D&D 5E Norse World


Mind Mage
Reallife telepathy!

Here is a reallife scientific experiment linking the thoughts of three humans together.

The experiment is a simple proof of concept. Two ‘senders’ send their thoughts by means of EEGs (electro-encephalo-grams), where the person wears a cap that tracks brain electrical activity. One ‘receiver’ receives these thoughts by means of a TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation), that delivers an electrical pulse to target a specific location in the cerebral cortex. The mind of the receiver experiences the thought-transmission as a ‘phantom’ flash of light. Based on timely flashes of light, the three are able to successfully complete a tetris-style game.

Minds interacting with other minds is the essence of indigenous Norse Seiðr magic. The mind magic relates to hypnosis as well as modern mentalist stunts. The mind of the sender induces phantom feelings and experiences, hence effects relating to charm and illusion. The Norse mentalism is all about the mind as conscious experience − and less about the brain as an anatomical organ. Thus in the Norse view, there is little distinction between ‘objective’ reality and the ‘subjective’ experience of reality. An extremely potent mind can manifest a new reality.

Note, Seiðr telepathic abilities overlap certain aspects of Spá prophetic abilities. Spá is the psychic ability to discern truth, including the ability to discern the thoughts and mental states of other minds. In other words, spá shares the sensing ‘receiver’ aspects of mental phenomena, whereas seiðr additionally specializes in the ‘sender’ aspects.
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Mind Mage
Norse gender roles assigned "spirituality" to the feminine gender group.

In the world that I live in today, traditions tend to assign spirituality to the masculine gender group. For examples, rabbis and priests were often required to be male. Today there are female Jewish rabbis as well female Evangelical Christian pastors, female Anglican priests, and so on. It is even fair to describe our modern spirituality as ‘androgynous’, including both masculine and feminine elements. Even so, many when seeing women spiritual leaders, they are mindful that these women adopt a ‘masculine’ role.

For the Norse, spirituality (especially seiðr shamanism) is a feminine role. When a man became skillful in spirituality, the Norse perceive him as having adopted a ‘feminine’ role.

Compare a modern analogy to understand Norse masculinity. The world that I live in today perceives a stay-at-home dad as a man who adopts a feminine role. Our world expects the man to be the ‘bread winner’ (our modern warrior), who financially supports the family. When we see a man who looks after the children and focuses on the wellbeing of the home, while the wife has a high-income profession, we see this man as if somehow ‘non masculine’, or even feminine. The man himself can be personally masculine in physique and behavior. And we can even admire his love and his skillful parenting. And we care about kids. Our culture can simultaneously honor his fulfilling a sacred duty and at the same time dishonor his masculinity if shirking the duty of income. There are several cultural expectations happening at the same time.

Take Norway for example as what European gender can look like without the influences of Hellenistic Christianity.

Viking Period Norwegians (and elsewhere in Scandinavia) have a warrior culture. It is highly offensive to insult the ‘manliness’ of a warrior. Yet, at the same time, there are nonwarrior men who study ‘womanly’ shamanism. A shaman in Norway is traditionally always a female, called a Vǫlva. Yet these ‘womanly’ men are nevertheless sacred. The Norse consult them for spiritual matters, such as foretelling fates or bringing healing.

The nickname (the kenning) for a male who functions as a shaman is called a ‘Finnr’. The Finnar ethnicity are hunter-gatherers preserving prehistoric ways of life. The Finnr spiritual leaders are shamans, called a Noaidi, and can be male. So the Norse view their own Norse man that becomes a shaman as if Non-Norse, not quite the way the Norse do it, but at the same time revere him as sacred and authentic − and as powerful as a female Vǫlva.

In the aboriginal Norse animism, even certain important male nature spirits were thought to master the female arts of shamanism. While women can become warriors and men can become shamans, they tend to retain their respective gender identity otherwise. Nevertheless, transgenderism that fully adopts the oppositesex identity is also known. There is a famous story about the thunder spirit, the greatest warrior of all dressing as a bride and trying to pass as a feminine woman.

Meanwhile, there are warrior traditions, such as the Berserkar, who sought to use feminine shamanic skills in masculine ways for combat. The data among the Norse Eddas and Sagas depict the Alvar (elves) as fighting battles by means of shamanic magic. For example, the famous figure Vǫlundr in his Norse name, means Vǫl- Undr, literally ‘shaman-staff wounder’, someone who inflicts wounds by means of shamanic magical attacks. Likewise, numerous Alvar and Dvergar are called a ‘Finnr’, in the sense of a male that masters shamanic magic.

So, while the Norse have a gender-divided culture, it includes individuals who choose the opposite gender identity, and other individuals who blend the two identities in one person in various ways. These individuals are understood to exemplify a sacred whole. The Norse gender constructs honor both the masculine gender as warrior and the feminine gender as shaman, and can at the same time honor individuals who identify as the other.
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Mind Mage
The most difficult part of translating Norse beliefs into D&D is the world setting.

The Norse worldview is entirely this-worldly. Everything happens *here* in the material world.

In D&D terms, the Norse cosmos only has one plane, the Material Plane, and everyone is part of it − the humans, the alfar, æsir and vanir, the dvergar, risar and þursar, and the náir. They all happen here.

For example, this world has physical human bodies, sunbeams, and mountains. Human bodies do what human bodies do. Sunbeams do what sunbeams do. Mountains do what mountains do. In the Norse worldview, the human body has a mind that decides what the body does. Likewise, a sunbeam has a mind that decides what it does. And mountains too. Sunbeams behave the way they do because that is what they want to do. This is how animism comes into play. Each phenomenon of the material plane has its own psychic presence. The minds of the sunbeams are alfar, the minds of the mountains are risar.

The human mind is a force that can ‘push’ the movement of the physical body. A human who has a ‘powerful’ mind (rammr) can influence other physical objects outside the body − even control them. The mental influence is a force, called ‘mindforces’ (hugar), plural. This mental force is invisible and subtle, like a human breath. The breath is a subtle wind that normally goes unnoticed. But a strong wind can have a significant impact on physical objects. Likewise, the influence of a humans mind on ones surroundings is subtle, but a strong mind can have a significant impact.

These mindforces that each human has are how the Norse do their magic. In D&D terms, Norse magic is psionics.

A way that D&D 5e can characterize such magic is, the Norse culture advances while preserving a prehistoric form of magic that preexists the later separation into arcane, divine, and psionic. Norse magic is strictly psionic, but includes scientific and spiritual applications. Sotospeak, Norse psionics includes proto-arcane and proto-divine.

The Norse term for ‘psionics’ is ham-remi, literally ‘form power’. This ‘form’ (hamr) is a kind of mindset. It is the self-identity that the mind takes on. This mental form is a kind of virtual body made out of mindforces. This ‘form’ also includes how one visualizes the surrounding world around. For example, a mind can attune with a particular stone, becoming one with the stone, thus imbuing the stone with ones mindforces. The mindforces includes both a physical body and a stone. Thus the sense of self that mind experiences is both the body and the stone. (Compare Zen where both a Samurai and a sword become one.) When this mental shape of the mindforces is strong, its influence can mold and reshape the body and the world, including other minds and other physical bodies. This capacity of the mind to influence the body and the stone is the mechanics of all Norse magic. Thus ham-remi means something like the power of visualization.

A powerful mind can even project outofbody. So the mind connects only peripherally with the body, while roaming the world as a subtle mental force. The mind can roam in the form of ones own body, walking around. Norse shamans typically project their minds via a virtual body whose ‘form’ is an animal. Thus the minds eye flies thru the world with wings. Ones mindforces can observe and influence the minds and objects at that remote location.

The mindforces are subtle and normally imperceptible. However, a person with ‘second sight’ has a mind whose mindforces can sense the presence and influence of other mindforces, even see these other mindforces in a kind waking prophetic vision.

This resembles today ‘psychics’ who sense and see ghosts. But the Norse ghosts are specifically the outofbody mindforces of dead bodies, where these corpses are notable features of the normal material world.

All significant phenomena in this world have minds. These minds influence the world around them. Sunbeams influence the mindsets of people. Mountains influence the mindsets of people. Like humans, these objects of nature can project their mindforces outofbody (out-of-sunbeam, out-of-mountain) to interact with their world around them. The virtual bodies of these objects can take on the ‘form’ of a human or the ‘form’ of animal. Like the virtual body of a human mind can.

These outofbody mental ‘forms’ can sense each other and interact with each other. There are populations of disembodied minds interacting with each other every day. Sunbeams are watching humans. Glaciers and summer breezes are having kids. Most humans fail to notice these mental activities, because their minds are not paying attention to them. But humans notice the physical behaviors that result form the decisions of these natural minds, such as when the weather changes.

In D&D language, the Material Plane includes roaming minds. These minds can see and interacting with each other, forming a mental world that overlaps this material world.

This ‘mindscape’ is part of the Material Plane.

The mountain can plainly observe the humans going about their daily activities. If a mountain travels outofbody, a human will probably feel it in a weird way, as it passes by. There can be magnificent mansions among the clouds − made out of mindforces, that most humans dont see.

The gold and white sunbeams are ‘alfar’, whose minds can travel in the ‘form’ of a blond human or a white swan, or so on. The outofbody mountains are ‘risar’. A human can talk to a mountain, literally by going up to a mountain and talking to it. Mentally, the mountain might even answer back. And so on.

