Once again, the sun rises high in the heavens as the sky-wolf chases her across the atmosphere in the eternal quest to fill his belly with photon fodder. In other words, the summer heat is here and the weavers have dictated that I should retreat back into the cool, dark recesses of my abyss in order to compose an exaltation for a new inductee to the digital hall of Heroes of Norse Proliferation. And on this occasion we hail one Eirik Storesund.
Eirik is the brains behind the Brute Norse website and podcast. A Norwegian settler on Vinlandian shores, he’s been creating original content since 2017 under this moniker (the history of his project goes back a bit longer to an earlier blog with a different title) and his efforts have resulted in a fantastic resource for anyone with an interest in Norsey things. And by Norsey things, I basically mean weird and obscure viking shit, which he is well equipped to discuss thanks to having formally studied the material at the University of Bergen (and he currently continues to research it, as well). Brute Norse is equal parts entertainment and education and is very much a wonderful deep dive into some of the more esoteric aspects of the subject matter.
You won’t find a humdrum rehashing of the usual viking myth-busting tidbits (“hey, did you know vikings didn’t wear horned helmets?!?”) among the Brute Norse podcast episodes and website articles. Instead, you’ll find informative articles covering topics like ancient Scandinavian phallic stones and old-time Norwegian assassins and podcast episodes that get into the nitty-gritty of seidr seances and the nuances of beer culture in medieval Scandinavia, all with a slew of different, relevant researchers as on-air guests.
All of which is a part of Eirik’s ongoing quest to bring Scandifuturism to the masses. Scandifuturism, of course, being his philosophical framework that essentially seeks to better understand the present through the lens of the Norse past, or by “walking backwards into the future” as he likes to say. One of the most enjoyable aspects of Eirik’s efforts are the connections that he provides between these vast distances of time (on the human scale, of course) to make the concepts more understandable and relatable to us lowly 21st century urchins. A great recent example of this occurred during his discussion with Eldar Heide in which they described the hostile, roaming spirit of a seidr-entranced shaman as something akin to “viking drone warfare.”
There’s also a fun, lighter side to Brute Norse as well, which still pokes and prods the unifying Norse theme. Among these entries you’ll find, for example, an overview of modern-day medieval manuscript-inspired hair-dos and—a personal favorite that spoke directly to my soul—a special review of Olde English 800 Malt Liquor (“Best paired with poetry in a dead Germanic tongue and bitter musings on the Norman invasion”). A sense of humor pervades throughout, however; just listen to Eirik’s presentation of the etymology of the word “pen” during his discussion regarding a lack of critical research among certain New Age pundits and you’ll see what I mean—a certain point is well made, and done so in a very amusing manner. And of course, there’s also this little gem that he made for all you Conan fans out there:
Unlike the other Heroes of Norse Proliferation that have been featured on this remote and inhospitable North Atlantic island of a website, I’ve also actually established a bit of a rapport with Eirik, thanks in part to the trolldom of Twitter. In fact, if it weren’t for the utterly dark magic of social media, our cyber paths might not have crossed, or at least not when they did. I’d like to think we’d have been fated to collide anyway, but we don’t determine how these things happen for ourselves ahead of time. At any rate, we’ve had some fun side conversations; he’s always up for discussing old Scandinavian strangeness and I’d encourage any of you out there who are curious to get in touch with him—he regularly responds to comments on his articles, too. You can reach him at the following online locations:
And a few more still, all of which can be found here. And for my part, well, I now take the spirit of Brute Norse with me in the form of an ancient Swedish pig-warrior on my various escapades, whether they be of the old-fashioned physical, ambulatory type or of the ethereal 21st century cyber-seidr type.