Honest Myth:Celtic- Sulis

I really needed a picture, but could not find any paintings of Sulis. I picked this cause it gave a good 'Celtic' style vibe, but I have no idea who the author or subject is. If anyone knows please tell me.

I really needed a picture, but could not find any paintings of Sulis. I picked this cause it gave a good ‘Celtic’ style vibe. The art piece is called Innocence by Takato Yamamoto, a truly amazing artist.

I have been trying to keep the posts diverse, and not do too much of the same cultures (like I seemed to have been doing in the latest months). So here is a little information on an interesting goddess.

Sulis is the Celtic Goddess of hot springs and baths, especially of hot springs found at Bath, Somerset (England). Because of her connection to hot springs, Sulis is also connected to to healing waters and thus, medicine. She oversees the sacred wells and springs. These give healing and other blessings to those who pray at them. Not only can she cure people when worshiped, she can also curse others as punishment. This gave her the ability to witness oaths, catch thieves, and find objects that were lost.

She is often depicted as a young woman with bright orange hair and light pale green tinted dress, that represents the color of bath waters.

Through her name, many scholars associate her with the sun.

Sulis has also been known as the Goddess of Decisions and merged with Minerva/Athena when Romans and Celtics converged. Some symbols of Sulis include sun rays, eyes, and antlers.

Hope you enjoyed!

-Blog Barista

This site gave some incite (punny!) on Minerva in Celtic mythology: http://www.druidry.org/library/gods-goddesses/minerva

Here is a picture of the hot springs in Bath

Here is a picture of the hot springs in Bath

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Honest Myth:Italian- The Daughter of the Sun

sunHere is the third myth, its Italian folklore.

A king and queen waited ages trying to have a child, and finally once able they went to an astrologer to learn its faith. They were told that the baby would be born a woman, and that she was destined to bear the child of the sun before her twentieth birth day. Learning this, they locked her in a tower (best idea obviously) that was extremely high with only a window at the top, so that not even the sun could reach her at the bottom. They locked her in their with a nurse maid (who would raise her) and the nurse maid’s daughter (who was the same age as the princess). One day when the two girls were almost twenty, wondering what the outside is like, the nurse’s daughter suggested they stack chairs to reach the window. When the sun saw the Princess, he fell deeply in love and sent beams down to her and impregnated her. Afraid, the nurse took the new baby (after it was born) and left it in a bean patch. The king and queen released their daughter at her 20th birthday and never found out.

The neighboring king went hunting one day and found the baby in the bean patch. He took in the girl and raised her along with his own baby boy. The children fell in love once they grew older, and the king (against their marriage) sent the girl to live alone in a cabin. As soon as she was gone, he betrothed his son to a girl of royalty. Sugared almonds and a message of the wedding were sent to all people in the kingdom. When the messenger knocked on the cabin, she answered the door with out a head (as she was brushing her hair and had left it on the dresser).Replacing her head, she invited the messenger into her home and began preparing a gift for the newly weds. She commanded the oven to open (and it did) and commanded the wood to go into the oven (which it did). When the food was done, she went into the oven to fetch it, and came out with a pie. No one believed the messenger, but the bride was jealous. She said she was also able to do those things. So the groom told her to demonstrate. None of the commands were successful and half way into the oven, she burned to death. The prince took another bride, and again a messenger was sent to tell the news to all. When they got to the girl’s cottage, she came through the wall and greeted them (since the door could not open). She commanded the skillet to heat up on the top of the stove and then stuck her fingers into the oil, turning them into fried fish. Wrapping them up (with her new fingers), she gave them as a gift to the newly weds. Again the bride was jealous and again she died in the attempt. The prince took a third bride and the messenger was sent to the cabin. When they came by, the girl was taking a stroll in the spiderwebs. She commanded a knife to go to her, and used it to cut off her ear. Pulling it, she pulled out a long roll of golden lace from her head. Again no one believed the messenger, and again the the jealous bride died attempting the same magic. The prince was so in love with the girl, that he began to become very sick, and no one could cure him. A sorceress told them the only cure was to feed him pap made from barley that was made, sown, grown, and reaped all within an hour. the frantic king went to the magical girl for help, and she made the pap as requested. She gave it to the son, who spit it up and hit her face with the pap. In anger, she said, ” You dare spit in the face of the Sun’s daughter and granddaughter of a king.” Astonished, the king allowed her to marry his son, and after that day she lost all her magic.

