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Dreams
13.02.2020
Dreams
The Norse took dreams quite seriously. While they acknowledged that some dreams were random and meaningless (and called them draumskrok, “dream-nonsense”), other dreams were held to possess enormous significance. Dreams could sometimes foretell the future. Their...
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Odr
12.02.2020
Odr
Óðr (pronounced roughly “OH-thur,” with a hard “th” as in “the”) is an Old Norse word that has no direct equivalent in modern English. The word, and the wonderful concept to which it refers, is as little understood today as...
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Innangard and Utangard
12.02.2020
Innangard and Utangard
In Norse mythology and religion, geographical spaces and psychological states are often classified as being either innangard (pronounced “INN-ann-guard”; Old Norse innangarðr, “within the enclosure”) or utangard (pronounced...
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Seidr
12.02.2020
Seidr
Seidr (pronounced “SAY-der;” Old Norse seiðr, “cord, string, snare”) is a form of pre-Christian Norse magic and shamanism concerned with discerning the course of fate and working within its structure to bring about...
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Rebirth
11.02.2020
Rebirth
Some sources speak of the dead, reborn in one of their descendants, although never in anyone outside their family line.  Here as well, the sources are unclear as to how exactly this would happen, but oftentimes the dead person is reincarnated in someone who is named after him or...
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Death and the afterlife
11.02.2020
Death and the afterlife
The Vikings’ religion never contained any formal doctrines concerning what happens to someone when he or she dies. In the words of historian H.R. Ellis Davidson, “There is no consistent picture in Norse literary tradition of the fate of the dead,” and “to...
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The paradox of individualism and social embeddedness
11.02.2020
The paradox of individualism and social embeddedness
There’s a fascinating paradox in the Norse view of the self. On the one hand, Norse culture was strikingly individualistic in the sense of placing a very high value on individual accomplishment (although this particular brand of individualism didn’t have much of a place for...
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The self and its parts
11.02.2020
The self and its parts
Today, we tend to think of the self as having two or three components: a body, a mind, and perhaps a soul. These few parts form a coherent single whole that can be clearly and cleanly separated from its environment, at least conceptually. The line that separates self and other is...
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Totemism
10.02.2020
Totemism
Totemism is a relationship of spiritual kinship between a human or group of humans and a particular species of animal or plant. The totem animal or plant is generally held to be an ancestor, guardian, and/or benefactor of the human or humans in question. The totem animal or plant...
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Shamanism in Seidr, Warrior Magic and Religion
10.02.2020
Shamanism in Seidr, Warrior Magic and Religion
Freya is the divine archetype of the völva, a professional or semi-professional practitioner of the Germanic magical tradition known as seidr. Seidr (Old Norse seiðr) was a form of magic concerned with discerning the fated course of events and...
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