My name is Maria Kvilhaug, and I am an historian of religions. I graduated with a master degree in Old Norse mythology and initiation rituals. My master dissertation was the later published work “The Maiden with the Mead – A Goddess of Initiation in Old Norse Myths?”
I run the youtube-channel Earth Mythic Library under the username LadyoftheLabyrinth, which is inspired by the Minoan term “Labyrinthos Potnia”. Labyrinths and labyrinth games and legends with a lady/maiden in the middle abounded in Scandinavian prehistory.
STATEMENT ABOUT VIEWS:
I find it sad that I have to specify that my interest in Old Norse myth, paganism/heathenism and history sometimes lead people to conclude that I may have sympathies towards the nazi/fascist/white supremacist fringes – I DO NOT!!!
My grandfather Einar Kvilhaug was from Vestfold, born the same year as the Oseberg ship, and he introduced me to Norse sagas and myths even when I was a child. He took me to see ancient burial mounds, and he could quote Edda poems at length, and retold many of the saga stories to me. He was in many way like taken out of such a saga, the same humor, the same style, a sea-man, a craftsman, and a warrior when he had to be. He was very proud of our heritage and wanted to pass it on to me, and told me at his deathbed that he had always secretly been more sympathetic towards the old Norse heathen religion than to the Christian one. He was a link to the past for me, a well of stories. He also voted Labour all his life, identified with the working class movements and fought against the Nazi occupation of our country Norway during WWII. During the occupation of our country, he saw one concentration camp up close, prison camps put up in Northern Norway for Russian prisoners of war, and how they were treated. The real heroes there were the local women who defied the Nazis by feeding the prisoners every day through the fences and telling off the soldiers who tried to stop them. He did not want to be any worse than these women, and joined the resistance. He spent five years saving innocent people – communists, gays, anti-nazis and Jews escaping Nazi persecution and concentration camps.
So as you may understand, to us, seeing a connection between our Old Norse cultural roots and utterly modern totalitarian hate-based ideologies is completely absurd. There is no real connection between the two.
I have no political or ideological agendas, and would like my work on Norse myths and history to be available to anyone interested in the subject for whatever reason, but I do not wish to be connected to that kind of racist or fascist ideologies which I find idiotic, stupid and despicable.
I am not interested in DNA and genealogy for the purpose of proving anybody being better than others. To me a human is a human and thats it, I relate to people as individuals and as far as I am concerned we are all descended from a great nice mix of traveling and reencountering African Homo Sapiens and European Neanderthals and perhaps even some Asian Homo Eerectus types, so what, whatever, it is not as if we humans are so much better than beasts anyway. In my opinion it is the soul that matters and I think that is species-free. However, I also think that we have a need to know our roots, and that it is natural for everybody to wish to know our roots. It does not mean that somebodys roots are better than others.
I can get a little snappy when it comes to totalitarian religions though, especially their history of suppressing heathens. Hence my litte grudge against “The Church” which sometimes surfaces in my talks and articles. But thats just where I am at. No offense to personal Christians. I also know some Moslems and would not go about offending them either.
But I am no fan of any religion or ideology that tells me that I am less worth than a man, that sex is sinful, or that anybody who does not believe in particular dogmas or act by particular rules ought to be persecuted or even killed. I think that line of thinking is sick and despicable no matter which religion or ideology that nurtures it.