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Stephen Flowers

At The Well Of Wyrd * Edred Thorsson (1988 samuel weisser isbn 0877286787 / 1999 samuel weisser isbn 157863136X)

This is the third part of a ‘runic divination’ trilogy with the titles Runelore: a handbook of esoteric runology and Futhark: a handbook of rune magic. I just happened to be able to buy this book cheap, second hand and in my own country. My first printing is called At the well of wyrd: a handbook of runic divination, so the title was changed for the reprint it seems. Stephen Edred Thorsson/Flowers is the founder of the Rune Gild, “a school of esoteric knowledge based on the Odian system of the Runes”. He is a sholar (PhD) and esotericist, making him an authority in the eyes of some. Of course I haven’t read a whole lot of Rune Gild literature, but their website has some (nice) writings, the Finland header has a blog (PYHÄ) and I am currently reading Thorsson’s 1986 dissertation Runes and Magic. However it is all interesting in a way, I am still not convinced of the historical justification of some of the systems and ideas of Thorsson. In At The Well Of Wyrd Thorsson says several times that there are only hints about the historical systems of runic divination, yet he builds a complete system and sometimes even refers to Tacitus’ Gemania as source, while Tacitus only gives a very loose remark of “lots” and “signs”. In all my ignorance, I cannot see in this booklet much difference from all too wanting, modern interpretations of possible functions of the runes in the past. Nice is that Thorsson names every rune in the elder Futhark with quotes from the famous rune-poems, but when it comes to casting systems and the like, I am off. No worries of course, I will just stack this booklet with my other runebooks, continue to read the disseration and probably come to the conclusion that these texts of Thorsson are not meant for me.

Runes And Magic * Stephen Edred Flowers (1986 peter lang * isbn 0820403334)

I know Edred Flowers/Thorsson because of his writings in the Tyr Journal and later from his Bureus booklet. Of course I learned that the man is the founder of the Rune Gild. I had no intention to read the man’s ‘standard works’ until I had some discussions with another Rune Gilder. At The Well Of Wyrd (see elsewhere) arrived earlier and wasn’t too much of a good encounter. Runes and Magic is Flowers’ dissertation. Written on a typewriter and with a pen for the uncommon letters, impossible to get, so I got a library copy. Runes and Magic is (of course) a much more scholarly work than that other booklet. It deals with runes and magic (and not ‘runic magic’). Flowers investigated a great many Northern magical and runic scriptures and inscriptions, cataloged them, gives interpretations, looks for systems, etc. Very interesting for sure! Flowers is very open about the level of speculativity, but his theories are founded as well as possible (and his masters agreed of course). I had never seen so many inscriptions together (even though the writer doesn’t give the actual runes very often) and so much information on this kind of Northern magical systems. Runes and Magic didn’t change my view on Flowers’ and his Rune Gild system though. In any case, I can advise this book to anyone interested in runes and/or Northern magic, either or not affiliated with the Rune Gild. -20/9/06-