Hope you enjoyed,

-Blog Barista

Calvino, Halo. Italian Folk Tales. New York: Harcourt Brace Jouanovich, 1980, pp. 269-272. Print.

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Honest Myth:Norse- Jack Frost

collagefrost2It is after Christmas and New Years is steadily coming our way. This part of the season is always so strange, it feels almost like I am on a roller coaster and the cart is suspended in the air right before the drop. I know that after the New Years the days will pass very fast and school will begin again. I really don’t look forward to the new semester, but oh well. This was supposed to be the last post of the Holiday Marathon, but I figured i may add more.

Jack Frost is a form of Old Man Winter and a personification of snow, ice, and frosty weather, and the creator of the odd fern like patterns found on cold windows. He is said to be the one who ‘nips’ nose, toes, and other extremities in freezing weather. Usually he is depicted as holding a paint brush and paint so as to change the colors of the leaves in the autumn. Mostly he is an older kind man, but very rarely he is a young mischievous boy.

In Russia, he is equivalent to Grandfather Frost, a blacksmith who forges chains that is used to hold the Earth to water. In Germany, he is connected to Old Mother Frost, an old woman who shakes out feathered blankets to create snow.

Jack Frost is supposedly a modern twist to the name Jokul Frosti a sprite or elf connected to the Frost Giants. His father is Kari, God of the Winds.

-Blog Barista

haahahahaha

haahahahaha

Honest Myth:French- Pere Fouettard

Pere Noel and Pere Fouettard

Pere Noel and Pere Fouettard

Alright guys! It is day five of this holiday themed myth marathon and it is two days till Christmas!! I don’t know about you all, but I am so excited. This is the first year that I had a legit job (outside of the school), and so I actually bought gifts for my loved ones with my own hard earned cash. I am just most excited for them to see them open the gifts. Anyways, this particular story I learned in French class during high school, but I never looked it up till now. Finding a good photo was hard, but here you go.

Pere Fouettard is a companion of Saint Nicholas, who goes around with St. Nick on St. Nicholas Day (December 6). Fouettard gives lump of coals and whips naughty children while Pere Noel gives gifts. His name, Pere Fouettard, means something along the line of Father Whipper.

Fouettard’s appearance is described to be an older man with a sinister face. He wears a dark robe, has an unkempt black beard, and carries a whip/stick/switch. His face is also usually darkened with soot.

Legend states that Fouettard was a butcher originally. During a famine, three boys went searching for food and ended up lost. They found the home of the butcher and asked him for the night’s shelter. The butcher agreed and then chopped up the children into many pieces. He planned to sell their meat and make more money. St. Nicholas then arrived, and he brought the boys back to life. The butcher repents, and begs Nick to allow him to make up for his crimes. So, he became Saint Nicholas’s companion, serving out of loyalty and gratitude.

Learn more here: http://www.chuck.hubpages.com/hub/Father-Christmas-and-His-Assistant-Pere-Fouettard-

-Blog Barista

Vixen: a female fox or a very foxy female ;)

Vixen: a female fox or a very foxy female 😉

 

Honest Myth:South Eastern Europe- Kallikantzaroi

kallikanztaroi_worldtreeToday is TheBetterCup’s and my birthday. We are now turning twenty years of age, and with the sudden realization that we have lived on this planet for twenty years, I did a little research and found a fun little myth that corresponds with this. So I hope you enjoy this particular folklore as much as we did.

This particular myth is found in many places such as Serbia, Bulgaria, and Greece (that is how I heard of it, it is huge in Greece). The Kallikantzaroi are Winter Goblins or Christmas Goblins. They are malevolent goblins that dwell underground, but come up during the twelve days of Christmas (from the December 25 to January 5). The name has an unknown meaning, but originates from Greece.

