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Unformatted text preview: Seir in Written Sources
March 10, 2010 Business as Usual Viking Kitmaking workshop at the Fjellborg meeting this weekend Harpa Festival performance as Final Interest in having a kitmaking workshop on campus at a later time? If so, notify me Project will be added to the Project Guidelines over the weekend Seir: A distinctive, recognizable ritual
1) Foretelling of future, divinatory ritual Hired service, useful, communal practice Stigma, Christian and nonChristian alike 2) Pursuit of individual, shamanistic ritual 3) Casting of spells and curses, seir ritual Hired service by individual, potentially harmful Invasion in private lives, ability to harm Practice feared and condemned Hired service by individual, deliberately harmful Invasion or destruction of body Practitioner feared, condemned, even ostracized 1. Eirks saga, Chapter 4 A prophetess is asked when famine will end. A high seat is prepared for her and her appearances, tools, and meals are described in detail. She asks for assistance with "warlock" songs to charm the spirits Although a seir ritual is being described, which of the following do we not see? A) Raised platform for the ritual B) Use of spells and incantations C) Use of bones, runes or other magical objects D) Invasion of private lives with ability to harm 2. Egils saga, "ES, Scornpole" Egil makes an invocation to drive the King and Queen from the country. He carves it in runes on a pole and places a horse head on it, turning towards land. Why is this seir and not runic magic? A) Because these are not Futhark runes B) Because the intention is to do harm C) Because the ritual is in secret D) All of the above E) B and C only 3. Gsla saga, "GS, Curse" Thorgrim Nef, a blacksmith and a sorcerer, places a curse on a killer (no name) that no one will be able to aid him Audbjorg, Thorgrim's sister, causes an avalanche that kills her son's attacker According to the text, which of the following is true? A) They are both guilty of fullblown sorcery B) Thorgrim is guilty of fullblown sorcery, but Audbjorg's is of lowerlevel intensity C) Audbjorg has not performed seir, only Thorgrim D) Neither of them has performed seir 4. Laxdla saga, Chapters 3538
Kotkel's family of sorcerers perform two rites, one to cause storm that drowns their opponents, and one that kills the son of Hrut at Thorleik's request What is their true role in this community? A) They are outsiders shunned by everyone B) They are outsiders, but seen as useful by those who might require their services C) They are accepted by the community until they are caught at sorcery A wizard betrays his fellow wizards, who prepare a "sending" as a revenge. The first sending is caught by his girlfriend, but the second one requires the powers of "fosterfather" to deal with it Although potent, at this time in history the believe is that sorcery can be overturned why? A) Christians do not believe in magic B) These wizards were not particularly powerful C) The rites were incorrectly performed D) One spell can counter another one 5. "The Wizards of the Westman Islands" 6. "The Serpent of Lagarfljt"
A serpent causes trouble for the community that hires two Finns to take care of the problem. They cannot kill the snake but place it in fetters to render it harmless. This folktale shows how seir is . . . A) Frequently connected to foreigners B) Always helpful for the community C) An exceptionally powerful magic D) All of the above For Recitations "The Singing Match" The Kalivala The Singing Match
Briefly summarize the poem who is doing what? Why? What are their powers? Where and how do we see magic used, and how does this competition connect to ON understanding of seir? Schedule
Readings for next week: DuBois, Chapter 4 "Visitors from Beyond: Death, Afterlife, and the Problem of Ghosts" Excerpts from Eyrbyggja saga, Eirks saga, The Vinland Sagas, Laxdla and Grettis saga (CULearn) ...
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- Spring '08