The Berserkir Rage

The legendary Viking warriors known as berserkirs were renowned for their ferocity in battle, purportedly fighting in a trancelike state of blind rage (berserkergang), howling like wild animals, biting their shields, and often unable to distinguish between friend and foe in the heat of battle. But historians know very little about the berserkers apart from scattered Old Norse myths and epic sagas.

WIRED magazine

The berserkir rage is not derived from anger. It’s an altered state of mind, likely enhanced by consuming a mushroom called Amanita muscaria, or a flowering plant known as henbane. These are very toxic but have hallucinogenic properties.

This state allowed the warrior to bypass fear and ignore pain. It was a fierce, primal place that was ideal for striking terror in enemies (and occasionally allies).

Today we associate the term “going berserk” as a fit of uncontrolled anger. But these kinds of outbursts are not akin to the berserkir rage. What we see today is a fit that results from the personal inability to control one’s own emotions. It is weak, not strong.

A modern berserkir will likely never find themselves in the same hand-to-hand, brutal combat that the Viking berserkir found themselves. However the rage state is not only for combat. The intent you take with you when you enter an altered state will define how you use it.

Some mundane examples: exercise, physical projects such as house work or yard work, dancing, sex, creative endeavors

How you reach that state can take many forms (I don’t recommend consuming toxic plants without knowing what you are doing). There are a lot of safer plant and fungi based alternatives. And for those who don’t feel comfortable with psycho-actives, altered states can be induced with light and sound (for me strobes and heavy bass EDM beats work great together).

The berserkir rage still has value today. It’s not a recreational activity, but one of purpose, focus and power. It’s primal and can be productive, intense and satisfying.

What is a Berserkir?

“They went armor-less into battle and were as crazed as dogs or wolves and as strong as bears or bulls. They bit their shields and slew men, while they themselves were harmed by neither fire nor iron.”

– The Ynglinga Saga

A berserkir is much more than a warrior. They are a person who follows a lifestyle of physical and mental improvement in order to be prepared for whatever challenges they must face.

They strive to control and focus their emotional energy in order to survive and succeed. Despite the personal power they hone, they are not boastful. They do not argue needlessly over things that do not affect them. They only fight to defend themselves and the ones they love.

Berserkirs seek out spiritual insight through a shamanistic practice of altering their consciousness through entering a trace state, finding clarity and inspiration.

They are open minded, developing strong critical thinking skills. The rigid mind is easily manipulated so they are always learning new ideas.

They are creative. Creativity is food for growth. They write, they make art, they build, they express themselves in any number of ways.

They observe but do not judge. They respect boundaries and expect others to respect theirs.

They work to embody valor, sacrifice, compassion, honor, honesty, humility and spirituality.

A berserkir is a heathen shaman warrior who cultivates strength and passion in order to achieve their personal goals.

Power From Within