Last updated

Rådande or löfjerskor are tree spirits in Swedish faerie mythology, similar to the dryads and hamadryads of Greek and Roman mythology.

Dryad tree nymph in Greek mythology

A dryad is a tree nymph or tree spirit in Greek mythology. Drys signifies "oak" in Greek, and dryads are specifically the nymphs of oak trees, but the term has come to be used for tree nymphs in general, or human-tree hybrids in fantasy. They were normally considered to be very shy creatures except around the goddess Artemis, who was known to be a friend to most nymphs.


A hamadryad is a Greek mythological being that lives in trees. They are a particular type of dryad, which are a particular type of nymph. Hamadryads are born bonded to a certain tree. Some believe that hamadryads are the actual tree, while normal dryads are simply the entities, or spirits, of the trees. If the tree died, the hamadryad associated with it died as well. For that reason, dryads and the gods punished any mortals who harmed trees.

Greek mythology body of myths originally told by the ancient Greeks

Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the ancient Greeks. These stories concern the origin and the nature of the world, the lives and activities of deities, heroes, and mythological creatures, and the origins and significance of the ancient Greeks' own cult and ritual practices. Modern scholars study the myths in an attempt to shed light on the religious and political institutions of ancient Greece and its civilization, and to gain understanding of the nature of myth-making itself.

In Swedish folklore, a is a spirit connected to a place, object or animal; examples are the skogsrå (a forest being) and sjörå (a water being). Thus, the word rådande or råande may derive from and ande, "spirit". [1] It may also be a corruption of trädande (plural trädandar), meaning tree spirit). and råd-ande (with a hyphen) are attested in Jacob Mörk's political satire novel "Adalriks och Göthildas Äfventyr" published in Stockholm in 1742.

In Scandinavian folklore, a (in Swedish), is a keeper or warden of a particular location or landform. The different species of rå are sometimes distinguished according to the different spheres of nature with which they were connected, such as skogsrå or huldra (forest), sjörå (freshwater) or havsrå (saltwater), and bergsrå (mountains).


The Skogsrå, Skogsfrun, Skogssnuvan, Skogsnymfen, Råndan or Huldran, is a mythical female creature of the forest in Swedish folklore.


The sjörå(in Swedish), or the Sjöfru was a mythical creature of the lake, or Rå, in Swedish folklore. She is a female, humanoid water spirit. She is a seductive creature, often featured sitting and combing her long, sweeping hair with delight. Sjörå is comparable to the nymphs of Greek mythology.

Benjamin Thorpe translates rådande as "elf" and identifies them with löfjerskor, or grove-folk. He explains that sacred groves were supposed to be protected by deities. A tree that grew unusually fast was a "habitation-tree" or boträd, and an invisible Radande was believed to live in its shade, rewarding those who cared for the tree and punishing any who harmed it.

Benjamin Thorpe was an English scholar of Anglo-Saxon literature.

Related Research Articles

Ask and Embla first two humans, created by the gods in Norse mythology

In Norse mythology, Ask and Embla —male and female respectively—were the first two humans, created by the gods. The pair are attested in both the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. In both sources, three gods, one of whom is Odin, find Ask and Embla and bestow upon them various corporeal and spiritual gifts. A number of theories have been proposed to explain the two figures, and there are occasional references to them in popular culture.

Troll supernatural being in Norse mythology and Scandinavian folklore

A troll is a class of being in Norse mythology and Scandinavian folklore. In Old Norse sources, beings described as trolls dwell in isolated rocks, mountains, or caves, live together in small family units, and are rarely helpful to human beings.

In Norse mythology, Dellingr is a god. Dellingr is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and in the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. In both sources, Dellingr is described as the father of Dagr, the personified day. The Prose Edda adds that, depending on manuscript variation, he is either the third husband of Nótt, the personified night, or the husband of Jörð, the personified earth. Dellingr is also attested in the legendary saga Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks. Scholars have proposed that Dellingr is the personified dawn, and his name may appear both in an English surname and place name.

In Norse mythology, Gullinkambi is a rooster who lives in Valhalla. In the Poetic Edda poem Völuspá, Gullinkambi is one of the three roosters whose crowing is foretold to signify the beginning of the events of Ragnarök. The other two roosters are Fjalar in the wood Gálgviðr, and an unnamed soot-red rooster in Hel:

Hulder Creature found in the Scandinavian Folklore

A hulder is a seductive forest creature found in Scandinavian folklore. Her name derives from a root meaning "covered" or "secret". In Norwegian folklore, she is known as huldra. She is known as the skogsrå "forest spirit" or Tallemaja "pine tree Mary" in Swedish folklore, and ulda in Sámi folklore. Her name suggests that she is originally the same being as the völva divine figure Huld and the German Holda.

