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  • Married Life with a Mermaid: Six Useful Rules August 14, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern , trackback

    Paracelsus (obit 1541) was a Swiss German who had strong interests in science and the supernatural: though, of course, for dear old Paracelsus they were one and the same thing, the natural world. In Paracelsus’ writings there is a good deal of material on what we would call fairies, mermaids and other goblins. Paracelsus has a fascinating series of references to mermaids (in what follows ‘mermaid’, ‘undine’ and ‘nymph’ are used interchangeably). Here is what we learn.

    First, humans can seen mermaids but mermaids cannot see humans: ‘what the Undines know of us is to them merely what fairy tales are to us.’ So courtship might prove difficult.

    Second, mermaids can change to the ‘gross’ physical plane in which human live. If you really want to go and look for them Paracelsus assures us that they like resting on the shore.

    Third, mermaids are not immortal, but they can receive immortality of soul through marriage to a man. So mermaids like marrying humans.

    Fourth, mermaid-human children are human and have souls, so you can relax on that count.

    Fifth, ‘If any man has a Nymph for a wife, let him take care not to offend her while she is near the water, as in such a case she might return to her own element.’ Strong folklore echoes here.

    Sixth, ‘If anyone marries a water-nymph and she deserts him, he ought not to take another wife, for the marriage has not been dissolved. If he marries another woman he will shortly die.’ All of which begs the question, how do you divorce a mermaid?

    Other advice for anyone intending to marry a mermaid: drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com

    Filip G., 29 Aug 2017, reminds us that mermaids wives have one big problem

    Beach replies: remember the two tailed Venetian mermaids