Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Feared and Respected Old Norse Völva Sorceresses

In the Viking Age, the völvas (female shamans) were both feared and respected: they exercised seiðr (Norse magic) and were supposedly in direct contact with Odin, the Allfather. The word völva derives from the Old Norse vǫlva meaning “wand carrier”, a traveling sorceress and seeress who got well paid for her services.

A number of women’s graves found in Scandinavia contained what is believed to be a völva’s wand. The graves are often well equipped and rich, and show that these women were involved in practicing magic.

The völvas were the foremost religious interpreters in the Norse society. The most famous example of a völva’s prediction is in the Eddic poem Völuspá (Old Norse: Vǫluspá, meaning ”Prophecy of the Völva”). The poem tells the story of the creation of the world until its coming end of Ragnarök (“The Doom of the Gods”), told by a Norse sorceress addressing Odin.

read more here @ Ancient Origins

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