Friday, June 10, 2011
Selkies: What You Need to Know (or Read)
So, we all know all about mermaids if you've stuck around long enough (although I suspect there is much more to learn) and sirens, but one thing you're missing in your sea education is Selkies.
Selkies originated in Ireland/Scotland (some people say specifically the Orkney Islands) and are either half seal and half human or all seal when in water, but when they step out, they shed their seal pelt. To re-enter the sea you must wrap your pelt around you and you can transfrom back and forth.
Some lengends say Selkies can only come on land on Midsummer's eve at the seventh tide of the seventh tide or if you cry seven tears into the sea. But either way, the most disinguishing thing is half seal.
I admit that I was really surprised on the origin of these creatures. The story is always the same. But I'll write that one up later.
Selkies seem to have been forgotten by most in pop culture, as I've only been able to find two books around on the fantastic creatures.
Selkie Girl by Laurie Brooks is a fantastic tale set it, you guesed it, The Orkney Isles about a girl who is half selkies half human and discovers a lot of hertiage and does brave things. It's very good, and very compelling. It's kind of hard to find, so you might have to scour your favorite bookstore's website (I got it from Books-A-Million).
The second isn't an entire book, but a short story my Wicked Lovely author Melissa Marr in the Love Is Hell compilation. She writes of a selkie falling in love with a human, and seeing as I love Melissa Marr, I flipped out a little bit. That's also a nice little piece on selkies.
I'm sure I can uncover more information on selkies later, and I'll be posting the origin story as soon as possible.