An Icelandic Pilgrim amid the Crusades: Nikulás Bergsson

During the mid-twelfth century, an Icelander named Nikulás Bergsson went on a pilgrimage that took him over 4,000 miles away from his home in northern Iceland to Jerusalem in the Holy Land. We don't know much about him, but it is clear that he was a lettered Benedictine monk.[1] Around the year 1153, however, Nikulás … Continue reading An Icelandic Pilgrim amid the Crusades: Nikulás Bergsson

Feuding, I: What is Feud? Solving Problems with an Axe

Many of the great sagas and ancient lore from the medieval North recount endless, bloody feuds between generations of prominent families: a conflict ends, peace...

Land-Spirits, III: Dealing with New Neighbors

☞ Before reading: This is part III of the (slightly modified) written form of the Fjörn's Hall Podcast episode titled "Landvættir: The Land-Spirits of the Medieval North." You may listen to it here, or you may enjoy it in written form below! Looking for part II? Dealing with New Neighbors: Iceland's Settlers Encounter the Land-Spirits … Continue reading Land-Spirits, III: Dealing with New Neighbors

Land-Spirits, II: Don’t Scare Them!

During the late 9th century, Norse famers, mostly from Norway and including a few small-scale chieftains, migrated to a new island... Read more:

Land-Spirits, I: What Are They?

In the next few Hearthside History posts, we’re going to talk about the landvættir, or the land-spirits of the medieval North. A lot of folk hear about them whenever October comes around because contemporary followers of the Old Ways consider them important during harvest-related holidays, such as Vetrnætr (Winter Nights), which was between October 19th … Continue reading Land-Spirits, I: What Are They?

Farmsteads and Agriculture

In this gathering by the Hearthside, I share the history of the medieval North's farmsteads and agriculture. While many of us flock to learn about raids, runes, and magic, this blog-post offers a refreshing look into the daily lives of the Norsefolk. Join me by the Hearthside to learn more!

Healing in the Medieval North

Healing was a vital art in the medieval North, but it is one that is hardly discussed often enough. [...]

Drinking in the Medieval North

Please gather around, friends, for another anonymous wanderer has sent a request to this hall! I hate to admit that it was long ago now, but a raven once came to me bearing this message: "i'd be curious to hear from a possibly more academic side how you see drinking/alcohol playing into heathenism? i've heard … Continue reading Drinking in the Medieval North

Gift-Giving in the Medieval North

Gather around, friends; the fire is still warm and lively! One night, a fair bit ago now, a raven flew into my hall bearing an interesting question from an anonymous wanderer. It has particular relevance to this gift-giving season (Jól (Yule/Christmas) for some), which is quickly approaching us. Allow me to share the question with … Continue reading Gift-Giving in the Medieval North

Spears, Groves, and Hanged Men: A Discussion of Historical Sacrifices to Odin.

Originally posted on Tumblr on: June 29th, 2017 Anonymous asked: "Greetings brother, what do you know about sacrifices for odin? Are there sources directing to That?" There are indeed many sources that speak of sacrifices to Odin. In fact, I would argue that his sacrifices are the most famous, at least among the Norse gods. … Continue reading Spears, Groves, and Hanged Men: A Discussion of Historical Sacrifices to Odin.