Books and Products
In the left column you will find information about books written by and featuring me, Johannes Gårdbäck.
Here are some voices and reviews from around the w.w.w. about the Trolldom book:
"This book has been worth waiting for! For anyone interested in folk magic and/or the cutural history of the Nordic people this is a must read. The author has no doubt put in a lot of time and effort to write this book and the hours spent on research must be tremendous. One of the first things that strikes me and proves the authors great knowledge is the way he puts the nordic Trolldom into a larger magical context, it makes the pieces of the puzzle come together. He also straigthens out some misconceptions about the norse "asatru", which was far less used than modern nationalromantics want us to beleive. It has a good description of the backgrund and logic behind Trolldom and is also filled with spells for different uses. The big difference between this book and others that I have read on the subject is that the author is a real practioner himself. He do not belong to the folkloristic research camp who makes fun of the "supersticiousness" of the old days. I have been fortunate to come across the author at a time when I needed some magic to solve a difficult issue in my life and I can assure you that he is the real thing. Both you who are just curious about the ways of the old days from a historical perspective or you who want some real practical hands-on advice about real nordic magic will find plenty of nuggets in this unique book.",
I wanted to send you an email to appreciate your book about Trolldom. I am a folk herbalist and home practitioner living in XX, XX is a good friend of mine and I know your two are fb friends. I am a teacher myself, focusing on the folklore, folk magic and medicine of plants. I also do a lot of writing about the subjects, within my own community, and have a few books in the works.
I received your book about six months ago, and I have to tell you that it is one of the most clear, helpful and revealing books on folk magic that I have ever seen. And I do think of myself as highly educated compared to your average folk, with an extensive library! Your book is so much more than a collection of charms and spells. Your understanding of the content and the ways in which you frame it in context gives life to the practices and traditions within. It is clear to me that your intention was indeed to make it available for people to actually utilize and comprehend, rather than just provide a historical example of old ways long past. The fact that it is affordable and very well organized also speaks to this.
So, thank you. Though I am ‘American’, much of my descent is Scandinavian and Western European. Being as English is my only language, my access to sources of folk magic and traditions is limited. You book on Trolldom filled a longing within me to get a better sense of Scandinavian folk magic, and it really resonates with me. I love the rustic nature of it. Though I have the helpful books such as The Black Books of Elverum, M. Rustad, Remedies and Rituals, K. Stokker, Northern Mythology B.Thorpe, An Account of the Sami J.Turi, and Witchcraft and Magic in Europe- The Middle Ages, which has a great section on Scandinavian folk magic, no book compares to yours as far as scope and interpretation."
"I really did not appreciate the incredible amount of information in this book when I ordered it, got it, and first started reading it.
However, very soon I was agape at the incredible information presented in this book.
It has the kind of ancient ways and knowledge that those of us who are interested in magic would be blessed beyond belief to have passed down to us directly!
It is precisely as if a long-dead practitioner were able to write down their spells and personally hand them to us on paper.
This book is probably not well understood enough in its subject matter to scream "Buy Me" to the casual observer, but take it from a serious student of old magic and ways, this book is an absolute treasure horde of knowledge wrapped in an unassuming title.
If you are interested in genuine, nature based traditions which work, this is the book to buy. And though it is collected in a more modern era which calls upon Christian Gods, anyone familiar with the older Norse traditions can use those gods instead as these traditions may be older than either pantheon, and one can see where vestiges of Norse and not Christian traditions exist (i.e. the use of the number "9" in magic, which is a significant number in Norse, but not Christian, traditions).
Get this book! And give yourself the time to devour and absorb it. You will NOT be disappointed!"
"I love this book. It's well written and interesting. The author does an excellent job of using Swedish words and giving reminders as to the meanings without feeling tedious or repititous. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in the subject.",
"This book is the first magic book I've bought in a long time that didn't disappoint me; probably the first ever. I'm usually hesitant to buy less scholarly books because I've been burned by previous purchases, but this one is well worth it. The spells are historical, and cover many areas of concern for survival back in the day. Nothing is minced to make it nicer. I'm happy this was available in English. I can't wait for further editions, should they happen.",
Christopher A. Smith.
"Wow. Talk about a magic tome. I didn't expect the book to be so big, and so in depth. Definitely worth buying",
"This is a great book about norse magic as it was actually practised in reality. That means that every lazy viking wannabe will hate it since it contains nothing about "blood/race/folk" or other staples for the average racist new ager. Neither modern made up crap like "rune magic". Instead it presents some of the actual rituals, spells and beliefs that were common in Scandinavian magic. If you want to learn about these traditions, that survived and continued to evolve through the centuries, this is a great start. An extra plus for that the author make lots of material available for the english-speaking public that earlier have been hard to find.",
" This is by far one of my favorite books. It's extremely difficult to find authentic and useful information on northern tradition folk magic, let alone find something in English. This book is a true gem! So much useful information packed neatly into a decent sized book. The cover art is beautiful, the content is easy to find and reference again and again, and the application of this books contents are practical (don't ya just love folk magic!?). I truly have nothing but amazing things to say about this book, and its author. The author expresses himself genuinely in his book, and it radiates authenticity and practical use. Bravo Johannes! I look forward to more from you in the future!",
"This is an excellent piece of occult scholarship. Johannes provides a clear overview of Norse folk magic from the sixteen hundreds to the nineteen hundreds, covering both theory and practice. What I found particularly helpful were the multiple examples of how specific spells and practices changed over time as needs and circumstances changed, and how they might be further adapted to contemporary usage. Between this and Smith's Icelandic Magic, I'm a lot closer to being able to develop a northern grimoire practice.",