Astrid Lindgren, 32 pages
Astrid Lindgren, creator of irrepressible Pippi Longstocking, here shares the Scandinavian legend about a kindly winter dwarf who secretly inhabits and protects isolated farms. This independent little fellow wears shaggy clothes, a long white beard (hundreds of years’ growth) and a long red stocking cap. Now you must understand that no human being has ever seen the Tomten, but in winter sharp eyes might detect his tiny footprints in the snow. Only children could see him, but then—alas--they are always asleep when he peeps in, so they can’t be counted as believers.
There is no real plot in this first story, which serves as a gentle introduction to beloved Nordic lore, lovingly adapted from a poem by Viktor Rydberg. Like a secret benefactor the Tomten paces his lonely rounds to the farm’s various buildings--soothing the animals by giving them pleasant dreams of future spring and summer, some straw or a midnight snack. A few repetitive phrases will sound rhythmically on the listener’s ear. Despite the lack of action and conflict, the gently-told tale will touch those who are young at heart and the delightful pastel illustrations by Harald Wiberg will charm children and adults alike. Every quaint old farm needs a loyal Tomten to ensure smooth, nocturnal operations!
The Tomten and the Fox
Astrid Lindgren, 32 pages
In this sequel to the classic The Tomten, the creator of Pippi Longstocking, adapts a Swedish folk tale into a beloved children’s story. When a hungry fox wanders into a farm late at night looking for food, the guard troll Tomten finds a way to keep the farm animals safe and feed the fox at the same time.
Northmen: The Viking Saga, AD 793-1241
Dr. John Haywood, 400 pages
From Finland to Newfoundland and Jelling to Jerusalem, follow in the wake of the Vikings―a transformative story of a people that begins with paganism and ends in Christendom.
In AD 800, the Scandinavians were just barbarians in longships. Though they held sway in the north, their power meant little more than the ability to pillage and plunder, which they did to bolster their status at home. But as these Norse warriors left their strongholds to trade, raid, and settle across wide areas of Europe, Asia, and the North Atlantic, their violent and predatory culture left a unique imprint on medieval history. The twist that no one predicted, however, was a much slower, insidious takeover than any the Vikings would execute, and by a turn of the tide, they themselves became its target. For as they made their mark on Europe, Europe made its mark on them. By the year 1200, what remained of the Vikings’ pagan origins floated beneath the surface and the strong, strange territories of the north had become a part of Latin Christendom.
Northmen is there to tell the tale, to pay homage to what was lost and celebrate what was won. Focusing on key events, including the sack of Lindisfarne in 793 and the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066, medieval history expert John Haywood recounts the saga of the Viking Age, from the creation of the world through to the dwindling years of halfhearted raids and elegiac storytelling in the thirteenth century. He does so with meticulous research, engaging narrative, and sensitivity for his subject, shedding light and blood along the way.
The Vikings: A History
Robert Ferguson ,464 pages
From Harald Bluetooth to Cnut the Great, the feared seamen and plunderers of the Viking Age ruled Norway, Sweden, and Denmark but roamed as far as Byzantium, Greenland, and America. Raiders and traders, settlers and craftsmen, the medieval Scandinavians who have become familiar to history as Vikings never lose their capacity to fascinate, from their ingeniously designed longboats to their stormy pantheon of Viking gods and goddesses, ruled by Odin in Valhalla. Robert Ferguson is a sure guide across what he calls "the treacherous marches which divide legend from fact in Viking Age history." His long familiarity with the literary culture of Scandinavia with its skaldic poetry is combined with the latest archaeological discoveries to reveal a sweeping picture of the Norsemen, one of history's most amazing civilizations.
