Need to wake up the dead? Look no further.
It has to be said before we continue; Galdraskræða, or Sorcerer’s Screed, is a dangerous book and should be handled with caution and respect. This is an odd tome, its first version was handwritten and published in 1940. It contains powerful magical runes, magic letters and black and white magic that could easily be misused by dishonest characters. With these runes, one can protect themselves, curse a neighbour, sway people’s hearts to fall in love or protect one’s mental health. But it also contains the secrets of waking up the dead, forcing people to steal and there is even a rune to make ensure a legal case is won. Should you continue reading, let it be known you have been warned.
Strange man, dark history
The author of Sorcerer’s Screed was a strange man with a deep interest in the dark history of Icelanders and sorcery. His name was Jochum Magnús Eggertsson but wrote the book under the name Skuggi (Shadow, in English)—an aliashe used often when investigating mysticism. He was born in 1896 and died in 1966. No stranger to the written word, Jochum was the nephew of one of Iceland’s greatest poets, Matthías Jochumsson, who penned the poem that serves as the lyrics of the Icelandic national anthem.
Jochum had controversial ideas about the settlements in Iceland. His theory was that historians had changed the history of the first hundreds of years after the settlement to omit the story of a clan called Krýsar. The Krýsar are said to have lived in Hafnarfjörður, in a place we today call Krýsuvík, and they were originally Irish. The leader of the clan, Kolskeggur, is said to have written Iceland’s greatest poems and books, everything from Njál’s Saga’s The Story of Burnt Njál to the Hávamál, a deep philosophical manuscript about honour. Jochum also claimed that he had found a book that Kolskeggur wrote, called the Golden Script, or Gullskinna (also known as Gullbringa). Its pages were filled with instructions about magic as well as the true story of settlement in Iceland. Jochum never showed anyone this book and therefore never prooved its existence beyond doubt, although he claimed to have it in his possession.
Erased from history
The story goes that the Icelandic chieftains felt the Krýsar were too powerful, and so they decided to wipe out the clan. And so they did in the year 1054, according to Jochum’s theories. Kolskeggur was killed as well. But with time, his name changed, and it became Kölski, which simply means, the devil. The books of the Krýsar were banned or forbidden and said to be evil books about black and white magic. Kolskeggur’s grave is said to be in Krýsuvík, but a priest decided to build a chapel on in. To top it all, the scholar Ari “Fróði” Sæmundsson was said to have erased all evidence of Krýsar’s existence from history.
Now, this matters, because Jochum’s Sorcerer’s Screed is said to be based on ideas of sorcery practiced in Iceland at the time of the settlement. Although, all of the runes Jochum found were compiled from well-known ancient manuscripts that one can find in our national library, some might be from the mysterious Golden Script, Gullskinna—if it really existed at all.
First version handwritten
The first version of the book was handwritten—everything from the runes to the magic letters—by JOchum himself. Some of the scripts he used originated in the Westfjords, where Jochum was born. Icelanders burned quite a few warlocks, but only one witch, in the late 16th century Westfjords. Iceland was different from most European countries when it came to burning witches, since we only burned one woman of the 25 people that were executed for sorcery
Reshaped and republished
The Sorcerer’s Screed was out of print for decades before young students at the Iceland University of the Arts decided to reshaped and republish the book in association with the Icelandic Magic Company (Lesstofan). They rewrote it, drawing the runes in better quality.
In this book, one can find hundreds of runes and magic letters. Now, before you go buying this book with grand plans of winning all your legal cases or catching thieves—or simply waking up the dead—keep in mind, all of this is considered quite dangerous. But if you need a protective tattoo, we recommend the Greater Shield Of Terror. It can’t hurt. Literally.
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!