The Kallikantzaroi live underground and saw away at the world tree so that it may fall and bring the world down with it. They are not allowed/able to go back to the surface of the Earth except when the sun is stuck in a certain place in the sky. The twelve days of Christmas are also known as the unbaptized days (maybe it is believed that Jesus was not baptized between those days), and because of that demons are able to escape during that time. They cut at the tree all year and right when they are about to saw through, Christmas comes. The goblins go to the surface to bring trouble to the humans. On the sixth of January, the sun begins to move again and the Goblins must go down back to the underground. At this point the tree has fully healed and they goblins need to start over.

0004_11-300x241Some say that they are humanoids with animal parts, hairy bodies, horse legs, and boar tusks. Some times, they are described as large, sometimes small. They have red burning eyes and giant secondary sex characteristics. They mostly look like little, black devils that are very blind, speak with a lisp, and love to eat other creatures. They are described as dancing when they move.

They mostly escape at night, because during the day humans are more readily able to defend themselves. To scare away these goblins there a few tricks that can be tried:

  • Leave colander on the door step. The goblin will sit on the steps counting the holes of the colnader repeating ‘1, 2…’ They can never finish and say three because three is a mystical number associated with God and by saying it they would die. The goblin will continue to count until sunrise.
  • Burn wood in the fireplace or burn a yule log or stinky shoes. All of these keep the goblins from entering through the fire place (may keep Santa out too).

Any child born on a Saturday are believed to be able to speak and see to the Kallikantzaroi. Any child born during this time (any where from like 21 to like January 6) are in danger of becoming a Kallikantzaroi once they reach adult hood (like twenty years of age). For some, children born near Christmas are thought to change as punishment for their mother’s sin in bearing children at a sacred time of Mary Mother of God.

The Turkish have a similar myth. It is believed that they appear in the first ten days of winter and stand at murky corners. They ask ordinary questions, but to avoid being killed one should always answer all the questions with the word ‘black’.

In the Macedonia (an area in Northern Greece), those who live with a ‘light’ guardian angel undergo this transformation.

I hope you like this. Hopefully TheBetterCup and I can avoid becoming terrible winter goblins!

To learn more go here: www.spiegel.de/international/europe/beware-the-kallikantzaroi-greek-goblins-run-riot-over-christmas-a-597656.html

-Blog Barista (Happy Holidays!)

He needs help...

He needs help…

Honest Myth:English- Franklin’s Tale

Hawei's_DorigenSo it is finally Saturday, and I get time to write a myth for everyone. Today’s myth was specially requested by TheBetterCup who liked this story. She is kind of a sucker for sweet love stories, but whether she admits to that is another story completely.

I feel like I should write a blog post about an anime or book soon, but I have no time to watch or read anything. I work a full time job as a chemistry tutor, I have to study for all my classes, and I started trying to train for long distance running. It feels like I don’t have time much for leisurely getting to watch new anime or even finish older ones. I was in the middle of Naruto Shippuden when I stopped watching. Oh well, maybe I will try and watch one tonight and create a post tomorrow.

Anyways, Franklin’s Tale revolves around two lovers who respect each other. Fun fact, a franklin is a medieval landowner.

So there are these two lovers, a man named Arveragus and a woman named Dorigen, who treat each other as equals even though it is considered socially wrong to have women equal to men. Arveragus goes to Britain to gain honor, leaving Dorigen alone at a coast in France.

While he is away, she is courted by many suitors, even though she does not want to be. A certain suitor named Aurelius is especially persistent, and to get rid of him she makes the promise that she would marry him if he disposed of all the rocks on the coast of the Brittany Province. He goes and finds a magician who studies arcane arts to use magic and dispose of all the rocks.

After completing the task, he confronts Dorigen and asks her to marry him. Her husband returns, and Dorigen tells him the situation. She promises to kill herself, like other legendary heroines, to protect her honor. He tells her calmly that she has to keep the promise to protect her honor. When Aurelius realizes that he was breaking them apart, he releases Dorigen from her promise. The magician, who witnesses the nobility of Aurelius, cancels the debt that Aurelius owes him.

