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Sirin and Alkonost (Tale Weaver’s Prompt)

Viktor Vasnetsov.  Sirin and Alkonost - Birds of Joy and Sorrow, 1896. WikiArt.

Viktor Vasnetsov. Sirin and Alkonost – Birds of Joy and Sorrow, 1896. WikiArt.


Hello!  This is Jen from Blog It Or Lose It, filling in for Oloriel at the Tale Weaver’s Prompt.

Let’s explore Sirin and Alkonost.  Both of these creatures – a half-bird, half-woman – have their origins in Greek mythology.  Today they’re quite important in Russian folklore.

A Sirin has a woman’s head and chest and an owl’s body.  She usually has a crown or nimbus, and is said to have lived in or near paradise.  She sang beautiful songs to the saints – but these songs were dangerous to mortals who would forget everything on earth to follow a Sirin – and die.  Until the 17th and 18th century, people would shoot cannons and make loud noises to scare the Sirins away.  After the 18th century Sirins came to symbolize joy, peace, and harmony (because they lived near paradise).  It was said that only truly happy people could see or hear them.


An Alkonost has a bird’s body but a woman’s head.  She also has a beautiful song that makes humans forget everything they ever knew.  The Alkonost lays her eggs on the beach and rolls them into the sea.  When the eggs hatch, a thunderstorm rises and makes the sea treacherous.


Sirins have roots similar to the Greek siren; Alkonosts have their roots in the Greek myth of Alcyone.

For today’s challenge:

* Imagine you are a Sirin or an Alkonost.  Whom would you visit?  Why? What would the result be?

* Imagine you met a Sirin or an Alkonost.  What would happen?

Poems, prose, and artwork/ photos are encouraged – whatever format you prefer.

Have fun, and when you’ve created your post, don’t forget to TAG it MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie and Tale Weaver’s Prompt.  And please add your link to the MisterLinky widget.



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4 comments on “Sirin and Alkonost (Tale Weaver’s Prompt)

  1. Pingback: Sirin and Alkonost (Tale Weaver’s Prompt) – The Sirin’s Apprentice | Morpethroad

  2. The Muscleheaded Blog
    January 16, 2015

    The Sirin / Siren symbology is a verdant one — and should make for some very interesting verses.


    • J
      January 16, 2015

      Oh, I’m really hoping so, Chris — it’ll be great to see what everyone comes up with 🙂

      Thanks 🙂


  3. Pingback: Friday Happy Hour (Tale Weaver) | Traces of the Soul

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This entry was posted on January 15, 2015 by in Written Prompt and tagged , , , , , , .
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