søndag 9. desember 2018


Jungle Svonni and I have started a new sami blog. It was launched a few days ago, and we have 6 post up already! We will post every tuesday. Make sure you subsribe to our feed or even our newsletter.

On this blog we will share everything we can about the Sami people – the native people of the north of Europe. If you are interested in indigenous peoples, arctic and native lifestyles, global sustainability, nature, spirituality, mythology and shamanism this blog is for you! 

See you on Beneath Northern Lights.com ! 

onsdag 31. oktober 2018


Frode Fjellheim is a famous Sami musician and producer. He has done a lot of memorable and historical stuff in Sami music - too many to start listing things... I think he deserves his own blog post. 

But he has for years now been teaching joik at the University. His course is called "Med joik som utgangspunkt".  and its a 60 hour course. 

I have thought about this course for many years, but never attended. Not only because I didn't have time but also because I didn't think this course was for me. Frode joiks the southern-semi way, and I am Northern Sami  - so I didn't think that this was a course I could attend. But I have seen now many Northern Sami people have done this course. 

My mother mentioned to me that we have forebears who are Southern Sami - so it is ok for me to learn joiking Southern Sami way. That made it easier for me.

After I started experimenting with joik about 4 years ago, I have discovered that I naturally joik more the Southern Sami style then the Northern Sami style anyway, so maybe this course is perfect for me. 

Some people asked me : why do you go this course - you know how to joik. And I say - yes in one way I do, I know the feeling of joik now, and I understand a lot about it - but I really want to learn everything others know about it.  
But in another way - I don't really know anything about it - because the "joik-police" have come for me many times and said that what I do is not joiking. And in a traditional view it is not joiking. 
When we where asked to make our own joik the first day at the course the joik I made was actually the only one that couldn't be called a joik, because it was arranged more like a piece of music would be. It was not built as a traditional joik, - or something that everybody would categorize as a joik. 

This did not surprise me I as am always the one who does things differently then everyone else, even when I am not trying. But he did say - this was based on joik - but it is a very futuristic and a very non-sami way of building the joik because it was arranged. So it was taking the joik to another level - to a level where some people might not call it a joik anymore - but a song. 

So if anything - this course will teach me why what I do is not joiking - and what I can do to make things more traditional, - if I ever choose to... 

tirsdag 21. august 2018


QUESTION: How is it to walk in your shoes? 

At the moment its very confusing, because a lot of the things I do bring out reactions both from Norwegians, people abroad and the Sami people. It has been really emotional and unexpected for me to see how many different reactions my art can bring out in people. Sometimes its very confusing for me to choose a path, because there are so many directions to go, so many opinions to listen to and so many rules and relagualtions to follow. 

Right now I feel like I have to be on guard of what I say and do so I don't offend anybody, but at the same time I am 
working on coming back to my own heart and roots. I am looking for what feels right inside and not letting the outside world affect me too much and to trust my instinct and inner guideance. 

onsdag 8. august 2018


After catching greyling I went to gather some plants from the wilderness. I read in a book that most of the plants here are eatable, so I am experimenting a bit with the Arctic flavours.

I gathered juniper, crowberries, leaf of yarrow, leaf of lingon-, blue, and crowberry.
I then used some salt and peppermix, and butter in a pan, and the fish tasted really good! It did get a fresh taste of the Arctic wilderness! I am definately doing this again!

torsdag 2. august 2018


I sent these flowers to the sea with the intention that all seas of the earth should be kept clean, like they have been for thousands of years.

Thank you, Dhanya Atma, for showing me how to give flowers to the sea with intetions in mind.

You see how clean the water is in this picture... I wish for it to stay that way and never be polluted.

Did you know wishing for and focusing on, and sending good thoughts to something or someone can make a difference. Because when enough people are working for the same goal by sending energy towards it, it will happen!

mandag 30. juli 2018


Often I get questions about the sami people and sometimes it´s difficult to give an easy answer. It can be difficult to generalize Samis, and to give one straight answer, because there are a lot of opinions, judgements, and expectations about the sami people. Both from us Sami ourselves and from others.

But the most obvious reason is that the Sami culture is NOT ONE thing, it´s not ONE culture, ONE tradition, ONE language and way of joiking, dressing, being, and way of living. It´s actually many things. And it´s many ways of living.

There are 10 different Sami languages, some say less some say more. Every district has their own clothing, cultural traditions, joiking styles, and living conditions. Some a fishers, some farmers, some reindeerhearders. 

So if you ask me about Sami culture, it can be a very big questions, and most of the times I am not prepared to answer on behalf of all the Sami people, because we don´t always agree with each other, we have different opinions about things, different values and traditions.

But of course I can always answer the questions on behalf of myself as a Sami, and what feels right for me. Other Samis might have other opinions, and might disagree with me, so my truth does´t necessarily apply to all Sami people. 

