Back in 2013 and 2014, when I was getting ready to start gathering sources for my masters’ thesis in Old Norse Religion, I realized something: while the vast majority of medieval Norse-Icelandic sagas were readily accessible in Old Icelandic, quite a few of them were hard to get a hold of in translation. Sure, I could have soldiered on, armed with only my trusty Old Icelandic-English dictionary and go through every single saga in the original language, but it would have taken such a long time that, had I done so, I’d probably still be at it today. What I needed were more general editions and translations, with enough notes and index-entries to quickly find relevant information. When it came to the more popular sagas, such as the so-called “family-sagas” (Íslendingasögur), I had little problem finding good versions. In my excessive exhaustiveness, however, I found a severe lack of material related to the more obscure sagas.
TWH — Both the United Kingdom and United States are well known to have thriving Pagan, Heathen, and polytheists communities in one form or another. A few of the most commonly found Pagan religious practices, such as Druidry and Wicca, can locate their origins in one or both of those two cultures. Furthermore, for those people living within those two countries, it is often fellow community members and co-religionists who are most commonly given voice in the mainstream press, at local events, and even within the Pagan media sphere. This reality can make it difficult to see beyond one’s own national borders into other cultures where Pagans, Heathens, and polytheists may thrive. Over the years, The Wild Hunt has gone in search of such practices beyond the U.K. and the U.S., asking how ritual, belief, and community differ within those other societies.
[Today we welcome guest writer Lyonel Perabo joining us from Northern Europe. He is a MA student currently enrolled in the Old Norse Religion program at the University of Iceland. He has written for various news websites, blogs and student magazines in the Nordic countries Lyonel is currently working on his Master’s thesis, which seeks to analyze the way North-Scandinavian populations were perceived in Saga Literature and works as a tourist guide and local History blogger in the town of Tromsø in North-Norway.]
The Sjamanistisk Forbund, or Shamanic Union, was established in 2012 in the city of Tromsø located in the far north of Norway. It was founded by Kyrre Gram Franck, a native of the region. Since then, the organization, which aims to rejuvenate the age-old shamanic traditions of Northern Europe, has experienced a steady growth and now has members over the whole country.