A native of Iceland was instrumental in helping to gain recognition by the Icelandic government for the pre-Christian Norse religion. The Ásatrúarfélagið (“Fellowship of Æsir faith”), which he founded in 1972, and for which he acted as goði (priest), was officially recognised as a religious body in 1973.
Sveinbjörn lived his entire life in West Iceland. From 1944 on, he was a sheep farmer while also pursuing literary interests on the side. He published a book of rímur in 1945, a textbook on the verse forms of rímur in 1953, two volumes of his own verse in 1957 and 1976, and edited several anthologies. In 1982 Sveinbjörn released an album, Eddukvæði (Songs from The Poetic Edda), in which he recites in rímur style 75 stanzas from Hávamál, Völuspá and Sigrdrífumál. The album, on the Gramm label, included a booklet of the poems in Icelandic, with translations into English, Swedish, and German