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 Finnish And Scottish Folk Magic, Need resources about their practice
Rabbit
post Aug 21 2008, 12:07 AM
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I'm fairly new to working magic, though I do have some knowledge of Finnish and Scottish folklore. Unfortunately, resources about Finnish folk magic are rare--in English, a least. I have found some free ebooks available through Google books, namely Suomen Kansan Muinaisia Loitsurunoja (in Finnish, by Elias Lonnrot) and its partial English translation in The Pre- and Proto-Historic Finns with The Magic Songs of the West Finns, Vol. I and II. Also I have found an online article called "Finnish Paganism" (in English, by Anssi Alhonen) referring briefly to Finnish wizards called tietäjä. (I have links to them in Neophyte Hall under "Which Path Suits Me Best?".). I have also found the "Carmina Gadelica," which is a Gaelic/English collection of Scottish Highland hymn-charms.

Do you know of any online or printed resources that specifically describe HOW a Finnish tietäjä and a Scottish folk witch practice magic? And also any that describe in detail their herbalist/magical methods and recipes for healing and for spells? I can't find any resources that discuss these things.

I'm a bit leery about the book Finnish Magic: A Nation of Wizards, A World of Spirits (by Robert Nelson) as it seems to have a bad reputation amongst Finns.

Also, I'd prefer to read about non-Wiccan-influenced descriptions of Finnish and Scottish folk magic.

Any ideas?

Thanks for yout help!

--"Rabbit"

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Agni
post Oct 11 2008, 02:40 AM
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I'm Finnish and know a bit about the ways of the local wisemen, or "tietäjät" (pl.)

The basic idea is that you can control an aspect in Creation by knowing its origin. I.e. you could heal a sickness if you sang the birth song of the evil creature that caused it. Incidentally healing was one of the main intents Finnish wisemen worked for, and some of them were very famous and revered for their powers.

Lonnrot gathered our national epic book Kalevala. Have you read any of it? That would be obvious start... Väinämöinen, one of the main characters is an archetypal wiseman. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)





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Agni
post Oct 11 2008, 02:45 AM
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I'm Finnish and know a bit about the ways of the local wisemen, or "tietäjät" (pl.)

The basic idea is that you can control an aspect in Creation by knowing its origin. I.e. you could heal a sickness if you sang the birth song of the evil creature that caused it. Incidentally healing was one of the main intents Finnish wisemen worked for, and some of them were very famous and revered for their powers. Like in folk magic elsewhere too, spirits, magical objects, potions, spells and rituals etc. played their part as well, but I know less about the specifics.

Lonnrot gathered our national epic book Kalevala. Have you read any of it? That would be obvious start... Väinämöinen, one of the main characters is an archetypal wiseman. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

Link:http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/kveng/

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Jenfucius
post Nov 9 2008, 02:28 PM
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Are there any good books on Finnnish magick that you can recommend?

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Agni
post Nov 10 2008, 06:47 PM
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QUOTE(Jenfucius @ Nov 9 2008, 10:28 PM) *

Are there any good books on Finnnish magick that you can recommend?


No, unfortunately the old ways were only recorded superficially and there aren't any instructional books available (that I know of, at least).

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Jenfucius
post Nov 15 2008, 02:47 PM
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How about history books about Finnish paganism or witchcraft? Anything on that?

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Agni
post Nov 19 2008, 08:57 PM
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QUOTE(Jenfucius @ Nov 15 2008, 10:47 PM) *

How about history books about Finnish paganism or witchcraft? Anything on that?


No sorry, I can't think of anything like that..

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Jenfucius
post Nov 20 2008, 05:25 PM
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Okay thanks for trying Agni.

Its too bad so much information has been lost through time. Its like how alot of groups now are trying to perserve as much knowledge as possible befor it becomes totally lost.

This post has been edited by Jenfucius: Nov 20 2008, 05:27 PM

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ComaOfLoss
post Nov 23 2008, 05:56 AM
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I have a book by Lönnrot (the man who compiled Kalevala) named "Suomen Kansan Muinaisia Loitsurunoja" meaning "Ancient Spell Poems by the People of Finland". It's only available in finnish though.

The spells vary from fixing your barn to vengeance, controlling the weather and curing disease.

