Folklore and Myth Thursday – F

Fenrir, Fir Bholg, the Fomorii, Fravashi, and the Feathered Serpent


Along with the Midgard Serpent, Hel, and Sleipnir, the wolf Fenrir is one of Loki’s offspring. The great wolf bites off the god Tyr’s hand when the gods set out to bind the wolf until the end of the world. Fenrir will “burst his chains” (Mortensen, 2003:38) at the start of Ragnarok. “Fenrir goes forth with yawning mouth; his upper jaw touches heaven while his lower jaw drags along the earth” (Mortensen, 2003:38). Fire also burns from his eyes and nostrils. Odin comes to stand against Fenrir during Ragnarok and is slain by him. Vidar, another of Odin’s sons, then avenges his father by killing the wolf (see Lindow, 2001:113). See also the Younger Edda for more detail on Fenrir’s death at Vidar’s hand. The tale of Fenrir’s binding is also fully told in the Gylfaginning in the Younger Edda.

Lindow, J. (2001). Norse Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Mortensen, K. (2003). A Handbook of Norse Mythology. New York: Dover Publications.

Via Wikipedia Commons. Public Domain.

Fir Bholg

(Also Firbolg in some texts)

Fir Bholg is the “name of the fourth race of people to invade Ireland, according to the Book of Invasions … The Fir Bholg held Ireland for thirty-seven years, during which time their five leaders divided it into five provinces: this is the origin of Connacht, Ulster, Leinster, Munster … and Meath.” Tresidder goes on to tell that the “FIr Bholg were defeated at the first battle of Magh Tuiredh by the Tuatha Dé Danann … Eochaidh mac Eire, the last Fir Bholg king of Ireland, fell during the battle” (Tresidder, 2004:183). The Fir Bholg thereafter made peace and withdrew into Connacht (see also Tresidder, 2004:183).

Tresidder, J. (2004). The Complete Dictionary of Symbols in Myth, Art and Literature. London: Duncan Baird Publishers.

Fomarii, The

The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology tells that the Fomarii “were sea gods in Irish Mythology. Violent and mis-shapen, the Fomarii emerged from the waves to challenge two rulers of Ireland: the Filbolg and the Tuatha De Danann” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:133). “Often the Fomorii were described as having only a single hand, foot or eye” (Cotterell & Storm, 2007:133).

Cotterell, A. & R. Storm. (2007). The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology. London: Hermes House.


“Fravashi … is the Avestan language term for the Zoroastrian concept of a personal spirit of an individual, whether dead, living, and yet-unborn. The fravashi of an individual sens out the urvan (often translated as ‘soul’)into the material world to fight the battle of good versus evil.” – Wikipedia.

Feathered Serpent

The feathered serpent is a “significant supernatural entity or deity, found in many Mesoamerican religions”. Called Quetzalcoatl among the Aztecs, Kukulkan among the Yucatec Maya, and Q’uq’umatz and Tahil among the K’iche’ Maya. “The double symbolism used in its name is considered allegoric to the dual nature of the deity, where being feathered represents its divine nature or ability to fly to reach the skies and being a serpent represents its human nature or ability to creep on the ground among other animals of the Earth, a dualism very common in Mesoamerican deities.” Follow this link for more information on feathered serpents. – Wikipedia.

Via Wikipedia Commons. Public Domain. 

By Carin Marais

Bibliophile, writer of speculative fiction, non-fiction, and maybe-fiction, language practitioner, doer of stuff.


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