not even natures spirit

anonymous asked:

To go along with nature spirit Tom, what about fire spirit tord? Or air spirit edd? Or possibly even water spirit Matt! Boys suddenly in charge of nature out of nowhere is my new JAM

I’M HERE FOR THAT SHIT

also i want to thank you all cause i had no idea what to draw now that my dear week is over, but i know what i’m gonna do tomorrow, ferb!

The fae

Living in Ireland I heard many stories about the fae.About they’re kind nature, the peaceful woodland spirits, playful tricksters, or even malicious beings.

Here I will give some ways to appease them, and ward them. I will also tell about dangerous fae and how to ward them.

AVOIDING FAIRIES

In Ireland children were told to keep away from fairy mounds, fairy circles, certain places in the woods, certain trees, and some strange places. Fairy mounds can be identified as strange lone hills, often found in odd place. Fairy circles are mushroom circles. They are a naturally occurring pattern, however they are believed to be portals the their realm. And stepping in one may be dangerous. Steer clear of certain trees. It is believed that fae live in them, and if disturbed they would not be happy. Notable trees to stay away from include hazel, thorn, alder, and oak. An example of a strange place would be strange rock formations in a field, and that if disturbed or moved would upset the fae who made them.


Farmers didn’t go to their mill or barns at night. It was believed that the fae used the cover of darkness to grind their grain. Disturbing them while they worked could result in you having a failed crop or other curses.

Certain bodies of water were said to be the homes of kelpies, Corrigans, and other water fae. If you came to these waters alone, you could be pulled in, or lured to your deaths (corrigans are said to beautiful creatures that lure you to your death, were they drown you.) They would drown their victims, forcing their spirits to live in the fae realm forever.


WARDING FAE

Certain flowers such as primroses, were layed on the windowsills and hung over doors. This ensured that he house was kept safe from the fae.

Garlands were made from marsh marigolds. These were placed over the barn doors. This protected the horses from being ridden to death by the fae.

However, the most notable flower to protect yourself against the fae is St. John’s Wort. Wearing this flower provided the wearer protection from fairy magic and tricks. Sometimes my grandmother would scatter petals around the outside of the house, to try to provide protection.

Some said holly berries would repel them. (Unknown why. Unlike the others I was never told this. Maybe someone could clarify.)

A four-leafed clover would allow you to see the fae, even through their glamours, or invisibility. However, this would only work once. An old tradition was to sew them into clothing, or even a little bag (this is to be worn round the neck, though some say it just has to be held) this allowed the user to see them for every clover they had sewn.

Though these are quite nice forms of protection, iron is always the best form of protection. Many believe that iron burns the fairy. Some legends say that the crafted their weapons out of silver and gold because they couldn’t use the iron. If you kept an iron nail in your pocket the fae would be unable to take you to their realm. Often iron knives, sheers, and other sharp object were hung over or near the crib of a baby. This was to prevent the baby from being stolen and swapped with a changling child. ( I don’t recommend doing this as it could be dangerous to the baby.) Sometimes horseshoes, nails, or arrowheads would be placed over doors to stop fae from entering the house or room. An iron ring was worn to protect people, it was told that the fae could not go near the person who wears it.


APPEASING FAE

To be protected from them, and to even form a relationship with the fae; one must respect them, trust them, and leave offerings for them.

Leaving bread and milk out for them was said to protect the household that did it. It was also believed that one may gain their favour by doing this. This is also a notable way of appeasing the cat síth. Not only do they like bread and milk, they also like butter, cream, sugar, ale, honey, whiskey, and I find that they like dark chocolate.

If you’re crossing a body of water, or passing by a well you may drop a piece of silver in, or a coin in for the fae that lives in it.


Ever here the saying that if you spill salt you should throw some over your right shoulder? Well that applies to the fae. If salt is spilled one may throw some over their right shoulder so that the fae can have their share.


Many of the nicer variety were insulted when they saw human mortals lacking in hospitality to one another and treating each other badly. It’s was said that they would punish people like this very harshly. However, if you were kind and honest to people they were said to treat you nicely, or leave you be.

DANGEROUS FAE

corrigans- A form of water sprite. They appear as beautiful beings who sing melodies like sirens. They mostly appear at night on a full moon. In sunlight they’re glamour goes away and their true ugly form is revealed. stay clear of bodies of water and the woods
Dullahan- The headless horseman. He is seen often in the country riding a dead horse with eyes like fire. He often has a whip made out of a spine. He roams the countryside looking for the dead. If you see him he is said to slash your eyes with his whip. Gold is said to ward them for a while.
Amadan Dubh- VERY DANGEROUS. The trickster fae. He’s a madman. Often seen dancing on lone hills to ghostly music. Cannot be reasoned with. He can place powerful, harmful curses on people. I do not know of any ways to ward him. (Maybe someone can clarify?)
Alp-luarcha- If you think it has crawled in your throats after falling asleep at a stream or other body of water, eat salted food. This will make it thirsty, and make it leave.
Bean sídhe or banshee- The only thing I know of is an iron ring, though when a person is dying nothing can keep her away as she wails.
Cat síth- it loiters around graveyards and open graves to steal the souls of those who have recently died. To try to distract it one may try dancing, singing, or telling riddles. This gives time for the souls of the deceased to pass on so that it cannot get them. I was also told that on Halloween (Samhain) a saucer of milk should be left out, this will provide good luck and protection, while those that didn’t would be cursed. If you are ever filled with a sense of dread and see a black cat with a tuff of white fur walk away slowly and then place a saucer of milk outside, then pray that this will be enough to appease it.
Boggart- It’s a malicious form of fae that takes over houses. Somewhat like a poltergeist. They cannot be reasoned with, and any attempts to appease them will annoy them. They don’t like holy water, crosses, iron, or agrimony. However, sometimes an exorcism is necessary. A family friend had to get this once.
Changling- To stop a child from being swapped keep a close eye on them, put them in a warm well lit room, stitching red thread in baby clothes and blankets was said to prevent them from being swapped, as well as hanging iron sheers or knives over the crib, or having them close by.
I hope this helps. If you have any questions or any clarifications feel free to message me.

