Meeting our Scandinavian Kindred, continued…

Lars E Pic Galdrs commentary pic

This week we will sit down with Lars Magnar Enoksen.

Lars Magnar Enoksen (b. 1960) of both Swedish (maternal) and Norwegian (paternal) heritage, has written twenty-nine books regarding Runes, Galdrs, Glima, Norse Mythology and Viking History. Primarily published in English and Scandinavian tongues, but also translated into German, French, Japanese and Czech languages.

Besides that, he has a prolific fighting/wrestling (Glima) career and was officially awarded ‘traditional martial artist of the year’ 2016 by the Swedish budo & martial arts federation. As well as being a vintage punk rock era musician, an illustrator of obscure graphic novels and former story-writer for Walt Disney’s worldwide comics. Still performing live as a Galdra singer and collaborating with internationally successful bands such as Wardruna, Gaahls Wyrd and Lindy-Fay Hella. He is very active doing practical weekend seminars regarding Runes, Galdrs and Glima all around the World.

Questions for Lars Magnar Enoksen, as given by contemporary Volva and seidkonna, Ivy Mulligan; ~owner of the 21st Century Heathen and V.P. of The Asatru Community, Inc:

Hail Lars!
I am taking your very well given advice, and for this particular Interview created for the purpose of educating our readers in The Asatru community about misnomers some hold with Runic magic use in ritual. (especially the use galdr)
Thank you for agreeing to this answering of questions!

I will begin with explaining that I have created a Men’s retreat, to know Odin and the runes in a very personal way.

Under guidance and in a Immersion retreat, each man comes to know Odin on a personal level, and how to apply his runic magic; by trial and ordeal; via the guidance left to us in both the Hàvamàl (verse 138-165), of the “Elder” or Poetic Edda, which is one of the primary written sources for Norse mythology.

I have taken the MERSEBURGER INCANTATIONS (Merseburger Zaubersprüche), the two magic poems from pre-Christian Germany to be the foundation of this three day, multi-weekend retreat.

The first poem describes the activities of valkyrie-like sorceresses called the “Idisi” who have the power to bind or to free battling warriors.

The second poem tells how a number of these goddesses unsuccessfully attempt to cure the injured leg of Balder’s horse. Wodan (Odin), with his unfailing magic, knows the right charm, and the horse is healed. This pre-Christian incantation is similar to charms against sprains recorded in the Orkney and Shetland Islands during the nineteenth century.

So within these three poems and their context, during the three long weekend retreats; each man also learns the ways Odin did his runic magics, as a Warrior, as a Magician, as a “King” and as a Wanderer.

For my research to create an effective class, I use your Books written in English, as well as a few other sources that might be classified as “obscure.”
I would like to ask you some questions I personally want to clarify about Runic work, once and for all.
I am looking for your Scandinavian, and more specifically, your Swedish take on this subject, as Odin was once thought to be a real King, besides being a Norse God.

First question(s) I have seen in repeated work, (yours included) that we must learn to pronounce the futharks by saying their consonant or vowel sounds correctly; but some American “Experts” state to “Galdr” this is accomplished by chanting each Futhark in a repeat-the-syllable type way. Is this what you would call ‘Galdr’, or just the beginnings of training our voices for galdr? (Other American “scholars“ claim just intoning the futharks via throat singing is actually galdr. Is that true?)

Lars Magnar Enoksen: Nope, totally wrong.

Question: How so? Could you explain this? I know by reading your books and then using your clarifications of proper Galdr in a Norse Mystery week led by Inger Johanne Syverud I was totally misunderstanding Galdr! It wasn’t until Inger introduced us to your work, then showed us how to galdr properly, that then most of the workshop participants understood many of us here in the US are mislead to think the process of Galdr is simply saying a Futhark in a long drawn out sound. But that is incorrect, yes? Can you explain the way it should really be done please?

Lars Magnar Enoksen: Ok! First of all, we must define what a Galdr is. A Galdr is an oral incantation, made in a repetitive manner – where the initial phrases are repeated and their interchangeable activating words alliterates. This is made in three stages. (1, the invocation – where the three powers that a Galdr needs are hailed and called upon. 2, the intention is stated as a demanding wish – with clarified very and exact expressions. 3, the activation of the conjuration are presented as an affirmation – where the result is already working.) These guidelines are called “Galdralag” (the law of incantations) in Old Norse. However, this oral conjuration, can be presented as a graphical symbol – which is also called a Galdr – to help the warlock/witch to focus better on its meaning. This symbol should be very simple, so it can be easily drawn with saliva on your forehead. Puh.. Sorry that I give so nerdy answers, but we need to clarify your sloppy Futhark statement too, since I have no idea what you mean by that?

