I: For Unfruitful Land
Here is the remedy, how you can improve your fields if they do not wish to grow well or it is doing some other troublesome thing there from sorcery or witchcraft. Take up then in the night, before it turns day, four turves from the four sides of your land, and mark how they stood there. Take then oil and honey and yeast, and the milk of all your cattle that are on that land, and a piece of every tree that may be growing upon that land, except for the hard woods, and a piece of every known plant, all except the buck-bean—and pour holy water on them, and drip it upon three sides of each turf, and speak then these words:
et multiplicamini and multiply
et replete and fill
terre this earth!
In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti sit benedicti.
And say the Pater Noster just as often as this other.
And afterwards bear these turves to the church, and the mass-priest will sing four masses over these turves, and one shall turn the green side towards the altar. And afterwards one must bring these turves to where they once were before the setting of the sun. And let Christ’s flour be made from four quick-beam trees and write on each end:
Matthew and Mark, Luke and John
Lay Christ’s flour upon the bottom of each pit, and say thus:
Crux Matheus, crux Marcus, crux Lucas, crux sanctus Johannes
Then take the turves and set them there on top and say nine times these words:
and just as often the Pater Noster and turn to the east, and bow down nine times humbly, and speak then these words:
Eastwards I stand, and I pray for mercies for myself,
I pray to famous Lord, I pay to the mighty Lord,
I pray to the holy Warden of Heaven’s Kingdom,
I pray to the earth and the skies above
and to the true and blessed Mary
and to the might of heaven and its high halls,
that I be allowed to open my teeth this charm
by the grace of the Lord, by firm thought,
to awaken for us these blossoms as worldly profit,
to fill up this earth, with fixed belief,
to beautify this plain’s turf, as the wise speak,
they who keep grace on this earth, they who share out
alms-deeds judiciously, with thanks to the Lord.
Turn three times towards the sun, stretch out along the ground, and count your litanies there, and speak thus:
Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus until the end.
Sing the Benedicte, arms stretched out, and the Magnificat and the Pater Noster three times, and commend it to Christ and to holy Mary and to the Holy Rood in praise and worship and grace for them who own that land and to all those who are subject to them.
Then when all this is done, then take a unknown well-fed man among the beggars and give him two such turves (?), also let the man take them to him, and gather all the parts of his plough together, then let him bore into a tree with frankincense and fennel and hallowed soap-plant and hallowed salt. Then take that seed, and set it upon the body of the plough, and speak thus:
Yrce, Yrce, Yrce, mother of the earth,
grant us that the All-Wielder, the Eternal Lord,
of the growing and sprouting fields,
propagating and growing strong,
of lofty creation, shining blossoms,
and of the broad barley-crops,
and of the white wheaten-crops,
and of all the other fruits of the earth.
Eternal Lord grant to them
and his saints, who are in heaven,
that his sprouts be protected against every one of their enemies,
and that they are defended against every bale,
every sort of witchcraft seen throughout the land.
Now I ask the Sovereign, he who shaped the world
there is no one, of the talkative women or the crafty men
that could not turn away the words that are spoken.
When a man drives forth the plough and open up the first furrow,
Be well, O earth, mother of humanity!
Be fruitful, in the embrace of God
become filled, and useful to men!
Then take up every kind of flour and one should bake within the inner part a broad loaf and knead it with milk and with holy water and lay this under the first furrow. Speak then:
Full field of fodder, for the kindred of men,
bursting with blooms, become blessed
in this holy name, who has shaped heaven
and the earth, who we live within—
that God, he who wrought the ground,
grant us your growing grace,
so that every corn comes into use.
Say this three times:
Crescite in nomine patris, sit benedicti. Amen
And the Pater Noster three times.
II. The Nine Herbs Charm
Remember, mugwort—what you reveal
what you set to order in solemn pronouncement.
Singular you are called, oldest of the herbs.
