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Völva: The Shamanic Seeress of the North

The Völva in Norse Paganism is in my opinion the most sacred title that can be bestowed upon a Woman who has worked tirelessly with unwavering dedication to practicing and learning the secrets and magick that is Seiðr and Galdur. It is not something just anyone can call themselves. It is a name with a history dating back thousands of years even before the Viking Age. Women as Shamans in ancient Scandinavia and across Europe has been found through Archeological evidence from the Bronze Age. It is a tradition of spiritual beliefs, medicine, divination and more passed down through the generations. Years ago I met a woman born and raised in Iceland. We quickly became good friends and to this day I consider her like a sister of mine. She also happens to be a truly recognized Völva not only in Iceland but across Europe and elsewhere. She learned the secrets and practices of a Völva from her Mother who learned from her Mother and so on going all the back to when Iceland was settled during the late Viking Age. I can honestly say that not only am I proud to be her friend but feel a true gratitude and unbelievable privilege that she has mentored me during the years and she even has gone so far to share with me things regarding this sacred magick I hold closely guarded myself. So with that said I feel the need to share what I feel are some of the best resources to learn more about the Völva.

Remember this as I have been saying this for years. No one can just become a Völva or self proclaim this title. The Völva is chosen, granted the title and only after showing that they themselves are worthy.

In the Sagas, seeresses called völur (plural) have been described. The word völva (singular) means a carrier of the wand. Usually, a völva was an older woman who traveled around helping people with her magical skills.

“There was in the settlement the woman whose name was Thorbjorg. She was a prophetess (spae-queen), and was called Litilvolva (little sybil). […] It was a custom of Thorbjorg, in the winter time, to make a circuit, and people invited her to their houses, especially those who had any curiosity about the season, or desired to know their fate. […]

The women formed a ring round about, and Thorbjorg ascended the scaffold and the seat prepared for her enchantments. Then sang Gudrid the weird-song in so beautiful and excellent a manner, that to no one there did it seem that he had ever before heard the song in voice so beautiful as now.”

Read full article HERE

Weaving the Dead: Völvas and Their Analogues in Europe

Völva, a Shamanic Seeress

A seeress from Fyrkat?

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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/