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

 

 

Letting Go and Iceland

I wrote this blog article on a holiday with my family in Iceland. This holiday was a good occasion for me to take inventory and sort my priorities. I looked at what I was carrying around with me and identified some superfluous burdens. In everyday life I am often not aware of the unnecessary things that I am holding on to.

I am a healing practitioner and letting go is one of the important issues I help my clients with. Turns out that my pictures of Iceland fit very well to the experiences with letting go I share here.

You can read this article in German, too.

 

In Iceland the wind blows everything away

Everybody has an affinity for different places. Some people are drawn to an island in the Caribbean and others enjoy Spain. For recharging my husband and I like to visit the Baltic Sea. It is about an hour from Hamburg and a short visit there feels like a holiday to us.

Iceland is a magical place for my family and me. All of us can relax and let go there easily. The crisp air and wide-open landscape resonate with us; it helps us to just be there. This time we spent two weeks in the northern part of the island.

Wind

Letting go is work in progress for me

I started into the subject of letting go right at the beginning of our journey at the airport. We were late and searching for our check-in counter when I realised that my oldest daughter was wearing a light jacket. I could not believe my eyes! She forgot her winter coat and we were travelling to a country were it would still be snowing!

Instantly I was in “Mom Worries Mode” At first I blamed myself for not checking for the third time whether she took the right jacket like I did with the rest of the family.

In the airplane I finally calmed down. Theoretically I know that I can´t and don´t want to be responsible for everything. This incident shows that letting go is still a work in progress for me. When I found out the next day that my middle daughter had accidentally packed last year´s too small winter boots, I only laughed.

We solved the jacket problem of the older daughter with layers of sweaters. Luckily the weather was agreeable so that my second daughter did not get wet feet, they were only cold sometimes.

In this situation the Icelandic saying Þetta reddast! was appropriate. It means: All will be well. Icelanders are very laid back and spontaneous people. For them appointments are loose arrangements. This can cause problems, for example in tourism. I know that German travel companies prefer to do business in Iceland with German expatriates because they are more reliable.

On this holiday we also experienced the positive side of the Icelandic ease when help for our punctured tire arrived the same evening instead of the next morning. Our friendly repairman said he came earlier because he was bored.

Icelanders are experts in making good coffee and I gladly borrow some of their ease. For me they are not ideal examples for letting go however; their mentality is too different.

Letting go liberates energies

When we let go of things we create free space. This is true for objects as well as for immaterial things. This means when we let old stuff go, we have more time and we are more open for new ideas.

At the end of 2016 I let go of my cooperation with my Icelandic friend. For four years we had offered workshops for women in the Westfjords of Iceland. When I told her about my decision to stop she was very glad I took the initiative. She is in her mid-sixties and wanted to work less.

Now I am looking forward to new projects in Iceland and continue to learn Icelandic. On this holiday I could already talk a little with the natives.

The Icelandic joint venture must have cost much more energy than I was aware of, because afterwards I was much faster with my own projects. Since 2017 I have more national and international clients and I started two blogs: This one about the Fairy Tale Dimension and personal development and my German blog about my work.

 

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My 8-year-old with Iceland-cap

 

It is hard for me to let go of my children

My oldest daughter used to be quite timid. When she was in nursery school I was relieved when I found out that the teachers there worked hand in hand with me. All of us supported her by helping her to stretch her boundaries without demanding too much. I learned then that it was helpful to share some of my parental responsibilities.

A continuing challenge for me is my son´s school situation. He started school in a big chaotic class with a lot of very difficult kids. The headmaster was not able to alleviate the situation and I was very much afraid that my quiet sensitive child would suffer. Luckily my son was okay because the teacher managed to give him a feeling of security despite of the difficult situation. She was not able to devote much time to his reading problems and so I arranged with her to support him at home as well as I can.

Even though my son has found wonderful friends in his class it still is a conscious effort for me to let go of my worries.

 

Enough with self-limiting beliefs

Only when we are aware of our self-set boundaries, which direct us undetected and inhibit us unseen, we can let them go.

I discovered such a superfluous belief just before my 50th birthday. My husband asked me what I wanted to do because I was not keen on having a big party. I would love to have a picnic by the sea was my spontaneous answer. At the same time I heard an inner voice telling my, that this was not possible because my birthday is in February and in winter it is much too cold for picnics. I realised that I had found a totally useless self-limiting belief. Why should this not be possible? I was shocked to see that I am obviously still limiting myself unnecessarily.

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Our picnic on the Baltic Sea in February 2016

My husband and I had a wonderful picnic at the sea-shore in February. This experience has inspired my motto for the next decade of my life: “Enough with the self-limiting beliefs!” Since then I have been watching out for this little voice telling me what I should or should not do.

 

Letting go in my Healing Practise

Letting go is a central part of my energy work. I help my clients to understand what they are holding on to at the moment and why. Only when they are aware of what is going on they are able to let go. Afterwards we work together at finding out ways to change routines that are not beneficial any more.

A few days before our holiday I got a phone call from a client who had been very tired since our healing session. I found out that she has used this session as a starting point to let things she did not need any more go. Why was this making her tired?

When we let go of things we have leaned on for a long time, there suddenly is a void. We can compare this to changing important parts of the foundation of our house: The whole construction can start to wobble. As a consequence we need additional energy to maintain our balance as well as adding new pieces to form a new basis. I have experienced this often myself and the only thing I can do then is to take good care of myself.

My client was so tired because she was busy reconstructing her foundation. I was very glad to witness this. She is well on her way to become the person she wants to be.

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Rainbow over Dettifoss

 

Get to know your autopilot

Automatic reactions cause us to cruise through our lives automatically. Because we are not in the driver´s seat we sometimes end up in places we had not wanted to go. We need to be more aware in our daily lives to realise when we are on autopilot and just follow worn-out tracks. It takes a conscious effort to leave old roads and try some new ones. Being aware and turning the autopilot off literally opens new avenues for us.

 

Humour helps me a lot

What happens when we laugh? Genuine laughter involves the whole body. The face muscles move and tension in other regions of the body, for example the stomach or the neck, disappear. When we laugh heartily we turn our attention to something fun and aggravation and resentment don´t have a chance to cling to us.

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Especially in my profession humour is very helpful. It keeps me grounded when I don´t  take myself too serious. My humour helps me to maintain a healthy distance to the subjective input I get through my energy work. This is the reason why humour is very welcome in my practice.

 

Less structure gives me more freedom

Since I was in Iceland for the first time I have changed a lot in my daily life. In the past detailed plans gave me safety; I was the Queen of lists. Slowly I realised that I did not need so many structures anymore. They felt confining to me and I wanted  to have more creativity and spontaneity in my life .

Today I use lists and structures to organise my daily tasks efficiently and create room that I can fill with creativity and surprises.

I also don´t define my goals in great detail anymore and don´t spend as much time trying to figure out how to achieve them. I live much more in the here and now and, with the help of my inner compass, check regularly whether I am still on the right track.

Even though this change has made my life more insecure, my quality of life has increased considerably. I do much more what I like in my everyday life. The things that, in my opinion, need to be done I try to do in a way that resonates with me. My family supports me in this.

I believe that before implementing a complex time management system it is much more efficient to order ones priorities and get rid of unnecessary things.

It is very liberating and a lot of energy can be saved by letting go. I very much recommend you to take inventory and look critically at your personal priorities in regular intervals, ideally when being in a place you resonate with.

 

Steinn Farm

Photos: private

© Inge Schumacher