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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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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.
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on January 2, 2003
There is a lot of garbage being printed about the runes and most of these authers do not know what they are talking about eighter. But Freya Aswynn is diffrent she knows her craft well. She does not just give out iformation on how to read the runes or the divination meanings of each rune, she goes deeper than that. She goes into the esoteric meanings of them. She also gives out a bit of information on some of the goddesses and gods of the Nordic pantheon. Her work is orderly and not sloppy.
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on October 26, 2009
This book was formally titled "Leaves of Yggdrasil". Freya Aswynn has expanded the book with new information as well as a section specifically for women. Don't let that hold you back, men should read it too (You might learn something!. I liked the first book, and the new book is every bit as good if not better. Forget the negative crap people say about her, Freya Asswyn knows her runes and is an accomplished occultist and magician! Unlike many armchair occultists, she has not only studied the runes and literature, but is an experienced practitioner of northern magick. While she studied Wicca in the early 1980's, it is clear that she has moved away from that a long time ago. I would recommend this book after someone has read her "Power and Principles of the Runes". The reason is, "Northern Mysteries and Magick" is intended for an audience who is already familiar with the basics and is prepared to journey further into the mysteries.

Her approach is balanced, and a good starting point for anyone who wants to use the runes for more than just divination.
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on August 10, 2003
This book is a must-have for any serious practioner of the runes, in addition to other notable authors such as Thorsson, Gundarsson, R.I. Page, etc. Freya Aswynn combines scholarly research with instinctual magickal application. Those who dwell too much on the lore details and spellings should find another resource as the entire point to this book is to find the runes within one's own psyche. I highly recommend this book.
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on December 29, 2003
This book has a decent amount of information and is very useful for anyone who has trouble delving into heavy scholarly books on the subject of runes. There is a great deal of speculation, personal feelings being presented, and a little too many "I did this" stories. I understand she has led a troubled life, but she should not bring too much of that into a non-fiction work(except for the introduction, I'll allow that). I would recommend this to people who would like to add onto a runic library they have already started. It's very helpful if cross-referenced with a more scholarly work. It's also useful if you're trying to introduce somebody to runic study.
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on July 31, 2000
Better still, they're actually worth reading!
So much writing for followers of the Norse gods is done by men that some people seem to think "Asatru" is the opposite of "Dianic". (Don't laugh; I had someone on ISCABBS try to convince me of exactly that.) Most of the rest is disappointingly horrible. (D.J. Conway, anyone? Change the deity names in _Celtic Magic_, slap on a fresh coat of paint, and re-sell the same darn book as _Norse Magic_. Ick.)
Into this void came this excellent book, well-balanced between traditional lore and modern interpretation. The void exists no longer. May there be much rejoicing. :)
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on October 25, 2000
This book gets two thumbs up from me. One for the material in the book, the other for the CD. Freya Aswynn is to be highly commended for her work in this area which is a blend of scholastic research and soul searching. There are some aspects that differ from a purely academic approach to Runelore and Northern Magic, but the book also illustrates the powerful results from this sort of magio-spiritual work which is rooted in academia and made manifest through personal experience.
The CD is chilling and awsome in the recital of the Havamal and vibration of the runes. I highly reccomend it.
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on September 5, 2001
A very interesting and in-depth look into the runes of the Elder Futhark, complete with a description and folklore of each of the 24 runes (three to four pages on each rune), a guide to rune divination, a section on rune magic, and even a section on Nordic Deities connected to the rune lore. Freya Aswynn is a real authority on this matter, and has written a brilliant and thorough book. It goes beyond an overview, and if one is serious about learning the runes, it is a dense, but incredibly informative and effective work. The accompanying CD makes it even more worthwhile. And for the amount of information included in the book, the price is very reasonable. This is an excellent buy. Readers new to runework should note, however, that there are quite a few different rune futharks, so doing a little research about which one you choose to study may be of some value if you're looking to "dive right in" to practice.
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on September 14, 2000
The main reason I bought this was to listen to the CD attached to the back of the book. It's wonderful! Aswynn's chanting of the runes is truly a moving experience. The most stirring thing for me was to listen to "Nithing", the only recording of a "send back" spell to someone intending harm that I have ever heard.
As for the book, it also is very good. There is nowhere near enough Norse magical material published in English that is at least attempting to be legit (I also like Edred Thorsson's Kveldulfr Gundarsson's work, too). She gives a good overview of the Futhark and an interesting chapter on the Feminine Mysteries in the Northern Traditions.
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on May 23, 2001
As my review title says: this IS a good book and I plan on re-reading it since it's been a year or two since I have.I found the authors way of describing the meanings of each rune very helpful.It seems when I do cast the runes for myself or another I tend to use Freya's meanings as they are the ones that spring into my mind most easily without having to stop and think(thinking is what you Don't want to do when doing intuitive work).So I gave the book 5 stars because for me I had NO problem using this book what so ever! Blessings )0( Vala Nightshade
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