The end.

To read more go here: http://www.machias.edu/faculty/necastro/chaucer/translation/ct/13frant.html

-Blog Barista

I should be studying right now....

I should be studying right now….

Honest Myth:Scandinavian- Awilda

Awilda (1837)

Awilda (1837)

Once again, I forcing time for me to do something for fun instead of work. I just got off of tutoring this one girl for an hour, and it was one simple net ionic equation. I am so tired. I should be studying for organic chemistry right now, but I so desperately can no longer focus. Anyways lets learn some fun facts on Awilda!

Awilda is a Scandinavian princess, daughter of a Gothic King named Synardus. Her father wanted her to marry, so he and the Denmark King decided to wed their children togther. When she found out that she was supposed to marry Alf the Prince of Denmark, she refused. She gathered her female friends, dressed up as sailors, and took over a ship. They sailed in the seas for months before encountering a pirate ship with no captain. And she became their captain.

In another story, her parents kept her in a tower guarded by venomous snakes. Alf was the one suitor who did not die and was able to reach her.

After some time, the King of Denmark sent his son to the navy to stop the pirates that were disrupting the ports. She and her crew destroyed all legal trade, and stole from merchants who docked in Denmark. Prince Alf and his men boarded the ship and surprised the pirates.

She was impressed with Alf’s ability to lead and his courage, so she revealed to him that she was Awilda his past fiance. They agreed to marry and together ruled Denmark. Together they had one daughter named Gurith.

 

Learn more about Awilda’s story here: http://www.katyberry.com/Dorianne/pirates.html

 

-Blog Barista

Bam!

Bam!

Honest Myth:Breton- Ankou

 

I have no idea who the artist is. If anyone knows please tell me so that I can give them credit and thanks.

I have no idea who the artist is. If anyone knows please tell me so that I can give them credit and thanks.

The 12th day of our mini marathon, and our second to last deity of death. I happily introduce Ankou a Celtic/Breton spirit. Ankou is considered a henchman to death. He collects lost souls and protects the graveyards and the souls of the dead. The last person to die (or sometimes the first person to die) in a year, becomes the Ankou for the next year. So basically the Ankou is a special yearly position for a spirit to watch over the graveyards. He can only go to the afterlife after he collects souls for a year.

He is described as being a skeleton or shadow with a hat meant to conceal his face and with a cart meant for collecting the dead. His face is only witnessed by those who have died, and his head is said to rotate 360 degrees because he sees all. Sometimes, he is said to ride in a buggy (not own a cart) pulled by black horses and with two ghostly footmen. He usually uses his buggy to make house calls to those about to die. He acts very much like a psychopomp, bringing the dead to the afterlife. He is followed by a cold wind that causes people to shiver.

The Ankou warned people of impending plagues/diseases by leaving a red mark of death on the doors of families who were infected. This often led to others in the village killing the families, avoiding them entirely, or forcing the families to stay locked in their homes (often starving to death).

For some, the Ankou was an evil spirit who always had room for one more in his cart. He could easily and mercilessly take a person’s life. In Ireland, the Ankou was a fairy, not a ghost, and he was said to never leave empty handed.

There are many stories that involve the Ankou:

In one myth, an Ankou attempted to rip the souls of incorruptible men before their time. An angel became so angry that he gashed out the eyes of the Ankou. Afterwards, all Ankou would have empty eye sockets with a dying light showing through.

In another story, Ankou was said to be Cain son of Adam and Eve. He was cursed to collect souls of the dead as punishment for being the first human to kill.

In one legend, the Ankou was thought to be a barbarous landowner who challenged Death to a gambling game.

A fourth story explains that one day three friends were walking home drunk one night, and they stumble upon an old buggy/cart. Being drunk (and apparently rude and stupid), two of the young men began throwing rocks and shouting provocations. After breaking the cart, the two ran away. The third, feeling guilty over his friends idiocy, searched for a branch to replace the axle and gave his shoelace to tie it all together. The next day, the two friends were found dead, and the third only had a full head of white hair.

