Icelandic Elves: Fact or Fiction?
A majority of Icelanders believe in 'Hidden Folk.' Do you?
Elves in Iceland ... do they actually exist? If you live in Iceland, chances are that you have a certain reverence for elves, fairies, trolls and “hidden folk." While not everyone in Iceland believes in elves, a majority of residents believe in the possibility that they could exist.
To investigate Iceland's connection with elves and hidden folk, I head to Reykjavik's Elf School, which offers half-day courses on elf folklore and the supernatural. Classes are offered weekly and by appointment for approximately $50 per adult and $25 for children 10 and under.
Magnus Skarphedinsson, the Elf School's headmaster, has spoken with more than 1,200 "witnesses" and believes, without a shadow of a doubt, that elves exist. Witnesses from Iceland and other countries around the world have told Skarphedinsson about their personal encounters with fairies, hidden folk, trolls, elves or other beings. Skarphedinsson has collected their stories and bound them into a workbook, which accounts for a large part of the Elf School's curriculum.
Those interested in connecting the Elf School's stories with places in and around Reykjavik can arrange a tour with the headmaster. He will take students to elf landmarks and homes while teaching about their significance in Icelandic culture.
About a 15-minute drive from Reykjavik, in Hafnarfjörður, is the Elf Garden. This popular elf attraction is helmed by Ragnhildur Jónsdóttir, a seer and artist who has a special relationship with the Elf Garden's residents since she was a child.
Jónsdóttir says she speaks to the local elf population mostly through telepathy and meditation. She describes what her supernatural pals look like, what they wear, how their homes are decorated and how they pass the time—while serving Elf Tea (an herbal blend of loose-leaf tea) to guests.
Visitors can also book a walking tour of the Elf Garden in order to see the homes of several different elf species. As for going inside of their homes, humans must “leave the physical body behind" and allow the mind and spirit to do the traveling, according to Jónsdóttir.
So what do you believe? Do elves in Iceland exist? Share your opinion in the comments below or via social media with the hashtag #JJiceland.
Learn more about the Elf School and make a reservation here.
Visit the Elf Garden and book an Elf Walk here.
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