Get to Know Your Deck Spread

Here’s a lovely spread for all of you out there who are new to tarot, recently received a new deck, struggle with bonding with your deck(s) and/or are having issues getting clear or understanding readings. Sometimes decks have personalities to them, they have their own likes, dislikes, alignments and even preferred ‘work’ to go into. They also often require bonding to get the most accurate smooth readings. I have explained before the differences in my decks and what they like to answer, and I know of others who struggle bonding or understanding who their decks are. This spread should be of help!

1. How is your deck feeling today? Are they in a good mood ready to work? Or are they just having an off bad day? I have found decks, like people, can have moody bad days. These days their readings may be harsher than usual or even not even slightly logical. Its good to see what mood your deck is in before using it for readings, especially readings for others (and especially if they are paying for them). This may also affect the questions they will wish to answer.

2. What element does your deck align with? All decks are different and some may align themselves with specific elements. Is your deck fire, water, earth, air, spirit or a combination of them? This may affect the manner which they read. Air decks may be more interested in giving creative advice and focus on individuality, free-spirited natures, the arts, and even love. Water decks tend to focus on emotions and seeking gentle fixes. Fire decks tend to be the most assertive, they are competitive, encouraging, brave, passionate but also tend to support the idea of feuds. Fire decks, also from my experience, tend to be very blunt about things. Earth aligned decks tend to be a bit calmer, they focus on bonds with people such as family and friendships. They also focus on careers, prosperity and money matters. Spirit decks, tend to like to do more of the ‘divine’. They focus on self-enlightenment, self discovery and communicating with supernatural forces, guides, and deities.

3. What Questions does your deck enjoy answering? Does your deck enjoy answering questions about love? Friends and family? Do they enjoy giving personal advice? Do they like money matters and career focuses. This could determine what questions they may be the most accurate and ones they will give the best advice on.

4. What Questions does your deck least like to answer? These are the questions they may not have the most accurate advice on. Such as my Rider deck greatly dislikes romance questions so I never use him for them because he will always just advice break-ups no matter the situation.

5. What is your deck’s current feelings towards you? Does your deck feel close to you? Is it a strong professional business bond? Or is it more like a friendship? Do they feel distant from you? Like you ignore them? Do they not understand you or feel like you are a stranger? Do you intimidate them?

6. How can you improve your relationship? How does your deck feel like you two can do to help build your relationship? Practice more or perhaps make spreads.

7. A Negative trait. Pretty self explanatory, this is a negative quality about your deck that it feels you have a right to know about. Take note that this is a negative trait in the mind and views of your deck, its something it feels is negative.

8. A Positive trait. Again, pretty self explanatory, this is a trait that your deck feels is a positive trait it has. Again, this is a trait seen as positive in its mind.

Starting and Building a Spirit Family

When it comes to starting a spirit family there are several things to understand: (1) bonding with every spirit is important, (2) spirit companions aren’t always forever, and (3) not everyone will always get along.

Bonding isn’t necessary for just beginners, but for all spirit keepers/workers/companions (whichever phrase you wish to use; I prefer keeper for myself as I work with human spirits, servitors, and living entities as well). You don’t bring a new friend over to your house and act like they’re not there or decide after just a few days to a week that you suddenly want a new one (at least not without discussing it first, I hope). For beginners, I would advise working with your new companion for at least a couple months before taking in a new one. Generally beginners need to learn the ropes even if they already have a few companions before adopting from me- though that may not always be the case. Even with more experienced keepers, working and bonding with your newest spirit companion for at least a few weeks before taking in a new companion. However, sometimes callings do happen despite when the last time you took in a new companion. If you feel that has happened: speak to your spirit(s) first before you add on to your family.  I do this every time before I take in a spirit regardless, and I will spend a minimum of three days discussing a new addition with my spirit family. It helps me determine whether it’s a calling or either my bleeding heart or a potential response to a good deal (I have been drawn to companion shops a few times to meet a companion) such as a flashsale sort of thing with a companion shop. Take it slow and reflect with the spirits currently with you when adding to your spirit family.

Despite what some of the community tries to imply, you may not be working with all of your spirit family all of the time for the remainder of your life/lives. Paths do change- for both humans and spirits- as they grow while they age. As mentioned in a response, two of my mates I met as a child and they both ended up leaving while we worked together because our paths were no longer inter-connected; this has happened to me several times the 24-ish years I’ve been a spirit keeper. I can say this with confidence: It’s not the end of the world if that happens. Friendships aren’t always forever. Sometimes they only last for you to learn specific lessons for your personal growth. Sometimes down the road they may even come back. If your companion decides it is time for you to part ways, then discuss it with them, and let them go. (If you got the companion from a companion shop then talk to the conjurer first before rehoming the spirit yourself- if the spirit wants to find a new companion- or talk to the conjurer about releasing the spirit from their binding if they’re vessel attached.) Always make it known that it is okay if the spirit decides to leave and request they speak with you first (if you want) so the spirit doesn’t feel they need to continue working with you and risk becoming unhappy or depressed down the road.

