There was an error in this gadget

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Water Sprites & such

A water sprite (also called a water fairy or water faery) is a general term for a legendary creature, an elemental spirit associated with water, according to alchemist Paracelsus. Water sprites are said to be able to breathe water or air, and in some cases, can fly. They are mostly harmless unless threatened.

These creatures exist in mythology of various groups. Ancient Greeks knew water nymphs in several types such as naiads or nyads, which guarded the fresh water bodies for the gods, while Slavic mythology knows them as vilas.

In elemental classifications, water sprite should not be confused with other water creatures considered to be "corporeal beings" such as selkies and mermaids.


An elemental is a mythological being first appearing in the alchemical works ofParacelsus. Traditionally, there are four types:[1]

The exact term for each type varies somewhat from source to source, though these four are now the most usual. Most of these beings are found in folklore as well as alchemy; their names are often used interchangeably with similar beings from folklore.[2] The sylph, however, is rarely encountered outside of alchemical contexts and fan media.

The basic concept of an elemental refers to the ancient idea of elements as fundamental building blocks of nature. In the system prevailing in the Classical world, there were four elements: fire, earth, air, and water. This paradigm was highly influential in Medievalnatural philosophy, and Paracelsus evidently intended to draw a range of mythological beings into this paradigm by identifying them as belonging to one of these four elemental types.


Some mythical creatures, such as the dragon and griffin have their origin in traditional mythology and have been believed to be real creatures. Often mythical creatures are hybrids, a combination of two or more animals. For example, a centaur is a combination of a man and horse, the minotaur of a man and bull, and the mermaid, half woman and half fish.

Selkies (also known assilkies or selchies) are mythological creatures that are found in Faroese, Icelandic, Irish, and Scottish folklore.

They can shed their skin fromseals to become humans. The legend apparently originated on the Orkney and Shetland Islands, where selch orselk(ie) is theScots word for seal (from Old English seolh).

Selkies are able to become human by taking off their seal skins, and can return to seal form by putting it back on. Stories concerning selkies are generally romantic tragedies. Sometimes the human will not know that their lover is a selkie, and wakes to find them gone. Other times the human will hide the selkie's skin, thus preventing them from returning to seal form. A selkie can only make contact with one particular human for a short amount of time before they must return to the sea. They are not able to make contact with that human again for seven years, unless the human is to steal their selkie's skin and hide it or burn it. Examples of such stories are the ballad, The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry and the movie The Secret of Roan Inish.

One folklorist theory of the origin of the belief is that the selkies were actually fur-clad Finns, traveling by kayak. Another is that shipwrecked Spaniards washed ashore and their jet black hair resembled seals.[2] As the anthropologist A. Asbjorn Jon has recognized though, there is a strong body of lore that indicates that selkies "are said to be supernaturally formed from the souls of drowned people".


Believe



No comments:

Post a Comment