Category Archives: History

The Election Results

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I’ve kept quiet on this for a while, but it is time I write something about the election, I guess. Whether Obama or Romney, I do not like either one of them. I refused to vote for either of them and voted for Virgil Goode instead (I side with him the most). No matter what people say, I didn’t waste my vote. Take a look at this quote by John Quincy Adams, “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”

Well, regardless of who won the election (Obama won), my friend, both our small families, and I were planning on moving to Australia (the husbands may or may not know about that yet). Pack them bags, Caitlin, we have some big travel plans to make and a lot of Bloomin’ Onions to stock up on!

*Update- Now Shawna wants to come, and she can make us Bloomin’ Onions! Outback not needed anymore!

La Llorona – The Weeping Woman

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La Llorona (lah yoh-roh-nah), or the Weeping Woman, soon will be made famous by the television show Grimm. There are a few different tales about La Llorona. The general consensus is that she is a beautiful woman with long black hair and she wears a white dress (sometimes a veil, depending on the story), and she will steal children away and either never return them or kill them. She is mostly represented as a woman who drowned her children (I’ve read most places that she had two children, but I’ve also heard 3), and she is actually represented as a goddess in one tale I read. However, I will give you two of the legends in tonight’s post.

Legend #1

La Llorona was once the most beautiful girl in town. Rich and poor men alike fawned all over her. One day, a handsome man caught her eye and they eventually got married. The couple had two little boys together. Everything was going great for a while, but her husband started going back to his old bachelor ways and would be gone for months at a time. Whenever he came home, he would only really acknowledge their children. The future Weeping Woman became jealous of her sons. Her husband also was thinking of leaving her for another woman in his wealthy class.

After one of his usual disappearances, the husband rode by their house and only talked to the children, completely ignoring his jealous and lonely wife. She reportedly became so jealous of her sons that she walked them down to the water and drowned them. Realizing what she had done, she wailed and grieved. The next morning, someone found her dead on the river bank, and they buried her in the spot they found her. Beginning the first night she was buried, La Llorona has appeared wailing for her children. Children are warned to not go out at night for fear that she will snatch them up and never return them.

Legend #2

Another tale gives La Llorona’s supposed real name, Maria. Maria was a beautiful peasant girl who was admired and sought after by many men. During the day, she would be seen around her poor settings; however, at night, she would be seen hanging around men in the town in a white dress. She fell in love with the attention she would receive, but she had two young sons who she would leave at home while she fooled around with the men. One day, two small boys were found drowned. It is said either they died from Maria’s neglect or she even may have killed them herself.

Even though there are a few different variations of the tale of La Llorona, she is reportedly beautiful, wears a white dress, killed her children either by her own hand or through neglect, and wails at night. Her story is often told to little children to behave and not go out at night for fear they would be captured by her and never seen alive again.

Do you have any stories similar to La Llorona that you would like to share?

Old Irish Superstitions, Legends, and Mythical Creatures

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Finally, my post about old Irish superstitions, legends, and mythical creatures. I apologize that it took so long to write, but I finally just felt well enough to research this and to type it out. Enjoy!

Irish Superstitions- http://www.atozworldculture.com/a-z_culture_sample_content.asp?nid=20.34&cid=71&ada=y&parent=culture

Superstitions during Oíche Shamhna (November’s Eve or Hallowe’en in Ireland)

  • Ravens, water-wagtails, etc. are considered to be Satan’s messengers of bad luck (bad, birdie)
  • If you leave an ivy leaf soaked in water overnight and no spots form on the leaf, then you will have a year of good health
  • You will have a dream of a future mate if you throw a lock of hair into a bonfire
  • Dust thrown onto fairies’ feet or goblins’ feet will make them release whatever souls they have captured
  • If you hear footsteps behind you, don’t look back. You can see spirits and they can kill you if they stare back at you
  • If you call someone’s name three times, it can be deadly to the person whose name you called (Bloody Mary, anyone?)

Other Superstitions

  • To keep evil souls from following you at night, cross a stream of running water ( Must have been why Ichabod Crane needed to cross that bridge so badly)
  • You will die ahead of whoever you live with if you watch a cat rub its paws on its face (See ya later, Garfield!)
  • If you walk counterclockwise 12 times around St. Mary’s Place’s Black Church, the devil will appear and grant a wish of the witness as long as the witness surrenders his or her soul to the devil when he or she dies.
  • Boiled milk will cure boils
  • To relieve rheumatism, wear an iron ring on your ring finger
  • It’s bad luck to find a frog or worm in your home
  • It’s bad luck to fall on top of a grave
  • It’s bad luck to have lilac inside your house
  • It is considered a death omen if  a bird enters a house
  • It is considered good luck if you see a lamb early in the morning with a ray of sunshine on its face (pretty)
  • Doing laundry on New Year’s Day is considered good luck for the new year
  • A white clover can protect you from evil (those exist?)
  • If a child walks backwards, then it is believed that he or she is cursing his or her parents (That means I cursed my parents a lot as a kid)
  • If an enemy ties a knot in a handkerchief, then the married couple he tied the knot for will not be able to conceive a child. In order for the couple to conceive a child, the enemy must untie the knot.

Two legends- http://www.atozworldculture.com/a-z_culture_sample_content.asp?nid=20.34&cid=71&ada=y&parent=culture

Shamrock- It’s emerald-green color represents spring and the essence of life. Druids would perform healing and worshiping rites wherever they encountered a four-leaf clover. The three-leaf clover’s shape resembles a solar cross that used to be utilized as a compass. St. Patrick (responsible for the establishment of Christianity in Ireland and credited for preventing snakes from invading Ireland) declared the clover a wonder plant, and he taught that the three-leaf clover represented the Holy Trinity. Even today it is represented as a good luck charm, even for gamblers, as long as the owner keeps it handy, keeps it away from the public eye, and never gives it to someone else. It is often displayed on graves as a sign of protection.

