Folklore and Legends

Here is a collection of posts about folklore, myth, legend, imagination and related topics.  These are among the posts I most like to write.  Enjoy!

Another note on tricksters, April 27, 2014

Notes from the Wasteland, January 21, 2014

More notes from the Wasteland, January 25, 2014

Help wanted, heroes and heroines: must be civil and adroit, January 16, 2014

Queen Bothildur: an Icelandic Christmas folktale, December 12, 2013

Face Rock, Bandon, Oregon, July, 23, 2013

Notes on Trickster stories, June 16, 2013

The North Wind’s Gift:  a trickster tale from Italy, June 19, 2013

Where to find Tales of the Elves:  Icelandic Folktales for Children.  May 15, 2013

Jorinda and Joringel, Part 1. May 5, 2013

Jorinda and Joringel, Part 2. May 11, 2013

Authenticity and Folklore. February 14, 2013

Once Upon a Time by Max Luthi. February 5, 2013

A Dilettante Among Symbols . January 16, 2013

Tales of the Dummling. January 8, 2013

The Yule Lads: Icelandic Christmas Folklore. December 10, 2012

Tales of the Elves by Anna Asjornsdottir and Florence Thibault. December 2, 2012

Njal’s Saga: an introduction. Oct. 10, 2012

Njal’s Saga, part 2. Oct. 15, 2012


Njal’s Saga, part 3. Oct. 15, 2012

Njal’s Saga: some concluding remarks. Oct. 18, 2012

Two hundred years of the Brothers Grimm. Oct. 8, 2012

Fairytales in the 21st century. Sept. 21, 2012

Fairytales for Midlife. April 2, 2012

Swan Maidens and Fairy Lovers, Part 2. March 28, 2012

Swan Maidens and Fairy Lovers, Part 1. March 25, 2012

The Water of Life, Part 2. March 15, 2012

The Water of Life. March 12, 2012

Go I Know Not Wither, Bring Back I Know Not What, Part 2.
Feb 8, 2012

Go I Know Not Wither, Bring Back I Know Not What, Part 1.
Feb 6, 2012

Alice and the White Rabbit, by Arthur Rackham

Of Greensleeves and Christmas Carol Karma. Dec. 21, 2011

The King and the Corpse by Heinrich Zimmer: A Book Review – Part Two.
Dec. 19, 2011

The King and the Corpse by Heinrich Zimmer: A Book Review – Part One.
Dec. 16, 2011

The Wasteland. Dec. 15, 2011

The Story of Shambhala. Nov. 3, 2011

The Ballad of Jesse James. June 1, 2011

A Childhood Story I Have Never Forgotten: The Death of Balder.
May 23, 2011

Barbara Allen – Mysteries in a Ballad. March 26, 2011

On Fairy-Stories by J.R.R. Tolkein. March 22, 2011

The World as Shapeshifter: A Hindu Parable. Feb. 13, 2011

Shapeshifting in Faerie: The Ballad of Tam Lin. Feb. 10, 2011

On Shapechangers: Proteus in John Barth’s, The Menelaiad.
Feb. 7, 2011

Happy Imbolc, St. Brigid’s Day, Candlemas, Groundhog Day.
Feb. 1, 2011

Camelot and the Wild West. Jan. 26, 2011

McCabe and Mrs. Miller. Jan. 25, 2011

Pothos in Westerns 2: Pat Garret and Billy the Kid. Jan. 23, 2011

True Grit, Pothos, and Westerns that Stick With You. Jan. 22, 2011

Christmas Tree Facts and Legends. Dec 23, 2010

The King is Dead; Long Live the King. Dec 21, 2010

Joseph Cornell’s Dreamtime. Dec 17, 2010

“Tinsel,” by Hank Stuever, and other Christmas musings.
Nov. 23, 2010

The Wishing Tree. Nov. 20, 2010

Of Hamsters, Wisdom, and Persephone. Oct 7, 2010

The Peddler of Swaffham. Sept. 11, 2010

7 thoughts on “Folklore and Legends

    • Thanks for catching that, Amy. I had spotted that recently too and bookmarked it to read in detail when I get a chance. Please continue to flag any similar stories like that you see – there’s way to much info to catch everything!


  1. I loved your article about the Death of Baldr, I think I read in the SF Chronicle.. I am a first generation Norwegian-American who spent several years as a child in Norway and may whole life surrounded by Norwegians (ones who emigrated here like my mother who came to LA to go to Art Center; I know a bunch of Norwegian physicists who went to Caltech in the 1970s). When Norwegian friends and family get together, they love to sing, laugh, tell stories, and, yes, the rumors are true- drink, But you can never take a drink unless you make a toast and say Skal! first. I grew up reading Old Norse mythology, Hans Christian Andersen, and every other type of fairytale and book you can think of (I read a lot of Kipling for some reason). However, I never got over that story, especially since Loki, the trickster god, was my absolute favorite (I named my cat after him) until I read that story and he transformed from a trouble-maker to a murderer. That story shocked me to my core. Your article set forth the same thoughts that I had about the story as a child. I could not believe that someone else felt like I did about that story- I thought it was way too obscure for Americans! I was so impressed that you knew the story and it had such an effect on you. Anyway, the other story that left a deep impression on me was a child (I think it actually scarred my psyche) was Andersen’s “The Little Match Girl.” To this day, I think that it is the saddest story that I have ever read. As a child, I could not believe that people would let a (literally) poor, little girl forced to sell individual matches out of hunger and desperation freeze to death on a Copenhagen sidewalk (If they had sidewalks back then). The fact that the little match girl froze to death while she was happy since the images of her actual(?) or imaginary(?) family that she saw every time she lit a match comforted her greatly did not redeem the story for me. I still think it is a horror story. Anyway, great site! Thanks for your good work. Best wishes, Ingrid Causey

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comments, Ingrid. I never really thought the Norwegian stories were that obscure. I discovered them when I was about eight. My sister has a dog named Loki, and certainly a lot more people here are familiar with some of the characters – Loki and Thor at least – through the Marvel movies. It’s interesting that you should bring this up right now, as I’ve started what is likely to be a series of posts in which is likely to mention Ragnarok (the story – I haven’t yet seen the movie), which is both an end and a beginning. I really appreciate the feedback!


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