The Wild Irish Sea: A windswept tale of love and magic
It appears more common in myths that the "predator" Selkies are usually the males, as tales indicate the men more often seek out lonely humans; however, there are also variations in which human women choose to summon male Selkies to the shore by sending seven tears to the sea. Selkies can only remain in the presence of humans for a short period of time, and then must commonly wait seven years to return the shore. Male selkie no-maam. The other way in which Selkies become part of human life is when their seal skin is stolen. These tales most often occur to female Selkies, creating the role of "prey" as mentioned above.
It is not uncommon in myths for Selkies to come ashore and transform into humans for pleasure, and it is often during this time when the skin is left unattended that human men steal the female's skin. Ironically, various tales also depict the half human children accidentally finding their parent's lost skin and returning it without being aware of the repercussions. Illustration of a Slekie losing its skin. One rather uncommon tale of Selkies reveals what happens if a Selkie chooses to return to the sea.
An abridged version of this tale describes a human husband sailing into a treacherous storm, saved only when his Selkie wife retrieves her skin and rescues him as a seal from certain death. Though this tale indicates a real love between the Selkie wife and her human husband, her donning of her seal skin will prevent her from ever taking part in the human world again.
Painting of a female Selkie. Selkies are far tamer and much more gentile than their mermaid and siren counterparts, and it is likely this is because those cultures who believed in Selkies lived very close to the sea and, in a way, the edges of the world.
To these cultures, the sea was both wild and bountiful at the same time. It is not unreasonable to assume that the nature of the Selkies has remained tame throughout their legends because the sea was a source of survival for the Scandinavians and Scotsmen who believed in them. While Selkies are less prominent in cultural traditions today, they should be valued for their preference to love rather than harm humans. It is more pleasant to image a Selkie mother watching over her human children from the sea, than a seductive mermaid planning her next underwater vanquish.
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Matthews, John and Caitlin. The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures. Spence, Lewis. The Minor Traditions of British Mythology.
Read More. Any time a serious person see that myth, he quits reading. Few people could swim, especially in armor.
There are no records of living Spaniards from Armada getting to shore other than a couple of crippled ships. WHY does this ignorant fantasy persist? Native Americans made it to Ireland many times. You do understand that the women in these stories are being held hostage, right? Regardless of your views on modern women, the Selkie women had their lives stolen by the men who hid their seal skins.
It's an unbalanced power relationship.
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I'd prefer modernism and the relationships that don't involve what boils down to kidnapping. But, that's just the opinion of a modern women. An argument could be made for women in regards to the Nordic Fossgrim Wouldn't it be wonderful if human women could be as gentle, feminine, and affectionate as these lovely Selkies? I would certainly trade a horrid, shrewish modern woman for one of these adorable creatures anytime!
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According to a 1,year-old Irish tale, however, St. Brendan embarked on one particularly epic journey in the winter of his year-old life. According to the story, St. Barinthus told St. Brendan that he had just returned from a visit to Paradise, a land that lurked far beyond the horizon. For 40 days St. Brendan fasted and prayed atop a mountain on the rugged Dingle Peninsula, a spindly finger of land on the west of Ireland that points directly at North America. The octogenarian squinted out at the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean in wonder of what was out there before deciding to go in pursuit of the fabled Garden of Eden.
Along with a crew of anywhere between 18 and according to the differing accounts, the saint sailed off into the cobalt ocean. As the fragile craft beat against the waves, St.
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Brendan encountered towering crystal pillars afloat in the oceans, sheep the size of oxen, giants who pelted the ship with fireballs the smelled like rotten eggs and talking birds singing psalms. Finally, as the boat drifted through a fog, it landed at what the Irishmen thought was Paradise, a land lush with vegetation, fragrant with flowers and abounding in fruit and colorful stones. After staying for 40 days, an angel told the men to return home. When St. Brendan came back to the Emerald Isle after the seven-year voyage, pilgrims who heard the sensational story flocked to his side in remote County Kerry until he died around A.
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Much like with St. Patrick, the line between the history and legend surrounding St. Brendan has been blurred. Christopher Columbus was aware of the elusive island—which was drawn everywhere from the southwest of Ireland to near the Canary Islands off the African coast—as he embarked on his own voyage across the Atlantic in When Columbus and succeeding explorers failed to find the mythical island drawn on their maps, a new theory arose that perhaps St.
Brendan and his crew had actually sailed clear across the Atlantic and that Paradise was in fact North America. Proponents pointed to Scandinavian sagas that mentioned that the Irish had already visited North America by the time the Vikings landed there around A. In addition, the fantastical sights encountered by St.