Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Irish Mythology- The Banshee

I'm sure many of you have already heard of the concept of the banshee. She is an Irish spirit that is considered to be an omen of death. Mythology surrounding the figure tells us that she is heard wailing a horrible high pitched scream if someone is about to die. She is also sometimes seen washing the blood stained clothes of those about to die. 

It is said that particular families have a banshee attached to them, namely those with the old names of the chieftains of the Gaels and she is said to follow descendants of these family lines abroad in their travels. Nobody really knows why the Banshee is attached to certain family lines. 

She is said to appear in one of three guises, a young woman, a matronly figure or an old hag. These three forms are meant to represent the triple aspect of the Celtic goddess of war and death- Badhbh. 

She wears all white, has long flowing pale silvery hair and her eyes are always red from centuries of crying. 

She goes by other names such as The White Lady of Sorrow, The Angel of Death and The Lady of Death. 

Have you guys ever heard of the banshee before? Maybe you know some interesting stories or facts that I left out?
I would love to hear!



Bane said...

My dog's name is Bean Sidhe. She's thankfully not at all banshee-like - no wailing, no death. I know I wanted a name from mythology, but I don't recall why I chose that one specifically (it's been 15 years). Maybe it was an act of solidarity as my own name Bane has negative connotations. :)

I had thought the banshee was common knowledge, but that was not the case. People would ask me her name, I'd say "banshee" very clearly three times, and they'd still call her "Benji." :P This happened much less once I moved west, where presumably people are less afraid of learning mythology.

AsylumAlice said...

I love Banshees! I've heard if you hear her scream you're the one who's going to die...

Laura Morrigan said...

I do sometimes worry that I will hear her but luckily not so far! i am not sure if my family has one or not and if she would have followed us to Australia from the old country!