You could avail against three and against thirty,
you could avail against poison and against contagion,
you could avail against the hated things that fare throughout the land. (1-6)
And you, waybread, mother of herbs,
open to the east, mighty within—
over the carter’s creaking, over the woman’s reddening,
over the bride marrying, over the bulls’ snorting.
You stood against all things and you dashed against them—
as you withstood poison and contagion
and those hateful things that flew throughout the country. (7-13)
The herb is called nettle, it grows upon the stone—
standing against poison, crashing against pain.
It is called stiff, dashing against poison,
avenging cruelty, casting out venom.
This is the herb that fought against the worm—
this can avail against poison, this can avail against contagion,
this can avail against hated things that fare throughout the land. (14-20)
Now fly, cock’s-spur, the less is more,
the more is less, until they both be cures.
Remember, kindred—what you reveal,
what you finish off at Alorford—
so that it never gave up the spirit to disease
after one prepared one of this tribe for his food. (21-26)
This is the herb that is called the crab apple—
which sends the seal across the spine of the sea,
an enemy of another poison, its remedy. (27-29)
These nine herbs can avail against nine poisons.
The worm comes creeping, tearing into the man—
then Woden took up nine glorious boughs,
striking then the serpent—it flew into nine pieces.
There the apple and the venom were destroyed,
so that it never wished to bring down your house. (30-35)
Thyme and fennel, a mighty powerful pair,
the wise Lord shaped these herbs,
holy in heaven, those he hung up—
set up and sent down into the seven worlds
for the wretched and the blessed, as cure for all. (36-40)
It stands against pain, dashing against poison,
it can avail against three and against thirty,
against the fiend’s hand and against destruction,
against the bewitchment of wicked creatures. (41-44)
Now can these nine herbs avail against evil spirits,
against nine poisons and against nine diseases,
against the scarlet poison, against the stinking poison,
against the white poison, against the purple poison,
against the yellow poison, against the green poison,
against the black poison, against the blue poison,
against the brown poison, against the crimson poison,
against the snake-blister, against the water-blister,
against the thorn-blister, against the thistle-blister,
against ice-blister, against poison-blister— (45-54)
if any poison come flying from the east
or any should come from the north,
or any from the west over the nations of men.
Christ stood over the plague of any kind. (55-58)
I alone know the running water
where the nine serpents occupy nearby—
they might spring forth now in all forests with herbs,
slipping away to the sea, all the salt water,
when I blow this poison away from you. (59-64)
Mugwort, way-bread, nettle, crab-apple, thyme and fennel, the elder soap-plant. Pound these herbs into dust, mix with soap and with apple-dirt. Make into a paste with water and ashes, take fennel and wool into the paste and bathe it with beaten eggs, then make it into a salve, either before or after. Sing this spell upon all of the herbs—three times before one makes it and also upon the apples—and sing for the men by mouth and into their ear both and into the wound that same spell, before one applies that salve. (65-73)
III. Against a Dwarf
Against a dwarf, one must take seven little wafers, like those one makes offerings with, and write upon on each wafer:
Maximian, Malchus, John, Martimian, Dionysius, Constantine, Serafion
Then soon one must sing that spell, that will be spoken here after, first into the left ear, and then again in the right ear, and then above the earth of men. And go then unto a maiden and she will do it upon his neck, and one must do so for three days—he will be better at once.
Here comes a-going inside, the spider-man inside,
he holds his skin in his hands, saying that you were his steed—
laying his band upon your neck. They began to glide across the land—
so they come at once from their land, those soft things begin to grow cool then.
Then comes in a-going the sister of the dwarf—
she makes an ending then and swears her oaths
to never be allowed to injure this pyre,
nor can she obtain this spell for them,
or know how to chant this spell for you.
Amen. It’s done.
IV. For a Sudden Stitch
Against the sudden stitch take feverfew and the red nettle, that grows throughout a secret place, and way-bread—pour into butter.
They were loud, lo, loud, those who were riding over the mounds,
they were resolute, those who were riding over the land.
Shield yourself now, so you might escape the malice.
Out, little spear! If you may be within!
