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The Good, the Bad and the Undead: New Thoughts on the Ambivalence of Old Norse Sorcery


Numerous Old Norse accounts such as sagas, skaldic poems and Eddic poetry but also medieval Norwegian chronicles (for example Historia Norwegie, Historia de Antiquitate Regum Norwagiensium and Ágrip af Noregskonungasögum) and rune-stones contain information onthe enigmatic performers of a very special magical craft often referred to as seiðr. When taken collectively those sources imply that seiðr was a kind of operative magic which – among other things – enabled its practitioners to foresee the future, heal the sick, change weather conditions, reveal the hidden, shift into animal form or travel to other worlds in a state of trance. Seiðr, however, also had a darker side and could be employed to inflict physical or mental harm.

via The Good, the Bad and the Undead: New Thoughts on the Ambivalence of Old Norse Sorcery.

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