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, 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.

Reykjafell
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.

Goda inge
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.

2014_06_09-04

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!

dimmuborgir
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.

2014_05_30-66
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

 

 

Advertisements

Visiting Other Dimensions and Playfulness

alice-in-wonderland-pixel2013

When you are reading this you are open for new thoughts and adventures. Today I tell you about different dimensions and how to visit them. I explain how you can use the playfulness that is expressed in the fairy tale dimension (FTD) to widen your awareness.

Dimensions

The FTD is not our reality. We happen to have chosen this dimension and this earth for our life. Parallel to our dimension there are countless others. Some dimensions we are closer associated with than others. There are dimensions that are so strange that we can hardly comprehend them. Everybody is anchored firmly in the dimension he lives in. That is a good thing because otherwise we would get very confused with all the dimensions and probable realities that are out there.

There are billions of dimensions. Here are a few examples: A well known one is the Harry Potter dimension JK Rowling tapped into successfully. Lord of the Rings by Tolkien also has its own dimension. Did you know that there are two Atlantis dimensions? In one there was the big accident caused by misuse of crystal technology and in the other the disaster did not happen.

You can also create your own dimension. With help from others I created the Contemplative Dimension, a dimension for healing and recovering. It is open for beings from every dimension, which need a time for resting and recovering. The healing procedure works in a way that everybody tells his or her or its story and with this sharing people are healed. There is an archive where every story is stored.

 

Visiting other dimensions

When you have read some of my blog posts you know that I have visited other dimensions. Here a few examples: An interesting dimension is the unicorn dimension: These unicorns are big powerful beasts that live in big groups and use magic. You can also find unicorns in the fairy tale dimension. The ones I have met there are much smaller and less fierce.

I have visited some very foreign dimensions: With the help of my husband, we were in the liquid dimension where every being consists of fluids and lives in a water-like substance. When you reconfigure your energy to fit in there you can hardly feel where you start or end. That felt strange and not comfortable to me. The energy configuration of this dimension is very different from ours and therefore is not easy to access.

It is not difficult to tap into dimensions we are close to. Like everything else it takes an interest to do that and practise. People have always tapped into the FTD. This is why we know so many different fairy tales. There are still multitudes of undiscovered fairy tales if you are interested in exploring. I have mentioned some in my previous blog posts. The country Shabby was born in is totally unknown so far. Here the link Start of a New Fairy Tale.

The FTD is very real but it is not our home. So recollections from visits there are much more hazy than our recall from what we did yesterday. We take home mostly fleeting impressions. Almost every human visits the FTD in dreamtime. The next time you have a colourful dream, take into account that it could be a translation of a visit to the FTD. With the background information you receive here I hope that you can get an idea of the mechanics of the fairy tale countries you visited in your dream.

In October we did a group dream event with focus on the FTD. A friend of mine is a dream expert. He has created a website that makes these kinds of activities possible. See Events. One of the participants shared a dream where she had a view of the vastness of the fairy tale dimension. So cool!

 

How do we visit other dimensions?

What you do when you visit another dimension is you project your energy there. You become an observer. It is like watching a TV show in colour with all your senses involved. You cannot interact or manipulate matter there unless you project a lot of energy, which takes practise. The problem is to take back memories of your adventures. We travel there in dreams a lot because we allow us to do and experience much more in dreams than in our daytime awareness. In dreams we can fly and do magic, for example.

There is also the possibility to visit another dimension by creating a body there. Not many people are able to do that. I learned how to create a body in the fairy tale dimension. My husband is taking me along to other dimensions until I have learned  how to reconfigure my energy better. This reconfiguration is tricky. You have to adjust your energy in a way that fits to the energy of the dimension you visit. Even then you stick out like a sore thumb because you are still creating energy curls and waves around you because you simply don´t belong there. Some species are very sensitive to these kinds of disturbances. I remember a dimension of half men half snake beings that got really bad headaches when we were there.

