In honor of Victor Hugo’s birthday, please reblog with one (1) Wild Fact about him. My go-to is the one about his funeral, and how all the prostitutes in Paris wore black veils over their crotches to mourn their best client.
( @pilferingapples I KNOW you have some good ones, and probably some I haven’t heard yet.)
kpop leaders don’t get nearly as much love & appreciation as they deserve, yall we need to show them we know how hard they work & how hard it is to carry the burdens that come w/ being the group leader 🌟
Super Junior’s Leeteuk
a father not to only suju, but the rest of all kpop groups. every single one of them.
always always supports his members through whatever hardships they face
went through some hardships himself after losing his father and other family members, he rly is the strongest person ever to pull through
WHAT A MEME THO his humor is subtle but binch he’ll roast anyone who comes for his kids
has the face of an angel, but mind is dirty as hell asdfghjk
the man, the myth, the legend…………..kwon jiyong nvm that’s a whole different person
the only other thing that’s legendary besides his discography is his fashion sense yall
a rockstar pimp on stage, a shy kitten-loving introvert when he’s alone
to quote the maknae seungri himself, “he truly is an artist”
sticks up for his group and has no time for bullshit
find u another sunshine human being who’s capable of so much love after all he’s been through…………………….I’ll wait
adored by us all bc even tho he’s mostly a silent leader, he does everything for his group
raised shinee like a perfect dad would, they love him so much
a meme that just keeps on giving shinee pinee
is so precious when looking upon his members & you can see that proud gleam in his eye oh my goooood
exo’s and exo-l’s self proclaimed guardian angel
has trained the longest out of the members and never even knew when he was going to debut and if it was all going to be worth it…….. but man it sure was
the punching bag literally and figuratively of exo rip dad jokes
all of the members have cried at least once bc of how much they love him & appreciate him being their leader omldfghj
voice of a literal angel
hakyeon is a leader that puts the group before himself in anything & it rly shows
is the reason why vixx is super close, he practically showered them in constant skinship like they were his puppies
rly cares and looks out for not only his members, but his precious starlights as well (a charitable king, a charitable fandom)
u can thank this man here for all the killer vixx dance routines that make u question life itself uhhhh thanks n
a proud parent of the satan maknae, hyuk
the wildest wild card leader in all the history of kpop
you’d never be able to tell from his beautiful voice that he makes the ugliest faces known to man hes so pretty tho ???
rumor has it he’s officially gone insane from all the wild behavior from his members rip wang he loves his kids ok he wouldn’t trade them for a potato chip don’t listen to ilhoon
smol grandpa wants to be a tol stringbean, he’d sell his soul to be as tall as the makane
super close w/ all the 2012 leaders and they all meme together
whale deep voice, shy cupcake persona………….
it’s rly conflicting but this man has a heart of gold and yall he’s been nominated for a humanitarian award, did someone say angel sent from heaven?????
yongguk at any given time at any given place: rly doesn’t wanna be here
it is a known fact worldwide that he is the most attractive person alive, not even just on the outside………..don’t look it up it’s just a fact
has the most special relationship w/ his members, honestly they adore him so much
tho he’s rly laid back & chill on the outside, he worries a lot for the members and worries abt proving himself to his company
is actually married to jinyoung, this is another fact
is high key jealous of twice & wants to be showered in affection by jyp
if nora (his kitty) is around, he forgets abt everything & everyone he’s such a meme
constantly doubts himself but he’s so precious n works so hard n deserves all the love he receives
the literal dad of those 12 kids aka the rest of seventeen
if he could he would give the whole world to his members bc he loves them that much wow get u a man like this
rly smol but his heart is full of love
spits bars like it’s nobody’s business, all hail hip hop unit
probably the member responsible for turning vernon into the meme he is today
could wear a trash bag over his head and still be one of the most beautiful people in the world
I always say he’s rly dumb n goofy but I mean that in the best way as in there couldn’t be a better leader for ikon
gets rly serious during writing and choreographing and producing processes but it pays off w/ his music
listen I’m not saying he’d give up everything for bobby but that’s exactly what I’m saying uhhh this boy is in love
underappreciated squad leader
Monsta X’s Shownu
papa bear // robot // expressionless leader………..u name it, he’s a versatile man lmao
body sculpted of gold tbfh n he knows it
he is a constant mood bc of all the times he sits back & watches the members’ shenanigans he don’t want no part of it tyvm
someone cast him for a drama bc we are not letting this talent go wasted after seeing monsta x-ray 2
has a honey-like voice that’s perfect for torturing monbebes
bob the builder had a major glow up & now he’s the leader of jyp’s meme bois
dbfgjkl no but he is the sweetest and most appreciative guy ever, he pours his heart into their music
I mean ye he’ll sell the maknaes for $2 if asked but at the end of the day and thru all the nagging, he loves those kids
never shows off his actual god-like dancing skills bc he’s too teased, let him live lmao
the nicest muffin from Busan
the father of …….17?? uhhhh 18? kids???? look we don’t know how many kids he has but he has enough love in heart for all of them
honestly probably has photos stashed of the members that he took when they weren’t aware
looks out for his youngest esp
is also made into a meme by his youngest aka dream
just wants his foreign line to get screen time + lines :(((
the man has made history yet again by winning the thousandth winter olympic gold medal - it’s the first time a skater has won the gold consecutively (2014, 2018) in 66 years, following dick button in 1948 and 1952.
