“Celtic Womanhood and the Banshee”–Our Other Favorite Guest Post for 2018

As I mentioned last week, we get the privilege of picking two of our favorite guest posts for December’s “Favorite Things” theme. Our other favorite guest post this year was from our August theme, Lady Midnight, and it was Juliette F. Martin’s “Celtic Womanhood and the Banshee.”

It’s no secret all three of us ladies at Unbound love our Celtic mythology…so this post spoke to our hearts in that regard. But it also touched on a pop culture topic that many have heard of, but few know the origin of–the screaming banshee. We learned a lot from this article about the connection between Celtic womanhood and the origin of the banshee–so we wanted to share it one more time to give even more people the opportunity to see how women in ancient Celtic culture influenced modern day mythologies!

“Celtic Womanhood and the Banshee”

“Motherhood as Power” – My December Pick

This one was a hard choice! Over the past nine or so months, I’ve gotten to talk about some of my favorite books and stories as well as read new ones that hadn’t previously been on my radar. And my choice is:

Motherhood as Power: The Importance of Childbearing to Viking Age Queens.”

I settled on this article from May, which had the theme of Motherhood and Childbearing, for a few reasons. It was fun to dig into a topic I don’t often explore either in writing or reading. I also got to do a good bit of cool research on a time in history I haven’t studied for a while. By far, the funniest fact I ran across, which ultimately was extraneous to the article, was that King Æthelred of England was known as Æthelred the Unready, which also means “poorly advised.”

But probably my favorite thing about writing this article was I got to use a historical fiction novel, Shadow on the Crown by by Patricia Bracewell, and a fantasy novel, Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins. Most months, it’s hard to find both that deal with the same topics within similar time periods. Using both types of novels allowed me to see the different ways each genre approaches the depiction of its heroines, which was neat.

“Of Hope and Expectation”–My December Pick

by: E.J. Lawrence

For my December pick, I decided to go with an article that matches the season–my April article on Mary titled “Of Hope and Expectation.” I enjoyed writing this one because I love seeing how mythology and story structure help us better understand and explore the world we live in. When we use the phrase “life’s not a fairy tale” as some sort of platitude to mean “life doesn’t always end happily,” it’s because we’ve forgotten that not even all fairy tales have “happy” endings, or even expected endings. But they do have right endings. Just because the story ends unexpectedly does not mean it ends wrongly. And just because darkness seems to have won doesn’t mean it has. We are living a story right now. The belief in a meta-narrative gives us hope that, in the end, all will end right.

So, without further ado, here’s my December pick–“Of Hope and Expectation”

 

“Witches: The Threat of Change” — My December Pick

by K.P. Kulski

Last year we used the month of December to pick out our favorite posts of the year. First up, E.J., Carrie, and I will talk about our favorite articles to write and then bring you our favorite guest article of the year.

So here’s my December pick “Witches: The Threat of Change.”

Of course this one wasn’t all that long ago, but it was my favorite simply because of subject matter. The idea of historic witches and society holds endless fascination for me. Long ago I wondered why witch hysteria occurred when it did, a question that led to some moderate research. The more source material I read, I couldn’t help but frame the primary sources against the greater social situation, I realized how often these hysterias occurred alongside great social change.

My October article was born of that curiosity and investigation. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Unbound

by K.P. Kulski

You tell ’em I’m coming… and Hell’s coming with me.

I’ve often thought these words, while said by Wyatt Earp in the movie Tombstone, had to have been first uttered by a pissed-off witch somewhere in history.

Women overcrowd the rosters of those who bear the label of witch. Even in the modern lexicon, the very word summons the image of a woman… specifically a threatening woman. But why? What is it about these women that are threatening? What about them warranted the extreme punishments we’ve all read about? Was it really just religious?

In my opinion, it was not so simple. I see witch hysteria as one of the many incarnations of the status quo reaction to female agency.

Interestingly enough, the major historic witch hysterias occurred during periods of significant change or disruptions to social norms. In fact, attacks on women in general have been…

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