In a land of rumbling earth with dark winters and endless daylight summers, with hot steam rising from ginormous cracks in the ground and numerous mountains belching forth ash and destruction; 2000 years ago it would only make sense to believe that all natural oddities found on this remote northern most Iceland to be the result of supernatural forces at work! And sometimes the odd sacrificial offering or powerful incantation would get you through. The Viking’s landed with faith in
Odin and Thor, finding strength and courage in their Nordic Gods, but even in this isolated land, a newer religion would soon come into play. Most of Iceland’s early evidence of Pagan idols and temples were destroyed around 995ad when Christianity , motivated by political influence, became harshly enforced across Iceland. The writings and tools of the practice were near all lost during the 17th century Protestant Reformation lead by King Christian III of Denmark & subsequent witchcraft hunt of traditional pagan practicers, mostly men. But in these isolated conditions and despite inhumane torture and zealot led lynchings (beheadings and burnings too) many of the stories and superstitious survived. Rooted in Nordic folklore these pagan beliefs were wide spread in practice and rituals across Iceland.
At the Sorcery and Witchcraft Museum in Hólmavikurvegur Iceland, the northwest fjords region, you will find a small but very interesting look into Iceland’s pagan and supernatural past. From protecting you from thieves and insuring a good harvest, to beating your opponent in a wrestling match or bringing harm to your enemy; many of the ancient runes can be viewed,
carved on wood or inked on pig skins at the museum. A fascinating little museum on a picturesque harbor. Preserving Iceland’s ancient ways of survival through faith with a wonderful collection of old books, exhibits of daily life incantations, displays of ancient runes and markings and even the infamous necro-pants. (Click here if you want to know more of this interesting and bit gruesome way to find gold in your “pocket”)