Útiseta (sitting outside) was the core Icelandic spiritual practice of the Viking period. By law, spiritual celebrations had to be under the sky and in front of the Gods. We will follow this tradition and engage in a daily attunement to the land as a living and vibrant being and to the elemental beings inhabiting stone, water and air.
Glacier Hike on the Snæfellsjökull*
Our conference site in Hellnar is located directly beneath the great glacier-covered snow volcano of Snaefell, long considered a sacred place in Icelandic tradition. We will have the opportunity to visit the glacier safely with a local guide knowledgeable in the flora, fauna and ecology of the region.
Whale Watching Boat Excursion*
The Snaefellsnes Peninsula juts into the Greenland Sea and is celebrated for its natural beauty and for the rare opportunity it offers to experience the North Atlantic Ocean in all its moods. There will be an optional whale-watching trip from the village of Olafsvik on which we hope to see orcas, sperm whales, and multiple other whale and dolphin species.
Riding or walking along the sandy beaches, lava fields and mountain paths of the Peninsula can be an exquisite experience. Those who wish will be able to enjoy Icelandic horses known for their unique gait.
Elves and Huldufolk
With Ragnahildur Jónsdóttir
In Iceland, the worlds of elves and humans have always been connected, and there are many stories of encounters through the ages. Ragnahildur, an Icelandic painter who has been sensitive to these encounters throughout her life, will describe her experiences with elves and lead us outside where we can attune to the subtle presences in nature.
There will also be plentiful opportunities for beautiful strolls and hikes along the coastline, although as this is Iceland, all outdoor afternoon activities are weather dependent.
*Limited space is available for these optional activities; they must be selected separately during conference registration.