It is tempting to identify this Norse ‘mindscape’ with the D&D Feywild. But to do so misses the point that if we are talking about a particular risar, we are actually talking about a specific mountain. It also misses the point that we are talking about minds. This is a psionic world.

Ultimately, the Norse setting is a setting where only the Material Plane exists. There are no other planes. This material world includes the minds of people, places, and things.


Mind Mage
The D&D spell, Magnificent Mansion, is a useful tool for a DM to represent a Norse or Norse-esque setting.

There are many examples of ‘extradimensional spaces’ in Norse beliefs (and in Scandinavian folkbelief too).

A dvergar might leave the door open on the side of a hill, where inside the hill is a luxurious home.

Entering a burial mound might enter a spooky large multi-level crypt, where undead náir warriors gather around a viking longship floating as if on open waters, and the warrior leader sits on a throne in a longhouse at a lower level entered thru the ship. Transitions from one room of the Magnificent Mansion to an other can be dreamlike.

The entire ocean can be the space of a longhouse, whose entrance is on any water surface, perhaps with steps leading down, and where other nature beings can gather.

A group of Alfar whose mindforces leave their stratospheric Alfheimr to visit a forest on land, can conjure a lovely longhouse by a lake where swans gather in the midst of the natural forest.

Risar live ‘inside’ a cliff, and they can take humans ‘into the mountain’. Each home of the æsir is a magnificent longhouse, across the sky among the clouds. And so on.

The æsir dwell among the clouds. But Asgarðr itself is a place on earth, near Troy, where the æsir sky beings gather for their parliament meetings. It looks like a field on Mount Ida, but if one enters the extradimensional space, one encounters the open-air government site, marked out with clear boundaries, and luxurious structures nearby.

Alfheimr is high above the clouds, where also is the longhouse of the jarl of the alfar. The alfar in other regions too gather nearby there for their government meetings.

And so on.

Essentially, this extradimensional space is the mindscape of a particular nature being. But other nature beings who associate can also visit or inhabit this space. For example. A large boulder is a conscious being. Its mindforce manifests as a particular dvergar. In some sense, this dvergar ‘lives inside’ the boulder. A door can literally open up out of the boulder, and a human can enter this extradimensional space inside the rock of the boulder.

Magnificent Mansion is a convenient way to represent such Norse concepts. The Norse version of Magnificent Mansion tends to be permanent. The mansion is the ‘space’ of a particular natural phenomenon. Thus the door to this mansion can appear at any surface area of this phenomenon. Alternatively, if the mindscape is of a particular field, the entire Mansion might be seen from the outside on this field, which can materialize, or be visible with True Seeing. The extradimensional space is in the mind of this natural phenomenon. It is possible for the mindforces of one natural object to project and to permanently relocate in an other similar natural object. (For example, the mind of one mountain in Norway, traveled with humans across sea, to become the mind of an other similar mountain in Iceland. Think of this as exchanging ‘portfolios’.) So, destroying the natural phenomenon will destroy the Magnificent Mansion, but wont kill its nature being. That said, it is impossible to enter this personal mindscape unless the nature being intentionally opens the door − or accidentally leaves it open. The style of the furnishings of a Magnificent Mansion includes themes relating to the natural phenomenon whose home this is.
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Mind Mage
Christian families are in Norse lands during all of the Viking Period. In the 800s, they are a few families. In the 900s, they are some of the regional leaders. In the 1000s, the emergence of monarchy comes from foreign Christian influence, from the Holy Roman Empire of Continental Europe. The monarchs who unify the lands of Scandinavia during the 1000s are mainly Christian.

For the sake of translating concepts into D&D. Monotheists, including Christians, consider the Light of the Positive Plane to be the Creator of the Material Plane − and all planes. Anything that exists is itself made out of positivity, being shaped by the positivity. Monotheists serve the Light exclusively as sacred. The Light created the Negative Plane by ‘hiding’, in order to create the possibility of darkness in the Material Plane. Within the dark Material, humans gain the opportunity to personally reveal and increase Light, thus illuminating the Material Plane. Thus humans become co-creators who decide the shape of the Material Plane. They believe a future will come when the Material Plane is fully luminous with the Light of Positive Plane. In those days, humans will be deathless and painless.

Monotheists hold the existence of three planes, Positive, Negative, and Material.

These two other planes are alien to the Norse beliefs that strictly hold the Material Plane, only.

As far as I know, Norse texts dont mention Jews or Muslims living in Norse lands. But Norse texts mention them in other lands, and admire them. Probably, there are a few Jewish families and a few Muslim families in Norse lands, who arrived as merchants.

Friendships between Norse and Christians and conflicts between Norse and Christians, are happening simultaneously. Mainly conflicts emerge because Christians champion humans and the positivity exclusively, whereas the Norse refuse to alienate the nonhuman beings of the Material Plane. Norse society evolves complexly with ways to reconcile the two views and ways to vilify the other.

In the first third of the Viking Period, Christians are a noninfluencial curiosity. But the third third of the Viking Period can be called the ‘Christian Viking Period’, where the patchwork of regional governments mostly support a Christian monarch.

In any case, aboriginal Norse beliefs are about the Material Plane.


Mind Mage
I'm a little confused by the implications of recklessness associated with drengr.

A drengr is an example of an ideal Norse warrior. Goodhearted, high-quality, idealistic − and extremely courageous. The recklessness exhibits the courage. Courage is a highest good in the Norse male gender identity. In the case of the drengr, the daring and thrill-seeking also demonstrates competence and effectiveness, because somehow the drengr manages to pull the stunt off, despite great odds. And these efforts are for a good cause.

To be a hero who saves loved ones is a good fate to enjoy. In the Norse view, to die heroically while striving to save, is also a good fate. A kind of warrior saint, sotospeak.

Moreorless, the drengr is an action movie hero.


Mind Mage
Norse Warrior Magic − Galdr Chanting
Yaarel 2019

This essay assesses the Norse warrior magic, called galdr ‘chanting’, that the Ljóðatal poem describes, and translates the concepts into D&D. The result has a Psionic Paladin vibe. For a full spellcaster, the spells here are appropriate for a Psionic Bard. These Norse archetypes for the D&D classes gain the ‘psionics’ tag.

The Norse poem Ljóða-tal, ‘Tally of Songs’, lists magical effects of singing. The songs are aspects of Norse Galdr chanting magic. These effects exemplify the masculine magic of a Norse ideal warrior.

Galdr chanting is masculine, mainly self-empowering defense effects. Seiðr shamanism is feminine magic, mainly mind-manipulating offense effects.

Note, the most important magic is spá prescience, the abilities of a ‘psychic’. Formally, the Norse consult the vǫlva shaman to foresee fates (fram-sýn) and for other extrasensory perceptions (ó-freski). Yet informally, the Norse admire and consult any individual who demonstrates spá, male or female.

The mindforces (hugar) − namely the forces of a mind (hugr) to influence persons, places, and things − are the source of all Norse magic. Mind comprises thought, reasoning and emoting, courage and sincerity, visualization and intention. In the Ljóða-tal, Song 10, Mindforces mentions seiðr projecting ones ‘hugar’ mindforces outofbody in the form of a wild animal. Song 16, Twine, mentions galdr utilizing ones ‘hugar’ mindforces to enhance sex. To help focus ones mind, the Norse use voice. The warrior chants magic, improvising personal spontaneous music. The shaman commands magic, improvising vivid short edicts.

The aboriginal Norse society gender-divides, where men function as military leaders and women function as spiritual leaders. Even so, individuals self-identify and can adopt various roles of either gender. There are women warriors, who happen to be good at fighting, even jarls who command an army. Likewise there are men shamans, who happen to be good at mindmagic.

Norse texts mention the shamans of the Finnar also chant galdr. This magical chanting survives today among the Sámi, such as the custom of a joik. The noaidi shaman or anyone chants improvisationally to attune ones own mindforces to commune with the mindforces of a cosmic feature, a person, place, or thing. The mind strives to be in the moment and at one with the phenomenon. In some sense, while the noaidi contemplates and mentally experiences the phenomenon, the mind is actually outofbody and present at the location of this phenomenon. The music emerges spontaneously from within with different sounds and melodies coming to mind while recognizing various associations relating to the phenomenon. Typically, the noaidi music is wordless without lyrics. But in the context of improvisation, a pertinent verbal phrase might function as a kind of mantra, in one moment, or repetitively. Even a verse from a popular song can sometimes happen if a particular phenomenon intuitively evokes it.

A ljóð is a song, with words sung musically. ‘To chant’ (gala) sings musically with or without words, especially for magical effects. But it can also extend poetically to other chanting, such as the crowing of a rooster. Song 7, No Burn, mentions ‘chanting’ this song as a ‘galdr’ chant, to mentally control fire. Similarly, one ‘chants’ Song 15 to imbue muscularity and success. Typically Norse galdr focuses a word or a short phrase to help visualize the magical intention. A phrase with vivid imagery and poetic aliteration conveys mental impact, thus a stronger effect. The Ljóða-tal poem cannot record what the ‘magical words’ for an effect are because there are none. The mindforces chanting is individualistic, spontaneous, contextual − any words are different each time. The examples list possible effects, and never any fixed lyrics for such songs.

