Seiðr as shamanistic practice: reconstituting a tradition of ambiguity; Jenny Blain, 1999

“Seiðr as shamanistic practice: reconstituting a tradition of ambiguity”; Jenny Blain, 1999.

Abstract:

The Saga of Eirik the Red describes a seeress, who sat in a specially prepared High Seat to foretell events for a Greenland community of 1000 years ago. She used a technique known as seiðr, calling on ‘powers’ to help her see further. Seiðr magic was chiefly performed by women, with male practitioners disparaged as ‘ergi’. Today members of reconstructionist ‘heathen’ communities in North America are drawing on such accounts in establishing seiðr as shamanistic practice, involving trance or shapeshifting, for foretelling and healing. This article examines constructions and contestations of seiðr within communities of past and present.

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