Blog reviews

PAGAN PORTALS: Blacksmith Gods by Pete Jennings

From time to time I will be introducing reviews  for books that are complementary to traditional British Old Craft and the Khemetic Mysteries … or just because they contain their fair share of ‘magical truths’ that are pertinent to all Paths and Traditions.   Wisdom isn’t confined to a single belief system and sometimes we can benefit from a different viewpoint … even if it’s not remotely connected to what we personally believe. 

PAGAN PORTALS: Blacksmith Gods by Pete Jennings

Smithing and horses are an important part of the old witchcraft traditions and I always have a collection of equine bits and pieces for magical use tucked away because these are extremely powerful ingredients for spell casting that can be found at the blacksmith’s forge. Such as:

  • Horse-hair: Perfect for binding spells
  • Cast horseshoes: For luck and protection
  • Thunder water: For magical spells and healing
  • Horseshoe nails (new and used): For cursing

Pete Jennings takes us on a whistle-stop tour of the ‘blacksmith gods’ and reveals the importance of the position the smith held in our ancient traditions whether we be Craft, Druid, or Heathen.  The smith was a worker with ‘fire and iron’ and therefore a magician; he was a healer, and often a dispenser of the law – these skills feature strongly in the myths and legends of the Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian and other Germanic peoples. The iron horseshoe – one of the typical products of the smith – is still regarded as a ‘magical’ symbol today and is hung on walls and doors to bring good luck (but only if the curved part is at the bottom, otherwise the luck ‘falls out’  – if you’re a Horseman, the reverse is true).

As the author comments: “Yet even at the basest level of the smith’s craft, a sense of awe, magic and mystery attaches itself. Little wonder, when those early workers of the Bronze Age and Iron Age obtained metal from rocks and turned it into tools and weapons. It was a world away from their stone implement ancestors. We hear about the magical ‘drawing the sword from the stone’ in Arthurian legend, yet that is what those early metalworkers actually achieved. No wonder they kept their trade secrets, making sure that they maintained a local monopoly on such goods. Of course, keeping their secrets from the general population (and working apart from them to prevent the spread of fire) would be bound to lead to an idea or suspicion that they were working some sort of magic; that is actions that could not be explained by other ordinary people. In some places even iron or other metals were imbued with an air of magic, good or bad, and consequently would not be used in ritual situations.”

ISBN: 978 1 78279 627 5 :  published by Moon-Books :  110 pages: Price £6.99

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