I’m usually pretty good at understanding a concept or theory verbally. If the author has a clear idea of what they are trying to say, I can more often than not understand what they mean. When this doesn’t happen, however, I like to have things arranged visually.
The other day I was trying to visualize the interrelationships between gender, the practice of seiðr, taboo, and ergi/argr. Obviously this is an odd thing to try to understand in an afternoon as various scholars have been working on it for years, but I came up with a rudimentary diagram that I would like your input on.
-Was there such a thing as a non-normative gender identity in the Viking Age that was not associated with seiðr? Some have argued that “gay” as an identity is a modern invention, but same sex sex and relationships were by no means absent in this time period. The challenge is defining those relationships in the context of the times, particularly with regard to women. Men who engaged in passive homosexual activity were undoubtedly seen as ergi, but there appears to be little information regarding this same behavior among women.
-Were women who practiced seiðr classified as org by default, or was the gender expectation simply that of crossing into the realm of taboo, not necessarily sexually?
I welcome any thoughts on this, but particularly from those who have studied this material in more depth than I have.
And, to explain the title: here.