Review: Secrets of Asgard

Secrets of Asgard : an instruction in esoteric rune wisdom
Vincent Ongkowidjojo

Mandrake of Oxford, 2011. 293 p. ISBN 978-1-906958-31-2 (with an index!)

Cover of the book Secrets of Asgard

The author of ‘Runen in de Noordse traditie’ (Ankh-Hermes, 2007) studied rune magic under the tutelage of Freya Aswynn. (She wrote the foreword.) He also studied very different subjects and the bibliography is very diverse. But the runes and the Northern mythology are the main focus of this book. The first part centres on the meaning of the (24) individual runes and each chapter, each rune, gives food for thought. The second part centres on the application of the system, namely magic and divination and includes rituals and exercises. The Havamal poem is a guide to make your own set of runes and talismanic magic. The threefold division of the futhark is discussed in a chapter on the Aettir. And there’s a chapter on the Nine Worlds. “It is exactly in these mythic worlds that the different powers of the Gods find expression. And the powers they express are represented by the Runes. The system is therefore built around three components: the worlds, the Gods and the Runes. Metaphorically speaking, all of these refer to aspects of the mind. The worlds symbolize different levels of the mind, whereas the Gods represent archetypes playing within these areas of action. The Runes are energies present. In daily life, the worlds refer to different contexts a situation takes place in. The Gods represent our response patterns, and the Runes symbolize conscious decisions throughout life.” (To be honest, this is the only place I came across the mentioning of the Gods as representations of things, and not as themselves.)
Certainly a fountain of knowledge and ideas to people who are already familiar with the runes, but I think it is also a good book for the interested beginner.

Over Jana

Wicca is mijn religie, achteraf gezien is dat altijd al zo geweest. Ik heb het geluk gehad mensen te leren kennen waarmee het goed klikte. In 1984 hebben zij me ingewijd in een Gardnerian coven. Anders was ik alleen verder gegaan. Mijn ideeën over de rol van man en vrouw komen in wicca terug. Zo ook mijn ideeën over het belang van natuur en milieu: ik vier de jaarfeesten en eet de groenten van het seizoen. En de Wiccan Rede ('Doe wat je wilt, mits het niemand schaadt') was al mijn lijfspreuk voor ik wicca leerde kennen.
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