There is scholarly debate on whether or not shamanism was present in many European cultures. Prehistoric shamanism lingered on in the European folk tradition, it is simply often overlooked.
People once held beliefs regarding spirits, deities, beliefs, and rituals evolved around the home. This article discusses folk beliefs and customs related to the traditional European household.
Explores the Gaelic goddess of winter, and her associations in Celtic lore and culture. Also discusses similar figures in Germanic and Slavic tradition.
Some modern critics disparage fairy tales for their depiction of women. But, the truth is that fairy tales are complex with much to offer women of any age.
The Black Dog is a frightful spectre creature found in folklore across Great Britain.
Brownies and House Elves feature prominently in the folklore of Northern Europe. But, they weren't always cuddly. In fact, poltergeist activity was often attributed to an angry brownie!
The “familiar spirit” is a common motif found in both folklore and witch trial records of the witch hunt era. What is a familiar and what role did they supposedly serve to accused witches?
Most of the people tried for witchcraft were accused without reason. But many made their living as a midwife or healer. What were some of the medicinal methods of these witches?
Just as with other Germanic people, magic was an important element in Anglo-Saxon life, with broader connections to the paradigm of Germanic mythology.
The Sleep of King Arthur in Avalon, 1898 King Arthur is perhaps the most well-known subject in Anglophone literature. Not many other legends that originated over a millennium ago are still told as frequently and with...
The fairies of Celtic folklore were not the whimsical darlings we think of today. Explore examples of the dark side of the world of Faerie.
There are two different meanings of “Fairy Faith.” First, it simply refers to the old folkloric belief in fairies, and the practices found therein. The second meaning is found in modern paganism.
The reign of King James VI resulted in Scotland becoming one of the worst perpetrators of witch trials in Europe. Why was James so obsessed with witchcraft?
Irish immigrants were recruited to work on a stretch of railroad called Duffy's Cut, near Philadelphia, in 1831. The railroad reported 9 deaths due to cholera, but the true number was much higher.
Exploring the local Native American people who participated in the Thanksgiving story.
Exploring the Celtic holiday Lughnasa and Anglo-Saxon holiday Lammas, their historical backgrounds as well as modern pagan practice.
The Manx holiday Hop-tu-Naa is an October 31st holiday that pre-dates modern Halloween. It has connections to the old Celtic pagan holiday Samhain, the New Year in the Celtic calendar.
A history of the Jack O'Lantern explaining the connection to old Samhain, the spirit realm, folklore, and religious attempts to stifle the old ways.
Ireland is a land littered with sacred sites. From stone circles to dolmens and cairns, there are megalithic wonders everywhere you look. This article features Newgrange, a Neolithic passage tomb.
Stonehenge is the world's most famous neolithic stone circle, but there are many more! This article introduces you to five circles and henges in Ireland and Britain you might not have heard of.
Isobel Gowdie was a Scottish woman accused of witchcraft during the witch hunts of the 17th century. This article discusses her story, witchcraft in Scotland, and King James' role in witch hunts.
Are fairies and elves real? When you discover how many fairy doors and elf houses spring up around the world, you may begin to wonder!
Meet the nature spirits of the forests. The wild ones who dwell in the woods. In this installment, meet the Huldra, Leshy, Moss Folk, and Wood Wives.
Stories of fairy-like creatures are told all around the world, including Native cultures throughout North America. This article explores the Little People known to the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) - The Jogah
Although many spiritual people today consider God to be firmly male, the concept of female divinity is an ancient one. Mother-figure deities are still found in many contemporary religions.
There are many famous sea monsters of legend and lore... But, there are many more unknown critters lurking in deep dark watery depths. Here are some critters from Northern European lore.
She was an ordinary woman living in extraordinary times who surprised everyone, probably especially herself, when she was confronted with situations which are the stuff of legends.
King Ludwig II of Bavaria spent a fortune building his famous castles. The stunning Neuschwanstein was the inspiration for Walt Disney's Cinderella's Castle. But, was Ludwig insane?
Continuing to explore the female figures associated with Yule. Many of these figures were suppressed or distorted during the changeover to Christmas.
The holiday at the Winter Solstice existed long before Christmas came to Europe. The Old Religion placed equal emphasis on the sexes, and female figures from Old Yule lingered on for ages.
The Saami, also Sami, people are indigenous Europeans living in the far north of Scandinavia and Russia. Reindeer herding has historically been a strong tradition in their culture.
From Leprechaun occupied forests to Fairy trees and rings, belief in the little people is alive and well.
Iceland possesses a mystical landscape that many of the locals believe is home to supernatural beings from Norse mythology such as elves and trolls.
Finfolk are an unsual breed of mythological creatures unique to Orkney and Shetland Islands. Similar to Mermaids and other mythic sea creatures. And connections to Norse mythology.
Germany's answer to Stonehenge, Externsteine is a natural rock formation that has been altered by human hands. What was it used for? Does it hold special meaning?
A brief overview of the history of Orkney, from early Pictish origins to Viking settlement, and a tour of Orkney's neolithic sites and standing stones such as Stenness, a site similar to Stonehenge
Explores Ismail Kadare's novel juxtaposed with true life accounts of modern Albanian families entangled in Blood Feud. Discusses the Kanun, a medieval holy book and code of ethics.
Some doubt the existence of a cult of worship for the Germanic goddess Eostre and the origins of Easter. This article analyzes the available evidence - including some that others ignore.
The Scottish wildcat is facing extinction, so now more than ever it is important to celebrate its history, explore its legends, and spread awareness to help ensure its survival.
Much research and speculation has been conducted on an “historical Arthur.” But what of Arthur's mage? What of the magician who made Arthur the great king of legend? Is there a historical basis for the character we...