Becoming Animal: Tutelary Animal Spirits

I write about animals in folklore and folktales often — see my posts about horses, chickens, and the role of birds in “Aschenputtel” as examples. I also research animals frequently to learn more about them — their behaviors, their roles in their ecosystems, their physical traits that enable them to survive in various ways. And…

To Ride Through the Air on a Very Fine Gandr: The Staff as a Magical Tool in Fairy Tales

I’ve been reading Claude Lecouteux’s Witches, Werewolves and Fairies: Shapeshifters and Astral Doubles in the Middle Ages, which I was lucky enough to find at my local library. It’s a fantastic examination of the Double (also variously called the fylgja, familiar, fetch, etc., depending on where you’re looking) and the role it played in medieval and…