Spēd is not a difficult concept, spēd is what we receive from the gods in return for devotion and offerings. In today’s vernacular we might as well say blessings, because that’s what spēd is in a nutshell.
Spēd in the Bosworth-Toller has various meanings including speed, success, means, substance, power, faculty, ability, opportunity, etc. It is some nebulous quality, but in essence it is spēd which we are blessed with by the gods. [i]
But then again, you’re well aware of spēd, trust me you are. Ever heard or even used the term “Godspeed”? The speed in Godspeed is spēd and it has nothing to do with going fast. In this case Godspeed is more about asking God to bless that person with “speed”, meaning success in this case. This blessing of Godspeed is a holdover from Middle English but is rooted far deeper because spēd is present in Old English.[ii]
So we should innately then, by virtue of this linguistic holdover in our own modern English, understand spēd at least on a basic level.
So how do we get spēd? In this case we receive it from the gods. Now granted there’s a certain usage of the term which implies an innate quality of someone, but for the most part we’ll stick with the blessing usage here in Fyrnsidu.
You may notice that it seems to overlap with mægen somewhat, and you’d be right. There is a relationship between the two and in some ways you might consider them very similar. The difference is that while you can be granted spēd by the gods, I have not seen usage that would imply that people are granted mægen by the gods. I would also find it laughable to think that we could offer the gods spēd, instead what we offer the gods is part of our mægen.
I would propose that it works something like this:
We give mægen to the gods as an offering.
In return, the gods might bless us with spēd for our offerings.
Spēd: the form of the blessings we receive from the gods for our worship of them; be they in the form of success, favor, faculty, ability, opportunity, etc.