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The Lady of the Lake in Arthurian Legend

Emily Moccero

Posted on February 18 2021

The Lady of the Lake in Arthurian Legend

February's collection is inspired by The Lady of the Lake, and here is a brief retelling of her legend:

     The Lady of the Lake is an interesting female figure in the ancient Arthurian Legends. There are many tellings of her story found in different writings by many authors, and thus there are some conflicting details so you may be familiar with a different account of events.

     Going by either Nimue or Viviane, the Lady of the Lake is an enchanting, fae-like creature and a powerful sorceress. To the human world, she appears to live beneath a vast and beautiful lake, but the lake is merely an illusion as it is a clever disguise to the portal she uses to travel to and from the Celtic fairy world she actually lives in. 

     Her story begins as she is a young maiden who catches the eye of famous wizard Merlin. There are several conflicting versions of her relationship with the wizard, but one tale tells us that Merlin taught her magic because he fell in love with her. Over time, Nimue became an incredibly powerful sorceress even surpassing the powers of Merlin. She got sick of Merlin's constant advances, and cast a spell to seal him away forever.

     The Lady of Lake was also a dang BABY SNATCHER as she is said to have kidnapped the newly orphaned Lancelot and brought him through the magical lake portal to be raised as her son in the Celtic fairy world. I’m not sure who Lancelot was kidnapped from if he was an orphan, but I think it may have been written because there were heavy superstitions about fairies stealing babies and replacing them with fake babies known as “changelings” - but that’s a whole other set of lore. Anyway, she snatches up Lance and I guess she must have been a super good mom because he gets released back into the real world and became one of the most powerful knights of the round table. Oh, and his fave weapon? You guessed it. He liked the lance. A lot.⠀

     Eventually, Nimue gives the fabled, magical sword "Excalibur" to King Arthur in exchange that he will one day owe her a favor of her choice. In the end, Arthur does not follow through with his promise and this leads to her death, and Excalibur is thrown back into the lake where it would rest forever.

     The collection I have put together for this theme uses a color palette inspired by the lake scene I envision Nimue in, and the glinting silver metal of the mythical blade Excalibur. Taking in the blues, greens, and murkiness of the lake, I have used Blue Opal, Blue Labradorite, Moonstone, Moss Agate, and Seraphinite, and for the sword I used Marcasite, Hypersthene, Pyrite included fossils, and beautiful faceted gray-cast Sapphires. All the stones come together beautifully with the magical feeling of the designs.

The collection will be available 2/21/21 at 7pm EST (get early access at 6:30 for joining the email list from the home page).  ⠀⠀


Painting on the left is an illustration from The Legends of King Arthur and His Knights (1912)

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