Spirits: The Dís and Fylgja in Norse Myth

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Emma Groeneveld
by Jackson Crawford
published on 06 December 2018

Most of our sources for Norse myth tell of gods and great heroes, but constant references in the sagas also reveal a belief in spirits called dís (plural dísir) and fylgja (plural fylgjur) that we only vaguely understand today. This is a timely topic for the fall, because the dísablót (sacrifice to the dísir) was apparently held in mid-October.

Dr. Jackson Crawford is Instructor of Nordic Studies and Nordic Program Coordinator at the University of Colorado Boulder (formerly UC Berkeley and UCLA). He is a historical linguist and an experienced teacher of Old Norse, Modern Icelandic, and Norwegian. FAQs: https://youtu.be/tOgU4vgnmxE

Jackson Crawford’s translation of The Poetic Edda is available now: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1624663567 and his translation of The Saga of the Volsungs with The Saga of Ragnar Lothbrok is available as of September 2017: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1624666337

Jackson Crawford's Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/norsebysw

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Cite This Work

APA Style

Crawford, J. (2018, December 06). Spirits: The Dís and Fylgja in Norse Myth. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.worldhistory.org/video/1604/spirits-the-dis-and-fylgja-in-norse-myth/

Chicago Style

Crawford, Jackson. "Spirits: The Dís and Fylgja in Norse Myth." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified December 06, 2018. https://www.worldhistory.org/video/1604/spirits-the-dis-and-fylgja-in-norse-myth/.

MLA Style

Crawford, Jackson. "Spirits: The Dís and Fylgja in Norse Myth." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 06 Dec 2018. Web. 04 Feb 2023.