Monday, November 26, 2012

Nordic Witchcraft in Transition

Today Medievalists.net calls our attention to a paper by Stephen A. Mitchell (author of the excellent Witchcraft and Magic in the Nordic Middle Ages, which I've read and consider to be a wonderful treatment of the subject) from Scandia in 1997 entitled Nordic Witchcraft in Transition: Impotence, Hersery and Diabolism in 14th-century Bergen.

I've been fascinated with medieval witchcraft accounts for many years, now, and have found within them a wealth of information that can be applied to modern Heathen practices in the form of folk-beliefs. Such accounts, when sifted to separate the Classical influences and new folkloric constructions from the native northern European material, can be most useful in adding depth to our practices.

The article deals specifically with accounts of witchcraft from the mid-14th century, drawing parallels and comparisons with saga material and other written sources from much earlier. I found it quite interesting, and wholeheartedly recommend my fellow Heathens give it a quick read.

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