There are many omens that depict death in different cultures depending on where you live. In Ireland, there is a mythological spirit known as that banshee that has long been known as a symbol for death.
The story of the banshee is actually quite sad. She is said to have been a young woman who was brutally killed and because of the way in which she died, she thus becomes trapped here on Earth. She spends the rest of her days wandering the planet to be close to her family and also to warn others when a violent death will occur.
Needless to say, most people do not want nor desire a visit from this mythical spirit. When they recognize what she represents, it can be most unsettling for those with recognition of what she stands for. For others who are strong, they take her message and translate it for what the banshee would have wanted which was to help guide and to prepare for a funeral. Some call her a guide through a transitioning period, however uncomfortable that period might be,
The banshee most typically is wailing or crying when she is seen. She can be found in most any environment, but legend states that she will oftentimes try to gravitate near the birthplace of the one who is soon to die.
Perhaps a symbolic cross like this will make those who are aware of banshees and their meanings feel a little bit more comfortable with their presence and knowing they are meant to guide and aide rather than to scare.
There are many forms that the banshee can take and here are some examples:
- An old woman dressed in black with long grey hair and has her face covered with a veil.
- An older woman with long white hair who has red eyes and is dressed in a green dress.
- An extremely pale woman with long red hair dressed in all white; usually a dress or a shroud.
- A lovely woman wearing a shroud.
- A lovely woman with hair that is silver and white and who wears a dress that is also silver.
- A woman with no head who is naked from the waist up and carries a bowl of blood.
Although, death can be an uncomfortable subject for most people, the banshee’s mere presence and existence is not meant to cause uneasiness or trouble. Her being is in fact a hope that those near the soon-to-be-deceased person will come nearer to them in their final hours or days and help them in their passing, perhaps so they won’t face it alone. The banshee also serves as a symbol to those near to the departed and that they may look to one another for support in what most see as one of the most trying events in life. Maybe in this way the banshee can help to ease the pain and awkwardness associated with death with her warning while giving those who need it a fair shot to make amends while they still can. In this way people may come to see death as not the worst thing in life, but perhaps something that can be accepted with grace.