this is also yuzuru’s first competition in 4 months following an injury that left him unable to skate until only a month ago.
yuzuru has also confirmed at the press conference that he is still recovering from his injury, yet he still went out and did what he did.
yuzuru hanyu has just, without a doubt, solidified his status as the greatest figure skater of all-time.
In the early 1990s a group of deranged scientists began breeding canine-food hybrids in the event of a near apocalyptic event so that survivors would have the companionship of man’s best friend and also some snacks. The program was shut down almost immediately when a court ruled that it was “like, totally messed up and wrong, what were you idiots thinking?” They have finished only one hybridization, Carl the Corndog, and were forced to let him run free. Some say Carl the Corndog still roams the plains of America to this day, some say he is only a myth, an urban legend, a tall tail…
Meayll Hill (Mull Hill) is not a true stone circle, but a unique
group of Neolithic chambered tombs built around 3500 BC.
These tombs are characteristic for Neolithic farmers in the
British Isles, but the arrangement of 12 of them in ring formation is
very unusual and no one knows why they were arranged this way. A group
of stone foundations of Neolithic huts can be found nearby to the east with an ancient pathway running between the two
According to local lore, some visitors have had unpleasant
paranormal experiences at Meayll Hill, including the feeling of sudden
disorientation. Others have seen unexplained moving lights and heard
strange sounds, like the cadence of invisible horses trotting or
galloping by. One tale says that a phantom army of horsemen has been
seen riding along the circle.
The site is located just outside the village of Cregneash at the southern end of the Isle of Man, in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland.
Aries the first sign of the greek zodiac, marking the beginning of spring and the start of a new cycle of life.
The story of Aries is linked with the myth of the Golden Ram, which saved two kids, a brother and a sister, from being sacrificed in order to appease the gods.
The next sign of the greek zodiac is the constellation of Taurus (bull), associated with the legend of Theseusand the Minotaur.
According to myth, Theseus volunteered to be one of the youths from Athens who would be offered as food to the horrible monster Minotaur (half man, half bull) who stayed in Crete, in the labyrinth. But, when he was there and with the help of Ariadne, the legendary hero managed to kill the beast and thus relieve his city Athens from the terrible punishment imposed by the Cretan king Minos.
The constellation of Gemini is the next sign of the greek zodiac. It is linked with the story of the twin brothers Castor and Polydeuces (Pollux in latin).Actually, they were not twins in the ordinary sense, since they had different fathers.
Their story starts when Zeus, king of the gods, wanted to have an affair with Leda, the lovely queen of Sparta. In order to fool her, he transformed himself into a beautiful swan.
In the course of time, Leda bore two eggs: One of them contained a baby girl named Helen (the same one who later was the cause of the Trojan War) and a boy called Pollux. These two were the divine children of Zeus.
The other egg opened up to reveal another girl and boy, Clytemnestra (who later became the wife of Agamemnon, the military leader of the Greeks in the Trojan War) and Castor. These were the mortal children of king Tyndareus, the legitimate husband of Leda.
