Just what is it about the making of pictures? Endless pondering on the nature of image-making, of the desire and the need to make images, has left me no closer to that mirage despite all the assiduous musing.
From where do images come – for they must have an origin – and how do we make sense of them and, through them, make sense of ourselves?
The images we make are not mirrors – or if they are, they are imperfect ones at best. They reflect those things we cannot clearly behold except by the imperfect process of drawing and painting.
The process is of course inspiration, a will o’ the wisp disguised as a discipline, the elusive resource upon which all depends. By the flickering light of that ignis fatuus masquerading as a profession, the midnight oil of the small hours of the mind, artists the world over sketch, draw, paint… create.
Ask the average person to describe the aesthetic appearance of a typical ‘Viking’, and immediately, from the depths of their cognition, they will invariably begin with the horned helmet. The stereotypical and long-clichéd, off-the-rack, standard-issue ‘Viking’ with the rugged, fierce expression of extreme violence, while constantly sporting his twin-horned accessory of murder, mayhem, pillage and rape. An image which has become so deeply entrenched within the subconscious of the human mind, that for most people to even imagine a Viking not wearing a horned helmet is inconceivable; even laughable.
Yet, not a single archaeological record of a Viking horned helmet has ever been uncovered. Nor will a Viking horned helmet ever be discovered. The so-called horned helmet of the Vikings simply did not exist, and no Viking head has ever been adorned with a horned helmet, except in the illustrations of countless novels, historical text books and popular comic books, and along with the portrayal of Vikings in cinemas and on TV screens.
Maria Kvilhaug is a historian of religions. She graduated with a master’s degree in Old Norse Mythology and Initiation Rituals from the University of Oslo. Her master’s dissertation was the later published work “The Maiden with the Mead — A Goddess of Initiation in Old Norse Myths?” She is also the author of “The Seed of Yggdrasil.” Maria runs the YouTube channel, Earth Mythic Library under the username LadyoftheLabyrinth, which is inspired by the Minoan term “Labyrinthos Potnia.” Maria takes a historical and spiritual approach to Old Norse myths and legends and considers them on par with other classical philosophical principles. We’ll begin on the ancient Norse lifestyle of both men and women, including the ranking system. Maria explains how shamanism has an important place in Norse mythology. She’ll point out symbolism found in Norse stories and art that is also seen in other mythologies around the world. In the second hour, we’ll discuss the Vikings, who travelled far and wide. We’ll talk about how Viking raids began in retaliation of Roman Christian aggression. She’ll talk about the destruction of pagans and their fight to ward off Christian invasion, which also included Norse sorcery. As the Vikings were scattered, we’ll discuss where they went. We’ll also hear about hierarchy and the expectations of a man within the Viking society. Later, Maria discusses Norse cosmology and elaborates more on Norse myths that are conveyed in poems, riddles and tales.
In the multicultural west we are told to say Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas or these days Happy Holidays as to not offend others. Lana tells about the true origins of newcomer holidays such as Kwanzaa and Hanukkah. Where did these holidays originate? Are they original? Why are they also in December, like Christmas? She’ll also talk about the true origins of Christmas, which is entirely borrowed from Yule, the pre-Christian European celebration of the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Christmas are all imposters, culturally appropriating from the ancient European Winter Solstice celebration. Learn about the myth, symbolism and tradition of Yule.
The Vikings hold a particular place in the history of the West, both symbolically and in the significant impact they had on Northern Europe. Magnus Magnusson’s indispensable study of this great period presents a rounded and fascinating picture of a people who, in modern eyes, would seem to embody striking contradictions. They were undoubtedly pillagers, raiders and terrifying warriors, but they were also great pioneers, artists and traders – a dynamic people, whose skill and daring in their exploration of the world has left an indelible impression a thousand years on.