These are touchstone stories. Offered in short form to orient you to the variations of mythic shapeshifters, seals, women, mermaid, naiads and the like as known in many parts of the world. More aspects of the myths and references will be shared here and there…as we travel to meet our own Selkie Stories in art and life.
A young nobleman gets lost in the woods while hunting and comes upon an extremely beautiful woman in the woods near a sacred spring. In some stories, she is one among three and some she is alone, but she is always very beautiful and singing in an unearthly way. The nobleman falls madly in love and begs the young woman to be his wife on one condition. The young man must never disturb or look upon her on a Saturday when she bathes. He agrees and they marry and have many children.
As time passes, the nobleman gets curious about what exactly his wife is doing on her Saturdays away and goes to spy on her. What he sees is that she because a serpent from the waist down. He is horrified and cries out, and she sees that he has broken his promise. Melusine leaves never to return to her husband.
It is believed Melusine may be connected to the deeper myth of the land, Nature spirits that lived near caves and natural springs.
In Italian lore Melusina is a chthonic deity, the split tail goddess is holds various aspects of elemental energy, harnessing the alchemy that gives birth to the world.
Melusine’s love story and draws parallels with goddesses such as Lamia, Ishtar or Inanna, Isis, and Asherah. Mother, creator, and leader, the figure of Melusine was ultimately vilified and tellingly converted into the demon of patriarchal accounts, as seen in the examples of Lilith, Medusa, Scylla, and the serpent in the Garden.
He story can also restore the dignity acknowledged to women of old, making a forceful statement about the power and creativity of women.