Much like with humans, spirits aren’t always going to get along. Age can sometimes be a factor as older spirits aren’t always taught acceptance, whether it be towards a specific spirit type or an alignment, and pasts are not always friendly, which can cause prejudices. (Even I’ve been guilty of this when it comes to spirit types.) Before you add on to your spirit family, ask your spirits how they feel about the spirit type you’re interested in working with; sometimes they’re willing to work with the spirit type despite prejudices and sometimes they’re not (unless it’s a true calling, then try to respect your spirits). If it is a calling, however, and for some reason they’re not already in your house rules (honestly, it’s much easier with them as rules right off the bat with your first companion), then make the following rules: (1) Come to me if there are any disagreements/issues, and (2) Do your best to be accepting and tolerant of each other.


Other Tips:

(1) Set up house rules. Consider things such as safety (not just for you, but for those you live with and guests as well), harmony among the spirits you work with, the nature of the spirit types you work with, and your living space.

   Examples: For my companion Hound he has a house rule that allows him to protect me without causing harm to humans unless the human means me physical harm. (It leaves him the option to ward me, to accompany me while I travel, to watch over me.) For my faeryfolk companions they’re not allowed to take shiny things unless they’re offered to them with honeyed milk. (Some of them are mischievous little buggers.) A general house rule is to not take food from my parents or any of our house guests- that they can take my food or drink only.

(2) Schedule! This is important no matter how big or small your spirit family is! Coordinate with your spirits to make times to work together (especially if they have other things they do daily) that way you’re not neglecting anyone and you will have a general idea when to expect your companions around. (They can still come around whenever, of course. It doesn’t need to be just within the scheduled times they visit.)

(3) As your family grows give everyone a job of some sort or a list of daily tasks. It will help instill a family-like mindset and may ease some potential tension. Some spirits are natural protectors (such as my companion Hound) so ask them to act as your protectors- set up warding, enchant things for you for extra protection. Some spirits are natural caregivers- ask them to help raise any younger spirits you work with or ask them to help you with any sort of emotional issues you or your spirits could have. Some spirits are natural teachers- ask them to help instruct you or younger spirits in something. Some spirits are natural cooks- let them cook for you spirit family or even teach you how to cook. Some spirits are natural healers- have them be your spirit family’s doctor/counselor/healer (they can even help you some as well).

(4) Have one of your spirits (can be more than one as your family grows if you like) be a welcoming committee. That’s what Everchanging and Crane and Hound are in my spirit family. Any new companion I get are generally greeted by some form of those three. They explain my house rules, about myself- personality, some of my likes and dislikes, my routine- about our astral refuge, and about my family as well. Everchanging even keeps some homey things on hand with them- a blanket or light jacket, a glass of cool water or hot tea (depending on the time of year), and usually a small book. It helped a lot of them transition easier into the family.

The Kalash people as an ancient cultural continuum between South Asia and Europe

The Kalash people practice an ancient form of Indo-European [polytheism] in an unbroken tradition having survived against all odds in a remote mountain region of northern Pakistan. The isolated Chitral Valley is home to Dardic people who speak an ancient Indo-European language called Nuristani. This is what remained when the Indo-Iranian and Indo-Aryan subgroups cleaved off after their invasion of the Indian subcontinent. Their religion descends from the Rigvedic period and they have close genetic ties to modern Europeans.

Some of their religious customs echo pre-christian Slavic ones – a cosmic dualism pitting a thunder god against a chthonic rival, a polymorphic fertility deity, animal sacrifice, use of wooden idols and a corpus of nature spirits. Their pantheon even includes a female deity of death named Mara. The women’s clothing bare remarkable resemblance to Slavic folk costume, especially the Ukrainian type. 

Whats more, the Kalash have a winter solstice ritual that may yield precious clues to the meaning behind Slavic yule log (Bozic/Badnjak/Budnik) tradition. Here a young boy assumes the role of the polymorphic solar fertility hero by taking to the hills during summer. He returns to his community and completes the rite of passage during the night of the winter solstice. Per Wikipedia,“This includes the Festival of the Budulak (buḍáḷak, the ‘shepherd king’). In this festival, a strong prepubescent boy is sent up into the mountains to live with the goats for the summer. He is supposed to get fat and strong from the goat milk. When the festival comes he is allowed for a 24-hour period only to have sexual intercourse with any woman he wants, including even the wife of another man, or a young virgin. Any child born of this 24-hour period is considered to be blessed. “

Breath of the Wild: Nature vs. Technology

One of the biggest themes I noticed in BOTW was the reoccurring nature versus technology, which played out in the atmosphere, lore, and in some cases, characters. I think this game did a great job of describing the unpredictable relationship that nature and technology have, meaning that too much of a reliance on technology might not be a good thing, but on the hand, not adjusting to a rapidly changing world could be very damaging.

The obvious one is the beautiful atmosphere containing some blights here and there of ruins caused by Calamity Ganon and the technology. There’s also the Guardians and various tech lurking around, which serves as a reminder of this duality. 

Also Divine Beasts? Divine = good   Beasts = bad 

That in itself hints at the duality of their nature. They are neither good nor bad, but really, a force that is used however their pilot deems it.

The Sheikah technology was seen with mixed feelings 10,000 years and 100 years ago. Zelda’s father was adamant in her getting her sealing power working, but also wanted to use the tech as well. They strove for balance between nature and technology- but sadly fell short due to Calamity Ganon’s unexpected behavior- his ‘nature’ was more ‘technological’ than they realized- not simply a mindless best.

Zelda’s character encompasses this - she lacks the confidence in her natural skills, wanting to find answers in the technology and finding a logical answer to their dilemma and her own. She is a smart and hard working girl to the point of obsession, but is not in tune with her natural instincts (and true feelings), and thus, is constantly denied her sealing power. No matter how much research or practice she did, nothing would work, not even praying.

