About the Website
Welcome to Skald’s Keep, friend. I created this website as a combination spiritual blog and resource-bank for all things Norse Pagan.
First of all, what is Norse Paganism? Norse Paganism is a modern spirituality informed by the ancient folkloric practices, customs, beliefs, and worldviews of the pre-Christian Norse people of Northern Europe. It’s a subsection of a greater contemporary religious movement known as “Heathenry” or “Heathenism.” People who practice Heathenry, including Norse Pagans, might refer to themselves as “Heathens.”
If you were to ask ten different Heathens how to practice Norse Paganism, you will get at least ten different answers. That’s because Heathenry is a decentralized religion. It has no universal doctrines, values, or dogmas, nor does it have holy books or sacred religious scriptures to guide practice and beliefs. Because of this, approaches to Heathenry can vary greatly, with no version being “truer” than another.
That said, it’s still possible for falsehoods, appropriation, and misinformation to spread in Norse Paganism. And it has in numerous ways, from neo-Volkisch propaganda to Viking-flavored New-Ageism. Picking apart this information can be extremely difficult for newcomers, especially with how unfixed Heathenry already is.
The purpose of this website to give readers effective tools for building a working, livable Norse Pagan practice. This is a descriptive approach to Heathenry as opposed to a prescriptive one. For all the insight I might provide into Heathenry, what it ends up being for you will ultimately depend on what you make of it. Though much of this website is a product of casual research, I’m careful with what I curate here, with my goals as follows:
- To account for the various, intersectional identities of my readers, to the best of my ability.
- To provide information that’s forthcoming about what it is, where it comes from, and what its intentions are.
- To present Norse Paganism in a way that doesn’t appropriate from, or inform itself with, non-Norse traditions. This includes but is not limited to: Indigenous American traditions; Hinduism, Buddhism, and other Eastern traditions; Hoodoo/Voodoo; Judaism/Kabbalah; and Christianity.
- To present Norse Pagan concepts in ways that can be tailored to every individual’s needs.
This is a resource I wish I had when first starting out, and I hope you find it valuable.
Before I release you into the rolling pastures of my website, I want to mention that no form of Norse Paganism is separate from our modern social and political environment. Even our most faithfully-reconstructed practices are products of contemporary sensibilities. You won’t find a Heathen resource out there that’s free of bias and personal interpretation. But Heathen practice was never free of these things to begin with; it was made by and for everyday people to fulfill everyday spiritual needs, and that’s its function no matter the era. Heathenry is ultimately a spirituality beholden to people, rather than an ancient standard people are beholden to.
It’s my great hope that this website helps you down the winding road of this wonderful pagan practice.
All the best,
The skald of Skald’s Keep
About the Author
Zander Hjörvard Knightly
Salutations! I’m Zander, the creator of this website and its content. I’m a hard polytheistic Heathen who practices a blend of Norse and Celtic Paganism. I live in the United States and have worked with my patron god, Loki Laufeyjarson, since 2014.
I was raised in a science-minded atheist/agnostic household but have always enjoyed spirituality, philosophy, comparative religion, and theology alongside science. Throughout high school and into college I explored general New Age concepts and practices, in and outside of academia.
Exploring different paths led me to my work with Loki and the pagan spiritual practice I have today. My initial struggles with Norse Heathenry inspired me to create this website in hopes I can share my thoughts and knowledge, and by doing so make other people’s exploration of this spirituality a little easier.
I gather my research from combined and vetted resources: Academic papers, international heathen communities, and pagan clergy.