i. A magical miscellany, early 17th century. (MS. e Mus. 173, folios 61v – 62r)
ii. The Rawlinson necromantic manuscript, 15th century. (MS. Rawl. D. 252, fol. 28v)
iii. The Rawlinson necromantic manuscript, 15th century. (MS. Rawl. D. 252, fol. 29r)
A selection of texts from the Bodleian Library’s summer exhibition - Magical Books: From the Middle Ages to Middle-earth.
Although many seventeenth-century magical manuscripts were no longer written in Latin, their authoritative mystique was preserved in the use of complex occult alphabets and mystical symbols. This miscellany contains relatively straightforward instructions of how ‘to see by thy selfe … in a crystall stone’ or ‘get treasure out of the sea’, but it also includes these elaborate magical charms. The circle bottom right wards off violent death ‘by sword and poison’. It is sealed with the spell-word ‘Abracalabra’ [sic] and promises the user ‘Verum est’ (It is true!). (x)
Awakening is possible only for those who seek it and want it, for those who are ready to struggle with themselves and work on themselves for a very long time and very persistently in order to attain it.
— G.I. Gurdjieff
Before eating the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve either knew that disobeying God was evil or they didn’t.
If they didn’t, then they can’t be blamed for disobeying him.
If they did, then they already possessed the knowledge that God had forbidden.
Either way, God could not justly banish them from Eden.
(Adduced by Richard R. La Croix.)
Year Walking (Årsgång in Swedish or Årgang in Norwegian), is an ancient heathen practice, over a thousand years old, that remained widespread in Scandinavia until as late as the beginning of the 20th century.
The purpose of Year Walking was to foresee the future and the ritual could be performed only on popular heathen festival days such as Summer Solstice, Midwinter Solstice or Heathen New Year’s Eve (the night of the first full moon after Yule). A year walker was not allowed any food or drinks on the day of their ritual and was allowed no contact with others, so would often lock themselves away in a dark room with no fire for the entire day. If the year walker successfully followed these rules they could emerge at exactly midnight to begin the walk.
The year walker would then proceed to the final destination of a church. On the way they would encounter all manner of supernatural creatures from folklore and face challenges that would test their mind, faith and may even risk physical harm.
If the year walker made it to the church they would walk in a formation around the cemetery until they could look into the future!
Artwork from Simon Flesser of simogo.com who has created a video game based on the ancient art of year walking!
I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone, it’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel alone.
— Robin Williams “World’s Greatest Dad”
To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust.
— Henry David Thoreau “Walden”
For people who are actually interested in how viking music might have sounded, “Drømde mik en drøm i nat" (/I dreamt a dream last night) is the earliest music (and lyrics) known in Scandinavia preserved on the last page of the (~1200-1300) Codex Runicus as rune notes.
The song and melody is still known and used today in most of Scandinavia, as a sort of folk-standard. This version, deceivingly slow in the beginning, is presented as close to the original sound of the years 900-1000 as historians think they can come.
This song might have survived because it was a gigantic hit, like the viking’s very own “Billie Jean”. A total pop slayer that stayed around long enough for music notes to be invented.
The more you know.
Violence is Golden
A lot of people like to think they are “non-violent.” Generally, people claim to “abhor” the use of violence, and violence is viewed negatively by most folks. Many fail to differentiate between just and unjust violence. Some especially vain, self-righteous types like to think they have risen above the nasty, violent cultures of their ancestors. They say that “violence isn’t the answer.” They say that “violence doesn’t solve anything.”
They’re wrong. Every one of them relies on violence, every single day.
All those who do not books return
Are thieves, not borrowers, and earn
The punishment Justice demands;
Their sacrificial loss of hands.
May God, therefore, as witness see
That it be done unswervingly.
Book curse written in a library catalogue in 1049 by the abbot of the Abbey of Lobbes in Germany. (via oneiriad)
Damn. Abbots are scary…
Apparently book curses were a thing!
How much would you like it if playing RPGs led you to be initiated into a cult of real magic? Not very much, we imagine.
Please SHARE this image, to spread the word about the true dangers of gaming!
Sak Yant or Yantra Tattooing are believed to give the wearer magic powers associated with healing, luck, strength, and protection against evil.
You can get these here in thailand by a monk, they look beautiful but I’d never recommend it. Essentially, you’re making a pact with a spirit to protect you in exchange for sacrificing an activity or habit you may have previously enjoyed (the monk decides what this is, not you). These tattoos are contracts.
Breaking your side of the bargain may encourage the spirit to ‘punish’ you, and these contracts are not easily voided.
You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop, and what you reinforce.
— Tony Gaskins
Attestation of Vegvísir in the Huld Manuscript.
The Huld Manuscript is the name given to the book of collected Icelandic staves and spells, compiled by Geir Vigfusson in the 19th Century. Huld is the name of a völva in the Ynglinga and Sturlunga Sagas, who practiced Seiðr magic. A later Icelandic tale by Snorri Sturlusson tells us that she was a mistress of Odin, and mothered two demi-goddesses by him, who were named Þorgerðr and Irpa. If we look at the etymology, “Huld” means “Hidden” or “Secret” and is derived from Old Norse “Hulda”. This root is seen in many other words in Germanic lore.