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  The Charm of the 'Wreestin' Threed'

An intriguing piece of Orcadian folk magic was known as the “Wreestin' Threed” - the wristing, or wresting, thread.

Used as a cure for sprains, the charm required a verse to be recited each time one of nine, equally spaced, knots were tied in a piece of thread. The verse went:

Oor Savior rade,
His fore-foot slade;
Our Savior lichtit down.
Sinew to sinew, vein to vein,
Joint to joint, and bane to bane,
Mend thoo in Geud's name!

What is particularly interesting about this charm, is that it appears to be a survival, or variant, of a pre-Christian charm also found in pagan Germany.

The charm, part of the Merseburg Incantations, was used by the Norse god Odin to heal the god Balder's horse:

Phol and Wodan rode into the woods,
There Balder's foal sprained its foot.
It was charmed by Sinthgunt, her sister Sunna;
It was charmed by Frija, her sister Volla;
It was charmed by Wodan, as he well knew how:
Bone-sprain, like blood-sprain,
Like limb-sprain:
Bone to bone; blood to blood;
Limb to limb -- like they were glued.

See Also
The Development of the Orkney Witch

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