Witches of Lapland

The witches of Lapland are powerful wizards, often depicted as enemies of wizards from the south.

Before the world was born, a Lapp witch shot a fiery arrow to Väinämöinen.

Historical Finnish wizards have travelled to Lapland to be educated in magic, which is considered different than in the south.

Do not go, my son beloved,
Ignorant of Pohya-witchcraft,
To the distant homes of Northland
Till thou hast the art of magic,
Till thou hast some little wisdom
Do not go to fields of battle,
To the fires of Northland’s children,
To the slaughter-fields of Lapland,
Till of magic thou art master.
There the Lapland maids will charm thee,
Turyalanders will bewitch thee,
Sing thy visage into charcoal,
Head and shoulders to the furnace,
Into ashes sing thy fore-arm,
Into fire direct thy footsteps.

Attack of three Lapp witches


A wizard is alone, in the middle of the night, naked on a stone at a river, when three Lapp witches attack him with curses and spells. The wizard defends him/herself and, using only spells and willpower, fights them back banishing them into the swamp, into the rapids, the whirlpool, underneath the water.

Sorcerers once were bewitching me,
three Laplanders attempted it,
three cruel sorcerers,
nine extra wicked ones,
three summer nights,
nine autumn nights,
completely bare,
without a rag of clothes;
this much they profited by me,
just this much they got out of me,
what an axe gets from a stone,
a borer from a rock,
a stump from slippery ice,
or Death (Tuoni) from an empty room.
Magic Songs of the Finns

This story appears in the so called boasting spells of wizards. Reminding his enemies about his past heroic deeds will frighten them and give him power over them.


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