Vardlokkur: Song of Seidhr

A vardlokkur is a type of song linked to the practice of seidhr, as cited in the Saga of Erik the Red. These “ward songs” prepared the völva (literally “staff carrier”, meaning something akin to seeress or prophetess) for trance and called the spirits to her for prophesying. I’ve been exposed to a couple of different modern vardlokkur over the last few years (in Catskin Sisters courtesy of Vedis and at Trothmoot 2010 courtesy of Hrafnar) and in the last two weeks I have been inspired to create my own. For some reason, I could never gear up around this project before; but now, it seems like it’s time and I feel ready.

Image of a völva from the Faroe stamp

From the moment, I was introduced to vardlokkur in seidhr work, I have felt drawn to it. The part of me that always has a sacred song in my head, and often on my lips, knows that they are powerful means for facilitating contact with the inhabitants of the otherworlds. For this reason, I am inspired to create my own vardlokkur for use in seidhr work in consultation with the spirits (of course) and drawing on the work of two artists – Kari Tauring and Eivør Pálsdóttir – whose vocal style speaks to the völva in me. I wrote little more about my perspective on Ms. Pálsdóttir’s work at WWWII and included an embedded video file.

In my amorphous imaginings, I see parts of the vardlokkur being improvised vocalizations, other parts drawing from Old Norse, German, Icelandic, and English lore/languages, and still others emerging from runic mysteries. Again, these are rough thoughts and as I delve into the labor I may find that the spirits have different plans. I look forward to working on this project, and bringing it to a hopefully potent conclusion!

9 thoughts on “Vardlokkur: Song of Seidhr

  1. Pingback: Vardlokkur–”I do not think it means what you think it means.” | Ehsha

    • Thanks, Lady B. I can’t wait to hear it either LOL. I have a feeling it will be a surprise to me as much as anyone :-). As for Kari Tauring, she has a website and a host of YouTube links. I’m off now to my tumblr site to upload a few of my KT favs.

    • I think it’s a great project! Though I will say that I think I got involved too quickly, before I could really contribute anything. But now that I feel ready, I’m looking forward to sharing what I develop in the coming months!

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