Author Toolbox, Inspiration, Journey, Mythical Creatures, Writing

#MythicalCreatureMonday – Elves

Happy Mythical Creature Monday! Back in June, I started posting these micro essays on Facebook, which were intended to be duel purpose. Not only were they meant to entertain, but they were also a way I found that I could squeeze my research in. I am always searching for little known creatures that can cameo in my writing, so not only does drafting these short pieces allow me to get a handle on the history of the creature, but it might also introduce you to something you never knew much about.

I have decided that the more appropriate place for these pieces is on my blog, so I apologize if you have already read a few of these. I decided to recycle the pieces starting from the beginning, so we have a couple of months of posts which will get us well into the holidays. So without further ado, here is my take on the Elves.

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Elves of Norse mythology are known as the Alfar, and are divided into two races, the Light Elves and the Dark Elves. The Liosalfar, or Light Elves, are human-sized and beautiful, inhabiting a realm called Altheim. This land is located between Heaven and Earth and the Elves are benevolent towards humans, similar to angels. The Dockalfar, or Dark Elves, live in kingdoms underground and are most likely to add magic to the metal weapons they create.  They aren’t known to be nice to humans.

In English and Scottish lore, Elves are likely to harm humans who cross their paths. Much like fairies, Elves were known to steal children, which prompted the people on the east coast of Scotland to cut branches during a waxing moon from an oak and ivy and weave them into a wreath. It was thought that passing the children through the wreath 3 times would protect them from being abducted.

In Spanish folklore, the house elves are known as Duendes. At night, they emerge from the village houses and spend all night cleaning, repairing and working as smiths.  I’m not sure about you, but I sure would like to have one of these at my house! Although, malicious Duendes can make messes, break things, or bring nightmares to the families whose house they inhabit, so maybe not!

Are there any Elves that you are familiar with from your culture? If so, drop a comment below! Always love hearing about mythology from around the globe! XO

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