So far, I have looked at galdr as an art form, suggested musical and vocal additions to it, and now, let us look at words. In most of the first books about runes that people will look at, when galdr is mentioned, they are often just making simple sound of the rune letter, either just the name, variations on the name or a combination of vowel and consonant sound, based upon the letter the rune represents. Guido von Liszt had a simple sound chart to go with his Armanen runes that combined the letters (which had meanings and symbolism) and vowel sounds (A E I O U, which also had meanings associated with them) and by repeating these you would channel certain energies. Edred Thorsson made a suggestion based upon stating your intent (his example I am rich) and simplifying it into the vowel and consonant sounds ( EE AAMM REE EECH) which would thing add those corresponding subtle energies to your intent and help it in manifesting.
From a more reconstructed point of view, Kvedulf Gundarsson suggests that use of kenning and alliteration in his section about the Poetics of Galdr magic. I have to say, this does give it a certain elegance and I very much favor some of his suggestions.
Alliteration is rhyme, using the beginning consonant of a word, instead of the end sounds, which most people are familiar with. Alliteration is widely used in many of the stories and is most well remembered by most people from when they read Beowulf, as it was used extensively. Like all forms of rhyme, it also helps one in memorizing or remembering what was said. It also takes on a rhythm of its own, which is created by the rhyming pattern. It does seem to depend upon how tight or loose the alliteration is. For example:
Frost, Freeze and Fickle men
Foundering in a forsaken sea
Lost you are
And lingering without
For lust’s cruelty
Love is locked against you
Joy has come today
Jubilation fills the home
Jump and celebrate with all about
Jests are welcome
Jokes are told
Join with us and raise a cup,
Jollity for all.
As you see, the closer the alliteration is, the faster and sharper it is, while spreading it, makes the feel of the words seem much easier. Experiment with your own and see what works for you
Kennings are also a tool in Scandinavian descended story telling and poetics. Gundarsson suggests that kennings in magical poetics are like true names, being able to describe the nature of a thing, giving you more power over it. I tend to think it was more of a literary device, make telling a story more interesting, but also to make it fit with other linquistic devices, like alliteration. It does however, seem to fit well, and opens up the possibilities of the linguistic portion of your galdr. In thinking about older kennings, it was descriptive of the item being described, but in a round-about way. You had to be familiar with the target of the kenning, in order to understand it. One example that has always stuck to me, was calling the sea or ocean the “fishes bath.” I don’t know why that has appealed to me so, but it has. The idea that the sea is the just the fish taking a bath, makes me smile a little bit, even when I am stepping into the ocean. Another kenning is for ships, called “Oak of the sea” (cause boats are made from wood ie oak, and they are on the ocean, and so, the kenning). Now, I can hear you saying “well, all this is great Br. Chris, but how does this help me?” Well, think of kennings to say for modern things. You could call your car the “iron horse” or “steel steed”. Your apartment up high could be called “the stead of the sky” while a garden apartment could called “ the under home.” Books could be called “tattooed trees” while newspapers could be called “leaves of the world tree”. Once again, endless possibilities, that could be considered as they are applied to the situation, intent or desire, or personal aesthetics.
When you combine the two, you do open up to some possibilities that can make your galdr fun and interesting. For example:
Ride the road my iron horse
Leave behind the banal bands
Slow sojourners seeking succor
Eat the dust of black rock rivers
As I go flying far and fast
Guess what that galdr is for? Go on guess.