Category Archives: Huldúfolk

The Secret of Álfaborg

You can go visit the elves in Borgarfjörður Estri, if you like.

Off to Álfaborg with you!

You can read all the magical traditions about this rock here: The Alfaborg Story.

Still, it would do your mind well to forget all that and go walking among the stone heads in the rain.

You will find magic enough as the fog rolls in.

As the contours of the land turn to air and water, you will  begin to feel like rain yourself.

Every stone takes on great significance as the sky vanishes.

And that’s the point. The fjords south of here have been abandoned. The weather is just too terrible. You are alone with rock. There is no sky, only earth that has become it, and maybe a homestead you can scratch together out of mud.

The stones, though, are a kind of sight. You see them because out of this dissolving world, they stand out. Birds use them to see. They are, in face, eyes, or islands of sight in the rain.

They are shelter. Whether they are rising from the earth or sinking into it, is not the point, because both are true at once.


On Álfaborg, one sees in at the same time one sees out. It is you who becomes the person of the stone, as you gain its vision, and see with more-than-human eyes.

Don’t even try to come home.

The Christian Magic that Invented Iceland

An Old Story Telling its Knot on the Road West of Sælingsdal

Over eleven hundred years, men can cut down all the trees, keep their horses for memory, erode the soil with sheep, battle frost heaves, put in a jeep track, buy a German tractor and some good American haying equipment, and strew nitrogen fertilizer around to stay alive, but the Cross that a woman ordered hammered into a stone to hold back the elves who lived inside it remains, and you will likely think of it as a children’s story. Still, your tractor can’t do a thing with it, nor your sheep, nor your beautiful horses.

Fashion Tips for Your Everyday Native of the Icelandic North

In a land of many stones at the top of the world, where it can, shh don’t tell anyone from the Icelandic Tourism Office, get cold…


… rocks contract from the flatness to stay warm.

Going flat is a sure way to lose all your heat, and it’s a long way to the merino wool shops at the mall in Reykjavik, and how are you going to walk there when you’re a rock? Nope, rounding up it is. Plants, being more evolved, follow suit, because they’re smart.

Now you know too.  Shh. Don’t tell anyone from the clothing shops of Reykjavik or they might open a branch up north. Here’s an ad for one geared for humans, that endearing lot. They started up north, then moved south where the humans are. A flag for everyone, to make everyone feel at home.

Here’s a version from half-ways to the north. This ewe has donated half her fleece to a stone, by the looks of it.

But what would a stone make of this?

This?

And what would a stone make of this?

This?

No, when you’re a rock, it’s better to clump up with your friends.

No, not like this:

Brrr!

The Right Gifts to Leave in a Dwarf’s Church

So, you’ve made it through the fog …

… and across the bridge …

… and the other bridge …

…carefully! …

… to the Troll Church in Seyðisfjörður…

… with its skylight and its steeple …

… but what do you leave for the dwarves? You want to be a good guest, right? Well, a needle and some wool, maybe?

A flower? Heather is a good choice.

And the blue of the sky and the sea and the white of the waves.

And shiny things. 1 kronur coins with their flashing codfish are perfect. Dwarves love shiny things.

Might as well admire the view, eh.

And the human church next door. Not so well-built, of course. Not so experienced with stone work. Poor things.  Great with plastic, though!

And then back. What else? Easy does it.

And to town.

And, yes, the dwarves have come along. The Icelanders will call it “nature,” because they’re polite and they know that the rest of us like that stuff. They know better. They even call it a “town”…


… when it is really, two. Such good manners! Such sneakiness!