January 9, 2020 at 1:54 pm #7739
Hello everyone. I’ve just joined, so this is to say hello. I’ve been reading about and “studying” Celtic lore, druids, mythology since I was a young lad and that’s why I decided to join this group and forum. One of my favourite animals is the otter, hence my username Dowrgi, and I “have” an adopted otter in Scotland. I am particularly interested in Cornish and Breton, and I also have roots in Cornwall and the West Country. Anyway, that’s about all for now. I’m looking forward to some interesting discussions on this site.
DJanuary 13, 2020 at 9:33 pm #7870
Welcome Dowrgi. Strangely enough I recently had a dream about an otter; in my mind’s eye I saw an image of one pretty clearly. Another thing which I was thinking of at the same time was the book Tarka the Otter, in particular the image on the cover.January 15, 2020 at 8:49 pm #7921
Hello and thanks for the welcome.
I remember that book from being at junior school and I remember a film from the 70s.
The otter is an interesting character in Celtic myth and folklore. The Irish have tales of the fearsome Dobhar-chú or King of the Otters and, of course, it is one of Ceridwen’s transformations.
My own view is that the otter is one of those liminal creatures, it lives in sacred waters and on land, it eats salmon (!) and it has a very “snaky” movement, especially in water. The English, Latin and Greek words come from the same origin as the word “hydra”, it makes you wonder if the ancient legends of water-serpents might not have actually been about otters. Who knows?
I’m far from an expert, but from a bit of reading I’ve done, I’ve read that otters were sacred animals in Ancient Iran (Persia) along with dogs, hedgehogs, weasels, foxes, beavers, starlings, crows/ravens and vultures. Some familiar animals there from Celtic myth too, aren’t there? Apparently, killing an otter was considered a terrible crime and, interestingly, although hunting the otter was permitted in Scotland, it seems to have come at a great risk and potential price if you fell foul of the Otter King.
/|\January 17, 2020 at 4:43 pm #7966
I must read that book and I must see that film too, it could be just coincidence but then again it might not be. I am going to assume there might be a message there and attempt to work out what it is. Of course the otter is one of the forms which Cerridwen takes. My guess is that the message, wherever it is from and maybe only internal, might be something regarding Cerridwen. My studies are currently involving this story, so that makes sense.January 17, 2020 at 8:50 pm #7972
There’s a lovely traditional Gaelic reel called Pol An Madre Uisce (the Otter’s Holt) that you might like.January 17, 2020 at 8:55 pm #7973
I might check it out thank you.
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