How Elves from Iceland Came to Visit

Iceland is calling

Long before I went to Iceland for the first time it was calling for me. It felt as if every time I switched on the TV there was a documentary about Iceland. Iceland kept on making itself known. It took a while before I got aware of this because I did not have any connection to this country before.

Finally I decided that I would visit Iceland some time in the future. I knew that I wanted to discover this country slowly and skip the popular big bus tours around the ringroad of the island.

A few years later, after my third child was born, I heard from a friend about an Icelandic woman who offered slow tours for small groups. When my baby was two years old  I booked a tour in Iceland with her. My husband stayed at home and looked after our three kids.

 

How I became aware of elves

When I saw Iceland for the first time I fell immediately in love. I don´t know what fascinated me more: The wide-open landscape, the crisp air, the emptiness. It was not surprising after I had given myself so many nudges to visit over the years. I definitely resonate with this country.

When I went into the countryside for the first time I had the impression of being greeted and waved at. This was well before I was aware of the Fairy Tale Dimension and my role in it.

Luckily I was travelling with an Icelandic woman who was open for invisible energies. She told me that it could well be possible that the elves said Hi. During the journey she pointed out fairy dwellings to us and I started to look at Iceland with my normal and my energy senses simultaneously.

 

Steinn farm

On our holiday this year we stayed a week at Steinn farm which has a wonderful view over the Skagafjördur. Steinn means rock in Icelandic. I asked our wonderful hosts Gústav and Annemie where the name of their farm came from. They told me that it was named after a big rock right in the middle of the farm grounds where elves lived. They added that I was welcome to go exploring as long as I was respectful.

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Steinn rock

Of course I went exploring! When walking around the grounds I realised that this big rock  was indeed the energetic centre of the whole farm. I used my energy senses and I could feel the fairy energy through the rock. I also found out that this dwelling had a connection to the fjord connecting it directly to the water.

 

An invitation to visit

During my first stay in Iceland 2012 I repeatedly saw the picture of a white arch with light blue round windows in meditation. It looked organic with smooth curves as if it was painted by the painter Hundertwasser. I told my Icelandic guide about it and she said that this picture could show an entrance to the fairy country and that I should try to visit.

So while meditating I tried to go through this white-blue arc, but I quickly found out that this was not so easy. I realised that I had to somehow adjust my energy to be able to enter. I did not know anything about visiting other dimensions and reconfiguring your energy to fit in then. It took multiple attempts to get in and I was not able to stay long.

 

Visiting elves

The impressions I brought home from these first visits were of a cosy village with colourful clad inhabitants who gave me a warm welcome. They looked human and were about my height. They were very interested in getting to know me and invited me into their homes. I participated in gatherings and parties.

The general mood of this place was very different from a human place. People loved to play pranks and there was a lot of laughter and play. And you could feel that magic worked here.

 

Looking behind the scenes of a fairy country

1. Leaders

I could not make out a single leader. There was a group of older people who others turned to. They were not awe-inspiring in any way. Some of them even looked a little dishevelled, their grey hair sticking up on end; a little as if they just had gotten up. They were wearing the same colourful many times washed working clothes like all the other people.

On official occasions though I saw them in fine clothes, tunics with golden or silver threads. They wore jewellery and had elaborate hair-dos.

These elders were either accomplished magicians and healers or they had expert knowledge about plants, animals or crafts. Each one of these men and women had apprentices who learned from them and looked after them.

2. Connecting with an elf-healer

I met one accomplished healer there who I have been working with in my healing practise since then. She provides elf energy that some of my clients can profit from.

When we met we found out that we had a very similar take on healing: Supporting people on their own paths, not telling them what is right or wrong. We have established an easy way to connect and exchange energy when needed.

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Nice place for an elf community

3. Family ties

The small children were with the adults all the time, literally under their feet, when they were doing their chores. The kids seemed to know instinctively how far they could go before they were sent away. Nobody was afraid that the little ones could drown in the river or hurt themselves. Of course death or injuries in the fairy tale dimension are not permanent.

