Cultural memory is a very powerful thing. Even when countless attempts have been made to subdue our ancestral heritage, indigenous and native folkways continuously resurface from our collective unconscious. Many elements from our European pagan past still appear in our popular media today; such as wizards and witches and their accoutrements of mystical power. However, when we look to folklore recorded a century or more earlier, we find that there are some things that have slipped between the cracks. Springwort is one of them. What is this magical plant? Let's find out.
*Note: because this article touches on topics that I have expanded on in great detail in other articles, I have linked to related articles throughout the text so you can read more.
Our modern conventions tend to view the realms of fairies and witches separately. Witches have been viewed as evil, while fairies are seen as benevolent, cute, and kind. As scholars reevaluate witch trials and the confessions of those accused, we are coming to new conclusions on accused witches. One subject that has been discussed in the academic field of folklore, but has seemingly not seeped into the popular consciousness, is the connection between fairies and witches.
For the past millennium or so the Vikings have had quite a reputation. And it hasn’t been for their fabulous taste in fabric textures and color palettes! But lately, much has been written exploring the softer side of the Vikings. It came as a surprise to a lot of us, but we might just say that the Vikings were more refined than we ever imagined.
The reputation given to them by some foreigners, most often the victims of raids, has stuck with the Vikings for well over one thousand years – that they were barbarians. The stereotype of barbarians is that they are ignorant, filthy, and brutish.
However, we live in an age that prides ourselves on breaking down stereotypes and reevaluating how we look at people. And so, as we as a society have reconsidered how we define the many different people we interact with in the contemporary world, the stereotype of the Viking has recently been given a makeover as well.