It has been brought to my attention that Dr. Mathias Nordvig, who previously endorsed my first book The Way of Fire & Ice, has since given an interview given to the Occulture Wars podcast where he made multiple statements which were transphobic, anti-LGBT, and downplayed or justified white nationalist propaganda. My statement is intended to clarify the nature of my relationship with Nordvig, address his words, and offer some genuinely inclusive alternatives to his book, Asatru for Beginners.
When I reached out to Mathias Nordvig for his endorsement in late 2018, he was teaching in the Scandinavian Studies department of Colorado State University Boulder and had developed a positive reputation in inclusive spaces for his educational materials on the subject. Nordvig later launched his Nordic Mythology Podcast in October 2019 and published Asatru for Beginners, a text which was well-researched, passed muster with many inclusive practitioners, and until yesterday was listed in the books section of onblackwings.com and recommended to students in our Intro to Nordic Paganism class.
He also, briefly, participated in the Way of Fire & Ice Facebook group, though he did not last long. At one point, prior to him leaving our group, we spoke at length on Zoom regarding the topic of cultural appropriation and he expressed a desire to discuss the subject in the Fire & Ice group. Nordvig used my willingness for discussion as justification for dismissing the legitimate concerns and criticisms raised by other members, including those who identified as BIPOC and LGBT. The Moderators Working Group’s initial statemen on the altercation, which I wrote and posted, initially addressed the situation as if it were a needlessly heated discussion of a contentious topic.
The justifiably outraged response from members belittled by Nordvig and other BIPOC and LGBT members led to the Moderators’ Working Group reversing our decision, instead barring Nordvig from rejoining our spaces on the grounds of his combative, uncooperative, and insulting behaviors. The exchange was over by the end of May 2021. The last time we exchanged messages was on the day he left the Fire & Ice group and we have not communicated in any fashion since.
This background is why, when I was first informed on Thursday, September 14th, 2023 of his transphobic, more openly bigoted statements on the December 2021 Occulture Wars podcast episode No Frith with Fools, I received this news with dismay, though probably not as much shock as I would have liked. Details on what he said can be found in the following informational write-up. His words and actions are completely at odds with everything that I’ve argued, worked for, and organized since before I began writing The Way of Fire & Ice and are absolutely unacceptable in all of our organized movement’s spaces.
As soon as I learned of this, I reached out to my publisher, Llewellyn Worldwide. At my request, they removed Mathias Nordvig’s endorsement from the online listings for The Way of Fire & Ice and from all future printings of the book itself. There are also two references to him in Spinning Wyrd: A Journey Through the Nordic Mysteries that will be removed from future printings of Spinning Wyrd.
As important as it is to call these unacceptable actions out, it is also necessary to provide clear, inclusive alternatives. Some excellent inclusive alternatives include but are not limited to the works of Morgan Daimler, Cat Heath, Patricia Lafayllve, and Winifred Rose. Links to their works can be found in the Books & Resources section of onblackwings.com.