We are giving away a copy of Ben Waggoner’s Norse Magical and Herbal Healing to the person who comes up with the perfect name for Josh’s new rescue snake. It is Xantic Ball Python, less than 3 years old. His nickname was Mr. A, so Josh is giving preference to names beginning with the letter A!


Norse Magical and Herbal Healing was written in Iceland around the year 1500, the little book now known only as AM 434a is a treasure trove of medieval medical knowledge. The book lists healing uses for over ninety different herbs. It gives advice on health matters ranging from bloodletting to steam baths to the influence of the moon on health and human life. And it contains a number of magical spells, charms, prayers, runes, and symbols to bring health, wealth, and good fortune. The roots of the healing traditions in AM 434a go back thousands of years before the book itself was written. We are honored to present the first complete English translation of AM 434a. Complete notes and commentary explain this texts’s historical and cultural background. Medievalists, historians of science and magic, herbalists, and anyone interested in medieval Scandinavian lore and life will find this book indispensable.

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This article has 19 Complaints

  1. Athuzela is a real class act. He likes his bourbon on the rocks and his cigars of the Gloria de Cubana variety. When he is out and about in his top hat and bowtie he prefers to be called “Mr. A”. He feeds on the fears of notable Gingers….Toby, Athuzela is coming for you.

  2. I submit Æðelwine. “Noble friend”, as the ball python is the embodiment of the grand, dignified, flexible and fluid companion.

  3. If you are after a name beginning with ‘A’, I have always been partial to the name Arthur.

    I’ll grant you that it is more of a celtic than a germanic name, if you are after that leaning. It was adopted (along with the Arthurian legend) by the Anglo-Saxons and is the proud and noble name of the once and future king of the Britons.

    It also means that you can nickname your snake Arty, the snake kinda looks like an Arty!

  4. Oh! Or you could name it Tracy and say that you thought it was a girl, but everyone misheard Miss Tracy as Mister Acy, which eventually evolved into Mr. A.

How are we doing it wrong?