Join us for the Hurstwic Heathen Study Group
We welcome you to join us for a regular series of informal presentations and discussions on topics of interest to heathens and to anyone with a passion for Norse-related topics. Our sincere hope is that this venue might become a regular meeting place in central New England for people who share our passion for all things Vikings. We expect each session will consist of a presentation, a Q&A discussion session, and a meet and greet afterwards. Admission is free.
We extend an invitation to scholars and students in other groups in the area to consider presenting at a future session. We're eager to have a range of viewpoints in this study group.
Video of previous Hurstwic Heathen Study Group presentations are archived on YouTube. They include:
|Religion, Myth, and Cult in the Viking Age, presented by William R. Short on April 4, 2016.|
|Runes - An Introduction and Then Some, presented by Ethan C. on May 2, 2016.|
Modern Heathenry: History, Influences, and General Beliefs, presented by Matthew Nachtrieb on June 6, 2016.
|Life After Death in the Viking Age, presented by William R. Short on July 11, 2016.|
|Alfs, Trolls, and Other Beings, part 1, presented by Ethan C. on August 1, 2016.|
|Heathenry Today: Where Have Our Roots Led Us?, presented by Staci Graves on September 12, 2016.|
|Time and World: Passage of Time and Seasons in the Ancient Heathen Worldview, presented by Matthew Nachtrieb on October 3, 2016.|
|The Coexistence of Heathenry and Christianity in the Viking Age, presented by William R. Short on November 7, 2016.|
|Home for the (Heathen) Holidays, presented by Emily Randall on December 5, 2016.|
|A double feature on January 10, 2017.
Ethan C. spoke on Making the Mission
|A very special meeting on February 6, 2017.
Heathen study group participants joined Hurstwic cast and crew for a screening of Hurstwic's new film, The Final Battle of Grettir the Strong, based on Grettis saga and shot on location in Iceland last year. The film was released in spring, 2017.
A trailer for the film is shown to the right.
|A night of games and fun on March 6, 2017, led by Hurstwic special advisor Reynir A.|
|The Walking Dead in the Sagas: Zombies of the Viking Age, presented by William R. Short on April 3, 2017.|
|The Heathen Soul, presented by Matthew Nachtrieb on May 1, 2017.|
on June 5, 2017.
a wide ranging discussion on a variety of topics that covered the gamut from modern Ásatrú to comparisons with other world religions and beliefs to law and society in Viking-age Iceland to elder care in the Viking age.
|Alfs, Trolls, and Other Beings, Part 2 - Dwarfs,
presented by Ethan C. on July 10, 2017.
Snorri Sturluson tells us in Gylfaginning that the dwarfs began as maggots in the rotting flesh of the giant Ymir, and that the gods endowed these beings with reason. Yet other sources paint a different picture. Who were these beings, and where do they fit into the nine worlds of northern mythology?
|Women in the Viking Age, presented by Staci Graves and Emily Randall on August 7, 2017.||
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and to Love þetta reddast,
presented by Barbara Wechter on September
Through study of the eddas, we learn that Loki is more than a mischief maker, he is also an innovator: by embracing the chaos and struggle in life, you can grow.
|Roundtable Discussion on October 2, 2017.
Matthew Nachtrieb led a roundtable discussion of the paper Hedenstierna-Jonson C, Kjellström A, Zachrisson T, et al. A female Viking warrior confirmed by genomics. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2017;00:1–8, and of the media and internet broohaha that resulted from the publication of the paper. We discussed what is known and what is not known relating to the Viking-age topics covered in the paper, and we discussed how to find good sources for research, and ways to distinguish good material from rubbish.
|The Poetic Edda and Eddic Poetry, presented by Dr. William R. Short on November 6, 2017.|
|The Hurstwic Heathen Study Group Yule Feast, on December 28, 2017.|
|The Wild Hunt: Furious Hosts and Shadow Processions,
presented by Trish Basford on January 8, 2018.
European folklore is rich with tales featuring the Wild Hunt. This presentation is intended as an introduction to the complex collections of legends featuring these ghastly entourages, with an emphasis on the Norse versions. Theories surrounding the origins of the hunt are explored from a heathen perspective.
|Do You Want Me to Turn Towards You?,
presented by William R. Short on February 5, 2018.
The first in a series of roundtable presentations based on classic episodes from the Sagas of Icelanders.
In these discussions, we plan to look at what lies below the surface of the sparse descriptions of the sagas. We will pick an interesting episode, read the passage, and discuss what was left unsaid: points that would have been clear to the original saga audience, but which may be obscure and confusing to a modern audience. This detailed look will lead to better understanding of the people of the Viking age and their society and culture.
In this first presentation, we plan to look at Gísli's revenge killing of Þorgrímur, told in Gísla saga. Join us for this informal color commentary on the incidents related in the sagas.
|An Informal Roundtable Discussion,
led by Staci Graves on March 5, 2018.
An informal discussion of topics related to Viking-age beliefs and practices in the northern lands, and how they are reflected in modern beliefs and practices.