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Thread: Nidstang (Niding Pole Magic Ritual)

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    Nidstang (Niding Pole Magic Ritual)

    In the Viking age the most spectacular way of cursing an enemy was by the Niding Pole (the Nithstong or Scorn-Post). They were poles about nine feet (2.75 meters) long upon which insults and curses were carved in runes. Ceremonies were performed to activate the destructive magic of the pole. A horse's skull was fixed to the top of the pole, and it was stuck into the ground with the skull facing towards the house of the accursed person. The pole channeled the destructive forces of Hela, goddess of death. These forces were carried up the pole and projected through the horse skull. The runes carved on the pole defined the character and target of the destructive forces. Among others, triple Thorn [Thurisaz] runes and triple Is [Isa] runes, were used to smite the enemy. When used maliciously, these had the effect of disempowering the accursed's will and delivering him or her to the forces of destruction. Here, the Thorn rune invokes the power of Thurs, the demonic earth-giant sometimes called Moldthurs. An example of this comes from Skírnismál, where the spell used by Skirnir against Freyr's reluctant lover, Gerdhr invokes harm using the Thorn rune. This provides the power for three other runestaves: 'I shall inscribe Thurs for you, and three runestaves: lewdness, and rage and impotence.

    Magically, the Niding Pole was intended to disrupt and anger the earth sprites (Landvaettir, Land-Wights or earth spirits) inhabiting the ground where the accursed's house was. These sprites would then vent their anger upon the person, whose livelihood and life would be destroyed. Niding Poles were also used to desecrate areas of ground. This technique is called álfreka, literally the 'driving away of the elves', by which the earth sprites of a place were banished, leaving the ground spiritually dead...

    On the Niding Pole, the horse skull invokes the horse rune Ehwaz, using the linking and transmissive power of the rune for the magical working. The horse is sacred to Odin, god of runes and magic.

    Excerpt from Rune Magic: The History and Practice of Ancient Runic Traditions

    During the Viking Age to put a "nid" on someone was to put very powerful verbal curse upon them. The power of words was not taken lightly by these efficient warriors, so to make a curse of this kind was very serious. It was the ultimate insult, and used only in dire circumstances.

    In the Saga of Egil Skallagrimsson (an Icelandic/Norwegian story from the 10th century) King Eirik Bloodaxe, wronged Egil and made him an outlaw. The feuding resulted in many dead on both sides. After a battle on the island of Herdla (near Norway), Egil raised a hazelwood pole on the top of this island, and on the top of the pole he placed a severed horse's head, aimed towards Eirik's home. On the pole he carved sacred runes, with a curse upon King Eirik. He also spoke this curse, this "nid":

    "Here I place this "Nidstang" ("curse-pole"), and turneth it against King Eirik and Queen Gunnhild - turneth I this against all the gnomes and little people of the land, that they may all be lost, not finding their homes, until they drive King Eirik and Queen Gunnhild out of the country."

    According to the legend, the curse soon took effect, and King Eirik and his Queen Gunnhild fled to the British Isles.

    The Pleading of Busla
    Heyr ţú bćn Buslu,
    brátt mun hún sungin,
    svá at heyrast skal
    um heim allan,
    ok óţörf öllum,
    ţeim sem á heyra,
    en ţeim ţó fjándligust,
    sem ek vil fortala.

    Villist vćttir,
    verđi ódćmi,
    hristist hamrar,
    heimur sturlist,
    versni veđrátta,
    verđi ódćmi...

    Svá skal ek ţjarma,
    ţér at brjósti,
    at hjarta ţitt
    höggormur gnagi,
    en eyru ţin
    aldregi heyri
    ok augu ţín
    úthverf snúist...

    Ef ţú siglir,
    slitni reiđi,
    en af stýri
    stökkvi krókar,
    rifni reflar,
    reki segl ofan,
    en aktaumar
    allir slitni...

    Ef ţú ríđr,
    raskist taumar,
    heltist hestar,
    en hrumist klárar,
    en götur allar
    ok gagnstígar,
    trođist allar
    í tröllahendr fyrir ţér...

    Sé ţér í hvílu
    sem í hálmeldi,
    en í hásćti
    sem á hafbáru;
    ţó skal ţér seinna
    sýnu verra,
    en ef ţú vilt viđ meyjar
    manns gaman hafa,
    villist ţú ţá vegarins;
    eđa viltu ţulu lengri?

    Tröll ok álfar
    ok töfrnornir
    búar, bergrisar
    brenni ţínar hallir,
    hati ţik hrímţursar,
    hestar stređi ţik,
    stráin stangi ţik
    en stormar ćri ţik,
    ok vei verđi ţér,
    nema ţú vilja minn gerir.

    Komi hér seggir sex,
    seg ţú mér nöfn ţeira
    öll óbundin,
    ek mun ţér sýna:
    getr ţú eigi ráđit,
    svá at mér rétt ţykki,
    ţá skulu ţik hundar
    í hel gnaga...

