Faerie Facts and the Lantern Lowdown #4

See #1, #2, and #3

Why all these posts on faerie folk and lanterns? Look here!

Faeirie Facts:

On brownies (from Wikipeia):

In folklore, a brownie resembles the hob, similar to a hobgoblin. Brownies are said to inhabit houses and aid in tasks around the house. However, they do not like to be seen and will only work at night, traditionally in exchange for small gifts or food. Among food, they especially enjoy porridge and honey. They usually abandon the house if their gifts are called payments, or if the owners of the house misuse them. Brownies make their homes in an unused part of the house.

Folklorist John Gregorson Campbell distinguishes between the English brownie, which lived in houses, and the Scottish ùruisg or urisk, which lived outside in streams and waterfalls and was less likely to offer domestic help.[1] The ùruisg enjoyed solitude at certain seasons of the year. Around the end of the harvest, he became more sociable, and hovered around farmyards, stables and cattle-houses. He particularly enjoyed dairy products, and tended to intrude on milkmaids, who made regular libations of milk or cream to charm him off, or to gain his favour. He was usually seen only by those who possessed second sight, though there were instances when he made himself visible to ordinary people as well. He is said to have been jolly and personable, with flowing yellow hair, wearing a broad blue bonnet and carrying a long walking staff.

Every manor house had its ùruisg, and in the kitchen, close by the fire was a seat, which was left unoccupied for him. One house on the banks of the River Tay was even until the beginning of the twentieth century believed to have been haunted by such a sprite, and one room in the house was for centuries called “Seòmar Bhrùnaidh” (Brownie’s room).

The Lantern Lowdown:

On toro (full article with the different types of toro on Wikipedia):

In Japan a tōrō (灯籠 or 灯篭, 灯楼 light basket, light tower?)[note 1] is a traditional lantern made of stone, wood, or metal. Like many other elements of Japanese traditional architecture, it originated in China, however extant specimen in that country are very rare, and in Korea they are not as common as in Japan.[1]In Japan, tōrō were originally used only in Buddhist temples, where they lined and illuminated paths. Lit lanterns were then considered an offering to Buddha.[2] During the Heian period (794-1185), however, they started being used also in Shinto shrines and private homes.[3]

[…]

In its complete, original form (some of its elements may be either missing or additions), like the gorintō and the pagoda the dai-dōrō represents the five elements of Buddhist cosmology.[5] The bottom-most piece, touching the ground, represents chi, the earth; the next section represents sui, or water; ka or fire, is represented by the section encasing the lantern’s light or flame, while fū (air) and kū (void or spirit) are represented by the last two sections, top-most and pointing towards the sky. The segments express the idea that after death our physical bodies will go back to their original, elemental form.

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3 thoughts on “Faerie Facts and the Lantern Lowdown #4

  1. angel quiggle says:

    Brownies in the house/ the little brown goblins/ are calling me

    Chinese lantern/ rivaling the moon glow/ firefly dance

    • Aubrie Cox says:

      Angie, I think that first one has a lot of potential. I love the second and third lines, but the first is a little repetitive. What if you added another image in the first line and took out “brownies”? Something like…

      old farmhouse
      the little brown goblins
      are calling me

      Or something along those lines?

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