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Ibn Fadlan and the Land of Darkness

Ibn Fadlan and the Land of Darkness is a book that certainly gives an outside perspective during the late Viking Age and post Viking Age I feel is excellent to read about. This book was even the inspiration for Michael Crichton’s 1976 novel Eaters of the Dead and the film The 13th Warrior.

Between the ninth and fourteenth centuries, Arab explorers journeyed widely and frequently into the far north, crossing territories that now include Russia, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan. Ibn Fadlan’s chronicles of his travels are one of the most important documents from the period, and this illuminating new translation offers insight into the world of the Arab geographers and the medieval lands of the far north. Based on an expedition to the upper Volga River in 922 AD, Ibn Fadlan and the Land of Darkness provides a rare and valuable glimpse of Viking customs, dress, table manners, religion, and sexual practices, including the only eyewitness account ever written of a Viking ship cremation.

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Gandreiðarstafur (Witch riding Stave)

“To go wherever you want.”

He or She who wishes to ride through the air like a witch shall inscribe this stave on a bleached horse’s skull with two types of blood: from the man himself as well as from a horse, combining it in thirds, two parts being the horse’s blood, from beneath the frog of the hoof of the right foreleg, and the third part from beneath the big toe of the man’s left foot. The stave is to be drawn with a chicken feather, and he who has a witch-ride bridle will then be able to ride through air and water, wherever he feels like going. A witch-ride bridle is created by digging up a newly buried man and cutting a strip of skin from the length of his spine. This will be used for reins. Next, the dead man must be scalped, and the scalp will be used for the bridle. The dead man’s lingual bone is to be used for the bit and his hip bones for cheekpieces. A spell also needs to be recited over it, and then the bridle is finished. All that needs to be done is place the witch-ride bridle over a horse’s head. It will then fly into the air with whomever is riding it, and fly faster than lightning wherever its rider wishes, creating a great whistling sound.”

Icelandic scholar Þorsteinn Konráðsson began collecting Galdrastafurs in 1890, but it was not until 1943 that he collected his volumes of data and wrote about them which included hundreds of Icelandic magic symbols (Staves). His style was unique, using a two-toned black and red to bring out a dramatic effect visually of the Staves. This Galdrastafur appears in several other manuscripts and how long it has existed lies in mystery. It is said that this one was a favorite of Þorsteinn.

Learn more about Galdrastafurs below

https://www.galdrastafir.org/

https://galdrastafir.com/

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Welcome to the Úlfsvættr Craftsman domain

I want to welcome you to my website of the Úlfsvættr Craftsman. This is the culmination after years of study and working to fine tune my craft in order to produce the highest of quality. Items that easily could become heirlooms passed on to younger generations. But more than that is this Blog where I have so much I want to share with you from my vast experiences and wide variety of knowledge crammed packed into my mind. I hope you enjoy what you see and in some way whether you visit to browse my shop, look through the gallery or just read through this Blog which will be added to four times a month. In time or perhaps by the time you are reading this I will also have a newsletter available as well. Thank you again for taking the time to read this welcome message and remember to always “Keep the Primal Side Alive.”