Northern Magic, Rune Mysteries and Shamanism, by Edred Thorsson is a treat of an introduction to magickal systems in the Germanic tradition. Thorsson gives a brief yet satisfyingly comprehensive introduction to Troth, cosmology and the Gods and Goddesses of the Northern Way before getting right down to the magick. Three forms are discussed, perhaps the most familiar being Rune magick and with a focus on the Younger Futhark. Galdor magick is covered, a magickal form in which designs are drawn or carved with intent to affect a change- the design involved ranges from the simple to the very elaborate. Seith or ‘Germanic Shamanism’ is also gone over, which focuses on intuitive magick and trancework to gain knowledge. Each of these forms is presented with a history and explanation. Thorsson completes his work with a further discussion and history of the Germanic traditions from Christianisation to the present, beginning in 1100 C.E, and an inspiring yet cautious vision for the future. He provided additional resources in a series of appendices for the interested magician and a helpful glossary of terms for those new to Germanic studies.
This title is unique in that its author specifically focuses on the magickal traditions of the Germanic path, something that seems little known or discussed outside of the community. Much of The Troth is much more concerned with honoring the land and its people, with the magick left to practitioners outside the usual realm of hearth and home and everyday practice. This overview of magickal traditions is something I’ve found lacking in other introductory books on the Germanic traditions.
I found Northern Magic particularly intriguing to my personal path in the ADF, which is becoming more Pan-Indo-European over time, as I learn more about these related cultural traditions. I’m currently expanding my knowledge of the Germanic path, which has great personal importance to me. After reading this book and making an ongoing study of the magickal forms within, together with my study of the lore surrounding the tradition, I can say that it has much improved my understanding of the Germanic traditions. I would highly recommend Northern Magic and the author to anyone interested in Germanic roots, The Troth, Ceremonial Magic or a history of any of these. It makes a quick and easy read through a thorough introduction.