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17. November 2017, Ryg Mortys

An Interview with an author of books on runes and mythology, a Glíma wrestler and a Galdra-singer.

RM: A first question should be about something really important; I noticed that you have a tattoo of hanged statue on your chest which seems to be Odin, Hangatýr; so, what exactly do runes and mystery of Odin mean to you?

LME: Oh! To be honest, I cannot explain sufficiently enough what the Runes and Odin means to me personally. It is much better to start with more common questions, since my tattoos are not interesting to others. Though I can inform that Hangatýr (“the God of the hanged”) refers to Odin’s skill to make hanged/dead people talk, and not when he hung nine nights in Yggdrasil while learning the secrets of Runes.

RM: Could you tell us what you think about modern heathenism, e.g. Ásatrú?

LME: I have no opinions whatsoever regarding other people’s religious beliefs. That also goes for modern paganism. However, I despise any kinds of “supressive Religion”.

RM: You are a Galdra-Singer, which means a person who is able to chant magical songs. As I understood, you partly reconstructed and partly developed your own personal method of singing, which can be heard on YouTube or Soundcloud and now you are writing a book on it. Could you reveal to us the basics of your method? And… …why are your Galdrs shouted so loudly?

LME: Actually, I am recording a full-length CD/LP with my Galdra-singing, so the accompanying text will be a booklet, not a book. I have already published “Galdrs Of The Edda” 2014, which explains and teaches the spiritual concept of oral incantations. A Galdr can be a graphical symbol, but it is just a beautiful sign if you do not have the verbal invocation that activates it. To create and perform Galdrs are very important aspects of Glima-wrestling which, by the way, is where I learned it initially. Yes, a Galdr definitely needs to be loud, as it is the essence of the art (and its root-word “gala” means ‘to scream’). But if a Galdr is performed secretly, it appears silent to the people around you, while being enormously loud inside/within. Thus, the energy is identical in both versions. The examples you mention are essentially “Runic-singing with Galdra-voice”, since I seldom reveal my personal Galdrs to the outside world. A Galdr is very unique and always connected to the performer’s personality. But no, I have not developed or reconstructed it, since it is a living tradition.

RM: In your video about carving runes you are speaking about having a relaxed mind during writing/carving. It reminded me of some calligraphy methods. Anyway, it is certainly a valuable practical experience. Could you tell us something more about it?

LME: That statement has more to do with the fact that Runic writing (carving) should be as natural as writing with modern letters.

RM: Now something about Glíma; as I have understood, it is a sport which is supposed to help especially young boys and men develop their physical skills and it also gives them an opportunity to compare themselves with others. There is also some social aspect in that. Do you think that Glíma even has some spiritual background, something which could help with spiritual development?

LME: Hm, it is a pity that you only see physical development from a male point of view. But otherwise the answer is YES, since Glima deals with reality which is the most important aspect of spiritual, as well as social, development.

RM: What is your opinion on Seidr? Do you see some connection between Seidr and Galdr? And what about Scandinavian folk-magic Trolldómr, what do you think about that?

LME: First of all “Trolldom” is just a Scandinavian expression for ‘sorcery’ and not any specific kind of magic. The major difference between Seidr and Galdr, is that the former is an extinct art and the latter is a living tradition. Otherwise I can say that Seidr prefers a transcendental and more receptive state of mind, while Galdr is always an active and very affirmative performance.

RM: You are even writing a book about a Swedish runologist Johannes Bureus. The book will be in English which is very good because not many people interested in runes are fluent in Swedish. What is the most important benefit of his research, according to you?

LME: Yes, I am currently writing a book about all authentic Runic sounds of the historical Futharks, especially how we know this important wisdom. In this matter, Johannes Bureus’ pioneer Runological work is vital to our understanding of the correct Viking age and Medieval sounds. Bureus was the first modern Rune-master that taught high-quality knowledge to a wider audience. His Runic ABC books (published 1611, 1612 and 1624) are the main reason why Rune-writing is still a living tradition in Scandinavia.

RM: As I have read, many rune stones in Sweden were forgotten for long centuries. They lay along the paths with an inscription downside, or they were buried somewhere in the ground, even they were just memorials without any pagan context. Why do you think it happened?

LME: In early Medieval times (12th–13th centuries) the Rune-stones were often used as building material when the Scandinavians begun making stone-houses, especially churches and stone-bridges. Otherwise the Rune-stones stood at the same spot as they were originally erected. If they had fallen down, it was actually more common that their Runes were visible than the opposite. But last and not least, 80% of all Swedish Rune-stones have Christian messages and ornaments, so your idea of pagan context is wrong.

RM: And the last question; could you share with us something interesting from your recent research, something which you have found as “mind-blowing”?

LME: A spectacular revelation was finding the oldest published information about Runes, which pre-dates all previous historical overviews by a century, since that specific book was printed 1495. Nerdy stuff indeed, and quite interesting that nobody had found it before me in later times. My next book begins with descriptive facsimiles of that specific information. Otherwise, my most “mind-blowing” discovery regards the Elder Futhark language (also known as Proto-Norse), since I have finally found a sufficient method to teach its syllable-system in an understandable way. The importance of that teaching method is perhaps more obvious, when knowing there are less than five people who understands the Elder Futhark language nowadays. My new book will have an in-depth chapter about that subject.

RM: Thank you very much for the interview!

Lars Magnar Enoksen – Finding the Runes song

Lars Magnar Enoksen – Magnar Galdra Rune Hymn

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