A nisse (Danish: [ˈnesə] and Norwegian: [²nɪsːɛ]), tomte (Swedish: [²tɔmːtɛ]), tomtenisse, or tonttu (Finnish: [tontːu]) is a mythological creature from Nordic folklore today typically associated with the winter solstice and the Christmas season. It is generally described as being no taller than 90 cm (35 in), having a long white beard, and wearing a conical or knit cap in red or some other bright colour. Despite his small size, the nisse possessed an immense strength. He was easily offended by careless lack of proper respect and lazy farmers. As the protector of the farm and caretaker of livestock, and his retributions for bad practices ranged from small pranks like a hard strike to the ear to more severe punishment like killing off the livestock or ruining of the farm's fortune. Observance of traditions was thought important to the nisse as he did not like changes in the way things were done at the farm. He was also easily offended by rudeness: farm workers swearing, urinating in the barns, or not treating the creatures well would do so under the threat of a sound thrashing by the tomte/nisse. If anyone spilled something on the floor in the house, it was considered proper to shout a warning to the tomte below.
Getting more candle making supplies tomorrow!! I'm going to list as much as I can this week because this weekend I'll be away for a friends gallery show 💙 I'm so excited to be able to support them because they have so much to share and this is their first time showing some really personal pieces. Seeing people reach goals like this really pumps me up and gives me a much needed creative boost!
I have a weird folk-magic habit I picked up from my family, it may seem morbid, but it’s just one of the many ways my family relates to and bonds with trees.
We look for grave trees. You know the ones- the silver maple up on the meadow hill, with the wide stretching branches that dance in the summer and blaze aglow in the autumn? Or the old fur tree in the forest clearing that basks in golden light every evening and the tiniest birds flutter madly through it’s snow cloaked branches every winter scarfing down mouthfuls of dusty blue juniper berries? That tree that makes your breath catch in your throat, your pupils dilate and your heart race. That tree that immediately washes you in a sense of serenity. That tree that calls you there to rest at her feet for a moment, a moment longer, a moment stretching into forever.
I haven’t found my grave tree yet. I’ve found many that could be somebody’s grave tree though. Awe inspiring trees, mystical twisted trees, trees perked up on sunset draped hills and trees stretching from low woodland creeks a 100 feet into the canopy towering above.
This is one such tree. She teeters on the edge of a red clay cliff overlooking a stream who’s bed is never dry. Her roots twist and tangle across the mossy cliff where they hold tight to the earth so she can reach her branches far out over the water, where the sun shines brightest. In autumn her technicolor leaves blaze bright as they tumble down to the stream and are carried off by the slow, calm current below. It would be a really good tree to spend forever under.