Will-O’-Wisp – Ghostly Lights
Hi dear friends and followers. Today I would like to share this accounting of some of the mythical creatures written by some of the world's famous writers, but maybe not so mythical after all, you decide.
January 23, 2012 by T.F.Walsh
Mythical Creatures Series
Suppose you saw a flickering flight hovering over a pond. What would you think it was? A fairy? A dead soul? A spirit luring you toward it? According to some legends all of these might be true, because you may just have witnessed a will-o’-wisp.
Will-o'-wisp by Ilyich at Deviant Art
What is it?
This phenomenon has a variant of names – Jack-O’-Lantern, Hinkypunk, Hobby Lantern, Faery Lights, St. Elmo’s Fire, Bob-A-Longs, Jenny Burnt-Tail, Teine Sith, Huckpoten, Irrbloss, Eclaireux, Candelas and Ruskaly.
Those who follow these lights find the lights teasing them – appearing and disappearing the closer they get to them. Some say anyone successful in tracking down the lights will witness a gathering of fairies during a celebration. Though this varies depending on each culture.
Scandinavian folklore believed that a will-o’-the-wisp marked the location of a treasure deep in ground or water, which could be taken only when the fire was there.
South America has the Boi-tatá (fiery serpent), which is a “boiguaçu” (a cave anaconda) left its cave after a great deluge, and in the dark, went through the fields preying on the animals and corpses, eating exclusively its favorite morsel, the eyes. The collected light from the eaten eyes gave “Boitatá” its fiery gaze.
Australia has the Min Min Light an unusual light formation that has been reported numerous times in eastern Australia. According to folklore, the lights sometime follow or approached people and have disappeared when fired upon, only to reappear later on. The number of sightings has increased alongside the increasing ingression of Europeans into the region.
They typically appear as a cluster of tiny, bright lights around a body of water.
Appearances In Culture
In literature, Will o’ the wisp sometimes has a metaphorical meaning, describing a hope or goal that leads one on but is impossible to reach, or something one finds sinister and confounding. In Book IX of John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Satan is compared to a “will-o-the-wisp” in tempting of Eve to partake of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner describes the Will o’ the wisp.
It is seen in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre when Jane Eyre is unsure if it is a candle or a Will-o-the-wisp.
“Mother Carey” wrote a popular 19th century poem titled “Will-O’-The-Wisp”.
In J. R. R. Tolkien’s work The Lord of the Rings, will o’ the wisps are present in the Dead Marshes outside of Mordor. When Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee make their way through the bogs the spindly creatureGollum tells them “not to follow the lights” meaning the will o’ the wisps. He tells them that if they do, they will keep the dead company and have little candles of their own. Also, Gandalf guides the Fellowship through the darkness of Moria (A Journey in the Dark) and his “wizard’s light” is compared to a will-o’-the-wisp. Given that Moria was an ancient source of mithril, this might be a nod to Scandinavian associations of the will-o’-the-wisp with treasure.
The hinkypunk, the name for a Will o’ the wisp in South West England has achieved fame as a magical beast in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series. In the books, a hinkypunk is a one-legged, frail-looking creature that appears to be made of smoke. It is said to carry a lantern and mislead travelers.
Will-o’-the-wisp phenomena have appeared in Gothic II: Night of the Raven, EverQuest, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Super Mario RPG, Ultima Online, World of Warcraft, Quest for Glory: Shadows of Darkness,Pokémon (as a status-inflicting skill), Skies of Arcadia, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Chrono Cross, the Legacy of Kain series and the trading card game Magic: the Gathering. The Final Fantasy Series also pays tribute to the will-o’-the-wisp character with the Tonberry creature. In Fable II, Will-o’-the-wisps are passive but frequently malignant spirits. Willo the Wisp appeared as a short cartoon series on BBC TV in the 1980s, voiced by Kenneth Williams. A will o’ the wisp called Bricriu appeared in three episodes of Disney Channel’s So Weird.
Note: My next composition will be about my own encounters with the later mentioned here, orbs, sparklers and the rainbow beings.
✿ ڰۣ❤In Loving Light from the Fairy Lady❤ڰۣ✿