Nordic Runes that were once used as a form of communication in Witchcraft and ancient Nordic culture.

Enigma of Occultism and Witchcraft in Nordic Culture Scandinavia

In a land full of wonder, obscurity, and overall mystery. There comes a time when an individual finds themselves left to question their own motives. Whether that may be a positive or negative aspect, really depends on what becomes wished upon others. Since there is always a consequence to every action taken. With the enigma of Occultism and Witchcraft in Scandinavia. We find ourselves motivated to learn more about this interesting yet dark matter. Through an array of accounts, concerns, and mythical elements. There will be a higher understanding of the total magnetism these entities bring on to other’s lives. Along with the total influences like awe and fear that they present in Nordic culture.

In a land full of wonder, obscurity, and overall mystery. There comes a time when an individual finds themselves left to question their own motives. Whether that may be a positive or negative aspect, really depends on what becomes wished upon others. Since there is always a consequence to every action taken. With the enigma of Occultism and Witchcraft in Scandinavia. We find ourselves motivated to learn more about this interesting yet dark matter. Through an array of accounts, concerns, and mythical elements. There will be a higher understanding of the total magnetism these entities bring on to other’s lives. Along with the total influences like awe and fear that they present in Nordic culture.

A Witches sabbath imagined. Representing the enigma of Occultism
A Witches sabbath imagined. Representing the enigma of Occultism.Image Source: https://images.fineartamerica.com

Background to Nordic Occultism

For centuries, Witchcraft has never failed to capture the attention and imagination of audiences worldwide. With individuals experiencing supernatural phenomena like becoming miraculously healed by illness and eerily predicting spot-on future events. These practitioners became notorious for their expertise in those obscure and unexplainable arts. In Northern Europe, the dark craft and belief have always been associated with being both taboos yet sacred in the Nordic culture. Due to carrying the stigma of one being in allegiance with the devil. Yet also having the chance to contribute to Scandinavian society and be respected in one’s village. Surprisingly, the region of Scandinavia found itself under fewer tribulations than its other neighbors throughout Europe. Which brought a greater advantage to the individuals living there. In essence, Nordic occultism was more acknowledged and accepted in its early society.

A male practitioner of Witchcraft and Occultism in Scandinavia performing a Seiðr ritual.
A male practitioner of Witchcraft and Occultism in Scandinavia performing a Seiðr ritual. Image Source: https://1.bp.blogspot.com

Wizardry in the land

In the late Scandinavian iron age, “Seiðr” became common practice throughout the region. Seiðr was a type of magic that focused on the skill of manipulating and foretelling the future. In addition, the craft has become believed to have links to old Norse traditions. Due to the practitioners worshipping God figures and paying tribute while performing the rituals. Moreover, the individuals that carried out these ceremonies were also impartial in makeup. Meaning that both men and women could perform these tasks. In all, the practice of magic like Seiðr became treasured in Scandinavia. As a result of proving itself useful for aiding many in their troubles.

Men’s role in Scandinavian Witchcraft

Next, as mentioned before, with gender playing a role in Witchcraft in Nordic culture. Men in Scandinavian society were also practitioners, despite the art mainly consisting of a feminine assembly. What is interesting is that their male counterparts often found themselves more targeted to stigma. Due to the fact of Witchcraft mainly becoming more apparent in women throughout the land. Where, in contrast, men were labeled to perform duties that included physical and other feats unrelated to witchcraft. For example, in the Viking era, one of the worst insults a man could get was being called a Völva. Which was another word for witches, since those types of conjurers were exclusively flashy with their feminine appearance. In brief, men in Scandinavian society who practiced witchcraft carried the heavier edge of the burden in relation to occultism.

Völva in Nordic Occultism

Furthermore, the feminine counterparts of Witchcraft in Scandinavia flourished. A Völva was considered a grand figure in Nordic culture due to her great skill and wisdom. Typically, being a leading figure to her village, Völva also became known for her sense of style. Since she always presented herself with accessories like colorful robes, a hat, and other clothing accessories made of animal fur. To add, she also possessed an admirable decorative staff or wand at hand. Interestingly, her name Völva means “Staff holder”, which adds to the significance of her role in Scandinavian Occultism. As she was a powerful idol in her society, Völva found herself intimidated by those who encountered her. In summary, this type of witch played a key role in representing Witchcraft and Occultism in Nordic society.

