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Seiðr Magic

The Norse Tradition of Divination and Trance

Published by Destiny Books
Distributed by Simon & Schuster


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About The Book

A practical guide to the Norse shamanic techniques of seiðr

• Explains the techniques used to achieve trance in seiðr, how to journey in the Nine Realms, and the different gods and spirits you may encounter

• Discusses the tools of seiðr, such as the seiðr staff and hood, and how to create them, empower them, and care for them

• Details Norse divination methods, ways to alter fate, healing techniques, the use of protective songs, and the practice of Norse soul retrieval

While Norse rune work is well known, there is another major ancient Norse magical practice: seiðr (pronounced "sayther"), a form of trance spirit work and divination. Although seiðr is often considered an ancient form of witchcraft, recent archaeological evidence suggests it is more closely related to shamanism.

In this practical guide to seiðr, Dean Kirkland, Ph.D., reconstructs the magical and shamanic techniques of the seiðr priest or priestess using the sagas and other literature from the Viking Age, tools found in the archaeological record, and surviving indigenous shamanic traditions. He addresses the misconception that seiðr was reserved only for women and shows how anyone called to this work can practice it in the modern world. He discusses the tools of seiðr—how to create them, empower them, and care for them—and he explores the use of protective songs (varðlokur) that involve forming bonds with spirits, a practice he likens to the medicine songs of Amazonian shamans.

Looking at trance journeying in the Nine Realms of the Norse cosmos, the author discusses the different gods and spirits the seiðr practitioner may encounter in the Upper, Middle, and Lower realms. He shares methods of divination using the seiðr staff as well as ways to alter ørlög, or fate, through spiritual work. Discussing soul-healing techniques in seiðr, the author looks in depth at the Norse shamanic practices of soul retrieval and reintegration of the soul parts. He then explores the role of seiðr in death, dying, and dealing with the dead, including work with the valkyries and the ancestors.

Presenting a historically based handbook for contemporary heathens, this book offers a practical path for anyone seeking to explore Norse trance magic and mysticism.

About The Author

Dean Kirkland, Ph.D., has been a practicing reconstructionist heathen for more than 35 years. A goði, or spiritual leader, of the Three Castles Kindred located in the English Danelaw, he is also part of the ritual-specialist team for the inclusive heathen organization Asatru UK. He completed his shamanic apprenticeship with the Sacred Trust in Dorset, UK, and studied traditional Andean shamanism for several years with an indigenous paco. He has a Ph.D. in ecology and works in the field of conservation and woodland restoration in Lincolnshire, UK, where he lives.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Destiny Books (April 2, 2024)
  • Length: 256 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781644119440

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Raves and Reviews

“In this captivating work, Kirkland delves into the realms of seiðr with a thesis that is truly wonderful, unraveling the intricacies of its power. Despite the limited recorded information on seiðr, Kirkland’s meticulous research shines through. He skillfully uncovers the available knowledge and, through insightful comparisons with magical practices from diverse cultures, presents a guide to attaining the magic for purposes such as healing, divination, traversing the three spheres, and initiation. For those of us who engage in shamanic trance from varied perspectives and cultural backgrounds, Seiðr Magic emerges as an invaluable resource.”

– Nicholas E. Brink, Ph.D., author of The Power of Ecstatic Trance, Baldr’s Magic, and Beowulf&r

“In Seiðr Magic: The Norse Tradition of Divination and Trance, Kirkland does an excellent job of explaining how seiðr was practiced in ancient Norse culture and how this culturally unique tradition fits into the broader heathen community. He then explores how this ancient Nordic shamanism can be re-created in modernday practices. Kirkland’s singular work on this fascinating subject reveals many of the innermost secrets of what has long been a hidden and ignored magical tradition.”

– Jon G. Hughes, author of Flower Magic of the Druids, Living Wands of the Druids, and The Druidic Art

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