It is not until her actions are driven by her care/love (you be the judge) for Link that the mystical Triforce works and provides her the ability to not only save Link, but also temporarily stop Calamity Ganon from unleashing again. She didn’t think, but rather, reacted to the scene and used her instincts. Her true wisdom was realizing she had the answer all along. She has to trust in herself for 100 years that she will be able to keep Calamity Ganon off. 

The fallen champions are another example of this duality. Revali, Urbosa, Daruk, and Mipha were chosen to pilot the Beasts, which certainly seemed like a good idea at the time. Unfortunately, they got taken over by Calamity Ganon, leading to their deaths and more destruction. Technology, in this case, was shown to also have a negative effect - if we solely rely on it, can get the better of us. Their ‘natural’ spirits are bound within the tech, unable to find peace or provide their skills for use.

Link, a force of ‘nature,’ comes in and has to reclaim the Divine Beasts. I liked this part of the game because it shows that we can always redo the mistakes of the past by getting ‘in tune’ with ourselves. Link was sealed off in technology for 100 years, and in a way, is getting back to his ‘own nature’ by relearning his past life and regaining skills. By his actions of taking the Beasts back, he allows for the champions and their loved ones to find peace.

That’s another cool component- the game is asking you to trust in your ‘natural’ spirit advisors and yourself to end an ‘unnatural’ Calamity Ganon (especially since its got fused tech). They may have passed on, but true to nature, remain champions in spirit- you can still succeed, even 100 years later. Their efforts show that as bad as the technology turned out, it is simply a matter of how it is being used and how those in power will use it that dictates whether its bad.

If there’s anything to learn from BOTW, it this is- never lose your ‘natural instincts’ guiding your faith, but don’t be afraid to engage in scientific reasoning- this duality, when balanced and used appropriately, can lead to great things.

anonymous asked:

I hear the term "weights" often in heathen circles. I know little more than that they are land-spirits. I would like to learn more about them and how they were honored and their place in old nordic practices. I thought you might be willing to share some of what you know, or some resources you recommend I explore? If it's not a hassle.

Sæll (eða sæl) vinur,
(Hello friend,)

No question is ever a hassle, my friend. I am more than happy to share my knowledge regarding vættir (nature spirits). Not all vættir are land sprits, though, for those are often referred to as landvættir. Still, vættir of the land seem to be the most common and most often interacted with, so I will focus our discussion on them specifically. To be honest, they are a particularly favorite subject of mine! I wrote a lot, so I am structuring this answer as an essay, which I hope you do not mind. It should help to organize the content!


On Landvættir: An Exploration of Primary Source Examples and Suggestions for Further Reading.

It is not surprising that we know fairly little about them, because they are quite elusive in our surviving texts. This is mainly because they are not always referred to directly being ‘landvættir’, but rather are referred to indirectly. The landvættir, from what I know of them, do not even appear in our eddic sources, but perhaps indirectly and vaguely, if they do. I also do suppose some people align the landvættir with the álfar (elves), which is reasonable. If this is done, they do appear in eddic material, in a way. Yet, even so, they still remain quite vague even in those sources. In the end, references to the landvættir seem to mostly be hidden gems scattered throughout other materials, such as Landnámabók (Book of Settlements) and the Íslendingasögur (Sagas of the Icelanders).

What are ‘Vættir’?

It is good to begin with solid footing, so let’s begin with a bit of an introduction to what a vættr (weight, or nature sprint) is:

“There were various kinds of nature spirits that the Icelanders (and other Scandinavians) believed in, and sometimes gave sacrifices to. There are early references to elves (álfar) in mainland Scandinavia. Like their modern-day equivalents, the “hidden people” (and expression used in both Norway and Iceland), these would have been of human size. Even close to nature were the guardian spirits of the land, or landvættir which inhabited the landscape. The welfare of the inhabitants of the country depended on their welfare and support, as can be seen in Egil’s Saga, ch. 58, when Egil raises a scorn-pole (níð) facing the guardian spirits of Norway. According to Ulfljot’s Law, people approaching Iceland by sea had to remove the dragon-heads from the prows of their ships to avoid frightening the guardian spirits.”(1.)

From that, we can gather a few things: that there are many more types of vættir than just those who inhabit the land (although those will be the ones I mostly focus on in this discussion), that there is a long, evolving tradition surrounding them that lasts even into current times, and that they held considerable influence over the lands they inhabited, and even over the people who lived in those lands.

The Landvættir Today (Iceland):

Speaking of modern-day representations, the landvættir live on in Iceland’s coat of arms (a dragon, a bird, a bull, and a mountain giant):

Their story is told in Snorri Sturluson’s Heimskringla, or more precisely in The Saga of Olaf Tryggvason contained therein:

“King Haraldr (as in Bluetooth, the son of Gorm) told a man skilled in magic to go in changed shape to Iceland and  find out what he could tell the king. He went in the form of a whale. And when he came to the land, he went westwards round the north of the country. He saw that all the mountains and hills were full of land-spirits (landvættir), some large and some small. And when he came opposite Vápnafjǫrðr, then he went into the fjord and was going to go ashore. Then there went down along the valley a great dragon, and with it many snakes, toads and vipers, and spat poison on him. And he swam away and westwards along the coast, right up to Eyjafjǫrðr. He went in along that fjord. There a bird went against him, so large that its wings reached out to the mountains on both sides, and a multitude of other birds both large and small. He went away from there and westwards round the coast and so south to Breiðifjǫrðr and made to go into that fjord. There a huge bull went against him and waded out into the sea and began to bellow horribly. A multitude of land-spirits came with it. He went away from there and southwards round Reykjanes and tried to go up onto Víkarsskeið. There a mountain giant came against him with an iron staff in his hand, and his head rose higher than the mountains, and many other giants with him. From there he went eastwards along the whole length of the coast.”(2.)

