VVhat Ɨs Ƒorn Þreifa?

Art FornTh

Where does healing ability come from?
What prompts someone to become a healer?
What is the agency behind energy healing?
Did the Old Europeans have an energy healing practice?

The pre-Christian tribes of Old Europe nurtured life, and in that process,
discovered the principles of Wod organically: by observing the tides of nature,
of planting and harvest, of life and death. In fact, the word Óðal in Old Norse
means both “nature” and “noble”; and is also a Rune. Nor is this an idea that has
ever left the descendents of this perspective. Some consider it an aspect of the soul,
the ‘divine madness’ that drove warriors into a frenzy. Others consider it
intuitive insight or inspired creativity. In Old Norse the word is Óðr and means,
“mad, frantic, furious; mind, feeling; song, poetry”; and in Anglo-Saxon Wód means,
“fury, madness; divine inspiration”. In 1845 CE, Baron Carl von Reichenbach
coined the term Odic Force to denote the vital and universal life force.
In 1949 CE, Wilhelm Reich outlined his theory of “orgonotic streamings”;
he later refined this idea through extensive research and called it Orgone,
meaning, “universal life energy”.

This idea is natural and enduring: That we have within us the potential of our Tivar/Gods.
The Orientals know this concept as Qi/Chi, meaning, “life force, spiritual energy, breath”;
and our Indo-European cousins know it as Prana, meaning, “vital breath, life force energy”.
Among all these folk this lifeforce is the central force behind health and well-being
on every level of existence. According to Ayurveda (which means, “life force,
life principle knowledge”), Prana flows through the body in currents called Nadis/“rivers”,
which are the conduits of this vital life force energy. So fundamental is this concept to
the ancient mind that the idea of the Old Europeans not having been drawn to similar
conclusions, is without rational sense.

Which is why we must explore how the Old Way Healers approached this subject,
for Forn Þreifa – meaning, “ancient healing touch” – could not have been far from
their reach when we consider the historical use and application of Galdr and Runes.

The role of Healer, like that of Seiðu, must be multi-threaded; a bundle of many threads,
which certainly includes the study of Old Way Lore in relation to healing,
training in a modern healing modality (by way of comparison), and communication
with one’s Ancestral and/or innate healer.

Nor are these new ideas for anyone who has read my book,
Völuspá: Seiðr as Wyrd Consciousness; for, Forn Siðr is not dead,
nor was it ever remotely eradicated. Instead, it waits for those who will
take upon themselves the task of fully immersing themselves in the culture of
their folkway – back to the Beginning.

More than fiction or new age fantasy, the role of Healer – both physical medicine
and energy techniques – would have been a legitimate and honorable occupation,
and one that would have been well known and utilized by Old Europeans Heathens.
No doubt, such Healers would have been financially sovereign and capable of
wielding great might among a class system that recognized deeds and
remembered reputation. Yet, these Healers are rarely mentioned, and when are,
few details are involved in the telling. This is because the Eddas and Sagas – likewise
the Immrama and Lebor Gabála Érenn, the Book of Veles and Kalevala
relate the brave tales of warriors, while remaining silent on those Healers –
who were primarily woman – who rendered aid to warrors.
Some examples include:
Njals saga mentions Hildigunnr læknir, or ‘Hildigunn (‘war-woman’) the healer’,
who cleans and binds the wounds of her father and brother.
If her name means anything, she was both warrior and healer.
Hardar saga og Holmverja mentions Helga (“Holy Woman”) and refers
to her as læknir godur/“good healer”.
Droplaugarsona saga mentions Alfgerd læknir, or “Elf-armor Healer”;
if her name means anything it may imply wisdom in magic or wisdom
gained from Elf-ways. In this saga, men thought to be dead are brought to a
læknir/healer who recognizes that their condition is beyond her skill,
so she sends for another healer: Alfgerd.
This woman is able to revive a man thought dead, which indicates a talent
in profound visual observation and medical skill, if not, again, Elfish-ways.
From this saga we could possibly assume that the first healer was strictly
a physical healer, who realized that one man – gravely wounded – was beyond her skill,
so she called a specialist. If so, then based on her name and the events,
it’s easy to consider Alfgerd as a woman skilled in physical treatment
and Forn Þreifa – because the man survives. Nor is Alfgerd alone in this skill;
the Cath Maige Tuired, from Celtic Lore, relates that Airmed too
is capable of resurrection.
Olafs saga Helga mentions a woman who is binding the wounds of
“many wounded men” – performing examinations, cleaning wounds,
applying clean bandages, and preparing healing broth. In this case,
the unnamed women are said to be: lækningar/ “receive a fee for healing, for medicine”,
and læknirinn/“schooled medical woman”. Of note: One particular medical woman
prepares a broth of herbs and removes a piece of metal lodged in a warrior’s body,
in return she is given a gold ring that, just that morning,
sat on the finger of King Olaf himself.

