'Daughter of Darkness'
The Fairy Fetch' is a belief in old rural England that the phantom 'the fetch' of somebody stll hale and hearty can, and does, appear as a omen warning that that persons end is near.
"She was chanting as she walked, in a clear but small voice, and though her words are in a tougne they could not understand, there was no question but that it was a lament or dirge, so mournful were the notes and so sorrowful her mien"
"Twas the banshee's lonely wailing;
Well I knew the voice of death,
On the night wind slowly sailing
O'er the bleak and gloomy heath."'
The pagan Arabs were respectful of the spirits of the dead and would not fear ghosts, instead they would set up a altar and offer a sacrifice at locations where ghosts were sighted. A particular funerary rite among the pagan Arabians involved drinking the dust from the grave of the deceased mixed with water in order to relieve grief. Dust was symbolic of the pre-Abrahamic Semitic afterlife and was considered to be the food of the dead. The pre-Islamic Arabian concept of the Ākhirah is equal to the Hebrew Sheol; a place of darkness to which all the dead go, both the righteous and the unrighteous, regardless of the moral choices made in life, a place of stillness and darkness cut off from life and from God
The Si’lat, si’lah, or sila (plural sa’alin) literally means “she-jinn” or “she-ghul” the jinn of lightning who possess very long forelegs and hind feet and have a mane of ash-gray color. As for their overall appearance, they are supposed to resemble greyhounds, making them analogues of the Bedouins' favorite canine, the slender. They enjoy frightening camels away from their grazing areas. They are expert shape-shifters and the smartest of the jinn. They can mimic human appearance with ease.
Sources vary on the morality of si’lats. Some assert they are the wickedest type of ghul; others that they are merely capricious tricksters who might either help or cause trouble for mortals.
A she-demon of this name was ancestress of the tribe of Amr-b-Yarbu. Si’lats often dwell in woodlands, where they might capture travelers and force them to dance for their amusement, which indicates her electrical origin. An island in the China Sea is reported to be inhabited by them, or possibly by Shaitans, the offspring of human beings and jinn, who eat men.
Ancient traditions describe this jinn as sudden in appearance and disappearance, with a cat-like face, canine teeth, and a forked tongue.
Lilac and star and bird twined with the chant of my soul,
there in the fragrant pines and the cedars dusk and dim.
35mm film scan, 2017.
In 1611, at Aix-en-Provence in the south of France, Father Louis Gaufridi was burnt alive for allegedly sending demons into the Ursuline nuns at Aix. At the age of 19, a nun named Madeleine fell victim to what those around her considered to be unmistakable demonic possession. Her body was contorted, and in a fit of rage she destroyed a crucifix calling out that Father Gaufridi had given her the "green devil". After physical and mental torture inflicted on Father Gaufridi during his time in prison, a pact with the Devil was produced in court, allegedly signed in Gaufridi's own blood.
Immediately following Gaufridi's execution, Sister Madeleine suddenly appeared free of all possession. Two years later, the possession hysteria spread to Lille, France, where three nuns claimed to have been bewitched by Sister Madeleine. Madeleine herself was charged with witchcraft, and despite being found to have the Devil's mark and being sentenced to imprisonment, she was eventually released to the custody of a relative and died in 1670 at the age of 77.
Slav pagans believed that the land was haunted by malevolent demons who could ruin crops, cause bad weather or kill the unsuspecting. In fact, historians believe that demons and wicked spirits were more important to the Slav religion than gods.
'The Vila' are the Slavic versions of nymphs, sometimes refuted to as 'the witch of the wood' who have power over wind, which they delight in causing storms of high winds. They live around hills, mountains, and high mounds They can appear as a ghost-like figure with a long billowing cloak wrapped around them.
In Polish mythology, the Wiła, are believed to be female fairy-like spirits who live in the wilderness and sometimes in the clouds. They were believed to be the spirits of women who had been frivolous in their lifetimes and now floated between here and the afterlife. It is said that if even one of their hairs is plucked, the Vila will die, or be forced to change back to her true shape. A human may gain the control of a vila by stealing a piece of the vila's skin. Once burned, though, she will disappear.
'Māyā' (mixed media, photography and illustration in collaboration with India's illustrator artist Gumani)
Māyā, meaning "illusion" or "magic", has multiple meanings in Indian philosophies depending on the context. In ancient Vedic literature, Māyā literally implies extraordinary power and wisdom. Māyā is also a spiritual concept "that which exists, but is constantly changing and thus is spiritually unreal".
The vedas refers to 'Māyā' as the primordial woman Virāj (विराज्, chief queen) and how she willingly gave the knowledge of food, plants, agriculture, husbandry, water, prayer, knowledge, strength, inspiration, concealment, charm, virtue, vice to gods, demons, men and living creatures, despite all of them making her life miserable.
"She rose. The Asuras (demons) saw her. They called her. Their cry was, Come, O Māyā, come thou hither"
The woods stood in silence and cast their darkness out over the lake; but the middle of the water still lay in the sultry moonlight.
Now and then gentle breeze rustled through the trees; but this was not wind, rather the breath of the summer night.
35mm film scan, 2017.