2507Re: What is Sidir?
- Jun 14 2:59 AMA bit indepth and rambling, but I hope this helps.
"Magic" of which seidir is a part, is the manipulation and / or use
of Wyrd(sort of "what will happen by our own actions" and he gods
intervention) and Orlog (sort of "natural law") in a way that we as
humans in general cannot explain as we can in the subject we
call "science". In science we can explain where wood goes when it is
burned to ashes, or water when it evaporates. Science is just the
part of Orlog that we can understand. If we make the wood or water
disappear in a way that science cannot yet explain, then we are
From a Theological point of view, it is simply using the powers
around and from within us, which we cannot explain away by "science",
but of course that is from OUR point of view. To the Christians and
Moslems, only their different gods can work outside of our
known "science", and all others are "worshipping Satan" or some other
devil or demon of their religion.
After the coming of the Christian religions, anything practiced by
our holy men and women was "Black Magic" and any magic performed by
their "holy men" was a "Miracle".
According to more than a few researchers, including Grimm in
his "Teutonic Mythology", any Magic along with any other subject that
an outsider (or many "insiders" for that matter) would call "Magic"
or anything similar, were performed primarily by the older people and
folk of a certain type For the most part. Elderly Women, "Dead to
love and labor" who had a knowledge of some herblore and cooking from
decades of experience, and Older Shepherds (those with jobs not
requiring constant mental work-outs or attention and physical stress
who can stop and think for long periods of time). The younger men
had their time taken up with farming, adventuring (a few), warring
and defense of the stead while younger women were busy with the
keeping of the hall, and rearing of the children. Remember, this was
a time when the children were actually raised, and that was the duty
of the women to teach them and stear them on the right path. Men
taught more of the "mechanics" of life.
Some rituals could be thought of as "magic" of a sort, but that is
simply the gods being asked to act. "Magic" as I use the term here
is more of the actions of the person, with some assistance of the
gods and goddesses in some cases.
There are few hard lines drawn between the different types
of "magic", many "gray areas" and borders between the different types
exist. Many times people hold more than one skill or discipline and
the crossover is just a natural occurrence. The following is a
Galdr: is the casting of magic by chanting or singing. The gods and
goddesses, especially ODIN and BALDER are very much impressed, and
therefore influenced, by Poetry and Song. Verse and/or song
would "get their attention", especially if the song was well sung and
the lyrics of the song or words of the poem were witty, sincere,
uplifting, honorable or ins some other way pleasing to them. The
words and music are also a type of "offering" or sacrifice which they
might appreciate, if not just a "jingle" to attract their attention.
This would include some of the runic type of magic, but not
necessarily all, and not all Galdr is Runic. This has been a
powerful type of magic in many cultures throughout history.
Lullabies were originally a charm sung over a baby before it went to
sleep to protect him or her from wights that would harm them in the
Love songs were originally "charms" or "spells" to win your intended.
Little verses spoken or sung at different jobs or duties originated
as galdr, but today are just "silly little childhood songs". I
remember my mother and both grandmothers telling me of little thymes
that they sung or recited at different times while performing
different jobs. To them, they were just "little ditties" to pass the
time while doing as repetitious chore. In the more modern times,
they were correct, but the origin of those "little ditties" came from
galdr, such as this verse to make cream churn into butter faster:
Come butter come
Come butter come
Johnny waits by the gate
With a warm buckwheat cake
Come butter come
The previous verse was probably a more modern version of the charm or
spell, but it remains never the less. Also, I remember there was the
verse for planting some seeds (in more modern, post Columbus times,
this particular verse usually referred to the planting of corn) which
shows a sacrifice to some of nature`s creatures, the land wight and a
tribute from the worker to The Karl (land owner):
(while planting seeds, one seed for each line of the charm)
One for the chicken
One for the crow
One for the farmer
And one to grow
There were also songs for doing laundry, milking cows and just about
everything else. If you have elderly relatives from a rural
background or recent immigrants from Europe they may be able to give
you many more examples of these little songs. Many of the old ways
are entombed in a series of books (my gods are they good)
called "FOXFIRE", which is a sort of "how to" series on how to do
everything from building a still in "hillbilly country" to making a
flintlock rifle to skinning a bear and planting a garden. Being of
the U.S. southern culture, the entire society was of course
Christianized and changed to suit the new land and situations, but
you can see the old ways and catch a glimpse of Old World beliefs
shining through in many of the stories, and instructions.
Your success depends upon your own power, dedication, concentration
and / or the powers that are being worked on your behalf by a
benevolent deity or spirit. You may "do everything correct" and have
energies and powers, but it strong enough spiritual/deity force is
opposed to you, you will fail. On the other hand, you can be a total
looser when it comes to ability in magic and succeed when those same
forces are with you.
When performing galdr, again depending upon what is working with or
against you, the poem or song may be repeated many times (making it
into sort of a chant if it is short enough) or only once if it is
forceful enough and thought to have accomplished its purpose.
Unfortunately YOU will have to figure out which works for you, and
even which works for you in particular situations. If you are really
luck, you will receive that information from the gods themselves and
have the "guess work taken out of it altogether. You will also have
to figure out which works better for you, singing, chanting or
reciting poetry-type charms/spells.
The attempt might b as elaborate as a full ritual as described in the
GENERAL OUTLINE FOR A RITE OR RITUAL, from the previous section of
this NOTEBOOK, or as simple as Hammer Hallowing an area and sitting
comfortably in a quiet room, in the woods, a field, hilltop,
waterfall or wherever you might meet with success. Concentration
usually results in better success than relying on "window dressing",
but sometimes both are necessary. In other words, don't work so hard
on the "show" of a ritual that you let your concentration on the
desired outcome low ebb.
Within galdr, you might find other types of magic, or use galdr in
other types, especially magic using runes when they are sung or the
rune poem is spoken.
Spa: is a skill or gift for telling the future or prophecy. This
could be done with Runes, trances, or reading other signs. If the
power is strong with you, you might not need anything in particular,
it will just come to you.
When using runes, calling upon deities and / or getting into a mental
state in order to receive information on the future, most use galdr.
Some of the deities to call upon are ODIN, SAGA and, if you think
that you can persuade her to communicate what she knows, FRIGGA (who
is said to NEVER reveal what she knows of the future). The mental
trance-like state that many go into is often self imposed by chanting
to the deities for that purpose, or chanting certain runes to attain
Seidr: takes many definitions, or at least many different abilities.
Healing, mental magic & manipulation, channeling spirits, mind and
weather control, and other abilities. FREYA is a good one for this
although others can be chosen depending upon the reason and target
for and of the Seidr.
If runes are used as the power or tool for the work, and the names,
rune-poems or sounds are sung, or a chant is used to call the deity
desired for support, again, galdr is used. If channeling spirits and
speaking with the dead for information on the future is used, then
spa is also used.
As you see, you can "jump" from one "type" of magic to another
without really planning to do so, it's a "come as you are needed"
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