Thorsson intended this book as a training manual for students in his magical order, the Rune-Gild. The program he outlines is as demanding and structured as those of better known magical groups, like the Golden Dawn and O.T.O. (of which Thorsson is actually a member).
Some people have criticized this book for being too structured and too heavily influenced by non-Germanic tradition. (Thorsson’s diagram of the Nine Worlds, for instance, has been called a blatant copy of the Qabalistic Tree of Life–minus one sphere.) Although those criticisms are partly true, Nine Doors does contain some useful techniques and observations for people seriously interested in rune magic.
As far as I know, Northern Magic is the only esoteric rune book in print that is based on the Younger Futhark (the 16-letter rune alphabet used in Scandinavia). Thorsson’s comments don’t go into as much depth here as in his other books, but then the book itself is about half as long as Futhark. He is clearer and more concise than usual, though; for a beginner interested in specifically Norse magic, this book is a good choice.
In addition to his remarks about actual runes, Thorsson spends two chapters talking about other magical symbols (hex signs and sigils) used in Germanic spellworking. This too makes Northern Magic well worth buying and reading.
This book first came out in the late 1980’s, and many rune magicians still consider it a classic. Several later authors, including Gundarsson, have been inspired by Futhark to some extent.
Thorsson discusses the meanings and magical uses of each rune in detail, backing them with references from Norse pagan texts and Germanic folklore. He does occasionally allude to other esoteric traditions, but this doesn’t feel as intrusive as it does in some other books. (My only complaint here is the table of astrological and Tarot correspondences at the end of the book; the runes, in my opinion, should be able to stand on their own as a magical system.)
I would still recommend this book ten years after I first bought it, although Thorsson’s language may be too dry and academic for popular readers.
This is one of the best rune books for people who are interested strictly in divination. The style is a bit dry and academic–at least, the explanations for the individual runes are like that. Still, the book does describe several layouts and casting methods that I’ve found useful. It also gives detailed instructions on how to make your own runes (three different ways!)
On the title page, this also has “Volume I: Lore and History” and “From a Manuscript Formerly Entitled ‘True Wicca'”.
“‘Edred does it again! The Witchdom of the True is an invaluable resource to Wiccans and to those who follow Asatru alike. In clear and compelling language, it restores the Vanir-faith to its place as an integral part of the dynamic and diverse Northern tradition. Long known as the leading light in the modern runic revival, Edred now pulls back the curtain of time to show us the origin of Wicca in the Vanir cult of he ancient Northlands. This is an exciting book, and a breath of fresh air in a field that long needed the windows and doors thrown open!’ — Stephen A. McNallen, Asatru Folk Assembly
Found in Witchdom of the True
· History of the Vanic Faith
· Survival and Revival of Witchdom
· Myth and Lore of the Lord and Lady
· Ritual Working Formula of Witchdom
· Lore of Witchcraft
· Lore of Seith
‘In this book the author finally makes clear once and for all the deep and ancient nature of the true cult of the Lord and Lady, its origins and mythology. Modern Wiccans will be delighted to have this lore clarified, and it is hoped the information will help transform the Wiccan movement in the next millennium by returning it to its natural roots.’ — Inga Steddinger, High Priestess, Author of Wiccan Sex Magic” — back cover
“A whole new world of magic animals, brave young princes and evil witches has come to light with the discovery of 500 new fairytales, which were locked away in an archive in Regensburg, Germany for over 150 years. The tales are part of a collection of myths, legends and fairytales, gathered by the local historian Franz Xaver von Schönwerth (1810–1886) in the Bavarian region of Oberpfalz at about the same time as the Grimm brothers were collecting the fairytales that have since charmed adults and children around the world.”
“Their main purpose was to help young adults on their path to adulthood, showing them that dangers and challenges can be overcome through virtue, prudence and courage.”
“Simply put, Zealot does not break new ground in the history of early Christianity. It isn’t clear that any book framed as a “the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth” could, in fact, do so. Indeed, if it had not been thrust into the limelight by an aggressive marketing plan, the painfully offensive Fox News interview, and Aslan’s own considerable gifts for self-promotion, Zealot would likely have simply been shelved next to myriad other examples of its genre, and everyone could get back to their lives. As it is, the whole spectacle has been painful to watch. And as it is with so many spectacles, perhaps the best advice one might take is this: Nothing to see here, people. Move along.”
“Any sigil that produces a sense of working for you can be used. All this really requires of you is consistently using it, playing with different means of expressing your desires, or applying the technique where it best fits.”
“The rites are quite mysterious, but not in the sense that we do not know what they mean, or that they are obscure in their significance. On the contrary the mysteries lie not in what the formulas are, and rather in how the formulas work.”
“Overall, Zuckerman, Silberman, and Hall conclude that, according to their meta-analysis, there is little doubt a significant negative correlation exists (i.e. people who are more religious score worse on varying measures of intelligence). The correlation is more negative when religiosity measures beliefs rather than behavior. That may be because religious behavior may be used to help someone appear to be part of a group even though they may not believe in the supernatural.
So why do more intelligent people appear to be less religious? There are three possible explanations. One possibility is that more intelligent people are less likely to conform and, thus, are more likely to resist religious dogma. A 1992 meta-analysis of seven studies found that intelligent people may be more likely to become atheists when they live in religious societies, because intelligent people tend to be nonconformists.
The most common explanation is that intelligent people don’t like to accept any beliefs that are not subject to empirical tests or logical reasoning. Zuckerman writes in the review that intelligent people may think more analytically, which is “controlled, systematic, and slow”, as opposed to intuitively, which is “heuristic-based, mostly non-conscious, and fast.” That analytical thinking leads to lower religiosity.
The final explanation is that intelligence provides whatever functions religion does for believers.”
“Gurdjieff believes that almost all people, whether intelligent or unintelligent, are not fully ‘awake,’ either physically or mentally. He believes that the body is capable of something like ten times more skill and coordination and effort than the body ordinarily is able to put forth, and he believes the same thing of the mind. He seeks, in all sorts of ways, with various individuals, to ‘awaken’ and train both body and mind, so that they will be capable of using more of their stored-up, latent capacities.
He would take pampered society women and put them to work, at hard labor, on coarse food as fare with this final object in view—and if he made the preacher drink champagne, it was for identically the same object, approached from a different way.”
“This follow-up to the classic Futhark breaks new ground by applying current scientific theories on how magic works in traditional societies to the world of practical magic. ALU, An Advanced Guide to Operative Runology contains completely new and fresh descriptions of all the individual runes based on traditional sources, rune-poems, Old Norse literature, and more.
Thorsson, one of the most respected runic scholars living today, synthesizes the old and the new, the scholarly and the practical, and brings the use of runes in magical work to a new level in ALU, An Advanced Guide to Operative Runology.
• Practical magic
• Divination practices
• New techniques and methods
• How modern English can be used in the creation of runic writings” [via]
Rûna-Raven Press, which provided works and services related to “Germanic lore and magic as well as left-hand path studies” especially those by Edred Thorsson / Stephen E Flowers and the Rune-Gild, is going out of business, but will be taking final book orders through Sep 20th.
“Unfortunately Runa-Raven will be going out of business as of September 20, 2012. We will honor all orders that have already been made and we still encourage everyone to buy the books still available before September 20. They are bound to be collectors items in the future.
Because we can print on-demand, we can still get most of our titles right up to the end. Custom orders of larger quantities of certain titles at a discount can be arranged by email ([email protected]). In the end we were unable to overcome the damage done to the business in 2011.” [link redacted for safety]