Question: I have also seen this method of intoning the futharks be called “aspirating” the runes. Have you ever heard of this? (Again, I have heard some people think this is “galdring,” but how do you feel about that?)

Lars Magnar Enoksen: Sounds strange. I don’t even understand the question, since there are too many un-authentic Runic assumptions in it…

Question: I read a paper where a gentleman suggested breathing in the Futhark each singularly, while pronouncing it’s sound on the inhalation. The author claimed it would infuse your body with each “rune.” But am I correct in understanding the Furtharks are not the only meaning to the word Rune in the Eddas? Is there a deeper meaning, and can you explain what that is?

Lars Magnar Enoksen: My best advice is; learn some basic knowledge about the Runes first. As understanding the evolution of their graphical structure and which sounds are connected to them. This simple beginning is something that is utterly lacking in most modern Rune activities. I regard Runes as the highest knowledge of the North, which also my ancestors did! Then you should be skeptical when somebody teaches the Runes in a superficial way, without any authentic wisdom at all behind it. When that has been said; yes, the Runes are of course connected to sounds! But not in the way you just mentioned…

Question: In my course I am trying to teach healing with using the runes, like was customary in Old times. Can you give any insight into how you might make up an incantation to heal someone from a physical injury, like a hurt back? Like what futharks would you pick, and what galdr would you sing? Also would a healing of the persons spirit be possible this way as we do with our body; with futharks and galdr? Can you explain how?

Lars Magnar Enoksen: Yes, you simply construct the Galdr (with healing purposes, or with other aims) through the “Galdralag” (see above) structure, which is the basis of all Galdra-performances. Hence, if you don’t master or understand “Galdralag”, then you are just faking it.

Question: What exactly is Galdralag? How does the word and it’s meaning differ from just Galdr? Can you give an example of a Galdralag in the context of healing a back injury?

Lars Magnar Enoksen: By following the wisdom of Galdralag, it helps us understand the genuine art of Nordic wizardry, as well as how to construct our own galdrs. And there is no difference – in its performance – of a healing or a hurting Galdr. And to keep it short, I have written two practical books in the subject. “Galdrs Of The Edda” (Scandinavian Heritage Publications, 2014) which pinpoints and explains all the 38 preserved authentic medieval Galdrs found in the Codex Regius manuscript of the Elder Edda. And the “Norse Sorcery Compendium – Galdr & Runes” (Tribal Wizardry Publications, 2018) teaches it from a more practical point of view. But be aware that these books are not for the beginners, since it goes directly to the core of the matter and assumes that the readers are already interested in these subjects.

Question: In trying to sing galdr, what is the way you would create an alliterated chant to say as an example, change someone’s mind? How would you create the chant while using the futharks in the incantation? What would that look and sound like?? Can you clearly describe how you would do this?

Lars Magnar Enoksen: First of, you need to know HOW to create a Galdr (and the “Galdralag” structure is our guide to that). However, the Futharks – has NOTHING to do with Galdrs! A Galdr, is an oral incantation. Runes are graphical presentations… Hence, it is the WORDS – not letters – that are important in Galdrs.

Question: Why do you think so many people in the last 10-15 years have so misunderstood the structure of creating a Galdr? So many people share mistakenly that the Futharks are the “runes” Odin captured. It leads to most Heathens never getting the use of your deep, powerful teaching. Can you give some examples of where in Norse mythology a person can read to explain the proper meaning of runes, and therefore Galdr?

Lars Magnar Enoksen: How should I know that? Maybe it is because they did not learn it from a living tradition. Or simply that they just make things up, as they go along… I myself, was introduced to the art of Galdrs through Glima-wrestling. Where it is used – on master level – to become invincible when the opposition seems impossible to overcome.

Final questions! In the Havamal, I have read and re-read this passage (as have others) countless times.
As a rune master, I genuinely wish to know how you interpret these very powerful lines; as I being English speaking, feel there is something important I miss via the translation and not understanding deeply as you do, Old Norse etymology:
Question:….“Runes you will find, and readable staves, {what staves, like bind rune staves, special futharks, incantations?}

Lars Magnar Enoksen: This passage refers to learning and understanding the strength and possibilities of the Runes. And for doing that, you must learn the Runes – in an authentic way as possible. But if a person don’t even have the basic knowledge of Runes, then he/she is doomed to go astray.

: What is the best way you recommend to learn the Runes as authentically as possible? How did you learn these powerful arts? What and where did you find your answers?

