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

January 28, 2016

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Author:Terry Gunnell
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Date:January 28, 2016

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 by the society for their annual rituals, for weddings and funerals, and not least as part of recent protests against large building projects in Iceland which are likely to have a long-term influence on the environment. Among other things, the paper discusses the degree to which rituals are based on ancient texts, and the degree to which individual priests can decide how they wish to perform ceremonies. To what extent are rituals decided beforehand, and if so, by whom? Alongside material drawn from these interviews, reference will be made to recent MA research by Eggert Sólberg Jónsson.

Originally Published
The Ritual Year 10. Magic in Rituals and Rituals in Magic.The Yearbook of the SIEF (Société Internationale d’Ethnologie et de Folklore) Working Group on the Ritual Year. Tatiana Minniyakhmetova and Kamila Velkoborská (eds). Innsbruck, Tartu: ELM Scholarly Press.

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