Book - Waking The Dragons: Norse Myth, Folklore, Runes and Magic
Updated: Jun 8, 2022
Today, in the flurry of social media, instant information and short time spans, there is a surprising revival in the mythic imagination. As the images in the stories and myths take on metaphors, meanings and significance, they form a pattern of understanding within our own emotional lives - they reveal psychological and spiritual insights. As a storyteller, I have told Norse myths on hillsides, by a campfire, and in the deep forests and it is a delight to bring the Northern wisdom to a wider readership through Green Magic Publishing; much of this has never been translated into the wider English language or ventured much outside of the lecture halls.
In the book Waking The Dragons, there are three major claim and ideas brought forward that I make and want to emphasise here. The first one is that wisdom resides in our relation to the "other," especially the other who we don't agree with, or have any natural affinity toward. The Norse creation myth makes it clear: in reconciliation wisdom is born. Reconciliation is rare in our culture-warring society today, whether it is religious, ideological or political. The tension of our hatred or mistrust of one another, reveals how far we are from wisdom.
The second claim is about love, and that when you love someone (or something) deeply enough, your soul can be found there. This stirs from an ancient idea that a man's soul is a bride and woman's is a bridegroom (which obviously is more fluid in non-binary identities). This idea was something we glimpsed in Bryan Bates famous "Book of Wyrd" many years ago and I have expanded on this.
The third claim which forms the name of the book is “Waking the Dragons.” But what does this title mean? Here I am presenting an idea of the universal winged serpent which we meet across the world and that stands as an alchemical symbol bringing together two opposing forces, two opposing animals: the serpent and the eagle. These two life forces are always in conflict but when merged into one: they give birth to dragon wisdom. A force of reconciliation and co-existence.
The purpose of writing this book is to take you on a discovery into the mythic imagination and to view the stories and folklore with new perspectives, in particular the psychological and the spiritual. All stories are based on original sources, but some deviate by hundreds of miles as many are my own improvisations by campfires or a performance at a festival, where words jump out from the tongue unscripted. But you will find that the "bones" and message of the originals are still intact.
I have a view that we can deprive myths and stories of essential life and oxygen when we bury them into the tombs of history, there they are in danger of becoming bound, unmovable and changeless. The Norse myths themselves point to the dangers when we bind Loki. It is after his binding when the end of the world awaits. You see, if you bind the trickster, you bind the life force that moves within all stories, including your own. When we bind the trickster today, it can result in fundamentalism, conceit, cynicism and resistance to change. This creates polarisation where life can become stuck. For old myths to remain alive and thriving, they need to accommodate the trickster. We have to keep a watchful eye when society attempts to take Loki to the cave.
Lastly, in this book, I also explore how ritual can be a driver for positive change in our individual lives and society as a whole.
I invite you to take the first steps towards the “Sacred Grove,” a place where trees are known to be our original ancestors, and where a dragon is beginning to open its heavy eyelids.
Praise for Waking The Dragons:
"A wonderful book that leads us to the deep wellsprings of ancestral knowledge. Andreas writes with a wealth of understanding of Norse myth and its contemporary significance in tackling the biggest issues of today: reconciliation with each other and climate change."
Philip Carr-Gomm, author of The Prophecies and DruidCraft: The Magic of Wicca & Druidry
"Andreas Kornevall wields a rare ink. It is a combination of academic rigour and poesis. This work will go down as both a reference point and inspiration to all fortunate to read it in the years to come." Rev. Peter Owen Jones, Author of Everest England
"Andreas Kornevall has immersed himself in the Uthark runes for many years; in this new book he takes each rune in turn and uses it as a point of departure for metaphysical reflections. His explorations are a testament to the power of these runes to spark deeper philosophical considerations" Dr. Christina Oakley-Harrington, Founder, Treadwells Bookshop
"We live in an age without myth, in a culture which has lost its connection to spirit and to Earth. We are in desperate need of saints, shamans and storytellers. Andreas Kornevall here offers us a series of pathways back to our ancestral memory: to a reconciliation between Earth and Sky. It is an illuminating and vital book." Paul Kingsnorth, Award Winning Author of the Wake Trilogy