Lars Magnar Enoksen: My best advice, is that you start with academic books or reports about Runes. Just to get a good foundation to build upon. Regarding my own Runic path, I have never had any problems understanding that valuable knowledge takes time to achieve. And I was willing to spend enough energy to learn the difference between the good hardcore stuff – and the lame un-authentic information spread by charlatans.

Question:.…”Very strong staves. Very stout staves. Staves that Bolthor stained. Made by mighty powers. Graven by the prophetic God.
For the Gods by Odin, for the Elves by Dain, By Dvalin, too, for the Dwarves. By Asvid for the hateful Giants. And some I carved myself: Thund, before man was made, scratched them.” {does this mean special runic chants were made for and by these wights ( vätte ) and for them alone?}

Lars Magnar Enoksen: It refers to mythical persons and tribes that were supposed to have great Runic knowledge.

Question:…”Know how to cut them.” {The futharks themselves, or incantations or both?}

Lars Magnar Enoksen: There is no difference between using the Runes as letters or in incantations. But yes, it is vital knowing the different Futharks – as well as their similarities and differences. However, anybody that starts with the Elder Futhark without checking the connection to the Viking age or Medieval Runes, will never achieve any greater knowledge in the subject.

Question: So if I wanted to make a very powerful incantation, would I use the Futharks entirely to make the incantation? Meaning, would I replace my English language with Old Norse? Or can the English language be properly transcribed into a Futhark writing word for word?

Lars Magnar Enoksen: The problem with English, is that it is a linguistically “un-pure” language and has too many loan-words in it. You have to search for the expressions that can be traced back to Old Anglo-Saxon to find powerful genuine English words. And once again, the Futhark has nothing to do with a Galdr! More than Runic signs can duplicate that sound of a Galdr, of course.

Question:…”Know how to read them. Know how to stain them.” {Am I correct to assume this mean every work of runic magic should receive a blood sacrifice?}

Lars Magnar Enoksen: Perhaps, since it means how to paint them and what liquid to use. So, blood is an excellent choice, of course.

Question:….”Know how to prove them.” {What does this mean, prove them? By trying them out? Seeing if the spells come to fruition?}

Lars Magnar Enoksen: It means, that you need to test your skills – so they work in reality. The “eight enigmas” give great advice in this matter. If putting it simple, if you cannot communicate with Runes – then it is time start learning that!

: What are the eight enigmas, and where can I learn more about them? How do you recommend someone communicating with the runes? How do you yourself communicate with them?

Lars Magnar Enoksen
: He he – you speak about the Runes in a way totally alien to me. There is no easy path to understand the eight enigmas. Most people only understand three of them, but seldom four or more.

Question:….”Know how to evoke them.” {How do we do this? By simply galdr them? Should we invoke Odin each time?}

Lars Magnar Enoksen
: You should actually invoke three (3) powers – not only one – in an authentic Galdra-incantation.

Question: What are the three powers to invoke? And how do we do this? In a formal ritual, or blot? Can you give me some specific details?

Lars Magnar Enoksen: Yes, it is the three Gods (or nature powers) that you already are interacting with and knows that they will listen you request. First step, is to befriend an initial power/entity. Then two, and lastly three. I would say, that this process takes around 15–20 years to complete. But then you have great possibilities to create powerful Galdrs.

Question: …”Know how to score them.”

Lars Magnar Enoksen
: He he – totally wrong translation of “soa”… Since it is about the much needed skill to revoke a conjuration due to changed opinions about the targeted person.

Question: Fascinating! Can you give me a hypothetical example of this process as you would do this?

Lars Magnar Enoksen: Yes, you just reverse the words of the Galdr. (On that part.) Thus changing its aim and meaning.

Question: {Is this different than the line above; knowing how to cut them? I know its traditional to carve the futharks in stone or wood, but does these mean to also “cut” or “carve” the incantations as well?}

Lars Magnar Enoksen: Nope, same Runes – same techniques.

Question:….”Know how to send them. Know how to send them.” {This line seems quite important. By know how to send them, does this mean by just by using galdr? Is there more than that to sending them? How would that work, to know how send runes?}

Lars Magnar Enoksen
: You are totally correct. Knowing how to send the Runes/Galdrs/intentions – is to most important aspect in the Runic art of wizardry.

Thank you so much for taking this time out of your busy schedule to answer my questions Lars. I know you are writing your next book, as well as coming to the States in November.
Would you mind telling me your itinerary, so encase I can get the chance to see you in person I could?

Lars Magnar Enoksen: He he – I am not difficult to find. Perhaps through my webpage:

Lars cartoon

~Nice talking to you! It was both fun and challenging answering your questions, Ivy.

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