Seiδr & Sexual Acts

A Viking period silver amulet suggested to be that of the Norse goddess Freyja found in Aska in Hagebyhöga parish, Aska hundred, Vadstena municipality, Östergötland, Sweden.

There remains a considerable amount of sexual imagery connected with seiδr and its performance. Tolley (1995a:70) effectively makes the point that none of this should surprise us, due to the general climate of "sexual anarchy" that attaches to the Vanir deities throughout the Old Norse Myth cycle. The prime example of this is naturally Freyja, the original mistress of seiðr, who was it seems notorious even amongst the gods for her incestuous relationships and liaisons with a range of beings.
Hér megið sjá heldur rösklegan ….
Here you may see a vigorous phallus
vingul skorinn af viggs föður ….
severed from a father of horses
þér er, ambátt, þessi Völsi....
For you, slave-woman this Völsi
Allódauflegur innan læra.
is not at all dull between your thighs.
Ref: Vǫlsa þáttr str 2 Tr. Turville-Petre 1964:265f
Her sexuality is discussed by Boyer (1995:49-57) and Nasstrom (1995:65ff, 104-10) Margeret Clunies Ross (1994:209) in her book “Prolonged Echo’s”, argues on the penetrative aspects of seiðr, that we can see the act of spirit possession in terms of a woman allowing herself to be entered.....possibly by a spirit or a god. Regarding the masturbatory use of phallus during the heathen era within female magical rites, those interested in this area would do well to look up and research: Vǫlsa þáttr str 2 Tr. Turville-Petre 1964:265f

Various heroic poems in Eddaic lore were extended to imply that the Valkyrie besides serving ale to the einherjar also gave sexual pleasure to the chosen warriors. Völurs by all accounts were considered sexually dangerous. Seiðr might also be used to cause impotence in males: some commentators see Heiðr's action in "vitti hún ganda" as referring to enchanting a phallus, assuming that ganda, normally a "magic wand" to be a kenning for the penis. (Jochens, Völuspá, 353 n. 21).

Ráðomk þér Loddfáfnir   I advise you, Loddfafnir, en þú ráð nemir  to accept advice; njóta mundu ef þú nemr   you'll do well if you doþér munu góð ef þú getr  it will be good for you if you get it: fjölkunnigri konu  in the arms of a sorceress skalattu í faðmi sofa you must never sleep svá at hon lyki þik liðom so she can lock you with her limbs – 

Ref: Havamol 113 Ursula Dronke Vol III Mythological Poems 2011 translation

The single most characteristic element of seiðr, however, seems to be magic of a type which works by affecting the mind by illusion, madness, forgetfulness or other means. The practitioner of seiðr was known as a seið-kona (seið-wife) or seið-man, but these terms tended to suggest a "black magician," so that frequently a seið-worker is called a spá-kona or spae-wife instead to avoid blackening their name with the negative connotations of seiðr. This "politically correct" title usage for the seið-worker has resulted in much confusion over the types of native Scandinavian magic since the categories between seiðr and spá became blurred by later writers. seiðr could give the worker knowledge of the future, but rather than directly perceiving ørlög or fate, as a spá-kona or völva would, the seið-practitioner summoned spirits to communicate the knowledge of the future. Other terms in common use for those practicing seiðr include fjölkunnigr-kona, "full-cunning-wife, knowledgeable women" and hamhleypa, "hamingja-leaper, shape- or skin-changer" (Simpson, 183). Seiðr was a solitary art, where the seið-witch was not a member of a coven, as in found in other European witch traditions, although a seið-practitioner might have attendants or a chorus to assist her in the practice of her magic. In a very few rare instances only do the sagas report a group of seið-workers practicing together, there they are usually kin folk, such as a pair of sisters, a father and his family, and the like (Ellis-Davidson, 37-38).

