Concerning the Witte Wieven
Because so many have asked…
And because “Fall Fantasy” can equal “Fantasy” which can then equal “Myths,” (which are absolutely fantastic to read and to study, by the way) I thought I would tell you about the Witte Wieven
For the most part, the Dutch words “Witte Wieven” translates into English as “White Women.” However, in the Low German language, spoken in northern Germany and in the eastern portions of the Netherlands, we get “Wise Women.”
The folklore of Germany refers to these women as Weisse Frauen. The myths, which date back to at least the middle ages, tell us these enchanted, elven-like beings are very beautiful to behold. They most often appear at midday, brushing their long blonde hair under the light of the sun, or bathing in bodies of water. They haunt castles, guard treasure, and beseech mortals to end the tedious spell that holds them bound. But alas, all human endeavors…
end in failure.
In French mythology, the Dames Blanches exist as a type of supernatural creature akin to fairies. But these white women are not so nice. They hang out in narrow places like bridges, ravines, and fords in order to accost those who pass them by. They require their victims to assist them in various ways (some of their requests are very trivial and humiliating) before allowing them to pass. Those who comply with their desires find themselves richly rewarded, while those who refuse suffer their wrath.
But—since the hero of my novel hails from the Netherlands—let’s get back to the Dutch. According to the myths and legends of the Netherlands, dating back to at least the seventh century, mortals revered the wise women during their mortality and honored them at death. Known also as Wittewijven, they are both herbalists and healers. They have the gift of prophecy for they have the ability to see into the future. Once death claims them, their spirits remain earthbound and according to their pleasure, they can either help or hinder those they encounter.
So I ask you, what Captain of a sea-going vessel, wouldn’t seek to invite a small group of women aboard his ship, who can peek into the future, heal them of their maladies, assist them, and hinder their adversaries?
And that, my friends, is the very reason the handsome, dashing, Captain Wolfaert Dircksen Van Ness, christened his ship, “The Witte Wieven.”
Thanks so very much, Stephanie, for inviting me to participate in your “Fall Fantasy” blog! I found it a pleasure to share some time with you today!
[SK]: You are welcome anytime Debbie! Very cool post!
About the Author
You can learn more about Debbie and her books at:
Author Website: http://dk-peterson.com/