Nixes

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Nixes

Post  Admin on 10/27/2008, 1:49 am

Nixes

by Micha F. Lindemans
In Norse folklore, they are water spirits who try to lure people into the water. The males can assume many different shapes, including that of a human, fish, and snake. The females are beautiful women with the tail of a fish. When they are in human forms they can be recognized by the wet hem of their clothes. The Nixes are considered as malignant in some quarters, but as harmless and friendly in others.

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Re: Nixes

Post  Admin on 10/27/2008, 1:50 am

Nix


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.




Strömkarlen from 1884 by Ernst Josephson has formed many modern Swedes' view of Näcken.



In Norway, Theodor Kittelsen's Nøkken from 1904 is equally famous.



This late 19th century painting by Johan Tirén shows a more conservative Swedish Näcken wearing the clothes of the local people.



Nix (also known as Näcken, Nøkken or Nixe) are water creatures in German and Scandinavian folklore, usually shown in human form. The name is related to Anglo-Saxon nicor, and Old High German nihus, all designating some kind of water fiend.
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Näcken


The Scandinavian näcken or nøkken was a male water spirit who played enchanted songs on the violin, luring women and children to drown in lakes or streams.
It is difficult to describe the actual appearance of the nix, as one of his central attributes was thought to be shape shifting. Perhaps he did not have any true shape. He could show himself as a man playing the violin in brooks and waterfalls (though often imagined as fair and naked today, in actual folklore he was more frequently wearing more or less elegant clothing) but also could appear to be treasure or various floating objects or as an animal — most commonly in the form of a "brook horse" (see below). The modern Scandinavian names are derived from an Old Norse nykr, meaning "river horse." Thus, likely the brook horse preceded the personification of the nix as the "man in the rapids".
The enthralling music of the nix was most dangerous to women and children, especially pregnant women and unbaptised children. He was thought to be most active during Midsummer's Night, on Christmas Eve and on Thursdays.
If you brought the nix a treat of three drops of blood, a black animal, some brännvin (Scandinavian vodka) or snus (wet snuff) dropped into the water, he would teach you his enchanting form of music.
The nix was also an omen for drowning accidents. He would scream at a particular spot in a lake or river, in a way reminiscent of the loon, and on that spot a fatality would later take place.
Some stories tell how the nix sings about his loneliness and his longing for salvation, which he purportedly never shall receive, as he is not "a child of God." In a poem by Swedish poet E. J. Stagnelius, a little boy pities the fate of the nix, and so saves his own life.
In Scandinavia, water lilies are called "nix roses" (näckrosor/nøkkeroser). A tale from the forest of Tiveden relates of how the forest had its unique red waterlilies through the intervention of the nix:

At the lake of Fagertärn, there was once a poor fisherman who had a beautiful daughter. The small lake gave little fish and the fisherman had difficulties providing for his little family. One day, as the fisherman was fishing in his little dugout of oak, he met the Nix, who offered him great catches of fish on the condition that the fisherman gave him his beautiful daughter, the day she was eighteen years old. The desperate fisherman agreed and promised him his daughter. The day the girl was eighteen, she went down to the shore to meet the Nix. The Nix gladly asked her to walk down to his watery abode, but the girl took forth a knife and said that he would never have her alive, stuck the knife into her heart and fell down into the lake, dead. Then, her blood coloured the waterlilies red, and from that day the waterlilies of some of the lake's forests are red (Karlsson 1970:86). [edit]


Bäckahästen


Bäckahästen (translated as the brook horse) is a mythological horse in Scandinavian folklore. It has a close parallel in the Scottish kelpie.
The Nix as a brook horse by Theodor Kittelsen, a depiction of the Nix as a white horse



It was often described as a majestic white horse that would appear near rivers, particularly during foggy weather. Anyone who climbed onto its back would not be able to get off again. The horse would then jump into the river, drowning the rider. The brook horse could also be harnessed and made to plough, either because it was trying to trick a person or because the person had tricked the horse into it. The following tale is a good illustration of the brook horse:

A long time ago, there was a girl who was not only pretty but also big and strong. She worked as a maid on a farm by Lake Hjärtasjön in southern Nerike. She was ploughing with the farm's horse on one of the fields by the lake. It was springtime and beautiful weather. The birds chirped and the wagtails flitted in the tracks of the girl and the horse in order to pick worms.
Gutt på hvit hest (Boy on white horse) by the same Kittelsen


All of a sudden, a horse appeared out of the lake. It was big and beautiful, bright in colour and with large spots on the sides. The horse had a beautiful mane which fluttered in the wind and a tail that trailed on the ground. The horse pranced for the girl to show her how beautiful he was. The girl, however, knew that it was the brook horse and ignored it. Then the brook horse came closer and closer and finally he was so close that he could bite the farm horse in the mane. The girl hit the brook horse with the bridle and cried: "Disappear you scoundrel, or you'll have to plough so you'll never forget it." As soon as she had said this, the brook horse had changed places with the farm horse, and the brook horse started ploughing the field with such speed that soil and stones whirled in its wake, and the girl hung like a mitten from the plough. Faster than the cock crows seven times, the ploughing was finished and the brook horse headed for the lake, dragging both the plough and the girl. But the girl had a piece of steel in her pocket, and she made the sign of the cross. Immediately she fell down on the ground, and she saw the brook horse disappear into the lake with the plough. She heard a frustrated neighing when the brook horse understood that his trick had failed. Until this day, a deep track can be seen in the field. (Hellström 1985:16) [edit]


Nixe


The German Nixe is a kind of river mermaid who lures men to drown, akin to the Celtic Melusine.
Nixe are water spirits who try to lure people into the water. The males can assume many different shapes, including that of a human, fish, and snake. The females are beautiful women with the tail of a fish. When they are in human forms they can be recognized by the wet hem of their clothes. The Nixes are considered as malignant in some quarters, but as harmless and friendly in others.[edit]


See also



  • Huldra
  • Naiads
  • Näkki
  • Rusalka
  • List of fictional species
  • Nixie tube
[edit]


Other meanings


nix is a common abbreviation for the German word "nichts," which means "nothing," and may also be used as a verb to indicate the exclusion of something.

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