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Anglo Saxon Magic Part 3 – a magical word

You often hear about ‘magical words’ or ‘words of power.’ I’m still not entirely certain how they work, and there may be no single explanation, but most cultures seem to have had them. I came across an Anglo Saxon example some years ago, rather by accident… but more of that in a moment…

anglo saxon penny

One thing I find so fascinating about Anglo Saxon magic is the range of problems it was called upon to solve. For example, many health problems were supposed to be caused by darts or arrows fired by elves. So you find lots of charms to ‘quell the elf’ or ‘against the water elf disease’ – there’s even one against ‘elf hiccups!’

But the one I want to share with you is quite long, and designed to cure a stitch or sudden pain in the side. It begins with the blacksmith god (probably Wayland the Smith) describing the elves riding over the hills, while Wayland himself stands beneath a lime or the Linden tree.

The active part of the charm reads: ‘Now shield thyself, that thou this onslaught mayst survive! Out, little spear, if herein thou be!’

Obviously the ‘little spear’ was considered the cause of the pain in the side. But in its original Anglo Saxon tongue, the command was ‘Ut, lytel spere, gif her inne sy!’

And it’s this word, ‘Ut…’ that fascinates me. I learned it as a magical word long ago without really understanding where it came from. Only much later did I learn that its real meaning was ‘Out.’ (It rhymes with ‘put’ by the way! :))

It’s a fantastic word – really worth getting to grips with and using it with as much force as you can. Never mind that you don’t speak Anglo-Saxon, ‘Ut’ still seems to work in spells where you need to banish or drive something back. It’s brilliant in psychic self defence too.