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Saturday, 9 December 2017

Perchta the Hidden One



The season of Yule is better known as Christmas to the vast majority of people. It's also called the Winter Solstice period, when some just worship the movements of the sun and look at the seasons changing as a divine thing. Many pre-Christian and pagan beliefs celebrate this time as a season of both the Winter Solstice and the birth of the new gods. It can be celebrated in many ways, or be a time when people called out for the sun to please come back. There are many forgotten pieces of Yuletide that I want to touch on without going into too much heavy research. There is a lost celebration or tradition in the December/Winter period that honours the Light Goddess.
In ancient lands now Germany, France, Netherlands, Austria, Britain, Channel Islands, ect people understood that it was a time of the goddess of the sun, warmth, fire and the light. She was called "The Hidden One". Her name is Perchta or Bertha, depending on where she was found. Sometimes she resembled an old woman, and other times a beautiful snow-white maiden. Linked with spinning and weaving, and swans, snow and winter sunlight, this mysterious hidden goddess spends most of the year inside dark forests and caves. She emerges in Winter.
This goddess is said to watch over children in Winter and check to see if they've been well behaved. The notion that kids will get presents from Santa if they've been good, come from this belief in the Hidden Goddess, she watches people. Now most modern parents have started a new Winter trend of using toys or "Elf on the Shelf" to monitor children and how they behave. The idea of watching children being good or naughty derives from the centuries old tradition of people of most households telling kids to "mind how they behave" because "Perchta is watching them".
If children as well as servants have been well behaved, she'll reward them with money, food, gifts and even clothes. If not, and people have been bad, she was said to cut people open and fill them with pebbles as a form of punishment. This hidden goddess was feared because she was cruel if anyone stepped out of line and resorted to badness. She cared about people enough to study how they worked, to find out what people ate on certain days and to see how they acted towards others. She didn't want people to offend her. She stuffed people with straw if they didn't eat the proper food on certain feast days. Foods that people should eat are fish and gruel. Anything else was said to be a great offense. Her days were the twelves days and she was part of Winter time. 
Today you'll find celebrations of the hidden goddess of Winter. It's called Perchtenlaufen. People in Austria recognise this and regard Perchta as a "witch" who appears after midwinter in January who tortures people. Many on this festival wear creepy and scary monstrous masks to scare away Perchta.
She's linked to the Wild Hunt and associated with the Norse goddess Frigga. It was the goddess Frigga who originally gave presents to children and poor people in ancient times during the Winter season. It was said that Mother's Night is based upon the coming of Frigga and the goddess of maternal love. In Winter, children who were afraid of the cold, dark and threats of predators, hunger and illness, sought the comfort of the loving and nurturing goddess when their own mothers were poorly, dead, or just suffering as anyone else. It seems likely that the church demonised Perchta and made her into an "ugly witch" that cuts people for being naughty. Like with all goddess worship, the church has demonised plenty other goddess, gods and divine animals. However, the ancient and primitive beliefs that all went with the arrival of Perchta, the Hidden One, remains there to this day. Now it is transformed into Santa and his elves, the christmas tree fairy and the ice maidens in pretty clothes found in Russia (Snegurochka) and Disney (Elsa and Periwinkle).

Links:
Frau Perchta the Terrifying Christmas Witch
The art above is by Anne Stokes

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Gloom Girls Project: Saint Olga

This is a project about demonic ladies, iron maidens and evil queens. It's the opposite to my "Golden Girl Project" series that I made years ago on this blog. Golden Girls is all about ladies of light. The Gloom Girls Project is about ladies of darkness. Obsidiously evil and dangerous by nature, they're cold blooded as they're so vicious, tainted and cruel. Each post will focus on one such lady of gloom. 
 