Do you feel like you are representing a whole culture, and you feel you are talking on behalf of alot of people when you speak? How do you handle and relate to this?

mandag 23. juli 2018


Is it ok for Espen Wensaas to joik?

When I did a lifestream on Instagram where I answered some questions about joiking I actually realized a few things about the use of joiking amongst non-samis.

I am realizing that a lot of non-sami people are actually using the joik as it is meant to be used.

But first; It is possible for everybody to joik. Physically it is possible for everybody to learn it. There are no physical restrictions to it.

If you are not Sami, and you want to learn joiking, I invite you to first ask yourself: Why is it that you want to joik? What is it that is missing in you that makes you want to incorporate a foreign culture into your own? Maybe its the connection to nature and the authentic ancient expression straight from the core (that is often what people who are learning about sami culture are looking for). 

Or maybe it is just for fun, to learn a new skill, to have fun with it?

The reason why you want to learn yoking will tell you if and when it is ok for you to joik.

The main thing is to always do it in respect of Sami culture.

The joik has a lot of uses and occasions and reasons to why we would joik, - and one of them is for meditation and grounding.

After experiences and conversations about the joiking and sami music I realize that joiks and sami music are often used for meditation purposes. This is fantastic, and I am really happy that people all over the world benefit from sami music this way! <3 br="" nbsp="">
If you are alone on the mountain or at your house or wherever in private- and you feel like joiking for the purpose of coming closer to nature, to yourself, to ground yourself or to enter meditative state, to honor gods, feelings and people or anything similar - I would encourage you to do so.

You are not being disrespectful to the sami gods if you do this. in contrary - I think you are honoring them - as long as the joik is coming from a respectful place in you. A joik is always the right thing to do to honor someone, so I think it is a really good idea to joik in those occasions.

But another thing is to step on stage, perform a joik, and call this a sami traditional way of joiking. If you do this, then you must be sure that you know what you are talking about, that you are respecting the sami culture, that you have done your research and history-lessons. Because the moment you go public, you might be asked questions you are not prepared to answer.

But for yourself you can do whatever you want, and as long as you have respect and good intentions with it, I encourage you to learn joiking as it is a blessing to have in life.

Have fun experimenting! 

Are you non-sami who wants to learn to joik? Why do you want to learn it? Do you think it is ok for non-Sami people to joik? What do you use joik for?

onsdag 4. juli 2018


This morning I woke up thinking about the sacred union of marriage.  I have dated a few guys in the past who do not believe in marrige. And also met women who do not believe in marriage.

For me a marriage has always been a very romantic idea. Not only the wedding but to also to give the other person so much of your life, your trust, loyalty, love and are devoted to that person so much you can see yourself with this person the rest of your life. It is a very beautiful thing to me.

But today I thought of another aspect of marrige. The protection a sacred union will provide. When you are married there is alot of protection purely in the fact that you are married.
The sacred union of marrige and the energy that two people surround themselves with, and are grounded in - that they have created together works as protection from harm from the rest of the world. They will stand strong together. And every marriage is sacred. Usually you stand in front of God(s) and you make vowes. I didnt realise before how much protection this can give to a couple. There will be a sacred protection in this relationship given with the blessing of the God(s) between the two. And that it is really difficult for anything or anyone anyone to interfere with. The universe has blessed you, and is on your side, you could say - just to put things in a romantic way...

A relationship is often about the two individuals developing as humans with the support of each other. The sacred union of marrige will give them the space to do so more easily, because they don´t have to be thinking about the protection and wellbeing their relationship all the time - because that is already being taken care of. They can now focus on their individual development, and at the same time know that their realation is being taken care of.
I realise this is possible even without marrige, but I think marrige will enforce this even further.

So why do we have so many divorces then? 
Because it is possible to break this protection from the inside. Because of change. Because of not paying attention, and not taking care of the individual needs of each other. Because the marrige was done on false premisses in the first place. Because we change directions in life, and need something else. Because of free will. Because marrige in the modern times is about love and co-exsitence - not about practicalities. Because we are stribing to evolve as humans, and every human trancsends in their own time, to necasserily when their spouse does. Everything changes - thats what life is about. And there is a time and space for everything.

How do you feel about marrige? Do you think it´s just for show and fun, or is it something more to it? Do you want to get married?

fredag 29. juni 2018


I have been trying to figure out the mystery of the ego for a long time now. To let go of the ego - what does that mean anyway? And what is the ego?

It´s said that its a bad thing when you are acting out of your ego. Why do we have a ego thrn if its so bad? Isn´t the world supposed to be perfect as it is? Why has this mysterious good God given this handicap of an ego for us to struggle with and spend our lives trying to not use it?