The family ties seemed to be very loose. Children ate their meals with whomever they wanted to in the village. The sleeping arrangements for the kids were similarly vague. Everybody seemed to be caring for the kids.

4. Learning

I did not see a school anywhere in this country. The children seemed to absorb knowledge at their own pace and had their own motives for learning.

I must admit that I am getting jealous tapping into this because our school system is so much different from their approach and so not compatible with the energy changes we are currently experiencing.

5. The average household

looked colourful, untidy and not clean by our standards. Bacteria or mould did not seem to be a problem there. The houses did not have any bathrooms or showers.

There were public baths at lakes or rivers. The washing in the mornings and evenings was a loud and splashy affair. For privacy people had to find secluded washing spaces.

6. Food

The meals in my elf country looked much like home cooked food at home. I saw horses, cows, sheep and chicken walking around. There were vegetable garden and fields with corn.

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7. Harmonising energies

I witnessed what looked a little like religious services. On these occasions the elves formed a circle in the meadows. They connected with their surroundings and harmonised their energies with those of their surroundings. I recall a picture of the mist rolling over the countryside and a circle of people singing and chanting.

8. Climate

I did not experience any extreme weather conditions during my visits. I was told that environmental disasters like floods, fires or avalanches do happen. But the elves take care to locate their villages in safe places. Before starting to build a new village or a dwelling they connect with the energy of the land and decide how and where the involved energies would fit together best. Perhaps we can learn something from them?

 

A portal in our garden

On this first visit to Iceland the elves told me that they would open a portal in my garden so that we could easily visit each other. When I got home I looked around and sure enough, I found it. They opened the portal under our pink rose-bush. I could not “see” this portal but I sensed it.

As my Icelandic guide had taught me, I regularly brought them small gifts like beautiful marbles or small cookies. And sure enough the gifts were gone after a while. We had this portal for several years until I became better acquainted with the Fairy Tale Dimension and started to visit it regularly.

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The rosebush-portal in 2012

Can we see the elves in our house and garden?

I am not able to see fairies with my normal eyes. I use what I call my “energy vision” to sense them or generate pictures and impressions of them.

My family and I are aware of them though. Sometimes we see movements out of the corners of our eyes. Sometimes there are little blurred beings zapping in fast-forward mode around our living room. I admit that this was and sometimes still is a little creepy.

I explain this zapping around with the difference in the speed the time has in the two dimensions. Our time here is passing much more slowly than the one in their fairy tale country. This is why they seem to move so fast for us.

They looked quite small too, only about 20 cm high. When I visited them they seemed to have had my height. Did I become smaller when I visited? Perhaps, their small size is the easiest way for them to adjust to the physics of our dimension.

Of course Iceland is not the only place where you can meet elves or fairies or  other magical creatures. They are as much interested in us as we are in them and when you are aware you can meet them.

There also are many different fairy tale countries. So your experiences can be totally different from mine and just as real. Please share your impressions here!

Photos: private

© Inge Schumacher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Elves and Trolls in Iceland

 

In my last blog article you could follow my experiences with letting go on our recent family holiday in Iceland. We not only love the wide landscape and crisp air but are also fascinated by its culture and history.

This article concentrates on the most popular supernatural beings that are connected with Iceland: the elves and trolls. I share here some interesting and fun facts about the history, customs and stories of these magic creatures.The picture above this article features a well-known fairy church on the Snæfellsnes peninsula in West-Iceland.

Icelandic fairy tales and sagas feature a multitude of supernatural beings. You can meet light-elves, flower-elves, dark-elves, house-elves, gnomes, dwarfs, giants, and many types of ghosts in these stories.

 

Historical roots of elves and trolls

Historic tales about supernatural beings go back a long way. They are mentioned both in the Poetic Edda, a collection of orally passed down unnamed dramatic poems and in the  Prose Edda written by Snorri Sturluson in 1220.

