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Educational, Honest & Practical !!

A Review of SEIDR: The Gate is Open : working with Seidr, The High Seat and Norse Witchcraft – by Katie Gerrard

I have to admit that I was really excited when this book landed on my doormat, and I can only apologise for the length of time it has taken me to complete my review of this book – which in my opinion is educational, honest and practical.

Honesty is something that I have started to appreciate more and more in books such as this, and Katie Gerrard’s ‘Seidr: The Gate is Open’ is just that. She openly discusses her own journey into the northern tradition and her experiences of teaching the practice of Seidr, as well as encouraging the reader to come to their own conclusions, and find their own way. You can tell that Katie has been working with the practice of Seidr (and teaching it to others) for some time: she knows all the difficulties and hazards of both practising and teaching the art, and shows us how to avoid them.

Her writing is educational, practical and even amusing at times, particularly to those of us who have had similar experiences in the past and can relate. I couldn’t help but chuckle when she writes, “step back through the smoke wall … or step back through where the smoke wall was, as it is very unlikely that you will still have billowing smoke…” Only someone who actively works magic and ritual on a regular basis knows the frustration of charcoal blocks never lasting quite as long as you needed them to!! It’s these little touches that make this book so genuine.

That being said, the material is also extremely powerful, and wonderfully researched; and whilst Katie explains her practice as best as can possibly be achieved on paper, Seidr remains a mystery which is only revealed through personal experience. And there are plenty of practical tasks within ‘Seidr: The Gate is Open’ for the reader to do just that.

The book focuses on the benefit of trance in particular, something that I am extremely interested in. Katie discusses aids and techniques that can be used to enter altered states of consciousness, and also covers the importance of honouring the ancestors, and working with them. Katie also discusses the realities of the practice, something that often seems all too forgotten in modern paganism: that what we achieve on the astral plane really can (and should, in many cases) affect our lives on the physical plane. This book is certainly not one about theatrics. As Katie writes, ‘…remember that part of the Volva’s role is to walk the worlds … be prepared for something spectacular, and life changing.’

Fantastic book, which I am sure I will return to again and again … and again.

5 stars *****

www.vikkibramshaw.co.uk

Vikki Bramshaw is an author specialising in pre-christian religion and esoteric traditions. Some of her passions are religious history, theurgy, initiatory rites, and trance. Her latest book, 'Dionysos: Exciter to Frenzy' was published with Avalonia Books in 2013.

Her first book, 'Craft of the Wise: A Practical Guide' was published with John Hunt Publishing in 2010, after which Vikki wrote for several anthologies with Avalonia Books including Swaying with the Serpent: A Study of the Serpent Girdled Hekate (featuring in the anthology 'Hekate: Her Sacred Fires' in 2010) and 'The Scorpion & the Bridal Bed' (featuring in the anthology 'VS: Thou Art That - That Thou Art' in 2011).

Vikki has also successfully completed several courses as part of her ongoing research, including The Origins of Human Behaviour with Oxford University. She is also a trained Holistic Healer with the Scottish Healing Association, and has studied an introductory course in counselling and transactional analysis with Peter Symonds College of Winchester.