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Ch.14 Of Chants (WMB 14.c)

Extract from: Wicca: Magical Beginnings written by d’Este & Rankine, 2008 (Avalonia.) PB / Kindle @


Chapter 14 - Of Chants - part c

Another popular chant used in some Wiccan traditions is found in Valiente’s work Witchcraft for Tomorrow. The chant begins “Black spirits and white, red spirits and grey.” We may note the inspiration for these words, i.e. their magickal beginning, in Thomas Middleton’s 1613 play The Witch, where the chief witch Hecate says these exact same words.

Another significant chant in the Wiccan tradition is the Healing Rune. The Charm of the Sprain (No. 130) in Carmina Gadelica may be the origin of the Healing Rune, which is found in some of the traditions derived from the teachings of Gardner. It reads:

“Bride went out

In the morning early

With a pair of horses;

One broke his leg,

With much ado,

That was apart,

She put bone to bone,

She put flesh to flesh,

She put sinew to sinew,

She put vein to vein,

As she healed that

May I heal this.”

However a likely candidate for being the origin of both the Healing Rune and the Charm of the Sprain is an old Norse incantation which has been shortened to:

“Baldur rade. The foal slade.

Set bone to bone,

Sinew to sinew,

Heal, in Odin’s name!”

This Norse version is an abbreviated form of the Second Merseberg Charm, written in Old High German in the tenth century CE. This short version was given in Witches Still Live in 1929, with a fascinating bit of contextual material, where the author reported that “the incantation used by this modern witch, to such very good effect, was a variation of (this)”. As this is far closer to the Healing Rune, the fact that the witch was using a variant of the Norse charm in 1929 (possibly the Healing Rune?) does give some strong hints again of at least some pre-Gardnerian goings on.

Extract from: Wicca: Magical Beginnings written by d’Este & Rankine, 2008 (Avalonia.) PB / Kindle @ Shared here with the intention to inspire and inform the now and future generations interested in Wicca and other Pagan traditions inspired by it.



My name is Sorita d'Este

and this is my website and blog!  Thanks for visiting - I hope you are finding what you are looking for!


Many years ago I dedicated myself to the pursuit of both esoteric knowledge, and an understanding of polytheism, the Gods and Nature.  I have been a full-time writer, author and publisher, specialising subjects linked to the occult, witchcraft, Paganism, mythology, ancient religions and magic - and all kinds of things in between since 2003. 


I live on a hill in Glastonbury, overlooking the marshes of Somerset,  a place of myth and legend, and a crossroad for many different religions. Here I am frequently found digging and growing, serving my fluffy rescue cat and navigating the unknown with my teenage son.  

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