Showing posts with label ETYMOLGY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ETYMOLGY. Show all posts

Friday, February 15, 2013


It is thought that the word Etymology may be a contention among linguists, it is clear that nearly every   culture in European history has had its own name for the similar representation of the creatures commonly called Elves~

As far as history in what humans believe, the earliest preserved description of elves comes from Norse Mythology. In Old Norse they are called Alfar. Although the concept itself is not entirely clear in surviving texts and records, elves appear to have been understood as powerful and beautiful human  - sized beings ~ They are commonly referred to collectively as semi-divine being associated with fertility as well as the cult of the ancestors. As such, elves appear similar to the animistic belief in spirits of nature and of the decease ~common to nearly all human religious ~something that is true also for the old Norse belief in fylgiur and vordar ~ 'follower and 'warden' spirit, respectively.~

In Scandinavian folklore, which is a later blend of Norse Mythology and elements of christian mythology and elf is called elver in Danish, Alv in Norwegian and alv or alva in Swedish ~
The first form being masculine, the second feminine~
In Denmark and Sweden, the elves appear as beings distinct from the better, even though the border between them is diffuse. The elf found in the fairy tale or the Elf of the Rose By Danish Author Hans Christian Anderson is so tiny that he can have a rose blossom for his home, and his wings that reach from his shoulders to his feet~
Yet Anderson also wrote about Elvera in The Elfin Hills, which were more like those of traditional  Danish Folklore, who were more like those of traditional Danish Folklore, who were beautiful females-
Living in hills and boulders - capable of dancing a man to death  ~ Like the Hulda in Norway and Sweden, they are hollow when seen from the back~ 

The Elves are typically pictured as fair - haired white kin - And like most creatures in Scandinavian Folklore, they can be extremely dangerous when offended. The elves can put and disease ~ spirit upon humans if they choose too. The most common of their cases are, varieties of the irritated skin rashes, which were called ala blast {Elven Blow} & it could be cured by a forceful counter blow of a handy pair of bellows which was most useful for this purpose~

Skalgropar, a particular kinda of petroglyph found in Scandinavian, were known in older times as alvkvarnar - Elven Mills, pointing to their believed usages. One could appease the elves by offering them a treat,  they preferably butter placed into an even mill - perhaps a custom with roots in the old Norse Alfablot. 

The elves could be seen dancing over meadows, particularly at night and on misty morning. They left a kind of circle where they had dance, which were called alvdanser - elf dancers or alvringar /elf circles and to urinate in one was thought to cause venereal disease. Typically the circles consisted of a ring of small mushrooms. There were other kinds of elf circles too! On lake shores, where the forest met the lake, you could find elf circles, they were round places where the grass had been flatten like a floor. Elves had danced there. By Lake Tisaren, I have seen one of those. It could be dangerous and one could become ill if one had trodden over such a place of one if you were to destroy anything there.

If a human being watched the dance of the elves, he would discover that even though  only a few hours seemed to have passed, many years had really passed in the real world, a remote parallel to the Irish sidhe. In a song from the late Middle Ages about Oaf Liljekrans, the Elven Queen invites him to dance. He refuses, knowing what will happen if he joins the dance and he is also on his way home to his own wedding. The Queen offers him gifts, but he declines. she threatens to kill him if he doesn't join in the dance, but he rides off and dies off from an disease she sent upon him and his young bride dies of and broken heart. 

However - the elves were not exclusively young and Beautiful. In the Swedish folktale - Little Rosa and Long Leda, an elvish woman - (alvakvinna) Arrives in the end ~ saves the heroine - Little Rose on condition that the kings cattle no longer graze on her hill. she is described as an old woman by her aspect people saw that she belonged to the subterranean. 

German Elves
What remained of the belief to be the elves in Germany folklore was the idea that they were mischievous
pranksters that could cause disease to cattle and people - bring bad dreams to sleeping humans. 
The German word for "Nightmare" - meanings Albtranm - " Elf Dream".
The Archaic form Albraum means - 'Elf Pressure'. If was believed that nightmares were a result of an Elf sitting on the dreamers head. This aspect of German Elf belief largely corresponds to the Scandinavian belief in the Mara. It is also similar to the legends regarding the incubus and the succubus demons. 
The Legend of Der Erlkonig appears to have originated in fairly recent times in Denmark. The Erlkonig's nature has been the subject of some debate. The name translation, 'Elf King' (which would be rendered as Elfen Konig in German).It has often been suggested that Erikonig is a mistranslation from the original Danish Elver Konge of Elverkonge, which means ~ Elf King.     

    These are many different interpretations of different cultures around the world. I found it interesting the elves were so different yet in many way very similar.

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