Shamanism in Norse Myth and Magic I + II

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Tolley, Clive
Shamanism in Norse Myth and Magic I + II. Two-volume package
Folklore Fellows' Communications 296-297
Tallinn 2023, 2.p., 613 + 286 + maps and plates pp.
Two-volume package. Volumes 296 and 297.

Medieval Norse written sources, ranging from poems originally handed down in oral tradition from pagan times to prose sagas composed in literate Christian Iceland, as well as histories and laws, present acts of magic and initiation, performed both by humans in fictionalised histories and by gods in myths. The summoning of spirits, journeys to the otherworld, the taking of animal shape, and drumming are some of the features of these rites that have prompted many to see in pre-Christian Scandinavian practices some form of shamanism. But what exactly are the features of shamanism that are being compared? And how reliable are the Norse sources in revealing the true nature of pre-Christian practices?

In this study, Clive Tolley presents the main features of Siberian shamanism, as they are relevant for comparison with Norse sources, and examines the Norse texts in detail to determine how far it is reasonable to assign a label of “shamanism” to the human and divine magical practices of pre-Christian Scandinavia, whose existence, it is argued, in many cases resides mainly in the imaginative tradition of the poets.
More Information
ISSN 0014-5815
Publisher Kalevalaseura-säätiö
Series Folklore Fellows' Communications
Published (year) 2023
Cover Hardcover
Type of Binding Hardcover binding
Languages english
Disciplines Folklore
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