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Posted on Monday, March 10 - 2008

Myles Ferguson: Since I was a child my family always talked about the howl of the Banshee. The tales I( heard were often told at family gatherings at Saint Patrick"s day. Often an aunt or uncle would relate to us the story of how the heard a Banshee shriek and the neighbors was found dead the next day. Banshee comes from the Irish words "bean," woman, (ban) and "sidhe," fairy, (shee.) It is said that Banshees come to only those with a strong Celtic lineage. If your last name begins with Mac, Mc or O and your family originates from Ireland this could apply to you. In Irish legend, abanshee wails around a house if someone in the house is about to die.

There are particular families who are believed to have Banshees attached to them, and whose cries herald the death of a member of that family. I grew up in a strong Irish community in New York and the stories of Banshee"s and their activities were heard more then too, to often. Traditionally, when a citizen of an Irish village died, a woman would sing a lament at their funeral. These women singers are sometimes referred to as "keeners". Legend has it that, for five great Gaelic families: the O"Gradys, the O"Neills, the O"Briens, the O"Connors, and the Kavanaghs, the lament would be sung by a fairy woman; having foresight, shewould appear before the death and keen. When several banshees appeared at once, it indicated the death of someone great, powerful of respect and station in life or reknowned. Thestories told to ne sometimes recounted that the woman, though called a fairy, was a ghost, often of a specific murdered woman, or a woman who died in childbirth would or could become a Banshee if she did not recieve a good Catholic burial.

View: Full Article | Source: Haunted America Tours

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Posted on Sunday, March 10 - 2013

A mythical crystal said to be used by Viking sailors to help them navigate might have actually existed.The sunstone is referenced in Norse mythology as a magical crystal that when held up would point sailors in the direction of the Sun even when it was obscured by clouds. One Icelandic saga tells of how King Olaf used one of the stones to locate the position of the Sun during snowy weather. But were the sunstones bound purely to the myths of old or was there a basis for them in reality ?Amysterious crystal recovered from the wreck of an Elizabethan ship sunk off the Channel Islands is thought to hold the answer.

While not a Viking era find, there is strong evidence to suggest that the object is the same type of stone that the Vikings would have used. Made from a calcite substance known as Iceland spar, the stone was found to be a remarkably precise navigational aid. For centuries, it has been a crystal of legend locked in the verses of Norse myth with little or no evidence that it was ever real. Now it seems scientists atlast have grounds for believing that the Viking “sunstone” used to navigate the seas did indeed exist.  

View: Full article |  Source: Independent  

Views : 464

Posted on Thursday, October 11 - 2012

New Zealand is to release a series of "The Hobbit" coins that will be considered legal tender.To commemorate the upcoming release of Peter Jackson"s new film trilogy, the coins will come in a variety of face values and depict characters from the movies such as Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the wizard. Many of the coins are expected to be worth a lot more than their face value with the gold NZ$10 coinworth over NZ$3,695 to collectors.New Zealand are hoping to see a big increase in tourism thanks to both the success of the original Lord of the Rings films and the new upcoming prequel trilogy.

The coins will be going on sale from November 1st. Hobbit coins, featuring characters such as Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the wizard, will be legal tender in the country, New Zealand Post said – although their face value will be only a fraction of thecost collectors will be expected to pay.  

View: Full article |  Source: Telegraph  

Views : 362

Posted on Sunday, August 12 - 2012

How true to the stereotypical Viking were the actual Nordic warriors of Scandinavian ancestry ?Vikings in films and comics are often depicted as rough, unkempt warriors specializing in unparalleled physical strength and brutality. In truth however the accuracy of the stereotypical Viking leaves a lot to be desired. Far from being uncivilized and dirty the Vikings are thought to have been meticulous aboutcleanliness, sporting well groomed hair and beards.Another common misconception is that the Vikings wore horned helmets, but in reality such helmets would have been unpractical during a fight.

It wasn"t until Vikings wearing horned helmets were featured in a 19th century Wagner opera that this stereotypical headgear became commonplace in depictions of our Scandinavian ancestors. Researchers can make estimates about a Viking’s social standing based on theweapons he brought to his grave. Small axes and knives were tools for everyone, but only the elite could afford lances and swords.  

View: Full article |  Source: Science Nordic  

Views : 333

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