Over the past couple of decades modern interpretations of Wicca and Paganism has evolved to such an extent that they are criticised for having lost contact with their roots. Whether you believe this to be the case or not really depends on whether you approach the question from an occult or historical perspective.
Alaric Albertsson has been practising Paganism for nearly as long as the current modern movement has been reinventing itself. In his book A Handbook of Saxon Sorcery he investigates the ancient roots of the Craft and teaches his readers how to employ a number of ancient practices and customs derived from the Anglo-Saxons – teachings which are hidden, or contained, within English folk traditions.
Albertsson begins his exploration of Saxon magic by referencing nine parts of what modern psychology would refer to as the Self. These are The Lic, or physical body, which is constantly sustained by the Earth, The Hyge (conscious thought), the Willa (Willpower), the Wod (Inspiration), the Mod (Self-Identity), the Meagan (Spiritual Strength), the Hama (Astral Body), the Myne (Memory and Emotions), and the Fetch (Guardian Spirit).
Albertsson teaches that individually and collectively each of these principles is important in the process of creating powerful Saxon sorcery but equally important are the magickians tools. These are also covered in some depth before the author explores The Futhorc, or Runes of England. Here he explains their relevance and relationship to Germanic and Scandinavian counterparts. He also reveals the connection between the Futhorc and the sacred ancient trees oak, ash, hawthorn, birch, and yew as expressed through the Ogham.
Following this introduction to the Runes, Albertsson focuses exclusively upon their use in a variety of magickal techniques; including The Power of Speech, Wortcunning, Wiglung, Health Magic, Love Magic and Prosperity Magic.
This is a publication that carries with it a great sense of spirit and energy. What becomes clear from reading it is the author’s extensive understanding of this most mysterious and magical of ancient Saxon magic and their somewhat diverse range of uses and applications.
His approach to the Runes in particular is slightly unorthodox in that he presents them not in a linear alphabetical but as conceptual groupings, beginning with those Runes that represent trees and plants, then animals, and so forth. The result is a commentary about the Runes that places a new perspective upon them.
So, who might be interested in this work? Well, quite frankly I see this as an significant addition to the understanding of the modern Craft. Irrespective of their particular magickal orientation all Druids, Pagans, and Witches will find within the pages of this highly insightful publication the residue of that which seems to be missing in the New Age flavours of modern Wicca in particular.
A Handbook of Saxon Sorcery & Magic demonstrates that Albertsson is in touch with an ancient magickal current and is someone who has been able to transpose its core fabric into a modern setting without losing its vital elements. It is a notable achievement and significant addition to understanding our ancient magickal heritage,