Walk as I tell you

move as I move you

break as I shake you

Like I move the castles,

shake the lakes,

now I tell the evil,

order the foe:

move away at this hour,

break till the end of day


Sorcerers were powerful men in every culture and also in ancient Finland. Typically they were called for healing and protection purposes. They had the power of gods with which they could find out the cause of the problem and cure it.

They knew incantations for various situations and they also had to know the Origins of the elements, for instance the Origin of the Fire, Iron, Disease etc.

To know the origin was the precondition of mastering the element. To heal a wound made by a sword a sorcerer had to know the Origin of Iron, to cure a disease the Origin of the Nine Diseases etc. Sometimes the sorcerers also acted as shamans.

A sign of a sorcerer was the sorcerer`s belt including a sheath for his knife (puukko in Finnish) and sometimes also an ornamented copper tube or a purse hanging from it. In the purse there were snakes heads, quick-silver, three heads of iron nails, three grains of barley and a tinder-box. The belt was usually made of birch bark.

The sorcerer searched protection from the god Ukko.

He asked for divine protection in the form of an iron shirt, tube of copper, belt of steel. The protection could come also in the form of a fiery fur-coat and mittens of iron.

The most important weapon of the sorcerer was however the mythical sword from the god Ukko:

Oh, Ukko, master of the sky

god in the clouds

Bring me your fiery sword

in the sheath of fire

Give it to me

to slay the foe

to conquer the evil

The enemies of the sorcerer were evil men, often sorcerers, too, who had powers from demons (kade, pl. kateet" in old Finnish). Kade could cause misfortune by just looking at the victim.

He could also command snakes and send them, for instance, to burn a house or he could send diseases. He could move as an eagle or a snake.

The work of a sorcerer was very often to counteract these demonic forces.

By his incantations the sorcerer drove away the demons to the Underworld of the dead.

The sorcecer also had assistants such as Nature Spirits and spirits of the dead. These were especially important when expelling a disease.

One important funtion of the sorcerer was prophylactic magic which was practised, for instance, in weddings. Also every-day magic was very common. This included finding lost things, love magic, making rain etc.

The sorcerer was also the keeper of the old wisdom and it was his important task to move this knowledge to his follower.