An elf in medieval Germanic-speaking cultures is a being with magical powers and supernatural beauty, ambivalent towards normal people and capable of either helping or hindering them. In Norse mythology you can read about elves or hidden people called huldu. Huldufólk is the Icelandic term for hidden people or elf. The word fairy (fae), another synonym for elf, is a loan word from the French language.

 

Tales about elves and trolls

When I am walking through the wind-beaten wide Icelandic landscape I can easily imagine trolls, elves and other beings sharing the world with us.

Life in Iceland was very harsh in the past. The climate and weather-conditions constantly challenged the people. This is why the Icelanders to this day are very resourceful and flexible.

Tales of the huldufólk, often shared in the long winter nights, passed the time and represented dreams of a more perfect and happy existence. Elves in these stories are often beautiful, powerful and free from care, while the Icelanders themselves were starving and struggling for existence.

The tales about elves and trolls also served as warnings. They prevented the children from wandering away from human habitations, taught Iceland’s topographical history, and instilled respect for the harsh powers of nature.

 

Do Icelanders still believe in the existence of elves?

Well, a majority of the Icelanders (54%) believe that elves probably exist. I have met many city dwellers in Reykjavík who laugh at the notion of elves, though. I can understand that very well, because in the busy capital of Iceland there does not seem to be any room for them.

Nevertheless the enterprising Icelanders are catering to tourists´ interests by offering excursions with elf themes. The Icelandic Elf School in Reykjavík organises five-hour-long educational excursions for visitors. In Hafnarfjördur, just south of Reykjavík, you can go on a guided elf tour.

 

Where and how elves live

Elves live in the fairy tale dimension, and in many other dimensions as avid readers of my blog know. In Iceland the two dimensions are very close together and this makes it easier to visit one another. The entrances to fairy homes in Iceland can be found in distinct rock formations.

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Elf houses with Reykjafell in the background

Fairies visit our dimension just as often as we visit them in the fairy tale dimension. Since we visit them mostly in our dreams we have not much recall of these visits or deem our recollections to be fantasies.

The hidden people are invisible unless they decide otherwise. In Iceland there always have been seers, who are able to see and describe them. They report that the hidden people look much like humans and wear colourful clothes with golden and silver buttons. They are described as being very beautiful and having different sizes from human children of about ten years to dwarf sizes of 20 to 30 centimetres.

Elves are said to be living much like humans; they work as farmers and raise sheep. They love to party, especially around Christmas time. As to their religion, some people believe they are catholic and others think they worship heathen gods.

In the ocean there even exists a separate elf world: The merpeople (marbendlar) raise cattle on the bottom of the ocean. Their sea-cows have air bubbles under their noses and eat sea-grass. When a human farmer dives down there and manages to burst the air bubble he is allowed to keep the cow. These cows give a lot of milk and are very valuable.

 

Elf relationships with humans

There are a lot of tales describing contact between humans and elves. Human women are said to have helped hidden people often with childbirth. The hidden people leave gifts out of gratitude for the help they received. There are numerous items they have left over the centuries and some of these are displayed in local museums all over the country.

There are many historic tales about love affairs between humans and fairies. Men and women are lured into the elf world, never to be seen again or reappearing healthy but sometimes out of their minds.

In other Icelandic folktales elves are  invading empty Icelandic farmhouses during Christmas time and having wild parties there. It is still customary today to clean the house thoroughly before Christmas, and leave food for the perhaps then visiting huldufólk, which is gone the next day, of course.

 

Christianity in Iceland

In the year 1.000 the Icelanders accepted the Christian faith under massive Norwegian pressure at the AlÞing. Before this they worshipped Nordic gods.

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Goðafoss Waterfall

After making Christianity the official religion of Iceland lawspeaker Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði returned from the Alþing and threw his statues of the Norse gods into this waterfall that was then named Goðafoss (Waterfall of the Gods). Because Icelanders are pragmatic people they officially renounced the old gods but in secret everybody did as they pleased.

Heathen traditions and beliefs mixed with the new Christian faith and this is how trolls became an important part of Icelandic Christmas traditions.