In a fifth story, there was a Prince that was petty, jealous, and vindictive. He loved to hunt, and on the Sabbath Day, he hunted a magical white deer. The deer led them to a dark and shadowy figure riding a white horse. The stupid prince challenged the cloaked man. The contest was to catch the magical stag, and the winner would decide the faith of the loser. The stranger won, and he did so very quickly too. The Prince became angry and ordered his men to attack the stranger. The ghostly man only laughed and told the prince that he would have to hunt for the souls of the dead. The figure was Death, and the Prince became the Ankou.

To learn more read here: http://www.frenchentree.com/france-brittany-culture-traditions/DisplayArticle.asp?ID=11292

-Blog Barista

..... why.....

….. why…..

Honest Myth:European- Grim Reaper

The pictures are from cemeteries, but I am not sure where exactly. They are just really cool and creepy.

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It is day 11 of our Mini Marathon. To be honest, there are a vast amount of deities associated with death, and though we have yet to discuss most of them, I decided to finish this marathon on the thirteenth deity. Many of the ones I did not write about I still plan on discussing at a later time, but for now, we will end the marathon on Friday.

So today’s deity will be the oh so fabulous Grim Reaper!!

The Grim Reaper is more a legend or folklore that personifies death. It does not really connect with any specific culture or religion, but he continues to exist in our modern society. It does not mean that people really believe that this cloaked figure collects people’s souls, but he is the usual depiction of death in media.

1338cf9df648dd48040762165d216201The Grim Reaper is shown as a skeletal figure cloaked in black and carrying a scythe. It is usually believed to be a male, but in retrospect there really exists no way of knowing since it is a skeleton (I know that you could compare his hip bones to figure it out, but I doubt an artist that creates an image of him puts that sort of effort). It is said that his movements are extremely graceful as he seems to glide silently, and he never speaks. Cool Fact: Marvel Universe depicts the Grim Reaper as a female. This makes sense since death is female in the Latin root. So places like Mexico have a female personification. Not that it matters much, because she is just a skeleton in a cloak still, but her cloak is white.

Like most, the Grim Reaper is a psychopomp from folk lore. He comes to earth to collect the souls of those who are meant to die. When it is a person’s time to pass, he appears silently before the person as a harbinger of imminent death, and then disappears just as quickly and silently.

The Grim Reaper began to appear in art and stories around the time of mass deaths (like the plague). He does not have an connection to one religion, he just depicts the on coming of death. His scythe represent the idea that he collects or reaps souls like a human would grain/grass. Agrarian society used scythes in the fall to collect their crops. The harvest represented the time where the land created food but was about to pass into winter and die.

Skulls and skeletons make sense as a symbol of the Grim Reaper. Bones being what remains after a human (or any creature) dies and decays. The black coat though is meant to represent death and mourning. It is meant to seem frightening and ominous, like he can hide in the shadows. He has been seen to hold an hour glass, which represented the limited time of life.

I am not sure if the kiss of death is related with the Grim Reaper, but it kind of interesting to think about that saying.

Many of us have probably heard or seen the Grim Reaper depicted in media of some kind. Maybe in a poem like that of Emily Dickinson The Chariot, or in a cartoon like the Adventures of Billy and Mandy.

Wanna know more? Check this out: http://www.mythicalcreaturesguide.com/page/Grim+Reaper

-Blog Barista

 

it is strange, I found one where he actually looked cool.

it is strange, I found one where he actually looked cool.

Honest Myth:Celtic- Brigid

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So I was pinteresting this morning, and I came across this picture of a statue (seen Left). I thought it was so beautiful, and could not help myself as I tried to find out who the subject matter was. Turns out, she is the Celtic Goddess Brigid. Other than the Celts, Brigid was a patron goddess (and later saint) to Britain. Unlike the Celts, the Brits saw her as a warrior maiden and protector of the country.

