This article accompanies the fable
Seiðr was magic associated with women in pre-Christian Scandinavia.
In the Norse myths the dwarves and elves understood it, as did the hero Sigurd after he killed the dragon Fafnir and bathed in its blood, and so too did the goddess Freyja. It involved trances and prophecy and the potential for transformation. For men to be associated with this was considered shameful because it transgressed the boundaries between male and female, human and animal, and therefore it was dangerous. In Western culture it pops up all the time, of course, like"the force" in Star Wars, but does it have any scientific basis?
We now know the Earth has an aura, the plasma magnetosphere better known as the Van Allen Belts. These are vast electromagnetic fields which appears in the photo below (left) as an ultraviolet glow. If Earth's magnetic field traps electrified gas (plasma), which shields our planet from the solar wind, does the human body have a similar force field? It does. Our bodies and other life forms radiate constantly - bananas are radioactive from their potassium, and so on - and we live in an ether of alpha particles, beta particles, gamma rays, muons, neutrinos...
The image above left is from 2001 - NASA's Imager for Magnetopause to Aurora Global Exploration spacecraft. To the right is an image from a 2005 NASA spacecraft showing the Aurora Australis - a geomagnetic storm in the ionosphere.
Perhaps it's also a matter of light and sound? Consider the halo effects below - do humans have something similar, albeit invisible to us? Occultists and fringe religions seem to think so, but so do some Quantum physicists interested in holography.
The above image is from Falköping, Sweden. The lower one is from the far north of Sweden, near the Arctic Circle. They show "sun-dogs," a natural effect with luminous haloes on either side of the sun.
In biology there is a similar debate. For example, how is DNA activated and how does cellular communication occur? Is it by light and sound, bio- photons and phonons - and do molecules next to each other send and receive signals in a kind of dance? This field, sometimes called Wave Genetics or Quantum Biology or Morphogenetics, is more controversial than the debate in physics, and theorists like Rupert Sheldrake are regarded with horror by their more traditional colleagues, much like the old seiðr-workers were.
Above is one of Sweden's most famous paintings,
Vädersolstavlan ("The Sun-Dog Painting"), originally from around 1535 (this later copy, about 100 years later, is all that survives). It shows sun-dogs over Stockholm and surely caused all sorts of religious consternation at the time.