Despite the fact that one brother was divine and the other mortal, the twins Castor and Pollux grew to be inseparable. They did everything together and they loved each other dearly.
Because they were so close, they were called by one name; the Dioscuri. As they were growing, they both loved all kinds of sport. Pollux was particularly good at boxing, while Castor was renowned for his skill and daring on horseback.
The constellation of the greek zodiac known as Cancer(Crab), is linked with the second labour of the mighty hero Hercules, when he was assigned by Eurystheus to kill Lerna Hydra, a horrible water snake with a hundred heads.
As the story goes, in the midst of Hercules’ struggle, Hera, who was the hero’s worst enemy, ordered a giant crab to go and help the Hydra by digging its claws into Hercules’ foot.
Howling with pain, the hero stamped on the crab furiously, crushing it to death.
Hera, being grateful for its support and in recognition of its attempt to help her, honoured the crab by placing its image among the stars, as the constellation of Cancer.
Leo, the fifth constellation of the greek zodiac, is linked with Hercules’ very first labour, the capture of the Nemean Lion.
According to the myth, Hercules finally managed to kill the beast by strangling it to death. Then, he skinned the lion and took its pelt to wear it. He was then quite protected from his enemies, as the skin could not be penetrated from any known weapon of the time whether made of iron, bronze or stone.
After its death, the famous lion was put on the sky by Zeus, to become the constellation of Leo.
The constellation of Virgo is associated with the story of Demeter and her daughter Persephone. For the ancient Greeks, the story of Demeter and Persephone helped to explain why the seasons change.
The stars that form the golden scales of Libra lie halfway around the band of the greek zodiac, between Virgo and Scorpio.
Day and night are equal when the sun passes through the constellation of Libra. The scales are a symbol of balance and equity.
More specifically, the scales were considered to be the symbol of Dike, meaning Justice, who was a minor goddess of the Underworld.
The fact that the ancient greeks gave Libra a prominent place in the sky, signifies that they considered justice, equity and balance in general, to be the moral cornerstones of an ideal way of living.
The eighth constellation of the greek zodiac is the one with the name Scorpio. The story of the scorpion is connected with different versions of stories that involve the mighty hunter Orion- a hero who is represented by another familiar group of stars.
Orion was said to be the tallest and the most handsome man of the then known world. He was often seen hunting in the woods and hills of ancient Greece with his pack of dogs. His constellation shows him striding across the heavens flourishing a gleaming sword on his bejewelled belt.
Many of the stories concerning the constellations of Orion and Scorpio reflect the annual rising and setting of their constellations, which appear to pursue each other across the sky.
One story tells how Gaia had sent the scorpion to sting Orion, in order to punish him for being too boastful, claiming that he was so mighty that he could easily rid the whole earth of all beasts and creatures.
As soon as the scorpion was released from the breast of Gaia, it immediately stung Orion and its deadly venom sent him straight to his death.
The scorpion was set up on the sky by Gaia to mark her victory, while goddess Artemis, who had loved Orion, placed his image on the sky as well, forming his own constellation. Because Orion had cared so much for his hunting dog, Artemis also put up a star for his dog: This is Sirius, the brightest star in the heavens.
There is another story about Orion and the scorpion.
One day, when Orion was out in the woods, he caught sight of seven beautiful sisters, the daughters of Atlas and Pleione. Orion loved them all at first sight and began to chase after them.
The sisters, however, were terrified and cried out to Zeus to save them.
Zeus heard their pleas and helped them by turning them first into doves, so they could fly away from Orion, and then into the seven stars which are now called Pleiades.
According to myth, Orion was stung by the scorpion as a punishment for chasing the seven sisters. Zeus decided that the constellations of Orion and the Pleiades were arranged in the heavens, so that it seemed that Orion was in constant pursuit of the seven sisters, without ever becoming successful, just as the Scorpio seems always to be chasing Orion, without ever touching him.
The constellation of Sagittarius (the archer),depicts a creature called centaur, which has the body and head of a man and the hindquarters of a horse.
He is named after Cheiron, the most famous and king of the centaurs. He was semi-divine, as he was the son of god Poseidon. He was taught by god Apollo and goddess Artemis, and from them he learned both wisdom and spirituality.