Brigid, whose name means ‘exalted one’ or ‘bright one’, is a Celtic Trinity Goddess. Sometimes she is said to be three sister goddesses with the same name, but usually she is one single goddess that has a triple aspect. She is the Goddess of three important skills for the Celtic people: Poetry, Smithing, and Healing. As the ‘bright one’, she is connected to fire, sun, and hearth. This is also her connection to Smithing. As the ‘exalted one’, she is connected to high places, like hills and such, and high state of mind, in essence wisdom.Since she is associated with wisdom, she is linked as the Goddess of Poetry and in some cases a Goddess of Art. Wisdom also makes her the Goddess of Healing and that, in turn, makes her the patroness of childbirth. Interestingly enough, she is said to be the daughter of Boann the Goddess of Fertility.

brigidAs a warrior maiden, which is a not a very predominant concept of this Goddess, she is seen as a virgin (much like Athena). But, in most Celtic Mythology, Brigid was a mother to a son with a mortal king (and husband). When her son died in a battle against the Fomorians (a chaotic race similar to the Greek Titans who were considered wild and uncivilized), she was said to be the first to keen, an Irish lamentation that combines weeping and singing. She is also said to be the inventor of whistling. so as to single to people at night as one is traveling.

Brigid is a very important Goddess in Celtic Mythology whose role/position in their ‘pantheon’ evolved becoming very complex. Learn more about her here: http://www.druidry.org/library/gods-goddesses/brigit

-Blog Barista

Anxiety of school starting soon will drive me crazy!

Anxiety of school starting soon will drive me crazy!

 

Daily Myth:European- Witch

Kiki's Delivery Service

Kiki’s Delivery Service

So I finally fixed the time and date problem I was having. Now all of the posts are marked the right time/dates. AS ALWAYS, IF ANYONE KNOWS WHO THE ARTISTS ARE PLEASE TELL ME. Anyways, today’s legend/folklore is going to be, drum roll please……. the Witch!!

1witchNow finding information on the witch is actually really hard. There are witches in almost all cultures, and each of them have their own specific characteristics. On top of that, the historical facts are filled with stories of people being accused of witchcraft, and witches being evil (mostly during the time after Christianity became huge because it was considered paganism), and there is a religion called Wicca that are, themselves, modern witches. In this post, I am not talking about the modern witches. I am not talking about the people who use herbs and stuff and are accused of being magic. I am talking about the folklore from older times or magical women who can fly and what not. My point is that I will try to get information and explain it all as best I can.

Usually when you think of a witch, you imagine an older woman, large nose, warts, ugly, black pointy hat, and with a broom stick. No one knows the exact origin of these characteristics come from, there are many theories though, but not all witches look like that.

1witchgame

Grim Grim Moire

Witches range from good to evil, ugly to beautiful, young to old, and human to mystical other being within mythologies. They are depicted in a wide range. What is always similar, though, is that it is a female humanoid (usually human) with magical abilities.

Their magic origin is unknown. In some legends they are magical because they have a wisdom that allows them to obtain and use nature and its spiritual energy. In other stories, they are innately gifted with magic. They had very many magical abilities. They can cast spells to carry out a magical actions. They can also utilize amulets, create potions out of herbs, and perform incantations and rituals.

Many witches are said to fly on broomsticks and have animal familiars associated with them.

Evil witches have the powers to curse people, make cattle sick, make food poison, and create failure in crop growth. They can also use dolls as voodoo dolls so as to harm others. They are dangerous, dishonest, and tricky women.

Good witches on the other hand are known do do a number of other things. They use magic to cure diseases and ailments that can either be of the mundane sort or ones created by fairies and spirits. They create charms for luck, and can undo evil witchcraft.

Mostly, witches have a really negative connotation, but not every witch within stories is evil. Many can be good and helpful.

Legends say that witches cannot cry more than three tears, and that their broom sticks are called besoms.

Its hard to find information on witches in folklore, but if you want you can learn some more about the Wicca religion, check that out here: http://wicca.com/celtic/wicca/wicca.htm

Feeling hungry?

Feeling hungry?