Here's a link:http://www.athanaton.fi/catalog/suomen-kansan-muinaisia-loitsurunoja-p-806.html

E: Oops, just saw you found this one already.

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Jenfucius
post Nov 23 2008, 05:13 PM
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Thanks ComaOfLoss! Its interesting that the book of spells is written in a poem form.
I guess there isnt a whole lot of literature on the occult written in Finnish.

I'm just curious is Finish witchcraft different from Swedish or Danish witchicraft?

This post has been edited by Jenfucius: Nov 23 2008, 05:15 PM

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Rabbit
post Dec 8 2008, 02:01 AM
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QUOTE(Jenfucius @ Nov 23 2008, 07:13 PM) *

Thanks ComaOfLoss! Its interesting that the book of spells is written in a poem form.
I guess there isnt a whole lot of literature on the occult written in Finnish.

I'm just curious is Finish witchcraft different from Swedish or Danish witchicraft?


There actually is quite a lot of "occult" ("folk magick") literature written in Finnish (but very little in English or any other language). In fact, there is an immense database of Finnish folklore literature with a selection of those resources online (http://www.finlit.fi/aineistot/verkkoaineistot.php): "The Folklore Archives collects folk tradition in a number of different forms (e.g. stories, folk beliefs, spells, games, jokes, songs, proverbs, life histories), recollections of holy festivals and / or special days and oral history about people's everyday lives." Plus there's a great online forum dealing specifically with the Finnish occult (http://www.hiitola-foorumi.net/). But, of course, you need to be able to read Finnish pretty well (and Finnish does happen to be one of the most -- if not THE most -- difficult languages in the world to learn...if you're not a native Finnish speaker.) *

Finnish witchcraft is very different from Swedish, Danish, and other Scandinavian witchcraft. Although centuries of Viking and Swedish colonization and occupation have, of course, influenced Finnish culture (particularly along the western and southern coastal regions), the most authentic form of Finnish culture (and therefore witchcraft) is found in Karelia. The Kalevala is, in fact, taken strictly from Karelian folklore. Never make the mistake that the Finns are Slavic (cringe!) either. Authentic, historical Finnish culture is truly unique. The Finnish language is not even in the Indo-European family -- it's Uralic (which also includes Estonian, Hungarian, Mari, Mordvin, Permian, Sami, and Samoyed). The same distinction goes for Finnish culture (before cultural contamination by the Swedes and Russians) and its magico-religious traditions. Accordingly, Finnish mythology (and witchcraft) is most similar to Estonian and Baltic mythology rather than to Scandinavian or Slavic mythology.

* P.S. My grandmother was a Finlandssvenska (Swedish-speaking Finn), so my reading comprehension of Swedish is good, but my Finnish is lousy, so please don't ask me for translations of Finnish literature. I might be able to help with Swedish translations though, if any literature about Finnish folk magick written in Swedish actually exists...

QUOTE(Jenfucius @ Nov 15 2008, 04:47 PM) *

How about history books about Finnish paganism or witchcraft? Anything on that?


Snake Fat and Knotted Threads: An Introduction to Traditional Finnish Healing Magic (by Kati Koppana)

The Magical Self. Body, Society and the Supernatural in Early Modern Rural Finland (by Laura Stark)

Magic, Body and Social Order: The Construction of Gender Through Woman's Private Rituals in Traditional Finland (by Laura Stark)

Peasants, Pilgrims and Sacred Promises: Ritual and the Supernatural in Orthodox Karelian Folk Religion (by Laura Stark)

This post has been edited by Rabbit: Dec 8 2008, 02:10 AM

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Jenfucius
post Dec 8 2008, 06:09 AM
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QUOTE(Rabbit @ Dec 8 2008, 03:01 AM) *

There actually is quite a lot of "occult" ("folk magick") literature written in Finnish (but very little in English or any other language). In fact, there is an immense database of Finnish folklore literature with a selection of those resources online (http://www.finlit.fi/aineistot/verkkoaineistot.php): "The Folklore Archives collects folk tradition in a number of different forms (e.g. stories, folk beliefs, spells, games, jokes, songs, proverbs, life histories), recollections of holy festivals and / or special days and oral history about people's everyday lives." Plus there's a great online forum dealing specifically with the Finnish occult (http://www.hiitola-foorumi.net/). But, of course, you need to be able to read Finnish pretty well (and Finnish does happen to be one of the most -- if not THE most -- difficult languages in the world to learn...if you're not a native Finnish speaker.) *


Your post was awesome Rabitt. It is quite informative.
I didnt realize there was so much resources on Finnish folklore. I'm really glad its being preserved.


