I've always loved this fairytale of The Six Swans by J.L.C and W.C. Grimm. Having three older brothers, I feel empathy for the Swan Sister and her quest to bring back her brothers from separation. Variations of this beautiful tale are; The Six Swans, The Children of Lir and The Wild Swans.
The name of the swan in Scots Gaelic is - Eala.
Irish - Ela.
Welsh and Old Celtic - Alargh.
In the night sky, the constellation Cygnus, depicts a swan gliding through the Milky Way.
Swans have many different meanings in myth and folklore. They symbolize freedom, fidelity, love, companionship and loyalty.
Swans are also connected to the arts and mystics, dreamers and the Fairy Realm making them a wonderful totem animal for children.
In Celtic lore, swans can mean inspiration from the Otherworld, an enduring love and a symbol of transformation. The white swan is associated with the sun and the black swan with the night.
England and Celtic traditions, the swan is a powerful and ancient power animal. Here the swan is associated with goddesses of healing waters. They are connected with music, love, purity and the soul. They have mastered the three elements of earth, air and water, and are often fairy depicted as women in disguise who helps us to the Otherworld.
At certain festivals, such as at Samhain, Beltain or Summer Solstice, a swan can transform herself back into human form.
Native American traditions, from the Mayan to the Cheyenne, there is a story of a swan that tells a dragonfly that he has learned to surrender his body to the power of spirit and was taken to where the future lives. He saw many wonders high on sacred mountains and because of his faith and his acceptance he has been changed. He has learned to accept the state of grace. http://www.medicinecards.com/
Swan is the bird who may enter the Dreamtime and bring back knowledge and healing to the tribe.
(By David Carson and Jamie Sams. page. 192 - 195.)
In the Medicine Cards, the Swan teaches us to be at one with all planes of consciousness, and to trust in Great Spirit's protection. The Swan tells you ''accept your ability to know what lies ahead. Pay attention to your gut feelings and intuition''. Swan often indicates a soul level experience is about to commence.
Reversed - the Swan tells you to be more grounded and to pay attention to the unseen. Notice your surroundings and touch the earth, be still and focus on one reality or the other - the Dreamtime or the Mundane World. Stop the clutter in your mind and listen, or focus on a physical activity that will ground you. ( Medicine Cards. page. 195.)
The Druid Animal Oracle - by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm.
Wonderful Blog by Surlalune Fairytales.
Prints will be available in my etsy shop soon.