Runic Book of Days: A Guide to Living the Annual Cycle of Rune Magick
S. Kelley Harrell , 208 pages
“In her book, S. Kelley Harrell has created a path of personal revelation and initiation through the intrinsic powers of the Elder Futhark. Her unique vision offers you a truly fresh way to approach the oracular nature of the runes while providing a way to use their magic to enhance your life. It is a journey through time and nature that can transform you!” (Evelyn C. Rysdyk, author of The Norse Shaman)
Bob Oswald, 256 pages
This beautiful color photo illustrated book takes a full and detailed look at runes when used in divination, together with the casting layouts and spreads connected with the technique. In describing the early history of the runes, as they progressed from Europe to Anglo-Saxon Britain, the sequence of events has been clarified somewhat, with the author offering his own conception of the development of the Futhark.
The Little Book of the Hidden People
Alda Sigmundsdottir, 116 pages
The Little Book of Hidden People: Twenty stories of Elves from Icelandic folklore
Icelandic folklore is rife with tales of elves and hidden people that inhabited hills and rocks in the landscape. But what do those elf stories really tell us about the Iceland of old and the people who lived there? This book presents twenty translated elf stories from Icelandic folklore, along with fascinating notes on the context from which they sprung.The international media has had a particular infatuation with the Icelanders’ elf belief, generally using it to propagate some kind of “kooky Icelanders” myth. Yet Iceland’s elf folklore, at its core, reflects the plight of a nation living in abject poverty on the edge of the inhabitable world, and its people’s heroic efforts to survive, physically, emotionally and spiritually. That is what the stories of the elves, or hidden people, are really about.In a country that was, at times, virtually uninhabitable, where poverty was endemic and death and grief a part of daily life, the Icelanders nurtured a belief in a world that existed parallel to their own. This was the world of the hidden people, which more often than not was a projection of the most fervent dreams and desires of the human population. The hidden people lived inside hillocks, cliffs or boulders, very close to the abodes of the humans. Their homes were furnished with fine, sumptuous objects. Their clothes were luxurious, their adornments beautiful. Their livestock was better and fatter, their sheep yielded more wool than regular sheep, their crops were more bounteous. They even had supernatural powers: they could make themselves visible or invisible at will, and they could see the future. To the Icelanders, stories of elves and hidden people are an integral part of the cultural and psychological fabric of their nation. They are a part of their identity, a reflection of the struggles, hopes, resilience and endurance of their people. All this and more is the subject of this book.
Runes for Beginners
Runes for Beginners: A Guide to Reading Runes in Divination, Rune Magic, and the Meaning of the Elder Futhark Runes. 136 pages - Lisa Chaimberlain
The Legend of the Icelandic Yule Lads
Heidi Herman ,48 pages
After accidentally being seen by a human, an Icelandic Yule Lad named Stekkjastaur finds he must rely on a young shepherd boy to keep his troll identity a secret. Stekkjastaur gives a gift just to ensure the child's silence, but the little boy's happiness makes Stekkjastaur happy as well. He learns that one of the greatest gifts you can receive is the joy in giving to someone else. One by one, the Yule Lads each take a break from his own mischief, and each one learns the happiness gained from gift-giving. Even from a source as unlikely as a troll, a selfish act wrapped up in the Christmas spirit can grow into something wonderful.
Iceland's rich history of legends and folktales featuring a host of mystical creatures is reflected in this unique Christmas tale about trolls. This modernized version of the Icelandic Yule Lads brings new life to a very old story. The legend of the Yule Lads is well-known among Icelanders and has been passed down from generation to generation for over 1,500 years.The original tale was told to discourage bad behavior in youngsters and had a distinctly bogeyman vibe. After a law was passed in 1746 by the Danish government to prohibit parents from terrorizing their children with the Yule Lad stories (and their ogre-mother, Gryla), the Yule Lads gradually became the mischievous pranksters they are in modern stories.
A Year of Viking Rituals
Features 12 blots with feasting ideas, meditations, discussion topics, and rune information. It is designed for an individual or group that wants to have easy to reference information for their spirituality throughout the year. It is perfect for Norse Pagans, Asatru, and any other heathen religion.
Fate and The Twilight of the Gods
Paperback. Manticore Press, 115 Pages
Norse Gods and Goddesses Coloring Book
Children's coloring book
J. A. Menges
Paperback, Dover Publications, 48 Pages