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Thursday, 13 August 2015

Odin and the North Country Charm against the Night Mare



Robert Graves in his The White Goddess (1948) brings to our attention an ancient charm dating back to at least the 14th century from the North Country which is attributed to Odin:

"The mon o' micht, he rade o' nicht
  Wi' neider swerd ne ferd ne licht.
            He socht tha Mare, he fond tha Mare,

            He bond tha Mare wi' her ain hare,

            Ond gared her swar by midder-micht

            She wolde nae mair rid o' nicht

            Whar aince he rade, thot mon o' micht."

A xtianised version of this charm appears in Shakespeare's King Lear, which I may add is a reference to the Celtic Sea God Llyr (Cymric) or Lir (Irish):

"Swithold footed thrice the wold.
           He met the Night-Mare and her nine-fold,

           Bid her alight and her troth plight,

           And aroynt thee, witch, aroynt thee!"

The charm should be receited nine times or thrice times thrice, both 3 and 9 being sacred numbers in the Northern Tradition.



            

2 comments:

Steed said...

Reading this aloud had an instant and profound affect on me. I was so spellbound by it that I proceeded to read it several times (in the end, 9). This archaic dialect was not only clear to me but resonated more strongly than modern English would have. I will be memorising this and reciting it for my daughter as I put her to bed. Thanks for this post.

Wotans Krieger said...

Nice to hear from you Steed. I hope to dig out a few more little treasures like this one. The more we can unearth about our ancient lore the better! This is what drives me.