He dwelt in a cave high up in the rocky, snowy sides of Mount Pelion. He was the oldest and wisest of all the centaurs and very strong. In fact, he was so famous, that many kings had trusted their sons to teach them. Among the most famous of his students were Hercules, and Jason, who later became the leader of the argonauts.
As the myth goes, Cheiron was destined to suffer a gruesome death: When Hercules was returning home to Tiryns after killing the Erymanthian Boar, he had a violent encounter with some drunken centaurs, which he managed to drive away near the place where Cheiron lived.
By accident, however, one of the poisonous arrows that Hercules used to defend himself from his attackers, went astray and hit his old teacher. Cheiron, being semi-divine, would not die, having to suffer an excruciating pain, because of the poison.
He was in such an agony, that Zeus himself felt sorry for the poor centaur and permitted him to give up his divine status and give it to Prometheus, the creator of the human race. So, Cheiron finally was let to die, relieved from the intolerable pain that was inflicted on him from the wound.
The constellation of the greek zodiac by the name of Capricorn, is as strange as that of Sagittarius. It is a sea god, with the head and half the body of a goat, and the tail of a fish.
The story of Capricorn is associated with the birth of Zeus, the father of all gods.
As the story goes, when Rhea gave birth to baby Zeus, she feared that her cruel husband Cronus would devour her child, just as he did with the previous ones that she gave birth to.
So, she secretly took her child to Crete, where he was safely kept in a cave on Mount Dicte. There, he was nursed and cared for by Amaltheia, whose name means “tender”. She was a goat nymph, and she looked after baby Zeus with the greatest love and devotion, feeding him on her own rich milk and sweet lavender-scented honey.
Zeus’s golden cradle was hung high upon a tree so that Cronus would never find him in Heaven or Earth, or even in the ocean.
When Zeus later became the lord of the universe, he did not forget his goat-mother, Amaltheia, who had nursed him so lovingly. He took one of her horns and turned it into the horn of plenty, which is always filled with whatever delicious food or drink its owner may wish for, and is never empty.
Finally, in recognition of all she had done for him, she set her image among the rest of stars on the greek zodiac, as the constellation of Capricorn.
The constellation of Aquariusshows a person pouring water out of a jug. It is thought that the story behind this group of stars is that of Ganymede.
Ganymede was the son of king Tros, after whom Troy was named. The young prince was the most exquisite and handsome youth that ever lived, and was adored and admired by both gods and mortals.
Zeus, who was especially fond of beautiful people, was totally infatuated with Ganymedes’s external appearance. Thinking it would be appropriate for so handsome a mortal as Ganymede to live with the gods, the mighty god disguised himself as an enormous eagle. He then flew down to Earth, captured the handsome youth and brought him up to Olympus.
Up there on the heavenly palace, Zeus had to find a job for his young protegee. So, he decided that Ganymede should be given the special honour of being his personal cupbearer.
The position was considered to be highly distinguished, since the person who was assigned the duty of the cupbearer, was responsible for pouring into the glasses of the Olympians the divine drink called nectar. This was the special drink that bestowed on the gods their eternal youth and vigor.
Zeus was forever fond of his cupbearer. So, he honoured him by giving him a prominent position on the greek zodiac, as the constellation of Aquarius.
The image of the two fish swimming in different directions make the constellation of Pisces.
Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, was thought to be the source of inspiration for this particular constellation being set in the stars.
After Zeus had fought his father, Cronus, he defeated the race of the giants, who were the children of Gaia, the mother earth.
In revenge for the destruction of her children, Gaia gave birth to a horrible monster, called Typhon. He was the largest and most frightening creature ever born. From the thighs down he was a mass of coiled snakes, while his arms were so long that when he spread them out he reached a hundred leagues each way.
Let loose by his mother Gaia, Typhon thundered towards the Olympian home of the gods, declaring war on all of them. The gods hurried to disguise themselves, in the hope that the horrible creature would not find them:
Zeus took the image of a ram; Hera, became a white cow; Artemis became a cat; Hermes turned into an ibis, while Ares became a wild boar.
Lastly, the goddess Aphrodite and her son Eros, dived deep into the ocean and took the shape of twin fish.
When the fierce monster was finally captured by Zeus and all of the Olympians were transformed back to their original form, Aphrodite, being grateful to the fish who had lent their form to her and her son when they were in distress, put up their image on the night sky. Thus, Pisces became the last constellation of the greek zodiac.
