What is a seiðmaðr?

First of all, I should explain what a vǫlva is. A vǫlva is/was a person who practiced a specific type of ritual magic in ancient Germanic societies. That magic was called seiðr (seithr/seidr depending on how you want to anglicize it), and it included divination involving the dead, the gods, and other spirits; and galdr, which is essentially magic poetry that could manifest a person’s will and was likely, but not certainly, written in a specific meter called galdralag. (I personally make use of that meter.)

Practitioners of seiðr were typically female. A seiðmaðr \ˈseɪð-mɑː-ðər\ is a male practitioner of such magic, and the practice of seiðr by men tended to be looked down on, as it had implications of “unmanliness” and gay acts, perhaps ritually. Óðinn/Odin is one such male practitioner.

I feel drawn to this identity because of my involvement with Heathenry and galdr (and obviously with being gay as well). It speaks to my desire for a gender identity that has connections to my ancestral roots and has a certain feeling of being divorced from binary gender. Again, though, in contexts where this identity is inconvenient to take on publicly, I do identify as male for the sake of ease.