Male Witches – Viking Gender Benders

The seiðmaðr was a male witch, and when you think of witches as women, that’s how the Norse thought of them too. These men defied their culture’s gender norms, and for it they received ridicule, not unlike the phenomenon today of bronies – you know, guys who are really into My Little Pony. What was it like for these gender-defiant Norse spell-slingers? Were they essentially the bronies of the Viking world?
This episode is sponsored by Manscaped.

Don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and review. Support the show on Patreon at Research, writing, editing, and production by B. T. Newberg. Logo Design by Rachel Westhoff. Animation by Maxeem Konrardy. Additional credits, references, and more at


Bayerschmidt, C. F., and Hollander, L. M., Trans. Njal’s Saga. New York: New York University Press, 1955.

Byock, Jesse. The Saga of the Volsungs: The Norse Epic of Sigurd the Dragon Slayer. New York: Penguin, 1990.

DaSent, G. W., Trans. “The Saga of Gisli the Outlaw.” The Icelandic Saga Database. Retrieved Mar 19, 2021, from:

Greenberg, David. The Construction of Homosexuality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988.

Hardman, George L. “The Saga of Bosi and Herraud.” The Complete Fornaldarsögur Norðurlanda Legendary Sagas of the Northland in English Translation. Retrieved Mar 29, 2021, from:

Jesch, Judith. “Viking Women, Warriors, and Valkyries.” The British Museum. 2016, Mar 3. Archived from the original on The Wayback Machine. Retrieved Mar 1, 2021, from:

Harrison, D. & Svensson, K. (2007). Vikingaliv. Fälth & Hässler, Värnamo.

Hollander, Lee M. The Poetic Edda. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1962/2011.

“Laxdaela Saga, Chapter 34.” MCL Library. Retrieved July 4, 2021, from:

Pálsson, Hermann, and Edwards, Paul, Trans. Göngu-Hrolf’s Saga. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1980.

Pálsson, Hermann, and Edwards, Paul, Trans. Hrolf Gautreksson: A Viking Romance.  Edinburgh: Southside, 1972.

Price, Neil. The Viking Way: Magic and Mind in Late Iron Age Scandinavia. Oxford: Oxbow, 2019.

Sephton, J. “The Saga of Erik the Red.” Icelandic Saga Database. Retrieved Mar. 29, 2021, from:

Tolkien, Christopher, Trans. The Saga of King Heidrek the Wise. New York: Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1960.

Saxo Grammaticus. The History of the Danes, Books I-IX. Fisher, P., Trans. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1979.

Audio Credits

Podcast theme music mixed from “Gregorian Chant”, “Mystery Sax”, and “There It Is” by Kevin MacLeod.

“Equal Opportunity Vikings” Skit mixed from “RPG D&D Ambience – Bloody Slaughter” from The Ambience Channel.

Manscaped Ad mixed from “Party Mix Music, Bar” from NYC Top Muisc

Other audio from:

Vikings – Seer Scenes” from 6stringsmonk

1 hours + minutes of Dark Powerful Viking Music, Epic Journey on a Viking Ship” from Relax Me

Viking Mead Hall – Relaxing Fireplace with Crackling and Nordic Ambience” by Danheim

House of Pain – Jump Around (Official Music Video)” from Tommy Boy

All narration and voice acting by B. T. Newberg

Image Credits

Elphaba Wicked image by Clara Brandao

Walrus Mustache from Vectors Market

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s