These are but a few examples of not just Healers, but female healers –
which is not surprising in that women have been considered healers since,
possibly, the dawn of time. If we can say that hunter-gather societies denoted roles for
men and women, then women, as gatherers, would have naturally been more
aware of plants for cooking and healing. In that women give birth, a powerful
medical condition, they would have naturally assisted each other;
learning through experience a great deal not just about pregnancy but caring for
children, the human body overall, and the means of restoring health.
Nor are these ideas unsubstantiated, for women have been recorded as
healers for thousands of years. For example, ancient Egypt recognized
Isis as the archetypal wife, mother, Goddess, and Neter of healing (Archaic Egyptian,
neter, “nature spirit”). An idea not far removed from the role of tribal w
omen in Old Europe. Queen Hatshepsut, the ‘healing queen’, who ruled Egypt for
22 years, not only encouraged women to be physicians but established
three medical schools for their training. The ancient Greeks honored Gaia, whose healing
temple was located at Delphi – before the Oracles even – and whose healing symbol was the
serpent; a representation that would later lend itself to the caduceus, a device still seen
in modern medicine (yet a symbol demonized by Christianity). It is also from the ancient
Greeks that we have the Goddesses Aceso and Hygeia, Meditrina, Iaso, and Panacea, whose names mean, “Healing Process” and “Hygiene”, “Healing Drink/Medicine”, “Recuperation”,
and “All-Cure”, respectively. From ancient Rome we have Olympias, a woman who
promoted birth control and abortion – writing a book on the use of mallow and goose-fat
to facilitate the latter surgical method. In Germania, Tacitus relates how the northern
European tribes considered woman “sacred” and “divine”, always delivering their wounded to women for treatment.

Odin was a great and very far-traveled warrior, who conquered many kingdoms,
And so successful was he that in every battle the victory was on his side.
It was his custom when he sent his men into battle,
or on any expedition, that he first laid His hands upon their heads,
and called down a blessing upon them
(at hann lagdi adr hendr i hofud theim, ok gaf theim bjanak) –
And then they believed their undertaking would be successful.
-Ynglinga saga 2 (Wright translation)

This is an example of “divine touch”, sometimes referred to as “royal touch” because
it was an expected practice of European royalty dating back, on record, to the 9th century CE.
Both kings and queens were said to have this ability either from birth – which was
considered an aspect of sacral kingship – or acquired upon assuming the throne.
For example, King Clovis I, king of the Franks, was a respected healer,
as were the kings of both England and France.
So established were these latter that historical records list their hundreds of successes.

Time and again we find in the Eddas and Sagas, the Immrama and Lebor Gabála Érenn,
the Book of Veles and Kalevala (and all the mythology and historic sources),
references that elude to and/or detail ancient Old European hands-on energy work;
examples where hands are placed upon a kinsmen’s hurt limb or a woman’s swelling womb,
upon a sword or spear, knife or ax, upon boats and wains,
entrance ways to homes and Hofs/Temples, and upon livestock or other objects.
Clearly this practice was meant to convey effective change, either to heal or hex,
bring blessing or bane, to increase might or Luck, enhance fertility or prosperity,
and impart knowledge or wisdom. Even Christian mythology and tradition,
past and present, appears to consider such practices as ‘given’ by their God;
as in a “dispensation of the Lord”.

It seems clear that all of these examples point to the necessary resurgence
of this practice today – being re-discovered and re-explored as a complement
to orthodox physical treatment.

Hávamál 119 advises that we “include healing galdr in our life”, and verse 145 makes it clear that those “who would be healers of life” must know Runes; and from Danmarks Gamle Folkviser, we are given yet another example:
And all along their way,
She taught them the runes,
Upon her white hand.

Is it not time for modern-day Heathens to embrace Forn Þreifa?
To use the established pathways of Old European culture to arrive
at a place of physical, mental, and spiritual healing?
This is no new age offing, but a call to exclusively study and train
within the customs and traditions of one’s Ancestral Folkway for the betterment of the same.
Heathenry – an Old European Tree – has a rich and viable healing tradition, and it is waiting or those who have long felt the call to heal, but had no guide in follow.

As a Healer, your time has come!

Would You Know More, And What?

~ ~ ~

Forn Threifa Uber Mensch

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