Saint Olga

A woman has never been so vicious and yet revered by the Church like an angel as Olga of Kiev. When a person that lived in her time heard her name, they fled to the hills. But given a sainthood that she was but she was far from being a sweet angelic saint. She was a demon.
Olga was born in Pskov, Russia, sometime during the late 9th Century CE. Her family were Varangians, a Viking people living in Russia. Little else is known of her childhood. As a teenager, she married Igor I of Kiev, son of Rurik. Olga and Igor had children togaether. Igor was butchered by the Derevlians, a Slavic tribe, and his son, Sviatoslav I of Kiev, became his successor. Sviatoslav was very young and his mother, Olga, was regent until her son was turned of a certain age. Olga wanted revenge.
She pretended to look for a new husband and requested that Derevlian men show up.These men would be treated with much dazzling kindness, they would be given food and rich clothes, and arrive to the castle in splendid little boats for each man. Olga had her own people dig a deep trench in the main square of the city. After the Derevlian men arrived sailed into Kiev, they were met by people who carried them in their boats across the streets. Then the Derevlian men were flung into the deep trench, and were buried there alive.
Olga needed to visit Dereva and requested an escort. She wanted the Derevlian Prince Mal to send some of his best warriors to escort her. After the Derevlian warriors arrived, Olga insisted that they bathe themselves before meeting her. The men were escorted to the bath house. Then they were locked inside and Olga had the bath house torched and burned. All the men inside were killed.
Olga needed to pay her respects to her late husband so she went to Dereva's city Iskoresten. Upon her visit, a party was held in her honour with a great banquet. She gave out the finest of alcoholic drinks. Those at the banquet were Derevlian warriors and they all became extremely drunk. So drunk were they that Olga had them all slain.
Olga made war with the Derevlians. Her forces were powerful and the citizens of Derevlia were suffering far too much hunger. Olga wanted each household to send three sparrows and three pidgeons to her, so the Derevlian people agreed. They were wanting to end their pain and misery and succumb to Olga, wanting to please her so that she would be their queen regent. What Olga did next was have her armies attach sulfur dipped rags onto each bird, and have each one lit. The birds returned to the houses where they had nests. By then, the birds were on fire and every house burned to the ground, killing people inside. The next thing she did was visit Constantinople and there she converted to Christianity.
Olga is now a saint.     
    

Saturday, 2 December 2017

The secrets of Calypso


Calypso was a nymph. Her mother was Pleione, a sea nymph, and her father was called Atlas, who was a titan. She’s been nicknamed “The Hidden One”, “Deceiver” and “to cover up”. She hides on her island, Ogygia. that is shrouded. Interestingly, her island means “Hell” in English as it comes from the Greek καλύπτω word. Why would a nymph live on a hidden island that means “Hell”?
 Before I go into that, I’ll explain that Calypso appears in Greek myth as a character in Homer’s “The Odyssey” saga. She kept Odysseus as her own prisoner play thing, and stopped him from completing his quest. Some accounts say she got pregnant by Odyseus and had a son called Latinus. The gods had to come to Odysseus’ rescue as his mission was important as well as Penelope, his wife, left all alone and missing him. Time went by considerably while he was on that island with Calypso.
I don’t think Calypso meant to deprive Odysseus. She was lonely and fell in love with him. Odeysseus couldn’t stay with her and that hurt her. The island she lived upon as a hermit goddess nymph was said to be almost exotic. It was full of lush plants, trees, flowers, animals, and also a burning fire in the middle. There were caves too. Why was it called “Hell” in ancient times? In etymology, the word hell just originally meant to describe a place of “fire” and “light”. The hearth in the island.
Ogygia was thought to be connected to Atlantis and might’ve been a fragment of the lost continent. Many can’t place where Ogygia is, some say it’s in Egypt, but many believe it’s part of Malta. There is a mythical and real cave called “Calypso Cave” found in the island of Gozo. Also Gozo is termed the “Island of Calypso”. Malta is said to have mysterious structures all possibly linked to Atlantis.  
Much of what we know about Calypso is in Greek myths and legends. I will share some interesting bits of factual details about what I've mentioned so far.
Details of Ogygia
Maltese myths and legends 
Underwater temples
I wanted to add something else too. Calypso seems to be linked here with Malta, Hell, Atlantis and a veiled island. Is it possible, hypethetically, that Calypso was able to create mist herself and cover up her island? Was she a magical being? Does this show any clues to the lost Atlantis island? With all the words involved, Hell/light/fire/hearth, then veiled island/Malta/Gozo/Atlantis, could be more than just a story. Was it an island or was it a very large ship such as an ancient ocean liner? Floating islands themselves are often icy drifts. Was Calypso's island an ice berg? It was said in the Bock Saga that the name Atlantis is a gathering of root words that meant "A Land of Ice". Snow and ice do reflect the sun and moon intensely. The word "Hell" wasn't fire then but ice, and it certainly is full of light. 
Floating green coloured plant rich drifting misty islands often appear in fresh water and bogs. Such islands can be artificially created such as shown HERE in the Biomatrix Water site on floating islands. These islands are small and delicate. They're not the same as Calypso's island where animals and people could live upon for the rest of their days. 
So it's my guess that Calypso did live on an island where she shrouded her palace in mist but also she travelled the sea on a beautiful boat. She was able to mystify and enchant even that. This myth proves to me that Calypso was a travelling nymph. Her incredible island could be Atlantis. Or a link to it. Or was she just a sailor who lived on the island of Malta? Could she also be somewhat connected to the British Isles and it's legends of small islands such as the Isle of Avalon? Avalon is a magical lost island, sometimes a land of spirits, shrouded in mist. It features in Arthurian legends and Celtic mythology. 
Interestingly, Avalon is the Isle of the Blessed, or Isle of Apples. There are myths of the Apples of the Hesperides and the Apples of Idunn. The Greek myth of the Hesperides positions this location in the far north (of Europe). This place is a beautiful garden with special gold apples all protected by a monstrous dragon and a group of nymphs called Hesperides. These Hesperides are daughters of Atlas the titan. Atlas is also father of Calypso. Calypso is a half sister to the Hesperides. They were nicknamed "Daughters of the Evening" and "Nymphs of the West". Goddess Idunn is a protectress of the golden apples in Norse myth. 
Island, mist, apples, spirits, sea, hell, light, fire. Calypso didn't guard the sacred golden apples. She was a queen on her own island and a seductress. She knew magic. She offered Odysseus to become immortal so that he could stay with her on the island but he refused. She kept him as her prisoner for seven years. To make him immortal she would need to have something that would alter him. Her half sisters guard the golden apples. She uses her own love charm s to keep Odysseus under her spell. Is Calypso not just a tale of a nymph but also of nature itself? What keeps a hero from doing his mission and finishing the job to head back home? Either magic or illness. Was Odysseus lured there to be a prisoner of Calypso? Or was he badly wounded and Calypso was just healing him? Calypso is a type of nature goddess and healer. 
Is she the Greek version of the Norse goddess Ran? In Norse myth, Ran is said to capture sailors and take them to her caverns. Ran's domain is said to be an island that is considered bright. She keeps men also like Calypso does. I wonder if perhaps Calypso and Ran are the same goddess? It's not strange to find "migrating" gods and goddess all over the world. Ran is said to be ruler of the watery afterlife and also linked to the lost lands sunken in the sea. There was an island in the North Sea that sunk. It's been called "Atlantis" by some and Doggerland by others. 
Conclusion:
I don't think Calypso meant to harm Odysseus. She was healing him but also she enjoyed his company and fell in love with him. Calypso let him go eventually when the gods had to intervene. Calypso is a nymph and goddess of the sea. She lives on an island shrouded in mist and mysteries. She's got links to Atlantis. If that could be the same Atlantis as told by Plato, then is there more to this? Calypso comes from an older time, long before ancient Greece. She's a relic of the prehistoric past when there were islands that don't exist by the time of Classical Greece. Her Norse counterpart is the goddess Ran. Calypso's sacred animal is a dolphin. She's the embodiment of the feminine ocean and a gentle, smaller being that is closely linked to light, purity, water and healing.  

