The association of paganism and Anglo-Saxon runes can no longer be taken for granted. Despite persistent nostalgic representations in popular culture and fantasy fiction, the magical functions attributed to the script in eighteenth-century Gothic studies have been met with scepticism in modern academic circles (Page Introduction 6). Recent scholarship has shifted the burden of proof to those who claim an intrinsic “magical” function for runes, on the basis that Scandinavian evidence for this tradition need not necessarily transfer to the Anglo-Saxon rune culture
Posts Tagged ‘Religion and Spirituality’
(1897-1952) Established important contacts between the Nazis and a number of industrialists during the 1920s. Reich press chief of the party, 1933-45. In 1949, Dietrich was sentenced to seven years in prison but was released in 1950.
Leader of the Nazi Blut-Orden (the Blood Order). British Brigadier J.H. Morgan said that in late 1936, he was invited to a rally by 40 members of the Blut-Orden at which their leader, Herr Bart, gave the oration. Bart was “torrentially” eloquent, according to Morgan, comparing Hitler to Jesus Christ and he and his handful of comrades to Jesus’ disciples. Afterwards, Bart told Morgan in a conspiratorial tone, “There are thousands of such speakers in Germany. You see, we are taught how to do it.” Morgan later did research into the so-called Führer-schule. The first three institutes were set up in 1933, and by 1939 the number had grown to 31, including three for girls and women. (Laffin)
The coexistence of runes and Roman characters raises obvious questions about the relative status of the two scripts. The most basic relates to whether there was a pattern of functional specialization for the two character sets. Common hypotheses include the alignment of runes with the pagan and the vernacular, while corollary associations are made between Roman script, Christianity, Latin, and contemporary continental influence. Much to the frustration of certain scholars, such generalizations often retain explanatory power for the uninitiated even when contradicted by detailed evidence; general reference works frequently reinforce the tendency to regard runes as primarily magical or decorative characters subordinate to the Roman alphabet (Oxford Companion “Rune,” Hogg 81). In fact, the relationship was much more complex.
Runic inscriptions, rune scripts and bindrunes can be used in many ways. They can be inscribed on a talisman – a permanent, physical manifestation of the magic of the runes that a person would wear or carry around with them. They may also be used for more immediate purposes, by carving them into a piece of wood and then burning it, by scratching them into a candle and lighting it, or in any number of other ways. Making runes for magical use is a little bit different from making a set for divination, but the process of marking, colouring and naming them is essentially the same.
Your choice of materials when making a talisman or spell is important, since this will be the medium which ‘carries’ your message and will add it’s own peculiar energies to the process. A permanent talisman or inscription can be carved on anything you like, although (again) natural materials are best. Specific rune spells are traditionally sent by burning them, so your medium should be flammable if this is your intent. Paper or parchement is handy and will do in a pinch, but keep in mind that your average Norseman wouldn’t have had access to such finery. Paper is also magically quite neutral, and while it won’t detract from what you are trying to accomplish, it certainly won’t add anything either.
Rune spells and talismans were traditionally cut or scratched into wood. Of the few wooden runic artifacts recovered from that time, many were made from yew, which has a long history of association with the runes and magic. There are many other woods which have their own magical associations
The process of creating a rune spell is a ritual in itself. The technique traditionally involved the following steps:
- Carving or cutting the runes into the wood, bone or stone
- Colouring (‘reddening’) the runes with either red ochre paint or the magician’s own blood (this would connect the spell magically to the person doing it)
- Speaking or singing the names of the runes to empower them
- Sending the rune spell to its destination (if it is not a permenant talisman), often by burning
- Making an offering (a ‘blot’) of thanks to the Gods, usually of mead or ale
You can elaborate on this simple ritual as much as you like.
Mnajdra is Hagar Qim‘s sister temple. Or so it seems. At a distance of a few hunderd meters apart from each other, they must have something to do with each other. The view you have on Mnajdra while you walk down the (new) road from Hagar Qim to Mnajdra is unforgetable: the sea in the back, Filfla to your left and the temple in the glorious Maltese sun… it’s breathtaking!
More complexes were found built in pairs: Tarxien and Hal Saflieni, Skorba and Ta’ Hagrat and finally Tal Qadi and Bugibba. In her book “People of the Temples” (fiction) Linda Eneix suggests that men and women had separate temples but interacted closely. It seems a likely presumption, but we’ll probably never know.
Mnajdra was cleaned of debris for the first time by C. Lenormant in 1840 CE. In 1910, T. Ashby excavated the remaining intact parts. Further remains came to light during the conservation and restoration works that the Museum Department undertook between 1952 and 1954. The small temple was the first to be built, and the middle one the last. The site dates from 3600 – 2500 BCE.
To me, Mnajdra is more magical than here ‘big sister’: the temple site is not wired and you can go and see in every corner you like. Unfortunately not everyone knows how to handle such freedom, as you can see on the picture aside.
Mnajdra is made up of two sizeable temples and a small trefoil unit similar to the tiny priests’ quarters of Hagar Qim. The middle temple (estimated age 3400 BCE) is a regular four-apse structure. The standing blocks or orthostats which frame the circular building are neatly cut and placed together as at Tarxien central temple. The stone courses over the orthostats are also skillfully laid and their concave form is indicative of a domed roof which is now missing.
The ruins of Mnajdra yielded valuable relics – stone and clay statuettes, shell and stone ornaments, flint tools and decorated earthenware. The lack of any metal object is evidence enough of the neolithic origin of this and of the other similar temples.
Mnajdra, just like Hagar Qim, is built to match the sun’s alignment: The sunrise at the beginning (or ending) of every season enters into the temple of Mnajdra and lights up the interior of the building. The summer solstice ray of sunlight, lights up the edge of a megalith on the left of the entrance chamber. Likewise, on the winter solstice, the sun beam arrives on a twin megalith on the right of the entrance chamber. On the Equinox days the sunlight goes into the temple and its beam lights up the main axis of the temple.
“She points to the Cross, which stands by the road:
“Children, look there! The Man who hangs on the Cross was one of the greatest enemies of the Jews of all time. He knew the Jews in all their corruption and meanness. Once He drove the Jews out with a whip, because they were carrying on their money-dealings in the Church. He called the Jews: killers of men from the beginning. By that He meant that the Jews in all times have been murderers. He said further to the Jews: Your father is the Devil! Do you know, children, what that means? It means that the Jews descend from the Devil. And because they descend from the Devil they can but live like devils. So they commit one crime after another.”
The children look thoughtfully at the Cross. Mother continues:
“Because this Man knew the Jews, because He proclaimed the truth to the world, he had to die. Hence the Jews murdered Him. They drove nails through His hands and feet and let Him slowly bleed. In such a horrible way the Jews took their revenge. And in a similar way they have killed many others who had the courage to tell the truth about the Jews. Always remember these things, children. When you see the Cross, think of the terrible murder by the Jews on Golgotha. Remember that the Jews are children of the Devil and human murderers. Remember the saying:
As long as Jews have been on earth
There have been enemies of the Jews.
They gave warning of the Jewish blood
And even sacrificed their blood,
So that the world might know the Devil
And not plunge into ruin;
So that the world might soon be freed
From its slavery to the Jew.”