The Book of Norse Magic: Charms, Incantations and Spells Harnessing the Power of Runes, Ancient Gods and Goddesses, and More, by Cerridwen Greenleaf
CICO Books, 1800651244, 144 pages, September 2022
I’ve always been drawn to runes, believing they are one of the most accurate divination methods, but my lack of knowledge of Norse magic has always made me a bit hesitant to explore this curiosity. While I know the well-known gods and goddesses – Loki, Odin, Freya – I had never taken a deep dive into Norse mythology or background that would give me a foundation for expanding my practice of rune reading.
But when I first picked up The Book of Norse Magic: Charms, Incantations and Spells Harnessing the Power of Runes, Ancient Gods and Goddesses, and More by Cerridwen Greenleaf, I felt my trepidation and anxiety about learning more about Norse mythology, magic, and beliefs melting away, replaced by an excitement that I might have finally found my in to explore Norse magic. Greenleaf has distilled the essentials to open a door for beginners to gain insight into how one can use Norse practice in their own magickal practice.
Divided into six chapters, this book covers different aspects of Norse magic: runes and divination, goddesses and gods, folklore of the forest, crystals and healing, essenes and incenses, and norse astrology. All throughout, there are beautiful graphics and color pages that make the information pop out to the reader. Whether one is looking for a quick spell or hoping to initiate a deep personal transformation, this book provides all that is needed.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much information Greenleaf provided about runes. From helping the reader pick the runes that are right for them (there are different sets spanning from the 2nd to 19th century!) to create a runic blessing bowl and altar, Greenleaf covers all the steps to get started doing readers. In addition to sharing the rune meanings, she also offers different methods of casting the runes, so the reader can discover their own divination style. There’s even information about how to create one’s own rune set! And my favorite part of this section was suggestions for how to use runes magically in one’s daily life through spellwork, candle magic, and creating charms.
The section on Norse legends covered the main gods and goddesses, as well as other spirits, such as Puddlefoot, a nature spirit, fairies, meremaidens, and Nidhogg, the dragon of envy. There’s also rituals for calling down the gods and goddesses, quelling restless spirits, and conjuring spirit guides. While these all are more in-depth magic practices, Greenleaf also includes more light-hearted sections, such as a table to create your own mythical name using dice. Mine turned out to be Queen Amethyst the Enchantress of the Night. Lol!
The section “Folklore Forest” felt really grounding, as it opened with a ritual for earthing, or connecting with Mother Earth. Greenleaf teaches the magical properties of various trees and how to use tree essences and herbal oils. There’s also bath potions (my favorite!), spellwork for prosperity, and guidance on how to create a wand from a tree branch.
Next Greenleaf’s focus switches to crystals, teaching the readers about the legends and magical properties of different crystals and gems. She includes spells for invoking Thor’s thunder and grounding with earth and water. Briefly tapping into lithomancy, Greenleaf shows how crystals can be used for divination and shares the meaning of different crystals. There’s also tons of rituals for a variety of things, including creating healthy habits, boosting your enthusiasm, relaxation, and inspiring creativity.
The following section, “Transformative Essence and Incense” was my favorite because of the recipes and “cozy witch” hygge vibe! Greenleaf writes, “I have incorporated everything I have learned from the wise women in my family and the greater community to which I I belong into my mindfulness regarding home and the creation of sacred space.”1 There’s brewing spells for magical potpourri and teas, DIY self-care blends, and aromatherapy guidance. All of which inspires me to bring a bit of enchantment to my home!
The final section details how the “Germanic and Nordic pagans of old saw the year as only two seasons-winter and summer”2. Greenleaf includes rituals for Yule (start of winter) and Litha (start of summer), along with information on the nordic lunar system, astrological seasons, energy of the days of week.
I cherish authors who take their expertise, which this absolutely is for Cerridwen Greenleaf who is a scholar and dedicated teacher, to open new pathways for those eager to learn. It could appear this book is only skimming the surface or that the book has a Wiccan spin to it, but I’ve found that by making my way through The Book of Norse Magic and taking the time to do the exercise, spellwork, and recipes, there is potency in the content. I highly recommend it for those looking for a beautiful book to expand their magical cultural knowledge.
Alanna Kali is an astrologer, numerologist, and pioneer spirit that loves to explore life through the lens of depth psychology. She has a passion for studying the humanities and social trends. Her academic work is centered upon reuniting body, mind, and spirit through eco-psychology. She loves reading, spending time in nature, and travel.