These energy disturbances, created by visitors from other dimensions, explain why I noticed the three emissaries from the FTD when they brought the energy of the ring to this dimension. The Ring Bearer. They stuck out of the crowd and at the time I did not comprehend why. One of the perks of me being the ring bearer is that I can stay in the fairy tale dimension longer than others and not disturb the energy too much. Thankfully the beings in the fairy tale dimension are not very sensitive to these disturbances.

witchs-house-cocoparisienne

What can we learn from the fairy tale dimension?

In my last blog post I told you about the parallels I see between the situation on earth and the FTD: The Illness of The Fairy Tale Dimension and Me . I use my connection to the FTD to relax my beliefs here. A few years ago I would not have thought it possible to explore another dimension. By involving myself with the FTD I do stuff I have never done before and this widens my awareness. I recognise that I am much less strict in my daily life now. I can see more options when I am making decisions because of this. I learn more about myself and this helps me to create the reality I want.

 

 2.Widening your awareness

Just by contemplating that there could be such a thing like a fairy tale dimension you relax your belief system and thereby widen your awareness. You know the voice in your head telling you: “This is total nonsense there are no other dimensions.” Tell that voice: “Relax, lean back and enjoy the show.” You let yourself explore things you have not explored before and this opens new avenues for thought and development.

This is why I have always loved science fiction. Science fiction stories play in realities where all kinds of things are possible that are not possible in our reality. They make me think along lines I would never have explored otherwise: Alien races, strange government structures or people who have abilities like clairvoyance.

This is also the reason why I enjoy my connection to the FTD so much. I can explore a different reality. This is a lot of fun. I invite you to allow yourself new thoughts when you read this blog and play with your belief systems a little while you are at it.

 

2. Playfulness

What we can learn from the FTD is playfulness. Its main theme is role-play. The boundaries between good and bad are much more fluid there. In the fairy tale countries the people alternate playing victim and perpetrator all the time.

In the following link I show you an example how the very popular fairy tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs can be told when roles are switched. I confess it gives me the creeps: Snow White Revisited.

In this version of the story Snow White is not the innocent victim. In other versions you could have a sinister prince or the seven dwarfs could be a gang of thugs. Roles are changed constantly in every fairy tale country. It would probably get very boring otherwise.

I have visited the FTD one time with a group to explore the Baba Yaga fairy tale. We ended up cooking each other with clothes and shoes still on. We changed our roles constantly and we did not feel any pain when we were in the pot. When we died we just reappeared, no hard feelings involved. It was great! You see, good and bad are not the extremes we experience in our dimension. This means when you are in the FTD you can explore life in a totally different manner.

 

3. Playfulness helps you to become more flexible

In our dimension learning is mostly considered a very serious undertaking. My automatic response to learning is still much too often: ”Take this serious, girl.” We start school at an early age and there are duties like homework and tests. Worthiness is expressed in grades. Future career opportunities depend on the things displayed on your report card. Status in society is often dependent on the academic education.

In our school and university system we learn mostly hard facts and not how to steer our lifeboat effectively from the captain´s seat. We are not taught how to become self-aware and how to make decisions in the here and now. This means we have to learn this by ourselves.

In my experience learning functions most efficiently in an adventurous and playful atmosphere. When you let go of seriousness you create much more flexibility and ease. Incorporating more fun and adventure in my own self-development school has had very positive effects for me.

With so many changes happening in our world every day that we have to adapt to and can make use of flexibility and an open mind are very important. By following this blog you allow yourself playfulness and fun.

If you want to play more join my facebook group the fairy tale dimension. Facebook Group FTD Here we we share our impressions and the connections to the FTD we discover in our daily lives. Very inspiring and fun.

Please let me know what aspects of the fairy tale dimension you want to know more about. Are you interested in more behind the scenes information about awareness and self-development?

