At the time of conversion to Christianity in Iceland, the terms kristni and hedhni made a simple distinction between Christendom and Heathenry, the latter meaning “people of the heath,” referring to those who practiced their pagan religion outside on the heathland rather than inside a church building. Heathen only later became a derogatory term, and Heathens today are reclaiming the term to positively describe themselves and their communities. Today’s Heathens are engaged in an ongoing process of creative self and community discovery and re-enchantment, reconstructing ancient Northern European pagan practices, such as the shamanistic practice of seidr, and making them relevant to a (post)modern world.

Historical dictionary of shamanism. . 2007.

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