Women And Magic In Norse Sagas

Woman and Magic in the Sagas


In Norse society, magic was considered to be a woman's profession. We must be careful in using interpretations of the Sagas which were written from a Christian perspective, as they often skewed the interpretation to coincide with their own viewpoint. The Norse practitioners of the various arts of magic were highly respected professionals whose services were valued by their communities (Jochens, 307; Ellis-Davidson, 37). Magic was an accepted part of the world in which we live. Many of the most important cult practices of the pagan Norse religion occurred in the housewife's domain, where the woman of the house would act as priestess or gyšja (Steffensen, ...

Want to read the rest of this paper?
Join Essayworld today to view this entire essay
and over 50,000 other term papers

the appearance of ghosts and the three witches is seen as a sign of peril or doom. In the Norse writings these types of occurrences are seen as a part of life, a natural as milking a cow. This paper will discuss magic as a part of women's daily lives in the Norse sagas.
Magic in Norse society was divided into four main categories seišr, spį (spae), galdr, runic magic, and quite possibly other categories of magical arts that the saga writers failed to discuss. They may not have included them as the sagas were written by men who did not properly understand all of their aspects, as they were the province of women. Of the four main categories, seišr is the most common, as well as the most difficult to define by Christian standards. The term seišr is most commonly translated as "witchcraft," and is used to describe actions ranging from shamanic magic, to prophecy, channeling the gods or the gods' voices through a human agent, performing magic that affects weather or animal ...

Get instant access to over 50,000 essays.
Write better papers. Get better grades.


Already a member? Login

poisoned ale from the festive horn (ch. 10). The seišr of forgetfulness is typical of the art, which seems at its root to act on the mind of the victim. In Njal's sage we find, "Far from it," says the earl, "and yet I cannot tell why we cannot find him, but methinks I see through it all when I come on shore, but when I come here, I can see nothing" (Njal's Saga, 87-101). This is an excellent example of the use of seidr to disguise and hide.
Seišr was a solitary art, where the seiš-witch was not a member of a coven, as in found in other European witch traditions, although a seiš-practitioner might have attendants or a chorus to assist her in the practice of her magic. In a very few rare ...

Succeed in your coursework without stepping into a library.
Get access to a growing library of notes, book reports,
and research papers in 2 minutes or less.


CITE THIS PAGE:

Women And Magic In Norse Sagas. (2015, July 26). Retrieved October 21, 2020, from http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Women-And-Magic-In-Norse-Sagas/104828
"Women And Magic In Norse Sagas." Essayworld.com. Essayworld.com, 26 Jul. 2015. Web. 21 Oct. 2020. <http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Women-And-Magic-In-Norse-Sagas/104828>
"Women And Magic In Norse Sagas." Essayworld.com. July 26, 2015. Accessed October 21, 2020. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Women-And-Magic-In-Norse-Sagas/104828.
"Women And Magic In Norse Sagas." Essayworld.com. July 26, 2015. Accessed October 21, 2020. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Women-And-Magic-In-Norse-Sagas/104828.
JOIN NOW
Join today and get instant access to this and 50,000+ other essays


PAPER DETAILS
Added: 7/26/2015 02:35:56 AM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2291
Pages: 9

Save | Report

SHARE THIS PAPER

SAVED ESSAYS
Save and find your favorite essays easier

SIMILAR ESSAYS
» Women and Men in Sports
» John Milton On Women and Divorc...
» Women's Rights In Afghanistan, ...
» Women and Contemporary African ...
» The Role Of Women In India And ...
» Women And Equality In The Workf...
» Evil In Women And Its Effect On...
» Goethe In Faust And Shelley In ...
» A Comparison Of The Magic In "T...
» A Comparison Of The Magic In "T...
Copyright | Cancel | Contact Us

Copyright © 2020 Essayworld. All rights reserved