mythological cycle

“Scratch a bit at the thin topsoil of Irish Catholicism,” the saying goes, “and you soon come to the solid bedrock of Irish paganism.”… paganism and Catholicism in Ireland are joined twins that can not be separated. They are not opposites, as archaeologist Proinsias MacCana has pointed out, for in Ireland pagan ways and beliefs formed an “extraordinary symbiosis.” …paganism and Christianity in Ireland need each other to live.
—  Patricia Monaghan, The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog: The Landscape of Celtic Myth and Spirit

henlo my dash is dead as fuck so can y'all like/reblog this if u post/reblog any of the following and ill check ur blog out and probably follow:

all for the game
the raven cycle
six of crows
anything that has to do with the dream pack
the song of achilles
aristotle and dante
skam (especially sana)
the get down
sense8
harry potter
percy jackson (pjo/hoo)
the mortal instruments (tid/tda)
shadowhunters
ya books in general
greek mythology
tattoos
space
art
mlm
aesthetic shit

yeah that’s pretty much it cya

looking for blogs to follow

I just unfollowed a bunch of inactives and other blogs that didn’t really fit the general theme/aesthetic of this blog so I’m looking for a ton of people to follow (probably 50-100) so please reblog this if you post:

Anything in bold is very likely to be followed and anything in bold w/ italics will more than likely be a definite follow

  • six of crows
  • harry potter (this does include fantastic beasts and all the other stuff)
  • the foxhole court
  • captive prince
  • greek mythology (definite follow lol)
  • typography
  • poetry and other writings (any kind, though I definitely like myth inspired!!)
  • mythology in general
  • the raven cycle
  • paintings/art
  • haute couture
  • old writer aesthetic stuff (ex. oscar wilde and edits of his writing, stuff like that)
  • shakespeare
  • history stuff
  • if you have a chapbook or poetry book for sale or for free! (I love to support other writers, so shoot me a message if you’re one of these people)
  • pretty aesthetic stuff

When you reblog, please tag it with whatever you post!! The more of these you post, the more likely I am to follow!! And remember that anything in bold or bold w/ italics is very likely to get a follow!

follow spree

i just unfollowed about 700 blogs (whew!), and i need more content for my dash; if you post MOSTLY any of these please reblog and i’ll check out your blog! follow me if you want similar content on your blog (:

(listed in order of what i post the most)

  • the raven cycle
  • harry potter
  • aesthetic/photography/typography
  • literature (ya, classics, etc.)
  • mythology
  • poetry/quotes

if you have mostly bw or muted/pastel colors, even better!!

even if you’re a mutual, can you reblog to help spread the word? thank you!!

need more blogs to follow!

i’m following quite a lot of people already but i’d love to see more on my dash and meet more people etc! :) i see that i post mostly trc/soc/acotar but i need more of the following on my dash so please like/reblog if you post them!!

  • all for the game 
  • the winner’s trilogy 
  • the lunar chronicles
  • red queen
  • daughter of smoke and bone
  • an ember in the ashes
  • the young elites

also: aesthetic/photography/typography/mythology, etc. 

..actually, if you also post the raven cycle, six of crows, a court of thorns and roses..reblog/like this too! thank you~~ thank you! 

follow spree

i just finished reading aftg so i need more of the foxes on my dash. 

also, if you post MOSTLY any of these please reblog and i’ll check out your blog! follow me if you want similar content on your blog

  • aftg !!!!!!!!!!!!
  • the raven cycle
  • harry potter
  • aesthetic/photography/typography
  • literature (ya, classics, etc.)
  • mythology
  • poetry/quotes

mutuals can you help me spread the word? thank you!

I NEED MORE BLOGS TO FOLLOW

Pease reblog if you post

Voltron: Legendary Defender
Star vs . The forces of Evil
Game Of Thrones/Asoiaf
PJO/HoO or anything in the Riordan verse
Dresden Files
Kingkiller Chronicles
Stormlight Archive
Steven Universe
Demon Cycle
Little Witch Academia
Haikyuu
Yuuri n ice
Killing stalking
Marvel or DC

Literary References in Kuroshitsuji/Black Butler

There are a crap ton of references to literature in Kuroshitsuji, and after re-reading all of Kuro I was really motivated to make a giant list of the literary references.

So I did.

The Admirable History of Possession (Sebastian Michaelis)

In the 1600s, a French inquisitor named Sebastien Michaelis co-wrote The Admirable History of Possession and Conversion of a Penitent Woman. It included a classification/hierarchy of demons that is sometimes referenced in esoteric literature. I’m guessing Yana named Sebastian after this guy.

