"Heathenry in Iceland, America and Germany: The mainstream and the fringe" via Icelandic Magazine

An illustration of a historical Hammer of Thor, worn as a pendant by North Germanic pagans during the Viking Age. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Iceland Magazine has published an article on Germanic Neopaganism (also widely known as Heathenry): "Heathenry in Iceland, America and Germany: The mainstream and the fringe". Focused on Germanic Neopaganism in Iceland, Germany, and North America, the brief article primarily examines responses to the Ásatrúarfélagið's decision to conduct gay marriage ceremonies (which we previously reported on here). The article is authored by Karl E. H. Seigfried, who runs "The Norse Mythology Blog", a blog focused on Germanic paganism and topics such as J. R. R. Tolkien and Richard Wagner.


International Saga Conference Archive Now Online

The goddess Sága chats with the god Odin in an illustration by Danish artist Lorenz Frølich (1895). Image from Wikimedia Commons.

From the start, the papers delivered at the conferences were published, either afterwards, as proceedings, or, increasingly, beforehand, as preprints, the idea being that one could read a printed version of a paper before hearing it presented. Although many of these conference papers subsequently appeared in revised versions in proper publications, the bulk are only available in this form and have become increasingly hard to get hold of. The purpose of the present website, maintained by the Arnamagnæan Institute at the University of Copenhagen and sanctioned by the Advisory Board of the International Saga Conference, is to collect materials from these conferences and make them available on the web for use by scholars and other interested parties.

The archive currently holds PDF versions of over 1300 papers and/or abstracts by some 600 scholars, scanned in most cases from the original proceedings/preprints. Where revised — or simply more legible — versions exist, these too can be made available if the authors so wish.

This is a massive amount of useful material available to many scholars for the first time that will certainly further all involved fields. Hats off from mimisbrunnr.info to the Arnamagnæan Institute and the Advisory Board of the International Saga Conference for making this publicly available!

Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft Feature on Grapevine.is

Icelandic news and culture website Grapevine.is has published a feature on the the Icelandic Museum of Sorcery and Witchcraft (Icelandic Strandagaldur). The feature provides history on this unique and fascination institution, as well as photographs of the site, and an some discussion with museum manager Sigurður Atlason.

According to Grapevine.is:

In Icelandic folklore and history, the Strandir region has forever been associated with sorcery and witchcraft, with records showing that alleged sorcerers were being burnt at the stake in nearby Trékyllisvík as late as the 17th century. This reputation served as inspiration for the museum, which offers visitors a chance to learn about Iceland’s folklore and witchcraft, and the various strange runes and contraptions with which it was performed.

The Vegvísir, a symbol from the mid-19th century Huld manuscript. The manuscript says that the bearer of the symbol will "one will never lose one's way in storms or bad weather, even when the way is not known" (Flowers 1989 trans.). File via Wikimedia Commons.

This quote refers to material derived from, for example, the magical staves of Icelandic grimoires such as the Galdrabók  (17th century) and the museum also appears to draw exhibition source material from Icelandic medieval material, such as the Old Norse saga corpus.

The Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft is located in Hólmavík, a small town in northwestern Iceland. The museum opened its doors in 2000. Since then, the museum has become a destination popular particularly with tourists.

* "In Strandir: Sorcery and Tourism" at Grapevine.is
* The Icelandic Museum of Sorcery and Witchcraft Official Website