reblogged on the wonderful Windlight Magazine blog . Thank you John.
The Legend of the Selkie from the Orkney Islands…..
…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
and old sea tales
“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)
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
The Mystical Ring of Brodgar
and the story of the Selkie of Sule Skerry
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.
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 will also be one of the storytellers at the Seanchai library’s Storyteller Time Feb 21.