reblogged on the wonderful Windlight Magazine blog . Thank you John.

The Legend of the Selkie from the Orkney Islands…..

sul skerry3mono

…but first…. a young elephant seal moulting on the beach! He had such a sweet, silly look while dreaming I immediately thought of other wonderful things

Elephant seal dreams3

shoes and ships and sealing wax, cabbages etc.

 

and old sea tales

sunset ship

“Seaward ho!   Hang the treasure! It’s the glory of the sea that has turned my head!”

From Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island (and the Calas Galadhon sim)

 

viking long ship

The Orkneys have a strong Viking as well as Scottish heritage

I loved the time I spent there with my daughter, exploring the ancient neolithic village of Skara Brae, the Maes Howe Tomb, the Ring of Brodgar, an 11th century  cathedral, plus the wonderful sea life on the rugged coast. Stories reach out of the mists and moors.  See my posts on my blog; There was a Time

ring of brodgartexture

The Mystical Ring of Brodgar

and the story of the Selkie of Sule Skerry

sul skerry3

The Selkie (or Silkie) was a shape shifter in Orcadian Myth. They were seals in the ocean but shed their skin to take on human form on land, often seducing whoever came under their spell. There were children born of this strange union and the Selkie often came back to claim them.

A female Selkie however, did not fare as well on land. There was once a man who was enamoured of a Selkie . He hid her seal skin so she would not be able to return to the sea. Filled with longing for her home and her companions she wasted away with grief and died.

selkie and the whales2
Longing

Whales of Calas Galadhon

Selkies are also found in Icelandic and Faroese legend.

There is an old Scottish song about them in the Child Ballads beautifully sung by Judy Collins and accompanied by the late Tommy Makem on Tin Whistle

As many of you know my mission is to try to tell stories either with words or pictures and I have found some inspiration in the virtual world to do just that.

 

I am  honoured  that Inara Pey’s Holly kai Park and wonderful virtual art at the garden gallery  will be showing a few of my pieces Feb 21-Mar 10.  At the moment The Dutch Masters are on display.

I will also be one of the storytellers at the Seanchai library’s Storyteller Time Feb 21.

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18 thoughts on “Seaward Ho! The Selkie of Sule Skerry

  1. lovely story – I lived for a while with Selkies at the doorway of a generous firend’s house … they have all faded away alas in the mists… but your story brought back some lovely memories;)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Much kudos,dear Cybele!Thank you for directing us into this marvellous site where once more I can admire your creativity and your talent to the fullest!It must be very rewarding,you did merit it.Your fabulous and telling photos are of unique beauty.All the best of best for you 🙂

    Like

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