Book Cover for Norse Mysticism by Disa Forvitin

Book Review: Norse Mysticism – An Exploration of Viking Traditions and Magical Practices by Disa Forvitin

Book Review: Norse Mysticism – An Exploration of Viking Traditions and Magical Practices by Disa Forvitin 

By: Kimberly Anne

I never thought a little book would bring me so much joy! I’m lying. I live for books. I just really like this one. This book was released earlier this year and thanks to, the publisher, Wellfleet Press, and author of the book; I got my hands on a copy.

The light lavender color of the cover instantly attracted me as did the title. They say not to judge a book by the cover, but with this one, I simply couldn’t help it.

Disa Forvitin, the author, has created an experience for readers that allows them to explore Norse mysticism and magical practices and beliefs that date back to the Viking age, and much before then.

This has been such an oversaturated topic for many years now due to social media and of course thanks to the hit television series, Vikings. Some good things have come out of this, and some bad. This book is one of the good things.

The author begins the book with a quick intro and then takes readers on a journey into what early Nordic society looked like. I was not super impressed by the first few pages of the introduction until I reached the note on “Co-Opting of Norse Symbolism by Hate Groups”.

The author stated their clear goal: “to help newcomers fall in love with the beauty and magic of Norse spirituality” and acknowledges and informs readers that “it is also important to be aware that there are hate groups and prison gangs that try to use the symbols and stories of this tradition to promote violent ideologies.”

Although we live in a much more open-minded state of time, there are still many who may not feel comfortable denouncing the Nazi-isms of the revival of ancient culture and tradition, specifically Nordic.

The author makes it clear, that we do not tolerate this type of behavior and they even go into the history behind symbols, political parties, and more. This kind of magical little book cannot be written these days, without such a statement. Kudos.

I was even more satisfied when the author mentioned the diversity of Northern Europe concerning the Viking era. It’s so critical to keep in mind the cross-cultural traditions and ideologies of pan-European nations.

Forvitin states that “Norse tribes traded not only with their Germanic cousins but with Slavic, Celtic, and Mediterranean groups as well.” Correct! They had contact with many other European groups, but also Asian and African as well.

From gender roles in society at the time, to otherwordly charms and herbs used to ward off illnesses and bad vibes – Forvitin includes it all in a way that is easy for readers (especially people new to this topic) to understand.

I love that the Nine Herbs Charm is mentioned in the book because this touches on the deeply rooted history that the Vikings shared with Anglo and Germanic tribes.

British Library Harley MS 585 f. 160r.jpg
Le début du Charme des neuf herbes dans le Lacnunga.

The Vikings are also looked at through the lens of media, romanticism, and culture. Think Wagner’s Ring cycle, which brought the Nordic gods back into the public eye long after Christianization.

You’ll also be able to read more about creating your own Primstav, the roles of men and women in the practice of Galdr, Nordic holidays, runes, and more.

The author has written a great book that is beautifully printed and illustrated and I cannot help but respect the work because of its accuracy and because the author has even referenced sources that are on my shelf at home!

Forvitin references the works of authors Maria Kvilhaug, Jesse Byock, and other prominent scholars in the subject area.

Bonus points to this author and amazing book for including an entire chapter on Norse Poetry!

Poetic tales and surviving sagas have been woven together as threads of life and culture in Nordic society for generations.

Naturally, the pages that describe this aspect of Nordic mysticism are certainly exceptional and this author dedicates many pages to teaching all about surviving texts of Norse myth, poetry, and kennings.

The book is not a textbook by any means. It’s like a smaller, yet powerful, and wonderful resource and reference that covers a lot of areas in the mysticism of Nordic culture.

You’ll be able to learn about the different realms of the Norse cosmos, the animals that are sacred to the world tree, deities, and so much more.

The author has wisely also included a very lovely description of my friends: the landvaettir. I’ve seen other reviews of the book saying “It’s lacking in depth”, but you know what? I think that’s perfectly okay. This is more than enough information to get people started on the magic and mysteries of the Old Norse world.

If you’re looking for a massive textbook to read, that will most likely take months and explore concepts that are extremely advanced in the scholarly level of Norse mythological study, then well, this is not for you! 

If you’re curious about Norse mythology, magic, or Paganism in general through an educated, and non-political, inclusive, and non-racist point of view – this is your guide. Or even if you’re a curious reader who wants a little refresher on the subject, then I highly recommend this beautiful little gem! 


About the Author

Kimberly Anne author photo

Kimberly Anne is a USA freelance writer and Administrative Secretary of Art and Music at a college near her hometown. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, she holds a bachelor’s degree with honors in Creative Writing and English Literature and is also a member of Sigma Tau Delta. She is currently working on her Masters in Library and Information Science degree. 

After devoting a decade to the personal study of global mythology and folklore, she began writing about them. She focuses primarily on Nordic, Germanic, and Slavic pre-Christian beliefs. Kimberly has worked with various clients on freelance work including Patricia Robin Woodruff, PhD. MDiv and the YouTube channel Mythology Unleashed. She is a polytheist with animist beliefs who loves to talk about it all! You can find her in the book stacks of the library, in a forest with Landvættir or at