Vikings wanted!! Volunteer crew needed for Expedition America 2016 – no murder or pillage included

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Their amazing ships enabled a few hundred thousand Scandinavians to shape world history.
They were the first great world explorers in the western hemisphere.  Most of western Europe has a Viking heritage of one sort or another. The Dragon Harald Fairhair  is a large Viking longship built in the municipality ofHaugesund, Norway. The Dragon Harald Fairhair brings the seafaring qualities of a warship from the old Norse sagas to life. It is a ship that combines ocean-crossing sailing capabilities with a warship’s use of oars.

Construction and maiden voyage

The Vikings left almost no record of how they built their ships and how they sailed them.

Building began in March 2010. The launching of the longship took place in the summer 2012. Because no one today has real experience handling a Viking ship of this size, the initial period will be one of exploring how to sail and row the ship, and for experimentation with the rigging along the coast of Norway. In summer 2014 the longship made its first real expedition from Norway to Liverpool Victoria Rowing Club, Wallasey, Wirral, Merseyside, and back via various locations around the coast of the British Isles including the Isle of Man, Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland.

Read more here.

The Blót

The word blót (Icelandic and Faroese: blót) is the Old Norse and Old English representative of the Proto-Germanic noun blōtą “sacrifice, worship”. In pre-Christian times the sacrifice was made of grains, or flowers, or wine but the most effective and powerful type of sacrifice was one of blood.

In those days most people either were, themselves, farmers or knew someone who was. Butchering livestock was a common experience.

Most people today would be shocked and sickened if they witnessed (or worse took part) in the slaughter and dressing of an animal.

These pictures were taken at a Yule Blót in 2013.  Thanks go to the Gallows Tree Kindred out of Ft. Wayne, Indiana

Returning home, Troy Wisehart wrote this at Indianapolis Int Airport

 As I await my flight I am reflecting on yesterday’s live Yule Boar Blot. I can honestly say without exaggeration that this was an amazing event! David Taggart organises a Yule Blot every year but this one was exceptional. The boar was a magnificent 325lb animal named “Slick” for his ability to escape. Slick knew his role in the blot yesterday and literally positioned himself for the killing cut and waited bravely. Godi Lonny Heft did the kill with a short handled spear with amazing courage and skill. There is no doubt in my mind that Thor himself was present at this sacrifice and throughout the day. Phillip Traicoff and another friend butchered the boar expertly and many guests took large portions of sacred pork home to their families. Much thanks to everyone who took time out of their busy lives and spent hard earned cash to participate in this sacred event! Sig Teiwaz!

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The short handled sacrificial sword and Slick in the cage

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Godi Lonny Heft(l) blessing Slick and thanking him for the great sacrifice he’s about to make

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Slick being comforted as he bleeds out

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Slick is dead and being prepared for bathing …

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The Thor blessed blood of Slick.  The evergreen twig will be used by the Godi to sprinkle those in attendance.

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Slick’s meat offering will be cooked and eaten that night for the Kindred’s meal. What is left over will be divided among the participants and sent home with them.

Norway’s ‘We’re Sorry’ Monument to 91 Dead Witches

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The town of Vardø, known as ‘the witch capital of Norway,’ has built a monument dedicated to the memory of the men and women who were burnt or tortured to death, accused of sorcery.
The site of one of Europe’s most brutal witch hunts has been transformed into a modernist memorial monument, perched above the Arctic Circle on the rugged coast of Norway’s most northeastern tip.As Europe killed more than 40,000 people accused of sorcery in the 17th and 18th centuries, there were vicious witch trials taking place at the edge of the earth, in Norway’s tiny fishing villages.

Right off the crashing waves of the Barents Sea is the remote town of Vardø, known as the “witch capital of Norway.”

Four hundred years ago, Vardø embarked on a crusade to rid itself of witchcraft. For more than a century—between 1593 and 1692—there were more than 140 witch trials in the small village.

At least 91 people, both men and women, were found guilty of sorcery and burned at the stake or tortured to death.

The number may not be as large as elsewhere in Europe, but in northern Norway’s parsely populated landscape it touched a disproportionately large chunk of the population.

About a third of these trials were specifically targeting Norway’s indigenous Sami population who arose suspicion by practicing traditional healing rituals.

Read more here.

A Good Thing Coming From Climate Change

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Melting Glaciers Reveal Stone Age Artifacts

Stone age artifacts including weapons, shoes, walking sticks and mittens — abandoned in the mountains of Norway many thousands of years ago — are being revealed as mountain glaciers melt and retreat, researchers say.

When those artifacts were lost or dropped around 7,000 years in the past, the region was experiencing a warmer climate, and now global warming is revealing objects of daily life as glaciers and ice fields in Southern Norway have begun melting again, they say.

In the past two decades scientists “have witnessed artifacts turning up in summer from increasingly deeper layers of the glaciers,” says archaeologist Lars Pilø, who has spend many years among the glaciers and ice doing field work to discover artifacts belonging to our ancestors.

Read more here.