Landvættir [CR79]

The Landvættir are land spirits in a very broad and even primordial sense of the description and the word itself has a very animist quality because of how broadly it means land spirits; hills, mountains, streams, rivers, trees, gardens etc are all included in Landvættir. As far as where they enter the Pagan and Heathen context, they are very much from the Heathen half of things and much if not all the information dealing with them comes from Scandinavian sources. Like the other times a particular word has been the focus on an article, Landvættir is a word that linguistically specifies something, in this case land spirits – namely, those land spirits in Scandinavia. Even the interpretation of ‘land’ is subject to the cultural perspective of the original users of the word and such in this instance the ‘land’ aspect means more broadly the land in which things are, rather than the earth or dirt beneath our feet. Hence for the Scandinavians of the past, and contextually Heathens today, land denotes not just the soil but also the sky and all those things within the boundaries of that area or territory, including man-made objects and buildings and even the people. Although this is not a unique determination of ‘land’ it does differ from the usual meaning of the use of land spirits.


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