QUOTE(Rabbit @ Dec 8 2008, 03:01 AM) *

Finnish witchcraft is very different from Swedish, Danish, and other Scandinavian witchcraft. Although centuries of Viking and Swedish colonization and occupation have, of course, influenced Finnish culture (particularly along the western and southern coastal regions), the most authentic form of Finnish culture (and therefore witchcraft) is found in Karelia. The Kalevala is, in fact, taken strictly from Karelian folklore. Never make the mistake that the Finns are Slavic (cringe!) either. Authentic, historical Finnish culture is truly unique. The Finnish language is not even in the Indo-European family -- it's Uralic (which also includes Estonian, Hungarian, Mari, Mordvin, Permian, Sami, and Samoyed). The same distinction goes for Finnish culture (before cultural contamination by the Swedes and Russians) and its magico-religious traditions. Accordingly, Finnish mythology (and witchcraft) is most similar to Estonian and Baltic mythology rather than to Scandinavian or Slavic mythology.

I didnt know Finnish witchcraft was different from other Scandinavian witchcrafts.
I wonder if Swedish and Danish withcraft differ from one another as well????

Karelia? I never heard of it I gotta take a look at it with a map.
Now I'm really suprise the Finnish language is actually Uralic. I'm even more suprise that Finnish mythology and witchcraft is similar to Estonian andBaltic mythology (who would have thought of that)!


QUOTE(Rabbit @ Dec 8 2008, 03:01 AM) *

* P.S. My grandmother was a Finlandssvenska (Swedish-speaking Finn), so my reading comprehension of Swedish is good, but my Finnish is lousy, so please don't ask me for translations of Finnish literature. I might be able to help with Swedish translations though, if any literature about Finnish folk magick written in Swedish actually exists...
Snake Fat and Knotted Threads: An Introduction to Traditional Finnish Healing Magic (by Kati Koppana)

The Magical Self. Body, Society and the Supernatural in Early Modern Rural Finland (by Laura Stark)

Magic, Body and Social Order: The Construction of Gender Through Woman's Private Rituals in Traditional Finland (by Laura Stark)

Peasants, Pilgrims and Sacred Promises: Ritual and the Supernatural in Orthodox Karelian Folk Religion (by Laura Stark)

I wish I had a grandmother who taught me Swedish.
Thank you Rabbit I appreciate the resources.

btw What is that famous fermented fish food called again. I know its suppose to smell alot.
I do want to look for a can of it. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)





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Rabbit
post Dec 8 2008, 01:53 PM
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QUOTE(Jenfucius @ Dec 8 2008, 07:09 AM) *

Your post was awesome Rabitt. It is quite informative.
I didnt realize there was so much resources on Finnish folklore. I'm really glad its being preserved.
I didnt know Finnish witchcraft was different from other Scandinavian witchcrafts.
I wonder if Swedish and Danish withcraft differ from one another as well????


We Finns are really into preserving our history and culture, probably since the rest of the world doesn't know anything about us, and we highly value education. I think Swedish and Danish witchcraft are fairly similar since they are both Scandinavian and have a long history of cross-colonization and trade at least since the Viking Era. Though it is possible that they have some German influences as well. I don't know. I take it that you are Swedish and Danish?

QUOTE
Karelia? I never heard of it I gotta take a look at it with a map.
Now I'm really suprise the Finnish language is actually Uralic. I'm even more suprise that Finnish mythology and witchcraft is similar to Estonian andBaltic mythology (who would have thought of that)!
I wish I had a grandmother who taught me Swedish.
Thank you Rabbit I appreciate the resources.


Karelia is a region of Greater Finland located in southeastern Finland and the currently Russian-occupied area from the Finnish southeastern border to Vyborg, with its center around Lake Ladoga (Laatokka in Finnish). Finns refer to it as Finnish Karelia and Russian Karelia, respectively.

