Nidstang - A Runic Cursing Pole

"In the Viking age the most spectacular way of cursing an enemy was by the Niding Pole (the Nithstong or Scorn-Post). They were poles about nine feet (2.75 meters) long upon which insults and curses were carved in runes. Ceremonies were performed to activate the destructive magic of the pole. A horse's skull was fixed to the top of the pole, and it was stuck into the ground with the skull facing towards the house of the accursed person. The pole channeled the destructive forces of Hela, goddess of death. These forces were carried up the pole and projected through the horse skull. The runes carved on the pole defined the character and target of the destructive forces. Among others, triple Thorn [Thurisaz] runes and triple Is [Isa] runes, were used to smite the enemy. When used maliciously, these had the effect of disempowering the accursed's will and delivering him or her to the forces of destruction. Here, the Thorn rune invokes the power of Thurs, the demonic earth-giant sometimes called Moldthurs. An example of this comes from Skírnismál, where the spell used by Skirnir against Freyr's reluctant lover, Gerdhr invokes harm using the Thorn rune. This provides the power for three other runestaves: 'I shall inscribe Thurs for you, and three runestaves: lewdness, and rage and impotence.

Magically, the Niding Pole was intended to disrupt and anger the earth sprites (Landvaettir, Land-Wights or earth spirits) inhabiting the ground where the accursed's house was. These sprites would then vent their anger upon the person, whose livelihood and life would be destroyed. Niding Poles were also used to desecrate areas of ground. This technique is called álfreka, literally the 'driving away of the elves', by which the earth sprites of a place were banished, leaving the ground spiritually dead...

On the Niding Pole, the horse skull invokes the horse rune Ehwaz, using the linking and transmissive power of the rune for the magical working. The horse is sacred to Odin, god of runes and magic..."

Excerpt from Rune Magic: The History and Practice of Ancient Runic Traditions,
by Nigel Pennick. Harper Collins, 1993, ISBN=1855381052.


Troll runes

Grimner's Nidstang

During the Viking Age to put a "nid" on someone was to put very powerful verbal curse upon them. The power of words was not taken lightly by these efficient warriors, so to make a curse of this kind was very serious. It was the ultimate insult, and used only in dire circumstances.

In the Saga of Egil Skallagrimsson (an Icelandic/Norwegian story from the 10th century) King Eirik Bloodaxe, wronged Egil and made him an outlaw. The feuding resulted in many dead on both sides. After a battle on the island of Herdla (near Norway), Egil raised a hazelwood pole on the top of this island, and on the top of the pole he placed a severed horse's head, aimed towards Eirik's home. On the pole he carved sacred runes, with a curse upon King Eirik. He also spoke this curse, this "nid":

"Here I place this "Nidstang" ("curse-pole"), and turneth it against King Eirik and Queen Gunnhild - turneth I this against all the gnomes and little people of the land, that they may all be lost, not finding their homes, until they drive King Eirik and Queen Gunnhild out of the country."

According to the legend, the curse soon took effect, and King Eirik and his Queen Gunnhild fled to the British Isles.

This old custom has returned, and is again in use in our modern day. This is a very powerful ancient magic ritual, a curse with a power one should not use lightly and whimsically. These "nidstangs" have been placed to to defend our symbols and traditions from neo-nazis and other crackpots who "borrow" our sacred symbols and make them their own and vile.

We cannot be silent and pretend this is not happening. When wearing a Thor's hammer means taking the risk of being looked upon as a racist, and if carrying a sun-cross, or a rune, such as the Odal-rune, can get one arrested - then it is time to say "Stop!", to draw the line. We can't let these fools steal our heritage and soil it with their abusive and stupid attitude!

This "nid", this curse you can read here, is one in a chain of digital "Nidstangs", put up on websites around the world, and it is turned against everyone who misuses and abuses our ancient sacred symbols, and soils our land with hatred and discord. At the bottom of this page you will find links to the others who put up "nidstangs" around Scandinavia.

