the dictionary of norse mythology


SEID A special form of magic or witchcraft, often socially objectionable, containing highly ritualistic cer-emonies and oaths. In powerful cultic ceremonies, priestesses summoned this magic so they could see into the future arrange bad luck, illness, or death for an enemy or transfer the mind and strength of one person into another. Often leaders would seek out the help of people with these magical powers in times of crisis.Women were the primary practitioners of seid, which reportedly had a strong sexual impact on the magicians. In the ceremonies, the priestess wore a special costume made of fur and featuring a prominent headdress.According to Norse mythology, freya, a vanir goddess, shared the gift of seid with the great aesir god odin and the other gods and goddesses. Odin became the chief practitioner of this magic among all of the Aesir gods. Freya is said to have never used her powers.

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