The “Green Man” is an urban legend which originated in Pennsylvania and is said to be a glowing supernatural entity or a demon which wanders the country roads at night. This is one urban legend that has truth behind it and the truth is a lot more upsetting than scary.
In 1918, Raymond Robinson, who was just a young boy, was climbing on a train track bridge to get a closer look at some birds when he was electrocuted. The shock sent 22,000 volts of electricity through his body and literally melted his face - he lost both of his eyes, his nose, an ear, and even an arm. As Raymond grew up, he was bullied by other kids, who mocked him by calling him cruel names such as “The Zombie” and because of this, he chose to stay indoors.
The very rare time he would venture outside was at nights when he would walk along State Route 351 with his walking stick. Locals caught wind of this and would go out at night in an attempt to catch a glimpse of Raymond - some would mock him as he walked alone while others were friendly.
Raymond stopped these late night walks during the last years of his life and moved to the Beaver County Geriatric Center where he died when he was 74-years-old. The real story of what Raymond experienced became obscured and overshadowed by the ghost stories that grew out of them and Raymond became more of an urban legend than a sentient being who was ostracised by the community purely due to his appearance.
The Björketorp Runestone is one of many standing stones (menhir) located in Bleking, Sweden and is one of the world’s tallest runestones, measuring 13.7 feet (4.2 m) high. It is part of a stone circle with two other blank standing stones, with several other solitary stones in the surrounding regions. Most scholars date the runestone’s inscription to the 7th century AD. It’s carved with a type of runes that form an intermediate version between the Elder Futhark and the Younger Futhark. The runestone is inscribed on both sides, the shorter message appears to say “I foresee perdition” or “prediction of perdition” and the longer side’s inscription (pictured) translates as:
“I, master of the runes(?) conceal here runes of power. Incessantly (plagued by) maleficence, (doomed to) insidious death (is) he who breaks this (monument). I prophesy destruction / prophecy of destruction.”
Local lore says that the curse came true at one point. Long ago, a man wanted to move the runestone so that he could have more room to farm, so he piled wood around it to attempt to heat the stone and then crack it with water. The weather was calm with no wind at the time, but as soon as he lit the fire a sudden gust came and lit the man’s hair aflame. He dropped to the ground to put it out but his clothes caught fire and the poor man died in agony. The flame around the runestone, however, was miraculously extinguished, as if someone had smothered the fire.
I remember in my early days trying to find resources on historical Celtic witchcraft. I wanted to learn about the witchcraft from the places I descended from. So, I searched for answers. I read book after book on the supposed witch practices found in Wales, Ireland, and Scotland (Raymond Buckland never steered me so wrong, and that’s really saying something). However, I remember feeling…unsatisfied. It didn’t seem historical or based in any pre-Gardnerian lineage. It seemed like Wiccan influenced witchcraft based in Gaelic and Gallic mythology. However, the authors of the books were claiming that it was truly historical and traditional. Lo and behold, I was correct. So then came the question “What is historical ‘celtic’ witchcraft and where can I find it?”
First of all, there is no one Celtic witchcraft. The word ‘Celtic’ applies to both Gaels and Gauls (though it’s said that Gauls aren’t included in that term at all, but for now, we’ll use it). There are six nations covered under ‘Celt’; Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, The Isle of Man, and Cornwall. Any witchcraft that originates from those lands can be considered ‘Celtic’, but the use of that term can create confusion and misinformation. Though they may look similar at times, and though they are all witchcraft, they are not the same. Methods changed from environment to environment. The witchery has always been based in the Land.
I’ll briefly describe the practices and lore found in each land, but it is by no means exhaustive.