The poem gives examples. Because the chanting is personal and spontaneous, different warriors in different contexts manifest different versions of these effects. Also there are more effects that Eddas and Sagas mention beyond this tally. Even so, the eighteen examples give a comprehensive sense of what galdr does. It exemplifies the core masculine ethic of a warrior.

The core ethic of Norse masculinity is courage. Oppositely, to use magic to attack from a safe distance seems cowardly, thus taboo to a warrior of honor. The warrior enters combat to meet the opponent face to face. The chanting empowers oneself and ones allies, to protect, heal, defend, and assist, so as to face a challenge whole-heartedly and win.


The opening stanza of the Ljóða-tal poem characterizes the masculinity of warrior magic. Even the greatest women shamans dont learn this kind of magic. But even the young men havent learned it yet. The mens mindforces chanting takes years to master. Typically, it is an elder military leader, including a jarl, who finally masters this magic. One learns this magic during combat and when warriors gather to learn it together.

I know those songs,
which ·even the· woman ·shaman· of a tribal leader does not know.
And a lad of no human.

Ljóð ek þau kann,
er kann-at þjóðans kona
ok mannskis mǫgr.

No human young man knows how to chant these effects. Combat during the younger years is opportunities to develop this sacred ancestral magic. The fact they survive combat, evidences their competence at this magic, as well as their lucky fate and their friendships with the nature beings around them.

No human young man knows this warrior magic. But there are nonhuman young men who do know this warrior magic at a young age. The psychic presences of the sky above, namely alfar and æsir, are warriors. They are the forces of the order of society, who defend against the forces of the chaos of wilderness. Thus the alfar and the æsir personify warrior magic, and learn to master it even when young. The jarl of the alfar is known by the title ‘songster’, ljóði, a master of masculine songs of galdr. The jarl of the æsir is known by the title ‘high one’, hár, and is a muse who can teach this magical art. The conclusion of the Ljóða-tal poem mentions ‘sons’, apparently young human warriors participating in magical training, who have projected their own mindforces upward into the sky, to sit in the longhouse of the hár, where they learn these eighteen song effects, from the hár who instructs them.

Notably, the same mindforces magic that humans learn to use, whether galdr or seiðr, or spá, is the same mindforces magic that other vættir nature beings learn to use. Humans can do what the other nature beings can do, and viceversa. Normally humans learn this magic from other humans. If a personal friendship develops between a human and a nature being, the mindforces of that nature being can sometimes manifest to do a particular magic effect − or teach the human how to do this effect.

The alfar and æsir excel at warrior magic, thus they feature prominently within the military world and the masculine identity. When Norse enter combat, they sometimes focus on the combat magic among the alfar and the æsir. The æsir tend to enhance a strong body and physical skill. The alfar tend to enhance a successful fate and mental skill.

D&D effects relating to Norse mindforces singing

In the Ljóða-tal, protective magic fusing physical combat, along with a code of courage, somewhat resembles a Devotion Paladin as a psionic archetype. It is possible to use the Devotion Paladin as is, and have it gain the ‘psionics’ tag (see Monster Manual, page 10). In this sense, the ‘divinity’ of Channel Divinity is the Paladin oneself, and ones ‘code of courage’. Moreover, Norse psionics is a sacred ancestral way of life of an aboriginal people. All Norse magic, including spells and other magical effects, are accomplished by means of mindforces, using voice to focus. Any spell of any Norse spellcasting class, can be cast with a verbal component only. Moreover, the Norse spellcaster can choose to make the force damage type replace the damage type of a spell, to represent the invisible and subtle mindforces. Elemental damage types (fire, cold, lightning, thunder) are sometimes appropriate, especially for nonhuman nature beings who embody such themes. Radiant damage is rare because near the arctic north, the sun is a gentle, warm, lifegiving influence, and the idea of it dealing damage seems impossible. On the other hand, near the equator, the fire of Muspellheimr might associate with combinations of fire and radiant.

In the analyses below, D&D spells that are on the spell list of the Paladin are marked with a ring (°) and on the spell list of the Oath of Devotion are marked with two rings (°°).

Song 1, Help

The first song effect in the Ljóða-tal poem relates to combat morale. It finds help, especially to rally after a setback if the team is mourning the deaths of fellow warriors. The first and greatest of all male magic is courage. Find the inner strength to keep pushing onward. By means of courage, the mindforces of the warrior overcomes any obstacle and achieves any wish.

One ·song· is called Help.
But ·also· that ·song· will help you
with problems and mournings,
and readily all sorrows.

Hjalp heitir eitt,
en þat þér hjalpa mun
við sǫkum ok sorgum.
ok sútum gǫrvǫllum.

D&D effects relating to Song 1, Help

Wish 9

Wisdom save proficiency°, advantage

Survival skill

Morale check advantage if opting to use the Persuasion° skill to embolden allies and the Intimidation° skill to frighten foes and to force surrender. Foes are at morale disadvantage.

Inspiration option

D&D normally lacks mechanics for inner emotional struggles. The hopes and fears, celebrations and disappointments, are the reallife ones that players experience when they get into the game. The mechanics of charm and frighten tend to represent simple attacks and lack nuance. Normally, a player expresses the emotional state of a character narratively, or by method acting the persona. So, a way for D&D to implement the Norse magic of Song 1, Help, is by awarding Inspiration for dramatizing the character description: Bonds, Ideals, and Flaws.

Bonds: Those who you love are part of who you are, your friends who fight alongside you, your family and clan, and your sacred ancestral way of life.

Ideals: Courage is the highest good. You use your courage to save the lives of your loved ones. You admire warriors who master mind and body to face any challenge head-on.

Flaws: You are proud of your courage. You hate attacking from a safe distance. Remote magical attacks are taboo for you. An archery duel if both opponents are out in the open, is brave enough. But you love melee. If your enemy challenges you to a duel to the death, you have few reasons to say, no.

The DM can award Inspiration to a player that brings the courageous personality to life. Then the mechanical Inspiration advantage to any d20 roll is appropriately the ‘magical’ influence over any challenge that the character desires to overcome.

Song 2, Leeches

The second song of a Norse warrior is the magic of a Norse combat medic. The chanting heals injuries, and enhances various medical techniques to cure diseases and poisons. The use of leeches is peculiar to certain medical customs. In the Old Norse language, ‘to heal’ and ‘to grow’ are the same word, gróa. The chanter extends ones own mindforces into the body of a patient to ‘push’ the growth of regeneration, thus restore once again a healthy and whole body. Here, ‘sons’ refer to the young warriors under the command of an elder warrior leader. Some of these warriors study healing.

I know that second ·song·,
which ·the· sons need to push ·healing growth·,
those ·healers· who desire to cling leeches.

Þat kann ek annat,
er þurfu ýta synir,
þeir er vilja læknar lifa.

D&D effects relating to Song 2, Leeches

Medicine skill°

Cure Wounds 1́°
Goodberry 1
Healing Word 1

Protection From Poison 2° °°
Prayer Of Healing 2
Lesser Restoration 2° °°

Aura Of Vitality 3°

Mass Cure Wounds 5

Heal 6

Regenerate 7

Power Word Heal 9
Mass Heal 9

Song 3, No Bite

The third song of a warrior relates to magical defenses. The ‘form’ (hamr) of the mindforces that the mind visualizes is an invisible force armor that deflects both mundane and magical weapons. It is mind over matter. What the warrior refuses to feel, physically cannot touch.

I know that third ·song·.
If ·to· me necessity has much worth
with my ·opposing· lad of wrath,

I numb ·the· edges
of my opposing shooter.
·I numb· those weapons to not bite.
Nor ·even· a shaman-staff.

Það kann ek þriðja:
ef mér verðr þǫrf mikil hafts
við mína heiftmǫgu,

eggjar ek deyfi
minna andskota,
bíta-t þeim vápn
né velir.

D&D effects relating to Song 3, No Bite

Mage Armor 1 (as invisible force)
Shield 1

Song 4, Go

The fourth song focuses ones mindmagic to achieve freedom of movement and to bypass barriers.

The intention of the chanting is ‘to go’. The warrior moves forward. The magical movement may extend to speed − nothing can slow one down. Even to teleportation. See Song 10 and Song 15, Sky Beings, Mindforces, for more on teleportation.

For the purpose of moving, the chanting additionally overcomes barriers. In the example for this song, the mindforces of the warrior telekinetically rupture a barrier. Telekinesis in the sense of floating or flying is rare in Norse traditions. Consider the horse Sleipnir that flies as wind, the alfar that hover as sunbeams, and the hammer Mjǫlnir that returns to hand to strike again as lightning. But telekinesis in the sense of mentally animating an object is common. For example, in the Sagas, a shaman imbues her mind into a driftwood to injure her enemy. Having attuned with the driftwood, she drifts it telekinetically across the sea where it eventually kills her enemy as if in a freak accident. In the Eddas, there is a boar-like steed made out of gold, a kind of giant golem made out of flint rock, and so on. In later Scandinavian folkbelief, there is a saying, ‘Envy can crush a stone’. The desire of the mind to destroy something that someone else has, is a force that deteriorates that thing.

In Song 7, No Burn, telekinesis can manipulate fire. In Song 9, Control Wind, mindforces direct wind and water, including the storms of lightning and cold. In Song 5, Stop, the chanter can telekinetically stop an arrow in midflight. Here in song 4, Go, the telekinesis breaks objects. The chanter visualizes ‘going’, and pertinent physical objects respond to the mindforces accordingly.