Völva Dark Side of Enchantment

Typically, her magic became valued for assisting others in feats like creating happiness, healing wounds, and controlling the weather. Along with foretelling fates as she speaks and connects with spirits in other realms. However, her darker side consisted of causing illness, causing misfortunes, and controlling the will of individuals to perform near-death occurrences. Which was almost comparable to becoming possessed and ultimately leaving someone to lose their sanity. On balance, Völva was a character that became both respected and sought after.

Witches flying through the dead of night in Scandinavia along with demonic figures onlooking.
Witches flying through the dead of night in Scandinavia along with demonic figures onlooking. Image Source: https://www.satanicbayarea.com

Accounts of Witchcraft in Scandinavia

Besides the thriving of Witches and the stigma Wizards faced in Scandinavia, comes the inevitable situation of persecution. It was believed that at least two thousand individuals that practiced Witchcraft in Scandinavia were executed. As the belief and practices of Occultism in the land were more embraced than other cultures. Nordic individuals who practiced the dark arts became spared from great damage. Due to the lack of acceptance of the ongoing stereotype that was flowing among the rest of Europe.

It was set on the practice of using harmful magic to destroy others. To illustrate, in modern-day Norway, there are a lesser number of executions that took place in the territory. As a result, this signifies more tolerance present at hand in Nordic culture in contrast to the rest of Europe. All in all, the torture found itself narrowed in Scandinavia, but by no means did it become totally curbed.

Witchcraft Craze follows suit in Nordic Territories

Denmark was one of the main countries in the Nordic territories to become fronted with executions and mania. For example, a small nation fell victim as there was a loss of at least one thousand individuals. Although that sounds like a small amount, it was in fact a huge blow. Due to Denmark’s population consisting of merely half a million people at the time. To add, the witch hunts also began a lot sooner than its other Nordic brother countries throughout Scandinavia. On the other hand, Norway faced a total of three hundred and fifty executions for Witchcraft. Followed by Sweden having less than five hundred individuals killed for practicing Occultism. Even with these numbers at hand, most of the evidence went back to sheer superstition. To silly examples like occultists conjuring a storm and destroying ships. Altogether, these factors were laughable, since the real practices persisted.

Occultism example highlighted as witch becomes initiated and embraced by the devil in a ritual meeting.
Occultism example highlighted as witch becomes initiated and embraced by the devil in a ritual meeting. Image Source: https://s3.amazonaws.com

Häxan in Scandinavia and the core of Occultism

Further, comes the heart of occultism that can be found in Scandinavia. As seen in the photo above, a witch can be seen becoming in league with her master. This highlights the entire purpose of what Occultism serves as. Due to the old belief that all things supernatural originate with Satan. In 1922, Sweden opened a new light and entirely new chapter of what the term really means. As a result, in a film titled Häxan, there is a greater focus on the secrecy and true enigma of witchcraft.

To add, there are a variety of topics and examples that are explored in the film relating to the practice of Occultism. Such as in one scene when a meeting takes place between witches. Followed by them sacrificing an infant in tribute to their master in exchange for retaining their power. In summary, the film puts an intense spotlight on the manner of Occultism and Witchcraft.

Next, the film continues to become a visual masterpiece to ever be created, even for its age. I think this film is worth noting because not only does it focus on witchcraft. But it is also based on research from Scandinavia that concludes. That all these heinous acts of executions were based mainly on a simple misunderstanding of mental disorders. The film does not deny the existence of actual witchcraft, but it leaves on a strong note with a message. That continues to harbor one’s mind with a great inquiry. Overall, Häxan offers a rich source of Witchcraft and Occultism history in Scandinavia and around the world.

Nordic Runes that were once used as a form of communication in Witchcraft and ancient Nordic culture.
Nordic Runes that were once used as a form of communication in Witchcraft and ancient Nordic culture. Image Source: https://i.pinimg.com

Runes- A Tool of Witchcraft

Along with the inquiries into witchcraft’s existence in Scandinavia, comes the topic of Runes. In ancient Nordic culture, runes became used as a series of the alphabet and total communication. For example, the Bluetooth logo many recognize today can be credited back to Nordic runes. Since the original meaning of the logo was purposed to unite people. Which in turn still does in our modern times. To add, the old Norse runes also found themselves used in a verbal way, meaning they could be used to cast enchantments.

