Concerning ‘Red Gold’

When you look at gold, what color do you see? Probably some shade of yellow. Why, then, do Old Norse texts often mention 'red gold'? Is it different from normal gold? If so, what is it? I was asked this question on Tumblr recently, so I took a moment to dig up an answer. Here's …

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The Poetic Edda: Studying a Source for Norse Mythology

In recent years, the popularity of the Norse myths has grown exponentially. With bestselling books such as Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology and History Channel’s award-winning television series Vikings, the stories of the Norse gods and their human heroes have become a part of our modern cultural life. The thousand-year-old deities that encompassed a rich oral …

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Selections of Poetry by Jónas Hallgrímsson

Jónas Hallgrímsson (1807-1845) is still frequently regarded as the most loved and admired poet of Modern Iceland.[1] He grew up on a rural farm in North Iceland (Hraun in Öxnadalur), where he learned and lived the oral traditions of Icelandic folklore, poetics, and saga reading; but, when he was sixteen, he spent six years studying …

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The Saga of Iceland’s Independence

Gleðilega þjóðhátíð! Today is June 17th, which means that it is Icelandic National Day! To celebrate, I am sharing the Saga of Iceland's Independence, which explores the history surrounding Iceland's road to independence -- Join me in the Hall to learn more!

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 …

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King Hakon the Good Complicates Yule

As many are of you are already aware, this time of year is popularly regarded as a Revived Yuletide with the Winter Solstice typically being the beginning of this 'New' Old Yule. Yet, although I too regard this day as a New Yule, I must also admit that this is not historically true. Long ago, …

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Hord and the Mound of Soti the Viking

Today is Old Yule Eve, and I have quite the story to share with you all tonight! A wanderer by the name of paganoldsoul requested that I tell stories about Odin and Yule, and so I have found one worthy of a retelling. While it may not be exactly what they had in mind, it is …

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