How the blog works

The poems on this blog are mostly written on the basis of my historical reading and are intended to be both educational and entertaining.
Recently I have also begun posting some of my work with Anglo-Saxon charms. This work is somewhat speculative and is conducted as an amateur researcher and keen Pagan historian.

Please feel free to use anything on this site as a resource if you think that it may be relevant to your needs.

Friday, 25 October 2013



Halloween, feast of the dead,
Winter’s darkness, here to dread.
Veils betwixt, the worlds grow thin,
Through the bonfires, protect within.

Eastern window, candle burning,
Winter’s darkness, year is turning.
Land to sky ,and coast to coast,
Light has given up, the ghost.

Western window, candle burning,
Guide the spirits, now returning.
Turnip Jack O’Lanterns, eyeing,
Ritual, candles, mirror scrying.

Midnight candle, not a sound,
I pair this pippin, round and round.
Throw the pairing, o’er my head,
My true hearts letter, for to read.

Hollantide feast ,and fire fest,
Fire re-lighting, and guising best.
Stories, games and apple bobbing,
Celtic New Year's day, hobnobbing.

Copyright Andrew Rea Oct 2008

Friday, 18 October 2013

Dark Forest Rite


This poem was painted with three pallets of words: ritualistic and pagan, Middle English and Old English. The OE presented the biggest problem; there were many words that I would have liked to use but their meanings would have been too obscure.
The poem, unlike most of my work is without any real historical fact and merely creates a mood, enjoy this if you dare......

Dark Forest Rite

If thee gaest into, the woods this day,
Hern’s hornbearer, do upon thee stray.
Spirit-bearer Frey, nacud of lim,
Applewine chalice, full to the brim.

Consecrated grove, and woodland glade,
Caldron sensor, athame blade.
Occult sorcerer, craft with thee,
Intone the spell, the power of three.

Dark moon forest, and deepest night,
Black candle beckon, and burneth bright.
Wilt thee invoke, and call thee here,
Among the shadows, drawing near.

Earth mother Nerthus, from the north,
Enchant, conjure, and bid thee forth.
Magick enchantment, be afraid,
A hex on thee, when dest invade.

Woodland nymph, and earthy sprite,
Morgan le fay, the Lady in white.
Thee bist summoned, to raise the power,
The time has come, the witching hour.

Pricthorn crown, upon your head,
Libations offering, to the dead.
Sanctified wine, cecel to devour,
Sacred groves, do thee empower.

Chant the rite, with fairy queen,
Amidst a company, of thirteen.
The incantation, spell draws near,
Beware to chant it, loud and clear.

In dead of forest, feel no fear,
Least evil spirits, doth appear.
This be no place, for a young maid,
This be no usual, masquerade.

Of thine free will, thou didst doth come,
To pulse of drum, did thee succumb.
Invoke the pucka, raise the unseen,
What didst thou do, this Halloween.

It’s much too late, to have no fear,
Fate and fortune, bringan thee here.
Thou didst arrive, of thine own force,
Be sure that thee, hast no remorse.

Copyright Andrew Rea 2009

Friday, 11 October 2013

Lacnunga XXV (The Wyrm Chant)

A bit of fun with the Lacnunga manuscript circa 1020:
In case a man or a beast drink an insect, if it be of male kind sing this lay in the right ear, which lay is hereinafter written; if it be of female kind, sing it in the left ear.

Sing this charm nine times in the ear, and a Paternoster once. This same charm a man may sing against a penetrating worm, sing it frequently upon the wound and smear with thy spittle, and take green centaury, pound and lay it on the wound and bathe with hot cow stale. In case a man drink venom, take seed of marrubium, mingle it with wine, administer to be drunk.

The charm
Tigath Tigath Tigath Calicet. Aclu cluel sedes adclocles acre earcre arnem. Nonabaiuth aer aernem nithren arcum cunath arcum arctua fligara uflen binchi cuterii. Nicuparam raf afth egal uflen arta. Arta. Arta. Trauncula.

Trauncula Patrem &filium & spn scm non amplius. Crescas sed arescas super aspidem & basilliscum ambulabir & conculcabir leonem & draconem crux matheus crux Marcus crux lucas crux iohannes.

The first paragraph of the charm refuses to be translated it is not Latin or OE. There is some evidence that it may be written, at least in part, in Old Irish.
The second paragraph translates from Latin: Seek and ye shall find. I charge thee by the Father and the son and (the holy spirit). Increase not any more but shrink.
Over the asp and the basilisk and to be trodden underfoot the lion and the dragon. Cross Mark cross Lucas cross John.

The charm is in two parts the most interesting of which is the first paragraph which I have not managed to translate, but is clearly written with some use of Old Irish and other elements which appear to have been used because of their inherent potency.
The second paragraph is very Christian and made up of a biblical abstract and part of a psalm (XCI – 13) together with a charge to ‘Increase not any more but shrink’.

A possible pagan reconstruction of the charm (to be chanted):
Tigath Tigath Tigath Calicet. Aclu cluel sedes adclocles acre earcre arnem. Nonabaiuth aer aernem nithren arcum cunath arcum arctua fligara uflen binchi cuterii. Nicuparam raf afth egal uflen arta. Arta. Arta. Trauncula.

I charge thee by the power of Wodan increase no more but shrink, just as Drychten (our lord) may crush the wyrms (dragons) of the earth and fiery drakes of the air.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Lacnunga CXXXIII 74

This is a bit of fun at translating, interpreting and playing with a late Saxon charm.

Lacnunga CXXXIII 74 
With fleogendan attre asleah . IIII. Scearpan on feower healfa mid aecenan brande geblodga thone brand weorf on weg sing this on III.

+ matheus me ducath+ marcus me conseruaeth + lucas me liberat  + hannes me adiuvet  semper amen. Contriue  deus omnem malum et nequitiam per uirtutem patris et: filii et spiritus sci sanctifica me emanuhel ihsxps libera me ab omnibus insitiis inimici benebictio
domini super caput meum potens deus in omni tempore. AMEN

Against flying venom, score on the four sides (to the four quarters) with an oaken torch, make bloody that torch, throw on the way, sing this on 3 (times):

Matthew guide me, Mark consecrate/protect me, Luke free me, John always help me, Amen. Destroy, O God all evil and wickedness, by the power of the Father and son and spirit, sanctify me, Emmanuel, Jesus? free me from all enemies resident, (the) benediction
of the Lord (be) on my head, of a powerful god in all my time, Amen.

The charm is very clearly Christian. In the first line the caller asks for fourfold help reflecting the actions to the four quarters. Then a triple aspect god is asked to destroy evil and bestow blessings. Finally the caller asks to be freed from local spirits (elves?) and asks his powerful god for life long blessings.

Could this charm be based on a pre-Christian charm and can we attempt to reconstruct any of this? The first paragraph describing the actions needs no alteration to appear pagan. We could however produce many possible pagan variations on the second paragraph. Here is a possible outline reconstruction:

Pagan reconstructed charm
Face the four quarters in turn and sing the name of a god/goddess asking for help, the four that both left their mark in the names of places on our landscape and in the days of the weeks are: Woden, Thunor, Tiw and Frig so these would seem appropriate.
Then ask a powerful god – Woden was the most important of the gods – to banish the evil and for blessing.
Finally ask Woden to banish the bad local spirit (elves in late Saxon times but perhaps scucca in pre-Christian times) and bestow blessings for all of my days.