old norse

Art Video

November, 2018

Swedish Petroglyphs




Sweden has an abundance of mysterious petroglyphs. The Swedish word for petroglyphs is “hällristningar”. This refers to figures and shapes carved in rock surfaces. Most of these images are pre-historic in origin.

Scandinavia has a very large concentration of rock art, created around c. 9000 (the first century BCE). There are about 30,000 registered sites (but new sites are being discovered all the time). Vivid interpretations have been attempted, based on Old Norse beliefs and Sami ethnography.

In truth we do not know until today what their purpose or meaning really was. Do they tell stories? Were they a backdrop for community rituals and ceremony?

This video offers an introduction and some key information followed by shamanic drumming inviting people to meditate on (or journey into) five photographs of Swedish Petroglyphs.

I invite you to share your experiences in the comments section for this video. Who knows, this might just give us some powerful (if non-scientific) clues to the lives of the Bronze Age inhabitants of Scandinavia!

I look forward to reading your responses!


About the Author:

Imelda Almqvist is an international teacher of shamanism and sacred art. Her book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon Books in 2016 and her second book Sacred art: A Hollow Bone for Spirit (Where art Meets Shamanism) will be published in March 2019.  She was a presenter on the Shamanism Global Summit in both 2016 and 2017 and is a presenter on Year of Ceremony with Sounds True. She divides her time between the UK, Sweden and the US. She is currently in the editing stages of her third book “Medicine of the Imagination” and has started her fourth book “Evolving Gods: The Sacred Marriage of Tradition and Innovation”  (website)  (blog)

(YouTube channel: interviews, presentations and art videos)

Natural Born Shamans – A Spiritual Toolkit for Life: Using Shamanism Creatively with Young People of All Ages on Amazon

Book Review: Encyclopedia of NORSE and GERMANIC FOLKLORE MYTHOLOGY and MAGIC By Claude Lecouteux

December, 2017

As a teacher of Norse Shamanism and Germanic mythology this is one book I was delighted to receive and hold in my hands! It is a beautiful hardback book with many illustrations.

As an encyclopedia it is not so much a book most people will read from A – Z (quite literally as it is organised alphabetically!) but it is a book to dip into when you are checking a reference. Maybe the name of an obscure god, or a symbol you cannot quite place … and so forth. Who were Hvedrungr or Eyrgfjava for instance?!

A few decades ago, in secondary school, I had a teacher of Latin and Greek who was an absolute stickler for accuracy and for using faithful reproductions and spellings of names or words from foreign languages. He taught in Dutch, in the Netherlands, where I grew up. His attitude ignited something in me that has stuck with me for life and today I suspect I sometimes bore my own students with authentic if inaccessible spellings of names taken from Old Norse or classical Greek!!

For that reason I was pleased to see that the publisher and editor have taken great care to honour original orthography (fancy word for spelling!) There is even a note on correct pronunciation of letters from Old Norse and contemporary Icelandic.

What I did next was leafing through the book to check entries on terminology and more obscure figures (in Germanic mythology and folklore) where I have been disappointed in other reference type books I have consulted. That was the “litmus test” for me and this book passed with flying colours. It is obvious that a lot of scholarship and research has gone into compiling this. The author has not just taken entries from other sources and reproduced them uncritically.

Before the actual encyclopedia part there is a lengthy introduction of Norse and Germanic Mythology and Folklore. The sources are explained, the gods are introduced, the historical context is provided, even the runic letters are introduced and reproduced.

The author takes great pains to explain that the various Germanic or Nordic countries did not all share the same course of historical development over time. This is very important because, as a teacher of this material, I know that many students arrive looking for a “correct spelling” or “historical accuracy” on various matters – and this simply does not exist. I always reply with a question, when people press me on this: what language are we in? What location are we talking about? What period are you referring to?! – This is material from a vast geographical area (with many local tribes and sub cultures) stretching across centuries (where material continued to evolve over time).

I have not yet read all entries from A – Z. (I am working on that!) but I am thrilled to say that I am very impressed by all I have read so far. This is a book I will keep at hand and make available to my students of Norse mythology, Germanic folklore and shamanism!


For Amazon information, click image below.


Imelda Almqvist, 4 November 2017, London UK


About the Author:

Imelda Almqvist’s book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon Books on 26th August 2016.  She is based in London,UK and teaches shamanism and sacred art internationally. 

For Amazon information, click image below.