Sunday, August 4, 2013
Available from http://earthsongtiles.com
Seals have a strong and special connection with the human race. It is said some families are descended from the union of humans and seals and no matter how warm the day a person with seal blood running in their veins will leave a damp spot and sea salt crystals upon any rock they sit on. In places where seals are common, such as the Orkney and Shetland Islands and the West coast of Ireland, many tales are told of the creatures who once provided meat, oil, medicine and waterproof clothing to coastal communities. Many of the stories centered on seals helping humans, but by far the most prevalent tale was, and possibly still is, that some seals can turn themselves into humans. In the Faeroe Islands they believed this transformation took place at mid winter, in the Orkneys it was on the seventh day of a nine day period of high tides that occur twice a year in March and August. In the Druid tradition it was known as 'Alban Heruin' the light of the shore and took place at mid summer. The shoreline represents a magical boundary, constantly shifting between this world and the other world of the ocean, seals being of both worlds were believed to be able to emerge from the ocean at special times and become partly human for a while.