Wednesday, 23. November 2005
The Endicott Studio
"Lady of the Waters" by Brian Froud
... Today, with clean water piped directly into our homes and largely taken for granted, it takes a leap of imagination to consider the greater importance of water to those who fetched it daily from the riverside or village well. Deeply dependent on the local water source for their crops and animals, our ancestors had a natural reverence for those places where good, pure water emerged like magic from the depths of the earth. As a result, water has played a role in myth, folklore and sacred rites in cultures all around the globe — particularly in arid lands where the gift of water is most precious ...
Sacred Springs and Other Water Lore by Terri Windling. (English)
The perspective is cross-cultural, the long, rich essay is very well researched and written.
Shamans, like eagles, are blessed (or cursed) with the ability to cross between the human world and the realm of the gods, the lands of the living and the lands of the dead. Despite the healing powers this gives them (the "medicine" of their bird ancestry), men and women in shamanic roles were often seen as frightening figures, half-mad by any ordinary measure, poised between co-existent worlds, fully present in none.
The Magical Lore of Birds
|According to various Siberian tribes, the eagle was the very first shaman, sent to humankind by the gods to heal sickness and suffering. Frustrated that human beings could not understand its speech or ways, the bird mated with a human woman, and she soon gave birth to a child from whom all shamans are now descended. In a mystic cloak of bird feathers, the shaman chants, drums and prays him- or herself into a trance. The soul takes flight, soaring into the spirit world beyond our everyday perception. (Great care must be taken in this exercise, lest the wing-borne soul forgets its way back home.) Likewise, the shamans of Finland call upon their eagle ancestors to lead them into the spirit realms and bring them safely back again.|
"Troll Witch II" by Brian Froud
by Terri Windling. (English)
Stones and Signs
Stones are memories. They are the bones of the land, the anchors of myth. They may delineate boundaries; may be fashioned into fetishes, objects of power; or may be carried as reminders of where we have been, protecting us upon our travels. Stones may also be signposts, markers on the land where we perceive enduring emblems of the ancient world. Hundreds, even thousands of years later, we can still see the same surface of the stone that the ancient people saw. Signs left on these stones appear as if they were carved only yesterday, even though a thousand years have flown their shadows across the surface of the rock. Through stones and the signs made upon them, the past speaks and reaches out to us.
by Dr. Ari Berk. (English)
Author, artist, editor and essayist Terri Windling's Endicott Studio
includes a Reading Room
where you will find "essays and musings on folklore, modern magical fiction, and other related topics" including the essay's above.
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