Note: The following is an excerpt from Kurt Hoogstraat’s upcoming book “On Contemporary Seidr: A How To Guide”.
What is contemporary Seidr? It is a method of trance work that can be done alone or for small groups. It doesn’t require a chorus of singers to sing you off to the Nine Realms. Or a Volva in her high seat. It does entail the traveling of the Nine Realms to seek wisdom and guidance. Traveling to Hel to speak with departed ones. Many of the skills assigned to traditional Seidr workers. But in a much more personal and hopefully reachable type of trance work.
A bit about me. I have been a Vitki or Norse Shaman for over two decades. I am a certified Core Shaman in the Northern Path. I have worked with Seidr Arts specifically for over a decade. The methods discussed in this book are the methods I use and teach to my many apprentices. It is a method proven to work in traveling the nine realms and retrieving information and wisdom. It is a type of work that can be performed either alone or with a client. It is powerful indeed.
It is not my aim with contemporary Seidr to throw out all the wisdom that comes from the traditions of our ancestors. Rather contemporary Seidr is all about using traditional practices as a foundation for Seidr work. There is such a rich history from our past that simply cannot be denied. Contemporary Seidr seeks to build upon the ways of the past.
The workers of Seidr are, at their foundation, Norse Shamans. So many of our practices are similar or even identical to the Shamans of other cultures. Journeying and the use of drums are just two examples of how our work is identical to the work of Shamans of other cultures. Our ancestral spiritual leaders were well versed in augury, Divination or readings signs, the Runes and much more. The act of journeying to gain wisdom and answers to life’s most difficult questions would certainly have fallen upon the Shamans.
The Vitki lived at the fringes of the societal system known as the tribe. Valued members of the tribe yes. But apart. This separateness was needed to do their job the most effectively. They needed space and free rein to experience nature and all its glories. They needed to be a part of the natural world even more than they needed to be part of the tribe. Hence the separation from society as they knew it.
So what makes this Seidr and not simply another more generic form of trance work? It relies heavily on the Norse pantheon and Nine Realms. It is set in the cosmology of the Norse world. As trance work it is definitely similar to other traditions. It may fly in the larger more universal cosmos but it has its feet planted firmly in the world of the Northern traditions.
There is really no big mystery surrounding this method. It is grounded and rather common. It is about trance, which may sound intimidating, but I believe that anyone who puts in the time can accomplish results. You can do any of the exercises here and benefit from them. It all depends on your ability to dedicate yourself to this practice. Results will probably not come immediately but I believe they will come although as with all Esoteric work results cannot be guaranteed. Perseverance is one of the main keys to success in this work. As my father called it, “sticktoitiveness”. Simple as that.
It is my goal to guide practitioners to aspects of the multiverse that our ordinary eyes don’t see. Let this book serve as a travel guide. Take the chance to go along with me on this amazing and life changing journey. Take your first steps now.
Kurt Hoogstraat is a full-time Vitki and Heathen author based in Northern Illinois. He has been studying the runes and other Old Norse esoterica for over twenty years. A member of the Troth and an inclusive Heathen, Kurt also blogs at https://vitkimusings.blog/. He also creates instructional Heathen videos at his self-titled YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCafJleASW-7ZJyQcqQBU0AA.