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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in wights

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  • Christianne
    Christianne says #
    It's always a pleasure spending time with Juleigh in Cyberspace - for now it's where we meet - and getting more of the full pictur

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Draugatrú: Or, Undead Religion

The old Norse didn't believe in ghosts per se.

Instead, they knew of a being called a draugr: a revenant, an un-dead, an animated corpse that will not lay still, but instead walks, wreaking ill, to trouble the land of the living.

The Norse said DROW-ger. In Iceland today, they say DROY-goor. If (there's no evidence that they did) the English-speaking ancestors had known of such wights (or rather, un-wights) and had called them by an equivalent name, we would today name them drows (as drowse).

When the southron shavelings came in and started vaunting about their new god, you can't tell me that people didn't nod in recognition and say: Aha.

Come to think of it, this actually explains quite a bit about the history of the last thousand years, and (alas) much ill-wreaking that still goes on today.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Fairy Folks Are in Old Oaks

It's well-known in Iceland that elves make their homes in certain boulders.

Some years ago, a certain farmer near Reykjavik resolved to blow up a particular boulder in order to make room for a new henhouse. With this in mind, he went out and bought some dynamite.

From that day, his hens began to lay fewer and fewer eggs.

Every day there were fewer eggs, until finally there were none.

The farmer called in the vet. The vet examined the chickens. The chickens were in fine health; nothing was wrong with their feed. There was no organic reason why the hens should not be laying.

The farmer decided not to blow up the boulder after all. He gave the dynamite away.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
When the Wights Are Angry

Hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, floods.

I'm not really saying that Republicans are responsible.

Not really.

We would say: climate change.

Traditional societies would say: the wights are angry.

(Wights: literally, “beings”: also, elves, fairies, huldrefolk, land-"spirits", etc.)

Two ways, perhaps, of describing the same thing.

Why are the wights angry?

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I would say that the wights are the "interiority" of things. They're those Other People that inhabit the Land, that go by many nam
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    What is the definition of a Wight?
  • Mariah Sheehy
    Mariah Sheehy says #
    A couple years ago at the Irish Fair, I talked with Daithi Sproule, a traditional Irish musician who was retelling the old tales.
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I thoroughly agree; they seem to me like two different ways of observing the same phenomenon: one from without, one from within.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I remember reading an article on Shamanism.org about the author's encounter with an angry cloud being. It seems the cloud being w

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Elf-Shine

They call it “elf-shine.”

I've seen it; I'm sure that you have, too.

It's the beauty that shines from someone in those moments of great joy or deep understanding: an illumination from within.

The ancestors of Northwestern Europe accounted the elves as the most beautiful of peoples, and so this beauty is named for them: for the shine of elf-shine—in Old English, ælf-scýne—is kin to German schön, “beautiful.”

“Beautiful as an elf,” the ancestors used to say.

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When the Wights Are Angry, Everyone Suffers: Mythologizing Climate Change

Imagine that we were to discover an ancient Keltic tribe living in three isolated valleys up in the Alps.

Imagine that, through all the intervening centuries of the Great Interruption, they had, nonetheless, somehow managed to hold on to their Old Religion.

Amazingly enough—specifics aside—this not an imaginary scenario.

As the Indo-European-speaking peoples first entered the Indian subcontinent, groups broke off the main migration and settled along the way.

That's how the Kalasha, the last surviving pagans of the Hindu Kush, came to live in three isolated mountain valleys in what is now NW Pakistan.

Their religion, practiced continuously since antiquity, strongly resembles the religion of the Rig Veda, modern Hinduism's oldest scripture; some of the gods are even the same.

Alone among the Indo-European peoples, the religion of the Kalasha has never been subsumed by one of the Big Name religions. This small tribe of 4000-some people is as close as we will ever come to touching the old paganisms of the European ancestors.

As such, they have much to teach us.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Old Lady Hawthorn

Damn that old lady Hawthorn.

There she goes, knocking my hat off.

Again.

I don't know how old she is. Being a Siberian hawthorn, it could be hundreds of years. Judging by how gnarled and ornery she is, I'd say probably pretty old. Older than me, anyway.

And did I say attitudinous? Old lady Hawthorn is the undisputed ruler of this lawn, and you'd better not forget it.

Before you mow, you'd better tip your hat to her. You'd just better. Likes that, she does.

Otherwise, she'll knock it clean off your head.

Like she just did.

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