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Seidr: The Gate is Open [Kindle Edition]

Katie Gerrard
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"The seidr current is fresh and vibrant, with the strength and solidity of the Norse deities behind it." - Katie Gerrard

Seidr is the intriguing and powerful early Norse system of shamanistic trance practices. In Seidr: The Gate is Open, Katie Gerrard has contributed a major work on the practices of seidr and trance prophecy, providing a practical manual full of dynamic group rituals and techniques based on known Seidr practices. Foremost amongst these techniques is the prophetic rite of the High Seat, where the Volva (seer) sends her consciousness to the underworld realm of Hel to gain answers to the questions posed to her. Combining more than a decade of research and experimentation, this book is characterised by both its scholarship and its accessibility.

Katie Gerrard shares her own experiences on the path of the seer, and also draws inspiration from original sources in the old texts of the Sagas and the Eddas, as well as contemporary researchers and groups working with seidr in Scandinavia, Europe and America. Techniques for achieving trance, levels of trance possession, coming out of trance, the vardlokkurs (chants), necessary equipment, and the requirements for the roles of the different participants, are all discussed in a clear and concise manner, as is the relevance of contacting the ancestors, the dead and the appropriate gods, including the goddesses Freyja and Hel, and the Allfather god Odin.

As befits such an inspirational book, the author provides both the relevant background information for the eleven rites contained within, together with explanations of their inclusion and purposes. The rites emanate practical effectiveness, a result of their regular use over many years for successful exploration of the mysteries of trance prophecy, the High Seat rite and Norse witchcraft. "This is a spiritual journey laid bare for an audience who are either already treading a similar path or are looking for guidance in order to follow a well trodden path to a similar end point."

About the Author:
Katie Gerrard is a writer, researcher, and workshop facilitator with a passion for the magic of Seidr and the Runes. She has been studying the different forms of norse magic and working with norse gods since discovering them in the 1990s.

Katie is also the author of Odin's Gateways (about working with the runes) and the forthcoming The Gate is Open (about Seidr and Northern tradition magical techniques), both publised by Avalonia Books. An essay on the High Sear Rite written by Katie Gerrard appeared in the Avalonia anthology 'Priestesses, Pythonesses, Sibyls'. She also regularly hosts seidr and other seer and norse rites within the London (UK) area.

Product Details

  • File Size: 661 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Avalonia (February 18, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0079LCRTA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,084 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great guide to Seidr and a fascinating personal journey February 26, 2011
I think this book is excellent, with three particular strengths.

The first is that Katie Gerrard shows a full knowledge of both the original texts on Seidr and the events and issues in the modern scene. She explains her take on the main disagreements, and references the writings in a way which is clear enough for newcomers to understand and is also very convincing. Even those who disagree with her opinions will find a useful overview of the main issues and an exciting read.

The second reason is that she is very clear on which parts of her practice in this book are just that - her opinions. This can be difficult when writing about carrying out rituals which you have developed yourself, but she is always careful to point out which sections are her own, and (even better) states why she chose them.

The chapters on running and participating in rituals are the third reason. Quite apart from the Seidr content, the author has included so much sensible and insightful information on how to run safe and powerful trance rituals for various groups of people that I think practitioners of many paths will benefit from reading it. She draws on years of experience and goes into detail on the practicalities of managing people who are in heavy trance, in a way that is not seen often enough in print.

