Monday, May 4, 2015

The Granderie Witches, Nyx, Goddess of Night, Old Hob & Lunantishee Fairies

The Granderie Witches

Granderie was a power of sorcery that the Orkney Scottish witches were supposed to wield.  It was said to be a special command of the heathenrie or the pagan folk, deeply frowned upon by the Christian church and witch inquisitors. It was believed that granderie was brought to Scotland by Finnish witches. The Finns were so deeply entrenched in their magical and shamanic traditions that being called a “Finn” in Scotland was the same as being called a witch. It was basically the demonization of wise-women’s crafts. During the witch prosecutions, it was believed the further north a region was the closer to hell, therefore, the northern regions of Scotland was very suspect when it came to witches and the practice of witchcraft.


Nyx, Goddess of Night

Nyx is the Greek goddess of night. All of the mysteries belong to her. With her dark veil shimmering with stars, she also represents the underworld, which is a river that ebbs and flows beneath earthly consciousness—the consciousness of being awake. But there is another consciousness of those who sleep and that is what Nyx rules over. Nyx was born from Chaos and Eros, and later bred the darkness with the light. She favors mischief and duplicity, hiding thieves and fugitives in her dark cloak of night. Nyx is also tied to the muses who are said to sing to her from the dark. She often inspires both poetry and song, though such poetry and song tends to be melancholy.

Old Hob

Hob was once claimed to be the witches name for the Horned God. In truth, the name Hob is related to the French “Robert” and the English “Robin” and is associated with Robin Goodfellow (also called Puck) a woodland spirit later demonized by the Christian Church. Hob is an old English word related to the word for hearth. Interestingly, ‘hearth’ is derived from the word for ‘heart,’ a name which meant at the center of the home.  Hob, as the name for his elven self, is known to help with housework in the house and associated with Scottish brownies and the German Knecht Ruprecht, which was alternate name for Santa Claus, another kind of elf.


Lantern Man

"Lantern Man” was the East Anglia name for a type of “willow-o-the-wisp” but this ghost was considered extremely fierce and dangerous. They were believed to lure lonely travelers into marshes causing the travelers to become disoriented and drown. It was once suggested that one should not whistle after dark as this will entice the Lantern man to locate you and perhaps even kill you. It was also thought that if one encountered the Lantern Man in the evening or late at night as a protection, you should lie down as flat as possible on the ground, so he can pass over your body, not suspecting that you are there.

(Interestingly, warding off the Lantern Man is exactly the same as escaping the Bhuta ghost in India. It is claimed when encountering a Bhuta ghost one should lie down flat against the ground so the ghost can glide over without harming or possessing you.) 

Lantern ghosts have always been reported along railroads and tunnels, sometimes leading the lost through passageways or by swinging lanterns as a warning to train engineers of obstacles along the paths, therefore, preventing train wrecks and other accidents.

Lunantishee Fairies

Lunantishee are a host of fairies in Celtic lands that are said to guard blackthorn bushes, considered in the British Isles to be ancient fairy trees. In legend, the Lunantishee do not like the blackthorn to be cut on Beltane or before “Samhain” (Halloween). Should a person ignore this fairy law, he or she will be subjected to serious misfortune until some penance is paid, either by leaving bowls of sugar and milk at the back door, under tree or by planting another blackthorn bush.

What Is a Portent?

A “portent” is an omen of early or unexpected death, usually experienced in the form of an animal appearing suddenly or by some other natural event. Birds, for instance, that enter a home, such as flying down the chimney or through an open doorway were once thought to mean that there was to be a death in the family, or at least one associated with the household. An example of a portent is one recalled by a woman friend of the 19th century American poet Edgar Allan Poe.

 In late September of 1849, Poe was leaving for Baltimore when he paid a call to a lady friend whom had earlier proposed marriage to. After a pleasant visit, she followed the poet into the foyer and then walked him out on the front porch.

As Poe turned to leave, he paused for a moment and then stared back at his friend. An unusually bright shooting star dazzled the night sky over the poet’s shoulder.

The woman then realized she would never see Edgar Poe again. He later died in Baltimore after being found delirious in an alley a week or so later. He lingered for two days and expired at the age of thirty- nine. The cause of Poe’s death has never been entirely determined.

by Susan A Sheppard


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