Thus, these landvættir have a long history, stetting far back into at least the medieval period. From this example, we can tell that they were very powerful. Not only that, though, but that the land was “full of landvættir.” Yet, this example shows their menacing power to outsiders, but what about those living among them? For this, we shall turn to the Landnámabók.

Examples from Landnámabók:

Iceland seems to have provided us with the unique opportunity of gaining some minor insights into how native settlers treated the landvættir. Below are three examples of three different settlers interacting with these spirits:

Bjorn Gnupsson (Hafr-Bjorn):

“One night Bjorn dreamed that a cliff-giant came and offered him partnership, and that he accepted the offer. Afterwards a strange billy-goat came to join his herd of goats, and his livestock began to multiply so fast that soon he was a wealthy man. After that he was called Hafr-Bjorn (Goat-Bjorn). People with second sight could see that all the guardian spirits of the land accompanied him when he attended the Althing, and Thorstein and Thord (his brothers) when they went out fishing.”(3.)

In this example, Hafr-Bjorn befriends a landvættr that is referred to as a cliff-giant, or, in some other versions I believe, as a cliff or rock-dweller. He was actually offered this friendship from the landvættr itself in a dream, which demonstrates a possible method for communication with a landvættr. Furthermore, this example reveals the benefits to such a relationship, which was usually prosperity in land-related activities, such as the raising of livestock and fishing. Hafr-Bjorn and his brothers must have treated these spirits with great respect to have earned their friendship, and the benefits of such relations are clearly worthwhile. Also, this example shows us that seeing the landvættir required a special skill, or “second sight,” so not everyone could nor can see these spirits.

Olvir Eysteinsson:

“Olvir Eysteinsson took possession of land east of Grims River where no one had dared to settle for fear of land-spirits, since Hjorleif was killed there.” (4.)

Hjorleif was a blot-brother of Ingolf’s, the alleged first settler of Iceland.(5.) He was killed by a another man’s (Dufthak) slaves while looking for a bear in the woods.(6.) Yet, it was also mentioned earlier that he “would never sacrifice to the gods.”(7.) Regardless, his death laid a bad omen across that land, which is felt even when, many years later, a settler named Olvir comes along (as told above). This example, although short, demonstrates even the native fear of the power that the landvættir held, and that if their land was disrespected, it would likely not result in peaceful times for the settlers living there.

Thorstein Red-Nose (son of Hrolf Red-Beard):

“Thorstein Red-Nose was a great sacrificer. He used to make sacrifices to the waterfall and all the left-overs had to be thrown into it. He could see clearly into the future. Thorstein had all his sheep counted and they numbered 2400; after that they all jumped over the wall of the fold. Thorstein had so many sheep because each autumn he could see which of the sheep were doomed to die, and he had those slaughtered. That’s why he always had so many. The last autumn of his life, he said at the sheep-fold, ‘Now you can slaughter any of the sheep you life. Either I’m doomed to die or the sheep are doomed, or all of us are.’ The night he died, all the sheep got swept into the waterfall by a gale.”(8.)

This example is fascinating, because we kind of must piece things together to truly get the depth behind it. Thorstein was sacrificing the a landvættr that lived in a waterfall. It seems that this landvættr granted him this ability of foresight to enhance his skill in maintaining his sheep. I find this to be the case because, at the end of this example, the sheep are ‘returned’ to the waterfall once Thorstein passes away, therefore connecting the sheep to the waterfall through Thorstein. Once he was gone, the connection was broken and the landvættr took what was rightfully its.

All of these examples serve to demonstrate the various aspects of the landvættir that you asked about. They were honored much like the gods themselves were, it seems, although suitable information to ‘prove’ this is still to be desired. They either came to you in a dream, like one did with Hafr-Bjorn, or they would be won over through generous sacrifice, as was seen with Thorstein. They were respected and given appreciation to keep them in good spirits. After all, when angered or ignored, they could cause fear, as seen with the case of Olvir, or even destructive and threatening, as seen in the Saga of Olaf Tryggvason.

Examples from Icelandic Sagas and Tales:

If Landnámabók was not quite satisfying enough, there are still a few examples to be explored from Egil’s Saga and The Tale of Thorvald the Far-Travelled. For those reading this that are already well-read, it may seem odd for me to be leaving out Bard’s Saga. That example deals with vættir-related subject matter intensively, and I would rather recommend that as a full reading than except it as an example on this post, so I will return to Bard momentarily.

Egil’s Saga, chapter 58:

“He (Egil) took a hazel pole in his hand and went to the edge of a rock facing inland. Then he took a horse’s head and put it on the end of the pole.

Afterwards he made an invocation, saying, ‘Here I set up this scorn-pole (nið) and turn its scorn upon King Eirik and Queen Gunnhild’ - then turned the horse’s head to face land - ‘and I turn its scorn upon the nature spirits (vættir) that inhabit this land, sending them all astray so that none of them shall find its resting-place by chance or design until they have driven King Eirik and Gunnhild from this land.’

Then he drove the pole into a cleft in the rock and left it to stand there. He turned the head towards the land and carved the whole invocation in runes on the pole.”(9.)

In this example, we can see that people can actually ‘control’ the wrath of vættir, and they can even turn this wrath onto others, if they are skilled enough. Yet, in the case of Egil, he was wronged, and so he had right on his side (see footnote 9 for detail). Perhaps, then, vættir have a sense of justice even. Nonetheless, I suppose this is a sort of ritual, in which one would target their enemies with strong words, runes, and insulting imagery. Yet, it does hint that the vættir did play a social function as well. This was already indicated by the landvættir, who often protect the land and the people who dwell there, if they have a good relationship with them, of course. Thus, vættir can either protect people or attack them, depending on their relationship with the user and his or her skill.