Famous Poets (Snakes)

All of Snake’s snakes are named after famous canonical writers. 

These include, but are not limited to, John Webster, John Donne, Emily Bronte, Oscar Wilde, John Keats, William Wordsworth, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Peter and Wendy (Peter and Wendy from the Circus arc)

Peter and Wendy was originally a play/novel from the early 1900s and (as you’ve probably guessed) was the source material for the 1953 Disney film, Peter Pan. Peter and Wendy from Kuro have a medical condition where their bodies literally “never grow up,” which is something that happens in Peter Pan, but in that story it’s a result of magic instead of biology. Peter and Wendy from Kuro are also trapeze performers, which is the closest thing in a circus to flying.

Sherlock Holmes (The Phantomhive Mansion Murder Arc)

This might seem pretty obvious and yeah it kind of is, but there are a lot of fun little details that relate to Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle.

  • In chapter 39 of Kuro, Arthur admits to Ciel that he would rather write historical novels instead of detective fiction, but his editors told him historical novels wouldn’t sell. Ciel then says that Arthur should just make a name writing mysteries and that after that the history novels will sell based on his name alone. Arthur Conan Doyle has gained quite the reputation as the guy who wrote mysteries and got sick of them while no one cared about his historical novels, so this conversation is actually pretty funny.
  • Some of the side characters in the Murder arc have names based on characters from the original Sherlock stories. Irene Diaz shares a first name with Irene Adler (both characters are opera singers) and Patrick Phelps shares a last name with Percy Phelps (both of whom have nervous dispositions).
  • In chapter 45, Sebastian (as Jeremy) points out that Arthur has written a bunch of story ideas on the inside of his sleeves. The words written in his sleeves include “pearl” (”The Adventure of the Six Napoleons”) and “sign” (The Sign of Four). There’s also “India” and “secret room,” but I’m not sure what specific stories those are referring to.
  • Fun bonus fact: Jeremy Rathbone (aka Sebastian in disguise) is named after 2 actors: Jeremy Brett and Basil Rathbone. Both of them played Sherlock Holmes at one point in their careers. 

Beeton’s/Punch (magazines that Ciel reads)

In chapter 39 Arthur mentions that  “A Study in Scarlet” was published in Beeton’s magazine, and that he’s surprised that someone in a position of nobility would read such a magazine. Beeton’s actually exists and “A Study in Scarlet” was first published in Beeton’s in November of 1887.

In response to Arthur’s surprise, Ciel mentions that he also reads Punch. This was also a real magazine, but what makes it weird is that one of the editors of Punch was a guy named Edmund Knox. One of Edmund’s brothers was a guy named Ronald Knox, who wrote detective fiction.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Propertius’ “Elegiae” (The poem being taught at Weston)

In the public school arc, Sebastian is teaching a Latin poem that relates to some themes and events in the Kuro universe. Here’s a link to a more in depth post about the quote. 

Micah Clarke (novel that Ciel buys)

In chapter 85 (the one where everyone goes shopping), Ciel notices that Arthur wrote a historical novel called Micah Clarke. This was an actual novel by Arthur Conan Doyle from 1889. It’s also hilarious that Ciel complains about the historical novel because he wants Arthur to just write more mysteries. Wow.

The Wizard of Oz (Sieglinde Sullivan) 

(This one took me forever to get because I could never pronounce her first name properly).

In German, “Sieglinde” is pronounced “See-glinda,” which reminded me of Glinda the good witch from The Wizard of Oz. At first I thought that might be a coincidence, but then I realized that’s she’s also known as the “Green Witch,” which calls to mind the Wicked Witch of the West. Furthermore, her residence is the Emerald Castle, which is possibly a reference to the Emerald City. 

Also, the werewolf stuff takes place in southern Germany (Glinda was the good witch of the south).

(Maybe Wolfram is her little dog too!)

Fenian Cycle (Finny’s name)

In chapter 100, there’s a flashback where we see Ciel naming Finny after the lead character in a book titled Fenian Cycle: Celtic Mythology. The Fenian Cycle is a real story that’s part of Irish mythology and, just as Ciel says, the lead character was named for his blonde hair. 

