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Posts tagged ‘culture and death’

Distracting Cat Sidhe: Culture and Death (A Guest Post by Out of the Darkness)

Distracting Cat Sidhe: Culture and Death

Out of the Darkness

 

Culture plays a very large role in how your characters view death, how they mourn it, and what kind of rituals they observe surrounding it. The title of this post is a reference to games played at an Irish Wake, which traditionally run from sundown to sunup. There’s food and drink, with the corpse of the recently departed sat up at the head of the table and there are games played all night. The cultural reason for the games is to distract Cat Sidhe lest they sneak in and steal the soul of the recently dead before it can pass from this world. It was also fully expected that anyone in the community who had a grievance with the deceased would air them at the wake, and also seek forgiveness for trespasses and slights that they may have committed and not resolved before the death occurred. If there was any unresolved business when the sun came up, the spirit was trapped in the mortal world and it would become angry or go mad. The Ireland in which this practice evolved was a superstitious one, with a heavy belief in the otherworldly. They hung horseshoes above their doors, carried a nail in their pockets, and spread salt to protect themselves from vengeful spirits. They knew as fact that fairies were real and that they could be both helpful when appeased and spiteful when insulted. The day to day life of an average person was directly impacted by this knowledge. It was part of the blood of the land, and much of it persists today. This knowledge also impacted how they viewed death. Everyone knew that crows gathered near battlefields because they were the eyes and ears of the Morrigan, the chooser of the slain. Read more