Deconstructing the Icelandic Elves

I have mentioned the elves of Iceland before, including a documentary film, but I wish also to draw attention to this article in The Atlantic, which views the interest in elves as largely a post-1970s revival.

Icelandic music phenom Bjork once cautioned the New Yorker: “You have to watch out for the Nordic cliche,” she said. “A friend of mine says that when record-company executives come to Iceland, they ask the bands if they believe in elves, and whoever says yes gets signed up.”

Read the rest here.

The Hidden Folk of Iceland

“Two nations live in this country — the Icelandic nation and this invisible nation.”

Huldufólk 102 is a wonderful 2006 documentary about Icelanders’ relationship with the Hidden Folk (elves, fairies) in their landscape. You can watch it online here (74 min.) Here is the trailer.

One of my favorite parts starts eight minutes in, when a primary school teacher is explaining to the kids how the elves live in a boulder.

Only one of the numerous people interviewed is obviously New Age-y, with her talk about earth chakras, etc. And there is one guy in sort-of medieval Norse garb, his cap decorated with runes, who is described in the subtitle as a “sorcerer.” (Some people are speaking English, some Icelandic with subtitles.) The rest are pretty much down-to-earth Icelanders, a couple of whom describe their own outlooks as Pagan and/or Heathen.

You have heard stories about roads being routed around “inhabited” spots? Here is a civil engineer who did it.

Also  the land itself: mountains, geysers, rocky coasts, cliffs — wonderful as well.

UPDATE: Bad link to complete film now fixed.

(Hat tip to Galina Krasskova.)

Sex with Icelandic Elves

I linked to a site about sex with ghosts, so why not sex with elves?

Call them “the hidden people,” call the them the Shining Ones, whatever you like. These are not garden gnomes we are talking about: “They’re not like small, ugly gnomes. They’re more like tall and beautiful.”

And they know what you want in bed. Whew!

“It would make the world a better place if more people had sex with elves.”

I remain agnostic about that, but I would still love to see Iceland.

Gallimaufry in italiano

¶ I have nothing against the Good People, but I don’t think they belong in law courts.

¶ Wicca: it really is a fashion statement.

¶ Francesca Howell, author of Magic with Gaia, speaks at an Italian Paganism conference (YouTube). Crappy video, probably from a cell phone, but interesting English and Italian soundtrack. How do you say “public outreach” in Italian, anyway? She was formerly at Naropa University but currently is living in Milan.