In the circles of traditional witchcraft, Cornish witchery has been made very clear and accessible with much thanks to the wonderful Gemma Gary. Cornwall has perhaps one of the strongest histories of magical practice out of the Celtic Fringe. Not only witches, but Pellars (cunning folk), were a large part of the culture. Folk magic, the basis of both witch and pellar magic alike, ran rampant through Cornwall. The Pellars of Cornwall held a very strong likeness to witches, so much so that some folklorists consider them the same. The Pellars made it a point to have a wide range of services available to their customer. That meant that they would both curse and cure. The magic of Cornwall often came in the form of small spell bags filled with either powders, folded written charms, or other magical ingredient. These bags did a number of things, from love conjuring, curse breaking, and spirit banishing to healing, luck magic, and finding lost possessions. According to Cornish witch lore, a witch’s power fluctuates with the seasons, and it was in the spring that a witch’s power was renewed. The different pellars and witches of Cornwall would also clash through reputation of power. Though they clashed, the witches of Cornwall would also gather for their sabbats, which were a strange thing to behold to outsiders. Witches, both young and old, would dance with the Devil around fires, faster and closer to the flames with each pass, and never be singed. The ability to spontaneously disappear is spoken of (which may suggest flying). Black animals, especially black cats, are often spoke of in Cornish witch lore. The association with witch and toad is especially strong here, and it can be seen as a familiar, a shapeshifting witch, a charm, or an indicator of a witch.
Witchcraft that comes from Wales can be particularly tricky to find. The term ‘Welsh Witch’ has been popular since the early days of Stevie Nicks. This makes it notoriously difficult to find any historical references on actual Welsh witches. In actuality, there were two kinds of magical practitioner in Wales. The first was a wizard (known as a cunning man in England) and the second was a witch. Wizards were very popular and plenty in number in Wales. Their practice was based mainly in healing the ill and livestock. They also did favors, like giving love potions and undoing witch spells. One Welsh tale, however, tells about a conjuror who is unable to undo a witch’s spell on a butter churn, so the farmer must turn to another witch to reverse it. Welsh witches were thought to have great power. They were able to raise the dead, curse their enemies, and according to older legends, shape shift and fly. Observing the myth of a sorceress named Cerridwen and the legends of Morgan le Fey and Nimue, there comes a general idea of what a witch was in Wales and Welsh legend. The idea of someone brewing potions and poisons was most definitely associated with witches, but more broadly, elements of water and weather seem to have importance. Interaction with the fairies also holds a very strong importance in Welsh craft. Walking between worlds, particularly this world and the world of the Fairy (Avalon, anyone?), was a skill that many wizards, witches, and heroes of Welsh myth acquired. All in all, the witchcraft in Wales is quite similar to the witchcraft found in England, as is the interaction between Wizard (cunning folk or Wise Men and Women) and Witch.
In Brittany, a very strong fear and dislike for witches is found that is unlike Wales. Witches in Brittany were thought to be many in number. The legends suggest that they targeted farmers especially, making sure always to turn milk sour and spoil butter. They were also accounted to be particularly dangerous and vicious. Any man who watched their Sabbat would either not be found, found dead, or found scared witless and unable to speak. The witches of Brittany, however, were also sought out by the townsfolk. Indeed, there were witch doctors to fix their issues, but the witches were sought out for love spells and favors. Witch-cats are also mentioned, which could be either a reference to familiars or shapeshifting. Most strangely, Breton witches are said to very rarely cast spells on their targets and instead cast spells on the animals and possessions of the target. Every village is said to have a local witch. Some villages are said to be completely filled with witches. Many of them carry cane-like sticks with which they cast their spells. They were also said to be skilled in spells to find things, like lost objects and buried treasure. The line between village conjuror/wizard and witch is difficult to draw here. They may choose to help or harm, depending on their inclinations. For that reason, they still hold a strong reputation in Brittany, despite it being a place noted for its skepticism.
The Isle of Man
On the Isle of Man, both witches and magicians were an important part of the environment. The first thing you’ll find on the witches from the Isle is that they practiced much magic involving the weather and the sea. Magic was used to help the fishermen catch more fish, make sure the winds were good for travel, and settle storms at sea. A charm was made by a witch and given to a sailor that stored the winds inside. When he was at sea and in need of a gust, he would use the charm. Interestingly, the line between witch and cunning person seemed to blur here. Cunning folk were known as Charmers and Witch Doctors. Witches, however, were employed when needed. There was a perceived difference between the magic of different kinds of practitioners. Do not be mistaken, though. The fear and dislike of witches still existed. Many farmers feared the wrath of witches, especially when their crops failed and their cattle died. To reveal the witch responsible, they would burn whatever died. The person in pain the next day was thought responsible. As throughout all of Europe, witches were thought to have gained their power either through birth or through the Devil’s grace. However, witches were looked upon differently in the Isle than other places. Because of its long associations with magic, it had many kinds of magical practitioners and witches were not always considered to be the most powerful of them. Magicians, who practiced an art to compel and work with spirits and powers beyond other kinds of practitioners, were revered. They were usually compared to the image of Manannán Mac Lir, considered both a sea god and a powerful magician. The ability to fly and walk between worlds was also attributed to the witches and magicians of the Isle of Man, most likely due to the latter.