I know that ·song·, a fourth.
If ·against· me, troops bear
bonds at ·my· bending limbs.

I chant such,
that I am able to go.
·For· me, ·the· shackles spring off ·my· feet,
but ·also· restraints off ·my· hands.

Þat kann ek it fjórða:
ef mér fyrðar bera
bǫnd að boglimum,

svá ek gel,
at ek ganga má,
sprettr mér af fótum fjǫturr,
en af hǫndum haft.

D&D effects relating to Song 4, Go

Athletics°/Acrobatics Skill

Mage Hand 0 (as invisible force, to manipulate or animate an object, rarely to fly an object)

Longstrider 1
Expeditious Retreat 1

Knock 2

Haste 3

Freedom Of Movement 4°°

Animate Objects 5
Disintegration 6 (object)

Song 5, Stop

The fifth song relates back to defense magic, and extends it to allies in the battle area. But here, the mindforces telekinetically block distant attacks. Each clan forms its own militia, thus the warriors of a military unit are typically each others relatives.

I know that ·song·, a fifth.
If I see afar an arrowhead shot
to rush into ·the warriors of my· kinfolk,

it does not fly so fast,
that I do not stop ·it·
if I see it ·in· sights.

Þat kann ek it fimmta:
ef ek sé af fári skotinn flein
í folki vaða,

fýgr-a hann svá stinnt,
at ek stǫðvig-a-k,
ef ek hann sjónum of sék.

D&D effects relating to Song 5, Stop

Shield of Faith 1°

Wind Wall 3 (as force effect)
Tiny Hut 3

Resilient Sphere 4

Wall Of Force 5

Song 6, Rather Than Me

The effects of the sixth song of the Ljóða-tal reverse curses and negate magical attacks. The seiðr custom of writing a curse on a root imbues it with ones harmful intention. Thus this cursed object can transport the influence of the mindforces to the target. The curse might be whatever the curser has in mind.

I know that ·song·, a sixth.
If a freeman injures me ·by writing a harm·
on ·the· raw roots of trees.

And ·yet it instead injures· that person
who says ·these· wraths ·against· me.
That ·curser is· to eat ·the· harm.
Rather than me.

Þat kann ek it sétta:
ef mik særir þegn
á rótum hrás viðar,

ok þann hal
er mik heifta kveðr,
þann eta mein
heldr en mik.

D&D effects relating to Song 6, Rather Than Me

Remove Curse 3°
Nondetection 3
Dispel Magic 3° °°
Counterspell 3

Circle of Power 5°
Greater Restoration 5

Globe of Invulnerability 6

Antimagic Shell 8
Mind Blank 8

Song 7, No Burn

The seventh song protects the warriors from the element of fire. This Song 7, No Burn, relates to Song 9, Control Wind, that alters air and water, including ice storms and lightning storms. Despite the power to mentally control elements, the courageous warrior abstains from using elements to attack an enemy from a safe distance. It seems possible for the warrior to use the elements for utilitarian purposes, such as fire to burn thru a door (a kind of barrier to ‘go’ thru) in order to confront foes inside in melee. To use fire to illuminate a battlefield or to keep teammembers warm in winter also seems admirable enough.

I know that ·song·, a seventh.
If I see a high fire ·in the· room
over ·the· lads of a seating ·area·,

·it· does not burn so broad,
that I do not save them.
I know that chant to chant.

Þat kann ek it sjaunda:
ef ek sé hávan loga
sal of sessmǫgum,

brennr-at svá breitt,
at ek hánum bjargig-a-k;
þann kann ek galdr at gala.

D&D effects relating to Song 7, No Burn

Control Flames 0

Absorb Elements 1

Protection From Energy 3

Primordial Ward 6

See also Song 9, Control Wind, for other elemental spells.

Song 8, Mend

The eighth song of the warrior relates again to morale, fostering good relations within the combat team and reducing conflicts, angers, and fears. Rather than directly manipulating the minds of others, this mindful intention enhances ones own leadership skills as a commander, so as to maintain discipline and inspire a positive outlook.

The commander and his warriors tend to form father and ‘sons’ bond. Fellow warriors in a unit are often loved ones and typically family belonging to the same clan. Sometimes, family invites family drama, and a combat leader must keep peace for the sake of all. The ‘dad’ of the military unit has to step in.

Later, in the Ljóða-tal poem, the transmission of the text added three noncombat songs (16, 17, and 18) that relate to relationships between a man and a woman. The magical skills there to keep peace between partners are ultimately the same magical skills as here to keep peace between friends. The goal is to use ones mindforces − not to manipulate the minds of others − but to commune with the mind of the other, so as to understand the other. The chanter telepathically discerns the true desires, including reasons for conflicts, thus discover ways to resolve them.

I know that ·song·, an eighth,
which ·to· all is friendly of use
to acquire ·by learning it·.

When hate ·or dissension· grows
with ·the· sons of ·the· combat leader,
I am able to mend that ·discord· immediately.

Þat kann ek it átta,
er ǫllum er nytsamligt
at nema:

hvars hatr vex
með hildings sonum
þat má ek bæta brátt.

D&D effects relating to Song 8, Mend

Insight° and Persuasion° skills

Detect Thoughts 2

Message 0

Zone of Truth 2°°
Calm Emotions 2
Sending 3
Telepathic Language (MM)
Telepathic Bond 5

Song 9, Control Wind

The ninth song relates to calming a storm for a safe military transport via ships. The effects of this chanting control wind and water, and in the sense of storms, implies controlling rain, cold, snow, hail, lightning, and thunder. The intent of the song is to negate hostile weather − including hostile weather magic. The mindmagic seems to allow the possibility to reshape weather for utility. For example, no wind at all is a kind of barrier to bypass, thereby manifest a stiff breeze to speed the sails of the journey. Mindforces enjoy powerful control over the elements. The masculine ethic, however, stops the warrior from behaving as a ‘coward’ who chants the weather to harm hostiles at a distance. But note, the Finnar noaidi shaman does chant to stir up deadly storms to attack distant foes. The alfar and the æsir as vættir nature beings of the sky learn to master weather chanting as well.

I know that ·song·, a ninth.
If a need stands over me
to save my travel on ·the· fleet ·of ships·,

I ·control· wind ·to breeze as· on a calm harbor.
And ·I· make all the sea sleep.

Þat kann ek it níunda:
ef mik nauðr of stendr
at bjarga fari mínu á floti,

vind ek kyrri vági á
ok svæfik allan sæ.

D&D effects relating to Song 9, Control Wind

Nature Skill

Gust 0
Shape Water 0
Druid Craft 0

Gust Of Wind 2

Control Winds 5

Control Weather 8

See Song 7, No Burn for D&D elemental resistances.

Song 10, Mindforces

The tenth song mentions the detection of ‘mindforces’, hugar, as they truly are at ‘home’. Much is happening in this song that relates to the aboriginal Norse worldview.

The term ‘rider’ describes a seiðr shaman, whose mind travels outofbody, typically in the form of an animal, often a bird, so the mindseye flies thru world. The self-identification with nature seems part of a transpersonalizing technique to make exiting ones own personal body easier to accomplish. Much of seiðr mental magic relates to what we today would call hypnosis, including self-hypnosis. In the Norse view, a powerful mind can push to make real this subjective experience. The mind roams the world outofbody in a virtual body made out of mindforces, whose ‘form’ (hamr) is whatever self-identity the shaman visualizes.

The mention of a ‘town’ refers to the shaman mindfully interacting with other humans in the community at large, beyond the ‘home’ where the actual body of the shaman is. While outofbody, it is possible for the virtual body of the mindforces to materialize, in the same way that the mindforces of a ghost can. Only a strong mind can do this. Typically, such manifestations maintain the animal form.

While outofbody, the mind of the shaman can psychically attack the minds of other humans. The effects depend on the intention of the shaman. Perhaps to charm someone, or frighten, induce a hallucination, or even kill psychosomatically.

The Norse love their shamans as the spiritual leaders of the community. At the same time, they fear and respect the remote psychic attacks that a shaman can do.

If conflict erupts, the shamans of one clan might engage a psychic war against the shamans of an other clan.

When shamans telepathically manipulate the minds of others, the Norse refer to this as ‘play’ (leika) or ‘mind play’ (hug-leika). To enchant an other mind seems a kind of sport with various challenges, a thrilling demand to pay attention, and a sense of winning.

In this context, the Norse warrior is familiar with these kinds of magical effects − and even competent at accomplishing them. The difference between the masculine magic of a warrior and the feminine magic of a shaman, is the duty of the masculine to fight courageously. Thus, the warrior is averse to projecting their mindforces to accomplish a deadly, invisible, attack at a safe distance. Moreover, the manipulation robs the target of free will and the opportunity to show courage. When sniping from a distance, the warrior prefers that the shaman does it.

Even so, the warrior does use telepathic magic to commune with an other mind, so as to discern information and needs, and even to nurture a positive outlook by helping to address the hopes and fears. See Songs 7, Mend, and 16, Twine.

