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  • Ancient Norse Spirituality

    Ancient Norse Spirituality
    I am a native Swede, and I have always felt a strong connection to the ancient Scandinavian and Nordic culture and rituals. And I decided to dig deeper into my own heritage ...
    It all started when I was just a few years old, when my father used to read me stories about Norse mythology. These were amazing and exiting stories about Gods, Vikings, magic and ancient folklore. You've all seen the superhero movie Thor, starring Chris Hemsworth, so you know what I am talking about. I remember that mine and my fathers “favorite God” was always Baldur (son of Odin and Thor’s brothers, eventually killed by Loki). I later found out he was also the God of light, joy, purity and the summer sun. So, you can say I still stand by my childhood choice of God.
    For the last few years, I have been very drawn to the Norse spirituality, ceremonies and rituals. The Vikings had a deep connection to nature, to the Earth and the phases of the moon, and Norse spirituality has many similarities with shamanism around the world. They were also extraordinary craftsmen, very talented silversmiths and jewelry makers. They worked with all kinds of metals, and gemstones like Carnelian, Garnet, Iolite (The Viking Compass), Amber, Jet (Black Amber) and Rock Crystal Quartz. In the Ancient Norse tradition, they also used Juniper for burning rituals in spiritual and shamanic healing, ritual purification, to invoke spirits and healing powers and to connect with their ancestors.
    Seid (Seiðr) is a collective term for the Norse wisdom and techniques, and it would probably land somewhere between religion and magic. Seid was considered a secret and sacred knowledge. It was mainly practiced by a Völva (Vǫlva) - a female seeress, spiritual leader and healer, who practiced shamanism, witchcraft and magic. A man could also be a seer, but they did not receive the same respect as the female Völva. She had a deep understanding of healing herbs, energies, communication with the spirit world and the spiritual essence of all things like animals, vegetation, mountains and water.
    The traditions of the Völva is very ancient, and their roots go back more than 2,000-3,000 years. She had a very special role within the society and she often had close ties with the leaders of the clan. She could put herself into a trans and talk to spirits around her. She would sing spirit-calling songs and magic chants, and play drums to attract the spirits and they would help her in her ritual and to see the future and the past. The word Völva means “carrier of a magic wand”, phrophetess or a wisewoman.
    Here are a few ways to practice:
      Utesitta (Sitting Out). This is form of Viking or Norse meditation and coming in contact with spirituality and to seek answers, knowledge, wisdom or contact with goddesses, gods, ancestors or spiritual beings. There are similarities with Utesitta and a vision quest, practiced by Native Americans and Innuits. It was usually the Vövla who practiced Utesitta and she would sit alone, in the middle of the forest, on a high place with a view. Utesitta is done all night, from dusk to dawn.
      Kura Skymning (Huddle during dusk). This is like a “mini Utesitta” and you just sit calmly with the change between day and night and reflect and meditate. This can be done outside or at home.
      Dansa Fylgjan (Dancing with Fylgja). Fylgja is a supernatural being or spirit, that in Norse spirituality was seen as an alter ego that took form as an female animal spirit. So, very similar to a Spirit Animal. This is a type of ecstatic dance where you give your energy and focus to your fylgja and can connect to and see your fate.
      Juniper is a sacred wood that has been used for burning rituals and for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. In the Ancient Norse Tradition they used Juniper in spiritual and shamanic healing, ritual purification, to invoke spirits and healing powers and to connect with their ancestors. The rituals were mainly practiced by a Völva - a female seeress, who practiced shamanism, witchcraft and magic.