Friday, 8 May 2015

Rune-Song Workshop, Bilbao

The following is the text of the notes I used. I am very prone to improvising, so this is very much the bare bones of the event.

The Runic Attributions handout at the end is the Spanish language one used at the workshop. An English language version is now available. Please email me at for a copy of it.

Next weekend, 16th May 2015, I shall be giving a day-long workshop on Energy Magic in Oxford. This promises to be a terrific event, and there are still a few places left. Check out

I shall soon be offering some new magical events; as well as my occasional workshops, this will include online events, coordinated workings, and webinars at some stage.

If you would like to be kept informed about these new things, please email me at and I'll put you on my mailing list.

Rune-Song Workshop, for Public IOT Event, 
Ateneo Izarbeltz, Bilbao, April 23rd 2015

Need: Elder Futhark handouts, BFTW cover.

1. Intro to Rune-Song:

My first commitment to the discipline of magic (as distinct from youthful visions) was to Chaos Magic.

My second was to the mysteries of the Northern way, the way of my ancestors, and of the runes.

The relationship between these two aspects of my magical world can best be illustrated by this glyph [SHOW cover of Bright From the Well] which is also scribed on my skin.

How it breaks down is as follows: All round the outside you see the familiar Sigil of Chaos, or Chaos Star. This is what most people will see of my magical world.
But at the core of the glyph is represented the symbol of my spiritual quest: the Valknut, the sign of Woden or Odin.

Woden is the Allfather, the god of the creation of the world through the act of the consciousness that is at the core of us all.
Whether we know it or not. Some, maybe all of you, know it.

As the father of all, he has many names.

Woden and Odin both mean Master of Inspiration or of wild ecstasy.
He is the god of any cults, one of which is a cult of poetic ecstasy.  One of his famous exploits was the recovery of the Mead of Inspiration, which is definitely not just a mug of drink, but the ultimate psychoactive sacrament that induces the controlled frenzy of the poet-magician.

Another of his names is Yggr, the Fearful One. Why fearful? You may have heard an old saying:  He who looks into eyes of an initiate feels fear, because he is looking at someone who has died to the mundane world, whose ordinary identity has been deconstructed, swallowed up by the terrifying ecstasy of the transpersonal.

Woden's best know exploit is of course the getting of the Runes. Woden is the god of the vitki, the wizard.
He hung on the tree, which is both the world and the spinal column with its power centres, its cauldrons of subtle force. He allowed himself to die to himself, like a shaman, he hurled his consciousness to the limits of the universe. He thereby gained the runes.
And he gave them to us.

Today I want to share with you an experience of working Rune magic. An experience of raising consciousness to the ultimate and going beyond, into the realm of magic.

[Sing the 'VEIT EK...' part of Havamal, dramatically. ]

2. Singing single runes
[Hand round the Rune Handouts - see below]

Take a look at the handout.

I have written in some well-known attributions, and a few less well known that I have found myself.

Each of us, in working the Runes, must emulate Woden and find our own runes.
In other words, to work the most powerful rune-magic, we must load these ancient symbols with our own attributions.

We will only make the merest start on that today. But we have to start somewhere, and we start with these well-known attributions.
We are going to load these associations into the runes before us, by singing them as we contemplate their meanings.

Then we will learn how to combine them into special magical forms called bind runes.
Then we will do some operative magic, just for fun.

This singing of the whole rune-row is not just a technical exercise. The whole futhark was sometimes written and maybe sung as such, as an extremely sacred thing, an invocation of the all the powers of the cosmos in balance.

This was done with various versions of the futhark or futhorc - for instance on the Thames scramasax, a highly prestigious weapon on which all 28 runes of the Anglo-Saxon rune row were carved. Also on memorial stones for the dead, to consecrate their memory for as long as stones stand.

So I am inviting you to do the ultimate spell as well as to learn the runes.

The singing: gentle but rich.

[Sing them one by one]

3. Bindrunes

Galdor is rune-song.  Singing is the core technique of rune magic - in fact, much of the Northern magical tradition is called galdor.
Runic enchantment is a flexible, subtle, sophisticated and extremely powerful system.

So of course it is ideal for Chaos Magicians. Chaos Magic and the Northern Mysteries go back a long way, but that is another story, not to be told today.

Each rune is like a colour, forming a spectrum. Each 'colour' is quite broad in meaning - look at the attributions of URUZ  .......

If we combine the force of URUZ with that of another rune, it narrows down the meaning.

This is how we design an enchantment with runes.

Simple combinations of a vowel and a consonant gives a whole range of Galdors:  for example, UL, LU, for healing.

(Sing it)

Intro to Waterfall Galdor

The bindrune has a name, which is derived from the names of the runes that make it up, and it may also have a more intimate name: the entities created using bindrunes can vary from very simple wights, like servitors, to much more sophisticated spirits.

Traditionally, the bindrune is carved on wood, but I would like to show you a modern, Chaos Magic approach to runic enchantment too.

To give you an example of a modern runic spell, this is the basis of a spell to expose wrongdoing:
Made from words, taking the word EXPOSURE and writing it in a grid until it disappears. Cutting the shape of the Kenaz rune out of it; this Kenaz can now be sacrificed.

4. Our spell

Construct a Bindrune using TIWAZ and DAGAZ.
Intention:  Justice for the people and the environment.

Intro - shaking.

Two groups, one does Ti, the other does Da.
Start the rune song.
Make it quiet.
Tense up.
All do Ti-Da, release, and launch.


The venue: Izar Beltz Ateneoa,

Other speakers at the event have placed their talks here:

Rune Handouts:
Design: Mar Delgado,
Illustration: Jorge López,
Translation: Fra. Modus 081

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