Thorvald the Far-Travelled, chapter 3:

In this example, the ‘theme’ of a vættr is used very strategically by the author, so we must take caution in how we read this source. In the quote below, Thorvald talks with his father, Kodran, about converting to Christianity. Kodran responds (at first) by telling Thorvald that he has a ‘prophet’ who lives in some nearby stone, and that this prophet helps him in many ways. The author treats this prophet as a demon, although it seems that this figure is being built upon the tradition of the vættir.

“ ‘But I have another prophet of my own, who is very beneficial to me. He tells me many things which have not yet come to be. He takes care of my cattle, and reminds me what I should do and what I should avoid. That is why I have great faith in him and have worshipped him for a long time, but you are your prophet (a bishop named Fridrek) and your religion disparage him a great deal, and he dissuades me from making any agreements with you, and especially from taking your faith.’

‘Where does your prophet live?’ asked Thorvald.

‘He lives here, close by my farm,’ said Kodran, ‘in a large and imposing stone.’

Thorvald asked how long he had been living there.

Kodran said he had lived there for a long time.”(10.)

A few things should sound familiar by now. This is a landvættr, for he dwells within a stone. It also seems that we can conclude that landvættir are prophetic, because both here and with Thorstein Red-Nose in Landnámabók. The landvættir also tend to earthly things, such as livestock and farms, as we have seen with Hafr-Bjorn (goats), Thorstein Red-Nose (sheep), and now here with Kodran (cattle). The ‘prophet’ is also very old, which would not be surprising for a landvættr. Thus, it is not unreasonable to notice the connection here with landvættir, even though this tale never explicitly uses the term, which brings back a point made earlier that references to landvættir are like hidden gems scattered throughout our sources.

Recommendations for Further Reading:

It may be troublesome to randomly read sagas and tales with the hopes of stumbling upon one of these gems. Of course, I have already named a few that touch on the topic, but they are generally centered around other ideas and motives. If you want the short-cut method (other than just reading this post), I highly recommend you take a look into this source:

H.R. Ellis Davis, Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe: Early Scandinavian and Celtic Religions(Syracuse University Press, 1989). 

This book would be the best way to learn about the material from a reliable place, and without scavenging the primary source material for information. Google has an eBook version that contains a preview, if you would like to check that out before purchasing. For the most direct information on landvættir, I recommend special attention be given to pages 102 through 133. In fact, I tried to make use of the examples discussed in her book as well, so that, if you choose to read it, things should be more familiar to you already. The whole book seems to be quite the gem, though, so you may be interested in that text for other purposes as well.

Regarding primary sources, you can investigate any of the sources I covered in this post by looking at the relevant footnotes. I will say, though, that I have mostly pulled what is relevant from the sources that you would have easy access to. For example, I would hate to recommend Egil’s Saga just for you to only have that portion of chapter 58 to read about regarding landvættir.

As I mentioned briefly before, I do highly recommend a complete reading of Bard’s Saga, although it may be difficult to acquire the text. I have done research on what English translations are available for all the Icelandic sagas and tales (you can see that information on this post), and, in this endeavor, I found that Bard’s Saga seems to only be reasonably accessible (in English) via this book: 

Ralph O’Connor, Icelandic Histories & Romances. (Tempus, 2004).

If you have trouble, don’t hesitate to let me know, because I would be more than happy to try to help you find a way to read that saga.

Conclusion:

So, in the end, what have we learned?

  • Vættir are nature spirits, and people often sacrificed to them. Many of these vættir were called landvættir, but only those who lived in features of the land, such as waterfalls or large stones.
  • Landvættir (at least) can be in the form of animals, so they do not always take a human form.
  • Vættir could be friendly, but they could also be spiteful when angered, ignored, or disrespected.
  • Some landvættir protected entire regions or countries, whereas others protected local farmsteads. Sometimes they did not protect for the sake of humanity, but for themselves, and so if you are not on friendly terms with them, they will likely cause you great trouble.
  • Many people gave offerings to the landvættir to build a stronger relationship with them and the land. These offerings were not always material, but could also be offerings of respect and recognition, because some landvættir became friendly with people without the need for a formal sacrifice. Sometimes they would come to people in dreams, but only if they wished to.
  • A landvættr could offer a friend many gifts, but mostly prosperity in regards to the raising of livestock, in farming, and even in advice. Another frequent gift they would offer would be the gift of prophecy or foresight.
  • The vættir could be ‘manipulated’ in such a way to incite trouble for a foe, although this seems to require careful skill, for the user would not wish to disrespect the vættir him- or herself, lest they wish to incur their wrath. Yet, this could also be due to good relations.
  • Not everyone could see vættir, for this required a special ability referred to as “second-sight.”
  • Despite not holding a prominent place in Eddic material, other sources suggest that the vættir placed a very central and regional role within the confines of Norse heathenism, and even beyond. Many of the practices told above would ahem been a part of daily life, and can best be summed up as a deep respect, and sometimes fear, of the power of nature.
  • The tradition surrounding the vættir has lived on for quite a long time, existing likely even before Iceland was settled. The vættir still live on today in folklore and in national images such as Iceland’s coat of arms.

Seems like we have learned quite a bit! Of course, this is perhaps only just the surface of the complexity that surrounds the vættir, but it is still quite rich and rewarding. Besides, I have only discussed examples from Iceland. Nonetheless, I do hope that you and others benefit from this post, despite its possibly daunting length. Feel free to reach out to me in the future if the need arises. I am always happy to discuss these things!

