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Aspects of Anglo-Saxon Magic Hardcover – 1 May 2003

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 245 pages
  • Publisher: Anglo-Saxon Books; Revised edition (1 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1898281335
  • ISBN-13: 978-1898281337
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 18.9 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,275,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Describes and explains the traditional knowledge, beliefs, and practices of the early English during the first millennium. The sources are from both Northern and Southern Europe - i.e. the Germanic and Mediterranean traditions. Includes_ The theory and practice of magic and superstition Their perception of the world and how it is ordered Divination (dreams, runes, lots), Charms, Amulets, Augury, Science and Knowledge Texts include: charms; rune poems; information about dreams, weather signs, unlucky days, the solar system, The Signs of the Fifteen Days before Doomsday. Texts are printed in their original language with Modern English translations.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This isn't a New Age "how to" book, it's a scholarly study of magic and the role it played in Anglo Saxon society. It starts with an overview of culture and religion which sets the scene nicely and helps the reader understand the charms in context.
There is too much fluffy nonsense about how ancient people viewed magic and what their culture was like before the coming of Christianity. This book takes a proper look at the situation. It is an excellent book for those interested in Anglo Saxon or Germanic culture.
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Format: Hardcover
Really interesting book by a great scholar. I'm more used to Bill Griffiths writing about the Geordie dialect, but this is an excellent book. Instead of just rehashing the usual "Norse Eddas with Anglo-Saxon names tacked on" stuff that you get in a lot of books on this subject, he takes a good critical look at the evidence, and leaves you to draw some potentially very interesting conclusions about the nature of Anglo-Saxon pagan religion and magical beliefs.
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Format: Hardcover
I expected to get some good insights into Anglo Saxon runes and magic. The author doesn't even seem to realise the runes had any magical use, they were to him just an alphabet. He further says that the Anglo Saxons view of the soul was undeveloped. Not the exact wording but the Germanc tribes had very complex ideas of the make up of the soul. The rune poem described Tiw as Mars. Although he conceeded that the Tyr rune may have been associated with Tiw. This comes over as a work by an ill informed academic with no understanding of magic. I regret having spent money on it.

Mel Beasley
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8ba59174) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8ba5e5a0) out of 5 stars Somewhat disappointing 1 July 2008
By Christopher R. Travers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this book after Pollington's "Leechcraft" and was somewhat disappointed. I expected something more. I found a somewhat lackluster approach to Anglo-Saxon mythology, etc.

In particular, I felt that:

1: I felt that the analysis of the pagan religious context was overly simplistic and seemed to generally disregard a great deal that was known in the area of Germanic comparative mythology since well before the book was published. Leechcraft has some similar issues but far less severe. Griffiths seems to be sticking with ideas relating to nature vs ancestral deities which have been seen as overly simplistic since at least the middle of the 20th century.

2: The same sort of over-simplicity was found in the view of the afterlife in the chapter "The Dead World."

3: In places the author clings to the outdated and overly simplistic Frazer categories of sympathetic vs contagious magic rather than trying to reconstruct a fuller structural framework in which Anglo-Saxon magic would have fit.

I did feel that there was a fair bit of good information in the book about everyday life in the Anglo-Saxon world. However, I didn't feel that the book managed to accomplish what the author obviously set out to do.

In general, this book does contain a fair bit of interesting source material, but I found the analysis to be somewhat less useful. In general, I would recommend skipping this book and going with Leechcraft instead.
HASH(0x8c05c024) out of 5 stars A scholarly work that is readable and informative 29 May 2014
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you have ever wondered about how folk-based religious ideas affected the early development of Christianity - especially in England - read this one. It's worth it just to get the charms from the last section. Given the way things are going with honey bees we may need to use them again.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c059f0c) out of 5 stars A great book for the study of Anglo-Saxon magic 8 April 2010
By Frank P. Coleman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book contains a wealth of history and theory concerning ancient Anglo-Saxon magic. I recommend this book to anyone who seeks expand their horizons in their understanding the mindset and origin of magical and superstitious practices within the Northern tradition.
9 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c4d7868) out of 5 stars Anglo Saxon Press is Good 3 Aug. 2005
By Richard L. Windau - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Requisite material For the Germanic Heathen or Saxonophile. When coupled with Pollingtons Meadhall it will form the core of your reference library. Easy to read and an excellent Bibliography.
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