Category Archives: Folklore

Elen of the Hosts: Goddess of Sovereignty, King Maker, Warrior Queen of the Britons

Historically, Elen of the Hosts was a real woman who lived in the 4th century, but in British legend and Welsh and Celtic mythology, may go back even further.  She appears to have been a woman of many roles that have grown and evolved over the centuries to the present day.

Read more at Folklore Thursday.

The Useful Dangers of Fairy Tales

The makers of some of these tales were spinning long, long ago—thousands of years, in some cases. Life was hard, and short, and brutish, particularly so for women. And yet even this late in history, women and girls are still friendly with that darkness where fairy tales operate best.

via The Useful Dangers of Fairy Tales | Literary Hub

The Swan Maiden – review

Review of In Search of the Swan Maiden: a Narrative on Folklore and Gender, by Barbara Fass Leavy.

Although this book is called The Swan Maiden, its subject could be described as: “a story about a fairy captured by a mortal man and forced into a tedious domestic existence and, obversely, about a mortal woman courted by a demon lover who offers her escape from that same mundane world.” (Loc. 347)

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The floating dead: Newfoundland inspired ‘zombie faeries’ photoshoot arrives in time for Halloween – CBC News

A Newfoundlander living in Quebec took a part of home as inspiration for her new Halloween-themed photoshoot.

Source: The floating dead: N.L. inspired ‘zombie faeries’ photoshoot arrives in time for Halloween – Newfoundland & Labrador – CBC News

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Source: ‘No doubt’ Iceland’s elves exist: anthropologist certain the creatures live alongside regular folks | South China Morning Post

Donn of the Dead

There are many different ways to become god of the dead. You can win the job by chance (Hades/ Pluto), you can be cast into the underworld by other gods (Hel), marry into the job (Nergal), or you can be the first person to die.

Donn was one of the invaders known as the Milesians, after their father Mil. He was the warlike one, while his brother Armaigen was the poet/judge. They eventually did take Ireland, but not easily, and Donn never got to enjoy their victory.

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Little witches in Finland cast good spells before Easter | Daily Mail Online

Source: Little witches in Finland cast good spells before Easter | Daily Mail Online

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Who is the Birch Goddess?

Berkana, or Birch, the 18th rune, is often said to be named after the birch goddess. I think however the “goddess” part is modern mythology. Before I go any further I want to say that there’s nothing wrong with that – that’s how mythology gets made. It is interesting to see how ideas get put together and grow into something new.

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Sheila vs. Patrick: March 18th and Sheila’s Brush

Sheila’s Brush is a Newfoundland term for a storm on or about the 18th of March. Because Sheila’s storm comes just after St. Patrick’s Day, Sheila is often described as the saint’s wife or mother. You would think that this would be an Irish tradition as well, carried to the new world by immigrants, but it appears to be a local invention.

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Thor’s Protection: the rowan

“The rowan is the salvation of Thor”, was a Icelandic proverb, and we have to wonder how this small tree could save a mighty god.

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