About me

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.

CLARIFICATIONS: NORSE MYTHS WERE CREATED A THOUSAND YEARS BEFORE HITLER GOT SHAT INTO THIS WORLD. HENCE THESE MYTHS AND LEGENDS AND THE ENTIRE NORSE CULTURE AND HEATHEN RELIGIONS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH HITLER OR ANYTHING REMOTELY ASSOCIATED WITH HIM! Because of that fool (above, wont even have to re-write that name) who abused Norse symbols and myths for his own sick ideology, we who research Old Norse Heathenism, myths and legends are sometimes suspected of being racist or fascist even when that is not in any way the case. I am NOT racist and NOT racist-friendly. I know I have followers of many kinds but as long as I am not confronted with particular incidents I cannot take responsibility for who likes my work or not – I know that I have never said or written anything that could be interpreted as such. I have absolutely no “racial” issues whatsoever and I really dont give a XXXX about where anybody is from and what they look like (unless they are attractive, that might just alert my interest). I take an historical and spiritual approach to Old Norse myths and legends and consider them on the line with Buddhist, Hindu and classical philosophical scriptures, part of a pan-human Heritage.  If I talk about cultural roots and ancestral roots, it is because such roots matter to all people wherever they are from. Those who are secure in their roots and their identity will never need to feel threatened by or look down on the roots and identities of others.

44 Responses to About me

  1. John Bjork says:

    Hello, I am writing because of some experiences that I am trying to understand and i hope you may be able to help. Last April an artery in my brain ruptured and I was taken to the hospital. I remember seeing my wife speak with the doctors and everything seemed to fall away from me and go black. Then there was sunlight, in in the sunlight the form of a woman and I knew it was Freja. She told me “No harm will come to you.” and then I felt the sunlight on my body. There was a surgery and afterwards my said the doctors told her I would wither die, be paralyzed or brain damaged. I did not die and have suffered no problems. I continue to have dreams that seem to guide me and my relationship with my wife has become more loving, intimate, understanding and gentle. I feel Freja with me and am drawn to her. I am grateful for any help you may offer. Beste Hilsen, John Bjork

    • Maria Kvilhaug says:

      All I can see is that you have been and are blessed. The goddess came to you, reassured you, and she – or your vision of her – was healing to you. One Edda poem describes the lady wearing the name Menglöd, “Invitation to Blend”, where she is seated on the Mountain of Medicine, a mountain that will heal anyone who ever climbs it and sacrifices to her. The goddess may be a real presence, or may represent something to you, and the association with the sun is also an association to illumination, healing and the soul. And then there is love. Love was strengthened after the experience, and Freya surely is love. Love bless, Maria

  2. David Keyworth says:

    Love your articles and your videos, keep up the good work! I completed my doctoral studies on vampire folklore, I’d love to hear your take upon the undead-corpses (draugr) that seem to crop up quite frequently in the Sagas.

  3. Dan Osarchuk says:

    What a great site and resources. Thanks for creating them, Maria.

    Dan

  4. Neil says:

    Hello. I am writing to see if we could talk one on one via email in regards to the Norse religion. I don’t have many resources where im at and all the people I run into seem to think I am joking. If you would please email me at the above email. Thanks
    Sincerely,
    Neil

    • Mary Hill says:

      The best book of the many I have read is in English. I got it through Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk, since it’s not translated into Spanish. It is by Galina Krasskova, the Editorial is New Page Books, and the title is “Exploring the Northern Tradition: A guide to the Gods, Lore, Rites and Celebrations from the Norse, German, and Anglo-Saxon Traditions”. Simply look up “Exploring the Northern Tradition”, by this author. For me the book is pure gold.
      Happy Yule,

      Mary from Spain

  5. Gabriel says:

    I would like to donate because I know the time you have put in will help many.
    I am one of them, I continue to try and find out the lore, history, culture and other things about the nordic life, however, just like with my studdies of christianity, pegan, wika and others I find there is something missing, they are altered and only shadows of the truth. I found your video expressing the same thing. Please contact me I have a few questions for you.

