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To: alt.magick,alt.magick.tyagi
From: (Nova Solo)
Subject: Re: Sidhe/Elves
Date: 24 Oct 1995 10:09:03 -0400

Toss this into the mix.  I found this article last week and never had time
to post it then, but thought it might be interesting.  
      By Rolf Soderlind 
    REYKJAVIK (Reuter) - The trouble started last month when the
bulldozers kept breaking down during work on a new road. 
    The mysterious accidents in front of one particular stone brought work
to a standstill at the construction site at Ljarskogar, about three hours
drive north of Reykjavik. 
    The contractors solved the problem in an unorthodox way but one which
is fairly common on Iceland. They accepted an offer from a medium to find
out if the land was populated by elves and, if so, were they causing the
    ``Our basic approach is not to deny this phenomenon,'' Birgir
Gudmundsson, an engineer with the Iceland Road Authority, told Reuters.
``We tread carefully. There are people who can negotiate with the elves,
and we make use of that.'' 
    About 10 percent of Icelanders believe in supernatural beings and
another 10 percent deny them, but the remaining 80 percent on this
windswept North Atlantic outpost either have no opinion or refuse to rule
out their existence, a survey shows. 
    The medium, a woman named Regina, said the elves told her they no
longer lived in the stone but nearby. However, they wanted workers to
remove it in a dignified manner and not just try to blow it up. 
    Regina was interviewed on national radio, which found itself quoting
elves, albeit indirectly, for the first time in history, according to one
radio journalist. 
    The supernatural never seems far away in Iceland, a wild moonscape of
volcanoes, geysers and lava rocks looking like trolls petrified by the
first rays of sunshine on a frosty morning. This is the land where
Vikings, tired of serving Scandinavian kings, settled more than a thousand
years ago. 
    ``I believe the elves want people to preserve nature,'' said Erla
Stefansdottir, another medium and part-time consultant to the road
authorities. ``Elves are nice and sweet, the other side of nature, they
are like light on the trees and the flowers.'' 
    Like all Icelanders, she is known by her first name. In Iceland,
children are still given their father's name as a second name, with
``-dottir'' or ``-son'' tacked on to denote ``daughter of'' or ``son of.''
Surnames in the real sense do not exist and telephone books list everyone
by the first name in this country of just 265,000. 
    Erla, sitting in her Reykjavik living room with candles flickering on
the table and Handel's Water Music playing from the stereo, said elves
lived not just in the countryside but also in the city and they enjoyed
    ``I see elves on the table right now,'' the middle-aged piano teacher
and mother of three said matter-of-factly. 
    ``There, there and there. They look like small human beings. I don't
have to believe in these things, but I keep seeing them. I have always
been seeing too much.'' 
    Erla said elves were not always at fault when roadworkers ran into
unexpected problems. 
 (continued next post...thataway!  ---->)

From: (Nova Solo)
Newsgroups: alt.magick,alt.magick.tyagi
Subject: Re: Sidhe/Elves
Date: 24 Oct 1995 10:09:10 -0400
Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364)
Lines: 71
Message-ID: <46is26$>
References: <46gr82$>
Reply-To: (Nova Solo)
Xref: alt.magick:55725 alt.magick.tyagi:4704

(part 2)
    ``You cannot blame it all on the elves,'' she said. ``Don't believe
everything you hear. People are good at bungling things themselves.'' 

    Being clairvoyant can apparently be an eerie experience. 

    ``When I walk down the street I can't tell who is alive and who is
dead of the people I meet,'' Erla said. ``I must touch them to find out if
they are alive. I can meet myself on the highway 20 years ago. I can
easily look back a thousand years.'' 

    Elves were first briefly mentioned in Iceland's mediaeval Saga
literature -- filled with pithy, epic tales of the days when a man never
left his home without his sword. 

    The Icelandic language, old Norse, has helped the survival of folklore
because it has been preserved virtually unscathed by the passing of time.
Icelanders still read the old Sagas in their original version without

    Iceland's President Vigdis Finnbogadottir once said her people loved
telling stories although few really believed in folklore. ``But to lose it
would be to lose a jewel,'' she said. 

    Arni Bjoernsson, head of the Ethnological department of the National
Museum of Iceland, said popular belief in elves, gnomes, dwarfs, trolls
and other beings often reflected the simple farmer's dream of a better
world alongside his own. 

    ``The ``huldufolk', or the hidden people, live a better life than
human beings,'' said Arni, whose interviews with fellow Icelanders have
produced a book listing 500 supernatural beings. 

    ``Their houses are nice and clean. They often possess gold and other
valuables. This is the wishful thinking of the poor.'' 

    But Arni said Icelanders, whose first city was founded less than 200
years ago, were less ashamed than other people in Europe to admit to
superstitious beliefs. 

    ``Icelanders are sceptical people, but they are also humble and they
do not want to rule anything out,'' he said. ``I am a scientist. I am
sorry to disappoint you but I have never seen an elf or a troll. But who
am I to exclude their existence?'' 

    While the elves and other serene beings may cause roadworks to make
detours around magic mounds, no story about Icelandic folklore would be
complete without the ``skrimsli,'' or monsters. 

    ``Unlike ghosts, who leave no trace, monsters seem to leave footprints
in the sand and disappear into the sea,'' said Thorvaldur Fridriksson,
author of a 1,000-page work on Icelandic Loch Ness-style monsters that is
soon to be published. 

    ``Some of these monsters are dangerous. People are reluctant to tell
about them because others will laugh. But about 70 percent of Earth is sea
and who knows what the sea hides?'' 

    At Ljarskogar, however, all seemingly came clear after road
authorities followed Regina's advice and removed the stone with due
dignity. ``As far as I know, everything has been peaceful since then,''
said Birgir. 


"So we wait in the dark until someone sets us free
Then we're brought into the light, and we're back at the start" 
- Into the Woods, soundtrack

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