Switch to Forum Live View Black Books of Elverum and Survivals of Old Charms
|7 years ago :: Jun 24, 2008 - 5:21PM #1|
A couple months ago, I picked up a copy of Mary Runstead's translation of the Black Books of Elverum (from Norwegian). I found this to be interesting. Once I filtered out the Christian and Demonology components, I noticed that there was a lot of parallels to other Old Norse magic.
In particular there was one remedy that seemed to strike me as in line with similar charms from the Lacnunga (Old English) and elsewhere: To cure a woman of infertility, strike her on the back of the skirt jokingly with a stick which has been used to beat a serpent to death. The parallels to the 9-herb charm and the glory-twigs seem to be impossible to overlook. Similarly, the Galdrabok (Old Icelandic) suggests that a symbol they call the "Aegishjalmr" or "Helm of terror" can be used for all kinds of healing, reconciliation, and love magic. This symbol is a clear reference to Sigurd's slaying of the dragon in the Lay of Sigurd (now lost, except for a historicized version as the Volsung Saga).
I was wondering if anyone else has looked into mythic origins of these sort of things closely and if they share this assessment or disagree....