He stood under the lindens, safe from the light,
where powerful women deprive them of power
and send them yelling spears—
I wish to send them another one soon,
a dart flying against those before me.
Out, little spear! If you may be within!
A smith sat down, striking a little blade,
an iron one, so very wondrously.
Out, little spear! If you may be within!
Six smiths sat, working a killing spear.
Out, spear! You were never within, spear!
If it may within, its share of iron,
working a witch-spell—it must be melted.
If you were shot into the skin, or were shot into the flesh,
or were shot into the blood,
or were shot into the limbs, never may your life be torn—
if it were shot by the mouth or it were shot by elves,
or it were shot by witches, now I wish to help you.
This is shot by mouth to help you, this is shot by elves to help you,
this is shot by witches to help you—I wish to help you.
It has flown there, into the mountain-head!
Be whole! Your Lord help you!
Take then that blade, cast it into the water!
V. For Loss of Cattle 1
When someone says to you that your property has been lost, then you must say first, before you say anything else:
The town is called Bethelhem where Christ was born,
that is well-known throughout all middle-earth—
so he performed a famous deed for mankind
through that Holy Rood! Amen!
Look towards the east three times and speak three times:
The Cross of Christ is led forth from the east!
Look towards the west three times and speak three times:
The Cross of Christ is led forth from the west!
Look towards the south three times and speak three times:
The Cross of Christ is led forth from the south!
Look towards the north three times and speak three times:
The Cross of Christ is led forth from the north!
The Cross of Christ was hidden and then found!
Judas has Christ hung up, doing the worst of deeds, covering him so that he could not be hidden. So by this deed may nothing be hidden through the Holy Rood of Christ. Amen.
VI. For a Delayed Birth
The woman, who cannot sustain her baby, must go to the resting place of buried man and step three times over the grave and say these words three times:
This will help me against the hateful late-birth,
this will help me against the ponderous heavy-birth,
this will help me against the hateful lame-birth.
And when that woman who is with child, must go to rest with her husband, then she must say:
Up I am going, over the steps
with a living child, not at all with the dying,
with the full-born, not at all with the fated to die.
And when the mother should feel that her child is living, she must go to the church, and then come up to the altar, speaking then:
Christ, I said, this is revealed!
The woman, who cannot sustain her child, she must take up some portion of her own child’s burial, wrap it in black wool after, and sell it to merchants, saying then:
I will buy it, you will buy it,
this dark wool, and these sorrowing corns.
The woman, who cannot sustain her baby, take then the milk of a single colored cow in her hand and sip it with her mouth and go to the running water and spit the milk therein, and then fill that same hand with a mouthful of water and swallow it. Then speak these words:
Everywhere I have carried this well-known child kin-strong,
with this well-known child meat-strong—
then I wish to keep it for myself and go home.
Then she must go to the brook and must not look around, nor must she go from there, and then she must go into another house and another woman must grant her food and there she tastes it.
VII. For the Water-Elf Disease
If someone comes down with the “water-elf-disease,” then his fingernails will become black and his eyes teary and will wish to look downwards. Do this for them as a remedy: take from below carline thistle, cassock, yew-berry, lupine, elecampane, marshmallow sprout, fen-mint, dill, lily, cock’s-spur, pennyroyal, marrabulum, sorrel, elder, felterry, wormwood, strawberry leaf, and comfrey. Soak them with ale, then mix them with holy water, and sing this charm over it three times:
I have composed the best battle-company for this wound,
so that the wound will neither burn nor burst,
neither hurry forwards nor multiply,
neither throb in pain nor the wound grow,
nor the pain deepen—yet he may hold the hallows himself
nor shall it grow any greater, like the earth grows with ears.
Sing this many times:
Earth that withers all of these, with might and power.
This spell one can sing over their wounds.
VIII. For a Swarm of Bees
Against a swarm of bees, take some earth, throw it down with your right hand under your right foot, and speak:
I catch it under foot, I may have found it.
Listen, this earth can avail against every creature
and against its opponent and against the lack of care
and against the greatness of the human tongue.
