The Wið Dweorh Charm

This charm  against a dwarf identifies that Dweorgas were identified with diseases such as a relapsing typhoid which causes fever – the remedy allowing the limbs to cool. From the context, a Dweorh was thought of as a sentient being who was intending to cause the effect of fever in his victim.

Wið dweorh man sceal niman VII lytle oflætan, swylce
man mid ofrað, and writan þas naman on ælcre oflætan:
Maximianus, Malchus, Iohannes, Martimianus, Dioni
-sius, Constantinus, Serafion. þænne eft þæt galdor, þæt
her æfter cweð, man sceal singan, ærest on þæt wynstre
eare, þænne on þæt swiðre eare, þænne bufan þæs mannes
moldan. And ga þænne an mædenman to and ho hit on
his sweoran, and do man swa þry dagas; him bið sona sel.
Her com in gangan, in spiderwiht,
hæfde him his haman on handa, cwæð þæt þu his hæncgest wære,
legde þe his teage an sweoran. Ongunnan him of þæm lande liþan;
sona swa hy of þæm lande coman, þa ongunnan him ða liþu colian.
þa com in gangan dweores sweostar;
þa geændade heo and aðas swor
ðæt næfre þis ðæm adlegan derian ne moste,
ne þæm þe þis galdor begytan mihte,
oððe þe þis galdor ongalan cuþe. Amen. Fiað.

*******

Against a dwarf, one must take seven small offering-wafers, such as one makes an offering with and write these names on each wafe:

Maximianus
Malchus
Iohannes
Matimianus
Dionisius
Constantinus
Serafion

Then afterwards the charm which is said hereafter, one must first sing into the left ear, then into the right ear, then above the man’s pate (Referring to the afflicted person). Then let a virgin go and hang it about his neck and let it be done so for three days. He shall soon be better.

“Here come walking in a spider-creature, had his covering in his hand, said that you were his steed, laid his reins on your neck. They began to travel from the land, as soon as they came away from the land then his limbs began to cool, then in came the dwarf’s sister, then she ended [it] and swore oaths that this would never be allowed to harm the ailing one, nor him who could understand this charm, or who could sing this charm. Amen, so be it.”

 

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