Delineation of Wights

Nushif has written a fantastic post (archive) about the “scale, domain, and level of importance” of wights. Excellent questions were raised. Here’s a quote from later in the post:

I think the idea of wights is something more heathens should tackle earlier in their study and internalize far earlier than some other concepts, such as the gift giving cycle.

First I think as heathens we must understand wyrd. We have a splendid post up already about this, to which I cannot add much.

Secondly we have to understand the world in an animistic sense, filled with wights of (sometimes) vague and unclear scale, domain and level of importance to us. That makes sense if we engage in the metaphor for wyrd that I’ve heard most often: a tapestry woven from threads. One thread, no matter how thick, thin, short, long, pliable or non-pliable can only make one intersection in the cloth of the tapestry at a time, as such our perception or rather our ability to act is limited to the intersections we can take. Simply put, we cannot do things we can’t do.

When I say this I mean the following. Taking the belief in wights and the history of the concept we absolutely must be animists. And we can’t discard wights not explicitly mentioned in the sagas or Eddas either. Remember that the heads on boats at times had to be removed when approaching land so as to not scare the wights. This doesn’t seem like the behavior of a people who limited the existence of wights to very specific and very certain places or things EXCLUSIVELY.

Krettir has an especially delightful response:


4 Replies to “Delineation of Wights”

  1. Claude Lecouteux has a book on Housespirits, (“The Tradition of Household Spirits: Ancestral Lore and Practices). Like many of his books, he offers a wide spectrum of study of European folklore and pre-Christian practice. I think more people need to read it in regards to this topic (and the topic which seems to have been posted in the past day or so, also on Wights).

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