Odin was a great and very far-traveled warrior, who conquered many kingdoms,
And so successful was he that in every battle the victory was on his side.
It was his custom when he sent his men into battle, or on any expedition, that he first laid His hands upon their heads, and called down a blessing upon them
(at hann lagdi adr hendr i hofud theim, ok gaf theim bjanak) –
And then they believed their undertaking would be successful.
–Ynglinga saga 2
This is an example of “divine touch”, sometimes referred to as “royal touch” because it was an expected practice of European royalty dating back, on record, to the 9th century CE. Both kings and queens were said to have this ability either from birth – which was considered an aspect of sacral kingship – or acquired upon assuming the throne. For example, King Clovis I, king of the Franks, was a respected healer, as were the kings of both England and France. So established were these latter that historical records list their hundreds of successes. Notable royalty gifted with divine touch include:
-King Edward the Confessor (1067 CE).
-King Louis VI of France (1108 CE).
-King Henry VIII of England (1547 CE; Queen Elizabeth’s father).
–Queen Elizabeth I (1603 CE), queen of England, France and Ireland; remembered as the Virgin Queen and the Faerie Queen. The Spencer, Tudor and Stuart royal families are all said to have royal touch.
-King Charles II of England (1685 CE).
-King Louis XVI of France (1793); and many, many more.
Also of note is Havamal 155 (Wright, Desmond translation):
I know an eleventh, if I shall to battle lead longstanding friends:
Under shields I galdr, and they move along with might.
Hale into battle, hale from battle, come they hale from there.
~ ~ ~
excerpted from Forn Þreifa: Ancient Healing Touch