The Pragmatic Witch Of Vesturgata
At the suggestion of an Icelandic correspondent, I made my way from my apartment to the end of Garðestræti to the Witch Shop on Vesturgata. Ordinarily I am not one to indulge in sorcery or the occult, but this tiny store, with its voodoo dolls and charms in the window, won me over. As I stepped in the dim room lit with candles and string-lights the mood was set. Gnarled birch branches were woven into a canopy, and bags of herbs (potions?) and jewelry and amulets were all round. I asked the proprietor about rune stones and she showed me a bag full, explaining their meaning. -"...and these are for sale then?"
I was still quite clueless about how the magick was supposed to work.
-"Well of course, that's why I opened this shop, to make a living, you see."
When we were interrupted by some other customers, she left me to ponder the rune's mysteries, which, in this quiet hideaway, was somehow calming. After they left, we resumed our talk, she spoke of the Vikings, how they would pick up pagan beliefs wherever they went and bring them back if they worked. She showed me an ancient rune that was similar to an African mask.
I bought some trinkets, but passed on the spells and herbs (I had enough trouble bringing Harðfiskur through customs!) This witch's charms certainly worked on me.