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Myths and legends - The Fairy Mythology - The Brownie Luridan



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

The Fairy Mythology - Illustrative of the Romance and Superstition of Various Countries by Thomas Keightley  [1870]

A very important personage once, we are told, inhabited the Orkneys in the character of Brownie.

“Luridan,” says Reginald Scot, " a familiar of this kind did for many years inhabit the island of Pomonia, the largest of the Orkades in Scotland, supplying the place of man-servant and maid.-servant with wonderful diligence to those families whom he did haunt, sweeping their rooms and washing their dishes, and making their fires before any were up in the morning. This Luridan affirmed, that he was the genius Astral, of that island ; that his place or residence in the days of Solomon and David was at Jerusalem; that then he was called by the Jews Belelah; after that, he remained long in the dominion of -Wales, instructing their bards in British poesy and prophecies, being called Wrthin, Wadd, Elgin; 'and now, ' he said, 'I have removed hither, and, alas ! my continuance is but short, for in seventy years I must reslgn my place to Balkin, lord of the Northern Mountains.'”

“Many wonderful and incredible things did he also relate of this Balkin, affirming that he was shaped like a satyr, and fed upon the air, having wife and children to the number of twelve thousand., which were the brood of the Norther-Fairies, inhabiting Southerland and Catenes, with the adjacent islands. And that these were the companies of spirits that hold continual wars with the fiery spirits in the mountain Hecla that vomits fire in Islandia. That their speech was ancient Irish, and their dwelling the caverns of the rocks and mountains, which relation is recorded in the antiquities of Pomonia."

Concerning Luridan, we are further informed from the Book of Vanagastus, the Norwegian, that it is his nature to be always at enmity with fire; that he wages war with the fiery spirits of Hecla; and that in this contest they do often anticipate and destroy one another, killing and crushing when they meet in mighty and violent troops in the air upon the sea. And at such times, many of the fiery spirits are destroyed when the enemy hath brought them off the mountains to fight upon the water. On the contrary, when the battle is upon the mountain itself, the spirits of the air are often worsted, and then great moanings and doleful noises are heard in lceland, and Russia, and Norway, for many days after.

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps