I love Ireland – and what a great article, Ali!
Modern literature and films have latched onto the ancient notion of the shapeshifter as a great moneyspinner; the shelves are full of stories of YA paranormal romance involving teen werewolves and vampires struggling to control their overpowering and little understood impulses. But the mythologies from which these tales derive tell quite a different story.
Take the werewolf, for example. Some time in the late 1100s, a priest travelling from Ulster to Munster came across a man and his wife forced to live for seven years as werewolves. They were good Christian people and true believers, whose ancestors had been cursed for a long- forgotten sin by another priest in the time just after St Patrick. They were not evil, nor killed other humans. These people and their clan were known as the Werewolves of Ossary, and you can read an excellent article all about them on the blog of…
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