Með vinsemd og virðingu,
(With friendliness and respect,)
Fjörn


FOOTNOTES:

1. Viðar Hreinsson, Reference Section: Glossary, in The Complete Sagas of Icelanders: Including 49 Tales, Vol. V, edited by Viðar Hreinsson, Robert Cook, Terry Gunnell, Keneva Kunz, and Bernard Scudder, (Reykjavík: Leifur Eiríksson Publishing, 1997), 413.

Fig.1. Coat of Arms of Iceland, Wikimedia Commons.

2. Snorri Struluson, The Saga of Olaf Tryggvason, in Heimskringla, Vol. I, translated by Alison Finlay and Anthony Faulkes. (Viking Society for Northern Research: University College London, 2016), 168. (Chapter 33)

3. Hermann Pálsson and Paul Edwards trans., The Book of Settlements: Landnámabók. (repr., 1972; Manitoba: University of Manitoba Press, 2012), 125. (Chapter 329, Sturlubók)

4. Ibid., 126. (Chapter 330, Sturlubók)

5. Ari Thorgilsson, The Book of the Icelanders: Íslendingabók, translated by Siân Grønlie. (Viking Society for Northern Research: University College London, 2006), 4.

“It is said with accuracy that a Norwegian called Ingólfr travelled from there [Norway] to Iceland for the first time when Haraldr the Fine-Haired was sixteen years old, and a second time a few years later; he settled in the south in Reykjarvík.”

6. Pálsson trans., The Book of Settlements, 20. (Chapter 8, Sturlubók)

7. Ibid., 19. (Chapter 7, Sturlubók)

8. Ibid., 134. (Chapter 329, Sturlubók)

9. Bernard Scudder trans., Egil’s Saga, in The Complete Sagas of Icelanders: Including 49 Tales, Vol. I, edited by Viðar Hreinsson, Robert Cook, Terry Gunnell, Keneva Kunz, and Bernard Scudder, (Reykjavík: Leifur Eiríksson Publishing, 1997), 114. (Chapter 58) I recommend referring to the Penguin edition (page 119), due to the expense of the version I have used in writing this post.

I actually stubbled upon another bit of information, a poem this time, contained earlier in this chapter (Verse 29, page 110. Penguin: page 114). This actually explains why Egil did not incur the wrath of the landvættir, because he had right on his side. Think of it as a treat for actually reading these footnotes:

“Land spirit, the law-breaker        – (‘land spirit’ appears here as ‘landalfr’).
has forced me to travel 
far and wide; his bride deceives
the man who slew his brothers.
Grim-tempered Gunnhild must pay
for driving me from this land.
In my youth, I was quick to conquer
hesitation and avenge treachery.”

10. John Porter trans., The Tale of Thorvald the Far-Travelled, in The Complete Sagas of Icelanders: Including 49 Tales, vol. V, edited by Viðar Hreinsson, Robert Cook, Terry Gunnell, Keneva Kunz, and Bernard Scudder, (Reykjavík: Leifur Eiríksson Publishing, 1997), 360. (Chapter 3)

The Childlike Three

Youthful in nature, spirited with a disposition that can overcome even in the most daunting of situations.

Aries- Their dauntless spirit can lead them to trouble, but also to vast adventures. Their boldness is comparable to that of an honest child.

Gemini- They have a way of bouncing back from hardship in a youthful manner, where when their attention shifts, so does their perspective. Endlessly curious of this world.

Leo- Can be demanding and fall into temper tantrums, but also endlessly generous and fair minded. As you may have noticed, children are rarely malicious, but seem to learn this as they grow.

It’s kind of ridiculous how easily I find myself applying the twin theories of mimetic desire and the scapegoat mechanism to the franchises I care about.  XD;

This time, I’m going to talk about A:tLA/LoK and the way they handled each of their Big Bads.

I’ve always had a problem with the way A:tLA handled Ozai in its finale, and I think that the theory of the scapegoat mechanism can help explain why.  Ozai’s defeat functions identically to the archetypal scapegoat – all of the blame in a conflict is attributed to one person, who is killed or cast out to restore order to society – even if he’s clearly the bad guy in the story.  And, ironically, the decision to give Aang the ability to render Ozai powerless without actually killing him serves as a way to reduce the elements that would otherwise complicate this non-critical portrayal of the scapegoat mechanism.  Seeing Aang traumatized at having to abandon his convictions and take a life would have at least demonstrated that there’s a moral cost to taking advantage of that mechanism.  Instead, A:tLA gives no reason to question that its outcome is just, and it rubs that interpretation in through the childish humiliation to which Ozai is subjected before being thrown into prison.

LoK Book 1, in contrast, is consistently critical of the scapegoat mechanism, and it includes a few good illustrations of mimetic desire in the process.  The Equalist movement is nothing more than an attempt to turn Republic City’s benders into a scapegoat for all the city’s ills.  Tarrlok attempting to scapegoat non-benders as a whole for the harms caused by the Equalists is nothing more than the same thing from the opposite direction (and a good example of mimesis – Amon and Tarrlok are rivals/models, so Tarrlok mimics Amon’s own attempt at scapegoating).  Even Korra isn’t immune, especially after she involves herself in a mimetic rivalry with Tarrlok.  As it turns out, the whole thing started because Aang attempted to cast out Republic City’s ills in the form of Yakone, which backfired terribly.  And, in the end, Amon is undone because the justification for his scapegoating of benders falls apart and Korra is rewarded for not sacrificing anyone (including herself) on behalf of the city/the world as a whole.

