The varðlokkr is a special song or chant that’s sometimes used to enable the seiðr-worker to enter a trance and speak with the spirits, and to make the spirits more inclined to speak to her (or him). According to some, the chant was sung by a choir accompanying the seer, others use a single voice while others again don’t use a song at all.

Only a minority of the accounts of seiðr in the sagas actually speak of such a song, but some modern groups have really latched on to that description. The same way they’ve latched onto seiðr being fortune-telling and nothing more.

The original versions of the varðlokkr were most likely rather monotonous, with simple texts and a steady rhythm, as anything more elaborate and varied wouldn’t help the seer enter a trance. My guess is that it was one or more verses written in Galdralag, the magical meter. This is supported by a friend who has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to languages and the time period in question. One example of a modern day lokkr:

Mellan tid och rum. Between time and space.
Kom alla krafter
från väst och norr from West and North
från öst och syd. from East and South.
Vilda sejddjur Wild seidhr creatures
visa er nu! show yourselves now!
Förfäder, förfäder, förfädersandar Ancestors, ancestors, ancestral spirits
Möt oss här, Meet us here,
Möt oss nu Meet us now

(Source: Runmagi och shamanism 2.0 by Jörgen I. Eriksson and Atrid Grimsson Published by Norrshaman in 2006)

I once started a community project to recreate a varðlokkr, but as I ended up doing most of it myself, that project was scrapped. The lokkr I wrote was this:

The background lyrics for the group are:

Kom, kom……..Kom, kom Come, come…. Come, come

The main lyrics are:

Kom Norðri, kom Austri Come North, come East
Kom Suðri, kom Vestri Come South, come West
Kom hver sem vill hjálpa Come all who want to help
Kom, kom……..Kom, kom Come, come…. Come, come
Kom æsir, kom vanir Come æsir, come vanir
Kom nornir, kom dísir Come nornir, come disir
Kom, kom fylg-i-ja! Come, come ‘fetch’
Kom, kom……..Kom, kom Come, come…. Come, come
Kom vettr, kom alfr, Come wights, come elves
Kom troll ok Þurs Come trolls and giants
Kom allir sem vilja hjálpa Come all who want to help
Calling the names of the three runes below
Kom þið sem viljið hjálpa Come those who want to help

You need to give the spirits time to come when you call. A Varðlokkr needs to be adaptable according to the environment and situation you’re in at the time, so the lyrics and melody can’t be set in stone. In hindsight, the one above is probably too elaborate. I also jotted down this one:

Spinn en lång lång tråd Spin a long long thread
Spinn min spindel spinn Spin my spindle spin
Ge mig goda råd Give me good advice
Spinn min spindel spinn Spin my spindle spin

This post is part of the Pagan Blog Project, created by Rowan Pendragon, and the Ultimate Blog Challenge, hosted by Michelle Schaeffer and Michelle Scism.

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