I have asked a few people about it, and of course they gave me vague answers. I still got the impressions that they meant its a bad thing to have a ego and we should let it go. And of course there are alot of books about this to read, and I am sure some of them have come to the same conlusion as I have. Unfortuanelty I have not been able to read much the last years - but getting there...
I finally today got a theory in my mind about what the ego is.

I think the ego is actually our free will. 

Animals usually don´t have egos - they have instinkts. Humans (and maybe a few animals) are the only species as far as we know on this planet that have egos - and free will.
I therefore came to the conclusion that they are actually the same thing, just using different descripton of the same mechanism.

The ego/free will is the ability to choose which path you take in life. To choose between all the diffrent colours in life. To chose the bad, the good and everything in between. To choose to be happy, sad or everything in between. It´s the free WILL. I can wish and dream about anything and because of my free will I will actually be able to go through with it and make it happen.

I have the choice to surrender to the universe and a higher force - become religious or whatever I want to be - and live a life whorshipping something that is outside this physical existience.
Also I have the choice to be a ateist, and only focus on materialism, only on the physical and bodily pleasures.  Or I can choose both! I can even choose to live many lifes within one lifetime. For example a criminal half my life, and religious the rest. So many choices! They are endelss. The bottom line is that everyday I can choose what to have in my life.
The benefit of an ego / free will are obvious!

So... I don´t acutally belive that it is possible to loose the ego anymore, then the only thing you would do if you lost it is to actually make yourself smaller then you are - you would lack a huge part of being a human. You would not be a fully functioning human. The ego is there for a reason. You are supposed to use your free will for something!
If you choose to surrender to a higher purpose - then you are not loosing your ego - you are using it! You are using your free will to let something else decide over your human life at this point in time. That is a very brave thing to do.
I think no matter what we choose in life we are actually using our egos, because we are human - and we have egos no matter what.
Your ego wants control - but you can choose to give your ego a rest, and that´s probably what people mean by "let go of the ego".

Do you think this makes sense? Do you think that ego and free will can be the same?

onsdag 20. juni 2018


Photo Ann Helen Gjermundsen
Many people I meet ask me if I am related to the famous shaman Johan Kaaven. And yes, I am related to him. He is my great granduncle. The second thing they ask is if I have the same healing powers that he has, and to that there is not an easy answer.

There are relatives that have such skills as he does now still. The powers are still in the familiy. And I think I might be able to access such powers if I wanted to. People in the familiy who do have them choose not to go public about it, and work their healing powers in silence, with the faith that the people who need their help will encounter them. And they only use the powers when they are in situations it is needed, - and not like a profession.

Since I was a child I have been terrified of having such skills as the shaman has. I remember when I was a child I sincerely hoped I would never see the white reindeer, which in sami culture means you are "a chosen one". I was scared of all the responsability that comes with it, and I was scared that I wouldnt be able to enjoy my life as much when I knew things not everyone knows...

But the last 5 years this has changed. When I got ill after 35 years of perfect health and needed to go to surgery,  and I experienced that there are very few people who actually can help me when I truly need it... After this I have been thinking more and more about taking the ideas about other realms seriously.  I mean - I have always had the interest for it, and if it can do good - why not!
A few people have told me that I have a shaman spiritual guide and he is trying to talk to me, but I refuse to listen...  A few years ago I decided I would do my best to take this more serious and change my life in a direction where I actually could live a life where I am more in tune with such possibilities that connection with nature religion and spirituality can take place.

But I know I will never be shaman in a tradional way - like Johan Kaaven and other sami noaidi´s where.
I wouldnt nessacerily call myself a shaman or healer at all. But I think I can make my own magic through music and arts and try to connect with other worlds and powers in my own way.
This has been a very exciting journey for me so far, and of course the fay-realm has a big part of it.

This weekend I am playing a concert at the 100 years anniversary of Johan Kaaven´s death. They have a seminars, exhibitions and movies about him in Lakselv during the weekend. I am honored to pay him this respect and I think it was a great thing to arrange this anniversary. He deserves it! 💛

søndag 3. juni 2018


Why do I spend my energy trying to achieve something, when it will come naturally in the place I am going? 

Why do I spend my my money on therapies that help me cope with problems that don´t even exist in the place where I am going? 

Why do I spend my life making decisions based on what others have given me as an option when I know there are more the place I am going?

Why do I blame myself for being unable to enjoy myself in unsupporting surroundings, when I can just move on and live in bliss? 

Elin Kåven 2018

fredag 11. mai 2018


This week an issue of iPorsanger was published with a 6 page long interview with me.
This interview was done because of the Johan Kaaven 100 year anniversary event this summer in Lakselv. Johan Kaaven was my great granduncle and a famous shaman.