And against it cast away over the gravel, when they make a swarm, and speak:
Sit down, victorious lady, sink to the earth!
Never would you fly into the woods.
Be so mindful of my good,
as is every man of food and his home.
IX. For Loss of Cattle 2
Nothing was stolen or concealed, after I owned it, any more than Herod could do to Our Lord. I thought Saint Eadelena and I thought Christ was hung upon the Rood—so I intend to find these cattle—they were not taken away, to be known and not harmed, and to be loved and not led away.
Garmund, the thane of God,
find those cattle and bear those cattle
and keep those cattle and hold those cattle
and bear those cattle home.
So he may never keep his lands, who has led them away—
nor earth, who has borne them away—
nor household, who has withheld them.
If he who has done this, may it never avail him!
Within three nights, I know his power,
his strength and his power and his hand-skills.
May all of his wither away, as the woods waste away—
as worthless as the thistle—
him who meant to steal away these cattle,
or who meant to drive away this herd.
X. For Loss of Cattle 3
This man must speak thus when any man has stolen his property. He says this before he should speak any other word:
The town is called Bethlehem, where Christ was born,
it is made famous over all of middle-earth—
so was this deed made famous in front of mankind,
by the cross of Christ!
And then look towards the east three times and say three times:
The cross of Christ is led forth from the east!
And three times to the west and speak:
The cross of Christ is led forth from the west!
And three times to the south and speak:
The cross of Christ is led forth from high noon!
And three times to the north and speak:
The cross of Christ was hidden and found again!
Judas hung up Christ, he did for himself the worst of deeds. He hid that but could not conceal him. As never this deed could become concealed. By the cross of Christ.
XI. A Journey Charm
I begird myself with this one staff—
and commend me to the watchkeep of God
against the sticking of soreness
against the blows of pain
against dread of harshness
against the terrifying immensity
of everything loathsome
and against all that is hateful
that ventures into this country.
I incant this speeding charm
and wield this wand triumphant,
glib in tongue and deed —
It shall avail me—
neither hinder or obstruct me
nor can they vex me at all
never cast my spirit into fear—
yet the Almighty and his son
and the spirit of comfort cures me
worthy Lord of All Glories
just as I heed the Shaper of Heaven.
Abraham and Isaac and men like them,
Moses and Jacob and David and Joseph,
and Eve and Anna and Elizabeth,
Sarah and also Mary, the mother of Christ,
and also their brethren, Peter and Paul,
and also thousands of your angels.
I invoke grace for myself
against every fiend.
They bear me and ward me,
and spare my soul—
all of them holding me,
ruling me over,
steering my deeds.
Let hope for glory be mine,
hand over head,
stout in blessedness,
company of the victory-bold,
of angels bound to truth.
Bid all you with spirit light
that Matthew’s helmet be mine
and Mark’s mail-shirt—
Luke be my sword,
sharp, keenly cutting,
John be my shield
garnished in glory,
the killing-spear of Seraphim.
I venture forth,
finding my friends,
every angelic profit,
precepts of the pious.
I ask the God of Victory,
for divine mercy,
a cupful of pleasant travel,
winds upon the shore
I have learnt of these winds,
the growling ocean
against every foe.
I have encountered my friend
who I am granted to abide
by grace of the Almighty
locked fast against the hateful,
who keep my life in doubt—
into the blossoming of angels,
within the virtuous palm
of the heavenly realm
so long as I may be granted
to abide in this existence.
XII. Against a Wen
Wen, wen, squatting like a chicken—
you must not build here, you may not have a home here
but you must go away to the north
unto the near town where you have,
wretched thing, a brother.
He will lay you, leaf & crown
under the feet of wolves,
under the plumes of eagles,
under the eagle’s claw—
ever you will remain there.
Shrink — as a coal in the hearth.
Crumble — like dung falling away.
Fade — like water in a puddle.
Grow so tiny like a grain of linseed,
and much less, an earwig’s hipbone,
and smaller still until you are all gone.