Red-haired women- Bringers of bad luck. May have come from a legend about Macha, a goddess often associated with horses and races. Because her husband would brag about her running speed, the king of Ulster dared her to race against his fastest horses. If she didn’t win, then the king would behead her husband. Even though she begged for mercy (she was pregnant at the time), she was forced to run the race. Macha did when first place, but it caused her to giver birth to her twin boys prematurely. This cause her to curse the Irish men and their descendants so that they would have pain as awful as child birthing pains. In the battle of Ulster, not only were her twin boys spared of the curse, but a young legendary Irish warrior, Cúchulainn, was also spared of it. Cúchulainn won the battle without any help from the other soldiers. Thanks to the goddess Macha, red-haired women have forever since been feared. (I am a red-haired woman! Hear me roar! Rawr. Seriously though, my natural hair color his brown with a little bit of red. It doesn’t stop my husband from calling me a soul-stealing ginger-that means I have a lot of freckles.)

Mythical creatures- wikipedia.org

Bean sí or Banshee- a fairy woman who begins to wail if someone is about to die or has died. It is said that if several fairy women wail at once, then a great person has died. They are commonly represented as being dressed in gray or white and teasing their hair with a silver comb. (Not as evil or scary as portrayed by Scooby-doo movies)

Leprechaun- a fairy who has the appearance of an old man and is dressed in either a red or green coat. It loves being involved in mischief. A leprechaun spends his time making shoes and storing coins in a pot of gold that is hidden at the end of a rainbow. Even though leprechauns were once thought the tallest of the mound-dwellers, they are now pictured as being very small. If captured, a leprechaun can grant you three wishes in exchange for being set free. The leprechaun is not considered either evil or good and may be the son of an evil spirit and a nefarious fairy. (I want gold)

Leannán sí– a beautiful fairy woman who is infamous for being the mistress of human lovers. The human lover of a barrow-lover lives an artistically inspired, but short life. (Long life and no fame or short life and much fame? Hmm, decisions, decisions. Right guys?)

Púca– Irish for goblin. It has been shown as either being a troublemaker or gracious.

Old Scottish Superstitions, Legends, and Mythical Creatures

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Yesterday’s post about the origins of Hallowe’en got me into a Scottish/Irish/Celtic mindset. Today, I will write to you about some Scottish superstitions, one of many legends, and some mythical creatures. Tune in tomorrow for a post about old Irish history!

Superstitions- http://www.scotland.knoji.com/scottish-superstitions/

Unlucky Superstitions

It is unlucky to:

  • have a black cat in any room where a wake is taking place
  • lay a baby down for its first sleep in a new cot
  • see a funeral procession on the way to your wedding
  • see a pig on the way to your wedding
  • take a pig on a fishing boat (you might just want to stay away from pigs and funerals)
  • cut a young baby’s nails with scissors, because it will make them dishonest later in life
  • cross two knives on a table
  • be first-footed (unlucky for your first guest of the New Year to be) by a flat-footed person or a fair-haired person

Lucky Superstitions

It is lucky to:

  • have a rowan tree outside your house
  • place a silver in a newborn baby’s hand, because it will bring wealth to the baby later in life
  • touch iron if you see or hear evil
  • put a silver coin in your shoe if you’re a bride
  • wear a sprig of white heather

An old Scottish legend- http://www.rampantscotland.com/features/mythology.htm ; http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/scotland/western-isles/folklore/the-blue-men-of-the-minch.html

There once was a Scottish queen who was given a ring by her husband. However, the queen gave the ring to someone else- a handsome soldier. When the king found out, he found the soldier by the river bank fast asleep. The king took the ring and threw it in the water. He then challenged his wife to produce the ring. St. Mungo, who eventually became the patron saint of Glasgow, caught a salmon while fishing, and discovered that he had a ring in his belly. The future patron saint returned the ring to the queen. To this day, a salmon with a ring in its mouth is the City of Glasgow’s arms. (Such an awesome example of a wife, right?)

Mythical creatures-  http://www.scotland.org/features/item/scottish-myths-folklore-and-legends/

Kelpies- A kelpie is a supernatural water horse that was said to be around lochs and lonely rivers. The kelpie would appear to victims as a lost dark grey or white pony. It could be identified by its constantly dripping mane. This creature would entice its victims to ride on it’s back, taking them to a watery grave. Here horsey, horsey. Wait, no! Stay away, horsey! STAY AWAY!

Selkies- Selkies could transform themselves from seals to humans and back again. They apparently originated from the Orkney and Shetland Islands where selch or selk(ie) is the Scottish word for seal. (Would they come to you if you barked like a seal?)

Loch Ness Monster (Nessie)- The Loch Ness monster is perhaps Scotland’s most famous unsolved mystery. She is said to inhabit in the Scottish Highlands at Loch Ness (see what they did there). At her first recorded sighting almost 1,500 years ago, she was said to have leaped out of a lake and eaten farmers. The first supposed photograph of Nessie was taken in 1934 by a London doctor.

Wulver- Werewolf (go figure) in Shetland. The wulver has the head of a wolf and body of a man. It is rumored to have left fish on the windowsills of poor families (that’s nice).

Blue men of Minch- These blue men were, obviously, blue-skinned and lived in the water ways of Minch. They would attempt to lure sailors out of passing ships and were also known to bring storms to wreck ships. Weren’t they just awesome?

Do you have any favorite Scottish tales that you would like to share?