Katarina Church Church of Sweden church building on Södermalm in Stockholm, Sweden

Katarina kyrka is one of the major churches in central Stockholm, Sweden. The original building was constructed 1656–1695. It has been rebuilt twice after being destroyed by fires, the second time during the 1990s. The Katarina-Sofia borough is named after the parish and the neighbouring parish of Sofia.


Fossegrim, also known simply as the grim (Norwegian) or Strömkarlen (Swedish), is a water spirit or troll in Scandinavian folklore. Fossegrim plays the fiddle, especially the Hardanger fiddle. Fossegrim has been associated with a mill spirit (kvernknurr) and is related to the water spirit (neck) and is sometimes also called näcken in Sweden. It is associated with rivers and particularly with waterfalls and mill races.

Mashya and Mashyana Fictional couple

According to the Zoroastrian cosmogony, Mashya and Mashyana were the first man and woman whose procreation gave rise to the human race.

The moss people or moss folk, also referred to as the wood people or wood folk or forest folk, are a class of fairy folk, variously compared to dwarves, elves, or spirits, described in the folklore of Germany as having an intimate connection to trees and the forest. In German the words Schrat and Waldschrat are also used for a moss person. The diminutive Schrätlein also serves as synonym for a nightmare creature.

In folklore, a Skrat is a mischievous creature often possessing gold and other riches. Stories about Skrats often revolve around the Skrat being tricked out of its treasure or else the Skrat fooling the treasure seeker by unexpectedly making the treasure disappear. Skrats can aid farmers with whom they are living, although this is usually at the expense of the farmer's neighbours from whom they steal.

Ingeborg i Mjärhult was a Swedish natural healer, natural philosopher, soothsayer and spiritual visionary.

Hjúki and Bil pair of characters in Norse mythology

In Norse mythology, Hjúki and Bil are a brother and sister pair of children who follow the personified moon, Máni, across the heavens. Both Hjúki and Bil are solely attested in the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. Scholarly theories that surround the two concern their nature, their role as potential personifications of the craters on the moon or its phases, and their relation to later folklore in Germanic Europe. Bil has been identified with the Bilwis, an agriculture-associated figure that is frequently attested in the folklore of German-speaking areas of Europe.

In Danish folklore, a helhest is a three-legged horse associated with Hel. Various Danish phrases are recorded that refer to the horse. The Helhest is associated with death and illness, and it is mentioned in folklore as having been spotted in various locations in Denmark.

Anna Margareta Momma née von Bragner (1702–1772), was a Swedish publisher, managing editor and journalist. She was the writer of the political essay Samtal emellan Argi Skugga och en obekant Fruentimbers Skugga, and the editor of the Stockholm Gazette. Chronologically, she may be counted as the first female journalist in Sweden.


Geniscus is a deity who appears in a sermon of Saint Eligius along with Neptune, Orcus, Minerva and Diana. These are all, the Christian homilist says, "demons" who should not be believed in or invoked. The warning implies cult activity for these deities in the northern parts of Merovingian Gaul into the 7th century.

1742 in Sweden Sweden-related events during the year of 1742

Events from the year 1742 in Sweden

Sacred trees and groves in Germanic paganism and mythology

Trees hold a particular role in Germanic paganism and Germanic mythology, both as individuals and in groups. The central role of trees in Germanic religion is noted in the earliest written reports about the Germanic peoples, with the Roman historian Tacitus stating that Germanic cult practices took place exclusively in groves rather than temples. Scholars consider that reverence for and rites performed at individual trees are derived from the mythological role of the world tree, Yggdrasil; onomastic and some historical evidence also connects individual deities to both groves and individual trees. After Christianization, trees continue to play a significant role in the folk beliefs of the Germanic peoples.

"Sinclairvisan" or "Sinclairsvisan" is a Swedish propaganda song with 90 verses, written by Anders Odel in 1739 to the "La Folia" melody. The song describes the murder of the Swedish diplomat, friherre, and major Malcolm Sinclair. Sinclair was murdered in 1739, while on a diplomatic mission, by two Russian officers acting on orders from the Russian government.

A Biersal is a type of kobold of German folklore. According to Carol Rose, in her book Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns, and Goblins: An Encyclopedia, biersal are sprites stemming from the Germanic mythology of the Saxony region and surviving into modern times in German folklore. This household spirit abides in breweries and in the bierkeller of inns and pubs. In these establishments, the Biersal will gladly clean bottles, steins, casks and kegs that have been used in return for payment in the form of his own portion of beer. When not properly remunerated, however, they resort to mischief and vandalism by stealing or hiding tools and causing equipment malfunctions.


  1. "RÅDANDE". Svenska Akademiens ordbok. Retrieved May 14, 2019.