I am interested in pathworking the Norse system, and looking to get some books on the subject. New author of balg, Jeffery Deuel, is supposed to be a Norse specialist, and is going to release 3 original grimoires between 2015 and 2020. While I am waiting for those books to be released, I would like to purchase a couple mainstream books. I found this link for The 10 Best Books on the Runes: http://norse-mythology.org/runes/the-best-books-on-the-runes. My question is, out of those 10 books, what ones are the most recommended? Are there any books that are not on that list that should be? Are there any websites that have some good practical knowledge? Any pointers would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
I’ve read 6-9 and they’re great - they don’t really read as how-tos but are good for immersion into the culture behind the current. Thorsson/Flowers has gotten some good review from a few practitioners here I believe - the only book specifally involving theory/practice of runic magic that I personally have ever read is Karlsson’s Uthark, which outlines a particular, recently derived, system that I haven’t actually put into practice.
For myself, I did plenty of reading about the runes, their attributions, etymology (language as a definer of reality, runes as literally magical writing), and a decent grounding in the myths behind them. All of this reading can be had for free online from different encyclopaediae of history/mythology. Britannica online and ancient.eu are a couple of good ones off the top of my head. Following that basic grounding, you can then start a great introduction that EA recommended, i.e. taking 3-5 days per rune and meditating on them minimum 3-5 times per day, moving past your theoretical reading and gaining real, personal experience. Past that, I can’t tell you because I’m not very far down that path and I am excited to hear about some shiny new books coming from BALG dealing with runes specifically.
For me, the introductory meditations led to working with Odin, which has continued since concluding that working, performing reliable divinations with the runes, and activating their power in my own and in others’ lives. Past that, though, there are a lot of possibilities others here can tell you more about that I can’t really speak to at this time because I’m working on other things.
Try the Search function here on the forum, and you’ll find a few great threads detailing members’ personal experiences with the runes. Good luck!
To throw in a personal opinion, I don’t think there has ever yet been a single coherent Norse “system” that echoed (for example) Mithraic mystery cult initiations, the Hindu systems of gurudom and lineage, or the established traditions of ancient Egyptian priesthood, or the current systems of pathworking the Qabbalistic trees, etc.
Ancient Egypt and its systems, initiations, and pathworkings (to take just one example) existed for over one thousand years - whatever the people of northern Europe had at (for example) 500BCE was obliterated by first, the Romans, who wiped out our Druids as being the equivalent of insurrectionist spiritual leaders; later this weird middle-eastern cult of Xianity blurred the past’s wisdom and heritage, and so the northern European god~man connection is only now finding the air to breathe.
Early Norsemen just got on with stuff, lived their lives, probably did some fucking atrocious stuff, but they lived in a world of flesh and blood and hadn’t yet had any reason to believe this may need defending, or that they were being targeted as some kind of unique problem upon the planet.
A lot of Norse magick and empowerment in my experience only remains true right now to its Viking roots - go out using the best tech you can lay your hands on (the Northern Europeans had their boats and seafaring knowledge) and see what you can find - and claim.
Or follow Odin’s example, and break down new barriers, refuse to accept the state of man or the state of magickal knowledge and power as being static, fixed, explained in full in some dusty old books and just waiting to be learned by rote - go break some stuff, savage things, seduce that which has what you want, and be ready to give up something precious for something better.
Odin seems to be the only god with a sense of the idea of progress - of the future being bettered by the discovery and exploitation of that which was previously unknown, un-held, un-owned - to take the esteemed and amazing god Dhjuty/Thoth as an example, he teaches the learning of that which is already (but which is static, complete, lawful) - of that which is true, but Odin? He says fuck that shit and goes and breaks a load of laws and does some pretty crazy stuff to find something newer, something better, something different.
Thor meanwhile, his hammer was so eloquently described in the first Avengers movie as the building/destroying tool of a god - electricity, lightning, hmmn - I wonder how we’d be having this conversation if electricity had never been comprehended and put to good use?
No internet, that’s for sure.
Books - I like Thorsson/Flowers Nine Doors Of Midgard though as usual with his writing, what I got most from it wasn’t what he put on the page, but what I read between the lines, and that was mainly to make the Runes part of yourself and develop a magickal “identity” (very like some NLP techniques where you create a self who embodies what you most desire to be) but mainly, just take the Runes up and work with them and don’t let the fact that these are gods of the controversial “white race”- about which everyone and his dog has an opinion - interfere with you finding your own system and truths.
The Norse gods and their concepts are in many ways very NEW - not built upon decaying sand-whipped megaliths, destroyed idols, nor the dusty words of a maniacal troll-god who wanted to be all alone in being worshipped, because nobody liked him, and he had no love to give…
This whole post is gold, but -that- sums up Odin’s path (if after that description you’re willing to think of it as a -particular- path) better and more accurately than I ever could without many, -many- unnecessary words. Definitive truth there, and so succinct - brava!