Moreover, the warrior magic can project mindforces outofbody, for various purposes, such as to visit sky beings. See Song 15, Sky Beings. Here in Song 10, Mindforces, the intention of the outofbody travel is military surveillance. If the mindforces of a hostile shaman invades, the ‘extrasensory perception’ (ó-freski) of the mindful warrior can detect the presence and ‘see’ the mind in a vision. Moreover, while making contact, the warrior can discern the true form of the mindforce, by projecting to the location of the body of the shaman at the home. Thus the warrior identifies the attacker. This is a kind of scrying (clairvoyance) where the mind is actually present to observe the remote location.

In the Norse approach to magic, the various magical effects of outofbody projection, scrying, teleportation, and shapeshifting all involve each other. The powerful mind can project outofbody while focusing on a distant location. By means of thought, the mind actually becomes present at the remote location, and can see what is happening there. Hence, scrying. The mind can influence other minds at that location. Hence remote communication or a telepathic attack. A very powerful mind can materialize at that location. Hence, a physical manifestation. Bilocation. The mindforces of a shaman typically travel mentally in the ‘form’ of an animal, a kind of virtual body. So the shaman typically manifests remotely in the form of an animal. The Norse refer to this as ‘riding’ an animal, that is, traveling mentally by means of the form of an animal. It is also possible to project ones mindforces in ones own form and manifest as ones own human identity. An extremely powerful mind can pull the actual body to the new mental location. Hence, teleportation. The Norse refer to teleportation as ‘traveling at the speed of thought’. Notice, that scrying always precedes Norse teleportation. A strong mental connection is necessary for the mind to project there, but after arrival there is no teleportation error for the body. Teleportation relates to shapeshifting, using the mindforces to ‘shift’ the form of the body, in this case, to relocate the body. The Norse term for shapeshifting, ‘form travel’ (ham-fari), usually refer to mind projecting in the form of an animal. But it can also include individual shamans who reshape their actual bodies. Hence a werewolf and so on.

I know that ·song·, a tenth.
If I see ·outofbody· riders ·roaming· a town
playing ·with minds· ·from· on high,

I work ·chanting· such,
that they ·who are· to travel wild ·as animals·,
their ·true· forms ·at· home ·are seen·,
their ·true· mindforces ·at· home.

Þat kann ek it tíunda:
ef ek sé túnriður
leika lofti á,

ek svá vinnk,
at þær villar fara
sinna heimhama,
sinna heimhuga.

D&D effects relating to Song 10, Mindforces

To materialize ones mind outofbody is the same as to ‘conjure’ oneself at that location.

Arcana/Religion°/Psionics Skill

Detect Evil And Good 1° (outofbody minds)

Detect Magic 1°
Alarm 1 (including outofbody minds)
Protection From Evil And Good 1° °° (outofbody minds)

See Invisibility 2
Misty Step 2

Magic Circle 3° (outofbody minds)
Clairvoyance 3
Nondetection 3

Private Sanctum 4
Hallow 5
Locate Creature 4°
Banishment 4°
Dimension Door 4

Word Of Recall 6
Planar Binding 5
Teleportation Circle 5
Scrying 5
Banishing Smite 5°
Dispel Evil And Good 5°

Forbiddance 6
Teleport 7 (no error after Clairvoyance)
True Seeing 6
Etherealness 7 (body becomes intangible mindforces to roam the Material Plane)

Note, this song mentions the mind ‘play’ of telepathic attacks. However, this is feminine seiðr shamanic magic, that the masculine galdr warrior will not do.

Song 11, Whole

The eleventh song focuses to surround fellow warriors with protective mindforces before embarking on a mission.

I know that ·song·, an eleventh.
If I must lead my longtime friends
to battle,

I chant under ·the· rims ·while they hold up their roundshields·.
But ·then· they travel with power.
·Healthy and· whole to ·the area· of combat,
·healthy and· whole from ·the area· of combat.
From where do they come ·home· whole?

Þat kann ek it ellifta:
ef ek skal til orrostu
leiða langvini,

und randir ek gel,
en þeir með ríki fara
heilir hildar til,
heilir hildi frá.
koma þeir heilir hvaðan?

D&D effects relating to Song 11, Whole

Resistance 0

Heroism 1°
Sanctuary 1°°

Aid 2°

Aura Of Purity 4°°

Heroes Feast 6

Astral Projection 9
Foresight 9

Song 12, Walks

The twelfth song of the masculine warrior magic resurrects the dead. In the Eddas, the æsir sky being Óðinn even used this song to resurrect himself. He mentally prepared himself before his suicide. Also, he chanted this song in whispers into the ear of the corpse of his son Baldr to ensure his resurrection. The mindforces remain part of the breathy consciousness (ǫnd) exhaling from a dead body. A great mind can restore the corpse enough to inhale the consciousness back in.

I know that ·song·, a twelfth.
If I see up on a tree
a corpse of a noose to swing.

I write ·the words of my chant·
and paint such ·with ale· in ·the· runes ·to clean them·,
·so· that that ·resurrected· mortal walks
and talks with me.

Þat kann ek it tolfta:
ef ek sé á tré uppi
váfa virgilná,

svá ek ríst
ok í rúnum fák,
at sá gengr gumi
ok mælir við mik.

D&D effects relating to Song 12, Walks

Revivify 3°

Raise Dead 5°
Resurrection 7

Contingency 6

True Resurrection 9

Song 13, No Fall

Here, the young freeman joins with his clan militia to fight against an other clan militia. The military leader focuses the mindforces to keep this warrior alive during multiple serious injuries. He will not fall as a casualty of battle. An obscure use of water seems part of a mindful ritual to prepare the effect ahead of time.

I know that ·song·, a thirteenth.
If I must throw ·by· water
on a young freeman,

he will not fall ·dead·.
He would come into ·the warriors of a hostile· kinfolk.
He does not collapse
before ·their· blade points.

Þat kann ek it þrettánda:
ef ek skal þegn ungan
verpa vatni á,

mun-at hann falla,
þótt hann í folk komi,
hnígr-a sá halr
fyr hjǫrum.

D&D effects relating to Song 13, No Fall

Spare The Dying 0 (as reaction at range)

Death Ward 4°

Song 14, Sky Beings

Ultimately, the fourteenth magical song serves a military purpose. To focus the minds of fellow warriors on the sky beings, links them all together. In a real sense, the mindforces of these human troops project outofbody with the leader, locating in the mindscape of the sky. A strong mind can interact with the nature beings there. Reciprocally, the sky beings can respond becoming mindfully present with the military troops in the human world. Thus the influence of the military prowess of the sky beings is also among the human troops to enhance combat attacks.

The sky beings, both alfar and æsir, are warriors who defend society against the wild. Thus the winning fates of the alfar and the strong bodies of the æsir enhance the human fates and bodies.

The ‘sky beings’, tivar, include both the alfar and the æsir. Norse týr preserves the ancient meaning ‘sky being’ (*dyewós), from the ancient word ‘sky’ (*dyews).

At the conclusion of the Ljóða-tal, the ‘sons’ being the human combatants who hear this poem are actually outofbody in the sky, sitting in the longhouse of the æsir jarl, the hár. The hár is a muse who teaches them how to do these mindforces techniques.

Knowledge about the sacred ancestral spiritual heritage is part of the education of a Norse. The Norse expect members to know and honor this aboriginal way of life, thus be in harmony with the nature beings around them. As young men entering combat, the warriors among the sky beings have special significance. The human mindforces of those sacred ancestors who proved to be ideal warriors now live in the sky among the sky beings. These are human immigrants who the æsir have adopted into the clan of æsir. The valkyrjar who also live there among the æsir are certain alfar women whose fates determine which humans die heroically in battle.

See Song 10, Mindforces, for more on outofbody projection and teleportation. See Song 15, Muscularity But Also Success, for the kinds of beneficial influences the sky beings are known for.

To some degree, this song also promotes a healthy mind and accurate memory, thus relates to healing. The ability of a mind to travel, is also a means to discern and ‘recall’ facts.

I know that ·song·, a fourteenth.
If before households of troops,
I must tell

·about the· sky beings, ·both the· æsir and ·the· alfar,
I know ·the· distinctions of all.
A rare non-honorable knows such.

Þat kann ek it fjǫgurtánda:
ef ek skal fyrða liði
telja tíva fyrir,

ása ok alfa
ek kann allra skil;
fár kann ósnotr svá.

D&D effects relating to Song 14, Sky beings

Arcana/Religion°/Psionics, Perception/Investigation, and History skills

This song effects spells that grant knowledge and improve skill checks. Spells that conceptualize a communion with other beings to divinate information have the DM give a ‘hint’.

Legend Lore 6 (normally a History skill check)
Contact other Plane 5
Augury 2
Divination 4
Commune With Nature 5 (sky above)
Commune 5° (sky above)

See Song 10, Mindforces for outofbody projection and teleportation.

See Song 15, Muscularity But Also Success, for combat magic to enhance attacks.

Conjure Fey 6 (conjure the mindforces of a willing nature being, in human or animal form)
Planar Ally 6 (conjure the mindforces of a willing nature being, usually in human form)

Plane Shift 7 (body becomes intangible mindforces and teleports to the mindscape of a particular nature being)

Song 15, Muscularity But Also Success

Originally, the fifteenth song ends the Ljóða-tal poem that exemplifies the combat magic of a warrior. It describes the origin of the military success of the sky beings. It credits the æsir atmospheric beings with muscularity and physical prowess. It credits the alfar sunlight beings with a lucky successful fate and mental prowess. These tangible and intangible assets enhance the effectiveness of combat attacks thus achieve victory in battles.