Seiðr might also be used to cause impotence in males: some commentators see Heiðr's action in "vitti hún ganda" as referring to enchanting a phallus, assuming that ganda, normally a "magic wand" to be a kenning for the penis. (Jochens, Völuspá, 353 n. 21). Based on the Anglo-Saxon "key" riddles, which use double-entendre to link the key which opens a lock to the phallus entering a female, as well as the ornate symbolic "girdle-hanger" type of keys found in women's graves, Meaney sees the keys worn at the waist of the Northern housewife to be not only functional, but magical as well, symbolizing a knowledgeable woman's holding the key to her husband's manhood as well as having control over her husband's property (Meaney, 181). Certainly a woman's keys would have been useful in a seiðr spell relying upon sympathetic magic. Queen Gunnhildr of Norway, renowned in Norse literature as a seið-witch, was angered when her favorite Hrútr desired leave to return home to Iceland to the arms of another woman and used seiðr to punish him:

‘I want to give you this gold bracelet,' she said when they were alone, and clasped it around his arm. ‘You have given me many good gifts," said Hrútr. She put her arms around his neck and kissed him, and said, ‘If I have as much power over you as I think, the spell I now lay on you will prevent your ever enjoying the woman in Iceland on whom you have set your heart. With other women you may have your will, but never with her. An now you must suffer as well as I, since you did not trust me with the truth.'
 
Gunnhildr's spell, symbolized by the ring or bracelet given Hrútr, worked as intended, for he and Unn were never able to consummate their love since though Hrútr could have intercourse as normal with other women, he found that he could not physically enter Unn, being too large with her alone (Njáls saga, ch. 6 and 7). This spell probably operated via the sympathetic magic, transmitted by the bracelet. As a child, Gunnhild learns the ways of withcraft from a Finnish concubine of her father, a powerful Norse chieftain. As she matures into a young woman she learns the relationship between the powerful and the weak and becomes a spaewife, learning the crafts of magic and sorcery. She is a Knower of the Gods. unnhild married Erik Blood-Axe and with their combined determination of ruthlessness they forged a dynasty whose legends last into modern times. She bears Erik nine children, all equally ambitious, though not equally clever. Eirik and Gunnhild briefly become King and Queen of England, but in this cruel and dangerous era, rivalries abound, and no one who seizes power can ever hope to hold it for long.

Only homosexuals can practice seiðr?

This off course conflicts with the neo-pagan wiccan based Hrafnar Spæ groups who claim on false etymology that *ergi* means homosexual (it does not) or that only women & homosexuals should practice seiðr (another myth). Or that Freya had a seiðr cult (there is no evidence for this) There is no indication that such a cult ever existed -- or that Freyja has any association with fertility, for that matter; she is associated with sex and war. The central thesis of Price's book is that seiðr was an adjunct to combat, a form of battle-magic, which could in itself explain its association with Freyja who is herself a battle as well as a Sex Goddess.

Regarding the word "ergi" you should look at the poem Skýrnismál, 36 st.,
Þurs ríst ek þér
ok þriá stafi,
ergi ok œði
ok óþola;

36. Þurs I cut for thee,
and three letters more:
ergi, and oenði,
and oÞola.
So will I cut them out,
as I have cut them in,
if there need shall be.

Ref: Thorpe B För Skirnis eðr Skirnismál
The Journey or Lay of Skirnir.

and then at the Bergen rune carving;
ylgjar ergi ok úþola.
Á þer renni úþóli
ok “ioluns” móð
Sittu aldri,
sof þu aldri.

The main question is this; How do you threaten a female to be homosexual or to lesbian? In my thought it is a escape rather then punishment. There is a line of thought that the word "ergi" means lust an then you have a harmony in the meaning. Lust + madness + restlessness = forever crazy; but there is also the thought that "ergi" means to be without sex that is also a threat to a women = not to be able to have children, this understanding is received by looking at the text of Herodotus. The third solution to the meaning is a coward, to be a woman without to be a homosexual, just a pure coward; remember who and what Snorri was.

It is important to note that the magical practices of our elder kin often involved acts today which seem violent ~ seiðr is war magic as well as killing arts (that is dispatching into the next life the critically ill) ~ explicitly sexual and definitely politically incorrect by modern standards perhaps "degrading" depending on your post modernist mind-set or upbringing including all your  current religious biases. For this reason and outside of the current trend of streaming  intellectual laziness within heathen re-cons today, very few people I know are capable of standing outside of their post modernism and absorb themselves into the mind-set, language and dreaming of those days when the gods/goddesses of Northern Europe walked the earth.