Othello (Othello the reaper)

Othello is a Shakespeare play (my personal favourite Shakespeare play by the by) in which the title character is tricked into thinking that his wife was having an affair and murders her in a fit of jealous rage (the person who tricked him, Iago, convinced him that this was the best course of action). Like 5 minutes after he kills her it’s revealed that she didn’t cheat on him and he just fell for a really elaborately set up lie. Othello kills himself after discovering the truth. 

Yeah…I think it’s fairly easy to figure out that Othello (in the play) has a parallel to a character who we know committed suicide at one point. TBH this is my favourite reference in all of Kuro because we can kind of guess the character’s backstory based on his name.

Side note: Othello (the Kuro character) works in forensics, which is fitting since the field of forensics involves finding hard evidence to prove guilt or innocence. Shakespeare’s Othello had to rely on sight, verbal information, and assumptions, which led to him falsely accusing his wife of cheating on him.

Other stuff: In chapter 14, Ciel has a nightmare involving Poe’s “The Raven” and the early part of the circus arc mentions the Pied Piper. Both of these are well-known/explained in the story, so I didn’t feel the need to write a whole thing about each of them. 

If you noticed anything missing, please add it to the post! (Although make note that these are only the literary references. There are like 10,000 historical references in Kuro and I’m not experienced enough in history to notice all of them, so those can be another post.)

Celtic Goddesses Collection

The Morrigan - is the Celtic goddess of war, sovereignty and fate. Her name can either mean phantom queen or great queen, and she often foretells death and doom in battle, appearing as a crow. She is also associated with the land and livestock, and is one of the most important in the Celtic and Irish pantheon, appearing as a triple deity such as Danu or Bridhid. She is believed to be a manifestation of the earth-and sovereignty-goddess, representing the the role of the goddess as guardian of the territory and its people. She appears in the Ulster Cycle and the Mythological Cycle of Irish lore, and together with her sisters, Badb and Macha, they make up the three Irish goddess figures of the Morrígna.

you are inky obsidian, sharp-edged and shining
sewing jagged secrets into jagged scars
under your skin.
you are fire-forged fury.

you are the gleam of dragons’ scales as they fight
high in the hidden hills where you are sleeping
and dance to the druids’ drums when
they are looking away from this world.

you are the summer solstice sun, burning bright
over the homes and halls of your ancestors and descendants
and as the year turns to winter you too will shift
like the leaves - from green to brown to bare bone
 
you are the desperate cry of the prince’s old tongue
as he hurls himself towards glory and gaping wounds
and the shadows on the hillsides roar with him
and you laugh with bloodied teeth and dreams

you are the child of the forest, the valleys, the lonely hilltops
you are the son of magic and mystery and mayhem
you are the prince of shadows and the ghost-lord of old
and your fingers are still strong on your sword.

—  a song for the raven king; or: folklore archetypes - the sleeping king who was and will be
A Brief Look into Freyr and the Elves.

@rickthesicilian asked:

“I had no idea that elves were ancestor spirits. Could you elaborate on this (or provide a source that can in your place)? Also, what implications does this have for Freyr? He was at one point said to be the “ruler of the elves,” or something similar, iirc. Does this give him lordship over the afterlife or dead in some way?  (Actually, scratch that first part. I just found your prior post about gods and races.)”


The Elusive Nature of the Elves

One thing about elves in norse mythology is that they are quite elusive and mysterious. They never seem to be given a great deal of direct attention, rather they linger around the peripherals. That being said, Frey’s relationship with the elves is equally lacking in details. From what I currently know, there are not many references in our surviving sources that link Freyr to elves and Alfheim. Here is one reference, from Grímnismál, stanza 5:

“Alfheim the gods gave to Freyr
in ancient days as a tooth gift.”

Even Alfheim itself is not often discussed in our surviving sources. Our knowledge about elves generally comes in bits and pieces from various accounts. Due to the fact that elves are generally on the outskirts of our mythological accounts, the best we can do is piece together a theory of what role elves actually had. In order to understand Frey’s relationship with elves, this must be done first.

In the prose edda, this is all we get about elves and their home-world Alfheim:

“High said, ‘There are many magnificent places there. One is called Alfheim. The people called the light elves live there, but the dark elves lie down below the earth. They are different from the light elves in appearance, and far more so in nature. The light elves are more beautiful than the sun, while the dark elves are blacker than pitch.”

