Hmm where to start, well the beginning is probably the best place, so here goes. On Friday 2nd May a number of heathens, members of the Kith of Yggdrasil, descended upon the British Museum. It was a Kith outing to the Vikings: Life and Legend exhibition and to a talk given by Professor Neil Price about Magic, Sorcery and the Viking Mind. The talk was free and well worth going to. If you can find you tube videos of it or if the British Museum staff have put it up on the website yet, watch it. It is so interesting and certainly calls into question some of the stereotypes we have of the Vikings.

The talk lasted 40 minutes but I find myself wishing it was longer, Professor Price has obviously researched his subject well and put all the loose ends and snippets of insight we have into Viking beliefs and made sense of it all. Turns out that there is a distinct link between sex and magic as well as between violence and magic, can’t help but chuckle at that. It would also seem that there are a lot of contradictions. Vikings are supposedly one of the most homophobic civilisations to have existed, magic was supposedly the woman’s domain too. However we find that Odin is the master of magic and we find records of male magic users. To be a male magic user was to be ergi, that is unmanly, cowardly, and all sorts of things not stereotypically male, (or as one of the group pointed out…. possibly gay…. and ergi, he thought, roughly meant cock sucker) though we find in the eddas and sagas a lot of incidents of this, Thor dressing up as a bride for a start, not to mention there was a very nice statue on display in the exhibition of Odin, wearing a dress. I wouldn’t be surprised if ergi was just applied to those individuals who didn’t fit the gender binary, this is of course just me speculating.

So the exhibition itself, wonderful items on display, I really enjoyed it. Just a shame that we were being crammed in like sardines. I hate crowds at the best of times, so being hemmed in so closely did not do my nerves any good at all and when you have selfish people pressed up against the glass of the displays so no one else can see it’s infuriating. Why don’t people have any manners or respect for other human beings, also managed to pick a ‘fight’ with some Americans… I’m sorry but if someone who knows nothing about Heathenry or Loki starts slagging him and his followers off I am going to get involved, thankfully these ladies were wonderful people to talk to so it turned into a discussion more than a fight. I am going to have to try and go again so I can spend more time looking at the items and  perhaps go earlier to evade the crowds.

Once we all made it out of the exhibition we had a small sumble outside by the replica longboat… let’s just say the boat also got doused with mead. Had a fun day out and ended up first in Atlantis Bookshop and then a pub called The Plough. I think I need to go on Kith outings more often.

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