    Thank you,
    Gabriel

  6. Ciao Maria,
    I want to compliment you on your website and youtube channel too, and to thank you for all resources and information.
    I have a question about Old Norse pronunciation. I’d like to know if there is a video or mp3 where I can hear the Poetic Edda as it was handed down. Is there a video of your own or elsewhere where I can hear that Poem?
    Thank you in advance, looking forward to the release of your book
    Giampaolo

  7. http://onpoint.wbur.org/2012/11/06/song-of-the-vikings
    you might be interested in this radio program with Nancy Marie Brown, author of Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths.

  8. Mary Hill says:

    Hello, Maria!

    Mengloth, is actually an Etin whose Aesir equivalent is Eir, the divine physician and healer. And to the rest of you, if I can ask you all to help me ask the gods and goddeses to cure my mother of medullar cancer, I’d be so happy. I’m energetically so low because of stress (chakras depleted, aura almost inexistent), that I cannot practice Reiki II on her or on anyone.
    Let Freya and the Gods bless anyone who can help me with this.
    And happy Yule!

    Mary from Spain

  9. Mary Hill says:

    Maria,
    Your page is absolutely wonderful, and I will definitely bookmark it. I’d like to make a small donation (small because I am completely unemployed) but you don’t have to send me the hamaval translations at all. I already have the Poetic Eddas. I just want to help you with your good work. If I had more time (with my mother’s terrible cancer, and me having to take care of her constantly — I hardly have time to check email), I would restart the home course on Norwegian (what a beautiful language it is!). Let’s see if better times come!

    Happy Yule to you!

    Mary from Spain. Jeg er spansk og fra (I don’t remember how to say the U. S. of America)

  10. Alan says:

    Hi maria or anyone who can help.
    Do you have imore information on a morning star goddess connected with a mimir well celebrated on both equinoxes, but primarily spring. Well was surrouned with rune stones. Site is under church and guarded. Riots persisted till 1880′s from locals wishing to celebrate. Real site is hidden under one of three churches. Goddess stands in a ravine and light emmits. Maria seems to be based on her.
    Site has a pages field adjorning it. Near Durstede.

  11. Ole Martin Rønning says:

    Hei,
    Jeg og mange andre, mener alle de labyrintene vi finner i Skandinavia, er Norrøne. Jeg har selv besøkt Solovki for 20 år siden, og fått forklart av en historieprofessor fra Arkangelsk at disse kommer fra en neolittisk kultur. Senere har norske sameforskere vært der, og sagt at dette er samisk. Det merkelige er at når jeg var på tur til ei elv som heter Varzina på nordkysten av Kolahalvøya, ble jeg vist en helt lik labyrint, og den var nokså urørt. Det finnes også en på Slettnes i Gamvik kommune, men den har jeg ikke sett. Det som slår meg er at de alle er svært like. Den som ligger ved Snefjell på island er også med samme mønster. Der kan det umulig vært samer og bygget den.
    Jeg mener den eneste fellesnevneren her er Vikinger som var overalt på sine ferder, og at vi her snakker om svært gammel norrøn kultur. Hva mener du? Jeg er kun amatør med interesse for norsk historie.

    • Maria Kvilhaug says:

      Les John Craft: “The Goddess in the Labyrinth” – han viser til myter, legender of ritualer i forbindelse med de mange skandinaviske labyrintene. De er helt klart endel av den norrøne arven, inspirert av andre kulturer helt tilbake til bronsealderen.

  12. Krista says:

    Greetings Maria,
    Wonderful site. I appreciate so much your knowledge and unique insight into Myth. I’m wondering, you have delved so deeply into the Mead and Soma Myth’s, what role does the honey bee play in the Mead/Soma Myths? Also, have you studied the ancient bee goddesses or priestesses such as the Melissa & Deborah’s? What of the possible remenants of a Bee Goddess connected to Artemis, Cybele, Aphrodite, Freyia and also the recent bee goddess like effigies in the burial finds at Elutherna? Will you write about such findings in the future?
    Thank you for any insights!
    ~K

  13. Drew Nelson says:

    I appreciate the wonderful work you’re doing. You have an ability to clearly communicate that is unusual among academicians. Thank you for your efforts.

  14. Camilla says:

    Hej Maria,
    Jeg elsker alt det du skriver om.
    I am going to continue my studies in cultural anthropology, folklore, and mythology at UT Austin in the fall and your work is very inspiring to me as a Danish American. I would really love to be in contact with you when I start doing my research.

