|This may or may not be an actual berserker
symbol, but it has a white wolf, so I’m going
Nobody knows specifically how men (often farmers) who went Viking, transformed themselves into berserkers. Notwithstanding a lack of general information, the accounts of Vikings going berserk was well documented and their impact on a shield wall (the preferential offensive and defensive formation of the age) was noteworthy.
It’s easy to turn a woman into a berserker…suggest that she needs to lose a few pounds or that a rival woman has a better dress and accessorized more effectively. Don’t try this at home, please. Just take my word for it. Men, on the other hand, react differently.
There is a rumor (never proved) that some of the Vikings ate mushrooms, amanita muscaria in specific, to aid their fierce berserker behavior. These aren’t the psilocybin hallucinogenic mushrooms that are consumed most often by American druggies that mimic an acid trip.
It is poisonous, so don’t try this at home (either), but it contains multiple layers of poison. After you dehydrate them, most of the harmful poisons vanish with the moisture, leaving a psychoactive chemical/poison that creates the berserker effect.
Based on wikipedia, parboiling the mushrooms works better than mere dehydration to preserve the desired agent. Again, I am not an expert on this. I simply report the information for your ‘consumption’.
A very enlightening and informative entry, LL.
Thanks for the post.
Paul L. Quandt
My sons and their 1st Generation Norwegian mother could/will go berserker without chemical aids. With chemical aids? Middle son once took on six Denver cops at once and nearly won while drunk.
My grandchildren worry me, being Norwegian/Finnish/Celtic. Should I be creating a legal fund rather than college fund for them?
Going berserk on mushrooms? LL, I always knew you were a fun guy . . .
There is no need for pharmacological beserkerhood. My feeling is it is the culture that created them.
A culture that says to die fighting is the best way to die.
A culture that says your place in Valhalla is set by the number of dead you pile up, especially at your end. Your death guard, so to speak.
A culture where you are constrained except on the battlefield. (Norse/Swede/Dane culture was/is big on the restrained furious man amongst others of his clan/group/city/etc.)
So, combine 'Death in Fighting', 'Death Guard of dead enemies' and 'Only allowed to cut loose on enemies' and you have pretty much the perfect recipe for beserker.
I've seen it. And I've done it.
You get worked up. All amped up. And your mind says, 'Fruck it!' and it's game on. Until you stop, either because the mad is finally burnt out (literally, you just run out of energy and collapse) or you are out of enemies (and you stand around whacking on bodies or inanimate objects until you run out of energy) or you die (because you run out of blood or brain matter.)
The Viking Beserk isn't the only example of the reverence for crazed warriors. Other cultures have beserker cultural memes.
The Japanese fear and revere the frenzied warrior who acts as if he's been taken over by a demon.
Indian (dot) culture has lots of examples of crazed, bug-eyed, slathering, warriors just going apeshit crazy.
So do the Mongols, and the Chinese, the Russians, the Amer-Inds, Incan, Mayan… Some of the Spanish Conquistadors could be described as beserkers.
I think it's just the ferocity of the 'Viking' Beserk that has given them such a mystique. Like the Samurai or the Mongol Warrior. Oooooooo (waving finger motions..) Oooga-booga! It's a Norsker Beserk half naked dude foaming at the lips, standing next to a wild-eyed Samurai, with a crazed, kumus-fueled Mongolian Horse Warrior… We're doomed!!! OOOOOOOOooooooo….
I mean, there's some justification for the fear of the individual Norse/Swede/Dane in battle. At Stamford Bridge in 1066, one Norse held off over 40 English, standing and holding a narrow bridge, only being taken out by being stabbed from under the bridge. That's the scary part. 1 dude whacking 40 or more…
Or like how the well-fed (on proteins, heavy on proteins thanks to global warming at that time increasing fish and land-animal numbers from said global warming) 'Vikings' kicked the everliving carp out of all the lower-European agrarians (more vegetables, more grains, not as much protein.)
Kinda like how the animal-protein rich Mongols were able to overpower and crush the grain-rich/protein-poor Chinese.
Beserkers. Sure, may be caused by 'drugs' but most likely caused by cultural pressures.
I am sure you shooter-type people have seen a soldier just go 'crazy' and perform well above what he was normally capable of. Same thing.
Umm… I think I'll pass. A bit too old for that stuff… 🙂 And yes, culture IS a driver, look at Marines and SPECOPS… 😀
That might not be a bad idea. If you pass without them needing it, they'll drink it gone during your wake, while you're on the way to Valhalla…with 72 Valkyries standing by.
Anything to make the party linger longer.
My nickname is "scary Larry". So, I've had a few berserk moments (without the aid of mushrooms or any other chemicals that I'm aware of). There are always rumors that saltpeter is added to military food to create a more flaccid mood among young men/stallions. The mushrooms could counter that.
I think that a 6'8" Viking in the prime of life among 5'1" Englishmen would be fierce enough. If he was munching on a dry mushroom snack…well who knows?
The runes supposedly spell out " no mercy only violence " I have one on my truck for a few years now. Amazon has them.
The runes don't lie. I'll check the stickers out. It sends a message.
That is a cool sticker!
I do sort of want to know who taught the wolves how to curl their tongues like that, though. And how. Probably some lady.
Speaking of ladies, and Berserks, my 5'1" Mom used to be able to fairly credibly arm wrestle me when I was twice her weight and could do one hand pull ups. She was 60, I was 18. I think it was the Hate… maybe the Spite.
In a similar vein whenever I kick off, if pretty much all the non-evil religions and 23/32 of the evil ones are right and I wind up in Hell, I'm going to be pretty damned bummed out if it turns out (as I sort of suspect) that she's in charge of the place now. I though it might be a decent gig… I could probably wangle a middle-management slot, and all my friends are going to be there – but she's had 20 years already.
Shit. I need to try and put off dying, now. I had enough of that deal the first time.
Heaven didn't want her and Hell's afraid she'll take over?
I seem to remember hearing about cold berserkers, where the body goes into an overdrive state while the mind continues to function in a cold, unemotional state. That would be a scarier foe.
Very brave berserkers will suggest their women lose a pound or two, the really brave ones eat lots of mushrooms and say the same thing. Some call it "fungoid hell," whatever, it gets psychicke. The Shield Maidens tend to win, in my experience.
That aside, our culturally marxist friends have evidently forgotten their opposition. It's coming, berserk, 2020.
Aiding the process though the use of a mushroom toxin may have happened, which is not unlike the use of hashish in the Middle East, where the term "assassin" is based on the root word for hashish.
Our Marxist would-be leadership have forgotten a great deal. Maybe convenient memory lapses? It's too bad that Lord Cornwallis isn't here to remind them.
It is written that Vikings where efficient warriors. But I doubt they match Trumps efficiency. When he take out one the persians manage to follow up and take out a plane, kill a couple of hundre persians and wound many more. And I guess we have not seen the end of yet they will probably continue to take out their own People i high numbers.
The Ayatollah figures that if it's not him who is removed from the gene pool, it's cool.
Women are natural berserkers, no mushrooms needed.
The wolf emblem depicted on shields and standards is most appropriate as wolves are also berserkers. Mine often goes berserk when confronted with a piece of carpet known as a rug.
Úlfhéðnar – Wolf Warriors
Kipling wrote: "The Female of the Species is more Deadly than the Male". He was British — he knew.
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