Siedr: The Gate is Open by Katie Gerrard was my introduction to the Nordic shamanistic tradition of siedr and remains one of my favorites. Though I am a witch and an animist, I find it necessary to journey forth with a healthy sense of skepticism and I do not appreciate opinions being passed off as historic fact. “Making up” your spiritual practice is legitimate; feel things out, do what works for you. No one needs historic tradition to justify their religion or spirituality to the world; devising your own system based on your own experiences is valid. I can’t stress enough how o.k. it is. However, be honest about it. Nothing is more annoying or disturbing than reading material rife with historical inaccuracies or straight up lies.
That being said, Gerrard has an extensive knowledge of the original texts on seidr and she is very clear when she’s referring to original texts and when she is referring to her own years of experience as a practitioner. Gerrard has done an excellent job of reconstructing rituals and practices and citing the texts that aided her reconstruction, allowing the reader to understand the method behind the madness and draw one’s own conclusions. In a relatively short read, Gerrard is able to comprehensively cover seidr both in antiquity and modernity and make it accessible for the reader.