 

Introducing Trolls

In old times the word troll was an insult, meaning monster. Later the term was used mainly for giants and witches. Trolls lived in caves in the mountains and sustained themselves by fishing and hunting. A lot of them were night-trolls who immediately turned into stone when they saw the sun. You can see a lot of distinct troll rocks all over Iceland and the natives will gladly tell you their stories.

The trolls are said to be extinct now: the male ones in the 16th century and the female ones in the 19th century. When you google the word troll you will find that a new kind of trolls is very much alive today though. This modern species are called the Internet trolls.

 

Trolls are part of Icelandic Christmas traditions

The jólasveinar, the thirteen Christmas lads, are the famous trolls who found their way into the Icelandic Christmas traditions.

The origin of this Icelandic Christmas myth dates back to the Viking era and to Snorri Sturluson, the author of the Edda. He described a fearsome huge troll lady named Grýla. Her favourite food was stew made of naughty children. The 13 children she had with her lazy husband Leppalúði became her helpers in kidnapping and eating children.

The stories of her and her children got so horrifying that a law was passed in 1746 that prohibited scaring children with stories about these monsters!

The thirteen Yule-lads visit the Icelandic homes and farms one after the other in the thirteen days before Christmas and go again afterwards one after the other. This is the reason why the Icelandic Christmas season is 26 days long.

The Christmas lads are mischievous criminal pranksters. They break into the homes, harass the people, steal their food, cooking utensils and tools. They have descriptive names that give hints about the way they operate.

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The first one visits on the 12th of December and leaves on the 25th. He is called the peg-legged Sheep-Cote Clod, who likes to harass sheep. Next the Gully-Gawk sneaks into the cowshed to steal milk. The extremely thin undernourished Spoon-Licker steals wooden spoons to lick them. You get the idea.

There also are Stubby the short Crust-Stealer, the Pot-Scraper, the Bowl-Licker, the Door-Slammer, the Skyr-Gobbler, (Skyr is a very tasty Icelandic dairy product), the Sausage-Swiper, the Window-Peeper, the Doorway- Sniffer, the Meet-Hook, and the Candle Stealer.

In modern times the Yuletide-lads have much more benevolent roles similar to Santa Claus in other countries. Nowadays they even leave gifts for the children in their shoes.

 

Trolls have shaped the landscape

Many stories explain how trolls have manipulated the Icelandic landscape. On our trip we visited Dimmuborgir, a bizarre lava field in north Iceland near lake Myvatn. One story explains how these big lava pillars were created: One night the trolls residing in the area decided to have a big party and invited all their troll friends to join. The party ended up being so much fun, that they forgot that the sun was coming up. They all turned into stone and formed the dark castles (this is the translation of Dimmuborgir). It must have been a great party!

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Trolls turned into rocks in Dimmuborgir

Troll seats

Most of the Icelandic fjords are surrounded by flat-topped mountain ranges. Their rims are sometimes interrupted by massive depressions that look like bowls. These the Icelanders call troll seats. The Naustahvlift opposite of the town of Ísafjörður in the Westfjords is a good example for this.

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In the background of my friend Helga´s house in Ísafjörður you can see the Naustahvlift, a big dent formed by a troll bottom

The story of its creation discribes a troll – remember, they are giants – hurrying home before the morning sunlight could turn her into stone. Since she still had some time she sat down and rested her aching feet in the fjord. She thereby created the peninsula of Ísafjörður between her feet, the deep harbour where her feet had been and the troll seat where her backside had rested.

Geologists explain that the big indentation in the mountains is a hanging valley left over from the last Ice Age, but I like the troll story much better.

I hope you enjoyed this excursion to the hidden people and the trolls in Iceland. They are as fascinating for me as the country itself. In the next blog article I will tell you how I met fairies in Iceland and why my family has such a close connection to them.

 

Literary source:
Brigitte Bjarnason: Auf den Spuren von Elfen und Trollen in Island, Sagen und Überlieferungen, Acabus Verlag Hamburg 2013

Photos: private

© Inge Schumacher