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Vilas and rusalkas were dangerous female spirits, souls of young women who had died prematurely

Songs and Shrouds: The Mythical Banshee and the Bean Nighe as Harbingers

The Irish banshee and the Scottish bean nighe tread the darkest of nights as omens from another world, that of the unknown beyond. Though similar at first glance, they were regarded as quite...
Manuscript of the Prose Edda - Norse Mythology

The Saga of Norna-Gest: Does Man Control His Destiny?

The tale of Norna-Gest goes down in literary record as a tale of destiny and a character’s attempt to fight it. Not one of the titular Icelandic sagas, Norna-Gest’s story was recorded around the year...
Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga, The Confounding Crone of Slavic Folklore

Baba Yaga is considered one of the most intriguing characters from Slavic mythology. As ambiguous as she is hideous, Baba Yaga has been described by scholars as an anomaly, both a maternal, mother-...
The Dunmore Cave of Ireland

The Dark Reputation of the Dunmore Cave of Ireland

Caves play an important role in the story of humanity. In addition to providing shelter for our earliest ancestors, caves were also often considered to be mystical and magical realms. For some...
Ingólfr Arnarson, the first settler of Iceland, newly arrived in Reykjavík.

The Haensa - Thorir Saga: A tale of law in Medieval Iceland

One of the more political Icelandic sagas, the tale of Hænsna-Þórir remains an interesting view into the legal proceedings of Iceland in the ninth century. The legal conflict woven throughout the...
Ossian (Oisín) on the Bank of the Lora, Invoking the Gods to the Strains of a Harp, 1801.

The Legend of Oisín and the Fabled Island of Tír na nÓg - A Tale of Paradise, Love, and Loss

The fabled paradise island of Tír na nÓg is said to be located off of the west coast of Ireland. Tír na nÓg is known as the land of perpetual youth. It is also named the Island of the Living, the...
Photo of Viking figures before a great fire. Would flames await Pagans in Hell?

The Tale of Thorstein Shiver: Hell Confirmed for Pagans during Iceland Saga Age

Short and succinct, the tale of Thorstein Shiver is one of the more comedic sagas and can be interpreted in at least two different ways: as religious or cultural propaganda. The saga tells the brief...
Medusa

The Legend of Medusa and the Gorgons

The earliest known record about the myth of Medusa and the Gorgons can be found in Hesiod’s Theogony . According to this ancient author, the three sisters, Sthenno, Euryale and Medusa were the...
From the Gisla Saga

The Gisla Saga: an Icelandic Tale of Love, Family, and Revenge

Considered an outlaw saga, the Gisla Saga survives in thirty-three manuscripts, first written in the 13 th century. It is notable for its psychological treatment of characters and its blatant...
One of the giants in St Mary's church, Aldworth

The Life and Legend of the Aldworth Giants

In the simple, tiny church of St. Mary, Aldworth there lie the nine stone statues of what have become known as the “Aldworth Giants,” a name bestowed upon them because all are over 7 feet tall and...
Illustration of Koshchey (Koshei) the Deathless, riding his magical steed.

A Slavic Legend of Immortality: Koschei, the Deathless

A figure from Slavic folklore, Koschei the Deathless was known for his titular characteristic: his inability to die. What is most interesting about this figure, however, is that his immortality was...
Aethra Showing her Son Theseus the Place Where his Father had Hidden his Arms

The Legend of Aegeus - The Mistake of a Son and the Death of a King

Forty-three miles south of Athens, Greece, one can find the magnificent cliffs of Cape Sounion. This is a beautiful site with breathtaking sunset views over the Aegean Sea. Today’s beautiful scenery...
Norse Mythological tree

The Norse Legend of the World Tree - Yggdrasil

In 1643 a Bishop called Brynjolf Sveinsson was given forty- five pieces of vellum containing poetry and prose from the heart of ancient Northern European indigenous culture. This collection is called...
Merlin the Magician

The Legendary Origins of Merlin the Magician

Most people today have heard of Merlin the Magician, as his name has been popularized over the centuries and his story has been dramatized in numerous novels, films, and television programs. The...
Aquae Sulis in Bath, England

Aquae Sulis: The Epitome of Roman Syncretization with the Celts

The Roman bath system was one of the most intricate and complex of the ancient world. Composed of various rooms for mental and physical cleansing, the Roman baths were more than a source of hygiene;...
Excavations at the site of Helike. In this case, a Hellenistic-era building; possibly used as a dye-works

Uncovering The Lost City of Helike

The story of the destruction of Atlantis is one of the most famous stories from ancient Greece. Yet, there is a similar story of destruction told about the city of Helike. Unlike Atlantis, however,...

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