Today, the name of the dvergar earth being Þjóð-rerir is only extent here in this poem. He chants mindfully at the ‘gates’ of dawn, at the horizon where earth meets sky. A dvergar cannot survive in sunlight, so he chants at its threshold during dawn. Where the sunlight alfar cause all of the good fates, the darkness of dvergar cause all the bad fates. The dvergar often go by the nickname ‘black alfar’. Where the alfar are responsible for every good human fate, the dvergar are responsible for every fate that is bleak, deathly, and merciless.

Note, a ‘good’ fate can be painful. What makes a good fate good is the ability to impact others. A great fate changes the course of entire populations. Oppositely, a bad fate is one that is of little consequence to others, either from weakness or failure.

The name Þjóð-rerir means the ‘roarer of the tribe’. The full army of all of the militias of each clan unite in a battlecry as they advance against the hostile threat. The dvergar himself sings this fifteenth song to empower a victory for the sky beings. Likewise a human sings this song for a victory for a human army.

The role of Þjóð-rerir relates to the Norse masculine ethic. Rather than use ones mindforces directly to harm a hostile from a safe distance, the courageous warrior fights the opponent face-to-face. Thus the warrior only uses ones mindforces to empower oneself and ones allies. The mindmagic enhances the strength of the body, the accuracy of weapons, the ́success of a lucky fate, and the heightened sensitivity of mindmagic. But this self-targeting magic, nevertheless, causes harm to the enemies indirectly. By means of ensuring oneself a magically lucky fate, the opponent therefore suffers a bleak unlucky fate. This dvergar relates to this indirect magical harm that the Norse warrior inflicts. The Norse warrior credits the evil but useful Þjóð-rerir with the tragic outcomes for opponents.

Courage is the highest good. Resoluteness and effectiveness in combat are masculine ideals. At the same time, the death and maiming of hostiles is tragic. The loss of human life is literally ‘unfortunate’ in the sense of an evil fate.

To save human life where possible is ultimately the higher good. The Norse look forward to such a time of only peace in a new world to come after the Ragna-rǫk. Those future days are not yet today. Today warriors must fight to save their loved ones.

I know that ·song·, a fifteenth,
which Þjóð-rerir ·the· dvergr ·earth being· chanted
before ·the· doors of ·the dawn being· Dellingr.

He chanted muscularity ·to· æsir,
but ·also· success ·to· alfar.
Mindfulness ·to· a sky being of kill-oracles.

Þat kann ek it fimmtánda
er gól Þjóðrerir dvergr
fyr Dellings durum:

afl gól hann ásum,
en alfum frama,
hyggju hroftatý.

D&D effects relating to Song 15, Muscularity But Also Success

Smite° spells, all of them (force damage can replace any damage type)

Guidance 0

Thunderous Smite 1° (thunder or force)°
Hunters Mark 1

Enhance Ability 2

Elemental Weapon 3 (elemental or force)°

Bless 1°

This song may effect other spells that targets and enhances oneself or allies to become better at combat.

Songs 16, 17, and 18

The textual tradition adds the last stanzas of poem at a later period. In the context of combat prowess and healing, these three extra songs relate to virility, sexual health, and the erotic appeal of a successful warrior. They also evidence the masculine ideal. The sixteenth song is for casual sex. The seventeenth song is for a good relationship with a partner. The eighteenth and best song is for a deep lifelong intimacy that is only possible between elders.

Song 16, Twine

Song 16 celebrates the masculine ideal of having lots of casual sex for fun. In Old Norse, the term for ‘fun’ and for ‘sexual intercourse’ is the same, gaman. The translation ‘loveslave’ comes from the literal meaning ‘slavery’ (man). But Norse texts use this term poetically to mean ‘sexy young woman’. In this figurative sense, the slavery refers to an overwhelming sexual arousal to the point that a rational person makes impulsive irrational decisions. A slave to the sexual impulse. A modern analogy might be groupies who swoon around a celebrity sex symbol.

The warrior wants to have sex for fun. However, to manipulate the mind of an other human is cowardly and taboo. Thus the magic of the warrior gains a sexual partner in an other way. The warrior ‘twines’ ones ‘mindforces’ in an embrace with the mindforces of the other, to telepathically discern what the desires are. Then the warrior uses ones mindforces to fulfill these desires. In other words, the masculine ideal is for the a man to heighten his own sexual appeal by learning how to please a woman. In this way, the normally rational woman will want to behave like a loveslave.

I know that ·song·, a sixteenth.
If I will desire to have all ·the· mood of a loveslave
in the ·normally· rational ·woman·,
and ·sexual· fun,

I turn ·my· mindforces
·to the· woman of white arms ·to embrace·.
And I twine ·my mindforces with hers·
to ·fulfill· all of her pleasures.

Þat kann ek it sextánda:
ef ek vil ins svinna
mans hafa geð allt
ok gaman,

hugi ek hverfi
hvítarmri konu,
ok sný ek
hennar ǫllum sefa.

Song 17, Slow To Alienate

Song 17 exemplifies the masculine ideal to maintain a good relationship. Here even the most sexually impulsive woman is likely to remain in a genuine committed relationship. The ability to learn how to maintain a good relationship takes years of experience. See also Song 8, Mend, where the same skills maintain good relationships with fellow soldiers.

Note, Lodd-fáfnir is a student who wants to learn the ways of a mindful life.

I know that ·song·, a seventeenth,
that ·even· a loveslave of ·a· young of a loveslave
would ·be· slow ·to· alienate me.

Lodd-fáfnir, ·my student·, you will
long be lacking these songs.
Tho see, ·she will be· good ·to· you
if you get ·these songs to meet her needs·.

Use ·these songs· if you acquire ·them by learning them·.
·They are· a necessary thing if you receive ·them·.

Þat kann ek it sjautjánda
at mik mun seint firrask
it manunga man.

Ljóða þessa mun þú,
Loddfáfnir, lengi vanr vera;
þó sé þér góð,
ef þú getr,

nýt ef þú nemr,
þǫrf ef þú þiggr.

Song 18, Husband

Song 18 is about lifelong intimacy between elders. It is impossible for the young to understand it.

I know that ·song·, an eighteenth,
which I never make known
·to any young· lass, nor ·to· a woman of ·an other· man.

All is best,
which ·I· know overmuch alone.
That ·best song· accompanies ·me· to sing ·it·
·behind the· latches ·of closed doors·,
to acquire that ·lifelong mate·,
who ·is for· me ·to become· a husband in ·her· arm.
Or see, my sister.

Þat kann ek it átjánda,
er ek æva kennik
mey né manns konu,

- allt er betra,
er einn of kann;
þat fylgir ljóða
- nema þeiri einni,
er mik armi verr,
eða mín systir sé.

D&D effects relating to Songs 16, 17, and 18

See Song 8, Mend, for telepathy, nurturing positive friendships.

Concluding Stanzas

In the conluding stanzas of the Ljóða-tal poem, the readers are the ‘sons’ of a military. Their minds are outofbody, linking with the tivar sky beings. They sit in the longhouse of the high one, the jarl of the æsir. He teaches these warriors about the eighteen magical songs to ‘push’ mindforces. These sky beings, both alfar and æsir, want humans to help in their struggle to defend against the destructive forces of the jǫtnar wilderness beings. Even those who havent yet mastered this magic benefit from the influence of those who have. The magical lesson for the day concludes.

Now ·the· talk of the high one is
said in the longhouse of the high one.
All necessary thing ·be available to· the sons ·of humans· to push ·mindforces·.
No necessary thing ·be available to· the sons of jǫtnar.

Hello, that ·one· who said ·these songs to teach them·.
Hello, that ·one· who knows ·how to manifest these songs·.
That ·one· would enjoy ·them·,
who acquires ·them by learning them·.
Hello, those ·ones who· listened.

Nú eru Háva mál
kveðin Háva hǫllu í,
allþǫrf ýta sonum,
óþǫrf jǫtna sonum;

heill sá, er kvað,
heill sá, er kann,
njóti sá,
er nam,
heilir, þeirs hlýddu.

D&D effects relating to the Concluding Stanzas

See Song, Sky Beings, for communing with nature spirits, especially the alfar and æsir who know galdr warrior magic.

See Song 10, Mindforces, for outofbody projection and teleportation.

D&D effects relating to the Ljóða-tal poem

In sum, the Ljóða-tal poem describes a galdr magic, that in D&D terms works well as psionic archetype for the Paladin class, and for a full spellcaster, works well as a psionic archetype for the Bard class.

Interestingly, the Bard class translates well the masculine galdr magic in the sense of protective combat magic, but also translates well the feminine seiðr magic in the sense of telepathic mind manipulation and animal magic. Persons who are skilled in both galdr and seiðr, as well as other kinds magic, are called fjǫl-kyngis-fólk, literally, ‘many-knowing folk’, skilled in many kinds of magic pushing mindforces for diverse effects.
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Mind Mage
What is animism?

Foremost among the causes which transfigure into myth the facts of daily experience, is the belief in the animation of all nature, rising at its highest pitch to personification. This [animism] is inextricably bound in with that [foundational] state [of mind], where [a human] recognizes in every detail of [the] world, the operation of [a] personal life − and will.