 

Daily Myth:British- Fairy

AS ALWAYS: IF ANYONE KNOWS WHO THE CREATORS OF THE ART MAY BE, PLEASE TELL ME SO THAT THEY CAN BE MENTIONED.

fairySo today’s myth will be the fairy, and fairies actually exist in many European cultures. But I am going to focus on the English/British Isles variation that is the source of our modern concept of fairies: small, magical, humanoid creatures. Our concept of fairies as we know them today was molded during the romantic era, before that they were described as many malicious and mischievous creatures.

Fairies have been known to kidnap humans, particularly babies. In that case, they usually leave in the crib a changeling (fairy baby) to be raised by the human family. They were taken for many reasons: most commonly it was to marry the child to a noble fairy. Fairies also tend to send travelers in the wrong direction, enjoying the person’s confusion. Though a fairy cannot lie, they are very skilled at twisting their words so as to create confusion. Fairies also tend to bite.

There are many trips and tricks to stopping fairies. To keep a baby from being stolen, it was suggested that the parents leave bread in its clothing. To protect oneself from a fairy, cold iron can be used since it is poison to them (they will avoid it completely). Charms can also be made with herbs that repel the fairies. Never say thank you to a fairy, it is considered insulting since it means that the person will forget the fairy’s good deed. The fairy needs pledge or promise (something tangible with that) to guarantee that it will not be forgotten. Lastly, to know the fairy’s name is very powerful. With a name, one can summon a fairy and make it follow orders (granting wishes, kind of, with their magic).

by Imaginism at deviantart

by Imaginism at deviantart and at http://www.imaginismstudios.com

Fairies are magical creatures. Fairy magic is typically called glamour. They were not depicted with wings till the Victorian Era, but they were still known to fly. They were said to fly on plain magic, ragwort stems, or on the backs of flying creatures (like birds, butterflies, and insects). In many cases, fairies were said to be able to make themselves invisible. Most were also known to be immortal (or live really long lives) usually dyeing because of a human. Sadly though, fairies are creatures with no souls and so they do not have an after life available to them once their lives end.

Fairy

Fairy by Jean-Baptiste Monge

But fairies were not always shown as bad. They were also seen as helpful creatures (mostly to those who were poor and needed it). They helped in the house making bread, cleaning rooms, fixing what was broken, and finishing what people left unfinished at night. They bring luck, and some leave money in the boots of hard working farmers in times of need. Fairies are touchy creatures, though, and require that people follow many polite rules or they get mad and leave. One most always leave a bowl of cream and a piece of honey cake out at night for them. I have seen it said that you should never give them material goods (like money) for their services, but some are pleased when given clothing. But in some variations giving them clothing is very bad, mostly if you forget to give them food. Both the clothing and food always have to be of the finest ingredients/material. If they want to be helpful, they are not above stealing from others to give to another (even if that other person is not rich and greedy). In that case, not accepting their help would anger them greatly even though what they are doing is wrong. Fairies have a very stubborn idea on how to act. They have very strong sense of what is right or wrong, even though this does not correlate with the human ideals.

If you wish to know more I recommend the essay by Mika Loponen entitled Faerie Folklore in Medieval Tales, here is a link: http://www.academia.edu/300335/Faerie_Folklore_in_Medieval_Tales_-_an_Introduction

 

-Blog Barista

Fairy Sisters

Fairy Sisters

Daily Myth:Danish- Little Mermaid

Mermaid by Victor Nizovtsev

Mermaid by Victor Nizovtsev

Every single person who has read, will read, or is reading this post probably heard of the little mermaid. Whether its the happy Disney version, the ballet, or Mr. Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy-tale, the Little Mermaid is a folktale that has been very wide spread in popular culture. So for today’s daily myth, let me help share the story even more by retelling The Little Mermaid.

So the Little Mermaid, is the youngest of five daughters born to the King of the mer-people. There the mer-folk live to be about 300 years old, much longer lives than that of a human’s, but it turns out mer-people are soulless. Once they die they turn to foam (unlike human beings who have souls and get to go to Heaven). The Little Mermaid lives under the sea in her father’s kingdom as princess, and she was known to have one of the most enchanting and beautiful voices in the entire sea. As each daughter turns fifteen years old, they are given the opportunity to visit the land above. The Little Mermaid listens to her sisters’s stories with hungry ears. They tell her what they saw up on land and what the human beings are like. She becomes exceedingly eager to go up herself and see.

