With fond memories of Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson
4th April 1924 – 24 December 1993
Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson, the son of the farmer Beinteinn Einarsson from Litlabotni-on-Hvaljardsbeach and Helga Pétursdóttir from Drághals in Svindal, was born on Apr 4th 1924. He died on the December 24th 1993 from heart failure.
In 1972 he founded the Ásatrúarfélag , the Icelandic heathen organization, of which he was the chief góði until his death.
From 1991 until his death Sveinbjörn lived on his land in Drághals in Bergmassiv Skardheiði (approx. 60 miles from Reykjavik), where the 6½ foot statue of Thor can be found.
It’s now more than 20 years since I met Sveinbjörn at his farm in Iceland. At the time this was 1985 or 1986 In June. I will never forget it. particularly because when I walked through the door at Iceland Air in Grosvenor Street, all the computers went down immediately and I could not buy the ticket which would have enabled me to attend the Althing. So I ended up staying in Iceland for some weeks after that.
My host was Eyolfur Haldarsson a close friend of Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson who was the first one to suggest for me to go to Iceland. I think Hilmar was either living in my basement or was staying there with the musician David Tibet who was renting my basement. Oh boy, that basement has seen some famous figures!
Eyolfur took me to see Sveinbjörn, I was just entering Asatrú and was very overawed by him. He was a Big Man in many respects, he was an opener of the Way to the Aesir/Vanir and all other wights. In my opinion he has had as great an effect as Aleister Crowley or Dion Fortune to name two other hero’s of mine. It’s only now twenty years later I have the maturity to fully appreciate his influence on us all, where and whenever we started exploring Asatru.
He gave me gifts – a recording in his own voice of Havamal Sigsrifulam and Voluspo, as well as a magical grimoire handwritten in Icelandic (which of course I never managed to read). The music however is a different matter. Well, I received a nice message from Sveinbjörn’s son, which I reproduce here:
I am glad that I found your page and I’ll probably be visiting it often in the future.
I am very interested in Asatrú and I guess the interest is attributable to my late father, Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson, who as you probably know, was the high priest of Ásatrúrafélagið in Iceland until his untimely death in 1993.
All the best,
Georg Pétur Sveinbjörnsson