Seiðr/Fornsed & Norse Shamanism

Introduction Course in London, UK

1 - 5 October 2018

Seidr is a Norse form of shamanism or working closely with spirit through trance prophecy and oracular work,  rune carving, magical chants and songs, sitting out on grave mounds, shape shifting, berserking, blota (making offerings) reading/writing poetry and knowledge competitions  as practiced in the Viking Age and described in the Icelandic sagas (or Eddas)

Up to now the introduction course was offered in Sweden on "Viking Land". However, I have received a lot of feedback from people saying they'd prefer to do the introduction course in a more accessible and convenient location (ideally London, UK). This will help them make up their mind about committing to more advanced work (my Seiðmaðr or Seiðkona 2 year program) in Sweden - or not. After all the Vikings were in the UK as well... -  I have listened closely to the feedback! Please note that I am next teaching this course in London from 1 - 5 October 2018.(Email me for the course description!)

A full course description and all practical information will be available by May 1st. 2018. Expressions of interest are welcome! (Use CONTACT US button)

Please note that the  2 year Seiðmaðr or Seiðkona program in Sweden  will run from

June 2019 - September 2020. 

Shamanic teacher, painter and author in the UK and the world

Shamanic teacher, painter and author in the UK and the world

 

Seiðr, Sejd & Fornsed

The contemporary Swedish word Fornsed means "the old customs and traditions". The word Seiðr is Icelandic (but Old Norse in origin). Sejd is the contemporary Swedish word for Seiðr. People always ask how these words are pronounced: well, it depends on what Scandinavian language you choose to speak but an approximation is "foornsayd" (Fornsed), "sayd" (sejd) and "saythr" (seiðr ) respectively.

My introduction course covers the larger field of spiritual and mystical traditions I will refer to as Norse Shamanism: the indigenous ancestral pathways of Northern Europe.  I teach this material in traditional ways, closely following both the ancient texts (meaning the Poetic Edda and Prose Edda)  and the old Scandinavian traditions and folklore.

However, we can't all "become Vikings" and go live in Scandinavia! In my courses  I marry serious scholarship to direct revelation. (Meaning that we study the old material very closely but we also invite the gods, goddesses and inhabitants of the Nine Worlds to communicate with us directly and tell us how they wish to work with us in the context of the 21st century. Years of teaching tells me that the gods need human beings to evolve - as much as human beings need the gods to evolve. It is an 

This  course covers all traditional aspects of Sejd: exploring the nine worlds and their inhabitants, the roles of human beings, 'uteseita' (sitting out), the ancient art of poetry and the quest for knowledge (think of Odin!)

We carve our own runes and do a High Seat ceremony, we make power objects, we study the role galder (ancient songs and chants) and the metaphysical dimension of Viking spirituality, we work with the Norns and concepts such as the Web of Wyrd and Orlog, we explore shape shifting, "berserking" and  the "knowledge competitions" the gods engage in.

We also discuss the role of blot (sacrifice) and the main festivals on the Norse calendar.  We look closely at masculine and feminine principles in Norse lore and I take that work much further in my 2 year program.

 

Shamanic teacher, painter and author in the UK and the world

COURSE CONTENT 

The Norse Sagas and Myths

We will explore Norse Creation Stories as well as the myths about the end of the world: Ragnarök or Ragnarøkkr (Old Norse; meaning Fate of the Gods and Twilight of the Gods, respectively). 

Yggdrasil and the inhabitants of the Nine Worlds

I will introduce Yggdrasil (the world tree that holds up the universe) and the inhabitants of all the Nine Worlds (gods, goddesses, Norns, Valkyries, dwarves, elves, giants etc.) and provide a map for exploring these worlds.

The Web of Wyrd or Urd's Web

We will explore the workings of the Web of Wyrd and the role of the Norns in spinning the lines of destiny (even for the gods!) We will look briefly at the concept of Changing the Weave (and we will take that much further during advanced work in my 2 year program in Sweden)

Uteseita or Sitting Out

Sitting out, ideally at night and on grave mounds (or at cross roads), to contact dead volvas, ancestors, deities or other spirit beings is a traditional way of receiving guidance and visions. (Native American peoples call this a vision quest but "sitting out" is an indigenous terms from Northern Europe. (I make every effort to avoid cultural appropriation as I do not practice any Native American form of shamanism and I have not worked with Native American teachers!)

 

Carving or creating our own set of runes

We study the runes, following the Norse order and names (not the Anglo-Saxon system!) and a personal set of runes for our own work. We explores what it takes and what it means to become a rune magician.

Power objects

We explore the place and use of other power objects in Norse Shamanism

Trolldom

We will briefly look at spells and traditional magical workings

(Far more of this is covered in my 2 year program in Sweden)

 

Shapeshifting and berserking

The principles underlying these phenomena as explained by "the anatomy of soul" viewed through the Old Norse lens

Galder
The magical power of songs and speech

Blot
Ceremonial offerings to the gods, especially at particular times of the year (major festivals)

The Wisdom or Knowledge competitions in the Eddas

Way may taste "divine speech" and learning through this tool. 

(In the old Icelandic sages there often occur between a god and a giant, or between a hero and a giant. The loser risks losing their life, bride or greatest treasure...)

The Norse Gods and Goddesses

We get to know the Norse gods and goddesses: their teachings, energy and character traits. Their days of the week. The interaction of sacred feminine and masculine principles in Norse lore.

Human Roles

The roles of human beings in this cosmology: the Volva (or ‘Sibyll’, Prophetess), Gode and gydja: the local spiritual leaders. The male “gode” was also chief as there was no division between religion and government.

The concept of the spiritual warrior in Norse Lore and the teachings of both Tyr and Odin

The principle of sacrifice made in return for spiritual gain. Examples are Odin's Eye and Tyr's arm or hand.

Divination and Prophecy

We explore how seidr can be used for divination and oracular work

High Seat Ceremony

We perform a High Seat ceremony. Some people may have experienced a High Seat Ceremony introduced by American teachers with different personal backgrounds and varying levels of scholarship (and mastering Scandianvian languages - or not). I wish to make it very clear that the High Seat Ceremony we will perform is the traditional Scandinavian version as it has always been performed in local communities - not an Americanized theatrical version thereof.

Shamanic teacher, painter and author in the UK and the world

Hail Day!

Hail Day’s Sons

Hail Night and her daughter

Look upon us twain

With loving eyes

And give those sitting there speed

Hail to the Gods

Hail the Goddesses!

Hail the generous earth

Sayings and sage wit

Give to us wisdom 

and goodly speech

And healing hands for life

Poetic Edda – Sigrdrifumal , stanzas 2-3

Shamanic teacher, painter and author in the UK and the world

Choosing a teacher

On another web page on this site I provide pointers for choosing a shamanic practitioner- as this person will literally be handling your soul. Choose your practitioner with the same care as you would selecting a brain surgeon for your child!

I will say the same thing for choosing a teacher of Norse shamanism (or indeed any form of committed spiritual studies). The teacher you choose will shape your journey forever and in doing so have a lasting influence on your life and own work.

I may the right teacher for you or I may not be - I urge you to consult your own spirit allies and choose with great care! Where possible I also urge you to choose a teacher who presents material that has some connection to your ancestors - so key figures in worlds unseen will step forward to support your work.

Imelda Almqvist, London, 29 March 2018