Asatru and Magic

The practice of magic is not as prevalent in Asatru as it is in Wicca. Nevertheless, there are two methods of magic available to Asatruar, and it is believed that both are based on the actual practices of the old people. The first type is siedhr, which is shamanic in nature. The second type is rune-galdr, or just galdr. Magical practitioners are referred to by the general term vitki (magical practitioner), but also have specific names within each type.

These forms of magic require a lot of practice and experience. Neither is easy to master and both require magical and mental control and focus. If you want to learn either form, it might be best to seek out an experienced teacher who can guide you and help you avoid pitfalls.

Siedhr, Shamanic Magic

Siedhr (pronounced seith) is ruled by Freya and Odin. Odin is the only male god known to practice seidhr, having been taught by Freya. Seidhr is the dominion of the goddesses of the Vanir. The word itself means “seething” or “boiling,” indicating that great emotion was required to perform seidhr in the old times. The most detailed description of a seidhr ritual can be found in Erik the Red's Saga.

A haegtessa is a priestess of the Norns. She uses divination to understand your web of wyrd, and may use magic to alter it, if necessary. Haegtessa are dedicated to Freya or Frigga.

A female seidhr practitioner is called a seidhkona (seeress) and a male seidhr practitioner is called a seidmadhr (seer). Rather than relying on tools, seers use trance to roam the other realms. Experienced seers may be able to enter trance at will, while others use rhythmic beats, such as drumming or chanting, to help them achieve a trance state. Drumming isn't traditional, but because it is part of the heritage of the American land, it is acceptable to many seers. Hallucinogenic drugs are rarely used, or required, by modern seers, but some might take a legal herbal substance to help them reach the trance state. Other seers might use sexual energy to help them reach the trance state.

Once in the trance state, a seer may shapeshift into other animals to communicate with other spirits. Sometimes seers receive messages they transmit back to the real world. In this way, seidhr becomes a divination method, similar to the soothsaying. Magical change performed in seidhr is achieved through mental force rather than manipulation of the physical elements, as in Wiccan magic.

If you are interested in practicing seidhr, it is important to first become experienced with meditation and trance. You should also spend some time learning about the other realms before attempting to use them for magical change. Your first order of business when learning seidhr is to locate your fetches—your animal and spirit guides in other realms.

Rune-Galdr

Rune-galdr (pronounced gall-door) is a form of magic practiced with the runes. The runes are used to create talismans that will draw your desire to you, or change your hamingja, roughly translated to mean “luck.” Runesters may also work with galdor-staves, which are magical symbols that predate runes. If you haven't yet made your own runes, you must do so before practicing rune-galdr or the magic will have no effect.

The ability to shapeshift in other realms comes to the most powerful seidhr after a lot of practice. Only movie superheroes can shapeshift in the earth realm, but with practice, you might be able to make would-be attackers think you've suddenly turned into a tiger.

In rune-galdr, you first choose the runes you intend to use based on their lore and your intent. Once you've created ritual space, you might sing the runes in a chant designed to increase their power. You could also carve a bind-rune or write the chant out in runes. Bind-runes are created from a set of runes combined to create one symbol. For example, if you or your partner were pregnant and you wanted to protect the baby, you might combine the rune for fertility with the rune for protection by either drawing both symbols and connecting them, or by creating a new symbol by combining elements of the two.

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