Friday, June 16, 2006

Robin Goodfellow: A midsummer night's imp

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted
Watch out, watch out, there are imps about! Charles Kightly in his The Perpetual Almanack of Folklore (Thames and Hudson, 1987) tells us that the red-stalked Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum) blooms around English houses in June, associated with Summer Solstice (June 21) and Midsummer (June 24). (In North America, however, it is a noxious weed.) Herb Robert is also known as Death-come-quickly, Robin's eye, Robin Hood, Robin-i’-th’-hedge, Stinking Bob, Stinker Bobs and Wren flower.

Weed or not, beware how you treat it, for it is Robin Goodfellow’s flower and he might direct a snake to bite you, especially if you destroy it.

Robin Goodfellow is an English imp, a trickster from the woods. As a forest dweller, he symbolises the pagan (wood-dwelling) pre-Christian peoples who the Church worked hard at converting from their wicked ways. Robin is a cognate of the famous European Green Man (a name coined by Lady Raglan in 1939 for a medieval image usually found in churches), and of Robin Hood. The English sometimes called him Puck, frequently representing him as a goat, while the Irish knew similar fantastic beings as Pooka. In Killorglin, County Kerry, Ireland annually on August 10 - 12, a goat is still the mascot of the ancient Puck Fair ...

Categories: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker