Winter’s scavengers will arrive on wings

The Valravn are malevolent entities of Danish folklore, straddling the worlds of the dead and the living. In mythology, they would feed on the dead of the battlefield, gaining the power to take on human or more monstrous forms.

Copyright Gordon Veitch for Beltane Fire Society. All Rights Reserved. http://www.beltane.org / http://www.facebook.com/beltanefiresociety

At Samhuinn Fire Festival, the Valravn form a mercenary force, acting as spies and assassins for the Winter King and his court in exchange for some part of Summer on which to feed and increase their own power. They pick off the weak, easing the way for the Winter King, sometimes even cosying up to Summer before betraying them.

Copyright Gordon Veitch for Beltane Fire Society. All Rights Reserved. http://www.beltane.org / http://www.facebook.com/beltanefiresociety

Winter has humility enough to pay them and in return, they have always served Winter, even working as support for another of the Winter King’s followers, the Wild Hunt.

Copyright Gordon Veitch for Beltane Fire Society. All Rights Reserved. http://www.beltane.org / http://www.facebook.com/beltanefiresociety

You will know the Valravn on the Hill by their enormous puppet forms. These sinister creatures will soar around the Hill on great wings, like ghastly ravens searching for carrion to feed on. Beware their blinking eyes – they may fix on you and make you their next prey. The Valravn will target any humans who dare go near.

Copyright Vince Graham for Beltane Fire Society. All Rights Reserved. http://www.beltane.org / http://www.facebook.com/beltanefiresociety

Samhuinn Fire Festival takes place on Wednesday 31st October on Calton Hill from 7pm. Tickets are available from Tickets Scotland.

Featured image by Vince Graham.

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