Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Libera Nos A Malo

Poul Anderson, Three Hearts And Three Lions (London, 1977), Chapter Two.

To summon a sprite or demon, Mother Gerd, wielding a wand, draws two concentric circles around a brazier and dances between the circles, chanting:

"'Amen, amen...malo a nos libera sed -'" (p. 22)

Holger's hackles rise - and so do mine. She is chanting:

"Amen, amen...evil from us deliver but -"

- the Paternoster or Lord's Prayer recited backwards. Yet she had assured him that her magic was white, or gray at worst. The demon advises that Holger seek help in Faerie - but I think he is here to fight the Middle World? Gerd will send him to "'...Duke Alfric, the nearest lord of Faerie.'" (p. 23) That name seemed familiar so I searched the blog for it. See here.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I too am uneasy about any such "inverting" of the Pater Noster. To me, it smacks far more of invoking EVIL, not good or "neutral" beings.