Wednesday, October 4, 2017

October Shape Shifters

 Werewolfs & More

Around the world it is believed that fall may be the best season for human beings to shape shift into beast or half-beast forms. This process is known as therianthropy and the most common reference people have for this is the werewolf.

This idea has long been present in mythology. Consider the dog-headed Ra figures of Ancient Egypt or the Neolithic cave drawings of France. Other examples include Central Asian stories about human-canine shapeshifters who can turn others into animals and European werecats.

Other Examples

Skin-walkers. Native American legends reference skin-walkers who are able to turn into any animal they desire. To do so they must first wear the pelt of a specific animals. 

Turkish Wolf. The wolf of Turkish mythology is revered. Turkish legends say people descended from these animals. It is believed that in a raid upon a small village, one baby was left behind. A she-wolf nursed the child and later gave birth to Turkish half-wolf, half-human cubs.

Congo Leopard. Folk belief of the Congo’s Banana area states that the use of magic potions can turn them into leopards. If they harm others, they will not be able to return to human form. 

Malay Tiger. Tradition among the Malays states that priesthood can only be passed on if the soul of the dead priest takes on the form of a tiger that can then pass into the body of his son. 

Oceania’s Tamaniu. In Melanesia the tamaniu is an animal counterpart to a person. It may appear in the form of an eel, a shark, a lizard, or some other creature. It shares the same soul and can understand human language. In some cases, any death or injury to one may affect the other.

There are many more myths, legends and tales about these supernatural creatures who seem to appear with greater frequency during the darkest times of the year. So take care and remember to be kind to any animals that cross your path. You never know, one of them may be an October Shape Shifter.

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Monday, September 25, 2017

October Harvest Time

October Festivals and Harvests

Harvest time in October means it is festival time! People are gathering across the country to celebrate the foods and traditions of their region. From New England cranberries to Oregon pumpkins, there’s a lot to see and do. 

Our Favorites

21st Annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival
This is all about bringing the sheep home and other livestock home from the mountains to their winter pasture. The streets fill with sheep as people gather to celebrate and preserve the history and culture of sheep herding in Idaho and the West. 
Where: Sun Valley, Ketchum, and Hailey, Idaho
When: October 4-8, 2017
Juried arts and crafts show offers handmade items made of wool, alpaca, wool blends or items of a 'sheep' nature such as soaps and lotions from lanolin, sheep cheeses or items that augment cooking with lamb.

14th Annual Cranberry Harvest Festival.
This New England tradition is the highlight of the harvest season in Massachusetts. Bog tours, paddleboat rides and more.
Where: Wareham, Massachussetts
When: October 7-8, 2017

Circleville Pumpkin Festival

Established in 1903 by the Mayor, it began as a small exhibit of corn and pumpkin decorations. Today it offers so much more.
Where: Circleville, Ohio
When: October 18-21, 2017
Parades and delicious fall treats. Plus, more than 10,000 pounds of pumpkins, squash, and guards beautifying the streets! More:

Other Fun Festivals:

Hood River Valley Harvest Fest
Where: Hood River, Oregon
When: October 13-15, 2017
For more information:

Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin’ Festival
Where: Stowe, Vermont
When: October 14-15, 2017
For more information:


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Friday, September 8, 2017

About Fairies

What Do You Call Them?

What would the world of folklore be without fairies? These spirits, often perceived as “little people” have been helping humans, plants, and animals here as well as in other realms for a very long time. Perhaps, according to some legends and folk tales, even before then.

The word Fairy- also spelled as Faery -  originates from the Latin word fatum which means fate or destiny. The English version we are all familiar with has roots in the French version fee. It has been suggested that the Saxon word feie refers to a specific world inhabited by fairies.

That world can exist in many places. Depending upon the culture, it can be over the rainbow, under the sea or in the stars. It can also be found in tree roots, summer breezes and winter snow.

Here are some of the names different cultures have given these ‘other worldly beings’:

AsparasThese feminine sky dancers have the ability to swoop down and bless people during important rites of passage, such as births and weddings.

Brownie Residing over Scottish Lowlands and Highlands, these spirits are often compared physically to very short men who appear at night to complete the work of servants.  Named after their ragged brown clothing and rugged brown skin, they come out at night to help to take care of work that has been left by the servants.
Glaistig Part woman, part goat, these water fairies can do many things. They can lure men in order to drink their blood, they can help old people and young children, and they can help with the herding of cattle.

Ohdows - This family of dwarf, well-formed people of Native Americans stories and myths live underground, inside the belly of the earth. From there they can thwart above ground deities that cause destruction, such as earthquakes.

TokoloshSouth African legends say that these spirits, covered in black hair, live near waterways and scare lone travelers by causing other animals to cry out in fear.

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