© Inge Schumacher

 

The Contemplative Dimension

bandage-alanyadk

Today I want you to accompany me to the Contemplative Dimension. I mentioned this dimension in a blog post recently and people wanted to know more about it. Visiting Other Dimensions and Playfulness

When I discovered this dimension I intuitively called it “Contemplative”. When I looked up the meaning of this word in the Oxford Dictionary and in Wikipedia I discovered that its name is fitting its purpose very well:

In the Contemplative Dimension beings are invited for a healing of the soul. The healing works mainly on a subconscious level. I created this dimension together with others to facilitate the self-healing processes of individuals who have suffered severe trauma. This  goes very well with my energy work, which probably explains my connection to it. My homepage

When I started with my energy healing more than ten years ago I did not foresee where this might lead. Who would have thought that I would write a blog about another reality, the fairy tale dimension (FTD)? Almost four years ago I noticed three emissaries from the FTD in the central library of Hamburg. The Ring Bearer They delivered the ring energy to me, the designated ring bearer, thereby linking the two dimensions close together once more.

We are all so much more than we think we are. Sometimes I wonder how much time the average human spends in other dimensions without being aware of it. For the most part we only have a slight knowing. People are becoming more aware of their connection with all there is at the moment. The people in my facebook group for example are aware of their connection to the fairy tale dimension.

 

Meeting a king

Two months after my encounter with the magicians from the fairy tale dimension I drove one of my daughters to a birthday party. It had snowed the night before. When I brought her to the door I saw a white haired gentleman sweeping the sidewalk on the other side of the street. He was leaning on his broom watching me when I walked back to my car. I crossed the street and we chatted about the weather. He was about 1,85 meters tall and had a sympathetic face with many wrinkles in the right places. I estimated him being in his sixties. He looked very fit and agile. His warm blue twinkling eyes looked at me warmly.

When I drove home I had a feeling that something was off, similar to the feeling after my encounter with the people from the fairy tale dimension. A few hours later I was sure that he must have been a visitor from another dimension. I was also pretty sure that he was not from the FTD. He gave an impression of a peacefulness and tranquillity that was different from the more agitated energy of the visitors from the FTD.

I wonder if nowadays I would be able to identify people from other dimensions earlier. Would he have told me that he was visiting from another dimension, had I asked him directly? Sadly I have not had the chance to test this yet.

It took my husband and me a few months to figure out where this white haired man had come from. Turns out that he was the king of the Contemplative Dimension.

 

The Contemplative Dimension

When the leader of the Contemplative Dimension came to visit me in my natural habitat he wanted to make sure I would investigate and he achieved his goal. I was not aware of this dimension before I met him. Slowly my husband and I found out that I with the help of others actually created this dimension. It was my intention to create a safe haven and open an opportunity for beings from different dimensions to heal their souls.

The king is a native of this dimension. When we created the dimension he decided to become one of the few permanent residents there.

 

What does the Contemplative Dimension look like?

Compared to our dimension with its countless galaxies and the fairy tale dimension (FTD) with its unending plane it is tiny. It is only as big as it needs to be at any given moment. The realm that it exists in provides easy access for beings from other dimensions. It mainly consists of a big house and the park around it. The park includes a small stream, a lake and facilities for outdoor activities. There never is bad weather and the temperatures are balmy all year long and. This dimension is tranquillity itself: The energy expressed there is calm, serene and worry-free.

Our king´s home is not a castle. His home has more the appearance of a big sprawling house. The house has large windows that let in a lot of light. When I met the king looked to be in his sixties, but he felt ageless. His appearance did not change over time. He entered the dimension looking like this and he will leave it again looking like this at some point in the future. Time is a very relative thing in this dimension.

The Contemplative Dimension does not have many permanent residents besides him. He is an integral part of the blueprint of this dimension. This enables him to manipulate the house and the grounds easily. He is his own cook and house cleaner should he want to engage these activities. He can grow his food or magically order it should he choose to. Since he is a very down to earth person he enjoys working with his hands. He even has a workshop on the premises. When he has many guests he can create help. His job description says that he is a powerful healer and has a passion for life in all its different forms.

