Verjaseiðr is Draugablíkk’s first dark folk album. It embraces the dark, the unknown, and connects with the other-worldly to rediscover and explore the Galdramenn and Varðlokkur of Norse cultures and also Eastern “war shamans” such as the Ch’am of the Huns.
Tribes and people living in the northern hemisphere, closer to the North Pole than the Equator, responded to the nature in which they lived and developed particular belief systems to interpret reality. For thousands of years, our ancestors regarded the earth and its mountains as a conceptual baseline level of what was real, with other humans at the next level, and the sky and our sun as the highest representation of reality.
Ancient cultures shared the creation myth of a World Tree that divides existence into three realms. The concept is similar in Norse, Celtic, Scythian, and Turko-Altaic cultures but perhaps most developed amongst the tribes who spoke the Indo-European languages and dialects.
- Fornrít: At Verja Sik (To Protect Onself)
- Hreinnhǫfði feat. Sigrún Spákona
The three main realms are the underworld — which is not only a place of the dead but also a domain where wisdom can be found through self-sacrifice. The everyday domain of Midgardr also known as Middle Earth, where the humans live, and the heaven and stars to where various shaman-like men of wisdom (known as Galdramadr in Old Norse) traveled to become enlightened, seek healing to aid the tribe, and some spiritual practitioners tried to fuse themselves with the highest sky gods to become godlike and all-powerful themselves, if only for a short moment.
The Indo-European languages were once native to western and southern Eurasia, and today, comprises most of the languages of modern Europe together with those of the northern Indian subcontinent and the Iranian Plateau; Persian is thus an Indo-European language (and not Semitic, like the Arab language family.)
“To “perform varðlokkur” in Norse society was to chant songs of protection to summon guardian entities and healing spirits.”
What most people refer to as “shamanism” is a spiritual discipline involving a skilled practitioner to interact with the forces of nature and the spirit world. Usually, the goal of a shaman is to direct otherworldy energies into the physical world to manifest entities that can provide healing, protection, or prophecies, to give a few examples.
Verjaseiðr hooks into the spiritual and was created with a specific purpose: to reinforce the egregore of Draugablíkk. The album material has been carefully composed and performed to sense and ward against primordial evil, such as the left-hand path which is a term for “black” magic used to invite forces beyond the veil for darker purposes.
Although Wikipedia suspiciously disagrees, it is now widely known the Old Norse title “Varðlokkur” (from which we have “warlock”) originally represented a chanting male sorcerer-shaman, that differs from the Gladramadr. To “perform varðlokkur” in Norse society was to chant songs of protection to summon guardian entities or to call upon healing spirits. Upon completing such a ritual, the “varðlokkur shaman” would pass out and become almost lifeless due to mind and body exhaustion. A young woman then had to perform a healing ceremony while reciting spells and poems until the varðlokkur’s lifeforce returned.
The Verjaseiðr Cover Artwork
Hiǫrtr. Ormr. Úlfr. Arn. Those are Old Norse words for deer/stag, serpent, wolf, and eagle — the animals which adorn the Verjaseiðr cover art are profoundly inspired by the Jelling (Denmark) and Urnes (Norway) period styles of Viking Age animal art.
- The stag Eikþyrnir stands guard on top of Valhalla.
- The ormr longships lie ready to embark on new adventures.
- The úlfhéðnar warriors are waiting for the next full moon.
- The mighty eagle rises, brought west by the Gothunni and Saxons (the Saka-Wusun.)
Often mistaken for a raven, the iconic eagle emblem on the Verjaseiðr artwork was introduced to Europe by the Scythians and the Huns thousands of years ago. The eagle became the family emblem of the Goths, the Anglo-Saxons, the Swedes, and other tribes in the Old North of ancient Europe.