Seidr: The Gate Is Open by Katie Gerrard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Avalonia Publication have went and did it again. They produced a fine masterpiece on shamanistic practices of the Norse. Katie Gerrard has spent at least a decade developing her technique and methodology to enter into the other world. She has tried what she has written about in her own group and she has also learned from other groups as well. Katie is very knowledgeable of Shamanistic method and it shows in this definitive text. The book is steeped with references to old texts and sagas of the norse. If the Norse or Shamanism is your thing then this a great book to get.
Contained in the book are rituals written down step by step. Included in these steps are cleansing the area, casting your protective barrier, techniques for raising energy (chants, dancing etc) When to make offering and when to close the ritual and evaluate. Most of the rituals are geared toward the group but they can be modified for both smaller groups and individual practice. But be forewarned going deep into a trance and traveling to Aesir or Helheim alone with out experience and training may be dangerous.
For a group of people there is the master of ceremonies, the person running the ritual. Maybe 1-2 people acting as channels to receive the message of the deities. When contact is made people should ask questions of the deities and they will get an answer that they hopefully will understand. Around the group there are maybe 4-5 overseers depending on the groups size. They make sure that everyone is doing ok. Sometimes if someone goes to deep it will be their job to revive them.
In addition to rituals the book covers some techniques on shape shifting which involves shaping the Hugr into a certain shape to perform a task. The definition of a Seidr seem rather muddled or obscure. To some it means prophesying while to others it was sorcery. Seidr workers have used their magic in the Sagas to create storms, confuse their opponents and to due astral battle. Seidr working was by and large thought to be unmanly as men were supposed to be drawn to combat. It was supposed to be a woman's thing but there are instances of men doing Seidr. It should be noted that men did use rune craft and Galdr.
Ancient Norse Shamanistic techniques in addition to indigenous techniques that developed learned from the Sami and Lapp people from Finland. Such techniques as the raised platform etc are parallel. They may have also learned some techniques from the ancient Greeks with one exception. In the Greek world a male would interpret the results of the female prophecy in the Norse world the women were allowed to speak directly.
Much of the Ancient practices are lost so modern Seidr worker are piecing things together.
Inspiration for modern Sedr reconstruction comes from an examination of Sami, Lapp and Siberian Shamans. Michael Harner who developed a universal Shamanism is used quite extensively as well.Lastly voodoo techniques are culled as well. The author gives manyb rituals that not only involve traveling to other realms and shape shifting but also rituals for connecting with ancestors and possession. The rituals do not have to be followed rigidly in fact the author urges the reader to tweek things as needed. Over all excellent book.
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