  15. Dave says:

    I must compliment you madam, you seem to be among the rarest of people; Intelligent, Very Beautiful, and spiritually strong. Your voice is music. Your words so meaningful. Thank you!

  16. Gunnar Steinarsson says:

    Heyrðu Maria, þetta er alveg frábær netsíða… Enn bókin þín “The seed of Yggrasill” er algjör snilld. Allt þetta gerir þú bara á laun, ekki eitt orð til kóngs né prest. – Það hefði ég ekki gert heldur. Þakka þér innilega fyrir framlagið og vona að þetta verði eins vel tekið á móti eins og það á skilið. Ég veit að þú skilur það sem ég hef hripað hérna niður, þó að þetta sé óttalega nútímalegt fjas í mér. Takk..

    • Maria Kvilhaug says:

      Hei Gunnar! Neimen er det deg! Jeg greier ikke svare deg på Islandsk men tusen takk for støtten!

  17. David says:

    Hi Maria,

    first, im really a fan of your work but i discovered, i think, a slight mistake – correct me if i am wrong but you translated one of Odins names Fjölnir as “One – Mane” as fjöll is many and nir – you said – was the article for singular. In old norse thats not true. -nir is the ending first person plural article. example vikingr – vikingrinn – vikingar, vikingarnir.

    So fjölnir would be the many in terms of “many many” ofc “the one who is many” still applys as it describes a single person but the article is plural not singular.

    And a suggestion follows – the “spear” god of bronze age is identified as Odin, the hammer / axe god as thor – ok i agree here as they are clearly attributes of those 2.
    But Swordgod = Freyr? i do doubt that for some reasons

    1. The sword is more a symbol of Tyr, Freyr would more likely be represented by a boar.
    2. Tyr was the “father of gods” and god of war for ancient germanic people being most important.
    3. Tyr is the “swordgod” as he is the tribal patron of the saxons named saxnot – and the sax is sort of a sword.
    4. We have a death god (Odin) a protection god (Thor) a fertility godess (Sun) and than? Another fertility god (Freyr)? Why? A god of war and justice (Tyr) makes more sense than a second fertility god
    5. Tyr – more ancient tiu / ziu is close to Zeus – according to the statement that germanics may have originated in Troja its very likely that Tyr is more ancient than freyr.

    At least that is my idea – what do you think of it?

  18. Pingback: Gerda and Queenship | Loki's Bruid

  19. Donald says:

    HI Maria,

    I know you spoke at the ARC Convention 2012 in Bath, UK, but I can’t find any DVDs or links to see the talk.
    By the way, I look forward to reading your book. I am waiting for an email from the publisher when another printing is done.

    Thanks for any help you can give.
    Donald in Tokyo, Japan
    PS. I know Henrik at Red Ice Radio has tried to get an interview with you. I think it would be a good way to get the message out about your book.
    Be blessed!

    • Maria Kvilhaug says:

      Thank you Donald. would gladly be interviewed by Red Ice Radio, but they never returned to me after their first request, when I said yes. :)

  20. sejdaren says:

    Har precis börjat kolla dina videor och kommer köpa boken nästa månad. Verkligen intressant än så länge och mer i linje med vad jag själv tänkt eller erfarit om våran mytologi. Tar du upp Tors fisketur efter midgårdsormen? Har haft mycket funderingar själv om den historien…känns ju nästan som Tor sökte efter nirvana om han vill fiska upp det som höll världen samman…symbolen för begäret …en orm som äter sig själv…den budistiska livscykeln med återfödsel osv

  21. Kari says:

    I love your site!!!

    Thank you for all of your hard work and academic scholarship on this subject. I specialized in Norse Mythology while in school and you have done something wonderful here by sharing your knowledge.

  22. Freyja Faraday says:

    The Oseberg Priestess Burial – A Viking Age Mystery

    Though I am flattered that you have used my picture at 01.57 I wish you had asked my permission before taking it. All my photos are copyrighted. http://www.freyjafaraday.com/media.php

  23. Joh says:

    Hello Maria!

    Thank you for your wonderful and informative site.

    If you find the time, could you credit the music from your video “The Death of Balder Part 1: Odin’s Ride to Hel”

    It is very beautiful and moving. I would love to know the name of the artist.

