Monday, May 1, 2017
The spirits of the ancestral dead were present at certain places. Ancestral holy places - homesteads, grave mounds, tombs, battlefields - were sites where the ancient spirits could be venerated and asked for assistance. There was also belief in unseen humanlike beings such as house sprites, elves, faeries, kobolds, boggarts, and trolls. Supernatural beasts such as spectral dogs, water monsters, and dragons lurked in dangerous places. They were personifications of disease and death, and demons who brought bad luck and ruin. All of these spirits interacted with human life. Some were helpful, some required gifts of acknowledgment to perform tasks; others had to be placated lest they brought disaster. Religious and magical rites serve to communicate with spirits and interact with them. Every place has an innate spiritual quality that the Romans recognized as the genius loci, the spirit of the place."
- excerpted from "Pagan Magic of the Northern Tradition" by Nigel Pennick