Scandinavian creatures Picture

Skogsrå (forest spirit)

The (pronounced ) is a kind of female spirit in norse mythology. There are many kinds of rå, from well rå and lake rå to forest rå and even mining rå. The word rå comes from råda, meaning ruling, and the rå is very much the queen of her realms.

[...] Anyone venturing into the rå's realms does so on her conditions. Like all nature spirits she is capricious and can aid as well as make mischief. If she's in the right mood she'll warn the charcoal-burner when the charcoal-stack catches fire, looks after children who gets lost in the forest and help the shieling maid to find lost cattle. But the skogsrå also tries to gain power over the humans who dwell in the forest. She distort people's eyesight so they get lost and walk around in circles. Some never find their way home and are lost forever in the deep forests. [...] Free translation from "Nordiska Väsen" by Johan Egerkrans.


[...] In the deep forests in southern and middle Sweden live the troll. They are secretive creatures who live together in mountains and mounds, separated from the humans. Their lives remind a lot like our own. They marry, have children and die - even if they grow very old. They have their own livestock, brew beer, bake and mine ore just like the humans. [...] The troll and the farmers in their proximity often lived in neighborly harmony, they borrowed brew kettles, kneading troughs and other tools from each other and exchanged services. In other places the relation is more tense, some troll are thieving and happily steal what they can get. [...] Unfortunately the thieving doesn't stop by food and drink, sometimes the humans themselves can be in danger. It happens that humans vanish without a trace in forests and fields, they have been mountain-taken (bergtagna) by the troll. Herd boys, maids - often newly delivered mothers - and sometimes whole wedding parties have been seen vanish mysteriousy straight into a mountain. [...] Free translation from "Nordiska Väsen" by Johan Egerkrans.
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