    • Maria Kvilhaug says:

      Yes, the music is from a band that no longer exists, it was called Ehwas. It consisted of several musicians – some of whom are still active, you may find them on FB or something, like Kjell Braaten and Tor Egil Braaten, as well as my own brother Thomas Kvilhaug, and the members of “Skvalthr” (including the Braaten brothers, I think). I believe Kjell Braaten still has some CDs to sell, at least he had some when I met him this summer. I know my brother sold out a long time ago.

  24. Ashara says:

    I am immensely in awe of the expanse of knowledge you have presented here on your site. Your strong stance on freeing these stories is truly a gift. I agree with you entirely in relation to your belief in all of us being human and the soul being a critical component. Your soul shimmers and expounds with curiosity and luminosity. Thank you for following your path even when it gets really bumpy! This knowledge is empowering. ~A~

  25. sejdaren says:

    försökte beställa din bok… :( men ena sidan(bokförlaget) tillåter bara paypall vilket jag vägrar att använda. och amazon har inte din bok tillgänglig :(

    finns den någon annanstans att få tag på?

  26. kamilla says:

    hei maria, stor fan jeg og min kjære her hjemme i trondheim.
    jeg har vært interisert i vikinger og norønt siden jeg var vel en 7-8 år gammel og jeg lurte på om du har noen somhelst informasjon om bryllups ritualene til vikingene, eller hvordan ofringene til freia skjedde?..
    jeg og min kjære forlovede skal nemelig gifte oss sommeren 2015 og vil gjøre det i vikinger stil!
    grunnen til at jeg vil vite om ofringene til freia er fordi freia er en av mine favoritter og er ekstremt interisert i å vite slikt!
    og jeg skal kjøpe alt av dine bøker etter jeg får en stabil jobb, de som kommer og de som har kommet.
    jeg elsker at noen som deg er så flink til å forklare og vis menneskene en del av noens fortid.
    jeg gleder meg til å ha sett ferdig vær av dine youtube videor.
    klem kamilla

    • Maria Kvilhaug says:

      Hei Kamilla, jeg tror du bør ta kontakt med foreningen Forn Sed, de arrangerer bryllup, tror jeg! Eller vet jeg at søstra til en venn av meg som heter Kjell Braaten giftet seg på vikingvis, så du kan prøve ta kontalt med han via FB og høre om han vet hvem du bør henvende deg til! Mvh Maria

  27. Lee J Robinson says:

    Hello Maria Kvilhaug.
    I am sorry if this is a bother for you. I live in Australia and was wondering if you could point me in the right direction of someone who is willing to check a couple Old Norse translations for me. It is only four words all up that I want translated and I would be willing to pay for the time. This is for my first novel and is important to me. I would rather a professional help me so that I know it is right rather than just consult an internet Old Norse to English dictionary. I did email a university, but they did not get back to me. Hope to hear from you soon.

    Your friend
    Lee J Robinson

  28. Bo Lindgren says:

    Hej Maria,
    Mange tak for dit arbejde og denne webpage, som jeg først nu har opdaget.
    Jeg har altid følt, at der manglede en seriøs og forskning/formidling baseret portal omkring vores før-kristne tro, kultur og samfund. Selvom jeg naturligvis er et rationelt tænkende individ kan jeg i høj grad relatere til de værdier, der kan forbindes til denne tid.
    Et forslag kunne være at supplere med en linksamling til andet informativt materiale om samme emne.
    F.eks. disse forelæsninger af Prof. Niel Price: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLVUVc-BygpWnKNfrP1-x4LiHSO3ZV50yN
    Mvh. Bo

  29. John Lash says:

    Hello Maria
    I am just starting to watch you on YouTube and look into your site. You have done tremenous work and it looks pretty sober to me, yet reaching the genuine mystical truths, also. Thanks for your thoroughness, clarity, and dedication. I have loved Norse myth and skaldic lore all my life, wishing to hear it recited as you do.! I am a comparative mythologist, American, living 22 years in Europe, and dedicated to the revival of the pan-european indigenous traditions. My book, Not in His Image (2007) is considered a manifesto of goddess revival and as well, the coup de grace of patriarchal religion. May I send you a copy? regards, JLL

  30. Henri Bloxham says:

    I am awed by the knowledge and enthusiasm that you display regarding your work. I noticed that you mentioned monetary delays in publishing your works. I would like to talk to you regarding some options for publishing that you may not be aware of. I am very interested in your work and would like to participate in bringing it to fruition. I have a small publishing company, but I am very resourceful. I look forward to hearing form you.

