List of the Gods and Their Spirit Animals

Norse Spiritualism

It is important to note that there are in fact countless gods, most of which, obviously, whose names are long forgotten. The gods have been worshiped since the Bronze Age, and most of what our ancient ancestors knew they didn’t write down. The gods are a complex and supreme people, and are therefore not limited to one attribute. They are multifaceted; no god is bound to one attribute or characteristic. In addition, they each have countless names and titles. Morrigan for example, is the primary goddess of autumn and a goddess of death, and is her Celtic or Gaelic name; her Nordic name being lost to us. Odin and Frigga’s family tree are the most well known and well remembered gods. As mentioned throughout this site, names and labels are not as important as respect of nature (Yggdrasil), the gods, and what the gods represent and hold domain over. The…

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Author Tips on Writing Historical Fiction

Because historical fiction matters!

A Writer of History

Historical Fiction Writing TipsToday I’ve selected authors’ tips on writing historical fiction from around the web.

From How to Write Historical Fiction: 7 Tips on Accuracy and Authenticity by Susanna Calkins author of A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate

  • Let the characters engage with the historical details – a variation on show don’t tell
  • Allow your characters to question and explore their place in society – doing so reveals the context of the times
  • Love the process, because readers will still find errors

From Seven Rules for Writing Historical Fiction by Elizabeth Crook author of The Night Journal: A Novel

  • Sweat the Small Stuff – small details allow readers to engage all senses in the past world you are building
  • Dump the Ballast – too much detail is a killer

10 Tips for Aspiring Historical Fiction Writers by Stephanie Dray author of Daughters of the Nile

  • Read historical fiction – sounds obvious doesn’t it but you…

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The Origins Of English

Because languages are always important for a writer!

Nicholas C. Rossis

TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Educator Claire Bowern and Director Patrick Smith have produced a great little film that explains the origins of English. As they explain, when we talk about ‘English’, we often think of it as a single language. But what do the dialects spoken in dozens of countries around the world have in common with each other, or with the writings of Chaucer? The Origins Of English traces the language from the present day back to its ancient roots, showing how English has evolved through generations of speakers.

Going Further Back

However, illustrator Minna Sundberg went even further back. She has captured in an elegant infographic a linguistic tree which reveals some fascinating links between different tongues, illustrating how most of the different languages we speak today can actually be placed in only a couple of groups by their…

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The Sea Queen of Connacht

Tales of the Wild Atlantic Way

The Pirate Queen, Grace O’Malley by Tracy Feldman

 Tá Gráinne Mhaol ag teacht thar sáile,
Óglaigh armtha léi mar gharda.

Gráinne Mhaol is coming over the sea,
Armed warriors as her guard.

—  Óró Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile, by Padraig Pearse (1914)

The castle on Clare Island had a perfect view. When she stood on its ramparts and looked eastwards, she could see the mainland ahead of her, Achill Island to her left, the holy island of Caher to her right, and the restless seas running between them. Her clan, the O’Malleys, controlled these waters; their motto was “powerful by land and sea”.

Her name was Gráinne Ní Mháille. The English would call her Grace O’Malley. She had grown up on Clare Island,  and as a child she’d asked her father to bring her on a journey to Spain with him. He told her that her long hair would get…

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The Girl in the Tower

Love Irish mythology!

Tales of the Wild Atlantic Way

Photo of Tory Island Cliffs by Sara Everett, licensed under Creative Commons

Eithne wandered to her bedroom window, rubbing her eyes and trying to make sense of the strange dream she’d just had. From this height, she could see the rocky cliffs and, if she listened carefully, could hear the crashing of waves far below.

One of her maids had already started to air out her sheets, while another placed her breakfast porridge on the table. This tower, all of its storeys apart from the ground, was the only space she had ever known. Her maids — twelve of them in all — were the only people she had ever known. She didn’t even remember her father, who had placed her here when she was a small child.

So who was that person in her dream, with the oddly-deep voice and the oddly-square jaw? Was it some kind of…

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Sigrdrifa’s Prayer One Page Book

Just because I love Sidgriffa’s toast…

Ozark Pagan Mamma

Last year, I posted an article about making little mini books out of a single sheet of paper. Since then, I’ve figured out how to make them digitally! Below you will find a simple version of Sigrdrifa’s prayer, the only direct invocation of the Norse gods preserved from ancient times. It is a classic and beautiful prayer that can be said anytime, but is especially appropriate at the start of one’s day, observing the sun rise, and at the Solstices.

Copy and paste image into a word processing program (set up with narrow margins) to make sure the image takes up most of a full sheet of paper, expanding as necessary.
After printing, trim away the margins on the outside of the thick black lines. Let your child color the pictures, then follow directions given in my article magic one-sheet-of-paper mini book to complete the book.

Sigrdrifa prayer magic bookFor more Summer Solstice…

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Celebrating Women in Pharmacy: Elizabeth Marshall (1768-1826)

The UC School of Pharmacy Blog

EMSpecial Note: During the Month of March, Women’s History Month, we will be highlighting women in pharmacy (past and present) who have contributed significantly to the profession.

One of the first female pharmacists in the United States, Elizabeth Marshall, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1768. Many people credit her with being the very first female pharmacist in the United States. In reality, that title actually belongs to Elizabeth Gooking Greenleaf. However, while she may not have been the first American female pharmacist, Elizabeth Marshall was most certainly the second and was no doubt a hugely important figure for both women in the Pharmacy profession and for Pharmacy history in general.

Elizabeth Marshall’s father, Charles Marshall, as well as his father Christopher Marshall before him were both well-known pharmacists in Philadelphia at the time. Christopher Marshall’s apothecary shop was said to be the most complete outside of New York City. This distinction led…

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