Religious motifs : Overview. Search. About religious motifs

Gods, spirits and demons contains among others: Amor, Ole Lukoie, the sandman, Fate (goddess), Troll, Pixie

See also Angels, Merman, mermaid

Description of this motif: "Gods", in plural, are gods from other religions than the monotheistic, e.g. from the Greek, Roman or old Norse pantheons. Sprits and demons are closely related beings, who are represented in both state religions and folklore. Often such beings are related to an element or place and represents it personified, e.g. the sea, the night, the wind, the winter.

Example 1:

"Now let's turn the page," said Godfather. "Do you see the picture? Only the wild sea and the swelling northeast wind, driving heavy ice floes before it. There's no one out sailing on them, only great stone blocks, which rolled down onto the ice from the mountains of Norway. The north wind blows the ice away; he wants to show the German mountains what rocks are found up in the North. The ice floes are already down in the sound, off the coast of Zealand, where Copenhagen now stands; but there was no Copenhagen there then. There were great sandbanks under the water, and the ice floes with the big boulders struck against one of these. Then the whole ice field stuck so fast that the northeast wind couldn't move it again, and so he became as furious as could be and pronounced a curse on the sandbank, the 'Thieves' ground,' as he called it. He swore that if ever it should rise above the surface of the sea, thieves and robbers would live there, and the gallows and wheel be raised on it.

"But while he cursed and swore this way, the sun came out, and those bright and gentle spirits, the children of light, swayed an swung in its beams; they danced over the ice floes until they melted, and the great boulders sank to the sandy bottom of the sea.

" 'Sun scum!' said the northeast wind. 'Is that friendship and kinship? I'll remember and take revenge for that. Now I pronounce a curse!'

" 'We pronounce a blessing!' sang the children of light. 'The sandbank will rise, and we shall guard it. Truth, goodness, and beauty shall dwell there!'

" 'Stuff and nonsense!' said the northeast wind.

Example 2:

Ships anchored in the harbor, oil lamps hanging from swaying ropes, and the northeast wind blew and sang, 'O-out!' If a lantern glimmered on the island it was a thieves' lantern, for smugglers and thieves plied their trade on Thieves' Island.

" 'I believe that all the evil I wished for is coming,' said the northeast wind. 'Soon the tree will come, from which I can shake the fruit.'

"And here is the tree," said Godfather. "Do you see the gallows on Thieves' Island? Robbers and murderers hang there in iron chains, exactly as they hung in those days. The wind blew until it rattled the long skeletons, but the moon shone down on them as serenely as it now shines on a country dance. The sun also shone down pleasantly, crumbling away the dangling skeletons, and from the sunbeams the children of light sang, 'We know it! We know it! Here it shall be beautiful in the days to come; here it shall be good and splendid!'

" 'Chicken prattle!' said the northeast wind.

Example 3:

"The northeast wind whistled through the streets and lanes, sending the dust flying and tearing off a thatched roof. Cows and pigs wandered about in the street ditch.

" 'I shall tame and subdue them!' said the northeast wind. 'I'll whistle around the houses and around Axel's house! I can't fail! They call it Gallows' Castle on Thieves' Island.'"

Then Godfather showed a picture of it, which he himself had drawn. On the wall were rows of stakes, and on every stake was the head of a captured pirate showing its teeth.

"That really happened," said Godfather. "And it's worth hearing and worth knowing about.

"Bishop Absalon was in his bath, and through the thin walls he heard the arrival of a ship of freebooters. He instantly sprang out of the bath and into his ship, blew his horn, and his crew assembled. The arrows shot into the backs of the robbers as they rowed desperately to escape. The arrows pierced into their hands, and there was no time to pull them out. Bishop Absalon caught everyone and cut their heads off, and every head was set up on the outer wall of the castle. The northeast wind blew with puffed-out cheeks – with bad weather in his jaw, as the sailors say.

" 'I'll stretch myself,' said the wind. 'Here I'll lie down and look the whole matter over.'

Example 4:

Now the Bishop's town is the King's town. It has gabled houses and narrow streets, watchmen and a town hall, and a permanent gallows by the west port. No man from out of town can be hanged on it; you must be a citizen to be allowed to dangle there, to get so high as to see Kjge and the hens of Kjge.

" 'That's a lovely gallows,' says the northeast wind. 'The beautiful is growing!' And it whistles and whoops.

Example 5:

"The sunbeams kissed the boulder foundation of the Column of Freedom. All church bells rang and the flags waved, and the people cheered for Crown Prince Frederick. The names of Bernstorff, Reventlow, Colbjrnsen were held in the hearts and were on the lips of old and young. With bright eyes and grateful hearts they read the blessed inscription on the column:

" 'The King has decreed that serfdom shall cease, the agrarian laws be set in order and enforced, so that the free peasant may become brave and enlightened, diligent and good, a worthy and happy citizen!'

"What a sunny day! Summer is in town!

"The spirits of light sang, 'The good is growing! The beautiful is growing! Soon the stone on Ulfeldt's Place shall fall, but the Column of Freedom shall stand in the sunlight, blessed by God, King, and people.'