Discuss three key magical techniques or symbols from one Indo-European culture. (minimum 100 words each)
Three magical techniques or symbols that I’ve discovered from the Northern Lore are galdur, seidh(r), and of course to reiterate the runic alphabet and its magical connotations.
With the rune lore, you have 24 set symbols that each have a magical meaning and purpose. These symbols are a series of straight lines in a particular design with no curving attributes. The symbols themselves are used both for magical purposes such as incantations, posture, carving into talismans to invoke a magical purpose, and the casting for divination purpose over a white cloth, and also as a language of communication in the common Germanic dialect. Alone these runic inscriptions perform a magical purpose on their own, but combined with each other that magical purpose or intent could change depending on the runes involved. Thorsson discusses three types of runic formulations, such as ideographic, sound-formulaic, and phonetic word representations. All three formulations are considered an important part of modern rune use, which adds to the runes being the most recognizable form of magical working within the northern lore in history and in use today.
(Word Count: 154)
Galdur is a word derived from “gala” in the Icelandic language, which means to chant or “crow”. It is assumed during the practice of galdur that one is working under a magical persona doing the magical working (Flowers, 13). Galdur and rune-working were often used together, especially since both were used as a linguistic incantation during magical working. Both techniques depend on the abilities of the magician performing the act. Odin is spoken of as the father of Galdur, perhaps due to their frequent use with runes, and naturally with Odin giving us the gift of runes, it makes sense to attribute Galdur to him as well.
(Word Count: 107)
Seidh does not have a clear meaning, but it is thought to have a relation to singing or chanting. Unlike Galdur, which focuses on a working under a particular persona, Seidh is more of a trance-like function and less ego-centric, much like shamanic practice. During this time, the magician sat within this trance state while the songs were being sung and performed the magical workings or divination. It is considered a more natural form of magic compared to Galdur, but we have less resources on the history of Seidh than we do any of these other two techniques. Seidh is also considered a feminine form of magic, possibly originating from Freyja (Flowers, 13), but still considered a working of Odin along with Galdur.
(Word Count: 107)