Sun and stars, trees and rivers, winds and clouds, become personal creatures, leading lives conformed to human or animal analogies.


Edward Tylor 1871. Primitive Culture.

Humans are tuned for relationship. Eyes, skin, tongue, ears, and nostrils − all are gates, where our body receives the nourishment of otherness.

For the largest part of our species existence, humans negotiated relationships with every aspect of the sensuous surroundings. Exchanging possibilities with every flapping form, textured surface, shivering entity that we happen to focus upon. All speak, in gesture, in whistle, in sigh, a shifting web of meanings that we felt on our skin, or inhaled through our nostrils, or focused with our listening ears. We replied with sounds, movements, or shifts of mood.

The color of sky, the rush of waves − every aspect of the earthly sensuous draw us into a relationship. Every sound was a voice, every scrape was a meeting, with Thunder, with Oak.

From all these relationships our collective sensibilities were nourished.

Today we [moderns] participate [animistically] almost exclusively with other humans and with our human-made technologies. It is a precarious situation. [Because] we are [actually] human only [if] in conviviality with what is not human.

Without the oxygenating breath of the forests, without the clutch of gravity, and the tumbled magic of river rapids, we have no [wider context or] distance from our technologies, no way to keep ourselves from turning into [our technologies].

Direct sensuous reality, in all its more-than-human mystery, remains the sole solid touchstone for an experiential world now inundated with electronically generated vistas. Only in regular contact with the ground and sky can we learn to navigate in the multiple dimensions that now claim us.

The development in the twentieth century of the [philosophical] tradition of ‘phenomenology’ − the study of direct experience − intended to provide a solid foundation for the empirical sciences. [This] careful study of perceptual experience unexpectedly began to make evident the hidden centrality of the earth in ALL human experience. Indeed, phenomenological research began to suggest that the human mind was thoroughly dependent upon (and thoroughly influenced by) our forgotten relation with encompassing earth.


Abram, David (1996). The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than-Human World.


Mind Mage
What is shamanism?

I traveled to Indonesia on a research grant to study the relation between magic and medicine, among the sorcerers, Dukuns, of the Indonesian archipelago, and later among the Dzankris, shamans of Nepal.

But the focus of my research shifted from magical techniques in medicine toward the relationship between traditional magic and the animate natural world.

None of the island sorcerers in Indonesia, nor any of the Dzankris in Nepal considered their work as healers to be their major function within their communities. Most of them, to be sure, were the primary healers for villages in their vicinity, and spoken of as such by the inhabitants.

But the villagers also sometimes spoke of them, in low voices, as witches (‘Lejaks’ in Bali), as dark magicians who at night might be practicing their healing spells backward in order to afflict people. Such suspicions seemed fairly common in Indonesia, often with regard to the most effective healers. It was assumed that a magician, in order to expel malevolent influences must have a strong understanding of those influences, even a close rapport.

I myself never saw any of those magicians or shamans engage in magic for harmful purposes, nor evidence that they had ever done so. Yet I was struck by the fact that NONE of them said anything to counter such disturbing rumors.

Slowly, I came to recognize it was through such rumors, and the ambiguous fears, that the sorcerers were able to maintain a basic level of privacy. If not [for] fears, they would come to obtain magical help for every little malady. The sorcerer would be swamped from morning to night. By allowing the suspicions (and sometimes even encouraging such rumors), the sorcerer ensured that only those who were in profound need would dare to approach for help.

This privacy left the magician free to attend to [the self-described] primary function.

A clue to this function may be found in the circumstances that their dwellings are at the periphery of the community, beyond the edges of the village. For the magician in a traditional culture, it seems a spatial expression of [ones] symbolic position − mediating BETWEEN the human community and the larger community of [animistic] beings, upon which the village depends for sustenance.

This larger community includes with the humans the nonhuman entities that constitute the landscape − birds, mammals, fish that inhabit or migrate through the region, particular winds and weather patterns that inform the local geography, the landforms − forests, rivers, caves, mountains − that lend character to the surrounding earth.

The traditional shaman acts as an INTERMEDIARY between the human community and the larger ecological field, ensuring that there is an appropriate flow of nourishment, not just from the landscape to the human, but from the human back to the local earth.

By constant rituals, trances, ecstasies, and ‘journeys’, one ensures that the relation between human society and larger society is reciprocal. [So] that the village never takes more from the land than it returns to it − materially with propitiations, and praise. The scale of a harvest or hunt [is] always NEGOTIATED between the tribal community and the natural world.

To some extent, every adult in the community is engaged in this process of attuning to the other [animistic] presences. But the shaman is the exemplary voyager between the human and the more-than-human worlds. The primary negotiator.

The medicine persons primary allegiance is not to the human community, but to the web of relations in which that community is embedded. It is from this that his or her power to alleviate human illnesses derives. And this sets the local magician apart from other persons.

The traditional magician cultivates an ability to shift out of his or her common state of consciousness in order to make contact with the other forms of awareness, with which human existence is entwined. Only by temporarily shedding [human] culture can the sorcerer hope to enter into relation with other species on their own terms. By altering the common organization of senses, [one] will be able to enter into a rapport with the multiple nonhuman sensibilities that animate the local landscape.

This defines a shaman: the ability to readily slip out of the perceptual boundaries that demarcate his or her particular cultures − boundaries reinforced by customs, taboos, and language − in order to make contact with, and learn from, the other powers in the land. ‘Magic’ is precisely this heightened receptivity to the meaningful solicitations − songs, cries, gestures − of the larger more-than-human field.

Magic in its most primordial sense, is the experience of existing in a world made up of multiple [kinds of] intelligences. Every form one perceives − from the swallow swooping overhead to the blade of grass − is an experiencing entity with its own predilections and sensations, albeit sensations that are very different from our own [human sensations].


Abram, David (1996). The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than-Human World.


Mind Mage
Ancestor Reverence

The shamans role as an intermediary between human society and the land is not always obvious. We see the sorcerer called upon to cure an ailing tribesman or locate some missing goods. We witness entering trance and sending awareness [outofbody] into other ‘dimensions’ in search of insight and aid.

We should not interpret these ‘dimensions’ as ‘supernatural’. Nor view them as realms ‘internal’ to the personal psyche of the practitioner.

The ‘inner world’ of our Western psycholog[y], like the supernatural heaven of Christian belief, originates from the LOSS of our ancestral reciprocity with the animate earth. When the animate [minds] that surround us are construed as having less significance than ourselves, when the earth is abruptly defined as a determinate object devoid of its own sensations and feelings, then [our perception] of a wild multiplicitous otherness (which human existence has always oriented itself) must migrate into a supersensory heaven beyond the natural world, or into the human skull itself. The only allowable refuge for [the] unfathomable.

In oral indigenous cultures, it is not by sending awareness beyond the natural world that the shaman makes contact. Rather, it is by propelling awareness [outofbody] into [the] landscape, the living dream that [one] shares with the soaring hawk [or] the stone silently sprouting lichens on its course surface.

The magicians intimate relationship with nonhuman nature becomes evident when we attend to the content of the ritual gestures when alone, the daily propitiations and praise toward the land and its many voices.

While the notion of ‘spirit’ has come to have, for us in the West, a primarily anthropomorphic association, my encounter with the ants [that were called ‘household spirits’ and given gifts of food to negotiate that they stay out of the house], was the first of many experiences that the ‘spirits’ of an indigenous culture are PRIMARILY those modes of intelligence and awareness that dont possess a human form.

It is not only entities acknowledged by Western civilization as ‘alive’, not only animals and plants that speak as ‘spirits’ to an oral culture, but also the river, the monsoon rain [storms], the stone that fits neatly into the hand. The mountain too has thoughts. Birds. Sun. Forest.

Ritual reverence to ones long-dead human ancestors [is a reverence to] ‘spirits’ that are ultimately nonhuman.

Most indigenous tribal peoples have NO IMMATERIAL REALM. [In the West], our strictly human heavens and hells have only recently been abstracted from the sensuous world that surrounds us. For almost all oral cultures, the earth remains the dwelling place of both the living and the dead. The ‘body’ − whether human or otherwise − is a magical entity, the MINDs own sensuous aspect. At death, the bodys decomposition into dust, can only signify the reintegration of [the minds of] ones ancestors and elders into the landscape from which all are born.

Often [the literal wind of] the atmosphere that animates the visible world − the subtle presence that circulates both within us and between all things − retains within itself the [literal] ‘breath’ of the dead person. [Thus, the mind of a once human body becomes the mind of dust and of wind.]

Death, in tribal cultures, initiates a metamorphosis wherein the persons [mental] presence does not vanish from the sensible world (where would it go?) but rather remains as an animating force within the landscape, whether subtly in the wind, or more visibly in animal form, or even of the volcano.

[Socalled] ‘ancestor worship’ is ultimately another mode of attentiveness to nonhuman nature. It signifies not so much an awe of human powers, but rather a reverence for those forms that [an] awareness takes when NOT in human form. The familiar human embodiment decays to become part of the encompassing cosmos.

This cycling of the human back into the world ensures that [nonhuman] experience − whether ants, willow trees, or clouds − are never alien to ourselves. Despite the obvious differences in shape and ability, they remain familiar, even familial. It is paradoxically this kinship that renders the otherness [of the dead, the animals, and the other nonhumans] so eerily potent.


