Faeries

The Tree Leaves’ Oracle icon flower fairy

The Victorian Flower Fairy or Nature Sprite

Flower Fairies are believed to be the fairy spirit essence of various flowers; they are portrayed as tiny creatures that rarely are larger than 20 cm. tall. Most of these depictions come from Victorian art and is a common ‘model’ for what most people think of what is a fairy. They live in tree tops, marshes, forests, gardens, fields, and waysides. It is believed by many that when a seed sprouts a flower fairy is born. Each flower fairy lives upon its host plant and not found too far from it. They sleep within the flower. As the flower grows so does the fairy. The flower fairy exists to tend and watch over the flower. If the flower dies, so too does the fairy. Disembodied spirits, elves, fairies or daemons; often the term used for the Air elemental known as “sylphs,” or as the name of the elementals of Spirit. Flower fairies are often also referred to as nature sprites or spirits. Some define sprites as a being who are beginning a course of evolutionary growth and in the elemental states of their growth. In some ways, this is the concept, in the life of a flower, what makes a flower fairy a sprite. Examples: http://www.flowerfaeries.com/flowerfairies.shtml; http://www.flowerfairies.com/US_version/home.html.

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The National Leprechaun Museum in Dublin

National Leprechaun Museum, Dublin, Ireland

National Leprechaun Museum, Dublin, Ireland

National Leprechaun Museum – Dublin
Twilfit House, Jervis Street, Dublin 1, Ireland *leprechaunmuseum.ie
My very first time in Ireland and only a few hours in Dublin, I get off the bus, wander off O’Connell and lo’ and behold there is the National Leprechaun Museum. I was of course in awe since I’m a faerie fanatic and consumed with folklore about the little people. I’m aware that this museum has caused quite a stir in Ireland, especially since a good portion of the Irish population doesn’t like being tied with the imagery of this mythological creature. Legend be legend, and history be such of that – Leprechauns have chosen to root themselves in Ireland – and in my opinion, the Irish need to welcome the stingy little bugger with open arms – because as trouble-making as this fae can be, they have a fun history and iconography. Of course this is from the mouth of an American, and it was the Irish immigrants to America that really stirred this creature to life in the folk tales brought over to the American shore. Then you have lots of comical approaches to embrace the bugger in a humorous light especially with being branded on the General Mills cereal “Lucky Charms”. The Museum is not that old, as it was established just this year on March 10, 2010. The National Leprechaun Museum is dedicated to the history and lore about “Leprechauns”. It is located in a large building between Jervis Street and Middle Abbey Street in Dublin, Ireland. It is most likely the very first leprechaun museum in the world and was referred to by the Irish Times as “The Louvre of Leprechauns”. Directed by Tom O’Rahilly, the concept was started in 2003, as a “story telling” oral-tradition tourist attraction designed for the “leprechaun experience” rather than “a commercial venture”. The only real ‘museum’ part of the ‘museum’ is in the foyer, where you are given a brief synopsis of the history of leprechauns, its iconography, definition, and references in popular culture. The rest of the museum is an interactive guided tour involving several different mythological room with voiceovers exploring the myths and legends in the eyes of a leprechaun. After the introduction, you enter in through a secret door and go through a tunnel full of optical illusions shrinking you to the size of a leprechaun, then go through a wooden replica of the Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim, Northern Ireland and into a room where items such as furniture become unusually large to give you the effect you’ve shrunk in size. Onward into a room sheltered with umbrellas from falling rain onward through into a room with a rainbow that leads into a room with a crock of gold and a tree stump. You are enlightened and warned with the tale of one’s man attempt to catch a leprechaun. More rooms exist that talk about the Children of Lir, Fairy Forts, and Newgrange; also one with a well and gigantic tree trunks. Like any museum of its kind, it empties out into a giftshop. Now unfortunately I was called out of the museum in a rush to attend to and was only able to catch the introduction and foyer – which was well done. I’ll finish this review when I go back for the interactive part later this month.

6/23/10: I returned to finish my tour of the Museum. The interactive remaining part of the museum, as you walk through the hidden door from the only part of the place that is a Museum – the rest is meant to be an amusement area centered for kids. However, its severely lacking in entertainment value. You walk down a lighted tunnel to shrink to the size of a Leprechaun, hang out in what is meant to be a living room where you are diminished in size, go through the Giant’s causeway, through an umbrella field which I really didn’t get, on to the Pot of Gold chamber, the wishing well, rainbow chambers, and trails. There is interesting folklore – that was the value to the visit for me and anyone who adores Faerie history and lore – but for the uninterested tourist, the museum would be a waste of your Euros. The staff is however very knowledgable about the lore and Faerie fanatics would benefit from paying the 10 Euro fee just to pick the brains of the staff. The interactive map of the Otherworldly history of Ireland is fabulous and the only real attractive piece I found in the museum.

