nine herb charm 2

The Nine Herbs Charm contains a galdr, a “magic spell meter”, both a particular form of Old Norse poetry, and the means of writing magic charms and spells.  In my 2009 essay on this Lacnunga manuscript, I detailed the galdr; prior to this, I used it successfully in my personal Forn Þreifa practice, or ‘ancient touch healing’.  The verse in particular:

Nu magon þas VIIII wyrta wið nygon wuldorgeflogegum,
wið VIIII attrum and wið nygon onflygnum,
wið ðy readan attre, wið ð{y} ru{t}an attre,
wið ðy hwitan attre, wið ðy {hæwe}nan attre,
wið ðy geolwan attre, wið ðy grenan attre,
wið ðy wonnan attre, wið ðy wedenan attre,
wið ðy brunan attre, wið ðy basewan attre,
wið wyrmgeblæd, wið wætergeblæd,
wið þorngeblæd, wið þystelgeblæd,
wið ysgeblæd, wið attorgeblæd,
gif ænig attor cume eastan fleogan
oððe ænig norðan cume, oððe ænig westan ofer werðeode.

Now mighty these nine herbs, against nine great fears,
against nine venom’s and against nine poisons:
against the red venom, against the running venom,
against the white venom, against the purple venom,
against the yellow venom, against the green venom,
against the black venom, against the blue venom,
against the brown venom, against the bay venom,
against worm blister, against water blister,
against thorn blister, against thistle blister,
against ice blister, against poison blister.
If any venom comes east flying, or any north come,
or any west upon the tribes of men.

One suggestion of the Nine Herbs Charm is that each of the nine herbs should be assigned a rune to match the first letter of the herb.  If this was the case then the runes for the nine herbs would be:

-Mugwort / Mucgwyrt – Man (primal man)
-Plantain / Waybread – Wunjo (pleasure, strive)
-Lamb’s Cress and Nettle /
Stune and Stiðe – Sowulo (happy, healthy)
-Betony / Attorlothe – Ansur (well-being, message)
-Chamomile / Maegde – Man (primal man)
-Crabapple / Wergulu – Wunjo (pleasure, strive)
-Thyme and Fennel /
Fille and Finule – Feoh (fruitfulness, increase)

Runically, this would be read:
M : W : WW (Man : Wunjo : Sowulo)
A : W : FF (Ansur : Wunjo : Feoh)

And the meaning would be:
Man Trying Healthy : Welfare Man Trying

Yet another way of translating this galdr, based on the verses alliteration, would look like this:
RR : WW (Rad : Wunjo)
GG : WW (Gebo : Wunjo)
BB : WW (Berkana : Wunjo)
ThTh : YA (Thorn : Gera : Ansur)

And the meaning would be:
Journey Striving : Health Striving
Alert / Beginning Striving : Perseverance Change Well-Being

Both are excellent incantations because they weave all the elements employed to vocally convey healing intent.

 

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