I thought this week I would do things a little different; a brief commentary followed by a couple questions I hope will generate some interesting responses.
Anyone who’s read my blogs has seen that the fairies from Celtic folklore were believed to be descendants from earlier races that had been defeated. Unable to go any further west, they hid themselves inside the hills and created their own worlds there. I might add to this that there were legends of giants in Ireland and Scotland who used to throw boulders at each other. That was how the natives explained why the local rocks from Scotland and Northern Ireland resembled each other so closely.
So much for the old stuff. Did you also know that in Norse Mythology it was the gods (the mythological representations of the Indo-European invaders) who had driven the giants (Jotuns) into the mountains so that the mortals could enjoy the land? Odin kept a sharp look out for Jotun incursions, and Thor would often go into their realm to test himself and remind the giants that there was a reason they stayed in the mountains. But again, the giants represented an older culture while the Aesir were the invaders.
In Greek mythology the mortals didn’t even appear until Zeus and his siblings (the invaders) defeated the Titans (the Pelasgians). It was then that the king of the gods raped a nymph and by her fathered the first humans. But, Zeus’ activities for another day.
Interesting, too, that the Jotuns are linked to the elements of stone, fire, and lightning. The Titans are connected with the Earth in general. You could make the case that the Celtic fairies are tied to the ground as well because they live inside it.
So my questions are these:
1. Why did the defeated cultures either become giants or undersized people?
2. Why are they connected to the Earth and elements?