mysteries then it is easy to see why it has been so popular. Starting with a short piece on the northern tradition in perspective, it proceeds quickly into a detailed section on runes. For each rune it gives the Germanic, Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse names, the phonetic value and the traditional meaning as well as an illustration of the rune. Beneath this there is a detailed analysis of the rune in terms of the culture of the time, it's derivation when known, other words it is associated with, how it was related to specific Norse gods and myths, and various other pieces of information as appropriate. While the information is detailed the writing style is not very technical in nature and so creates a flowing, easy to follow read that anyone can understand.
Following this section is an excellent piece on runic divination including the nine worlds of Nordic mythology and how they relate to the conscious. Divination methods discussed include the basic fourfold wheel and the more detailed eightfold wheel techniques. This is followed by a very informative section on runic magic and traditional magic techniques and beliefs. Each of the traditional Scandinavian gods is presented with a detailed profile that includes their name in Norse, English, Dutch, and German, their primary element, secondary element, color, number, totem animals, personal sigils, magical items, the purpose for which they are typically invoked and the runes used for them.
The book ends with a chapter on feminine mysteries that includes a short piece on the practice of Seith (mostly the casting spells and enchantments), an examination of Odin and how he related to the feminine mysteries, and detailed profiles of the feminine gods such as Frigga and Freyja. For those who are interested in runes, northern magic beliefs and systems, or just a detailed account of how runes and magic were used historically and what they meant to the people of that time it is a highly recommended read.