Seidr Oracles

BLAIN, Jenny (2012). Seidr Oracles. In: DRURY, Nevill, (ed.) Pathways in Modern Western Magic. Ars Concrescent.

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Abstract

Introduction One of the three main forms of ritual practice found in today’s Heathenry (or Asatru) is that of seiðr or broadly-speaking North European ‘shamanistic’ work. In constructing seiðr, today’s Heathens are engaging with original sources and with scholarly or academic analyses, as well as their own understandings of the literature, and they draw on other ‘shamanic’ practices in attempting to create something that may be akin to the older practices. A short description is given by Blain and Wallis in the Brill Handbook of Contemporary Paganism (2008); the archaeology of seiðr is discussed by Price (2001) and different types of seið-practice in today’s communities are explored in some detail by Blain (2002a and b, 2006) and by Lindquist (1997). The ‘definitive’ work on pre-Christian seiðr has been that of Strömbäck (1935) (in Swedish), and accounts and analysis within practitioner communities have often drawn on this work, although for many English-speaking practitioners this has been accessed only through second-hand interpretations of Strömbäck’s own interpretations. However, Dubois (1999) has discussed links between seiðr and practices of nearby ‘shamanic’ cultures, notably Sámi shamanism, and recently, Tolley’s two-volume work (2009) has made many descriptions of seiðr accessible, while further developing discussions of the context in which seiðr occurs as development from more general ‘Indo-European’ practices, within the specific geography of Northern Europe. This chapter first outlines some descriptions of older seið-practice, before discussing how practitioners today are re-inventing or re-constructing these. It then includes some discussion of seiðr as community practice and suspicion of practitioners in the literature, and concludes with a section on some of the issues, including challenges and confrontations, that practitioners face in their communities or from academic critics. --- The above are the first paragraphs of the introduction to this chapter.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sociology, Politics and Policy Research Group
Depositing User: Jenny Blain
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2011 14:36
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2012 12:10
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3608

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