On the day, she turned fifteen and got to go up to the surface she saw a huge ship with a handsome prince aboard. She falls in love at first site of him and watches over him all day. At one point a huge storm out at sea rolls in, and threatens to hurt the prince. She saves the prince from drowning though. With the ship wrecked, the Little Mermaid drags his unconscious body to the shore and waits with him till a young maiden from the temple finds him.

Mermaid by Victor Nizovtsev

Mermaid by Victor Nizovtsev

The Little Mermaid can not forget the love she feels for the prince. She yearns to live on land with him, and have an eternal soul so that she may enter heaven with him. Desperate to find a way to gain this, she visits the Sea Witch who tells her that she can sell to her a potion for the price of her tongue (and her wonderful singing voice). The potion would give her legs, but would not allow her to return to the sea once more. With her knew legs, the Little Mermaid would be able to dance a beautiful dance in a way that no human ever could. Yet, every step the mermaid would take with those legs would feel like she was standing on broken glass and dancing would cause excruciating pain as if she moved in a field of sharp knives. Even more, she would only be able to gain a soul if she was bestowed true love’s kiss on the day of their marriage for then a piece of his soul would flutter into her body (I guess the chance of a soul is great and all; but being mute, walking in glass, and having to rely solely on some dude who knows nothing about you, and cannot talk to you, is just a little to risky).

She accepts everything and drinks the potion. On land she finds a way to meet the prince and he is smitten by her beauty and grace. Her being a mute does not bother him too much. Because he is mesmerized by her dancing, she dances for him bearing through the pain.

One day, the King tells his son that he must marry, and that a young princess is chosen from a neighboring kingdom to be his bride.

Mermaid by Victor Nizovtsev

Mermaid by Victor Nizovtsev

The prince is heart broken, he tells the Little Mermaid that he refuses to marry the young princess for he is in love (she probably got excited here hoping that he was about to confess to her). He continues to say that his love was devoted to the young maiden that saved him from the storm. (BAM!) But all hope is not lost for him, as it turns out, the young maiden and the fair princess are the same person. She was scent to the temple to save him (and by luck was there to help him after the mermaid saved his butt). He proclaims his love to her, and they announce their wedding to be the next day.

The prince and princess marry, and the Little Mermaid’s heart shatters. Her sisters visit her that night with a gift for that they bought from the Sea Witch. It was a magical ivory knife that cost all of the sisters’s hair. They told her that if she killed the prince before dawn and dripped his blood on her feet, she would gain her tail once again. Her suffering would end, and she would not become foam.

Mermaid by Victor Nizovtsev

Mermaid by Victor Nizovtsev

So that night she enters into the prince’s room. She sees the prince and his new wife sleeping in their bed, and she cannot slay them. With a broken heart, she completely gives up hope and prepares herself for her death. She sits upon a rock at the shore line and watches the golden sun rise. At dawn she throws herself into the sea. Her body dissolves into pearly sea foam, and she ceases to exist with out a soul to enter Heaven’s golden gates. This is how some versions end, but some continue. Instead of ceasing to exist, she turns into a spirit called a daughter of the air.

She meets other daughters who tell her that one becomes a daughter of air when the strive for an eternal soul with all the strength of their heart. They also explain that she can gain an immortal soul if she does good deeds for three hundred years. She also learned that every time a maiden misbehaved she would weep, and each tear would add a day to her sentence. And that is how it ends. I like to believe that the goodhearted Little Mermaid would behave very well, doing many good deeds, and in three hundred years she got to enter the realm of God like she wanted (at this point she suffered enough).

For more check out: http://www.andersen.sdu.dk/vaerk/hersholt/TheLittleMermaid_e.html

-Blog Barista

 

Mermaids=sassy fish

Mermaids=sassy fish