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Meet the werewolf ladies


Hail and merry meet.
This is a page dedicated to all of my BFF werewolves called Fenrir's Daughters. I wanted to make a portal page to each of these werewolf girls telling their tales. These werewolf characters are fictional and more fantasy than horror. They were created and written by me. I hope you enjoy reading about them. I don't own any of the pictures per Fenrir Daughter page although if you know the artists let me know. Drop us a comment. No spam please.

Abigail Star
Tara Blaze
Zareen Tehrani
Poppy Darkmoon
Kat Howlite
Snow-White Winterborn
Larissa Blue
Masika Rage
Marielle Ice
Scarlet Rose
Chandra Stripe
Jewel Helva
Honey Cicatrice
Ophira Shadow
Crystal North
Diana Bloodstone
Emily Phantom
Fiona Biter
Zircona Troix
Cherie Ironpaws
Selene Hunter
Fallon Garnet Fang
Urielle Foxglove
Grace Vilkshimmer
Tammy Violet
Bailey Shadow Fen
Wendy Terror
Lucy Ghost
Izel Coztic Cuetlachtli
Sandra Echo Amber
Indigo Fury
Cara Lunar
Hunra Al-Qamar
Vanity Alba Lupa
Charlotte Ombre
Emily Moonstone
Sarah Belladonna Lobo
Sheba Cherika
Abigail Jet
Trina Spaka-Zvezda
Blossom Prowler
Opal Yaksha
Lianna Sangmond
Nancy Lupin
Azalea Terrorbark
Tanzy Bright Moon
Ruby Starblood
The Blaze Sisters
Haru Mun'ookami
Zoe Glacier
Darcy Faoiltiama 
Estella Wild
Bella Ochre-Woods
Frostine Blackthorn
Gwenda Nightshade
Jasmine Greywolf
Rochelle Moonbeam
Ruby Dominicanis
Princess Valencia
Wilone Blackwolf
Sapphire Wolfmoon
Maria Storm
Pamela Hattidottir
Sienna Skollblod,
Emily Mustard
Chen Tiangou
Helen Chartreuse
Pearl Chono (Part One: Childhood),
Pearl Chono (Part Two: The First Time)
Pearl Chono (Part Three: Pearl Sword)
Veronica de Poison 

These stories were all written by me and I own them, please contact me and ask for permission to use them. Also give credit back to this blog She Wolf Night.