So, what is left is to make sense of this. Out of the entire book, this is all Snorri provides about the Elves and their home-world. Any other references are without detail. He never says that elves are the ancestors of the dead, but there are some accounts of beings quite similar to elves that suggest this. Also, the practice of ancestor veneration that I mentioned also suggests this. Elves seem to be beings without any physical description, taking on the characteristics of light (or the lack thereof). My suspicion is that Snorri is treating them like the dead spirits, good (light) and bad (dark). However, there is no real evidence to say so concretely. 

Snorri was a Christian man who admired his tradition and his people’s history. However, even if he admired these traditions, he lived nearly three-hundred years after Iceland had already converted to christianity. That being said, it is possible that some areas had become blurred and so he described them the best that he could. Historical memory often comes with holes and blurs. Nothing is ever quite clear or they way that they should seem. So, to understand elves, perhaps we should look at beings that are similar to them.

The landvættir (land wrights) somewhat fit this spirit role. They are spirits quite connected with the earth itself, protecting the land they dwell in. Landnámabók, The Book of Settlements, states that the dragon-prows of ships must be removed when close to land for fear that they would disturb these spirits. However, these spirits take on many forms, often not even human forms. For example, in Olaf Tryggvason’s saga, the four landvættir that protect Iceland are described: a dragon, bird, bull, and giant. Although Snorri does not describe the Elves to look like humans, he does not make them seem like animals either.

To get back to the point, elves seem to be spirits rather than physical beings. They are described as light and are never given a detailed image. It is not surprising, then, that elves might be the spirits of the dead ancestors. There are actually terms that have been used to describe them, and even sacrifices specifically made to them. I believe this information comes from the Icelandic sagas. Iceland kept a longer hold on these traditions and some aspects of ancestor veneration even lasted into Christian times. Here is a term that has been used to refer to female ancestors:

  • dís (pl. dísir) - a female guardian angel, goddess
    • dísablót - a sacrifice to the dísir

Frey’s Role with the Elves

So, before I get too far off-track, let us return to Freyr. He is said to have inherited the realm of the elves, so what does that mean? He is a god of fertility and pleasure, meaning peace and prosperity. He also does have an association with light when you think about gullinbursti. I also believe he is said to be attributed with a Yule tradition of bringing the sun back after the winter solstice. the relationship between Freyr and elves is never stated outright, so we have to make our best attempt now that we have laid out some more information gathered from various places.

To finally answer your question, I would suggest that the relationship is more in that spirits, whether elves or ancestors, have a connection with this world and prosperity. Perhaps the reason Freyr rules over the elves is because the spirits still serve the earth (protecting its prosperity) as landvættir. Perhaps it is because the spirits of the dead become like light, which allows the growth of more life. It is difficult to summarize the connection in such a condensed statement, but I would say the relationship has something to do with spirits and prosperity. 

I do not think this gives Freyr any control over the afterlife or the dead in general. Rather, I believe it has something to do with a “cycle” of sorts; a relationship rather than an authority. Harvest is a similar process of growth, experience, and removal. Freyr is associated with this process. If you think of elves and sprints in this way, it does not seem to odd to pair them with the natural cycle of the earth. Our ancestors grew, lived, and died. However, they laid out a foundation that allowed our prosperity to exist today. Similarly, the elven ancestor spirits would protect and provide our prosperity, along with Freyr.

Conclusion

I understand that this discussion got quite complicated, and I do apologize if it is way more than you intended to receive. I am honestly not quite sure what to think about it myself still. It is no simple relationship, especially since the sources we have left the matter open-ended. If you get anything out of my answer, just know that elves in norse mythology are quite mysterious. There is not much told about them, so even their connection with Freyr is left in a blur. Also, this is just my interpretation on the material, so I am sure there are other interpretation floating around out there. I also believe that this subject requires a much more detailed and in-depth study that dives into multiple sagas and other accounts. What I have provided is simply a summary of what that would be. 

Anyway, thank you very much for asking! I hope my answer was helpful.


Sources (in order of appearance):

  1. Andy Orchard trans., The Elder Edda: A Book of Viking Lore. (London: Penguin Classics, 2011), 51.
    1. Grímnismál, stanza 5.
  2. Snorri Sturluson, Prose Edda, translated by Jesse L. Byock. (London: Penguin Classics, 2005), 28.
  3. Angus A. Somerville and R. Andrew McDonald ed., The Viking Age: A Reader (Second Edition). (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014), 68.
  4. Geir T. Zoëga, A Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic. (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2004), 88.
  5. (general source) Jennifer Dukes-Knight, “Norse Mythology,” lecture, Viking History, University of South Florida, 2015.