    Free English translation:

    Hear Busla´s pleading,
    soon it will be sung,
    all shall hear it,
    evil to all who listen,
    worst for him to whom
    it is addressed.

    Away you wights,
    Exceptional events shall happen,
    rocks shall shudder shake,
    worlds shall tremble,
    weather shall rage,
    mighty things come ...

    Evil I wish
    into your breast
    that poisonous vipers
    gnaw on your heart
    that your ears
    grow deaf forever
    and thy eyes
    shall burst out of your head ...

    Sailing, your
    rigging shall
    burst and the oars
    pivots shall break,
    be torn to shreds the sails,
    sending it flying
    the braces
    shall break all ...

    When you are riding,
    the bridle shall break,
    your horse shall go lame!
    All your paths
    shall be in
    the trolls hands ...

    Your bed shall be like
    burning straw
    On the raised hide
    It shall be like the high sea
    But much worse be happen
    to you then:
    When you want to enjoy
    your virility with a girl
    you shall never reach
    the final satisfaction!
    Shall I tell you more?

    Dwarfes, Thurses
    and witches
    Mountain Trolls, elves and red norns
    shall set your halls aflame!
    Giants shall hate you,
    Stallions kick you,
    Straw stab you,
    Storm numb you,
    Pain shall be yours,
    unless you obey my will!

    Six shall come:
    guess their names,
    they are unbound and
    I will reveal them:
    Unless you guess them aright,
    dogs shall devour you,
    but your soul
    shall go to hell!

    Curse written by Grimner; Grimners Runes
    Carl Johan Rehbinder

    I curse!
    I curse all of them
    who soil our glorious land
    with unworthy actions.

    I curse all of them
    who borrow sacred symbols
    Gungnir, Mjolnir and Sacred Staves -
    Odin's spear, Thor's hammer
    and runes, given by Odin's hand
    and soil them
    with unholy deeds.

    I curse all of them
    who in ugly costumes
    and shaven heads
    as well as suits
    and ties
    abuse the wisdom of our ancestors
    our ancient ways
    and our present faith.

    I curse all of them
    who want to silent
    the mouths of others
    for themselves to be heard
    with their stupid bellowing.
    I curse all of them
    who put themselves above others
    because of their paleness,
    who trample on others
    because of the colour of their skin,
    foreign language,
    or a different faith.

    Upon the heads of these miscreants
    I call all powers!
    I call upon the gnomes,
    and the little people
    to scratch their bodies
    and disturb their sleep.

    I call upon the elf-smiths
    to lay an iron ring
    around their chests
    giving little room for their spirit
    little room for breath
    to speak of evil.

    I call upon the "rimthurses" (frost-giants)
    from the depth of Niflheim
    That they may freeze to their death
    before they get a chance
    to freeze others out.

    I call Surt and his "fire-thurses"
    That they may burn to their death
    before others may burn
    by their hands.

    I call upon Loki
    That he may twist their vision
    so that they strike each other down
    before they strike anyone else down.

    I call upon Freya
    So that these young men
    never may share a woman's bed
    and never have sons
    or daughters of their own
    as long as they want to hinder
    others to do just that.

    And I call upon Frey
    That these young men
    have their manhood gelded,
    never being able to create anything good
    for themselves,
    never getting peace
    or harvest,
    as long as they want to hinder
    others to do just that.

    I call upon Thor
    that he may protect us
    from demonic evil
    and I call upon his wrath
    against the miscreants
    who want to cause pain to others.

    I call upon Odin
    He who gave spirit
    to man and woman.
    He who together with his brothers
    Honer and Lodur
    gave life to man,
    Body and Soul,
    Ask and Embla,
    Man and Woman.

    I call upon Odin
    and the "Norns".
    Goddesses of destiny,
    Urdh, Verdhandi and Skuld,
    who together judge
    everyone after death
    that they may judge
    these miscreants hard,
    so that they
    not even after their deaths
    may escape their deeds of evil
    against other sons and daughters
    of Ask and Embla.

    I set this "nid"
    until these drooling servants
    of evil and ignorance
    do penance
    and let each and one
    stay by their land, their people
    and their faith
    wherever in our world
    they may choose to live.
    Lík börn leika best.

  2. #2
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    In England a similar practice was recorded using the head of a stag in the 12th century. I have been studying the tradition myself. Can have dangerous consequences for whoever erects the pole if they don't know what they're doing, according to some folks,bad luck to be associated with. I know of an individual very deserving of just such a thing though....:

    BTW, that Grimner fellow is one of those "heathens against hate" fools, I believe. They have erected "virtual nidstangs" against "nazis" and "racists" who they believe misuse the holy symbols. I find the idea of a virtual nidstang laughable, the genuine article would necessarily have to be physical and much more personal and specific. A little nidstang clipart and 'net curse doesn't exactly frighten me.

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