Thursday, September 21, 2017

Seasons and Festivals

Articles relating to the annual calender and related rituals and festivals.

The Background and Nature of the Annual and Occasional Rituals of the Ásatrúarfélag in Iceland


Abstract. This paper is largely based on interviews which were taken with Jörmundur Ingi Hansen, and Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, the last two allsherjagoðar (high priests) of the Icelandic Ásatrúarfélag (a society which involves the active worship of the Old Nordic gods). The interviews focused on the nature and background of the rituals and prayers used […]

The Winter Goddess: Percht, Holda, And Related Figures


MOST of our knowledge of Germanic myth is derived from the Old Icelandic texts and especially from the Eddas. The Eddic tales centre their attention on the trials and triumphs of the male members of the pantheon and tell us little of the female forces.’ That these wielded power we learn, however, from votive monuments, from the names of […]

Ritual Space. Ritual Year. Ritual Gender: A View of the Old Norse and New Icelandic Ritual Year


The roots of this paper go back in part to a short chapter I was recently asked to write fora  book about Iceland in the present day.  In the chapter in question, which dealt with modern day Icelandic festivals, I underlined the importance of the sense of family for Icelandic society, and not least the […]

Season of the Dísir: Winternights and the Dísablót in Early Medieval Scandinavian Belief


The purpose of this article is to analyse the nature and role of two ancient Scandinavian festivals which are connected to certain female spirits known as the Dísir, one of which is connected with the start of winter (“The Winter Nights”) and the other to the beginning of the spring.  First of all, however, a […]