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Interview with Grímnir

The following interview is an excerpt from the book, by Hunter M. Yoder, Heiden Hexology, Essays and Interviews, 2012

Interview from 2009

I have the pleasure today of interviewing Grímnir of the Wolves of Vinland. I am very impressed with the youth, energy, and productiveness of the "Wolves" in general and Grimnir specifically. We met recently at a Sunnawendi celebration in the Pococnos. Grimnir at the time of this interview, fronted his band, "In Death I Become."

Hex Stave, Hunter M. Yoder

First Question Grimnir:

1. Give us some background about the Wolves of Vinland and how that all happened.

Grimnir: The Wolves of Vinland formed officially when several of our current members relocated to Virginia from Wyoming-several of us had been interested in heathenry, specifically of a radical tribal nature for some time. After the move to Falwell Country, we decided to form a tribally structured heathen community that put more emphasis on Right Action and Right Thought than it did on kindred politics, lore debates and armchair philosophy. Our integrity has been kept up by a long and thorough prospecting period for interested parties, as well as a rigorous work schedule and strict adherence to our tribe's personal Oath. In the past we had been very insular, but recently we have been honored to enjoy partnership with such tribes as the Irminfolk and der Heidevolkstamm.

2. How do you see your musical interests and "the Wolves" mesh? What things are coming up in the future for the band?

Grimnir: The band and the tribe are definitely separate entities, as half the musical project are not members. However, the general spirit of what we do in the Wolves has been working its way intp the music more and more....our new album, "Black Wings, Grey Skies," set to release in about 2 months time, deals heavily with themes of hamramr, masking ritual, entheogens, and Germanic mysticism. We are also proud to be appearing as a musical guest at the Confederation of Folkish Heathens', Winternights Gathering in October of this year.

3. I know that you have the Nordic blood as well as the Deutsch, how essential is that in practicing an Icelandic version of Heathenry?

Grimnir: I don't know that we, or I, practice a specifically "Icelandic" brand of Heathenry. Some of our members don't have a drop of Scandinavian blood, others are purely German and so forth. Our tribe's name is no accident. We feel that we practice a Vinlandic form of our ancestor's folkway. It has become important to us to study the lore and stay very rooted in the heathen past of our forebears, while at the same time bringing that forward into our current time and place effectively. We also strive to keep our Folk's body of lore a living thing by contributing to it with traditionally styled poetry, prose and so on. The time is definitely now to bridge the gap between our heathen past and heathen present- if we are to keep the tradition alive for the next generation, it is imperative that we make it a thriving and constantly growing thing.

4. We spoke when we met in June about the Appalachian Mountains and how we are joined by them as well as thru our blood. How intense is that relationship? Any experiences from the Mountains you care to share?

Grimnir: The combination is truly a potent one. I hike the Blue Ridge Mts. constantly and have made a lot of friends under the waterfalls there. I often practice galdr and seiðr at falls, as the roaring of the water can either meld with your singing in a powerful fashion, or in the case of seiðr, drown out everything else and act as a catalyst to heightened states. I have learned at great many things from the vætts of the Blue Ridge.

5.It is widely known of your interest in Galdr, but how do you view Seidr?

Grimnir: The two are equally important to me. I have always felt that in order to be fully rounded it was necessary to experience and exercise both. There are many things that galdr cannot achieve that seiðr can and vice versa. Because they are two completely different animals, it is often Needed to completely shift one's perceptions and persona in order to successfully perform an operation with one or the other, and for me this where heiti and hamr come into play.

6. What differences if any do you see between "witchcraft" and "shamanism"? Is it purely semantics?

Grimnir: In my understanding of the two, I would say that shamanism is generally used more for healing and transcendental/ecstatic states, whereas in the past, "witchcraft" has often had more of a selfish, "profane" sort of slant to it. I also think that shamanism needs a community to function properly. That is, the main purpose of shamanism is for the benefit of a community in most cases, though not always.

7.Since you have the Deutsch blood, do you have any thoughts you care to share about Hexerei?

Grimnir: I have a great deal of respect for the tradition and for those that keep it alive, especially in the form of the hexefoos, etc. I have been interested in hex-signs and so on for a long time, and their relation with galdrastafir/ aegishjalmr; a shared interest that you and I discussed when we met. I am also pleased that there remain folks who approach it in a serious minded fashion, instead of adhering to it's kristjan attributes, or claiming that it never had anything to do with "magic".

8.What are your thoughts regarding trees and the runes?

Grimnir: They are both living growing things that deepen the understanding and wonderment we can have of the natural world, as well as finding our place in it. From seed to mighty oak, so our understanding of Runa- with each new growth, a new opportunity to go ever higher.

9.There is alot of talk these days regarding entheogens. How are these plants and our Northern witchcraft conjoined, if at all?

Grimnir: Entheogens and spirituality/magic have been linked definitively together nearly everywhere on the planet by anthropologists. Personally I view them as valuable tools to allow us to catch a glimpse outside-once we get a glance there is no going back. It is hoped that one does not become dependent on these tools for spiritual growth or enlightenment, but rather develops his own ability to achieve these states with no helper. That being said, I think there are certain plants that have the ability to change lives in a single use, granting the user the opportunity to shed off his weary way like and old skin- and I count myself as a walking testament of this idea.

10. How are wolves magical animals and which one are you?

Grimnir: The wolf has always been a symbol of Wildness, Freedom, Ferocity and Power. The pack is a perfect microcosm of natural social order and strength through Action, as well as creature of necessity and practicality. In the ongoing struggle for our Folk, and the continued rotting of our modern society, we are in the woods- howling songs of new Growth.

I'd also like to take a moment to publicly thank a few folks who have been a real inspiration to me in the past few years in one way or another:

Galdr Rölfsson, Gandvaldr Bláskikkja, Chris Loscar, Daniel Nye, Valúlfr Vaerulsson, Hunter Yoder, Thomas Thompson. Each of your Words has led me to another Word, and each Deed to another Deed....

Hunter: Machts Gut, Grimnir! Und Danke.

Grimnir and Jarnefr, the Waggener Brothers, Paul and Matthias, 2009

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