A tranquil environment is good for the healing process

Everything in this dimension is configured to ease pain and promote the healing of the soul. Adventures and excitement you have to find elsewhere. Healing and resting are the sole objectives of this safe haven. There are no distractions because the focus is on the patients who bring enough inner turmoil with them.

The blueprint of the dimension makes it easy to enter. It is very flexible and it is able to balance the energies of the visiting individuals. It can accommodate a lot of different beings should the need arise. The big house and the king can replicate themselves as often as he deems prudent. Everybody will always feel cared for and important.

The king has a group of alter egos who support him. These are diverse people from all kinds of dimensions who are healers at heart. They are called in when the kings need assistance. There is always an opening should you be interested.

 

Healing in the Contemplative Dimension

The offer of the Contemplative Dimension is expressed as a kind of knowing to prospective clients. People in need of the facilities of the dimension tap into this knowing subconsciously and ask for admittance.

Guests usually arrive in their dreamtime. When they decide it is time to go back they leave. The Contemplative Dimension has no expectations and does not exude any pressure on the guests. When a visitor comes he arrives at the front porch of the mansion. To get to this porch the patient has to pass a thorough screening process:

His need and intentions are looked at closely first. Before gaining admittance the visitor has to choose from a variety of avatars. The use of a new body symbolises the different reality he is entering. It also ensures that there are no dangerous body parts and that the possibility of aggressive behaviour is minimized. This allows beings from very different backgrounds to get along.

ContemplativeDimension_GDJ

Talking Therapy

The Contemplative Dimension´s soul healing is basically achieved by talking. The king and his client sit together comfortably in the library of the mansion. The king´s unthreatening reassuring presence is very important to ease the atmosphere and create trust.

By talking the client lets his traumatic experience go. It is transferred anonymously via the telling into a recording device that has the shape of a book. These books are stored in the library. Sometimes many recording sessions are needed to finish the transfer into the device and ease the pain of the patient.

With the transfer the trauma is not erased or forgotten. But a good portion of the pain is removed by sharing and by being acknowledged. The space that has been occupied by the pain of the client is then filled with the love and respect of the dimension represented by the king. This restores self worth and promotes the healing process. The client always has the power to decide how far he is comfortable to share and how much he wants to let go.

In between his sessions the client lives in the house with the king in a simple room. He is free to roam the grounds, use the facilities and relax. The visitor can also interact with other guests should he choose to. He can also invite other beings that pass the screening process and fit into the blueprint of the dimension to visit him. Children like to choose fairies, unicorns or little animals to play with.

The guest can use the library to hear other people´s stories. The library also offers a lot of information about consciousness, life and dimensions. You can read fairy tales there for example.

 

The Contemplative Dimension builds up resilience

This blog article is a good opportunity for me to tap into this dimension and examine it thoroughly. The word about its existence is spreading. I can feel the energy radiating outwards. More and more dimensions receive invitations and more and more healers are lending their energies to this unique healing facility.

I know that so far there have been visitors from the fairy tale dimension and from the human dimension. At the moment I am giving some of the refugees I work with an invitation simply by respecting them. You can do that too, when you connect with people directly or via the media. Just send a wish that they may find help and energy will find its way.

My intention is that the Contemplative Dimension will strengthen the inherent resilience of beings. I want to help everybody, especially children, to live fulfilling lives despite having had a bad start in life.

Perhaps one day we will look at the life of a person and wonder how on earth he or she could have managed to survive a trauma so well. And perhaps the Contemplative Dimension has supported this individual in mastering it. The Contemplative Dimension does not have the need to be acknowledged or to receive a badge. It simply is. It exists because healing energies can connect everybody and everything; even dimensions.

© Inge Schumacher