  31. thomas says:

    Takk for dette utrolig dype og nøye arbeidet.. Jeg har en følelse av at du er inne på den rette sti. Jeg håper folk og andre krefter tar til seg dine tolkinger og forståelse..

  32. Dear Maria,

    I have recently begun reading your excellent published dissertation, ‘The Maiden with the Mead’.

    On page 85 you write, ‘The Mimameidr has a special attribute: its seeds may be thrown on a fire, to relieve women sick during pregnancy, and in order to see what has been hidden. It is generally acknowledged that Mimameidr is another name for Yggdrasill.’ (with a reference to S & S.)

    I have a question related to a paper I am researching: Henbane seeds are known to produce altered states of mind when their smoke is inhaled. Such henbane seeds have been found on völva bodies (e.g. in Fyrkat). Is it possible that Mimameidr could be henbane (even though the latter is a flower rather than a tree)? Thus is it conceivable that Yggdrasil is henbane (or some other vision-inducing) plant?

    I would truly value your thoughts – if you had time to respond I would be grateful.

    Kind regards,

    Peter
    (www.philosopher.eu)

  33. Jude says:

    HI wonder if you can help me here.

    I am trying to do a timeline for Queen Asa. Research tells me she was buried in 834 AD and that she was the elder of the two women in the Oseberg ship being about 80 yrs old. Also that her son Halfdan the Black was born in c. 810 – which would make her around 55 yrs old when she gave birth! Or was she the younger female which would make sense at as she would be around 50 yrs old at time of burial and giving birth in 810 at the age of 26…

    Most sources say that the older woman is Queen Asa and the younger (from the Black Sea area) was her slave.

    • Maria Kvilhaug says:

      Yes! And most Sources are WRONG! As you are pointing out, and many have pointed out before you, Asa could not possibly have been one of the women in the grave. No way. But the notion was proposed back in 1918 when the burial was excavated and that notion stuck because it fit so well with the building of a Norwegian national idenity (Asa was the grandmother of Norways first sole king, Harald Harfagri, and thus grandmother to the Norwegian nation). Asa certainly knew the women of that grave because she was contemporary with them and lived in that area, but the women were older than her and likely some sort of priestesses for a religious cult. I have a youtube video with a little more suggestions as to what this really was. Read Anne-Stine Ingstad and Gunhild Røthe on the subject. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glj8of3BGZo

  34. Donald Dean says:

    Hello Maria,

    It was a long wait, but I finally got a copy of your book Seed of Yggdisil.
    I read through the contents and introduction and look forward to reading through the rest.
    I am of Swedish / German decent and am a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. I have studied Celtic myths, but I really longed to study more of the Norse myths.

    I really want to say thank you for all of your work. I know you have not done it to make money. The Northern and Germanic people of the world really need a spiritual healing and I believe you are a very important part of our people finding our way.
    By finding our own way we can help others…no mater where they are from or what people / race they belong to.
    You cannot love others until you understand and love yourself.
    We as Europeans need to find our heritage and learn to love ourselves, so we can it turn find a new found respect in the similarities and differences in other peoples spirituality.
    May you be blessed and the gods and goddesses smile upon you!!!
    Donald

  35. Paul says:

    Although my own interest in Norwegian history is mainly pointed into the witchcraft trials in the Finnmark, your site and publications are always a great pleasure to read. As you undoubtedly know, it is always a tough thing to find reliable information and sources on the net and as to that your work is highly appreciated.

    The music of the promotional clip you published this week on YT consists the first 77 seconds of “Voluspa”, by yourself and Rogerio Nunes. Would you grant me permission to incorporate those 77 seconds in one of my upcoming (dark ambient) soundmixes ? Of course with acknowledgements and a link to your site.

    I mellomtiden, fra bunnen av mitt hjerte, tusen takk

    Paul van Dijk

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