This curse is not turned exclusively on a certain easily detected group of young men (with shaven heads and/or carrying swastikas and such), but against everyone who answers to the description in this "nid".

This curse is not unconditional. It is only meant to fall upon those who persist in their destructive behavior. Tolerance and forgiveness are important principles for any spiritually inclined person, and no innocent should indiscriminately suffer from this curse.

It is also important to remember how the three great forces of society come together, making these misled persons much more powerful than they would have been on their own: politicians, in cowardice and opportunism, and businessmen and media, in desire of sensation and profit.

I curse!

I curse all of them
who soil our glorious land
with unworthy actions.

I curse all of them
who borrow sacred symbols
Gungnir, Mjolnir and Sacred Staves -
Odin's spear, Thor's hammer
and runes, given by Odin's hand
and soil them
with unholy deeds.

I curse all of them
who in ugly costumes
and shaven heads
as well as suits
and ties
abuse the wisdom of our ancestors
our ancient ways
and our present faith.

I curse all of them
who want to silent
the mouths of others
for themselves to be heard
with their stupid bellowing.
I curse all of them
who put themselves above others
because of their paleness,
who trample on others
because of the color of their skin,
foreign language,
or a different faith.

Upon the heads of these miscreants
I call all powers!
I call upon the gnomes, and the little people
to scratch their bodies
and disturb their sleep.

I call upon the elf-smiths
to lay an iron ring
around their chests
giving little room for their spirit
little room for breath
to speak of evil.

I call upon the "rimthurses" (frost-giants)
from the depth of Niflheim
That they may freeze to their death
before they get a chance
to freeze others out.

I call Surt and his "fire-thurses"
That they may burn to their death
before others may burn
by their hands.

I call upon Loki
That he may twist their vision
so that they strike each other down
before they strike anyone else down.

I call upon Freya
So that these young men
never may share a woman's bed
and never have sons
or daughters of their own
as long as they want to hinder
others to do just that.

And I call upon Frey
That these young men
have their manhood gelded,
never being able to create anything good
for themselves,
never getting peace
or harvest,
as long as they want to hinder
others to do just that.

I call upon Thor
that he may protect us
from demonic evil
and I call upon his wrath
against the miscreants
who wants to cause pain to others.

I call upon Odin
He who gave spirit
to man and woman.
He who together with his brothers
Hoenir and Lodur
Gave life to man,
Body and Soul,
Ask and Embla,
Man and Woman.

I call upon Odin
and the "Norns".
Goddesses of destiny,
Urdh, Verdhandi and Skuld,
who together judge
everyone after death
that they may judge
these miscreants hard,
so that they
not even after their deaths
may escape their deeds of evil
against other sons and daughters
of Ask and Embla.

I set this "nid"
until these drooling servants
of evil and ignorance
do penance
and let each and one
stay by their land, their people
and their faith
wherever in our world
they may choose to live.

by Grimner Bjornklo ("Bearclaw")

Used with permission of the author. Text and graphics © 1998 Carl Johan Rehbinder.

This Nidstang page is a part of a growing world-wide chain of Nidstang pages. Follow the signs to go forward or back in the chain.

Direct Links to other "Nidstang" sites:

Arild Hauge

Morten Grölsted

Lukas Torstensson

Carl Johan Rehbinder

Jón Júlíus Filippusson

Ingrid Halvorsen

Selvarv Stigardh

Kalle Dahlberg

Ketil Tveiten

Aufsteigender Adler


Bjorgulfs Wolfshof

Peter Andersson

Jan Bojer Vindheim

Kristin Fungdal

Elisabet Wagner


Nadine Mazoni

Raven Livingston

Olaus Magnesson


Onkel Ulles

Kriselda Jarnsaxa

Peter Jovur

Herwodis & Matthias Brusse


If you would like to add your own Nidstang page to the webring, please contact: Selvarv Stigardh

Continue to the next page to see a modern Nid, raised against the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks in the USA on September 11, 2001.