Travel Journal

Voices of Iceland: Male Choirs

I have a riddle for you… What could possibly be more Icelandic than PUFFINS?

Blonde hair? … Nope.

Waterfalls? … Nope.

Skyr? … Nope.

Male choirs? BINGO!

Ok ok! Blonde hair, waterfalls and skyr are quintessentially Icelandic, but one of Iceland’s greatest hidden treasures is its choral music.

In the 1850s a progressive art collective thought it was important for the cultural expansion of the country to switch from singing old, chanted rhymes and “quintsong” (an oral folk practi

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Blending Cultures: Paganism in Iceland

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Valgerdur Bjarnadottir, an expert scholar on all things Icelandic. Ms. Bjarnadottir holds a Masters Degree in theology & dreamwork. She’s an expert in the fields of philosophy, religion & women’s spirituality. Needless to say, our conversation was fascinating. I learn so much from her!

For example:

  • Did you know that most women in Iceland have British ancestry whereas most men have Scandinavian ancestry?
  • Did you kno

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Odin The Crucified Shaman

I’d like to introduce you to my new friend Odin. He’s a wisdom keeper, a Norse God from the shamanic tradition of the Indo-Europeans. Lately I’ve been contemplating what it means to live wisely, so getting to know Odin has been a HUGE GIFT!

In most version of the myth Odin hangs himself on the World Tree to attain “runes of wisdom.” After an epic journey to the Underworld he is reborn as a wise healer. He spends the rest of his life devoted to helping others.

People love him becaus

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Icelandic Spirituality: 3 Ice Age Roots

It turns out that 4% of Europeans today carry genetic material from this haplogroup. (U and I). There is a chance you might belong to this lineage if you have European ancestry, especially if your ancestors are from Norway, Finland, Sweden, Turkey or Spain.

  • Who were these First People?
  • How did they live?
  • What did they believe?

Fortunately, we can trace their stories and memories by studying fringe European cultures that have remained largely untouch

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A Celtic Lent: 3 Ways To Spiritual Spring Cleaning

I avoid many popular spiritual movements, they seem to come and go like a breeze, devoid of substance and sometimes lacking authenticity. But Celtic Spiritualty is not one of these fads. Celtic shamanism is deeply rooted in my spiritual heritage. I am drawn to its emphasis on nature as an awake, vital, fecund expression of the Divine.

I remember standing under the cherry tree as a small girl in my Oma’s backyard on a crisp winter night. Living on the edge of an Austrian village you can see th

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Why “Finding” Your Purpose is a Myth

We are constantly trying to find our purpose. People are always saying to me: “Wow, you found your purpose and made your dream a reality! How do you do it!?”

That’s not true for me. I haven’t discovered the ultimate answer to this existential question. The truth is, I think “finding” your purpose is a myth. We can’t go looking for our purpose “out there.” When we externalize our happiness through the fabrication of an idea outside ourselves, we inevitably feel

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5 Reasons To See Vienna Pre-Christmas

Vienna, Austria’s capital, lying on the banks Danube River, is one of Europe’s most romantic, imperial cities and a place where the Christmas spectacle is second to none.

For the month of December, beginning with the onset of the most magical of times, advent events are held across the city, that allow a glimpse into the age old and often forgotten real meaning of Christmas.

From beautiful Christkindl markets set amidst the backdrop of Baroque architecture to concerts at some of the most e

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The Well of Grief

“Those who will not slip beneath
the still surface on the well of grief

turning downward through its black water
to the place we cannot breathe

will never know the source from which we drink,
the secret water, cold and clear,

nor find in the darkness glimmering
the small round coins
thrown by those who wished for something else.”
– by David Whyte

I lost someone 5 weeks ago. It has truly been the most painful experience of

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