Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mermaids and Mermen Lore

Mermaids, or Havfrue Scandinavia, are represented as being sometimes good, and at other times evil and treacherous. She is beautiful in appearance.

Fishermen sometimes see her in the bright summer's sun, when a thin mist hangs over the sea, sitting on the surface of the water, and combing her long golden hair with a golden comb, or driving up her snow white cattle to feed on the strands and small islands.

At other times she comes as a beautiful maiden, chilled and shivering cold of the night, the fires the fishers have kindled hoping by this means to entice her love.

Here appearance portends both storms and bad success in their fishing. People whose bodies are drowned, and whose bodies are not found, are believed to be taken to the dwellings of the Mermaids. 

These beings are also supposed to have the power of foretelling the future. And Fortune-telling has been in all countries a gift of the sea-people. 

In an Arabian Nights Tale, "Abdulah the Fisherman and the Mermaid," the protagonist Abdulah gains the ability to breath underwater and discovers an underwater city or society. It is shown as an inverted reflection of society on land. But concepts of clothing and money do not exist. It is insinuated that this society is the remnants of an ancient civilization that lost it's advanced technologies by going astray and catastrophes overwhelmed them. Shades of Atlantis? 

The Merman, or Havmand, is described as of a handsome form, with green or black hair and a beard. He dwells at the bottom of the sea, or in the cliffs and hills near the sea shore, and is regarded as a good and beneficent kind of being.

May Niord Bless!

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