Witchcraft flourished in Scotland perhaps as much, if not more than, in Wales. Scotland’s witch trials are famous, and perhaps the most famous among them was Isobel Gowdie. In her free confession, she detailed a story that most labeled imaginary. She spoke of fairies, elf bolts, curses, shapeshifting, flying, and lewd activities with the Devil. When comparing it with the confession of Alison Pearson, another Scottish witch she had never met, a Scottish fairy tradition begins to appear. Alison also details stories of going under the hills to meet the fairies, as well as them making elf bolts. More trials begot more folklore and legends. Stories of witches working the weather to destroy crops, sink ships, and cause havoc spread. More tales of a Man in Black appearing to future-witches and witches alike began to run rampant. John Fian, a male witch, was famed for his botched love spell, teaching witchcraft, harshly bewitching people whom he didn’t like, and attempting to sink the fleet of King James VI with a storm. Much of Scotland’s witchcraft was influenced by Gaelic legend and myth. Scotland’s witchery was not Gaelic alone, however. Norse invaders came and brought their magic with them. In Orkney, a Scottish Isle filled with witch history, the Vikings came often. Their language and culture mingled with the Scots’. Soon, cunning women were referred to as Spae Wives. The word Spae comes from the Old Norse spá,which means ‘prophesize’. These spae wives told fortunes, created charms, and protected against foul magical play. The witches of Scotland, however, proved a match for them. They killed cattle, cursed babies, and brought general havoc with them.
Historical Irish witchcraft is perhaps the most difficult to find out of all the Celtic regions, and this is for a few different reasons. The first being that many lineages of Wicca have taken Irish mythology and applied it to the Gardnerian influenced witchcraft that they have. Many times when the word ‘Celtic Witchcraft’ or “Celtic Wicca’ comes up, this is what is being referred to. The second reason that it’s difficult to find is because the witch trials in Ireland are few and far between. The trials barely touched Ireland, amounting to a whopping 4 trials. The generally accepted reason for this is that Ireland was extraordinarily lax with its witchcraft laws. Most times, using witchcraft against another person’s possessions or livestock resulted in prison time. Only by harming another magically would a witch be executed. Interestingly, many people took this as a sign that Irish witches were generally less severe than their other Celtic counterparts. Florence Newton, the famed witch of Youghal, put the assumption to rest. When a woman refused to give her any food, she kissed her on the street. The woman became extremely ill and began to see visions of Florence pricking her with pins and needles. Florence also kissed the hand of a man in jail. He became very ill, cried out her name, and died. In a Northern Ireland trial, eight women were accused of causing horrific visions and poltergeists in the home of a woman. The ability to create illusions is a trait attributed to fairies in Gaelic myth. Those fairies are said to have taught the witches their skills in both Ireland and Scotland. Irish witches were said to turn themselves into animals, especially hares and crows, to spy on their neighbors. They would also place spells on those whom they wish in their animal form. They were also said to have used bundles of yarrow and branches of elder to fly. These sticks they flew upon, before brooms, were known as ‘horses’. They were said to fly up out of the chimney of their own homes. A tale of witches using red caps to fly also appears in Irish lore. This is another example of their strong ties to the fairies. The similarity between Irish and Scottish witchery has been noted, as they both have strong ties to Gaelic lore.
Witchcraft from the Celtic lands is a complex and unique thing, changing between each of the six nations. To lump them under a single title would be to lose the subtleties and differences between each. Saying that Irish witchcraft and Welsh witchcraft are the same is a fool’s lie. Saying that they are similar is true. Shapeshifting, flying, fairies, storms, and charms are found in each. But they are different. It isn’t a bad thing when the myths of these lands are paired with Wicca or Wiccan influenced witchcraft. However, the historical practices from those places mustn’t be overwritten.