The Tilberi


Merry meet all,

Sorry for my post absence but life got in the way. I know, bad excuse. I do have a fascinating story to share. 

This link is from Wikipedia, which I am posting here, for you to read…. if you dare to. 


I attended the Beltane celebration this weekend. I attended the Icelandic witchcraft workshop and I don’t regret it. I googled this creature and here is its’s story. 

The Tliberi (carrier, fetch familiar) or snakkur (spindle) is a creature of Icelandic folklore, created by witches to steal milk. Only women can steal and own a tilberi. 

There are no written records of the creature before in eastern Iceland before the 17th century, although 1 17th-century witch was punished for owning one in 1500.

To make a tilberi, the witch steals a rib from a dead man’s buried body early on Whitsunday, twists around it grey wool which she must steal for the purpose. She keeps the rib wrapped in wool between her bressts. The next three Sundays at communion she spits sacred wine on the rib, which comes alive every time. She cuts the flesh of the inside of her thigh, which creates a wart-like growth. The tilberi sucks on her blood but not all of her blood at once. 

Now the witch commands the tilberi to suck the milk of the feeding cows and ewes. It returns to the window of her dairy or barn and cries, “Full bell Mommy!” or “Churn lid off, Mummy.’ It vomits the stolen milk into the butter churn. To suck the milk from the cow’s or ewe’s udder, it jumps on it’s back and lengthens its body to reach down. It can reach down on both sides and suck from two teats at once. The cows and ewes suffer inflammation. Even in the 19th century, farmers made the sign of the cross under the udder and over the rump and lay a Psalter on the spine. Butter churned from a tilberi clumps together as if curdled, or melt into foam, if the sign of the cross is made over it or the smjörhnútur (butterknot) magickal sign drawn onto it. 

The tilberi occasionally steals wool which was hung to dry on someone’s garden lawn after shearing and washing: it rolls around itself to form a huge rolling ball. 

If the witch bears a child and the tilberi finds her milk-filled breast before she can feed the baby, she can be drained to death. The traditional methods of ridding oneself of a tilberi is to send it up to a mountain pasture to collect all of the lambs’ droppings: either in all of those or 3 pastures or make 3 piles. The evil creature will work itself to exhaustion and death. Only the human bone will remain in the pasture. The tilberi explodes from eating so much dung like an ant eating too much cornmeal. 

A tilberi is a speedy creature and will hide under her petticoats. The petticoat is sewn closed or tied and the witch and her familiar tilberi are either burned or drowned together. 

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(