I was a bit nervous about this interview because it would be the first time I would speak about my realtionship with him, and how I feel about the shamanistic ways that he is famous for.
This interview became really personal and I talked about things I have never talked about before in interviews the same way. I have mentioned things, but not in a such personal way as this time.

The journalist Ann-Helen Gjernumdsen was the perfect woman to interview me because I felt like she understood me. She knew what I was talking about and was interested in the topic, and knew much about the topic. Then it was easier for me to talk freely, cause I knew there was a big chance she would actually understand me correctly - and not just write what she thought I meant. It was a great thing to experience this kind of juornalism, and hopefully I would be able to do more interviews like this in the future.
The pictures turned up great also! I love the background of the fjord in Porsanger and the cold weather.

You can read the interview here. It´s in Norwegian:


søndag 6. mai 2018


It´s strange how many people in Norway think about the Sami history as something that only
concerns the Sami people - and us only. 
They don´t think it´s important for them to learn anything about it. They don´t think its relevant to them,
 becuase they are not Sami…   
But why wouldn´t it? It  concerns everyone, espescially them!. 
This happened in Norway - so its a part of Norwegian history as well. 
Some people have called it “The dark part of Norwegian history” the part that hasn´t been talked about.  
And the same happened is Sweden, Finland and Russia.

Norwegian kids don´t learn about their own history in shcool, it´s actaully NOT a part of their syllabus 
- they learn about other indigneous peoples more then about the indigenous peoples in their own country.

When I talk to people from abroad they have always thought of Norway as a country that cares about 
peoples right, the environment, and are nice, open, and understanding people. 
That we are kind and have alot of understanding and compassion for all people and that we 
don´t discriminate and all is good and so on.
They are shocked to hear what has happened in Norway regarding the Sami people.

Everything sami has been forbidden! The clothes, the language, the culture, they burned the drums and 
clothing and banned joiking and the sami culture! They wanted us to become Norwegian 
-  good Norwegians.
This is called colonisation and we are not yet decolonised unfortunately.  
We just celebrated the 100 years annivarsary since the first poltical Sami meeting. 
Colonisation started long before that, it´s hard to say excatly when - but its hundreds of years ago 
- and we are still misunderstood and discriminated in many ways. Colonisation is still happening.

The first step for us to get closer to a co-exsistence is knowledge. The schools and the whole society 
has the responsability to learn about the history of Norway. What acutally happened and 
why things are like they are now. And we have the right to learn about our own culture and live it!

Many kids growing up don´t even know they are Sami, and as they become adults and do 
some genealogy to find their ancestors, they find out they are Sami, but don´t know anything 
about how to be a Sami person.

I hope for the future that all nordic children get to learn about the Sami people in shcool, 
so that they will have a understanding about our common history, so that we can at least find 
a common ground to stand on and understand each other, so we all have the opportunity 
to live how we want to live.  

Are you surprised to hear that Norwegian kids don´t learn much about Sami people?

lørdag 28. april 2018


Not far from my hometown there is a small river,  a stream that comes from the mountain and runs down to form a big pound.
This river and pound don´t freeze in wintertime. Many people find this strange, because everything freezes here during the winter. Tempearatures can get down to -50 celsius and it´s cold. So why doesnt it freeze?
The legend says that uldá/gufihtar (undergound people) live under this river, and thats why it never freezes. During the spring, when all the snow melts, sometimes the water is not so good in the tap and we have to go and get water from nearby springs. This river is one of them, so the water is supposed to be extra clean and good. Magic water if you ask me!

Can you find any other good reason then that the underground people are the reason this? 😉
Hihi, not me! 😀

lørdag 21. april 2018


There is no doubt there is a huge difference on the situation with the sami people now and how it was let´s say in the 70ties or 40ies.  This is a really common question I get asked all the time:


Sami culture is not prohibited anymore like it used to be. 
For a long time nothing Sami was tolerated. To simplyfy what happened: the government wanted us to become good Norwegian citizens, we where not allowed to be Sami. We had to change our names, burn the gákti (sami clothing) and drums, and stop joiking and talking sami. Chlidren in shcools would get punished if they where to talk sami or use sami clothes.

Colonisation happened, and it´s still going on, it has for at least 100 years - BUT....

Now we have opportunities - we had no voice before. 
Because there has been shown interest in reconciliation between the Norwegian government (I know best of the situation in Norway, but there are sami people in Sweden, Finland and Russia as well) and Sami´s the latest years this is an excellent chance for us to show the world who we are. On our terms. We don´t have to let anyone from outside the Sami culture define who we are, but we can choose for ourselves to show what our values are, our lifestyle and world view, our culture and what we have to offer to the world.
We are allowed to learn how to be good Sami people. We have the opportunity to define ourselves - let the world know who we are from our own perspective.

What would you say has changed for the Sami people? Do you have any thoughs about it?