Celtic Mythological Beasts: Bestiary: B Is For Bwg Or Boggart. What You Need To Know About Your Invisible House Guest(s).


Bestiary: B Is For Bwg Or Boggart: In a couple of weeks, an author whose names escapes me, has a movie prequel opening, about fantastic beasts, and it got me thinking about creatures that abound in the imaginal realm. Creatures which  may benefit you to know about – a bit of background about Celtic and Druid mythology, the Celtic world viewpoint, and ofcourse pertinent information to you. After all,  you never know who else is living in your house.

The ancient Celts and Druids lived in a time of myth and ‘magic’, and that world has receded and we now know better. Or, do we? More scientifically-orientated, ,many might view such myths as irrelevant or quant, unbelievable and, some might say nonsense. But, lift the veneer of our scientific understanding, take time to pause, and maybe there’s a whole realm of the imagination, of myth and ‘magic’ and power, bubbling away just beneath the surface, and interacting with us in ways we cannot possibly understand. After all, who doesn’t like a fairy story?

So, today, what can we learn from the Bwg or Boggart

So, here’s an outline of one Celtic mythological creature that is well-known to some in the UK, and I dare say in regions beyond. Perhaps, wherever you are, the following may apply to your locale.

Mythological Creature: The Bwg or Boggart

boggart-2-untitledName: In Wales it’s known as The Bwg (pronounced ‘boh-g’ to rhyme with rogue), but elsewhere its known as The Boggart, or as ‘Brownies’

Location: They will be found, mainly, in your house. They’ll find you. They are also throught to frequent pasture, marshes, swamps, and various watery places.

Appearance: If you’ve ever experienced light-flashes or ‘shadows’ dancing momentarily in your peripheral vision at home, that’ll probably be the Bwg  of Boggart that resides with you. Yes, it’s an interesting thought, that as you read this very page – right now – there is probably a Bwg or a Boggart, invisibly, looking over your shoulder, or maybe positioned on your desk or table, looking at you and/or the computer screen. But, don’t be alarmed.

Bwgs or Boggarts may alter from one person to the next – and your experience of them may be different to someone else’s experience – just cherish the encounter (in your minds eye).

As with anything in the imaginal realm, human perception isn’t so refined and exact. Some have described them as the size of humans, others have said palm-size. Some say they look shaggy, hairy and unkempt human-like creature, others say they can take the form of an animal (full size or in miniature). Without a doubt, your Bwg or Boggart will have a form it likes, and which it will use to relate to you. It will make itself known. It’s a shape-shifter.

Activity: The Bwg or Boggart gets ‘bad press’ in many modern-day books, and is sorely misunderstood. For instance, some authors have said the Bwg or Boggart is malevolent, and prone to making mischief around the house, such as pulling bedsheets off you during the night, hiding things, pulling your ear, or turning milk sour etc. Could it be that bedsheets are prone to fall due to the effect of gravity, sometimes we misplace things around the house, occassionally we might get an itch, and milk doesnt stay fresh forever? Yes, the Bwg or Boggart gets ‘bad press’.

In reality, the Bwg or Boggart can be regarded as something of an energetic and over-eager child. Playful. Lots of energy, eager to please, and sometimes too eager, so much so that it seems to border on the mischievous. Yes, essentially, they can be helpful around the house but can be easily annoyed. You don’t really want to do that.

Ofcourse, like a child, if you upset one, or ignore it, then it may ‘act up’, seem naughty to get your attention and make its self known, but it’s usually little ‘clumps’ of mischief around the house, and generally, nothing too serious. So, enjoy there company.

So, if things do go missing around the house it could be generally absent-mindedness on your part, but it could be that you’ve ignored or upset the Bwg or Boggart that resides with you. ‘Oh, you have ignored one, haven’t you? It’s easy to do, but don’t worry, the remedy is just as easy.

At the very least do your best to acknowledge your  resident Bwg or Boggart – speak to them but don’t give it or them a name. And, leave it a little treat around the house – maybe, a small glass of water at night (and you’ll be surprised at how much has been consumed by it during the night. Ah, you might say ‘evaporation’! But, we know better).

Popular Fiction: Bwgs or Boggarts have appeared in the writings of C S Lewis, and (misrepresented) in the works of J K Rowling and the movies of the books, and in other places.

Learning Points: What can learn from the our Bwg or Boggart? Whether we take their existence as literal, historical, fantastical, ‘romantically’ or imaginably (and therefore real), in general, I think they remind us that there is more to life than we can visibly see, and that mystery is just around the corner, metaphorically. Or, maybe it’s right under our nose, if we have noses to smell, ears to hear, and eyes to see (ie using our God-imagination and creatvity etc). And, specifically, The Bwg or Boggart enables us to ‘count to ten’, to have patience if things have gone missing around the house, to take such occurrences (and similar ones…like the milk going off etc) in our stride, and to actively enlist their support when thing seem to go awry. Love your Bwg, today!


5 thoughts on “Celtic Mythological Beasts: Bestiary: B Is For Bwg Or Boggart. What You Need To Know About Your Invisible House Guest(s).

  1. My sister and I liked to say we had a brownie living in our house when we were little. We called him “Mr. Graves” and sometimes when we lost too many toys at once I would leave a little bowl of milk on the windowsill or by the fireplace to appease him. I miss that. Now I live in a horrifyingly beige and modern house where nothing feels magical enough for a boggart.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s good to hear about the Brownie that you and your sister knew. It might be worthwhile experimenting even now to see if you have one where you live, or use creative visualisation (and that is part of my new, impending website due in a few days). In that way you might encounter your ‘inner Brownie’! Regards, Tadhg

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Sleeplessness & The Ancestors: Celtic Thought | Tadhg Talks…

  3. It really makes me quite sad to see the misrepresentation of boggarts in popular culture. Even the various wikipedia pages insist that they are malevolent spirits (I might suggest that you go in and edit them, if you feel like). On the other hand, there are a few works out there that do this ‘mythology’ its justice. “The Boggart” and “The Boggart and the Monster” by Susan Cooper were my introduction to the existence of boggarts, and I must say, they made me rather fond of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks for reading and replying to the post. You are correct – Boggarts do get an unfair ‘press’ in many publications today and yet they shouldn’t. I haven’t heard of Susan Cooper before – but have just checked and see that she has won a number of writing awards and has a number.p of interesting books published – and so I will explore her writings. Thank you for that info. Many blessings to you and yours, Tadhg.


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