There are only a handful of good, accessible works on modern Seidr and I think that 'The Gate Is Open' is likely to become a must-have: as well as being a superb introduction, it gives example seidr rituals and advice on leading group work which deserves a wide audience.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Katie walks the talk... March 8, 2011
Katie Gerrard is one of those wonderful rare people who not only walks the talk, but really knows what she's talking about and hence it follows, where she is walking. Seidr: The Gate is Open is instantly accessible and easy to read, generously presenting years of research and experience to the reader without the feeling that you are being spoon-fed. Indeed the strongly practical aspect of the book does not dictate at all, but lays out the bones of truth that Katie and her groups have diligently uncovered over the years and encourages the reader to add their own meat, as it were.
Through a beautiful balance of approachable fact and relevant history with a scientific spirit of experimentation, Katie has created a truly living workbook. She gives a strong foundation that anyone with enough understanding and experience of the basic principles can use to explore this rich tradition, not in the way of the empty reconstructionist, but in a way which is vital and relevant to today.
The rituals and practices laid out in this book ring very true for me as I have experienced many similar techniques within the oracular and shamanic work and training I have undergone over the last several years within a Celtic context, and I found it very interesting to note that some of these practices are indeed also a part of British history. As someone who has a fascination for the Norse beliefs but has always, (until now), found the subject of Seidr rather mysterious and unapproachable, I am delighted to find it actually very familiar and comfortable. I shall cherish this book, and look for the opportunity to partake in one of Katie Gerrard's ceremonies. I would also relish the chance to try these workings myself, if I could just find a group of willing guinea pigs....
Like the figure in the beautiful cover artwork by Laura Daligan, Katie indeed is holding the gate open for us. Will you pass through?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am deeply impressed with Ms. Gerrard's knowledge and experience! The book is clear and well researched in addition to being a flowing and easy read(a hard balance when scholarly tomes are so often dry and hard to fathom). She makes it clear from the onset which items are being presented as fact - and cites numerous references, and which are opinion or experiential. Even when describing her own experiences, her logic and reasoning are quite easy to follow and to understand. Many of the frustrations and fears that a Seer/ess faces are also addressed, making this a must have for any who are walking this path!

She quotes both a number of current practitioners of Seidr and tells of Seers that are go back to the beginnings of our attempts to reclaim this practice. So, in essence, the book also offers a nice time-line and history of Seidr and it's many interpretations without judging the practitioners. She makes it a point to leave the reader responsible for forming their own opinions without feeling the need of placing her own ideas above anyone else.
It was also made clear to me that the descriptions of the vernacular and rituals were so well thought out that this book would be a real boon to those who may not be ready for the rites it describes, but want to know more.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gate to Northern Magic Awaits June 17, 2011
Growing up in Louisiana between the bayou country and New Orleans, I was surrounded by Cajun sorcery and voodoo. And whenever I could, I rode my bike the ten miles from our farm to a tiny village where I could explore their library's collection of texts on European witchcraft. Yet for all the mystery of these varied paths, I found myself drawn most deeply to the haunting Celtic path, with its enchanting myths, captivating faerie lore and roots in ancient folk ways. But there was always a part of me that was curious about the myths and magic of the ancient Scandinavians. I mean, honestly, whose imagination could not be fired by tales of light elves, dwarven smiths, realms of giants, and pantheons of Aesir and Vanir. It is a mythology as beautiful and contrasting as the rugged northern lands I came to know so well when I moved into the far north where I spent nearly half my life.

Seidr: The Gate is Open is both a good survey of Scandinavian folk myth and a practical, in-depth study of its practice. This relatively small tome covers a lot of ground. I love old histories and myths, and I was delighted by the discussion of the Seidr folklore in the beginning of the book. The author explains very openly the difficulties in putting together a comprehensive understanding of this old lore, and how she dealt with incongruities and blurry areas. In fact, as others have noted, she is remarkably and refreshingly open about noting where she had to deal with these problems in her efforts to recreate the Seidr practice, an issue I am very familiar with from my research on my own books.

Since I have adapted many shamanic practices into my own path, I was very impressed with her in-depth discussions of the shamanlike practices of Seidr.
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More About the Author

Katie Gerrard is a writer, researcher and workshop facilitator with a passion for the magic of Seidr and the Runes. She has been studying the different forms of Norse magic and working with the Norse Gods since discovering them in the 1990s, when she was at university in West Wales.

Katie lectures and facilitates workshops at national and international events on esoteric subjects, as well as facilitating developmental and employment coaching workshops at a London adult education college.

Katie is the author of Odin's Gateways (about working with the runes, Avalonia, 2009) and the new book Seidr: The Gate is Open (about Seidr and Northern Tradition magical techniques, Avalonia, 2011), both published by Avalonia Books. An essay on the High Seat Rite written by Katie Gerrard appeared in the Avalonia anthology 'Priestesses, Pythonesses, Sibyls ' edited by Sorita d'Este (Avalonia, 2008); and also in Vs. an anthology on magical and mythological duality edited by Kim Huggens (Avalonia, 2011).

She also regularly hosts Seidr and other Seer and Norse Rite within the London area.

Katie also enjoys creative pursuits such as fashion design, sewing, and various handicrafts. She lives in London with her husband, daughter, and fat idiot cat.

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