The Pagan Experience: “I” is for “Idis”

Grundsau Burrow

Idise A Germanic-Roman depiction of the Matronae, a survival of the Disir or Idise.

This post was inspired by a prompt atThe Pagan Experience suggesting writing for the letters “I” or “J”.

Idise, or an Idis when we’re talking about them in the singular, are ancestral mothers who have chosen to aid their descendants from the spirit world. In Icelandic tradition, they come down to us as Disir. The term “Idis” is actually reconstructed, but we can come to understand their function better by looking at folktales of fairy godmothers. (Schreiwer/Eckhart 41)  Fairy godmothers show up to protect us, advise us, give us good fortune, and grant our wishes whenever we are in trouble or have nowhere else to turn. If you check out stories such as some of the oldest versions of the “Cinderella” tale, you’ll see this role even more clearly. Cinderella’s “fairy godmother” was actually originally the spirit…

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