LoK Book 2 basically does what A:tLA would have been forced to do if Aang killed Ozai – while Unavaatu must die to restore order to the world, it’s treated as an unfortunate and unpleasant necessity rather than as an uncomplicated happy ending.  It also offers a conception of Spirits as beings whose mimetic nature is even more obvious than humans’ (they literally transform in the presence of negative emotions!) and a bond between Raava and her Avatar that transforms into something completely non-rivalrous.

In LoK Book 3, Korra willingly steps into the role of the scapegoat in order to save the Air Nation, and she’s almost destroyed by it.  Interestingly, part of the reason why things turn out so badly is that she gets so caught up in her role as victim that she ignores perfectly viable options for attempting escape.

And, finally, LoK Book 4 has something of a frustrating relationship with the scapegoat mechanism.  Everything about the dynamic between Korra and Kuvira is fantastic – Kuvira sees Korra as a mimetic rival and acts accordingly, but Korra’s able to recognize the cycle and disarm it with unconditional self-sacrificial love.  But then there’s also stuff like Kuvira scapegoating foreign benders for literally no reason whatsoever (even though scapegoating is in its essence a crisis diffusing mechanism that only works when the populace at large are on-board with it) and Su getting in one last bit of self-righteous judgment before Kuvira’s carted off-screen for the final time.  Book 4 was weird.

One last thing: that line where Korra says that she “needed to understand what true suffering was so [she] could become more compassionate to others?”  Part of the reason why it feels so off is that it refers to Korra’s suffering generically instead of recognizing it as the suffering of a willing scapegoat.  Korra’s plenty compassionate in general; what changed is that the personal experience of being at the mercy of those who saw her death as justifiable for the greater good forced her to reconsider some of her own tendencies.

anonymous asked:

Travis' chin scar has had many origin stories. Is it from protecting his brother from bullies or from the wrath of Katie? What is the truth?

somewhere in the CHB forest there’s a nature spirit that saw Travis (who was on an evening run because he was feeling restless) get distracted by the shine of a gold drachma in the grass and eat shit, cutting his chin on the root of a tree 

Indigo Children ...

Are you an Indigo Child?

There are some common traits Indigo Children share through which we recognize ourselves and each other. Below is an outline of those traits. If this seems to describe you, chances are you are an Indigo. Connecting with other Indigo’s will enable you to confirm this or point you in the right direction to continue your self discovery and awakening.

Keep reading

Growth

[Starter for @the-randy-dragon]


The young dragoness was wandering aimlessly around the woods,enjoying the last few days of sun,yet a cold breeze,forcing her to shudder and puff up her plumage,reminded her that winter is already behind the door.

Most came to these parts of the woods to look at the wonderful sceneries this place offered,they described it as ‘feast for the eye’,but it was not the case for the you Carrier.Where her eyes should’ve been were two empty holes,only roots of the small bonsai tree were wraped around the eyebrow ridges.
The dragoness could easily lie down and cease to exist for a random passer-by,if the green colouring wasn’t enough,the said bonsai on her head and moss,that grew on her body,mostly back,wings and legs.

This creature felt almost like she was one with the forest,navigating by unknown means,not even once crashing a single tree,truly a spirit of nature.

7

Druids

Within the purity of the elements and the order of the wilds lingers a power beyond the marvels of civilization. Furtive yet undeniable, these primal magics are guarded over by servants of philosophical balance known as druids. Allies to beasts and manipulators of nature, these often misunderstood protectors of the wild strive to shield their lands from all who would threaten them and prove the might of the wilds to those who lock themselves behind city walls. Rewarded for their devotion with incredible powers, druids gain unparalleled shape-shifting abilities, the companionship of mighty beasts, and the power to call upon nature’s wrath. The mightiest temper powers akin to storms, earthquakes, and volcanoes with primeval wisdom long abandoned and forgotten by civilization.

While some druids might keep to the fringe of battle, allowing companions and summoned creatures to fight while they confound foes with the powers of nature, others transform into deadly beasts and savagely wade into combat. Druids worship personifications of elemental forces, natural powers, or nature itself. Typically this means devotion to a nature deity, though druids are just as likely to revere vague spirits, animalistic demigods, or even specific awe-inspiring natural wonders.

infodump ahead

ok.. but…
why doesnt lemon demon have the popularity he deserves. spirit phone is a literal work of art and if you like songs like two trucks you’d love spirit phone and even the other music from two trucks’s album (nature tapes)
spirit phone is BEAUTIFUL and you can tell how long it was under production based on the music itself. all the songs are amazing and they never get old, and listening to them again is a really really really good experience
the opener is lifetime achievement award and holy shit it works so well, along with the ending of it declaring that this record in no way endorses a belief in the occult, and the ending loops perfectly into touch-tone telephone. touch-tone telephone’s placement is also really nice, considering its weirdness is more on the side of subtext and it can be misinterpreted pretty easily. but it’s a lot of people’s favorite song because it’s really catchy and upbeat and the tone it has is something a lot of people like, along with the love song-y esque lyrics that a lot of the songs on spirit phone have
and it loops perfectly into cabinet man, which is also an amazing song but much more upfront with its story. cabinet man loops to eyed girl which is AMAZING and then we have when he died
when he died is a dud. it breaks from the formula the album uses of telling something in almost the second person, as a narrarator speaking TO you and instead shifts to third person. it’s still an amazing song, but it’s not… the same.
god i have too much to say on this album please listen to spirit phone it’s a work of art

anonymous asked:

Can spirit companies be human too? Like people who used to be alive, but haven't been able to move on yet? And can they come to you naturally, even if you don't do spirit work?(They came to me long before I had even gotten into witchcraft). Also can you tell Thorn I hope he finds a wonderful home? I'd apply for him but I don't feel I'm experienced enough in spirit work yet, so I hope someone who is does!

Thorn thanks you!

And yes! Companions can be human!