Melusine

Melusine

Also known as: Melusina

Origin: France

Raymond of Poitou was riding through a medieval French forest when he discovered Melusine, a beautiful, solitary woman bathing in a freshwater spring. He fell madly in love with her and asked her to marry him. She agreed on the condition that once a week, on Saturdays, she be given utter, total privacy. He agreed.

All was well for a while. Melusine and Raymond had several children. Some of the children had unusual features, exceptionally large teeth for instance, or tusks. It’s unclear whether it was the children’s appearance that whetted Raymond’s curiosity or if he ever wondered why he had met Melusine bathing all alone in the middle of a lonely forest, but after several years, her Saturday ritual of locking herself away and disappearing for the day became too much for him. Consumed with curiosity, he spied on Melusine. He discovered her all by herself, bathing in a huge tub of water, but she was not the woman he knew; instead she was part woman, part dragon—complete with wings and a serpent tail.

When she realized her privacy had been broached and her secret revealed, Melusine flew away. She never returned to her husband, but she periodically returned to see her children.

Various legends describe why Melusine is a dragon-woman. In some it is a result of a curse. In others, that’s just her natural form—she’s a goddess. Melusine’s true home may be the Celtic afterlife paradise, the Isle of Avalon. She is an ancestral spirit. Many claim to be descended from her. When a member of her family dies, even now Melusine or a dragon allegedly manifests, flying overhead and weeping.

That one day of privacy was apparently necessary for Melusine’s survival. She may be petitioned by those who seek time to express private, secret aspects of their personalities or who need time to allow hidden talents to emerge. She is a goddess of magical and spiritual wisdom.

Melusine may mean “sea mist,” “marvel,” or “wonder.”

Manifestation: Melusine may manifest as a woman, but her true form is a dragon woman: winged woman above the waist, serpentine tail below. In whatever form, she is exceptionally beautiful.

Iconography: Melusine is sometimes por trayed as a mermaid rather than a snake-woman.

Element: Water

See also: Mami Waters; Toyotama-Hime; Vouivre

Judika Illes
From the Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.