QUOTE
btw What is that famous fermented fish food called again. I know its suppose to smell alot.
I do want to look for a can of it. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)


Lutfisk?! (Also spelled lutefisk and ludefisk.) It's a Scandinavian and Finnish wintertime favorite, and my grandmother's favorite, too. I must warn you though -- it's dried cod soaked in lye. My grandmother used to tell the story that lutfisk came about when the Irish tried to poison Viking raiders by pouring lye on all their stores of dried fish, but, unfortunately, the plan backfired because the Vikings loved it and didn't die from eating it. Good luck eating it! (My father always hated it, but then he's half-Irish.)

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Rabbit
post Dec 8 2008, 02:14 PM
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QUOTE(Agni @ Oct 11 2008, 03:45 AM) *

I'm Finnish and know a bit about the ways of the local wisemen, or "tietäjät" (pl.)



WOW -- a fellow Finn! I was just wondering, could you cite your sources (sorry... I sound like an English teacher) where you learned about how a tietäjä practices magick? I don't suppose you've had any hands-on experience, have you? That would be awesome if you had!

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Agni
post Dec 9 2008, 02:18 PM
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QUOTE(Rabbit @ Dec 8 2008, 10:14 PM) *

WOW -- a fellow Finn!


Nice to meet ya..

Aren't we Finns everywhere on the internet? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

QUOTE(Rabbit @ Dec 8 2008, 10:14 PM) *
I was just wondering, could you cite your sources (sorry... I sound like an English teacher) where you learned about how a tietäjä practices magick? I don't suppose you've had any hands-on experience, have you? That would be awesome if you had!


Uhm, no sorry.. For some reason I thought you were from abroad and I simply shared a crude overall description of the wisemen based on what I've learned (in school?). So, yes, I know "a bit" like I said, a very small bit I should add. In fact you've probably learned a lot more already in your studies. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/laugh.gif)

I guess I've never read much about the ways of our ancestors, as although historical occult practices are always fascinating, personally my main interests still lie in Western Mystery Tradition.




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Rabbit
post Dec 10 2008, 02:25 AM
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QUOTE(Agni @ Dec 9 2008, 03:18 PM) *

Nice to meet ya..


Likewise!

QUOTE
Aren't we Finns everywhere on the internet? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)


Of course, after all, we're technology addicts. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/worthy.gif)

QUOTE
Uhm, no sorry.. For some reason I thought you were from abroad...


Actually you were right the first time, I'm a Finnish-American from New England (if that counts as "abroad" in comparison to where you live).

QUOTE
... I simply shared a crude overall description of the wisemen based on what I've learned (in school?). So, yes, I know "a bit" like I said, a very small bit I should add. In fact you've probably learned a lot more already in your studies. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/laugh.gif)


Oh, OK. Well, it was worth a shot.

QUOTE
I guess I've never read much about the ways of our ancestors, as although historical occult practices are always fascinating, personally my main interests still lie in Western Mystery Tradition.


I suppose as a third generation Finnish-American, I may be more obsessive about wanting to know as much as I can about my Finnish ancestors and their way of life than natives of Finland do (after all, I've always hated American history and I'm "American"). I have found that immigrants and their children are always desperate about preserving their heritage in the so-called melting-pot of America, especially in my family since I've only every met one Finn who wasn't related to me and everyone else has never heard of Finland. Grrr...

Thanks!

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Rabbit
post Dec 10 2008, 02:33 AM
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Does anyone have any hands-on experience with practicing magick as a tietäjä?

If so, could you please describe your method of practice and its results?

Thanks!

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Jenfucius
post Dec 13 2008, 08:02 PM
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QUOTE(Rabbit @ Dec 10 2008, 03:33 AM) *

Does anyone have any hands-on experience with practicing magick as a tietäjä?

If so, could you please describe your method of practice and its results?

Thanks!

By the way what exactly is a "tietaja" Rabbit? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/doh.gif)

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ComaOfLoss
post Nov 30 2011, 06:07 AM
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Old thread, but I came by a translation that is now available and remembered this thread:

Magic Songs of the Finns

"Tietäjä" would mean approximately "old wise man" (=knower of knowledge literal translation), or shaman.

This post has been edited by ComaOfLoss: Nov 30 2011, 06:11 AM

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