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Ragnarok


Ragnarok

 

Ragnarok

“Ragnarok”, “Gotterdammerung”, or a.k.a. “Doom of the Gods” or “Final Destiny of the Gods” is the apocalypse in Norse mythology. Its an important event in the Norse canon. This event will be followed by the Fimbulvetr, or the “Winter of Winters”. These three winters will follow each other with no summer. This will be a time of conflicts and feuds between all people and inhabitants on Earth, and all morality is believed will disappear. The mythos discusses that the “wolf Skoll will devour the sun and his brother Hati will eat the moon, plunging the Earth into Darkness. The stars will vanish from the sky. the Fjalar cock will crow to the giants and the Gullinkambi cock will crow to the Gods. A third cock will awaken the dead. The Earth will shudder with earthquakes and every bond and fetter will burst. The wolf Fenrir will be released. The sea will rear up because Jormungand the Midgard Serpent will write in fury making his way to the lands. With every breath, he’ll stain the soil and skly with poison. The Naglfar ship will be freed from waves caused by the serpent, and the Hymir giant will lead the giants to the battlefield. The Realm of the dead will send a second ship with Loki as the helmsmen, off to the battle. The fire giants led by Surt will leave Muspell in the south to join forces against the Gods and scorch the Earth. Heimdall will sound his horn, calling the sons of Odin and heroes to the battle. From all corners of the world – the Gods, the Giants, the Dwarves, the Demons, and the Elves will ride towards the huge plain of Vigrid to fight the last battle. Odin will engage Fenrir in battle, and Thor will attack Jormungand. Thor will be victorious, but the poison will eventually kill him. Surt will seek out the swordless Freyr, who will succomb to the giant. The one-handed Tyr will fight the Garm and they will kill each other. Loki and Heimdall, will meet a final time, and both will die. The fight between Odin and Fenrir will rage for a long period until Odin gets seized and swallowed. Odin’s son Vidar will leap to kill the wolf. Surt will fling fire in every direction and the nine worlds will burn, killing all friends and foes. The earth will sink into the sea. After the doomsday, a new and idyllic world will arise from the sea and abundant with supplies. Some of the Gods will survive will others will be reborn. Wickedness and misery will be non-existent and Gods with men will live happily together. Two humans, Lif and Lifhrasir will survive by hiding in the wood Hoddmimis holt and will repopulate the Earth. The personified sun, Sol will have a daughter at least as beautiful as she and this daughter will follow the same path as her mother. ” This cosmic event is attested in the 13th century “Poetic Edda” from early traditional sources, and the “Prose Edda” written also in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. There are several archaeological objects that depict events from Ragnarok. These are (1) Thorwald’s Cross: a partially surviving rune stone erected on the Isle of Man, depicting a bearded human holding a spear down at a wolf, his right foot in its mouth, while a large bird sits at his shoulder. This dates between 940-1000 C.E. Its believed to depict Odin, with a raven or eagle at his shoulder, being consumed by Fenrir at Ragnarok. There is also a depiction of a large cross and another image parallel to it that some state is Christ triumphing over Satan. (2) Gosforth Cross: mid 11th century, from Cumbria, England that parallel’s Thorwald’s Cross combining Norse Pagan and Christian symbolism in a similar manner apparently combining scenes from Christian Judgement Day and the Pagan Ragnarok. (3) The Ledberg Stone. 11th century C.E. from Sweden and is similar to Thorwald’s Cross featuring a figure with his foot at the mouth of a four-legged beast, perhaps of Odin being devoured by Fenrir at Ragnarok. (4) The Skarpaker Ston. 11th c. C.E. from Sweden – father grieving his dead son used the same verse as in the Poetic Edda in the engraving translating to “Earth shall be riven and the over-heaven”.



Some correlations have been made between Ragnarok and the 9th century Old High German epic poem Muspilli about the Christian Last Judgement that states the world is to be consumed in flames. Other comparisons between Ragnarok and other Indo-European peoples depict a later evolution of a Proto Indo-European belief about a cosmic winter motif between the Norse Fimbulwinter, the Iranian Bundahishn, and Yima. Vidarr’s stride compared to Vishnu’s with a special shoe to tear apart the beastly wolf. Larger patterns drawn between final battle events in Indo-European cultures including the occurrence of a blind or semi-blind figure in the themes. Other theories about the volcanic events after the death of the Gods – the sun turning black, steam rising, flames touching the heavens – may be inspired by the volcanic eruptions on Iceland. Records of eruptions on Iceland bear strong similarities to the sequence of events described in Voluspa, especially the eruption at Laki that occurred in 1783.

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