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Wights

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 10 months ago

As well as these “major” gods, Heathens may form relationships with local deities and other wights. “Wight” is a general term for sentient being, but it is widely used today with specific reference to the spiritual beings who are neither god nor human (although both are, technically, wights). For many Heathens, the most regularly encountered wight is the House Wight, who can help with beer brewing, protecting the home, and so on — or, if the wight feels unhappy or slighted, may be mischievous and cause problems. If there is a good relationship with a House Wight, everything runs much more smoothly.

 

Land Wights may be found in any feature of the landscape — a hill, a rock, a tree, a stream; sometimes they may be willing to communicate, but some wights are really not interested and are not at all welcoming. There are times, too, when a wight may cause problems for the plans of humans, as in this account from Iceland (as told by Jenny Blain in her book, Wights & Ancestors):

The classic story, told of several locations, is one of a boulder that is where the road is planned to go, people attempt to move it, machines break down, they consult a local person, often an older woman, who tells them of the Wight whose house is the boulder. In some cases an ‘expert’ consults with the Wight, perhaps achieving a negotiation in which the wight agrees to ‘move house’, a period of days is specified, and the (now unoccupied) boulder can now be moved. Two women, I was told, had become particularly well-known for this negotiation.

 

 from Heathenry, Yggdrasil Heathen group

 

According to Wikipedia, "Wight comes from the Old English word wiht, akin to Old High German wiht, meaning a creature or thing. The word is a cognate with Dutch wicht, German Wicht, Old Norse vættir and Swedish vätte."

 

See also:

 

Wights and other persons  (animism.org.uk) 

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