Myths, magic, rituals, quests, places, people and animals; all of these elements are helping to shape the forthcoming tales in my ‘Wolf Spear Saga’ series. Part three in a series of four posts.
This comes in the form of apples (among other things) and straddles Norse, Greek and Celtic mythology. Norse ‘Idun’ is the goddess who keeps the apples of immortality. Greek ‘Hesperides’ grows apples that give immortality, on a paradise island. The Garden of Eden is home to the fabled apple tree and ‘Avalon’, the ‘isle of apples’, is the otherworldly paradise King Arthur is taken to, where he meets the three fairy queens – the three fates – rather like the Norse Norns who guard the foot of the World Tree, ‘Yggdrasil’.
Cut horizontally, apples reveal a five-pointed star in their core: a symbol sacred to the Mother Goddess and still used today as a symbol of belief in Pagan or Wiccan faith. Gypsies call it the ‘star of knowledge’. Also a wild fruit that seeds in hedgerows, it contains ancient links to Hedge-Sitters or wise women and would have been a natural food source that could have saved the poor in hard times, as they can be stored through winter. You will find mention of apples and their trees in my ‘Wolf Spear Saga’ series.
These can also bestow immortality or conjure transformations. Throughout history there are countless tales of magical brews and important drinking vessels, that cross cultures and continents. Eating and drinking communally is an important part of human life and is an ideal time for characters to be brought together. I use this constantly throughout my ‘Wolf Spear Saga’ series.
Consider: The Holy Grail;
The Mead of Odin, which can confer the gift of poetry on whoever tastes it, made by the dwarves ‘Fjalar’ and ‘Galar’.
Through beauty, music and Ritual Bathing the theme of enchantment abounds in various mythology and folklore.
Think of: Orpheus, who could bewitch animals and women with his lyre playing, but was then himself bewitched by a water nymph or ‘nix’;
Acteon, while out hunting with his hounds observes Artemis bathing naked. He is then changed into a stag and hunted and killed by his own hounds.
These men are doomed to die for witnessing female goddesses bathing. This reinforces the importance of the female deity sanctity in pre-patriarchal cultures. The priest or priestess figure, bathed by servants, is another element of this ancient theme. You will find this in my writing also.
|Stag in misty forest|
Hunting, Hounds and Wolves
Hounds and wolves devouring various people and things runs through Norse, Celtic, Ancient Egyptian, Asian and Native American mythology. Wolves are ancient creatures from the oldest forests on earth and so are entwined in the lives of humans and their mythological tales. The hierarchical make-up of wolf society also reflects the same social relationships found in the human world, with leaders, their bodyguards, their marital partners and foot soldiers. Like humans, wolves have nannies to watch over the young while the rest of the pack hunts and these are usually older, trusted females who were often former alphas. Wise-wolves, if you will. Strong, female components essential to the survival of the pack and its future. There is much to draw on from these classical themes and as you will probably guess, I use them frequently in my ‘Wolf Spear Saga’ series!
Hel’s Hounds; the Hounds of Arawn;
Anubis the Jackal-headed god;
Up-Uat, the wolf-god;
Native American ‘Opener of the Way’ – the coyote that helps Mother Earth give birth to the human race by scratching an opening in her side.
What classical themes do you seek to include or allude to in your writing?
Let me know in the comments below!
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E S MOXON has had a lifelong passion for history and writing. A childhood filled with family visits to ancient burial sites and stone circles fuelled her imagination. Inspired by classic medieval tales and Norse sagas, Elaine imagined herself inhabiting these Dark Ages and exploring the landscapes in her mind and continues to do so through her novels. The first in her ‘Wolf Spear Saga’ series is ‘WULFSUNA’ and books two and three will be out soon. When not lost in pages of the past, she lives in the Midlands with her family and their chocolate Labrador.
|WULFSUNA - Wolf Spear Saga 1 and Tales of the WULFSUNA|
Blood, betrayal and brotherhood.
They come to honour a Warrior-Lord’s dream,
An ancient saga weaving their destiny,
But a treacherous rival threatens their fate.
The Wolf Sons are coming.
Capturing vivid memories of members of the 'Wolf Sons' Saxon tribe, they emotively convey the sagas that shaped their lives, in their own ancient language and in their own humble way.
A fictional feast for lovers of Old English with alternative views of events from the novel 'WULFSUNA' - Six tales presented in both Modern and Old English. A unique companion with detailed forewords by author E S Moxon and Prof. Stephen Pollington (author, speaker and historian) who says "the opportunity to produce fresh Old English songs proved too tempting".
TALES OF THE WULFSUNA