The main way one can achieve this feat is to chant through a process called “Galdr”. The process of Galdr remains greatly respected as it became recognized for being extremely efficient and powerful. In essence, runes are of great significance in Nordic Culture in relation to Witchcraft in Scandinavia.

Even though runes are not as fully understood as before, due to time. There is a key phrase that continues to motivate others. Being “Runes are living entities and each rune has its own consciousness, force, and personality” (Raven Mirkwood). With these thoughts at hand, it appears the potential for these tools becomes endless. Another thing to consider was that Runes became believed to be a fragment of the conjurer’s being. Meaning that there can sometimes be physical elements like blood or saliva present on them. Part of that reason makes them remarkable because they can be used and found almost anywhere. In addition, they are also flexible, since runes can be found on stone, wood, clay, and bones. In total, Occultism in Scandinavia remains full of depth.

Colors and Symbolisms in Runes in Scandinavia

Another factor in the creation of runes was the color used on them. For example, the symbol of the Norse god Thor’s Mjolnir can be found surrounded by red runes. The fact of red symbolizes energy, action, and overall ambition to become active. Colors play an important role in these tools because they symbolize emotion and results depend on the witches’ motives. Along with the colors and runes, comes the role they play in Occultism. According to a professor named Sigurd Agrell, he has been brought to believe that the Runes consist of a secret order society. That only other witch and few chosen souls with knowledge of these mysterious artifacts. You can fully understand its true purpose. To sum up, the true intention of these tools continues to remain a riddle for many yet still motivate.

Dark enigma of Witchcraft and Occultism as demons in animal form wait for a new initiate. From the 1922 film Häxan
Dark enigma of Witchcraft and Occultism as demons in animal form wait for a new initiate. From the 1922 film Häxan. Image Source: https://2.bp.blogspot.com

Final overview

With time constantly moving beyond our control and total grasp. We find ourselves left in admiration to figure out what else is out in store for us. Also, the fact of not being able to know the future adds along to the appeal of occultism. Since that world will always be available to those who seek it. In closer, witchcraft in Scandinavia will remain an everlasting topic to reflect on.

Breezy autumn forest at dusk where superstition and occultism originates
Breezy autumn forest at dusk where superstition and occultism originate. Image Source: https://images-wixmp-ed30a86b8c4ca887773594c2.wixmp.com

Significance of Occultism and Witchcraft in Scandinavia

As seen through this article, we have learned of the many aspects that have influenced Witchcraft in Scandinavia. From old superstitions to gender stigmas, idols, research, runes, and much more, we become enlightened with a grasp of awareness. To the world of Witchcraft and Occultism in Scandinavia. There may be a lot to discover and see. However, there comes the motive of searching for answers to long-lost ways. Followed by hope of extending them as well. Since we are after all their legacy, no matter which part of the globe we originate from. Due to witchcraft  found in almost every corner of society on earth. Just like the grains of sand on a beach. One motive at a time is just enough to gain a greater grasp of total understanding of an unseen world. It is full of many unexplained affairs and components. Overall, highlighting the beauty of it all entirely.

Work Cited

Boucher, Claire (Grimes) Dreams Fortress. 2010

Einaudi, Ludovico Life. 2015

Trentemøller, Anders Häxan. 2010

Gardner, G. B. Witchcraft Today. 2004.

Gaskill, M. Witchcraft: A Very Short Introduction. 2010.Burns, W.E. Witch
Hunts in Europe and America: An Encyclopedia.2003.

Gaskill, M. Witchcraft: A Very Short Introduction. 2010.

Pavlac, B. A. Witch Hunts in the Western World: Persecution and Punishment
from the Inquisition through the Salem Trials. 2009.

The Secrets Of The Runes – And How To Harvest Their True Power | Ráven Myrkwoód | Witch From The North (ravenmyrkwood.com)

Witchcraft in Scandinavia – Occult World (occult-world.com)

The Little-Known Story of 16th- to 18th-Century Nordic Witch Trials | Smart News | Smithsonian Magazine

 

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