• 6 min read

There is a side to Viking culture that has been largely overlooked: their magical practices. In fact, throughout their history, pagan nordic Vikings have believed in numerous different gods who could be aided by magic rituals.

As a result, the Vikings developed a great number of spells and rituals to be used when trying to get what they wanted. One of the most interesting aspects of Viking magic is that it seems to have been incorporated into their daily lives. TheVikings did not stop at just praying to their gods and asking them for assistance. When they needed something, they would cast spells to ensure they got it.

The Vikings had a large number of different spells that they used to perform magic. However, these can be divided into three general categories: those used to help oneself, those used to help others, and those used for destructive purposes. There were many different ways that one could cast a spell: through runes, through chanting and reciting a spell-verse, or in conjunction with the help of an animal or even the dead.

Pagan Magic and Mythology

The Vikings believed that magic was a major part of their religious practices. There are stories of the Vikings seeking out sorceresses who could use magic in order to help them with various endeavors like ensuring victory in battle. Some of their spells and rituals were also alleged to be particularly effective in helping one get what they wanted.

In addition, they believed that words and songs had a great deal of power. In fact, the Vikings may have used musical instruments to help them magically communicate with their gods. It is said that they would chant and play their musical instruments in the hopes that their voices and music could help them communicate with their gods. 

There are numerous accounts of Viking magic and how the Vikings used it in their daily lives. Some of the spells were even used to help the Vikings win battles. The Vikings tried to use magic in order to accomplish various tasks, be it ensuring a good harvest or making sure that they won a particular battle.

Seidr Magic 

During the Viking Age, women were often excluded from many daily activities, such as taking over the family farm. However, seið may have been one of the only ways for women to gain some independence and control over their own lives. They were able to learn how to practice healing magic and prophesy so that they could help others or even aid themselves when necessary. Seið was a form of magic that was used by women. It was sometimes used by women to help their men in battle. Seidr magiccould also be used to help heal the sick, bring prosperity, and even used to summon the gods to aid in battle and protect the people.

In order for women to use seið magic for their own benefit, they needed to be able to perform feats of strength as well as memorize magical words and chants. Seidr magic could involve several different types of rituals where a woman would chant while standing on one foot or sometimes while they were lying in a trance-like state. However, the most common magic practiced was seiðr. In this form of magic, a Norse shaman would stand on one foot and chant spells. The more advanced forms of seidr used more specialized materials such as animal entrails and various types of herbs.

Runic Magic

Viking Priest in Stone Circle

Another major form of Viking magic was related to runes. The Vikings used runes as magical charms. These magical charms could be used to change one's luck, protect oneself against evil spirits, or even get rid of the evil spirits who were causing disease . In addition, many believed that the runes aided in "miracles." In other words, the Vikings shaman could put a certain rune on someone or something, and the person or object would be protected. So, for example, if a Viking ship was experiencing especially bad luck, runic magic could have been attempted to help protect it from the evil spirits causing its misfortune.

One of the most interesting uses of runic magic was in the creation of magical weapons. Runes were often inscribed on swords, bows, and spears to make them even more effective in battle. In addition, they believed the appropriate runes could bring good luck and could help protect a person or object. 


Viking magic also included magical songs. Galdr literally means to sign. In a magical sense, it referred to the power of words. The Vikings believed that language had great magical powers, and they used Galdr in order to communicate with the gods. These magical songs were also used as memorized chants that were used as a form of prayer to the gods. The Vikings believed that these magical prayers could be powerful, and it was important to say them correctly.

Viking Magic Relationship with the Gods

Viking magic was directly related to the gods and spirits. The pagan Vikings believed that the gods and spirits were very powerful, but they could be affected by human actions. As a result, the Vikings performed numerous rituals in order to gain favor with their gods. In some cases, these rituals could be considered to be magical because they aided in gaining the favor of the gods. The Vikings believed that their magic rituals could help them achieve what they wanted.

For example, the Vikings apparently believed that performing a seidr ritual with a certain animal sacrificed could help them get the gods to listen to them.

Another major ritual was the Blot. This ritual was done as a sort of sacrifice to the gods. The meat of animals generally was offered to Odin, while other animal parts were given to other spirits according to their preferences. The Blot "blood sacrifice" in Norse paganism was actually a sacrificial feast and was very important in Viking culture.

Magic and Healing

Viking magic was used in order to heal the sick. Most magical practices were used to gain favor with the gods. However, some practices were also used to cure illnesses and bring health. They believed that illness was caused by the influence of demons, evil spirits, or even by magic. The Vikings believed that they could use magic in order to counteract this influence on the body. So they would attempt to cure illness by performing rituals and invoking the gods. They used curing stones, charms, and potions to heal the ill. In addition to curing illness, the pagan vikings also performed rituals in order to bring health and fertility.

Black Magic in the Viking Age

Viking Sorcerer

Black magic is one of many types of magic in the Viking period. Black magic is any sort of witchcraft or sorcery that is performed with the intent to harm others or cause unhappiness. This type of magic had a strong presence in the Viking age, and it was feared by most people.

The Norse believed that black magic could be dangerous. It was seen as a way that they could take revenge on those who had wronged them in the past. It was seen as a type of "revenge magic" and was most often used to harm enemies or as a way of controlling other people's lives.  

One method that black magic was used for was the creation of evil potions. These potions were created by those who used black magic to cause illness or harm. For example, the Viking witches believed that if they could give an enemy a powerful potion or curse, the person would become ill or die. Another method that black magic was used for was the creation of charms. These charms were created to make a person fall in love with another person or to bring good luck. 

Today, black magic has a different meaning. It is often seen as an occult or magical practice that is done in order to draw power from the spirits, many of whom are evil.

Viking Magic in Stone Circle

Magic in today's world

Viking Magic can be seen as a way to seek spiritual or religious fulfillment by those who practice it today. But in today's world, most people do not perform magic to "help" others. Instead, they use magic in order to entertain themselves or to make money. As a result, we often see different forms of magic in today's society. This includes magic shows, which are performed by magicians who entertain the audience with tricks and illusions. In addition, magic is often used by performers or illusionists who want to amaze an audience by defying gravity, performing impossible tasks, and sometimes even making an audience member disappear.


Viking Magic was a major part of Viking life throughout their reign. However, as Christianity rose in popularity and paganism began to disappear, many people were Christianized, and the use of Viking magic declined. Today, Viking magic is only practiced by a select group of individuals who enjoy it for various reasons, such as its history or for its entertainment value.