Abram, David (1996). The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than-Human World.


Mind Mage
Norse ‘Psionics’

The manipulation of the forces of the ‘mind’ is the basis of ALL Norse magic.

‘Mind’, Norwegian hug, Old Norse hugr.

The folk [of Scandinavia] lived close to nature and believed they were a part of it.

Christianity was late in coming to Scandinavia, making few inroads before 1000 AD. The Norse religion (like that of the [Suomi] Finns and the [Sámi] Lapps) was this-world oriented.

Both the [æsir] and the alfar were seen, not as transcendent, but as being in, and of, nature.

Odin, for example, was manipulating nature through magic [using his mind], [the same magic that human minds have]. His powers were not supernatural.

In recent Scandinavian folk traditions, both orientations − one vertical [monotheism], involving the transcendent deity, the other horizontal [animism], relating to nature − exist. We can see this duality in the practices of reputed wise folk, and in the underlying concepts of the human [mind], hug.

Perceiving their daily environment in prescientific but practical terms, the people responded to nature in the way they experienced it, namely as ‘animate’, and possessed of will, and thus capable of aiding humans − but also doing them harm.

The relationship between human and nature thus depended upon MUTUALITY, and [mutual] respect.

The folk concept of the hug is fundamental.

The hug is continuous with the physical self, representing a persons thought, will, desire, and feeling.

The many [outofbody] projections of the hug include dream experience, the nightmare, as well as an invisible presence preceding the person. The hug could ‘wander’ about [outofbody while ones mind is wandering] without the individual being [consciously] aware of it.

But it could also be sent deliberately, for example, in the case of magic flight [outofbody], or other uses of magic. Specialists in the controlled use of the hug were called ‘wise folk’ or ‘witches’, depending on whether their skills were useful or threatening.

The term hug refers to the ‘mental life’ of the individual − personality, thoughts, feelings, desires.

There are conceptions of the hug imbuing Scandinavian tradition, from [Old Norse] literature to more recent folk belief.

It was believed that the hug could affect both animate and inanimate objects − including other people − either consciously or unconsciously.

The deliberate manipulation of the hug, [the mind], is the basis of all magic.

The hug can manifest invisibly or it can take on a ‘shape’, ham. In some instances, the shape assumed by the hug developed into an independent being, as exemplified by the nightmare (mare).

Other important projections of the hug include the vord, [Old Norse vǫrðr, ‘guard’, in the sense of a lookout], which is a kind of presence accompanying the individual. [It also] leaves [outofbody while dreaming] during sleep. The fyreferd [is] a visual or auditory experience presaging a persons approach [while the mind of the traveler is thinking about arriving]. [The mind can be] sent from the body in magic flight.


Reimund Kvideland, Henning K Sehmsdorf 1988. Scandinavian Folk Belief and Legend.

In D&D terms, the Norse setting is a psionic setting.

All Norse magic is done by wielding the ‘psionics’ (hugar) of ones own personal ‘mind’ (hugr).

Every Norse nature being (vættir) is psionic, including humans, alfar, æsir, vanir, jǫtnar, dvergar, and náir.

Individuals vary in psionic strength, some exhibiting more talent (higher ability score) and some achieving more training (higher level).


Mind Mage
Norse World

This Norse World thread publishes the Norse World gaming setting by Yaarel, that utilizes the OGL 1.0a contract,

with various content from the several SRDs (System Reference Documents) below:

the OGL (Open Gaming License 1.0a) and the 5e SRD (Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition System Reference Document 5.1) are available here (as of January 6, 2022)

in this document

the 3e SRD (System Reference Document 3.5) is made available


in this document



and here

and the MSRD (d20 Modern System Reference Document) is available


in this document
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I rather liked in Jan Fridegård's...
While good, these books are now 70 years old and more. Our understanding has changed. My personal opinion (not a professional opinion) is that de difference between polytheism and animism is often exaggerated. Even Greek and Roman polytheism had animistic elements, and both India and Japan feature a mix of polytheism and animism even today.

As a swede reading this thread, it is funny to note that about 3/4 of the terms are comprehensible as old-fashioned Swedish - once you remove the runic signs that represent sounds that have fallen out of use here. Swedish is a lazy language that doesn't appreciate tounge gymnastics. :) The thorn rune, so prevalent in modern English as the "th" in words like "the", is to us simply a T or D sound. Oden and Tor is how we spell and pronounce the names today - but then our "o" sound is unlike that in English so it doesn't really clarify anything.

And "dräng" is a somewhat dated but still comprehensible word for a male rural worker, lacking land and employed on a yearly basis. Oh how the mighty "drengr" have fallen. ;) But the word can still be used in a heroic sense, for examples for members of a male choir.
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The æsir dwell among the clouds. But Asgarðr itself is a place on earth, near Troy, where the æsir sky beings gather for their parliament meetings. It looks like a field on Mount Ida, but if one enters the extradimensional space, one encounters the open-air government site, marked out with clear boundaries, and luxurious structures nearby.
Does anyone actually think this was a Norse beleif? To me it seems to be an excuse, a way to present the old faith as harmless honoring of ancestors. Linking the pagan ancestors of nordic Christians to the meditarenian ancestors of medieval Christians in order to make the nordic pagans seem more respectable. A literary invention, not an old belief. I don't think I was ever taught this, I just everyone read it this way.

Does anyone actually think this was a Norse beleif? To me it seems to be an excuse, a way to present the old faith as harmless honoring of ancestors. Linking the pagan ancestors of nordic Christians to the meditarenian ancestors of medieval Christians in order to make the nordic pagans seem more respectable. A literary invention, not an old belief. I don't think I was ever taught this, I just everyone read it this way.
Yaerel appears to despise the idea of gods and pantheons despite being into Norse Myth.

Basically this

Be aware that many of the claims about medieval Scandinavian history, culture, and (especially) religious belief which Yaarel states as settled fact are actually regarded as speculative, contentious, or even fringe theories among the historical community. The archeological and textual record of the Norse, much like any pre-modern society, is vague and open to many different interpretations. Exercise caution and think critically.


Mind Mage
Does anyone actually think this was a Norse beleif? To me it seems to be an excuse, a way to present the old faith as harmless honoring of ancestors. Linking the pagan ancestors of nordic Christians to the meditarenian ancestors of medieval Christians in order to make the nordic pagans seem more respectable. A literary invention, not an old belief. I don't think I was ever taught this, I just everyone read it this way.
Snorri presents a smörgåsbord of diverse and conflictive Nordic local traditions, plus adds his honest attempt to make sense of, reconcile, and systematize them.

Archeologists must approach every text cautiously. At the same time, the eddas and sagas supply useful data.

The Norse folkbelief is such, that Snorri thinks it is "plausible" Ásgarðr can be Troy in today Turkey.

This is conceivable because, Ásgarðr is on land, and south and east relating to where the sun rises.

He emphasizes the Nordic traditions that resemble Pan-European literature, but doesnt invent them. For example, Iða-vǫllr ‘the field of Ida‘ is already a Norse tradition, then he associates it with Mount Ida that overlooks Troy, whence the location of Ásgarðr.

His view, the Norse traditions describe nature is correct because the Nordic traditions describe animism. For example, the nature being earth, Jǫrð, is literally the earth itself, with trees like hair growing and subterranean waters like blood flowing. These are nontheistic concepts, in contrast to what a Christian would understand to be theism.


Mind Mage
Yaerel appears to despise the idea of gods and pantheons despite being into Norse Myth.
There is no "despise".

I have no problem with gods and pantheons being in Greece or Italy because that is fact.

I do have a problem with claims they are in Nordic countries because that is a misunderstanding.

During the Viking Period and earlier, Sámi, Norse, and Finns are animists. Their spiritual leaders are shamanic.
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Mind Mage
In the science of Nordic archeology today in the century of the 2000s, the understanding that the pre-Christian Viking Period is animistic is normal and common.

The general feeling among archeologists today, is the ways that the Viking Period Nordic ethnicities relate to figures such as æsir and alfar is moreorless the same as the ways that modern folkbelief relate to troll and tomte. It is an animistic relationship where aspects of nature are neighbors who are sometimes helpful and sometimes dangerous.

It is incorrect to refer to Finnish traditions as "polytheistic". The figures are not "gods", but rather local guardian spirits. Similar applies to pre-Christian Norse traditions. Because of terms such as Norse goð, archeologists often continue to use the English term "god" out of convenience, but it is important to avoid the Christianization of these indigenous terms, including avoiding the Christian missionizing efforts against European polytheists among other ethnicities elsewhere.

The consensus today is, there was never a "pagan temple" in Uppsala. Archeologists view the medieval claims by Adam of Bremen to be fiction. Adam of Bremen is a Christian of a missionary church in Germany, who never visited Scandinavia. His claims describe local superstitions in Germany during the century of the 1000s.

Archeologists have sites across Nordic countries whose artifacts evidence sacred behavior, whose use remains in debate. The explanations of local animistic traditions fit the evidence better. The earlier claims of an organized widespread religious institution are no longer credible.

The pre-Christian Norse folkbeliefs are a web of overlapping local traditions, whose customs tend to vary family by family. The customs and beliefs evident in one locale can differ significantly from those in an other locale.
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