I really enjoyed this post, especially learning something new and unexpected! 😄
Heilsa, I am Wayland Skallagrimsson. I am the author of the Uppsala Online website, and several books on Asatru and related topics. For the past twelve years, I have also run the somafera forum. For those of you who don’t know, somafera is the general term for a related set of practices from all over the world, but which included the berserkergang.
The berserkergang, of course, is the martial art of a type of elite viking warrior known as a berserker. An internal style of martial art, it is also a spiritual practice. Through religious ritual, berserkers worked themselves into ecstatic frenzies, wherein they could access the strength of the hysterically insane. However, because the state was triggered spiritually, it could be directed. There were similar martial arts/spiritual practices all over the world, such as the riastradh of the Celts, the Indonesian “running amok,” and Chinese spirit boxing. There were…
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